View unanswered posts
View active topics
It is currently Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Author Message
Post  Post subject: Resignation Goes Out Monday, This Is My Story  |  Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:25 pm

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:14 am
Posts: 40

Part 1: No Holy Ghost For Me
I cannot complain too much about my upbringing within the church, growing up I had literally known nothing outside the church. All I knew is that I hated singing in primary, the biblical stories were far from believable, and no Sunday school teacher had ever gave a reasonable explanation to all of my insistent, and sometimes pervasive, “why” and “how” questions. I knew nothing outside of my Mormon bubble so I just assumed this to be the reality of this world: a series of half baked, nonsense stories of which we are required to believe them in their entirety even if we really do not know of their validity.
At the age of seven this idea became explicit to me when I had been asked by my bishop to request an answer from God if The Church really was true, along with all of its stories of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the restoration before I was to get baptized. With excitement, I had entered my back yard with images of Joseph Smith and his divine encounter dancing in my mind and could hardly wait to have the same encounter as well. Being at the naïve age of seven, I was looking for a literal, observable manifestation of truth, for that was what Joseph received was it now?
So I knelt, and with childhood fervor I had knelt and requested that God reveal himself to me and converse to me concerning the dictates of the Mormon Church. To my surprise, I received no manifestation, no Holy Encounter as described in church hymns and Book of Mormon Stories. In my young mind, I had felt like I begged for a good fifteen minutes, requesting the appearance of God, then Christ, and then I had to subject myself to the lowly forfeit of a revelation by the invisible Holy Spirit. I knew I was to feel his presence, or perhaps hear a whisper, but this never happened. I sat there and cried and thought of what possible things had prevented me from receiving a witness. Had I perhaps yelled at my sister one too many times? Have I perhaps sneaked one too many snacks into my bedroom for consumption without the authorization of my parents? I knew not the underlying reasoning but I was sure I had, at the age of seven, made myself unworthy for the presence of God or his holy messengers.
I had returned to church the following Sunday with insecurities, and sat there as I heard my superiors witness of such divine inspiration that had been so graciously given to them. Every testimony I heard had testified, beyond doubt, that they knew the church was true and had received a witness from the Spirit. This was incredibly disturbing. One, no one had seen God or Jesus in holy manifestation, and two, all had sworn a revelation had been received from the spirit. What was I to do? I’m sure the president will be asking what became of my seven year old journey to find Truth. How is any seven year old supposed to find truth anyways? The church proclaims that the age of eight is the age of reason, but I proclaim that the age of eight is the age in which children can be reasonably conned into believing ridiculous stories by using their imaginations, or lack thereof, to find God and Truth for themselves.
So sure enough, the day had come when I was to be interviewed once again for the opportunity to be baptized. The bishop had me come into his office, and inquired of me what I had conjured by praying to God. Thoughts were racing through my head. Everyone believes this stuff, and they all say they received the same answer by the Holy Ghost. Everyone was so happy and agreed with the same thing, and the bishop looked at me with hopeful gleaming eyes as he waited for my answer. Did I believe or did I not? Did I have to receive a witness? I want to get baptized but am I worthy to get baptized? Neither God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost had came to rescue me and my disbelief and they sure weren’t there to do it now, so I lied. I had told the bishop I had felt the Spirit, and that it told me that the church was true. How upsetting, I had lied to the leader of our congregation, and I now was getting, and did in fact get baptized without knowing.
I had spent the next couple years in guilt, trying to repay what I had done by diligently seeking this holy feeling sent by the Holy Ghost. I had learned that it would be very unlikely for me to see God or Jesus in person until after this life, so I had really devoted some great deal of time seeking the manifestations of the Spirit. Until I turned twelve, I was surrounded by people saying that the Holy Spirit felt so good and that the Spirit was so strong with the Church, at Church meetings, and so on. How do all of these people feel this thing but I don’t?! This created a great deal of insecurity and thought I had obviously done something somewhere to be so unworthy of God’s intervention. Don’t get me wrong, being at church with my friends and family growing up was great and felt great. There were great emotional times growing up were I had thought it had to be true but I had received nothing that I can confidently say was the Spirit. I had also found it incredibly distressing, that after all of the holy encounters of prophets of old, not of it happens anymore, and God is too good to even visit a seven year old diligently seeking truth. So much for the wonderful slogan of “seek and you shall receive.”
Anyways, time went by and I figured, just as I did with the inability to see God and Jesus, that my inability to feel the Spirit was just a trial of my faith that I had to endure because I was “strong enough” to endure it. But my last hope was that of my priesthood ordination and my calling to the rank of Deacon. I thought this was terribly exciting. God was going to give me some of his powers, but after being given the Holy Aaronic Priesthood, I had felt no difference in power and the Spirit was certainly not there. I had continued to receive all of these calling as well as Deacon’s Quorum President, Teachers Quorum President, and Assistant to the Bishop and all were equally as dissatisfying as the last. I was called to speak at youth stake events, nearly every branch conference, and conduct several classes with my peers. I really did enjoy the responsibility, but why did God have to give it to someone so unsure and skeptical about everything? I was quite the “golden boy” in my branch and people looked up to me but I was absolutely unsure about several doctrines of the Church and the Church as a whole.
