What factors led or lead you to stay active in the LDS church even when you don’t necessarily believe in or enjoy church?

OK…here’s part two.  For those of you who stay(ed) active in the LDS church even after you stopped believing part or all of the teachings, or after you felt like you wanted to stay active — what were the factors that led/lead you to stay active?

Please try to read all of the responses before you respond, and try not to repeat answers that have already been given.  Thanks in advance!

112 comments for “What factors led or lead you to stay active in the LDS church even when you don’t necessarily believe in or enjoy church?

  1. February 5, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I stay because:

    – I’m part of a culture that I don’t want to separate from
    – I have family and friends who would be crushed if I left
    – I feel I can have influence on and help other people like me who want to stay
    – I don’t find much more value in other religions
    – In general, when utilized correctly, I find the church an excellent environment in which to raise my children to be good people and interact with other people who have similar values

  2. Kathleen
    February 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I stayed for over 15 years as a nonbeliever due to a believing husband, aging parents who were fighting heart problems and cancer, and a daughter who wanted to continue activity. After all these problems were resolved I quit going.

  3. Michael
    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Simply stated, fear. Fear is what kept me in the church after I stopped believing. Fear of losing my family, fear of ostracism. When I got over that fear, I left. Even though it led (in part) to my divorce, I’m happier now that I ever was inside the church.

  4. Gale Thorne
    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I stayed (for a time) to attempt to preserve family relationships and to demonstrate good will toward family and community.

    …when my marriage ended in divorce, I didn’t have significant cause to attend any longer, and left.

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

      good for you.its all a lie just after your money and controlling your life

      • August 22, 2017 at 7:52 am

        oh rosie you are so right its satans church…it is racist hates gay people..they should casterate all men in the mormon church and hang all 15 of the leaders

        • October 16, 2017 at 9:36 pm

          That’s not true these days but the Book of Mormon is totally false. Especially 3 Nephi Chapter 9. If they believe that they can not believe in th entire New Testament. Jesus is the epitome of forgiveness not a murderer of 16 cities killing men women n kids for sins.

  5. ShawnC
    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I stay..for now…because…

    -I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by Jesus Christ himself. I want to influence others to ignore the fluff and seek Him.

    -I want to be a thorn in the side of the membership and leadership who think all is well in Zion, or those who seek to silence those like me.

    • Barbara Hoggan
      February 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Your first reason describes me; I ‘came out’ recently by telling my leaders I could not teach RS any more be ause I’m a Christian. Not Mormon- Christian; Christian wo the Mormon.

    • Steve
      October 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Me too!
      Glad someone else gets it

    • Jan W.
      January 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Exactly! I left the church 3 1/2 years ago. Now I have a Mormon boyfriend, and don’t know how to enlighten him. He is a little fragile.

      Jan

      • August 17, 2017 at 8:14 am

        Jan, study D&C 132 together – maybe print a copy and highlight the things which attract attention … like destroying Emma Hale Smith, the faithful wife in spite of all Joseph Smith’s sexual promiscuity now recognized by the LDS. D&C 132 also still promotes polygamy!!

        Then ask your boyfriend if he is in agreement with this LDS “scripture”. Ask him how he thinks women feel about it.

        If he isn’t sympathetic to the concerns women have about this scripture … look for another boyfriend.

        • August 22, 2017 at 8:11 am

          its all bull shit joe smith made up and its all a dam lie.my family are all mormon idiots from polygamust familys..thomas satan monson was a young bishop ne was merried but he got a date gayle smith from lehi utah..he took her up in a canyon and tried to rape her..he told her he was going to be high in the church some day

  6. Maggie
    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

    It’s a habit I don’t know how to quit.

    Church is my family, my community.

    I still see potential for good from the community and leadership.

    I feel very connected to my pioneer ancestors and am part of their legacy.

  7. Jennifer
    February 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I stay because the core of the Gospel is true and I wouldn’t find it in another church.
    I stay because I have overcome the worry of others judgements and I can chose what to participate in and say no to what I don’t, I.e. Church callings.
    I use my “free agency”.

  8. February 5, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Belief/hope that the good outweighs the bad.

    “Even if it isn’t true, I lived a good and happy life because of it”

    Potentially bad for business/career.

    Don’t want to hurt loved ones

    Enjoy the social aspects

    Enjoy having ritualism and routine that help me focus on The Other and not The Self

    Belief that all world views are flawed, so might as well operate within the world view that you are familiar with.

    Mormonism is my heritage and I choose to stay out of duty.

    To support a believing spouse.

    To preserve a marriage with a believing spouse.

    • T
      February 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      This is me to a ‘T,’ except the business potentially suffering part.

  9. Ryan
    February 5, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I don’t have much more to add than what James said, But in my own words…

    – i enjoy the culture and enjoy raising my children in the culture and I do believe it helps them develop a good moral compass. The things i have a hard time with in the church (history, LGBT issues, the literal nature of the BoM ) I can explain to my children how what i believe doesn’t always fall in step with the manuals or the church teaches

    – i enjoy the nature of doing something every Sunday morning with my family. I feel it helps to bond us as a family.

    – I couldn’t bear to put my parents/family through the pain of leaving.

    – I feel compelled to let the TBM’s know there are other ways to believe and it’s possible to still be a good person.

  10. February 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I stay because if I look hard enough, I can find other Mormons like me. The companionship and connection I feel with them is stronger than with people either outside the Church or with literal believers. I feel like others who’ve grown up with the Church but have since embraced less conventional beliefs are my people more than anyone else, and Church is a great place to find them.

    I stay because if enough people like me stay, we could effect positive change on an everyday grassroots level and perhaps improve the Mormon experience of others like us.

    This is not a good reason, but I also stay because I’m scared to leave. I don’t want to miss out on the temple weddings of my friends and family. And I don’t know how to not be Mormon.

    I stay because staying seems to lend me greater credibility when I share my ideas and concerns with my orthodox friends. They may not be so willing to hear my thoughts on gay rights or women’s issues if they thought I was an “angry apostate.”

    I stay because I shouldn’t HAVE to leave.

    • Mindy
      February 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Gretta. This is exactly how I feel. And it lifts me up to hear it from another Mormon.

    • paula mason
      March 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

      pull your head out of your rectum and look around dummy there robing you

      • August 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

        oh my dear you are so dam right on that..our granpa dave hutchison was smart he didnt get mixed up in the cult but granma charlet had the book of mormon stuck up her ass just like our moms and dads

      • August 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

        oh my dear you are so dam right on that..our granpa dave hutchison was smart he didnt get mixed up in the cult but granma charlet had the book of mormon stuck up her ass just like our moms and dads

  11. Carl Sanders
    February 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

    My life has been governed to keep my sanity. Either 100% or not at all. If someone can’t support all of the commandments issued from the First Presidency, they you are not 100%. I can’t and have had to give up the participation of attending Church. It’s hard, but “do” or “don’t”

  12. February 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

    In addition to what others have said:

    I stay because I believe in the gospel (esp. as laid out in Matt. 22:36-40), and find meaning in some of the LDS scriptures (eg. parts of Moses 7).

    I stay because church history is my family history.

    I stay because change is scary and I haven’t come across anything big enough or situations bad enough to push me out.

    I stay because I am willing to dismiss things that are taught if I don’t believe them.

    I stay because the scriptures contain messages that have a great potential to change the church for the better.

    I stay because I occasionally find God here.

  13. Anon
    February 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Because I love Mormon teachings about the divine potential of all human beings–whether literally true or not I believe that idea is ennobling and makes me live a more full life.

