I was born and raised a Mormon.
At 19 years old, I served a Mormon mission in Australia, where I lost my faith. I stayed for two years, and by the time I returned home, the magic was gone and I could no longer simply believe in the way that I had before. It didn't take long before I left the Church entirely.
I spent the next 25 years trying to understand the transformation that happened out there. What was the nature of this change that allowed me to walk away from the faith that had sustained my family for generations? My search led me to study consciousness, philosophy, religion, depth psychology, and Eastern spiritual systems. I read hundreds of accounts of others’ experiences and looked carefully into the research that has been done on the “stages of faith” and the process of faith transformation. I concluded that, for me, moving out of organized religion and its fixed belief system was a necessary step on my path toward a more authentic and mature spirituality.
My Work on Faith Transformation
In 2017, I completed my doctoral dissertation, which uses the personal journals I kept as a Mormon missionary to show the process of my own shift in faith. I illuminate the shift from several different perspectives and reveal the underlying dynamics of faith transformation. While my own experience involves coming out of Mormonism, the general structure of this transformation applies across many religions, and I suspect that people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds will resonate with it.
I’ve made my full dissertation available to download from this website—free to all who are interested. Enter your name and email address below and I’ll take you to the PDF, which you're free to download or print.
I’d love to hear what you think about it. I’m currently in the process of converting the dissertation into a book, and your feedback will help me to develop and refine these ideas to make them as useful as possible to others.
You can leave a comment for me here, or simply reply to my welcome email I send you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.