Why People Leave the Church and Never Come Back
Nate Bagley

I want to say this in a non-confrontational way, in the hope that you and your readers can appreciate the vantage from which I come from.

I left and will not be returning. The reason (s) are varied, and don’t really match your possible reasons above. And I think that’s a key challenge for members of the LDS church when someone leaves. Members want to put them into a box and label them and define them as X, Y or Z. That’s where it becomes confrontational and can lead to wounds between family members that can take decades to heal. If someone leaves because of historical concerns, it’s not necessarily that they felt deceived. It may be that they don’t care how the church presented the history, they simply don’t like what they find when they lift the rock to look under it. If someone leaves because they have concerns about the church doctrine, it may have nothing to do with what they learned vs. what they later find out. They may simply wake up one day and think, “I just don’t believe this….”

And therein lies the problem. Family members want to solve the problem, as is the problem is always something that CAN be solved. I didn’t leave because a Bishop was rude. I loved my Bishops. I didn’t leave because I wanted to drink alcohol. Or date a non-member. All my friends were LDS. Leaving was harder than staying. This is true for almost every single ex-LDS person I know. and in almost every case, their friends and family tried to “fix” things. Often what we want is merely to stay close to friends and family, as if nothing has changed. If believing LDS members did that alone, it would be a better, more welcoming religion than it is today.

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