AN UNOBSTRUCTED GUIDE TO LEAVING THE MORMON CHURCH AND KEEPING YOUR FAITH
First thing is this. Are you happy? Does your life bear good fruits? Do you shine a light from within? Then you should NOT leave your religion or your faith! You are better off where your are now. But if there is even a shadow of doubt anywhere in the entirety of your existence then you need to READ THIS. If there even a small shadow of doubt, then you should know that your conversion from there to here has already started – you just don’t know it yet. Do you seek something more? Then you must READ THIS. And I do not have any answer. This is only what I’ve seen. I cleared the obstructions, I looked and this is what I saw. This is not about GOD – although if your are curious, you can read about my God.
It is true that I lived the first seventeen years of my life in unauthenticity. I’m not shameful of it. How could you be shameful of something which you did not know any better? My beliefs were handed to me from family tradition and community. I speak quite generally now. I was a Mormon, you know. They are a people with great faith. Their gospel has been handed down as religious cultural beliefs. In many cases, those kinds of beliefs should not be trusted because they are not authentic. It is better to say that you should examine a bit more. I am not saying that their beliefs are false. They are probably not, but it is such a shame not to know the truth of your own belief. It is much better to come full circle.
MISSING THE JUNCTION
I am saying now how it happened to me. It must come from believing to being doubtful, from being doubtful to dissolution, from dissolution to not knowing. Now you are half way there, because you went from believing that you know to realizing that you don’t know. Do not stop there! Now your mind has been cleared of all the obstruction.
A strange phenomenon happens at this point. In my home state of Utah, it has happened all over the place. I’ve seen it many times and it even almost happened to me. Where I live, it is happening often to my friends, to my neighbors and to my fellow church-goers. People might continue on the true path of a seeker, or they fall on to the opposite end of false believing – which is only false un-believing. You see a duality here.
They become upset, angry, hurt – and all understandably so. They realize that they have been believing in and living by something which they don’t know. And because their clarity is obstructed by the burden of their emotion, they believe that they have always been believing in a lie. But who said it was a lie? You have only been believing in something that you don’t know. However, to say it is a lie is only to say that you still believe something which is the truthfulness of a lie. It is so sad to see this happening, it truly is. You have missed the junction! It is a poor mistake! Here’s what happen to people who miss the junction. They find resent in the heart towards their family, towards their community, and towards their religious institution and leaders. Can you blame them? They find resent toward the Christian teachings. And their resent misguided them to believe that they have found the truthfulness of a lie! These people often spend years (or their entire lives) holding on to resent toward the people with which they used to belong. And in truth, those people have only misunderstood what it means to “know” something rather than believing in a lie. Maybe they did believe in a lie but it is not before the fact that they have misunderstood the voice of truth and the bible of their own lives.
You see, when the Mormons gather anywhere in numbers, they have also invited the opposite of them. These are the people who have missed the junction after loosing their religion. They have also lost their faith! They have become just like the very people they despised. Each side persecutes the other, but both are in deep misunderstanding. There must be a more appropriate name, but where I live, they are called the anti-Mormons. They gather wherever the Mormons do with their resources claiming that they know of the lie of the Church. They do know of the lies, but have not yet seen a transformation. They were hurt by the church and they wanted their freedom from it. They leave the church and cut all ties. But they haven’t really left. They are still in bondage because wherever the Mormons are, they are there also. They cannot let it go.
Now it is like the Mormons have a campaign against knowledge. Yes it is very true that historically speaking, the Mormon institution have chosen to be untruthful, and knowingly so! They have not been transparent about the historical background of the church being largely built upon lies, misogyny, suppression and more abhor able things. They do it the same way the our own country has not been truthful about building its legacy upon violence, suppression and slavery. All these things are true! On this account there are many lies. That is the least of the lies. There have committed many atrocities against truth. There has been much hateful rhetoric and policy. Just as much as their gospel have made happy lives for many people, they also bear much responsibility for the death and suffering of the marginalized. They have played many dirty tricks against weak minds.
Mormons, in your own crisis you must ask yourself, “Whether this church is truth or untruth, why am I participating in religion at all?” I hope it is for more than culture and family. I hope that you have been practicing religiously for your own happiness and well being. Assume this is the case now (which I hope is so). Why will you spoil the religious nature of spirit and soul because of historical untruth? History is history. You believed in a historical lie, and you are hurt or ashamed because of it. But there is only here and now. Spirit and soul is always here and now. The nature of religious spirit cannot be tainted by a lie because happiness and truth exists right now in the book of your own life – not so much in the Book of Mormon or even the Bible. You have forgotten that truth is tested and measured by your own experience and it will spawn from the authenticity of your own doubt!
