Coming to the realization that the Church isn't what it claims to be, is a difficult and painful process for most people. Almost inevitably you are surrounded by family and friends who are active members, and STAYING is the easy option. Please know, wherever you are in this process or whichever "side" you are on, believing or non-believing, please know that STAYING is the easier option, initially anyway. Not necessarily the right option, but the easier one. So if you are having difficulty leaving, or someone you love is leaving the Church, please at least give them or yourself the respect that they deserve in knowing that they are choosing the harder option, Not the easy way out.
When I first discovered things about the Church, that led to my leaving, I remember I would read so many alarming things about the history of the Church, or quotes from leaders, from well documented primary sources, not anti-Mormon literature, that left me feeling distant from it and its teachings. Then I would go to Church on Sunday, see my friends, do my calling, I was the Young Women's leader at the time, and I would get so caught up in the familiarity of it all, the comfortableness of it all, that I would forget for the moment the lies and deception. I liked my world, it was easy to walk in those shoes, it was easy to talk the talk and walk the walk. EASY!!
Staying would have been the easier choice. Just brush aside the truth and remain in the illusion. Let the illusion fill my world, suppress the things I learned back into some dark closet in my mind, never to be opened again. I could pat myself on the back for being triumphant to this "trial of my faith" and go on with my life, just the way it was. No Big Deal.
But here's the catch, integrity would not allow that. When I could plainly see the lies, how could I push it all aside just to make my life easy? Knowing that staying is perpetuating the lies, we (my husband and I) could not stay. We could not in good conscience be used by the Church to promote their illusion of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That's how we began to view it. Staying is saying we believe it and it is true, and we could no longer say that. So we had to go, as difficult and unsettling as that is.
And there was another reason we had to go. We have a thirteen year old daughter, we could not continue to teach her that this Church is Christ's restored gospel, with a prophet that leads by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. How could we teach that to her, to have her discover someday that it is not true and then she has to have her world fall apart too. No, we love her too much to do that. So for her and for integrity's sake we walked away, when staying would have been easier. Much easier!
But here's the beauty of it all, it is worth it! Being free to think on your own, not tied down by religion. Free to make your choices, see the world through new eyes. EVERYONE should try that once in their life, let go of the things you have believed your entire life, if just for a minute to see what may be out there that you have never seen before. It will change you forever, for the better. Even if you go back to your beliefs, at least you got to see the world from a different view. How refreshing, how invigorating, how freeing. Now I let God lead me, I ask God to reveal himself to me on his terms, not mine, and not through some manmade religion, which they all are in my opinion. Oh, and Sunday what a beautiful day it has become, truly a day of rest, pleasure, relaxation, discovery, nature, food, family, peace, no restrictions, no meetings, no things that I have to do, no lessons to teach, just a day of absolute joy!!!!!!!!!!!!!