Mormonism and Me | A Poem by Tanner Gilliland

At age 19 I stepped on a plane, ready to
explain why sorrow and pain didn’t matter in light of eternal gain I was ready to teach and to preach on the beach of Brazil Ready the starve, thirst, be mocked, or be killed You see it never was a game to me
A missionary was all I had ever aimed to be And I thought I knew that the reason
I flew across the world was to do what I knew was true So like pioneer children we walked and we walked Pioneer people followed our talk and got baptized It was no surprise—I mean, we
were pretty cool American guys There were times when I felt pretty depressed Leaders calling about numbers only made me more stressed But overall I must confess that as an Elder, I felt pretty blessed When I came home, a question from
a buddy invoked a little fear and provoked me to study He asked, “Why were
blacks kept from the priesthood?” “Were they not good? Did they not do as
they should?” As I looked for answers, I was shocked to find that the men I had worshipped weren’t really that kind It gets kind of complicated, but I’ll say
what the base is: From Brigham to Harold, the prophets were racist Another friend asked about Joseph Smith’s wives Like, why weren’t we taught about this all our lives? Did he marry 40 women before kicking the bucket? I threw my hands in the air and out loud I said,
“Freak I don’t know.” So down the rabbit hole I went I should have counted the hours I spent
studying church history, unraveling the mystery I just wanted truth
not the whitewashed story I heard in my youth Magic and peep stones and spiritual eyes,
Freemasons and Danites and lies about wives Correlation, Mark Hoffman, Egyptian scrolls, September 6, and opinion polls First vision changes, and Kinderhook
plates, Adam God, blood atonement, DNA and Prop 8 Billions for a mall and a
Florida city, the Strengthening the Church Members Committee Every single thing became suspect
I was incorrect about every spec of my religious sect I had no plans to defect
I was just confused as heck So outside of Rexburg I knelt in a field
and I asked why everything felt so concealed And why did I feel I was dying inside? Wasn’t the Holy Ghost supposed to be
by my side to be my guide? I had once felt felt sublime but with time the feeling faded and suddenly Moroni 10 seemed so overrated I felt rejection instead of connection and in my reflection
I knew the infection was beyond mere correction There was no more perfection in my
religious affection But with introspection,
I made the selection
to continue inspection of faithful objection and that’s how I wound up in the
apologist section But no matter how hard I tried to deny
or find reasons why
I should believe some alibi I couldn’t comply
it wasn’t some anti-mormon lie And in the end my Pascal’s wager
got cut to shreds by Occam’s razor Now you call it a conspiracy
Tell me, what does a seer see? Why can’t a prophet bring some sense to
this mess
put the critics to rest? Oh that’s right it’s a test!
It’s not supposed to make sense!
We walk by faith not evidence The problem is every church is the same They all proclaim to speak in the name
of God They say you can pray and know if it’s true
And that’s exactly what they do
It works for them too it’s arrogant to think that they are
deceived in what they believe And that they should leave their religion behind
and come into mine As if I had exclusive access to the divine You tell me to doubt my doubts before I doubt my beliefs You say, “focus on milk!”
I say, “Where is the beef?” You think saying “I know” will help me revive
but 2+2 will never be 5 It’s easy for you to tell me I’m wrong
when you’re too scared to even
go where I’ve gone Trust me, it’s hard to choose to see
There’s still a hole in my soul where God used to be And though it hurts like hell,
truth is the key That fills it and turns it and opens the door for me to be free Free from the need to be superstitious
Free from a book that’s proven fictitious Free from the mandates of a religious official regardless of title or middle initial Free to accept my best friend who’s gay without having to judge him for living that way Free to serve others within my community without looking at them like a missionary opportunity Free to follow facts and not fairy tales Free from believing the priesthood’s for males Free to live without constant fear
That’s it’s all going to hell ’cause the end is near Free to love others just ’cause I can
and not because of some ancient command Yes, brothers and sisters, I am free And so with sails unfurled I set sail on the
sea I read warning signs that beyond here there be
dragons at the edge of the world But looking around, I have no need to fear There are no signs of sea monsters
here No edge from which I’ll plummet and die Just truth, opportunity, ocean and sky So I press onward, ever onward With eyes opened, heart opened, mind opened
I’m hoping that when you look at my life you’ll see Not a Mormon
Not an ex-Mormon Just simply me

100 thoughts on “Mormonism and Me | A Poem by Tanner Gilliland

  1. I can understand you leaving Mormonism(I did), but why leave God all together?

    The God of The Bible is true and HIs Word is trustworthy. Examine The Bible and it evidence as thoroughly as you did Mormonism and you will see–The Bible can be trusted.

