I’m a camper, a hiker, an explorer, a traveler, a creater, a designer, a musician, a friend, a lover, and I was a Mormon.
Born and raised in the lds church in the Midwest. Very faithful family. Served a mission and remained very active until my late 20s.
Why I left
Bow is my resignation letter to my bishop.
I’d like to formally resign from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and have my name removed from the membership records.
I have had the chance to take a break from the church over the last 15 months and the result has been life-changingly positive.
Where I used to suffer from self-hatred and debilitatingly low self-esteem, I have found love for myself and have started to heal, becoming proud of who I am and what I can accomplish.
Where I used to be medicated for desperation and sought the services of therapists and psychiatrists, I now enjoy peace and happiness beyond anything I’ve felt in the past.
Where I used to be in constant distress about who I was and how I couldn’t change my nature - despite the years of efforts and help from clergy and professionals, now I’ve come to truly love myself - giving me a calm peace and confidence that I never knew was possible.
Where I used to feel like I was living a double life, hiding who I was from everyone I loved in fear and shame, I now have removed the fake facade. I now know that those around me truly love me for who I am, not the role that I felt forced to play.
Where I felt judged and inferior due to being “old” and “single,” judged that from my birth I was damned to never reach the highest degree of glory like my peers and family, judged for being different and for having an incurable, taboo “trial,” I now feel free. Free from judgement and from false expectations pushed on to me from people who will never understand my life.
Where I lived in fear and in a constant state of anxiety, those feelings are now replaced with safety and tranquility and peace.
Where I felt an inability to move forward with me life, I now feel excited and hopeful about the future. An institute teacher pointed out to me that the next step for me, according to lds doctrine, is to get sealed in the temple. That is the next ordinance in my progression and the next step for my soul to take on its journey. However, since I am unable to get sealed in this life, I will have to wait until the next life to progress. In other words, I am to just wait until I die...Then I can finally move forward with my eternal progression. As a 25 year old - my progression in this life was over. Please consider the negative weight of this doctrine and how a youthful college student must feel upon realization that he is not allowed to move forward with his life. Taking a break from the church and shedding this horrifyingly depressing and incomprehensibly offensive doctrine, I was finally able to imagine a future for myself where I could be happy and I could progress with a family, with kids, with love and happiness and companionship and a future. I can now start to set goals and make plans and be motivated to work for a better life. But I can’t have these things if I remain a member of the church.
In October of 2017 these terrible thoughts and views poisoned my mind to the point that I attempted to end my life. Looking back I am terrified to think how that night could have come to a horrific end. Coming out of that experience, I realized that something needed to change if I wanted to survive. I took the scary and lonely path of distancing myself from the church - my culture, my family, my friends - and also distanced myself from the unacceptably degrading reality of being a gay man in the church. The resulting 15 months have proven to be literally life saving. I’ve found peace, happiness, and love that I never thought was possible for me. I now can see a future for myself.
The church has no answers. No help for someone that is pleading for guidance and direction. No place for a gay man in the kingdom. The church’s official website on Mormons and gays is misleading at best - I personally know several of the people on the website and I know that the image that the church pushes is falsified and full of deception. In each case there is a dark side that is never acknowledged by the church - depression, secret love affairs to fill unmet needs, double lives, marrying a woman but still having emotionally intimate relationships with men, divorces, and overall men who are unhealthy both emotionally and mentally.
During the journey of my life, I have literally tried every option to find peace, love, acceptance, and a place in the church - mission, active church service, attentive general conference study, institute classes and one on one conversations with every institute teacher I had, meetings with bishops, years of church-approved therapy with 4 different therapists and a psychiatrist, gay Mormon conferences and support groups, 12 step groups, medication, fasting, praying, scripture study, weekly temple attendance - it has been literally an entire life given to the church. But I have found that there is no place for me in God’s great “Plan of Happiness.”
I deserve to be happy. I deserve to have love in my life. I deserve to have peace and hope for a future. My life in the church prevented me from accomplishing this and made me feel like I wasn’t worthy or capable of attaining happiness or love or peace or hope.
This is why I must resign. I’m resigning because I deserve a future.