Hello, I’m Sydney.
I was a mormon.
I live in California and I’m 18 years old. For context, I was born into the church, and up until about 2 years ago, I went every Sunday, attended every fireside and activity, prayed daily, attended seminary, and read the scriptures. My dad has been in the bishopric for decades, and my mom has been Relief Society President and Young Women’s President. My older sister went on a mission and attends BYU. The perfect, cookie-cutter mormon family.
On the Mormon Spectrum
So what happened to me?
Although it took me several years to leave, I would say my doubts started in middle school. It was at this time that I learned about the LGBTQ+ community, and I quickly became a firm ally. Which brought my next question: Why isn’t there a place for queer people in church? I asked my mom and my dad (the bishop at the time) and they both gave me the same answer: God hasn’t revealed everything he is going to reveal, so just have faith and put it on a shelf. And I did, I “doubted my doubts” and moved on.
I wasn’t happy to be in church from the point on. I made it a point to keep members of the church out of my social life, because they were too suffocating. I still served my callings and attended seminary and did the things I was supposed to. Then the summer after my sophomore year, I realized that I was actually queer myself (shocker). How was I supposed to “put it on a shelf” now?
From this moment on, I put distance between myself on the church. I started to develop my own morals and political opinions, and synchronously started to see the many flaws of the church. But I couldn’t just forget the years and years of LDS knowledge I had, so I started digging deeper.
I did my research, from sources inside the church and out. The breaking point, as I’m sure it was for many, was the CES letter. I read it all in one night, and cried through the whole thing. Nothing had ever seemed as definitive as that did before. For one last time, I prayed more sincerely than I ever has before for an answer. Nothing. And I haven’t looked back since. I haven’t stopped researching and learning, of course, because I hope maybe my knowledge on this discourse can help other find the truth.