My Story

I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why People Leave Podcast

I recently listened to the podcast titled "Why People Leave the LDS Church and what [you] can do about it".

If you are like me and have left the LDS church, I think you will enjoy this podcast simply because it's refreshing to hear an active member of the LDS church recognize and validate the concerns of so many post/ex mormons. If you are an active LDS member, then this podcast may give you a better understanding of why so many people leave the church.

I thought that Mr. Dehlin did a pretty good job of covering many of the issues people have with the church but I found myself disagreeing with several of his summary statements at the end.

One of his main summarizing points was that LDS people struggling with their faith can still find a way to be Mormon on their own terms by not worrying about the stuff they disagree with or find offensive. However, this goes against some of the rather recent teachings of the LDS church. In the April 2003 Priesthood session, Gordon B. Hinkley said "Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing."

Mr. Dehlin counters by saying to forget about "true" and replace it with "good". He says that if the LDS church brings you joy then to not worry about all the discrepancies and just enjoy being part of the good. Unfortunately he does not address the possibility that the church does not always bring happiness and joy to everyone. It is hard for me to see the church's stance on Women's roles as good, or their racist history concerning blacks in the priesthood as good or even their current standing on Proposition 8 in California and their soliciting of funds to support this political issue as good. Certainly there are many parts of the LDS faith that are, indeed, very good, but for me they do not outweigh the many problems of the LDS Church that make it not only untrue, but also, not so good.

He also mentions that no church or organization is perfect and that if we based every relationship or affiliation on its "perfectness" that we wouldn't be part of anything. This wouldn't be so hard for me to accept if the LDS church did not claim to be "the true Church, the only true Church".
Further the LDS people are promised that "The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray" and that the prophets words should be considered scripture. A church that makes these kinds of promises and claims makes it difficult to accept the many flaws and problems with prophets like Brigham Young and Joseph Smith and the current stances of the LDS church and presidency.

Anyway, for all you Mormon's and ex/post mormons out there, I hope you will find this podcast at the very least interesting and hopefully useful. Dehlin's main points of loving those that have left the church and understanding and accepting their new beliefs promotes a Christ-like love that is sometimes hard to find for many post Mormons in their LDS communities.


Jay said...

I remember the conference you are talking about. The quote was given either in April or October Conference of 2004, I'm guessing October.

Jay said...

One major talk was given by Pres Hinckley in April 2003, "Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing." There are other quotes recurring in different talks about how we can't pick and choose which commandments to follow.

Just J said...

Thanks Jay! That was exactly the one I was thinking of.

Cyclingred said...

Interestingly we talk about how our Latter Day prophets are just like the prophets of old. We accept and acknowledge the old testament prophets warts and all. But if you see warts on the latter day prophets you are an apostate. :)

RBK's Realm said...

As a Hindu whose religion is more a philosophy and beliefs that have evolved into a way of life over thousands of years, I am finding your analysis fascinating and very educational!

I want to commend you for your honesty. There are very few folks who have courage to go against the establishment and stand up for what they believe in...

musicgirljen said...

Kind of belated response, sorry... I couldn't access the link, but I assume it's the same one I recently posted on my blog. He really does do a good job with his summary. And I have to admit that I was wondering for a while if I could follow his suggestion to "be Mormon on my own terms", but I came to pretty much the same conclusions you did. Not only is it not true, but it's not necessarily even good, and there is no real way to be a Mormon on your own terms. Other religions, maybe - Mormon, no.