Fifty MORE Positives to Leaving the LDS Church

In the true spirit of the vapid, infantilizing, click-baity, intellectually-stifling Internet garbage of BuzzFeed, Zelph on the Shelf has a helpful list of “59 Positives to Leaving the LDS Church.” It’s a quality list as far as shallow, attention-seeking, desperate-to-be-cool Internet lists go. But I couldn’t help but notice that several more positives to leaving the so-called “LDS Church” were omitted.

Not to worry. As the woke author of the guide to how to be a successful millennial ex-Mormon, I’ve got my finger on the pulse of the hip, trendy, and moral, intellectual, and existential dumpster fire that is the Internet ex-Mo scene.

Here are fifty more positives to leaving the “LDS Church” that no Internet ex-Mo will want to forget!

  1. Now that you’ve left the church, you can stop being judgmental towards others (unlike those stupid, brainwashed, sex-deprived idiot TBMs).
  2. You don’t have to waste time engaging in cult-like temple ceremonies when you could be out helping real people in real ways. Now you can spend your time not helping real people in real ways by spending untold hours in cult-like participation on the ex-Mormon subreddit.
  3. Rather than being told what to do by old, sex-hating Mormon men you can be told what to do by younger, sexually harassing ex-Mormon men. (No names, but you know who they are.)
  4. Instead of being shamed for your body by old white Mormon men, you get to be shamed for your body by old white Hollywood executives and ad producers.
  5. Rather than give 10% of your money to the Church, you can give 1% for John Dehlin’s new kitchen.
  6. Rather than believing the myth that an angel showed the gold plates to three witnesses, you get to believe the myth that the three witnesses were tricked by Joseph Smith’s backyard forge. (Somehow he did, anyway. Don’t ask me for things like “evidence”.)
  7. You no longer have to rationalize the contradictory apologetics defending the Book of Mormon. Now you just get to uncritically believe whatever contradictory theory du jour for how Joseph Smith fabricated it.
  8. Instead of having to prove all the time how righteous you are, you just have to prove all the time how woke you are.
  9. You no longer need to fear excommunication from TSCC for having independent thoughts. Now you just need to fear being publicly shamed, doxxed, and have a literal mob send you death threats for not being woke enough on Twitter. (Woke Progressive Danites are a thing? Huh.)
  10. Instead of mindlessly and dogmatically believing the Book of Mormon, you get to mindlessly and dogmatically believe The God Delusion.
  11. You get to show how edgy you are around family and friends by drinking coffee in front of them. (And if you’re a good enough actor you’ll only look kind of desperate.)
  12. Instead of bearing testimony that the Church is true despite barely reading the Church’s scriptures and history, you get to bear testimony that the Church is false despite barely reading the Church’s scriptures and history.
  13. Instead of believing in personal continuity beyond the grave and a resurrection of unimaginable glory for virtually everyone, you get to believe that you are a cosmic accident staring into an eternal void. (Yeet!)
  14. You no longer indirectly support polygamy, teen brides, racism, sexism and goodness knows what else, but instead support affairs, spouse-swapping, polyamory, and one-night stands.
  15. (For single people) You can make dating and marriage decisions that aren’t affected by your sexual urges because you’ve already given in to your sexual urges by shagging everything that moves. (Pro Tip: a good way to pretend this behavior isn’t creating a pitch-black emotional void inside of you is to brag about it on Reddit.)
  16. You no longer need to feel ashamed of all that tapir porn you’ve been secretly downloading from the ex-Mormon subreddit.
  17. In fact, your porn habit now makes you an irresistible catch. (M’lady.)
  18. Your mind is free to make decisions and form opinions without being confined to a false and limiting box. You can believe literally anything, including the idea that coffee magically cures cancer!
  19. Instead of the illusion that God exists, you get to believe the illusion that your decisions in a godless universe mean anything, that you have free will, and that you’re anything more than a pitiful cosmic accident with no inherent worth or value.
  20. You don’t have to tell an old man about your masturbation habits unless you are boasting about them on Twitter and Instagram.
  21. You don’t have to force yourself to be friends with people you don’t have a lot in common with just because they’re in your ward but can isolate yourself in a Facebook echo-chamber with people who may have a frightening independent thought once or twice, but feel better after sharing something from MormonThink.
  22. Instead of sharing vague, meaningless, cringey Pinterest quotes from General Authorities, you now can share vague, meaningless, cringey Pinterest quotes from Carl Sagan (whom you’ve actually never read a single word of beyond what you found on the atheism subreddit).
  23. You get to pretend that Amy Schumer is funny! (Another joke about her gross vagina? Hilarious, ammiright?!)
  24. You become, overnight, a qualified expert in science, history, anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, and archaeology. All from merely casually browsing the Internet! (What the hell does Richard Bushman or John Gee know that I can’t learn from reading a few Wikipedia articles?)
  25. You get to pretend that Mike Norton is a paragon of virtue and bravery and not a voyeuristic pervert.
  26. You get to act authentic, woke, and vulnerable by getting a pseudo-Buddhist tattoo from a white Salt Lake City hipster with an ironic beard and drinking $79 craft beer.
  27. You get to claim credit for discovering something (Joseph Smith used seer stones! He had multiple First Vision accounts!) that people already knew for 50 years.
  28. You now have an excuse for not knowing the historical material published in the Ensign and Improvement Era.
