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Matt, Student of Life

I jumped at the opportunity when I heard I could be in one of these videos, but once I thought about it for a while, I became worried. I’m the only one in my family who has left, and I still know a lot of people that are still unaware I’ve resigned, and I worried that some, or even many, of them would think of and treat me differently.

I was born into and raised in a mormon family, and had been “true blue” all of my life up until I finished high school. I had some back and forths with believing and doubts, and really struggled with self esteem and feeling like I was good enough as a person, so I couldn’t bring myself to go on a mission, and it made me feel like a failure, a disappointment, and an outcast. For a while I thought I’d moved on, but I was still mormon on the inside.

Fast forward a few years later, when I was struggling in life, as most everyone does at some point or another, and I had decided to give up. I had no idea what to do with myself, so I just quit. It happened to be that night when the missionaries stopped by unannounced to see if I was ok and if there was anything they could do for me. I hadn’t been to church in a while so this was a surprise to me and I wondered if they were prompted to come to me because of my despair.

That started what seemed like a very long, yet at the same time, very short, journey to the end of my belief. I very much like to read and learn and think, and it revived those interests in me full throttle. The layers of belief unraveled, one by one, until I had to start from scratch.

I’d always thought I had a lot of integrity and I was pretty honest, but recognized that I was fooling myself and others in a lot of areas of my life by being disingenuous and inauthentic. Taking a long, hard look at the church’s extraordinary claims, eventually, I came to the conclusion that my experience was easily coincidence. I had moved into a new house and it follows that when my records were moved they sent the missionaries to check up on me. It didn’t have anything to do with my emotional or spiritual state. Then all of my other deep, very real, intense spiritual experiences that I had had in the past seemed to unravel and unfold and I understood them and could explain them better than before.

I had so many questions, that didn’t seem to have adequate answers, or peoples’ responses weren’t adding up. Things like, “Well, are you reading your scriptures?” or simply “We’re to walk in faith in this life, not by knowledge,” and all the others, as if my behavior influences what is true and what’s not. Whether or not a person is doing those things, doesn’t change reality and doesn’t change the truth.

Since becoming willing to look every perspective, including information and material from outside the church, and broaden my perspective about a lot of things, I started to see that a lot of reasons not to believe any other religion apply just as equally to any sect of mormonism.

I realized, prayer just simply is not an accurate nor reliable tool or method for revealing truth or influencing the outcome of future events, the same with fasting, or paying tithing, or patriarchal blessings, or fast offerings. My behavior has no impact on what is true and what is false.

After that, I realized faith is not a virtue, and I just couldn’t live by faith anymore, believing without evidence, and oftentimes even in spite of evidence to the contrary. I mean, “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge, when ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true.” Once you look past the surface, upon reexamination and pondering a moment of deep thought, it is unfalsifiable, and eventually becomes baseless circular reasoning: it’s not to have a perfect knowledge, so what you hope for must be true… but how can you know what’s true so you can hope for it? By having faith. And around you go…

There might be a lot of good things about the church and gospel teachings, and good people in it, but that doesn’t make it true. Sometimes an idea that’s passed around is that the church and mormonism have the exclusive rights to happiness and prosperity. As if, if you leave the church or aren’t a part of it, you aren’t really happy, or if you’re living a happy, fulfilling, successful life, “Well, that’s just temporal, that’s not true joy. True happiness is lasting, and eternal, and that is only achieved through the gospel of jesus christ and the [mormon] church,” when that simply isn’t true.

It’s interesting how so many mormons have developed this “sixth sense,” this fear and aversion of what they don’t know or what goes against their beliefs and values. It’s as if they’ve come across a terrible disease. It reinforces, contains and protects their previous ways of thinking. There shouldn’t be any fear involved if all you’re working with is truth. Nothing other people say or do should be able to taint that; it stands on its own. So many aspects and flaws of human psychology, such as logical fallacies, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking, to name but a few, take over and run rampant.

