"My name is Sarah and I'm an Ex Mormon."





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Published on Nov 25, 2010




I was born into the LDS Church, the fourth of five children. I had a happy, comfortable childhood and my immediate and extended family was filled with loving, exemplary people. I never questioned the truth of the belief system I inherited. Instead, I enjoyed learning as much as I could and working to make everything fit. Applying the gospel to life's deep questions was like a game -- a clever riddle.

I was a good student but looked forward to college as an opportunity to find my eternal companion and to prepare to be a mother in Zion. I went to BYU and overall had a great experience. I sought to purify my life; I tried to obey all laws with exactness. When I graduated, still single, I wasn't sure what to do but felt that god was testing me to see if I would submit my will to his. Eventually I decided he wanted me to serve a mission, and so I did.

It was on my mission that I began to have questions. I loved meeting people and sharing with them what I considered to be a message of love and hope. But I was troubled by so many aspects of mission life, including:

· Training in techniques that seemed like sales tactics (Did the 'good news' have to be sold?)
· The contrast between the emotional maturity and stability of those interested in our message versus those who were not interested (Were the faithful of other religions and the secular, loving families really less deserving of exaltation?)
· Missionaries who were verbally abusive, mentally ill, or struggling with eating disorders (If the gospel couldn't "solve" such problems for members, how could it resolve the challenges of others?)
· General sadness among the missionaries, particularly the sisters (If we were living after the manner of happiness, why did it seem like we were always trying to cheer ourselves up?)
· The contrast between super-obedient missionaries who seemed self-righteous, numbers-oriented and sometimes sexist versus less-obedient missionaries who actually seemed to love and connect with the people and respect sister missionaries (I thought the obedient were the ones able to learn how to love unconditionally, not the other way around?)

It didn't make sense. I had been taught that "by their fruits ye shall know them," but I became less and less convinced that our side had a corner on the good fruits.

By the time I completed my mission, something had changed inside me. Life seemed so bittersweet. Looking back, I now realize that I was suffering from depression. But at the time, I just couldn't reconcile my unhappiness with the knowledge that I was doing my best to love and serve god, so I remained in denial. Over the next several years, I continued to involve myself in church service. I tried to ignore the growing divide between my personal values and what was taught in church. But all the while, I became increasingly emotionally disconnected.

To continue reading Sarah's exit story, please visit the website:

To visit Sarah's blog about leaving the Mormon Church, click below:


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