(Editors Note: This individual’s name has been changed to preserve anonymity)
I am a current student at BYU – Idaho and member of the LDS Church. I grew up in the church and did everything that you’d expect from a member. I knew all the primary songs, memorized the articles of faith, loved going to early morning seminary and various Young Women activities. When it was time to pick a college I knew right away I was going to go to BYU. As previously stated, I am currently at the Idaho campus. I am now a senior with only 2 semesters left before I gradate. I love the teachers and students on campus. I love how small the classes are and the overall atmosphere.
Last year I really began to lose my testimony of the church. I was struggling and felt I was losing my way. So I decided to do what leaders have always taught. I began to pray and read my scriptures daily. After that I completely lost my testimony of the church. I have nothing against it or the members, I just don’t believe it to be truth anymore. Currently I am trying to find exactly what it is that I do believe in, but I’m finding my own answers little by little on the path I have chosen.
Because I am still on campus I keep my new beliefs secret. I am close to graduation and cannot afford to be expelled. Also, if I transferred schools I would lose most of my credits (BYU – Idaho’s general classes are called “foundations” and are generally not accepted in other Universities. If they are accepted they are viewed as electives and do not count towards generals). I have told a couple close friends and family members. Most of them are saddened by my decision, but are being supportive, hoping that one day I’ll believe in the Church again.
I still go to church on campus, but I feel out of place. I have always obeyed the honor code and still follow it. I don’t stay out past curfew, I wear modest clothing, I don’t drink, etc. etc.
I feel that BYU should let students pursue their own personal beliefs because I feel trapped, stifled, and scared and I’m sure there are others who feel the same. Also, because others are keeping their change in belief secret I feel more alone. For a while I thought I was the only one. I know there are others now, but we can’t find each other if we keep it a secret.
One day I might return to the church, but because the gospel is being forced down my throat it makes me want to leave the church as fast as I can and never come back.