Why people leave the church… and never come back
Nate Bagley

This is a genuine question. How does a member handle the situation when the person in pain, is causing much of their own problems? For example, a few of your statements are simply wrong, and an average member might genuinely feel that they are helping by teaching correct doctrine to the troubled soul:

  1. “It is a horrible experience that robs you of your ability to trust others… especially those people who belong to the organization that has caused you so much profound pain and suffering.” Good heavens! The “organization” hasn’t caused anyone any pain and suffering. People in leadership positions do and say pretty dumb things, but I’ve never for a moment held that against the entire “organization,” because those unkind words or actions are offset 100 times over by the majority of members who are good and show amazing kindness.
  2. “Not only are you struggling with a deep personal spiritual battle that you didn’t choose, but it feels like you’re also being punished for it by the people who proclaim to love you the most.” If you didn’t choose this spiritual battle, then who chose it for you? The battle of “personal responsibility” (God’s Plan) versus “entitlement” (Satan’s Plan) has been going on since the beginning. The truth is that people who go through a crisis of faith haven't developed their own spirituality to endure the fiery darts of the adversary. Blaming someone else for their crisis, does not help them one ounce and likely magnifies the crisis due to the imperfections of others.

The crisis of faith ends once a person takes full responsibility for their action, and builds up the necessary oil in their vessels to sustain themselves.

That being said, I agree with you 100% about befriending people for the right reasons, and not out of duty. I am somewhat of a convert myself, although I was baptized at a young age. I do find it troubling when a person regularly and dutifully fulfills their calling, and immediately loses interest in a person who stops coming to Church for a few weeks, when they initially greeted them so warmly the first time that they arrived at Church.

As a father with many years of experience, may I just share that people often mistakenly assume that someone who chooses to leave the Church and/or commit serious sin have little or no conscience. In my experience the opposite is often true. I’ve found that most members have a conscience that travels at a consistent average speed. However, of my children who had a crisis of faith, absolutely did not lack a conscience, but in fact their conscience traveled at hyper-speed and was very compelling for them. May I respectfully suggest that if you believe in this hyper-speed group that your mission in life should be to help others tame that hyper-speed conscience rather than trying to persuade the average member that they need to speed up theirs.

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