In one of my last posts, I talked about authenticity. This is me practicing what I preach. Welcome to my post-Mormon life.
“I believe in Heavenly, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and Joseph Smith. I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be the only true church and that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God to guide us during these latter days. I am grateful for the temple and for the opportunity to be sealed with my family for time and all eternity. I know that families can be together forever and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Does this sound a little familiar? This was my LDS testimony.
It’s been nearly eight years since I asked to have my records removed, but there are days when I miss the predictability of being Mormon. There’s a plan. You get baptized, go on a mission, get married in the temple and have children. You spend your life in the service of the church. I had an identity when I was LDS. There are songs to remind you who you are. If you forget there are church talks during Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, Young Women’s lessons, Relief Society, conference talks and the church magazine, The Ensign. And of course there’s the weekly activities for the youth, Family Home Evening and the Temple.
Sunday Service: Non-Denominational vs LDS
After I left the church, I still believed in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I joined a non-denominational church called Church on the Living Edge. I needed God in my life, but I wasn’t sure who He was in relation to me.
After reading the Book of Mormon in conjunction with the Bible, I realized how unfamiliar I was with the Bible. I could tell you all about Nephi, Alma, Lehi, King Mosiah and Moroni, but the Bible? I was familiar with Job, Noah, and Isaiah, but my knowledge of other stories were sparse. Unlike my fellow well-versed COTLE members who praised with open arms shouting “Hallelujah” and “Thank you, Jesus!” when they felt something in the sermon move them, I had a difficult time adjusting to the sound level.
I could speak my praises often without restraint. In fact, you could say “Amen” while Bishop Chironna spoke. People didn’t have to wait until the end to agree with his words. On the other hand, the LDS congregation during the service remains silent other than the quiet, “Amen,” spoken after prayers and talks. It took some adjustments, but I liked the change.
Lost and Found
From the middle of 2018 until the beginning of December 2021, I had a complete disconnect with God. I wasn’t sure of his existence, lost faith in prayer, and couldn’t come to terms with the Bible. When I suffered the worse depression of my life, I refused to turn to him for answers. Lost spiritually and I knew it.
And then on December 3, 2021, while driving home my husband, myself, and our 2 year old were hit by a drunk driver. With gentle words spoken in my mind I heard, “Brace for impact.” I felt suspended in time, but only for a moment. Yet, I knew everything was going to be okay. I heard the oncoming vehicle crashing into ours and then a high-pitched ringing in my ears from the sound of crushing metal. By the grace of God, we walked away from the accident with a few minor bruises and some back pain.
That night, God spoke his existence into my being once again. I drink coffee, swear when I’m upset, and watch R-rated movies. I’m not a fan of alcohol (it probably has more to do with it not agreeing with me) and watch R-rated movies. I’m no longer Mormon, but I know I’m still a daughter of God.
The New Spiritual Me
I have come to terms with the Bible reading the words contained in it daily and stream COTLE Sunday service. When I watch the service, I raise my arms in praise and shout “Thank you, Jesus.” Gospel songs are my new jam during church service and I love belting them out. I don’t miss the quiet church voices we had to use in the LDS chapel.
I know I am far from perfect and realize I am incomplete without God in my life. He tugs at my soul and reminds me of his presence in my life when I hit my lows. Regardless of what the LDS church said about having my blessings revoked from God, He continues to bless me and my family. He surrounds me with peace and hope when I call on His name. This is my post-Mormon testimony.