So now you have realized, “I just do not know.” You do not know that you believe in a lie, and you do not know that you believed in the truth, you have only uncovered that you do not know.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
You might begin to be curious again. “I know that I do not know, but surely there is something to know.” This is the start of such an exciting and beautiful journey which I embark fearlessly every day. Because you have doubted your so called “belief” will drop. Drop it easy. Don’t throw it on the ground and stomp on it. Just release the grip and it will drop.
There is a difference between trust and belief. “Trust grown inside of you, in your interiority, in your subjectivity.”
You want to know where to start. Trust in your doubt! You don’t need to believe in God. You do not need to believe in Heaven or Hell. You only need to trust in your doubt, and already the conversion has started. Now you will be questioning all these teachers. You will question Jesus first. That you will question the word of Krishna and the word of Buddha. You know the words of the saint and sages, but you do not need to believe them. Still if your are doubting, only be sure that your doubt is authentic. If Buddha or Jesus spoke the truth, it is irrelevant to you. It is irrelevant to you because your are doubting, and with your doubt, you will see one day the trust is being grown from the darkness into the light.
Doubting is logical, isn’t it? You may exercise your logic until you have thought of everything that is possible for your logical mind to think of. It will lead you to all kinds of philosophies. You will become a seeker. To seek means that you must start from a place of not knowing and that you seek something. You will investigate many schools of thought and belief, all the while you are doubting so much.
You should seek in the darkness. One who seeks will always find, and that finding is so authentic and true. But the cowards of the world sit in the darkness, not moving much. They are believing the words of somebody else who has found his way through the darkness. He himself will never know because he has not traveled the distance.
WHAT ABOUT ME? WHAT ABOUT ERIK?
I know so little now. I know much less than I’ve ever known before. But a few things I do know and now they are written in stone, because I have found them on my own. There is a great peace that comes from my path in past present and future. You can read more about it in my previous blog, God of all Things.
It is ironic now. When I turn my doubt towards religious teaching and practice I see the true essence of what the Mormons are meaning to believe. It is sad. They have lost much of it. But for me, I’ve come full circle. Their gospel is true and untrue – it only depends on to which end you are meaning to achieve. This – I cannot explain and also you should not assume. I have found it myself and you should to.
I HAVE SPEND MUCH OF MY TIME studying from books. Literature for me has been one of the single greatest tools to bring my from not knowing to understanding. Those two things need the other to exist. So with that being true, I would say that being doubtful has been a great starting point. It has been the starting point for everything.
Each chapter in this book is full of new experiences – adventure, music, dance, people -everything. Everything in my life is manifested. Some things are so far down the path from subtle to gross. My friends exist because I found them in certain places. Those places came into my existence because I took myself there. I took myself there because they seemed to have something I was looking for. I was looking because I was doubtful. I was doubtful because I do not know. These experiences have only been worthy because they are authentic. Though form changes from subtle to gross, every part carries authenticity. Doubt comes from your inside, and because it comes from inside of you, it is so beautiful. Everything that follows is beautiful. From carrying a natural doubt and being unashamed of it comes a beautiful life. And isn’t it true that being trustful can only come from doubt? Authentic trust spawns from authentic doubt. Don’t ever be ashamed to have doubt! How else can you know real trusting?
I cannot say I am not a Mormon. I have graduated Mormonism, but still it is a deep and irrevocable part of my past for which I have no shame. You should not either. You should graduate from being a Mormon and continue on the path. Being a Mormon will always be part of you and it will always be with you. You must have the courage. There is trial and tribulation ahead – a kind which you haven’t known yet. You must know about this change. It is the only permanent thing that you have know in your entire life. Tell me one thing that has not changed in your life except for the nature of changing itself? You must have the courage! You are a Mormon and you are on the path of a seeker! It only takes some untainted sensitivity to know – this change has been calling your name! I know you have heard it. You have doubted and maybe tried to ignore these feeling, but you see now the conversion has already started. I advise you to go with the conversion gently.
“To accept this nature of life, to accept this changing existence with all its seasons and moods, this constant flow that never stops for a single moment, is to be blissful. Then nobody can disturb your bliss. It is your hankering for permanency that creates troubles for you. If you want to live in a life with no change – you are asking the impossible.”
Quotes and excerpt pulled from OSHO Library at https://www.osho.com/read/osho/osho-on-topics/change