My former Mormon bishop accuses me of being a latter-day apostate. I have asked him to delineate where I have erred and I await his response.
When I asked the stake president -- at my disciplinary hearing 5 years ago -- what I was accused of, he said "I don't remember." (He had to look back in the notes he had RECEIVED from some higher authority in the church to find out what he was trying me for!)
It boiled down to this: I did not "sustain the Brethren." But I had no qualms with the leadership of the church! I held a valid and current temple recommend.
When asked if I sustained Thomas S. Monson and the other leaders of the church as "prophets, seers and revelators," I said I was willing to CALL them that, but I didn't KNOW if they truly were. God had not revealed that to me. (I did know that some of the leaders had truly been inspired. But I didn't know if any had received a personal commission from Christ that would distinguish them as a true prophet, seer or revelator. I had not witnessed any evidence of such gifts among many of them and, when pressed for evidence, my inquisitors declined to cite any examples they knew of.)
"You're going to excommunicate me because I haven't received a revelation from God?" I asked them.
"Maybe you ought to get that revelation!" they threatened me.
The bottom line is I apparently didn't pledge sufficient obeisance to the hierarchy nor establish my bona fides as a spiritual sycophant of "the Brethren."
I told them I endeavoured to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and if "the Brethren" happened to be going in that same direction, so much the better: I would follow Christ with them!
But they demanded that I do whatever the Brethren said, right or wrong. They promised me that I would be blessed no matter what, if I remained "faithful" -- even if the Brethren taught me falsehoods, or led me astray.
They added, "But the Brethren will NEVER lead you astray."
Of course I knew THAT was a lie. There were MANY historical examples of "the Brethren" doing just that.
The truth is: the Mormon Church wants its membership to study Church history. Just not too much history! And only from "approved" sources.
Otherwise, the membership are bound to lose their "testimonies" -- because the church, like virtually all human organizations, is fraught with weak and failing leaders, false traditions, and fables. Too many have "testimonies" built on sand.
That's not to say Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, that the Book of Mormon isn't true, or that the restoration of the Gospel was not begun in earnest in 1820 by God Himself.
It just means the Mormon Church isn't true. (It's a nice religion, don't get me wrong. It's just not the "only true church" of Jesus Christ on the earth.)
According to D&C 10:67-68, the church of Jesus Christ consists ONLY of those who repent and come unto Christ. No more, no less. (No "ring kissing" of "the Brethren" required.)