Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1006)

Jan 30, 2013

Dear Professor Dawkins,
I just wanted to say thank you so much! I grew up in a Mormon household and the pressures and obligations were almost too much for me to handle. I always knew that something was terribly wrong with what I was being taught, but I had never been given the tools to break free. I was continuously torn apart by anxiety and guilt as a result of this indoctrination. The concept of hell and eternal suffering was particularly nauseating and I agree with you that these teachings are abuse. Finally, the time came for me to leave on my mission and I had a major decision to make. Long story short, I decided not to go on my mission, leave BYU, and receive a proper education at a secular institution.
I have been an Atheist for 2 years now and I can truly say that I have never been happier. It is funny how religious people will never accept that true happiness can be felt outside of religion. In my opinion, the purest form of happiness is achieved only when you liberate your mind and open yourself up to reason and truth. I only wish my family could see the world through my eyes. My mission decision has been a great burden to them and I have lost a great deal of worth in my parent's eyes. To tell you the truth, it is a small price to pay for the truth I possess. Things finally make sense and I am able to think for myself. I know that you are busy, but I just wanted to thank you for all that you have done for me.
-Ben
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