  2. I think you lost the meaning of the word free. You jumped out of one pot and into the kettle. You would do well to read the BIBLE, and the Bible alone, and allow that hole in your heart where God used to be to be filled by the REAL God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. Christ is the only way to freedom, religion is a path to death. Someone needs to tell you these truths so you can be saved and FINALLY be set free…TRUE freedom in Christ.

    Don't abandon Christ just because the LDS church lied to you about Him. You have a hole, Christ can fill it. Please seek Him through reading His Holy Word. I'll be praying for you.

  3. I hope this poem will be set to music and a slide show of some of the topics mentioned.

  4. Awecome dude, awesome! (I loved the onward… ever onwaaaard reference 😉 )

  5. I wish I'd come to this realisation when I was at byui, it took me nearly 10 more years.

  6. It's easy for you to tell me I'm wrong
    When you're too scared to even go where I've gone

    Wish I had these words in Seminary. Beautifully put. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I dont care what it is. But if something makes you a better and happier person keep on doing it

  8. Being a former Mormon for over 2 years (after 32 years as TBM adult)…and having lost my family for a time…this hit a chord that burst open a floodgate of tears. Thank you Tanner…thank you so much for putting into words how I and so many now feel. I love you Bro.

  9. SO BEAUTIFULLY written and expressed. So much encompassed within comparably so few words. Your experience and journey well honored!

    Thank you for sharing!!!!


  11. some mormons know it's a lie.the rest are just not very informed people… ignorance is bliss.

  12. Did you ask of God? Have you prayed and sought the scriptures day by day? I ask questions, the Lord wants you to ask questions and seek after His knowledge. He has promised us that the Prophets of God will never lead us astray. That our bodies are temples and are sacred and pure. Modesty is not confinement but for our bodies to be shared with our eternal partners. When we cannot find answers to questions the first time, we keep asking. The spirit will guide us to the answers when we are ready. Heavenly Father has said in scripture the church today in one of the latter dispensation will be small and faithful though hated of the world. Faith does not diminish immediately, but bit by bit as we choose to doubt, remember to doubt your doubts before your faith. We as disciples of Christ constantly receive revelation from Heavenly Father, the Lord gives us what we need when we are ready in small and simple ways. When the church did not give men of colour the priesthood, this was to slowly and gradually introduce a diverse community of disciples in a segregated world. When Prophet Joseph Smith was young, polygamy was a common practice and was God did not inform Joseph to not continue that same form of marriage. Polygamy played an important role in growing the church and was necessary for the early stages of the Restored Gospel.
    Don't you remember the happiness felt when going to church and partaking of the sacrament? Don't you remember His hands work in your mission? Please, do not forget that the Lord has manifested truth, a truth that cannot be denied in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When those who use the teaching of the prophets against them, remember these men were also humans, growing and learning the gospel for themselves and did need to learn bit by bit through revelation of His whole and everlasting truth.
    Please do not belittle me in the comments because of my faith. If you have any questions about the Church, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

  13. You did a phenomenal job with this poem. I've refer back to it every so often. Very thought provoking and meaningful! Thank you!

  14. The Lord loves you my friend. I wish you still had that fire in your heart. I remember the day God revealed to me the truthfulness of the book of mormon. It was a fire in my bosom that I couldnt quench. Having returned home from my own mission 8 months ago life has been really hard for me. My testimony is that Jesus Christ is my savior. He knows me personally and he knew those imperfect prophets personally as well.

  15. Well it looks like Thomas Monsoon just got outdone on reciting poetry ,authoring it and being honest. Instead of Decieptful while using hypnotic cadence to lull people into acceptinggarbage like his Thomas B Marsh story and admonition to seek truth through blind obedience to the mind control masters. Awesome performance Tanner!

