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Jon wrote his family another e-mail. I said his first e-mail was too vague and that he needed to expand since the blog does little to do that as of now Here’s his second e-mail.

I have realized (it has been pointed out to me, anyway) how cruel it
is to withhold the whole story. I guess the blog is more aimed at
telling the story well for my posterity than being informative to
those who have no idea what I’m talking about. So here’s the story in
a nutshell:

As Lilah and Eden grew and started to ask questions (mostly Lilah) I
knew that I would be teaching them to believe in Mormonism. This
reawakened old doubts that I had been hiding from for years. I decided
that I had to know for myself. I couldn’t lie to them and say that I
was sure when I wasn’t. So I studied and prayed like we’ve been taught
to do. My studies took me outside of the comfortable mainstream of
Mormonism to faithful LDS authors who reported Mormon history as it
was, not as we might wish it to be. My doubts were being confirmed
rather than quieted. In the midst of this, I began to hear about some
recent atheist books published partially in reaction to the religious
fundamentalism which motivated the 9/11 attacks. As I heard the
authors’ arguments, I experienced a radical awakening where I suddenly
realized that everything that I had believed about Mormonism was the
product of self-deceit. This realization, while at times frightening,
brought me unexpected peace and joy.

If I must label myself now, I would say that I am ultimately agnostic,
because I believe that no one (including myself) can have true
certainty about anything. However, the evidence – or lack thereof –
forces me to believe that there is no supreme being, lovingly
intervening in our lives.

This will terrify some, I think. I would have been very worried if I
heard this about someone in our family just a couple of years ago. We
have come to rely on God to protect us against many frightening
things. What I didn’t realize before is that it is possible to live a
perfectly happy, moral life without believing in God. I am happy,
contrary to what I would have expected. I want to be moral (in the
broad sense, not just sexually) because of my empathy for others and
because it is the path to happiness.

If Mormonism is true, then I was doing it very, very wrong. It was the
source of unnecessary anxiety in my life as I tried to be obedient. I
constantly worried about reaching the Celestial Kingdom.
Paradoxically, the less I worried about being obedient, the happier I
was. The happier I was, the more I wanted to be good and help other
people. The people who are the happiest in Mormonism must either have
become supremely self-disciplined or have come to terms with their own
mediocrity. I never managed to do either.

My conscience began to jab me in the ribs every time I participated in
the Church in a way that falsely implied that I believed. But I didn’t
want to leave until I had given it my best shot to get back on the
bandwagon. So I kept this change of heart secret from April of last
year in the hopes that I would return to sanity and that I wouldn’t
need to hurt my family. As I studied and prayed, the separation
between me and God only deepened. The Scriptures where full of ideas
that I found unbelievable or even repugnant. I felt like my prayers
were going no further than the inside of my own skull – like they
always had, now that I thought about it.

So late last year I told Lacey. Things still didn’t change. So last
week, I decided that enough was enough. I sent in a letter of
resignation from my church callings last week. I always hated when
family members weren’t active in the Church for reasons that I
couldn’t really figure out. Instead of asking them what their reasons
were (which I thought might be impolite because I assumed that they
were ashamed of whatever reasons they may have), I played a guessing
game.

I didn’t want that to happen in my case. I plan to say it loud and
proud, as they say. I don’t want that silence between me and any of my
family any more. So I’m leaving the Church, those are my reasons, and
no, I’m not ashamed.

What everyone is probably more worried about is how Lacey and I are
doing. I am fairly confident that most of you are more worried about
Lacey than about me. No… it’s okay: I understand. 🙂

I realize that this is completely unfair to Lacey. I’ve changed the
ground rules that we agreed to when we were married. I’m doing my best
to make as few changes to our lives as possible (e.g. I help with the
children in Sacrament Meeting and support her in paying a full tithe).
I am fully supportive of the choices that she makes. I’m not trying to
persuade her to follow me to the dark side. If she catches me on a
good day, I don’t think there’s anything that she could do to make me
stop loving her. We’re talking. We’re trying to find ways to adjust so
that we can preserve the wonderful marriage that we have.

I am hopeful for the future.

With Love,

Jonathan

Parts of the letter were news to me. I did not know that he has felt this way since April and I did not know the whole story about his reasons for looking because of teaching the girls.

In some ways I have tried to be quiet and not hear or question him about his beliefs.One reason for that is when I do he seems to already have an answer and I seem baffled. Jon says that he’s already been over these questions in his mind and that’s why he has an answer. (I told him I hate how he has an answer for everything I bring up lately.)

I’m also trying to stay somewhat ignorant to the details of his beliefs until I am stronger in my own convictions. He understands this. I feel as though my doubts are real through his doubts, but I want to come to a much different conclusion than he has.

I suppose I have felt lukewarm in the church. I think I know it’s true but I can’t pinpoint any time in my life where I have felt with conviction that I knew. I suppose this might be the trial that does it even if it takes time. I am trying to love him despite all this. At times I do not, but overall I do. It’s just hard to see and realize the vast difference in our beliefs. It hurts to see them. It hurts to think of my children having such different veiwpoints taught to them.
In some ways I have a lot to post on this subject in others I do not. Some nights we stay up late arguing, well not arguing as much as me being upset and crying at him. Other nights we’re able to discuss.
I’m saddened by so many things now that I don’t have words to describe. I have so many questions to ask and situations to figure out that I can’t see road before me.
I hope only to have the love and support of family and friends.

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