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 thank for giving me the impetus to start thinking for myself. Mormonism was never me; rather, it was the system I inherited, and thus the system I had to believe and operate in to survive for the first 31 years of my life. It was all I knew, but it was never what I wanted or would have chosen.

I was raised the son of extremely devout LDS parents in a family of six children. I married my high school sweetheart at 20 in the LDS temple, and we left the church together for different but compatible reasons. We have three beautiful children, whom I am so happy to raise outside a belief system and culture that puts them in a box in which they may not fit. I want to teach them *how* to think, not *what* to think. To trust and love themselves. To love life. To not fear judgment or the future.

I am fascinated by psychology, biology, philosophy, history, and morality. I feel we all have tremendous potential to improve the human condition if we can trade our tribalism for empathy and understanding. I am agnostic to the existence of a higher power, but I feel any such power worthy of worship would honor my path.

I recently had permanently inked on my right arm the ancient Greek phrase, γνῶθι σεαυτὸν, meaning “know thyself”. I feel these are words to live by and strive for. In my journey I have developed amazing romantic relationships and friendships of incredible depth, and I feel privileged to wander the cosmos with such excellent, introspective, thoughtful beings.

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.

David Dixon in AZ

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

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