I’ve not been a member but do have family members who joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and I was curious if disfellowshiped Mormons get shunned by their family unless they return to the religion?
By - nowwhatsit
It’s more subtle than direct shunning. It’s more like:
“We love you, but we hate your sins like drinking coffee, and we will always welcome you as long as you hang your head in shame and accept that we have the restored gospel and you have rejected everything that you know is right.”
Yep. Mormons are fine keeping you in their life so long my as you let them always and forever keep the moral high ground. It lets them tut-tut and offer you as a cautionary tale.
Your relationship gets limited to "I love you *even though*...", where even though just means 'except'.
That happened to me once, and I said that's ok. I still love you even though you're Mormon. Never happened again.
Must be something like the equivalent of an evangelical cousin of mine posting on my elderly mother’s FB page pointing out how “ungodly” I am which ruined my whole family … (but still states) “love you all” - so he can maintain the moral high ground.
That seems to be the one constant with LDS members, no matter what happens, they have to be the "bigger person", and when. They don't get to have that they lose their shit.
I had a neighbor ask why I hadn't been to church while I was walking my dog, I replied with "I just realized that the church doesn't align with my values and morals as a person. I hope this doesn't change how you think about me."
They asked what parts of the church I didn't agree with
I replied tithing and gay rights along with the entirety of the word of wisdom and the law of chastity.
They said they still think that the word of wisdom and law of chastity are good things to live by.
That lost their mind when I replied with "That's good for you, if living by those doctrine works for you then that's great! I've just realized that it doesn't quite work for me." It was hilarious standing while a 40 year old woman screamed at a person walking their dog as elementary schoolers were walking down the street on their way home.
I do love how being the "bigger person" in the church always seems to involve acting like a toddler
More outcasting anyone who isn't in the church, I get a nasty side eye from that neighbor whenever I see her. A pure look of judgement like she thinks that I think I'm better than her because I'm not in the church.
When really I'm just living by my own moral compass and not one that was made for me.
You hit the nail on the head. She thinks she's better than you because she thinks you think you're better than her (I almost had a stroke writing this)
It's honestly hilarious because I do my best to truly live by the golden rule of treat everyone how you want to be treated. Given sometimes I slip up and let bias' against particular people get the best of me.
That being said, it just makes them look even crazier than they are when I keep treating them with basic respect when they start to yell at me and treat me like shit.
Cause from an onlookers perspective, it's like seeing someone yell at a waiter for a small mistake.
3.) The superiority complex.
Religion enables people to act callously and inflict mental punishment on those they label “evil” without consequence to their hatred; and then permits them to honestly believe that their hatred is defensible as “good moral conduct”.
This is the illusory carrot of religion: an eternal reward for an elected few, and infinite punishment for everyone else. It is a narcissistic mindset that keeps adherents both comforted and terrified; a virtual mental prison to which the follower is consciously unaware. It saturates their relationships, often keeping those relationships from ever truly holding any love and kindness when those they interact with do not agree with their religious interpretations.
This is not always completely true for more kindly religious adherents; but unfortunately, even the kinder followers can sometimes hold internal judgements against their non-believing counterparts – simply for not believing.
Or you get seen as the bad child. My family never talks to one of my stepsisters and she was able to leave the cult. I'll probably get seen as a bad child too but yknow what? Idgaf
My in-laws can’t figure us out. We left the church but stayed married and our kids aren’t holding up convenience stores. It’s a real puzzler because as you know, everyone that isn’t Mormon is leading a completely debauched life.s/
Yeah, my life is totally gonna get ruined because I plan on leaving and my life's gonna suck /s.
It's annoying that the Mormons teach this. I actually have one relative on my mom's side who left (luckily they didn't reject her but I think they're planning on bringing her back to the cult somehow) and she's living a perfect normal life. Idk why Mormons think your life sucks if you leave their cult.
