Testimony of Jim Whitefield
I was a fourteen-year-old atheist, converted to the Mormon Church in 1960. After forty-three years of clinging to that faith, my underlying feelings which had been troublesome throughout, finally resurfaced and had to be faced and dealt with. I resigned my membership of the Church in 2003, for no other reason than I could no longer hold to a belief in God. It was my problem and mine alone. For the next three years I just tried to get on with my life. I never considered why the Mormon Church was not actually true. It had never even occurred to me to look. I just assumed Joseph Smith to have been a good, albeit deluded man.
I retired in February of 2006. On the day following our move to a smaller home, among my books, I came across a one-hundred-year-old booklet written by Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., (who later became the tenth Mormon prophet) entitled “Blood Atonement and the Origin of Plural Marriage”. Essentially, it is a series of published letters between Smith and Mr. Evans, who was at the time Second Counsellor in the First Presidency of the ‘Reorganised’ or RLDS Church (now Community of Christ). Among other things, it contains affidavits of several wives of Joseph Smith, confirming his polygamy.
Out of idle curiosity, I decided to check how many wives Joseph Smith actually did have, as I was only aware of about a dozen from the booklet and the Mormon Church keeps very quiet about polygamy. I located thirty-three plural wives and confirmed that they were accepted by Church historians. Then, to my horror, I discovered that several of the women already had husbands when Smith married them. This conflicted with everything I had been taught about Church polygamy.
I was no longer a Mormon, but I contacted a friend who is an Apostle in the Mormon Church and also had discussions with a friend in the First Quorum of Seventy. The Church confirmed to me that polyandry (a word I had never even heard of before) is contrary to Mormon theology, yet I had evidence that Joseph Smith practiced it and thus contravened doctrine. Something was seriously and alarmingly wrong. My research continued and the nightmare started to unfold.
Day after devastating day, I discovered more and more of the truth. I somehow had to face and accept and then deal with the fact that Joseph Smith was a fraud who deliberately created a hoax to satisfy his own ambitions. Every single aspect I looked at was demonstrably not true. What hurts the most is that the real truth behind the hoax that the Mormon Church actually is can be found within falsified Church history and so-called scripture, rather than in anti-Mormon literature. The truth is deliberately and knowingly hidden from rank and file Mormons today, through entirely reconstructed history, altered scriptures and selective teachings.
I sent my evidence to the Apostles and they promised a response. Later, they asked for more time to research my findings. As the evidence of a hoax mounted in so many areas, in addition to the polyandry I had accidentally stumbled across, I sent in additional findings and advised Church leaders that I felt an obligation to publish. I offered to send full details for them to comment on first. That was in the summer of 2008 and to date I have not had any further replies to my letters. I can only do what I can to share my findings and writing has been my therapy. My devastating journey has at least provided a series of three books which I hope may help a few others to more fully understand and appreciate the facts that the Mormon Church continues to conspire to hide from the faithful.
As Latayne Scott comments in her testimony; “Who do you blame when you have been duped by a Church?” Even Church leaders at some of the highest levels had no idea that polyandry had been confirmed. They do not want to know.
My then future wife and I served our missions early and we were married in the London Temple in 1964, a week after my eighteenth birthday. I held many Branch, Ward, Stake and Regional callings, I was a temple officiator for over a decade and have performed over a thousand endowments over the years.
We had eleven children, eight of whom are living. One son and a daughter had their names removed at different times, for their own reasons not connected with mine. My other six children are married active Mormons; my only other son and a daughter served missions, all six are very strong, with each of them, along with their spouses, holding such positions as Bishop, member of a Stake Presidency, High Priest Group Leader, Relief Society President, Young Womens President and Primary President; and between those six, I have twenty-two grandchildren.
In our six active children, we created the next generation of the truest blue Mormons you could imagine. Already devastated by their mother’s death, they then had to somehow cope with my decision to leave the Church. Two of my active daughters will have nothing to do with me and I have not seen them, or my eight grandchildren they have between them, for over six years.
As stated above, my reason for leaving was my own; I always had an underlying conflict with the very existence of God and it was either – that He existed; in which case I simply accepted the logic of the exclusive teachings of the Mormon Church on faith – or that He did not; which would devastate my very strong ‘testimony’ and leave me without purpose. When doubts and concerns were too strong to handle over the years, my wife and I always remembered the counsel of our old Mission President, Marion ‘Duff’ Hanks; now emeritus First Quorum of Seventy; who said in a talk in about 1963 at Hyde Park Chapel in London, England, “You know, even if the Church was not true, I know of no finer way to live life.” So we stayed, no matter what in times of trial for the sake of the family, putting our fears aside, simply living by faith.
