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The moment I stopped being Mormon

Published: Monday 22 Jun 2020 | Edited: Sunday 28 Jun 2020

From the time I was 12 years old, until I was about 26, I was a total, complete Mormon.

I paid the LDS church ten percent of all my income. I never had sex before I was married. I didn't even masturbate, believe it or not. I almost never did drugs. I believed in God and Jesus and I believed that they gave Joseph Smith magic powers. I spent two years in Italy convincing [mostly poor or mentally ill] people that I had magic powers, and they could, too, if they carefully followed all my instructions.

One day, I was listening to a podcast where some people were discussing Scientology. They talked about L. Ron Hubbard's plot to steal documents from a federal archive. After reading a little more about the religion on Wikipedia, I thought to myself:

Hubbard was a total psycho. I really can't understand how so many people actually believed and continue to believe the silly, incoherent crap that this guy pawned off as wisdom.

One second after this thought crossed my mind, I realized:

I would feel the exact same thing about Mormonism and Joseph Smith, if I hadn't been conditioned as a kid to believe it.

And that was it. My entire religious orientation lost its foundation.

I spent a decade and some change building an identity; it collapsed with a thought and an afterthought.