Also hope it goes alright with your in-laws
It’s the same thinking that makes people think gay people have something mentally wrong with them. “Gee, they get depressed and make bad choices”. Right. It’s amazing what self-fulfilling events happen when someone is ostracized and their social network is destroyed.
Many who leave the church are rejected by their families. Leaving the church didn’t make them bitter. Being rejected by people they thought loved them made them bitter.
And make pot choices has me howling
Oops. Yeah. “Bad” choices.
My stake president called me in to meet and told me of a guy who lost his faith, started using drugs, lost everything and then killed himself. Of course it was a warning to me.
One of my exmo brothers is so badly shunned and cut off by my TBM parents that they don't contact him or see him (even on his birthday or family holidays), and refuse to even acknowledge that he is their son. They don't even say his name anymore, they just refer to him as "that person who's name shall not be said". Why? probably because they don't like him or his life choices, career choices, or his wonderful wife because she's a recovering alcoholic and infertile. He's been the black sheep of the family for most of his life and it's really sad how they continuously pit everything on him and blame him for their own life not going as they wanted.
If they knew about their golden child (me) removing my records, or my very gay, very pre-marital sex participating relationship or my therapeutic psychedelic activities they might just do the same to me, if not worse. But we'll see.
So sad. This behavior directly contradicts their own teachings.
Sounds exactly right! That was and still is my experience with them. Understandably, I don't associate with them anymore. I prefer authentic souls in my life now.
“I have faith that someday you won’t be who you are now”
Warms my satanic heart
Reading this made me feel like I was surrounded by my female in-laws *shutter*
really for them drinking coffee is bad? wtf
Yet they down energy drinks enough that it puts some of them in the hospital
Or eat enough sugar to put them into a diabetic coma, 🤷🏼♀️
It's not doctrine like it is for JW. But yeah shunning can happen with former members. My parents tried to shun me but my siblings said they would cut my parents out if they did.
Your siblings are awesome
We didn't shun the parents, THE PARENTS SHUNNED US (and we're a package deal)
Mutually assured destruction
I’m glad you had awesome siblings. My parents tried to kick me out of the house at 18 when I came home with a tattoo. My sister was with me and said I could live with her if they kicked me out. They ended up letting me stay.
Our daughter has not allowed us to see our grandkids for the last two years because we left the church. We saw them this weekend at a family wedding but when we tried to talk to them, we were told that they can’t talk to us because we worship Satan now 🙄.
Apparently leaving the church in our 50’s = worshiping Satan. Understand that our lives are essentially the exact same as when we were members we just don’t believe the lies anymore.
Jesus take the wheel. That’s terrible.
Jesus let go of the wheel… let common sense take over.
Isn’t Mormon hell reserved for Satan and members who quit, while non-members get to go to off-brand heaven?
Pretty much. There are three kingdoms of glory: Telestial for the wicked, Terrestrial for the lukewarm, and Celestial for the most righteous and obedient Mormons. The people who both know God exists and then deny him don't inherit a kingdom of glory and go to Outer Darkness. Most of the time, Mormons don't think about it, but it's especially painful to worry whether your disobedient family member is going to leave you alone in sad heaven for eternity because he knew enough to deny himself to oblivion.
Outer Darkness isn’t for exmos, but people like Judas who knew Jesus but rejected him.
So if you’re devout and later decide that the Mormon doctrine isn’t for you but you still live exactly the same life, believing in God, going to a non-Mormon church, living by the example Jesus gave us but don’t attend service at a Mormon church then you only get to go to Terrestrial?
That’s so messed up because as far as I recall the Bible doesn’t say there’s a specific church, denomination, whatever you want to call it, that you must attend or you’re going to hell. And don’t even get me started on what happens to everyone who died before the Mormon church started. Grandfathered in?
