Why I Was Angry at the LDS Church

After a profound crisis of faith in the summer of 2005, I went through a period of about 2 years or so when I had feelings of genuine anger toward the LDS church. I would regularly refer to the church as a “stupid fucking cult,” and when I drove past the stake center, I’d give it the finger. Childish, but true.

But the anger passed, and for some reason I’ve been thinking about why I was so angry. A lot of people feel like the church lied to them, and of course, that’s true in that they are not forthcoming about the church’s real origins and history. But I can’t say that about myself, because I knew about the “bad stuff” for about 10 years before I acknowledged to myself that it wasn’t true.

What made me angry is knowing that, for those ten years, I sold out my integrity to rationalize and justify things I knew weren’t right or true. My conscience told me it’s not right to pretend to translate Egyptian or engage in bank fraud or sleep around behind your wife’s back. But I rationalized all of that. I overcame my own conscience to defend wrong.

Lest anyone misunderstand, I believe that the LDS church works for a lot of people, and they are happy in it. It would make no sense for such people to leave the church. But it didn’t work for me, not least because of what it motivated me to do.

I think I’ve forgiven myself for all of that because, after all, I was only doing what I had been taught to do, and besides, I had a testimony, so there had to be an explanation for everything. But whenever I’ve been tempted at all to go back to church, I remember what it cost me last time.

Never again.

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3 Responses to Why I Was Angry at the LDS Church

  1. pollypinks says:

    This one comment made the most sense to me, of all I’ve read since belonging here. That for some it makes sense to stay in the church, but for others, it just doesn’t fit. Our questions aren’t answered satisfactorily, and perhaps for some like me, support wasn’t given during a time of crisis when it was needed. I know, wa wa wa. That’s life, but it’s a learning experience, and I think I’m a better person for having had that experience. I think had my dad not joined the church when my 8 yr old brother was baptized, he may have killed us. Literally. His family never bought into it, but were grateful that he did, because they knew of his rageholic problems, and the fact that belonging to the church helped dad stop smoking and drinking. For that I shall always be grateful.

  2. Runto, you have nailed the reason many people have anger at the Church–they are really angry at themselves.

    Pollypinks–nice example of how the Church does help some people. I suspect it’s most helpful for people with serious problems like your father–but if the Church didn’t maintain a support group of people without serious problems, it couldn’t function. This may be the reason for the pressure exerted on members to conform.

  3. Ray Agostini says:

    John, can you do a post and tell us why you’re also angry at Jesus, and Christianity. I’d like to read that. Thanks in advance.

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