About this blog
I started this blog as an attempt to provide a perspective on what it means to be a post-Mormon --- a person who was raised in the Mormon faith but made the conscious decision to leave. Post-Mormons find themselves in an unusual situation. On one hand, their Mormon counterparts view them with suspicion and hostility. On the other hand, their non-Mormon peers do not understand the issues surrounding life within and without the Mormon church. By addressing some of the issues inherent in leaving the Mormon faith, I hope to clear up some of the misperceptions. My hope is to approach this topic with honesty and candor. I may have issues with Mormon doctrine and practices; however, my love for the many Mormons in my life remains unaltered.
I offer a human perspective on the experience of leaving Mormonism. This blog is intended both for people that don't know anything about Mormonism as well as people that have either gone through the experience of leaving or knows someone who has.
In terms of who I am, I was raised in a faithful Mormon family in upstate New York. As a child and a teenager, my life was centered around the Mormon church. Youth activities, callings, early-morning seminary, ward activities, the young women’s organization --- my upbringing was steeped in Mormon culture. My parents had been sealed in the temple, paid their tithing regularly, held current temple recommends, and fulfilled their callings with diligence. In short, their life is their church. My siblings have made the decision to follow in their footsteps. I was brought up to believe that the Mormon church was the “one true church on earth”. As Mormons, we considered ourselves to be God’s elect. We thought of ourselves to be a plain and precious people, the possessors of the truth of the Gospel.
And I wanted to be faithful. I wanted to believe in the Church that my family held so dear. But that was not to be the case. I started entertaining serious doubts about the Mormon church when I was fifteen years old. By sixteen, I realized that I did not believe in the Mormon church. At seventeen, I stopped attending church altogether. My path out of Mormonism was tangled and messy but the premise of my break with the church is simple: I do not believe the Mormon church is true.
Leaving the Mormon church is a very isolating experience. Renouncing the Mormon church is called apostasy. Growing up, apostates were described in the starkest of terms. I was taught that apostates left because they were proud, or because they wanted to sin, or because they were deluded by Satan. Denying the church is considered to be the worst possible sin a person can commit. When I left, the assumption was that I was a bad person. People that I had known my entire life began to question my character, began to pass judgments on who I was as a person. My parents began to question my character. The process of leaving was messy and heart-breaking and extraordinarily lonely.
But leaving was also the best decision I have ever made. I was not meant to be a Mormon. I am an agnostic --- I don’t know if there is a higher power. I believe in living a good life and treating others with respect but I do not believe that claiming to know the answers or following a particular ideology is essential to being a decent human being.
Ten years have gone by since I left the Mormon church. I have grown up, gone to college, gotten married, and bought a house. I have spent my entire adult life outside of the Mormon church. But that does not mean that I am free of Mormonism. My family is still faithful, which means that my current interactions with my family are shaped by the Mormon church.
My intention is not to persuade but rather to educate. I welcome all viewpoints but I ask that if you comment, please do so in a manner that is both constructive and respectful of others.