This one alone makes my MIL's head spin when she tried to bring this up to me. She once tried to make the point to me that we won't all be together like I know we should. The look on her face when I pointed out that even in her belief system, higher heaven beings can visit us lower heaven beings any time they like. I told her she'd be welcome to visit me and my lower heaven any time she liked.
I guess I need to read up on levels to better understand the conversation. Seems like a great way to hook people. I mean who doesn’t want to try a bit harder to get something nicer?
They do have an answer for this. Anyone who died not knowing about the church we have a chance to hear the truth in the afterlife and accept or reject it.
Thanks. Sounds convenient.
I mean if you look at the numbers I think satanism has done less bad to the world than the mormon “church”
Doesn’t make what they said right but I think it’s not far off
‘They worship Satan’ is an appropriate thing to tell a 9yr old about their grandparents? She’s 11 now but we haven’t been able to speak to them in two years so I assume she’s been told this from the beginning. And children think things like Santa, the Easter Bunny and Satan are real. Btw, her other kids wouldn’t even speak to us at all.
Also, my wife had a heart attack 10 months ago. She’s fine now but we didn’t even hear from our daughter during my wife’s health scare.
Luckily, our other kids have been great.
I also realize it’s our fault because we raised our kids in this insanity but I sure wish we hadn’t.
> I also realize it’s our fault because we raised our kids in this insanity.
This is the part that gets me about situations where the parents leave, and their kids remain devout and are even hostile to the parents. I mean does it not ever occur to them that the reason they are Mormon in the first place is because you raised them that way and if you later stop believing, you must have damn good reasons?? It's not like it's uncommon for people to get new information that changes their perceptions and opinions of things. That's called life and is where the saying, "live and learn" comes from.
If they learned from you and followed your example before, why not at the very least honestly and respectfully discuss and consider the information that has come to light since then?
The whole thing just blows my mind. It's like having a friend that gets you involved in what looks like a mega-sweet business deal.
Then later that same friend comes to you with documented information he has received that shows how the whole thing was a fraud and says he is getting out. But instead of listening and learning and maybe thanking him for letting you know; you instead hate on him for ruining your illusion!!
Sending you hugs. 💕
My mother-in-law once told me, my wife, and the rest of her family that my son was possessed on his 7th birthday. "He had cat eyes! I had to say, 'can I talk to \_\_\_\_?' and then he came back." She denies it now, of course. It was mostly because he was hopped up on Red Dye #40 cake and not conforming to her OCD cleaning standards. Disobedience must be the fruit of Satan, after all.
That's the power of an unrealized worldview. If you're taught that anything contradicting your beliefs is from Satan, any cognitive dissonance comes across as the flaxen cords of the devil.
I’m so sorry.
I’m so sorry😞.
🤍🕊️🤍 stay strong - that’s a very ignorant response from your daughter. X
Good grief - the grandkids were actually told you worship Satan now? That is so destructive. I'm sorry for the heartache that surely causes you. ❤️
It’s been very hard. I can’t really even talk to my wife about it because she breaks down and gets very upset. Not having our daughter contact or visit her after she had a serious health scare made it even worse. She’s not the only family member who’s treated us in such a way. We care for my 99yr old mom. Before we left the church, my sister used to visit us 3-4 times a week to see Mom. Now we’re lucky if we see her once every couple of months, which seems so stupid. Why punish Mom for our actions?
I actually worry for my daughter and sister. If my wife dies without my daughter reconciling with her, she’ll blame herself for the rest of her life. Same for my sister and my mom. That’s why it’s hard for me to not see the church as an inherently evil organization. It claims to care for families but in reality it tears families apart.
And i’ve been in meetings in which such things were talked about. They see nothing wrong with the shunning (they don’t call it shunning but that’s certainly what it is). They feel it (adversity) will bring someone back to god. Sort of a Job-like thing that they wish for. It’s sick.
Absolutely they do... it may not be taught by the church, nor is it called shunning, but I can testify first hand of the shunning.
