to recognize that everyone has different experiences and
situations when trying to recover from Mormonism. I can’t
speak for everyone, but I can speak for the steps I went
through from True Believer to Happy Unbeliever.
the phases I went though over two years, in a nutshell:
I started feeling like I didn't belong in the church anymore.
I kept thinking to myself in church, "I don't belong
here anymore." Something was bothering me, but I didn't
know what and didn't think it was the church. I was still
I began studying church history, doctrine and scripture
and was shocked at what I discovered.
Inside, I was mad as hell at Joseph Smith and the leaders
of the church for perpetuating the fraud.
I didn't dare tell anyone what I had learned, not even my
wife. I thought doubting could unravel my life.
I started teaching more in the Priesthood Quorum, attended
the temple more and tried praying my doubts away. In some
ways I became more fanatical than ever.
My doubts continued, so I just started playing along even
though I had serious doubts.
I felt trapped. I dreaded church. I didn't know how long
I could go on like this.
I finally shared my doubts with close friends and my wife,
who sympathized with my issues. I began to feel better as
I felt their support. I still avoided telling my family
because I knew how they would react.
I stopped feeling accepted by the church and lost interest
in trying to keep up the facade.
We stopped going to church altogether, informed the bishop
we wanted "no contact." He agreed.
Church members started calling and visiting us. Some were
blunt, others were subtle. We started getting upset at all
We stopped wearing garments, did what we wanted on Sunday
and began to shed our Mormon habits.
We told our families about our decision to leave the church
and faced their reactions. Very painful, but healthy as
we set adult relationship boundaries with our parents and
We tried wine, coffee and tea for the first time and enjoyed
trying many of the forbidden things of Mormonism. Some of
them we liked, some of them we didn't. This was a fun time
The real fruits of the whole process begin to blossom. We
found a new community that shared our new values. We took
what we felt was good about our Mormon past and kept it,
and dumped the bad. We feel more self-confidence, self-awareness
and family closeness than ever before in our lives.