I finally put my story into words. I know it's long but it covers as much as I could without writing a book. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.
I am a BIC, 5th generation, “Happy Valley” (Utah County) Mormon from a family of 10 kids (I am 4th oldest, and the oldest boy). My GG-Grandpa is William Clayton on my mom’s side and my GG-Grandpa on my dad’s side was proxy baptized in the St. George Temple for the founding fathers of the USA. Both of them were polygamist (I have no idea which wives I descended from, but like it matters). I served a full time mission, married in the temple, and have 3 kids ages 1, 4, and 6. Also I was a full tithe payer and word of wisdom follower.
I participated in the primary, young men, and enjoyed my youth in the church. 6 months before my 19th birthday, I decided that I needed to know the church was true before making a commitment to serve 2 years. So I did what I had never done before, and that was to read the whole book of mormon and then pray as Moroni suggests. I read it within a couple of weeks and then prayed. I stayed on my knees for a long while waiting for a confirmation that it was true. The answer I finally heard/devised was “You’ve always known it was true so why are you asking?” WTF I was too naïve to recognize that this was myself answering my own question in the way I wanted it answered.
So with that conviction, I read the BofM 2 more times as well as Jesus the Christ in the remaining months before my mission. As a missionary I was very obedient and was troubled by missionaries who were there for the wrong reasons instead of a having a conviction and desire to share the “happiness” of the gospel with the world. I served in Chile, Santiago West mission from ’98-’00. When I got to my mission, I wrote an extensive letter home about my disgust for how people were being baptized by the thousands here without being converted and would rarely if ever attend church before, or after their baptism.
My parents gave this letter to the MTC which resulted in a phone call from SLC GA’s to my mission president. This ended with my being chewed out by my mission president. In his words, he said “you have damned this mission”. Luckily his time was up and was replaced 2 months after I got there. During his reign, as many as 1300 people were baptized per month in our mission. When I left the mission under my new MP, we were only baptizing ~150 or so per month, which I felt was a much better pace for the activity level of the wards there. Most wards I served in had anywhere from 500 to 1000+ members on the roles but rarely over 60 people in sacrament meeting (usually only around 30-40).
So I served my 2 years, not having been a big baptizer as I would only baptize people I felt really were converted and I often spent time trying to reactivate members so that the wards would then be strengthened to the point that converts would be sustained after joining the church. I now regret that I re-activated an RM in my last area, as he would probably would have been better off not being brought back into activity and servitude.
When I came home from my mission, I felt the strong urge to be married within a year of my return. This pressure most likely came due to my dad having been married in about that time frame after he returned and because the church says not to wait and put off marriage or families for schooling or anything etc. I dated many different women from my singles ward. I was called into the elders chorum presidency of this ward and felt like that may have upped my “righteousness” level to have better luck wooing the women. The way I met my wife was due to there being two Chilean sisters in this ward so we were instant friends since my mission was to their homeland, and one of them worked with my wife at BYU. Since I always complained to this Chilean friend about my dating woes, she said she would bring her friend from work to meet me.
We met, fell in love, got engaged after 5 weeks, and married 6 ½ months later in 2001 at the ages of 19 and 22. We faithfully popped out our first kid 9 months later since the church used to condemn birth control and also putting off child rearing. This was really hard on my wife as she really wanted to go to UofU for an accounting degree but being the controlling TBM that I was, would not allow us to deviate from the decreed path of the church. I now wish we hadn’t been so TBM and would have followed the ways of the world and got our education and stable careers first.
Beginning signs of doubt
A few years into our marriage, we got into wanting to live a healthier diet of whole (raw) foods (all fruits and vegetables). I had remembered a talk from Boyd K Packer that said that we should not take any gospel principles to extremes, and the word of wisdom was specifically mentioned. This drove me to reject this diet and so I turned away from it and my wife became vegetarian instead of a natural fooder. I realize now seeing how beneficial this diet would have been, why wouldn’t the church see the light of better health through stricter observance of the WofW? Of course now I recognize that with the church not being true they only push the WofW enough to create an identity but not so much as to drive the masses farther away.
For the first 6+ years of marriage, I would say we had a good mormon marriage, but it wasn’t what I had hopped for. Because of the taboo and inhibitions the church programs into us about sex, that was never something that was fully explored and enjoyed by either of us. Due to this and a few other hang ups, we ended up in marriage counseling a couple of times. I had thought then and now that if this is the true church, why do so many mormon marriage struggle with sex and many other aspects of creating a healthy relationship while having the “true gospel”?
