Well, due to some of the hate mail I am receiving, I have an inkling of some things that might be going around about why I resigned as I never had a chance to unbear my testimony. As many former Mormons do, I kept my decision quiet for many months and left quietly. I continued feeling that I was hiding who I really was or what I really do believe. I'm still searching for myself and my beliefs, but I pray that this blog will help you better understand me and my decision to resign. I need to be honest with myself, my friends, my family, and most importantly with Christ.
I left because I knew I was in the wrong place and would never be able to get to where I needed to be spiritually. I was SO hungry for a personal relationship with Christ. The LDS church was never able to help me achieve that relationship I so desperately wanted and needed. I could have never been this close to Christ if I had remained in the LDS church. Resigning is truly the best decision I have ever made for myself in my entire life, and I am so very grateful for what I have found outside of the church. I have found tremendous peace. I have found time for my husband and children. I have found myself having no more expectations of my husband and children. I have found myself no longer striving to reach impossible goals. Most importantly, I finally found what I was so hungry for and what I was missing for so many years. Not once did I receive a different answer to my prayers about resigning from the church. I am certain that the LDS church is not for me. I am certain that I made the right decision for me, because I do disagree with so many of the LDS teachings. I just don't make a good Mormon.
Some have asked why I feel the need to say they are wrong or I try to disprove their church. This is another reason for beginning this blog. I hope by reading my story, my friends will better understand my intentions. I am not trying to promote negativity or disharmony. I am simply sharing what I have been through and what I have learned. While I was a member I didn't realize what I was caught up in because I was so busy trying to do the right thing. There are a ton of support groups for ex-Mormons. And... ex-Mormon does not mean anti-Mormon. There are plenty of disgruntled ex-Mormons and anti-Mormons out there so there is no reason for me to be one of them. In no way whatsoever do I consider myself a Mormon basher. I never have and never will. I love my Mormon friends more than words can describe. Why would I bash something I believed to be true for so many years? I am getting lots of support from many groups, some in the DFW area and some on the internet. During my years as an extremely devout Mormon, I didn't understand why there were groups for ex-Mormons. Why did they even need that? This is the true church. Don't they understand? I never knew there was so much help out there until now, and now that I am a former Mormon, I completely understand. I am getting knowledge, research, questions, and answers that the LDS church never could give me. This is my support system. Hearing other former Mormon stories, or why someone has left, or how they found the truth, or how happy they are now, is so reassuring for me to hear. It gives me hope for myself, my family, and my friends.
I have been asked why I need these support groups. Well, I am unable to move on by keeping my journey bottled up inside. I am having an extremely difficult time trying to heal. Christ is finally at the top of my priority list, and it is very difficult for me to keep my newfound comfort, peace, security, hope, and happiness to myself. When the Holy Ghost led me to make the decision to resign from the church, it was much more than simply leaving the church. When I knew I had to resign, I was leaving my entire world. I was leaving my safe place. I was leaving my comfort zone. I was leaving the only religion my husband has ever known. I was leaving the only religion my in-laws have ever known. I was leaving more than 75% of my friends. I was leaving my entire life of the prior seven years. So in an endeavor to find who I really am again and what my spiritual beliefs really are, I do need a support system. I am unable to discuss my decision with Ken for reasons I will not disclose. I am unable to discuss my decision with my children as they are too young. I am unable to discuss my decision with my family as I was the only LDS member. I am unable to discuss my decision with my LDS friends, because they truly do not understand or they simply wish to persecute me.
This must be a little like a divorce. One day all of my friends are in my life and I see them several times a week. Then it's as if they all disappear. We have different beliefs; so what! Honestly, I felt alone.
Shockingly and sadly, the trend I have noticed in my journey out is that more often than not, it's the LDS who begin the debate or become hostile toward the Christians. Not vice versa. I have never ostracized anyone for telling me how right they are or that the LDS church is the one and only true church or how they could never imagine their life without the church or how wonderful conference was or how uplifting the prophet is or how amazing the primary program was or how much they love their current calling, I could go on and on. Don't think those things are offensive to me. You are simply stating what you believe to be true. That is your opinion. Allow me the same courtesy since you are claiming to be Christian.