    Because being a Mormon is an interesting life-experience, it is a part of my identity and I’m not sure what that means if I’m not engaged with a community of other Mormons.

    Because I think Mormonism has the potential to be something better than it is and I want to do my part to help it become that.

    • March 25, 2016 at 10:14 am

      it is just a sex cult for horny old men.more wieves more pussy more babys to grow up and pay tithing

  14. February 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Also, I stay because we are the church. The church isn’t the corporate structure that leads the church, it is the membership–the body of Christ.

  15. Matt
    February 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Adding to the general category of social/family pressure, my mom is in poor health and me walking away would be really hard on her. I don’t care to be active anymore and I’m ready to deal with the consequences, but considering my mom’s health has held me back. I hate that I’m in this position.

  16. ohokyeah
    February 5, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I think I’m waiting for my spouse’s “shelf” to fall. I don’t want to leave the church alone, but I will if I have to. I would like to live authentically, but I don’t want the transition to be too jarring for my spouse. It’s hard to watch the mental gymnastics he’s had to put himself through to keep the faith. It looks exhausting.

    I don’t think the fruit of the tree is good, it encourages women to by housewives except in extenuating circumstances which I don’t want for my daughter(s) if they don’t want it. I see a high probability that the church will eventually go the route of the “Mark of Cain” revision with LGBT members within a decade or so.

    I can’t see evidence of good fruit when the church is based on lies, and none of the “good” parts of the church are unique to the church. You can find charity, volunteerism and community outside the church without the price of sexual repression, longstanding racist doctrines which have been disavowed but still sit in prominent contradiction in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 5:21 and without the self loathing from the inability to be “perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” The “good fruit” of the church can be found elsewhere which is why I will not stay indefinitely.

    • Barbara Hoggan
      February 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      My thoughts, except you have expressed them more clearly.

  17. Jen
    February 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Fear, guilt, and disappointing my parents. For a while I also it would protect my children from teen pregnancy and drug use.

  18. February 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I stayed (after the initial shocks) because I was serving in a calling that I found meaningful, with people who I liked and respected.

    I stay because I don’t know what else to do with myself on Sunday.

    I stay because I occasionally find hope.

    I stay because I have had incredibly positive experiences in the past, that have shaped me into who I am.

    I stay because I don’t know how to develop the same sense of community I feel here.

  19. Debbie Costello
    February 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I attend F&TM and 2-4 RS meetings per month. I go because it’s almost the only way to stay connected with my neighbors. I’m not willing to be an island in my own neighborhood. And also, I have a direct selling business and -whether perceived or actual- my sales seemed to be better when I and my husband weren’t so out-spoken. If we ever move, we will move into our new home as non-members (husband already is); then EVERYONE will friendship/fellowship us.

  20. Stan
    February 5, 2014 at 11:04 am

    A few hours a week sitting next to my wife in church, though a bit boring, is a very small price to pay for keeping my relationship with her in tact.
    One small side benefit is that as an active member, I’m apparently off The Rescue radar.

  21. Steve
    February 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I started doubting the truth claims of the LDS church about six years ago. Now, I can’t really say that I believe any of them. But I continue to go to church because I have estimated that the cost of leaving is higher than the cost of staying. My wife is active (although she never attends Sunday School or Fast and Testimony meeting). My parents and wife’s parents are extremely active. However, I fully intend to discontinue or greatly limit my participation in the LDS church at some future point. I am carefully crafting my narrative for what to say if I’m questioned. My wife knows that I don’t believe but is still in denial about the possibility of me leaving the church. I have told her that at some future point that I plan to greatly reduce the amount of tithing that I pay and to decline all callings. I am trying hard to reduce the impact of whatever fallout might occur over my leaving. Some LDS people just really can’t fathom someone leaving, especially over belief issues, and can’t restrain themselves from thinking that that person is a hapless sinner who has completely rejected God and cannot possibly be happy.

  22. Chris Young
    February 5, 2014 at 11:16 am

    – I stay because I’m afraid of the the reprucussions to my wife and how she would likely be viewed, treated, and utilized in the Church with an ‘apostate’ husband.

    – I stay because I fear how my children would be treated because of an ‘apostate’ dad.

    – I stay because I don’t want some other adult thinking they have the right and responsibility to fill MY role as a moral/patriarchal example in my children’s lives.

    – I stay because blessings, ordinations, etc of my children are more than religious rights; it’s part of the cultural fabric and normalized bonding within families within that culture

    – I stay because I want to know what is going on in my family’s Church lives/teachings to negate the negative and damaging aspects/teachings/attitudes of the Church

    – I stay because the taught principle that families are the most important part of our life, only applies in the Church if ALL the family is part of the it.

    – I stay to maintain spiritual and Church-related credibility with my children to be able to offset untrue, white-washed, or damaging teachings in the Church.

  23. February 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

    For awhile I stayed because I was a youth leader and I felt committed to my calling. I felt like I could do some good. I wanted them to have a better experience than I had. I wanted to make sure that they weren’t taught the rape culture nonsense that Elizabeth Smart, myself and many others were taught. I stayed because I was focused on building up the YW and helping them to be strong and happy women who help those around them. It came to a point though that I had to leave because I felt by staying I was in a way saying ‘I agree with this, I believe this’ ‘I agree with how homosexuals are treated in the LDS Church’, ‘I believe so many things the LDS Church teaches that I know to be false.’ So I left I didn’t want to be a silent supporter of things that I felt to be wrong and I didn’t want to lead the YW to believe that I felt that way since I did not feel comfortable publicly speaking about all that I knew.

  24. Shelly Snapp
    February 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I stay because I believe that the simple core principals such as being kind, being honest and so forth is good for my kids. On a personal note I stay because I have had some experiences with some sort of higher being, whether that is the mormon God or not I don’t know. I do believe in Deity. I do appreciate those moments from what ever God particles are out there. It also in some ways keeps the peace in my family circle, mostly talking about my parents. I am very open with my feelings about the church with my spouse and both my children and they accept that thankfully.

    • March 25, 2016 at 10:26 am

      honest yes but the church is not honest,.they still lie.there were no golden plates.book of aberham a lie.they hate gays negros .they just want the money

  25. Jason
    February 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

    We were held hostage by BYU. My wife had one more class remaining to graduate and we couldn’t risk her getting expelled due to non-belief. We had to remain active for about six months. I was teaching the 15-16 year old Sunday School class and it was hell for me. I had anxiety attacks nearly every Sunday before church as I would anticipate the impending lies I would tell to children. About half way through the six months I had to ask for a release because I couldn’t take it, but we went to church every Sunday until her diploma was in hand.

  26. Jason
    February 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    *16-17 yo class.

  27. February 5, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I stay because I believe that the pioneers of this church made a mess that needs to be cleaned up. I believe that the church is full of the saving capabilities and potentials it promises, but that the men and women who brought the church into being did as good as they could, and we, who are the membership of the church, are charged with the perfecting of the saints, with taking the pieces we have been given and carrying them onto perfection.

  28. ijustlookedup
    February 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I stay to love, comfort, and accept anyone that comes my way in the Church. I accept all differences and perspectives. I also get it when people want to leave–I did leave years ago, only to return. I also came to a reality that though I know there are many jaded, misconceptions regarding history and it’s lack of integrity, those things don’t change the truth of the Gospel. Man touches things often changing and marring them, but there are things that Heaven has touched and they remain perfect to me. Change can only happen within the Church if there are enough people that can stay to weigh in to make a difference. Every religion out there has a hidden side…so I stay in the religion that feels like home and community to me. I stay for the LGTB members that need an accepting peer. I stay to speak up when no one else will. I stay because of love.

