I know there isn't much that you can help me with right now, but I was hoping for a minute that you didn't mind just reading a vent.
I am at work right now on the computer and this was pretty much the last day I have considered myself a Mormon after a long time of doubts that I have felt more at ease with by talking to other church members and bishopric that said that prayer and fasting would help my doubts go away. I stopped believing in any religion for about a few days but the feeling of guilt was too much that I felt peace when reading scripture, testimony and thought maybe I was back on the right track.
It wasn't until reading in D&C that talked about marriage by proxy for those who never got married, the practice of polygamy and creating spiritual babies in heaven with all your wives you had been sealed to on Earth, and those on other forums telling me that since I am asexual the only way for me to acheive the highest glory was through marriage by proxy of which I would be assigned a wife, and if I rejected I would have to in another degree of celestial life as a servant.
After a couple more hours of searching scripture, begging the lord to give me an answer of why everything is so confusing, why I can't live my life according to what I believe is right in my heart and still earn the highest degree, and why if I adopt a child as a single father someday I have to be separated from him in the kingdom unless I agreed to marry through an arranged marriage.
After looking at more evidence about Joseph Smith teaching that women are able to be sealed by proxy if not on earth, but then marries other people's wives and claimed to never have sex with anyone except Emma, adn then those same women which had been sealed to JS being sealed to Brigham Young also, and the church constantly changing what sealings mean and members all coming up with different answers, I knew that if there really was a heaven I did not want to be part of the heaven as described by Joseph Smith. After reading one scripture that doesn't conform to sermon, and seeing each member have a different excuse for why this is mis-interpreted, or claiming just to pray about it to see if this information is even accurate. I then realized that all my personal morals, values, and beliefs put me in a deep state of cognitive dissonance where after 4 months since I started doing some real LDS study, I then found that prayer wasn't going to be able to explain inconsistancies in the LDS church or even in the Bible, because for long I have been asking if eternal punishment made sense when someone is supposed to be forgiven of their sins, and why a loving God wouldn't really accept someone's plea to stay out of hell if they changed their ways because of what they couldn't come to terms with. After I realized I had nothing left in my toolkit to defend the church against critics with, I started to cry in tremendous pain in my room thinking that my life was over with and everything I had claimed to be I wasn't anymore, and I didn't want to be anyone else. Now I have to try to get the five children and my mother in my household to accept the fact that I will not accept any teachings of God just because of fear of the afterlife and what the Bible and Mormon church say happens to "non-believers." I am 23 going on 24 by the way. I live in South Carolina and I am a college student for elementary school education. I am still at the point where I feel sick to my stomache because my life going in a complete opposite direction as it was going before, I do not know what is in store for me now because I am going to feel like a hypocrite when I tell my friends and family about my true beliefs.
When I was 11 and baptized by personal choice I would have died if I ever had to figure out that someday I would say this.....
but I am a college student, a brother of 5 Mormon siblings, son of a Mormon mother, a former 1st and 2nd counselor of the Deacon's Quorum, a former member of the Teachers and Priests Chorum, I have been to the Kirtland temple, sacred grove, the hill cumorah paegent, and the johnson farm sure that I felt the holy ghost each time, and I still can't help cringing so tightly as I type this....
I am an ex-mormon.
Thanks for taking the time to read my venting and I hope it didn't waste any of your valuable time.
First and foremost, I agree with the comment apologizing for your pain. No one here would ever choose to inflict that kind of suffering on anyone. There was a time during the first few weeks of my discovery when I laid on my bed sobbing and hurting so much that I realized this discovery would have to be initiated by the other person. As has been said, if one is a TBM, happy in their membership, leave them in their delusion.
The devastation for me was the cover-up and lies by authorities I had revered, who said they loved me, etc. Slowly the information built until I could no longer hold respect of any kind for the past and present leaders of the church. In fact, after reading "Mormon Murders" (a book written by two investigative reporters who have won Pulitzers - probably spelled wrong) I can say that Gordon B. Hinckley was a very ruthless man. It is truly a cult.
I LOVED MY CHURCH. It was MY church. I loved being raised with values, opportunities to use my talents, and an atmosphere in which I felt loved and safe. Now I had to face leaving that wonderful world because it is built on "dreams" and held together with a web of lies. I can see how some members who discover the falsities want to stay. But, it is very hard to stay in the group when so many are being duped. Wouldn't it be wonderful to come clean, tell everyone the truth, and go forward with an organization that uses their vast wealth to help mankind.
I am 70 years old. My heritage goes back to the very beginning of the church. In August of 2009, after their intense personal suffering for about a month, two of my sons revealed to me their discoveries. I watched the dvd exposing the translation of the Egyptian papyra. That began my journey. Let me tell you, it does get better. Science is fantastic!
When I was in high school, I had an interest in geology, especially regarding earthquakes and volcanoes. My father took me aside and told me that the teachers and textbooks were wrong about the age of the earth. He cautioned me to feed my teachers the information they wanted to hear so I would get the grades I wanted, but to be aware that it was NOT true.
You are still young and you have sooooo much to discover and learn, and as you say, you are happy. You will embrace all of humanity like never before. Thank you for sharing your story.