Saturday, November 8, 2014


The hardest part of my journey away from Mormonism was going from discovering the truth to wallowing in denial for a very long time until I finally faced the truth and realized that I had to extricate myself from its grasp.  From the moment I began to seriously doubt, after discovering so much about the sordid history of the Mormon Church and how its founder ("good ole Joe") had duped so many people, I developed cognitive dissonance to the max.  Looking back, it astounds me that I remained TBM for so long.  After all, if anyone uses any amount of critical thinking, then they can't help but question what the Mormon Church teaches as fact.  But that is an enormous conundrum.  How do they get relatively intelligent people to swallow it all?  People who use critical thinking in other areas of their lives but do not apply it to the teachings of Mormonism at all?  It boggles my mind.

Sadly, I think there are a lot of people still active within Mormonism who are caught in the middle, between a rock and a hard place, still trying to wrap their minds around the fact that Mormonism is built on a huge stack of lies.  That is not an easy premise to accept, particularly if they have been "in it" for many years or perhaps even their entire lives (like me, who finally left when I was 54 years old after being raised in the Mormon Church from infancy).  

Of course, it doesn't help the situation when the Mormon Mantra is echoing loudly in your mind - the mantra that if you are experiencing doubts, then it's you, not the Mormon Church.  That mantra is drummed into the consciousness of every member so much that they have learned to accept many things as gospel truth that are so far off the actual spectrum of truth that it's frightening.

Despite all that, though, I got away - and I have never been happier.  I am walking my own path, free from the constraints of a religion that plays so fast and loose with the truth that it bears no resemblance to any measure of fact.  It is in that spirit that I wrote the below LDS hymn parody (my 109th).  Cast deception and lies aside.  Not an easy thing to do, but it's rewards are immeasurable.


Cast deception and lies aside,
And live more authentic.
Why cling to a church overflowing with lies?
Only truth is worthwhile.
The truth will set you free
To live the way you want.
Let none be made ashamed
That walk their own path.

© Diane Tingen

Saturday, August 2, 2014


"One more strain of craze."  Of course, this is a take-off on "one more strain of praise," from the LDS hymn "Sing We Now at Parting" - and is also a take-off on the book by Neal Maxwell entitled "One More Strain of Praise."

Having been an active Mormon for 52 years, I know the "craze" well.  I lived with it for all that time until I began to (finally) do some independent research and discovered the realities behind the Mormon Curtain.  And that was it for me...

As someone said on the discussion board on
"Like the members are just fish in a large school that's following the leader without any thought or concern.  They refuse to ask reasonable questions and without stopping to think and consider facts, and they discard their personal responsibility of being totally honest with themselves and instead, they just go with it... So many of them would, if ask to do so, toss on their best Sunday clothing, drive to the Stake Center, stand in line and then gulp down the styrofoam cup filled with purple Kool-Aid because... they know God would never allow their leaders to lead them astray."

Oh yes, not using any type of critical thinking whatsoever but rather just going along with whatever you are told.  That is just what Mormons do.

Then there are the judgmental Mormons assuming things that they know nothing about. Not listening to anything critical about the Mormon Church but rather closing their minds to any negative information whatsoever, calling it "Anti-Mormon Propaganda."  Mormons telling you that you're giving up eternal life by turning away from the Mormon Church (and in some cases, such as my father, telling people that they will go to Hell if they don't join the Mormon Church).

But this past week, while perusing the discussion board on, I came across a post that takes the cake as far as "craze" goes.  The title of his post was "...another strain of craze..." (and from what he relayed, that is an apt title).

In his post, this man talked about what happened after he announced to his TBM wife and Bishop that he no longer believes the Mormon Church is true.  After that revelation, he has been followed to see what he is doing (even so far as Las Vegas), and has been accused of wanting to commit sin, having an affair or having unrepented sin, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.  This is a man who converted in his 20's after meeting and falling in love with his Mormon girlfriend (to whom he has now been married for 30 years and with whom he has several children - good little TBMs all).  He has held numerous callings over the years, including Young Men President, Seminary Teacher, Bishopric Counsel (2 different times), 10 years on the High Council, and most recently Bishop of a Young Singles Adult Ward.

It was during his time as Bishop of the YSA Ward that his journey toward the actual truth about Mormonism began.  He said that the YSAs would come to him with their doubts and share their concerns with him - and in turn, he would ask them to substantiate what they were saying with fact, which they would do.  In doing so, he began to find out the truth about much of the sordid history of the Mormon Church including the "translation" of the Book of Mormon (the old hat and stone story), and the truth about Polygamy and Polyandry (the fact that Joseph Smith married 11 women who were already married to living husbands).  Of course, I can relate to this completely because I didn't find out about this until I began my independent research before, during and after going on a Mormon Church History tour in the Summer of 2001.  Quite a shock to discover that the Founder and first Prophet of the Mormon Church was basically just a sexual predator, particularly since he also married 10 teenage girls, one as young as 14 years old.  I truly believe that if Joseph Smith had not been killed in 1844 that he would have gone on to marry many more teenage girls and women, and may have ended up with as many as Warren Jeffs now has (72, I believe).  After all, he was only 38 years old at the time of his death.  If he had lived, he would have had plenty of time to accumulate many more wives.  Looking at Brigham Young, the other main Mormon polygamist, history shows that he had 55 wives at the time of his death at 76 years old (which included several teenage girls and some other women who were married to living husbands as well).