  16. Is the full text for this published anywhere? I really want to make sure I understand every reference.

  17. I'm sorry these intellectually answerable doubts made you forget the answers you've received from the Holy Ghost.

  18. this is one of those pieces that I love remembering every time I look through my favs

  19. what is meant by "sept 6th"?

    edit: i found it

  20. Nelson quoted “Book of Mormon is not a true picture of historical event. Really ? Without history it work of fiction. Oaks quoted.” It is wrong to criticize leaders of the church even if the criticism is true. Really? The church has done all the thinking for you, and you have no right to think for yourself? The bible says to trust G-d twelve times in the bible, and not to trust man.
    Mormonism is cults of pseudo-reformed Egyptians with the doctrines of Egyptians that Joesph Smith restored. You are the same re-form Egyptians. Egyptians failed after Moses drew the jews out of Egyptian. Egyptian hah-ka-kau beam is the same kolob. Baptism for the dead corpse better salting for mummification. The mormonism did an “spiritual baptism” to familiar spirits, the demons. Becoming god in their own world was the devil second lie, and you will be god of thgis world with others gods, the synagogues of the devils. The basis of mormonism does attack the Holy Bible that makes the prophets in the bible an liar. There is no such a thing as magic stones to be used as form as communication with G-d ever mentioned in the bible. Learn Hebrew language. Hebrew is an visual language in shapes from constellation within constellation. The bigger picture the constellation are in few parts are in align in the bible telling the things in heaven as it is done on earth. Heaven testify of Jesus Christ, and constellations is the key to revelation and many books in the Holy Bible.

    Nelson citó "el libro de Mormón no es una verdadera imagen del acontecimiento histórico. Realmente? Sin historia es obra de ficción. Robles citado. Es incorrecto criticar a los líderes de la Iglesia incluso si la crítica es verdadera. Realmente? La iglesia ha hecho todo el pensamiento por ti, y no tienes derecho a pensar por ti mismo? La Biblia dice que confíen en Dios doce veces en la Biblia, y que no confíen en el hombre.
    El mormonismo es culto de egipcios pseudo-reformados con las doctrinas de egipcios que Joesph Smith restauró. Sois los mismos egipcios de la nueva forma. Los egipcios fallaron después de que Moisés sacó a los judíos del egipcio. El haz egipcio de ja-Ka-Kau es el mismo Kólob. Bautismo para el cadáver muerto mejor salada para momificación, y el mormonismo hizo un "bautismo espiritual" a espíritus familiares, demonios. Convertirse en Dios en su propio mundo fue la segunda mentira del diablo, y tú serás Dios de este mundo con otros dioses, las sinagogas de los demonios. La base del mormonismo es atacar la Santa Biblia que hace a los profetas en la Biblia un mentiroso, y no hay tal cosa como las piedras mágicas que se usarán como forma de comunicación con el dio jamás mencionada en la Biblia. Aprender el idioma hebreo. El hebreo es un lenguaje visual en formas de constelación dentro de constelación. El cuadro más grande de la constelación están en pocas partes están alineados en la Biblia diciendo las cosas en el cielo como se hace en la tierra. El cielo testifica de Jesucristo.

  21. While y’all make great points…I almost think you don’t even know the half of it. #mormonismkills

  22. As someone who is going through my own issues concerning the Mormon church and who is becoming less active, this poem speaks to me. Thanks Tanner

  23. It is very easy to baptize people in northeastern Brazil when you are a white American. I was a missionary and I know how the Mormon company works, human souls are not important, just numbers matter. I recommend the Vânia Moore channel for those who want to learn more about Mormon lies.

  24. "freak i dont know" made me scream with laughter…then my parents looked at what i was watching and shut it down…they're TBM's

  25. He claims that the prophets were racist, but they weren't, really. Black men didn't have the priesthood, not because of men, but because the world wasn't ready for it. God knew this. I know that God knows best. "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Oh, ye lost soul. Have ye forgotten why you went on a mission? Have you forgotten the Spirit you felt? I have not. You talked about how leaving religion gave you freedom to love. If this is true, you weren't living the gospel right. Have no unrighteous judgements. Love. God is love. My heart reaches out in prayer to you that you may turn again to God. God is love. God truly leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I know you once knew this was true. I mourn that we have lost a soul that must have been so strong for Satan to target you so powerfully. And I hope that you will turn to God.

