It Started with Science View

It Started with Science

By Dianne Chryst Ormond

 

    I was born-in-the-covenant, lived in Utah my whole life, four years of seminary, returned missionary to England, Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Brigham Young University where I was Young Women President twice, married in the Provo temple, multiple Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women Presidencies amongst a myriad of other callings, and stalwart, dedicated, magnify-my-callings, honest, and true believing LDS member. I have always had an extremely strong conscience that kept me on the straight and narrow path, always striving to do right, and never rebelling.

    So what started my disbelief? It started with science. Beginning in seminary and throughout the years, I was taught that "someday science will find proof for the Book of Mormon", and so I put it on a shelf and waited. However, as science progressed, my dissonance grew. After watching a dozen archaeology shows on PBS where nothing in the Book of Mormon was ever mentioned, I called a faithful BYU science professor and asked if there was any archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, and how did he handle the dissonance between science and religion? I could tell by his carefully worded responses that he was no longer a believer.

    That started my reading frenzy through about 100 science and religion books in about 6 months. It became undeniably clear that science proved the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham to be fakes. After I was grounded in science, then I started with real church history. I read about the multiple contradictory versions of the First Vision, and Joseph's face-in-the-hat translation method. The final straw was reading about Joseph Smith's marrying a 14 year old, and his polyandry with married women. After reading the heartrending story of Zina and Henry Jacobs, I was in tears.

    Then came the rage over being deceived my whole life; I knew the church was a fraud, and there was nothing left of my testimony. I continued to research all the little details for eight years, both online and in books, until my family situation made it possible to resign. I so regret my time, energy, youth, and much tithing that were wasted on a lie, but my biggest regret is that I raised my children in the church. Some of my adult children see the fraud, but not all of them will, and there are many damaged familial relationships.

    Since many people have told me that my resignation letter has been concise and helpful for them, I'm including it with a few minor improvements. Everyone has my permission to copy and use it to suit their own needs, as I'm happy to be of help. Good luck to us all on our journeys!

 

November 21, 2006

Bishop *****

Address, Orem, Utah

 

Re: Resignation from membership of Dianne Chryst Ormond, female, birthdate November *****, Address


Dear Bishop,

 

     This is my formal written resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effective November 21, 2006. I resign according to legal precedents established in Guinn V the Church of Christ of Collinsville and Norman Hancock Lawsuit against the LDS Church. I understand that resigning cancels the effects of baptism and suspends temple sealings and blessings, but since I have determined that the foundations of the LDS church are false, there are no eternal consequences to this action. After years of careful consideration, my decision is firm and unalterable. Please forward without delay the "Report of Administrative Action" to President *****, and as specified in the Church Handbook of Instructions, please notify me that it has been done. As is my legal right, I request that the 30 day waiting period be waived, and request the paperwork be submitted promptly to church headquarters. I will verify with Greg Dodge at SLC Member Records.

     Where required to list on the form "reason for leaving," please indicate "at member's request as she is not a believer." I insist that my records show the only reason my name has been removed is that I requested it to be so, and insist the word excommunication or any other derogatory word not be used as there is no basis. I emphasize that my decision is not the result of sin, or taking offense, or any other stereotypical justification, but simply that the church is not what it claims to be, and all evidence falsifies the church. The church is good at instilling ethics and values, so it is disturbing when it doesn't follow its own teachings on honesty. After eight years of intensive research and documentation of all sides, I choose to no longer belong to an organization that deceives its members.

 

  • Yes, I've read the apologetics (defenses) of FARMS, FAIR, Meridian, Daniel Peterson, John Sorenson, Jeff Lindsay, Kerry Shirts, Bill Hamilton, John Pratt, Scott Woodward, John Tvedtnes, Matthew Roper, Jeffrey Meldrum, Trent Stephens, Hugh Nibley http://lds-mormon.com/nibley1.shtml and many others, as well as Limited Geography Theory, two Cumorahs, Bat Creek Stone, NHM, chiamus, word printing, etc.
    I have even double-checked many of their sources, read the books they referenced, and written to scientists they quoted. In every case I checked, the evidence was non-existent or twisted and distorted. Why are there only disingenuous obfuscations that strain credulity? I could overlook if there were just a few of the problems mentioned below, but with all the issues together, the picture becomes overwhelmingly clear. A side benefit is that all the dissonance between science and religion has melted.
  • Since outside information is more credible and accurate, I know now that efforts to steer me away were to hide sanitized and revisionist history. Being told not to read something should have been my first clue.
  • Multiple social science studies have demonstrated that once indoctrinated into a set of beliefs, only 5% are able to break free of that indoctrination. For that 5% open to examining the foundations of their religion, I ask the following questions for which documentation is easily obtained on the internet from hundreds of sources. A gentle and balanced starting place is here: http://trialsofascension.net/mormon.html
  • Since the Book of Abraham is a fake translation of common Egyptian funeral papyri dated centuries after the time of Abraham, why does the church hide this fact from its members and continue to claim that the book is of divine origin when it has been known otherwise since 1966 when the papyri were found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City? ‘Catalyst for inspiration' and Hugh Nibley's Sen-sen defense are not supported by the evidence. http://www.irr.org/MIT/Books/BHOH/bhohintr.html
  • When I was a missionary, I taught that Joseph Smith was visited by God and Jesus. Now I learn there are at least three additional contradictory Smith versions of the First Vision where only one angel appeared, or only the Lord appeared, or many angels appeared. If I were visited by Deity, it would make such an impression that I would remember by whom and how many. If God and Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith and told him none of the churches were true and to join none of them, why did he join the Methodists? After Alvin's death in 1823, why did Joseph pray, "if a supreme being existed" since he would already know? Why does the church teach a religious revival started in 1820, when it was actually 1824? Why is there no evidence of Smith's ‘persecution' in 1820? http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/mormon_questions.htm
    Why was Angel Moroni called Angel Nephi by Joseph Smith and his mother Lucy? If I'd been visited by an angel, I think I'd get the name right. http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/mclaims1.htm
  • Why did Smith marry and have sex with 11 women who were married to other men at the same time, some of whom he sent away on missions before marrying their wives? Why did he marry young teenagers, including 14 year old Helen Mar Kimball, who had both parents and didn't want to be married? http://www.signaturebooks.com/excerpts/insacred.htm Most of these are documented on the church's own genealogy website at: http://www.familysearch.org (enter Joseph Smith, 1805 birth). Why did Smith practice polygamy in secret for 10 years before the D&C 132 ‘revelation' which was to get Emma off his back? http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm Why did Joseph marry Fanny Alger in 1833 when the restoration of sealing power by Elijah didn't happen until 1836? In Europe, why did John Taylor say accusations of polygamy were lies when he already had multiple wives back in the USA? http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech9c.htm
    Why did the church teach me that Smith was tarred-and-feathered by anti-Mormons because Satan was persecuting him, when the reality was they were Mormons avenging their young sister towards whom Smith had made sexual advances, and Dr. Dennison was brought along for castration? http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_joesephsmith_section2.html ‘Why LDS Members Tried To Castrate Joseph Smith In 1832'

