Hi, I'm Richard
I lost my life and found It. I was a mormon.
I never missed Sunday School or seminary, followed all commandments as closely as I could, and attended the temple frequently. I knew all the “talk points” of “anti-mormons” before my mission, and never considered them problems. With the best of the apologists, I assumed, “The truth will come forth eventually.” I served a full-time mission and married in the Temple at 21. But for some reason, I was deeply depressed and I never felt at home. I hated myself and no amount of obedience could change that. I felt my testimony slipping soon after my mission, as the “literalism” of the church ceased holding up. In an attempt to “prove myself wrong,” I majored in history, focusing on ancient religious studies at BYU. After three years of this, I had a full psychological breakdown. This crash was the impetus I needed to begin finding my own path in life.
# Why I left More stories of 'Why I left' the Mormon church
My disillusionment took 7 years. My ego was broken, all the things I had previously known were iconoclastically dashed against rocks, and I had to recreate myself. My rebirth included painfully distancing myself from my family and friends, the end of my Temple marriage, a major career change, and a seemingly endless existential black hole. But it was exactly what I needed. I began reading Eastern Philosophy and made an intense study of Zen and Yogic practices. I searched out the things that felt true from a variety of traditions and voices of wisdom and reason. I traveled a lot. Through all of this, I finally began to experience my own soul. Now, outside of the confines of the Church, I feel closer to what I consider to be divine than I had ever felt in my younger life. I feel a sense of purpose and I feel guided by a driving voice inside that speaks peace amongst the tumult of life. In this process of disillusionment, I’ve found an amazing community of like-minded friends, a loving partner, and, most importantly, myself. I’ve found a passionate love for nature and the environment, an appreciation for my body (where before there had only been shame), and a creative drive that pushes me onwards to make a difference. I try to take each opportunity to show love to those I come in contact with. That is where I’ve found paradise. I have become comfortable – and find peace – in the insecurity of “not knowing” what the future holds. Certainly, the darkness creeps in again from time to time. In those times, I let go of what I thought must be and tried to allow life to be what it is. It is an amazing ride – exhilarating, peaceful, and sometimes terrifying. But it is my life and I’ve never been more grateful for it.
To those who see me as an apostate led astray by Satan, I say, ‘I love you.’ I get why you hold your perspective. But hopefully, the fruits of my life will show the true nature of the path I’m on.
Questions about Mormons My Answers to Questions about Mormonism
#Link to this answer of 'Where will you go?' by Richard Where will you go? See more answers about 'Where will you go?'
“Where will you go?” – Long before these words were uttered from the pulpit, I had them written in my heart, and they were terrifying to me. The youngest child of an extremely devout, conservative LDS family, the Church was my reality.