Where will you go?
On October 2, 2016, in a worldwide conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder M. Russell Ballard said “If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do?”
To whom will I go?
Bon voyage boat. I went to Facebook and found many just like me in open mormon activity groups. It was extremely validating to know I wasn’t the only one who made it into the hot air balloon.
Where will I go? To brunch on Sundays, silly! That’s the gay agenda!
While I’m not gay, the policy left me feeling more unwanted in the church than I had been just being fat and single. I loved this church. I served it my whole life. I still have cherished friendships from my mission. But where will I go? Out to brunch. What will I do? Eat brunch with people who recognize my value outside of my weight and marital status. And making those friends is the key to being infinitely happier.
To Elder Ballard’s question: “To whom shall you go?”
Elder Ballard, there are so many loving and accepting people in the world that are both religious and non religious. There are whole communities of people that just care about each other because they’re your neighbor. There are so many good people in the world. And don’t get me wrong, I think Mormons are great, but there are so many people that are just as great, and sometimes better. We are not lonely, we are not sad. I am so happy and excited for this next chapter in my life.
I will be myself, a man born as a female.
Wherever you go, you won’t break God’s love for you.
The real question is “Where will I go first?”
It’s hard to answer because there are so many choices available to me. I’ll go where I can fully appreciate this life. My motorcycle through the mountains is a good start. I could do this before, but my perspective on what it means is so much clearer than it was before. I have one life, and I am going to enjoy every second.
To whom have I gone? My husband and I hold Family Home Evening. We teach the children about an amazing person from their heritage each week. We pray as a family at meals and before bed. We teach the children to question and think for themselves.
I have gone to friends who are open minded and think about things. I have gone shopping on Sundays, and to lunch as a family after church. I have found Mormon feminists. I listen to music, or go outside in a rainstorm, or on a bright sunny day, or talk a walk alone while we are camping.
And I feel God in the sun on my shoulders, and the rain on my face, and the wind in my hair.
Following the light of peace and love.
I’ll go travel the world!
The beauty in life is figuring that question out.
Where will you go? What can you do?
There are amazing thinks to discover. Mistakes to be made. Lives to be lived. Leaving orthodoxy opened my eyes to the need to live my life. To stop marching to the drum of others and find what speaks to me. My leaving the church was a great awakening within me. It has led me to meet amazing kind people. It has given me the opportunity to serve others who are experiencing the pain of losing Faith.
What I hope to find, where I hope to go, is a place that I discover in asking the questions that matter. I hope to go to a place where I can make a difference. I can grow to be a better person then I was yesterday. I can help grow and create communities that make a difference.
I will go find myself.
To whom shall we go? We go where we are needed. We go where we are loved, and we go where we belong.
“To whom shall you go?” That’s easy–anywhere! I am free to choose where I want to go. Life is good. I am good. And I am finally happy!
For me, I still don’t know, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a place full of love, joy, and good people.
I will go and do...
Here are a few of my answers to the questions, “Where will you go? What will you do?”:
–I will enjoy greater and more frequent spiritual experiences. Without a doubt I have had more frequent spiritual experiences since leaving, and many of them more powerful than any I had while still Mormon.
–I will welcome self discovery. I had no idea that my true self was not who I thought. Without any prescribed beliefs and practices, I have been able to uncover a new me. Feeling so authentic, as well as exploring new passions, such as photography, has brought me great joy.
–I will dive into books. Since leaving the church I’m constantly devouring nonfiction books and I’ve absolutely loved expanding my knowledge and reading things that have opened my mind to so much. The culture of the church simply didn’t allow that for me personally as I was focused on scripture study and reading the Book of Mormon repeatedly.
–I will truly embrace everyone. I have become more accepting and loving towards all, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. The new connection I feel with all humans is hard to describe, but it’s extremely invigorating.
–I will meet amazing friends. I cannot even begin to describe the love and happiness I’ve found with new friends since leaving the church. A world of opportunities and experiences has presented itself as I continue in my life journey with them.
I rescued my dog, Frankie, moved to a small apartment in the suburbs, and learned to simply enjoy spending time with myself. I travel by myself. I go to nice restaurants by myself. I go to movies by myself. I love spending time with me. Yes, I have an amazing career surrounded by amazing people. Yes, I’ve made friends. Yes, I have local hangouts. But when asked the question of “To whom shall I go?” Well, I went and found myself, by myself, on my own terms.
Where will I go? Into the loving arms of Community of Christ.
I will go to be with my loving and supportive wife and my children.
Family, isn’t it about time?
I will go home.
Where will I go? I’m already there! I found my true love and happiness beyond belief. Friends I never imagined and children who love me and my partner!
Wherever I want to! Wherever there is fresh air and sunshine on my face. Light and warmth is everywhere, literally and figuratively. I am free.
32+ countries with 3 kids in 7 years!
Where will I go? I will go where I find joy. I have found my neighbors who are wonderful people! I have found a worship community who celebrates diversity and all of God/Goddesses children. I, and my gay daughter are welcome and cherished there. Most importantly, I will go to the divine in me! Now that I actually think for myself, I have found joy and intelligence and love. It is wonderful!
I'll spend more time with family.
I came back to myself!
I didn’t go anywhere! I’m still here, committed to bettering myself and the world around me. I think all of us are walking toward similar goals though our methods, beliefs, and hopes may differ.
