I’m not going to repeat what @GeorgeTichy said, Mitchell, but I do want to “second” it.
I’m a 67 year-old “polymath” (IOW, I have an advanced degree in nothing) who left the church when I was 25 and am convinced it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I’d like to add, however, that while I don’t disagree with what George said about the glaring problems with EGW, her debatable “inspiration” WAS NOT the determinant factor in that decision.
Instead, it slowly occurred to me that if any of the things organized religions teach about god are true-that is, that he, she or it is omni-anything-then there really is no need for organized religion as our creator has the power to interact directly with any of his creatures and without the need for publicists or publications.
So sure, read extra-Adventist literature to get a more objective perspective on Adventism.
And read about other religions, too, particularly the Eastern, non-verbal and more meditative traditions.
But it you want a better relationship with our maker I’d suggest that you go back to The First Book, also known as Nature, and devout yourself to studying that. If the ongoing miracles you find there don’t evoke a sense of indescribable wonder, or if the beauty you see doesn’t convince you that ours is a great and living (if decidedly irreligious) god then you can return to Sabbath School any time-I’m sure it’ll still be there, as unchanged as if you never left-and tell the class that George and I are doddering old fools who are obviously suffering from late-onset senility.
Oooos. I forgot.
George doesn’t like being called “old”.
But I’m okay with the label, even sort of proud of having made this far, despite being the younger of the two!!!