People have asked, what caused me to begin questioning the truthfulness of the Mormon church? For most ex Mormons /unbelievers, they generally begin finding out little "flecks" of church history, that lead to unraveling of the whole system. They begin to use logic and reasoning toward Mormonism and apply that same skepticism toward all religions. My process was different. I deconstructed Christianity first, causing my realization that Mormonism and all it entails, is a lie.
Growing up in the Mormon church, I had all the standard programming. Although I didn't graduate from seminary, I was a "good" kid- I still had my share of fun in high school. A mission was always in the back of my mind, my older brother set the example for me. I served a mission, went to BYU, met a beautiful woman, got married in the temple. I was living the Mormon dream. While I was at BYU, I taught at the MTC for two years. We didn't had children right away, marriage was difficult enough. During my last year at BYU, I applied to professional school and the rest is history.
Things were moving along nicely, we began to have children , purchased a home, started a business, all the while-fulfilling church callings. I was becoming a Mormon "yes" man. This, I'm ashamed to admit, began to impact family relationships. That is a story for another day.
I held various "important" positions in the church. The ones that really feed the ego. My wife's friends would always comment about what a good husband I was, and how they wished their husbands were more spiritual. Those comments can really build one's ego. I hate to say it, but I always liked it.
As I was serving as EQP, I began to read more alternative historical books. I enjoyed looking at history through a different lens. I began to be more skeptical and challenge the norm.
No topic was off limits. I read books on the Occult, Christianity, Gnostic teachings, etc. During this time, I read a fictional book titled The Armageddon Conspiracy. Although it was fiction, it kind of slapped me in the face. It caused me to see Christianity in a different light. I began questioning and challenging my core beliefs. I ultimately came to the conclusion that I was mislead in my Mormon/Christian upbringing.
All of the questions and concerns that I couldn't resolve went away. I was able to settle issues that several friends who worked in CES couldn't answer. I understood dilemmas that a religious professor at BYU could not clarify. I was done with the mental gymnastics I had done in the past. Once I came to understand, everything fell into place and the Mormonism and all religion unravelled.
I began to see that I had self worth that wasn't dictated by an outside source. I didn't need approval from someone who wasn't really a friend. I didn't need some God, who's actions I felt were immoral, directing my life. I could own myself with all my flaws and positive attributes. I didn't have to be careful to not offend a God, with whom I didn't agree. I was empowered. I was real. I was a new person.
I can help those in need without being forced. I can hold real friendships without the Mormon church's influence. I can decide who I want to help and when. Lastly, I can help others who are not tied to the church. I have begun to remove the layers of shit piled on by the Mormon church and can finally see clearly.