0704-01 GCS April 2007

BYU General Campus Scenics

View from JFSB Patio, Bell Tower and Provo Temple, Spring

April 6, 2007

Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU

Copyright BYU Photo 2007
All Rights Reserved 
photo@byu.edu  (801)422-7322

I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believe as I please, it feels so good not to be trammeled. It don’t prove that a man is not a good man, because he errs in doctrine.” – Joseph Smith Jr. The Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 183-184

When I think about students getting kicked out of BYU for losing their faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel sick to my stomach. That’s not a metaphor—I feel legitimately nauseous thinking that a school that claims to promote morality and Christ-like love can be so very cruel.

I assume, for the sake of giving BYU administrators (or church leaders or whoever makes these kinds of decisions) the benefit of the doubt, that they simply do not understand the absolute torture that one often experiences when doubting their faith. So let me try and spell it out for you, BYU.

People like me, who lost faith despite a lifetime of devotion to the gospel, didn’t seek out anything negative about the church. I, for example, began my journey by wondering, “Is it really true that the prophet can’t lead us astray? What about the things Brigham Young taught, like blood atonement and the sinfulness of eternal marriage?” (As documented in the church’s own books and records.)

So I studied. A lot. I read everything I could make time for about church leaders, past and present—through LDS.org, church-approved history, and resources like the Journal of Discourses. I read the church’s controversial gospel topics essays. I read FAIR Mormon looking for ways to justify and rationalize the horrible things I could read right there in church-“allowed” material. My mental gymnastics became more and more complicated as I determined that I would find a way to retain faith no matter what it took, and as my beliefs were forced to contort and bend, so did my emotional wellbeing. I became broken.

I could go on and on and on about just how awful this process was, but there are other posts on this site that do that well, so let me just talk about the aftermath for a bit.

When I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet anymore, I told no one for about a month. I didn’t want to hurt people close to me, and I was terrified of how they’d react. I silently suffered, kept my mouth shut, and maintained the pretense of being a faithful member of the church. I continued doing everything I was “supposed” to do, all while masking the most excruciating inner turmoil I’d ever experienced.

There are others I know who stay silent for considerably longer than a month—sometimes years, and even decades. They go through life with zero testimony, despite wanting one with all their heart. And they don’t tell anyone, because they are so. Afraid.

My best friend had panic attacks at work when he lost his testimony. I watched him suffer after having also watched him try harder in the gospel than anyone I had ever known. My husband sobbed—legitimately sobbed—for three days straight, traumatized at the idea of having to admit to his family that he didn’t believe in the religion he was raised in anymore, despite his best efforts to always do the right thing. I still cry about it occasionally, despite being in a much happier place than I was a few months ago—because people I love think I’m a bad person for trying my best and getting a different answer than they got seemingly without trying. (When compared to the hellish study and desperate seeking I went through.)

So, BYU, when I imagine going through that experience with the added fear of getting kicked out of my degree program and losing my job and my housing, I truly wonder how people cope. I wonder, in the gravest, saddest way, if I would have coped. Because what I experienced felt like my limit. No, it felt greater than my limit. No words can do justice to what it feels like to have your entire belief system crumble through no fault of your own—to watch it crumble because of how much you cared about it to begin with.

When you operate under the premise that you are the One True Church, and The Single Best Way To Live, you often encounter limits to your compassion, whether you realize it or not. The current policy of kicking out BYU students who lose faith, regardless of if they broke any rules or how hard they tried, is evidence of that. So I would ask you, BYU, to search your heart for at least a desire to understand these tortured students, who are already in an intensely vulnerable and broken place. They’re already losing what probably feels like their lives. Don’t add to their misery. Don’t blackmail your students. You can’t always force belief, so don’t coerce them into lying—that’s not what you stand for. I would hope.



Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • JD

    Thank you so much for putting my feelings into words.

  • Richard R. Lyman

    The publicans were seen as traitors to Judaism. Yet Jesus offered more compassion to them than to the smug Pharisees and all their outward righteousness. Who would Mormons consider the least among them if not ex-members? What then of Jesus’ statement that “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me?”

    “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

  • Roy

    I seek for clarification. In the Mormon Stories podcast it seemed like you felt that Mormonism provided an upbringing that was “better than most” and that it at least had an equal/better chance of being true than Scientology. Why then expend the energy to debunk Mormonism? If the church could be compared to Santa Clause – how much time would you devote to convincing the rabid Santa supporters that the jolly old man just isn’t real? I sympathize with your faith journey and just want to better understand your thought process. Thank you.