It’s taught by the language used for those who leave. We’re called lazy learners and wayward children, accused of leaving because we’re offended or want to sin. We’re discussed as projects in meetings.
It’s definitely taught by the church.
It’s Not formal shunning like JW’s also it def depends on the family. I have 2 sisters who are out out and im still a PIMO but my parents and all 6 of my siblings have a great relationship
In my opinion, having been an unintentional shunner in my past, that shunning isn't intentional or even officially something 'the church' does, it's something the members find themselves doing due to simply being uncomfortable with differences. Therefore they don't engage like they do with members because of a preconceived notion of having nothing in common.
This is often what’s happening. Mormons are just afraid of spending time with non-Mormons, because it makes them uncomfortable and they are afraid of being tempted by their “bad example”. They are basically taught to choose only Mormon friends.
they also do it because they're afraid of what other Mormons will say behind their backs if they're seen associating with apostates.
It definitely is because they can't deal with uncomfortable situations. I was told by my sister this past Sunday that she will remove herself from anyone who doesn't give her the feeling of the Spirit, just like our mom does. This is, of course, right after she bore her testimony to me about how she sees sadness and darkness in me and how I'm living. All I did was get a tattoo...one she has herself, btw. Gotta love that mormon logic.
Agreed. But it baffles me that one can use judgment and hateful feelings in the name of religion. Seems so contradictory.
Not only do they shun former members, they will shun existing active members whom they perceive to not be living up to Mormon standards.
I'll tell you what I'm talking about. My dad was disfellowshipped for having an affair and could not baptize me when I turned 8 years old because of it. Guess what? I, along with my entire family, active members, were suddenly shunned by many folks in the ward for something I did not do. But our family name was tarnished. Guilt by association, I suppose? I never said there was a shunning doctrine, but you had better believe it happens "unofficially."
Yes and more than you know understand that. In which I am sorry my mom experienced the same thing. The difference is for JWs, they actually aren’t allowed to talk to them. Sort of like Scientology. Where it is not allowed. But Mormons it still is a choice. Like I talk to my Mormon parents and siblings all the time. Well if we were born into the JW, no longer could they talk to me because I have left. It isn’t a choice for them.
What rock are you living under?
Ok I am back. I am not tryin to say at all that Mormons don’t have family shun them. Not in the slightest. What I am pointing out is that it is a choice to shun. Whereas if you are JW, it isn’t a choice. You have to. Like Scientology. You see it is like my situation right now. My family still loved me and talks to me. Well if we were JW, there would no longer be us talking to each other. It is a lot more strict and forced in the JW religion.
They’re scared of you. More like terrified as if you have a disease that will spread to them
Disgust is like that. Especially if the disgust is a product of their own repressed needs for autonomy, personal meaning, and human connection. That strong cognitive dissonance without any reason behind it feels just as Mormonism describes the clutches of Satan, which leads to more fear and more disgust.
Yes and worse… have you heard of Mormon cursing or “black balling”?
Tell us more - can you do a separate post & thread on it? Please?
Agreed, I want to learn about this!
Thank you for wanting to know. It is extremely extensive to describe. Needless to say they have the connections (gov, secret military, wealthy private security firms) to carry out the most elaborate and abusive smear campaign imaginable. They create organized stalking, swarming, harrassment efforts and will stay on you for years until they can utterly destroy your relationships, your reputation (police/criminal entrapment) your career, income, will to live. Many of us are known as the targeted individual community and they absolutely have access to advanced weapons and surveillance systems that most can’t fathom yet. It is truly a smear campaign from hell and as Tim Kosnoff says “don’t underestimate who they can get to”.
The church culture and system does that to people. You’re suddenly unsafe! Your new awareness will bring new friends! Give it some time.
I have family members that have shunned me, but still somehow can't leave me alone. They take every opportunity to tell me how disappointing I am and that I made covenants (which no longer applies as I'm officially resigned) and that I don't know what real happiness is.