Just as our children were about grown and married, with just my youngest daughter at home for a few more months, my wife died an untimely death after fighting breast cancer for three and a half years, in 2001; after thirty-seven-and-a-half years of marriage. It was whilst watching the disastrous events of 9/11 on TV in her hospital room, just before she came home to die, that I had to tell Jan that it was days rather than weeks she had left to live. However, we treasured those last nine days, realising that thousands who died in the disaster, along with their families, would have given anything for the extra days that we had. Although my wife’s death would never affect my own belief pattern in any way, actually continuing alone in the Church with what had become a lie in my heart eventually became impossible for me.
Before she died, my wife held in her hand, tear stained copies of several blessings she had been given which had promised her that she had more time; the doctor’s time was not the Lord’s time; and that she still had work to do. These were recorded word for word as I would slip a pocket memo machine in my top pocket when she was given blessings and then transcribe them for her, as she wanted to be able to read them later for comfort. She wept in my arms and said “Oh Jim, it’s all just a load of rubbish.” This happened three times in the weeks before she died. I never responded; I just cried with her; for fear she would make me promise not to leave the Church for the sake of the children. She perhaps had the strength to stay; ultimately I did not; yet we both knew the truth in the end. Jan died on the day and within the hour the doctors had predicted. I learned after her death, that Jan had also confirmed she had realised the Church was not true, to our non-member daughter.
After all the years of conflict, in 2002, I set aside a full year of dedicated ‘trying to make it be true’ once and for all. One morning, about a year later, as always, I was reading the Book of Mormon and I simply broke down and wept my heart out. I finally accepted the reality of my heart and closed the book for the last time. I resigned from the Church in April 2003 for the sake of integrity; no more, no less. I simply did not believe in God and it was my problem.
It was only when I accidentally discovered polyandry three years later that the truth unfolded and then I knew beyond any doubt, that whatever else I believed; the Mormon Church was a complete hoax; a conspiracy; and continues today in extensive lies and a complete ‘cover up’ of the past. Church integrity that I once treasured so much is now so transparent, I cannot understand how I could not see through the façade previously. I suppose it was because I really had hoped that I was wrong all along, only ultimately reluctantly accepting otherwise in the end. I had no idea that the truth I was discovering would fill three volumes.
When my mother and I joined the Church, we were taught that polygamy was perfectly legal when it was ‘restored’ and that it was immediately discontinued when finally outlawed in America in 1890 as per the Manifesto. We faithfully accepted the assurances, knowing that no God, no true Church and no real representatives of God could or would ever lie about such things. As I began my research, I was amazed to find that Joseph Smith’s polygamy was actually illegal from the start; that it was kept secret from most members as well as the public; and that the early apostles lied to members about it and even had false scripture in print in order to back up their lies while they themselves had several secret wives.
I was devastated to find Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball all practiced polyandry and that Young and Kimball fathered children of polyandrous wives. You can’t hide the babies. I have subsequently researched this area quite deeply and have evidenced for myself several cases of polyandry that are not only accepted by Church Apologists, but where they actually put forward possible explanations for it. This I find incredulous, considering the Church has confirmed it contrary to doctrine and there is no possible theological explanation for it.
I also discovered that the 1890 Manifesto, which is still in canonised scripture, was just a ruse to get confiscated Church assets released. They had no intention of keeping their agreement with the government at all. As an example of fact v. faith; let me ask this. If the Manifesto was from God, as is now proclaimed, why did Woodruff, the prophet who wrote it, himself marry Lydia Mountford (who was thirty-nine and fifty-one years his junior) as his sixth wife, seven years later, on 19 Aug 1897, when he was ninety years old? Also, why; following his ‘Statement’ confirming the Manifesto in 1904, did the sixth prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, get arrested, convicted and fined $300 for cohabiting with four women in 1906, sixteen years after his God had explicitly commanded them to stop?
Surely, such lies and deception provide conclusive proof of two false prophets representing an equally false God. ‘Lying for the Lord’ is alive and well in the Mormon Church and conclusively proves no God could or would ever have been involved in such nonsense. They had covenanted with the government to cease the practice and cohabit with just one wife each. I located well over one-hundred babies, conceived and born to polygamous (not first) wives of the ‘big fifteen’, in the two decades following the Manifesto. As previously mentioned, you can hide the truth but you cannot hide all the babies. So; the real question is – would any God; Christian or otherwise; ever be involved in such conspiracy and lies?
The fact is that I located hundreds upon hundreds of similar provable lies and deceptions within my research which left little of anything within Mormonism that could be verified as enough truth to form the basis of a platform upon which a leap of faith could ever be taken in order to achieve a reliable ‘testimony’ of what the Church pretends is the truth. Ergo: it cannot be true. Whether we like it or not; whether we believe it or not; whether we are willing to accept it or not; the fact of the matter is that in the case of Mormonism, it is not a matter of faith; my ‘testimony’ is that the Church is provably not true and that the evidence is so conclusive that it would stand up in a court of law if it was to be challenged. The uncountable lies and deceptions eventually filled three volumes. Even then I could have continued and published more but I just wanted it all to stop. I had had enough of it all by then.
