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. Even though I never imagined my happiness could be greater, it has only continued to increase since I left the church after a change of beliefs more than five years ago. 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.

Zach in AZ

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

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