Mormons ever send missionaries to Utah


If you are studying Mormons (specifically, "Latter-day Saints Church of Jesus Christ" or "LDS Church"), you are likely studying them in private meetings with missionaries from that fellowship. Here are some key points they are likely to tell you:
  • Mormonism began when Joseph Smith, a young man in western New York, United States, was spurred by a Christian revival movement in his area in 1820 to seek guidance from God as to which Church was true. In response to his prayer, he was visited by God the Father and God the Son, two separate people who asked him not to join any church because all the churches at that time were false and that he, Joseph, would bring forth the true church . This event is called the "First Vision".

  • In 1823, Joseph had another heavenly apparition in which an angel named Moroni told him of a sacred story written by ancient Hebrews in America that was engraved on gold plates in an Egyptian dialect and buried in a nearby hill. Joseph was told it was the story of the ancient peoples of America and that Joseph should be a tool in bringing this record to the knowledge of the world. Joseph received these gold plates from the angel in 1827 and translated them into English by the Spirit of God, using an instrument associated with the plates, called "Urim and Thummim". The translation was made in 1830 as the Book of Mormon released.

  • The Book of Mormon is a religious and secular story of the inhabitants of the western hemisphere from about 2200 B.C.E. up to 421 C.E. It tells the reader that all Indians are descendants of three groups of immigrants who were brought to America by God from their original home in the Middle East. One group came from the Tower of Babel, the other two groups came shortly before the Babylonian capture around 600 B.C.E. from Jerusalem. They were led by prophets of God who had the gospel of Jesus Christ, so in their history, the Book of Mormon, remained. Many of the descendants of these immigrants were Christians before Christ was even born in Palestine, but there were also many unbelievers. Believers and unbelievers fought many wars, the last of which only left degenerate unbelievers as survivors, who are the ancestors of the Indians. The most important event in this long history was Jesus Christ's visit to America after his crucifixion, which strengthened (and converted) all residents.

  • Joseph Smith was instructed by revelation to restore the true Church, which he did in 1830. He was visited several times by heavenly messengers who ordained him to the true priesthood. He continued to receive revelations from God to guide the Church and impart more knowledge of the gospel. Many of these revelations are in Doctrine and Covenants released.

  • Persecuted for their religious beliefs, Joseph Smith and his followers were driven from New York to Ohio, then to Missouri, and then to Illinois, where Joseph Smith was murdered by a pack in 1844, a martyr of his faith. The Church was then led to Utah by Brigham Young, Joseph's successor, where the Mormons successfully settled.

  • The LDS Church today is led by followers of Joseph Smith. The current President of the Church is a "prophet, seer, and revelator" like Joseph Smith who guides members of the Church through revelation and guidance from God.

  • The modern LDS Church is the only true Church as restored by God through Joseph Smith. Other churches descended from the early Christian church have fallen away from the true faith because their leaders distorted the scriptures, changed the ordinances of the early church, and often led corrupt lives, thereby losing their authority.

  • With your baptism in the LDS Church you are taking the first necessary step towards your salvation and your ultimate entry into the kingdom of heaven (the “celestial kingdom”).


(An overview and a balanced discussion of the official missionary lessons in English can be found at There, in addition to the full text, there are also the techniques and strategies that the missionaries should use.)

Here's a round-up of key facts about the Mormon Church and its history that the missionaries probably won't tell you. We do not mean to suggest that they are deliberately deceiving you - most of the young Mormons serving missions for the Church are not well educated in Church history or modern critical studies of the Church. They probably don't know all of the facts themselves. But they were trained to give examiners "first milk and then meat", that is, to postpone revealing anything that might make an examiner hesitant, even if it's true. However, these facts should be clear to you before you commit yourself.

