Tal Bachman Leaves Mormon Church

As Jeremy reported (as did Mark and William), world-renowned musician Tal Bachman left the church. Apparently, it has taken the former Sunday School teacher two years to come to this decision. Technically, he still is a member because he has yet to formally request name removal through a letter to his bishop.

Nevertheless, one thing in the article really caught my attention.

>I came to understand that, much to my shock, many of the foundational claims of the church were not based in reality. I struggled so much with that, and kept trying to un-know what I kept uncovering, that at the end of two years I felt so burdened and so confused and puzzled. I kept going to these church defenders that I’d always trusted and trying to find out what the explanations were for what appeared to be smoking guns. And there weren’t any.

Why is it historical accuracy is such a big issue for so many people who left the Church? Why do they put so much weight in the accuracy of events happening exactly as described?

These same people, for example, often have no problem accepting that the creation of the world did not happen in six 24-hour periods. However, when they’re faced with the fact that Joseph Smith allegedly wrote a couple dozen versions of the First Vision, all of a sudden it’s too much and the whole Church is a sham.

Sigh.

In all honesty, who cares? Who cares if the First Vision was with God and Jesus Christ or if it was three angels? The point is that the heavens that were closed for millennia were now open. The point is that the Lord opened the way for a church run by revelation. Who cares if the world was created in six days, six thousand years, or 4.5 billion years? The point is that it was created.

Some naysayers may read this post and say, “Who are you to question his decision? Who are you to be an expert on questioning doctrines when you’ve lived the sheltered life of Mormonism?” To such things, I respond by saying that my life has been far from sheltered. I have had my share of worldly indulgences. I have had my share of questions.

In fact, I came to the point where my faith was seriously shaken as well. You want to know the difference between my experience and others like Tal’s? When my faith wavered, it wasn’t because I read that Joseph Smith was a boozer or that Brigham Young was racist. It wasn’t because I found what appeared to be inconsistencies between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. It wasn’t because my bishop couldn’t answer my questions.

It was because I doubted God’s existence.

That’s right. It wasn’t my faith in a single book. It wasn’t faith in the character of a prophet. It wasn’t faith in the sociability of my home teachers. It was faith in God.

The point is when you question your faith, think about what you’re questioning. If you are offended by someone and decide to never come back to church, think about where your faith must lie. If you come across some abhorrent thing Joseph Smith did and decide to leave the Church, think about where your faith lies.

Think about where your faith lies.

It was a very hard and depressing experience I went through. However, I am very grateful for it. The experience has really solidified my faith and I have become stronger as a result. Because of this, odd events and doctrines that would normally offend or shake someone’s faith no longer phase me. I am now able to question things freely.

Think about where your faith lies.

187 thoughts on “Tal Bachman Leaves Mormon Church”

  1. Until I’ve walked a mile in Steve Benson’s Inbox, I’m unprepared to determine absolutely whether his vitriol is justified.

    I think it’s completely understandable that a person who went through what Mr. Benson went through during that particular transition in his life, would be upset. Given his family associations, I can imagine that things gall him that would not bother the average post-mormon.

  2. Family associations make no difference, I can tell you from experience (knowing people who have a worse response whether they have family with ‘high connections’ or not. It’s the individual rather than the circumstances that indicate the type of response).

  3. Oh, I’m not saying it was the ‘high connections’ that shaped his response. I think it’s just more likely for someone with a notable member family to have a bad time transitioning out of Mormondom. Whereas there would be less embarrassment, or external pressures on the family to keep their son/daughter attending church from a less notable LDS family.

    Sure, the personal makeup of the individual is going to flavour their reactions more than any of what I’d been discussing on a case by case basis; I was attempting to paint with a broad stroke and say i could see why it *may* be more difficult if you had a distinguished lineage in the church or were a member of a high profile family.

  4. Sunday, July 20, 2008
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: A Converts Testimony
    To begin, I do not speak for the Church as a whole, but I speak as one member who can strongly testify of the truths thatI have come to know with my whole heart.

