Our Stepping Back Post
Telling the world we are stepping back from Mormonism
Most of you know I have been a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) my entire life. I served a two-year mission in Mexico. I served as a bishop in Northern Arizona, a high councilor, executive secretary, gospel doctrine teacher, Scout leader, etc., etc. I say this not to boast, but to highlight my level of commitment and the countless hours I have given in service to the Church. As many of you, I truly believed the Church to be the one true Church of Christ upon the earth.
Over the last year, my dear wife and I have been through an awakening. A series of events led me to begin a deeper research of the doctrine, history, and policies of the church. I had always considered myself to be very informed about the church’s doctrine, its history, and its policies. Unfortunately, there is much about the doctrine, history, and policies of the church that is not talked about in church literature, which the church whitewashes and ignores. There is so much information out there, readily available, that the church does not want you to read and question — including the church’s own Gospel Topics Essays. We have come to the sober conclusion that the church has been dishonest in its representation of its history, doctrine, and policies. Due to what we have learned, we cannot continue as believing members like we once did.
Believe us, coming to the above conclusion was gut-wrenching and excruciating. My wife and I have prayed, studied, cried, lost sleep, gained weight, and been through emotional and psychological trauma that can only be understood by others who have been through it. To lose faith and trust in the Mormon church is to lose one’s entire worldview, to suddenly not have all the answers, to risk being alienated by your family and community, and to go against everything to which you’ve devoted your life.
There are several reasons to make this public post, despite what backlash we may receive. The Church wants people who lose their faith to go away quietly. The Church wants to control the narrative around those who leave. The Church would paint those who leave as lazy, self-centered, easily-offended, sinful, deceived, or simply just wanting an easy way out. The Church would paint me as someone who must have never had a real testimony. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am not leaving because someone offended me. I am not leaving because I want to sin. I am not leaving because it’s the easy way out. I am leaving because the underlying narrative surrounding the basic foundational claims of Joseph Smith regarding the birth of the Church are not supported by the facts.
If what I have written offends you, then let’s talk. I don’t mean to offend anyone. It is simply that the church I was raised in taught me to seek after truth, to speak truth, and to share truth; and those traits are now ingrained in me.
I’m sure this post raises many questions for many people. Feel free to reach out to me. I am the same person I have always been. I have not fundamentally changed. My friendship with each of you can continue the same. I do not feel adversarial towards any of you, and hope that you do not feel that way towards me.
I will continue to speak out about the truth. If what I post is uncomfortable for you, please feel free to mute or unfollow me. My sense of integrity requires that I be who I am and speak my truth.
If you want to start to understand where we are coming from, read the church published Gospel Topics Essays. The essays are not that easy to find on the church’s website; the easiest way to find them is just to Google “LDS Gospel Topics Essays”, they’ll be the first search result, and that will take you to the essays on the church’s website.
Despite the anguish of losing one’s faith, over the past year as my family and I have begun to step back from the church, we have actually found a great deal of internal peace and happiness. We feel more authentic and better aligned with our own intuition. We feel worthy, just as we are, simply for being a part of God’s creation, without the need of saving. I no longer believe that any human is naturally and inherently an enemy to God. I feel freer to love and accept all humans as unique and divine, without labels and without judgement. Ironically, I feel more honest, more responsible for myself, more genuine, and more intentional. There is joy to be found outside the church and there are valid reasons to leave, anyone who says otherwise is lying.
For many people, leaving the Church brings with it a profound liberation; a liberation of thought, mind, conscience, and soul. This allows for new and intense personal growth, after many years of having conformed to fit within a box, the dimensions of which were dictated by church leaders. This can feel like being let out of a cage and discovering that you have wings to fly.
My wife and I are on this journey together, and are walking this path hand in hand. Please know that we have cautiously worked through this and are fully confident in our decision.
Again, feel free to reach out if you have any questions for us. We love you all and wish everyone the best.