Dear Mr. Spencer:
I stayed up most of the night reading your book yesterday. I was raised in "the church" but became "inactive", as they say, when I was about 19. I always lived as I had been taught, but came to realize that no matter how hard I tried it never was good enough. I was manipulated and controlled by guilt. I also had questions about doctrine and other issues.
I am now 35 and am finally ready to have a real relationship with God. I have started studying the bible and speaking with my Christian friends about Christianity. I also decided that I really needed to study and learn all that I could about mormonism, since it is such a huge part of my life, and who I am.
....I finally feel strong enough to really stand up and tell them that I do NOt believe as they do and do not want to be Mormon. It has taken many years for me to get to this point because they have always been so controlling. My mother reponded by telling me "You ARE Mormon, You were baptised." I was 8years old! I didn't make that decision! It was made for me! I am an adult now, and chose to make INFORMED decisions for myself now.
When I started to read your book I have to admit I was a bit nervous! My entire life I remember being told about "Anti-Mormons" and the "Anti-Mormon Literature". I avoided it, as I was told to, even after I stopped attending the Mormon church.
I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the way that you presented the information. Your weren't Hyper-critical and bashing the Mormons as I expected. You presented your life's journey from your perspective at each point of your life and included the way you thought and felt at each point. I appreciated this, because your perspective changed and grew at different points and You didn't present the story of your past from your current perspective, but the way you felt at the time.
... I am just amazed to think of all of the people that I have known through out my life that blindly accept it all(mormonism)--don't even question it! I am starting a journey of my own right now. I want to look at all of the information that I receive as objectively as possible. I want to get as many perspectives as possible,(including Pro-Mormon). I want to delve further into church history, and other details you pointed out. It amazes me that I spent so much of my life living it, being surrounded by it, yet there was so much I didn't know about it! I had no idea about the different "LDS" churches that came to be after Joseph Smith's death, or many of the details you shared about Brigham YOung. I want to learn more! I want to educate myself, not just by reading "anti-mormon literature" as they are so afraid that I will do, but by getting ALL of the information from all points of view and then making an INFORMED decision for my life.
It is very difficult to turn away from the Mormon church. Things just aren't the same. My relationship with my Mormon family is forever changed. I no longer feel comfortable at family functions, although everyone is still pleasant towards me most of the time, the closeness and security I once felt is gone. I hardly know my brother and sister anymore. I see my family often, but its not the same. I know that it never will be because I am not Mormon, I am not "one of them"
I thank you for presenting the information in the way that you did. It has changed my life.
I have now started my own journey.......
Thank God you found some information to help you. I am praying that in all of this you will make a firm connection with Jesus, a personal connection that will grow and be satisfying. I hope you will continue to study, and especially to make connection with Christian friends.
I am sending you a packet of information that I hope will aid you in your search.