Below is an attempt at putting together a comprehensive list of LDS Church self-inflicted wounds.  Please comment below with any corrections or additions.


LDS Church Self-Inflicted Wounds
– Joseph Smith’s treasure digging, peeps stones usage, and folk magic
– Joseph Smith’s first vision
– Joseph Smith’s history of legal problems and sexual indiscretions (even pre-polygamy)
– The Book of Mormon
– Substantive changes made to the Book of Mormon after its first publishing
– Church changing introduction to Book of Mormon (Lamanites “among the principle ancestors”)
– Changing the central angelic visitor to Joseph Smith (“Nephi” to “Moroni”) for convenience, after Joseph’s death
– Joseph Smith’s evolving doctrine, and subsequent alterations of Book of Mormon and First Vision to get them in sync
– The Book of Abraham
– Book of Commandments / The Doctrine and Covenants
– Substantive changes made to the Doctrine and Covenants after it was first published
– Lectures on Faith
– Kinderhook plates
– Joseph Smith’s inability to actually verifiable translate anything authentic
– Joseph Smith’s history of borrowing/plagiarizing from others (e.g., Swedenborg)
– Joseph Smith trying to sell Book of Mormon copyright
– Credibility problems with the 3 witnesses and 8 witnesses
– BOM witnesses seeing plates with “spiritual eyes”
– Unkind treatment of Emma Smith by Brigham Young
– Kirtland Bank scandal
– Inventing/retrofitting the Melchizedek Priesthood narrative after the fact
– The LDS Temple Endowment Ceremony/Joseph’s Involvement with Masonry/All the changes over the years
– Polygamy, Polyandry, & D&C 132
– Teaching by prophets that polygamy is requirement for highest degree of Celestial Kingdom.
– Joseph’s deceptions around polygamy (e.g. lying to Emma, other members, the general public)
– Joseph Smith sending husbands away on missions so he could marry their wives.
– Church continuing to practice polygamy after issuing the 1890 Manifesto.
– Joseph Smith’s “Council of 50” and “King of the World” anointing
– Danites
– Joseph Smith’s destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.
– Church conveying Joseph Smith as “innocent going like a lamb to the slaughter”
– Mountain Meadows Massacre and subsequent cover-up
– The Journal of Discourses
– Brigham Young’s teachings of Blood Atonement, Adam/God Doctrine, re-baptism
– Church hiding its troubling history (e.g., Joseph Fielding Smith ripping First Vision account out of Joseph’s Journal and hiding it)
– Inaccurate portrayals of church history (e.g., photos showing Joseph Smith translating with plates on the table, portrayals of Joseph and Emma as monogamists)
– The LDS Black Priesthood/Temple Ban, along with its Reversal
– All male priesthood / patriarchy
– Joseph F. Smith testimony at Reed Smoot hearings
– Church fighting ERA movement
– LDS correlation
– Doctrine of a dark skin curse (both of African-descent, and Native Americans via Book of Mormon)
– Church opposing the Civil Rights movement
– Past super racist statements by Mormon church leaders
– LDS response to Nazi Germany, excommunication of Helmuth Hubener.
– Anti-science rhetoric (6,000 year earth, global flood, Kolob, evolution bad)
– Joseph Fielding Smith’s “Doctrines of Salvation”
– Joseph Fielding Smith’s “Man: His Origin and Destiny”
– Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine
– Miracle of Forgiveness
– LDS Church’s response to the Mark Hofmann forgeries
– To Young Men Only Pamphlet (“little factories”)
– For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet (Early editions)
– The Indian Placement Program
– LDS church cover-up of sexual abuse within the church, and protection of abusers at expense of victims (the main mission of Kirton-McConkie law firm)
– Evergreen International
Re-recording of Ronald Poelman General Conference talk
– The Excommunication of: The September Six, Denver Snuffer, Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Bill Reel, Sam Young, Cody and Leah Young
– The Family: A Proclamation to the World
– California Proposition 8
– City Creek Mall
– The November 2015 Policy, along with its Reversal
– Church’s promotion of conversion/reparative therapy, celibacy, and mixed-orientation marriages for LGBTQ Mormons
– LDS/LGBTQ policies that have lead to LDS/LGBTQ suicides
– Promotion of Rough Stone Rolling at Deseret Book
– The Joseph Smith Papers Project
– The LDS Gospel Topics Essays
– FAIRMormon
– The Neil A. Maxwell Institute
– NorthStar
– Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
– LDS Church’s massive financial portfolio at Ensign Peak, and lack of financial transparency
– Various heinous General Conference Talks (e.g., Boyd K. Packer, Jeffrey Holland, Dallin H. Oaks)
– Church negative rhetoric about people who doubt/question the church
– LDS Church refusal to apologize for mistakes
Apologetic attempts to debunk the CES Letter
– Priesthood healings not working
– Patriarchal blessings not coming true
– Second Anointing – Secret and elitist (members referrals?)
– Abusive priesthood leaders
– Unhealthy teachings about sex/sexuality (e.g., pre-marital sex is a sin next to murder)
– One-one-one “worthiness” interviews with church leaders, with excessively explicit questions around sexual behaviors
– Unequal treatment of law of chastity offenders (sometimes the well-connected and wealthy are quietly let off the hook)
– LDS General Authorities teaching contradicting “doctrine”
– Boredom at church
– Lack of Christ-focus at church
– Insufficient donations to the poor, excessive focus on wealth/opulence
