I was born Mormon and I lived as a faithful member for more than 30 years. I then decided to leave The LDS Church for reasons I’ve articulated in this blog1.

Even so, I think that Mormonism is a force for good in the world because it largely fulfills the purpose stated by a Mormon leader:

The purpose of the gospel is … to make bad men good and good men better…

David O. McKay

Impact Upon My Life

Mormonism profoundly influenced who I am today. Some of that influence was negative, but most of it was good. I’m very grateful for my Mormon upbringing.

Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Taught me to have a deep desire to be an honest, kind, and selfless person
  • Taught me to protect women and treat them with respect
  • Kept me away from drugs, alcohol, and other addictions
  • Taught me that I have unique gifts that I have a duty to “magnify” and share with the world
  • Taught me that I didn’t need to compare myself to others but that I am responsible to be the best with what I was given
  • Taught me that I was likely to find life’s greatest happiness in raising a family
  • Taught me to love of learning and truth
  • Taught me that marriage is about commitment, not about what’s in it for me
  • Taught me that love in marriage doesn’t just happen but comes when you are dedicated and work together toward a goal greater than either of you
  • Taught me that sex can be beautiful and fulfilling when in marriage but that outside of marriage it is more likely to be selfish and destructive to individuals and society
  • Taught me to love hard work
  • Taught me that it’s easy for anyone to convince themselves that they are a victim and that that mentality is rarely accurate or productive
  • Expanded my mind to new world views (mostly from my mission)
  • Taught me that there’s wisdom to be found in the past, and that whole societies can decay to the death and destruction of millions if they abandon this wisdom
  • Taught me how to study
  • Taught me to do things that seem impossible at first (also from my mission)
  • Gained a good understanding of the Bible
  • Helped me be a much better public speaker than I would have been otherwise (I’m still not very good)

Possible Rebuttals

There are many people out there whose blood will boil just to read that short list.

Some would compile a list of negatives that they argue outweighs my list of positives. (There definitely are negatives.)

Some would say that my list of “positives” are actually negatives. (I probably couldn’t convince you otherwise.)

Others would argue that none of the positive aspects I list above are unique to Mormonism or to religion. (You’d be right about that.)

Some would argue that my list wouldn’t be so long if a woman were to write this list. (I’m pretty sure that my mom, who lived the traditional Mormon life and was a stay-at-home mom for 7 children, would vehemently disagree. I know many, many Mormon women like her.)


I don’t think that Mormonism is for everyone – some people are probably better without it – but it does instill within believers moral principles that have been tried, tested, and shown throughout human history to produce good people and successful societies. It gives them meaning and purpose that inspires most of them to be better people.

I see this working in the lives of my Mormon nieces and nephews who are growing up, building careers, getting married, and creating families. They’re following the Mormon pattern and building beautiful lives because of it. Of course they won’t have problem-free lives but I’ve already seen them start down a path that is likely to bring them happiness and to have a profoundly positive impact upon those around them.

I think that Mormonism – with all of its faults – overwhelmingly has a positive influence upon the world. Mormons are pretty good people not in spite of their religion but because of it. I’m grateful for my Mormon upbringing and I hope that Mormonism continues untainted for a very long time.

I can’t give Mormonism to my kids (something that I frequently lament); but I hope to be able to take some of the things that Mormonism taught me and give it to my children. This might be an impossible task (I truly hope not).

I love the Mormon Church.

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  1. I decided to archive my posts that are critical of the Mormon Church. I still think that Mormonism is fake (today more than ever) but I now have a different purpose for this blog (and I really have no interest in helping to destroy a believer’s faith).