One question at a time 12 Main complaints about LDS Church
Some of the main complaints against the LDS Church and some of the reasons people decide to have their records removed from the membership of the Church.
1. Many people disagree with the rules and commandments in the LDS Faith and many people fall into sin and then decide it is easier to leave the church than to live these commandments and rules. It is said that any church that will have power to help the people will require sacrifice and churches that don't require sacrifice will have very little power to make lasting changes in peoples lives.
2. Some people question the wisdom of the Prophets thinking that they behind the times that younger people would make better decisions. These men were called of God and are serving as called. It is true that many of them still have weaknesses and as time goes on they become better and strive to work on those weaknesses. The wisdom gained by years of service and the ability to judge wisely gives these men and women an edge.
3. Many people use doctrine as a reason to leave the church claiming that the doctrines are not correctly interpreted and they question the actual validity of the restoration.
4. Some people leave because they learn more about history and sometimes they learn of facts that disturb them. I have read much of these historical accounts and my testimony is still unwavering. I know that it depends who is writing the accounts and I also understand that there are always several versions of history. I don't justify wrong doing nor does God although God works with humans and allows us to make mistakes in order to learn. I meet with people every week that are dealing with major issues in their lives and often I send these people to professional therapists so they can receive additional help. It is interesting to meet with someone that has a conflict with another person and they will lay out their side of the story and sometimes even in writing and it sounds very logical and makes them sound like they are in the right. Then I will will meet with the other person and get their side of the story and new facts will be introduced and with this new information the logic of the first person will open up the truth. Many times the truth is somewhere in between the two stories. This is similar with History, I have read so many accounts and you could spend the rest of your life investigating history, facts and learning more about different accounts of the past. The mountain meadow massacre is a good example of looking at history. I attended a seminar and we even listened to a speaker that was not from the LDS Church talk about this specific case. What happened was wrong and cannot be justified although by looking at history and what the people had been through previously you could understand what happened. It is a sad time in the history of the LDS Church.
5. Many people that leave the church become bitter, they spend a great deal of time trying to prove the church wrong. Many times when this occurs the contention that happens at the time of their excommunications involves arguments and differences of opinion about doctrinal issues. Sometimes people leave the church because of other people. Early in the church a dispute about cream lead to very serious problems. Some times we as humans not only make a mountain out of a mole hill but we have so much pride we don't know when to apologize and we always think the other person should do so first. We are easily offended and looking at the doctrines that Jesus taught we can learn to change that and become better. We don't have to let people walk all over us although being wise and prudent we can handle situations differently. We can't control the actions of others although we can control how we react to others.
6. There were several versions of the first vision. Long ago I read four or five of those versions and recently I went over them again. Each one was different depending on who Joseph was writing the letter to. This would be the same if I were writing an experience to a very educated man and a separate letter could be sent of the same experience to someone that had little education and a separate version could be given to a younger person. We do this all the time when we teach younger children, we look at what we want to teach, simplify it and teach them the basic principles. Telling certain people you had seen God himself may be much harder for them to believe whereas if you told them you had seen two heavenly messengers they may actually hear you out. Joseph saw God and Jesus and they were two heavenly messengers. If you are going to get hung up on these types of things you may miss out on so much more light and truth simply by not allowing yourself to get past the fact that human men and women were involved with the restoration and they made mistakes but that fact alone gives me hope to think if God could work with those human men with weaknesses then he can work with me as well.
7. Either the first vision occurred or it did not. If it did not then the church is not true. If it is not true it should not prosper. Lies eventually catch up to us and things would fall apart. Many of the main witnesses in the church left the church but none of them denied their spiritual experiences because they said they could not deny the truth. One of them even took the time, money and effort to publish a newspaper article refuting gossip that he had denied his story and witness.
8. The Church is ran by human men that are imperfect and it prospers, it does much good in the world and continues to grow.
9. Some leave the church because of the church stance of those of same sex attraction. Some leave because they believe women should be ordained to the priesthood. Those that go against the church in these matters can decide to stay in the church or not. If the Lord reveals through his Prophets that women should be ordained to the priesthood I will sustain the Prophet in that movement although I don't feel it is appropriate for people to try to tell the Lord or the Prophets what to do or when to do it. Either the leaders are called of God or they are not. Some feel the church is ran by a bunch of old outdated men. These old men have gained much wisdom through the years and they pass on their wisdom to younger men whom they work with.
10. Doctrinal matters such as the Trinity, Mormon beliefs about becoming Gods, Questionable historical events, or the restoration and the book of Mormon sometimes are reasons for someone leaving the Church. Is there a place for the restored church in this modern world? Can church members live in a world where ideas that people call progressive are becoming normal when they are considered sins by those that still believe in the Bible?
11. My stepfather told me that excommunication was the best thing that happened to him and questioned him as to how that could be. He explained that when you go through the temple you make serious promises and covenants and he had broken those covenants and felt such a heavy load on his shoulders of guilt and hurt. When he was excommunicated he they released him from those promises and he was able to work his way back within a couple of years and receive a restoration of his temple blessings. I admired Ron Gillett then and I still do now. He helped me understand that is it not a court of discipline but a counsel of love. I have been on two high counsels in the Church in two different stakes and both Stake Presidents were great men of God and very loving. I participated in the disciplinary counsels several times and can tell you that they were always done with the best interest of the person and the best interest of the Church in mind.
12. In the Church we say that we will gladly and freely devote our time and our talents to the building up of the Kingdom of God here on the earth. When we decide to go against the Church and promote doctrines, attitudes or ideas that will not build up the church but that create doubts, then we are no longer in line with the purposes of the Church to perfect the people, share the gospel, redeem the dead and care for the poor inviting all to come to Christ so we put ourselves on a different path. When we associate ourselves with any group or person that is against the Church we make a decision that we would rather not be part of the LDS Church and that is our decision to make. When we fight against it later and get upset because action was taken we really need to step back and look at our own behaviour and what leads to a disciplinary counsel in the first place. Most Bishops, Branch Presidents and Stake Presidents are fairly reasonable and normally they don't go around looking for people to excommunicate. When something happens they strive to meet with the individual and talk with them, reason with them and help them work out a solution. After an excommunication the person is normally welcome to come back to the Church and get re-baptized and become part of the Church again. Some people say "Yeah when they decide to fall in line and tow the line." The Church is a Church of order so when someone wants to put it that way I suppose they could although the Church does not dictate what you think, your opinions or how you live unless you want to influence others and draw them away from the Church then it becomes a matter where it may be best if you were not part of the Church calling yourself a member when you are being an instrument in leading others away from the Church.