Most of us experienced Mormonism as a fairly controlling environment. The church told us what we could and couldn’t eat and drink and what we were supposed to wear. It dictated how to spend our time all week. So the question arises: how do I make responsible lifestyle decisions now that I no longer accept the guidance of the LDS church? What about coffee? Alcohol? Clothing? Money? Relationships with the opposite sex?
Many people leaving this environment, feeling free from LDS church standards, decide to explore all the former taboos – often without really thinking through what their new ethical system should be. For many, their new standard is “anything goes.” For many ex-Mormons, it becomes a badge of honor to see how far they can go to get out from under that lifestyle that was imposed in the past. Some can be quite immature in how they handle these issues.
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Using new freedom wisely.
The Bible gives us some wisdom about how to live responsibly with ethical freedom.
Galatians 5:1,12 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law…. For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
The freedom described in this passage is freedom from the Old Testament commandments and codes, which are similar to the standards we lived under when we were Mormons. For one thing, those regulations are not required for salvation or a right relationship with God. But there is a boundary on this freedom. How will we use the freedom we have been given? Will we use to gratify our own desires, or will we use it to serve others?
[Related: The Word of Wisdom After Mormonism]
[Related: Is It Wrong for Christians to Drink Alcohol?]
[Related: Navigating New Freedom After Mormonism]
In the end, to make progress toward a vibrant, healthy life in relationship with Jesus, we must each learn how to handle this freedom responsibly.
[Related: How to Live as a Christian]
[Related: Navigating Freedom and Responsibility]