Subject: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 05:39
Author: japanguy

I think that I am finally realizing that the LDS church is a fraud (still a little doubt). It has made me just sick the last few days. I think the thing that causes me the most pain is that my religious beliefs were all centered around the LDS church and with that foundation falling it has left me to question all my beliefs. The thing that troubles me the most is that I am questioning my belief in God. I have had experiences with spiritual things in the past but I can see know that we often create the experiences that we want. I also realize that religious belief can give us a lot of comfort in our lives. And what scares me is that if their is not God (or at least I don't understand this God) then when we die that is it. I have been doing some praying recently but it seems as if I am just talking to myself. So I ask "Is their no God" or "Am I unworthy". And the unworthy sticks out with me because I have indulged for the first time in my life in drinking some coffee and tea. My wife drinks it some as she doesn't believe and hasn't for some years now. She is a convert and says "I guess I just can't let go the beliefs that I grew up with". But I have been drinking it on the sly late at night as I read the boards) because I am not sure that I really want to admit to her that I don't belief because that would make it difficult to go back (to the church).

How did you all deal with religion after leaving the church? And those of you that are agnostic or atheist how has it changed your outlook on life? It just scares me to death. I have lived all my life believing that I know about God and the afterlife but now I realize that I just "Don't know". This not knowing has been weighing down on me. I guess that I have actually been depressed the last week or so. I wonder if I shouldn't just continue to go to church and maybe I will feel better. But my wife not believing and I believing is also beginning to cause some friction in our marriage. Maybe not outwardly but subconsciously. Well I am afraid and I know that fear is not good so I just need to come to terms with reality and live my life. I just wanted to write my thoughts and get some feedback from some who have been there before.


Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 05:47
Author: beth

it does get easier i promise, it might be worth going to talk to an non LDS councilor about these issues

You also might find it useful to go to a different church and see how that makes you feel. I dont think it's very healthy to pretend you believe when you dont. The feelings of guilt will only get worse.

Take care of yourself and try to just do what makes you feel good (within reason)


Subject: Partly It's Grief; Partly Beliefs Have Survival Value . . .
Date: Feb 15 06:13
Author: SL CAbbie

All of which are very human feelings and totally appropriate to your situation . . .

The last few years I've drifted way over to the agnostic camp, and as I contemplate my own death (and possible non-existence), there are times when I experience almost unbearable pain . . .

Some of it involves restructuring your beleifs, which is what part of the recovery process . . .

Some of it involves a very real loss in the form of your relationsip with the church . . .

Thank you for sharing, and I hope you'll continue along this journey. One thing that helped me in my battle with the pain of sober alcholism was listening to others who were much more skilled than I at identifying feelings and sharing them (women were particularly adept at this). I'm sure you'll find similarities with those abandoning Mormonism . . .

My turn for lousy syntax which I'm going to blame on twelve hours behind the wheel . . .

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 08:01
Author: Librarian

It hurts because you are feeling betrayed by persons you trusted like your parents who made you believe fairy tales. I am a lapsed Catholic turned atheist, and have lost two grown children. I have no hopes for any kind of memory of this life when my lights go out, so am getting on with making the most out of the here and now.
Look up the Brights- it is an organization that stresses the humanist side of life, and is trying to find a voice in this society so riddled with warring religions. You can get through this- time helps, but do not beat on yourself for anything, it is not your fault!

Subject: been there, done that.
Date: Feb 15 09:09
Author: brefots

I've also struggled with the pain of loosing my faith in a supernatural being. The thing you describe about feeling scared of being too unworthy to get to know, is an experience I've gone through as well. And about this life being all there is. Yeps, sometimes I feel like I'd wanted something else. Wish I could tell you what to do, but I don't know. I figured out that a God who would demand absolute obedience of me without making the effort of proving his own existence to me wasn't worthy of my worship. It's a very un-christian idea that you have to be worthy in order to get to know weather God exist or not.

