I was born and raised LDS. A strong member for the first 20 years of my life, or so it seemed to the outside world. I struggled for years with gaining a testimony. I felt like the Mormon poster child, and yet I could never say that I actually had a testimony. I eventually made my way to UCLA and began to distance myself from the church. I soon became incredibly depressed and anxious upon reflecting back to what I had been taught for the majority of my young life.

Once I left, I began a very difficult journey separating myself from that Mormon poster child I spent so many years acting as. Three years later, I can say that I have never been happier. I know who I am, what I stand for, and what I believe in.I recognize how damaging the church was to me in my life and I am an advocate for helping other people out of that scary stage of doubt I knew so well. Where will I go without the church? I’ll leave happily and find that person I have longed to find for my entire life. I’ll go where I feel happiest.

 

Julia in Riverside

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The Simple Life

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...

Those who wander are not always lost

In response to "where will you go?" I say, "those who wander are not always lost," and there is "joy in the journey." The first part is a popular quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, the second part is from the 1998 EFY theme and together they sum up what my spiritual journey...

I can finally enjoy life

I left the LDS church 7 years ago. In that time I have become my genuine self, made lasting and beautiful friendships with people who love me unconditionally, gotten married to the love of my life, and had a gorgeous and healthy child. I don't judge others as harshly...

Towards Love, Authenticity, and a Genuine Daily Life

10 years ago as a gay, newly divorced father of four and former Mormon, where I would go and what I would do was indeed the looming question. A lifetime of seminary, sunday school, priesthood, mission, BYU and church leadership had me imagining myself at best as a...

I will find happiness

The Mormon church has been apart of my family for generations and I would say it is still a part of my culture. I learned a lot of things from being an active member, a bishop’s daughter, and a youth leader. I learned to how to be confident speaking in front of a...

Losing my religion wasn’t the end

The Mormon faith has always been a strong influence in my life and upbringing. However at a young age, I chose to become inactive. I was a very confused young adult with a lot of questions. The answer I was given: to pray... which I did but I still felt very unsure...