Monday, January 08, 2007


I wanted to give an update as to how I feel now that it has been a few months since I left the church. Believe it or not I was somewhat hoping that after leaving the church and deciding not to believe in it or religion in general anymore that things would go bad for me, that I would feel some void that would act as a testimony to go back to believing. But this has not happened. I actually feel at peace, more so than I ever did as a believer. I'm sure that this is not the same experience everybody has, as each person's journey is different. But it feels good, it feels honest.


At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rob:

I can certainly relate to your experience of finding peace after leaving the church. I haven't responded to any of your prior blogs because they seemed so tender and personal - any reply on my part felt intrusive. But I guess this one really struck a chord.

I also relate to your so-called de-conversion. I myself am of the slippery-slope school of inactive Mormons. At one point about 5 years ago, I started down the proverbial slippery slope of transgressions. First, the lapse in book of Mormon reading, then not attending all 3 hours of meetings, then surely enough, the word of wisdom . . . I know this is a rung down in respectability from the "doctrinal crisis" school of inactivity (though I can't remember a time when I didn't vehemently disagree with many l.d.s. doctrines!). There is a lack of introspection though on why it was one started peering over the edge in the first place. As Simone Weil says, "All sins are attempts to fill voids." For me, it came down to the fact that I felt like an imposter. I hope you will be spared the shame at play in leaving the church, and I’m sorry you have to contend with accusations of being a slippery sloper (i.e. hints of infidelity from your bishop).

Anyone is free to flame me here, because I stand convicted of the following: I don't feel cut off from the Holy Ghost. I don't feel abandoned. I don't feel set adrift. In fact, I feel whole. My entire life, I was led to believe that without the church, I'd be a drug-addled, wild child of Lucifer--like in the "Prodigal Son" video we showed on my mission. And I think this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for many who leave the church. I can't say I was totally immune from it either - I do live in New York City after all. But I quickly realized that this is a conscious choice. All of the lovely parts of the church that have always nurtured me - emphasis on family, honesty, clean(ish) living, family home evening, prayer, sisterhood--are as available as they ever were. Perhaps more so for me. This has been my most edifying revelation to date!

You already have sterling faith in your wife and your children, and an open, honest heart. It is my testimony that you will find all of the answers you seek. Perhaps you have already found more than you suspect.


At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kat, is this the Kat I know from 1994 in Utah? How are you?!

The Church doesn't have a monopoly on shame, guilt or happyness I've noticed.

To contrast your DE-conversions, there are many CONversions of every sort in which people are drawn to the Church and feel the same feelings as some of those leaving it.

What I conclude from that is the absolute truth doesn't lie in what we feel as individuals because most of that is social or learned.

The Holy Ghost experience is supposed to be personal, unique and adaptive.

But the key for me lies in choosing to attribute experiences to the Holy Ghost based on the gestalt of the Gospel as a whole. Any part of it can be reasonably torn apart and used to defend ones inability to grasp it or live it probably.

Rob, did you finish Rough Stone Rolling?

I finished it a few weeks ago and thouroughly enjoyed it!

And yes, my spelling sucks...


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Rob said...

And to contrast that, there are many people that are drawn to other faiths and experience the same or similar feelings to those joining the LDS faith. But these faiths do not harmonize with LDS teachings which leads to confusion. How can people feel something so strongly, to the point that they are willing to say they "know", but yet their beliefs conflict with the beliefs of others who "know" they are right. Trying to discover absolute truth based on feelings is problematic, feelings are very often wrong.


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