This life is all there is, or rather this is all I know to exist. I know nothing about any supposed salvation or eternal life. But I do know that I live right here, right now, in this situation I'm in right now, with those feelings, needs and goals I have right now. Right now is what I know, and right now is where I live. I do not think that if God exist she will judge me for being exactly what I am and condemn me for doing the things I do. The good thing about atheism is that it takes away all the life-after-death anxiety. I don't have to prove anything to anyone beacuse I'll be as dead in a hundred years anyway. I don't have to be worthy or unworthy in any particular respect because in the long run I'll be just dead. I don't have to fake worthiness to gain access to heaven. I don't have to place trust in something other than myself. My behavior is no longer controlled by fear of eternal punishments but by computing the likely results of my doings in this life.

Subject: Give yourself time, plenty of it.
Date: Feb 15 09:22
Author: Cheryl

This is new to you. You won't grow into yourself overnight. If the idea of God is comforting, don't give it up. There's more to life than any of us can comprehend at once.

The church is a crutch for members. They lean on it, and their own legs grow too weak to support them.

After we leave, we flex our independence. As we become stronger, we wonder why we needed the church. The idea of going back to church feels like crawling into an old tattered, child-sized sleeping bag.

These feelings will pass if you're patient with yourself.

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 09:28
Author: japanguy

I guess the reason that I am having a hard time with God is not just belief but that my definition and minds view of God is now uncertain. I don't know what to think. I know that I have thought for many years that God must be very lenient with us as we are put in a difficult position. And I could never understand how this short life could be the test for all eternity. I always thought that maybe we will be suprised to find out the true purpose of life. And I think that we will all be able to do what we really want as long as it doesn't intrude on others.

Thanks for all the responses also. I hope that things can become clearer for me. I am working on it.

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 09:40
Author: Gaea

It takes at least 6 months of not going to church to feel better because each time you go back it reinforces the brainwashing. You will get better and realize that leaving Mormonism does NOT mean you have to give up your belief in God, you just drop the very controlling and demanding Mormon church. In our family we still pray but are very skeptical of organized religion general. Best wishes.

Subject: Hurt??? I'm a fifth generation mormon and the first Sunday my family and I
Date: Feb 15 10:37
Author: IhidmyselfbecauseIwasnaked

stopped attending was one of the happiest and most spiritually rewarding of my life. But I know that others sometimes have different experiences. I say, hang in there. Truth is often painful but in the end we are all better for it.

Subject: Losing your god-belief can be very traumatic! (edited)
Date: Feb 15 10:47
Author: Aphrodite

I know it was for me, when I went from being a somewhat-believing Mormon to being an atheist rather quickly.

All your life you've had this friend you could talk to--someone who understood everything you were going through and who was always there for you. Sure he was a little patronizing and judgmental, but you felt like you were never alone.

Now you realize that all those times you turned to "god" for comfort, you were probably just talking to yourself. But think of it this way--you were able to console yourself, to make your own decisions, even though you did think it was "god" at the time.

Cabbie and others have commented on the pain of contemplating our own non-existence. I've had much longer to deal with being a non-theist/bright than you and Cabbie (he's pretty new to it, too, I believe), and after awhile that pain goes away.

Think of it this way: You won't care when/if you don't exist.

Also think of this: Any afterlife would become a hell after 100 billion years or more. Think of how nice it is to escape into sleep. Really, to me, there is no more peaceful concept of an afterlife than not to have to worry about anything. It would be much more traumatic for me to have to live through an afterlife where masses of people were suffering in "hell" because of what they did in a short earth life (during which they were victim to genetics and their environment anyway).

Probably the more you think about/research the god-concept, the more of an atheist you'll become, unless you just close your mind off to the possibility that there are no gods.

Let me assure you, though, that two years after becoming an atheist, it hardly bothers me at all anymore. Many think that this life becomes more precious and meaningful for them when they realize it's all we have. It's also helpful to think of life on the earth going on even though we have died.

As far as the "why is it so hard?" question: Of course it's hard! This is what you've based your life on for so many years! Be easy on yourself and give yourself time to adjust; you'll need it!