If you never allow yourself to entertain new and foreign ideas, how will you know if you’re right? How will you know if you’re wrong? If you find the reasonable balance between gullible and hardheaded, known as open minded, which doesn’t mean you let anything into your head or believe everything you hear, you can supplant good ideas and beliefs with better ones, replace bad ones with good ones, and reject bad ones when you realize what you already have is right because you’ve given yourself the chance to compare it to others. Truth stands on its own and stands up to criticism and scrutiny. You really can’t see the full picture without looking at it from different perspectives.

After going through all of this and resigning, I’ve noticed I’m even more outgoing, less reserved, and I more readily and easily see myself in others. I feel more honest with myself and others as truth and my integrity go hand in hand. I’m less judgemental and really deeply care about people and life and the world and my place in it. Realizing that it’s quite possible and very likely that, I am finite, makes everything so much more beautiful and important. I can think for myself and never stop asking questions. Instead of hoping that it will all be over soon, I can be rationally optimistic and hope that people can actually make a difference, that everything doesn’t need to reach the point where it needs to be destroyed. I don’t need to believe things because I’m told to or because of fear. I don’t need to be saved.

My name is Matt Harrison, I’m a truth seeker, a wanderer, a student of life, and I am very happily an exmormon.

Letter to a CES Director
Exmormon Support Community on Reddit

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January 22nd, 2014 at 9:05 am

You DO need to be saved Jesus said so in the new testament. You say u r a truth seeker but that’s a lie. You only accept truth u like. The fact is WE ARE ALL SINNERS AND DESERVING OF HELLBUT THANKS TO JESUS CHRIST WE HAVE A WAY TO HEAVEN AND SALVATION! There’s no evidence to contradict this none. But go head and try. LoL

February 23rd, 2014 at 12:42 am

There’s no evidence to support it either. We also cannot disprove the existence of fairies.

robbie gorman
March 6th, 2014 at 8:44 am

Think again. Theres THOUSANDS of historical documents backing up the bible. Not to mebtion all the archeological discoveries. Even JERICHO has been discovered exactly the way it says in the bible

March 7th, 2014 at 1:16 am

You’ve never really looked in to the bible, have you?

December 6th, 2014 at 3:19 am

I cannot prove that flying, flame spouting dragons dont exist in another dimension who can cure cancer if we just sing the “Puff the magic Dragon” song before bed every night. That doesn’t mean oncologists should be presenting that as an alternative treatment for cancer, especially on equal footing as chemo. The reason most LDS who leave the church don’t find another theistic religion is because so much time is spent on first getting an answer to if God is there and loves us on an individual relationship before prayers asking if the church it’s true, etc. A theistic God has plenty of opportunities to answer, “I am here, I love you. However, the Mormon church is not true. Stay away”. The bible was written long ago and so should give an accurate description of places and people/cultures from those times. There is also tremendous evidence showing “Christ’s” teaching principles that were taught in other religions long before His supposed birth. That’s just one of hundreds of examples I don’t have room to explain here. There is so much easily disproved, or otherwise inaccurate passages in the bible, and that is why apologists in all the major Christian religions are having to say more and more that the New Testament is allegorical, not literal, much like they did with the Old Testament a couple generations ago. Don’t just blindly give the answers you are programmed to give/argue. Truth is truth no matter which way you slice it, thus researching the claims (heavy with empirical evidence to back it up if you are willing to look) about very real issues even many true blue believers have with the Bible should only strengthen your faith in it, provided it is true. You know people who leave the LDS church deal with so much judgement and offended anger from many true blue Mormons..
If you want someone coming out of the lds church, a church you undoubtedly also know is false, to see your religion as something much better then what they just left, don’t treat those people with the same anger and judgement they are experiencing in their LDS communities. Just a thought.

April 12th, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Thanks Archie.

February 23rd, 2014 at 12:44 am

Thanks dude! Really awesome story.

