Fred lived as dedicated to the church as anyone could. He watched respected people leave the church and he was curious about why they left. So, he followed up with some research and collected issues onto his shelf, but he was able to reconcile them over time with his faith and would not deny the feelings he had felt confirming the church to him. More offensive issues came and overloaded his shelf until he had to admit his shelf broke and he realized the net result of the mormon church was bad. He resigned on principle and hopes his children can be better out of the “net bad” organization.
I was fully active, paid a full tithe, served a voluntary 2 year mission for the church in Brazil, attended a church university, and lived in statistically the most Mormon town in the world for most of my life. I never drank, smoke, swore, or had premarital sex. I ended some wonderful, wholesome relationships based on advice in The Miracle of Forgiveness. I married in the temple, prayed and studied scripture daily, attended the temple regularly, and lived a fully active, faithful life. I was a mormon. Now I am free to love everyone and be my best self.
The first item I can recall putting on my shelf was the church’s stance on LGBT marriage rights. On my mission the only items I remember placing on my shelf were temple new names not being unique or special but given on a schedule, polygamy, and the fact that prophets are not called by revelation but instead by order of entry into the quorum of the 12.
I had four people, who stand out as individuals I respect deeply, come to their own conclusions that the church wasn’t true. They left the church with their families. Knowing these individuals to be of excellent character and moral fiber, I wanted to understand more the reasons beyond their decisions. In a desire to respectfully understand their motivations, I researched them.
Through this I discovered the exmormon subreddit, Mormon Stories, Mormonverse, CES letter, Rough Stone Rolling, and others. I skimmed over the information I found. I faithfully never delved too deep…just enough to understand and respect where they were coming from. This put a lot on my shelf. A lot I could not resolve.
The information I found that disturbed me most was and is all sourced and available through church talks, scriptures, messages, and document scans. Nothing on my shelf was from an anonymous source, but instead from the lord’s anointed.
I decided to use my strong faith as another support for my shelf. In fact, it became the dust cloth for my shelf. Everything on it was covered over with my faith. I wouldn’t have to look at it. I could not deny the feelings I had had. In addition to that, I saw the net result of the church as good.
There’s a point where there are just too many things that cannot be comfortably answered, too much weighing that shelf down, and eventually something comes along that is so offensive to our good senses, something that defies our logic, compassion, feelings, understanding, and knowledge more than we can reconcile, and the shelf then breaks.
One day, a news article popped up on my feed showing the church’s sexual abuse reporting policy was directly protecting and covering up sexual abuse and the offenders. I was able to corroborate, and know that the church has an ongoing history of practicing loose regard of sexual abusers, as well as cover up of such atrocities. Finally, in my privileged eyes I could no longer deny: the net result of the church was bad. My shelf broke.
I finally knew that the church belittled women and minorities, fought against basic human rights, hurt those seeking comfort, harbored and enabled sexual abusers, and lent to the systematic oppression of anything and anyone that would threaten its doctrine, image, financials, or reach.
I am ashamed that, as a white American male, I have been so privileged that I have not realized all this sooner. I had turned a blind eye, followed indoctrination, believed in teachings that created a systematic culture of abuse, inequality, hatred, suppression, and anti-love. I had to get out. I had to remove all association I held with the church. Since then I have learned so, so much more. The lies seem to never end. And today I stand happy, prouder of myself than I have been in a long time. With a clear conscience, my affiliation with the destructive organization comes to an end. I now disavow the church and its hateful teachings. I do not disavow the members.
My exit has brought me so much peace and happiness, despite the difficulties that come with the paradigm shift. I now am free to love everyone. I did not resign so I could enjoy the “pleasures of the flesh.” I resigned in hope that my children can now be better people outside of an organization that lets racism, sexism, bigotry, and anti-intellectualism fly under the banner of God.Fred
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