“Some people think truth is more important than loyalty to a tradition.”

About a year ago news headlines announced that vast numbers of Mormons were leaving the Mormon Church. While that is perhaps considered old news today, for Mormons who are struggling with their faith it is very relevant. This 9-minute video, “Leaving Mormonism,” looks at some of the struggles and triumphs of Mormons who asked themselves some hard questions and, surprisingly, found peace in the answers.

Leaving Mormonism from Andy Poland on Vimeo.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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18 Responses to “Some people think truth is more important than loyalty to a tradition.”

  1. falcon says:

    Let’s face it right off the top, the religious system of Mormonism is a hassle. There is just a small segment of those interested in spiritual things that are going to invest themselves in compliance to rules, regulations, and rituals. Of the five million who can be defined as “active”, how many are full-blown temple Mormons. My guess is that it isn’t probably even as high as 25%. The culture of Mormonism is also about control and there aren’t that many people who are interested in having an organization control their lives.
    But this is just one facet of the entire picture. The rest deals with people pulling back the veil of understanding and seeing clearly the history of the LDS church and the veracity of the claims that make up the narrative of Joseph Smith. Investigating these claims is quite easy now days as far as accessing information.
    Once Mormons lose their testimony of Joseph Smith it’s really all over. If their faith in him is maintained they can develop all kinds of rationale and excuses to discount the facts. But if he’s not a prophet of God, then the rest of the house of cards collapses. Mormonism can’t stand without Joseph Smith. Take him out of the equation and you remove the inventor or the religion.
    Christianity is built on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ. We don’t depend on the witness or testimony of a man. As the Apostle Paul said, he had received a revelation of Jesus Christ. Each of us who comes to faith in Jesus have a similar testimony. We sensed our hopelessness in sin. God removed the penalty for sin as we repented and confessed our faith in the Savior. We are saved by grace through faith and not works that any of us can boast. Christ paid the price for our sins once and for all. There is nothing that can be added to it. Having been justified by faith, we are sanctified by the Living Word and walk in a newness of life.

  2. Kate says:

    “In 2007, 70,000 people left the church”

    I would like to see numbers every year since then. I would imagine that this 70,000 were members who sent in resignation letters. This number was probably higher as some LDS don’t think they need to resign, that the membership means nothing to them, and they just walk away. I have a cousin who did this years ago. She’s a Christian, but never removed her LDS membership. I knew the LDS church had low convert retention but I didn’t know it was that low. The church is shrinking.
    The man at the end who said he just “cried out to Jesus” was really touching. It’s true, that’s all one really needs to do. That is too simple for a Mormon.

  3. falcon says:

    I’ve been watching the interview that John Dehlin of Mormon stories did with John and Brooke McLay. John served for fourteen years in the CES which I understand is the LDS church’s educational wing. They have left the LDS church and something he said struck me. In talking about the journey out he said that members who begin to question and learn things differ in how they “process” the information. In-other-words, some Mormons will boast that reading “Rough Stone Rolling” for example strengthened their faith. Others come to far different conclusions i.e. Joseph Smith was not a prophet and the LDS church isn’t true.
    So that’s what fascinates me is what people do with the information once they get exposed to it. Mormons would like to believe that those who leave do so for moral failings. Quite obviously if that’s were true then there’s a whole lot of immoral former Mormons running about the country. My guess there’s plenty of immoral pew sitters who don’t leave the Mormon church for whom the Word of Wisdom is a list of suggestions.
    Anyway, it’s pretty tough for the Mormon church to keep up the numbers with the attrition rate what it is.

  4. Mike R says:

    Kate you’re right , it’s all about Jesus . When I think of the Mormon people I see how decent
    people who had a desire know God were detoured by men into following a imitation gospel .
    The Mormon church is a complex religious system created in the minds of men and
    maintained by their constant reminding everyone of their exclusive authority . Thankfully
    many Mormons are seeing these claims of authority for what they are —empty claims .
    Mormon leaders have created an enormous financial empire that has drifted far from what
    Jesus desires for those who want t0 follow Him. I pray that the Mormon people will realize
    that they’ve been detoured and turn to Jesus and ask Him to turn them around and set their
    feet on the right track —Jn 14: 6 ; Heb 7:25 . May these precious people not equate the
    complex church system of Mormonism with Jesus , the two are polls apart .

