What to believe in?

seabiscuit April 2013

After deciding to leave TSCC [this so called church], my Wife and I are finding it hard to believe ANYTHING that has to do with Christianity. It sounds so strange to say (to me at least), but I don't think I believe in any of that stuff (Jesus, Bible, etc) after discovering the fraud of TSCC.

It's been a strange month or so since we decided to leave the morg. Going from being pretty TBM to nothing has been quite the journey, and as much as I enjoy knowing the truth, it's just hard adjusting to my new beliefs, or lack thereof.

I know many of you have gone through the same thing, and I'm just curious how many of you still believe in the NT since leaving TSCC? I feel like it's all just a bunch of fairy tales now.

I also find myself getting more angry about how I was duped by the TSCC, especially when I think back to my mission. Accepting the fact that I spent 2 years spouting lies to people makes me feel disgusted with the leaders of TSCC. I know I'm lucky that I got out in my early 20s, and even more lucky that my Wife is leaving with me, but I just have to say what I feel. It's just so frustrating, especially since I know how both my parents and my in-laws are going to react when we get around to telling them we're out.

Green Potato
Re: what to believe in?
As a mormon you knew that all churches were false except for one. Now the only difference is you believe in one less church.

Eric K
Re: what to believe in?
This is just a short reply. Do not worry about what to believe now. I have recommended to many to take a minimum of 1-2 years off from religion. Do other things - music, camping, reading on any topics that interest you, cultural activities you missed since you were busy on Sundays etc. Let your mind recover and rewire itself. Revisit religion and what to believe, if anything, after you have taken a good long break.

Re: what to believe in?
Thank you for posting! You described how I'm feeling to a T! Finding the real truth of TSCC has turned my whole world upside down and I'm also angry at myself for serving a mission, marrying in the temple (my FIL couldn't come because he's not Mormon) and for all the indoctrinating and brainwashing of my kids. I just don't want to ever be duped again. My prayers are now more please God, if there is a God, and I hope there is... DH is handling this much calmer and rationally but I'm really worked up over this all.
Re: what to believe in?
After I left the Church, I vowed to follow truth, wherever that would lead me.

I need at least some sort of credible evidence before I can actually call something a belief.

Stray Mutt
My standard reply is...
...to step away from religion/morals/ethics for a while -- weeks, months, years if necessary -- and you will eventually discover what you actually believe when no one is telling you what to believe. And it will probably be rather simple, like don't be a jerk, try to be kind, don't be a criminal.

Re: My standard reply is...

Satan Claus
Re: what to believe in?
I think you will find a good number of exmormons who go from very religious to atheist, so you are certainly not alone.

One of the hard things for many is to figure out how to "fill the void" since atheism says nothing about what you *do* believe, just what you don't.

Taking time off to let the brain readjust is a great idea. However, if you find that hard, and you want to start doing some research now, you may want to look into things, here are a few suggestions:

If you are interested in some type of philosophy of living your life without deity - Humanism http://www.americanhumanist.org/

If you are looking into an explanation of the world around you to replace the one prescribed by religion - Naturalism http://www.naturalism.org/

If you are interested in maintaining some sort of "religious" life - Unitarian Universalist http://www.uua.org/

Re: what to believe in?
You sound exactly like me and sithlord. If I even think about going to church, even the UU, it makes me get the willies. Maybe I was just in for too long, duped for too long, and I just can't do it for a second longer. I looked into the UU and even when they meet and where, but I just couldn't bring myself to go. I'd rather join a service organization.

No other religion makes sense to me. I believe in being kind to people and I believe in doing good in the world. I don't want to worry too much about religion or figuring it out. I decided that if I'm treating others well, being a generally good person, enjoying my life, and looking for chances to serve and give, then I'd be good with God if there did actually happen to be one. If a god could expect more than that, I wouldn't want to be with him anyway.

Re: what to believe in?
I could have written most of what you said. When you are raised in a traditional Mormon household, and are lucky enough to take the red pill and see Joseph Smith for the ridiculous horny con-man that he really was, it is not a big leap to realize that some guy probably didn't need to kill himself 2000 years ago so his father would forgive you for spanking the monkey. Personally I found this situation to be very liberating, as I am now able to pursue wisdom wherever I see fit. I don't think anyone has all the answers, but I think some are searching in a much more logical and forthright manner than others. So you can read what Daniel Gilbert or anyone else has to say, it is all your choice, Freedom feels so much better than forcefeeding.

Sounds so familiar- My wife and I experienced the same fairly sudden ascension out of the mind numbing fog into the wonderful sunshine of disbelief; it just takes a while to use to the breath taking view.

Just take some time and enjoy, you don’t have to figure it all out right now. The world will keep on spinning. Of course you can’t really stop your mind from thinking, but go experience life without worrying about old superstitions- you have done the hard work already of thinking your way out. Congratulations!!

On the other hand I can show you right where to bath in the Energy Vortex in Sedona... if you go into major withdrawal.

Re: what to believe in?
Don't believe, just be. Be together with your wife, put her center in your life. Together, be happy with friends. Be kind to people you meet. Be grateful for being alive.

What part of that requires belief? All it requires is letting go of fear. And as you know, there's plenty of fear to go around in the TSCC.

Re: what to believe in?
There is this really powerful being I know about who can have astonishing power over your life. It's called you. Believe in yourself and in the world around you. Learn to stand on your own feet, to fear no man, to live by your own hand as best you can, to be your own god. Then learn to respect and love those around you, and when your own capabilities are not enough, others will gladly step into help during one of life's disasters. Just be sure not to take advantage of the, because there is no other prize worth true friendship.

