Many LDS Church members are unaware that a secret LDS temple ordinance called the “Second Anointing” is regularly being administered by LDS Church apostles to elite friends, family, and leaders (mostly stake presidents, temple presidents, mission presidents, and LDS general authorities, along with their wives).  In this ordinance (according to reports) an apostle washes the feet of the couple in the temple, anoints them on the head with oil such that their “calling and election is made sure” (guaranteeing them a place in the Celestial Kingdom), and then invites the couple to retreat to a room in the temple, wherein the wife washes her husband’s feet, and then lays her hands on his head to give him a special priesthood blessing.

Over the past few years, we have received reports of several LDS Church members (specifically in Europe) who have lost their LDS faith AFTER receiving their Second Anointing.

In June of 2012 I interviewed Tom Phillips, former LDS church stake president in London, England U.K.  In this interview he discusses the following:

  • His early experiences as a bishop and stake president in the LDS church, along with his friendship with LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland.
  • His experience receiving a secret/sacred LDS church ordinance called the “Second Anointing,” wherein he was anointed by the hands of Elder M. Russel Ballard, and assured exaltation in there hereafter.
  • His subsequent loss of faith over historical and scientific issues with the church.
  • His direct correspondence with then friend, LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, over these troubling issues.
  • The pain, suffering, and ultimate divorce that he and his family experienced as a result of his faith crisis.
  • Additional details about Tom’s story can be found here.

At the time I conducted this interview I was in deep discussions with my stake president, Mark Jensen, over my status with the church, and my ability to baptize my son.  Out of fear of church discipline, and as a sign of good will to President Jensen, I decided to not release this episode via Mormon Stories podcast, and instead granted permission to Tom to do with it as he saw fit.

Over the subsequent months and years I have come to regret this decision made largely out of fear, and want to publicly apologize to Tom for it.  I now feel it is appropriate to release this interview, not because I seek to show disrespect for the LDS church or its temple ordinances, but because Tom’s story is a very poignant example of the pain and suffering that can come about as many LDS members continue to experience legitimate struggles with the LDS church’s truth claims.

A full transcript of this interview can be found here.

Part 1

Download MP3

Part 2

Download MP3
Part 3

Download MP3
Part 4

Download MP3
Part 5

Download MP3


  1. Tom Phillips January 15, 2015 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Thanks John. No apology was necessary but gratefully accepted.

    Best wishes to you and your family,

    • Andy Pearson April 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply


      I have e-mailed you before about this: I really do feel you should stretch your wings beyond North America more and seek out those in Europe who have also experienced similar to your other podcast interviewees.

      The issues which you address and discuss in your podcasts are not peculiar to North American members, but also members who fall outside of these borders. I do feel, in order to highlight the significance of disillusion, disenfranchisement and drive forward the seriousness of church prevarication and evasion and accountability at the very top, you need to interview more Europeans; it may, in time, cause a greater stir among the leadership!

      I know many members in the UK who are on the fringe and are without a voice, but are seeking redress and transparency from the church. I too have felt like this – even while serving as a Bishop – but am now in a better place.

      Please do consider this and thanks for all the work you have done so far in providing a voice for so many.



      • Wayne Perry April 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

        I’m enjoying Tom’s story again, having already listened to it when you first provided the link. Fascinating! Let me second Andy’s appeal for more non-North American voices. These episodes and the ones with Hans Mattson both suggest that there are many stories “across the pond” in Europe as well as other non US and Canada countries.

        Thanks for all you do, John!

      • Jana April 5, 2022 at 9:48 am - Reply

        I really enjoyed this interview. I could relate so much when I wrote my bishop and stake president asking for truth. I got the ignore response, but I was desperate to know the answers. They really just don’t care.

    • Jessica April 28, 2015 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for doing this interview.
      As a fellow unbeliever who chose truth over belief at all costs, it’s nice to hear someone who went through similar feelings. It’s a lonely road I’ve started just a few months ago. It’s cost me my marriage.

      Thanks again.

      • Joe August 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

        I’ve been studying this for years and have not discussed it with anyone. I’m afraid when I broach the subject my wife, whom I love very much will also leave.

        • Ted August 19, 2020 at 8:47 am - Reply

          This is exactly why Elder Boyd K. Packer stated that some things are better not known. Many people are too spiritually immature to grasp the meaning of a lot of things.

    • Whitney H May 2, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Hello to you Mr. Phillips,

      Thank you for granting this interview to Mormon Stories. I come from pioneer stock actually from Coalville Leicestershire, and had a chance to travel around the U.K. as a teen. My ancestor founded Coalville, UT in 1859 and was called as a seventy. He was also called to practice Polygamy, but refused, according to family legend, and was subsequently excommunicated. Though your story takes place across an ocean, it reminded me so much of this one. Some of this family line have chosen the church, others have not. At least this grandfather provided them with an example and a choice, as you have with your children. I feel growing up around family for whom the church was not a priority may have freed me to decide for myself.

      I am grateful to you for sharing this story as an example to other church members who have strong examples of men in high callings, such as my husband. Anyone can examine these issues and decide for themselves, and should.

      I hope you see this, I thought about contacting someone to get this personal message to you, but thought this may be easier.
      Thank you again,


    • Dale May 4, 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      WOW! Tom, I just listened to your interview with John Dehlin on Mormonstories. I feel I know you. I have so much respect for you! You touched me with your words, to say the least! Your telling of the Second Anointing was very touching!

      I love your integrity! You are genuine! Yeah, you have “Truth and Integrity!”

      How are you doing? I think about you often, as I have been traveling a similar path, whereby my wife has put the ‘Church’ before me in our marriage and has caused me much sorrow and pain. Your discussion about not having the opportunity to discuss anything about the church from the standpoint of questioning it is very familiar! Yeah, when it comes to ‘The Church,’ there is no discussion for those who have been lead down the path of “No Questions about the Mormon Church!” That is a sad story that is being repeated over and over and over. I just wish the Mormon Church would see the pain and suffering it, the Mormon Church, is causing to countless numbers of marriages and families and fix the problem by telling the truth and not just keep spinning lies as gospel!

      You are an “Honorable and Very Fine Man!” I guess what I have come to is that, and this is a Dale quote, “The Fear Of Death And What Follows Death is a powerful driving force that has been used by Religions since the dawning of time and is used to control humans.” The Mormon Church uses this issue, “The Fear Of Death And What Follows Death” very masterfully to control faithful members. You, Tom, found the truth and questioned the control that the Mormon Church has over its subjects. And what you questioned came from the Mormon Church itself . . . Historical documents, Papyrus etc. . . . Not anti-Mormon stuff.

      As a scientist, the most powerful lie that has been exposed was the Book of Abraham when the papyrus was discovered and translated. But even more telling was the response by Dr. Robert Ritner, “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham” — A Response, which put the issue to bed that there is NO MISSING PAPYRUS nor is there another meaning of the word, “Translate!” Dr. Ritner analyses of the Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, which is a document that is in the Mormon Church’s historical vaults, clarifies the issue of missing scrolls and the meaning of the word “Translate.” It, the Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar has been made public so we can see, as Dr. Ritner puts forth, just how Joseph Smith TRANSLATED the papyrus. The bottom line is “PERIOD!” There are no missing scrolls of papyrus and any fuzzy meaning for the word “translation.” These questions have been put to bed. The bottom line is that the Book of Abraham has been scientifically proven to be false.

      God bless you. I wish your children could see the ‘gem’ they have in you as their father!! Maybe they will . . . let’s hope! Yeah, and maybe your wife will have an honest discussion about the church.

      P.S. John, since you held this podcast all these years, why don’t you have an update interview with Tom. Yeah, I think this podcast should have been released in 2008. With that not possible as 2008 is time gone by, I believe a new interview would be warranted.

      • Ted August 19, 2020 at 9:04 am - Reply

        What bothers me is that after years of assaulting the Church and members who desire to remain active in the faith, the attackers such as yourself have a high probability of developing Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Disorder. When that occurs, no reasonable debate can be engaged in.

        The “anti-Mormon/Mormon bashers” cohort has become a cult unto themselves.

        I have heard of the Second Anointing ordinance, but take no notice of it.

        When giving a person who is dying a blessing, I have often been told to declare that their Calling and Election is made sure, by the more sure word of prophecy.

        Any ordinance of Second Anointing is NOT essential to obtaining Exaltation and Eternal life.

        I have heard Joyce Meyer talk about receiving one’s Second Anointing, so it is NOT essential to be a Latter-day Saint to receive this.

        WE are saved by Grace and Works. We are Sanctified by Grace and the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, and we are Justified by Grace and the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God.

        Receiving a Second Anointing Ordinance is NOT essential for Exaltation and Eternal life, so I don’t really care one way or the other about it.

        It’s just something else for apostates to whine about in attacking the Church and its leaders.

        Really, it is just a storm in a teacup.

        • Lori March 13, 2021 at 10:33 am - Reply

          I can tell by your comment you did not even take the time to listen to his story. Maybe if you had, you would be smarter. You totally just did what is wrong with the whole church leadership, shame on you, you ignorant person.

          • Jeff Pierson April 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

            Amen Lori

          • Brad April 17, 2021 at 10:02 pm

            My wife and I said the same thing after reading his comment.

        • Kris Murphy April 13, 2022 at 12:47 am - Reply

          LOL at Ted. For those of us who have heard about “our Calling & Election being made sure” it was hyped and now we find out it does not involve some sort of personal witness BY THE LORD, just a ceremony for those picked by those who have already been picked.

          The Secret Passwords & Handshakes, ordinances, marriages, sealings, ordinations and setting aparts, PLAGUED THE CHURCH FROM THE START. Between Magic, Mysticism and Masonry, the “restored” Church got completely on the wrong track…from the beginning.

          Christ’s Gospel is so humanely simple…. LOVE. SERVICE. FORGIVENESS. Beyond that, it’s all just make stuff up.

        • JB June 24, 2022 at 9:19 pm - Reply

          No need for God or Jesus to stand in judgement when we have Ted declaring to people that they are saved. Hahaha you are a laughing stock Ted. You should be beyond embarrassed.

        • Kelly Heflin June 27, 2023 at 9:06 am - Reply

          I don’t believe he was saying the Second Anointing is REQUIRED for exaltation. I think he was saying it GUARANTEES exaltation. At least that was the way I took it.

    • David Gilgen May 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the post John. Absolutely inspiring. I learnt a new definition, NOM! For those confused and wrestling with the issues raised by Tom, I have personally found them quite simple to reconcile. Priesthood authority is a fiction invented by man to justify dominion over others, be they gay, female, ‘apostate’or any of a myriad of conditions categorised as such. The ‘second anointing’ is a crock which serves to reinforce judgemental and self righteous behaviours many TBMs adopt. The card over which no ‘doctrinal’ or historical sophistry will ever trump is that of the drive for tithes and offerings. If one follows the money trail, all the denials and apologies make sense. Mormonism may have germinated from a desire to pursue teenage girls and married women, but once it shifted to the Utah basin the driving force became financial gain. Apostates and truth seekers that threaten this treasure are doomed.

    • Al May 18, 2015 at 6:49 am - Reply

      Dear Tom,

      My husband and I (stk presidency, stk RS pres) have listened together to your superb interview, pausing for discussion, reflection, evaluation. Thank you for your honesty and humility. We were touched by the integrity you continued to show, despite the cost. Your loss of family support is unbelievably sad to us both, but hopefully there is peace in knowing that you followed the truth where it led you, and that the truth will reunite you with your loved ones in the not-too-distant future. We admire you, we salute you, we thank you.

      Very warmly,

    • Reyna Balleza May 21, 2015 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Dear Mr Phillips;
      wishing you the very best. you have not idea how much your interview had helped me to get more knowledge on some issues and questions I’ve been having. I only wish that your family specially your wife could see your integrity and support what it seems, feels, sounds, to be right to be true.

    • Geoffrey Dunning April 29, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      As I read all the accounts from members who have decided for one reason or another to leave the Church, I understand the rational, since the 1970s I have been familiar with Sandra and Gerald Tanner’s anti church writings and many others of the same ilk. I am aware of all the arguments used against the Church. I would simply say this: “Then again they called the man that was blind, and said to him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see!
      I have been a member since 1963 and not only has the church blessed and changed my life, but I have seen so many lives changed and blessed by joining the church; lives that in some cases were in ruins. One can spend ones life trying to dig out the ‘truth’, I have seen many try to do so, in the process they lose their faith, sometimes their marriage, and usually, there former happiness; a light goes out in them.
      I challenge anyone to go and find a better Church, with better teachings, better success in holding on to and training youth, better programs to cover all aspects and needs of ones life. Better, more experienced, dedicated leaders, who give wise, solid, tried and tested councel to every age in the family. Yes you can jump off the good ship Zion, but where will you swim to?