This became even more troublesome when finding great Truth and understanding in the concepts of evolution, the big bang theory, and all of the wonders of science thoroughly explained that contradict the dictates of religion. So I ran from it, I had ran away from what I really made me happy. Instead of pursuing the efforts of science, I had chosen the side of religion because I could not make science agree with what my family and congregation thinks. I shut off the critical thinking faculties of my intellect and starting believing things by trusting that the Church and its faculty wouldn’t lead me astray. Luckily, I continued to take science classes in high school, but with a half baked attitude because of my religious inclination and this indeed was a great loss. I had forced myself to lose interest in what interested me the most because my religion is supposed to have my back on this one.
Even history and law started to cause the same sort of cognitive distrortion that science caused. To my dismay, neither has history agreed with what the Book of Mormon has to say about the America’s and the constitutional rights that should protect everyone was now an enemy to the Mormon Church because of its stance on homosexuality. In fact, the Church even pumped copious amounts of money into a bigoted piece of legislation to ensure that homosexuals were not protected by the constitution. This is the one where I finally spoke out, and this time infront of my peers and to our bishop who was lecturing us on the importance of Prop 8. I had humbly inquired on the spot why we were sponsoring something that was so anti-American in spirit and against the constitution. The bishop (who was a lawyer), along with all the teachers in the class, all laughed at my idea and concern, and said that I had to obey the prophet anyways. They treated my inquiry as so silly, and this had really upset me. Why had people who I looked up to so effortlessly pass off the legitimate concern of an adolescent and so eagerly throw the constitution out the window? This baffled me.
Now, don’t even get me started on the act of sexual suppression within the church. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back and had doomed me for insecurity within the church forever. Assuming I was the only young man within who had pervasive sexual thoughts, fantasies, dreams, and had practiced masturbation on a regular basis, I constantly beat myself up over it until the age of nineteen where a bishop had finally told me that it was completely normal and that it just had to be contained and regulated. This was a relief but I could not possible contain and regulate something that seemed to be so natural. Masturbation and thoughts were something I could not stop and I soon learned that everyone outside of the Mormon world could not stop it. But yet, rarely anyone ever speaks of it in Church and if they do it’s only on the basis of condemning it. I became increasingly self conscious and thought that I was no longer worthy to have God guide me in spiritual, school and recreational activities.
So now I had been made into an incompetent believer skeptic and a liar. How could I possibly tell my bishop of my sexuality and then tell my parents why I could not attend temple ceremonies with the youth for some time? That’s a ridiculous amount of stress and pressure but nonetheless I had to deal with every second of the day. Put on a Mormon face, claim the school nickname as “Kyle The Mormon,” say you know the validity of everything within Mormonism, and lie repeatedly to the bishop that you were a good Mormon boy.
Part 2: I am a Sinner
So off I go to college, and what a awesome opportunity that was, and into the single wards I go where I shall wait to leave on a mission. I was still a pretty good guy though, you know? I followed the commandments, the Word of Wisdom, and was heavily involved with the missionaries and home teaching. I was image of Mormonism with the exception of masturbation and my lack of a true testimony and testament. I was a sober, honest, young man who diligently followed every rule and if I broke a rule, I constantly sought to never do it again: like masturbation. But I couldn’t, I couldn’t stop it but this time I couldn’t lie to my bishop about the serious interview process precluding the mission. So, like a honest person, I told the bishop of my “problem with masturbation.” He listened well and then put me a plan where I would text him every morning that I had “stayed clean” from masturbation and he started to meet with me weekly and give me lectures on how masturbation is a serious sin and it could make me a terrible person in the end and that Satan sought to destroy my soul and salvation through the act of lust and masturbation. Now, I was absolutely terrified, I was now being chased after by Satan and he wanted me and he wanted me bad. I could tell because my masturbation was an issue that couldn’t be resolved; I’d go two weeks at most and then begin the guilt cycle again. The bishop told me I had to seek out the Spirit for help and the atonement of Jesus Christ. So I did, again I sought out the revelation and protection of the Spirit and studied the atonement of Jesus Christ. I read the New Testament and finished it past Acts, I had finished the Book of Mormon. I had literally stayed up all night praying and reading the scripture so that I could avoid masturbating. Unfortunately, all of this was to no avail. Eventually I had to sleep and I was not strong enough to avoid masturbation by staying up all night, go to school full time, and work 32 hours a week. I’d been dead in no time if I kept it up, I started to lie again. I told the bishop I had stopped masturbating and that everything was going well.