Each of the following facts has been confirmed by thorough historical research. And this list is by no means exhaustive!To support the individual points, links to other articles are included in the footnotes.
  • The story of the "First Vision" in the form presented to you was unknown until 1838, so eighteen years after their alleged occurrence and nearly ten years after Smith began his missionary effort. The oldest illustration is in Smith's own handwriting, dated around 1832 (still at least eleven years later) and states that him only a Person, Jesus Christ, appeared. Nor does she mention anything about a revival movement. It also contradicts the later description in the testimony of whether Smith had already decided that no church was true. A third account of this event is recorded as a memory in Smith's diary, fifteen years after the alleged vision in which an unidentified "figure" appeared, then another, their statements implying that none of them was the son. They were accompanied by many "angels" that are not mentioned in the official version you have been told. Which representation is correct, if any? Why has this event, which the Church now considers so important, been unknown for so long? footnote

  • Careful study of the religious history of the area where Smith lived in 1820 casts doubt that such an intense revival took place that year, later described by Smith and his family in the context of the First Vision. The revivals of 1817 and 1824 fit better into the picture described by Smith. footnote

  • In 1828, eight years after God was described as commanding him not to join any church, Smith applied for membership in the local Methodist Church. Other family members had joined the Presbyterians. footnote

  • Smith's contemporaries consistently describe him as a kind of deceiver whose main source of income was hiring out local farmers to help them find hidden treasures using jugglery and "seer stones". Smith was in fact on trial in 1826 for fraudulent conduct related to treasure hunting. footnote

  • The only people who claimed to have actually seen the gold plates were eleven close friends of Smith (many of whom were related). Your testimonials are at the beginning of everyone Book of Mormon printed. No disinterested third party was ever allowed to investigate. They were taken back by the angel at an undocumented time. Most of the Witnesses gave up on Smith and left his movement. Smith then referred to them as "liars". footnote

  • Smith created most of his "translation" not by reading the plates with the help of the Urim and Thummim (apparently holy glasses), but by staring at the same "seer stone" that he used for the treasure hunt. He placed the stone in his hat and covered his face with it. When he dictated, the gold plates were usually not even there, but in a hiding place. footnote

  • The detailed history and civilization described in the Book of Mormon does not coincide with any archaeological find anywhere in America. The Book of Mormon depicts a civilization that lasted a thousand years, populated both North and South America, familiar with horses, elephants, cattle, sheep, wheat, barley, steel, wagons, shipbuilding, sails, coins, and other elements of Old World culture was. But no trace of these supposedly very common things was ever found in America of this period. The Book of Mormon also does not mention any of the characteristics of the civilizations that actually existed in America at the time. The LDS Church has spent millions of dollars attempting this over many years Book of Mormon to be proven by archaeological research as an accurate historical report, but not even the slightest hint in support of the Book of Mormon Gaining history from pre-Columbian archeology. Besides, although that Book of Mormon Conveying the image of a relatively uniform people, with a single language and communication between distant parts of America, the pre-Columbian history of America shows exactly the opposite: largely different racial types (almost entirely East Asian - definitely not Semitic) and many different indigenous languages, none of which are is only distantly related to Hebrew or Egyptian. footnote

  • The people in Book of Mormon are said to have been believing Israelites who kept the law of Moses, but im Book of Mormon there is almost no trace of their observance of the Mosaic Law, or even an accurate knowledge of it. footnote

  • Although Joseph Smith said that God marked the complete translation of the plates as "correct" as published in 1830, there were many changes in later editions. In addition to the thousands of corrections to poor grammar and awkward phrasing in the 1830 edition, other changes were made that reflect later changes in some of the fundamental doctrines of the Church. For example, an early change in the wording modified the recognition of the doctrine of the Trinity in the 1830 edition, allowing Smith to introduce his later teaching on a variety of gods. A recent change (1981) replaced "white" with "pure", apparently to reflect the change in the Church's position on the "curse" of the black race. footnote

  • Joseph Smith said that Book of Mormon the "fulness of the gospel" would contain. However, its explanation of many doctrines is ignored or contradicted by the current LDS Church, and many doctrines that the Church today deems to be fundamental are not even mentioned in it. Examples include the church's position on the nature of God, the virgin birth, the Trinity, polygamy, hell, priesthood, secret organizations, the nature of heaven and salvation, temples, vicarious ordinances for the dead, and many other things. footnote