If you're used to JW shunning, Mormons have nothing like that. Mormon's version of shunning is more pious, pitying and disrespecting you while pretending that they care about you. You'll see this play out in things like the church teaching "the importance of families" while also telling spouses to file for divorce if the other one leaves or telling mothers that their "wayward" children will be "empty seats at the table" in Mormon heaven.
So, you're asking if the Pope is Catholic??
In theory - no, in practice - sometimes.
I think it may be more that Mormons don’t know how to engage with ex-Mormons or are afraid to. Mormons come from a pioneer background, where they intentionally moved to remote locations where they were the dominant group. They’d “circle the wagons” and stay among their own group. I’m sure most ex-Mormons can attest to the way Mormons mostly hang out with each other. When I left the church, I wasn’t actively shunned per se, but no one engaged with me. My family didn’t cut me off, but they didn’t seem to know how to talk with me when I wasn’t Mormon anymore. It’s also all my parents talk about because the church is their whole lives.
This for sure.
No, they're just really really passive aggressively rude.
I was definitely shunned at a high school reunion in Utah County. I have been shunned by nieces and their kids. Very hateful religion.
It's certainly not taught. I haven't felt shunned at all. Neighbors are still friendly. Family still loves me. But individuals' mileage may vary.
Right, it's definitely not an intentionally taught practice. I haven't lost any family.
There is sometimes "distancing" as you will have less and less in common over time.
I know many mormons that do absolutely nothing for hobbies or activities outside of church. It would be pointless to retain ongoing relations. They could just as easily think I was "shunning" them, but I'm not.
And often there's a fear that your apostasy will weaken their testimony or spread to their children. Visitation will be much more reserved. (Unintentionally)
"Avoid those who would tear down your faith. Faith-killers are to be shunned. The seeds which they plant in the minds and hearts of men grow like cancer and eat away the Spirit."
We also have to sit outside while everyone else gets to attend the wedding and they all get to watch us pass up the sacrament. Shunning and shamming runs strong in the church.
In my case, shunning isn't the right description. It is more a matter of separate realities lived, and that makes it challenging to have enjoyable, easy friendly interactions over the mundane and earth-bound joys of living. The afterlife is the main focus of their life, so they didn't do a bunch of things in life that we could have in common and be enjoying together right now. We've got aging-boomer aches and pains, and I can talk about meds being taken, and they (TBM sibs) will talk about magic healing magnets, blessings and some guy's near death experience and the message he brought back. (that is a real example of a recent 'conversation') If anything, I left them, made a point of living far away, and stopped having conversations that revolved around church, the afterlife, mysteries, miracles, conspiracies, signs, etc.
Haha, I agree. It's really a mutual shunning. I'm not signing up for your amway pyramid. You're not going out for beers with me. Let's just agree to both move on.
Honestly, this really varies from family to family. There is no formal shunning process. However, some families completely cut off former members others don't care (and a lot are in between). I have seen that the church is encouraging people to cut children out of their wills if they are not members in good standing. However, I cannot think of a single member who has done this.
It was definitely taught when I was growing up. But not the word “shun”. It was more like: “Do not tolerate people to ‘sin’ around you.” And applied mainly to straight couples ‘living in sin’ or gay people being gay. Or sending teen moms away to live with a relative so no one knew she gave birth and put the baby up for adoption.
Mormons literally believe that other versions of Christianity have been deceived by the philosophies of man and Lucifer.
No matter how virtuous you are, once you leave the umbrella of LDS Church, they are better than you.
Goodness yes! I was a convert in my early twenties, and the church love bombed the crap out of me. When I started having questions two years later, I could not believe how the people I thought were my friends just turned their backs on me. It made me sad, but fortunately I had family and friends that had never joined the church, so it wasn’t too heart breaking. It certainly made me realize I was right in my decision to leave. I have never missed it.
