Why I Don’t Believe Anymore

A few months ago I decided to sit down and write this letter. I shared it individually with some of my family members…but thought this might be a good place to put it. It’s so hard to explain all I have gone through in such a short post. I feel like I have left so much out, so much unexplained. But it’s a start I suppose, and here it is…my letter telling my friends and my family that I no longer believe in the LDS church…

~~~

This may very well be the hardest thing I have ever had to sit down and write. Some of you, but not all of you know that I am no longer a believing member of the LDS church. For those of you who didn’t already know, I realize that this statement may come as somewhat of a shock. This has been an incredibly difficult transition for me, a transition I never thought I would in a million zillion years have to make, a decision that I literally made kicking and screaming. I wanted to keep believing more than anything in the world. But sometimes life has a plan different than the plan we wanted.

I guess a part of me wants this letter to make it ok. I know that some people may think I am a bad person for leaving, that I must have done something wrong, that I must have sinned, that I must not have prayed hard enough, or that Satan somehow deceived me without me even knowing. The truth is that I have spent much of the last year, thinking those same things about myself…spending days crying not able to get out of bed. Wondering how Satan had deceived me, wondering how I was supposedly so evil when inside I felt like an honest seeker of truth. Wondering what mistake I must have made, what sin I must have committed, wondering how much harder I should have tried, even though it seemed I had tried as hard as I possibly could. Wondering what was wrong with me, wondering why I was being punished, wondering why my testimony was being torn from my fingers, even though I was desperately clinging to it. I understand why people think the things they think, because I once thought them too. Until one day I didn’t, and I felt peace like I have never felt before. A freedom to believe what my heart already knew: I wasn’t bad, or deceived, or sinning, or lazy…and if Satan could deceive me without me even knowing, that would have to be one powerful Satan, and one awfully weak God…

The truth is that I didn’t leave the church because I had some weird desire to sin, I was not offended, I know the church is made of imperfect people. I did not leave because I didn’t have enough faith, or because I wasn’t praying hard enough…believe me I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life. The fact is that I left because of church history, because it is messy and confusing and not what I thought it was…not what I was taught it was. I left because of things I read in the church history essays on LDS.org, which led me to things I read in the footnotes, which led me to books by active members of the LDS church, which led me to apologetics that tried to explain and reconcile what I had read, which led me to blogs written by people like me, with questions that no one could seem to answer. Which, ultimately led me to my own heart…and whether I trusted it enough to follow it. For the first time in my life, I do trust it, I trust myself, I trust that I will go where I am meant to go, and be who I am meant to be.

So here I am, no longer believing in Mormonism, feeling a little out of place, no longer knowing quite how I fit in. I realize now how much mystery there is in the world, how much I just don’t know, and I am beginning to see how much faith it takes to just look up at the sky with wonder. I don’t have any concrete answers…it’s scary and yet awe inspiring all in the same moment. There is a scripture in Romans 14: 8-10 that says “…for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” That’s what I believe…

I believe in love.

It’s not a lot. But I think it’s an ok start.

Leave a Reply