This story was originally displayed about 2010 on a previous MWAW website.
“Please, just show me the Truth!” I earnestly prayed vocally as I had been taught by my LDS upbringing. This was late 2005 or early 2006, after I had been actively searching for truth in many anti-Mormon books, NDE books (near-death experiences), gnostic gospels and lost books of the Bible and corresponding websites. I seemed to sense what I was looking for, but nothing really fit the bill.
Finally in May of 2006 I accessed a link at the Greater Things website that took me to thesealedportion.com. Of couse I knew that 2/3 of The Book of Mormon was yet to be translated, but I wasn’t really searching for it. I was searching for Truth! As I started reading The Sealed Portion on that royal blue computer screen, I felt the words resonating with my soul and that I had finally found what I had been searching for! I read it all within 3-4 days, at home or at work–it didn’t matter. And I felt myself shedding tears of joy, unlike the “guilt-tears” I had previously shed at LDS testimony meetings. The only issue I had a little problem with was the homosexual one due to my erroneous LDS teachings, but that was soon cleared up upon further reflection.
I was raised LDS, with ancestors reaching back into the 1830s, some who knew Joseph Smith. But I lived in New Jersey, where there were very few Church members, and my parents would have been considered liberal, as they rarely talked about religious subjects, although we did attend our meetings.
There seemed to be some seeds of truth within the Church. The concept of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ speaking to us through the prophet Joseph Smith was intriguing. I came to revere the prophet, especially as I read some of his writings, as in the Lectures on Faith and section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
The word “truth” is mentioned in both of these.
I can remember the first time the plan of salvation was introduced to me. Although the Mormons have somewhat of an erroneous concept concerning the whole plan, the general idea made sense. The part that doesn’t make sense (except to the LDS) is trying to cram everyone into the top degree of the Celestial Kingdom, as if the other kingdoms did not exist! But then, how could they justify their claims as guardians of our salvation, if there were no need for temples, endowments, Priesthood or tithing?
I was pretty much a true-believing Mormon, even when I married outside of the temple at age 20. I had been bitten by the bug after going to BYU, to learn more about my religion. Being in the Honors Program, I had instructors the likes of Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen and Chauncy Riddle. They really didn’t seem any different from the rest of us. In fact, Hugh Nibley used to lapse into periods of muttering to himself or just staring into space.
My husband didn’t want a temple marriage because he “didn’t want the Church telling him what to do” and has since admitted that he was afraid that he would have just gotten up and walked away out of the endowment session, if he came upon some promise that he was not willing to make.
As a young woman, I always felt sandwiched between the Church and my husband, trying to marry the two, but it never worked. So, I took the resulting guilt upon myself, wondering what was wrong with me? I never was nor ever will be “Molly Mormon”, so here is more guilt.
Something that was not my fault, however, was the Church’s policy of not letting me go to the temple to take out my endowments. My husband even signed an appeal and forwarded to the Church leaders to that effect. Of course I missed my brother’s wedding at the Washington DC temple–the only time I have known my parents to actually go to the temple.
Finally in 1986 the policy changed, and I went with my Relief Society president. Surely there must be a “feast of truth” inside the temples! That’s why no one will talk about what goes on there, isn’t it? Well, I was pretty confused that first time I went at age 38. And it didn’t get much better after subsequent visits.
I still didn’t get it that everyone was “play-acting” about the endowment, but into my 40s and 50s the hypocrisy inside the Church became apparent to me. The same people- the insiders–were recycled into all the leadership positions. This definitely left me out, as I had no “Priesthood-worthy” husband to politic for me. My children were confused, especially the boys. My daughter stuck it out for a temple wedding, but the two boys left during adolescence,
Still, this didn’t bother me as much as the lack of vision I saw in the leadership. Where were the prophets of yesteryear? Did we have anyone speaking as a Nephi? A Moroni? Or a Joseph Smith? The second coming was coming, wasn’t it? Didn’t we believe in continuing revelation? Where was it, other than in the tired-old platitudes of a year’s supply and staying out of debt? And didn’t the prophets of old incur the wrath of the people? Wasn’t part of a prophet’s job to teach the words of Christ? And to be like Christ, whatever the consequences? Seems like our leaders enjoyed the adulation of the members more than they wanted to be examples of Christlike behavior.
Anyway, these were some of my thoughts when I discovered The Sealed Portion in 2006. I first met Christopher when I attended a symposium in San Diego in November, by then being thoroughly convinced of the truthfulness of the book I had found. I found Christopher to be one of the most instantly likeable humans I had ever met! He exudes caring and concern for all of those around him, so in coming to this seminar I also felt that I had “come home”.
I have read all of the other MWAW books and have had my name removed from the records of the LDS Church. I am much happier now, as I can accept everything happening here as temporary. My real life is when I have an “aha” moment when something clicks in my essence about truth and reality. The outside world can go on like it always has, but the truth and reality I have found within myself permits me to weather any storm life can throw at me. And so I have accepted this Marvelous Work and a Wonder and The Humanity Party as the truth that Christopher and our advanced selves have provided for us at this time. I am really enjoying reading Christopher’s Autobiography as each chapter comes out. And I’m sure that I will enjoy The Dream of Mortal Life book even more, should I be privileged to be alive when it is published.
Cheryl Patton email@example.com, 208-377-4583