It’s patronizing to have people assume you have troubles in your life because of leaving the LDS Church, but we understand the sentiment. We have felt the same way before as members sometimes act towards us now. Wickedness never was happiness (Alma 41:10), and it is assumed leaving the LDS Church is a wicked thing to do.

It can be, but isn’t always.

Turning against the light and knowledge you’ve gained is a wicked thing (D&C 93:39). Sometimes leaving the LDS Church is synonymous with turning against light and truth, depending on your circumstances. But, the Gospel path is a lonely and difficult road, full of persecution when you are learning more and getting closer to God (3 Nephi 12:10-12). In such cases, leaving the LDS Church could be equated to Lehi leaving Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:2), Abinadi preaching against the wicked priests (Mosiah 12), or Christ before the Jewish council (Matthew 22:66-71), if what you are learning is higher knowledge than what the priests in your day have received (3 Nephi 7:18).

If you are truly on a higher path, it doesn’t make you better than anyone else, just more believing. You will still make just as many mistakes and sin as often as others, but perhaps in different ways than them as you reject old sins that are no longer desirable. True belief is villainized, ridiculed, and thought to be impossible to achieve. Very few others believe.

Ironically, gross errors and wild imaginations are also rarely believed, and rightly rejected by others, leading some to think those forbidden paths are the “correct” paths simply because they are not popular. The phenomenon looks the same as true belief. People who indulge in wild fantasies are as heavily persecuted as those who truly believe in God and the resurrection of Christ, and who love His appearing. But, those who indulge in fantasy sometimes believe they are on the right path simply because they are being persecuted. It will always be this way, so that our faith might be tested and true. You cannot detect a true path simply because it involves being persecuted, or is a lonely path in and of itself (3 Nephi 12:10-11 says that the only ones who are blessed are those who are persecuted for “[Christ’s] name’s sake” or “[Christ’s] sake”. No one is blessed for being persecuted for any other reason). Likewise, while on the true path, there is no escaping the shame of the world, there is only the opportunity to despise their shame, and reject it and move forward in faith (Hebrews 12:2 and 2 Nephi 9:18), but you must also test the path you are on to make sure you are pleasing God and truly following His ways.

Remember, “blessed art thou if men shall revile you and persecute you for MY NAME’S SAKE.” The formula does not work for being persecuted for any other reason or system of belief. You are only blessed for being persecuted for Christ’s name and belief system.

To truly follow God’s ways, one must know the character of God. That is why Joseph Smith called the Lectures on Faith the “leading items of our religion” (see Preface to the 1835 ed of the D&C), as they contain the tests whereby you may know if any communication is from God or not, being that you begin to understand his character, perfections, and attributes in such a way as to not be deceived by any other communication below the standard of absolute love, power, truth, justice, mercy, and judgment. Conversely, many follow after blind guides dressed in white robes (1 Nephi 8:5-8). Both the blind guides and those that follow them shall fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14). It is interesting to note that when Lehi realized what the man in white was doing, he beheld that he had led him into a lone and dreary waste. It took Lehi pleading with the Lord for his tender mercies to get himself out of such a predicament. He also beheld that those who didn’t follow the true path set themselves up in a large and spacious building, wore costly apparel, and mocked and pointed the finger at those who found the tree of life (1 Nephi 8:26-28).

It is just that sort of mocking that the scriptures inform us we must expect, and then despise it, being an example of the believers (1 Timothy 4:12) and never reviling against those that revile (D&C 31:9).

After all is said and done in being Christian towards those that shame you, it is important to fellowship with those who have similar beliefs in the doctrine of Christ. Kids benefit from a community of fellow believers as well (see our post here and find a fellowship here).

Yes, you can.

It has been reported that Handbook 1(reserved only for use by Priesthood leaders, changed frequently, and not available for public consumption), Section 6.7.3, reads as follows concerning the LDS Church’s definition of apostasy:

[A]postasy refers to members who:

1. Repeatedly act in clear open and deliberate public opposition to the church or it’s leaders.
2. Persist in teaching as church doctrine information that is not church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishop or higher authority.
3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those who advocate plural marriage) after they have been corrected by their bishop or higher authority.
4. Formally join another church or advocate it’s teachings.
(see article here and here)

Many leaders interpret this to mean that no ordinance may be done without sanction from LDS priesthood authorities. Our various posts have proved, according to the scriptures, that such an interpretation of this policy is against Christ’s teachings, and that the definition of apostasy listed above contradicts the scriptural definition of apostasy (see Mosiah 26:36; Alma 6:3; and Moroni 6:7). The LDS Church does not have a monopoly on righteous priesthood use (see here). When they insist on such a notion, they prove they are exercising “unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121:39), since they only have jurisdiction on who performs Priesthood ordinances within official Church meetings only.

Because of the persistence of this overreach, and for other reasons we’ve outlined (see here), the LDS Church has lost all rights to claim it is collectively led by the Priesthood of God. They have a fellowship among themselves, but to use scriptural language, they have cut themselves off from the presence of the Lord (2 Nephi 5:20) inasmuch as they have rejected his servants, the prophets (D&C 124:8), the chief among those they have rejected being Joseph Smith and the Lord’s teachings through him in their own scriptures (D&C 64:39). They shall be their own condemners out of their own mouths. Joseph Smith described such a situation as the definition of hell:

The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death, is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers. (History of the Church, 5:425; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 11, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards)

A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone [see Revelation 21:8]. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man. (History of the Church, 6:314, 317; punctuation modernized; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 7, 1844, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, Thomas Bullock, and William Clayton.)