Can I be healthy and happy without Mormonism?

John Dehlin News 20 Comments

One of the most common questions I have been asked over the past 14 years is, “Can I be healthy and happy without Mormonism.”

Having been raised a devout Mormon, and having been afraid to leave the Mormon church myself, I believe that I understand the question.  After all….I remained active in the Mormon church for the better part of 13 years AFTER losing my belief that it was God’s true church on the earth – and a huge part of my remaining active was the belief that I could not be genuinely happy and healthy if I left.

If ever I contemplated leaving Mormonism, the following thoughts and fears would immediately enter my mind:

  • “Wickedness never was happiness.”
  • “I won’t be with my family in heaven if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “I will not be able to raise healthy, happy children if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “The Mormon church is the main reason that I am a good and moral person.”
  • “I will have no reason to to be moral if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “I will cheat on my wife if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “I will lose all of my friends, and my community, if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “I will lose my main source of spirituality if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “If there is a God, he will be very unhappy with me if I leave the Mormon church.”
  • “Mormonism is my tribe.  My heritage.  My culture.
  • “I will be betraying my pioneer ancestors, and all that they sacrificed for, if I leave the Mormon church.”

Comments 20

  1. I don’t know if anybody else will have fun reading it, but it seems like a fun exercise for me to see what my responses to these fears are for myself.

    “Just try calling me wicked in my presence just because I left the church and see how your nose fares!”

    “I don’t believe in a God of red tape. I don’t believe God would be so cruel as to keep people apart for all eternity over technicalities who love each other.”

    “How arrogant to claim that every non-Mormon parent has raised unhealthy and unhappy children!”

    “If you need an outside force like a religion to keep you moral, YOU are not the good and moral person. I am more moral out of the church because my choices are now my responsibility. I don’t get to fob responsibity for them off onto fifteen old men in Salt Lake City.”

    “As pointed out, I became more moral after leaving the church. If you have no reason to be moral without a religion forcing you to, you are a despicable sociopath.”

    “If you will cheat on your wife if you leave the Mormon church, you never loved her in the first place, nor your children either, and again, you are a despicable sociopath.”

    “Yes, I did lose many friends and family and my community when I left the Mormon church. It was an opportunity to see who were my real friends and family and community. Shunning you if you don’t conform is not friendship or love. I discovered who my true friends are.”

    “I discovered my true spirituality when I left the Mormon church. I didn’t have to conform to a canned, one-size-fits-all, by-the-numbers spirituality anymore.”

    “If the real God is the Mormon God, I don’t want to have anything to do with that cruel being. He can dislike me all he wants. But I don’t believe for a minute he’s that cruel being.”

    “Yes, Mormonism was my tribe, my heritage, and my culture. I paid a great price leaving the church. But I cannot live a double life. I paid that price to preserve my integrity, which is a much higher priority for me than the comfort of community. What are you willing to squander your integrity for?”

    “My pioneer ancestors betrayed me by passing on a false theology that I was indoctrinated in from birth, never allowing me to choose for myself without severe punishment. I had to wait until I could find the courage in adulthood to take back responsibility for my moral choices, my search for truth, my spiritual life. Leaving Mormonism was a relief, a liberation.”

    1. So I’m fairly new to the church. I was baptized March 3, 2019. I’ve questioned a lot of things about the church since joining. I found this website and was very overwhelmed with more questions. My husband is also LDS and supports me no matter what. I dont know that I want to be a member any longer but worry about backlash. Reading all the comments I feel even stronger about leaving. Advice if you can give it please!

    2. D. MICHAEL MARTINDALE
      Love your comments. I share your views.

      Reply to John Dehlin. I don’t have thoughts that trouble me, however, I just realized that thoughts probably trouble my family, and then they act out towards me. This perplexes me because I don’t share their fears.

  2. Thank you, John. Yes, I can be happy without Mormonism. It is “not binary”, right? I joined at aged 14, and the Church provided so much of what you describe that is good about the Mormon Tribe. I had a childhood and adolescence without Mormonism, so I came into Mormonism as a convert. And I loved my Mormon lifetime (43 years). Tragedy (serious illness in our family) began my journey out. I am certain that some of my LDS friends think of me when they hear the parable of the seed sown on stoney ground. Each life-journey is unique, and I will always be grateful for my Mormon cultural roots and Mormon friends: they are some of the best people on the planet. My family’s journey out has all the flavors of a faith crisis and transition, with the accompanied awakenings, among my adult children. And we still have active family members whom we associate with and love deeply. And Mormon Stories has been a wonderful friend for each of us along this beautiful and strange awakening and journey. Yes, we can be healthy and happy outside of Mormonism.

