If you are reading this article, chances are you or someone you know has experienced a Mormon faith crisis. This refers to a profound and often painful shift in one's beliefs, values, and sense of self as a result of questioning, doubting, or leaving the Mormon Church.
This crisis can be triggered by various factors, such as historical or doctrinal issues, personal experiences, social pressures, or ethical concerns. Whatever the cause, the aftermath of a faith crisis can be a confusing, lonely, and transformative journey that requires courage, patience, and support.
Let's explore some common challenges and opportunities of post-Mormon life and offer some practical tips and insights to help you find a new identity and thrive in your post-Mormon journey.
The first step in finding a new identity after a Mormon faith crisis is to acknowledge your feelings and needs. It's normal to feel a range of emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, guilt, confusion, or relief. You may also have practical needs, such as finding new sources of social support, coping with family or community reactions, or redefining your moral or existential framework.
It's important to validate and express your feelings and needs in a healthy way, such as through journaling, therapy, or talking to trusted friends or family members. Avoid bottling up your emotions or numbing them with alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
The second step in finding a new identity after a Mormon faith crisis is to explore your values and goals. This can be a liberating and empowering process, as you are no longer bound by the dogmatic and narrow worldview of the Mormon Church. However, it can also be overwhelming and uncertain, as you may not know what you believe in or what you want to achieve in life.
Take some time to reflect on your core values, such as honesty, kindness, integrity, or compassion, and how they can guide your decisions and actions. Also, set some realistic and meaningful goals, such as learning a new skill, traveling to a new place, volunteering for a cause, or pursuing a career that aligns with your interests and strengths.
The third step in finding a new identity after a Mormon faith crisis is to build a new community. This can be one of the hardest but also most rewarding aspects of post-Mormon life, as you may feel isolated, rejected, or judged by your former Mormon peers and family members. However, there are many ways to connect with like-minded and supportive people who share your values and interests.
You can join online or offline groups that cater to your hobbies, beliefs, or identity, such as book clubs, hiking groups, humanist organizations, or LGBTQ+ communities. You can also reach out to ex-Mormon or post-Mormon groups that provide a safe and non-judgmental space to share your experiences and get advice or encouragement.
The fourth step in finding a new identity after a Mormon faith crisis is to reconcile with your past. This can be a difficult and ongoing process, as you may have unresolved feelings or questions about your Mormon upbringing, beliefs, or relationships.
It's important to give yourself permission to explore your past in a compassionate and curious way, without judging or blaming yourself or others. You can talk to a therapist or a trusted friend about your past experiences, read books or articles that challenge or validate.
Finding a new identity after a Mormon faith crisis can be a challenging and emotional journey, but it is also an opportunity to rediscover oneself and to live an authentic and fulfilling life. It may take time to navigate the complexity of emotions and relationships that come with leaving the Mormon faith, but with patience, self-compassion, and support, it is possible to emerge on the other side with a newfound sense of purpose and direction.
Remember that your worth and value as a person are not tied to your religious beliefs or affiliations. You are worthy of love, respect, and happiness, regardless of what others may say or think. Surround yourself with people who accept and support you for who you are, and don't be afraid to seek out therapy or counseling if you need additional help and guidance.
Many people have gone through similar experiences and have come out stronger and more resilient as a result. Reach out to others who have gone through a similar journey, join support groups or online communities, and find ways to connect with others who share your values and interests. Remember that your journey is unique and valid, and that there is hope and healing on the other side.