More and more frequently I feel lost. When I was a Mormon I was sure that the church was true. I did have my nagging doubts, especially when it came to: forgiveness, the eternal regression of gods, and how exalted beings with physical bodies make spirit children. However, despite my doubts I knew it was true. With this knowledge came the surety of my own damnation. I knew I was going to hell, to suffer for my own sins and then be sent to the lowest degree of glory. I had a firm grasp of the torment laid in store for the unrighteous and unworthy, yet the love and forgiveness of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ seemed fake. Even if that love and acceptance were real I knew they weren't for me.
From my baptism on I had this nagging feeling of being unworthy. I felt I shouldn't have been baptized at eight, I did not deserve the Aaronic priesthood at twelve, and the subsequent ordination to Teacher at fourteen. Finally I had a breakdown just barely after my 15th birthday. This is what shook my belief in the church. My family, which were loving, but firm when it came to church attendance backed off. I became inactive and eventually the doubts in my mind grew. My inactivity began to cause me to doubt my firmly held belief in the “true church”.
The summer of 2010, after my senior year, was when I became more involved in researching theology and the origins of the earth. I especially was taken in by Young Earth Creationism. It seemed convincing. I was enticed by the showmanship of Kent Hovind, conveniently ignoring his brief anti Mormon tirades. Deep down I still had a soft spot for the church. At this point in time I felt that parts of it may be false but it was mostly true, at least it was the best church on earth. But soon after, I found out that Kent and his son Eric Hovind were absolutely full of crap. This was the beginning of my transition to atheism. The sites debunking the Hovinds lead me to information debunking Christianity. Being Mormon I knew that much of Christendom was wrong. But when the arguments turned from the silliness of Catholicism or Protestantism to the problems with the core tenets of Christianity I began to lose the last of my Mormon faith. I soon realized that the divinity of Jesus, the authority of the bible, the atonement, and living prophets did not make sense. Once these realizations struck me I knew I did not believe in the church.
By the end of the summer of 2010 I knew that I was an atheist. I knew that god did not exist, this was my new truth. I knew that the three degrees of glory, eternal life, damnation were lies, and I was much happier than I had been. I dove into the YouTube atheist community, read books by Hitchens and others and often found myself thinking of the flaws of religion in general and Mormonism specifically. As time wore on however, I began to have my doubts. One of the common arguments by apologists of many denominations is that atheists really believe in god, but just deny him. I thought this line of reasoning was nonsensical, but I am becoming more doubtful. Now I am unsure of my atheism.
I still get the warm fuzzies in my chest on occasion when I hear about the church. When I am alone with my thoughts I have the same old fears of damnation and the lingering question, “am I wrong?” My rational mind reminds me that I never worry about whether or not the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. I never wonder if Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. I never worry about confessing Christ and becoming born again. Rationally I know the flaws of Mormonism but I cannot banish my fears. If I am wrong and I live in sin then I know what the consequences will be. What if there is a God, and I am in rebellion? As of writing this I am an atheist, but I am becoming more doubtful. I don’t know where to go; I don’t know what to believe. I am still haunted by the old ghosts of my upbringing and I cannot exorcise them.