In a General Conference address for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church), Elder M. Russell Ballard, repeatedly asked Mormons who have issues with the Mormon Church “Where will you go?” While I believe his purpose was to engender fear, the question is a really good one.
After Mormonism, where will you go, indeed?
For me, leaving the Mormon Church must only be the first step. Simply deciding that my previous path was wrong, is not enough. If all I do is leave and then have little to no thought as to my future path, then I’m probably worse off.
My wife and I must be clear about the direction for us and our family. I aim to define that here for myself and for my posterity.
I was born and raised a Mormon. I served a faithful mission. I married in the temple. I served faithfully in many ward and stake callings. I read the scriptures daily, thought about them often, and did all the other things are expected of a good Mormon.
I was the kind of Mormon who listened to Conference talks over and over again. I memorized Mormon quotes. I collected a library of Mormon books, which I read, highlighted, and annotated.
I believed it all with all of my heart so I tried to let it all sink deep into who I was.
But for years I’ve been on a path away from the LDS Church. While I certainly don’t regret this decision, it has definitely made life harder and more complicated for me and those around me.
Everyone I’ve known who’s chosen this path has had to deal with feelings of anger, frustration, and betrayal. They’ve felt ostracized and unfairly judged. They’ve all lost friends. For some it has lead to divorce.
Put simply, it isn’t easy to leave the LDS Church. But maybe this blog will be therapeutic for me… and others who have taken a similar path.
This blog is an attempt to record my thoughts, not only about leaving Mormonism, but my plans for leading a good, happy life.
I don’t really have many answers, so this blog is more a journal about where I’ve been, why I’ve taken the road I’ve taken, and about where I want to go, as well as how to get there.
While I definitely plan on including much of my case against Mormonism, my purpose isn’t to convince anyone to change their faith. I don’t want to be antagonistic in this blog or in life. (What a crappy way to live.)
Sure, I think Mormonism is false and damaging, but that doesn’t have to make me a bitter person.
It might take me some time to get there but eventually I want this blog to be about moving on from Mormonism to something better, not just about being not-Mormon.
You might be in a similar boat to me. If so, maybe something I write here will benefit you. Or maybe you’ll have some experience or thought that will benefit me. If so, please share.
I’m also writing this for family and friends. My hope is that I might help open your mind a little — not to question your faith — but to better understand me and others like me who have chosen to leave their Mormon roots.
I’ve decided to keep this blog anonymous because the social cost to those who have left the LDS Church can be high. In Utah, where the majority of the population is Mormon, this information can especially negatively impact business, and personal relationships.
Most of the people who are close to me know that I no longer call myself Mormon, but many have no idea. They just assume that I’m Mormon.
I don’t often correct them.