      Geoffrey Dunning. England

      • Gary April 30, 2018 at 7:21 am - Reply

        … I swam to freedom …

        … freedom to discover the awesome gifts I was born with … and freedom to grow into the highest and best version of what I was created to become …

        Thank you for your post, Sir Geoffrey.

        You made me appreciate my freedom even more deeply, because I used to be … you.

      • Mike June 13, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

        Swim towards yourself Geoffrey

      • Junne Knorpp August 9, 2021 at 10:13 am - Reply

        Dear Geoffrey Dunning,
        What about those whose lives were ruined by the church, and who lost their marriage because of the church? What about those whose light went out when smothered by these beliefs? Many have gone through trauma caused by the church. Do not say the only safe place is within solid, confining walls when there is a whole world outside that has yet to be explored.

      • Kris Murphy April 13, 2022 at 12:56 am - Reply


        You comments tag you in the same, hostile, intollerant ilk that pervades The Church. No doubt you too would have broken into and helped destroy the Expositor printing press. No doubt you too would have joined in if Joseph had told you to marry again and again.

        It is harder to challenge, than to simply nod approval. It is harder to question, than simply accept the pat answer or excuse.

        Character is required to seek truths when those truths are hard to find and hard to seek.

        I’d suggest you stay on board the good ship LDS Titanic… I doubt you know how to swim.

    • jim ferris November 8, 2018 at 12:32 am - Reply

      I read the transcript. A great and interesting read. Apostles are not perfect men. It is sad but understandable that here are 2 men with differing points of view. I think when we take the word os scientists ( arm of the flesh ) over the word of God? We have a problem. What science was mentioned as concrete evidence disproving the BoM supposedly was Carbon Dating. Carbon dating is NOT the perfect science dating method some claim. Look up Kent Hovind on YT and his evidence on the gaping holes in Carbon Dating….very eye opening. The DNA debate? On the American Indian…also debatable…. I love the Church and our leaders from Joseph to the present…. As long as Tom is happy? I think thats all that really counts for him. Or any of us….We are all in Gods hands and are here to experience life FREELY! I express my love for Tom and wish him all the best in his lifes journey….

    • Alma Somerville June 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Hello Tom, my name is Alma. I am a 30 year old man that left too. Thank you so much for what you said. I REALLY REALLY enjoyed this. Would love to be your friend. Alma from Devon, UK

    • Ashley September 28, 2020 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Do you have an IG or way to reach out to you?

    • Married in January 12, 2021 at 12:44 am - Reply

      Hello Tom,
      I am so grateful for your truth. I can not tell you the impact this has made on my life. I am a nevermo, and married in. I love my husband. I appreciate the person that the LDS church has made him. I tried. I attended his church as he attended mine but I could not get past certain doctrine. I can not tell you the amount of missionaries I have had at my home. I openly listened but I could not keep from asking some in-depth questions i.e
      some of the questions you brought up in this interview. I felt alone, crazy, evil. Thank you for your honesty and your integrity.

      • Tom Phillips January 12, 2021 at 7:38 am - Reply

        You are welcome. I feel for you as you have tried to embrace Mormonism, but you cannot accept their “truths”.

        I am pleased you now recognise the truth. How is your husband?

        Best wishes,

    • Rhett January 13, 2021 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      I hope I get to meet you some day. You are a true inspiration to me.

    • Dangus August 24, 2021 at 8:09 am - Reply

      Hi Tom,
      I recently listened to this episode and found that you are in a lot of pain.

      I’ve found Jordan Peterson YouTube lectures about the psychological significance of the Bible stories to be very helpful on my journey.
      He psychoanalysis the Bible from the standpoint of evolution/ and that a lot of the stories are still very important.

      Maybe you and your family could benefit from these.

      There are 12 of the them and they are 3 hours each.


    • Joseph Forbes December 22, 2023 at 4:04 am - Reply

      Almost, but the problem I have with this story is that the theory of evolution, as the origin of man, has been in circulation since that late 1800s. Allowing for the absence of mass communication in the early years of Tom’s membership obviously mitigates some of this, but I’ve been aware of evolution as a narrative all my life even prior to the Internet.

      From this short history Tom seems like a good, kind fellow, if a touch pedantic, but you can’t tell me this guy never heard of the theory of evolution prior to him joining church, or indeed, during the years of his committed service???

      It’s a terribly sad story and I feel for Tom and his family. There are many intriguing, and strong counter arguments to various elements of the church and Abrahamic religions in general, but that is what faith is about, no?

      I’d suggest that there’s no one alive who hasn’t heard of, or thought of, the theory of evolution at some time in their life, it’s probably more widely known than David Beckham 😃. This is my issue with this story!

      • Maven January 2, 2024 at 1:10 pm - Reply

        He may be misremembering, but I know even for my high school in the early 00’s the only thing my dad knew about evolution was it was wrong for schools to be teaching it instead of creation. :/

  2. Matt January 15, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Where do I find out more about “I recently received notice of my own pending disciplinary council”? When is it? Are you going to attend? What is the charge, apostasy? I have been planning on resigning when you are excommunicated and would like to stay informed so I can time my letter of resignation appropriately.

    • Nick June 26, 2023 at 6:41 am - Reply

      You are so right once you no longer are useful you are shunned and ignored. Ministering is hilarious. Your views are stand up applaud your words….,

  3. Bill January 15, 2015 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Throw caution to the wind! Bravo John! Very fitting for #500.

  4. Bill April 27, 2015 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Very glad you decided to post this! I think its very pertinent information that people deserve to know, and Tom is a very brave and great man for being willing to expose his personal life for the benefit of those seeking truth.

  5. Mark April 27, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Great interview. Well worth the listen.

  6. Neela April 27, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I’m wondering my if you know if any black people have received the second endowment. And thanks for the things you post, it’s all very interesting.

    • Realcanadiangirl May 5, 2024 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Very enlightening

  7. Jeremiah April 27, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

    “Joseph Smith introduced the second anointing the same day, September 28, 1843, that women were introduced to the endowment….nineteen men and seventeen women received their second anointing in the short span of nine months before Smith’s death. He introduced it to trusted followers as the ‘fulness of the priesthood,’ saying it fulfilled the promise of the first anointing in confirming their appointments as kings and priests, queens and priestesses in the next life. The second anointing was said to be the ‘crowning ordinance’ of the Restoration, a ritual that ‘seal[ed] their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life.’

    “After Smith’s death, Brigham Young increased the number of second anointings and opened the ordinance to plural wives. Before the temple closed in February 1846, a total of 603 second anointings had been performed, nine of which were by proxy for the dead. Then the ritual was curtailed for over three decades until 694 anointings were ultimately performed in the Endowment House before its closure in 1889.

    “In 1884, President John Taylor let it be known that he alone would ‘designate the parties who should receive these ordinances.’ He allowed recommendations from families for deceased ancestors but not for the living. Understandably, those who acted as proxies for the dead had to have already received the ordinance themselves.

    “President Taylor’s successor, Wilford Woodruff, continued to discourage individuals from requesting the ordinance, for themselves or for their ‘faithful aged,’ preferring ‘that their names should be presented by their bishop and stake president,’ he wrote. In 1901 bishops were told not to make recommendations, reserving the responsibility to stake presidents. President Lorenzo Snow decided that only those who had gathered to Utah were worthy to receive the highest ordinance—not only among the living, but also among the dead unless they had desired to immigrate but had been prevented from doing so.

    “In 1926 stake presidents were asked to stop recommending individuals, as the Church presidency now reserved the right to do so to members of the Quorum of the Twelve. Because most members were not personally known to the apostles, recommendations were usually made when members of the hierarchy visited stakes and heard about individuals from stake presidents.

    “In time, [George F.] Richards would become so distraught that the ordinance had fallen into disuse, he wrote the First Presidency and Twelve in 1949 that he could not bring himself ‘to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in
    neglecting such an important and sacred endowment.’ Up to that time, 32,901 second anointings had been performed throughout the Church, but during the last twelve years, Richards pointed out, there had been only eight.

    “The second anointing continues to be performed on a limited basis. In 1966, the First Presidency ‘went over a list of the Brethren of the General Authorities who have not had their second anointings.’ David O. McKay asked Joseph Fielding Smith ‘to officiate at these ordinances in behalf of these Brethren.’ David Buerger interviewed three temple presidents who confirmed that the ordinance is still being performed, although it remains shrouded in secrecy. And as Buerger concluded, ‘the current official policy initiated by Heber J. Grant suggests that Church authorities now feel that the second anointing is not required for exaltation.’”

    (2011-03-22). The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History (Kindle Locations 653-663). Signature Books. Kindle Edition.

  8. John Mason April 27, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I had to hold my breath when Tom talked about his experience with 2nd anointing. Very good interview!

  9. Ken April 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    You mention the following:

    “Over the past few years, we have received reports of several LDS Church members (specifically in Europe) who have lost their LDS faith AFTER receiving their Second Anointing.”

    I’d love to hear stories of the other members too!

  10. maddy April 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Upfront, I haven’t listened to all the segments-just #3 family fallout. I am well aware and acknowledge the problems with church historicity for many years now. I support and validate people’s decision to leave the church over these issues. But, I also support and validate those adults who remain–even those who choose to remain ignorant. I think this is where I may depart from Tom. I feel each individual, my adult children included, must walk their own paths. If they have a desire to know, they have the tools available to them. I don’t burden my adult children with the burdens I’ve carried several years now. For sure, if they came to me I would be honest with them. But I also don’t keep up a “front.” I’ve just living my life as authentically as possible. Some who are well aware of the issues will remain because they still find value, kinship or whatever or a way to live the Gospel through the church, at least for a time.

    I think what might make it difficult for Tom and his associations is the level of passion/anger I hear as he talks about these issues. I am not questioning whether his anger is valid. No doubt it is valid. Just that it might be an impediment in his personal associations.

    All the best Tom. I am very sorry for all you’ve suffered.

    • Clint April 30, 2015 at 1:50 am - Reply

      I find myself to be in a very similar position as you. My “ignorance” is merely my way of balancing my happiness with the happiness of those that I love.

    • Happy to be a Christian November 21, 2020 at 6:17 am - Reply

      Living in ignorance for some is not living a fulfilled life. I grew up in Utah. Baptized at 8. But because my family was not 100% active, we were shunned. When I did go, no one was kind. I was shunned. The Relief Society was having a bazaar. My mother had knitted an Afghan for them to sale. They refused it. My daughter’s friend was invited to a high school dance by a nice Mormon boy. She bought her dress. When the boy’s mother found out the girl was not Mormon, he had to disinvite her. These experiences have left me with the feeling that the LDS church is a cult…based on lies. I attend a traditional Christian church and feel God’s spirit and love. I would never stay in a church for convenience. A true relationship with God based on truth…the living of the 10 commandments brings great joy into my life and my family collectively. My children were never taught to judge others outside their religion. I would put Mother Theresa up against Joseph Smith any day

  11. JC April 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    John, this podcast is one of my top-5 of all time. I think it deserves a spot in the “Best of mormon stories” category. I thought Tom was genuine and honest throughout the interview and was very candid and respectful as to the ordinance itself. It was hearbreaking for me to hear the reaction Elder Holland had to his honest questions and after reading their email exchange I would say that’s when my testimony truly vanished.

    What was eye-opening to me was when he was asked to “recommend” others that should receive the ordinance. Where did divine inspiration go? and ok, I get it… ward callings aren’t inspired but given to those who fit the bill best. But a second anointing??? this took the little wind I had left in me. Thanks for posting John!

  12. Doubting Thomas April 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    ““Second Anointing” is regularly being administered by LDS Church apostles to elite friends, family, and leaders (mostly stake presidents, temple presidents, mission presidents, and LDS general authorities, along with their wives).”

    I love this description John… ELITE et al. That’s what Mormonism has been since it’s inception. That’s how members fell for polygamy. Idolizing MEN and then being invited to participate in X,Y or Z and become elite TOO.

    Take 10 couples who have received their “second anointing” and put them in a room with 10 couples who have not received that “ordinance” and observe… I guarantee you’ll be able to tell within a short period of time who believes they are superior to the rest of the group.

    At the highest levels of leadership Mormonism celebrates the least traits of Jesus Christ. Secrecy. Exclusivity. Idolizing men. Showing preference for seniority. Traits contrary to the teachings of the Savior.

    Big Tom Phillips fan here. Nice job John posting this up. The work done and shared with the listeners of Mormon Stories would never have been complete without the release of this interview on this flagship website.