April 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

And you accept truth that someone else says you should accept. that makes you better how?
At least Matt thinks for himself. All the evidence is that whatever may come of that approach, it is far healthier than letting someone else think for you.
It sounds like you need to come out of the platos cave, robbie.
Also, there is evidence to contradict your statement- by their fruits ye shall know them. Christian faiths have done quite a lot of horrible things. Spanish Inquisition? Mountain Meadows Massecre?
It’s ultimately irrelevant though. If you are convinced there is no evidence to contradict this, then you will not accept any evidence to that effect. It’s not possible to convince someone against their will. Hey wait; weren’t you accusing matt of doing that? Which goes back to the originial point: How is what you are doing any better than him? It can be argued you both only believe truth you like. I haven’t met many Christians/Mormons/whatever who didn’t like what they believed.

robbie gorman
May 4th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Who says others think for me? Youre gunny.

May 3rd, 2014 at 4:10 pm


May 8th, 2014 at 11:13 am

Thank you Matt, it’s very refreshing to me to hear from someone who thinks with His head, instead of those around me, whose words come from the other end.

Rekah Levah
May 14th, 2016 at 9:04 am

I was literally caged at Cross Creek manor from 1989-1990.
I had an old story, now I have a new one!
Something incredible about our life is that there are no denominations or
divisions that might alter how our culture is expressed in all the
different locations all over the world. Our brothers and sisters in
Brazil might eat differently than us and speak Portuguese, but they keep
the same traditions as those of us in the US, in France, the Czech
Republic, Australia, and even the budding in community in Japan. It’s
not motivated out of principle or doctrine, like I experienced in the
LDS church. We are representing the same love in all
communities, living the same life, so that people might know that we are
ONE, not because of some mystical concept but because of what they see.
When I came here I was like ripe fruit coming off the vine, ready
to give myself to whatever might cause me to love more freely than
ever before. We think that’s what human beings were made for, and my
hope is you’ll come and see. In all, I hope your hearts desires are given to you. May our paths cross again –

Love loves and people change ~


January 23rd, 2014 at 5:43 am

I really enjoyed watching this Matt. Thank you for having the courage to share this and for so eloquently expressing what so many of us feel.

April 12th, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Yes, Thank you Matt.

January 23rd, 2014 at 8:01 am

Many of us feel? Hmmmm that you don’t need to be saved? But ya really do. Jesus said it it was truec2,014 years ago and its true today! Get right with God before its to late.

April 12th, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Robbie, don’t you see how silly you sound right now? It is not your job to come to the rescue. Please peace out and do something that is useful. I know you mean well, but what you are doing is not helping. Please go away.

January 23rd, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Jesus loves u

June 19th, 2014 at 12:31 am

I have not really chseon what kind of specialists I would like to work under, but I do believe that it would be fun to work in a Psychiatrist’s office. I originally was going for my B.A. in Psychology, but switched. There are so many to choose from that sound absolutely interesting. Such as working under an Internist or going simple and working under a Family practitioner. Even Gerontologist sounds like fun. I love the “aging population” and they have stories and much to teach.For the moment I am going to take this degree one step at a time and try to find the place that fits me best.

January 25th, 2014 at 7:49 am

All right. Strictly scripture time. This proves that you DO need to be saved. John 3:16 For God so LOVED the world that He gave his only begotten Son That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Now ask yourself, why would God need to do this if we didn’t need to be saved? I’ll tell u why. Because when God made Adam and Eve He told them NOT to eat the forbidden fruit. And what did Adam and eve do? They disobeyed God and ate and then blamed by he serpent and Adam also blamed God for creating eve who tempted him. After that we were all stained with that sin and we had to make animal sacrifices in order to be clean. Think about how much Gid must love us to give us his only son! Even after we beat and killed Him on a cross He STILL didn’t destroy us! He said if we believe in His son we shall be saved! That’s loving! Come on Mormonism is a cult and not Christian but you are in the same boat as them and other religions. God is NOT religion! God is NOT found in atheis!m or temples made by hands or money or sex or drugs! He is everywhere but those things! God is pure love but He is also ANGRY at us for our wretchedness and so the only way to escape his anger is by accepting His son as your Savior! That way u don’t have to fear the grave! God loves you all! GID BLESS!

March 7th, 2014 at 1:13 am

“This proves that you DO need to be saved.”

