Next, I want to mention an interesting study done by a man named John Dehlin. This study was instigated by higher ups in the church, and it was given as a presentation to some general authorities. I think it is a lot more accurate than what most people believe. Most mormons think that people leave the church because they are offended, want to sin, are lazy, or never had a testimony to begin with. This research debunks that. 5 Myths
I think that the myths are more of a defense mechanism. To prevent yourself from believing that people leaving have a valid reason to do so (cognitive dissonance), they need to perform ad hominem attacks or use some other method to show why the person leaving the church has some sort of problem or undesirable quality, instead of the person staying in the church being misguided. It takes a lot to overcome this defense mechanism.
Finally, I want to talk about 3 regrets. I may attribute the source wrong here, but I have heard about this both from exmormon sources and from church. Apparently, there was some sort of trauma nurse that did a survey of people on their death bead. She compiled a few big regrets that people commonly expressed, here they are.
- I wish I had spent more time with those I love.
- I wish I had lived up to my potential.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
First, I wish I had spent more time with those I love. While the church claims to have a family focus, it doesn't actually allow for that much family time. There are extra activities most days of the week that pull you away from those you love, there are extra meetings to fulfill callings, and hours of actual church meetings. Not to mention extra things you should be doing on your own, including temple worship, scripture reading, etc. As a Mormon, you really don't have all of that much time to spend with your family relative to what you could and probably should be spending. Ergo, leave the church and have more time to spend with those you love. Ergo, prevent this first regret.
Second, I wish I had lived up to my potential. The church stunts your potential. Your "greatest potential" is to be subservient to the church. You need to give up all of yourself and stop doing what you want and start doing what the church wants in order to "fulfill your potential." You need to go on a mission and waste that time, you need to aspire to excel at church callings, and God forbid you get called in as a general authority, then you just serve the church and you accomplish nothing for the rest of your life. Leave the church and have the opportunity to live up to your potential as a human being, use your intelligence fully, use your opportunities to the maximum extent.
Third, I wish I had let myself be happier. I don't need much to argue this point. The massive amounts of guilt in the church, the constant search for forgiveness and exoneration, the fact that Utah is the highest depression rate/antidepressant usage in the country, and the high levels of perfectionism. The church makes people unhappy. There is some happiness with the delusion of communion of deity, but that obviously is far outweighed by the depression and sorrow caused by the church. For your own happiness, you should avoid Mormonism.