I have been a member of the LDS church for 25 years and 2 years ago, I decided to leave. Majority of my immediate family are active, as well as extended family. We have a strong history in the church; my family was part of the Willie Handcart company who crossed the plains with the pioneers, so you can say I have deep roots in the church. After reading church essays and doing my own thinking about God and life, I realized I no longer believed in the things I was taught growing up. This was devastating for me. Like most people who leave the church, I wasn’t sure what I believed, what I would teach my children and where I would stand in my community. It was scary essentially “starting over”.

Since leaving the church, I feel more confident in myself and rely on my own instincts and intuition. I have so much confidence in myself to achieve whatever I want to do. I love that I feel comfortable in my own skin and I don’t have to worry about upholding to standards I don’t understand or agree with.

I have joined a number of post Mormon communities that all do one thing; create a sense of community that’s been lost. It doesn’t matter what you believe, your race, gender or sexual orientation – they are just a group of people that love and empathize, no matter what you’re circumstances are. These people have become my shoulder to cry on, my go to people to vent to and my philosophers to discuss different ideas about life and logic.

To Elder Ballard’s question: “To whom shall you go?” Elder Ballard, there are so many loving and accepting people in the world that are both religious and non religious. There are whole communities of people that just care about each other because they’re your neighbor. There are so many good people in the world. And don’t get me wrong, I think Mormons are great, but there are so many people that are just as great, and sometimes better. We are not lonely, we are not sad. I am so happy and excited for this next chapter in my life.

Kiersten in AZ

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