  • Many of the basic historical details found in the Book of Mormon appeared in print as early as 1825, just two years before Smith began making the Book of Mormon started out in a book called View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith (not related), published just a few miles from the place where Joseph Smith lived. A careful study of this remarkable book led an official of the LDS Church (the historian B.H. Roberts, 1857-1933) to admit that the evidence shows that the Book of Mormon arguably not an ancient record, but was concocted by Joseph Smith himself, based on the ideas he read in the earlier book. footnote

  • Although Mormons claim that God directs the LDS Church through its President (who is entitled "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator"), successive "prophets" have repeatedly either led the church in ventures that have been miserable failures or have failed to do so To see calamity looming. To name a few: the Kirtland Bank, the United Order, the Zion Collection in Missouri, the Zion Camp Expedition, polygamy, the Deseret Alphabet. footnote A recent example is the successful prank played on the church by manuscript dealer Mark Hofmann in the 1980s. He managed to sell the Church for thousands of dollars of manuscripts that he had forged. The Church accepted them as real historical documents. Church leaders learned the truth not from God through revelation, but from a non-Mormon expert and the police after Hofmann was arrested for two murders committed to cover up his crime. This scandal got through the whole American press. footnote

  • The secret temple ritual (the "endowment") was instituted by Smith in May 1842, just two months after he became a Freemason. The LDS temple ceremony is very similar to the masonry ritual of that time. footnote Smith stated that the masons corrupted the ancient (God-given) ritual through alterations and partial withdrawals and that he restored it to its "pure and original" (and complete) form as revealed to him by God. In the century and a half since, the LDS Church has made many fundamental changes to the “pure and original” ritual Smith “restored”, mostly by removing significant parts. footnote

  • Many doctrines that were once taught by the LDS Church and believed to be fundamental, essential, and "eternal" have been banned. Our view of the correctness of an exile by the church is unimportant, what matters is that here is a church that claims the Church of God, but has an "everlasting" attitude at one time and the opposite attitude to another, and thereby all the while claiming to preach the word of God. Some examples are:
    • the Adam-God doctrine (Adam is God the Father) footnote,
    • the united order (all property of the church members is jointly owned, with a claim in the church),
    • Polygamy (polygamy or, more precisely, polygyny; a man must have more than one wife to get to the highest degree in heaven) footnote,
    • the curse of Cain (the black race is not entitled to hold God's priesthood because they are cursed; this doctrine was not banished until 1978) footnote,
    • Blood atonement (some sins - apostasy, adultery, murder, intercultural marriage - must be atoned for by shedding the sinner's blood, preferably commissioned to do so by church leaders) footnote.
    All of these doctrines were proclaimed by the living prophet as the word of God, "eternal," "everlasting," and ruling the church "forever". All of these were banned by today's church.

  • Joseph Smith claimed to be a "translator" by the power of God. In addition to Book of Mormon he made some other "translations":

    • The Book of Abraham, from Egyptian papyrus rolls that came into his possession in 1838. He said that the scrolls were written "with his own hand" by biblical Abraham. Smith's translation is now recognized as scripture by the LDS Church, as part of the Delicious pearl. Smith also set up an "Egyptian grammar" based on his translation. Modern scholars of ancient Egypt agree that the scrolls are ordinary Egyptian funeral scrolls, are completely pagan in nature, have absolutely nothing to do with Abraham, and date from 2000 years after Abraham. Egyptologists say the "grammar" shows that Smith had no idea of ​​the Egyptian language. she is pure imagination, he just made it up. footnote

    • The "Inspired Version" of the King JamesBible. Smith was commissioned by God to do that Bible translate again because the existing translations contained errors. He finished his work in 1833, but the Church still uses the King James Edition. Smith said the Luther translation was better than the King JamesBible. The Inspired Version was never translated into German, except for a small part in the Delicious pearl. The standard translation is used in German-speaking countries today. footnote