    • David Macfarlane April 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      I have to wholeheartedly agree, DT. I think this is one of the least analyzed group psychology issues and explanations for why the church is appealing to some. It appealed to me when I was a participant, but only when I step outside the boundaries of the church and really see the connection between all human beings does it become clear that God’s true church cannot possible be so exclusive. God would not be smug, in my opinion.

    • Jonathan Atkinson June 7, 2015 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      Are they any blacks who have received this SA? Have all or any Seen Christ or what?

  13. faye April 27, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story! I left the LDS faith 3 years ago and fortunately my kids were raised to ask questions and find their own answers. My oldest left after attending BYU and majoring in archeology. My other 3 left because they had questions and sought out their own answers. It has certainly not been an easy transition but I cannot believe the freedom that comes from living an authentic life! My heart hurts for my family, all of whom are actively involved in the church, but my voice is silent to them. I know any type of conversation of my beliefs will never be welcome or accepted. As I say, ignorance to reality equals a happy life…right???

  14. J. Reuben Clerk April 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    “Tom, it’s not worth losing your family over.” — so heartbreaking that it came true

  15. Bill Johnson April 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Great to see it’s up on mormonstories for those who didn’t know about this before.

  16. Debbie April 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I found this interview last year on YouTube. It’s absolutley fascinating, so glad you decided to post it on Mormon Stories. I really respect Tom Phillips, integrity causing some people to have to suffer the most extraordinary situations. I thank him for fighting for the truth, I thank him for having the courage to do so, and for exposing this ordinance, among other things. He’s a very brave man.

  17. tlefgren April 27, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure if my last comment posted so I am trying again. If this is a repeat, please delete.

    Thank you so much Tom for posting your story.

    Some thoughts:

    1. It is disturbing how the church uses this false endowment to control its highly ranked members.

    2. On one hand, the wife giving the blessing is certainly a sign that the church DOES believe women have their own divinity and priesthood.

    On the other hand, it is disturbing that the wife gives her husband a blessing and the husband doesn’t bless her. Is she turning over her spiritual gifts to him? I think there is something sexist about this.

    3. I have left the church, but part of me is still tied to the church because of the good people I have met in it. I hope these TBMs and maybe even the church can walk away from lies, fear, black-and-white thinking, and false doctrine into light and love.

  18. Robert Hodge April 27, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    It’s most refreshing to hear clear thinking truths about the fraud of Mormonism from someone who rose so high and whom with a clear conscience can explain why it is a fraud. I am sorry that it has cost him so much, but his actions will benefit thousands and his sacrifice will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

  19. Jay April 27, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply


    What an riveting and amazing story. I have so much admiration for you. Thank you for standing up and speaking the truth, for asking the hard questions and taking a principled stand. You have definitely paid a steep price, but you have helped so many people.

    Integrity. Curiosity. Honesty.

    You are an authentic person. My best wishes to you in all of your pursuits! And Thank You.

    • L.aDean January 4, 2023 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      Why not just respect Tom’s point of view? Tom has great courage. He served well during his time of belief. He stands by his convictions and defends them with great integrity and honesty.
      I say congratulations Tom for the man that you have become, and that is, a man who defends his truth with honesty, courage and passion!

  20. Chuck Borough April 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    When we discover new truths (even if they are things like those discovered by this good man), it is unwise to expect others to learn them right away and be as smart as we. We could make a list of questions to be answered by a believer in Santa Claus (How do reindeer fly?) The loss of our little friend is not worth getting such an answer. All religions are superstitions. Of course they are not “true.” They are not “about” truth, yet they can be very valuable, as we see in the first part of this interview. We can keep these valuable things even after we lose the superstition. At the very least, we can remain comfortable with other people’s keeping these valuable things. The error here is in thinking religion “should” be about truth even after we have learned that it is not about truth. In the middle parts of this interview, we see a man immersed in science. That “is” about truth, but my science friends have never given my family the services that my religion has. They are two different things. Having been in physics for 50 years now, I have many “science” friends, but I also have many “naive” religious friends who have been of great value to me. I have known the Church was not “true” for at least 30 of those years, but I also know there is not “more true” Church to take its place in my life. What makes this difficult is that these religions keep SAYING they are about truth. Whether they are lying or in error, either way, they are incorrect. We (most of us) do not feel guilty about lying about Santa Claus. Most children learn the truth of it at a reasonably young age. (I know a wonderful retarded woman who still believes into her 50’s.) Does this really matter? How good it is is what matters. For science, how true it is is what matters. Use both.

    • Esther April 28, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Please don’t use the “R” word. It’s incredibly offensive. YOU ALSO can’t compare Santa Claus and faith in a religious belief. Those are not good examples.

    • Robert Hodge April 30, 2015 at 7:45 am - Reply

      So you are saying – that being superstitious and delusional creates value? Well it certainly does for those few elites who financially and socially benefit.

      “When one person suffers from delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.” — Robert Pirsig

  21. Jordan Sackley April 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    I am Robert Sackley’s grand-son. I appreciate the kind words said about him. Thank you. That was quite the insight about my grandfather, one that I did not know about! I am even more proud of him now.

  22. CaCoast April 28, 2015 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Just listened to all five parts …wow. Thanks John for this mind-blowing interview. I was not aware of how widespread “second anointings” were among church leadership; now I understand why area authorities, temple presidents, and stake presidents exuded that special twisted smugness. I hope that Tom has moved beyond the church in the intervening three years and has found peace and a new partner. Let us know how he’s doing, if you’re at liberty.

    • Jenna November 6, 2022 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      This is such a sad story. I’m so sorry he lost his family. That is a huge cost. I feel like he should have just stayed a social Mormon. Now he’s going to live his life alone. So sad. Elder Holland’s response was a joke.

  23. Michael Surkan April 28, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    As an ex-Mormon who believes LDS theology is nothing more than fiction, my heart goes out to Tom. I understand how he feels betrayed, and anger for the many years he devoted to the church under false pretenses.

    It saddens me to hear that Tom’s family relationships have suffered as a result of his disbelief.

    That said, I wonder if it is reasonable for Tom to expect that his believing family members would be willing to consider the facts he has discovered about the church with open minds? My experience has been that change has to come from within and that the most logical arguments in the world won’t sway people from existing convictions. If anything, arguing just pushes people further into defending what they believe (regardless of how senseless it may be).

    Sometimes ex-Mormons have to just keep their silence and accept that their dear relatives are going to continue in their faith. As hard as it might be to do, we just have to love our families, even supporting them in the practice of Mormonism, and just hope that a day will come when someone will come and ask serious questions about their religion with a true to desire to learn.

  24. BW April 28, 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Helen Mar Kimball Whitney wrote this from her fathers journal. Here is proof that women not only held the Priesthood, but also practiced it. Sister Elizabeth Ann Whitney received the second anointing from Joseph Smith.

    I [Helen Whitney] find many things mentioned in my father’s [Heber C. Kimball’s] journal which I remember as I read them, and they bring to my mind other incidents which had it not been for his record, would probably have been buried in oblivion. I will copy a few as they were written by his own hand in 1845. He says:
    “On the morning of the 18th of June [1845], I [Heber C. Kimbvall] went to John Taylor’s to read history. President Brigham Young, George A. Smith, John Taylor and myself–Brother Ezra Benson read for us. The same morning Phineas Young and Charles Shumway returned home from their western mission. At four o’clock they came in where the brethren were reading, and we stopped to listen to a letter from Brother Dunham, and they gave to us a history of their travels. They have had some difficulties, but all will work right in the end.”
    Next day he writes, “I and others of the Twelve were sent for by Sister Jennetta Richards (Brother Willard’s wife,) to meet there and pray for her, as she felt that she could not live long. We also prayed for my wife, who is very sick, and offered up prayer for Bishop Whitney, who has gone to St. Louis, that he may be prospered.”
    The same day, he writes, “Brigham Young, George A. Smith, and myself went to the temple to see how things were progressing. The rafters were mostly on, all things going well. Returned home and found Sister Whitney. She anointed my wife and sang in tongues; I also sang and the Lord blessed us. June the 20th [1845], I again met with my brethren to read history–were in that part which describes the persecutions in Jackson County, Missouri. We stopped reading at two o’clock in the afternoon. I found my wife worse–sent for Sister Whitney. We clothed ourselves according to the order of the holy priesthood and anointed and prayed for her. The Lord heard us, for she was better and had a good night’s rest. The Lord shall have the glory. All is quiet in our city.”

  25. MonkeyKing April 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you for posting this podcast. It reminded me of when I read his account of the second anointing many years ago, when he had done so anonymously. I recall some frustration as it is difficult to ascertain the credibility of the factual allegations without knowing the source. I had initially thought about commenting regarding that part as it has be a source of thought for many years as I compare and contrast the examples I have from other sources. But alas I thing I have too little information to add to or diminish his words on that topic.
    I would like to second the words of Chuck’s earlier comment and add my own take on this issue. One of my favorite movies (12 Monkeys) addresses the issue of truth and science and has some superb quotes that summarize some basic misconceptions regarding truth and science. Here is the site:
    I particularly like Goines explaining crazy with the example of Semmelweis (a pioneer in germ theory and committed to insane asylum at age 47) and germs. You believe in germs don’t you?
    Science is a dialog between man and nature. Ilya Prigogine
    Truth, or at least scientific truth is made by men in our effort to understand and interact with the universe around us. I particularly like the work Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (wiki page: ) in there he sets out two principles which Mr. Philips either does not understand or does not accept.
    Coherence: One of the aims of science is to find models that will account for as many observations as possible within a coherent framework.
    Incommensurability: According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigms preceding and succeeding a paradigm shift are so different that their theories are incommensurable — the new paradigm cannot be proven or disproven by the rules of the old paradigm, and vice versa.
    First of all Mr. Phillips asserts that science leads to truth. It does not do that. It leads to understanding of nature and our interactions with it. Truth is something much more elusive. All of the “science” referred to by Mr. Phillips are models which encapsulate the majority of the experiences and observations of the leading scientist in their respective fields. As they, and others, make new observations and have new experiences those models will be adapted or changed to enclose those new observations. If the change is significant enough that is a paradigm shift.
    Science is models, not laws or truth, much the same way words are not the things or the actions themselves. They help us understands and relate to the universe outside of ourselves but are not fundamental truths/things in themselves. Therefore, the correct statement is that those things he brings up are not necessarily ‘false’ but do not fit in the current scientific paradigm. While I would agree that we could generally treat them as incorrect because they have little or no tangible support “science” does not prove that they are false in the absolute way he does. There have been eons of scientists who have operated under different paradigms. They were not “false” because their ideas do not fit in our modern paradigms. He also appeals to authority (i.e. the Smithsonian) which is a logical error. It does not matter what his sources were, it is irrelevant to the truth. If they were mentioned to give reference and proper credit to the sources of his assertions, as I have done above, that is ok but in a few places he seems to assert that the source of information adds veracity to his claims, which it does not.
    Secondly he is trying to apply rules of the current scientific paradigm to disprove the BOM which arguably is not even within any scientific paradigm or is at least written from an understanding of a previous scientific paradigm. For example: Mr. Phillips asserts that Mr. Smith asserted that Lamenites were progenitors of Native Americans which is false according to our current archeological and DNA paradigm, therefore Mr. Smith was false and therefore not a prophet, BOM not “true”… The problem is that Mr. Smith lived at a time where at least one of the scientific paradigms regarding the native people of the America’s (someone with more knowledge of archeological paradigms than I may be able to better define this) was that Native Americans were descendants of Israelites. The Clovis First had not yet been developed let alone abandoned. “I think we are on the edge of a paradigm shift now, we’re past the Clovis-first model. We have robust evidence of people here before Clovis that is in a secure geological context and well-dated. Now we can seriously sit down and develop a new model for the peopling of the Americas.” Michael Waters Texas A&M University in College Station (2011). I do not propose, as the LDS apologist do, that there may be new evidence discovered to support Mr. Smith. Rather I rest on the proposition that according to incommensurability using a current paradigm against the theories of an earlier one does not prove or disprove them.
    I suspect that Mr. Phillips would accuse me, as he did Mr. Holland and other apologists, of not an answering the question but just a side stepping to avoid the question. My response to that is: I cannot answer an invalid question. Any answer I give is false because the premise and structure of the question itself is invalid. I suppose a simplified response is something along the lines of: Look Mr. Phillips, Mr. Smith lived in a time and place where it was a commonly held belief that the people native to America were descendants of Israelites. To fault him for following the commonly held belief at the time is an unfair attack as it would have required him to have knowledge of things which were unknown at the time. Even if he were “translating” if he came across a place, name or concept he had has no experience with he has no choice but to insert something he knows. To which I suspect Mr. Phillips would say “God” could have told him. I personally believe that any “God” must work within certain parameters, one of which is the understanding and experience of those he speaks to. I reject notions that “God” can create anything, even ideas, ex nihilo. If he could create ideas and thoughts ex nihilo he could create us sinless, with a perfect understanding of all things… Therefore, the concepts of modern archeology, anthropology and many other sciences were literally inconceivable to Mr. Smith and therefore “God” had no way to tell him the “truth” any more than he could tell me about the physics at work inside a black hole. I am comfortable in stating that we simply do not yet understand enough about the universe to understand those forces in a meaningful way. Even the greatest minds of our generation struggle with those concepts; but, I also expect that within the next 150 years it will be taught to teenagers and be considered basic science. An extension of this concept is that as we become more enlightened god can use that new knowledge to lead us to a more perfect understanding of the universe. Which we can then use for the perfection and immortality of all of mankind and our own salvation or doggedly cling to our previously lesser understanding and damnation. Or, in the Mormon vernacular line upon line precept upon precept.
    Finally I would give the words of Rene Descartes: “Thus the diversity of our opinions does not arise from the fact that some people are more rational than others, but simply that we conduct out thoughts along different lines and do not consider the same things.” While I would that Mr. Phillips family were willing to ponder and discuss the issues that Mr. Phillips raises and talk with him about it, so that the love and consideration that was once there could return, that does not lead to the conclusion that they are not themselves equally rational or “brain washed.” They choose to ponder and discuss the things which bring themselves happiness and comfort in this life. I would that everyone would do that, so long as it does not also impose harm on others, I think there would be much less strife and fighting in this world. To condemn them or others like them is a violence and hypocritical. Why would you take a beloved possession from someone because you dislike it or find it undesirable? If you wish them to leave the possession behind you must provide an alternative that is discernibly more desirable. That is what L.D.S. missionaries do, they find those with less attractive social or religious notions/options and show them something more desirable. Even if the church continues to embrace some incomplete ideas, to the extent that it does in fact bring people more happiness and joy than they otherwise would have that is a good thing. I think the Givens’ more eloquently stated this concept when talking about those who have doubts about the church but stay having the lament from John 6:68 “…Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
    Mr. Phillips, if you do not have something more desirable then you have nothing to offer and you should return to them and allow them to have their peace. I emphasize more because although there may be other arguably equal paths to happiness the harm that comes from the struggle to change paths is simply not worth it if the outcome is merely equal and you will never convince them to make the journey. Would your grandson be happier in school, if he made more money, if he went to a different church…why are you insisting that your definition of happiness be imposed upon him? Where is you pride and rejoicing that he has embraced a path and is diligently following it? Rather than extolling the virtues of moderns science and your perceptions of truth show them a more perfect way, I know there is one and I suspect you do too, but it is not the one you are pointing them towards.