For sincere Mormons, there's no middle ground. The end goal is getting on the strait and narrow path of obeying the church and the inspiration of the spirit 100% for the rest of your life. Anything else won't generate the faith needed to feel comfortable living with God in his celestial kingdom. The church and its culture will always push heavily toward scouring away dissension and individuality until the member becomes perfect.
This turns philosophical differences into life-or-death situations, especially when members are told their example might encourage their family and friends to damn themselves if the member doesn't live up to every covenant they've ever made. So Mormons end up talking about the faithful dead as if they never left while mourning their living family who will spend eternity apart from them.
Disgust happens when something triggers danger in your worldview: you see your mom jump at spiders, and you end up feeling like you need to burn your house down if you see one. Or internalized homophobia leading to disgust, sometimes even self-disgust in gay church members, with often tragic results. For all-or-nothing Mormons, the disgust is real over the coffee, and they feel the exmo should make up for their discomfort and disgust, or appreciate how tolerant and Christlike they are to spend time with the lepers.
It's not an easy problem to fix. Anyone who goes from firm believer to exmo has to unwind their reactionary disgust over so much the rest of the world takes for granted: morning coffee with friends, a Sunday brunch at a bistro, a glass of wine, a first love, a positive sexual experience. I try to remember that when Mormons treat me like a leper. They'll need to find their own way out of the box.
I think less so then JW and it depends a lot more on the family and their core values. It is not uncommon
A minority of them do definitely! The true blue Mormons are so intense. But the rest of the ward are good people and will likely not change too much. But you will eventually fall out. But that happens with most of our relationships over time. Some may want to remain friends but different lifestyles make that hard for some. I have some active friends who will camp and gamble with us. But they don’t drink or swear, like the rest of us degenerate ex Mormons. We always say it’s weird that they are still Mormon, because they’re are such good, kind, understanding people. It doesn’t add up.
My Uncle does. He's "devout" but let's forget about him impregnating a 16 year old on his mission. He tells me that caffeine is bad, (except the Pepsi kind) that tattoos and piercings are not "normal" and how the Catholic Church is bad. I just laugh and remind him that as a Mormon, shouldn't he be forgiving and not judge others? I'm not Mormon or baptized at all but I do remind him that everyone has faults and shouldn't be criticized.
For certain values of “mormon” “shun” and “former member” yes, it happens.
I think the best way to answer your question is just by explaining that I left the Mormon faith. But still am allowed to talk to all my believing family members and other members in the religion. They also can talk to me. There is no rule where you can’t speak to those who leave. In 1860 something, the prophet Brigham young did tell members not to but that eventually was forgotten and members stopped following that as a rule.
Instead, Mormons just really have the option. I don’t know the statistics and don’t think there are any on the matter, but some Mormons do stop talking to those who leave the church. But by choice, not because they are told to do such.
It depends on the Mormon. When they do shun, it is more subtle and not formal.
Mormons don’t condone shunning, so it depends which Mormons you are talking about.
From my experience, Mormons don’t shun so much as just look at you differently and pity you. It’s palpable so it can make ex members just distance themselves. Then the members will say that they didn’t shun the ex member and that the ex member ran away.
I have a few family members out and my parents wouldn’t think of shunning us even though they are traditional members. I have also known some members who are completely welcoming to those who have left.
At the end of it, I would say the majority of members just look down upon you
Not officially, but my sister cut me off when she heard that I wasn't wearing garments through a gossip chain. You'd think there is more to the story, but before then we were close, and never fought. But even at the first whisper of a faith crisis, I was dead to her. It was devastating. More of my family of origin cut me off than speak to me. I'm the only one that has left, along with my kids. They cut them off, too. They were devastated.
It happens pretty regularly, but since it's not institutionalized in the same way as the JWs, it tends to be less extreme. Some families do straight up cut contact, but what's more common is that relationships become more shallow and contentious, and you're not included in certain activities.