You’re funny.

robbie gorman
March 8th, 2014 at 11:14 am

Try to prove me w rong. Research the Bible

April 8th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Who wrote the bible, anyways? God? Or man? You can prove the bible as a history. You van’t prove it was written by God, however. Mormons have the right of it- you can’t prove the bible any more than the book of Mormon.

May 10th, 2014 at 7:35 am

Theres over 40,000 documents backing up the authenticity of the bible. 40,000. And if you read the bible in context the signs all point to Jesus Christ.
the seed of Eve will one day crush the head of the serpent the serpent being the devil. The seed being Jesus Christ. A lot of you who left mormonism become atheists. Im sorry religion poisoned you BUT thats no excuse to turn your back on Jesus who IS and ALWAYS has been and WILL always be the Everlasting life. Jesus died and rose from the dead for you and e All you have to do is trust in Him and He will heal and guide you. so we can one day go to heaven and be free from sin. GOD BLESS

January 25th, 2014 at 8:47 am

I’m well aware of my spelling mistakes but there’s no edit button. Either way that changes nothing. GOD BLESS

February 6th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Trust yourself and do what you feel is right. If you can live with your choices and feel good about them, then if there ever is a judgement, you can explain your life and feel good about it. And if there isn’t anything after this life, then at least you’ve made the most of the time you’ve got.

Takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there.

April 29th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

That’s a lie from the pit of hell

robbie gorman
February 7th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Wrong. God is real

res ipsa
March 14th, 2015 at 7:51 pm

“We all have need of Zeus
for we are also his offspring.” -Stoic Hymn. We need to follow the tenants of natural law to be happy, fulfilled and saved. Ancient Greeks clearly believed this and there are hundreds of thousands of documents and artifacts showing ancient Greece was actually an empire. Try and prove me wrong. Research Stoicism, Epicurianism, Cynicism and other ancient Greek Philosophies. Zeus loves you.

February 24th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

All I can say is just wait, you people ex-mormons dont realise what your in for.

March 7th, 2014 at 1:14 am


March 19th, 2014 at 4:13 pm


March 1st, 2014 at 8:05 am

Thank you Matt for having the courage to stand up and state what you feel is right for you. You come across as a fine young man (which might have something to do with your religious upbringing:)

The comment above: “All I can say is just wait, you people ex-mormons don’t realise what your in for.”

is unhelpful and judgemental. What gives this person, whoever they are, the right to judge? Judgement is with God alone. Does the Bible not tell us to be humble as a little child in order to enter The Kingdom…

I think this unknown person is the one who should rather be careful to keep their communication holy.

robbie gorman
March 6th, 2014 at 8:41 am

Umm God says to use RIGHTEOUS judgment. Reread the new testament. This guy aldo says you font need to be saved. When CLEARLY it states that all throughout scripture. So reread the new testament

March 7th, 2014 at 1:19 am

God’s most recent word is to use AWESOME judgement. The New Testament is so yesterday. God has joined the 21st century and has done away with books and prophets, and is revealing the truth right from Facebook.

robbie gorman
March 7th, 2014 at 8:46 am

I would repent. His return is soon upon us. Look at all fhe prophecies being fulfilled

