Why Did I Leave?

Seldom is anyone led out of a denomination or religious affiliation quickly and without contemplation.  Most of the time it involves a process in which one begins to question certain aspects, arriving at a conclusion and eventually leading to a final decision.  It was no different for me.  As a youth growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah I was excited to be part of something my mother and those adults surrounding me encouraged.  I was baptized at the age of eight years old.  I became a Deacon at the age of twelve and received the Aaronic Priesthood.  I became a Priest at sixteen years old.  I was baptized for the dead.  Eventually I had the privilege of baptizing my younger brother.  Social gatherings were a regular occurrence.  It was a period of anticipating the age when we would be able to participate in a two-year mission, unknown where we would go until assigned by Church headquarters.  Then things began to change.

Questions I had about different subjects and topics were answered with inconclusive, ambiguous, or simply unsatisfying replies.  Some of it was kept concealed, as I did not understand why others were not questioning the same matters or just accepted a vague response from teachers and the Bishop.  Soon the doubt set in as the more I studied and sought clarification the more I felt disconnected.  About the age of twenty years old I finally decided it was time to leave. Through the course of events I lost the friendships of some while simply falling out of touch with others.  Some attempted to (unsuccessfully) lure me back.  It is important to emphasize that there was never an angry criticism by anyone, nor was there a hostile attitude (at least to me).  They simply stopped communicating.  I realize that it is not that painless for many who have questioned and have left.  When I first started interrogating the LDS doctrine I was eighteen years old and ready to graduate high school.

My mother took it the hardest.  She questioned herself as to why she did not do an adequate job raising me.  Our discussions would often morph into arguments.  Being as young and inexperienced in trying to reason a subject as delicate as this was, my approach probably could have been better.  However, I knew Mormonism would no longer be a part of my life.  There were spurts after leaving where I was either non-religious altogether or grasping for some form of Bible understanding of which to make sense.  Several years passed before I met a member of the church of Christ.  It was astounding how easy the Gospel was to comprehend and how different it was to everything I had ever been taught.  Having read the book of Acts, I was baptized into Christ.

For a long time there was an animosity towards the Mormon faith.  At first, in my mind if that was not the true church then nothing could be which is a common response from those who have left.  An ample amount of time passed before I was finally in a place where I could discuss my background without allowing emotions to direct the conversation.

For anyone who may be searching or questioning, know that you are not alone.  Weigh the evidence and trust the Bible.  Find someone who is that crutch on which to lean.  It can be a difficult and often perilous transition but you can get through it.  My hope is that this website can offer insight upon having lived as a Mormon for a long time.  I am not interested in any conspiracy theories, nor am I interested in making this an “anti Mormon” website like so many out there.  The information provided comes from personal experience and many hours of research and documentation.  Questions and comments are always welcome.

Nathan Franson