Before I joined the LDS church, I had several people who loved me, but had never been members of the LDS church, tell me that it was not a true Biblical religion. Since they had never been a member, I knew they did not understand, so I did not believe them. If they knew what I knew about the church then they would believe, too. While I was a member, I never had a former Mormon explain to me why the LDS church was non-Biblical. Oh how I wish there would have been someone then to teach me what I know now, but HE has HIS reasons for that. No one ever told me why Joseph Smith could not have been a true prophet. Now that I do know the truth, what kind of a friend would I be if I did not share the truth in love? I do not want to be that former Mormon friend of yours that lets you die without sharing who the Biblical Christ is that saves us all from our sins. Because the bottom line is, we are all sinners.
Friends don't let friends die without knowing the Real Jesus who saves. ~Connie Cullum Raddon
My intent is to move on as best I can and learn to worship the Lord the way I feel necessary for me and not the way a church tells me I should. Trying to find my spiritual self has been difficult at times, but the support I have found has made this transition a little easier. The Holy Ghost is so much clearer than ever before. I have support in studying the Bible, praying, lifting others up, giving each other encouragement and advice, sharing stories in hopes to not have marriages end in divorce as many have, suggesting books to read to educate ourselves, researching contradictions between the Bible and the Book of Mormon, researching contradictions within the Book of Mormon itself, researching the ensign, etc. I never set out to disprove the LDS doctrines or put down the church. I set out to learn factual information to educate myself in order to become a better Christian and be who I need to be. The more I learn about the LDS church now that I am out, the more I realize how blessed I am that Christ helped me find my way out. It is so amazing what I have been able to learn since I have resigned from the church. I am a spiritual sponge!
There are so many former Mormons out there who are extremely angry; I have completed that stage. Many are now atheists. Some were on the verge of committing suicide. Some have had their marriage end in divorce because one chose to leave the LDS church. Many will never be able to trust another religion; I suppose I continue to fit into this category. These are all extremely delicate subjects, and I see a huge need for support for post Mormons.
During my journey I have found several reasons for leaving the LDS church. The last time I counted there were thirty reasons. I will be sharing some of those reasons in later posts. In no way is my blog an attempt to validate my decision. I already have validation that I have done what I need to do. It's only my story, nobody else's.
A wonderful friend reminded me that life is too short to let the good people pass by without trying to make a connection. Life is too stressful and at times hurtful to not try to lift others up along my own journey.
I pray that my friends will be able to see how happy I am now without the stress and expectations of the church controlling my life. I pray for them to have the same personal relationship with Christ that I have found outside the church.
In some respects I am also attempting to witness to Mormons. I would not wish the feelings I have had upon my worst enemy. I do not want anyone else to have to go through the trials I have gone through this past year. If I can help just one person through all of this, then I have done well. I am conquering the torment the enemy has poured onto my battered soul. Disagreeing with one's belief is not persecution. LDS missionaries come into non-Mormon homes and tell them that LDS is the only true church on the face of the earth. So why is it when LDS tell Christians they are wrong, that LDS are only doing their missionary work? Yet, when Christians tell LDS they are wrong, it suddenly becomes persecution, and the LDS are offended and claim that we are bashing them? Well, this is my mission to do Christ's work and show Mormons the true path to HIM. I am only sharing the Good News just as God has asked me to do.
The Holy Ghost revealed to me what I was searching for, and I can hear Him clearer than I ever have before. It's so wonderful and truly amazing how close I am to Christ since I have left the church. I want to share it with everyone that I love, because I want them to feel the peace, hope, love, and trust that I do! I don't have to pretend like I am happy and fulfilled and that my life is wonderful anymore, because now it truly is. I don't have to meet anyone's expectations other than Christ and I don't need to sing praises to anyone other than Him.
Mark 5:19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. (NKJV)
John 15:13-16 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (NKJV)
James 4:4 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (NKJV)
Luke 15:9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!" (NKJV)
Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (NKJV)
Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. (NKJV)
Just one question:
If the church were not true, would you want to know?