I’ve never been Mormon, but I have been in a tightly controlled Christian fundamentalist group. I left in 1985, a couple of months before my 30th birthday. So I know how big a step you’ve taken this weekend. I am excited so many of you have made the choice to turn away from the threats of bigoted religion and control, and I’m happy that you’ve got the company of so many others making the same choice.
But you all have lives to get back to, and a lot of you may not have the benefit of continued encouragement. As the days and weeks go by, you may find yourself struggling on alone, feeling guilty and lonely, especially if this is the first time you’ve stepped away from the church.
Don’t try to go on alone. Build your own community – friends, family, new acquaintances – be there for them and let them be there for you. Because it’s not easy to finish the walk you’ve started this weekend. I hope you stay free. I hope you build happy and long lives filled with laughter, love, and tolerance.
Because a good and happy life, lived day by day and step by step, is the best way to show them you made the right choice this weekend.