To those who are still coming to this blog, I feel it right that I inform you in a blog post what has happened since I last wrote over a year ago…
I have since left the church. I am NOT a Mormon. It was not due to sin, it was all to due with the doctrine of the Mormon church. As I continued researching and studying my eyes were opened to the errors and false doctrine within the standard works alone. I didn’t search any information other than the approved works.
I feel blessed to have had the drive I did when I was making this blog back in 2008. I believe God gives us paths that we must follow in order to learn of him and my trip down Mormon-hood was where I needed to be.
My story as to why I left…
It’s not like this was an easy choice, people. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and thought “Hmmm… think I’ll stop being a Mormon today.”… This was long coming. I’ve been back and forth with my faith for many years. As a child I wanted to believe. I was so excited to have Young Womens to go to and a club of friends to have. When I finally went I became so annoyed by the girls and teachers discussing more about who liked who that week than actually teaching about god. I didn’t know much about God and I thought this would be my way to learn. It wasn’t. I stopped going. After High School I got heavily into the church and thought the happiness I felt in belonging meant it was true. A young returned missionary I’d been dating made learning bible stories and doctrine easy for me. The questions I had were simply answered with simple doctrine. Anything large, I didn’t even think to question. I was happy with simplicity. It wasn’t far reaching from my comfort zone.
When I turned 20 I wanted to desperately go on a mission. I wanted to be what my boyfriend at the time was for me in teaching the gospel. I’d only been active in the church for a year. Many things could have stopped me, but I pushed on and went on a mission. I was so sure of the basics I felt I could teach them to others with passion and a voice to shake the earth. I received a strong feeling from god to go on a mission. I believe God leads us through specific paths to help us find what he wants us to. Going on a mission was one path I had to take in order to learn truly about him.
As time went on while serving my mission and 24/7 study of the gospels, I realized my need to understand more than just the basics. My need for the “How and Why” started kicking in. If I was going to teach others, I needed to know the “How and the Why”… I started researching the approved doctrines we had as missionaries.
My first big discovery was with Polygamy. I remember it clearly. I was on my mission, standing on the porch of our mission apartment studying while my companion was showering. I laid my scriptures on the balcony ledge and let the wind open them. 3 pages opened… Wilford Woodriff’s explanation that anyone trying to lead away god’s people from the true doctrine would be taken from the earth…. The doctrine of plural marriage in D&C 132… and King Solomon being condemned in the bible for having multiple wives and concubines. I stood there. My mind flooded with questions… I grabbed the phone and called the mission president. He told me that I didn’t need to concern myself while on my mission with that doctrine. That we wouldn’t know the true story until the next life. For some reason that didn’t settle with me, but rather than continue my whole mission with doubt, I said “OK” and pushed it to a back burner.
7 years later I found myself alone. My fiancé had almost died and I watched it happen. Our relationship was over. I knew then that I needed God. I needed him more than I’d ever before. I’d been told all my life that if I followed God I would never be alone. I focused my life goal on researching the gospel and becoming a strong and faithful woman in the church…
The Missionary Library was where I allowed myself to study. I studied daily. Missionaries visited me and taught me. One of my friends was baptized. It was while on a visit with the missionaries that a desperate cry came via phone to come and see her. We piled in the car and rushed to her side. She’d been talking with her ex about their baby girl that had passed away a few years back. She wanted her new husband and herself to be sealed to her daughter. The father of the child wouldn’t let that happen. She was beside herself in torment trying to understand what to do. Her daughter would never be sealed to her. Her life was over…. As I prayed quickly to God begging for an answer I had these words come to my mind… “If God is really a loving God, he would never separate a mother from it’s child. The sealing will not stop you from being that Child’s mother. The atonement of Christ has covered the cost. Families will not be separated. Sealed or not.”
I didn’t understand it. I’d been taught all my life the only way to be with your family forever is to be sealed, have your children either born in that covenant or be sealed to you. We were never taught the doctrine on families who divorce. New Members who ex husbands don’t want their children to be sealed to them… etc..
It was while talking with my cousin that I gained the courage to speak to my bishop about how I was feeling and the things I’d had questions about. I had full faith that he’d be able to calm my troubled heart. I went into his office, had dedicated a good 30 minutes of his time and told him I needed guidance. My heart was open and ready to hear anything he said. I assumed they would all be comforting… I simply said “Well I’ve had some questions even since I was a missionary about doctrine and the history of the church….” I was cut off and then he began a tyrannical lecture on how the history and the people didn’t matter. All that mattered was the Book of Mormon. Everything else, anything anyone said, it didn’t matter.
I had no idea how to respond. I sat quietly and in tears. I’d not been talking with “anti-mormon” people. I’d not looked at “Anti-Mormon” crap. I had only been searching within the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and the History of the Church. I’d not even tried to honestly compare the bible as all my life I’d been told that I was to judge the bible with a grain of salt because it had many errors in it. The most accurate was the Book of Mormon. All I knew was the Mormon version of Christianity.
