Monday, July 11, 2011

And I'm (Not Really) a Mormon

Here it is, the post I've been dreading.
But I think it needs to be written.
I'll try to keep it short.

I'm not really mormon anymore. My name is still on the records and everything, but I don't believe and don't attend (although I do still sing "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam once in a while).

Whew, there's the bomb. Now for the commentary.

I'm not going to delve into the details of my disaffection. I'd be happy to discuss it privately with anyone who's interested, but the point of this post is not to enumerate my grievances with the church. The point of this post is to inform those who didn't already know, and to tell the world (and myself, I suppose) that I'm okay.

In fact, I'm better than okay, at least when it comes to spirituality and religion. The decision to leave the church has absolutely been the right thing for me to do. This may be hard for some people to wrap their heads around--ten years ago I wouldn't have thought it possible that leaving the church would be good for anyone. I think it's one of those things that is really hard to understand unless you've been there.

So what am I now, if not really mormon? I don't know that there's a label for it. Agnostic Christian Buddhist...humanist...universalist...Saganist? The funny thing is, I think a lot of my religious ideals have remained the same, but instead of being personified in the form of God, they've kind of been generalized to people, nature, the universe, what have you. This means giving people full credit for the amazing good their capable of, as well as full credit for the great evil they are also capable of. I don't know what the whole purpose of everything is (I tend to think that nature is an end in itself), I certainly don't know what happens when we die (I kind of have to believe we're with loved ones in some form in order to remain sane), but I strongly believe that the here and now is important, that the relationships we form and the way we act and think are important. I no longer see people as the center of the universe, but we are a beautiful and rare part of it, like all life. Losing my religion hasn't made the world look more depressing and useless. It's made the world all the more beautiful, life all the more miraculous and precious. And quite honestly, it's comforting to no longer believe in a man-God who is just a glorified version of Joe Shmoe sitting across the pew playing with his iPhone. (You can't have a post about leaving your religion without at least one snarky comment, right?)

I'm not going to try to convince anyone to leave their religion. Quite honestly, I would strongly advise against it unless you absolutely feel you have to for your well-being, because it's extremely painful and difficult.

I don't want anyone to worry about my eternal soul. I think she's doing quite well and will be okay in the end. However, if you feel bringing baked goods will help, I encourage it.

Now, for my next post, I will be discussing politics.
Not really.


  1. I admire you in so many ways. This is one of them.

  2. Ive gone through the same thing. Its nice to know that there are others out there dealing with the same things.

  3. This was a great post Jo. I know how hard this must have been. I am so grateful to be able to call you family.

  4. I respect you for being honest with yourself and others and I can tell you have spent a lot of time thinking about these things and how they affect your life. Standing up for your beliefs is not easy but I admire you for doing just that.

  5. Oh my gosh. I feel like this came out of my own brain. I loved it. I lost my religion and I feel like a better, more condensed and truer version of myself. I bet you feel the same way. :)