After my presentation in April, I had a chance to do an encore presentation to a group of atheists about what it was like to grow up as a Mormon in Utah and to tell my story of leaving the LDS church and eventually becoming an atheist. This time, the whole thing was caught on video.
Today marks a milestone. Ten years ago today, I flew home from my LDS mission in California. I knew at that time that my faith was lacking, but I had no idea that within five years I would leave the church.
And as I approached the 10th anniversary of coming home, I had to write my exit story. At 6 p.m. on June 6 (6 o’clock on 6-6) — 10 years ago — I stepped off the plane at Salt Lake City International Airport. I was home from the “best two years of my life” (I hated almost every minute of it).
But my path away from Mormonism goes back much further. As a teenager, I attended church because it was expected. I went to seminary because it was expected. I was in youth leadership at church, because it was expected. Most of my life had been charted for me. I was the fourth of six children and the second of four boys. I was the middle child in the “perfect” Mormon family in the “perfect” ward.