Living atheist among the Mormons, Converts, #(2004)

Jan 14, 2015

I was raised as a Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) in good old Utah. As a child I was always told to never question “the one true church” and that “when the prophet speaks, the debate is over.” Growing up in the 1980’s I can only think of one child in my school who I knew wasn’t Mormon, and I actually pitied her. I worried for her Catholic soul. Mormon’s baptize their children at the age of 8 and I remember feeling so grateful that all my sins would be washed away. That the mean thing I had said to a girl at school would be forgiven. That the lie I told my mother would be ok. I felt incredibly guilty at the age of 8 at what I now know were normal childhood behaviors. I was an incredibly obedient and “good’ child but I felt so sinful. I hated attending church. Then I felt guilt about it. I hated Young Women’s (the Mormon’s youth group for girls). Then I felt guilt about it. I questioned in my own mind the origins of the church. Then I felt guilt about it. I held tight to the belief that my ancestors were willing to die for this religion, surely they couldn’t have gotten it wrong. Virtually every person I had contact with was Mormon. They couldn’t all be wrong. But the shroud of suspicion continued. Finally, in my early 20’s I began to actively investigate the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, and all the lies and corruption one discovers upon truly investigating “the Saints.” I was terrified about investigating these things but I thought if it is true, it should hold up under scrutiny. It doesn’t. It is almost laughable how absurd and easily disproved it all is. I say *almost* laughable now because I am surrounded by people who are seemingly intelligent people, who buy into this absolute absurdity, who let it rule their life and how they treat others, and willingly give it 10% of their income. Not to mention the control this religion has on the Utah government. I used to think losing my faith would be terrifying but I find the control the Mormon machine has on its followers more terrifying. Losing my faith was freeing. Recognizing the contrived nature of all religion is freeing. Living an authentic life, free of guilt and full of love and appreciation for life in the here and now is freeing. Raising my children without the brainwashing effects of this religion is beautiful. Challenging when you live here, but beautiful nonetheless to see their minds uncluttered by dogma.

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