Nevertheless, I had felt like a sinner. I can’t stop my sexual transgression, Satan is after me, and I lie to my bishop so I can eventually get to go on a mission and make my family proud. This situation was then compacted by having a girlfriend, one of which I love and is now my wonderful wife. Like young people, we had eventually spent enough time together to then pursue sexual advances with each other. It’s not like it was premeditated either, it was a long term relationship, we felt strong feelings for each other, we loved each other, and it so happened that every once in a while we found ourselves alone and the obvious would happen. We intended to keep it a secret, but I could not stand it and eventually we visited with the bishop to confess our sins. This then started another guilt cycle, in which not only was I now destroying my salvation with my masturbation, but I was now destroying the salvation of my girlfriends. This began a long eight month cycle of “sexual abstinence” and then sin again and again. The depression was unbearable, and it was only impacted by my priesthood standing as a Melchezidic priesthood holder and being lectured by the bishop that I was selfish, that I did not love my girlfriend and our sexual activities was testimony to it, and having required to read explicit scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants that say that I will be thrust into the pits of hell if I do not rectify my transgressions. Then I was guided my bishop to read the Miracle of Forgiveness. This is terrible book to prescribe to anyone who at this point is now on probation with the church, has to post pone the mission event, and has severe depression with suicidal thoughts. What good does it do to read the ridiculous claim that the act of fornication is next to the act of murder murder. Am I really on the same level or almost on the same level as Jeffery Dahmer and Charles Manson? Have I really sought the destruction of the soul of my girlfriend who I loved so much?
Needless to say, my rehabilitation from my sexual attraction to my girlfriend and my habit of masturbation was incurable so I made the last desperate choice I had to make to prove my love to my girlfriend and my allegiance to Christ and the Gospel, I moved. I spent $2,000 dollars of my own money, quit my job, left the friends I made and my girlfriend I love behind to move 2,500 miles to North Carolina to rid myself of spiritual impurity and start a new slate and eventually go on a mission and make my family proud. Well let’s just keep things short by saying I stayed there a month until I came back California. I was in a wreck. This time, I really intended to kill myself; it was only a matter of when it was to happen. I had soiled my college career due to the stress of trying to get Satan away from me and the depression and the tendency to think God was not going to help me in my studies due to my unworthiness. I had ruined my chances of going on a mission for some time and ruined the salvation of another human being who I loved who was now going through the same “repentance process” as myself. I was now back living at home with my parents, without a job, and without a college to attend to. I was officially a failure exactly a year and two months after graduating from high school.
So again, I intended on killing myself and the day before I was to do the deed I was rushed to the emergency room due to a melt down and admitted to a mental hospital for major depression and generalized anxiety for a week. I still no wear the effects of the situations and probably will forever. I still attend meetings with a therapist and psychiatrist on a regular basis and take prescribed medicine and what a great turn around! So much for all those senseless blessings I was given before going to the hospital, they either did nothing or certainly did the opposite of improving my state. It wasn’t until I was administered by the advancements of science was I able to recuperate and rehabilitate myself to near normal emotional levels.
Phew, and all of this, because by the eyes of the church, I was a sinner and they projected that imagery quite well through my many chats with the bishop and the prescription of many books, scripture, and doctrine. So now I was certainly incompetent. I was not going to go on a mission, neither never will I. My goal was to stay near home, go to college, and attend to my mental health before I make any other decisions.
Part 3: The Gradual Awakening
Eventually, I made my way back to San Diego, got a job, and continued my relationship with my girlfriend, who I still had, and attended church with her on a regular basis. My girlfriend and I had intended to obey the Law of Chastity, but eventually this again had not been fully observed. As any young couple, we again started to indulge in sexual activity. This began to start the same guilt cycle as before but this is all old news. After visiting the hospital, I had a new revelation as to what was going one. While religion had spent so much time to repair me and my sins, science was able to provide solutions and assistance to my depression within a matter of a month and so again I decided to indulge in the ideas of science, and I am so glad I did.
Since science is good, and does good things, and has helped me out with my mental illness, I owe a great deal of gratitude to it and a duty to understand it better. I started to uncover more things about evolution and the big bang theory that had intrigued me so much. All the things that I had discovered were so revolutionary to my mind that they couldn’t be ignored due to all the evidence. But, to my dismay, I also started to uncover much Christian opposition to these theories. I read the rebuttals of Christian, as well as Mormon, apologists who support their claims with poor reason and strike down the ones of science as foolish. I then read the arguments of Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and many others, who may not have all the answers, but have more satisfying ones than the my religion. But nevertheless, I sought to reconcile the opposing sides within myself, but I could not.
During this exact time, my girlfriend and I had decided to get married as to avoid further sexual transgression and so we did. We made this decision in the flight of religious fervor and in attempt to save our own souls. Shortly after our beautiful wedding, I had decided that Satan did not exist. I looked at my past and saw that the idea of Satan, or any devil, has only perpetuated my depression and guilt pertaining to things that are so natural to mankind. This idea did in fact startled me immensely, to the point where I then questioned the importance of God and the validity of my religion. This was even a deeper problem because now this concerned my marriage! How was my wife to be a believer and I not? How was I to raise children in such an opposing environment? Will my wife divorce me? Is this curiosity really worth the weight of literally my marriage and entire salvation? These were all extremely painful questions, yet I was lucky enough to have a wife who support my initial confession of the disbelief in the existence of the devil and supported my search in the weighing of truth and non-truth. Following is a list of all the issues as to why I would make such a drastic measure as to proclaim the falsity of the church and the non-identifiable existence of a god.

