Hi there. I am one of the ex Mormons who disappeared, kind of.
I didn't become atheist, but I understand how it can happen. For the record, it's my experience that those who leave and become atheist seldom do the leaving formally. They see no reason to. And most seldom speak out about Mormonism itself, rather, its generalized to all religions. I believe some of this is more linked to the mistaken notion that the LDS church is another sect of Christianity, even though LDS doctrine runs contrary to the Christian faith.
Evidence for this comes from Smith himself, who claimed that Jesus told him personally that all the existing creeds were an abomination and all professors of those creeds were rasty nasty dudes (paraphrasing here).
When you grow up thinking yours is just another sect; but have been told everything else out there is also wrong; exactly whats left? Islam? Buddhism? Joseph Smith did say he wanted to be the next Muhammad, but I doubt many Mormons even know this.
It's a baby/bathwater approach. "If this isn't right, it's all wrong." Fortunately this isn't applied to relationships, family, children and education. Could you see what would happen if someone found out a teacher lied? Stop going to school?
I think there's also a kind of "intellectualization" that never leaves the person who was LDS. One of those is "the church is perfect, the people aren't". That only takes you so far, however. You'll find that anyone who is sold on a religious system will take that tact. That's why its important to make a distinction between "religion" and relationship. If no churches existed, I would still have a spiritual relationship with God through Christ, who was and is perfection.
As for me, I was outspoken for a little while after becoming a Christian. God moved me into a different area and I had my little time of wandering, so to speak. But the good thing about Christ is he doesn't hunt you down. He lets you come to him, and back to him, when you're ready.
Only recently have I felt compelled to speak out again.
When I first decided I was leaving the church, I was so mad at God I wanted nothing to do with Him. I finally realized that whether I was angry at Him or not, I still believed in Him.
This is just a theory, but let me know what you guys think of this...could it be that for a lot of Mormons, the church IS their God? So when the church dies for them, then so does their God.
HazelWings, If you really like your church, then don't worry about doing anything. If you believe in Christ, in what he stood for, in loving your neighbor as yourself, you are already a follower of Christ and there's nothing works wise that needs to be done. Maybe you'd enjoy going to a Bible class at your new church, and just getting a feel for what they believe. I found fundamentalism too legalistic for me, because my politics are liberal, but I have participated in Bible studies with different groups over the years, and there were interesting times to be had. Or, you might just want to go each week and enjoy the feel of the place, the people there, making friends, etc. Just don't get into a situation where someone will lock you out if your opinion of something is different. I'd say ask away, write down any and all questions, enjoy yourself but don't give up your true heart. If they want you to say, "I accept Jesus into my heart", and you want to say it, then that's the kind of proof most community churches are looking for. That's when they tell you that they've decided you are saved. Personally, my beliefs tell me everyone is saved, whatever that may be.