I'm an x-Mormon from a prominent family. I'll answer a couple of your questions, but don't have time to handle them all. Yes, it's hard to live among the Mormons if you've left the Church. They consider it their duty to bring you back into the fold and are relentless in their attempts, outright or subtle, to do so. They will never let aa woman become a prophet because only men can hold the priesthood. Under extreme circumstances, a woman could give a patriarchial blessing through the authority of her husband. Part of the rationale of restoring the whole Church was to restore the direct line of the priesthood to God for they feel this was lost during the papal wars. The Book of Mormon was derived from the golden plates and Joseph translated it with the help of the urim and thumin, a sort of crystal ball (pretty magical eh?) These plates were revealed in a vision from God and Moroni to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove in upstate NY, near Rochester and they hold the base for the whole restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Mormon. Mormons are loving and good at child rearing so although an apostate may no longer believe that the Church is the one and only true church of god, they have a hard time leaving it because their parents raised them with love and common sense and it is hard to hurt them by questioning their basic beliefs.
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