I don’t think that any active Mormon can ever appreciate the trauma that one goes through when they discover for themselves that the Church is a lie; that their entire life has been lived as a lie and ultimately; effectively, that their life has been stolen from them. People don’t set out to want to know the Mormon Church is a complete impossibility. The real truth is as unwelcome as it is unpleasant. It is hard to believe and accept at first. It is something you shy away from and you want the cognitive dissonance to swallow the truth and make the lies you once based your testimony on to be true again. You just wish the nightmare would go away so the Church could still possibly be true after all.
Unfortunately, whilst faith may indeed at times overcome reason, it cannot supersede evidenced facts. Once concrete proof is established, confirming that the things you took to the Lord in prayer; and to which you perceived He gave a positive response; are verifiably not true, then the resulting ‘testimony’ that the Church is no more than a hoax, is millions of times more powerful than any original (although considered real at the time) testimony ever was. You know the truth exclusively from proven undeniable evidence alone. Fact trumps faith and it has to be reconsidered in light of the evidence. There is a very good reason why members are counselled not to look beyond official Church materials for the truth, because if they do, they will find it and their ‘testimony’ will be shattered.
Members conclude that if you have left the Church, you have been influenced by Satan. That is what they are taught to believe. If ever they could comprehend that in reality, for someone of my age (I was sixty in February 2006), retired and with no one to talk to except my second wife of two-and-a-half years, who left the Church before we married, you actually end up with nothing. It is an excruciating decision to make and not one of choice. I would far rather try to believe, it is so much less painful. To keep your family and friends, you can just sit on the back row and say you have had a nervous breakdown or something and can’t cope with callings; you would get away with it and still have a life. But for me, it would have been a lie. Far from being influenced by Satan, it takes enormous courage to admit the truth to yourself and then to others and to be willing to accept the consequences of that decision and your subsequent action upon it.
In reality, you lose most of your family and almost all of your friends as they have no time for you because you no longer move in Church circles, which means that as you are not there with them, they don’t bother with you. Even the ones who say they mean to are subsequently kept so busy in the Church that they never have or make time for you. There is also fear, as you are of course considered apostate. I have moved from being known on first name terms by well over a thousand members who personally knew and respected me, to a number of true friends that I can barely count on one hand. Staying close to the Church, making no real friends outside since I was fourteen years old didn’t even leave old school friends available to me, having lost contact decades ago. My decision leaves me with no life, few family and friends who care about me and a very difficult future. The truth does make you free – but there is a very high price to pay for it.
Members can never appreciate what it means to actually know for a surety that what they believe in is simply a lie. Those who have gone through what I have will recognise what I say when I tell you that whilst I considered myself as strong as anyone in my faith, my final reluctant recognition, acknowledgement to myself and my subsequent acceptance of the fact that the Church really is not true, is a conclusive knowledge more powerful and specific than my earlier ‘testimony’ of it ever could have been. Why? Because it is based on proven facts, evidence and knowledge that supersedes the faith I had once had in it. Also, because many things I was taught to have faith in, are provably fictional. The Church hides the truth. That is incomprehensible to someone who feels they have a testimony; cognitive dissonance kills the truth before consideration; as their psychological state of mind rejects it without conscious consideration. That is the trap of Mormonism. It is the result of a delusion, brought about by constant mind control and self induced brain washing. The only way out is for members to have the courage to seek – and they will find…
Jim Whitefield is an international author who has published a series of three books under the title of “The Mormon Delusion” in a hard hitting exposé of the truth behind the Mormon Church. A member for forty-three years, Jim’s Church service included being a young Branch President; an Elder’s Quorum President twice; a District Councilman; Adult Sunday School Teacher several times; Stake High Councilor for over fifteen years, simultaneously being Stake Young Mens President for over eight years and teaching Stake CES Institute of Religion for over six years; Stake Public Affairs; and a three year Regional calling as Welfare Services Region Agent. Jim is retired and lives in Norfolk, England.
Jim was a member of the Federation of Master Builders, a Management Services Manager, the Business Manager of an International University and a National Sales Director in Financial Services during his career. His formal qualifications include graduating from the City & Guilds of London Institute in Work Study, Organization and Methods; the Institute of Management Services (MMS Dip); International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (MIIRSM); Institute of Industrial Managers (AIIM); British Institute of Management (MIMgt); Life Insurance Association (MLIA Dip); Chartered Insurance Institute (CII FPC).
For more information about Jim and ‘The Mormon Delusion’ visit: TheMormonDelusion