  29. Chris
    February 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I can add a +1 to many of these answers, especially the family ones.

    I’m still here primarily for family reasons. My wife wouldn’t leave, and if she did the repercussions from her family would be a cost too heavy for her to bear. I’d never ask her to leave. I want to be here to support my kids and give them a place to gain perspective as the deal with some of the nonsense in the YM/YW program. But I really do want to do scouting with my boys as they grow up. I loved that as a boy.

    I’m here because there are meaningful ways I can help other people. If that’s in the confines of this particular organization, fine. But I can still help others.

    I’m finding more and more skeptics, doubters and disbelievers all the time. I’ve been able to help another person talk out some of their issues as a part of a faith crisis. (That conversation is still on going.) Hopefully I’ve been able to help lighten that burden.

    I stay to try to keep Christ a part of the message. We don’t have enough of the Gospels in our discourse & lessons. I can only do that in my home and in commenting on lessons.

    Were I not married and if I didn’t have kids, I could walk. I can take the good things I’ve learned here and press on. I am Mormon, I speak Mormon. But I could get by just fine with not being involved at all.

  30. DB
    February 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Mormons are my tribe and for the most part, my mormon neighbors are good people trying to do the right thing. Also, I live in a mormon-dominated area and I’m afraid my kids will be ostracized if we leave. If we didn’t live in Utah, I would have already left the church.

    • Chris Young
      February 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      That is exactly the biggest factor for me…the impact on my kids’ social structure and stability.

      • BG
        February 5, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Same for me. I’m afraid for my children to grow up in Utah County as non-Members. If it was just my wife and I, we’d be long gone.

  31. KC
    February 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I’m hoping to bring up women’s ordination throughout whatever time I do stay… I’m sure some have labeled me as “inactive” with my recent record of attendance in my ward, but I’m still Mormon to myself and strangers that I meet, so I think as I have everyday interactions with people I can perhaps be a missionary for the idea of ordaining women. When people actually consider the idea seriously and get past the reaction of “Apostasy!” they seem to have little to defend such a male dominated leadership, besides tradition. The hardest part of even trying to go to church is honestly Primary… I shudder every time I think of it, and I cannot bear to take my kids in there to learn “If you chance to meet a frown, do not let it stay” and to parrot things that they cannot possibly understand. I DO love the goodness and teaching kids practical good life choices in general– I just cannot stand to hear little 3 year olds saying “I know Joseph Smith was a prophet” and things like that. I have flash backs to primary and now I know and realize that that is where I learned to let others say the answers and decide things. That Everyone else was right, but I didn’t know myself…. That is where I learned to Not think for myself, to not speak up to answer or ask real questions- because those sweet primary ladies always had the answer and you just go along with what they say…. I won’t take my kids to primary unless our ward gets some more progressive primary leaders in there. I do love these people. I just don’t want my kids growing up thinking that people without sleeves are bad, and people who do yard work on sundays are bad… and people who play sports on sunday are bad… etc. And boys/men get power to act for God, but girls don’t have that for some reason…. Good lifestyle and organization though, in many ways…

    • Christoph
      April 2, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I am no longer a member of the LDS Church mainly because I believe in Jesus Christ and the more I came to know Jesus, the more I came to realize I needed a different church. But, in response to what you stated about ordaining women. In LDS doctrine, it is clear that Men are the only ones to be ordained into the priesthood. My personal belief on this topic is irrelevant. However, I do believe that the LDS church will never come around to ordain women because the clarity of the doctrine on this topic. It is quite possible that you just need a different church.

      I also disagree with some of the LDS doctrine. I tried for 3 years to make it work but I couldn’t. So, I left the church.

  32. February 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Q: What do you call a Jew that doesn’t believe in the bible, go to church, or believe in god?

    A: A Jew.

    • Node
      June 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks for that.

  33. February 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I stay because I believe the church can get better than it is now.

    I believe the church doctrine is robust enough to handle gay marriages.
    I believe the church doctrine is robust enough to handle women’s ordination.
    I believe the church doctrine is robust enough to acknowledge leaders biases/mistakes vs true doctrine and revelation.

    I stay because I learned about evolution at BYU.

    I stay because I interact with a diversity of people in my ward. I would never think about life from their perspectives were I not in church with them.

    I stay because I’ve felt the divine in some of my worship activity.

    I stay because I’ve learned to disagree with authority yet feel like I can support them.

    I stay because I haven’t faced harsh judgements from those who believe differently from me. I recognize if I had a poor experience with church leadership I would be more likely to consider leaving.

    I stay because I have a spouse and many active friends who feel similarly to me.

    • Scott
      February 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      “I stay because I learned about evolution at BYU. ”

      Well said. That reason says a lot.

  34. AB
    February 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I stay because, like Kierkegaard, I think the best way to rise above despair is to faithfully commit subjectively to something–even in the face of objective absurdity. I am committed to my family, who are TBMs, and to God, though I don’t profess to know much about who or what God is, other than Love for the Other.

    The Church, like many churches, offers me an opportunity to be committed to God by involvement in a specfic community. Why this community? I guess because I was born into it, my family is part of it, and I know the vocabulary, etiquette, and culture.

    While I like to think my commitment to God and loved ones is absolute, my commitment to all things Mormon is not; I see many LDS things ironically, and try not to get sucked into the politics of ideology, apologetics, or, on the other hand, interest-based advocacy currents within the Church.

  35. Jamie
    February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I stay because it would ruffle too many feathers to leave. If i were in a different stage of life when I lost my faith, I probably would quietly disappear and live a life largely unconcerned with religion. If I left now, It would cause more stress in my personal relationships than I think it’s worth. It’s purely a question of economic efficiency at this point.

  36. Scott
    February 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    – This is my “tribe.” I’m an eighth-generation Mormon, I live in Utah County, and my entire family is Mormon. I was raised in the Church (in Utah), served a mission, went to BYU, married in the temple, so I feel a kinship to the culture for reasons outside of theological/historical issues.

    – Again, I live in Utah (and more specifically, Utah County), and I don’t want my children/family to be ostracized.

    – I don’t want to deal with the family/friend ramifications of leaving the Church (e.g., fighting with immediate and extended family, constantly explaining/justifying why I left, dealing with those that would accuse me of “gross iniquity” as a reason for leaving, etc.).

    – The social/support aspects available to my children in the Church (e.g., primary, scouting, Young Men/Young women programs, youth conferences, etc.).

    – Lack of direction/world-view outside of the Church for my family. I feel like the Church provides an excellent pathway for success (e.g., missionary program, the “BYU experience,” young single adult wards, etc.). much better than anything I could provide on my own as a father.

    – Lack of a support structure/replacement for the Church if I left (specifically for my children)

    – The effects of leaving the Church on my wife/marriage

    – I still have a deep reverence for deity of some kind. The Church gives me and my family a framework and “language” for approaching deity. I can continue to teach this reverance and language to my children, so that they can have the peace that deity (a “Heavenly Father”) can bring into the lives of humans (despite my lack of faith/belief).

  37. Jane
    February 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I converted when I was in college because I knew I needed to do it. It became apparent quickly that there were problems with a lot of traditional views on folk doctrine (that which is not based on any reality). I had good people around me who could show me ways of living with the absurd thinking of others. But sometimes it still hurts.