In September of 2007, I decided I was ready to adapt to the vegetarian lifestyle, which wasn’t that difficult since my wife had already been one for 5 years at that point. I credit this act with giving me more power over my life and the choices I make. At the beginning of 2008, a spark was ignited in my marriage and my wife and I started making real efforts to increase the level of pleasure in our intimacy. We bought and started reading the book “And they were not ashamed” by Laura Brotherson, who is a mormon marriage counselor. This book gave us the permission to fully explore our sexuality and lead us to look for other books on marital intimacy. It also introduced me into metaphysical type beliefs due to a search on Tantra sex. At this same time, we also decided that we wanted to pursue having our calling and election made sure (2nd anointing) as spoken of in D&C 132. We fasted and prayed to begin our journey to purify ourselves to achieve this. So keep in mind that starting at about this time (February 2008), we were praying for this blessing.
To keep a long story from becoming longer, I’ll just say that this lead to me discovering many things in our world that I was blinded to previously, which blindness was definitely in part due to the LDS church trying to keep its members kept in a dreamland. I came to grasp the corruption in government, the 9/11 truth movement, the conspiracies behind terrorism, the New World Order/North American Union plots, the truth behind the Federal Reserve/IRS and many other atrocious stuff. At first, this stuff scared the crap out of me. I then started thinking that the 2nd coming was definitely approaching and so I started praying that me and my family would be worthy to escape to the New Jerusalem.
The conspiracy stuff started weighing on me too much so I turned away from it in May and started to look for positive influences against the secret governments etc. This is where my unexpected leave from the church really begins. I came across evidences of UFOs and Aliens and their cover-up that has been pushed by the world governments for the past 70 years or so. At first I couldn’t fit in a belief in extraterrestrials with my gospel beliefs. I kept reading my scriptures daily as well as personal and family prayer during this time so as to have the spirit guide me in my search of truth.
The more I looked into ETs, the more evidences to their existence was uncovered. Of course just in the past month (July/August) two NASA astronauts have come forward testifying to their existence so disclosure is already starting to occur. Anyways, I came across a documentary called “The Legend of Atlantis, it’s time to wake up” (find it on youtube/google) and this presented to me a history and purpose of this world that fit much more easily into what we know from science. That being the world is not 6000 years old, and that humans have been here much longer than that along with many other things that matched what I had studied previously about the illuminati and a one world government and such. This movie also got me into thinking that God was not the being as presented by the mormon church, that God is pure consciousness and everything exists because God exists and provides his consciousness to make it so (quantum physics plays into this theory).
Now I was armed with the possibility that the church isn’t true, and this allowed me to question things that I had never really questioned about the church, god, Jesus, or life as presented by the mormon perspective. I came across an online community called Ashtar Command that follows the ET movement. From the good people of that site, I was told that I did not need a savior and that we are perfect beings as we are, that this life is just to gain experience to further our pathway through reincarnation and eventually a graduation from reincarnation once we learned all of the lessons we needed to learn and come to love and accept all people as they are, and give everyone the same free agency to live how they feel is best.
Suddenly it clicked, the world made sense. My mormon blinders had been removed. The church couldn’t be true because if God truly exists, it would make sense that he would not have a one true religion as said religion would never have the ability to reunite all of his children. Religions tend to separate people, cause judgment, promote disempowerment and so forth. I remembered some of the words of Jesus, that the two greatest commandments were to love god, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus said to be One, if you can’t be One, you can’t be his. He said He was the pathway. What I now believe he meant is that he provided the example of living a perfect life, by loving and accepting all people for how they are, flaws and all. He hung out with the “sinners” because he knew that’s where the real, non judgemental, fun people were. He was hated by the Pharisees because he didn’t hold to their religion. He was an apostate troublemaker like many of us exmos!
So this epiphany took place May 30th, 2008. I bore my testimony at the beginning of May in fast and testimony meeting that I “knew” Thomas S. Monson was a prophet, and that the church was true (I also bore my testimony almost every month of 2008 before May except April). I had read my BofM that very morning and nearly everyday since my mission. I was considered by my sister to have a special calling for the last days because of my understanding and righteousness. So I woke up May 30th as a somewhat troubled beginning to doubt mormon and ended the day wearing new boxers sans garments, feeling a freedom and peace I had never felt so strongly before.