– Lack prophesy, seeing, and revelations by modern Prophets, Seers, and Revelators
– Time and expense of “Redeeming the Dead” doctrine making no sense with so much actual pain/suffering in the world
– Disciplinary councils shaming people for sexual choices and/or apostasy
– LDS General Authority dishonesty with the media (e.g., Gordon B. Hinckley denying that polygamy is doctrine, Jeffrey R. Holland denying temple blood oaths to BBC)
Paul H. Dunn scandal
George P. Lee scandal
Richard Lyman scandal
LDS Church Baseball Baptisms scandal
– Garments
– Lack of consistent/ever-changing doctrine over the years (e.g., polygamy?, black priesthood ban?,  what about the gathering at Zion?, Perpetual “Latter-days, do we still get to become Gods?)
– Obedience/”follow-the-prophet” culture
– Coercion around the tithes and offerings
– Jeopardizing marriages / splitting up marriages over loss of faith
– Unhealthy rhetoric around masturbation and pornography that causes anxiety, depression, divorce, and occasionally suicide
– Failure to acknowledge mention Mother in Heaven
– Word of Wisdom is super outdated, unscientific, and inconsistently enforced
– Teaching/encouraging a limited role for women (women are not to work outside the home, and are to stay home and have lots of babies)
– Doctrine of personal revelation led to a revelation that I should leave the church
– LDS church members baptizing Holocaust victims.
– Excessive control of Utah politics, and interfering in federal political processes
– Church denouncing and devaluing “gays, feminists, and intellectuals”
– Perfectionism culture that leads members to never feel like they are “enough”
– Shame culture
– Modesty/rape culture
– Finding out new temple name was not personal, but instead was granted to all who received endowment that day, based on calendar date system.
– Blood oaths and penalties in Mormon temple ceremony.
– Sexist portions of Mormon temple ceremony (e.g., women veiling faces, “submit” or hearken language, women allowed to tell men temple names, but men not allowed to tell women temple names)
– Changes in Mormon temple ceremony.
– Temple ceremony felt creepy/disturbing.
– Unequal treatment of girls vs. boys in church activities (e.g., Boy Scouts, camping, excursions)
– Church continuing to allow polygamy in temple sealings in 2020 (e.g., Dallin H. Oaks, Russell M. Nelson)
– Unfair and bothersome temple sealing cancellation policies for women.
– BYU Honor Code problems
– LDS Family/Social Services pressuring pregnant Mormon girls to give their children up for adoption.
– Poor treatment of singles, childless couples, part-member couples/families, and divorced people.
– The teachings about “Eternal Families” leading to unhealthy beliefs about “Sad Heaven.”
– Gaslighting by LDS church leaders (e.g., LGBTQ exclusion policy was a revelation, and its reversal was too!)
– Shaming of men and women who doubt by not letting them be involved in priesthood ordinances, temple.
– Church not allowing non-members and people who are deemed “unworthy” into wedding ceremonies.
– Mormon leadership roulette.
– Six figure compensation of LDS General Authorities, but no public acknowledgement of it.
– Church’s heavy reliance on emotional manipulation as “conversion” (e.g., MormonAds)
– Confusion about who children are sealed to after divorce and multiple re-marriages.
– LDS church leader endorsement of fraudulent financial schemes.
– LDS General Authority nepotism (e.g., Richard Hinckley, Matt Holland)
– Unhealthy indoctrination of children (e.g., baptism and age 8, “Follow the Prophet” song)
– Teaching that men can become Gods (Lorenzo Snow), and then recanting it (Gordon B. Hinckley)
– The requirement of LDS ordinances for all humans drives silly and inefficient temple work for the dead….for millennia.
– “One true church” teaching is elitist and judgmental.
– Inefficiency of Heavenly Father’s Mormon plan (16 million out of 8 billion are Mormon)
– Odd, arbitrary, strict rules/policies (e.g., musical instruments in sacrament meeting, multiple ear piercings)
– Unhealthy teachings about the mental health profession, suicide doctrine
– General Authority priestcraft (e.g., financially profiting from sale of books via Deseret Books)
– Church constantly changing past doctrine/theology/policies.
– Soft shunning by family and ward/community of Mormons who lose their faith, and/or of non-members.
– Teaching victims of sexual abuse that they need to repent.
– Forcing American / U.S. cultural mores on other countries.  Cultural colonialism.
– Insisting on literal interpretation of scriptures.
– Backing away from scriptural literalism without acknowledging the change.
– Investing millions of $$$ in the “I’m a Mormon campaign,” only to turn around and prohibit the use of the identity, claim that calling ourselves “Mormons” is a victory for Satan.
– Personal revelation ALWAYS trumped by priesthood leadership inspiration, which obviates the existence of personal revelation.
– Demoting apostles Hugh B. Brown and Dieter Uchtdorf from the first presidency for supporting progressive causes.
– Spencer W. Kimball oral sex prohibition memo, that was rescinded within a year.
– Ernest Wilkinson BYU spy ring scandal in the 60s.
– Equating Mormonism with U.S. Republican politics.
– Ezra Taft Benson “John Birch Society” connections
– “Better return home in a pine box than without honor from your mission” rhetoric.
– Forever providing the “milk,” but never the “meat”
– Infantilizing of members
– “Lying for the Lord” practices by LDS General Authorities
– Untrained leadership


