My name is Erica and I was raised as a Mormon with pioneer ancestors from both parents.
I was a mormon, but the church no longer serves me in a healthy way.
My favorite part about me is that I’m spiritual. I thought this made me a valuable Mormon, but as I explored the church history, I found out that personal revelation doesn’t keep you a member.
On my shelf
On the Mormon Spectrum
# Why I left More stories of 'Why I left' the Mormon church
I left because of a simple problem and a prayer asking for a solution for the problem. The answer I received in prayer did not match my taught expectations. All I wanted to know was “How should I pay tithing?” I expected to hear, “Make sure to pay 10% of your own income.” But instead I heard, “You do not need to pay any more money to this church.”
Wow! What a great start to a snowball effect. If I don’t pay tithing, I can’t go to the temple. If I can’t go to the temple, I don’t have to wear my garments. If I don’t wear my garments during the week, should I be untruthful and wear them on Sunday? If I don’t wear my garments, other Mormons will be able to tell and judge me. I would rather not go to church and be judged. If I don’t go to the LDS church, then I can finally attend other churches. I would love to attend other churches!
I was relieved to leave the many rules, policies and expectations of the Mormon church! Shortly after removing my garments, I remember attending a family birthday party and feeling like I could finally love and fully accept my family members who weren’t Mormon. I didn’t have to be a superior example or pray that someday they would except the church beliefs and live with the rest of us in a celestial kingdom for eternity. Such bull shit!
I now know God is bigger than the Mormon church. God’s love reaches all his children in what ever form they are willing to receive it. There is no “one true church.” Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of us to return to God, that is why the veil in the temple torn after his death. Because of Christ’s death, there is no need for a temple. Temples were a mean to repent through sacrifice. Christ has payed the ultimate sacrifice and all we have to do is believe in him and we will be able to return to God someday. That’s it. That’s as far as my testimony goes.
I’m sure my testimony of Jesus Christ will change over time. My hope is that I continue believing in him and God. From the start of leaving the Mormon church, my greatest fear was to loose my spirituality which is based on Christ. Just like some believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas, I believe in Christ and the magic of Christianity. I don’t want to loose it or him!
I have made my story very simple, but it is more complex. While in the church, I loved learning of its history and would come upon conflicting issues that I would justify and put away from myself so I could focus on being a good Mormon. Those conflicting issues did help me leave when God finally gave me a way out. I had also been struggling with depression, never feeling like I was good enough.
I remember finally asking for contentment because I was on the brink of suicide. Once I had realized I had suicide ideation, I stopped praying for happiness and started praying for contentment. I think that’s why God gave me the answer he did about tithing. I no longer wanted to subscribe to the Mormons ways of finding happiness. I had tried them and they lead me into a viscous cycle of unattainable goals. My desires had changed and so God lead me to contentment.
Questions about Mormons My Answers to Questions about Mormonism
#Link to this answer of 'Did you want to sin? Is that why you left?' by Erica Haner Did you want to sin? Is that why you left? See more answers about 'Did you want to sin? Is that why you left?'
I often tell myself that I didn’t leave because of sin. However, I did break the sabbath often by taking my boys to their AAU club basketball games after church and I did try marijuana gummies once before leaving. I guess for those reasons, my Mormon friends can use me as a cautionary tale (ha ha ha).
I can laugh because in my eyes now, they are no longer huge crimes. It’s such a relief now that I don’t need to. I can drink and eat whatever I want because I’m a grown adult who can still be responsible while doing so. I also love that my kids have an extra day in the week to enjoy life and have Sunday serve them spiritually, mentally and physically.
#Link to this answer of 'Did the gospel topic essays help your faith crisis?' by Erica Haner Did the gospel topic essays help your faith crisis? See more answers about 'Did the gospel topic essays help your faith crisis?'
I’m surprised that the gospel topic essays don’t pull more people I know away. They try to be honest but are deceptive at the same time. The 2 that bothered me most are on the priesthood and polygamy. I hurt for the blacks who lost their priesthood rights and succinctly family rights. Why does the church refuse to apologize for taking the priesthood away from blacks when they know Brigham Young was not God lead in doing so? I also grieve for early European immigrant converts who were told by missionaries that church didn’t practice polygamy only to find out after a life threatening journey to the Salt Lake valley that they do. I can’t imagine the pain those wives bore when their husbands agreed to practice polygamy and bring in new wives. It makes me want to vomit! I don’t want to be a part of a church that recognizes their wrongs but makes no apologies. I don’t want to be a part of a church that actively marginalizes blacks and women by doing so.
#Link to this answer of 'Do you consider yourself a Christian?' by Erica Haner Do you consider yourself a Christian? See more answers about 'Do you consider yourself a Christian?'
I consider myself Christian, but I’m relearning what that means. I am going to a community church with my children and I’m meeting regularly with a religion professor who has given me books to read. I love learning and I’m grateful that God has provided so many resources to continue to grow towards him!