Since leaving (okay, being kicked out of) the Church I have met, online mostly but a few IRL, some very awesome people! People I would have never known otherwise. People I would have avoided as a church member had I known their beliefs or lack thereof.
What a terrible shame that would have been! My life has been made immeasurably richer by becoming friends with these people. I am grateful I do not have to miss out on their association. Thank you, my new friends!
My ability to think rationally is improving. It makes a difference IRL too! I can spot liars more easily. Con men have a more difficult time pulling the wool over my eyes. Pseudoscience holds no interest. Evidence is what I want. It is what I seek.
The study of History is much more interesting now, Church History included. My library has expanded dramatically, both in hard copy as well as digitally.
I feel no guilt having a coffee with coworkers when I travel to the office (I normally work from home). I would not feel any guilt if I were to have a beer or glass of wine at a company party, or elsewhere. I don’t usually partake at home out of deference to my wife, who is a believer in the LDS faith, but when I am out and about partaking would hold no guilt.
Sundays are truly a day of rest! I do not have to perform any assignments like Home Teaching. I don’t have to teach lessons, although the calling of Gospel Doctrine Instructor was my all time favorite, followed very closely by instructing priesthood quorums or groups. No talks in Sacrament meeting. No more uncomfortable pauses during Fast and Testimony meeting or during a particularly “off the wall” testimony. No more straining to hear over squalling children. No more splits with the missionaries.
No more tithing. In fact, it has been a prior struggle to build up my savings over the years while paying tithing, which I did fully and faithfully. In the year and a couple months since my ejection from the church, I have saved a tidy sum! Imagine where I could be financially had not tithing robbed me of my retirement!
Peace of mind is probably the biggest benefit. I see things more clearly and so don’t worry over trivialities. I live by the golden rule. My life has peace.