    I stay because I know there are good people in the church who are trying to find the same answers I am. It is especially painful now since I live in a ward that doesn’t question anything and is not supportive of my thinking. But I was raised in a non-denominational church and I’ve studied what else is out there and I don’t see anything that offers more than the church. I have worked for other churches over the years and they are at least as screwed up as we are if not more so.

    I stay because I have had the personal experiences with God that I cannot and will not deny and He wants me to stay. So I will stay. Other people are responsible for their actions and words. I am responsible for mine.

  38. Brit
    February 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t really know if I count as active or not. I attend church on a semi-regular basis, but no callings or any real involvement. I go because my husband is still a believer, and it makes him happy to go to church, and he doesn’t like to go alone.

  39. missy
    February 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    My husband and I stay because we have a real hope that the leadership will change many of the current policies and attitudes towards its members. I’d like to see more acceptance of non-orthodox members and more of a focus on THE SAVIOR at church, instead of focusing on what we’re not doing. I’m tired of feeling like we’re falling short all the time. (Example: On Christmas Sunday the Savior’s name was only mentioned in the opening and closing prayers. They spent the whole three hour block discussing Family Proclamation and Utah Politics – because of the gay marriage legalization. It was so upsetting for me.)

    We stay because we don’t live close to family, so this has been our family and it’s hard to walk away from that.

    We stay out of FEAR!

  40. Rick
    February 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Regardless of the fact that I served a full time mission and I taught classical Mormonism, I have never truly been able to wrap my head around the LDS concept of God. I tend to lean on my Anglican roots when I think of, worship and pray to God the Father. My wife and I were called as a genealogy specialist just when New Family Search came online back in 2008. Our mandate was to teach members how to access and use the new software. I did a search looking up famous people, as you do and was shocked to find that Joseph Smith was married to several women who were the wives of other faithful members of the Church. Zina Huntington was happily married to Henry Jacobs and pregnant with Henry’s first son when she was sealed to Joseph Smith as one of his plural wives. After Smith died in the gun fight at Carthage Zina was passed on to Brigham Young, coincidently enough while she was pregnant with Henry’s second son. She continued to cohabit with Henry until Brigham announced on the pioneer trail that “it was time for men who were walking in other men’s shoes to step out of them”. With that Zina and Henry’s sons lived with Brigham Young from then on. Zina later bore a daughter to Brigham Young. I found Zina’s diary and read all about her experience from her own perspective. It seemed clear to me that Smith had intruded on an otherwise happy family and ruined the life of Henry who was heart sick for the rest of his life. There is no way to justify this kind of behavior no matter how hard you try to twist it. Religiously justified adultery is the way I refer to polygamy whenever it comes up at Church so other members know where I stand. I also openly call Joseph Smith a fallen prophet, which in its self speaks to the fact that I must have regarded him as a prophet at some point. I feel like the jury is still out on the Book of Mormon as a historical record, how can it ever be proven when it cannot be agreed as to where this story is to have taken place. I have always been an evolutionist so as a convert to the Church at age 22 I never fully drank the Kool-Aid and felt the Church was just wrong on it’s stand regarding the origins of Black Native Africans, Native Americans and the human family as a whole as DNA clearly proves that we come from Africa 100K years ago, not America 6,000 years ago. Humans with genetic ties to Asia have been in the Americas for over 10,000 years. I started to feel like I was having to do mental gymnastics to keep it all together in my head. In a desperate attempt to find something to hang my LDS membership on I realized that I still had faith in Jesus Christ. In fact I had personally accepted Christ before any LDS missionary knocked on my door. I came to the LDS Church seeking baptism. The qualities and standards of the Church have created a fine environment to raise my three children in and I have shared all of my reservations with them and it has not effected their fragile testimonies. It became too much for my wife and she left the Church and the family, ultimately being excommunicated after our divorce. The LDS Church was clearly all we had in common as a glue to our relationship. My daughters aged 15 and 14 and a son aged 8 have remained with me while LDS culture became a great factor in the wake of their mothers departure. The Young women’s program in our very strong ward had a huge influence on the development of my daughters and my calling in Young men’s allowed some great bonding time with my son over the 5 years since the divorce. Both of my daughters have gone to LDS schools, BYU Provo and LDS Business college. My eldest daughter is serving a full time Spanish speaking mission in California and doing an amazing job. I have no other purpose in staying in the town where we live in Texas other than to see my son, now 14 years old off on his mission. I am committed to the LDS life style as a fully worthy temple recommend holding member so as to be able to ordain him to the varied offices of the Priesthood. After that my reasons for staying in the Church would be mainly Darwinian as LDS families tend have a larger number children so my best hope for a healthy posterity is to support my children in the Faith until each of them are successfully married in the Temple. It is hard to imagine finding a companion myself in the Church who could navigate my strengths and weakness as an LDS member so who knows what the future holds maybe my bohemian nature will take over at some point.

  41. Anon
    February 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I stayed, as a non-believer, for quite awhile, because I enjoyed the community and had many friends there. I really thought I could experience Mormonism on my own terms (not as easy as it sounds!). I even enjoyed “some” of the teachings, the more positive ones and could, at times, feel “the spirit” there. But, in the end, that did not offset the cog dis and hypocrisy I was feeling, in supporting the “not so good” things, like the teachings against gays and the inequality of women. The bad (or what I perceived as bad) finally overwhelmed the little bit of good I was experiencing, as an active member, and so I had to leave.

    • Steve
      March 13, 2014 at 10:22 am

      This was my situation also. I’ve told my wife I’d be willing to try again in a different ward, hopefully far away from Utah. The ward we live in is unbearable. Way too many fanatics and no genuine love or concern.

  42. Patrick
    February 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I stayed because I wanted to marry a girl in the temple. About ten years later I left.

  43. Liesel
    February 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I stay because I still have my relationship with God despite that my foundation of the church was rocked. We weren’t on speaking terms for a while (God and I) but I cannot deny God’s hand in my life, and I find a life devoid of faith in God is empty. And men have been, and are, and will continue to be imperfect, and that includes any institutions or religions that they have influence over. And that is ok. We can still learn from each other, which is what I believe one of the reasons we are here for. I can still learn from everyone, if I am humble enough to learn from those who are different from me, including members of the church. I believe in the fundamentals of Christ’s teachings, to love God and to love our neighbor, and to not judge or condemn others. And I can love my neighbor and fellow man both in and out of the church. I stay because if all of the open minded people leave that is a terrible legacy to leave the church. I stay because I have nothing to gain from leaving. I stay because I want to be the change I want to see in the church. I stay because someone needs to help heal the wounded hearts of the LGTB youth and others. I stay to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. I stay to be a strong, intelligent woman and leader to my Young Women. I stay to be a good example to my kids. I stay because of my heritage and because the church is my home, despite its many flaws. I stay because I can do good here. I stay to be a bridge. I stay to moderate extremity. I stay because I love my fellow saints, despite some of their flawed thinking. I stay because the Savior modelled exemplary behavior in befriending the outcast and that is sometimes forgotten. And I stay because despite the flaws it is only truly up to us to work our own salvation before God, it is not up to the prophets to save us or spoon feed God to us, we need to seek our own connection with the Divine. It is up to our own individual agency. I stay because I like the theology of continual growth and of the importance of individual agency. I stay because I can still find beauty and truth in the allegorical stories that many see as unshakable fact. I stay because I can find good everywhere if that is my focus. So I choose to find good, in and out of the church and embrace and emulate the good, and not the flaws. I stay because I have hope and faith in my Heavenly Parents that things will work out in the end, and in the hope of their love for me.

