Hey there, I'm Lindsay!
I'm a lover of learning, growing, discovering and adventuring. I was a mormon.
I grew up in the church and my ancestors on both sides can be traced back to hanging out with Joseph Smith. I always lived out in "the mission field" and was so jealous of people that lived in Utah, surrounded by so many members. I was always the weird one--the one all my born-again friends were trying so save from hell. I was such a rule follower. I was president of every Young Women's class, seminary president, scripture chase champion...I did it all. Went to BYU after I graduated and went on a mission at 21.
I met my ex-husband a few months after I got home. We dated for three solid weeks before getting engaged and were married four months after that. Within a few months I realized that although my husband was a great guy, getting married that fast was probably not the best life choice for me. But I had made a covenant and divorce wasn't an option. So I stuck it out. I literally remember thinking that I was going to be together forever with someone I had absolutely nothing in common. Together forever because of a choice I had made at 23. I used to pray that I would fall in love with him. It never happened.
I always struggled with polygamy. It felt so wrong to me. At a certain point I thought I should gain a testimony of it. If this was an eternal principle than I needed to accept it. I started researching it and got all my sources from Deseret Book so as not to be tainted by anti-Mormon literature. I bought the book "Mormon Enigma" and will never forget the feeling of absolute disgust I felt as I read it. I felt sick to my stomach--super nauseous. But I decided that it must somehow be my fault. I didn't have enough faith. That went on for years--me trying to understand, but feeling just so sick about it, then just pushing it all away, feeling like I didn't have enough faith and doubling down.
Twelve years after reading "Mormon Enigma" I came across a blog post from Carson Calderwood talking about his experiences seeking to feel the spirit and how he had been promised a massive spiritual experience in the temple at the end of his mission and how it didn't happen. The EXACT same thing had happened to me. Again, when I didn't have any spiritual experience in the temple (at the end of my mission or any other time) I always thought it was my fault and I didn't have enough faith. I was really shaken by that podcast to the point that my husband suggested I talk to the bishop about it. The bishop told me to read my scriptures, pray and stay off the internet.
I did just that for the next year. I didn't look at anything remotely "bad" on the internet. I started going to the temple every single week. Sometimes I would go multiple times in a week. I never felt anything. A full year of that. At the end of that year I somehow came across the CES letter. I don't even remember how. But it was over a weekend that we had a huge snow storm and they cancelled church. I started reading and couldn't stop. I read the CES letter. I read FAIR Mormon's response. I read the response to the response. I read the essays.
I will never forget the moment. I was outside shoveling snow, thinking about all these things swirling around in my head. And suddenly it just hit me. "It isn't true." I practically fell over. I couldn't believe it. But that was the truth. I knew it. I KNEW it! The church isn't true. Of course!!!! Of course it isn't!! How had I never realized this before?!?!? I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I felt so happy. And then I was terrified.
Things got real pretty quickly. I never went back to church again. My husband and kids ended up leaving the church as well. I got divorced about six months later. I went on to get a Master's degree in psychology and became a Certified Life Coach with the goal to help other people going through the emotional roller coaster of leaving a high demand religion and losing everything. I did lose everything...but I have never in my life been happier. I am free! I am free to seek real truth. I am free to think on my own. I am free to explore and discover what resonates with me.
It's been almost five years. I'm remarried to a wonderful man that I love more than I ever knew possible. Three of my kids identify as LGBTQ so I'm even more grateful that we aren't in any way linked to an organization that would discriminate against them and make them feel small. And I get to help people discover that they have the power within them to make changes in their lives and become whatever and whoever they want to be--not who they are told to be.