    If you have not already, read Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (wiki page: )
    Coherence: One of the aims of science is to find models that will account for as many observations as possible within a coherent framework.
    Incommensurability: According to Kuhn, the scientific paradigms preceding and succeeding a paradigm shift are so different that their theories are incommensurable — the new paradigm cannot be proven or disproven by the rules of the old paradigm, and vice versa.

    Since the time of Joseph Smith there have been several paradigm shifts in the various sciences and theology. I would argue that Joseph Smith was part if a very distinct religious paradigm shift, but that is for another time and place. My point is two fold. 1) What we now call science will go through future paradigm shifts. Wether or not and rather or not mormon teachings

    • Robert Hodge April 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      So “truth” is really scientifically unknowable. Your lengthy diatribe reminds me of the oft stated syllogistic fallacy that there are “those whom are ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Those types argue that real truth only comes through Godly inspiration or revelation, like for example, the Adam God revelation.

      Do you believe that there are Germs? If so, how did you learn of that unknowable? By revelation? If not, have you ever taken an antibiotic?

      • MonkeyKing April 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

        I apologize if my previous post sounded as a diatribe to you. I certainly did not want to give that tone. I choose to write as I did in respect for the time and efforts that Mr. Phillips went to in order to do this interview and present his concerns. To disagree with some of his positions with a quip would not have been appropriate nor polite. I do believe in germ theory and avoid the use of antibiotics, unless necessary, because I also believe in evolution. I subscribe to stoicism and existentialism and so choose to take your acknowledgement that I do ascend to the premises that truth is, as a practical matter, unknowable as a compliment of my ability to convey my intended meaning. I could not decipher what point you wanted to make with the phrase you quoted nor which of the syllogistic fallacies you assert it violates. Of course it has been about 20 years since I have more than casually analyzed phrases for logical fallacies.

        I am following up on your post because you grouped me, presumably based on my above posting, with those that assert that some god is the source of “truth.” I thought I had clearly stated I reject the premises that any god can give people thoughts (truth) that they did not already have the basis for which I think also precludes the gods from being the only source of truth. So, to the extent that I may have been unclear unclear I will try and explain myself more briefly and in a different way.

        I suggest that the scientific model method of considering our perceptions of reality is successful in describing reality because it overcomes the fundamental flaw with human perception and understanding which is that all choices are made in the emotional centers of the brain. As a result in choosing one proposition over another we are stating our feelings about it, which may or may not reflect reality. If those same propositions about reality are considered as mere models (analogies) of reality, we do not make them an absolute declaration about reality itself, the brain considers it as a possibility and the conclusions about them are not mandated by our feelings, because no choice has been made. So long as we consider them only as to how well they explain previous experiences and predict future observations they can be easily adopted, modified or abandoned as a function of utility because there is no emotional attachment. The pitfall in it is that they must always be considered as probabilities because as soon as one limits them to being true or false that can only resolved by a choice which are statements of emotion and objectivity is lost.

        I suggest that this principle is also the secret of religion. If I like a proposition about reality and only consider it as true or false I will always believe it to be true no matter how objectively absurd it is. This is the cause and solution for Mr. Phillips’ concerns. The choice to believe something is true or false is always emotional. His family will never change their decision about the church being true or false based on logical premises. Choices are simply not made that way. Employing rationality to make a choice merely delays choice until the rational centers of the brain are too tired to continue and the emotional centers step in and make the choice.
        His family believes the church to be true because it makes them happy and/or the idea of not having the church scares them. The hurt he feels if from the fact that they are more emotionally attached (in a positive way) to the church than they are to him. They likely are similarly dismayed that he is more emotionally attached (in a negative way) towards the church than he is positively emotionally attached to them. The only way for the divide to be bridged is for one of them to give up their emotional attachment towards the church. This need not be a complete change of position but one or the other must decide that the truth or falseness of the church is not important enough to declare it either way. To view it as merely a model of reality, which can be effective for some things and ineffective for others, but ultimately neither true nor false.
        In context of this discussion: Regarding the truth or falseness of the BOM. It could be considered in terms of a historical document and conclude that it does not encompass the observations in that area and is an extremely poor model. However, a model for how to experiencing the Holy (numinous), it might be concluded that based on his family’s experience it is a good model for that purpose. Is it irrational to think of things in this way? That is the question which he will have to decide. I submit it is the best way to consider things. If you replace BOM in the above example with Bohr’s atomic model the result is a model which is inaccurate in describing the actual movement of electrons in an atom but is very predictive of atomic bonds. Is it true or false? Neither because it is a model so I do not need to choose but if I do choose the human mind required me to adopt both (all) of the propositions that it encompasses. If I decide that Bohr’s atomic model is true I maintain the utility for predicting atomic bonds and have an inaccurate concept of electron movement or if I decide it is false I do not have an inaccurate concept of electron movement but loose a useful tool in prediction atomic bonds.

        Call it what you will, it works. Is it more important to feel good about something and be tied to it with all of the consequences or feel noting towards it and be free?

    • James May 1, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Your 10,831 Character, 1,872 word thingy is very difficult to read. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Return and then edit. I’d love to understand what it is you’re trying to say…

      Pardon me if I smell troll. It’s just that everytime I cross a bridge like this I think something is going to try and eat me.

  26. Amy grubbs April 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    I found this podcast a few years ago and appreciate Tom and John for recording it. I am especially grateful to Tom for being so truthful as I cannot imagine how difficult this story was to tell.

    I am listening to it again since it has been released on Mormon Stories. It truly is an amazing story and all non members and members should take the time to listen to it.

  27. Zack April 28, 2015 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks Tom and John! So much bravery here. It’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone in my search for “truth and integrity.” For so long I’ve felt crazy for doubting LDS scripture and church history. I completely empathize with Tom’s search and his struggle to understand. Way to go, guys.

  28. Matty April 28, 2015 at 11:17 pm - Reply


    Good work Tom and John

  29. Gary April 29, 2015 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Dear Tom Phillips,

    So … lemme get this straight. The Brethren are handing out NRTTH’s (Non-Revokable Tickets To Heaven) when not a one of THEM could pass a Lie Detector Test to save their own soul. Go figure.

    Well, Tom, you gotta admit that “finding out” when you did was far better than waking up in the Spirit World after your death and discovering that neither Jesus Christ nor Joseph Smith are anywhere to be found … and that your NRTTH is really a counterfeit ticket to nowhere. Think of all the poor saps who died still believing they had priority boarding on a rocket to Kolob that existed only in the imagination of a very clever scam artist.

    Now that you are a free man, Tom, there are some exciting discoveries awaiting your attention:

    For a non-religious, awe inspiring glimpse into the Spirit Realm, check out “Journey of Souls” by Michael Newton, and then his later books. This relatively recent information pretty much renders religions and prophets obsolete. It also offers detailed perspective on Planet Earth, the origin of souls and the human race like you’ve never seen before. Michael Newton completely demolishes the notion that religions and churches are the only source of “spiritual” information. Read the reviews on amazon for a better preview, then see if your interest gets piqued.

    Cudos to you for your honesty and courage, Tom. You are a member of a very Elite Club … those who received their Second Anointing and later determined it was probably the biggest insult of their life.

    Thank you, thank you … for your gift to a world in need of real gifts.

    • KC July 2, 2021 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Love your lie detector comment. Of course, Mark Hoffman passed his with a very high score. Ha ha. No such luck when we transition. The gig is up.

  30. Crate April 29, 2015 at 3:16 am - Reply


    You are my hero and one bad m f er!
    I sincerely wish that you and I were friends :) please know that your honest and emotional words will always reside within me. Thank you. I hope beyond comprehension that you will gain back members of your family. The odds are in your favor so never give up. Much Love

  31. Cory April 29, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

    I listened to this when it was posted I believe on Tom’s website. There seems to be more here though. Is this a longer version?

  32. Daved6 April 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I listened to this hoping there’d be some explanation for the October Surprise debacle. It seems some explanation ought to be made regarding it. That represents the exact opposite of what Tom wanted to preach in this interview–love and concern. Even though I listened, I was not impressed with the continued bellyaching about his family and the victimhood status he’s cemented himself in.

    Ah well, I’m sure this post won’t make the cut as Open Stories tries to control the narrative and repeat dogma instead of promoting open discussion. But I figured I”d say it anyway. Peace to you.

  33. Kerry April 29, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    This interview really makes the Mormon church look like a joke. Let me get this straight. When Tom had the 2nd anointing he was given his calling election made sure. He’s guaranteed the top spot in the celestial kingdom or rather he will become a God. The only thing that can take that away is Tom denying God of his sure existence(basically have a face to face conversation with Jesus)or murdering someone. From listening to the podcast I didn’t get the impression that Tom meet Jesus so that means he can’t be a son of perdition. If all this Mormon stuff is true then I would think Jeffery Holland would be perplex that Tom didn’t get the chance to meet our Savior. The question Tom should have ask Holland is if he has conversed with Jesus after he had his calling election made sure.

    • Tom Phillips April 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      I did discuss this with a GA and was told to lie by saying ‘The Brethren have asked us not to discuss such sacred matters’. If I answered in that way, it would obviously infer that I had seen him. That is what GAs are instructed to do – to lie.


  34. Kelly April 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Tom, thank you for doing this interview. You are very brave and i really respect your intentions and truthfulness. I hope that your family will open their hearts to you again. I really enjoyed your likening of being a norm to that of staying in the klu klux klan. I’m going to use that analogy, so I now have a way to explain my reasons for never going to church again to my own family. Back when you did this interview in 2012 my then 9 year old son came home from church very sad because his teacher had taught him about the curse of Cain. My son said it sounds wrong and it feels racist. My husband, his father, has dark skin and he’s a non-member. I was so embarrassed of myself because never before had I ever thought twice about this teaching being offensive and degrading. I was so proud of my son for seeing through this falsehood and so surprised and disgusted with myself that I had been blind. I had called my husband “godless” I had accused him of not understanding spirituality, faith, or the importance of a religious community. I had worried at night that my choice to marry a nonmember would lead our children down a path of sorrow, and then suddenly it became clear that I was the one allowing my children to learn dangerous principles and that I had been brain washed. I have since apologized and my sweet husband forgave me and we are so happy now raising our family with no religion. I hope that your family will see your long suffering and see your love for them. It is so freeing to let go of being judgmental.