Naturally, Mormons have to blame something or someone else if people leave.  The fact that Mormonism is a total sham can't be the reason people are turning away from the Mormon Church.  No, that's not it.  And of course, the fact that the Mormon Church basically tells people to stay away from "apostates" adds to the furor (apparently because it might rub off).  In particular, Mormons have a hard time accepting the fact that someone they love is turning away from "The One True Church," and won't be part of their family unit in the Celestial Kingdom.

And so goes the "craze."  My heart goes out to the man I spoke of above.  It can't be easy to be dealing with all that is being thrown at him.  But then, leaving the Mormon Church isn't easy.  But it is worth it.

Sung to the tune of Sing We Now at Parting - #156

Sing we now of Mormons,
One more strain of craze.
Of their strong delusions,
Each self-righteous phrase.
Always so judgmental,
Faulting those who leave,
Saying they are sinners
Since they don’t believe.

Mormons will not listen
To the evidence.
Labeling it as “Anti”
Is their one defense.
But if they would research,
Look at all the facts,
They would see the problems,
Not just lame attacks.

It is clear that Joseph
Weaved a stack of lies,
Made up Mormonism,
Truth it all decries.
Clearly just a shyster,
Charlatan and fraud,
Touting Mormonism
As the Word of God.

Just look at the history
Of the Mormon Church,
Independent study,
Actual research.
Do not bend and twist it,
Do not “just believe,”
Think about it clearly,
Do not be naïve.

© Diane Tingen



Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Here's another LDS Hymn Parody - the 107th one I've written.  After apparently having writer's block for the first few months of 2014, I seemed to have emerged from that dry spell (at least for now).

The LDS hymn to which this parody was written is lesser known and not often sung (at least in my experience).  Evan Stephens (1854-1930) was the composer of the music to this hymn, and he was the composer of more than 15 hymns contained in the LDS Hymnal (such as more well-known hymns like Let us All Press On (words and music); For the Strength of the Hills (music); True to the Faith (words and music); and others).  He served as the director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 26 years, and wrote "Utah, We Love Thee," which became the official state song in 1937.

On the other hand, the words to this hymn were written by John S. Davis (1813-1882), and this was the only LDS hymn for which he wrote words.  

With those facts in mind, I'm sure neither of these men would like the fact that I have written "other words" for this hymn.  Who can blame them?  I'm sure they were both devout members of the Mormon Church and worked hard to make a lasting contribution to their religion.  But they lived back in an era when actual facts about the Mormon Church were not readily available from such sources as the Internet today.  I'm sure they relied on what they were told (as well as their "feelings"), which is understandable in their day and age.  But today, with all the information that is so easily accessible (via Google, for instance), it is so much harder to believe that so many people are duped into believing that what the Mormon Church exposes as true and factual.
Doing independent research is so important.  Relying on what a religious organization tells you, rather than finding out for yourself on your own, is simply not wise.  Sadly, though, that's what so many Mormons do.  They accept what is taught within Mormonism as the gospel truth without even questioning it.  That's why I ask, "Can't You See It's All Deception?"

Sung to the tune of What Was Witnessed in the Heavens? #11

1.  Can’t you see it’s all deception?
Was made up by Joseph Smith.
Are there facts that tell the story?
Yes, it’s nothing but a myth.
Fraudulent, replete with fiction,
Obvious, by research shown.
Joseph Smith was not a Prophet,
As a charlatan was known.

2.  So there’s lies in Mormonism?
Yes, it’s filled with much deceit.
But they say to just believe it?
That’s a catchphrase they repeat.
Please examine every doctrine,
And the sordid history.
Study for yourself each aspect
So they’ll be no mystery.

3.  For so long I just believed it,
Went along with everything.
Just accepted what they told me,
And to falsehoods I would cling.
But one day, I started looking
At it all with open eyes.
Soon discovered all the falsehoods,
For the truth no compromise.

© Diane Tingen, 4/30/2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

DOUBT YOUR DOUBTS - LDS Hymn Parody #106

It's been a few months since I've written an LDS Hymn Parody, but this morning I woke up with this one in my head.  What's interesting about these hymn parodies is that once an idea enters my brain, they practically write themselves.  And of course, I have to thank the Mormon Church for putting their hymnal online (complete with audible music) because this aids me immeasurably in the writing of these LDS Hymn Parodies.

My newest LDS Hymn Parody is based on the talk entitled, Come, Join with Us, given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf at the LDS General Conference in October 2013.  Of course, as we all know, Dieter Uchtdorf is the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Mormon Church.

