I am happier than I have ever been. I honestly couldn’t believe it. When I made the decision to leave the church, I was prepared for the worst. Part of me was still afraid God would smite me for leaving, but it was so empowering to make a decision without caring what the church would think.

Soon after leaving, I remember saying to my wife and later to some friends, “I feel like I’m finally allowed to be a good person.” It felt so freeing.


I have no more cognitive dissonance about my LGBT+ friends. They are amazing people and I finally feel like I can support them without having some other agenda. There’s no more skirting around “I still love you, but you’re living in sin”. I can finally be an honest, genuine friend, especially to people of non-mormon faiths. There’s no more secret missionary agenda; I can just be their friend.

My relationship with my wife has also greatly improved now that I don’t feel like I have to balance traditional gender roles with empowering her decisions.

While some relationships have suffered when people became angry we left, it has been a great filter. We have realized who really cares about us, and we’ve learned we’re better without some relationships. Our relationships with most of the people who are close to us have only been strengthened by this experience.

Word of Wisdom

I have learned that sipping tea is incredibly beneficial when I am having an especially autistic day. It helps with sensory overload and boosts my mood, and I’m not even addicted to it. I put wine in stew and espresso powder in brownies, and I can go to the liquor store (which I did as a faithful church member to make vanilla) without worrying who will see and judge me. I feel more energized, happier, and healthier, especially since processing much of the mission trauma that caused me some negative health effects.

Time and Money

I have more free time than I ever have, and Sundays are finally delightful. We can catch up on chores before our work week without feeling guilty about breaking the Sabbath.

We were disgusted with how the church was spending tithing money (i.e., the mall in Salt Lake and huge plots of land in Nebraska), so we have been able to use the money we otherwise donated as tithing to do real good. With a fraction of the money we would have otherwise donated, we were able to provide a new bed to a family member with a serious disability, contribute to meaningful nonprofit foundations, and contribute in other meaningful ways to our community. We realized that with the fast offerings we donated in a month, we could pay for a whole cart full of groceries for a family in need, and they wouldn’t have to go through the potentially demeaning process of discussing and justifying their finances with church leaders. I say this not to toot my own horn; I simply wish to demonstrate how much good donations could do if they were used to benefit people.

Hope and Meaning

It is so freeing to not worry about God constantly watching and judging us. We are no longer afraid of making a wrong choice and ending up damned for it. We don’t have to think about every single thing we do in the context of “good, better, best,” and we are working on letting go of the perfectionism that accompanied our faith. Life has become precious and meaningful to us, and we are much better able to savor it.


Since leaving, I have developed a solid testimony that the church is not what it claims to be. I have not found one shred of evidence that my life would improve if I went back. I believe with all of my heart that the church is harmful, and I have received what I would have identified as a spiritual confirmation that leaving the church was the right choice.