    • The "Kinderhook Plates," a set of six metal plates with strange characters engraved on them, were excavated near Kinderhook, Illinois, in 1843 and examined by Smith, who began their "translation." He never completed this translation, but he confirmed it as an ancient record and translated enough to identify the author as a descendant of Pharaoh. Local farmers later admitted that they were made, engraved and buried as a prank by themselves. They would have copied the characters from a can of China tea. footnote

  • Joseph Smith claimed to be a "prophet". He often revealed future events "by the power of God." Many of these prophecies are in the LDS scriptures Doctrine and Covenants written down. Almost none of these have been fulfilled and many can no longer be fulfilled now because the things were not done by the named people and they have since passed away. Many prophecies included a date for their fulfillment, and those dates have passed, events never happened. footnote

  • Joseph Smith died not a martyr but in a battle in which he fired a number of shots. He was in prison at the time, under arrest for ordering the destruction of a Nauvoo newspaper that dared to publish an (accurate) disclosure of his secret sexual liaisons. By that time he had announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, established a secret government, and secretly crowned himself "King of the Kingdom of God." footnote

  • From the establishment of the Church to this day, Church leaders have never hesitated to lie, forge documents, rewrite or suppress history, or whatever it takes to protect the reputation of the Church. Many Mormon historians have been expelled from the Church for publishing their findings on the truth of Mormon history. footnote


If you should choose to become a member of the LDS Church, you should be aware of what your life in the Church will be like. Although you will surely be warmly welcomed into a lively community of healthy, active and generally accommodating people, many of whom are very happy with Mormonism and cannot imagine their lives without the Church, there is another side.
  • You are constantly reminded that in order to attain the highest degree in heaven (the "celestial kingdom"), you must go through the temple endowment ceremony and your marriage to your Mormon spouse must be "sealed". (If your spouse is not a Mormon, you cannot attain the highest degree of heaven.) To receive permission to perform these ceremonies, you must prove yourself a loyal and obedient member of the Church and do whatever is suggested to you by the Church authorities is commanded from the prophet down to the local level. You will have to undergo a personal "worthiness" interview with local church authorities in which they ask you about your personal life and your religious and social activities. footnote

  • You are expected to give at least ten percent of your gross income to the Church as tithing. Other benefits are expected from you as necessary. You will never see an account of how this money has been used, or how much the church receives, or anything at all about its financial situation; the church keeps its finances secret, even from its members. footnote

  • You are expected to give up the use of alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea. footnote

  • You are expected to perform some assigned work assignment. This can be a job as a teacher, secretary, helper for various tasks - in short, any work that needs to be done. Every successfully completed task makes you more suitable for others with more responsibility and time expenditure for you. The members who do this work, even those that involve sensitive spiritual counseling, do not receive any formal training (there is no paid, trained clergy). You are told that God has called you to this role. Many Mormons spend most of their free time doing church work trying to do their assigned duties.

  • You are expected to have unconditional obedience to the church authorities in all things. “Follow the Brothers” is the motto, and that means following them without question or doubt. The discussion as to whether a decision from above is correct is suppressed. You are expected to believe that the guides cannot possibly mislead you. Even if they tell you something that contradicts the statements of previous prophets, you will be told, "A living prophet takes precedence over a dead prophet." footnote

  • You will be able to "choose" those who have been called to a position of leadership over you, but that election will be made by show of hands in a public gathering. There is only one candidate for election for each office (the one who is “called by God”). The election is therefore always unanimous for the candidate.

  • You are told not to read material that is not "believing", that is, material that may be critical or questioning about the Church or its leaders, or that casts the Church or its leaders in a bad light.

  • You are told not to associate with "apostates," that is, former Mormons. (You will be asked about this in your "worthiness" interview.) footnote

  • If you are single, you are encouraged to marry a good Mormon as soon as possible. If you get married, your non-Mormon family members and friends will not be allowed to attend the temple wedding ceremony because only "worthy" Mormons are allowed to enter the temple.

