Why Mormons Leave and Why They Stay

25 December

‘Because I’m scared’… ‘I’ll lose too much’…11%…

crosses 3Yesterday I came across a website that reminded me of why I’m in ministry. Today I renewed my efforts to be more zealous in the call He’s laid upon my heart. Today I hit my knees and cried out to Him again to save my people, the Mormons.

 

All of this stemmed from someone liking an article we posted on our Facebook page and because the name of the visitor’s website intrigued me (Undercover Mormon Leader), I went to check out his site. He posts articles from various ministries, calls out the Church on their erroneous, clandestine history, and asks the Mormon community at large some hard questions – be sure to check it out! And please pray; for everyone involved.

On this guy’s FB page was a link for ‘Why Mormons Leave’ that I’m convinced every Mormon should read. That site was created by Open Stories Foundation and Mormon Stories Podcast. On their site they presented a survey, asking specific questions for Mormons and ex-Mormons alike. After the results came in they published the study and opened their format for discussion.

It gives great insight into the world of how and why people leave the Church and gives us reason to pause and reflect on why they stay.

The 11% I noted at the top of this article represents the percentage of Mormons who leave and become born-again Christians. The percentage of those who leave and become atheist is 4x greater than those who accept the Lord.

‘Because I’m scared’ is a quote from numerous people on the site who wrote in to explain why they stay in Mormonism.

‘I’ll lose too much’ is actually a synopsis of why the majority stay in the Church. Their reasons why ranged from losing jobs, families, and homes to missing the social climate of Mormonism.

While reading some of the responses I felt the old familiar heartache I’m too well acquainted with make another appearance. Living in Mormonism is so dismal and while there are some nice aspects to it, the bad far outweighs the good.

Being Scared

When I left Mormonism in the spring of ’93, I had two daughters who were still in diapers; the oldest was 26 months and the youngest was 5 months old. Life was crazy busy and filled with new experiences of the new God I was worshiping, trials and errors of being a new mom and going through the exodus process of leaving Mormonism.

The one thing that stands out to me even all these years later is the fear I experienced each day. My thoughts were engulfed by real and imagined threats because of my decision to leave.

At times  my thoughts bordered on the side of paranoia which caught me off guard because it didn’t reflect who I was then or now. One day unfounded panic took front and center stage and it took my 2 year old to snap me back into reality.

I was a stay-at-home mom and one afternoon an unexpected knock on the door threw me into unknown regions of dark spiritual warfare. I grabbed both kids and threw them into our shower in a small restroom. I stood there with the door locked tight and waited.

After a few minutes my oldest daughter asked why we were hiding in the shower and her sweet little voice jarred me back into reality. As it turned out, the knock on our door was from the milkman wanting to know if we’d like to have a larger bin for our milk order each week. It was an insane way to live and not being a mature Christian, I fell for Satan’s trickery.

Losing Too Much

I lost a lot when I became a Christian. Aside from two or three people, I lost my entire family and all but two or three friends I held near and dear to my heart. I lost all family ties, a significant inheritance, and the ‘unconditional’ love I thought I had from my parents…

And yet in the overall scheme of things, I was blessed. My husband didn’t leave, I didn’t lose my home or children, and while the death threats were scary, I didn’t lose my life.

The majority of Mormons who leave will face opposition on some level. Depending on where they live, how long they were in Mormonism, how many generations they came out of, their level of activity, etc.; these things and more play an integral part of the opposition and spiritual warfare all ex-Mormons go through. It’s something every Mormon will need to come face to face with. Is it going to be Jesus or Joseph?

Death threats are a rare occurrence when Mormons leave the fold. Not everyone experiences the level of animosity from family members that I did. The threats I still receive today are a result of my work in ministry and not from personal family issues.

Life After Mormonism

As you grow in Christ, the Lord is at the forefront of thought life, not people around you. You learn a new normal, if you will, and incorporate new traditions with a spouse, kids and friends. You become a new creature in Christ as Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 5:17, and settle into the peace Jesus promised us in John 14:27.

The first time I read Philippians 3:8 I received another confirmation from the Lord I had done the right thing.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”.

Indeed, what I ‘lost’ is nothing compared to who He is. As Christmas is upon us, I can’t help but think of the carol ‘O Holy Night’. As the song says, all I can do is fall on my knees in awe for who He is. Christianity is about Jesus, not you, not me and not a church.

When you’re on the inside of Mormonism looking out, it’s hard to imagine Jesus will give you more friends than you had before, but the blessings He showers on believers can’t be compared!

The survey results on the website I mentioned are a sad reminder of the trouble we find when we don’t follow the true Jesus of the Bible. It’s difficult to say whether the eleven percent is a true reflection of all ex-Mormons, we pray that it’s not as our experience at the ministry has shown otherwise.

Please, pray for those who don’t know Christ and Him crucified won’t you? Pray that as they read the account of the babe in the manger, they’ll be prompted to look beyond that glorious night God came down in human flesh.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18

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