    • Ronda Braithwaite
      June 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Wow. That was beautiful. Something I could have written. Thanks for sharing!

  44. February 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I joined without believing all of it because:

    1. I was born (though not raised) in the church and felt connection to my ancestry, culture and extended family.

    2. I was tired of being out in the world, the only one who didn’t smoke, drink, or have premarital sex.

    3. I saw enough truth there and enough problems in every other religion to just want to pick one and enjoy what it had to offer.

    I left later because

    1. I couldn’t deal with how big an issue polygamy was in the LDS singles community, (who are navigating multiple sealings and explaining multiple eternal mommies in heaven to their children).

    2. I interviewed dozens of single men and, when pressed, they all said that they would enter into polygamy if commanded to do so. They furthermore all believed that polygamy is a higher principle because it is what is expected in the highest levels of the celestial kingdom.

    3. I have a serious problem with “one right way” thinking. I thought I could put up with it but I couldn’t.

  45. Wayne
    February 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I stay because I’m not ready to leave. If I left, it would be because I would have abandoned all religious faith and left God behind completely. For me it is an all or nothing approach. I can find fault in other faiths just as easily as Mormonism and label them all as man-made institutions. I’ve seen many people make judgments over things they do not understand, but assuming that authority over the unknown frightens me. I feel wholly inadequate to judge the true nature of Eternity and turn my back on it. Because there is much I still do not feel certain about, I stay.

    For now I’ve decided to be as active as I can be because it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I can still find good in the Church. I can be a voice of compassion and reason within it. I can give people unconditional love and service and not qualify anyone’s actions with standards that I don’t share.

  46. Hope Michelle
    February 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Hope,
    -that the prophesy of Zion, where equality/peace/no poverty is going to come to pass
    -that there is a better world to come in the next life, especially for those who had it sucky here
    -that the covenants I made with God are legitimate

    Fear,
    -that the covenants I made with God are legitimate

    and love for the members and a desire to serve them and serve with them

  47. Troy
    February 5, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    For the goodness that is there.
    For my wife, kids, and friends.
    To help myself be who I want to be.

  48. CRW
    February 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I am actve because it makes my husband happy.

    I am a cultural Mormon, a cafeteria Mormon, and (not so paradoxically) the freer I feel to pick and choose, the happier I am starting.

    • CRW
      February 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Staying, I mean

  49. February 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I stayed because my social and family relationships were threatened. I was told by friends outright that if I did not go on a mission they would no longer associate with me, and my family made it clear that not going was not an option. When I returned, I lived in an environment where I would be socially mistreated and excluded if I did not tow the line. So I wimped out and did my best to follow along until I could no longer carry the weight.

  50. Robert
    February 5, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    My family and friends would consider me broken and a “bad guy”. I would be an outsider. It is lonely accepting the overwhelming evidence that the church is not true while still attending, but probably less lonely than leaving. I have no non-Mormon friends or family. I don’t know how to function in the non-Mormon world.

    • Amy
      September 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Robert, I hear you completely. In the same boat right now, its a lonely and scary place to be.

  51. Natalie Lambert
    February 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I stay for now due to lack of other friends and social circles for my children, one who has autism and struggles to make friends easily.

    For a mother who is struggling through a nasty divorce due in large part to the church and would be devastated.

    Fear. The need to shore up my courage to make that final permanent break.

    The feeling that walking away will take away a huge chunk of my identity because it has been who I am for so long.

    Wise council from a non believing husband that we have time to get this right. That we will walk away when we are ready and confident. And that we will do it without anger but respect and kindness.

  52. David Wilson
    February 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I stay for my wife because it makes her happy and because I like to attend church. It has been something I have done for 40+ years. I stay so I can be a voice for other like me who are too shy to speak for themselves. I stay as a nonbeliever in the literal teachings because my family and friends that I care about accept me this way and want me there. For now I will stay if I can be honest with my beliefs and I think that the church is changing more to the way I want it to go, even if the process is very slow. I stay until I find something better. Right now it is a loveless marriage between me and the church but some how we make it work.

  53. TC
    February 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I stay, among other reasons, because the nature of faith, belief and testimony is complicated. In my moments of greatest peace, love, clarity and purpose, staying is an obvious, joyful choice. It is only in the moments of doubt, despair and confusion that leaving presents itself as not only a possibility, but perhaps the real truth I’m too afraid to face. But I can’t buy that such a crummy state of confusion is a state of real truth. Unless and until I see leaving as clearly and joyfully as I see staying, I won’t leave.

    I believe in Christ. I have had too many profound, intimately personal experiences that, fundamentally, are only meaningful within the context of the knowledge brought about by the restoration.

    Some of the best people I know have refused to join the Church, are not part of the Church, or have left the Church. Nonetheless, although I went through a period of time when I didn’t feel this, I now feel a beautiful unity (unique but common), a community of the Saints within the Church, even with those who don’t see things the same way I do. I would like to see a broader vision of this.

    I believe the Book of Mormon itself testifies of the dilemmas of our day, and so there is no shame in recognizing that to some degree, we have strayed. Bringing forth the Book of Mormon was only the beginning of the restoration; it is still ongoing, and we’re lacking a complete picture. So rather than plucking out everything and burning it, we need to search for, find, and graft in the other wild branches that are out there (and that process will change, repair and grow the corrupted branches). But I have certainly learned that culturally, we have viewed many things incorrectly. With the courage to think for ourselves as we put our trust in God, we come to understand how much God loves all of His children, and that everyone in and out of the Church is loved and has a purpose. As more of us go forward with integrity, and deep love and respect for those in and out of the Church, we will start to build something beautiful and amazing.

  54. John
    February 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I identify with Mormons like William Chamberlin, E.E. Ericksen, Juanita Brooks, and Sterling McMurrin. I am married to a spouse who has significant doubts about the Restoration doctrines but accepts the supernatural core of Christianity and a son who is beginning to question what he is taught at school and church. Staying for me means being semi-active, recognizable enough not to be a project but on the margins with a made-up retention calling I actually enjoy as the ward community outreach specialist.

  55. liz johnson
    February 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I stay because the church is as true as the gospel. I stay because dealing with those who think differently makes me a better person (most of the time). I stay because I believe that there are many great and important things yet to be revealed. I stay because if people like me all leave, who will be left?

    I stay because there is beauty in the core doctrines of the church, and because there is much good to be had there. I know I could find good things in other churches, but I stay in the LDS church because I find the most truth in doctrines that it specifically teaches or has taught (like eternal progression, becoming as Gods, Heavenly Mother). I stay because I would feel a deep loss if I left.

    I also stay because, right now, the good outweighs the bad. I have been able to get through a period where I felt very injured every time I went to church, and now I’m able to accept the good I find and discard the rest without feeling wounded as much. I stay because I hope to influence how my children are taught, and I stay to show my children and others that there is more than one way to be a Mormon woman.

  56. Geoff
    February 6, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I stay simply because I am too old and too lazy to search out other opportunities for community and service that respect my core values, knowing all the while the high likelihood that I would reach some level of disaffection with any group. Perfection may not lie within the Mormon Church, but from my involvement in other organizations, I don’t believe it exists outside of it either.

  57. Tina
    February 7, 2014 at 8:12 am

    My children love going to Primary and have great friends there. Our family has moved around the US, and it is comforting for my children to come to a new ward and immediately be a part of a group of children who, in our experience, have been kind, loving, and accepting. I don’t want my children to lose that community or that experience.

  58. February 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I can’t click on the survey. I can see the link but there appears to be no hyperlink attached.

