On October 2, 2016, in a worldwide conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder M. Russell Ballard said the following: “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?”

Meet the people who have found health and happiness outside of the Mormon church.

Losing my religion wasn’t the end

The Mormon faith has always been a strong influence in my life and upbringing. However at a young age, I chose to become inactive. I was a very confused young adult with a lot of questions. The answer I was given: to pray... which I did but I still felt very unsure...

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Freedom and Actual Happiness

After being raised Mormon, going on a mission and marrying a Mormon, I gathered the courage to leave it about two and a half years ago. Though consequently it resulted in a divorce, I have never been happier. I am now free to live, think and feel how I want to. I live...

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Losing My Life and Finding It

“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. I never missed Sunday School or...

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Oh hey, it’s me.

I have nothing but fond experiences growing up in the church. I grew up in a family that loves the church deeply. I was so grateful for it! It wasn't until after I got married in the temple at 19, that certain things didn't feel as right or at home like they had used...

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I will go where the Spirit Leads

I was ushered out of the church 30 some odd years ago when I came out at Ricks (BYU Idaho). I wasn't ex'd, I was just no longer Mormon. I floundered for a very long time, because back then there wasn't a network as there is now. Over the years I have found love and...

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Find Your Peace

I didn't grow up with religion. I did, however, grow up with a belief in the basics of Christianity. When I was 18, I met a man and fell head over heels. That man just happened to be Mormon. I've never been able to decide if I joined because I actually believed or...

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To Life, to abundance, to my own heart

I am from a generational chain of devoted believers. My parents have passed. My sibling's lives are immersed in devout belief and service. They are intelligent doers. The church is their promise and passion. In 1967 I found out about doctrinal bigotry and the...

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I Have Never Been Happier

I grew up in a very orthodox family, every commandment from the apostles were followed to a T. I was supposed to fit into a mold, and I did so, not for myself but for my parents and what they wanted. Without getting into the crazy details I will say that my childhood...

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Thirty three stolen, Thirty three taken back

I gave 33 years of my life to men who dictated to me what God wanted me to think and feel and do. I've been free of the LDS church for ten months now and have never felt more hopeful, more purely motivated, more joyous. I have taken back the rest of my life and the...

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To where I’m needed.

My name is Dario and I have been a member all my life. My family immigrated to the US when we met some LDS missionaries serving in Mendoza, Argentina and they invited us to live with them in the US. I met my wife at 15, and we were married at 18 after high school. She...

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I came back to myself

For all of my 29 years in the church, I never felt I could speak freely. Early on, I learned what happens to those who don't blend in. The more I blended, the more I lost myself. I mistook "losing yourself in the work," for losing my identity. Or maybe that's what was...

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Finally happy!

I grew up in a strict LDS household. It was my world, i knew nothing different. The promise of happiness kept me going, but inside I wasn't happy. After years of therapy and treatment for depression and other struggles, I began to wonder if I wasn't good enough to...

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I Will Go Down… to Utah County

I grew up to Mormon pioneer stock in California and Texas. I believed in the truthfulness of the Gospel with 100% of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I served a mission and held various callings, from primary teacher to first counselor in EQ presidency. I moved to...

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Relationship Not Religion

I was raised in the Mormon church and was the perfect Mormon girl, or I tried. I grew up with Nate. I felt that if I stayed Mormon and married a Mormon man that I would be complete. I got married young like most Mormon women and had two children. I didn't marry for...

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Taking Charge of My Life

I liked being Mormon, so I didn't realize until I left (because of disbelief) how much of my life had been decided not by me, but by the Church. Once I stepped into the great unknown of my future without Mormonism I realized there were all kinds of wonderful things I...

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Love Is My Journey

I was born and raised in the church and served a mission in the Baltic States. I was a very dedicated until I was 33, even though I struggled with being a single, queer Mormon. I came out when I turned 30, and stayed in the church. Last year, after the ruling on...

