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What do *I* think?

This is the "I'm an ex-Mormon" video of Kevin Millet. You can read more about him here.

I have seen many of these "I'm an ex-mormon" videos during the last couple months since I have become disaffected with the Mormon church.  This is one that I can identify with very well.  At one point in the video he says that when he left the church he found out that he didn't know what his views were on things--he didn't know what he believed, he only knew what the church told him to believe.  I have found the same thing true for me.  I soaked in the whole mormon atmosphere--the social aspect, the doctrine, the rituals and practices.  I was Mormon inside and out.  Haha.  I've been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation recently and just as I'm writing this post I got the image of "We are borg.  Prepare to be assimilated.  Resistance is futile."  That is a very good way of describing this emotion.  It's as if all of my thoughts and beliefs were consumed by Mormon dogma.  Now that I have broken free of that, I feel like a newborn babe.  I'm not sure what I believe anymore.

There are some things that I know I believe for sure--such as that homosexual behavior is no less moral than heterosexual behavior.  But there are so many things that I'm not sure of anymore.  Is alcohol consumption immoral?  If not, how about overconsumption?  Or is it only secondary dangerous side-effects of alcohol that are bad (ie, getting in an accident while driving drunk)?  How about tattoos?  Is there something inherently evil about permanently inking one's own body?  Is the spirit somehow damaged because of that?  What about having too many piercings in one's body?  I know I don't want a tattoo or a piercing, but if I did would it be immoral?  Is abortion murder?  What about birth control?  Is that murder too?

There are so many issues that I'm just completely unsure of anymore because the only argument I had before was that the church said so, so I believed that it was God's word.  But, just like Kevin (the man in the video), I am finding that the things that I want, the things that I believe are good.  I want to help other people, I want to be kind, I want to avoid conflict with others.  I want peace and harmony for all people. I want to cheer up people who are sad.  I want to calm those who are upset or angry.  I want to try to empathize with other people and understand where they're coming from.  Just like Kevin, I don't need a church telling me what is good and what is bad.  I can decide for myself.  I can find out what things are good and what things are bad.

I've gone through a lot of self-discovery during this last year, and now I see that I have much more ahead of me.  But, I look forward with excitement and great anticipation in discovering who I am and what I believe.  It is a wondrous world out there, and I plan to make the most of it.

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