  1. Christine Miller May 7, 2020 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Changing Godhead/ Trinity beliefs.

  2. ROBERT May 7, 2020 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Change “Sex figure compensation…” to “Six figure compensation…”

    • Tina Ann Lindsay May 7, 2020 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Not only six figure incomes for GAs, vacation homes in Heber, new cars every year
      Valuing money over Christ’s teachings

  3. Dru White May 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Over-emphasis on pioneer ancestry (‘pioneer stock’ elitism)
    Inefficiency in vicarious temple work (don’t multiple times for same persons)
    Always announcing new temples, when most existing ones aren’t been well used
    Claiming the poor will prosper in 3rd world countries if they pay tithing
    Using the priesthood to cast out devils
    Uber poor treatment of transgender individuals
    Counsel with your bishop to get a vasectomy
    Be judged for having an abortion
    Judging others based on appearance

  4. Garth May 7, 2020 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Maybe I missed it, but the Church’s $100 billion.

  5. Annette Cumins May 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    I do not know enough about this topic or even what these places were/are called The houses where they would send away the young pregnant Mormon teenage girls. Especially if the girl had gotten pregnant by a Bishop or Stake President or Higher Up GA’s son or close relative.

    They would make the girls stay there until they gave birth. Then the girls would be told that they had to sign papers to give their babies up for adoption. The girls were almost forced to do this. After that LDS Adoption Services would step and find a nice LDS family to adopt the baby.

    Have you ever done a Mormon Stories Episode with anyone that this happened to?

    I know that these Maternity houses are super secret and that their existence is hard to verify. I don’t even know what to call this so I am using the phrase “Maternity Houses”

  6. Chelsea May 7, 2020 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    The teaching of free agency while totally brainwashing and gaslighting members to do as “expected”.

  7. Bill May 7, 2020 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Training children to bare testimonies for attention and cultural acceptance and then cursing them when they discover historical inaccuracies . Gaslighting future generations and outright telling them that the internet is no place to discover the truth the future of the lds church will be just as different as the current church is from the 1880 church obviously change is an eternal principle and truth is in the expression of a 3 year old progressing into a future general authority. If that isn’t brainwashing nothing is .