My husband and I are raising our kids without supernatural beliefs, and they seem much more accepting of non-cognition after death than those I know who were raised as theists. They figure it's just the way life is, I guess. That reminds me of the psalm about a time for every purpose; it's funny that Christians today don't really believe in a time for every purpose--they believe that it's always the time to live.

Someday you'll wake up like me today and think, "I think I'm finally 'recovered.'"

Best wishes!

Subject: I've Kind Of Gone Full Circle on the Faith Thing, Aphrodite . . .
Date: Feb 15 15:03
Author: SL Cabbie

I understand they're still using an essay I wrote when I was a high school senior as a teaching device for AP students. In it, I defended my non-belief in god and a plea for rational science to govern human behavior and progress. This followed growing up on the fringes of Mormondom when there were times I wanted the church to be true but just viewing the "tip of the iceberg" issues left me shaking my head (i.e. evolution and the church's teachings on it in the late 60's, nonsensical moral judgments on alcohol and caffeine, a God who could miraculously raise the dead, Sunday-closing laws when it was expected I was to work if I was to have any pocket money, etc.).

What's that line from Dylan's My Back Pages?

Ah, but I was so much older then . . .

Then came that lonely trip into the world of addiction and alcoholism. I'd be lying if I called it a nightmare (although I did some nightmarish things); the real pain came when recovery began, and the only option in front of me was the simple non-denominational faith in 12-step Groups.

I was delusional enough that this worked for me (underneath all that craziness was a whole lot of immaturity, naturally), and I've shared on this board that I think anyone who attempts recovery from addiction without faith in some sort of Higher Power is a damn fool. It's a tough enough fight with faith in God in your corner, why handicap yourself?

The key as I see it is to acquire enough humility to throw off the tyranny of one's thinking in favor of something else, since the old thinking clearly isn't working. BTW, I've had a number of friends get sober and head back to the LDS Church, and I've just kind of waved and said nothing about my involvement here. If it works for them, given the seriousness of their condition, it would be criminal of me to deprive them of their faith . . . I've taken a different path, of course, and I suspect if they knew about it, they'd be certain I was going to wind up drunk. ;-)

My journey back into non-belief began six years ago with a painful personal tragedy which was followed by a modest exploration via a grad-level class in Egyptology and the impact of older Middle Easter Religions on Judaism and Christianity. Essentially I wound up putting Jesus and Christianity under the same microscope I'd previously used on Joseph Smith and Mormonism--I first read Brodie in 1971--with predictable results. Participating on this board has also allowed me to clarify where I am philosophically, however ill-defined that may seem to an outsider.

What is different for me now from thirty-five years ago is the strong sense of myself I possess today that was absent before. I'm in touch with my so-called "spiritual side," and I have no argument with those who suggest there's no difference between a spiritual experience and an emotional one (they may well be right). However, I had neither before, and I pretty much "lived up in my head." Anyone who tried to connect with me on emotional levels I figured was either trying to seduce me or wanted me to seduce them . . . and of course booze and drugs facilitated this existence . . .

I'm grateful to have left that stuff behind . . .

A huge part of this current worldview I hold is that conditions such as belief, agnosticism, and atheism really don't matter in defining one's journey; each has a contribution to make to one's perceptions, and I believe it was Scott Peck who pointed out many people go through periods of belief and non-belief on their journeys . . .

I don't see anything wrong with this but my experiences have convinced me the evangelicals are out of line since their proselytizing invalidates much of my journey. To the Christians who sing of being lost then found I would suggest they deal better with their existential shame (which I think is at the root of this entire thread); it wasn't enough for me to paint over one set of beliefs that wasn't working with another, no matter how attracitve and fashionable they appear . . .

Plus the self-righteous types are such pains-in-the-butt. Atheists are much more intersting . . .

