At the age of 9 I was baptized into the Mormon Church with the rest of my family after having met with missionaries. I was an on again off again member for a while until 2001 when my family and I were sealed together in the Salt Lake Temple. From there I was a fully committed member. Holding several different callings, saying my prayers, reading my scriptures, doing genealogy attending the Temple regularly, paying my tithing etc. I left in April of this year after 6 excruciating months of serious prayer over the policy change regarding the children of LGBTQ families. I was horrified but towed the party line. I found I could no longer remain an authentic, honest person by staying inside Mormonism. I felt complicit in the marginalizing of these people. This was so much more personal to me as my niece is gay and her and her wife have two beautiful daughters. I couldn’t stay.
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.