    • February 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      I am a dummy. I don’t leave because of the conversations that it enables me to have between me as an atheist and the faithful. Although most conversations are frustrating there have been many that have been extremely satisfying. I enjoy being part of what I grew up in because of the connection it provides to my family. There is no secular organizations that teach the values that I want my children to have that I know of (maybe I need to look harder). I haven’t deconverted my wife completely and she enjoys serving in the church. I also enjoy some of the service activities that I get to participate in with those in the church. Being in my position in the church is also fun because it allows me to push the buttons of tbm’s in some very entertaining ways.

  59. Eli
    February 16, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I always knew I was gay so shortly after my mission, though I was at BYU, my interest was dwindling. I slowly and discreetly stopped attending. At first I was very tolerant of others’ LDS beliefs and found the church to be good for the people who fit the profile. And then, I “accidentally” learned of the history and retrospectively realized how brainwashed I had been my entire life, albeit with good intentions. I felt betrayed, like working at a job where you will never meet the level, requirements and standards, no matter how hard you work. I don’t even like associating with Mormons (ex or practicing). I even attend synagogue on Fridays and wear a yarmulke regularly to remove myself entirely from my past identity as a Mormon. Dating a Jewish man helps.

  60. Casey Randall
    April 4, 2014 at 1:49 am

    I stay because my wife has made it clear to me that to leave would cost me my marriage. I want to be a daily influence on the lives of my children who are still home so I make the best of it. The price for the lack of authenticity feels like it dims my soul a little every day…

  61. Rose Red
    April 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I left in February because of the lack of fellowship and friendship in my ward. I lasted 16 months before I threw in the towel. I was a name on a list, VT and HT were non-existent. Travel for my job, relocate to a new place at least once a year, single mom, executive level management, homeschooling a teenager, all things that make me not ever be the expected Mormon woman, and definitely not fit into the standard mold. I am consistently stereotyped and assumptions are made on my titles and not through getting to know me or how I make it all work My boy is almost mission age, and its hard to keep him on track and get him prepared without the church structure to help.

    With no common ground with any of my ward, and no one trying to meet me in the middle or reach out to me when I reached out to them, I finally gave up. I’ll wait for the next contract and ward we move into. It might be better, it might not.

    I need the social connection and to feel like I belong, without it, its just the same lessons year after year and the same non-support from the leadership.

    • Rose Red
      December 23, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Thought I’d leave an update…. Contract is finally over and a new location in January. My son remained connected to the ward but we were still names on a list. I asked the leadership for HTs that would visit and provide support for him. Yet alas … Still a name a on a list, ask and you will not receive help. Yes a new HT was provided for us, and someone assigned to teach my son how to be a HT. But, nothing, nada, zippo. Crazy the only time I received phone calls from members was to clean the church Thanksgiving weekend. Yet again a name on a list. Seems like the people who are thought to not have family (single) always get the holidays. Any ward I’ve ever been in hasn’t missed me yet for a major holiday.

      When my son was questioned on Sunday about me possibly being offended (I had told the sister I felt no obligation to clean a chapel I had not been attending) and that she was sorry. He politely told her that I was fine and to not worry about it. Oh the lies our children are trained to tell for the sake of charity and forgiveness.
      I’ve promised my son I’d go back in January, new ward, new people, hopefully folks with the ability to accept others and welcome without judgement.

      I do miss church sometimes, but separating the hurt from doctrine is particularly hard for me.

  62. Laron
    April 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I admit I didn’t read ALL of the other comments before posting this, but I did not see anyone else who wanted to leave for years BEFORE a major crisis of faith. For years I thought the only thing keeping me around was my faith, because I can’t stand the culture. Inside Utah, outside Utah, overseas, whatever, the hierarchy, position worship, ladder climbers… I could go on, but there is no need. I could alienate friends and parents by leaving, and I could live with that, I’m usually the guy that has more non-member friends anyway, but with faith in the church gone, I stay because:
    1. I have not prepared my spouse yet to handle a coming-out without the risk of ending up like Tom Phillips, and I am not willing to lose her.
    2. On the day I had decided I couldn’t go on living a lie anymore. Dieter Uchtdorf pled with me to “stay a little while longer”. While I generally prefer to ignore the talks of the brethren, these words went through me like I had fallen through ice. It was a power I had never experienced before in nearly 40 years of trying to live a spiritual life. I’m not saying that I was convinced that the church is what it claims to be, or that anything else changed, but I firmly believe that I am supposed to stay, at least for a little while longer.

  63. Lisa
    April 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I stay’d because I was trying to save my marriage.
    I stay’d because my kids were happily active and now two on missions
    But I realized that my relationship with God had nothing to do with going to Church itself. I do believe in alot of the teachings and I know my kids are such good kids because of the church and its sense of community. I do not believe 100% in any one church. I will not say bad things about the church. They are not a cult! I believe everyone needs to know God and some people need religion to practice it. Let everyone find their place.
    I have since been seperated from my husband for a year. A wonderful year. It was tough for a bit because everyone thought I had lost it or become a heathen. But now I just dont care. Most people love to see me when I do go. I am no longer living someone elses way. I am a good person and hold tight to alot of the teachings but I am so FREE. We sometimes stay for others like if they are sick. But dont leave for another church. There is no perfect church. Just step away and Breathe and all that love you wil accept you for you…god does

  64. katedesigns
    May 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I left 10 years ago but, it was not easy.
    One my siblings who is still very active did not speak to me for years after I made the decision.She recently made contact with me by phone. During our conversation I kept talking about what was currently happening in my life and on the up and up.Just before our chat ended, this sibling had to make a point about “getting to know the folks in my ward.” Yep. The denial goes THAT deep. I did not remind her of my leaving. I did not comment about the church.I just told her how much I was enjoying the area I’d recently moved to and the people I’d gotten acquainted with.
    It is obvious that she is in so much pain over my decision that denial is the only way she can deal with my decision. Having mentioned this my decision was based upon diffences with the doctrine and nothing to do with her. I am sorry she is still hurting but, I have no regrets because I was being true to myself when I made the choice to leave.

  65. Becky
    June 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I agree with several of the comments. To briefly sumnarize, I stay because of the following:
    -Fear
    -Leaving would severely damage family relations (external and internal).
    -I teach my daughter’s Primary Class and can keep that focused on the Savior. My faith in the Savior has never waivered, and I love the Bible.

    But, I am curious, how do other people grin and bear-it when you are constantly exposed to concepts at church that you disagree with?

    • Mg
      June 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      I Just clench my throat and choke down the vomit. I stay because my wife would leave me and my 5 kids would be gone

  66. Ridley
    June 24, 2014 at 2:51 am

    I am probably considered inactive right now, but I stay because my world went to s*** when I left several years ago. Part were external factors and situations I ended up in, and part were the mental anguish and emptiness and abandonment I felt. Leaving then did not make me happy, and while I continue to rebel against Mormon culture and particularly the culture of young single adults, I have no reason to think that leaving now would make me happy.

    I stay now because I do believe in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. I do not believe this church is the only way for a person to achieve salvation, but I believe it is the right way for many. I do believe I won’t be complete without some measure of the church in my life. I do believe that Mormons are generally good, trustworthy people. I do believe I will have a happier marriage (eventually) with someone who is either Mormon or was raised Mormon and still feels some level of appreciation for it.

    I stay because my mother already has an inactive husband and son, and I don’t need to break her heart further. The core doctrine teaches the importance of family. I love my family and I want my family members to be happy. Staying in the church is not too high a price.