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Spend More Time with Family

I have so much more time to dedicate to my family now that I don't go to church. It's been about 4 years, and in that time I've started a family, moved and found amazing friends and an awesome support network of diverse, kind, amazing fellow moms, become a faster...

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Coming Home

I was raised by first generation, devoutly Mormon parents in the farthest reaches of the antipodes. What my parents felt they lacked in Mormon pedigree they made up for in spades through their tireless dedication to building Zion in their own humble corner of the...

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Freedom

I was born and raised in the Mormon church, served a mission, married in the temple and after 45 years of complete devotion, I left 3 years ago after finding out the truth that so many others have discovered. I have learned to follow my own spirit and to seek truth in...

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Where I find joy

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...

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I am free to go live my dreams, and change the world

I'm going to keep questioning, growing, learning and moving the world forward by inspiring everyone I meet. Many people are still falling victim to lies, cults and erroneous thinking, so I've started a video series on YouTube called "Ask Reality" (askreality.com). I...

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I Never Dreamed I Would Leave

I grew up in the church. I was married in the temple and my children were blessed into it. I was in the primary presidency when I ultimately made the decision to no longer attend. When I started to see the gap between the values of love and acceptance I was teaching...

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32+ countries with 3 kids in 7 years

I was a devoted LDS church member and leader for 30 years before discovering that my spiritual experiences and intuitive guidance could be interpreted in more empowering ways than I'd been taught. Where have I gone since then? I've been traveling the world with my...

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Out of Religion and into Relationship

My husband grew up LDS, and I converted shortly after we got married. We were sealed a year later. After we moved up to the Seattle area, our shelves broke and we decided we could no longer continue in a religion that made us feel so awful. We left, 3 years ago, and...

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Beautiful Self-Discovery

I was born and raised in a family of faith. I grew, led and loved within many wards. I married a returned missionary at BYU. Through 8 years of betrayal and heartbreak, I stayed strong, believing my example would encourage my husband to be the man I deserved. It did...

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HAPPILY married

Left the church in Nov of 2015. Married my wife in April 2016. I was a member for 35 years and tried to live the celibate life that was expected. I was miserable. I've finally found my happiness and my peace.   Anetta in Beaverton

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I will go find myself.

I was born and raised LDS. A strong member for the first 20 years of my life, or so it seemed to the outside world. I struggled for years with gaining a testimony. I felt like the Mormon poster child, and yet I could never say that I actually had a testimony. I...

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Walk

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...

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A Letter to Myself

I wish I could go back and tell myself where I'd end up "going". If I could, this is what I'd say. You'll let go of the anxiety of a "last days" mentality, and realize that although there are terrible people (as there have been all throughout history), overall, the...

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Sacred Community

My family joined the LDS Church when I was 7 years old, so I had been raised Mormon a good part of my life. I had a pretty typical childhood, went to youth activities/camps, graduated seminary, and was overall quite involved in church. One of the most memorable...

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Perfection

I have been out of the church almost 6 years. I was 38 when my family and I left. Even if it was scary at first, truthfully, I have found joy, happiness, gratitude, and power. All of which has come from within myself after leaving the church. In growing up, and living...

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Fresh Air

Cognitive dissonance was a term that I had never heard of but wow, did I ever have it. I must have known it on some level, however, as I avoided things like missionary work as much as possible. I just couldn’t sell it and when confronted, I couldn’t defend the Church...

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Choice is Mine

At just 19 years old I became a mother to a perfect little girl. I quickly married the father months before. Being raised in an LDS family my desire was to get married in the temple a year later. I soon realized this was not my spouse's desire. Finding myself in an...

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We Are Happier Just Being Good

We retired in 2014 and were preparing to serve a senior couples mission. We suddenly had time and motivation to comprehensively study the doctrine and history of our church. We soon ran into a mountain of factual information we had never been taught at church. A year...

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Its a whole new rich, amazing, beautiful world!

