Someone who I have come to consider a good friend approached me today and told me that, in a nutshell, he no longer believes in Mormonism or Christianity, and god isn't looking too hot either. I have been pretty open with this friend about my own beliefs (or lack thereof). I was surprised, because he was always debating me with the more Christian/Mormon stance, and while I had no intention of attacking his faith, I have always enjoyed a good debate.
We talked for a while today. He told me about the hurt feelings he has, the immediate rift that has seemed to form between him and his family. It was like I was listening to myself from just a few months ago. To be honest, I'm still quite shell-shocked, and I hope things go better for my friend.
My feelings are mixed. I am delighted at the prospect of having a friend around who thinks like me. I remember how lonely I was all those months ago. I'm also glad that myself and another friend were around and known to this friend of mine, so he can hopefully feel a little less alone.
At the same time, I feel a little sad. I know it's stupid, but I feel like I helped get my friend into this process by being vocal about my own qualms with faith. I don't want to destroy anyone's faith if it makes them happy, so I try to be careful. In addition, I know how hard the process can be. My life has gone to pieces in the last year, in some respects, and I wouldn't wish the emptiness and confusion I've felt on anyone.
I know I cussed and ranted about this recently, but this is what I feel the most anger about toward the church. The fact that it lied to me for 20-something years, and I gave it everything, and now I can't even be open with the people around me because of the church. There is a whole huge part of what I was that is gone, and I've spent the last several months gradually picking up the pieces. I still have a long way to do. How dare they do that to me? How dare they do it to anyone?
Can I blame disillusionment on the perpetrators of the illusion? I guess I can't really, since they are operating under the illusion themselves. Except for Joseph Freaking Smith, and his freaking friends who helped him start a freaking false religion that would one day make so many miserable. And even the credulous fools who followed them.
I was brought up to believe... I was trained pretty hard-core. Those people? My ancestors who joined the church? They believed all the insane stuff the church claims after reaching adulthood and having a decent amount of experience. Believed that charlatan Smith and his henchmen.
But... I guess we're all looking for something in life, and I can't fault someone who tries to find it. After all, I held out for decades against frequent doubts, because it was all I knew to rely on.
So... I guess my ancestors did what was right by them, which is all we can ever ask.
Smith? Power-grubbing deluded liar? He sucked, and he was a scumbag.