In a fascinating turn of events, Mormons, including many high ranking officials, have begun to leave their faith after venturing onto the Internet and discovering that “credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies.”
They could’ve just watched South Park’s All About Mormons or seen the musical and been entertained in the process, but as a friend of mine is fond of saying:
“The truth is one. The paths are many.”
My own religious doubt began when I was young. An unfortunate, apparently genetic resistance to authority and conformity caused me to refuse to attend CCD classes as a child. My mother insisted that I have religion in my life but allowed me to choose the church that best suited me, but she later told me that she didn’t have much hope for me in terms of spiritual belief.
“You started reading The Bible while sitting in the pews every Sunday and asking lots of questions. You were never the believing kind of person. You were always such an instigator.”
Truthfully, I only started to read The Bible because it was the only reading material available to me during the service. Had comics books been placed in the pews instead, I might be a comic book collector today instead.
Since those early days of reading in the pews, I have read The Bible from cover to cover three times in my life:
- Once over the course of a summer as a teenager out of curiosity
- Once during the time that I had been arrested and tried for a crime I did not commit, in hopes of finding hope and strength within its pages
- Once in college as part of my English degree
I’ve also read many large portions of it many time, and for a while, I had begun a fourth cover-to-cover reading as part of a blog that I was writing. I cannot quote chapter and verse, but I have spent a great deal of time reading and studying this text.
While my mother was probably correct and my road to reluctant atheism was already paved when I was child, I recall feeling the same way that these Mormons have recently felt. The more I read The Bible, the less I believed, and to be honest, the less I wanted to believe.
While my respect for Jesus as a man grew with each reading, my desire for there to be a God as he is described in the Old Testament waned considerably.
My vision of a Sunday School God, full of kindness, forgiveness and unwavering benevolence was replaced by a vengeful, violent and wrathful being who I genuinely feared.
It is often said that the quickest way to atheism is to read The Bible. While my path was probably determined long before I started serious reading of the book, there is some truth in this statement.
Apparently it can now be said that the quickest path to rejecting Mormonism can be found online.