  • If you are gay, you will be led to give up this "evil" aspect of your nature. If you don't, you will likely never be fully accepted by other church members. If you don't remain celibate, you can be disfellowshipped. footnote

  • If you are male and over twelve years old and worthy (that is, when you are obedient, attending meetings, failing to self-gratify, etc.) footnote, you will be ordained to one of the priesthood offices, and if you remain faithful and obedient you will reach the next few priesthood offices. If you are female, you will only receive the blessings of the priesthood indirectly through your Mormon father or husband. The role of the Mormon woman is that of a wife and mother who honors and obeys her priest husband (or father). footnote

  • If you prove yourself to be faithful, hardworking, and obedient, you will ultimately be deemed worthy to "receive your endowment" in a Mormon temple. You will not be told beforehand exactly what to expect in this long ceremony, except that the details of the ritual are secret (Mormons prefer the word “holy”, but they treat them as if they were secret). As part of this ceremony, you are required to swear a number of oaths, the punishment for breaking them is no longer mentioned, but until 1990 was death in various bloody ways, such as cutting the throat from ear to ear. You will be given the secret tokens and passwords necessary to enter Heaven. (Although most Mormons who did not receive the endowment know very little about the ceremony, the full text is now available on the Internet to Mormons and non-Mormons alike.) After receiving the endowment, you are expected to always wear special underwear . footnote

  • If you ever decide that you made a mistake in joining the Church and are leaving, you will likely find (inferred from the experience of others who have walked this path) that many of your Mormon friends will abandon you and avoid you . If you fail to convince your family members to leave the Church as well, you will find that the Church has broken up your family and that your relationship with them may never return to normal. footnote

Think carefully before you commit yourself, and keep in mind that any doubt you may have now will only increase.

Examine both sides of the Mormon story carefully. Hear the stories of those who have had a bad Mormon experience, not just those who speak fervently about life in the Church. footnote

Mormon missionaries are often charming and enthusiastic. They tell an attractive story. At first it sounds wonderful. But remember the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" Be careful not to fall into the trap of believing something just because you want it to be true is. Mormons will tell you that the critics of the Church lie, misquot, and pervert. However, if you examine the sources used by the critics, you will discover that most of their source material comes from official or semi-official Mormon scriptures. You too should investigate these sources.

Is Mormonism a "sect"? Many experts on religious sects and cults see the same basic characteristics in Mormonism as in cults that embrace the innocent, even if most people think of "cults" only as small, unknown groups. Use a “cult checklist” to assess Mormonism or any other group before you commit yourself. footnote

For more information on the other side of Mormonism, or to see the evidence to back up any of our statements, please feel free to contact us. Our only goal is that you can hear both sides. We promise not to teach you, but only to provide you with the facts that balance Mormon history.

This examiner information tract can be printed out for handing out or mailing. (According to the page settings in the header and footer, the printout should only contain the title and page number.)


NOTE: Some of the links and references listed contain Christian teaching material in addition to valuable information about Mormonism. Its inclusion does not imply any endorsement of pro-Christian or pro-biblical statements: this website does not endorse or promote any religion or religious organization.

General references

Internet pages and link lists The first German-language information offer. Very detailed article in German. Even more detailed articles in German. A list of names and email addresses of people you can get in touch with. Links to other sites. An alphabetical topic list of Mormon-related links; many articles. Edited by James David. Articles and Links. Lots of articles by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, especially from their news paper The Salt Lake City Messenger. There are also whole books online here, including her work The Changing World of Mormonism is completely available here. Many early Mormonism texts and early Mormon publications; also a free online magazine (pro-Christian) Texts from many recent Mormon publications, including the edition of the Book of Mormon from 1830 and the original Book of Commandments. Curt Van Den Heuvel's website. "Mormons In Transition", sponsored by the Institute for Religious Research, with many articles; pro-Christian orientation; an online newsgroup (MIT-Talk) with a Protestant basis The Mormon Research Ministry, a group of evangelical Christians under Bill McKeever; many good articles on Mormonism The "Berean Christian Ministry" under John Farkas; many articles, a useful chronology of church history, and a lengthy refutation of a Mormon scholar's attempt to discredit critics of the church. "Dr. Shades'" website A collection of historical citations from the Mormon leaders personallythat cast doubt on Mormonism.