My bishop showed up at my house about a week later because my coworker tattled on me about no longer believing the church and because I no longer wore the magic underwear. He was shocked that I went from a very TBM to non-believer in such a short period of time. He felt that maybe I had never had a strong testimony to begin with or that I hadn’t had a very strong or convincing spiritual experience. That was not the case as I had many “spiritual” experiences bearing testimonies, singing religious tunes, and such (I now consider them emotional experiences). This is a testament of how weak the mormon foundation really is. It’s a hollow, shallow, illusion and very easily rocked. That’s the true reason IMHO that TBMs are scared of exmos/antis, they know they could easily doubt their faith if they ever questioned it.
Soon after that, mid-June or so, I decided to find out why the LDS church couldn’t be true. I had accidentally found this site back in April when researching about the temple endowment online so I went there first (exmormon.org) to see what all the fuss was about. It didn’t take long (minutes to hours) to find out why the church isn’t true and that it’s not the nice institution it makes itself out to be.
I told my TBM family about my leaving the church during the last week of June (just after returning from a Family Reunion). They accepted it a lot better than I expected. Most of them still approach me the same friendly way when I visit, but ignore the big elephant in the room. However, when I do try to bring anything up regarding the church or my new beliefs, their true mind control/stop-think becomes evident as they are so closed to it all. I spoke to my stake president in his office twice before submitting my resignation on August 1st (a new beginning for me, also emphasized by the solar eclipse that day). He was very nice and non-condemning and even understanding and in agreement with many of my qualms regarding Mormonism. His immediate questions were whether I had been offended, or committed any serious “sins”. I explained to him about the “Double Bind” that exists in the church. When asked what troubled me most about the church, I told him it was due to the masking of information, concealing it from the public and more importantly, TBM eyes.
So now I am out, just waiting for my confirmation letter from Mr. Dodge’s office. My wife is now non-believing as well, ditched her Gs over a month ago(end of June 2008), and recently asked to be released from her callings. Hopefully she'll share her feelings and story in the future. My wife and I take notice that we still “feel” the “spirit” that we felt in the church. In fact we both feel like we have greater spiritual feelings than before.
I want to thank and congratulate everyone who frequent exmormon sites for being here, and being a most needed resource for finding truth and counsel while exiting Mormonism. It’s been an amazing and unexpected ride. I never set out to disprove my religion, I was just open to new beliefs and possibilities and that lead me out and made all of the difference.
I should probably add a disclaimer to my story that points out that I am much more skeptical now to the alien or conspiracy stuff, mostly due to attending the Exmo Conference and hearing about cult mind control and in turn reading Steven Hassan's first book. So rest assured. I am very much a skeptic on much of that stuff now, though some of it has validity (aliens, conspiracies, etc).
I still hold a belief in a god like being/higher consciousness etc, but I am now using much more discernment, reason, logic and substantial evidence before following any other belief system, including aliens. However, I wouldn't have ever escaped had it not been for those things so as crazy as much of my story sounds, that's how it went down and I thank god/universe/spaghetti monster etc for guiding me out of that cult and helping me avoid other cults. Thanks for your concern.
Ok, here is the wierdo again - I am the guy who is really not qualified to be here since I was never a Mormon and none of my family is Mormon as well. I am not sure why I am here...
Anyway, on conspiracies and especially aliens. I am retired Air Force, worked with classified information most of my career and always noted that the US is really bad at keeping secrets. We worked with satellites in one assignment and one of the guys had a notebook with stories he cut out of the magazines - Aviation Week of course but also Newsweek and Time. The stories were amazingly accurate. We did take the notebook away from him quickly - he protested that it was all stuff out of the publically accessible news. We pointed out that he had chosen which articles to cut out and how to arrange them - that was him confirming information due to his clearances. But all of these classified projects were described in the public news - so many people were briefed about them that they were not secret.
So if the US government had any alien secrets from Roswell (by the way I used to live there so maybe they got to me!!) or Area 51 - people would be peddling them to the newspapers. The fact that we still do not have any well accepted parts of spacecraft, we do not have any dead aliens, no clear photos, tells me that they do not exist.
The CIA flies this spacecraft, the KH-11, and one of their own employees sold the operations manual to the Soviets. Look up this book "The Falcon and the Snowman" and read about how the NSA can't keep secrets either. The book was not that good by the way.
I also am a guy who insists on seeing evidence for extraordinary claims and the conspiracy people cant provide evidence. As a pilot I have seen lots of stuff from airplanes - you are trained to view everything as a threat until proven otherwise. Birds are suddenly threats instead of being graceful creatures. No wonder pilots report unknown things as scary vehicles or whatever.
I was relieved when I read your disclaimer, glad your not a conspiracy nut :-)