The Week In Mormonism, 1/24/16

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The Ensign published When a Child Leaves the Church, by Robin Zenegar Baker. On the one hand, there are definitely some positive messages here. (“Continue to show love.”) On the other, are Cain and Laman and Lemuel really appropriate examples with whom to compare children who (presumably) have yet to attempt to murder their siblings? Carson Calderwood gives his thoughts on the article:

Please don’t assume we have lost our spiritual trajectory. Most that leave out of personal integrity actually feel that they have improved in their spiritual trajectory (especially after dealing with the social fallout that occurs).
Please don’t feel guilt over our decision. In fact, I feel like my parent’s wonderful examples of hard work, integrity, dedication to truth, etc. all were fundamental attributes that led me to my decision. Even though we may disagree, realize that you didn’t fail, you actually did a great job to raise a person that could be strong enough to do something so hard and scary.
Please stop referring to our actions as rebellious, or weak. PLEASE don’t compare us to Laman and Lemuel or Cain or Satan as this article does. The only reason why we made such a difficult decision, one that we knew would hurt you deeply, was because we couldn’t live what we felt was a lie. When we came to the conclusion that we have, continuing to act like we fully believe is dishonest. I tried to live openly and authentically with my lack of disbelief [but] Mormonism isn’t yet a place where that can happen.
Please understand that there is a big difference between someone stopping church activity because they aren’t sure about what they want to do in their life or because they want to live a life against church standards [while] they still believe. Most members like myself do not “wander.” We did research from church approved sources, often more than most active members, and came to a conclusion that the church, although a great group of people trying to do good, is not God’s one true church. We deliberately chose to leave and almost no one who leaves for those reasons ever comes back.

Lindsay and Kirk Van Allen have begun a new podcast at Mormonverse, starting with a look at topics from Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine.

Other Links

  1. 30 Questions Nobody Has Asked My Husband.
  2. In My Mormon World, I am Not Saved.
  3. Patriarchal blessings are now available online.
  4. Our Moribund Missionary Department? And LDS Church Growth reports “A larger decrease in the number of full-time missionaries than expected.”
  5. Salt Lake Tribune poll: “70 percent of LDS respondents approve of their faith barring children of gay Mormon couples from baptism and other religious rites until they turn 18, while 21 percent disapprove.”
  6. At least 32 gay Mormons have been documented as having committed suicide in the wake of the exclusion policy. Dr. Wiktoria Heinz asks, How many more have tried?
  7. Are there no gays in heaven?
  8. Just for fun: Speaking in Sacrament Meeting.