16 comments for “Original “Why People Leave the LDS Church” Presentation

  1. Vic Mathews
    January 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I enjoyed your presentation and point of view. I lost a close friendship over our “different” points of view. This presentation has helped me to better understand the feelings of my friend.

    Thank You


  2. January 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    John- this is a really good presentation. My only criticism is that people who need to hear it the most are going to shut it off during the “reasons people leave” part and never get to the what to do/what not to do part. I’m not sure how you can help them understand where their loved ones are coming from, but I wonder if you could make a shorter version that listed the concerns without going into detail.

    • Rogerio Brandao
      March 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      I’ve been an active member for 20 years and served a mission in England in 93/94. A few years ago I came across with disturbing historical information about the church in general and the prophet Joseph Smith in particular. I didn’t understand why the church kept hiding relevant historic issues from the members if the gospel, as i’ve been told, is perfect and spotless. I understand that it is not so and that there are a lot of things which are embarrassing and gospel compromising. I didn’t leave church because I broke the covenants I made with God but because I felt I was lied to. The world isn’t black and white indeed but as I was taught to think it was why shouldn’t I, when confronted with the true facts about the church, see it as well as in black and white?

  3. January 19, 2012 at 3:19 am

    John, I really enjoyed this. One of the best and most honest presentations I have ever seen. This is something I feel that I could share to explain my position to others and have all of us come out of it with mutual respect for whatever viewpoint we take.

    Thank you so much for this much needed conversation and explanation.

  4. Steve Kimball
    January 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Excellent work by John Dehlin!

  5. February 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    John – this is a great presentation.

    I went through the disillusionment process you describe as a student at BYU. I my “trigger” was my desire to be a Church historian — a career I decided I wanted to pursue after prayer and fasting and discerning what I felt my Heavenly Father wanted me to do.

    Of course, I as simultaneously dealing with coming to terms with my sexuality… I almost ended up leaving the Church through suicide.

    I recently inadvertently became the trigger for a close friend of mine going through this kind of “faith crisis” when we were on vacation in Utah together, and I mentioned Joseph Smith’s polygamy in passing. He really tripped out… Went straight to the Internet, and spent all night reading anti-Mormon sites.

    He went through a kind of grieving process… He literally wept on my shoulder, trembling as he cried. It was painful to say the least.

    Last month, he bore a beautiful testimony in Sacrament Meeting. He made it through this faith crisis, partly, I think, because I was there to support him through it.

    I think you’re right on in your prescription for these situations. Just loving each other and being there for each other is so vital. I wish someone had been there for me, 25 years ago when I literally felt like I had lost everything, to the point that I just couldn’t see much point in living any more. I made it by the grace of God.

    The faith that emerges from these kinds of crises is that much stronger. And yes, I think it does encourage us to focus on more of the simple truths of the gospel — faith, hope and love. I’ve felt a bit melancholy this morning, remembering how painful it all was. But I’m grateful for what you’ve posted here.

  6. RobertG
    February 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    In my experience, most people leave the LDS Church because they do not understand the basics. Many members, like the Jews in the Book of Mormon, “look beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14). The Church whitewashing its history is a big cause of that. Like John explains in his video, when they see how far beyond the mark they’ve come they have a crisis of faith. I think that Randy Klimt above does a good job hinting at the solution, but fails in the execution of it.

    The vision of the tree of life explains it best (1 Nephi 8). It’s not about ‘holding on to iron rod’, but instead it’s about eating the ‘fruit’ of the tree and not leaving the tree. Once they taste of God’s love, it’s about not falling away from it.

    All the Gospel is is CONVERSION and ENDURANCE. Prayer and the scriptures help individuals to seek conversion, then the laws and commandments they follow actually protect their testimony and help them to endure.

    This is where I believe the fallacy Randy brings up. “They occupy church members time, effort and energy in a myriad of activities which do little or nothing to actually bring people to Christ. Such activities the Lord calls “iniquity”.

    Now my focus is on my personal relationship with Christ.”

    Most of the LDS Church’s programs are not designed to bring someone to Christ, and in fact it assumes that they already HAVE a relationship with Christ. The Church is an outlet and an opportunity to express that relationship. Its programs are designed to help people retain and improve that bond through service.

    The problem is there is too much focus on “holding onto the rod” and not enough “keep eating the fruit”. There needs to be more emphasis on the love of God and how good it is to sit there by that tree and eat. Out of that comes the natural extension of serving and keeping the commandments. Yes, the LDS Church has issues, but I still believe it is by far the best long-term avenue for converted ‘Christians’ to share their connection with Christ while enduring to the end.

  7. February 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I left the faileth when I found out that God had left the building.

  8. February 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm
  9. Elise Rpland May
    March 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Wow,….. I wasn’t part of the survey, but the reasons I left, we’re the top 4 reasons in your survey. It is true, my UT friends and family feel I left because of other reasons. For me, my first unsettled moment, was when the blacks could receive the priesthood. I believe I was just 9 years old, and asked my dad why they couldn’t have it in the first place? He gave me the answer, and I accepted, but never really accepted it. I went to Rick’s College (BYU Idaho), I served as Homemaking Leader in my College ward etc.

    I’m surprised you haven’t been excommunicated? If the LDS church really backs you up, why don’t they add these topics to this years Gospel Doctrine Manual? And….. How are you still Mormon knowing what you know? The arrogance of my Mormon friends and family drive me crazy! I love them, but wish they’d open their eyes….

    I became Catholic while my parents were on a LDS Mission. I try to keep my religion to myself, but every once in a while friends or family will post something on Facebook, and I want to pull my hair out!

    Elise May

  10. Dave
    March 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    It’s striking how well you describe my own experiences in this video. However, I can’t say I agree with you’re conclusions. In particular, the part about membership on “your own terms” It’s not a buffet, where you can take the parts we like, and leave the parts we don’t. It’s either true, or its not. Its really is that simple. The church may teach a myriad of truths, and good values and doctrines, but that only makes it a a good social club. Joseph either saw what he claimed in that grove, or he didn’t. The rest is just fodder for interesting discussions on life views.

      May 4, 2019 at 9:41 am

      John’s own mother in her podcast interview, spoke of her life in the church. She didn’t say the words, but she is a classic “Chapel Mormon” and I say that as truth and not a disparaging comment. People to go to church for their own reasons, and it works– until it doesn’t! Since this was posted, John has been excommunicated.

      Like Dave above, I am very logical and literal! If JSmith is not a prophet, and his multiple versions of the “First Vision” make it unbelievable to me. Personally, I’ve had several spiritual experiences, and every time I relate them, I say them “word perfect” because the experience was so intense it’s imprinted indelibly in my memory. First Vision versions, reveal to me they didn’t do that to Joseph. I no longer believe him. The edifice of the LDS church collapses on no foundation. But, my dear friend is of old Mormon polygamous stock. She doesn’t believe it all, but stays in marginally. Family history and connections d?on’t work for me.

  11. Tasha
    March 15, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Your interview with the McLays was that sentinal event for me. Thank you for doing that inverview. I stayed up all night watching it,I wept watching it, and I wept as I talked with my Bishop telling him that I needed to go on sabbatical. Then I read Johanna Brooks’ book, and I am not strong enough to stay and question so openly. I admire her, but I can’t disagree. Thank you for your work. I will continue to follow it. I lived in Hyde Park until a year ago, small world.

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