  5. falcon says:

    This is a rather long video, but I think it would be helpful to someone who is at some level of the contemplative stage regarding Mormonism. It’s part 3 of a 4 part interview with John and Brooke McLay. John was a former CES teacher.


  6. falcon says:

    In video 3 Brooke McLay talks about how after her husband John and her (along with their kids) formally resigned from the LDS church and John quit his job with CES, she had an epic panic that they had made a mistake. So they traveled from Colorado Springs to Salt Lake City where they met with one of the LDS apostles, discussed their situation and were given the green light to re-up along with the steps necessary to do so including having the whole family re-baptized.
    I thought it was an amazing story because it speaks to the emotional stages people go through, quite often, when making such monumental decisions. This is especially so since these folks were so deep into the Mormon program and culture. Interestingly enough, upon reflection, they decided not to rejoin the LDS church.
    At the time of this interview, John had not found a job and they were living off of what Brooke could generate from her internet business. Their house was in foreclosure.
    I couldn’t get a firm fix on where John was at spiritually speaking but Brooke made references to “God” during the interview. It seems that their decision to leave was part wanting to get out of the Mormon cultural box and the other had to do with the veracity of the claims of Mormonism.
    From the interview, it became apparent that some people find security and personal identity in the well defined Mormon box. Others find (the box) limiting and stifling. Either way there’s going to be a cost extracted when someone decides to step away from a religious group that has controlled and defined their lives. Those who are marginal members or didn’t have a very strong “testimony” will of course, have a much easier time walking out the door.

  7. Tom says:

    The bulk of this video is from ‘Transitions,’ which was produced by the Western Institute for Intercultural Studies (WIIS). Transitions is a six-part video presentation with workbook designed for use by small groups, Christian churches that don’t quite understand the religious and cultural migration from Mormonism to Christianity, and for seeking LDS members. Their main web site is ldstransitions.com, and you can watch the first module (27 minutes) on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/28005969). The whole video series is very worthwhile. I may be biased because my wife and I are in the portion shown in this blog post.

  8. falcon says:

    Thanks Tom.
    I will be sure to check it out. My initial interest in Christian apologetics had me focusing on the doctrinal differences of various religious groups. I used to think that all you had to do was show people the evidence and they’d go “BONK!!!! I should have had a V8!” I have over the years come to see the tremendous emotional toll that folks leaving groups like the Mormons, JWs and even some very legalistic and controlling Christians go through.

  9. Tom says:

    My wife and I had our should-have-had-a-V8 moments only after the following two conditions. First, for me I had a deep, inner sense of dis-ease for a long time. Finally, I decided that, since I was raised in the LDS church, I never had the ‘convert’ experience; I never had the luxury investigators of the LDS church have of looking at it from the outside. I only had the view from the inside with its heavily skewed bias that it is all true. So I began reading the Book of Mormon for the umpteenth time with from the (impossible, I know) standpoint that I had never read it before. When I did this, the incongruities and improbabilities just lept out at me. I still have that little soft bound copy of the BOM, with all my margin notes and questions. It is very telling.
    Second, my wife and I, after I quit attending church and while she was very much active, decided that we did have common grounding in our belief in God and our trust of the New Testament. Each of us began reading the NT, and rather independently, each of us came away with the clear understanding that the salvation message of the Bible is decidedly not the salvation message of Mormonism. We also tended to trust the Bible message as being more straight forward, simple and easy to understand. When we approached the New Testament as a reliable, stand-alone document rather than as a (cherry-picked) proof text for Mormonism, we began seeing it as the gold standard word of God. Within a year of our reading the New Testament like this, we had resigned our membership and had found community in a Christian church.
    As I’ve said before here, we were part of the ‘faithful 50’ in our ward and were firmly implanted in the Mormon lifestyle and culture. That we were able to exit together, with our marriage intact and even stronger than ever before, and with a firm witness of God’s grace remains the greatest miracle in our lives.

