New Order Mormon: Someone who maintains cultural ties to Mormonism while not accepting some or all of its core tenets.
I am a 6th generation member of the LDS church. My family was always active in the church and I was taught to believe in the reality of the restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I served a mission for the church completely convinced that the church was "true". I knew that I was helping to build the kingdom of God on earth and bring people into it.
Over the years I had encountered confusing and problematic things about the church that I did not have an answer for. Instead of pausing and examining those problems, I did what good Mormons do and put those issues and problems on the shelf in the back of my mind and ignored them.
A few years ago I came across some information in some old church books written in the 1950's by Joseph Fielding Smith. He talked about how lesser spirits were cursed of God and punished with black skin, the fraud of evolution, and the need to accept Joseph Smith in order to be saved (among other things). I saw these teachings of a modern day prophet as demonstrably false and evil. This had the effect of crashing the shelf in the back of my mind. I had to make sense of these problems and get rid of the nagging doubts that were plaguing me.
I started my search for answers with the desire to be a defender of the Church, to validate my faith and find the solutions to the problems that I was encountering. However, as my research progressed, I had to acknowledge that I did not know as much as I thought I did, and that this new information I had encountered was more accurate than I originally thought. My excuses felt less and less valid, I was stretching for a way to make the pieces fit. I needed to find the honest solutions that I was sure existed. However, the more I searched, the more elusive these desired answers became. After 8 months of heart breaking research, I was forced to conclude that the claims of the church were not true and neither was the church. It was my preconceived beliefs that had been in error.
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