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 10:55
Author: japanguy

Yes it hurts. At least it hurts me. I am sure that some of it has to do with not wanting to disappoint family and friends too. My parents are very TBM and have served as couple missionaries twice. They are so strong in the church. Their lives are centered around it. So I don't want to hurt them. I think it also adds to the uncertainty as they are very educated intelligent people that I respect I think thoughts such as "They are smart, maybe it is true". And they have told me of many spiritual experiences that they have had in their lives. But I have also come to realize that our beliefs influence our interpretation of our experiences. And emotion is a big part of it. Even science has shown that if an experience is emotional we are more likely to remember it. Now you know why many churches get folks all worked up with their gospel music etc.

Thanks for your comments. They have been helpful.

Subject: The family issues are a huge part of it....
Date: Feb 15 11:04
Author: Aphrodite

Unfortunately, leaving Mormonism often causes irreparable harm to family relationships because the remaining members are so brainwashed.

As far as intelligent people like your parents believing in Mormonism, intelligent people believe all kinds of things. Unitarians and Jews do the best on the SATs, so maybe more people should listen to them. ;)

Most scientists are brights, but regardless, it doesn't matter that there are intelligent people believing in any particular worldview--it doesn't make it true. My brother uses that argument all the time; he was telling me that there are people who are way smarter than me who believe in Mormonism. I think I responded by telling him that there are people way smarter than him who don't, lol.

Just looking at the statistical probabilities, there are more geniuses who don't believe in Mormonism than who do.

Subject: Joy will come sooner than you think
Date: Feb 15 11:16
Author: free2think

You could have been reading my own journal (if I had been writing one). I've gone through exactly the same process of thinking, worrying, and hurt, but it didn't last long. Once I left the church I continued to live the word of wisdom etc. (all but tithing) not because I still had doubts but because I wanted to prove to myself and, I suppose others, that I was not leaving the church for self-indulgence reasons. That lasted about 6 months. Now I feel completely free and convinced that my choice was correct. I now drink coffee occasionally and drink socially and it isn't a big deal. But the best thing is that I truly love my life now. My relationships with my children and wife are better than ever before and I have time now to truly enjoy life. I too wonder about God and what is after this life and have to admit I still occasionally lapse into my mormon upbringing when I think about those things, but I honestly don't feel worry about it. I know (beyond the shadow of a doubt :) that God cannot be the elusive, judgemental, aloof being that Mormonism teaches and that gives me peace. I don't know if I'll want to search this out more later or not. Right now it just feels good to be free of the deceit and the chains of the patriarchy. It has been almost a year now for me. Good luck to you and hang in there.

Subject: It is sad...a natural human wish...but (and some relevant quotes)
Date: Feb 15 11:41
Author: J G

Plenty of people in the world grew up without God. I always feel like I'm talking to myself or nobody if I pray. With time, you come to realize that that doesn't matter much. One of my deepest wishes has been for some kind of real religious feeling, which I never have received. The closest I have come is in my profession (science) where I can come closer to appreciating the true beauty of creation. I don't believe in a God that answers prayers or is "humanoid" at all, and it's true, I wish I could.

I wish I could believe in a God who was a man and just like us and that close.

But after you get over the shock, I think you'll see that it's ok not to be sure. That you can be good

One book I would recommend is by Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God. (It's not some goofy creationist thing or FARMS type thing.)

These are some quotes I think you might like, that are related to the subject. Feel free to email me if you want

"Who rises from prayer a better person, his prayer is answered."

"It is not you alone who pray, or we, or those others; all things pray, and all things pour forth their souls. The heavens pray, the earth prays, every creature and every living thing. In all life, there is longing. Creation itself is but a longing, a kind of prayer to the Almighty. What are the clouds, the rising and the setting of the sun, the soft radiance of the moon and the gentleness of the night? What are the flashes of the human mind and the storms of the human heart? They are all prayers - the outpouring of boundless longing for God."

"Religion is essentially the act of holding fast to God. And that does not mean holding fast to an image that one has made of God, nor even holding fast to the faith in God that one has conceived. It means holding fast to the existing God. The earth would not hold fast to its conception of the sun (if it had one) nor to its connection with it, but to the sun itself."