    I never knew true happiness until I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have been a proud member of the church for almost nine years now. It was once said by President Gordon B. Hinckley that “the church is the great teacher and builder of values. Its precepts are designed to lead men and women along the way of immortality and eternal life, to make their lives more complete, more rich and happy while moving through this vale of tears, and in preparing them for the beauties and wonders of that which lies ahead.”

    I have learned much by being a member of the church which has made my life as President Hinckley has said more complete, more rich, and happy which will prepare me for the beauties and wonders of that which lies ahead. However, for now, I would like to focus on what I know to be true.

    First and foremost, I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. How do I know this? I sincerely prayed and asked my loving Heavenly Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, He made it known unto me. The feelings of peace, happiness, and joy that overcame me as I read this great book was Heavenly Father’s way of letting me know by the power of the Holy Ghost that not only was the Book of Mormon a true book but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was and is a true church and that the prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ .

    Secondly, I know that our living prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson. I know that families can be together forever. I know that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the world . I know that He rose in three days. I know that He restored His one and only true church through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that after searching for God’s true church, I found it, and no power under heaven can make me let it go.

    Furthermore, the Holy Spirit has testified of all of these things to me personally as I sincerely asked my Heavenly Father. I shout from the very depths of my soul to the four corners of the world that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church on the face of the earth!

    Lastly, I hope that you can feel the strength of my unwavering testimony. If anyone would like to know as I do, I challenge you to sincerely ask Heavenly Father. If you are truly sincere with real intent to act upon the knowledge that you will receive, I testify to you that you will get an answer. I say these things in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

    1. To anglia; Please read my post above.

      When you said “First and foremost, I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book. How do I know this? I sincerely prayed and asked my loving Heavenly Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, He made it known unto me. The feelings of peace, happiness, and joy that overcame me as I read this great book was Heavenly Father’s way of letting me know by the power of the Holy Ghost that not only was the Book of Mormon a true book but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was and is a true church and that the prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. By the power of the Holy Ghost, I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ .

      Secondly, I know that our living prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson. I know that families can be together forever. I know that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the world . I know that He rose in three days. I know that He restored His one and only true church through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that after searching for God’s true church, I found it, and no power under heaven can make me let it go.

      Furthermore, the Holy Spirit has testified of all of these things to me personally as I sincerely asked my Heavenly Father. I shout from the very depths of my soul to the four corners of the world that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church on the face of the earth!”

      Let me say with millions of others. I prayed about the book of Mormon and was told by the same holy spirit that is was false, and that JS claims about it are false.
      Like millions of others I was searching for a true church and found a different one, Not lLDS!
      Unless we use our God given intelligence, our emotions can easily lead us astray in the guise of many other psychological and emotional distractions.
      Things are not always as they appear to be.
      From my studies of this matter, I doubt if LDS has
      ever had a real “living prophet.”

  5. So, what exactly is the point of a blog if not to allow people to express their views and feelings?

  6. Ltbugaf,

    There’s nothing wrong with people sharing their view and feelings. We just like it if they have something to do with the topic of the post where they commented.

    Anglia’s testimony is fine, but in a thread about testimonies perhaps. It’s anachronistic in a thread discussing Tal Bachman’s departure from the church. Unless she was try to win Tal back with her testimony, which she didn’t make clear.

  7. Interesting discussion. I can understand Tal’s faith journey as I have also had questions about my own Anglican faith. I have come to realize lately that I have tried to understand in my own power and not in the power of the Holy Spirit. I have realized that if I let go of my own opinions and embrace God’s revelation that my home and family is blessed and I thank Him every day for that.

  8. Selwyn

    Very profound words and truth. Yes, that has been my experience too. Having faith is not an easy thing, and it sometimes takes a lifetime to come to this understanding.

