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Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Jason Harris

image courtesy of fineartamerica.com

Introduction

Hi! I’m Jason Harris. I lived as an orthodox Mormon for forty years. This site is primarily about my experiences leaving the Mormon Church, reconstructing a new world-view and my emotional healing. All posts and resources on this site are categorized under the themes of initial construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of these world views and experiences.

I believe all religions and scripture are man-made, potentially helpful and harmful. I believe there is Divinity in all of them and everywhere.

Shandra and I married in the DC temple in 1998 and have five beautiful children. We checked all of the boxes good Mormon families should check. Like many, our ancestors go back to the beginning of the Mormon Church. I’m a descendant of Martin Harris. Joseph F. Smith is one of Shandra’s ancestors.

I officially resigned from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March of 2019.

Why I Resigned

I resigned for several reasons. 

First and foremost, diligently following the Mormon commandments ended up being very harmful in some ways to our family. 

I also became more aware of past (and ongoing) harm to many others along racial, gender and sexual orientation lines and could no longer agree to my name being on the membership records of the Mormon Church.

In addition, after studying the truth claims of the LDS Church in depth, I came to the conclusion it most definitely is NOT what it claims to be. It was incredibly painful to realize the Mormon Church has been actively suppressing an objective and honest evaluation of evidence challenging its truth claims for decades now.  

The experience of a faith transition was emotionally eviscerating.

The Good in the Mormon Church

This isn’t to say there aren’t good aspects of the Mormon Church. There are.  Like other high-demand religions, the strong sense of community and being our “brother’s and sister’s keepers” is prevalent throughout Mormonism. This can help bring emotional stability and comfort. 

Many of the stories of Mormonism that are often viewed through literal lenses can in fact also/instead be viewed through metaphorical lenses, which can add even more significance and beauty to the one embracing the stories.

Many of the values Mormonism teaches or tried to teach: Kindness, Integrity, Seeking Truth, Loyalty, Courage, Reverence, etc… Many of these values are beautiful to manifest from one’s character regardless of what stage of life one is in.

Mental Health After Transitioning Out of the Mormon Church

Looking back, I now realize emerging from this faith transition I’m more emotionally healthy, content and at peace than I was inside the Mormon Church, even as healing continues from this experience. Much of this has been due to the ongoing application of scientifically validated mental health concepts I talk about throughout this site as part of my reconstruction journey.

This isn’t to say everything has been roses. It hasn’t. There have definitely been challenges. Beauty is emerging though.

How Others in Our Family are Also Benefitting

Despite the challenges, others in our family are also benefiting from our faith transition. 

Shandra now works as a counselor and is in a PhD program. 

Our daughters are both pursuing their career dreams and ambitions as well.

And our boys are also no longer bound to the misogynistic and patriarchal narratives intrinsic to orthodox Mormonism.

There IS Light on the Other Side!

It is often emotionally traumatic to leave any tight-knit, high-demand religious organization. But there can be beauty, light and hope on the other side as well! I would choose this path again.

Contributing to this site has been very beneficial for my own healing. I hope reading about portions of my voyage might be beneficial to you as well. I believe we are all on a Hero/Heroine’s Journey.

NEXT: Blog Introduction: Growth Within and Without Mormonism