My story is a long one, so let me attempt to summarise.
I was raised a Mormon and have served faithfully my whole life (into my 40’s) in many leadership positions in both Ward and Stake. Since serving a mission I have had unanswered questions that until recently, I simply pushed aside.
A few years ago I spent quite a sum of money researching unbiased church history to try and get answers to some questions that caused what I had been taught to conflict against commonsense.
This fairly quickly led me to conclude the Mormon/LDS church was untrue (a significant story in itself). But this also left me with a huge problem. If the Church was not true, which church was? I was raised to believe there was only one true religion. So if not the Mormons, who? The Baptists? The Catholics? I never even imagined the answer might be “None of them”.
My journey led me onto researching Bible history. This resulted in even more confusion than Mormon history. I began to have doubts about even God’s existence. I read “The God Delusion” and thought it raised valid points. But on Dawkin’s scale of 1 to 7, I still considered myself a 5.
I then read books by Bart Ehrman, ending with “God’s Problem – Why we Suffer”. This opened my eyes to the possibility that the non existence of God was truly an option that made sense…but if that’s the case, what then DO I believe? If there was no God then what is the truth?
My journey ended when Dawkins published “The Greatest Show on Earth”. This book provided me with an epiphany – FINALLY all my questions were answered! Being a logical thinker and a lover of science by nature probably helped in approaching this quest to find answers. Questioning everything is now my standpoint, and I’m loving it!
I then went back and read “The God Delusion” and this time, I rated myself a 2. I have gone from believing in God (and Mormonism) and having 100 unanswered questions about God and religion, to no longer believing in either Mormonism or God, and having no (or few) questions unanswered. A GREAT feeling.
Sadly, I now have to deal with the issues that a life in Mormonism has created: My wife is a staunch Mormon. I confessed to her my new “beliefs” and she reacted in tears. She does not want to hear the arguments that swayed my opinion. The children do not know. I have told my Bishop (on her request) and life is continuing on like I never said anything. Essentially, we are “ignoring the elephant in the room”. Our entire social structure is based on Mormon friends and culture. It’s a big step for me. My wife has 100’s of “friends” to support her once the situation becomes public. I have very few “non-Mormon” to side with me. Early days…
Having now become a sceptic, my new philosophy presently is “I could be wrong”. I would say most religious believers could not cross (or even draw) that line in the sand until they can admit this statement. I am open to being wrong and changing tomorrow. However for now, I have answers. I wish I had them 20 years ago, but I still have many years ahead to benefit from this new belief.
Thank you Richard Dawkins for providing me with answers.