  8. Gordon May 7, 2020 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Great list! There’s a typo on the 15th one down which reads:
    “Joseph Smith’s inability to actually verifiable translate anything authentic”
    where “verifiable” should be “verifiably.”

  9. Aron May 8, 2020 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Inflating membership numbers, making it unreasonably difficult to resign, and incentives for Bishops to not process resignations.

  10. Rachel May 8, 2020 at 2:17 am - Reply

    First Vision wasn’t known by early members, but is so central to current doctrine and teachings for converts.

    In addition to trying to sell BofM copyright, early members were charged for patriarchal blessings.

    Drunkenness at Kirtland Temple dedication Angelic visitations were more likely hallucinations from drinking on empty stomachs

    Joseph Smith’s pattern of using exaltation as an enticement to follow doctrine, threats of damnation, coercion, and slander of people who crossed him. Sounds more like Satan’s plan of forcing people into action than Christ’s plan of agency

    Emma would be destroyed if she didn’t embrace polygamy: d&c 121:41

    Polygamy lies: “it was normal back then for girls under 16 to be married.” The census shows otherwise (average female age was 22) “Polygamy was to take care of the old and widowed,” when most polygamist wives and children lived in poverty. Or “there were more females than males.” Census clearly shows the opposite: more men than women lived at the time

    I was taught Joseph Smith was killed because of prejudice against the Mormons. But yet the reason he was in Carthage Jail was due to his Involvement in burning down William Law’s printing press (obviously illegal)

    Pressure on impoverished to pay tithing before food or rent. Especially when I learned the original revelation on tithing was 10% of their interest, after paying all living expenses. Pres. Snow also said “those who have means” should pay. So it really irks me to hear of the pressure put on elderly, 3rd world countries, etc to pay tithing.

    Tree of Life story is so similar to the dream Joseph Sr had.

    If Book of Mormon is the “most perfect book” why have there been so many alterations, and why are most of the unique gospel doctrines missing from its text?

  11. Katie Moore May 8, 2020 at 3:10 am - Reply

    The removal from Primary manuals and the revisionist denials of the story of Mary Fielding Smith blessing her sick oxen herself by the laying on of hands because the leader of her wagon company refused to do it. My husband and I both remember this story, related to us in this way, at Church in the 70’s/80’s.

    This boils down to two issues: Women Exercising The Priesthood (including more in the past than they’re allowed to today) and How Women Are Selectively Portrayed in Church History to advance the Patriarchy’s agenda. (Mary Fielding Smith: good… Emma: bad)

    Nobody ever told me about how women administered priesthood blessings to each other in Nauvoo.

    Nobody ever informed me of how SWIFTLY Mary Fielding Smith remarried after Hyrum’s death, and to whom?! The lapdog to authority figures, Heber C Kimball, whom I was also never informed was BY’s right hand henchman. Pretty fishy stuff, if you ask me.

  12. Adria May 8, 2020 at 3:15 am - Reply

    Backdating Priesthood Restoration

  13. Jay Whipple May 8, 2020 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Teaching tgat there is opposition in all things but also saying there is no sin and death in heaven.

  14. Peter May 8, 2020 at 8:53 am - Reply

    2nd anoiting – women laying hands on their husband and blessing them

  15. Kristen Knight May 8, 2020 at 9:18 am - Reply

    November 2015 policy and the retraction of it 3.5 years later!

  16. Larry May 8, 2020 at 10:16 am - Reply

    The list made me dizzy lol. You may have wanted to put some of these points together.

  17. David Conley Nelson May 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Allowing sealed widowers to be married to a second or third consecutive wife “for time and all eternity” in the temple, but not allowing widows to be sealed to a second husband.

  18. Rachel May 8, 2020 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    One more – as I member I always struggled with the idea that God was my “Father,” and had “unconditional love” for me, but yet, the God I was taught about was anything BUT unconditional. The list of requirements and to-do list in order to stay in his good graces and earn eternal life / Celestial kingdom was overwhelming. I never felt accepted or loved by the LDS God, nor did I feel any sort of unconditional love. I felt I was a constant disappointment.

  19. Peter May 8, 2020 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Book of Mormon coming from a stone in a hat – then Hirum Page being told in D&C 28:11 ‘But not from your stone’, you’re deceived by satan.