One of the main problems I think with Mormonism is its literalness. God as a man. Planets where he lives. Do x and y and z and you get a and b and c.

"The religious feeling of the scientist takes the form of rapturous amazement at the harmony of the natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all lands and ages...It is to know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, revealing itself to us as the highest truth and the most radiant beauty."

"Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.

Let us not fear doubt, but rejoice in its help: it is to the wise as a staff to the blind..."

Subject: the pain and the fear fade with time
Date: Feb 15 11:46
Author: spinner

When I first began to abandon my fealty to Mormonism about 3 years ago, it was a very difficult process. Mormonism does certain things to you psychologically that make it very hard to leave. One of the main things it does is to teach you to always internalize the problems inherent in the organization. From a young age you are taught that the church is perfect and that any inconsistencies and misunderstanding about it are a product of our weakness, not the church's. This makes it very hard to leave because we can never quite extinguish that voice in our heads resonating from the years of indoctrination that it is our imperfections, not the church's, that will cause us to leave.

As many others have stated very well, time does much to ease the transition to a new world view. I have also become atheist after abandoning Mormonism. After years of embracing the fantasies of Mormonism, the internal consistency of an atheist outlook is very comforting to me. Aphrodite was right on when she said that an atheist lifestyle makes this life seem infinitely more valuable. This life is lived for itself and should be lived well and fully. We are here to discover our true nature and live by it, not to follow the arbitrary rules of an arbitrary god so that we can achieve some reward that is always just beyond the horizon. While it is difficult to admit that the first decades of your life were lived following a lie, it is immensely liberating to see that your future is no longer delineated by its rules and expectations.

It is difficult at first. I felt abandoned and alone as I began to search for a new path and a new meaning in my life. You should be grateful to have a wife along who can accompany you on your journey to a fuller appreciation of your own existence. The heaviest burdens are made light and the most arduous journeys are shortened by a companion. It is a comfort I lacked during much of my own rediscovery. Good luck and enjoy the journey into a much brighter, broader, and more honest world.

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 12:20
Author: stevec

The thought that immediately comes to mind is the quilt conditioning the LDS church seems to instill within its members. When you get over the fact that you're not guilty or nothing is wrong with you for having doubts or not believing their fraud, you will be free.

Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 12:28
Author: Ansel

When I was a TBM, I'd shrug off bad stuff by reminding myself that things would be better in the afterlife. After realizing that most, if not all organized religion is harmful and Mormonism in particular, I felt a loss that is probably similar to yours. But in time, I came to realize that instead of feeling contempt for this world, I now appreciate it more than ever. Life is short. Maybe this is our only heaven, so enjoy it.

Subject: Why is it just now "beginning to cause some friction in (y)our marriage"?
Date: Feb 15 12:28
Author: Frustrating Investigator

Is it because of your new found doubts? It would seem she has been there and would understand, even if you went back. Admitting these doubts to her would be a HUGE step forward and would likely strengthen your marriage. Also, as a previous poster said she is your greatest ally on this journey, at least you are alone. I would hope your parents are intelligent in a way to believe every man has a right to choose his own path and it should not effect the family relationship.

Subject: Some benefits to death:
Date: Feb 15 13:00
Author: rogersmith

Hear ye Hear ye:

Well, a week of being depressed is certainly understandable. I don't know how old you are, but if you say your wife is a convert, then that probably means you are not, and thus I understand that much of your entire life to this point has been built around this church and it's values. It means that your standards, principles, memories, goals, have suddenly all just been taken away from you, and are even now being replaced with things that are foreign. Well, let me tell you what: after the initial shock of goal displacement goes away, that is when the liberation comes!

I spent two years being absolutely miserable as a missionary, I mean it was just terrible. I found out the truth on my mission but just kept trying to deny it. Once you accept the facts however, you learn to make the most of a new situation.