I officially stopped going to church 2 ½ years ago, and I have gone to places that have brought me true all-encompassing happiness. I met the love of my life in an Ex-Mormon Facebook group and have been able to discover what it feels like to be seen – not because of my sweet spirit or my stalwart service in the church, but as stubborn, open-minded, irreverent ME. I met incredible people as I transitioned, and found a group of friends who have shared the same journey and would have my back anytime I called upon them. Plus, they are a hell of a lot of fun. I am raising three gorgeous, brilliant, tolerant children with my ex-husband, and the anxiety of fitting them inside a narrow box of shame and fear is completely gone. Even though my relationships with my active LDS family are strained, I am filled every day with peace. It is beautiful here on the other side. It is full of people who are wise and loving and help me believe our future is in good hands. I am finally happy being me.
To whom shall I go? To Emma’s church and I’ve never been happier.
I frankly have no idea what my future holds, but that’s exactly the brilliance of it. I don’t know. And I love that I don’t know.
Where have we gone, Elder Ballard? Well… we have returned to OURSELVES. “JUST BEING” has given us a great sense of peace and a feeling of HOME.
We'll go where adventure takes us!
I feel like a whole new world of humanity has opened up to me. By taking off the gospel lens from my vision, I’ve become more forgiving and compassionate. I have been willing to see the good of diversity of opinion. I’ve started living more in the present rather than planning for the eternities. I no longer read or view material afraid of what answers I might find. I’ve become more introspective and able to see my own faults and correct them. I care more about how my words and actions impact people. I am learning new things every single day.
I’ve had the opportunity to teach my daughter about being kind without having the message muddled by telling her to hate the sin and love the sinner. We just love now without reservation.
I’ve rediscovered a love of travel. My family and I are taking and planning trips to places I’ve always wanted to visit but have been too scared to travel to. We are learning about cultures and people without any reservations.
“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.
To the man asking where I went: I went where that one girl Salena is 🙂
The world is richer and fuller than you can possibly imagine. Culture, food, and whatever you feel you need to experience it is yours and no one elses. Go out of your comfort zone.
Leaving has opened a whole possibility and discovery of beauty you will miss if you blink. Expand your thinking and horizon, step out of the box the church has tried to fit you into. You are an individual and beautiful the way you are.
I will go where the spirit leads.
I can go... anywhere.
We now go to the mountains to heal and uplift our souls. We go to the beautifully diverse world to gain knowledge, experience, and wisdom. Most importantly, we go to the arms of those who see our worth and accept us without judgment for the unconditional love that we’ve been starved of. We will spread that love as far as we can for as long as we can.
I still volunteer with my ward and want to serve when there are opportunities to serve. Leaving the church doesn’t mean that you leave everything behind. I still Love, I still Serve, and I’ll go where others can use me.
I Will Go Down… to Utah County
So, where will I go? I will go where the light that is in me directs because therein lies joy, happiness, gratitude, and power.
I walk straight.
Those in the past
who taught me
their twisted corkscrew way
full of demands
and the demons of guilt
was the only true path
Like a too heavy pack
full of useless stuff
I shake off.
They promised happiness
but gave despair.
They said I was better
but not good enough.
I straighten my spine.
My face to the clouds,
I reach my hungry hands
to the clean heavens.
The singing voice
no longer silenced
human, as I am,
I walk straight.
Where will I go? I go to a strong, supportive and accepting community that encourages me to find myself and stand for things I know to be right. I seek out my own answers, instead of relying on the words of men. I go to my loving Savior to learn more of Him, my faith in Him has never faltered. I prioritize my own personal revelation over voices of authority.
I go to a community that lives passionately by their own values, each individual and unique. My children will learn by example to listen to their own inner voice and proudly live for themselves.
I go to a heaven unshackled by polygamous bonds. I am free.
The world is a significantly brighter, more beautiful place. The options of “where will I go” are only as limited as I chose. I am free!
Where am I going? To life, to abundance, to my own heart and inspiration. I am going into courage and messiness and the wholeness of imperfection. I am leaving busyness behind to value serenity. I’ll dance, profane, be angry, and sing.
Where will I go? It’s now been one year since I officially resigned. I have found myself. The myself that I pushed away to fit into the high expectations I felt I had to keep. The myself that I’ve always wanted to be. I found a community of wonderful people who are now wonderful friends. I found true, unconditional support. I found that I am a good, moral, hard-working person even without god and the LDS church. I’ve found more trials, yes. Trials are all around us. I still try to learn from them like before but I just no longer believe that it was “given” to me. I have found that I don’t need to be perfect. No one is perfect. My lack of belief in religion doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m still a good mom and good friend. I love with my whole heart. Most importantly, I finally found my peace.
Where will I go? Wherever my heart takes me.
Where will you go? Find your peace. Find YOU.
Since leaving life is so much simpler. Freed from the shackles of regular meeting attendance, constant prayer, scripture reading, temple attendance, tithing etc. I have found a community that believes in Jesus and the Bible. What a relief to only have one set of scriptures to read! I also have time to spend with family and to also follow my passion of dog training!! Despite what Elder Ballard said I have a sweet simple life that does include a belief in a loving God who does not require my money! I have also been freed to find and commit to charities that appeal to me instead of waiting around for the church to tell me where to focus my time, efforts and money.
I have found that the simple things in life are what are important. Good friends, family, a community of believers in Christ and of course my dogs. To anyone reading this, follow your heart and your passions and you too can find the simple life.
In response to “where will you go?” I say, “those who wander are not always lost,” and there is “joy in the journey.” The first part is a popular quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, the second part is from the 1998 EFY theme and together they sum up what my spiritual journey is, and has been.
“Where will [I] go?” Wherever my soul takes me.
Towards love, authenticity, and a genuine daily life.
It has made not pretending worth it.