My name is Joshua. I was born in Lansing, Michigan. I am the youngest alive of nine children. I have five brothers, three sisters, nine nieces, two nephews as well as a great nephew. My family is very different from most in that I have several siblings old enough to be my parents and my oldest nephew is one year younger than I. I didn't have the opportunity to know many of my siblings very well while growing up. Most of them lived too far away and were seldom able to visit. However, I was able to know many of my nieces and nephews for extended periods of time. There were quite a few occasions where I would invite my nieces and nephews to stay with us for a summer and later a few of them actually moved in to our home. In a way, it's kind of amusing because not only are my nieces and nephews closer to me in age, I know many of them far better than my actual siblings.
I've moved a lot throughout my life. By the time I was in fourth grade, my family had moved nine times through the north eastern states. Sometimes, we simply lived in a hotel for six months. Usually, by the time I had a few friends in an area, we would end up having to move. That was very hard on me but it was also a learning experience. It forced me to be more outgoing when talking with others if I wanted to acquire friends. By continually having to make new friends, it helped me to increase my social skills and helped me get to know and appreciate a wide diversity of people.
In regards to my personality, I am very laid back, very easy going, rarely lose my temper and I genuinely care about other people. I'm not someone to let my fears control who I am. Family is very important to me. People are very important to me and there is nothing I prize more than others.
My parents converted to the LDS faith some 15 to 20 years or more before I was born. My father was an atheist before he joined the LDS faith but religion has been something which has played a large role in his life and my family since the time I was born. Religion is not something every one of my siblings agrees on though. Out of my eight siblings, two have passed on. My younger sister passed on at the age of 7 and I do not feel she was old enough to really make a choice on what she personally believed in. One of my older brothers died when I was very young so I was unfortunately never able to ask him what he believed about life or have an opportunity really to even know him.
As for my siblings who are alive, I have a sister and brother who are not in the church. My sister is an atheist and my brother does not like organized religion. Both have told me they have had their names removed from the LDS faith. They were not excommunicated. They just had a change of heart and requested their name be removed. Every other sibling of mine has stayed in the church. All of my living brothers, except the one who requested his name be removed, have served missions.
As for my personal beliefs, I am a former LDS member. I requested my name be removed at the age of 19. I consider myself agnostic. I have read the Bible, the Book of Mormon 8 times, Doctrine and Covenants 4 times and Pearl of Great Price 4 times. While there are many reasons for me removing my name, I never arrived to a conclusion that the LDS faith was false. That wasn't why I left. I don't know if the LDS faith is true or not. I only know that I never had any confirmation confirming that it was or wasn't.
I never told very many of my family members that I did leave. My parents and brother took it pretty hard. It was not my desire to make anyone sad. I didn't feel it was right for me to be a part of something unless I believed in it personally. I was still a decan or teacher at the age of 19 because I did not feel it was right to accept something unless I believed in it. My family has been very supportive of my decision and that means a lot to me.
As for my personal beliefs.
I am agnostic. I do not know if the LDS faith is true or any faith for that matter. I do not claim to know nor do I try to persuade someone to believe or disbelieve in a faith or religion. I've heard multiple times "God doesn't like a fence sitter". Religion isn't one of those things I feel I need a strong opinion on anymore than someone would need a strong opinion on if there is parallel universes. The main difference is no one is promising you rewards or punishment for believing or disbelieving in it.
I believe it is more important to focus on what a person is like on the inside rather than if a person's religious or political views coincide with another. I believe in doing what I believe to be right even though that may not coincide with what another believes to be right. I believe in treating others with respect and kindness. I believe in not judging others. I believe it will make someone happier in living this life to the fullest.
I believe in being able to look at the world through the eyes of opposite views. It makes me sad when religion separates people from lasting friendships. It also makes me sad when so many believe no one will be going to a paradise after this life unless they believe as they do. Religion should never separate friendships or bring sadness to ones life. Religion does have many positive qualities though. It teaches people to be kinder and more loving towards others. It is unfortunate when it is religion used for evil purposes such as terrorism etc.
I don't know if anyone honestly does know if their faith is true. I have many reasons to doubt that those who say they know actually do know and I believe many who say they know do not know. I do not doubt that there are many good people who believe in a religion. I can not say that no one knows though. I don't know that for sure. I do know that I do not know and I accept that I may never know until I die.
Interests and Hobbies:
I enjoy walking, golfing, drawing, listening to or playing music, hanging out with friends, skydiving, writing, video games or any type of game, studying religion and other topics. I can find enjoyment in a lot of things but variety is the spice of life.
I like an awful lot of books but a few of my favorites are Lord of the Rings, I am Legend, Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, The Hunger Games and Ender's Game. NEVER EVER read the sequels to Ender's Game unless you want to experience something worse than torture.
There are so many good ones to choose from. I don't know if I have a favorite. Pan's Labyrinth, The Pianist, Dumb and Dumber, Kingdom of Heaven, Brave Heart, Terminator 2, Aliens, Predator, The Wrestler, Aladdin, Man on Fire, The Professional and so many more.
Favorite activity after mormonism?
Why would this necessarily be any different than when someone was Mormon?
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