    • Nathan Fife

      I don’t know all the motivations of Zelph but personally, I know that it is really hard to go through a faith crisis. It normally isn’t that hard to stop believing in Santa Claus. Imagine if Santa Claus was not just a simple story. Imagine it was a group on the north pole giving rules about what is “naughty” and “nice” and your will be blessed on Christmas with gifts for complying. You spend every day thinking about what Santa wants for you, how to make Santa happy. For years it is the core of your life. Your friends have Facebook groups about how to follow Santa. You spend years of your life trying to convince others that Santa is real! You know that Santa loves you because you are so committed to his cause!
      Then, one day you realize that Santa is not what he said he was. He isn’t magical and the gifts are actually just bought with a portion of the money you donate to your Santa support groups.
      You now see that you have been living a lie. Maybe you were doing good things but the reason was to “make Santa proud”. You feel tricked and deeply decieved.
      You realized you spent years if your like dwelling and ponderizing on Santa. Everyday you made all your choices based on what would make Santa happy. You spent years trying to convince others to see how great Santa is! You spent tens of thousands of your money supporting the Santa comunnity!
      It turns out that Santa has no power and it is just an organization/company. The magic is gone. You were just another person believing a lie.
      So yeah, going through that, having your entire belief system tourn down is hard. Anger and sadness start. But later you feel happy and free. You are glad you are out if the delution and want to help others who are willing, see what you have seen.
      Mormonism makes good people, I try to focus on the good that came from it for me. But it makes sense that people leave and talk about why they did it when they find out it’s just another Santa Claus.
      Especially when all your friends and family force you to constantly defend your choice! 🙂
      I typed this on my phone, so sorry if there are spelling errors and such 🙂

      • Roy

        Thank you k_space and Nathan.
        I agree that Mormonism can be devastating for some groups and individuals.
        I do worry however that the approach that Zelph on the Shelf is taking will not change the church. It will not build bridges or help to create any policy changes.
        Could there not be a more moderate approach that would honor and respect those that wish to continue in the faith while also advocating for increased understanding and respect for those that leave?
        If there is a more appropriate place to have this conversation I will happily be redirected.

        • Nathan Fife

          Yeah, I get that. I think the issue is that there are two groups. The first is the active and faithful LDS, most of whom get scared and defensive when they are presented with anything that could shine a negative light on the church. The “Church” (a very broad thing) is true, so ANYTHING that is not positive about the church must be wrong. Or at least that is the feeling that many in the church have.
          The second group is people who have left after opening up to the new ideas and often feel betrayed and sometimes angry. Some make a strong effort to try and keep that down and explain their views in as kind and loving a manner as possible and some do decently well.
          Here is the kicker… ANYTHING that is not positive about the church on some level means the church is not true. I know that is not the way we explain in in church but that is how people really feel. As soon as a church policy is discussed, people feel bad don’t like it. Nobody wants to hear that Uchtdorf may have said something that offended anyone, and in the member’s mind, the person who was offended is at fault. No matter what. Period.
          This is not exactly the open minded mentality that you want to bring to a discussion.
          I have no idea what the solution is, but LDS members have a deep commitment to their faith. That is a large part of what makes it so rewarding. Because that commitment is so deep, so literal and so absolute there leaves very little room for discussion.
          Anything, no matter how it is presented, if it is not positive will be offensive to most members. That is just how it is.
          Maybe there is a person out there capable of bridging that social gap, but it is very hard.

          I don’t know what the solution is, how to two groups so tightly wound and so fundamentally opposed talk about their differences? It is a tough one for sure =)

          • Roy

            Thanks again for your respectful replies. I know that many venerate the church and church leaders as near infallible. I try to avoid such individuals because such black and white conversations are usually frustrating and counter productive for me. I take comfort and courage that it has now been said in conference multiple times that mistakes and poor choices are made at all levels of the church.

            “And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine. DFU 2013”

            Ultimately, I hope for big tent Mormonism. I hope for the freedom to apply the ideas and principles that I find to be of value and ignore what to me is of no use. Yes, this requires a thick skin as some will always think that my cafeteria approach is substandard.

            I suppose I am in more or less the same boat as commenter Jaime Leavitt who wrote “If the church is going to hold on to it’s #1 resource (i.e. the amazing people that fill its pews), then it is going to have to adapt to a spectrum of beliefs within its membership. There has to be room for, “I don’t know” and “I hope so” or “I’m working on that” and even “probably not.””
            We all take our journeys one step at a time. May you all have peace and eventual fulfillment on yours.

