Why I Left the Mormon Church

Deconversion People Can Change Testimony

It’s been about a year now since I realized that the LDS Church isn’t all it claims to be. Having grown up completely devoted to the church, my transition out of it became a time of immense growing and learning for me. Yet despite all the changes, or maybe because of them, I am now happier and freer than I have ever been in my life, and so is my family.

I’ve been invited to post my story here, which explains how and why I left the church and how I came to the conclusions about it that I did, the mental and emotional struggles I went through in the process, and how my beliefs have evolved since then. It’s a fairly long document, so rather than posting the content here, I’m including a link to the PDF version of the document on my website, which you can download and read at your leisure.

http://www.brandonpearce.com/why_i_left_the_mormon_church.pdf

A lot of my friends and extended family still don’t know that I’ve left the church, and I’m debating whether or not to make a public announcement to them about it. I moved away from Utah (and the USA) a couple years ago, so I’m not as tied to Mormon culture as I once was. But I feel like many of my old friends no longer know the real me. Yet, I wonder if I would lose their respect and trust if they knew my current beliefs. I’d be interested to hear your experiences about opening up to your family and friends, as well as what you think of my story. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or contact me directly on my blog,Fullness of Life.

5 thoughts on “Why I Left the Mormon Church

  1. With friends and family, I favor the say-what-you-think-and-consequences-be-damned approach. But everyone’s situation is their own, and I haven’t had to deal with complications from temple marriage or a Mormon-owned workplace. As the oldest of five siblings, I want the younger kids to know they’re free to be themselves, whether that’s in or out. And anyways, if your parents are going to shun you for a few years (like mine did), you might as well get that out of the way asap.

  2. This was really interesting for me to read. I am in the process of leaving the church (it only hasn’t happened yet because I still live at home with my mormon parents), and this was fascinating because my own spiritual progression was actually completely different from yours. I did a lot less research and a lot more internal reasoning. Given, I was only 16 when I went through my transformation, whereas you were what, 30? But even so, I am really impressed at the time you took not only to research everything that you were concerned about but also to document your entire process. So, thank you for this. It was fun to read about someone else’s journey in such a well-constructed document.

  3. Thanks for sharing!

    Specifically, I realized that there are people of other faiths who have experienced just as strong spiritual feelings as I have, and have taken this as a witness that their beliefs are true – yet they contradict what I believe. I knew that the spirit of Christ is given to every man (Moro 7:16), but I was confused why that spirit would be giving contradictory messages. If the Spirit is truly a testifier of truth, then He wouldnt be contradicting himself by telling one person that his belief is true, and another that their belief is true, when those two beliefs oppose each other.

    This point was central to my deconversion as well:

    So when I heard Mormons admitting that people in religions other than Mormonism had spiritual experiences like Mormons, it seemed very wrong. There was no reason that Heavenly Father would be in the business of confirming anything other than the truth instead of prompting people to get out and seek the truth.

  4. Brandon, first I want to say that your story was super nice to find when I was first really admitting to myself that I was going to leave the church for good. I found a lot of other ones that were more angry or bitter and that didn’t reflect how I felt. Your letter does. I’ve shared the link to it with friends to help them better understand where I am right now and why I left. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad you took the time to share it because it’s helped people.

    I found that I’ve had pretty good responses to my leaving so far (but I’ve also been selective about who I’ve told). Everyone is shocked and sad and needs a certain amount of explanation, but once I make it clear that I just honestly don’t believe it’s true, am not angry or offended or a sinner, etc. people take it pretty well. Online is definitely where I’ve had the worst reactions. My friends who I don’t see much anymore but told now kind of avoid me. My friends in real life, except one, kind of avoid me, too, but not as much. I just act normal when we’re together and that makes them act normal, too. I think it helps reassure them that I really am the same person I was before.

    If I could give one piece of advice on what makes telling people easier, it would be to find friends who don’t care about your beliefs first. Find a local Post-Mormon group, Secular Atheist group, place to volunteer, etc. Then if the people at church shun you, it won’t hurt as badly because you have new friends.

    And something a friend told me really helped me deal well with negative reactions. He said not to let other people impose their drama on me. It helps me keep my focus and not let mean words or actions affect me so much. I know my choice was right and that I’m a good person. If someone else thinks otherwise, that’s not my problem.

  5. Thanks for the great feedback, everybody. I’ve told a few more people privately, and it’s been interesting to see their reactions. I’ve noticed that unless people are willing to take off their “Mormon glasses” and look at things with objective eyes, they’ll never truly understand.

    So, I’ve made some major updates to my document, and uploaded the changes today. Check it out if you’d like. Same url:
    http://www.brandonpearce.com/why_i_left_the_mormon_church.pdf

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