“We are so much happier out of the church”

Impact: I was raised in the LDS church by convert parents who joined the church in Berlin Germany.  David O McKay was the prophet when I was a little girl living in Salt Lake City in the 1950’s and he called me on my mission to Austria in 1969.  I had a strong testimony and questioning and understanding the gospel was encouraged by the church and my father. We believed that a church that could not withstand investigation had a weak foundation.

I first started doubting on my mission as Austria was a difficult mission.  I believed in the plan of salvation that man could become like God and in the law of eternal progression and pursuit of excellence.  I loved feeling like we had a living prophet to guide us and the security of being in Christ’s church.  That we would not be led astray.  After my mission, I met my husband who joined the church on an intellectual testimony.  He believed the spiritual witness would come later.  He took seriously Moroni’s promise of the Book of Mormon and fasted and prayed for that spiritual witness.  After 30 years of praying and fasting and living the gospel, it never came.

I taught Gospel Doctrine for 4 years and started studying church history and Journal of Discourses.  That is when things started bothering me about Joseph Smith and polygamy and polyandry.  Also, his dealing with money.  His character started bothering me.  Paul Dunn’s fabricated spiritual experiences also bothered us as I really loved him.  But, a main change happened when the LDS church no longer seemed like the church I was raised in.  With the coming of the internet, it seemed the lds church began muzzling its members and me as a teacher.  We could no longer use outside sources (as the 13th article of faith advocated) in teaching lessons although General authorities could.

Also, we had a gay son and prop 8 did not help.  The church was becoming more and more of a corporation and the spirit was no longer in most of the meetings there. We had prayed about our temple experiences and the spirit was not there for us.  It seemed so strange with all the death oaths, and weird covenants. After much prayer God led us to other churches where I learned the Holy Spirit dwells as well.

Even though the church emphasizes families, it took my husband out of the home so much with home teaching, and as a stake counsel man, Elders Quorum President, etc that he had no time for me or our kids that I felt so neglected.  It almost destroyed our marriage.  When President Hinckley was on Larry King live and brushed off polygamy, and that we no longer believe that man can become like God, we felt this man was not a prophet.

We watched John Dehlin’s video on Why People leave the church and it hit home.  No body liked that we questioned or would discuss our doubts with us.  This was one of the things that bothered me the most.  And nobody cared when we left the church, especially all those my husband worked with in the high council. We are so much happier out of the church now and attend the United Church of Christ in our area.

Name: Erika

Date: 16 Jul 2014

Impact Topic: Polygamy

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