  29. You no longer experience cognitive dissonance in discovering the Book of Mormon is false. Now you only experience the cognitive dissonance of realizing your life and the lives of your loved ones mean absolutely nothing in a cold, indifferent cosmos. (Pro Tip: alcohol, drugs, and anonymous sex are great ways to dull the searing existential pain that comes with this form of cognitive dissonance.)
  30. Instead of longing for the Second Coming, you can long for when the apostles will finally catch up with the Community of Christ.
  31. Since you now realize your behavior and actions are socially and genetically determined, and free will is an illusion, you no longer have to apologize for being a conceited douchebag.
  32. You get to pretend that your faux-outrage on social media means anything in a world of abysmal moral nihilism and relativism. (Insert the “I’m Helping!” Ralph Wiggum meme here.)
  33. You get all the demonstrable benefits of growing up with LDS values but now you can make sure your own children navigate their adolescence without them. (Good luck!)
  34. Instead of identifying with Nephi or Alma, you can now identify with Korihor and Nehor.
  35. You get to show your pathetic TBM family how awesome your life is by significantly reducing it through alcohol consumption and drug use.
  36. Instead of spending time bonding as an eternal family, you can make better use of the time by turning every family event into haranguing them about the evil cult to which they belong. (This will make you very popular.)
  37. Instead of annoyingly throwing the Book of Mormon in everyone’s faces all the time, you get to annoyingly throw the CES Letter into everyone’s faces all the time.
  38. You can replace your lame temple/Joseph Smith/prophet pictures with badly photoshopped but incredibly woke and edgy memes. (This will really improve your home’s aesthetic, guys.)
  39. Now instead of dedicating time and money to helping people through missionary service, tithing, and fast offerings, you get to sanctimoniously judge TBMs from the safety on online anonymity for not helping others enough while you contribute exactly nothing to humanitarian causes. (No, supporting a charity that helps ex-Mormon white girls from Draper named Brykenzly get a septum piercing to stick it to their TBM parents doesn’t count.)
  40. Instead of engaging in dumb superstition like prayer when a national tragedy occurs, you instead just have to tweet how you’re sending “positive vibes” to the survivors.
  41. You are no longer filled with hatred towards gays for their lifestyle. (Just those godawful TBMs.)
  42. You get to stop filling your body with crap like cookies and Kool-Aid and focus on eating a healthy diet of coffee, alcohol, and weed. (That’ll help you to live a longer, happier life.)
  43. You are no longer victim to groupthink and hollow, meaningless mantras. (Reminder for your daily Reddit post that “the Book of Mormon is demonstrably false” and “Joseph Smith was a convicted conman.”)
  44. No longer a slave to manipulative Mormon leaders, you can wear whatever clothing you want! (Or whatever clothing advertisers have manipulated you into thinking you have to wear in order to be popular and have a sense of personal fulfillment.)
  45. Now that you’re woke, you’ll never, ever be taken in by a cult leader who just wants your money. (By the way, have you donated to John Dehlin’s billboard campaign yet?)
  46. Accidentally get pregnant now that you’re living your true sexual self with multiple unprotected partners? No worries! Now you can smash the Mormon patriarchy by having your baby decapitated and sucked out of your womb with a vacuum! (Take that Russell M. Nelson!)
  47. You get to finally express your unique self in unique ways by doing the exact same thing a thousand other ex-Mos have done and start a podcast, a blog, and a Twitter handle. (Bonus woke points if you use the persona of a historical Mormon figure whose name you can barely spell but somehow know enough about to know they were either a conniving fraud or a brainwashed dupe.)
  48. You now unapologetically #BelieveWomen. (Unless those women are Emma Smith, Lucy Mack Smith, Mary Whitmer, Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, Eliza R. Snow, Helen Mar Kimball, Emmeline B. Wells, etc.)
  49. You can make new, close friends anywhere, regardless of their beliefs. Unless they’re a TBM. In that case you get to mercilessly mock and deride them. (They deserve it for having stupid beliefs, after all.)
  50. You get to enjoy an unearned sense of smug superiority over literally anyone (regardless of their personal background, moral uprightness, academic achievements, or intellectual ability) who remains faithful in the Church.

(Disclaimer: because I know someone in the comments is going to bring it up, let me ruin the joke by pointing out that this post is meant to specifically parody and satirize the nonsense from Zelph on the Shelf. I recognize that there are many ex-Mormons who go on to live healthy, fulfilling lives.)

12 thoughts on “Fifty MORE Positives to Leaving the LDS Church”

  1. I was laughing until I got to “Instead of having to prove all the time how righteous you are, you just have to prove all the time how woke you are.” Oh no, that’s me!

  2. The best compliment I can give is that I read the entire list. I also chuckled heartily, which is also a compliment, just not the best I could give (see the preceding sentence).

    • The quiet majority generally leaves because of ambivalence toward the faith–not because they know for certain that it isn’t true.

      • Actually most people leave because they know it isn’t true. I don’t have any doubt at all that it isn’t. The thing is that most people who leave still want to have a good relationship with all the Mormons in their family and posting this kind of divisive stuff doesn’t really help anyone. One of the main reasons I left was because I didn’t think the Church was Christian enough and this kind of snarky post confirms my feelings. I think Zelph on a Shelf is dumb, so why are you stooping to that level?

  3. I laughed so hard at these and shared the article with many a people. It’s especially hilarious when you go back and read Zelph’s article after reading yours.

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