Today I merely re-post a comment I originally left on the Mormon Matters (MM) podcast website in April 2011.  I wrote this fairly soon after being drawn into reflecting on my experiences in Mormonism after over 20 years of inactivity. This was due mostly to discovering the Mormon Stories podcast, then Mormon Expression and MM, as they delivered one “revelation” about current and past church events after another.
I was reminded of this post while listening to the most recent episode of MM, which I rarely listen to these days. But I’m glad I checked in. Dan Wotherspo0n’s interview of Samuel Morris Brown and Adam Miller was very interesting . My previous visit and comment was in April 2014, but I won’t be re-posting that one. Indeed, I just paid my penance by donating $25 to Dan.
In this interview I was particularly struck by apparent parallels – and complementary anti-parallels – between Sam Brown’s agnosto-theistic experience of Mormonism and my own agnosto-atheistic one. In a loose sense they are like a photographic positive and its negative with substantial amounts of shared shades of gray. I intend to write on this – unless the analogy crumbles upon second listening.
In the mean time, here is “JT” in 2011. The term “skillful means” in the opening paragraph refers to Dan Wotherspoon’s suggested interpretation of the Apostle Jeffrey Holland’s attribution of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami to God “hav[ing] His [warning] voice heard.” The more personally pertinent points lie in the remaining paragraphs. They still mainly hold true. Since 2011 my wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, two of our children married in the temple (while I waited outside), our first grandchild is now 6-months old, my 91-year old father died soon after converting to Mormonism, and our youngest daughter just returned from her mission in Brazil. As for the life of Billy Pilgrim, “So it goes.” 
As far as “skillful means,” I worry about means tarnishing ends. I’ve come to notice the predominantly institutional ends behind Mormon leaders’ means – particularly those that seem to contract its moral circle. My understanding and capacity for love leads me to “bet” on no [coming] apocalypse. I prefer to work toward humans living in peace for many millennia to come.
I think I understand the idea of reformulating an Apostle’s (or scripture’s) literal (or even intended) message to fit one’s personal needs and values, especially if this embraces a humanistic moral philosophy (such a Jesus’s [teachings] at their radical best). This may be what motivates your “dancing on the borderlands” of Mormonism. Perhaps the centrifugal force of your “dancing” can pull some rank-and-file members toward a more expansive faith – at least as much as the centripetal force of their tradition binds you to them.
I couldn’t “dance” on the borderlands of Mormonism. I formally took my leave. However, I continue to “dance” with faithful members, including my immediate and extended family. My departure was gradual and unobtrusive. Sharing my disaffection always felt self-serving and potentially a Solomon-like choice. These feelings outweighed the loneliness and ache of holding inside what my head and heart found troubling. That our marriage and family remain intact these 24 years was worth my reserve [however]. My wife’s generous tolerance, acceptance, and sacrifices deserve the greater credit.
So I drive our youngest daughter to early morning seminary and only recently began writing occasional podcast comments. With regard to the latter, my “means” is to write honestly and plainly in a forum no one is obliged to engage. As to my ends … well, we all need to express our heart-felt values and seek affirmation (if only by a single “like” click). As I just said, with regard to Mormon [M]atters, I forwent this for decades.
But I also hope to provide my own centrifugal tension – be it [from] just one small apostate voice crying out from just beyond the Mormon borderlands.
“Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to His prophets.15
‘[And] after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, … of thunderings, … lightnings, and … tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. …
‘And angels shall … [cry] with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God.”16
Now, these mortal angels who come to this pulpit have, each in his or her own way, sounded “the trump of God.” Every sermon given is always, by definition, both a testimony of love and a warning, even as nature herself will testify with love and a warning in the last days.”
 From Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite novel just before converting to Mormonism at 19.