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Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Preface

Hi! I’m Jason Harris, a Neurologist/Neuro-Ophthalmologist, Dad and Husband. I used to be a Mormon (formerly favorable nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS/Mormon Church). I share aspects of my life’s quest in and later out of Mormonism on this site. Specifically, I share faith transition experiences with the construction, deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of my world paradigms.

All posts are visible under BLOG in the top menu bar and are under Categories World-View Construction, World-View Deconstruction and World-View Reconstruction. Links to Resources under these three categories are also in the top menu bar (articles, books, support groups, websites, etc.). I believe these three phases of human development are experienced differently with each one of us. After all, we are individuals. But I believe there is one constant. Growth.

It is often emotionally traumatic to leave any tight-knit, high-demand religious organization. Sharing our stories can be beneficial. Despite the pain, I have come to learn there is also beauty, light and hope on the other side! I would choose this path again. I hope sharing portions of my voyage will be beneficial to others reading this as well, regardless of where the reader is in her/his hero’s journey.

Background

I am the oldest of ten children from a very active LDS family, a direct descendant of Martin Harris, one of the “Three Witnesses” of the Book of Mormon and the financier of its first publication. Our paternal and maternal LDS pioneer heritage was a constant source of pride and reflection in our family.

Like most parents, mine did the best they could to pass on to us the lessons and principles they felt were most important. Many of these were principles taught by Joseph Smith, the first leader/prophet of the LDS Church. My parents lived (and continue to live) lives of constant service, sacrifice and love to fellow church and community members. I am thankful for the deep love and devotion that motivated them.

Mormonism was central to my identity in so many ways. I checked all of what are usually considered the “right boxes” in the LDS faith. Daily scripture study for decades, prayer, mission service, a temple marriage, diligently raising our children in the church with my spouse, callings, full tithe paying, “temple worthy,” etc. Years ago I never expected that diligent and prayerful study of the LDS scriptures would lead me to this faith transition. Yet here we are. This transition has definitely impacted my family and me in both painful ways and beneficial and beautiful ways.

The Essence of Mormonism

Mormonism teaches to “embrace all truth, wherever found.” “Truth is truth.” Joseph Smith said “Mormon” means “more good.” President Hinckley later affirmed this same sentiment. In this spirit, I continue to strive to be a Mormon, even though I have formally left the LDS Church.

I still believe much of what I learned in Mormonism is true, but no longer in the same way. And certainly not from a literal paradigm in most cases. I now view Mormonism as a small part of a much larger and richer tapestry. I believe all religions and scripture are man-made and believe there is Divinity in all of them.

NEXT: Growth Within and Without Mormonism

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