  35. Wendi April 29, 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! Thank you for asking questions. Thank you for being an advocate for truth. Thank you for having the courage to share. What a blessing in so many ways.

    • Emma April 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      John I am proud of you that you have the courage to share something that will upset a lot of Mormons which I believe is true. I haven’t Listened to this interview but I have read his story online
      Thank you for addressing important issues that have been hidden and come from the foundation of the Church –and Joseph Smith
      This is A very important issue!
      Now that you have nothing to loose you can be totally open about the most disturbing things the church has done
      I hope you will tackle other topics just as you have this one —telling the truth
      You are truly a crusader for truth-there is so much to tell and so many people that need to hear
      Thank you again for your courage

  36. danny April 29, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    thank you for the podcast. in our family, there is a mixture of believers and non-believers and though it has been initially challenging, it is becoming easier. In the ideal world, one we all seek for, our belief system or personal ideology( so long as they do not bring harm to others) should not hinder our relationships, especially with those closest to us. I find it the deepest of ironies that members feel anger over loved ones’ choices to disbelieve. Relgion and ideologies can do this though, this is their nature. ( i said CAN) They consume us, foster within us a sort of absolutism and….fear. Fear that we might not be right, fear of others having also some truth and in Tom’s case, fear on the part of his family that it might bring damnation and separation from the family. Truer forms of religion i think would free us of these fears and bring a sense of the deepest of love to our hearts…not self-righteous indignation like with Brother Holland. Religion truly lived brings love and that is the objective of most religions we find.

  37. The Light April 29, 2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I feel for you, I really do. I understand your desire to maintain your integrity with the truthfulness of the Mormon church, and your desire to explain yourself to your wife and children. It must be so frustrating.
    I can’t imagine how your children must have felt when you told them the church was false. I think you said one of them even fainted. Another one said, “Get out.” The emotional pain they felt must have been excruciating.

    You said you were converted in 1969 when you were married and had one child. That means you never spent your formative years singing primary songs, reading scriptures every night, family prayers, youth dances, EFY, seminary, Sunday school or two years on a mission. All these things your children did before the age of 25 – before their brains were fully developed. Your children have undergone extensive brainwashing… And not to be rude, but at your hands. You, yes you, are responsible for shaping their minds. So when you told them it was all false, you literally blew their minds.

    I’m not diminishing your conversion, but frankly you never underwent the “autosuggestion” and brainwashing your children experienced. That is why it was “easier” for your brain to absorb the truth. I’m not saying it was easy for you to reject Joseph Smith’s rendition of 19th century Christian fan fiction (the BOM), but it made it possible. Your children will need a MUCH longer deprogramming gradient to rewire their brains. Possibly even decades. The cognitive dissonance they are experiencing is paralyzing. Please have compassion for them.

    I suggest you put the missionary tools to work: build on common beliefs. Do not speak in absolutes, like: The church is false.

    You have to realize the church employs a sophisticated hypnosis program on its youth. Before the age of 8 our brainwaves are in the Alpha state or lower (delta below the age of 2, and theta between 2 and 5). That is why children are so teachable. So when they get up and say: “I know the church is true…” in testimony meeting they are giving themselves autosuggestion… Slick!!

    So be patient. Your children have been “hypnotized” into believing Mormonism in a way you were never exposed to.

    And as far as Jeff Holland is concerned. Have compassion on him. He means well, but is blinded by his hubris.

    There is only one thing that matters in this life: how you treat other people. Period.

    Good luck on your journey for truth and happiness. It takes great courage to do the right thing. Stand by your convictions and keep your integrity.

    • Gary April 30, 2015 at 2:41 am - Reply

      Cudos to “The Light” for some unusually insightful and very useful/helpful wisdom for Tom. It is indeed criminal how The Brethren infect defenseless Mormon babies (via complicit parents) with life-destroying, mind control programming … knowing full well the messaging is lies upon lies. I do think you are cutting Jeffrey excessive slack, however. He is an adult and fully responsible for his behavior and for the serial, sum total of the thousands of life choices he has made for himself … and shows no sign of correcting. He is leveraging his position of real power and influence over crippled, compromised minds to harm lots of people and cause massive, unnecessary suffering, including countless suicides. His upcoming karmic reward adventure will eventually get his attention.

    • Fun May 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      I agree the church is pretty good with hypnotic methods. However, mistakes are made from time to time. For example, in the song “Follow the Prophet” it says, “…don’t go astray.” This includes what we call an imbedded command. This command is “…go astray.” So, whether or not you want your children to stay in the church, every parent wants their children to be on the right path. In my opinion, this song is one of the most dangerous songs used in the church today.

  38. Mokiman April 30, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    This “Second Anointing” temple ordinance is intriguing! Many years ago I was approached by an old elderly friend who is now deceased. He wanted to tell me something in secrecy that I had to promise I would never reveal to anyone else throughout my lifetime. I agreed to his request and during our discussions, he revealed a personal knowledge of a secret organization within the LDS hierarchy that he referred to as the “Third Anointing Society” that he claimed was an extremely special temple ordainment offered very few individuals within the church that guaranteed unimaginable exaltation in the kingdom of God and absolution of all sin for any acts of mortal indiscretion these individuals may need to pursue for the discreet preservation of the priesthood, including blood atonement. Through all the years since I agreed to meet with this friend and listen to his story, I’ve always discounted its legitimacy.

    So now . . . . If I may be so bold, I’d like to ask Grandpa Chuck: “If there is indeed a Second Anointing temple ordinance, then what would be the mathematical probability that there may also be a Third Anointing ordinance?” And if so, perhaps Orrin Porter Rockwell may have been one of the first church members to have received this level of exaltation!

  39. Emma May 1, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

    John I would really like someone (podcast) to talk more in depth about the second anointing—the history and what it means –and the practice today. Its so bizarre and presumptious that they think they are perfect and beyond sin–and better than the humble little person unknown by the leaders. Was there ever a second annointing for a single unmarried woman? Also why hasn’t Tom been excommunicated?
    I think it is because of the second anointing

    Also I would like to hear A podcast about the source of the Book of Mormon. Specifically books written around the time of Joseph Smith about very similar stories. It was those stories that I believe gave Joseph Smith many of his ideas and made it clear to me it was a fabrication
    Please continue to give us information about the church that we can know the truth and make our own conclusions–even though I realize it is not true I am still surprised at the horrible lies it has taught and how it has twisted my thinking
    Thank you

  40. Shan May 2, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

    I would love to hear how Tom is doing now, a few years after this podcast is recorded. I listened to it about a year and a half ago and again now. My heart goes out to him and I sincerely hope he is well and even happier!

  41. Janice May 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I heard your story a couple months ago on Mormom Think and enjoyed listening to it again. You have done an articulate job of expressing very abstract spiritual abuse at its deepest level. Thank you. I have also just dowloaded your 4 audio books “The Mormon Dilusion.” Your study and presentation of historical facts with careful footnotes is excellent and your attention to detail without embelishment is appreciated. Whether intentional or not I will also say that your British satire at times has me laughing out loud at the absurdity of what we allow our minds to hang onto as “sacred” and of God. The twists and turns to make the obsure, untrue and outrageous assertions the Church spins fit into some kind of resonance within our minds and beings shows the remarkable complexity of our survival instincts. The divide with your family has got to be painful no matter how it is viewed and for that please accept my sincerest wishes for as much peace in your heart as is possible.

  42. Michael May 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    While working in a temple on a remodel I had an experience that led me to discover the small locked (unlocked and open at the time) room off the sealing room in the temple where they keep whatever items they use for this ordinance (they were locked away in the temple president’s office at the time). This was my first introduction to this ordinance being performed in the temple. Having access to temple blueprints around the world, I found that each and every temple has this small room with cabinets and a sink off of one of the sealing rooms.
    I determined at the time that I wanted to work to make my calling and election sure and receive the second anointing. I started searching on the web to find everything I could about the second comforter, the second anointing, washing of the feet, etc., and that is when I discovered Tom Phillips. This was the beginning of my end in Mormonism, though I didn’t know it at the time. About six months later I lost my faith and belief. As difficult as this has been, I agree wholeheartedly with Tom Phillips in this interview when he says, “I have never been happier!” Thank you so much for this very interesting and informative interview.

  43. Tori May 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Great interview and chemistry between you two! Would love to hear a more recent interview with Tom about the Thomas Monson law suit.

  44. james Calder Marshall May 19, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

    This was a great interview!


  45. Heather May 27, 2015 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Are there other accounts of individuals who have come forward and admitted receiving the second anointing? I’d be very interested to read those and learn more. If they exist, anyone know where I can read about them?

    • Tom Phillips May 28, 2015 at 1:40 am - Reply

      Hi Heather,

      I know of others who have left after receiving the SA, but none to my knowledge have spoken of it, nor even admitted it.

      Maybe it has a strong hold on people. I certainly went through months of nightmares about being a son of perdition.

      Best wishes to you in your journey,

  46. Adrian May 29, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    Do you have a contact email for Tom, I would really like to get in touch.


  47. Marisa June 9, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I finally got through all these podcasts and I just wanted to say thanks so much for your story and your courage. I loved the way you said things and it’s clear you are a person who tries hard and has a good heart. I’m sorry for your struggles and especially with your family. I have a good friend who has recently “lost” his family in the same way and he said it was very hard for him to listen to your story, and thank you for sharing it so that he doesn’t feel so alone. Thank you for sticking up for truth and for paving the way for those who follow! :)

  48. Edy Meredith June 13, 2015 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    I heard about the second anointing ceremony years ago in the 1950’s-60’s before I left the church. I was raised in Orem-Provo area. After I went through the Manti Temple in 1962 for endowments and marriage, I never really bought into the temple ritual. It seemed farcical and ridiculous although I subsequently went with husband through the SLC temple, and Oakland temple. I left in 1970–was shunned by family and friends. I made a new life and have worked very hard raising a child by myself. I have never regretted leaving the church. It is so much easier now with the internet to get information than it was in 1970. Thanks for your posting. See my story on Youtube: Edy Meredith Testimony

  49. Christy Allred April 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Loved this podcast! Thank you Tom and John for taking the time!

  50. Bucky Buckwalter May 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    MSM are ridiculed for being claimers of “truth” yet as I read the comments I see dozens of truth claims. “welcome to the truth Tom”, “you are speaking the truth”, “I’m glad you have found the truth”, “You dont know the truth but I want you to tell me the truth Elder Holland”, “the BOM isn’t true and that is what is true”, “my kids haven’t been told the truth and I just want them to know its untrue”, “I’ve now discovered the truth and can’t believe MSM think they have the truth”, “I’ve felt the spirit a thousand times in my life and what they are feeling is no different than what they feel when they read a book of fiction”, “scientist know whats true and not people who have prayed and felt something they feel is true”. etc, etc, etc. MSM need to stop doing it too and claiming your truth is wrong.
    If your “truth” feeds you and nourishes you and inspires you to do good and love others, than run with that truth. If your truth discovery makes you angry at others truth then………..
    John is always a pro. Was interesting but another case of “I’ve found the truth and can’t believe they think its true”.

  51. Gary May 11, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    A false claim is not truth.

    Correlated Church History is packed with false claims.

    There is a very long list. See for examples.

    You can feel “fed and nourished” by inspiring fiction. Much of the inspiring literature of human history is fiction. A problem arises when you make up a story (fiction) and then attempt with all of your might, mind and strength to convince others your fiction is historical fact. That is what Joseph Smith did.

    Joseph Smith was a liar, a fraud, and a con-artist. He was admittedly very talented at his chosen craft. World-class, to be sure.

    The Church is simply not true. That is a fact. The Church is NOT what it claims … with a straight face … to be.

  52. Lindsay J May 17, 2018 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Like his story and info given, but he seems a rather pretentious bugger.

  53. flug June 26, 2018 at 1:03 am - Reply

    I was just reading a life sketch of my great grandfather and found out that he (and presumably both of his wives) received the 2nd anointing in 1930. That’s pretty interesting to me #1 because I’ve known about the 2nd anointing for many, many years but never realized I had any personal connection to it, #2 Because 1930 is very much a low point in terms of second anointings and very, very few were being administered in that time period, so it is interesting that that one took place during that time period (and #3 Because my great grandparents were old pioneers and had established a large polygamous family in Southern Utah starting in about 1875, but at best was a slightly prominent community member. He was by no means a State President or a Bishop, and certainly not a General Authority. He and his wives were called a missionaries to the St. George Temple at the time of the 2nd anointing.

