(Update August 6, 2015: At the time I wrote this, I considered myself an ex-Mormon. My thinking has evolved to the point where I consider myself an independent Mormon.)
Oh goody, another ex-Mormon blog! That’s just what we need. Maybe this blog is just for me, so I can get stuff out of my system. I’ve done a lot of that on the ExMormon subreddit already, but I’ve felt like I needed a place to collect my own thoughts and musings.
The subject of leaving the church is something that preoccupies a lot of my thoughts, having “left” only four months ago. A TBM (True Believing Mormon) will think I’m preoccupied with it because “apostates” like me are bitter, and they can’t quit from persecuting the church. The truth is, I gave my heart and soul to the LDS church for nearly 44 years. Two years as a missionary, countless hours in callings (Primary, scouts, Sunday School, several bishoprics, Young Men’s, etc.), uncounted tithing dollars (I’m afraid to count them), studying the scriptures, trying to find ways to be a missionary to my neighbors, etc. It was a very big part of who I was. I was a Mormon, and I believed I had the truth. I believed true happiness came from being a member of the LDS church. You can’t make such a huge paradigm shift and not have it mess with your mind some.
When I figured out the church wasn’t true, it was quite a shock. I continue to wonder what took me so long to figure it out. Maybe I wasn’t ready to figure it out until now. I don’t consider people who still believe to be dumb, they just haven’t seen the same things I have. Or, they’re not prepared to follow through with the consequences of what it means when the LDS church isn’t the one true church. I also know there are people who know what I’ve learned, and can somehow make it work in their minds that the church is still 100% true. From my experience, those people are rare. Most TBM’s simply don’t know the truth about church history, Joseph Smith, the First Vision, the Book of Abraham, polygamy, racism, etc. I hope with my disaffection, that I might give someone else the courage to look at the truth claims of the church, and then stand up and say “This isn’t right or true. If he can leave, so can I.” Maybe no one is impacted by my leaving, but I hope they are. I’m grateful I’ve figured out the church isn’t true, no matter how painful it’s been. I wouldn’t trade that knowledge for anything.