June 19th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Oh yes they do believe in Jesus Christ but only becuase Christians say if you don’t you can’t go to heaven. Mormons believe that basically anyone that isn’t a Mormon though is Satanic if they don’t believe what they do. They also believe that God is an alien from another planet that has been given his own world(Earth) to rule. Jesus Christ was a product of this alien God having sex with the virgin Mary. They believe that Jesus Christ in fact visited the Americas and that the Mormon religion has been in the Americas since 2600 b.c. which is not based on any factual information. They also believe that unless you tithe 10% of your lifetime wages you will not be allowed into the highest kingdom of heaven which they believe is a hierarchical system based on how many people you convert to the religion. According to Mormons Jesus Christ is half alien and half human and that the father, the son, and the holy spirit are all separate entities and that God is of flesh and bone. They believe current prophecies override previous ones. They believe that if something doesn’t feel or sound right to them it only confirms that their religion is the one and only right or correct religion and that if they are wrong that God will forgive them becuase they believe in Jesus Christ. I get from this that they can basically believe in a bunch of hoopla and crap becuase they ultimately believe in Jesus Christ. They will not allow anyone to step foot in their temples unless you are Mormon. My sisters Mormon friend got married in the temple and she was not allowed to even attend the wedding becuase of this belief. That sounds pretty negative, uninviting, and evil to me. My sister is a baptist so if they strongly believe in Jesus and the same God Christians do then why would they ban another believing Christian from their church? The God in the bible is forgiving and loves all people that accept his son Jesus Christ as their Savior. They contradict the bible all over the place in the book of Mormon. Mormons are nothing more than a fabricated religion with one common belief with Christians only to save them if they are wrong from being banished to hell for all eternity. The internet is probably one of their biggest fears as well becuase it exposes all the crazy beliefs that they have. The Mormon church has started their mission of sugar coating their crazy ideas by having these supposed wholesome, family oriented, good loving people portrayed in these commercials so we will all think that they are these great people and will vote for Mitt Romney so they can spread more of their psychotic ideas with one of their own in the White House running the most powerful countries in the world. They also have billboards and are trying to get Romney elected badly by spending tons of money on propaganda to hide their true beliefs. This scares me and is ultimately against the constitution of the United States which states their must be a separation of church and state. Mitt Romney does not believe this becuase he is a Mormon and his ultimate responsibilities lie with his church and the book of Mormon. Mormons also believe that non-Mormons are below them and will also be below them in heaven. I find this religion to be anti biblical and mocking the Christian religion. They also have sacred underwear that must be worn which is bizarre in itself. Just do some research into the Mormon religion and you will see that they are not Christians and only consider themselves to be in order to say that if there other crazy beliefs aren’t right they can still go to heaven. +15

December 6th, 2014 at 3:39 am

As a Foreman I have no desire to defend the LDS church. However half of what you said they believe is inaccurate, hugely exaggerated, or completely wrong. Lds have such crazy beliefs that I don’t understand your need to make stuff up. Perhaps you are a southern Christian getting all your information from your pastor/reverend/whatever denouncing Mormons from the pulpit.

March 17th, 2014 at 3:54 pm


Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine the amount of courage that it must have taken to be so transparent. I sincerely commend you, and I truly identified with what you had to say.

robbie gorman
March 21st, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Man says show me and I’ll believe. But God says believe in me and I’ll show you

March 22nd, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Robbie, the bible does not prove anything. You’re treating it as if what is written is fact. It’s not a biology textbook or verifiable history book. I think someone needs to save you from yourself. And there may not be an edit button, but here’s a hint: read over you post before you press “Reply.” Besides, this is a support site for non-believers. If we want to hear about God or Joseph Smith or the Bible etc, we know where to go. Thanks for stopping by

robbie gorman
March 24th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Whats your point? You folkz NEED JESUS. abx the bible is a historical piece. Everything described in it has been verified ti be true. Jesus loves u

April 8th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Matt, thanks a ton for your video. It helped me a lot to see that people who leave the church aren’t cursed (except maybe by Robbie) or filled with this massive void, but actually feel better. I really appreciate the courage you have to see the world for what it is,not as you were told to want it to be.

You’ve given me the courage to make the choice to leave also. And you allowed me to start to see a lot of the lies I’d grown up believing and defending. I’ve begun to de-construct them.

And Robbie? Dude, you haven’t listened to a word anyone has said. Why should they listen to you? And don’t try giving me the “I’m just a mouthpiece for God!” line. I can similarly point out how according the the bible you are not justified in this conduct. You want people to listen to you? Listen to them. Matt has read the bible. I’ve read the bible. I’ll wager a lot of people here have read and studied the bible. It will take more than just shouting “JESUS! I WIN! BIBLE! I WIN!” to get anywhere.

Also, take the time to use proper grammar. Improper grammar does not invalidate your posts. But it does point out that you don’t care about either your posts or the people you speak to. And if that’s the case, according to Paul A) you aren’t getting anything out of this, and B) we aren’t inclined to listen either.

I’d be more than happy to honestly listen to what you have to say. But can you give an intelligent, well-considered response to this or any other post someone has made? If not, then do us all a favor and leave. Your not going to win any converts, and your actually making people less likely to accept Jesus. What was that scripture about offending a little one?

