While perhaps not unique to Mormonism, it certainly emphasized the importance of family and marriage.
I was perhaps overly attached to my wife and kids and extended family, but eventually realized everyone is in it for themselves, including me.
I no longer try to keep in touch with kids or relatives that don't respond.
Wife and I have different interests and views, so we mostly live separate lives.
I question the whole concept of the nuclear family.
Especially considering how bad men are portrayed these days - seems men and women shouldn't live together. Perhaps dad should be across the street while the kids are growing, and then be gone. That would solve all the fighting and domestic violence we hear so much about.
What I like about exiting the church on my own terms is that I don't have to reject anything when leaving the church if I really don't want to reject or abandon it. The baby doesn't have to be thrown out with the bath water. I still like the idea of the glory of God being intelligence - that the universe was created within laws of science and nature and not by magic. (Others are free to disagree.) And I like many Biblical passages about treating others with kindness. Other more negative aspects in the Bible I have no trouble saying are there because a crazy person wrote them and an equally crazy person or committee chose to include them.
If you're talking more the "Santa Claus and Easter Bunny" phenomenon of having to force myself to admit something wasn't true that I might have liked to have believed really was true, it would have to be that if I were righteous enough, I would someday get to create my own world. When I was about ten I had a great vision of the world I would create. There would be mountains with snow "just like mashed potatoes" (I actually used to tell people that; I was a bizarre kid) where people could ski or snowboard all year, yet there would be summer beach weather and waves for surfing within an easy drive. In my world, it would have been even closer than the drive from Big Bear to Malibu or Doheny in California. All lands in my world would have been arranged like California or Chile, I suppose. In my world, Slurpees would have been a health food of which a body could not have consumed too many. Slurpees probably would have replaced water for the sacrament. Skateboarding would have been considered a form of worship and would have taken the place of most church worship functions.
Sometime around the age of fourteen or fifteen I understood just how stupid and impossible it was.
The Book of Mormon was the last domino to fall for me. I had received a spiritual witness of its truth. So for many years, when something seemed wrong or didn't make sense, I could fall back on my testimony of the Book of Mormon and just ignore all that other stuff...because the Book of Mormon was true.
Looking back now, this mindset seems silly. I thought my spiritual witness was real, but a more mature understanding of how our minds work and what confirmation bias means got me to re-evaluate what that "spiritual witness" actually meant.
When I looked at the Book of Mormon through the hard, cold lens of reason and evidence and logic, it fell apart almost immediately. And once that domino fell, my faith in the church and the restoration evaporated.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2017 04:54AM by Strength in the Loins.
The restoration. Held out hope that God finally had to do something bold and dramatic in guiding his church...but the longer I looked at it the foundation fell apart. Frankly it wasn’t bold, universal or believable under scrutiny...
Jesus, as my Savior and Redeemer. I had a hard time letting go of the whole Jesus thing and my supposed "personal relationship" with him. After leaving the Church, I attended a Presbyterian congregation for two years. Even though it was a good experience, I found big problems with Mainstream Protestantism and Christianity in general. I realized Jesus was just a man and that I can make it on my own. I don't need some made up God to depend upon. I eventually decided to leave religion all together. I now consider myself an Agnostic.
namarod Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Jesus, as my Savior and Redeemer. I had a hard > time letting go of the whole Jesus thing and my > supposed "personal relationship" with him. After > leaving the Church, I attended a Presbyterian > congregation for two years. Even though it was a > good experience, I found big problems with > Mainstream Protestantism and Christianity in > general. I realized Jesus was just a man and that > I can make it on my own. I don't need some made up > God to depend upon. I eventually decided to leave > religion all together. I now consider myself an > Agnostic.
I'm glad you found what works for you. Not one of us can be truly happy without finding that right path.
The Book of Mormon was big for me. Not the entire book, but there were parts of it I felt were really powerful. I must admit that I still find parts of it to be quite compelling, I just know now that those parts aren't divine, but rather human. Which is kind of cool in a way. I think some of the ideas there are worth still talking and thinking about in a different way than the church talks and thinks about them. I like the ideas of redemption and repentance, not the way it's normally taught in Sunday School or seminary, but the idea that we could really change who we are and be "born again" as a new kind of person, having charity for each other instead of enmity. I still believe in those things--I don't believe they happen through Jesus or any other divine being, and definitely not through a church--but our humanity can bring some cool results that are unexpected. Unfortunately humanity brings some nasty, mean results as well, but there are some really pleasant surprises when we have the humility to take a good look at ourselves and make a decision to be a different kind of person than we have been.