If I had to choose a religion, it would be music.
I worship melodies, songwriting, and instruments like you worship your god. I share lyrics like you share scripture verses. I believe it can comfort you when you're down and inspire you to do good. I have bonded more with people over music than anything else.

I look at my life as a bunch of chords and harmonies strung together making a very long tune. This tune has millions of verses and bridges and riffs and mistakes.

Sometimes I go for that high note and butcher it. Is the song ruined? Do we need to use autotune and a hundred computer programs to make it as perfect as possible? 


I feel like, as humans, we are always trying to portray ourselves as living the most perfect lives. For some reason, that will make people like us more. Quite frankly, I think it's bullshit. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, etc etc are full of human beings pretending that they aren't human

We are not creations of perfection.

I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when I hear a beautifully written song with a few vocal cracks and guitar messups. Especially when I hear that song again and again and it keeps improving. That is how I want to live my life. My mistakes and your mistakes are just unique drum solos that trail away from our songs a little bit, but without them it wouldn't be the same. 

Keep on creating your beautiful masterpiece.
We're all little products of evolution and mystery.
The future is unknown.
We worry, we fight, we love, we feel.
The stars reside in our bodies.
Our bodies reside in a stream of dust.

We're all bits and pieces of each other.
Our thoughts bind us together or tug us away.
We're still bound together.

We're all living the unknown.
Preaching to choirs we've never met and worshiping gods we can't trust.
We demand unity but tear them down when they disagree.
Our minds get lost, get back on track, then get lost again.
The maze of imagination goes on.

We're all hoping for a savior at some point.
We don't need to be saved.
We need to be freed.

Whenever I see an old friend and ask what's new in their life, I secretly hope I'll hear the word travel. Not "oh you know, school and work.." or the same old general routine. It seems like that's all I ever hear around this neck of the woods. But, as rare as it is, I love hearing stories about peoples' minds being opened by leaving their hometown. If there's anything that I could wish upon every single person in this world, it would be 

to travel.

Spend a day, a week, or months somewhere else. Get to know somebody different. Build yourself up. Broaden your horizons. It will do you good.

A special experience I had while traveling was in Hollywood, CA. Sounds glamorous, right? Not exactly..

After a day of shopping and seeing some beautiful sights, I saw a man on the side of the road. I'm used to seeing "bums" but I've never stopped to talk to one. They're all over the place in California. I gave this dude some Twizzlers and talked to him for 45 minutes about life (while my friends hid back taking pictures of me). Sure, he was a bit far-fetched, but he was speaking straight from his heart. And not once did he ask for money. He just wanted to talk. He told me his story and how he was trying to find his place in the world, just like everybody else. He didn't preach about God or bear some sort of testimony or ask what my religion was. He just spoke to me, like an equal human being, about his hope for peace.

Another special experience was my trip to Seattle. This place is completely different than where I'm from..

I traveled there alone, so I really had a special opportunity to clear my head and really SEE, for the first time, how different things are outside of Utah. I remember sitting at the bus stop when a stranger came up to me, told me a joke, and said he just enjoyed seeing people smile. That was that, and we both went on with our days.

These are just little, special moments to me. Travel can be so beautiful. Living in a state that is full of people invested in religion can get extremely tiring. To go somewhere else and see people who are completely unfocused on religion, but are doing their best, is a real piece of magic. So many of these people are genuinely real and honest with the fact that they don't know (or care) if a higher power is watching us. Religion isn't their main focus.


Isn't that how it should be?
Humans can be so beautiful.

One bad apple can cause hate for an entire orchard, but we need to get past that.

Let go.

I will be the first to admit that after leaving religion I became bitter with the world. I couldn't understand why people would put religious practices before anything else. I couldn't grasp the idea that they were being taught to judge others, yet to be like Jesus. And they were 
okay with it.

I was so upset with humankind. I wanted everyone to skip church for a day and go learn something from someone who was completely different than themselves. I felt like a little kid who just wanted everyone to get along and be friends. But the thing is.. 

There comes a time when you have to throw those bitter feelings away.
There comes a time when you have to accept others before you can be accepted.
There comes a time when you need to focus on the good things about humankind and move on.

I am thankful for the wonderful people I've met throughout my life, religious and nonreligious, and the ones I will meet in the future. I want to high five every single person who has gone out of their way to help somebody. It really is the most beautiful thing to me, to see humanity and not just humans. We all have something to learn from each other. 

It's just so incredibly beautiful.
You were put here on this earth as part of God's plan.
I cannot bring myself to believe that I was put here on this planet, like a puzzle piece, with a plan set out for me. There is more to this universe than Earth. What about the collapsing stars that made it possible for us to even be here? I couldn't be here without those dying stars and evolution.
There are three kingdoms in heaven. You will be split up (even with your family) depending on how good you were.
Is this heaven or a talent show? I have the common sense of what's right and what's wrong. (from moral evolution, not church). I don't push people down stairs or call them mean names. I'm very accepting of people who are accepting of others. But since I deny the Holy Ghost and don't believe in this church, I can't be in the top kingdom. Instead I get to be in a lower kingdom where others can come visit me, but I can't go visit them. This blows.
No tattoos. No double piercings.
Why? That tatted/pierced dude is way nicer than that return missionary. Your outward appearance isn't your life.
Being gay is a sin. It's the Devil working really hard to tempt you.
Wanting chocolate while you're on a diet is a temptation, surely not from the Devil.. but from what your body wants. Can we really compare that to homosexuals? No. Don't tell people who they can and cannot love.