  26. This was amazing. Regardless of if you still believe in the church or not, this poem is the best way to understanding how an ex-Mormon or a Mormon with doubt feels. Thanks for sharing

  27. OMG Tanner, that was absolutely amazing! Exactly something all exmormons can resonate with.

  28. Thank you! I was “shunned “ when I went through a divorce, I had finally found the courage to leave a very toxic marriage, and instead of love and support I was told by my bishop, “ Sister Marshall, I don’t recommend divorce, there’s a big stigma against divorced women in the church.” I was a very devout and active member and had many callings, including seminary teacher. The following Sunday, I was publicly thanked and released from all of my callings in Sacrament meeting. Then later I was asked not to participate in adult Sunday school, but rather was told to go to the investigators class, but not to actually participate, and that I wasn’t allowed to give a prayer or play the piano or anything. I was so confused. Friends at church started to become distant and my home teachers stopped coming. My x stopped attending church right away, he was never very active, except when he convinced my dad that I needed to marry him ( at 19 years old!). We had been married in the Seattle temple and I had taken everything I learned there and all my promises to heart and applied them to my daily life. I stayed in a toxic marriage for 22 years because of the fear of breaking the covenants I had made in the temple, and also by the advice of bishops through the years. They told me to have faith, to pray more. To study more, to be submissive and respectful to my husband. I did everything I could to be the “perfect “ wife, mother, daughter, sister. So much pressure. So when I was suddenly alone and had lost my identity in the church because of my divorce, I was devastated and felt like I was wrong. I went for years feeling like I was going to hell because I didn’t live up to my temple covenants. It’s been only the last 2 years that I.had the courage to actually investigate into the true history of the Mormon church. I was shocked to learn of the lies,coverups, racism, sexism, arrogance that has been the foundation of the church. Now I am free. I sent in my resignation this year, and received my confirmation letter back. Thanks for sharing your experience and to let people in the church know there is a beautiful life outside of the Mormon bubble. I am still spiritual and my capacity for love and compassion has grown even more. I am thankful for all of my journey and the lessons I’ve learned, and I’m grateful for where I am now in life. ❤️💋🇨🇦

  29. When i come out as a non believer in six months im going to post this on facebook

  30. Excellent video! You eloquently highlighted the thoughts and fears that tormented my Mormon-years.

  31. This is such a perfect explanation of what it feels like to go through this. It’s so good I’m debating how to share it so that I don’t piss off my old friends so much that my family gets hurt. Seriously. Thank you for making this.

  32. This spoke so much to me, thank you for voicing all of these things, great work!

  33. This is a really touching poem.
    I felt like I just connected with a piece of your soul, I could almost feel the raw emotion.

    Thanks for sharing.

  34. I really like this video. I think some of your other videos are a little distasteful, but I think this was eloquent and beautiful.

  35. Tanner this is a beautiful poem!
    I've seen your work on your channel, I'm surprised I'm just seeing this now.
    After 5 or 6 years of this exmormon crap I've been going through, it still hurts and i still fear.
    I wish the TBMs could all realize how truly traumatic and painful this experience can be for us ex mo's.

  36. This is my life to a T. I still remember the sudden wave of relief I felt when I finally made the decision to leave. I had a feeling of empowerment. I could do whatever I wanted. I could drink a cup of coffee, I could swear, I could love who I want to, I could have a career, I could wear what I want, do what I want, be who I want to be. It's beautiful and far more powerful than anything the Holy Ghost gave me.

  37. What a nice poem,
    hahaha I imagined someone reciting it in the sacramental hahaha
    that would be beautiful to see.

  38. That prophet worship will get you everytime. That's why I quit worshipping prophets.

  39. I was prepared to not like this. Over a year ago I was prepared to hate Matt Dillahunty. I knew I was going to reject Jeremy Runnell's CES Letter. John Dehlin had to be some kind of hater. Scientists knew what was going on it the world, but the spiritual world was something they just couldn't understand. I'm so glad to be free of those cognitive biased beliefs. You guys are awesome.

  40. This is beautiful man… i felt a good spirit listening to this. Thank you

  41. As an inactive mormon but still a member your words are so relatable to me. Your amazing poem made me question the church and gave me courage to ask and research about the doubts I've had for many years now. So many years wasted not knowing the truth and not questioning it like a good gullible little mormon. I'm just speachless now..