  10. Mike R says:

    Tom, thanks for sharing your story . May those Mormons who are sensing something is’nt
    quite right with their lives take the step and get alone with the New Testament and read about
    what it reveals about how a person can receive a complete and saving relationship with God by
    coming to Jesus and asking for His assistance . My wife was once a faithful member of a
    church organization very similar to the Mormon church in regards to it’s claim of being
    God’s sole channel of truth to mankind , His prophet and mouthpiece etc. She finally became
    aware that there was something not quite right in her life concerning Jesus and what she was
    being taught about Him , so she stepped away from fellowship and spent a day looking into the
    Bible alone , no literature just the Bible . She came to realize that she had been misled about
    Jesus and that led her to walk away from the organization and the fear of inviting God’s
    wrath for leaving ” His theocratic organization” , but she ended up receiving Jesus as her
    personal Savior soon thereafter . I met her not to long after that .
    Thanks again for sharing your story . God bless you both .

  11. falcon says:


    It’s interesting that the Bible is an @nti-Mormonism book. I’m wondering how you and your wife got past that Mormon excuse that there isn’t any Mormonism in the Bible because some corrupt Catholic monks left it out; or the companion claim that the Bible was copied so many times that it doesn’t clearly reflect God’s revelation to man?
    That’s really a great way for Mormonism to “protect” itself from the obvious; there was no Mormonism in the first century Church and it didn’t show-up until Joseph Smith developed/invented it. The FLDS isn’t shy about claiming that Jesus was a polygamist and had children. That, obviously, was left out of the Bible as were first century Mormon temples, polygamy, free Mason rituals, men-to-gods and any of the other bonkers Mormon beliefs and practices.

  12. falcon says:

    I’ve never been able to figure out that Mormon tag line regarding the Bible, “as far as it’s translated correctly”. What exactly does that mean? Are they talking about “copied”, “translated” or “interpreted”. Those are three very different things, aren’t they?
    Mormons have to see the Bible in some way degraded in order to make Mormonism work because the Bible doesn’t support Mormonism in any way. Micah Wilder, whose testimony and that of his family has been referenced on this blog, also was converted primarily because of his study of the Bible. The Bible and Mormonism are in conflict with one another. Mormons try to over-lay Mormonism on the Bible, which can be done with just about any form of aberrant or heretical religious sect’s thinking. Somebody gets a “good” idea and then go Scripture mining to try and prove what they think.
    The Bible stands alone. It doesn’t need any prompting to say what someone wants it to say. There are some basic rules of Biblical interpretation that when followed provide the clear message God is conveying. A systematic application of these guidelines and leading of the Holy Spirit reveals to us who God is, what man’s status is before God and God’s redemptive work in reconciling (mankind) to Himself.
    There is no need for a modern day prophet in the manner Mormons claim. There is one mediator between God and man and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no need for a priesthood because we have a High Priest which is the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Gift to the Church on the Day of Pentecost was the Holy Spirit. The offices and gifts God has granted us is for the purpose that we may grow-up into all things; mature believers conformed to Christ.

  13. falcon says:

    WOW you’re the first drive-by poster we’ve had in some time. By definition a drive-by poster is one who drops in here quick, throws a couple of incoherent charges out, and then drives away as fast as he/she can.
    I have no idea what you’re talking about. Who on this thread are you referring to who have phony degrees? I can tell you that none of my degrees are phony. They’re all from accredited universities. I attended the classes, did the work and paid a whole lot of money in pursuit of my degrees. So I have no clue who or what you are referring to.
    As far as Christianity losing numbers, are you telling me that there are a large number of people who stopped believing in Jesus? So they have been born again and then un-born again?
    If you want to engage in discussions please have the respect for the rest of us to actually write a coherent post.