I decided after trying to shake the feeling of depression that I would then with an open heart and open mind search the Mormon doctrine with the eyes of someone who knew nothing. Who knew their had to be a higher power and that I wanted to know everything. I searched the Missionary Library again. I felt disconnected to the Book of Mormon. In a way that I could truly judge the authenticity of Joseph Smith, his work, his story, and what the Mormons believed.
I kept telling myself that since I believed in a God that I’d be ok just staying in the mormon church. I kept researching the bible, the book of mormon, the doctrine & covenants and the pearl of great price. I also went to the Church library and read from the books they had there – History of the Church volumes. (I didn’t have the internet at the time.)
I went to the meetings, went to the events/activities, eventually my knowledge led me to become very annoyed with things that Mormons would say and the way they saw things. Very close minded. Sunday school lessons were frustrating to sit through. I’d bring up a different way of thinking about things, people would ponder, but the teacher would insist on bringing everyone back onto the close-minded track they wanted people to be on “Read your scripture. say your prayers. life will be good”…. Believe me, I taught in Sunday School. I know what goal the teachers are supposed to have in their lesson plans! Teach the principle. Don’t deviate. I was also a missionary, lesson plans must be so others see things in your way. No way else. Remember, your way is the right way!
I stopped going to Sunday School.
Eventually going to Sacrament became frustrating as I continued to research the bible and compare it to the teachings of the Mormon Church. Sacrament alone was so foundationally different. My hunger to know how Christ originally had his church, what he practiced, and what he believed lead me to keep searching. As I searched questions I’d had for years became answered. Doctrine no longer was left to “we’ll know in the next life” when things contradicted themselves. I knew the real story behind it. Every simple testimony aggravated me. I wanted nothing more than to get up and proclaim what I knew to be true. It had nothing to do with “modern prophets” and everything to do with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Yahweh, Jesus the Christ, the true Apostles of Christ, etc…
I stopped going to Sacrament.
It was at this time I wondered what was I to believe if I don’t believe this? The Church had taught me all my life that anything besides their teachings was absolutely wrong. Not even to question. The only ones allowed to question were those seeking to become Mormon.
I left the singles ward I’d been in and moved to the Family Ward. I told my bishop how I felt and my testimony. I was told I was in good standing. I could take the sacrament. I could participate in lessons and I could even have a calling! I could go to the temple! I wasn’t someone who left the church due to sin. Yes, I’d had sins in my past like all members do, but it wasn’t a reason I left. I was in good standing.
One evening a set of sister missionaries came to teach me. I let them know how I truly felt about the book of mormon as they were trying to teach something and they burst into tears. Rather than upset anyone else, I figured I’d continue my studies on my own, but always allow the missionaries in my home as a sign of respect for what they were doing. The next set of sister missionaries came to visit. Oddly enough one of them was a long time FB friend’s daughter. I promised I’d watch out for her. They wanted to have me come to lessons and teach with them. I had to eventually tell them I didn’t believe I should. I believed nothing that they taught, but didn’t want them to know that. I wouldn’t cause disruption in her missionary experience.
The moment I realized that I could no longer believe was when I finally found out the truth of the Book of Abraham (Pearl of Great Price). How Joseph had “translated” the parchment and it wasn’t even the least bit correct. My heart sank. I felt like my world crashed and crumbled into pieces. One by one all of my feelings of doubt were gone but now that I had my answers I had nothing left to do but leave. I was not prepared for the actual moment I’d have to walk away. I don’t think it’s possible to ever be ready. I was angry, I felt lied to. I feared for the first time for my family and friends. The lies. The faith that so many put in a man. In a religion that so incredibly false. (I’ll go deeper into the doctrines if you message me only. Not here) I was sick, tormented for days wondering what do I believe in now. Everything felt wide open. Like every door was open and nothing was standing in my way… I was scared with my freedom.
A few months went by and my feelings of loss started to go away.
The points of doctrine that eventually lead me away felt like stepping stones out of a dark hole I’d been stuck in for 28 years. I took what I did believe in and have started my life over. From the moment I let go of the hope that my childhood faith was true, life has gotten ten million times better than it’s ever been. I know who my real friends are. I know who true family is. I have met the love of my life who doesn’t judge me and loves me for no matter what I believe.
Every religion has that tool as a way to keep members. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I do not believe in Joseph Smith or the LDS church. I do not believe in religion. I do not believe that Christ’s church can truly be on the earth because humans are too corrupt to run it. I believe that God and Christ want us to do as he taught in the bible. To walk by faith in HIM, not a church. To do good in the world. To be a good person and take care of others. To show our faith by good words, thoughts and actions. In the end, it is God and Christ who will judge us. What “earthly club” (religion) we joined will not matter. But who we followed will.
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