My Faith Journey

Hi, my name is Mark Whitley. I was born and raised in the LDS church. I was very devout and dutifully served the church for decades. However, in Spring of 2016, I had a faith crisis which resulted in the complete loss of my faith. Here is a travelogue of my journey.

Early Years

Gaining a testimony

The shelf metaphor

A Shift in Mindset

The Cracks Emerge

First crack: Experiencing depression

Second crack: Serving in a bishopric

Two years of reevaluation

Third crack: The November 5th exclusion policy

Fourth crack: Learning about church history

The shelf breaks: Learning about cognitive biases


Post-crisis / post-awakening I did an enormous amount of research that resulted in my questioning many of my previously held beliefs. There was a lot to unpackage.

Crawling from the wreckage

Deconstructing Mormonism

Reexamining the Book of Mormon

Reevaluating Prophets, Seers, and Revelators

Mormon Apologetics

Mormonism vs. Christianity

Analyzing Christianity and Judaism

Views on God

Learning about Fowler's Stages

Facebook announcement

Various deconstruction-related thoughts and musings

Why I don't drink

Falsifying Moroni: A Second Witness of the Truth

Cultic Comparisons

My questions regarding the LDS faith

How religious beliefs are a product of the human psyche


After the crisis had passed, I began to rebuild my psyche and my worldview.

Turning to Science

Mortal Imperfections

Forming a Rational Worldview

Embracing Secular Philosophies

Becoming a Skeptic

Reinterpreting Scripture Stories

Post to Mission Reunion Group

Reconstructed Christian Faith

Visiting Other Churches / Temples / Groups

Post-faith crisis, I wanted to visit some other churches to see what I had been missing out on, or to see how they compared/contrasted to the LDS church.

Visit to Community of Christ

Visit to the Unitarian Church

Visit to the Sikh Temple

Visit to the Buddhist Temple

Visit to St. Paul's Episcopal

Visit to the Masonic Temple

Visit to the Hindu Temple

Visit to Salt Lake Oasis

Visit to the Quaker church

What I learned from visiting other churches

Attending Calvary Chapel