I encourage Mormon women to ask themselves a similar question: does my participation in Mormonism spark joy?
This question was derived from the KonMari method, developed by Marie Kondo and detailed in her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" (which, side note, I definitely recommend). Kondo instructs the reader to physically go through each item in your home and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it does not, then you recognize and express gratitude that it has fulfilled its purpose in your life, and it can then be discarded.
When I thought about Kate Kelly's article more and more, it really started to resonate with me. I haven't had joy in my religion in a long time. There have been rare moments in the somewhat-recent past, but when I view the LDS church as a whole, there has been no joy-sparking in a very long time. I no longer have faith in my religion, and I have serious problems with the LDS church's history. In following with Kate Kelly's advice, based on Kondo's method, my participation in Mormonism no longer sparks joy and should therefore be discarded.
At first this concept seemed a bit harsh to me (even though I now realize this is where I've been headed for quite some time). But then I really started thinking through the idea of applying this method to my religion. And it all clicked... I can recognize the enormous contribution in my life that my religion has provided, and acknowledge that it was instrumental in shaping the human being I am today. I can be thankful that because of this religion I went to BYU, met the love of my life (cliche but true), and ultimately married him. I can appreciate that because of that fact alone, I have two beautiful children whom I love dearly. I can be grateful for all the wonderful friends I have made through this shared religion. I can acknowledge that a lot of blessings are in my life because of this religion. And now? I can accept that this religion played a major part in my life, and has fulfilled it's role of sparking joy. And since it no longer sparks joy, I can be grateful for it, and walk away.
Like other things in life, if something isn't sparking joy for you, it is [more than] appropriate to reevaluate your situation. As one of my friends told me after discussing this, not everything in your life has to spark joy; some things are just hard or annoying or boring, but they are necessary (like chores or earning a paycheck, for example). But I no longer want to be disingenuous in my religion, or keep trudging along just because I feel like I have to. And if there is anything in your life that feels like that, I would hope that you would take the time to examine your feelings, and trust that they are valid.
I do not feel bitter towards the LDS church. I don't hold negative feelings toward it. I can look back on my time in "mormonism" with decently fond memories. And now I can forge my own path. Discern my own beliefs. Be a good person and teach my children to be good people. And ultimately, live a fun and fulfilling life with my amazing family. ♥