  9. When I read in “Rough Stone Rolling” that reliable witnesses confirm that Joseph Smith dictated most of the Book of Mormon while peering at a stone in his hat, I was fascinated and delighted. In no way did it diminish my belief that the Book of Mormon is holy writ or that Joseph Smith was a prophet, seer, and revelator. It may even have increased my faith. I mean I can’t look at a stone and dictate a 500-page book.

    That my primary teacher 45 years ago may have explained the process (of translation) slightly differently is not germane in the least. She was a lady of faith that lived down the street and not some professional historian.

    Later, on my mission, I taught that the Book of Mormon was translated by the “gift and power of God.” The hat and stone business merely verifies it.

    1. years late to the party here, but i thought i’d throw this out there for consideration. if your faith in the divine nature of the bom is based upon the fact that it’s the only explanation for joseph smith’s ability to write it, then what about child geniuses? or other such savants? following that logic, could any magician, genius, or extremely talented person who does something seeminly extraordinary be enough to convince you that what they did (be it a magic trick, creating a symphony while deaf/blind, or writing a 19th century knock off of view of the hebrews) was divine and worth worshipping? basing your entire life off of??

  10. I don’t care if he dictated it standing on his head under a waterfall. However God told him to translate it, he translated it. With a rock, through a curtain, in a hat, whatever. It’s the Word of God. That’s all I care about.

  11. “However God told him to translate it, he translated it.”

    Is that true? Or did he switch, without God’s instructions, to using his seer stone instead of the Urim and Thummin?

    My apologizes for being completely off-topic—but since this is something I want to discuss, should I create a new thread?

  12. Maybe – for whatever reason – he couldn’t use the Urim and Thummin. From what I understand (and I am no expert on this topic) he used various methods. Whatever worked for him on that day, I’m happy with. So in the end, it’s a moot point for me. Others feel differently. I’ve asked God for myself and He has assured me that this is His Work. I’ll take Him at His Word. He hasn’t let me down yet!

  13. The first 3 years after Tal’s ‘escape’ were filled with a ton of guile that was flung to the four corners of the earth via any media he could get his hands on. That’s not to say that everything he said was just plain bitterness, but rather that most everything he said concerning the LDS Church were coated with some unappealing flavour.

    But I think non-LDS Tal v.2 is more inline with who he was before his whole escapade. He’s way more bearable and much more fascinating to read. His insights are seen clearly rather than through a cloudy layer of extreme opposition.

    So I think he deserves some credit for how far he’s come. I’ve certainly noticed the difference in his postings on some message boards).

  14. The rough road of uncertainty could lay ahead for any one of us. We need to be careful basing our actions on heresay, modern day interpretation of past events, or the emotion-filled explanations of those who hold a grudge. (and I don’t deny that at times people have good reasons to hold those grudges – one of the problems of a Church made up of ordinary people)
    Instead we should exercise our own faith and receive our own answers, remembering that we are here to walk by faith and that the existence of uncertainty in any areas of Church History gives us wonderful opportunities to do just that. When we demand that there must be a clear explanation of events we limit the scope for the spirit to influence our lives. Just like each one of us the Church (through the early leaders) too had to go through a period of learning and implementing the will of the Lord – line upon line – and just like in each of our lives errors were made, repentance occurred and the appropriate corrections were made.

  15. In the late 1980’s I was an investigator of the LDS church and have investigated it in spurts every several years since. Maybe I would have joined if it hadn’t have been for a very nice elderly Southern Baptist woman sharing several books with me. I only remember one title she loaned me and the book title is “The Maze of Mormonism.”

    I think the most important thing to do with Tal Bachman and his family is to simply love them, pray for them, and do good works for them. The same as what you would do if they had never left the church… Being a former UMC member, that is what catches my attention with that denomination and the way they’ve been to me since I left in January.

    We’ve always heard the saying, “God works in mysterious ways.” Be God’s love to them in many ways.

  16. I have met a few (and only a few) people who have left the LDS church and it does make me happen that while they had problems with errancy within the book of mormon or in the historical accuracy therein their experiences didn’t cause a lack of faith in Jesus or in the historical accuracy of the Bible.

