Aloha, I'm Larry
I love my wife, my kids, Hawaii, the outdoors, softball and believe it or not, I was a mormon.
See below. I'll cover pretty much everything.
On my shelf
On the Mormon Spectrum
# Why I left More stories of 'Why I left' the Mormon church
Like I said, my name is Larry. That means I'm older, right? Here's my story. (I've actually told it a number of times on various podcasts, but, I've got a compact version I'll share here).
I was born into the religion of my parents, Mormon. I grew up in Southern California and really didn't notice I was that different until Jr High. I should mention my parents were pretty normal. On Sunday we went to church, but we changed out of our Sunday clothes, watched TV, listened to music and could have friends over.
I moved from San Diego to SLC the year I started high school. I went to Skyline. (I'm not worried if folks know me, my wife and kids are out too).
I believed the church was true but NEVER said I knew it was. Why? Because I never had a prayer answered, and I specifically asked if it was true.
Partied a bit in high school, felt some boobs, no big deal. Went on a mission, got back and married my girlfriend of seven years. Went to BYU, got divorced after two years. Transfered to BYU-Hawaii, but eventually moved back to Provo. One summer day I noticed the most beautiful girl getting out of the pool. I asked her out, and we've been together 43 years. Got married in the Oakland international house of handshakes. (Yeah, I can be a little bit snarky).
We had three children, stayed active, but were never "all in". We didn't have food storage, didn't have daily scripture study or prayers, and didn't enjoy the same recycled lessons at church. I even wore a blue shirt at times. 😆
I had shelf items that began on my mission. You see, right before I left, I received a blessing and was told my family would be protected while I was away. About a year in, my younger brother Jeff broke his neck on a trampoline and was rendered a quadriplegic. He died at 28 due in part to his accident. Huh, what about the promise in the blessing? Yeah, this is where my shelf began to bow.
In 2016, our daughter came home from BYU-H for Christmas break. She asked to speak to us, started crying and asked what we knew about the church essays. We had never heard of them. She said they had been studying them in her religion class, and what they said was very different than what we were told growing up. She said she Googled lots of factual mormon history and no longer believed. Pretty shocking.
The next Sunday, sitting in Sacrament meeting, I went to LDS.ORG and eventually found the essays. I read the first vision essay, saw that the 1832 account was the only one in Joseph's handwriting, and that it was vastly different than the 1838 version I had been taught and that I had taught as a missionary. I clearly remember thinking, "Well fuck me".
This was January of 2017.
I immediately went to the internet, found several articles, and the Mormon stories podcast. I was out in 4 weeks. I mentioned the podcast to my wife, she listened and asked for a few books like " No Man Knows My History". We resigned in June of 2017. We've never been happier. Facts over faith!
I should add that in September of 2018, our second child Dusty passed away at 31 from a spontaneous dissection of the right iliac artery. We were (and still are) devastated. We no longer believe in god, but we hope we will see our son again.
We relocated from Hawaii to AZ just before leaving mormonism. But, we didn't feel comfortable around our former church friends and decided to move back to UT where we hadn't lived since 1983. It's kinda funny moving to cult central after making our escape. We ended up in the St George area, and discovered a large post Mormon community. We have developed several "real" friendships that are based on things other than religion. We love it here!
I have a podcast, Nobody Knows Your Story where my guest shares their life story. Ive had quite a variety of guests share their stories which have been very therapeutic.
We love life and are ok not having all the answers. We feel so lucky to have discovered the truth related to mormonism, and are ok not knowing what lies ahead. Nobody does. As my favorite beer maker (Kona) says on its can , "One life, right?" We're making the most of the life we have left.