The fact you really do die does have a shocking effect in the beginning, but it also has a million and one benefits. For instance:

1. Human life really DOES have value after all (never thought of it that way, did ya?)
2. My dead ancestors weren't really watching when I sneakily committed my "filthy" moral transgressions as a teenager
3. You are now free to create your own philosophy of life and the world. There are no nature defying rules that you must govern yourself with, no obligation to side step logic. This is your universe now, baby. You own your own existence.
4. Old age does not turn out to be a cruel prank after all. I mean really, what kind of God....
5. Anyways, the list goes on. I think that you will find that it is more lengthy than you would have ever expected.

Okay Japanguy, that's my empathetic counsel (having been there myself). I think that you are quite fortunate to have a spouse that has graduated the cult already. But I can tell you that soon enough, your depressed feelings will alleviate, and be replaced with the liberation that is so common to the ex-mo faction.

Good luck buddy


Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 13:27
Author: japanguy

Thanks again for all the advice. I know that the hurt will pass with time. Some of you asked about my wife and why it is bothering our marriage now. Well my wife never really believed I don't think. She believed a bit but married for the good family life the church portrays. Specifically the branch pres. family at the time. But they later divorced and she saw that things were not really what they seemed to be. She has also been supportive of me and my faith and it has been just recently that she has started to I guess rebel a bit. This caused me to try to anaylze my own beliefs. I have been reading church history for years and have read just at least one book on every topic having to do with the church. A few years ago I had some serious doubts but then had a renewal of faith.

My wife is aware of my doubts but just not how deep they go. I want to be sure of myself before I tell her as if I do it would be difficult to change my mind and return to the church. But recently I have felt that we need to at least take a vacation from church and see how things are without it for a while. I doubt the truthfulness of the church but I am not at 100% quite yet. I guess I have an open mind.
Thanks again,

Subject: The question of God and the church
Date: Feb 15 14:28
Author: Ann

I began to question the church almost a year ago after not attending for over a year. I have read here how "spiritual experiences i.e. burning in the bosom" get made fun of but I have talked to members and former members that have NEVER had a burning in the bosom etc. I have never sincerely prayed about it. I have, about another deeply personal issue was would have ended up being life or death for me, and there was no doubt in my mind that I got an answer. So I still believe in God. Basically if I could GET a burning in my bosom or some other unmistakable sign I would think that Mormonism is the path God wants me to take if not he wants me to take another path. I think it is perfectly normal once you question the church to begin questioning everything else you've ever believed. I'll be in Tokyo in 3 weeks if you want to get together for lunch.

Subject: Trust your wife to love and understand you, for you,
Date: Feb 15 15:55
Author: Frustrating Investigator

not for your religion. You have given her a lot of credit. She seems to be someone who would support you in your quest, and love you enough to give you the freedom to find your own answers. Trust her.

Subject: Welcome to Recovery!
Date: Feb 15 13:32
Author: Tyler

That is why these boards exist and why posters come here to share. We are here to recover in varying degrees from our old beliefs, beliefs we held dear and truest above all others.

Hell yes it can hurt, it can cause confusion, pain, feelings of isolation and fear.

You have made the first steps to recognize that that mormon cosmology is either not all it is cracked up to be or completely false. Doubts will follow as your experiences outside of mormonism confirm and strengthen your belief that life exists perfectly fine without the LDS dogma.

Keep on studying, reading and sharing how you feel and you will get through this with a big fat grin on your face at the end of the day!


Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 15:09
Author: wisedup

Stay on this board - it will really help you.

Been there - done that. Yep - coffee ranks up there with murder. Doesn't the good book say something like - they strain at the gnat and swallow the camel - close enough.

Be honest with yourself. It hurts to WAKE UP!!!!!!! But you can do it.

Subject: betrayal always hurts
Date: Feb 15 15:52
Author: Saucie

It's like someone ripped the veil (no pun intended) off the stifling little cocoon you've been living
in and now you see the truth of the real world. You've been fooled and it hurts. Give yourself some time. You'll be glad you are now living in the sunshine of truth. It didn't bother me to leave it behind when I knew what a complete hoax it all was.
Subject: Re: Why does it hurt so much to leave?
Date: Feb 15 16:39
Author: choose
Mail Address:

Ex-Mormons will answer your question one way and faithful Mormons will answer in a completely different way. After listening to both sides, listen to what your heart tells you is true.