    I stay because I’m scared I won’t meet someone outside the church who is both good for me and who my mother approves of. Having mainly dated nonmembers, I realize now that my mother’s standards for my future husband are high and worth waiting and staying somewhat in the church for.

    Finally, I stay because, like a sibling I always love but don’t always like, I’ll defend the church against its critics, even if I feel the same way inside. I accept that the church is what it is, and while I don’t agree with everything, I know I’ll never renounce it.

  67. Shannon
    June 24, 2014 at 4:44 am

    I left for a few reasons. The main reason I left was because I don’t agree with some of the teachings. I believe that there is a lot of truth in the church, that there is good. I love that people are so dedicated to something that they 100% truely believe in. But… then again. Do they? Its an interesting culture, I won’t slam it because there is a part of me that will always love pieces of it. But- ultimately, I don’t believe in some of the teachings, and there for don’t go. I would be lying to myself and pretending to believe in something wholeheartedly if I was to continue going for the sake of everyone else involved. I love my family, I believe that there is a God, Im not sure about the rest of it.

  68. Bright
    September 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    It really feel great to know I’m learning with real people… See what I found today:
    http://www.mormonhandbook.com/home/book-of-mormon-translation.html

    I got baptised into the Mormon church as well.
    I already had been reading a lot so it was quite smooth, trusting my understanding will increase and find more truth.
    But something happened a day before my baptism. I asked the interviewer a question that was disturbing me. Celestial marriage.
    How do I convert and convince a lady outsider to join me, when the truth is that in case she dies early, I could seal another but if I did, she must stay single, so I meet her in glory? Will she have to find a widower to marry for ‘time’? What if she develops more love for him? Will the Church take care of her upkeep since members pay tithes ?
    So I wondered if marriage is central to Mormon exultation, which I haven’t met any mormon who desires it not, then it’s way too unfair. I felt really bad when he couldn’t answer. I got baptised anyway, but I discovered one thing : I will have to lie as well. A few clicks outside the books revealed that, my concern was nothing new, but yes, it’s not been answered. Of course it can’t be, because it’s totally false, and lacks common sense which is : if I love my wife so much that I stay with her eternally, it requires no programming ritual. True Love will take us there, so long as God knows our hearts desire.
    So much I have discovered makes my head ache. Celestial Marriage basically commits couples to the Church to ensure continued flow of tithing. It’s never to God.

  69. November 13, 2014 at 11:02 am

    WHY DO MEN REJECT CHRISTIANITY? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Why do people not believe that Christianity comes from God? Why do many who are raised in the church leave the faith?
    Why do many reject the terms for pardon under the New Covenant?

    Some believe the reason men reject the truth of Jesus and the facts of Bible is that church leaders have not proved that the Bible is true. They contend that if only church leaders would use the historical works found outside of Scripture, then men would believe the truth of Christianity.

    WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

    Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (NKJV)

    Faith cannot be proven by studying extra-Biblical historical records about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Faith proven is not faith.

    Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (NKJV)

    The gospel of Christ is the power to salvation. Extra-Biblical historical writings to not prove the gospel is true. You cannot prove faith.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-21 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…….21 it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (NKJV)

    God saves men through preaching the gospel. God did not use extra-Biblical historical writings to prove that the gospel was true.

    Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…(NKJV)

    Jesus did not tell the disciples to gather evidence outside of Scripture to prove that the gospel was true and then convince people of the gospel truth.

    Do people reject the truth of God, Christianity, and the Bible because church leaders fail to convince them by using the apologetics of extra-Biblical sources? No, they do not. You cannot prove faith nor force anyone to have faith.

    If men reject Jesus it is because they have not heard the gospel preached.

    If believers leaved the church it could be because of lack of Biblical preaching. Not the lack of extra-Biblical evidence.

    If men reject Jesus, God, and the truth found in Scripture it could be because they are not honestly seeking God.

    THE TRUTH IS OFFENSIVE TO THOSE WHO DO HAVE FAITH IN JESUS.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  70. Aaron
    December 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I was raised far outside of the Mormon Corridor and have no ancestral ties to the church, and I was raised in a small rural branch where my family was often treated with suspicion for not being locals. I saw siblings struggle with the church and some go inactive. I stayed, served a mission, and have always been an active and willing member.

    A few years ago I had a crisis. I was a counselor in a branch presidency, and I watched as the Branch President wrote himself and his family members many thousands of dollars in fast offering checks. We had no clerk, no other counselor, and a barely literate executive secretary (not for lack of available priesthood holders). As I saw this man mismanage nearly every responsibility he had I became despondent and angry. I began to see this pattern elsewhere. One young man came home from his mission and promptly got called to the stake high council because his dad was prominent in stake leadership, a new patriarch was called whose son just happened to be the stake president, a young man flunked out of his mission and got a stake calling before he could bounce because of family ties… I could go on. I have lost my faith (and not recovered it since) in priesthood leadership.

    But, I have had very real and very private spiritual experiences that anchored me. Oddly, I wanted to leave, and was angry (in a way) that I had had those experiences because it made it impossible for me to deny the faith and feel honest. I knew there was something there, but I knew there was something wrong. During my crisis I kept going to church, I kept paying tithing, and I kept serving where possible. We switched to a ward which was actually closer and much stronger.

    In time I have rebuilt my testimony, but it has taken a long time. Those spiritual experiences continue to anchor me. I know there are numerous policy and historical points that the church can be criticized for. I know it is hard to believe some of the doctrines the church puts out there. I guess, for me, I’ve made my peace with the weirdness of being Mormon and the inconsistencies in our past.

    But, as I said, I have no faith in inspired priesthood leadership. My own belief is that men are chosen by men, and then if God wishes he blesses them with wisdom and insight, but there is by no means a guarantee that such is automatically granted to priesthood leaders. Accepting that as fact – that priesthood leadership is not inspired, is the way I can salvage the rest of my faith and come to terms with all the weird things priesthood leaders have done, past and present. They are just men doing a job and hoping for the same grace I hope for with no greater promise to receive it than what I can hope for.

    • Rose Red
      December 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

      “I guess, for me, I’ve made my peace with the weirdness of being Mormon and the inconsistencies in our past.”

      Thank you for this… I know this is where I need to get to. At the core, there are good people, and they are joined by others who manipulate the system for personal gain and glory.

  71. Luke
    December 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    People of Mormonism listen to me please, as I read this I see many people in bondage. The Lord gives us free will to choose him “mormon church” does not. Rather there are repercussions for leaving. Jesus says to follow him is our choice but we will have to give up our old lives, the bible says mother will be against daughter, father again son, friend against friend, The Lord came not to bring peace but a sword dividing his sheep from the world, don’t let anything keep you in bondage of this cult. Maybe your leaving will encourage others in bondage to follow you out also. The bible days don’t listed to another gospel than he preached even if an angel from Heaven came down. Seek truth, pray to The Lord for wisdom, strength, freedom, truth, belief, love, his spirit, ….Mormonism preaches works and all about you, …the bible days less of you and more of him, you decrease as he increases, die to yourself and live for him. He is our focus nothing else !! Email me for guidance or prayer Luke_S_Hendrickson@yahoo.com

    • Calgary
      March 28, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      The LDS church doesnt teach what Book of Mormon teaches that salvation is free thru Jesus.