It's about time we stop telling other people how to live. Your version of a good person doesn't match up with mine.
Have you ever tried to escape your own mind? See things differently? Fit a square-shaped thought through a circular passageway?

Sometimes, my own mind gets the best of me. The human brain is something that can be
toyed with
tampered with
easily deceived.

Mine has taken it's beating. I don't generally like to use the term brainwashing, but that's exactly what my mind has gone through. Being taught at an incredibly young age what to believe is unfair. Being baptized at 8 is too young. Most kids only think about stuffed animals and crayons at that age. How on earth can you decide whether or not you believe in something so complicated at that age? I think there should be a checklist before claiming yourself as a believer of your religion or not.
  • Have you studied other religions?
  • Do you feel it's okay to tell somebody their religion is wrong when it is something they believe in just as strongly as you?
  • Have you studied psychology and the creativity of the human brain?
Something that's hard to get through to people is how love and kindness can be taught through evolution. Before we bombard little ones with stories, let's show them love. Let's teach them kindness in the real world. The mind is a very sensitive thing. It can be trampled on very easily.

Be gentle with it.
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who was questioning the LDS church. He said something that was so beautifully worded that I wish I could remember it to the dot. It went something like this:

"I'd like to compare religion to the sunglasses shop I worked at. I enjoyed learning about all the different types of sunglasses. I liked telling other people about them when they'd ask. But I'm not going to shove them in their face and MAKE them buy them."

What an incredible comparison. People tend to think that since I don't believe in God, I automatically hate every religion. That's not true. Religion doesn't work for me specifically, but if it makes you happy, and you're going to be a good person, then please continue to do what makes you happy.

I believe that everybody deserves happiness.

Including myself. I love sharing my story about my discoveries through leaving religion (hence why I have this blog), but I'm not trying to force my opinion upon anyone. If we could all focus on sharing instead of persuading, I think we'd all get along much better. So to the religious folk who read this: Thank you for reading somebody's opinion that is much different than yours. That is very open-minded of you. That is, afterall, what this blog is all about.

I was taught over and over again in church that those without God are extremely unhappy.


I was told those people don't have strong relationships.


I was also told that Atheists can't find purpose or meaning in life.


It has taken me a long time (what feels like decades) to realize that I am in charge of my own life. There isn't a plan set out for me. How could there be? We are living on a planet that is TINY compared to what's out there. We are in charge of our own destiny. 

Coming to this realization hasn't been an easy thing, though. Those who say leaving a religion is the "easy way out" have not gone through the experience. It is the hardest thing I've ever dealt with. But you know what?

I'm NOT extremely unhappy. (I'm actually doing quite awesome.)


I have strong relationships.


Also, I'm coming to find purpose and meaning in my OWN life.. Every. Single. Day.


You wanna know the main thing that amazes me since ditching Mormonism though? I have so much


for people. It's almost like I acquired this sixth sense. I don't look AT a person anymore, I look inside them. That's something I never learned at church.
“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.” - Carl Sagan

When I was a kid, I was promised that I would be with my family forever. Sounds great, right? But there were exceptions. I had to make sure I followed these certain "rules". If I didn't do this and this, but accidentally did this, but repented, and made sure I followed this, then I would be in the top kingdom. If I screwed up, I'd get placed in a lower kingdom.

I called bull shit.

Although the thought of an afterlife sounds amazing, I can't make myself believe that a loving God would separate people like that in heaven. Death has been a rough topic for me since becoming Atheist. I love my family more than anything, and I've been so lucky to have a family that loves me and accepts me for who I am. I want to be with them forever, but I'm not going to comfort myself with something that might not be true.

But.. just like a Mormon can't logically say that they KNOW there is a God, an Atheist can't say that they KNOW there isn't a God. So after a rollercoaster of spiraling events this week, I finally thought of something comforting that wasn't a lie:

Nobody knows what will happen when we die. So why do we bother worrying about it? All we can do is make the most of ourselves while we're alive. BAM. That's that.
It was a Sunday. Three years ago. I woke up, got ready for church, and mindlessly sat through hours of preaching. I read words from a book that was written by somebody I knew nothing about. I didn't question anything.

It was a Sunday. One year ago. I said the most heartfelt prayer I've ever said in my life. I was promised I would get an answer if only I kept praying. No answer. Just confusion and guilt for not being able to feel what I was supposed to feel. 

It was a Sunday. Today. I woke up, listened to some music that made me feel good, spent hours volunteering at an animal sanctuary, and had a lovely time with my family. No prayers, no guilt. Without religion, I am now able to have Spiritual Sundays. 

I feel good.

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