April 28th, 2014 at 9:12 am

Converts? It’s not up to me to change you only Jesus can. All I can do is tell you the good news about grace and salvation and how Jesus made a way to go to Heaven. You only get two choices when it comes to deciding your afterlife. Heaven or the lake of fire. There’s no third choice. No chance for repentance after death. Are you really ready to deny God? Are you ready to take a risk? A risk that you may be wrong? Jesus doesn’t want you to go to help. He wants you to go to Heaven. God bless

April 8th, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Also, I’ve encountered that sixth sense. You can ask an innocent question that leads to something they disagree with- and they magically shut it down and refuse to answer. It’s a pretty crazy phenomenon, huh?

April 27th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Really Steven? Really? The Bible has been proven true. I don’t let others think for me. The God of the Bible is REAL. There’s so much evidence pointing to its validity. Archeology, DNA, historical documents and prophecies coming true today. Blood moon this past month is the beginning of the tetrade. Look it up.Steven I’d love to have a good conversation with you but you have so much animosity for Christianity. Jesus is not religion. He is our Savior. Accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Please

May 9th, 2014 at 10:46 pm

explain why theres 40,000 documents plus the dead sea scrolls that back up the bible?

JT McMahon
January 7th, 2015 at 10:45 am

Lonely road.
Takes a great deal of courage, Matt. Congratulations!

Just for grins – ever notice that the most vehement and hateful notes, are from those who claim to be concerned for your “salvation”?

Totally cracks me up.

Again, congratulations and Best Wishes.

Rob K.
January 12th, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Hi there,
My name is Rob and I work at Punched in the Head Productions, a New York based documentary production company ( We are working on a new documentary about people who are facing a difficult decision that questions their morals or faith. We would love to share the stories of Ex-Mormons and people considering leaving for the first time.

If interested, give me a call at (718) 422-0704 ext. 312 or email me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

September 18th, 2015 at 3:35 am

“Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.”

“Book of Mormon Archaeology in North America” -

A Non-Mormon (a protestant)
October 28th, 2015 at 9:28 pm

I am not an Ex-Morman. However, I did grow up in a conservative protestant family with several clergymen in the family. I was always planning on going into the ministry, until I was in my early 20’s. My decision not to be a minister did not come from a “crisis of faith”, rather, I just realized that I was not cutout to be a pastor; instead, I went into business.

My father was a clergyman, he was a good person, a good father, a true believer, and an excellent role model. He had a good heart. That is why I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have sometimes thought that I had it tough when I started to question my faith; or rather, when I began to question the basic beliefs of the church organization that I belonged to. However, after reading some of the testimonials on this website and watching some of the videos, I must concede that I had it extremely easy; being a mainstream conservative protestant, most of my questioning could safely be done in the privacy of my own thoughts and heart. Having said that I believe that I can empathize, in a small way, with Ex-Mormon’s.

In my late teens and early twenties I remember standing in front of a map in my Dad’s church; a map that illustrated the spread of Christianity over the past two millennia. I remember observing that Christianity did not reach the area of Russia that we now know as Kamchatka until about 300 AD. I remember thinking to myself “so, prior to 300 AD all of the people in Kachatka went to hell”. Don’t misunderstand me, I was fully aware of the pat-answer to a question of this sort.

I am now in my late 50’s, with two full-grown boys, still married to my girlfriend, who I met in the 1970’s. Over the past several decades I have given a lot of thought to my faith. The best way I can explain where I am at now is to say, “faith is in the heart, religion in in the head”. To think that our eternal salvation is based on the belief that a particular physical event occurred 2,000 years ago is ridiculous. Christ cares less about what thoughts float between our ears; he cares much more about what dwells within our heart.

Believe it or not, I still have to be anonymous, because I do not care to go through the unnecessary silly hassle of answering to a board of elders in a North American mainstream protestant church.

May 31st, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Keep up the helpful job and generating the group!

May 31st, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Merely wanted to say Now i am glad I came on the web page!.

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