This is part of the resignation that I'll be sending out Monday.

Post  Post subject: Re: Resignation Goes Out Monday, This Is My Story  |  Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:55 pm

Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:34 pm
Posts: 1693
Location: England

Hello. Welcome to the FORUMS. Thank you for sharing some of your journey here. You are very strong. I do not have a good relationship with the man who is the bishop at the ward in my town, but to his credit, he always told me never to read the miracle of forgiveness and I am grateful for that. Different people will identify with different parts of your journey and so your life will have a powerful impact.

I read somewhere, I don't know where now, that no-one will read a long resignation letter in membership records, but they will read short bullet points and the thought is that they will use those points to address the massive exodus of members. However, I am sure that getting this down has been a relief.

All the very best to you

Why leave? ... 989OOSOycw
How to heal? ... ion225.mp3

Post  Post subject: Re: Resignation Goes Out Monday, This Is My Story  |  Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:10 pm
God of Mythbusters

Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:30 am
Posts: 4805
Location: Kolobian Lowlands

Welcome Conquistador! I'll bet your glad you dumped all this out here, as it provides us readers confirmation of the very same observations you have made in your young life so far.

Lilly's correct in her suggestion to make your letter short and to the bullet point if possible. You can now do anything you want to do, so I would recommend not wasting any more time getting about your new life. Congratulations for being so brave to dare to doubt and leave. You have lots of friends here now.

"When authority masquerades as a power, a simple question will unmask it."

"Just because you think, feel, or believe something is true, doesn't make it true!"

"The doubt of your faith, is not God testing you, but truth trying to emerge and free you."

Post  Post subject: Re: Resignation Goes Out Monday, This Is My Story  |  Posted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:15 pm

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:07 pm
Posts: 52

Wow. I can feel the pain you have in your post. That is so sad. I am happy you are here to share this with us. Best of luck. You are a very strong individual.

Post  Post subject: Re: Resignation Goes Out Monday, This Is My Story  |  Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:37 am

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:49 pm
Posts: 2802
Location: NC


You're not alone as I suppose you already know. I think of when I was under all the rules that it was like walking around in a hospital gown and you can shift it this way or that but something is always exposed. I was never able to keep all of those rules either. It grinds on you.

I'm pleased that your wife is supportive.


I resigned from the Church of THE Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Feb 2011)

"For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad." - Luke 8:17

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Print view

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
Jump to:   

Delete all board cookies | The team | All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.