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Name: Leia Pearce
Born: 1980
Location: Midwest
Label: Atheist Mother
Former Religious Affiliation: Mormon (LDS)

 

Hi! I’m Leia, and I am a mother and a wife. I love baking, sewing, needlepoint, reading, crocheting and music. I am a geek and probably always have been. Oh, and I am also an Atheist.

I was raised in a Mormon household. I was the stereotypical annoying religious girl in High School. I even gave most of my friends Books of Mormon with my testimony tucked inside. I was on the straight and narrow path to marrying a return missionary in the temple and having as many kids as I could pop out. But then a funny thing happened, somewhere along my path, I became an Atheist.

I can’t truly pinpoint the moment I lost my firm grip on my religion. It was a process, a long process, that took years.

In college, I dated boys outside of Mormonism, which was frowned upon, and they helped me start to question things that I had always accepted on face value. I even married a non-member and even worse, we eloped to Sin City. I had become a Jack Mormon. I struggled to stay active in the church, but I didn’t really want to go. My husband attended more than I did and he wasn’t even born and raised Mormon.

Then, it happened. A thing called Prop. 8. My family was on one side, and I found myself on the other. I felt at war with myself. I had been slowly changing over the years and almost didn’t even realize it until my values and ideals were at odds with what my family and the Prophet were saying that god would want. That moment at my mother’s dinner table I realized that I could no longer be Mormon. I could no longer be counted with them. I could no longer be okay with raising my daughters to follow blindly.

After that I tried so hard to find god somewhere else. I tried to find him in non-denominational Christianity, I tried to find him in Nature, Science, Buddhism… but he was no where. And then it clicked, and I was able to let go of the idea that he had to be somewhere.

I started reading atheist blogs, cartoons, books and forums. I started thinking for myself, coming to my own conclusions and something happened that I never, ever imagined could; I felt happy. Truly happy. Instead of brushing off questions by using a god based answer, I was really learning why rainbows appear and how Newton proved the spectrum of light, how evolution works and what natural selection is. And the more I filled my head with knowledge, the less I needed a god.

It changed me as a mother. I am still the geek I always was, but now I look at my children as the real miracles they are. They weren’t predestined to me mine, but I am responsible for them, for teaching them and molding them into the freethinking people they will one day become. And that is so much better than any god reason that I have ever believed.

I keep my atheism to myself for the most part. I never really “came out”, because walking away from Mormonism, even though at the time I still believed in god, was enough to put major strain on the relationship I had with my family. I may as well have become a baby eating devil worshiper.

I told my husband one night, and he shrugged it off, he loved me for me, not my beliefs in a deity. My children know I don’t believe in god and they go back and forth between believing and not believing in god, unicorns, fairies, monsters and Santa. They’ll make up their minds when they are ready.

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