     Why did the church teach me that polygamy was for the support of widows and surplus single women, when there was actually a shortage of women? http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/utah_census.htm  Then why didn't Smith provide support for his 33+ wives?  Why did General Authorities keep sealing new polygamous marriages for at least 16 years after Wilford Woodruff's Manifesto? http://www.xmission.com/~country/chngwrld/chap9c.htm

     We have physical evidence of Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Norse in Greenland, and hundreds of other civilizations. Where is any evidence of the civilizations of millions of people in The Book of Mormon? As far as "someday science will find," science has expanded exponentially, especially with ground-penetrating radar and aerial surveillance, but the increasing finds of science all contradict The Book of Mormon
     In lake sediment cores, where are the durable pollen grains of wheat, barley, figs, grapes, or flax, or evidence of these plants in middens? Where is the evidence of metallurgy, steel swords or slag heaps, or coins and silk, chariots and wheels, or horses, elephants, asses, goats, sheep, pigs, and cows? Why is there impossible population growth in The Book of Mormon? http://josephlied.com/population.html  Where is the geologic evidence of a global Noachian flood, or geologic or dendroclimatology evidence of the physical upheavals in 3rd Nephi? http://www.irr.org/mit/bomarch2.html and http://www.irr.org/mit/smithson.html  
     Why is there no linguistic evidence of ancient Hebrew or Reformed Egyptian? Since languages have evolved for tens of thousands of years, why did the Jaredites come from the Tower of Babel which never existed?  Jaredite barges are not functional reality. http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Seely_Babel_WTJ.pdf  and http://home.teleport.com/~packham/ships.htm

     Why are there hundreds of anachronisms? Why does The Book of Mormon quote Isaiah before Isaiah was written? Why does it mention the Bible a millennia before the Bible even existed? Why has The Book of Mormon preserved the errors in the King James translation such as ‘virgin' for ‘young woman'? Why is ‘Christ' used when it is a Greek word, not the Israelite word Messiah? http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/curt_heuvel/bom_bible.html  

     Besides there being no evidence for things mentioned in The Book of Mormon, why does the book not mention things that really did exist in Mesoamerica, such as yams, beans, squash, llamas, sloths, jaguars, and monkeys? I went to a museum in Lima, Peru, and there were thousands of artifacts of jaguars, monkeys, and llamas, but not a single horse, cow, elephant, or sheep!

     Why are core doctrines such as three degrees of glory, pre-existence, eternal family sealings, and baptisms for the dead not included in this "most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion"?
     The Book of Mormon is a work of fiction with 19th century milieu stamped all over it.  "There's a difference between faith in an area where the evidence is lacking, and denial in an area where the evidence is copious but against you." -Baura   http://lds-mormon.com/bomquest.shtml

 

     Faith cannot be sustained on falsehoods and deception. Faith is not sufficient when all tangible evidence contradicts the church. "Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope." --Thomas Edison

     My testimony is based on evidence, facts, historical research, and feelings, and I know that the church is not true, Joseph Smith was not a prophet, and The Book of Mormon is not the word of God. http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/dawkins2.html

 

  • There are hundreds more books to suggest, but these are excellent for consolidated reading:

-     Church history- An Insider's View of Mormon Origins by Grant Palmer (active Mormon, Institute Director)

-     Science- Farewell to Eden, Coming to Terms With Mormonism and Science by Duwayne Anderson (resigned Mormon, scientist)

-     Polygamy/polyandry- In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton (active Mormon, historian)

-     Spiritual experiences/how the brain works- Don't Believe Everything You Think by Thomas E. Kida

Sincerely,

 

Dianne Chryst Ormond

http://MormonThink.com
Address, Orem, Utah

 

Cc:

Husband, Address, Orem, Utah

 

President *****, Address, Orem, Utah

 

Gregory W. Dodge, Supervisor, Members and Statistical Records Division

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

50 E North Temple, Room 1372, SLC, UT  84150-5310