          • k_space

            I think that the church fundamentally cannot be a big tent church. I don’t think you can be such a church with exclusive truth claims, and if you take away the truth claims, (like for example a literal BoM and the prophethood of joseph smith), the logic of the doctrine starts to unravel.

            best of luck

        • k_space

          The “all true or none true” and “don’t criticize your priesthood leaders” rhetoric makes that hard. When I was at BYUI, it was next to impossible to have a conversation about changing the rules because most student’s first response was “well just be obedient,” or “the school is run by apostles, therefore the policy must be right and you are wrong.”

          I think my experience is pretty representative of what its like trying to have your voice heard in the church. Disagreeing with the church in a faithful way is hard, and its really difficult to get support from other members.

      • George D. Watt

        Best Santa/church metaphor EVER! (Applause) This BYU policy is really a modern Spanish Inquisition. My niece was threatened with expulsion from BYU Idaho if she didn’t accept a Relief Society president position. So much for free agency…

    • k_space

      I don’t speak for Zelph either, but here is my thoughts.

      I think its a good thing to end the cultural silence on important, non faith inspiring issues. Get things in the open as much as possible and allow people to make educated decisions about what they believe.

      No one is builds their world view and lifestyle on the existence of santa, so it doesn’t warrant much attention. Many people build their lives around mormonism, in fact you kind of have to to be an active member. If you fit the cultural mold, it can be a rewarding church to belong to. If not, it can be soul-crushing.

      If people are going to base their life around the LDS church, I feel like they should know all information that supports or refutes its truth claims. Because if its truth claims are right, how can it be harmful to know more about it?

  • Jamie Leavitt

    Amen! I attended byu, drink my herbal tea from a byu mug and have the byu license plate. I’ve never been ashamed of it until now. ..I am an active, card-carrying member of our church and I find this policy hateful at best. What. The. Hell.

    I signed the petition to change the policy. Prayers and support for those who are brave enough to honestly own their questions of faith with that level of coercion and homogenous social strata! It is more than I could have done.

    Romans 1:16 says to not be ashamed of the gospel of christ. To that, I can say a hearty amen! But of this church, I can’t even hold my head high any more. I can barely make eye contact with it. Of it, I am truly ashamed.

    • Loran

      “I am an active, card-carrying member of our church”

      “Card-carrying?”

      • Jamie Leavitt

        I meant it both literally and metaphorically. I go to the temple, show up every Sunday, wear the right underpants. ..ya know, the standard issue mo

      • k_space

        you know, a temple recommend. Its funny that TBMs are literally card carrying.

        Although now that I am thinking about it, I am also a card carrying mormon since mine is still in my wallet and hasn’t expired yet.

  • Loran

    “When I think about students getting kicked out of BYU for losing
    their faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel
    sick to my stomach. That’s not a metaphor—I feel legitimately nauseous
    thinking that a school that claims to promote morality and Christ-like
    love can be so very cruel.

    Perhaps BYU should also abandon grades as well, as if one core standard is going to be compromised at a private university with a distinct and clear religious as well as academic mission, Why stop at only this one? I think we should make no
    mistake: this has nothing to do with “cruelty” (oh please), but with BYU allowing those who have apostatized from the church to set down roots at BYU and colonize its campus life and influence its standards. This is a part of the NOM long march through the Church’s institutions and, if possible, through the church itself.

    “I assume, for the sake of giving BYU administrators (or church leaders or whoever makes these kinds of decisions) the benefit of the doubt, that they simply do not
    understand the absolute torture that one often experiences when doubting
    their faith. So let me try and spell it out for you, BYU.”

    All well and good, but irrelevant. BYU’s standards are clear and openly espoused, and all students entering the Y agree to them openly and of their own free will. The reasons one perceives oneself to have doubted or undergone a “faith crisis” may be interesting from a psychological orphilosophical point of view, but from the view of this school’s standards it is the behavior that matters, not the “absolute torture”
    one claims to have undergone in arriving at that (self-determined) point.

    Now, let’s begin the standard progressive exit narrative:

    “People like me, who lost faith despite a lifetime of devotion to the
    gospel, didn’t seek out anything negative about the church. I, for
    example, began my journey by wondering, “Is it really true that the
    prophet can’t lead us astray?”

    I started asking similar questions too, long ago. Why the difference between us?

    “What about the things Brigham Young taught, like blood atonement”

    19th century anti-Mormon mythology, long debunked.

