Reason #163: Because of the Joseph Smith Papers

Did you know that all of the published images (and transcripts) of the writings of Joseph Smith are now online in a searchable form? See what LDS scholars have access to — and know why so many of them study Mormonism’s history — but no longer believe its doctrines.  See the documents here. For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading...

Speaking at Women Walking With God

You can read more about this conference here. Over 800 women attended this year.

Reason #162: The Mental Gymnastics of Anticipating Polygamy

As a young Mormon woman I believed that I should prepare myself for plural marriage (the mainstream LDS church does not practice earthly polygamy of course but does command its practice after death.) I believed I might be able to enjoy the exclusive attentions of my husband while on earth but must be mentally ready for eternity as a plural wife. That produced a kind of dichotomy in my thinking. On the one hand I looked forward to the mysteries of sex and marriage, but saw these two things not as most women would consider them (the first inherently fading, and the second temporary.)  Rather, I believed each would be prone to constant and eternal acceleration. As I’ve conversed with other ex-Mormon women who like me once fervently yearned for an eternity of...

Reason #161: Because of Fanny Alger

On an ex-Mormon discussion board recently, the question was posed: What was the tipping point that caused you to leave Mormonism? (I asked the same question, but called it a “point of departure” in my book, Why We Left Mormonism (Baker Book House.) One person said it was because of Fanny Alger, a young woman who lived in Joseph Smith’s household and who became his first plural wife– without the knowledge nor consent of Emma, his wife. When I was a Mormon, even at BYU we were taught that Joseph Smith did not have any wives other than Emma. Mormons of my generation would never have believed that Smith would have slept with underage girls. But he did. Some as young as 14 years of age. And some, older ones, who had living husbands at the time...

The Seventeen Steps to Getting a Christian Book Published

I don’t do much author mentoring, because I have learned a painful truth: The vast majority of people who say they want to write a book for publication are not willing to submit to 1) the discipline of learning to write well and 2) then going through a frustrating and time-devouring process of personal inactivity (that’s code for “waiting and waiting and waiting”) to see it through. I’m not a good example of the norm for getting your first book published by a major Christian publisher, because as a young author with a few magazine article credits, I made a chance comment about being a former Mormon to a published author I’d just met. She said, “I have a publisher who would love to publish a book by you,” — and...