Only required reading is listed here. There are hundreds of other books. Although few libraries will keep these books, they are safely available through interlibrary loan. Most books are linked to online reviews or ordering information.

Fawn M. Brodie: No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, 2nd ed., Knopf, New York, 1993. The Most Telling Biography of Joseph Smith. Brodie is a widely recognized historian.

Jerald and Sandra Tanner: Mormonism: Shadow or Reality 5th Ed., Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Salt Lake City, 1987. The Tanners have done extensive research into early Mormon history and made many rare publications available at low cost through the publication of photocopies. This book gives a good overview of the contradictions and problems of Mormonism. Available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry where a catalog of their publications is available. A slightly abridged edition was also published as The Changing World of Mormonism, Moody Press, Chicago, 1981 (now online).

H. Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters: Inventing Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1994. A detailed study by historians of the origins of Mormonism.

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith: The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, New York, 1988. The poignant account of the forgeries and murders by Mark Hofmann, written by two reporters. The role of the Mormon church leadership in this scandal is carefully documented here.

Sharon I. Banister: For Any Latter-day Saint: One Investigator's Unanswered Questions, Star Bible Publications, Fort Worth, 1988 (available from author, Rt 1 Box 20, Ladonia, TX 75449, USA, for US $ 7 including shipping). Over 600 problematic questions about Mormon history and teaching, presented very clearly, with many photographic reprints of important Mormon books and diaries.

References to special topics

All websites listed below are intended as a first point of contact as a supplement to the German-language information offer

The "First Vision" and Vision and (an overview of the book Inventing Mormonism) (Oliver Cowdery's History of the Church, an "official story" that does not mention the First Vision) (from James White: Letters to a Mormon Elder)

The revival movement of 1820
The question of whether there was a revival movement in 1820 consistent with Smith's story has been hotly debated by Mormon and non-Mormon scholars. See the exchange between Richard L. Bushman (Mormon) and Wesley P. Walters (non-Mormon) in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Spring 1969) 4: 1: 58ff. A summary of the various views (from a Mormon scholar) is Marvin Hill: "The First Vision: A Critique and Reconciliation", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, (Summer 1982) 15: 31-46. (Michael Marquardt's website)
The following three links are about Marquardt's book Inventing Mormonism, an instructive study of the early years of Mormonism:

Joseph Smith and the Methodists
For Smith's connection with the Methodists, see Inventing Mormonism, Pp.54f., Quoted Turner, History of Phelp's and Gorham's Purchase, P.214, which reports that Smith was an informal "exhorter" at Methodist meetings prior to 1822; Pomeroy Tucker: The Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism (New York 1867), p.18: Smith joined the "preparatory class" of the Methodist Church; there was no Methodist church in Palmyra until July 1821 (Inventing Mormonism, P.60); Church

Joseph Smith and Treasure Hunt and Magic An account of Joseph Smith's 1826 trial for treasure hunting.

Book of Mormon "Witnesses" The book by David Whitmer: An Address To All Believers in Christtestifying that God revealed to him that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet. (See also (Martin Harris' interview in Tiffany's magazine) The letter from Professor Anthon on the characters from the gold plates.

Type of translation of the Book of Mormon or (David Whitmers Address To All Believers in Christ; see page 12.30) Hole The importance of the 116 pages of the lost manuscript for testing the authenticity of the book
Martin Harris: Millennial Star February 6, 1882, quoted in Robert N. Hullinger: Joseph Smith's response to Skepticism, Pp. 9-14, Salt Lake City 1992, says the plates were not needed, also quoted by John Clark: Gleanings By the Way, 1842, p.228, quoted in Hullinger, p.11.

Book of Mormon archeology

Jewish law and that Book of Mormon
Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue 74, February 1990, available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry

Changes in Book of Mormon; further changes Changes to the disclosures after their first publication to reflect Smith's changed teachings.
The original texts of the Book of Mormon the edition of 1830 and the Book of Commandments (Predecessor of Doctrine and Covenants can be found at or at and html

The Book of Mormon contradicting current LDS teaching About the virgin birth, how Jesus was received. The changed doctrine of God. Doctrinal Changes in Mormonism.