    My point being, they were probably some of the very last who received the ordinance as–what it seems it was initially conceived as–members who had lived long, ordinary lives of membership and service. Sort of a capstone of a life lived in the Church, that was available to many if not all. Whereas nowadays it seems restricted to a small number of high leadership only.

    Per David John Buerger’s article, the period from 1930-1942 there were as few as eight 2nd anointings–making one that happened during this time period to an “ordinary person” interesting indeed: “At least one of these candidates was not approved until December 1942 when he recorded in his journal, ‘I have anxiously looked forward to this action. The records show that there have been 32,495 such blessings administered in the Church and that during the last 12 years there have been but 8 administrations. Thirteen of the 32 General Authorities have not had theirs and at least two others who have had them with their first wives have later wives not yet anointed to their husbands.'”

    FYI the reporter calls the ceremony the “second endowments” and the date of Spring 1930 could possibly be slightly off–just based on the reported ordination to High Priest by Joseph F. Smith in 1920 in the same document. (Joseph F. Smith died in 1918; the date might be wrong or it might have been Joseph Fielding Smith, who was an apostle in 1920.)

  54. Zombie Monson June 28, 2018 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I realize this is a necro -comments thread, but I cant help myself.
    Apostle Jeffrey-R-floppy-jowls-Holland should have said :
    “Hey Tom, I’m not meant to say this, but I had a conversation with Jesus in the Temple , he said these are trials of faith”

    Why not!? If you’re in the business of deception, than surely anything goes!
    Problem solved and Tom would still be a member, albeit with a more severe bout of cognitive dissonance.
    He would also maintain the love and respect of his family of whom he unfortunately indoctrinated into a cult.

    The wonderful thing with religion is, they are nearly all immune from criticism when they get to a certain size.
    With that in mind, they should get people to culturally identify as being Mormon.
    Identifying as ‘Mormon’ needs to be as viral (or contagious) as adopting a fad diet, or spreading a social media challenge.

    This could be achieved in various ways, but not limited to:
    – dropping anything that is seen as a prohibitive barrier to joining the church;
    -making member’s religious commitments less reliant on ‘works’,
    – announce a plan to colonize a planet or moon in 50 years (it doesnt even have to be real people will do it).
    – make new doctrines based on what popularism, e.g. cannabis is good etc

    You know, Islam never became the force it is, until Mohammed decided to starting robbing caravans, raping, pilliaging and murdering, two decades later!
    Clearly people join religions not just for truth (substantive reasons), but for their idea of fun (functional reasons)!

    That’s all I got for now, I’m serious by the way, dont delete this.

  55. Tom Bennett August 18, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    This was my first listening to Mormon Stories. I was sent here while researching “calling and election made sure.” I came to know of this podcast after appearing on Linsday Hansen Park’s Year Of Polygamy and speaking at Sunstone this summer.

    What an eye opening, amazing account! I appreciate Mr. Phillips willingness to share his experience. I am amazed at his dedication to truth. I find it quite ironic that Joseph Smith said that ” When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure..” this is exactly what Mr. Phillips has done. He has exhibited an unwavering loyalty to truth and for that he has found himself outside the church. Towards the end of this podcast their was an invitation extended to do another to share where this road has taken Mr. Phillips. I would be quite interested in hearing this. I feel that my personal path has many parellels to Mr. Phillips and though I do not beleive in a single truth I have continued to study religion and seek spiritual experiences and have found myself having a philosophy in which I find my spiritual needs being met by nature and life its self. I sum up this philosophy with the statement. “I am constantly in awe of the great mystery which surrounds us.” Again, thank you both, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Dehlin for a most satisfying interview!

  56. Derek Baker August 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I generally find long podcasts too slow and tedious; so I don’t listen to many. So glad I listened to this one. I was enthralled by Mr. Phillips’ thoughtful narrative and appreciative of his careful courtesy. I would love to meet him someday.

  57. Jake Farnsworth November 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Wonderful interview on a very interesting subject. I am an active member who has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ but, who struggle time-to-time with the Church as an organization and the leaders muddying doctrine and personal opinion. I think as members we have been taught to hold these men (the Brethern) in too high of a light. Are they representatives of Christ in this life to guide his church? I believe so. Are they Jesus Christ? Absolutely not. So why are we taught to regard them as such? I think that’s where a lot of Tom’s issues stem from. I’ve learned to decipher as best as possible when a church leader is speaking as a man and when he is speaking as a mouth piece of God. I also believe that there is so much speculation on Tom’s part as to how and what Elder Holland is saying. It is nearly impossible to read someone’s countanence and meaning through text like an e-mail. For me, a lot of what Tom is claiming as “truth” is discredited in my opinion because he is speculating and declaring it as “truth”. I do agree with Tom in the matter that as a Church we need to do a better job at handling ourselves when our love ones have doubt and express that doubt.

  58. Anne November 21, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

    The whole idea of the second anointing is pure rubbish. Nothing about it makes sense from any rational, logically consistent standpoint.
    First and most essentially, there’s this idea that if you sin again after receiving it, you’re dammed. Not only does this mean that this supposedly crowning achievement renders the atonement void, but, more to the point, it exposes the logical fallacy of the whole concept of sin.

    Ask yourself this; have you ever reached a point in your personal development where you recognized some part of your behavior/thought repertoire, as “sinful”, whereas up to then, you’d not recognized it that way? At what point did this “sinful” behavior become a”sin”? Was it always? Or maybe when you grew up enough to recognize its wrongness? Or perhaps was it only sinful for you after that point, so that if you did it again, you would need to repent? Is “sin” only sin, if you understand that it is, and if so, what do we do with the fact that humans develop their awareness gradually, and in a sort of layered fashion? Meaning, I might at some point begin to realize that dishonesty includes more subtle forms of behavior than just deliberately uttering lies, but it might take me many more years and experiences to integrate this dawning cognitive understanding into a deeper, heartfelt aspect of my personality. In the interim, I will need to learn from many experiences with my own honesty and dishonesty. This is the natural process of human development, isn’t it? There’s a gap between the point when we can cognitively grasp the moral/ethical implications of the choices before us, and when we mature emotionally to a point that we can make those choices from a non-reactive, self-aware space. In other words, the space in which agency becomes fully active.

    My question is, where, in the map of this developmental journey do we stick in a pin and declare that here, sin is? It’s like trying to find the place in a rainbow where blue becomes green. Sin, therefore, as far as I can understand it, is a human construct, not an actual “thing”.

    How cruel, though, to tell someone who believes in a deep and significant way that sin is real, ‘go and sin no more’ . Ever. No one can do this. Not without some truly weird rationalizations, to account for the human stuff they’re going to inevitably find themselves doing, thinking, and feeling. It’s a recipe for a psychotic relationship with self, and with reality.

    If the central authorities of the Church have received this second anointing, it would help explain their bizarre relationship with truth and reality! It’s a severe tightening of the logic-pretzel straightjacket they’ve been living in as devout members.

  59. Gary November 21, 2018 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Hi, Anne,

    You are WAY too thoughtful for Mormonism … designed for 8-year-olds … old enough to know right from wrong .

    The Church is a cartoon … and a black and white cartoon at that.

  60. One Opinion November 27, 2018 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I’m just a simple fellow and was directed here by a friend. I don’t get why anyone cares what any religion or member of a religion espouses. None of them “know” anything. Second annointings and elections made sure – it is just a hilarious concept. Have your faith, your hope and your charity but don’t deny me mine with your opinion that is based on even less facts than those you are arguing against.

  61. DAVID GILGEN November 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    All religious beliefs, rituals, practises, scriptures are man-made and created as a social glue for the groupish tribes that ascribe to them. Fairytales for adults. The second-annointing doctrine and practise is yet another invention, albeit extreme and completely unrealistic and inconsistent with Mormon doctrines of salvation. A feel-good ritual reserved for the tribal elites and their wives.

  62. Kirsty Choffin December 2, 2018 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Tom, did you or your wife ever talk to each other about why you never actually saw the Saviour? Did any of the leaders ever comment on that? I know that as general members, we all believe that the tiny select few who have their calling and election made sure will actually see the Saviour.

    Tom, and to the other contributors, especially John, I really appreciate the respectful way you discuss these very distressing subjects. As soon as I am confronted with disrespectful, hateful rhetoric, I have no desire to read more, so this site is so helpful to me.

  63. check this out January 30, 2019 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I am now not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend a while learning much more or figuring
    out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

  64. Montgomery February 26, 2019 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    So the Apostle washes both the husband’s feet and the wife’s feet?
    Then the wife washes the husband’s feet?

    So the husband gets his feet washed twice?

    Am I understanding that correctly?

    “…an apostle washes the feet of the couple in the temple…and then invites the couple to retreat to a room in the temple, wherein the wife washes her husband’s feet…”

    • John Dehlin February 26, 2019 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      That is my understanding as well, Jeremy.

      – John Dehlin

  65. Tom Phillips February 27, 2019 at 3:00 am - Reply

    Yes, my feet were washed twice, once by Elder Ballard and secondly by my wife.

  66. DON DAVIS March 4, 2019 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Dear Tom: And so we find that man’s MOST INTIMATE relationship with God is, (in the end), between Man & God. (Without concern for the Church whatsoever). And therein do we ‘graduate’ to a MORE DIVINE understanding and relationship with DIVINITY!!! Your PERSONAL INTEGRITY is Humbling and obviously subject only to your personal relationship with GOD. Like you, I have been ostricized by my Temple Marriage wife who COULD NOT/WOULD NOT sense the SPIRITUALITY that in fact I was reveling in at the time. Luckily, my 7 children are all now friendly with me and involve me in their family activities. (They do think I’m STRANGE, but by God’s grace they allow me their association.) I left very quietly in 2000 and have been divorced now for 17 yrs.

    My relationship with THE DIVINE is wonderful and comforting. And therein I experience JOY daily and am confident in my ETERNAL PROGRESSION. “All these things shall give thee experience. The SON of MAN hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”

    During my ‘breakout season’, I channeled a very long poem which came from THE DIVINE SOURCE that convinced me of my ability to CONNECT with DIVINE SOURCE. The last stanza says this,

    “…This wondrous, heavenly, glorious plan prepared ‘fore the start of MAN. ‘Tis true ! Now seek it WITHIN YOURSELF……I AM, in YOU,….I AM . AMEN

    From that day since I I knew that GOD ‘s INSPIRATION was accessible to me whenever I sought with a SINCERE HEART. ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD’.

    Your story is my story as well.

    GOD BLESS YOU SIR FOR ‘BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF’. You crossed a major chasm by staying true to yourself. We have both now experienced the TELESTIAL fallout as a result, i.e. loss of family, reputation, etc. I do believe that our descendants will someday call us BLESSED for holding our course with TRUTH & INTEGRITY. (DIVINE SOURCE)

    In Conclusion: IT’S ALL GOOD or even better…..IT’S ALL GOD. Amen. Having just finished listening to your MP3 files on Mormon Stories, THANK YOU for SHARING.

    Love you Brother, Don Davis

  67. Jacob April 16, 2019 at 9:10 am - Reply

    It seems to me that there’s a common theme of active members who take Church promises seriously being the ones who are the most outspoken against the Church when they realize something is wrong.

  68. Sara R September 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    All his concerns are valid. I admire those willing to ask these questions. And I, too, am frustrated that everyone has rationalized away those questions. My husband has been working over the last few years to study the scriptures and see what they actually say, leaving behind preconceptions, and he found we have grossly misinterpreted their meaning. Ironically, while these studies have cemented his/our testimony, it made people uncomfortable, and he was threatened with excommunication if he didn’t remove his blog. Sadly, his conclusions answer so many of these questions that trouble so many. But we chose to remove our names in the name of seeking truth and following revelation. Tom is right to expect that we need to have real, honest discussions about these topics! He may appreciate my husband’s approach to truth-seeking. I know my husband wishes more people would ask the kind of questions Tom is asking.

    Tom may be interested in reading this article on Abraham/papyri:
    Other articles on book of Abraham as well as other topics, scroll down to the list:

  69. Mike January 12, 2020 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I absolutely enjoyed this pod cast. Great job, John and Tom. I am now listening to this cast 1/11/2020. I am a convert from England that has now left the church, living in Orem, Utah. In the middle of church resignation. Served a mission to England, Leeds 97 – 99.
    I know Toms son Alan is in the 3rd Quorum of the 70 and is a area general authority. How is Tom Philips doing in our days? Very curious to find out. Thank you,
    Mike Panton

    • JG January 25, 2020 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Following would also like to know an update on Tom and his relationship with his family.

  70. Angharad Shaw February 21, 2020 at 4:10 am - Reply

    I live in the U.K. a couple of years ago an Osmond attended my ward for several months. During this time he arranged a fireside in our stake with a couple of his brothers. Lots of members and non members attended. There was a question and answer section, speaking and music. During the event one of them spoke about as youngsters being invited into the Temple for a special meeting with the prophet and something sacred happening that they could not talk about. This struck me as odd and stayed with me. Now it all makes sense!