  72. Paul
    May 26, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I stay To one day rebaptize John. There is no evidence, nothing from God , nothing written by Jesus own hand , no commandments on stone written by the finger of God ,no golden plates, stone box, ark, ark of covenant,nothing . I’m a convert, served a mission, temple married, knew everything the church teaches until I read everything they don’t . That really depressed me and lost a lot of my respect for past leaders not having the conscience to teach the good and the ugly truth to the members of the church. As missionaries we converted many to the church and were attacked with false accusations about the church which I defended but now know some were true. I have had spiritual experiences that I can’t deny. I know God lives. The biggest reason is the hope that the sealing power is what Jesus said it was, to bind forever. There is nothing more important in church than the people you love, all else is suppose to help that love grow. God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son. Men really mess everything up given enough time.

    • Calgary
      March 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      I dont care about the controversy. So what if Smith used a hat to translate and was a womanizer? Why must everything be sugarcoated? This is mostly why i stopped going. Politically correct bs. Why not tell members the hard facts? So this is why many dont convert.

  73. Blahfunk
    October 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I am inactive and contemplating returning to the church thanks to the missionaries being sent to our house once the local branch discovered we had moved here, lol. The moral and social teaching are dead on (except for same sex marriage issues the church has). The family centered feeling is very warm and honestly, judgments were few and far between. I long to baptize my son who is the only one in our family that has not been.

    My issues, though are adherent to “free agency”:

    – Christ was a beautiful teacher; the first true hippy if you would. Is He THE son of God, like there are no other children of God? Um… no. Must we go through Him to get back to our Father in heaven? Wow… now that opens up a HUGE discussion with me that would take quite a bit of time to discuss and honestly, I don’t think I could ever truly share my beliefs to someone else about that. Maybe that is what Christ was doing? He had this perfect idea of the world and tried desperately to teach it to others before His time passed, but perfect understanding leads to bad communication. So, He did the best He can talking through euphemisms in the hopes that others would understand His true epiphanies.

    – Abstain from drinking. This is a big one for me. I am not a drinker like one would think. I drink for taste and I’ll have maybe a drink or two at the most when I do drink. I live in Kentucky, the land of bourbon. I buy $60+ bottles of bourbon and drink on them over 6 months give or take. I have some bottles I have not opened and don’t see any plans at this point in time to do so. Saving them for extremely special occasions like a wedding or a college graduation, a birth, etc etc etc. This is not (imho) what the WoW was talking about when speaking to abstain from drinking. It was a warning of the dangers that drinking causes, but if you are drinking for the taste (like the snob I am) then it isn’t what the WoW was talking about, or at least that’s my interpretation. The overall point of most of the WoW was this: don’t abuse drugs. Don’t use them for something they are not supposed to be used for. I use bourbon for the flavor. Is that abuse? The church would say so.

    – LGBT. Hey, I don’t have to speak much further on that subject. I see no issues w/same sex marriage nor the entire LGBT “community” for lack of a better word. I do not see their sexual preferences as being a sin and I believe they can make a family just as good as a heterosexual family.

    The middle point is the sticker, though. If I continue to do that then I am blocked from other rites in the church, namely that I won’t be able to baptize my son nor can I do any temple work, both of which I truly got something from. Anointments, laying of the hands, et al. The rituals of the church give solitude to me. They are rituals and we all get from them what we can. Most of the protestant religions missed that part and one doesn’t find any rituals meaning as much in them (imho). Maybe baptisms, but even then it doesn’t seem to have the same umph. GOD I love the rituals of the church.

    But if I have to sacrifice myself to be part of those rituals then I call bs. If I don’t view it as a sin then who is the church to judge me for it? Didn’t Jesus walk with sinners? Can’t I walk with what they perceive as sins? Let me walk my own path and don’t block me from rites just because of it.

    That’s my major point, and if I am blocked from them then I feel like some sort of blacksheep :/

    • Calgary
      March 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      I drink coffee if i want to. Drinking alcohol isnt a sin. Much of current church doctrine is about control. I suspect strongly why ive never had a calling since my baptism in 1995 is i havent paid enough. I may as well be excommunicated, as im not asked to do anything, so why attend? There is zero evidence for Temple attendance and tithe paying equalling salvation in Book of Mormon and the Bible, so the LDS church really doesnt have anything to offer than a few smiles and handshakes from nervous members on sundays. All in all an enormous waste of time. I can always read the Book of Mormon and pray on my own, and that doesnt require a cent.

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  75. Sam
    March 22, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I stay because I believe in the core doctrines of Jesus Christ. I stay because I want to be with my family. I’ve learned not to fuss over things that do not matter in my relationship with God. I have learned to do all that i can and not feel guilty if i dont do my HT every month or attend every ward activity, etc.I have questions and I don’t know all things. But I have hope that Christ will heal my sometimes uncomfortable soul.

    • Calgary
      March 28, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      I left because the idea of tithing and Temple attendance linked to salvation is nonsense. Attend the Temple if you want, but that wont save you. You cant earn it. Jesus only saves. My family isnt into it, ive never had a calling since 1995, may as well be excommunicated, and wont pay tithes as that is a ripoff. So i can read Book of Mormon and pray, on my own. All i get attending on sunday is smiles and handshakes from people that look angry or afraid.

    • August 17, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Book of Mormon:
      2 Nephi 31:
      21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

      Most if not all Christians recognize this quotation from the BoM as a very precise statement of the doctrine of the Trinity.

      Notwithstanding what is clearly written here in the BoM dictated as the most correct book on earth, Mormons will tell you that they don’t read it that way (they don’t read what is clearly written!!) … what they will tell you is that this quotation really says is “… which is one God in purpose.”

      Although the question has been asked many times, no Mormon has been able to show anything in the BoM or the Bible saying “… one in purpose …”.

      What this LDS position leads to is that there are, for Mormons, three separate divine beings … three almighty gods: if one is “all mighty” how can the other two also be “all mighty”?

  76. Calgary
    March 28, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I was baptized in 1995 as a grad student. Went inactive because after dating didnt find a woman with to start a family, and most of the women i had met i just wasnt feeling a connection. Still read the Book of Mormon all these years. Got active in January 2016, wife and daughter not into it. Stopped going Jan 2017. Why? I have never been asked to do anything in church. Zero callings, and people newer to the church are in leadership positions likely because they pay tithes? I have zero problems with early church history, controversy. Current church publications sound sappy and sugar coated to make the whole thing less controversial so mainstream members arent upset. What bs. I read the Book of Mormon, d & c, Bible, and always will, regardless of whether i attend church. There is zero evidence that attending the Temple and being a good tithe payer equals salvation in the Book of Mormon or the Bible. Christ already paid the price, so really there isnt any reason to attend ever again really, especially since im not ever asked to teach or do anything, except cleaning of the chapel on saturdays. Being a janitor for free is not a calling, sorry. So it isnt anything about the foundation of the LDS religion that is a problem, just that the majority of people running the church are idiots.

  77. May 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I am completely open and honest with everyone about what I believe. I think that the Book of Mormon was written by Sidney Rigdon. I have posted my reason here:
    whyisbryceodd.com
    I stay because it’s a part of me.

    • August 17, 2017 at 8:54 am

      More likely Joseph Smith, using a seer stone in a hat, assisted Oliver Cowdery. OC wasn’t a promoter of polygamy – which could account for the anti-polygamy parts of the BoM?

      The seer stone JS used was the same one he told folk he could find buried treasure with … except he never did find anything of value with it!!

      At times the “gold plates” weren’t even in the same room when the dictation was occurring. A quick calculation shows that the “gold plates” should have weighed some 200 lbs, although those who handled them claimed the weight was only 50 lbs. Unlikely farmers would mistake 50 lbs for 200 lbs … and how did wife Emma move 200 lds around for dusting and cleaning?

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