The book View of the Hebrews by 1825 (book text from View) (book text by View) Could Joseph Smith do this Book of Mormon Have written? Parallels between View and the Book of Mormon. See also B. H. Roberts' conclusions.

Bankruptcies of divinely inspired ventures
Bankruptcy of the Kirtland Bank: Bank
Zions Collection:
Polygamy - see notes under: Polygamy
Deseret Alphabet:

The Hofmann murder scandal
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith: The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, New York, 1988. The role of LDS church leadership in this scandal is carefully documented here.
Robert Lindsey: A Gathering of Saints: A True Story of Money, Murder and Deceit, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1988. Another book about the Hofmann scandal.
Linda Sillitoe and Allen Roberts: Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders, 2nd ed., Signature Books, Salt Lake City. Hofmann, Mark

The Mormon Temple Ceremony ("Endowment")
The first five links contain the text of the ceremony in its various forms that it has had since the early days of the Church. since 1990 Ceremony A description of sacred underwear and ceremonial clothing. A description of the sacred underwear Mormons must wear after receiving the endowment. More about the "Garments" Changes in the ceremony over time. Worthiness All instructions for obtaining a temple recommend. The questions asked in the "Worthiness Interview" to determine whether a member is worthy of entry into the temple.

The Masonic Influence on Mormonism Joseph Smith's magical talisman Smith's Magic Talisman

The "Adam = God" teaching The changes in Mormon doctrine of God. (text of Brigham Young's 1852 speech) Additional statements from Brigham Young (Brigham Young's 1852 speech from Journal of Discourses 1: 46-53)
For a good treatise, with a photocopy of Bruce R. McConkie's private admission that Brigham Young taught this doctrine, see Tanner: LDS Apostle Confesses Brigham Young Taught Adam-God Doctrine, available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry. Similar documents are in Banister's book For Any Latter-Day Saint to find. The text of McConkie's letter in which he admitted that Brigham Young taught that Adam was God.
See also Chris A. Vlachos: Adam is God ???, Brochure available from Utah Lighthouse Ministry

Polygamy ("Celestial marriage") Mormonism and polygamy. An overview of Linda King Newell and Valene Tippett Avery: Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, University of Illinois Press, 1994. A biography of Joseph Smith's first wife tells the development of Smith's ideas about and resistance to polygamy. Smith's public (and dishonest) denials of rumors about his practice of polygamy. Documentation of Smith's seduction of other men's wives. An early and generally unknown revelation about polygamy.
Richard S. Van Wagoner: Mormon Polygamy: A History, Signature Books, Salt Lake City (excerpts). An excellent historical account of the theory and practice of polygamy. The book is discussed at website of Tapestry of Polygamy, a group of formerly polygamous women who expose the evils of polygamy, still practiced by some Mormon groups today.

The "Curse of Cain": The Changed Teaching About Skin Color Anti-black doctrine of the LDS community. The blacks and the priesthood. Racist quotes. Brigham Young's teachings on the black race.

The teaching of the "blood atonement" and the Danites ("avenging angels") The blood atonement. Atonement,JOHN.html Also about Lee.,ORIN.html About O. P. Rockwell, a Danite and killer for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
The authoritative work for the Mountain Meadows Massacre is Juanita Brooks: The Mountain Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
J. F. Gibbs' book Mountain Meadows Massacre is fully online at

The Book of Abraham The complete book By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus by Charles M. Larson. of Abraham The text of Smith's so-called Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar

The "Inspired Translation" of the Bible
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS) early adopted Smith's version. Revision of the Bible

The children's hook plates Plates

Joseph Smith's Prophecies Unfulfilled prophecies. A list of many of Smith's unfulfilled promises. Joseph Smith's famous prophecy of the American Civil War. Another article on the Civil War Prophecy. Mountain Prophecy Joseph Smith's prophecy of the Mormons' departure to the Rocky Mountains.

