Anxiety/Xanax Induced Breakdown About Church

I am pretty certain the LDS faith is B.S., but sometimes I feel like I would do anything to be a TBM again, just for the comfort it brings.

I know what this is like all too well. I was in this place several years ago. I saw the LDS church from a binary dichotomy: either it was all true (and Joseph Smith was the greatest prophet ever!!) or it was all lies (and Joseph Smith was a dubious conman who knew he was lying every step of the way). Then I read Jane Barnes' Falling in Love with Joseph Smith. It was the first time I heard a third narrative. Here was a woman who loved Joseph Smith but also believed he made the whole 'Golden Plates’ thing up. She still kind of endorsed him as a prophet but also thought he lied about stuff. I had never heard someone agree with traditional “anti-mormon” literature and still talk favorably about Joseph Smith.

I’m not saying that Jane Barnes has the correct viewpoint. I’m saying hearing hers helped me to realize I can write my own narrative about the LDS church and my experience with it.

In my late teens, I heard a Voice call me by name and speak to me. I felt a presence that was God-like. I saw things with a clarity I had never seen before. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was, as Abraham Maslow says, a peak experience; transient self-actualization!! This experience made me get my life together; helped me form a powerful identity. Now, because I don’t believe the LDS church is a “true and living” church I have to pretend that experience was psychotic in nature?!? Bullshit.

I’ve seen psychosis first hand and that experience wasn’t psychosis. It was something else. Psychosis makes you less functional, not more. Mormons don’t get to co-opt that experience and tell me what it is. The LDS church doesn’t get to take that experience away from me if I leave the church. Skeptics don’t get to dismiss that experience as frisson (this is like equating the excitement of feeling attracted to someone with an orgasm). They did not have the experience, I did. And only I get to say what it was.

Maybe the LDS church isn’t true the way you thought it was. But the world is so much bigger than the tiny place you were raised in. Have a little respect for your own experiences and don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

/r/exmormon Thread