Man, Texas, USA
I should probably add something in my bio here after being on this site for quite a while. My parents weren't really religious although they belonged to a Methodist church during my childhood in Ohio. When I was 12, my family moved to Southern California. My parents eventually joined a very liberal Unitarian church. I went occasionally but never felt like I fit in there. My parents had other issues that contributed to that issue for me and I never felt like I fit in during my youth in California. I met my wife in High School. We dated and went steady for a while, but we were too young. She was Mormon and I didn't know what I was. We remained freinds and sort of dated as friends into our late teens. After High School, she went to a church school in Idaho while I went to school in Riverside, CAFull Bio
But I really didn't know what I wanted and when I left school, I took off on my own to try to figure some things out. A year later, I decided she was the one for me and I joined her church and became a Mormon about the time we married. I did convince myself I believed and tried to fit in, but again didn't feel as if I did. Still, I tried to live the life and raised my kids as Mormon. Twenty years ago, my wife's mother passed away and turmoil came to the family because of one of her sisters. Once we figured out what this sister was up to, it was too late to try to repair relationships she had undermined. This situation struck me particularly hard because it undermined everything I had come to rely on taught by the Mormon church. I really struggled with it. A move out of the area and continued BS from this sister cause great strife within our family even 1,000 miles away. Eventually, something that someone said made it click for me. Mormonism was a farce. I was encourage to read books the church forbade as total lies, but found that top church leaders weren't above lying to keep the faithful in the church. Just how much of it they did became staggering. I wasn't certain that my loss of faith wouldn't cause my wife to want a divorce - or cause me to want one - but somehow we worked it out. She continued to believe as much because of her history and of her relationship with her mother. The Mormon church she said felt like home to her. I could understand that and she came to understand that the same was not true for me. Because of her health issues, it was difficult for her to attend weekly meetings. So long as we were respectful of each other's position concerning religion, we didn't have problems. She remained my best friend and she said the same was true for her. After leaving Mormonism, I initially looked into other churches, but I quickly realized that what I discovered about the Mormon church and how it evolved over time was exactly true for any other - even more so since they had a couple thousand years to morph and evolve and the Mormon church only had a couple hundred. So now I prefer to consider myself an agnostic. I prefer this term because my belief is that humankind cannot properly define God if any exist at all. My conclusion is that our world would be the same whether God exists or not. Any God that is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. Would already know what we might want and need, and prayer should therefore be meaningless - a moot exercise. Any God as described by Christians would already know who every human is as well as what we need. Withholding what we need until we bow and scape uttering his praises is malevalent and not the loving God claimed by Christians. The idea that we need to please this deity by being mindless automatons to meet with some final approval makes no sense to me. We have brains, we should be using them.