Re: what to believe in?
A scientist said on a ex-Mormon forum, "Those who don't believe in Evolution haven't really studied it."

As soon as he said that, I thought, "Oh dear! Maybe I'd better at least do some studying here." I'd simply dismissed Evolution because I'd been taught by the LDS Church that it wasn't real. It was all about Adam and Eve.

I was now also suspicious of the Bible. If the Book of Mormon was a work of fiction, then what about other so-called holy books?

So I began with simple, easy-to-understand videos on YouTube about Evolution. I came away going, "Well I'll be darned. It's fact." I was embarrassed that I'd simply dismissed it. But the bottom line was that if there was no Adam and Eve, then there was no Fall. No Fall means no need for an atonement. That changed everything for me.

That got me on my current journey of studying all things scientific. I realized that I was way behind in my knowledge of what we know now, as opposed to what we knew when I was a kid in school.

I've learned to embrace the mystery of it all. I want to know what is real, as opposed to what I believed because I guess the ideas appealed to me. I'm loving the journey of discovery.

All I know is that I no longer want fantasy. I want truth. I want reality. Sometimes I don't like the realities that I find, but what good does it do me to believe in something, just because it's comfortable?

I'm a big girl. I'll just have to deal with some harsh realities and enjoy exploring the great mysteries out there. There are so many to explore.

The Oncoming Storm - bc
Re: what to believe in?
The Mormon Jesus is at least merciful in allowing baptisms for the dead.

Regular Jesus damns people to burning in hell for eternity simply on the chance of birth in what they believe. It's hard to go from a kinda Jerk of a God to a huge jerk of a God.

There are some of the teaching of Jesus that are pretty useful, but I've found life to be much more fulfilling now that I've defined by own morality and purpose.

Re: what to believe in?
Take your time. You don't have to believe in anything. It will just happen if you do or don't.

For now, read Age of Reason by Thomas Paine. It is short. It is succinct and entertaining. It is his insight about the Bible. It's a classic and every library has it. That book influenced my decisions about Christianity.

Also, get Demon Haunted World by Sagan. It's an easy read. The first half will especially be helpful for you as you journey forward in your quest to determine truth about claims.

You may be willing to put up with nonsense for social or emotional reasons and stay with a church. You will have to seriously look at what your needs are and what is important to you.

Read. Read. Read. The greatest wisdom has always been in the books but most people never look enough there. They want ready answers and a McPlan for life. Are you brave enough to plan our own? It's the greatest decision I have made. Good luck!

Re: what to believe in?
By the way, when you lose your faith, you really meet yourself. You discover who you truly are. I discovered that I'm still a good and moral person.

I still give the cashier back her change, if she gives me too much. I'm still honest, almost to a fault, according to my family. I still strive to be kind.

Even though I'm completely anonymous, I've never left a nasty comment on YouTube. I practice the Thumper rule. "If you can't say somethin' nice, then don't say nuthin' at all."

These things just make me feel good about Me. I'm the way that I am because I choose to be and not out of the fear of what some invisible, imaginary man in the sky can do to me.

It makes me feel that I'm living an honest and genuine life. Wherever I end up in the eternities, if there is such a thing, at least I'll get there honestly.

Stray Mutt
Re: what to believe in?
Your choice of words might have been unintentional, seabisquit, but it might reveal something about your thinking. There's a difference between believing something and believing IN something. To me, the latter implies there is something external to yourself that you look to for direction and/or as a source of capital-T Truth. That's what Mormonism and most other religions would want you to think -- that you're incapable of moral, ethical, wise, healthy decisions on your own. Otherwise they'd have no customers. Coming out of Mormonism, it's sometimes hard to escape that external authority mindset. After being told over and over that we're unworthy and that we need prophets to lead us (or, in conventional Christianity, that we're all sinners and need an innocent person to suffer for us) it can be quite a leap to the idea that we can successfully run our lives on our own.

Re: what to believe in?
I took a 5 year break from religion of any kind. I found watching www.Hotm.tv and www.exmormonfiles.tv/ very interesting. I'm still not sure what I believe. But it's good to know how different Mormonism is from mainstream Christianity.

Re: what to believe in?
Your line of thinking is nearly identical to mine. I had for a long time realized that there were contradictions between science and religion, and had tended to believe the science. I just put the obvioous conflict on the shelf. Science eventually won. Evolution is a theory that has stood so many tests that I can be certain of it's veracity now. I don't qualify it by trying to form a loophole for man as opposed to other creatures, either. We are fully evolved from previous forms. There was no magic soul-insertion at the time of Adam, as is sometimes proposed by apologists. The bible stories are all fables.
Re: what to believe in?
Thanks for all of the responses and advice! I think a "holiday" from religion sounds like a great idea.

Like a lot of you said, there is no rush. I'm just going to enjoy life one day at a time.

Re: what to believe in?
My thought process is, I had done everything in my power to get in touch with God and to know the truth. If he hasn't bothered to make it clear to me, why stress about it? Just be a good person and enjoy life as it comes. If he makes known to you, great, if not, then life is just as exciting as a mystery for you to unravel.

I feel its great not being obligated to force myself to believe in stuff. I love having the freedom to believe what MAKES SENSE TO ME.

Re: what to believe in?
Oh, to add, I don't believe god is going to damn good, sincere people to hell for not "believing" in whatever brand of god is espoused by MEN. If there is a god out there, then he knows my heart and he knows I am living according to my conscience. So I'm no going stress about being in the wrong religion and being damned to hell.

Lurker From Beyond
Re: what to believe in?
Something I believe in - from the most honest book in the Bible - Ecclesiastes

Ecc 2:24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"