When I was in high school (around 15) I stopped regularly attending the LDS meetings, but at this point my inactivity was due to teenage rebellion and laziness, and not a real loss of faith. Every once in a while I would have a renewed desire to reconnect with God and would have an active spurt for a month to a few moths. I am ashamed to admit that more than once these brief periods of activity were due to a girl.
When I started college (age 20) I found that Mormon singles wards were a good way to meet people, and I should note that I had never really questioned that the LDS faith may not be true. Throughout all this time I was an inactive, but true believer, at least I think I was. I met a girl and became convinced that “the spirit” was telling me we would get married. When she went on a mission I became inactive again. During this time I got into philosophy, theology, and history and for the first time became aware of the arguments other faiths had to make for truth. I found that these arguments were often superior, or just as good, as the arguments being offered by the LDS faith. Looking back I notice that these superior claims had little power as long as I was convinced that the spirit was telling me to marry this girl.
Shortly after her return we began dating again. Eventually she broke up with me and I was shocked. This wasn’t supposed to happen! The spirit told me we were supposed to be married!! Eventually I realized that the break up was for good, and although this was an emotionally trying time for me I was free for the first time in four years to figure out if being LDS was right. I read the Book of Mormon, prayed constantly, but received no testimony. Even if I had, I had become increasingly aware that many non- Mormon Christian friends made the claim that the Holy Spirit had testified to them that their faith was right, and I would have no way of demonstrating that my testimony was more valid.
I came to distrust subjective experiences, and thus like many others here I was determined to strengthen my faith through LDS history and theology. What I found was that, given all the problems plaguing LDS claims and origins, the only way I could believe is if Christ himself had come down and told me to be Mormon.
It has been a trying experience since. I have become very skeptical and it has become difficult for me to believe anything, but I continue to read philosophy, theology, and history in order to figure out where I ought to go.