After a temple marriage, 4 kids, over a hundred thousand of dollars and 40 years of faithful service, our family left the church. As one who was born into the church, for many years I have thanked God for my membership in the church. Our shelf broke and we found...

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Think Great Awakening, not Faith Crisis!

My name is Seth. I am a water/wastewater Engineer. I am a husband, Father, Dog Owner, Podcaster, professional procrastinator, and I am no longer a Mormon. I was born and raised in the church. I attended all through my youth and teenage years. I did not serve an LDS...

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A Place at the Table

I was raised LDS but my family didn't always attend. As a teen I served in the class presidencies all through YW. I realized I was a lesbian when I was in 6th grade. Between 9th & 10th grade I came out to my mom who wasn't surprised at all. I didn't come out to my...

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The Grass is Greener

Truly, the grass is greener on the other side. My name is Zach Wetzel, and I left the church one month ago. Since I've done so I've had greater peace of mind and a more firm desire to be a better person because I choose to. A bit of info about me: I am from Los...

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Going inward

Up until 2 months ago, I thought I could stay in the church. I was born in the covenant, was baptized, married in the Temple at age 20, attended BYU and stayed home to raise my 2 children. Over the years, I slowly lost my identity and my voice. I forced myself into...

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I let go

On November 1st 2015, I decided to step away from the Mormon church. It was a heartbreaking day, but I couldn't deny the feeling in my heart. This year has carried with it a whirlwind of emotions.... confusion, anger, depression.... But also so much happiness, love...

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I found true peace and my soulmate

I was raised in the Church and served in many callings. I was a full time Seminary teacher. I married because I believed God would provide the miracle I was praying for all of my life. I eventually came out to my wife and children instead of following through with...

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I’ll go travel the world

Since leaving I've traveled the world visiting some of the world's most beautiful places. I've experienced new cultures and met the most interesting people. I'm no longer restricted as to what I do, say, eat, think, or how I connect with other people. I can view the...

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Welcome to a fresh start. A chance to learn and grow.

In September 2015, I posted on my blog about the reasons why I had my faith transition and the choices I made as a result. Since then, I've spent the last year or so working on rebuilding. So many parts of my life were built on my Mormon identity and I've essentially...

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Like a Phoenix, risen from the ashes

I'm your typical Mormon, I have pioneer ancestry from both sides, I live in Mesa where my great great great grandfather was one of the founders. About 4 years ago, after battling depression and being out to my family as gay, I became suicidal and blamed my religion...

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Following The Light of Peace and Love

To whom did I go? I bypassed the inequality of authority and chose to learn from the source. I now walk the way of a Friend. As a Friend, I am not required to believe that my way is “true” and other ways are “false”. Our way is a way of peace and equality, one where...

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Peace of mind

I was driving down the road on a cool winter morning almost two years ago, listening to a woman on the radio tell of her experience growing up Jewish—all the quirks, the contradictions, the beauty of life in that religion. Though I knew little of Judaism, I felt a...

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I Will Go Home

I was born and raised in the church. I loved singing primary songs at the top of my lungs, then hymns. I served as president of both the Beehive and Mia Maid classes. I was happy and content in the LDS church until I hit my senior year of high school, when I began to...

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Leaving Home

When I was first kicked out of BYU, I was terrified. I had mentally left the church over the course of the past year, but as an 18 year- old who was still very dependent on his Mormon parents, I was worried I might starve to death if they found out. The next fall, I...

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Family, isn’t it about time?

I will go to be with my loving and supportive wife and my children. I have used my new free time to further enrich my bonds with my children and strengthen my love for my wife. I have become a better family man. I am free to teach them morals and values without...

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I Feel God in the Sun on my Shoulders

I am a 36 year old mother of two. I was born into the Church and was raised in a faithful, orthodox family. As my own children got closer to eight, I thought about the children who are denied baptism because of their parent's gender identity or marriage. And I thought...

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I will return to MYSELF

I was born and raised in the LDS church, pioneer heritage, temple marriage and all. I never considered anything else. All the answers were there and it was easy. Not until my children started to reject the teachings of the church did I ever dare to really look at the...

