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 very well. I had been a member for over 30 years and it became increasingly exhausting. The temple brought me no solace either and goodness knows I tried.

My solace always came from fresh air and sunshine on my face. Light and warmth has always been my thing. Light and truth, as referenced by the church, should have meshed nicely with that and I thought it did for a long time. As I came to understand, however, there was no truth and, therefore, no light and no comfort, only walls and fences to protect me from imaginary forces of evil. I willingly lived within these walls and fences and only recently, did I realize that I had the power to break them down and step outside into the real light. It felt so good and it was right. I had given my power to someone, or something else, and I took it back. After all, it is mine.

Where will I go? 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.

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

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