    “and the sinfulness of eternal marriage?”

    Eternal marriage is sinful? Anybody know what she’s talking about here, or is this a typo of some kind?

    “So I studied. A lot.”

    So have I – a lot. Why the difference between us now?

    “I read everything I could make time for about church leaders, past and present—through LDS.org, church-approved history, and resources like the Journal of Discourses.”

    So have I – a lot.

    “I read the church’s controversial gospel topics essays. I read FAIR
    Mormon looking for ways to justify and rationalize the horrible things I
    could read right there in church-“allowed” material.”

    Zina seems to have dropped her mask here. Notice it? She began by saying that
    she “didn’t seek out anything negative about the church” in the beginning, but in retrospect, FAIR’s primary mission, in her mind, was to “justify and rationalize” horrible attitudes, doctrines, and practices. If Zina had already determined in her mind that much of the church was “horrible,” the point of going much further in one’s researchbecomes hazy? Does one continue in good faith with an open mind, or just to solidify what one has already concluded?

    “My mental gymnastics became more and more complicated as I determined that I wouldfind a way to retain faith no matter what it took, and as my beliefs were forced to contort and bend, so did my emotional wellbeing. I became broken.”

    And hence, of course, “recovery” from Mormonism.

    “When I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet anymore,”

    I’ve studied, pondered, dissected, analyzed, and hashed through all the same issues you have, Zina (and probably much more) and yet here I am. I was broken too (and still am, in some very salient ways), by my firstmarriage and by addiction, but here I am, defending the church and testifying of its divine sanction and truth. Why the difference between us?

    Now please notice what we have below, which is a significantly Oprahfied version of what otherwise be a straightforward exit narrative detailing the reasons and internal perceptions of the process of doubt leading to separation from the church. But now the tears begin to flow and the violins cry in the night as the sole focus becomes (as with virtually all homosexual “coming out” narratives) the internal emotional torment and psychological anguish of the individual psyche undergoing the faith transition. Other family members devastatedby such a decision are invisible. BYU standards regarding members and their honoring of their faith while at the school disappears in a puff of wailing melodrama. We are no longer mere receivers of an exit narrative, but spectators for a therapeutic psychological cleansing through public confession – the core of the historic daytime talk show genre.

    At the center is the writhing, tormented self, perhaps interesting in its own way, but bereft of the underlying principles at the root of BYU as a church school with a combined spiritual and academic mission, cut loose from context and the panoramic background against which such torments are played out.

    Zina continues her descent into the lower circles of Hell:

    “I told no one for about a month. I didn’t want to hurt people close to
    me, and I was terrified of how they’d react. I silently suffered, kept my mouth shut, and maintained the pretense of being a faithful member ofthe church. I continued doing everything I was “supposed” to do, all while masking the most excruciating inner turmoil I’d ever experienced.

    There are others I know who stay silent for considerably longer than a
    month—sometimes years, and even decades. They go through life with zero
    testimony, despite wanting one with all their heart. And they don’t tell
    anyone, because they are so. Afraid.

    My best friend had panic attacks at work when he lost his testimony. I watched him suffer after having also watched him try harder in the gospel than anyone I had ever
    known. My husband sobbed—legitimately sobbed—for three days straight,
    traumatized at the idea of having to admit to his family that he didn’t believe in the religion he was raised in anymore, despite his best efforts to always do the rightthing. I still cry about it occasionally,despite being in a much happier place than I was a few months ago—because people I love think I’m a bad person for trying my best and
    getting a different answer than they got seemingly without trying. (When compared to the hellish study and desperate seeking I went through.)”

    By now, dear reader, it should be excruciatingly obvious what the core purpose and meaning of all of this is intended to be. Zina, and many ofthose like here, are VICTIMS. They are victims of a church that falsified itself and its history. They are victims of family members who try to call them to repentance and move them back towards the gospel, intensifying their pain and anger. They are victims of LDS
    apologetics, apologists, FARMS, FAIR, and other similar entities that continue to defend the horrors and lies of what was once a worldview now shattered.

    This dynamic, of course, casts LDS apologists, ward members, friends, and even family members as essentially tormentors and oppressors, their own pain and existential suffering in seeing a loved one cast away his eternal potential swallowed up in the self-concentrated anguish of the doubter, the dissident, the “faith crisis.” But now we come to the real crux.

    …it felt greater than my limit. No words can do justice to what it feels like to have
    your entire belief system crumble through no fault of your own—to watch
    it crumble because of how much you cared about it to begin with.”