  3. Yes… if you:

    1) Forgive them for the fraud and extortion, they are all victims as well

    2) Abandon all dooms day prophecies, living a life of fear and guilt is unhealthy (our world is not 99.9% wicked as some would like us to believe)

    3) LIVE… instead of waiting to die. Be a thinker, a doer, and solve a problem for humanity

    4) Stop trying to ‘save’ your family and friends… we obviously live in a world of diversities (thank goodness), and ‘happiness’ is different for everyone; own your journey and happiness

    Sincerely… just another human (1 of ~8B)

    1. We are under a different law than the law Jesus taught…remember when he gave the Lord’s prayer? Pray for the kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Jesus would not ask you to pray for a kingdom that was already here or was the one he left behind with John the beloved! He would ask us to pray for a kingdom that had not yet been given to man…America, our founding fathers.

      Is. 2:3 talks about 2 kingdoms: word kingdom which Jesus had and the law kingdom taken from Judah and given to another NATION BRINGING FORTH GOOD FRUITS!

      Jerusalem was not a nation. We know that a kingdom given to a nation is a political kingdom. Jesus gave his kingdom to a church…upon Peter he would build his church. You cannot tell someone to forgive who has not been thru a political court, found guilty or admitted guilt, and been sentenced to pay restitution.

      I will not stand before God mocking his political kingdom. Matt 21:43. Jo Smith was not a nation. Jo Smith was not a church. Jo Smith understood this and declared war on Missouri, then Illinois, then Young with the US army, 1851, then on the federal congress in 1851 to get a political kingdom. He failed so Jo created a gov and constitution, 1844, that operates inside our republic form of government. Do you think Roe came from the Father instead of Jo’s Satan god? Roe sacrifices both the born and unborn in satanic sacrifices. It was smoothly done…until I studied the constitution. Do you know of anyone going to heaven? Gov Herbert and Huntsman quartered robot soldiers on our homes that spray us with radar poison and walls turning them into house micro wave ovens. Herbert will not obey UT Code 54-3-1 mandating electrical services be safe at a reasonable price. Herbert obeys priesthood law., murder and go unpunished or give the priesthood cry to be saved, right or wrong. It always saves.

      Young’s corporate kingdom, name Young gave to Jo’s government, rules this nation! Roe forced us all to obey Jo laws: murder and go unpunished! Does Roe contain a presidential pardon for mommy murderers? No, it does not. Does Roe have a title of nobility to murder and go unpunished? NO! Blood of the Prophets by Will Bagley tells of Young’s political law from Jo’s government and [lost] constitution which Young served upon the US Senate ,who heard from witnesses at Jo’s treason trial in MO. They told of Jo’s early church law never taught to anyone but the top devils clothed with bodies who keep it quiet.

      Why do you think Monson asked Obama to let him run the nation during shut down? Obama would never have gotten the presidency back. All Americans who refused to take a blood oath to promote Jo’s revelation beast government would be gunned down by the US military. LDS corporate president Nelson’s Jo government is all set up ready to damn every American forever. He just needs control of the presidency. Thank God for Trump who will not sell out America. Nelson knew Trump would stop the LDS delivering God’s kingdom to Satan that loses no soul to heaven. Satan’s plan has almost succeeded.

      Praise God I have political fruits. I may have a chance. Raised a Mormon, I was taught to deny the Holy Ghost at age 2. I have no idea if I will ever make it home, yet I keep fighting.

      I made the mistake on Temple sq of calling the prophet, prophet…President! President….! Wow. I learned fast the church is a government not a religion hiding behind A. 1…our (political) beliefs are our religious beliefs…No they are not. They rule and govern us. Law can be made to terminate LDS religious laws.

