• K.A. YATES

A Love Letter

Dear LDS family and friends,





Do you still see me? I'm still me, the person you loved without reservation or worry before I left. I still value kindness, love, and you.


But it feels like after I stopped attending and I declared I could not support the beliefs the "us" changed. The relationship we once shared has shifted. Do you feel that way too?

It feels like I'm now being censored, judged, and kept at an arm’s length. Sometimes you even talk to me like I don't know "the gospel," the teachings, or the church. I was an active member for forty-two years, in fact up until the day I left, remember?


I miss hearing your thoughts and feelings about life. I miss sharing mine, but I think I understand why there is radio silence. Hearing anything from “the brethren” hurts me deeply, and I’d rather not discuss why. You probably won’t like what I have to say.


I miss you in my life. I miss the feeling of community, but I hope you understand why I had to go. I kind of feel like I’m back in grade school sending a note. "Can we be friends? Check the yes or no box."


UGH! I guess this is the new life.


I know things won’t be the same. I know your world revolves around Church, your ward, your callings, your scripture study, your daily devotion to becoming like Christ, and well…mine doesn’t. I think about who I am, who I want to be, and what impact do I want to have on the world. How can I help others hurting? Sometimes I listen to conference, but lately I had to stop. They don't tell you the truth about people like me.


Sometimes I wonder, "Do any of my friends and family have doubts like I had? Do they know what I know? Of course, you don’t, or you would be here with me."


I hope you know I didn’t leave because of people. I miss my friends and the feeling of community. Yes, I chose to leave the church, but it wasn’t because I wanted to get away from the people. I love the people, for the most part.


In truth, I feel for the pioneers. I bet they didn’t know how to navigate this journey of leaping into the unknown by your faith alone either. Ironic, isn’t it? I walked by faith right out the double doors of the foyer and never went back.


Some days my heart aches for what I left, and I can’t even talk to the ones closest to me about it. I’ll bet my ancestors felt that way after they left Europe behind.

Other days, I’m dancing like a child on summer break. Free with no restraints, commands, or duties to perform, well other than adulting. I really wish I could find an escape from that. That would be epic, don't you think?


So here we are.


Do you still see me? I'm still me, the person you loved without reservation or worry before I left. I still value kindness, love, and you.


Love,

Your Ex-mormon.



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