Hi, I'm Steve.
I enjoy reading and spending time with my family. I am a high integrity person and seek honesty. I was a mormon.
I come from Utah pioneer stock. Not church leadership type, but the hard-wotking, sent into the middle of nowhere to make a new settlement type of pioneers. I was baptized at 8 years old without any recognition of what that meant; it was just time to because that was what was done when you turned 8.
I drifted from activity after High School but returned with my family in 2006. I had some great experiences and thought I had found a home. I particularly loved the Temple and it helped me (in part) to recover from addiction. However, the church also harmed my family. We were deeply harmed by the doctrines toward LGBTQ+ people, and also the unrelenting perfectionism that the church puts on us as individuals and families.
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On the Mormon Spectrum
Why I left More answers about 'Why I left' the mormon church
My two boys are LGBTQ+. They are not safe in the church. We realized that we had to step back to keep our younger son safe. Our older son was already 18 and had gone inactive.
I also began looking into the church history that was never taught in Sunday School or Seminary. I learned the truth about Joseph Smith's polygamy and the origins of the temple ceremonies. I was literally crushed by this. After 14 years of devotion to the temple and church, to learn what he really did was a complete betrayal for me.
I stopped attending church, but I did continue to study the details of church history and doctrine origination, and also the more recent church actions. I found that I could not maintain any personal integrity and belong to the church any longer. At times I felt grief over this. I felt grief for the fact that my dad, who passed in 1992 had been a member but was a strong advocate in his time for black members to have the priesthood, might be sad that I was leaving. I wondered if be would have stayed if he had the access I did to this information.
I sent my resignation letter to the bishop in April 2022. I had served with him in several callings, most recently in a prior bishopric. I had asked for no contact and that was respected. I received a letter from church HQ a few weeks later, but I was not actually moved off the ward rolls. That took another email to the church to ask for everything to me removed. I found that interesting that they would send me a letter but not actually do what I requested.
I see what I did as a "life correction". My parents baptized me into the church without my full understanding at 8 years old, and I corrected that error. I am truly happy and free, and feel closer to God and others now.
I give my time to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and others freely. I go where I feel I need to. I give of my resources where I am drawn to give them, where they can best help. Just as I believe God would have me do it.
Questions about Mormons My Answers to Questions about Mormonism
Are you lazy? Is that why you left? See more answers about 'Are you lazy? Is that why you left?'
Far from "lazy", I was a as hard working as any priesthood holder. I was a ward missionary, Executive Secretary for 5 years, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and I served as a facilitator in the Addiction Recovery program. I was the "go-to" guy for the scripture anyone needed to know in Ward Council. I was one of the first calls when a second person was needed for a blessing in the ward.
I not only read the Book of Mormon repeatedly, I had the Doctrine and Covenants down. I had shelves of GA books I had read. I devoured church literature. I always had a church book I was reading.
That was my problem. Once I learned about the lies the church was telling, I could not stop learning. My integrity and studying would not allow me to stop. If I was "lazy", I would have turned it off.
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 think this is the most silly question of all. Why would any mature adult WANT to sin?
If you define "sin" as drinking coffee, then that may be a different matter. But I did not leave the church to drink coffee. Again, that is infantile. I left because I was betrayed by liars who told me the temple was of God and led me to believe what went on there was true and lovely and beautiful. And that I was helping others progress eternally. But I wasn't.
Were you offended? Is that why you left? See more answers about 'Were you offended? Is that why you left?'
I was betrayed. I was told the church and the temple were of God and they are not. I found out that Joseph Smith invented the temple ceremonies to assist him with polygamy and gaining wives. While this was not his sole purpose, he used them for this end. He promised widowers eternal sealing to their dead wives in exchange for their daughter's hand in marriage. He promised Emma to be the first endowed woman if she would accept polygamy.
This sickened me. I loved the temple and that I was helping others advance in their eternal progression. But it was all a lie. So I was not offended. I felt like I found my spouse had been having an affair. It hurt me that much.
That is far deeper than "offended".
Are you happy? See more answers about 'Are you happy?'
I am so much happier without the Mormon church. The impossible standards, the constant feeling of never doing enough, the never measuring up, the feeling of failure every night before bed, the sorrow that I have to face another day tomorrow and knowing I will not be good enough -
It is all gone from me!
I live with a life that is bright and happy and full of possibility. I can accept not getting everything done and catch up the next day without fear that I not be with my family forever because of it. I do not have an unattainable checklist in head - now its called THE COVENANT PATH - that I cannot possibly complete every day.
I end each day watching a show with my wife and a cold beer. What is better than that?