I’m new to this site and happy to share my experience.
Five years ago my wife and I were very active, both holding callings and trying to get out to activities often. Even share the gospel a little. But one day just suddenly at the same time we both felt like we really didn’t want to go to church that Sunday. I guess you could say we felt burnt out or just needed a break. We were honest with our selves. We never really felt good at or after church. Never had that spiritually high even though we did our best. After so many years going as a married couple and now past the fun YSA years we recognized that not once did we have that feeling your supposed to have a when you go to church, or read the BOM. Somedays we came home feeling like crap. We were also sick of the guilty feeling because we couldn’t live up to all the expectations. So I guess maybe it started with pride. Or maybe without knowing it yet we recognized that it was BS. We were also tired of being around hypocrisy and fake people, although of course there were good people around too. So we just stopped going to have a break, anticipating we would go back in a couple weeks. That was five years ago.
We both grew up in the church and experienced hypocrisy with our parents. They would tell us we have to do one thing but they wouldn’t do it themselves. Our son was a year old at this point when we stopped going. We didn’t want to do that to him, because we knew we could not live up to the churches ridiculously high standards. We admitted to ourselves that the church does not make us happy, in fact the exact opposite. I’ve been struggling with depression since my mission 14 years ago. Never had it before but it was when I became very active in the church it was onset. But before this there was even very common doctrine that didn’t make sense to me. For example, I never understood why god would not allow families to be together if they weren’t sealed. That didn’t sound like a loving God. Or even that he would create one religion for the whole world to follow. What kind of an idiot God would do that? Anyways, our departure from the church was somewhat subtle. Even after leaving I said a prayer to God, I said ‘I’m sorry if I’m making a mistake but this is not for me and I’m ok with this decision. I’ve been doing everything I’m supposed to and I’m not happy. I accept that I’m forfeiting exaltation.’ Several life experiences being a member also confirmed that it can really mess up lives. Not only does it not bring happiness but it can make things a whole lot worse. My Dad, after knowing my mom for only a couple weeks proposed because the spirit told him to do it, he says. 11 years later he realized it was a mistake and left us. His choice, based on what he thought was the spirit, and not logically thinking, messed up both our lives. He got to move on and live the life he wanted while my mom and I struggled. And this happens often in the church.
Before I even knew of the discrepencies in church history and doctrine a lot of it didn’t make sense and my maturing brain was starting to see that. A couple years later was when I began to learn about some of the facts. These facts began to confirm my questions and how I felt. Maybe the Holy Ghost told me to get the hell out. Not anti-mormon stuff but similar to what is on this website. Y’know, all the BS that JS “taught” and the church has been playing down for so many years. The BS that many mormons find excuses for as they live in denial. It’s sad because so many people are making major life choices, such as marriage, based on what they learn at church.
I believe there is no one true church. I believe, but won’t say I know, there is a God and an afterlife. But if he does exist and he’s loving and perfect, he doesn’t care what religion we’re a part of. he doesn’t care if you’ve completed long checklist of requirements(ordinances) for exhalation, or if you’v paid your tithing. Be a good person, serve others, see the beauty in this world and take care of this planet. And when you die you can feel good knowing you did your best to make the world a better place, and not feel bad because you didn’t live up to the high expectations of the church.
That’s what I believe and its my new religion.