I was one of those Mormons who thrived on meaning, symbolism, and deep doctrines. I was a perfect consumer for the more mystical sides of Mormonism. I would spend much time on trying to make parallels between the endowment and life. I "found" what I thought was a lot of neat ideas and concepts and experienced epiphanies and what I thought was clarity of thought, etc. Needless to say I was very disappointed and pissed off when I came to realize that the whole damn ceremony and gospel were nothing more than fiction and fraud.
I still like parables and teaching through analogy and symbollism, etc, as long as people aren't misrepresenting things as secrets of god and such when they are not. I am also bugged by authors who try to sell their stuff as deeply profound and mystical and full of wisdom when they are not all that. Two quick examples of that is "The Secret" by Rhoda Byrne and "What the Bleep do We Know". And it really sickens me to hear people praise them, about as much as it sickens me to hear people praise Joseph Smith and the profound doctrines he taught, because I feel like people are being suckered in by confident men (con-men) and women. It bothers me when people think their eyes are being opened while they are swallowing lies.
I remember telling the missionaries I taught at the MTC, "Having an epiphany doesn't necessarily mean that you are right". Meaning one can find cool connections and experience that euphoic clarity and be dead wrong. That happened all the time in my physics classes, students would think of these cool parallels only to find out that the physics doesn't work that way.
I was trying to make my calling and election made sure. I wanted my wife and I to have a personal visitation of Jesus Christ. I learned all about the second anointing so that I would be ready. It was only later that I learned they hardly ever do the second anointing anymore.
I read a lot of Hyrum Andrus during my TBM days and thought I knew a lot. I used to share some of his writings with people who were struggling with accepting Mormonism's "former" practice of polygamy. And, B.H. Roberts study on the Book of Mormon gave my TBM mind plenty to creatively accomodate.
I bought Infobase on cd in the mid 1990's long before GospeLink, and I still have GospeLink on my computer.
Before I became a complete disbeliever, I never lost my faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its presidents. I believed that the Church was led by God through his prophets. Now, as I learned more and more about the true history of the church, I had to reframe my conception of what a prophet was a number of times. At the time, I wished the Church would go back to teaching the deep doctrines publicly, but I believed that how the Church was run was how the Lord wanted it to be. I believed the Lord waited for church leaders (and membership) to be ready. Instead of the Lord dictating to the prophets what he wanted done, I came to believe that the prophets came up with their best ideas (heavily influenced by their culture and times) and then the Lord sanctioned their decisions. It was important that we were obedient. If the Lord did not want us publicly teaching deep doctrines, then we shouldn't do it or face excommunication. I never sat in judgement of the Brethern because that was forbidden. I truly felt that it was more important to follow the living prophet than a dead one.
I believed and accepted polygamy as a true doctrine and was prepared to live it when it was restored to the earth and/or in heaven, but I believed those who currently practiced polygamy were evil apostates who ran ahead of the Lord and trusted too much in themselves instead of following the Lord's appointed representative. So, that is how I never allowed myself to leave the LDS Church to join some fundy group. I awaited the coming of the latter day Patriarch of the house of Israel who would be a direct male descendant of Joseph Smith who would eventually lead all those who belong to Israel. At that time the Church's function would only be to bring new gentiles into the House of Israel through adoption (baptism). It would be the Patriarch who would lead us. Hyrum Andrus explains all of this very well, here is a link.
Oh, and bytheway, once I realized the whole Latter-day gospel wasn't true, I dropped my desire for polygamy like a hot potato.
I once took a religion class at BYU from Lloyd Newell (Music and the Spoken Word guy) on Teachings of the Living Prophets. He once told us the key to avoiding apostasy was to stick with the Brethern. If we held close to them and followed where they went we would never apostasize. And I did follow them...until I found out the BoA was a fraud, and by extension Joseph Smith was a liar about the Word of God, and the Spirit which testifies of the BoA and Joe Smith could not be trusted. The prophets had been duped just like the rest of us (who knows how much they believe). But, in any case I was no longer going to follow blind men who were at best following an unreliable guide (the Spirit), so I apostacized and am damn proud of it. There is no shame in doing the right and wise thing.