      Remember how Jo went into town after town after town? He called the townsmen together and told them about his revelation where God had given the wealth of nonmembers to the Mormons…true Israel: exterminate nonmembers to get their possessions…burn them out…drive them off their property…steal their livelihood and let them starve, burn down their stores and on and on. Jo was a man of sorrows and very persecuted say the tear stained LDS faces. Yeah right. Jo was a murdering, raping, devil worshiping fiend. Jo demanded the townsmen deed over their lands, buildings, cattle, supplies, machinery, moneys, wives , daughters…to him to do as HE saw fit.

      Our constitution has Mosaic law written into it. God would hide Mosaic law into his constitution given the nation getting the kingdom of god taken from the Jews…Acts 1:6 – the apostles cornered the resurrected Jesus wanting to know when they would be getting the kingdom of god back. The greedy selfish butts wanted it ALL! Jesus told them it was none of their business. Judah wasn’t getting the kingdom back. Joseph, goes over the wall to America, got the kingdom of GOD. Eze 37 talks about 2 sticks: a stick for Judah and his children, a stick for Joseph and his children AND THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL…when did Judah get kicked out of the house of Israel? Shocking. Jesus wants to be adopted into the tribe of Joseph, gods favorite kingdom. Is the nation Israel a slap in God’s face? The Jews wrote they knew God would not return the political kingdom to them so they would be their own Messiah and give themselves political rule., thanks to Judah’s Churchill.

      We have Jews in America, 3 on our supreme court, wielding Joseph’s political power against God’s will. You and I, not me, turn our cheeks, which does not save in the political kingdom of God, to all the Jews have down to destroy God’s American kingdom. Gay unions, Roe, and forcing all Americans to be acting Mormons. Joseph is worse at caring for the kingdom than Judah. No so. I fight and millions elected Trump who will not sell America out to the many shadow governments operating inside our republic.

      If you vote irresponsibly you will never step foot in heaven again. Those in the preexistence voted according to their will instead of God’s and will spend eternity playing the sun’s lake of fire and brimstone until I believe they are reduced to the lowest component…the person they were will then cease to exist…eternal damnation. If you give service and tribute to the LDS revelation beast gov, you will never step foot in heaven again.

      Do not ever tell someone to forgive until restitution has occurred! Tell them to turn the matter over to God to avenge for them. God will extract every drop of agony. Then forget about it. I have seen many get cancer. AG shirtleff’s life will never be the same. Sen Granier was convicted of violation of the Hatch act, left the senate, and lost his Ogden police position. Businesses have gone under. The seed of satan think we have not way for restoration…not as in restoring the loss, but restoration as in not getting away with crime. I have been told I am a criminal because I have not been translated to justify judicial punishment without cause. I have been told the way I sat in court made things go bad for me. I have been punished for judicial wife and son’s crimes to justify punishing me. I lose everything I come before an LDS judge…except Holy Judge Trease. She dismissed my parking ticket in free parking.

      Do not ever forgiven anyone who has not restored. I cannot buy or sell without entering into a corporate ceremony promising….what? I will give my soul to Satan to buy or sell? Young’s government turned all governments into a corporation without God’s constitution’s authority to do so. All businesses are corporation.

      A corporation is invisible, intangible, contemplation of (prayer) law, a non-existent creation–the idol definition. Corporate idol worship occurs every time I buy gas, groceries, and so forth. I truly cannot buy nor sell without entering into a satanic corporate government Idol worshiping ceremony. Salt Lake Co is a nonexistant gov, see above definition of a corporation. UT is a nonexistant state, the federal is a nonexistent gov, hospitals are nonexistent hospitals… we pay taxes to a nonexistent gov run by con artists… See the Emperor’s New Clothes historical document.

  4. Hi John, I really appreciate your transparency. I suspect you’re not alone in your questions. Having just come thru a fairly busy season these past two weeks, your comments for me thinking about rest. It drew me back to Hebrews 4:9-16. I so quickly forget certain principles surrounding the gift of rest. May this be a New Year of new beginnings, fresh perspectives, and deeply-seated rest for you

  5. There will always be a profound sadness in my soul. To find something I believed in so deeply and totally committed to, has been haunting to me to put it mildly. A poor analogy would like being madly in love with your wife only to find out she had been cheating on you. Like the song by The Bee Gees,“ How Do You Mend. Broken Heart?” I admit I’m prone to melancholy and a hopeless sentimentalist. Damn you for what you have done to me, Mormonism. To have to confess to my best friend that I converted that Mormonism was a fraud nearly killed me. I couldn’t live with myself to not be completely honest to him. He trusted me like I trusted Church leaders. What a mistake.