Which side are you happier on? What side makes you a kinder, more unselfish person?

Subject: Hearts don't think....
Date: Feb 15 20:47
Author: Aphrodite
Mail Address:

I think what you're suggesting is that no one can change beliefs because their emotions will tell them that it's scary and new.

I'm much happier and a much nicer person out of Mormonism, btw.

It's obvious you're a believing Mormon trying to convince japanguy that his fear and pain is an indication that he's making the wrong decision. If what you say is true, if you really should stay in a belief system based on how you "feel" about it, then people should stay in the JWs, the Moonies, the Scientologists, or any other cult that makes it difficult and painful to leave.

Subject: It's not pain - it's fear, and here's a story that might help
Date: Feb 15 22:07
Author: CO2

Some years ago, my wife and I went to Hawaii. It was an incredible experience. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was snorkeling. But the first time I went, I jumped into the ocean, and I began to look around - I kind of went into a panic. As I looked around, I could see that the bottom of the bay was about 30 - 50 feet down! It freaked me out a bit, and I had to calm myself down by reminding myself that I could swim, I wasn't going to sink. After a minute or so, I began to become familiar with the experience. It wasn't too long before I was holding my breath and diving down to get closer to the fish that were swimming around me. I felt at ease, and could enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

Leaving the church is very much like jumping into the ocean. At first, you feel like there's a void, but it's an illusion. Sure, the bottom of the ocean is scary, but you won't sink! Just calm yourself, and be willing to look at all the beauty that surrounds you. Just this morning, as I was reading the sunday paper and drinking my morning cup of coffee, I reflected on how much I enjoyed my life. You'll feel that way too, and it won't take very long.

Subject: The deeper you are in the harder it is to leave.
Date: Feb 15 22:08
Author: momo-nomo

I understand you are feeling a lot of pain, and that seems to be normal for many people as they lose their belief and start their exit from Mormonism. I was born into the church and quit by my late teenage years without ever having believed. So leaving was easy for me. It was a great relief and my mental turmoil ended as soon as I decided that I was an atheist and I didn't want to ever attend any Mormon meetings again.

After you get over feeling lost and worried and fearful, it would be quite natural for you to start feeling angry at the church for having duped you.

I agree with another poster that getting some professional psychotherapy would be very worthwhile. Many employers have assistance programs for people who are having mental turmoil for whatever reason. And many county governments offer mental health services with fees based on ability to pay. I think you would definitely be doing yourself a big favor to avail yourself of such a service.

Subject: I understand completely! :-)
Date: Feb 15 22:30
Author: LRRH

I myself have the exact same thoughts and feelings that you mentioned. It's been over five years since I've been to the mormon church, though, so I am seriously considering seeing someone about my depression over "not knowing" anymore about death and the afterlife.

I do believe in God but have struggled with that one as well. I feel that now I have a reassurance that is real since I was able to question and recieve an answer on my own, rather than just accepting what a church told me without question. It wasn't a "burning in the bosom" either; just a manifestation over time as I sorted out my own thoughts, philosophy, and logic.

Currently I attend a Methodist church. I still contemplate going through the RCIA at the catholic church. Even if I don't become a Catholic, I am hoping that it will help me to understand the rest of the world's idea of Christianity, not just the mormon version. I still struggle with Christianity because of my loss of faith in the mormon church, and I hope that the answer will come eventually as it did with whether or not there is a god. It kills me because I used to feel so close to Jesus as a mormon and now I question things more. Maybe it is a result of becoming an adult and/or getting a college education?

Sorry this was so long. I just want you to know that I understand what you're going through and hope that someday we can all find peace of mind after leaving and maybe you'll again be able to say

"Cah mee nah coh dah sue" - Sorry, can't spell in Japanese, only say certain things.

Recovery from Mormonism - the Mormon Church

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