One day you stand up and realize that everyone you ever loved is afraid of you, and then what can you do? Where can you go when you’ve been branded an “apostate”? We’re not the first to do this, and no one has to do it alone. Outside of Mormonism I’ve found community, happiness, and real, deep human connection. We’ll see where this life takes us, we don’t know, but we’ll heal and we’ll be alright I’m sure.

To my son, who will grow up navigating a different word view than I did, I offer these words:

~~~

Keep your eyes peeled, because if you blink you will have missed it.
Don’t waste any time thinking you’re not good enough, because when we die that’s it.
Your whole life’s progress, *poof*, is gone in an instant.
So live for today and love for forever.
Ride bikes and drink beer, it took billions of years to figure out how and seems silly to not experience life out of fear.
Hold close the ones you love, and love them completely.
In this there is meaning. In this, there is a life worth living.

Grab my hand, I know it looks steep, but I’m here for you.
I’ll catch you when you fall, I promise you that.
Hold my hand and I’ll never let go, and when you feel like you’re ready, go and try it for yourself.
You’ll scrape your knee, you’ll get dirt in your teeth, and it will be nothing new, you’ll see.
You were built for this adventure.
When you’re out there on your own, remember that.

Treat the earth with respect, it brought you life and it’s our only one.
Enjoy the trees, and the way light reflects off the dew covered leaves.
Enjoy the laughter of kids as they grow and wonder.
Be helpful to those around you, and lessen the suffering of others.
This is an ex-Mormon’s prayer.

A boy and his dog

Mitchell Brown in AZ

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