In that talk, Dieter said to, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."  Below are some sections of this talk that I find especially interesting:

Unanswered Questions

Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question.
Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information and we just need a bit more patience. When the entire truth is eventually known, things that didn’t make sense to us before will be resolved to our satisfaction.
Sometimes there is a difference of opinion as to what the “facts” really mean. A question that creates doubt in some can, after careful investigation, build faith in others.

Mistakes of Imperfect People

And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.
I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes.
In the title page of the Book of Mormon we read, “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”6
This is the way it has always been and will be until the perfect day when Christ Himself reigns personally upon the earth.
It is unfortunate that some have stumbled because of mistakes made by men. But in spite of this, the eternal truth of the restored gospel found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not tarnished, diminished, or destroyed.
As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and as one who has seen firsthand the councils and workings of this Church, I bear solemn witness that no decision of significance affecting this Church or its members is ever made without earnestly seeking the inspiration, guidance, and approbation of our Eternal Father. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. God will not allow His Church to drift from its appointed course or fail to fulfill its divine destiny.

There Is Room for You

To those who have separated themselves from the Church, I say, my dear friends, there is yet a place for you here.
Come and add your talents, gifts, and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result.
Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”
It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.7
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.8 We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I read this talk, I thought Really!?!!  Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.  To me, this statement is nothing more than a diversion tactic.  It seeks to get members of the Mormon Church to simply accept it all in a time when it is becoming increasingly apparent that Mormonism is based on an enormous stack of lies.  It tells them to not use any type of critical thinking but to just go along.

In my book, Closing the Door on Mormonism: The AHA! Moments that Triggered my Awakening, I discuss this quote as follows:

"I find it interesting that at the Mormon Church’s General Conference that was held during the weekend of October 5-6, 2013, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Second Counselor in the First Presidency) said to “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”  For years, this is exactly what I did.  Stuffing down all my doubts, I tried to cling to my faith and just forge ahead, without using any type of critical thinking at all.  But eventually, that tact came back to bite me repeatedly as I realized exactly what I had overlooked over the years."

"On the Mormon Curtain website, there is an article entitled “An Open Letter to President Uchtdorf: When is it OK to Stop Doubting Your Doubts?” which was posted on October 9, 2013 by Craig Paxton.  See

"In that article, the question is asked of “When is it OK to Stop Doubting your Doubts and just go where the evidence leads?”  It then talks about the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man are standing in front of the Great and Powerful Oz after having done everything they were told to do.  But then, as the Great and Powerful Oz begins hedging on his promise and asks for more time, Dorothy and the others start questioning his power, saying that if he was as great and powerful as he claimed to be, that he would keep the promises he had made to them.  At that point, Oz becomes incensed and begins to verbally attack Dorothy for questioning his authority.  Just then, Dorothy’s dog Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal a man behind the curtain who is speaking into a microphone and pulling levers to manipulate the situation.  But even after first saying not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain and then finally admitting that he is Oz, Dorothy says she doesn’t believe him, even though the evidence is clear and obvious.  She grasps at straws to try to maintain her current mindset.

"The article goes on to say: 'Just as the Wizard of Oz attempted to divert attention away from the man behind the curtain, the church uses apologetic answers to divert those who doubt away from answers that lead to loss of faith.'  The fallacy of Mormonism is so obvious to me now, and yet for years I did exactly what President Uchtdorf said – I doubted my doubts before I doubted my faith.  Like I said, though, in the end, that all came back at me like an avalanche when confronted with the actual truth, and then, I could no longer simply turn a blind eye to the facts and evidence that are so glaringly apparent."

I've gotta give Dieter one thing - he's a very handsome man.  And though he may not be "The Most Interesting Man in the World," he's definitely the most interesting man in the First Presidency (but then, it's not like he has very much competition).

And now, here is an LDS Hymn Parody to further highlight this diversion tactic.  

Sung to the tune of Choose the Right – #239

1. "Doubt your doubts" is a catchphrase coined by Dieter,
It is used when things do not make sense.
And of course, when discussing Mormonism,
There’s simply not a good defense.

Doubt your doubts!  Doubt your doubts!
Just stuff them down and build a wall.
When in doubt, doubt your doubts
Before you doubt your faith at all.

2. Doubt your doubts, let no spirit of discretion
Overcome you when your doubts arise.
When the truth and the facts are there before you,
Full denial is the best disguise.

Doubt your doubts!  Doubt your doubts!
Just stuff them down and build a wall.
When in doubt, doubt your doubts
Before you doubt your faith at all.

3. Doubt your doubts! There is peace in full denial.
Doubt your doubts! A mental game we play.
Doubt your doubts before doubting Mormonism,
Don’t let the facts get in your way.

Doubt your doubts!  Doubt your doubts!
Just stuff them down and build a wall.
When in doubt, doubt your doubts
Before you doubt your faith at all.

Diane E. Tingen