This last step, from being an agnostic (but still mormon in certain subconscious areas) and changing into a full PostMo, would once again take a little longer that perhaps it should have. Religion didn't really interest me, so I had no real reason to go back and actually study the issues with religion. Ironically, this led to a delay in finally throwing the last shackles off. Some little corner of my brain still held a little bit of an indoctrinated opinion (Well, if any religion is true, it’s probably mormonism), but my lack of enthusiasm for religion is precisely what prevented me from taking the time to root that opinion out. I remained semi-mormon because mormonism didn't interest me; now that's some ironic shit right there.
There were a couple of events that finally precipitated my final de-conversion step. The first occurred about a year ago during the holidays. That year, Christmas fell upon a Sunday. With all of the family in town, my mother begged and eventually convinced me to attend church with everyone else. She probably thought that it would be easier for me, as a Christmas session is church “easy mode”. They do a lot of singing, and not a lot of preaching. These things didn't prevent me from being incredibly uncomfortable, however.
The first problem I encountered was the simple realization that my voice was shot. I haven’t really sung for many years now, and could no longer hold a pitch the way that I used to be able to. It was painful for me to try to sing precisely because I could remember being far better at it then I currently was. This isn't exactly a problem with mormonism, but it nevertheless led to the connection that I was not happy while inside the church building.
The second problem had mostly to do with the lyrics of the songs that were sung. Honesty is a large part of my current moral identity, and as I would look at the lyrics to the songs, I would look at their meaning and quickly realize, “I cannot sing this. To utter these words would literally make a liar out of me!” For members, the songs are harmless, innocent little things. For me, I could look at them and see messages that rang false, and see passive brainwashing that couldn't be unseen once you had noticed it. These were songs that I was morally bound to not sing. I was miserable the entire time I was there, and couldn't wait to leave.
The other main event that helped me take that final step was being invited into a local ex-mormon group. Someone up in my office area had heard me give some of my opinions on religion one day, and realized that I would probably be a good fit for their group. They added me to the group, and invited me to participate in the events that the group held. I ended up attending an atheist vs. mormon debate event that the group held a few weeks later, and had a very fun time at the event. Not only was I enjoying myself, but I was also being exposed to some of the evidence against the church. Some of this evidence sounded like some pretty crazy stuff; as it turns out, the claims were just wild enough to hold my interest, and actually convince me to spend time researching about them.
Once that step had been made, the rest was history. The only thing that had kept me from really rooting out my mormon heritage up until that point was a lack of interest; once the spark of interest had been lit, there was no stopping it. My education is far enough along that I’m decent at not only looking at an argument head-on, but also analyzing its underlying logic for problems, as well as looking up their sources in order to make sure that any claims were backed up by popular scientific acceptance. So I wasn't just looking at something that somebody said and accepting it as true; I was fully researching these pieces of evidence before moving on.
And boy, did I find a treasure trove. From the Book of Abraham to the accounts of the First Vision to the surmounting archaeological evidence to the problems with the 3 and 7 Witnesses, each new thing that I encountered (and subsequently verified the validity of) just seemed to bug my eyes out a little more, and make me wonder how I ever could have believed this stuff! The evidence against it is astounding, and the fact that the church retains as many members as it does in the internet age is a testament to the strength of its brainwashingindoctrination.
While these discoveries included many horrifying things, it wasn't all bad. This has led to an increased desire to study the problems existent within religion, and has helped me develop my own moral code in useful directions that I might not have otherwise considered. Nevertheless, let it be said plainly and clearly at this point: I am Out of the mormon church. I am just as confident in it’s falseness as its members are in its authenticity. There is a 0% chance that I will ever return, and I will never claim it to be anything but a fraud. Let there be no doubt on this matter. This is my Exit Story, and I have definitively Left the Building. I am a happy PostMo, and it is better over on this side.