My name is Braden Patterson and I’m an ex Mormon. I was baptized at aged 8, was born into the religion. I graduated seminary with all four years and I was looking to be a good missionary. So one night after me and my girlfriend had been dating for a couple of months, I was pressured by my parents to continue teaching her about the LDS faith and to baptize her and her family eventually. She wasn’t LDS, she was Catholic at the moment and one night we were sitting in the car and I started talking to her about the pre-existence – somewhere where we came before earth – and where we were going after and why temples were important that I could marry her and we go to the celestial kingdom someday and that we could have new planets and create planets of our own and we could be the god and goddess of that planet. And when I was telling her this, she looked over to me and she said “Braden, that doesn’t make sense” and she said “that’s not in my Bible.” And I was like okay well this conversation is done for tonight. And I need to go home and now look into the Bible about what this is about. It made me go home and have to research it and really rethink about what I had been taught about and that was when the big turning point was, that okay I don’t want to be LDS anymore.
As a Mormon, all the things that you do are dependent on you going to heaven. What I was taught was that you are saved by grace after all that you have done but once you realize that there’s nothing you can do to get to heaven and all relies on Jesus, your attitude completely changes. And I think that’s the difference between the Jesus that I follow now and what I was following before was that I give it all to Jesus. I give it all to the cross. It’s such a humbling thought to think that nothing I could do could bring me out of the state of sin that I live in but Jesus did it. Because of my faith is what saves me. Being Mormon I was always scared to say Jesus. Being out of Mormonism, I said God in one week more than I said God as a Mormon in my whole life, not saying it is in a vulgar or rude way, I would never take the Lord’s name in vain but to be able to to look up to the sky and say God I love you and be able to have a personal relationship with him that I never had before. And even though this is probably the hardest moment in my life, I feel like it’s the most I’ve ever grown. It’s probably the most that God’s ever been able to be right next to me and I can feel his presence. And the most love I’ve ever felt and I’ve ever received, it’s been in these past months of my life ever since leaving. I’m looking forward to the future with a family, raising a family that honors and praises the one and only true Living God, hopefully help other Mormons come out and if they have questions, come find me. Jesus is enough finally for me now. He was never enough before because I had to do all these kind of things and then it was sufficient. But now he’s always sufficient for me.