    1. Glen
      I feel your pain. I can imagine that there are many former missionaries who feel the same. I also feel the pain of living in a “faithful” family who do not want to know the messy facts in church history. Most of the “elders” in my family tell me that they know the church is true because they have had a witness from the Holy Spirit. That is all that matters. I have not had any witness. I have actually been grateful for that. Facts are important to me. The security they feel in the church, is more important to them. They would hate me for taking that security away from them. My family can’t deal with death without the church.

      I have said to my mother, “Have you read the Gospel Doctrine Essays?” She does not care.

      More sadness: I am sad about all the emotional turmoil in families. I am sad about how alone I am. I am sad that family thinks that I am being deceived by the Devil. I am sad that members spend so much time participating in the church if it is not true. I am sad that I and others have spent so much time in researching truth claims. What a mess Joseph Smith and the leaders of the church have created!

      There are good things that come from liberating ourselves from the LDS Church, however, I am also aware of the sadness and pain.

      1. He was shocked more than he let on. He appreciated that my friendship meant enough that I would be honest with him on all things. He knew it was hard on me because I bore testimony that I knew it was true and he joined out of trust.

        1. Glenn Allen
          It is great to have a friend that appreciates your honesty and knows that you were doing the best that you could at the time. This friend knows how painful this situation is for you. I hope that this friend can find happiness in or outside of the church.

          After my last post to you, I had a bad experience with a member of my family.
          I stuck up for myself and others who decide to leave the church.
          I did some research on Gaslighting. I have always called it dismissing.
          The person is dismissing my feelings, my thoughts, and my reality.

          I was listening to a podcast that had a link to Weird Alma. I have been “offline” for years and I am trying to catch up. I had never heard of Weird Alma. It was just what I needed. I laughed and laughed. I realized that I very seldom laugh. Weird Alma gave me something to laugh at. I am not ready to laugh at the song about Jesus, however, some of the songs seemed creatively funny (to me) given what I now know about church history and things like the BOA.

          Thanks for answering my question about your friend.
          Lots of laughs

  6. Thanks for the wonderful list of coping strategies and rules to live by, Tate_T.

    My worst fear about leaving the LDS church was that it would create a rift between my TBM husband and me, and it did. But 15 years later we are still married and still an interfaith couple. We still struggle with religion, but I like to hope that it’s getting better.

    My original reason for leaving was that I could not live up to their requirements, whether the church was “true” or not, mainly the need for adherence to a rigid creed when I had an open mind about other religions. It wasn’t until after I resigned my membership that I began to learn many of the things that I know now about the religion previously known as Mormonism 🙂

    I no longer claim to know if there is life after death, but I have found that there is life after Mormonism, even if you’re still married to it.

    EDiL13 (Elohim’s Daughter in Law)

    1. Yes EDiL, your marriage will get better, especially if your number 1 priority in life is each other. My interfaith marriage is going 25+ years strong… it’s still a lot of work and give-n-take (like any relationship), but we understand and support each other’s needs. Love, communication, flexibility, and an open mind on both sides is key, and if you both are fully committed to each other, your decisions in life will be a ‘win-win’ for both of you and your family. We have implemented some very non-traditional religious and non-religious philosophies and activities, anything is possible… and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Cheers!!! Tate

  7. For me the worst thing about finding out the Church and it’s prophets were frauds is that I hope and believe there is no existence after we die. I can conceive of anything I would want to do for eternity. I am 66 years old. Those men told us point blank they spoke with God and I believed them. I couldn’t conceive anyone lying about that. Now I know they are a bunch of pious liars. Unfortunately they have enough money to continue defrauding others for a long time.

  8. There are people all around us who are very happy and healthy without Mormonism. Finding new adventures, passions, friends, skills, books to talk about, beauties of nature, exercise and diet to conquer and finding new causes to engage in will bring happiness and fulfillment. No point in devoting any time to figuring out Mormonism that absolutely makes no moral or logical sense. If you have a spouse that wants a believing spouse, ask for tolerance and space if they truly love you. I suspect that life after Mormonism has been the best life for most of us.

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