  14. falcon says:

    See Nelson
    You’re assuming that everyone who has their name on the roll of some denominational church is a Christian. The “church” is the Mystical Body of Christ made-up of all those who have been born again by the Spirit of God regardless of denominational label. I can assure you that God doesn’t see denominational labels when He sees “the Church”. God sees people in whom dwells the Holy Spirit. So I don’t know exactly how someone can claim that people are leaving Christianity. Only God knows who’s born again and who isn’t. I can assume that the people who confess faith in Jesus are born again but only God really knows who is and who isn’t.
    Can a Mormon be born again by the Spirit of God. Well in order to be born again, a Mormon would have to put their faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross by which we are saved. Now it matters who this Jesus is. In Mormon lore Jesus is the off spring of one of the pantheon of Mormon gods and one of his many wives. That’s not the Jesus of the Bible. If a Mormon knows Jesus as God incarnate; the One and only God that exists in the universe then I’d say yes, they could be born again. However I don’t think they’d last long in the LDS church.

  15. Tom says:

    falcon asks:
    “I’m wondering how you and your wife got past that Mormon excuse that there isn’t any Mormonism in the Bible because some corrupt Catholic monks left it out; or the companion claim that the Bible was copied so many times that it doesn’t clearly reflect God’s revelation to man?”

    As we got into the New Testament we also read about the transmission of the New Testament content. When the New Testament writers produced what they did, copies were quickly made and scattered all over the place–Greece, modern-day Turkey, Egypt, Italy, etc. It wasn’t a linear transmission; it was cellular. It was, thus, nearly impossible for some ‘corrupt Catholic monks’ to make (non-Mormon) changes to the text. So what if someone tinkered with the text in Turkey because there were contemporary copies in Jerusalem, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Tinkering was easy to spot when the texts were settled on for the cannon.

    Mormons assume some sort of hierarchy in the early church, which could easily manipulate things (and they are yet blind to the hierarchical manipulations done by their own church to their own sacred texts–go figure). Again, that was highly improbable if not down right impossible. I realized that if the message of the New Testament were wrong and the faith claims untrue, it couldn’t be because of tampering or the dilution of the message through making copies of copies of copies. That dog don’t hunt. I merely chose to place Jesus and the New Testament as objects of my faith because the text is reliable, and that has made all the difference in the world. A reliable text may still be wrong. But the reliability of the New Testament was far more worthy of my trust than what I eventually found LDS doctrine and leadership to be. Talk about transmission problems since 1830.

  16. falcon says:

    What’s interesting is that you and your wife went to the next level of questioning i.e. asking another question. It seems to me that Mormons are given some pat answer and it feels all better now………or they put things on the shelf until the shelf collapses.
    Congratulations. Your story is encouraging and inspiring.

  17. Old man says:

    Strange, my password didn’t work so I had to change it; perhaps someone wants to keep me out, but anyway pressing on.

    Falcon said

    I’ve never been able to figure out that Mormon tag line regarding the Bible, “as far as it’s translated correctly”. What exactly does that mean? Are they talking about “copied”, “translated” or “interpreted”.
    It doesn’t mean any of those things Falcon, it’s simply a generic excuse identical to the one used by JWs & other cults, it’s designed to trap the unwary & as you rightly say, to disguise the fact that Mormonism can’t be found in Scripture. To that I must also add, it can’t even be found in the BofM. Incidentally, similar claims about Biblical corruption were used by Mohammed when he found that Scripture didn’t back his claim to his being called by God. There seems to be a pattern here.

  18. falcon says:

    I just finished watching this video of Grant Palmer author of “An Insiders View of Mormon Origins.” I’ve always enjoyed listening to him and reading his work. The video is lengthy but I’d recommend it to those Mormons who have reached the contemplative stage of their “faith” in Mormonism. Grant Palmer uses the term “duped” to describe his pre-contemplative stage and search for answers. He also uses the term “chapel Mormons” to describe those Mormons who are the low-information types; who don’t question but blindly follow along.
    Knowing Christ in a personal way is the antidote to false religious systems. I say “false” because Jesus is the Truth and the Way and the Life. He is the only way to the Father. A religious system can’t do that. God extends His grace to us providing for us the faith to come to Christ. The shed blood of the cross of Jesus Christ can not be added to by religious rituals and rites. No one can build on a foundation unless it is Jesus Christ. All other foundations will crumble and collapse under the weight of deception.


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