Lindsy grew up doing all the right things according to the church. She did EFY, BYU, married young and had children. She had normal doubts and things to place on her shelf, but eventually the shelf broke for her and her husband with the CES letter. It gave a new narrative that Joseph Smith just made it up. She found it so hard to live her life with certainty and then uncover that it was an illusion!
I was a mormon. I now find peace in meditation, travel, ACTUALLY connecting with my kids instead of seeking to control/indoctrinate them.
I was as true-blue as they come. I was born and raised in the church. I went to church every Sunday, went to each and every youth activity that I could, attended EFY all four years, and applied for and went to BYU. I followed every rule religiously and could say that I truly believed.
Over the years, some doctrinal things started to gnaw at me. I couldn’t square our clear doctrine of eternal families with my personal experiences with LGTBQIA+ friends and family. It just didn’t make sense to me that God would ask them to live a life on this earth without ever being able to experience romantic attraction and love with someone they truly wanted to be with and make a family with.
I also remember feeling sympathetic to the “Ordain Women” movement, although I didn’t know enough about feminism and wasn’t brave enough to join them at the time. Polygamy didn’t always bother me, but I did feel very negatively towards Joseph Smith after reading more.
Life continued as usual until my husband read the CES Letter. He told me about it, and other things he was finding out about church history. It didn’t shock or bother me too much, but I felt that he was overreacting. For a while I would just listen to him, and then I decided I should probably read it myself to gain a better understanding of where he was coming from.
Once I read the CES letter for myself, that was pretty much it for me. I felt after reading it that Joseph Smith had just created a cult back in 1830 that has now turned into something less cult-y. But the most important thing I took away was that it was all made up. That combined with other issues shattered my shelf.
I continued going to church for a while until the cognitive dissonance became unbearable, and then I asked to be released from my ward organist calling and told my bishop I didn’t want to attend anymore. It’s been a very trying year and a half emotionally.
It’s really effing hard to live your whole life with certainty and then to come to the realization that it’s all an illusion.
But therapy and many long, raw talks with my husband have helped. I have come to the realization that we all have confirmation bias, and ultimately most of our beliefs are just that–ideas that we come up with to make ourselves feel better or to motivate ourselves. So now my new journey is examining my beliefs and deciding which ones serve me and which don’t.Lindsy
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