I've known a few mormons, including a semi-observant gay history student. I've also delved into The Book of Mormon, as well as critical analyses of that book. Down here in Brisbane, I met a few missionaries holding some sort of South Pacific youth retreat/summer camp with ages 12-20 present. They were immediately identifiable as young American men by their wardrobe choices: polo shirt, relaxed straight fit khakis, and sneakers.
My own background, for the curious, is an ex-Roman Catholic now atheist.
I have found the people to be decent, although "challenging" beliefs can be problematic, though this is often the case with many other devout Christians. The need to "sell" the religion suggests a parochial world-view that would eventually clash with mine. Of course, some are more pushy than others.
My "problems" aren't with the people, so much as the institution and its norms/practices which subsequently influence the followers.
The Book of Mormon is, to put it bluntly, a piece of fantasy literature straight out of the "Manifest Destiny" era of America's ideological history. I don't hold the conventional Bible in great esteem either, for the record.
The enforced tithing and subsidiary ownership of corporations raises my eyebrows eyebrows.
Most importantly are the psychological ramifications. Watching a young gay man struggle with a perfectly acceptable "what is" (being gay) versus a damaging "ought to be" (suppressing "homosexual tendencies" to be a proper Mormon) doesn't leave one with the best impression. Combine that with official Church dogma on homosexuality and the bizarre "protective" posturing that ex-Mormons afford their faith makes me wonder. The disciplinary council It draws a striking parallel with the research I have done on the psychology of extremely controlling families. For example, scapegoats or other "low-ranking" members are hesitant to voice (often justified and rational) criticisms because of a deeply ingrained "don't harm/slander the family". My own views are that that mechanism only serves to protect that which would be exposed as wrong/harmful/illegitimate/misguided/otherwise open to criticism.