  17. When my faith wavered, it wasn’t because I read . . . It was because I doubted God’s existence.

    And here we have it. As always, religion tells you not to check the facts, and distracts you with psychology in an attempt to make you feel guilty. Religious people are the most nosy and judgmental people you will meet, and they are all trained to automatically respond with how they are “persecuted” by the rest of the world – that’s how they can lie to themselves about what they are doing at every moment, remember, it’s not the other person being persecuted, it’s you, because you are so clearly in the right.

    If there is a God that lies as openly and often as any religious person I have encountered, I want nothing to do with Him. Call me a hater all you want, I don’t hate religious people, but I know what I’m seeing. If their pathetic doctrines were the only reason to believe in God, I would be an atheist.

  18. And here we have it. As always, religion tells you not to check the facts, and distracts you with psychology in an attempt to make you feel guilty.

    Huh? How did you get that from what I said in my post?

  19. I have never blogged but here goes…

    No one can judge why Tal really left the church but Tal. Whether a defender or supporter, the truth lies with His search for enlightenment and it’s not really open for debate.

    I realize the conversation isn’t simply about Tal anymore it’s about the deeper meanings of life, creation, psychology, philosophy, search for truth etc…

    As some of the bloggers have posted, I met Tal several times before his enlightenment. In fact I was in several of his Gospel Doctrine classes. He was intelligent if not overly spiritual, great music career, beautiful wife, wonderful family with 8 kids… He seemed to have it all.

    Here is my issue with this whole sad story and it does sadden me as He and Tracey were instrumental in my wife and I meeting.

    With all of this truth flowing into Tal’s life since he came to know the Mormon Church is a lie… where are the fruits of all his labors? There must be some kind of blessing… sorry fortunate result for the massive change of direction towards light and truth?! His music career has for the most part disappeared, his wife and him have split up, their kids are at best confused and some openly disrespect him, they have all left the church along with a number of their relatives and for what? I mean talk about finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… This was like winning the truth lottery… NO?

    And the families,relationships and friends he has affectionately taught the truth too? I mean share the winnings right!

    Isn’t the truth meant to set us free? Bring about peace? Instill confidence? Or at the very least lead to something remotely good?

    I admit… I am a disillusioned Mormon!

    I have read so much of the anti-mormon… I mean…. truth material and yet somehow I still find myself cringing at that overwhelming feeling of peace when I go to the temple, I despise the solid direction I receive while reading the scriptures and talking to My Illusionary Father on Kolob! I know at the end of the day I make it all up in my head because I am weak and need as many rules as possible to keep me stable.

    And Joseph Smith… I mean, what a character he was… spending his whole life defending a book that he wrote himself, even reading from it in the final moments of his life for comfort before he and his Bro were shot to death by an angry painted mob who were law abiding citizens making sure the devilry of ‘families are forever” was never taught to the world.

    Yeah… I know its a choice between the red or blue pill but I think I will stay with the blue.

  20. The Holy Ghost will always trump intellect.
    Intellect, however wonderful it is, in itself, can become a stumbling block to spiritual things. It can also become a golden calf, in and of itself. Pride, and one-upsmanship ensues. I have seen this first-hand with a member and friend in my ward, who served a mission, returned, and intellectualized himself into apostasy.
    The personal testimony I have is beyond intellectual debate, as it is way too sacred to discuss. (A potential “pearls before swine” scenario, if you will.)
    My testimony is unshaken.
    I was on the “search for enlightenment”, as a former frustrated Protestant, searching through other religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, until I found the LDS church on my own, back in 1975.
    Do I ever get “turned-off” about going to church? Of course. But it is still true.
    Beware of those who “lie and wait to deceive”.