  42. Tanner this is AMAZING!!!!! It flowed so well and the words you chose were very moving. Thank you so much for creating this and sharing it with us. <3

  43. Thank you for sharing this. How beautiful and true!! The break heart of leaving the church is hard for members to grasp, you telling my life with your words is so healing. Thank you!!

  44. I really liked this poem, Tanner. I will be sharing it with my second cousins, the third generation of the LDS side of my family, all of whom live in Utah. It is really interesting to see your progression from this first public posting to the most recent one I just watched. You are a handsome young man, and I am happy that you were able to move beyond the teachings you grew up with. I hope my young cousins will find truth and happiness in their lives also.

    Aside: You do long hair and facial hair well, live it up buddy, some of us have a hard time remembering when we even had enough hair to do the same! It is great to be able to change it up!

  45. I love this!! Spoke my thoughts and feelings exactly!!! Just came out of my “faith crisis” and love hearing others’ stories…helps to know you aren’t alone!

  46. As an ex Mormon myself I can sympathize with you both with the feelings you go through leaving a cult like Mormonism. My husband served a mission in Brazil too.. we were devout. I also was raised on college avenue in Rexburg Idaho. O attended BYU-I.

    We found our way out of Mormonism by figuring out if what we were teaching our kids was true. We actually put our faith on trial. We found that what we had been taught for almost 30 years was a sham. So what was true? We studied other religions and world views including atheism. Biblical Christianity was the only one to stand. Believe it or not there is objective truth out there. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I hope someday, you will believe in Christ again. Like it or not He is real and loves you both very much. I hope you will revisit the idea that there is a God and believe in Him again.

    I understand the feeling of being burned though. Mormonism sets everyone up to be an atheist and a post modernist. If it's not true then nothing is they say. Well I didn't fall for their game but went out on my own actually looking at the evidence. It says in Hebrews 11:1 that, "faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen which are TRUE." God says in His Word that the evidence is all around us. Fill up your faith with all the evidence you can find and then make a decision whether the faith is supported enough by evidence. I hope you will watch these few videos I will send that really helped me see the evidence and make a decision. I wish you both the best. Love and prayers to you both.

    Video links:

  47. "my Pascal's Wager got cut to shreds by Occam's Razor" may be my favorite line from any slam poem or rap song I've ever heard.
    I was loving it already, but that line… hot damn.

  48. It is disappointing to find we were deceived. We had a heart bent toward God and a self appointed group of men exploited our devotion to direct faith in them alone. After 25 years as Jehovahs Witness cult member, i am relieved to no longer be judge of sheep and goats. I can now afford to love people as I find them. Thank you for your good work. George.

  49. I just discovered your channel thanks to Mr Atheist's latest video. I was raised Mormon myself. This poem is amazing!

  50. Beautiful, Tanner. You have such a gift and I'm so glad you are free.

  51. Wowwwwwwwwww. As a fellow poet, I appreciate this dearly. As a fellow apostate, you help me see clearly – and at the end of this video I came to know that being myself is where I must go.
    Thank you (:

  52. Stumbled across this old video, but so glad i did. Leaving the church was one of the hardest things i ever did…. yet so free and happy now.

  53. I’ve come back and listened to this a few times now. Never fails to send chills up my spine. Better each time.

  54. if you don't want to pay a notary to quit the church, maybe recite this to get excommunicated.

  55. Jesus Christ of the Bible gives us access to the divine not Joseph’s bullshit. I’m sorry you were pumped full of so many lies you are now turned off to faith completely. But I understand how fed up you must be after being through so much

  56. Looking at this 3 years after the posting, and it is still powerful. Tanner, you gave me courage to look a little closer at the gospel. You helped me make the scary leap into the rabbit hole. And 2 years after leaving, I thank you for the work you and Sam do on this channel!

  57. This is wonderful! I have a feeling the church is falling apart fast. They don't want you looking at so called "anti" stuff, but what are they afraid you will find out? Well plenty of documented facts and history that's for sure. Blind obedience of members as in a CULT is not working. Don't be afraid of the truth.

  58. I didn't realise this was from 3 years ago at first and I was shocked that you got rid of your lovely hair lol

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