“Faith in a lie is a damnable false hope!”
Any believing member of the Church needs to consider that we, ex-Mormons, were once believers too.
As a Mormon for 46 years, & for my final 7 years as a Bishop, I ‘KNEW’ the Church was true!
Just because I don’t believe any more doesn’t mean I can’t remember the beliefs & how I felt about those beliefs. I remember the wonderful feelings I attributed to the Spirit or Holy Ghost. In fact, I still experience those same ‘spiritual’ feelings, but I now attribute them to a different cause.
But feelings are not an indication of truth. Many people all around the world have those same wonderful spiritual feelings about their own particular religions. And, even athiests feel spiritual feelings.
Just like in the Wizard of Oz it all seems so wonderful & amazing till you pull back the curtain & look behind it.
Then I discovered that the version of reality I was taught, believed in & loved with all my heart was in fact a sham.
It was shocking, but eventually wonderfully empowering to finally base my life on the truth, not someone else’s version of the truth.
There is a psychological principle at work for all human beings, which adversely affects our ability to see the shocking truth in front of us. When the truth has the potential to cause pain & insecurity most people will be unable to acknowledge it. Their subconscious minds block their view.
This principle is well understood in psychology & also by con-men, and is called self-deception. Our subconscious minds speak the ‘Vital Lie’ to keep us from getting hurt emotionally. Not realising that it is protecting us from the truth. A truth which potentially could allow us to enjoy life more fully without the guilt, fear, shame, biases, phobias & prejudices which stop us seeing & enjoying the world as it ‘really is’ rather than through the Church filter.
Every member of the Church needs to honestly & open-mindedly ask the question: “If the Church was not true, would I want to know?”
Till they can do that they will never experience authenticity, but rather a hollow fantasy.
I know from personal experience because I have been on both sides of the fence.
Know that there are many more ex-believers than believers, and they are wonderful happy people who have found greater joy in knowing the truth than they ever did when they thought they were happy in the Church.
Initially the transition out of the Church belief system is not consoling, as most believing members think, but rather is a very ‘bitter pill’ to take!
It can be far more difficult to face the cognitive dissonance & accept the uncomfortable truths.
I can honestly say it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.
It has been likened unto a grieving process & rebirth. I am so grateful to those who have been down this path before me who offered advice & support.
Sadly, none of my Church member family or friends could listen to or empathise with my painful concerns. At times it felt I was dying as my whole version of reality felt like it was collapsing.
None of the Stake Presidency or Stake Leadership tried to stop me resigning as bishop or leaving the Church. In fact it was actively suggested by the Stake President that I resign my membership, when he repeatedly asked me, over & over again, “Why don’t you resign from the Church?” At that time it would have caused immense emotional trauma for my wife, parents & extended family, yet he could not empathise with my concern for them.
Only one of my friends in the Stake contacted me in over a year. Even our Mormon extended family ignore us. It’s just too painful & scary for them to approach us. Leaving the Church is one of the loneliest experiences of our lives. We don’t call it shunning, but it sure does feel like it!
But just like any birth, the initial pain is gradually overcome & the new life outside of the Church is far more wonderful & beautiful than I ever imagined.
As ex-Mormons we can offer those with honest questions & concerns the empathic support they need.
We welcome all sincere followers of truth, without prejudice.
Please know that we will be there for you or any of your family & friends who may in the future change the way they feel about the Church.