As part of his faith transition, Allan wrote Kattie a short letter highlighting his beliefs and all of the positive aspects of this journey. In this episode, Allan reads that letter. Many times the simple process of putting pen to paper can be extremely therapeutic.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
I’m gonna need a stone and a top hat … OR can you upload a transcript of that for me to simply switch out a few names.
That was great thanks.
I’ll send you the letter my friend!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I loved every word you wrote, and it was such a powerful message, especially the part about the beauty that happens after the (sometimes) painful growth. It’s not easy to realize that some of your once-cherished beliefs are simply not true. This has also been my experience. Your and Kattie’s podcast has been so refreshing and valuable to me, even though my husband and I are now on the same page in our marriage. It took him time to really look at the issues, and his motivation to study came only because he saw the pain I was in. As you know it can sometimes take many hours of study (even hundreds) to fully understand just one of the many issues in Mormonism. My husband and I also met on our missions. We also still attend our local ward, and I still have a calling–one in which I can serve without feeling hypocritical. My husband was also EQP…so many similarities in our experiences. But we can no longer believe the same way as we once did. As your letter illustrated, this is not a tragic, bad thing. This “waking up” has led to so much beauty, growth, and a closeness to my spouse that I never dreamed of. I am a better person today as a result of this growth. I am less jugemental, more accepting, and I have a renewed desire to be kinder and more loving to ALL people, not just those in my tribe. Thank you for your podcast, for your bravery and candor. It goes without saying that my husband and I would love the hear the second part of your letter!!
Thank you thank you thank for sharing this! Knowing that my feelings and experiences are similar to how others feel is extremely validating. This is an awesome world we live in, and I don’t want to miss out on any of it anymore!
I feel like I have fallen short in my loving duties as a husband to my wife after listening to your loving example of a committed relationship. Thank you both for your loving example and the ideas that it brings me to help me with mine.
Sometimes I feel like sharing my non-testimony during sacrament meeting. Have you ever done that over the pulpit?
You know…I haven’t shared a non-testimony over the pulpit. What I have done is share what I feel is important. For example, In January I bore testimony of following Christ’s example. Treat others (especially the outcast and downtrodden) with nothing but love and acceptance. If you’re asked to do otherwise by anyone, including the example of other prophets/leaders in the scriptures, don’t do it.
I feel if I went full “non-testimony” I’d lose credibility with the members in the ward and find myself without any influence for positive change. That’s an important role for me right now. It’s difficult, and may not last forever, but it’s where I’m at right now.
Allan, I love everything about this. Thanks for sharing. After my study of Church history, my conclusion is that Joseph Smith’s big picture for Mormonism was the pursuit of truth from whatever source and the reaction against a closed canon. I think it’s unfortunate that our current stance seems to be a fear of truth and suspicion of anything outside our canon. I think this is what your letter exemplifies and because of that, it is a very Mormon expression of your truth. Amen!
Thanks Felix! Love your insight and positive outlook =)
Now that I come to think about it, I have asked my spouse to read the church essays together and challenging material together, but she just isn’t interested. Nevertheless we share a pretty cordial relationship and has validated me in many ways allowed me to hold my non-belief space. So in very many ways we are cool together, it’s just that I see a lot of cool things between the two of you (like doing a podcast together… who does that?) that I sort of have holy envy for. Like I said cheers to you. It would be neat to go on a double date but with me living in Canada, that’s just never going to happen.
Almost forgot to ask, how come you didn’t point your wife to the Mormon Primer?
Hadn’t ever heard of it before your post! That’s why =D
I believe it was Bill Reel who created this document. Something that can be objective in it’s perspectives.
Allan, have you found any kind of online support or discussion group that you feel has identified with your beliefs?
A Thoughtful Faith on Facebook has been one that I’ve identified with. I haven’t gone out looking for others, so if you have any that have been helpful, let me know!
Thanks for writing that letter and being willing to share. I’ve been in despair for such a long time and your letter gave me hope that I can find truth for myself and have a belief in God outside of traditional Mormonism. I have been so broken but trying to heal myself but with no idea how to do that. I have started praying again something I haven’t done in quite some time and all I have asked in those prayers is for God to help me understand what truth is and what actually IS true. Your words were what I needed at this point. Thanks for making this loss just kind of normal. I intend to go back and listen to the previous podcasts but this is the one I needed.
Thanks for sharing Ceci…I’ve experienced tremendous growth after the deep pain. Prayer for me has become something quite different than it used to be. My prayers are more about my commitment to make a difference, be kind, do what I feel is right, rather than asking God for help to do what is right, help to be kind. It’s a subtle shift but has been empowering for me.
You can find truths in the church, but I don’t think the church is true. One of these truths is 2 Nephi 2:22-25…
22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
If you set aside the procreation and compare the garden of Eden to the church, this really captures how I feel having gone through “the faith fall”. I was very secure in my innocent knowledge of “the truth”. Then that “truth” fell, and put me through misery, but now I can’t express the joy I feel in my single current religious truth…”I don’t know.”
“I don’t know” is a warm blanket for me. I am so OK with not “knowing” anything religious. My life is so much richer now because there is authentic intention rather than social norm or duty behind any of my goodness. I love the freedom to be kind and accepting and loving because I don’t know if there is a God that is dissatisfied. In fact, I don’t feel God is worthy of that title if he damns us because we exit his religious maze in the wrong place. Any kind human is my sweetest friend, and I love being able to have authentic connections with anyone. I love not having a tribe.
This is precisely the type of community we are trying to create within our organization (the one and only true and living church) for whatever that means.
Some will understand, others may not, but it’s a journey getting there. The problem is that those who exit the maze rarely bother to go back into it and help out those who are lost looking for help.
If there’s a better way for the entire Church it should be presented to us from the top levels, but what would you do as head of the Church?
A quote from Joseph Smith…”I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things: but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.”
For me, any religion, including the LDS one, has the above limitations and therefore does not fit me. I recognize however that some people need/want the boundaries and homogeneous community religions can provide. There is no answer that fits everyone. That is why the ones who see the boundaries as harmful leave.