    “No fault of your own”? But it is precisely the case that one’s faith and, especially testimony, never crumble in any other way. As the Gospel of Philip tells us so poignantly:

    “Those who have gone astray, whom the spirit begets, usually go astray also because of the Spirit. Thus, by one and the same breath, the fire blazes and is put
    out.”

    • Jamie Leavitt

      You obviously have a lot of passion for this subject, and that’s cool. You’re obviously a man on a mission. But you asked her a question that I’d like you to answer as well- Why the difference? You say you have studied and read as much as she has and have reached a different conclusion. Why do you think there’s a difference in your conclusions?

      I guess that’s the question I have for all of this. There are so many good members of the church, who when confronted with our unsavory bits, have a transition of faith- whether it makes their belief stronger, disenchants them, rushes them into their arms of their stake president, etc- there is some unarguable change within then. You’re starting with the same subject- a good, worthy, god-fearing member of the church. Applying the same stimuli- an education in our history and controversy. Yet, there is an absolute spectrum of outcomes available. And not simply belief or disbelief- there is a cornucopia of belief choices.

      If your faith has transitioned into something even more faithful and steeled after confronting these issues, great for you. But if the church is going to hold on to it’s #1 resource (i.e. the amazing people that fill its pews), then it is going to have to adapt to a spectrum of beliefs within its membership. There has to be room for, “I don’t know” and “I hope so” or “I’m working on that” and even “probably not.”

      President David O. McKay once asked a rhetorical question that we should probably consider again- what is the least someone has to believe to be considered Mormon? Is there room in the pews for someone with belief in good but not God? Is there room for a belief in Jesus but not Joseph? If we go into camps of anti vs. staunch supporter, what have we accomplished for each other? All we’ve done is increased the dialogue which supports the conclusion of the next person suffering in a faith transition- that there is no room for them in the proverbial Mormon inn.

      This relates to BYU because its mission isn’t solely academic. As a Cougar alum, I’m aware there is a mission to the university higher than that of degrees and academics. If our faith is true, then it need not fear a student deciding it is not true for them. If it is true, then the student should stay, be fellowshipped, shown the good in the church and in people. We send thousands of missionaries out but cast out our own at their first question. We can’t survive these kinds of policies- no matter where you land on the spectrum. For the doubter, it removes them from resources to answer their questions and labels them as an outsider. For the anti, it is fuel on the fire. For the believer, it shrinks our numbers, creates homogeneous culture, and takes us away from the opportunity to help those who need us. It’s bad for all of us.

      • Jamie Leavitt

        Oh, and I’ve read your other comments. I’m not expecting a productive conversation because you’re pretty clear on your beliefs and opinions on the church’s truth claim. I’m sure you’d be happy to burn everyone else down to the ground with the strength of your righteous fire, but I’m looking for constructive ideas on how we build a community of faith when there are increasing levels and complexity in the Mormon faith narrative. I’m not looking for an argument

    • ozfan2013

      Gospel of Philip? So I assume your own questioning process caused a rebirth as a Gnostic-style Mormon?

    • Elizabeth

      Oh, the irony. You belittle the painful experiences of others (“But now the tears begin to flow and the violins cry in the night as the sole focus becomes (as with virtually all homosexual “coming out” narratives) the internal emotional torment and psychological anguish of the individual psyche undergoing the faith transition.”) simply because you don’t understand it, say that ones self is to blame for losing faith in a church that has deceived them their entire life (“But it is precisely the case that one’s faith and, especially testimony, never crumble in any other way.”), and then mention how members get cast as tormentors and oppressors. No, Loran, people like you cast yourselves in that role. Good job making yourself look like the ass you are. I’ll drink a beer and enjoy not being brainwashed for you.

    • Elizabeth

      P.S. None of us are the victims anymore, because we were intelligent enough to use reason and logic to figure out the truth, instead of willfully being ignorant like yourself. You’re the one who’s a victim of an oppressive, manipulative organization. Must suck being so small minded.
      P.P.S. You might want to work on being more Christ-like. You kind of suck at it.

    • Kay

      I am an outsider (nevermo) looking in. I found interest in reading your post until that unnecessary barb against homosexuals. Your words drip with contempt. Is this the light of Christ?

