About six years ago, a close friend of mine left the LDS church. He had been a highly dedicated lifelong member, but little by little began choosing doubt and skepticism over hope and study. It was a slow process, and one of a lot of personal reflection on my part.
Departures like this are described by President Uchtdorf:
If we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant.
Since that time, I have seen this happen several times with people close to me, and I can understand it. Maintaining a testimony takes more than living a certain lifestyle. It takes more than reading a certain book every day….
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