  71. Laird Gil April 5, 2020 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Thank you very much for this insight of this weird ceremony. As a former mormon, I am intrigue in some details of the ceremony and I would like to know if Mr Phillips may answer them because he is the one who has in a position that any of us have. My questions are:3
    1 What is the meaning of the washing of feet?
    2 did Elder Ballard wash Mr and Mrs Phillips’ feet or just Mr Phillips’?.
    3 Are the Phillips wearing the temple clothe?
    4 Is any prayer while Elder Ballard is washing?
    5 Was the anointing on their heads or foreheads or as the initatory anointings, full body?
    6 Was the anointing ordinance performed in a initiatory booth or in a sealing room. How did they manage to use the oil?
    7 When sister Phillips was washing Mr Phillips’s feet, Did she received any instruction about how to say and do it?

    Thank you very much in advance


    • Tom Phillips April 5, 2020 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Laird,

      Thank you for your questions. It has been 18 years since I had the SA but I will answer your questions as best as I remember:-

      1 What is the meaning of the washing of feet?
      That which was done by Mary to Jesus and Jesus did to his disciples.
      2 did Elder Ballard wash Mr and Mrs Phillips’ feet or just Mr Phillips’?
      Just mine..
      3 Are the Phillips wearing the temple clothe?
      Yes we wore our temple robes.
      4 Is any prayer while Elder Ballard is washing?
      No. The prayer was at the beginning of the ordinance.
      5 Was the anointing on their heads or foreheads or as the initatory anointings, full body?
      On the crown of the head.
      6 Was the anointing ordinance performed in a initiatory booth or in a sealing room. How did they manage to use the oil?
      In a room especially designated for this ordinance. Oil was on a table and Elder Ballard anointed the head with it.
      7 When sister Phillips was washing Mr Phillips’s feet, Did she received any instruction about how to say and do it?
      No, only what she had seen previously. The blessing she gave me was to be “as directed by the Spirit”.

      Hope this answers your questions.
      All the best,

      • Laird Gil April 6, 2020 at 12:01 am - Reply

        Many, many thanks.
        A couple of questions more.
        1 If the anointing is to ordain you king and priest, what is the porpouse of the whashing of feet?
        2 when you said that the ordinance was in a room specially desingnated, was it a sealing room or was just a room to be only used for second anointings? If it is the second option can you remember the diference between that room and a sealing room? What is different in it?

        Many thanks

        Laird Gil

  72. Colby March 5, 2021 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I am guessing I probably won’t get a response from Tom on this but I have a few questions…..all of which have no hidden agenda but I am currently learning about the deep Mormon history and my wife and I are considering leaving the church with our 4 children.

    I appreciate your work and have listened to this with great interest so far. My question stems around the 1. Continued spiritual and present spiritual experiences that Tom mentions and 2. The words he states about the men of the twin towers being led by the spirit of the Koran.

    When he states that he had and is having spiritual experiences daily was his purpose to be sarcastic here or is he still having spiritual experiences.? If so, how do these differ for him? I have no doubt that spiritual experience of the gift of the spirit is NOT exclusive to Mormonism. So, how is Tom interpreting these experiences? Are they not just emotions as well? Emotions are part of our life experience and therefore will be emoted in spiritual experiences. What qualifies one experience from another? The Koran, or Harry Potter can also speak truth correct? I mean is this not truth? Truth not being the detailed facts of the book or the fact that magic doesn’t exist. What is the base of the experience? Tom states the book changed his life and it was fiction. Therefore, there is truth from a source outside himself that effected true change.

    For some, like those that interpreted the Koran to mean “kill westerners and go to heaven with 1,000 virgins or what have you” then to them is this not truth? How then can we say our truth trumps their truth? On a human, ethical, moral standpoint killing thousands is wrong and yet it happens at the hands of God under a veil of “righteous killing” in the Old Testament often.

    Scientific truth can be hashed out by the scientific method and yet we know that science has limits, which may or may not be remedied in the future. Indeed it may one day define God or the eternal energy or the unknown someday. Yet, do we not have experiences here on earth Mormon or not that cannot be totally explained by this? Essentially what I am saying is, how does Tom explain his spiritual experiences being truth now, as to them and his truths and experiences now as opposed to those of Muslims etc? Truth is what I seek here. I simply want to know how Tom defines truth. Is truth subjective? Both cannot be true! The church defines truth very fluidly I think. Whereas my definition of truth is more rigid, as I think is Tom’s. Can someone help me explain this conundrum between what one person experiences as a true spiritual experiences vs what someone else with totally different beliefs experiences the same “source” of truth. Is it a loss of interpretation or mistake of in translation whereas?

    Interpretation…..that’s a crux which is difficult for me. Seemingly God works in straight paths and this truth should not be up for interpretation. Please help!

    • GaryC July 1, 2021 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Hi Colby!

      Please check out my reply to Dan’s reply to your post about Tom Phillips … in case you did not get a notification.

      There’s a deeper conversation re Truth vs Everything Else waiting to materialize …

      Thanks much!


  73. Dan Bulkley June 30, 2021 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I know The Book of Mormon is an inspired book that bares witness of Jesus Christ. I believe your questions can be answered, but I acknowledge these answers will probably not come from church authorities, because I have tried as well. I’ve met the last four Presidents of the LDS Church and 12 of the apostles and they are all good men trying to do what they believe is right. However, they are human and make mistakes so I completely understand your experience.

    If you really want answers to your questions, please feel welcome to contact me. I use to manage the Family History department’s IT team and the website infrastructure so I know what it is like working for the LDS Church.
    Sincerely, Dan Bulkley

    • GaryC July 1, 2021 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Hi Dan & Colby!

      Thanks, Dan, for refreshing Colby’s March 5th post with your reply.

      You both should watch this excellent 2014 video (14 minutes) providing us with some thoughtful and compelling perspective on revelation vs feelings vs truth detection.

      My perspective on Truth has mellowed during my spiritual re-education following my departure from active membership 41 years agp at age 30. I will write more later about my view of Truth vs Personal Experience and which is ultimately more relevant to our spiritual maturation. In the meantime, check out this video.

    • Tom Phillips July 14, 2021 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Hi Dan,

      I would be interested in your answers to my questions. You can reply direct to me at


  74. Christina Roberts July 11, 2021 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I’m just now listening to this story for the first time. I understand the need for an explanation. It’s fascinating to me how even my non active family members refuse to discuss my truth issues of the church. I my heart goes out to Tom and his family. I hope continues to keeps those lines of communication open.

  75. Tom Phillips July 14, 2021 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Hi Colby,

    My definition of Truth is something that is in accordance with fact or reality.

    It is not true that there was no death on this planet more than 6k years ago as stated in the BoM and D&C. There are many statements in the BoM that are not true. So are there in the bible.

    When I referenced my spiritual experiences, I did not contend that they must be true. They are meaningful to me but are subjective and not necessarily true. An example of something that is true is electricity which we cannot see but we know the effects. For example, if we throw a light switch a light will come on every time unless something is wrong. A fuse may be blown, a wire disconnected or a power failure etc.

    So when the BoM says no death before Adam (6k years ago) how does that relate to the abundance of evidence we have of human deaths over 3 million years and animal deaths over billions of years. We can apply this test to thousands of verses in the BoM (and other scriptures) that prove them to be false.

    Does that explain Truth and my spiritual experiences?


  76. GaryC July 14, 2021 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Tom!

    Thank you for commenting on Facts/Truth vs subjective “Spiritual” experiences.

    If you have not seen this excellent video, please invest 14 minutes for some self-evident perspective on Mormon testimonies and Moroni 10:4-5.

    Thanks for your genuinely nontrivial contributions to authentic light aka non-darkness!

  77. Kristian Murphy July 15, 2021 at 1:52 am - Reply

    I would be very interested in Elder Holland’s explanation of two things…..

    First, what “answers” did he come up with when he was 25, when he reviewed these issues/questions???

    Second, since in his words the Book of Mormon has come “light years” past these challenging questions, that means there are answers, were answers in the past, that he is aware of.

    Why would he not share ANY of those answers to these basic, honest, grounded in fact questions?

    “The Glory of God is Intelligence”…. Obviously the search for facts, truths, knowledge is endorsed by God.

  78. ROBERT A ROSSKOPF August 11, 2021 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    The Book of Mormon, in order to be true, must allow its authors to express their beliefs, whether or not those beliefs are accurate. It is unreasonable to expect that all prophets will have the same knowledge as one another, and never be mistaken about anything.

  79. Debbie March 2, 2022 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Have faith in the fact that your children may come around some day. In 1985 after my second year at BYU my parents informed me that they were separated which led to a divorce. This divorce happened because my dad began researching the history of the church. He dropped out of the church while holding a position in the Stake Presidency. Since I no longer lived at home and have never lived anywhere near my father, I never broached the subject about his departure from the church whenever I saw him. He never brought it up either. It has been an unspoken issue avoided at all times.
    My siblings left the church in high school or while attending BYU. I was the only hold out. My mother has stayed strong in the church and is hurt at seeing her family fall apart (as in departing from the church). I have been inactive since shortly after my marriage when my husband decided church was not for him. I have lived in locations where I either could not attend church or lived much to far from a ward but I have lived places where I could walk to church or it was a short car ride away. Whatever the circumstances I physically fell away from the church but always believed in it and had strong feelings for the teachings I grew up with. Although I have had many nagging questions over the years, I never thought to research my questions. Isn’t that crazy? I do a massive amount of research before taking a trip or buying a car. Yet it never even crossed my mind to research any aspect of the church? I can only attribute that to everything I learned in my formative years, that you don’t question things about church too much or you could be led astray.
    What I find so crazy is that I lived in Utah for 9 years and never heard of Mormon Stories. I’ve been in Germany for 3.5 years now and somehow Mormon Stories came up in my Facebook feed a month ago and I watched it and many series of it. Since then I have read the CES letter and other resources. All my questions have been answered as well as answers I didn’t even know I was looking for. So now it is 2022 and I have mentally cut all ties with the church. I called my dad and for the first time asked him why he left the church. We had one of the best talks we’ve ever had. Why did it take so long for me to ask him about this subject? I wish I had done it years earlier. Not because I would have cut ties with the church before but because I would have understood my father more and it may have opened up lines of communication that have been missing my entire life.
    Now I have to break the news to my mom and my daughter who is very active in church.

  80. GARY CLARK March 3, 2022 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie !

    So compassionate of you to take time to send Tom Phillips your message of hope. I am sure he will appreciate it.

    Speaking of messages of hope, I want to tell you about the book I just finished reading. The author is Garnet Schulhauser, a former corporate attorney from Calgary, Alberta, Canada … now living near Victoria, BC. He has written five amazing books. I read his first four books years ago. His fifth book was recently published … title is “Dancing with Angels in Heaven: Tidings of Hope from the Spirit Realm.”

    It would take me too long to type an introduction, so I suggest you look the book up on Amazon and read the synposis. Check his other books as well … all 5-star reviews. You can also check his website

    If you are able to suspend your disbelief long enough to allow for the possibility that the Spirit Realm does exist, and some humans have traversed the veil and visited our True Home … the place where we all exist as spirit beings … there is an amazing cornucopia of information awaiting your discovery, Debbie.

    It is sad that many exMormons throw all the babies out with the bathwater … once they discover The Brethren have lied to them their whole life. Well, what if some aspects of “the Gospel” are not total BS? The tricky part is discerning what to keep and what to throw out.

    Garnet was chosen by entities in the Spirit Realm to receive several guided tours of our non-physical reality … hosted by his Spirit Guide named Albert … starting back around 2008. After each astral travel tour, Garnet wrote down what he saw, heard and experienced while out-of-body.

    His stories are beyond fascinating, Debbie. Once you read his accounts, the pretend prophets running the Mormon Church could not be MORE useless and ridiculous. As chronicled in his most recent book, Garnet met and conversed with Jesus Christ and Moses. Jesus described in detail who he is, whether or not he is the Son of God, whether his was a virgin birth, how he performed his miracles, and what he thinks about the Christian churches established after his incarnation. (I am intentionally not spoiling the suspense for you … ;-)

    If you read his fifth book, you will likely waste no time reading his other four books. They are all unique and very much worth your time. You will discover what the real Plan of Eternal Progression is all about … and gift yourself with a whole new and breathtaking perspective on our Human Condition and what is the purpose of life on Earth.

    All that’s required is that you take a leap of faith and suspend your disbelief long enough to let some new information into your awareness … then decide what to do with it.

