“I like to bear my testimony, I know the church is…”

I have a testimony that the Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is a fraud. Gordon B. Hinckley said that Mormonism is either the most important thing in the world or a great fraud. I agree that this is the question, but disagree with him on the answer.

I have a testimony that the Mormon church must be evaluated on the basis of what it claims to be, which is this: Mormonism claims to be the one true church on the earth with a prophet that will never lead the church astray. It also claims that the Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and that the Book of Abraham contains the writings of Abraham, written by his own hand upon papyrus. It also claims that ordinances available only in Mormon temples are required in order for families to be united in heaven.

I have a testimony that the church is the means of much good in many lives, but I also have a testimony that this is besides the point, because the point of the church is that it’s supposed to be true, not just good.

I have a testimony that all the unique, fundamental claims of Mormonism are false.

I have a testimony that Joseph Smith never experienced the First Vision.

I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was never visited by John the Baptist, or Peter, James, and John and I have a testimony that these people never gave Joseph Smith any priesthood authority.

I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is a work of 19th century fiction, that the people in it never really lived and the events described never really happened.

I have a testimony that the Book of Abraham was made up by Joseph Smith and the text has nothing to do with the papyrus Joseph Smith claimed he translated.

I have a testimony that temple ordinances are immaterial to the afterlife of individuals and families.

I have a testimony that Mormon doctrine requires a literal global Flood and a literal Tower of Babel. I have a testimony that these events are myths and never literally happened.

I have a testimony that since the time of Joseph Smith, each President of the Mormon church has knowingly or unknowingly perpetuated a lie.

I have a testimony that a current Mormon leader lies every time they allude to an experience “too sacred to share” because that they know these words are interpreted by many members to refer to a literal, face-to-face meeting with divinity.

I have a testimony that many members of the Mormon church are kept from the truth because they have been conditioned to interpret cognitive dissonance as an evil spirit.