Count me in as one who thought about it, but stayed.
Why did you leave or stay?
I almost left after a traumatic experience (let's just say I was "attacked") in which neither my family, nor the Bishop I went to for help were supportive. Rather, they were openly antagonistic and blamed me. It took me many years to become somewhat stable after this experience, and during that time I was only "partially" active-- and considered many times if I should even bother sticking around. I ended up staying because I had already such depth of spiritual experiences within the church, and I finally began learning to distinguish mormon "culture" versus mormon "doctrine". The doctrine won out for me, in spite of the falseness I often saw in people, even in some leaders.
How did your family handle it?
I think my parents think I'm inactive! They don't dare ask :) and I'm not in the mood to discuss personal things with them anymore! I reached a point where their opinion of what I do in my life doesn't matter to me. I'll do what I feel I need to, regardless of what they think.
If you feel close and connected to your family and their opinion matters to you, you should take that into consideration...but I think you should not be part of a religion which you personally don't believe in. I'm all for being fearlessly authentic.
There are other ways to bond as a family. If they truly love you, they will love you even if you are not a member. If your relationship to them is based solely on your church membership, then it's not a healthy relationship, and you need to realize this and find other ways to connect.
I ended up marrying a hindu...! So the spouse issue is moot, and we don't have kids yet...not sure exactly how we will raise them, but I plan to take them to church with me...but also have separate chats with them about learning for themselves and not blindly believing everything they hear, even in church. And I'm sure DH will share his beliefs with them.
Ultimately, every person has to develop their own relationship with God (if they choose to have this relationship at all), including children raised within the church.
Is it possible to be a semi mormon believing in some things and not others?
There are things I believe in and have experienced which I don't openly share in church. While these things don't directly conflict with doctrine, they're not typical mormon thinking. There are many aspects of mormon culture which I outright dislike (like the gay bashing)-- and I see it in direct conflict with actual doctrine. Things like that bother me, and if mentioned, I speak up and share my views. Doctrinally, I don't have issues. Culturally, I have many. Small example of culture vs. doctrine: A single piercing in each ear is ok, but more is evil? Nonsense. If piercings were evil, then having any at all would be wrong. It's a total culture thing. In our western culture, 2 piercings is normal, more is "rebellious". But it's masqueraded as doctrine to only have 2.
Did any evil things happen to you for "rebelling"?
Evil things happen to me regardless of my membership status! That's life! It's false that if you are doing everything right, nothing bad will happen to you. OTOH, if you mean getting involved in drugs, illicit sex, that kind of rebelling, then of course there are direct consequences and risks to that kind of life! I think that's not what you mean tho.
How is it I was born and raised LDS, and was told to pray to know the truth and felt right about it and now I am feeling right to leave? Were those feeling a lie or did God change?
Learning to listen to and understand spiritual guidance is something I would encourage, regardless of whether you stay in the church. Trust your intuition, trust your guidance. Spirituality is beyond reason, it doesn't always make immediate sense in an intellectual way.
Did you ever read any anti mormon literature in your decsion to leave? I have yet to research any as I feel like I will be lied to or not like what I read.
I've read some, but found nothing compelling enough to cause me to leave. Much of it is anger in response to the before mentioned "cultural" aspects of things. Or frustration or anger at the misdeeds of some people within the church. I guess the question they ask is, if the church is true, how can this be allowed? or how can this leader claim to be speaking for God, when he did this bad thing?
It doesn't bother me...first, I wasn't there or witness those things they are being accused of, so don't feel it's my place to judge (since I don't have the full story). Like the peeping stone thing, I'm like... If Joseph was being inspired he could've gazed into the mud and been inspired still. Do I care if he gave some credit to the power of a rock? No. He can give credit to his shoelaces for all I care. If what he speaks still inspires me and teaches me about God, that's what I care about.
And I try not to judge truth based on the failure of people to follow it.
In a most light discussion, did you go to the temple and how do you feel about that now?
Yes, but I haven't been back since that "incident" many years ago. I miss it, and am planning to go again soon. Many never connect with the Temple experience and are confused by the Temple rites. My experiences in the Temple, however, have been powerful and very relevant for my life. So to me it's a beautiful place in which direct inspiration is available. But I can also see how others might be a bit baffled by it all.
Do you still read the BOM?
Yes, almost daily. I imagine if I ceased learning from it, or didn't see relevance in my life, then I would stop. But to me it's full of examples of people struggling through life while still trying to connect with God. I can relate to that.
Not trying to argue with a pp, but there are many archaeological evidences for the BOM. For whatever reason, very little is known or spoken about the archeaology of North America. If you have the interest, it's a fascinating subject, and many place names in the US are identical/similar to names in the BOM. Unfortunately, much history was lost when our ancestors slaughtered the American Indians. They didn't bother to ask the histories before wiping them out, ya know?
And most of all- for those who had the church totally engrained in every bit of who they were, how do you go about leaving the church as I feel like by doing so I have no idea who I am anymore?
Maybe this is why you feel the need to leave? To find your own identity?
Find your own connection to God/spirituality, and whatever path you follow will still lead you to accomplish what you are meant to in this life.
If you do leave, do so out of following your guidance and leave any resentments behind. It's sad to see others who leave become bitter and antagonistic...and seek to fight the church and everyone in it. Even if I left, I would just leave and move on with life. Why leave only to build a life of fighting and bitterness? Leave with the intent to build a good and happy life for yourself and your family, and I'm sure God will watch over you still, and not condemn you for your choice (since it seems you have this concern).