I was born and raised in the church and I come from pioneer stock. I am a descendant of a prophet. I got my eagle scout, served a mission, was sealed in the temple, and have several kids. I had a crisis of faith in 2014 during medical school and became a nonbeliever. My wife soon followed. As we reflected on whether or not to stay in the church or not, we had to reflect on what the pros and cons were of participation in the church. I discovered that even though there were podcasts, blogs, and books on various aspects of Mormonism, there wasn’t a comprehensive “go-to” resource that summarized most aspects of Mormonism from the perspective of non-belief. I thought I might be able to make such a resource, and spent over a year working on it. It was a longer project than I anticipated. I grew weary of the subject long before this document was completed, but I came to feel that it was my moral obligation to finish this document. If this document helps anyone deal with the painful world of nonbelief then it will be worth the hundreds of hours I put into it. I know I would have appreciated a document like this when I stopped believing, and if nobody else does then at least I will have finished what I started. I have a moderately compulsive and anxious personality, and finishing things simply makes me feel better.
Another moral obligation I felt while writing this was to use my real name and claim authorship to this document. It is too easy to be overly critical and harsh when you are an anonymous name behind a computer screen. Using my real name was an important part of my effort to maintain civility and fairness while writing this. I believe everyone places their own self-interest as a high priority, and by signing my name to this document it is in my own self-interest to not come across as angry, hateful, condescending, or to inadvertently cause harm. I hope I have not failed in this. I also hope that my name helps people take this document more seriously. Not because I am important or anyone worth listening to, but because my name puts a face behind the words. It’s not a face that anyone knows, but it’s a face nonetheless. This was not the work of anonymous angry internet anti-Mormons. This was the work of a real person: a husband, a father, a new doctor struggling through shifts at the hospital, and a young man spending some of his limited free time writing a document he thought might help people. I am real and my story is told between the lines of this document. I have very little to gain by publishing this and place myself in a vulnerable position of public critique. I am taking a risk and I hope it pays off in the form of catalyzing important discussions that influence all of us, believers and nonbelievers alike, to be better people.
I am now pursuing training in a medical residency program. And, just like everyone else, I am trying to pursue happiness. Good luck in your pursuit of it!
If this document finds its way into the hands of family and people I love who are believers, please do not be offended. I know the church provides many powerful pros for you. I respect that. I hope that both of our paths lead to happiness.