    Lucy’s diary relating how JS would give the “most amusing recitals” about Indian clothing, building, warfare, “religious worship as particularly as
    though he had spent his life with them” – in 1824 three years before getting the plates.

    Predicting his first born would be a son who would translate the BoM at 3 years of age. Son unfortunately died.

  20. Tom lincoln May 8, 2020 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Elder oaks at a fireside recording saying none of the 12 have seen Jesus. A lot of members, including myself, were taught they were “special witnesses” because they had seen the marks in his body and knew he was the Christ.

  21. Eric May 9, 2020 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    LDS Church consistently denies the Strengthing Members Committee exists. This group inside LDS Inc. utilizes internet searches and algorithms to keep files on global members who are targeted as a threat. It then informs local leadership about these threats and then forces them to punish the members in question via interviews and courts of love. All of this is done in denial that HQ and their legal team at K&M are directing traffic. it is consistently made public to the press in high profile cases that these are local matters, placing all the pubic responsibility on local leadership, many who are not willing to carry out the demands of HQ to punish their friends.

  22. Faith May 9, 2020 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    On the prior “podcast” you had a list of “heroes”. I was going to write in to make a list of non-heroes. As Greg Prince relates, there are not black hat and white hat individuals. However some are much more black hat. Those black hat people or events is what this new list is. To really learn and study Mormonism and can use the 2 lists to understand what has gone on behind the scenes. Fascinating how most active Mormons have no clue about these topics.

    Add to your self inflicted wounds list Bowring Woodbury and Alvin Dyer.
    Mission Presidents: like Philander Smartt (Puerto Rico), Lowell Robinson (Mexico), Polygamist Mission President Australia, Joseph Bishop (MTC)

    The hundreds of mission presidents (worldwide) who have mentally and spiritually abused thousands of LDS youth over the decades with their mission program and orthodoxy.

    I would recommend you place both of the lists in chronological order and that will help people look at lists better, compare and understand to learn the history and then the official reaction to their own mistakes.

  23. david c secrist May 9, 2020 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    The list is great but it needs to have a parentheses of where these things can be found! I have found some of them but others I wouldn’t know where to look.

  24. Mark May 10, 2020 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Joseph Smith publicly and repeatedly lied about his polygamy.

  25. Leonard Fish May 11, 2020 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Double jeopardy with excommunication. One stake president says go in peace and another stake president holds a church court for the exact same thing and excommunicates my dad.

    My dad had an Emeritus General Authority, his dear friend come to help defend him in his church court and that didn’t help.

  26. AJ May 11, 2020 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Joseph Smith prophesying he would live to see the return of Christ.
    Joseph Smith prophesying that people lived on the moon who dressed like Quakers, were all 6 feet tall and lived to be 1,000 years old.
    (What did Christ say about detecting a false prophet? One false prophecy and they were not a prophet. There’s three already for Smith).
    Brigham Young prophesying that people lived on the sun (just wow) and that it got its light from Kolob. (LMFBO)!!!
    Smith ‘calling’ morally bankrupt and thoroughly corrupt individuals to be in the FP (e.g. – John C. Bennett)
    Smith plagiarizing several books to create the B of M.
    Mountain Meadows massacre.
    Changing what constitutes a full tithe 3 times.
    The ‘church’ buying up office high rises around the world, apartment complexes, land, real estate and other business ventures.
    $32 billion in the stock market
    $124 billion in one Ensign Peak Advisors account.

    And it goes on and on and on…
    And we call it a ‘church’.

  27. JH June 26, 2020 at 2:48 am - Reply

    The succession crisis and the dubious historicity of Brigham Young’s claimed transfiguration into Joseph Smith.
    Allowing faith-promoting rumors to spread, while sitting on proof that they are false (Brigham Young foresaw invention of elevators and put shafts in SLC Temple)
    Teaching that Jesus Christ will not allow the prophets to lead the church astray.
    Inventing reasons for why people leave the church to cover up the real reasons. (Thomas Marsh and Milk Strippings, Symonds Ryder’s misspelled name)

  28. ontheDownLow July 3, 2020 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    It just repulses me to see a list so long and detailed yet LDS Inc. has not been shut down or condemned for their fraud. Where is the humanity?

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