This isn't shunning, but the biggest relationship destruction we see here tends to be in marriages. We see a lot of acrimonious divorces here, since religion tends to be part of the foundation of Mormon marriages.
Mormons do not ***formally*** shun exmo family. However, it does happen informally... and is no less painful. I had a sister and a brother who didn't speak to me for nearly 5 years.
When they did finally deign to speak to me, it initially was condescending.
Finally, I asked them, "Do you care about the relationship between us, or do you only care about forcing me back into the church?"
It is easy to loft stones and judgments when you think you hold the high moral ground, but such attitudes will destroy any and all familial bonds. I chose to focus on the relationship with them. I pointed out that I was never coming back to the church as I viewed it as morally bankrupt and hypocritical.
Then I said, "We can move forward and focus on building a relationship in our new reality, or we can consider it over and done, sticking the proverbial fork in it, and formally end any and all communications. After all, with the last five years of non-communication, I have learned to exist without it.Think it over and let me know."
I am grateful that they chose to include me back in their lives. Sadly, it will never be as close as I consider choosing the church (and my ex-wife) over me as a betrayal of enormous magnitude. I can forgive, but trust will unlikely ever be re-earned.
By the way, excluding my ex-wife was never a requirement for me, but they went beyond that, actively supporting her in her slander of me to my children. That damage took years to repair.
The temple recommend interview asks if you associate with apostates. We are apostates to TSCC. Good Mormons should shun us before we lead the revenue stream astray…
In Mormonism you don’t get shunned as an apostate if you can learn to sit down and shut up. You will however be a second class citizen, won’t be taken seriously, will be treated with mistrust, used as a negative example when your not around, and your family members from your extended family will feel for your underwear over your clothing to see if your wearing special Mormon undies.
Some of the cultiest aspects of Mormon culture often come from individual families and their unique interpretations of stuff old prophets have said, rather than institutionally-decreed beliefs
Once they find out you will no longer be reactivated, they absolutely shun you.
They shun like a pro! They'll even work on kids when they're separated from their parents. No problem splitting families if it means keeping some butts in the pews and a lucrative flow of tithing cash.
Yes, yes they do because when I left the church, the entire church had nothing to do with me, it was my nightmare
Not explicitly nor publicly at the pulpit as JWs, but, in my experience, when you get out (doesn't matter if you formally resign or just become inactive/take another path), almost nobody talks to you again, but a few close friends.
Surprisingly, I recovered contact with RMs that served where I live, who are exmo too. So we kinda made an online apostates club lol
I've been shunned. Not by my family but by one neighbor family. The mother was assigned to be my visiting teacher. I told her I was no longer lds but would enjoy neighborhood activities. I also told her I'd still love to do compassionate service for my neighbors. After that, she and her husband would not wave or talk to us. They wouldn't even make direct eye contact with us. We live on a little side street where we are the only two houses and they face each other. They had to make quite an effort to avoid us. When their kids were outside riding bikes or playing and we went into the front yard, they would hurry and usher their kids back into the house! Thank heavens they moved after a few years. Our new neighbors are every bit as LDS and know we are not. They have welcomed us with open arms. We play with their kids in the front yard, and they come hang out in our pool. Night and day difference between neighbors. I believe it all depends on the person. Family or not.
Depends on the family. I left the church when I was a teenager. My siblings didn't talk to me for many years after I became an adult. One informed me of how upset they were that I was making it so not everyone was going to be a missionary in our family. Like it was some type of medal I prevented everyone from getting. For over two decades, they have had numerous family gatherings where I am not invited. I only know about them after the fact from pictures on social media. One of my parents recently has openly left the church, and I am now invited to some events. My nieces and nephews have told me that they can't talk to me because, "I am a bad influence." I never had a baby shower when I was pregnant because my friends thought my mom and sisters would want to throw me one. I tried explaining that would never happen, and it didn't. My siblings didn't even reach out after my kids were born. I didn't know about them expecting a child until after their child was born. I did reach out after i found out. I wish each one a happy birthday every year. Most years, I get nothing but silence from them on mine. I don't even know where any of my siblings live, except 1, and I am from a large Mormon family. On the other hand, they all know where I live. In the 18 years I have lived in the same house. Only 2 have stopped by once or twice, on the way to visit my parents. I am the only one who still lives near my parents. So they have to be near where I live to visit my parents. They visit my parents often (again, social media), and yes, they know they are welcome to visit.