    • Mormon Gadfly

      Before anyone grows too upset by this reply, Loran, let me tell them why you are the way you are. Early on, Loran made some huge mistakes, and he got in over his head. Right, Loran? You had that addiction problem, that first marriage. Those are some rather life-altering experiences, and no doubt it shaped in a large way how people probably see you to this day. You lost control, and worse, you got scared. There was a point in time during all this, I bet, when you had the chance to be a man, pick yourself up, and learn a little something about yourself. It was in there once. I know that. But you didn’t, maybe you didn’t know the courage to even consider it, and if you ever had any sense of yourself before all this… well, you chose the easy way out, and depended yet again on someone besides yourself to give you that thing which I don’t think you have ever had. Can you say what that is, Loran? Or is it just an emptiness that you the Church helped convince you is filled…? I think they have you right where they want, Loran. I think you happened to fuck up big pretty fast. That isn’t why I feel sad for you. We all have those times in life. Why I think you are a sad excuse for a man is that I don’t think Loran the man was ever found. I think people like you would rather be told what to do because while you won’t let it on, you’re scared Loran. The Church and the ones still close to you are willing to play along with the nice delusion you got set up when so long as you stay as weak as you are today. Because you don’t want to go back to when Loran was in charge. Well, pal, you never had the chance to be in charge, and now your life is this. So I get why you have a vested interest in the Church, just like all those other kids who learn to feel good about themselves as long as everyone else pretends to respect you too. All I can say guys is that Loran here does genuinely feel good about himself when he stands up for the Church because he was emasculated a long time ago. He is afraid to death after burning his hand on the stove, so he let him be. He may actually believe that the people around him can’t see it as clearly as me, and that is probably what he needs to rid all that fear in him.

    • Brian Kohrman

      Hi, Loran,
      You asked a rhetorical question sevaral times, and I’d like to hear your answer to it. Why the difference between you and Zina? What do you believe the causes are of your opposite outcomes?

  • Arwen Undomiel

    Discovering the truth about the mormon church is heart breaking. It’s mentally, physical and emotional taxing. I can’t imagine how many of us end in therapists offices trying to recover and go through what therapists in Utah now call: ” Religious Transition.” Yeah, it is more like a ” religious slap on the face.” It’s the price we pay for opening our eyes to the truth. It’s so disgusting that to add you have to add the stress of losing your job, not being able to study and more.

    Mormon church leaders have lost all ability to see things as they are. They have lost all inspiration. This is the only way to explain why these men have “these policies” And why they find nothing wrong with it. They have no shame or remorse and even claim they have the right to do this because BYU is a private school. You don’t need to be a prophet to know this is wrong. But we all know that mormon leaders ” have nothing to apologize for.” I hope the other speakers take the opportunity to stand up for what is right and cancel their talks too.

  • Mumble Stumbles

    I’m amazed, but then I’m not once I think about it, why believers cannot leave their dissenters alone. Heaven knows if there was only one thing in the universe and two people with different brains, they’re going to have a disagreement about it.

    You feel threatened by us. You impute pure malice to us to preemptive dismiss our point of view. What you really what want is to defend your precious testimony against something you do not understand. You are the ones turning on your own, not the us. The unbeliever in question, in an instant, could be your mother, your brother, your father, your child, or your closest friend.

    Behold, “the apostates” are not the nameless, faceless Enemy that you have been taught about your whole life. We are not possessed by the devil, only by reason and a view of the evidence an honest mind cannot dismiss lightly.

    We do not irrationally hate you, but we might feel betrayed if those we thought to be our closest friends suddenly turn on us instead of trying to understand. We do not want to destroy the church ad much as we want to end it’s more abusive practices and wicked preachments that our loved ones are still prey to.

    We would leave you alone. It’s hard to leave all you know and accept that your family glands nothing to do with you or “the path” you have chosen. It’s hard to watch a mother grieve because she feels like a failure over something she never had power over to begin with: your beliefs! It’s hard to have yiurbrelationships withdraw from you, who couldn’t tell there was “darkness in your eyes” until after you told them your feelings (some power of discernment, by the way).

    It’s hard to listen to a bunch of millionaire “apostles” tell your family to mark you and avoid you, as if you were the one with a billion-dollar PR department that staged fair speeches every 6 months to hold them captivated to an organization that demands everything of them: their time, money, love — even if they have to give it at the expense of their feelings for you, the apostate.

    We only stopped believijg because we thought for ourselves: something you seem think the world is better off with less of. The Brethren say thinking is ok, as long as it ends in obedience to them and never leaves either. Make the church a place worth staying. Don’t chase after your dissenters on a highly preemptive smear campaign. You’re supposed to Christ’s true church. Fucking act like it. No one should have to stay if you fail to provide them with the church of Jesus Christ as advertised.

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