Hi, I'm Brandon
I was a mormon
I was born and raised in the church. My parents met at BYU and I was raised waking up to the fight song. The church played a major role in my life as far back as my memories allow. I grew up in a small branch in Montana, and our lives revolved around the church community there. Boy scouts, early-morning seminary, driving 80 miles to stake conferences/youth activities, weekly family home evening, etc. I served a mission and got married in the temple. I was fully active and believing until around age 30.
On my shelf
On the Mormon Spectrum
The weight on my shelf had been growing for years. Until around 2012 I had been fairly good at leaving the issues there, having faith, reading apologetics, and trying to feel the spirit more. But the more I read, the more I struggled.
I finally got to a point where I stopped brushing aside all of the things that didn't make sense to me, and I stopped caring whether or not an information source was "approved of". The biggest problems for me were (1) race and the priesthood and (2) the church's ongoing fight against LGBTQ individuals. Even though my beliefs went from literal, to nuanced, to completely non-literal, I still very much wanted to stay in the community and I remained active with a temple recommend.
When the November 2015 policy was leaked, everything changed. I had often times asked myself what I would have done if I had been living in the days prior to 1978. I would like to think that I would have spoken out about racial injustice in the church, but I can never be sure. When the 2015 policy came out I thought, "what would I do right now if I had a gay child?" The answer was obvious to me, I would immediately leave the church without hesitation. Well, we are taught in the church to mourn with those that mourn, and just because I wasn't personally suffering the direct consequences of the policy was irrelevant to the suffering of others. It became clear to me that I could no longer participate in an organization that persistently attacks those I care about. I knew that the fallout for leaving from friends and family members would be brutal and agonizing, but I simply could no longer stomach the revulsion I felt from the actions of the institution. So my wife and I left, and we have never once regretted it.