For some of Brigham Young's unfulfilled prophecies, see

Joseph Smith's death General Joseph Smith and the Nauvoo Legion. The Nauvoo Expositor. The text of the Nauvoo Expositor, the critical newspaper that destroyed Smith, resulting in his imprisonment and death. That contains all of them applicable Allegations Smith tried to suppress. of Expositor The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor

For a detailed discussion of Smith's political ambitions, his title "King" and his secret government, see the book by D. Michael Quinn: The Mormon Hierarchy: [Volume 1] The Origins of Power, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1994. (Quinn was banned from the LDS Church for his historical research, but still believes.)

Mormon corruption of Mormon history D. Michael Quinn's "On Being A Mormon Historian" speech, in which he exhorts church leaders to be more open and candid about the history of the Church. Instead of following his advice, the Church excluded him. An assessment of the propaganda film Legacymade by the church. An assessment of the Church's claim that it has been persecuted. Exposing the lies of a senior LDS representative. A talk by Boyd K. Packer, a senior church official, on how the church justifies its perversions of history. Also available at The recent purge of the ranks of Mormon historians who said too much. Reviewing a talk by Dallin H. Oaks, a senior church official, about the need to withhold the whole truth. Current "Prophet" Gordon B. Hinckley lies about Church doctrine in two news interviews. More examples of Mormon lies.

A good example of the Church's twisting of history is their long-term cover-up for the Mountain Meadows Massacre. See Juanita Brooks: The Mountain Meadows Massacre, University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
See also J. F. Gibbs's complete book Mountain Meadows Massacre online at

Tenth, church property The financial situation of the LDS community. Research by Arizona Republic 1991. research of Time Magazine 1997. Sacrifice and tithe money.

For the wealth of the Church, see Anson Shupe: Wealth and Power in American Zion, Lewiston NY 1992, or John Heinerman and Anson Shupe: The Mormon Corporate Empire, Beacon, 1986.

Prohibition of coffee etc. ("Word of Wisdom") Problems and inconsistencies with this disclosure. The Word of Wisdom

Obedience: "Follow the Brothers" Excerpts from Under The Prophet In Utah by Senator Frank J. Cannon, who shows how church leaders exercise power over members. An address given by Ezra Taft Benson, a recent prophet and president, directing members to follow the prophet without questioning or scrutiny in the scriptures. A critical article on mind control by the Church. The recent mass expulsions of intellectuals and historians who questioned the authority of the Church. Bruce R. McConkie on the heresy of evolution.

Homosexuals, masturbation The website of Affirmation, an organization for Mormons with homosexual tendencies. Lots of information on the Church's position on sex. The treatment of gays at the University of the Church A speech by Mormon Apostle Mark E. Petersen on how to prevent masturbation. A critical article by Dr. Jeffery R. Jensen on the damage the Church's attitudes towards homosexuality have done. Another article by Dr. Jensen, who criticizes the church's "Social Services" department A speech by Boyd K. Packer about the evil of masturbating young men and how to avoid it.

The position of women in the Church
Books by two former members describing their difficulties in treating women in the Church:
Deborah Laake: Secret rites, Bastei – Lübbe, 1994
Sonia Johnson, From Housewife to Heretic, Doubleday, 1981. Johnson was expelled for her involvement in drafting women's equality law. From a woman's point of view. How the Church disguises its position on the role of women.

Personal accounts from former Mormons
The following pages contain the personal stories of over a hundred people who left the Church and their various reasons for doing so:
For shorter notes from former Mormons, see

Are the Mormons a sect?
The following links lead to checklists and other guides intended to aid in the assessment of any group (not just Mormonism) whether it is a "sect" or a "cult". Comparison with the LDS community. Are the Mormons a sect? The website of Steve Hassan, an authority on cults. Jan Groenveld's "Cult Awareness Center"

This article is available in other languages:

This text was written as a treatise by Richard Packham and has been translated with permission. Richard speaks German and is available for serious inquiries.