    What if this turns out to be the most valuable and relevant treasure trove of insight you have ever experienced, Debbie?

  81. Tom Phillips March 8, 2022 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am very pleased about your relationship with your Dad. It is a shame about all those years of not talking about the elephant in the room.

    Anyway, you now have the future to communicate on an even closer level.

    Best wishes,
    Tom Phillips

  82. L August 31, 2022 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I feel full of admiration for Tom for his courage and integrity. I totally get it all. The great thing about this interview is how validated I feel because it’s so relatable to my own experience and feelings. I too was the first person in my family to join the church and the only one to leave.. i have experience the same treatment.

  83. Andrewl February 10, 2023 at 9:25 am - Reply

    “We don’t even go after the lost sheep”
    When I decided to walk out of the church 5ish years ago, the only attempts to get me back was a single text from the bishop. None of my “friends” showed up, no home teachers, nothing. It was sort of disheartening at the time because I may have gone back if they had acted like I mattered. Now, I can’t imagine going back after things I’ve learned.

  84. Martha April 24, 2023 at 6:18 am - Reply

    A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

  85. Suzette Walsh May 12, 2023 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Dear Tom,
    Thank you for this truly eye opening podcast. I find your truth and sincerity truly inspirational in terms of truly opening our eyes in true religious doctrine. If we blindly follow people that claim they “know” the real truth or some secret beyond heaven without a guideline that’s based of FACT NOT FICTION is imperative. I follow Christ from the KJV of the Bible. These scriptural writings are based on FACT but if we do choose to follow absolutes. My God we must read the scriptures and know what doctrine is truth. The Bible tells us that. I would love to hear your views on the Holy Bible you would have made a fascinating theologian or minister. Your heart desires to seek after that truth and I know that if you seek that you will find it in Christ. With the current Valow/Daybell trial its clear how harmful the book of Mormon is. It’s an open door for all to make up their own doctrines not based on any FACT or truth but a man made version of a religion that is truly based in the evil heart of man. The Lord says never to trust the heart it is deceitful above a things and that we must trust the WORD OF GOD. That’s an amazing statement but follow the fruit of the men who truly do that. May God richly bless you in your life. I know he has a plan for you and that he plucked you out of a religion of lies and evil to set you on solid ground and bring you close to Him to truly set you free. The truth has set you free my friend. I look forward to hear of greater things from you. You have already set in motion by tellig this truth a way for many others to find truth and freedom in Christ. Be well and take care. Blessings

  86. Suzette Walsh May 12, 2023 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Please let me know if you have a website or written any further materials. I am try interested in reading more
    Thank you so much !

  87. Nancy Garreaud June 3, 2023 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Very interesting. I guess my problem with most LDS folks including most of my family is how they could believe the Joseph Smith story in the first place. I mean really – even at the age of 9 when the missionaries converted most of my family I could not believe they bought the story of the golden plates and angels appearing to Joseph etc. Not logical! It’s magical thinking.

  88. Nancy Garreaud June 3, 2023 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Regarding Jeffrey Holland’s response (episode 4) – I don’t think it was sweet and moving at all as John D describes it. I thought it was demeaning and sarcastic.

  89. Naomi Botha October 25, 2023 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Hey Tom, my heart just bleeds for you for what your family is doing to you. I know how you feel because my family did the same to me, they just wouldn’t listen to anything I have to say about the church.

  90. Bill Ramsey December 7, 2023 at 5:45 am - Reply

    tom life is very funny and it’s amazing that folks are still commenting on your time at mormon stories. i’m a multi generational born in the covenant human being . i had a wonderful mother and father. went to england on a mission in 84-85 trained 5 new missionarys and sever under the right honerable v j neilson i loved my time in england and participated in the baptisms of many people in leicester birmingham north wales and birkenhead . i returned 20 years later with my family and we baptized my youngest son in a pond in handsworth . i have an amazing family they are all happily married and they all live with their children very close to me in a small town in idaho . i too am very bothered by the idea that secrets and special treatment and untruthful representation at any level in a true church are life changing and earth shattering when discovered. many people in this commenting session have expressed condolences for your loss of family, i too am very sorry for the difficulties you have gone through, but that is what the lds church asks of most of its newest members and has since its inception. i try to go to church for the sake of my family but it gets harder and harder every week . in all reality i miss the ignorant bliss i lived in for so many years . but truth is freedom it is the very essence of getting to the end of a dead end path , and reflecting on all the great vistas and views along the way and being thankful for a journey that was fulfilling and good for the most part. Pasquells wager comes to mind in this instance.8 years have passed and still there are people like myself who consider your interviews with john to be the the straws that broke their shelves . but to me your sealing power is still very much in tact all of the things promised are sealed in their eyes and that brings me to tim ballard and quite a few others who probably had this placed upon them. it went to their head and now look where they are. i’ve mentioned names here and i probably shouldn’t have . i just wanted to say thanks. my life is very much centered on mormonism, but i’m enjoying the implosion from afar as i watch the scramble and building of these magnificent structures all the while the last two generations of l d s children sink deeper into the blood and sins of the previous generations. thank you again . Godspeed my friend. i hope you bask in the sunlight of truth from this moment forward

  91. T.F. December 22, 2023 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Abandoning one false belief system for another is a danger many fall into. There are many facts which evidence the Church is not entirely accurate or even may be entirely fraudulent. Perhaps one could say the early church leaders meant well. But following a lying organization who pretends to be given revelation from GOD for you is warned against even by the “holy books”. We still know the Church has indirectly admitted to the fraud of early Church Leaders by altering their doctrines when things like the Book of Abraham were exposed as fraudulent. So the Church admits to fraud.

    But the danger here is in basing your rejection of the Church upon things that are equally as fraudulent or not unquestionable fact. Much of science is legitimate and sincere attempts to answer questions of the natural world. But there are many things which science gets wrong, or which they think they got right, but their understanding is not perfect. Science is, after all, the attempt to find more perfect answers. When a better explanation is discovered, the older, less perfect explanation must give way to a better understanding. The sad fact is, much of science has imperfect, yet sincere, attempts to explain reality, but there is also much of science that is driven by greedy and arrogant people who want to justify a grant or get the recognition and status of having accomplished something in their fruitless field of study.

    When we get to science’ study of things very old, there is all manner of issues with trusting that information as unquestionable fact. Carbon dating has NEVER been proven accurate. How could it? Carbon dating was invented in 1940’s, and nobody can go back into time to prove that the test has accurately discerned the actual age of anything which has been tested with the process. Therefore, Carbon Dating is not factual and cannot be.

    Likewise, there are many, many other aspects of science that equally assume factuality but which haven’t been proven by the scientific method to be accurate. Things like Dinosaurs, evolutionary humans, black holes, the nature of the middle of the earth, etc. etc. etc. all cannot be proven. You cannot prove the Big Bang. Dark matter and black holes cannot be seen or felt, even by their very natures, science tells us. And the truth is that science, in many of these regards, acts as a religion, a belief in things not seen, but which we are beholden to the prophets and priests (scientists) of that religion to give us the doctrines and mysteries thereof. We believe on their word alone, and sometimes manufactured evidence.

    I could go on and on with points more specific and effectual, but the principle is made manifest. Rejecting one’s faith, based on what a questionable science religion tells you is true, is folly from the get-go. And one who questions their Church and faith based on scientific answer must first decide whether those answers are as, or more, competent as those his religion provides. And whether the scientists giving them are as, or more, trustworthy as his Church’s leaders. Do you know the scientist is right? Or do you just trust his word, perhaps because science is sold as being just accepted truth?

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I am by no means suggesting that one fall back onto a false faith or religion just because they don’t have another false belief system to fill the void left by the one abandoned. But how does science, or anyone, find real answers? If you think this a trick question, it’s not. The answer is that one must first look. One must first acknowledge they don’t know. As long as you choose to just accept a religion as real and fact and brush away concerns and questions in the belief Church knows better, you will never look for anything else. You’ve been given the “truth”, and you’re discouraged from questioning or looking for answers. At best, they give you only things to assuage you into blind faith, but they never give answers that bear meaningful fruit. That is religion, but science often follows the same methods of manipulation.

    So the first step to finding truth is to admit you don’t have sufficient answers and ask questions; not to accept provided pre-packaged answers you will never know are true for yourself. If the church is true, it can withstand scrutiny. If faith is true, it can withstand testing. After all, that is the very reason we are given for our presence here, for our memories being taken and this struggle to understand the meanings of life. They say: we are here to be tested, our faith tested. The Bible and BOM are both examples of this. If asking questions destroys faith, then that faith is false and deserves to be destroyed. And you will never find a true faith until you reject that false one and the blind following of other such falsities.

    The same scrutiny that destroys the legitimacy of Mormonism and the Book Of Mormon also destroys Christianity and the Bible. Read the Old Testament, and instead of the usual looking for only the good that you have been conditioned to do, read it for what it is. A god that murders, that tortures, that lies. And the New Testament… If I were to chop up some hamburger and fill a glass with blood and ask you to eat it, and told you to pretend it is an innocent child and that this act is holy, you would call me a devil worshiper. But place you in Church on Sunday, and give you the (supposed) literal flesh and blood of Christ and ask you to eat the tortured, dismembered sacrificed God, suddenly you just go through the motion, never realizing the act is a satanic one on every level, in every way.

    There will never be a day, in this life or any other, in which you wake up, stretch and say unto yourself: At last! I know everything. There is nothing more I can learn. I am complete, and now I can fade away into non-existence, for I have accomplished all. There is nothing left. Let me cease.

    Your eternal progression is ONLY possible AS you admit you still don’t have all the answers AND accept a position of ignorance and be fine with it, knowing THAT position is the only way to OBTAIN.

    We’ve been conditioned to feel we need a faith foundation in provided answers. Many feel naked, scared and lost without it. This is because they don’t want to seek, to learn. They are lazy. And the social connections we make are based in these false foundations. So losing it also usually means losing our families. This is all by design, to control men. There are veils over the earth and men’s minds, and they are multi-layered, so that when one begins to peer through one layer, there are many more layers of deception behind them.

    Accepting a position of not having answers is the beginning of your journey. For those brave enough to walk it, welcome to your life! You have finally awaken out of the death of ignorance and blind faith. Welcome to truth, which is a course you shall never be derailed from, except you choose it by going back to whore yourself to the confines of false faith systems that give false answers to keep you blind, keep you damned, never to progress.

    It’s uncomfortable for the bird to leave the nest, what will happen? is the world safe? But your soul MUST take that leap, step out of comfortable ignorance, and take flight upon the faith that in not knowing, you will begin to find. You stop being bound by a system to keep you ignorant while believing you have all the answers, and come to the life of acknowledging your ignorance so you can begin to search and receive answers.

  92. Robert Forsyth February 25, 2024 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    John,where is Tom today? Is Alan T. Phillips the new 70 his son? If so have you looked into this and what Tom is thinking now? He mentioned his son was pro Gay marriage…. if so this should be pursued. Also, I have found myself 8 years out from a faith crisis… still half faking it but 2 of my children have had names removed…. I have had 2 experiences that I can’t get out of my mind both are physical miracles that happened with one other witness at each one with me. Otherwise I’d be fully gone. One of these has no explanation… anyway I’d like to share it with you via email or other sometime. 65 years old here lifetime menber….

    • Gary Clark February 26, 2024 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      Robert, please dissuade yourself of the notion that if you witness what appears to be a bonafide miracle … that it is somehow evidence that the Mormon Church is not a colossal fraud. Seeming “miracles” happen to non-Mormons every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Read “Dying To Be Me” for one example.

      T.F., As you have correctly observed, relying on the Bible (Old and New Testaments) as authoritative source material to discover historical fact about anything is a fool’s errand. What if Jesus really existed and taught radical truths to his followers? What if those truths were intended to empower humans with a glimpse of our birthright potential as creations of the Creator of all that exists? What if the powers-that-were did not want their slave subjects to learn anything about being powerful? What if the stupidities of mainstream Christianity were intentionally concocted and inserted into the scripture edits to neutralize and replace any delusions of power with delusions of unworthiness and wretch-like-me sinners destined for hell without being rescued by a Savior – sponsored of course by the High Priests of Christianity (and Mormonism)? To totally reboot your concept of Jesus, temporarily suspend your disbelief and check out “Jesus: My Autobiography” on Amazon. Read some of the reviews, then read the book. Also check out When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Your only question at this juncture? Am I ready?

  93. Tressa February 28, 2024 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you Tom for sharing your story.

    I just listened to all of this. I found it incredibly insightful, informative, and found similar threads to my departure from the chronic after being born in the covenant, serving and LDS mission, and marrying in the temple.


  94. LISA May 1, 2024 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you Tom for your integrity. You have given me courage to hold on to my own integrity.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.