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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...

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Looking within, and forward

All my life I was told I could only be one thing. As Henry Ford wrote in his autobiography, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." As a lifelong political liberal, I have the church's activism against gay marriage to...

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My Community is Me

I grew up Mormon and left 4 years ago after also leaving an abusive marriage. One of the hardest things for me with the sense of "community" within the church is that I am by nature incredibly introverted. Being around people is so incredibly exhausting for me and in...

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The Voice Inside

Shel Silverstein wrote a poem titled The Voice. It says: There is a voice inside of you That whispers all day long, "I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong." No teacher, preacher, parent, friend Or wise man can decide What's right for you - just...

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Finding Christ

I was a member of the LDS church from age 8 to age 41. I finally realized I could no longer accept the lies taught to me or the rejection of my LGBT+ children in August 2015. Shortly thereafter my family started attending Community of Christ. I finally found joy in...

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The Golden Rule

I was a convert to the LDS faith, joining at a vulnerable time for me. I was 15 and my parents had gone through two divorces. Because my mother was progressive she adamantly opposed the church, due to the priesthood ban for African Americans. For the first 30 years it...

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I Will Be Myself, a Man Born as a Female.

Stepping back from the church has allowed me to be who I was truly born to be. It's been a hard process, mostly because I didn't know how to reconcile my faith in what I believed with who I was. I can tell you the more simple answer is separating the gospel from the...

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The Other Side of Nauvoo

I had a typical Mormon upbringing in Provo Utah, filled with songs of pioneer children singing as they walked and the knowledge that I was a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loved me. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I started to question my place in...

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Shades of Grey

I was born the 8th of 9 children to parents who were themselves converts. Growing up in a large Mormon family had it's ups and downs but my memories of my childhood are mostly positive. I loved ward potlucks, roadshows , parties and got baptized alongside all my...

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Where will I go?

I have been a member of the LDS church for 25 years and 2 years ago, I decided to leave. Majority of my immediate family are active, as well as extended family. We have a strong history in the church; my family was part of the Willie Handcart company who crossed the...

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Finding A Home

I was born into a good LDS family with ancestors going back to the Mormon pioneers. I participated fully in primary, had many callings starting from a young age, graduated seminary and institute, and got married in the temple. I met a lot of amazing people and had...

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Life is great!

I grew up in Australia as a Mormon and served a two year mission in Japan when I turned nineteen. Three years after I returned from Japan I was married in the Temple and now currently have three young boys with my American wife. Currently we live in Arizona with the...

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Not All Who Wander Are Lost

I grew up in southeastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, which is about 50% LDS. I faithfully followed the normal LDS path through childhood, adolescence and adulthood: baptized at 8, graduated from seminary, served a 2 year mission (for me, to Germany), graduated from BYU,...

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Finding Myself

I was 39 years old before I started addressing the questions about the church that I had struggled with most of my life. I was adopted through LDS social services at 2 days old and grew up in a faithful LDS family. I did all of the things a faithful member of the...

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From Happy to Happier

I was a believing member of the LDS church for my entire life until I was 27. I was a happy Mormon and used to say, as many do, that true happiness could only be found within the church, and those outside only thought they had it. I promise you that is simply false....

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Brunch

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...

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Unafraid

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. When you leave a structured belief system, you are forced to rebuild. I...

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I will go and do . . .

One of the things I feared most about leaving the LDS Church was being alone, being rejected, and losing my purpose in life. Little did I know that leaving the Church would be the best thing that ever happened to me. I've found an amazing community of amazing,...

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So many possibilities for the future.

I grew up in a nuanced LDS household in Northern California. I moved to the Phoenix east valley for high school. I graduated college and got married at the ripe young age of 21 to an understanding, kind, and intellectual Mormon. Unfortunately, he died less than 2...

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These are stories of health and happiness outside the Mormon church.

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