Originally, I thought this blog would be about life after Mormonism. I thought it would be a good response to Elder Ballard’s 2016 General Conference talk where he repeatedly asked those considering abandoning the faith, “Where will you go”?
As it turned out, I needed to write about why I was moving on from Mormonism.
A commenter recently posted this on my blog:
Why do people have to post about ‘quitting religion’ like….who cares?!? Boohoo some place else….get over yourself!
“Why do people have to post about ‘quitting religion’”? That’s actually a good question. At least for myself, the answer has three parts: 1) catharsis and healing, 2) explanation for confused loved-ones, and 3) support for others who might be going through a similar experience.
Catharsis and Healing: Fundamental religions, like Mormonism, are all-encompassing. They define so much more than what you do on Sunday or what you believe about the afterlife. They are quite literally everything. Everything was defined from the perspective of my Mormon faith: what I ate, what I drank, my thoughts, my political opinions, the friends I made, the words I would say/not say, the movies I would watch, the type of person I married, the type of career I chose, etc. Everything I encountered in the world was framed within my Mormon worldview. Everything. Leaving behind something so fundamental meant the destruction (or evolution) of my entire worldview. That wasn’t easy to deal with. This blog was helpful in condensing my thoughts and helping me to move forward.
Explanation: Mormonism taught me that people who leave the “one true” religion (Mormonism) had committed about the worst sin imaginable. So, when I left, I knew that most of my friends and family would lose a lot of respect for me. At best they would feel deeply sorry for me and my family. At worst they would see me as a threat. This was painful. I hoped that I might bridge the gap between me and my friends and family.
Support: When I was going through this transition, I did it almost entirely alone. I hoped that my posts would help someone going through a similar experience.
For the most part, this blog has succeeded. For the most part, I’ve moved on. Many friendships and relationships that were damaged seem to be better now. (I don’t really have a good idea of whether or not my blog has helped anyone.)
The further I get from Mormonism the more I like it. I imagine that’s a healthy development. More than ever, I think Mormonism is made-up, but I like most of what comes from it. In other words, I’ve made peace with my former religion. I don’t think that would have been so easy if I hadn’t written these posts.
I’ve had a lot of thoughts about my path to a good life since Mormonism and I’ve thought about writing posts about that, but I don’t feel a strong need to write them, so I’ll probably just leave it. I don’t think about this blog much anymore.
Mormonism will always be a part of me, but, as I said, I’ve mostly moved on.