    1. If you are a serious LDS member , you should heed Joseph smiths warnings.
      After the botched attempt to sell the book of Mormon script [after he and friends wrote it] he said,” some promptings of the holy spirit, some are from our imaginations, and other from Satan.”
      The point is – working with available evidences, it is the intellect alone that can help us to determine
      what the source of our ideas are, otherwise you do not really know
      if anything is true or false.
      You only know what you are blindly attached to, that is not
      evidence of things not seen.

  21. “However God told him to translate it, he translated it.”

    Is that true? Or did he switch, without God’s instructions, to using his seer stone instead of the Urim and Thummin?

    My apologizes for being completely off-topic—but since this is something I want to discuss, should I create a new thread?

      1. That seer stone again, with all the use he made of it !
        JS never got rich from it directly,
        JS had to pretend it was magical to get people on side.
        JS used it to gain money and power -indirect effects.

        God does not work through such tools of deception and manipulation. If the leaders of LDS beleived it was of God
        there would be no need of “lying for the lord.”
        If it was of God there would not have been almost 5,000
        errors to correct in the book of Mormon.
        If it was of god the Thumim and ummin ?glasses would have done the job, they should have translated the imaginary records directly. Are any of the churches policies from the book of Mormon.
        The churches name is not!
        Polygamy is not! etc etc
        Those who leave the church have good reason to do so,
        which they make very clear. Which the holy spirit has led
        them to do. How can one say they are in error?
        To imagine a “feeling ” is evidence of truth is a very shaky
        foundation on which to swear anything. Especially when contradicted by so many facts.
        Much success to Tal Bachmans new directions…………

          1. The answer to this question is partly covered in my response to Anglia – above.
            However, since the holy spirit works through intuition, the only other too we have for determining what the truth is would be our intelligence .[not intellect only].
            This requires the ability to override superficial distortions and attachments caused by our cultural and religious training.
            If in your church, mosque or temple, you are following the most accepted and popular way of beliefs you can be assured you are on the path of ignorance.
            It is written in scripture as; “wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many will enter in there, Narrow is the way that leads to salvation and few there be that find it.” JC.KJV
            So you can see how this will apply to all traditions and cultures, as it is essentially the way of human nature.
            This sign was found hanging on the brains of many people, “Do not disturb!”
            Emerson once said ,” you can choose comfort or truth”.
            So if you can handle it, you have to search for truth outside the realms of those who would like to control your thinking – beyond the limited boundaries/apologetics of your church and mosque. But if you are too attached to your community you will not see the truth.

  22. If you are a serious LDS member , you should heed Joseph smiths warnings.
    Revision>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    After the botched attempt to sell the book of Mormon script [after he and friends wrote it] he said,” some promptings are of the holy spirit, some are from our imaginations, and others from Satan.”
    The point is – working with available evidences, it is the intellect alone that can help us to determine what the source of our ideas are, and even what they really mean , otherwise you do not really know if anything is true or false.
    One cannot know ones location by longitude alone, Latitude is also necessary,
    You only know what you are blindly attached to, that is not
    evidence of things not seen.

  23. I was raised in the church by loving true believer parents. They taught me to be a loving, caring and honest person and I do my very best to live up to the standard they set.They never once told me I had to read the Book of Mormon. I’ve tried on several occasions to read it but find it incredibly boring. They did not demand that I go on a mission. Dad asked me if I wanted to go. I said no and that was the last that was said about it. As for having any kind of testimony, I’ve never once felt anything remotely spiritual about the church. I do, however believe in a power greater than us. I am convinced though, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with being a member of an organised church. I’ve known waaaay too many Mormons and members of other faiths who will use their religious affiliation for personal economic gain an then stab their own people in the back to advance their position. Not very Christ like behavior.

  24. The whole foundation of the LDS Church is based upon JS and his revelations…….if he lied or fabricated the visitation then YES it’s a huge deal. Why would he have to do that if he actually saw “something” the desire to make it bigger and better or more “interesting” demonstrate his purpose was NOT to do God’s will but to build an empire for his own glorification…big problem that a man entrusted by God to bring forth the restored gospel is a proven liar

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