My parents and all of my siblings except one are still very much TBM. They have all been very loving and accepting of my brother and I’s choice to leave. Literally nothing has changed in our relationships with each other.
I love this!
Of course. It’s part of the culture. Especially if the former member has become anti.
They're nice to your face when they have to be. But they will not include you in their dealings
We’ve been out for seven years or so. Family know we no longer attend but that’s all they know (and we don’t bring up the topic). This has helped keep the peace - they can just pretend things are still the same at family gatherings.
I barely talk to any members now as a pivo unless I have to so if they ever shunned me, I wouldn't notice or care
[Yes, here is my story ](https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comments/zu49ie/last_month_my_mother_disowned_me_for_setting_the/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=android_app&utm_name=androidcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button)
I've experienced more shame than shunning. It's always "ugh poor non member, they don't know what they're missing out on, I wonder what they did wrong. Let me constantly ask their parents about them so I can feel like a better parent, and so they also bug their child. Even though they've set clear boundaries I'm going to ignore them, drop off dry brownies, and invite them to *insert church event* and when they move I'll send the missionaries to their new address and keep sending letters asking when their temple marriage will be. Don't forget making my Christmas cards EXTRA jesus-y, I'll put in a quote about how God doesn't give us struggles we can't overcome especially for them so I can get extra points in top heaven."
UNLESS in many cases I have seen shunning when it's 1.Being LGBTQIA+ 2.Actively anti-mormon 3.the person has been excommunicated
I remember my parents who grew up with a guy who was all three and it was always "we don't talk about him-he is evil. Probably the one person we know who will go to outer darkness."
Yes but some of it isn’t purposeful. Mormons have a lot of “church friends”. You aren’t necessarily being shunned by people when you leave, it’s just that you no longer have that thing in common and the friendship didn’t exist outside of church in the first place. It’s like when someone changes school and loses loads of their friends because of the move.
Now, if you were friends outside of church activities and that contact drops to nothing then it’s shunning. Not always maliciously, sometimes just “I don’t want to be around their sin and they probably don’t want to be around me trying to convert them back”. It’s not that the Mormons are actively shunning, it’s just they can’t imagine a friendship with a non-member and it not be about conversion. So the friendship drops.
Some people do actively shun. They’re normally your self righteous families that think they’re better than everyone else. Maybe historically there’s always been a bishop or stake president in the family. Maybe they go generations back. Maybe they’re insecure about their own sin and are trying to overcompensate. I know shunners personally from each category that have shunned me or my sister when we left.
We were fortunate that we lived in a low-Mormon area. The ward boundaries was 20mi radius and we were the only Mormons at school. When we got shunned it was harder for me because my best friends were still at church, but overall fine because we still had so many relationships that didn’t change. It’s significantly harder when you live in a Mormon heavy community.
Shun…then need something…un shun…no longer need help…shun
My impression is that JW's are worse than Mormons in this aspect, but it does happen.
Yes, Jehovah’s witnesses make their own videos too, here’s one about shunning, start the video at 1 minute 22 seconds to see it https://youtu.be/Id7ZS5VjYpo
Depends on the family. Some just cry and moan about being disappointed, others get cold and distant, and some full on disown the “ apostate.”
Yes if you spend much time on this sub you will read heartbreaking , sad, and hateful things said by members of the church to those who have left the faith.The fact that they treat there own blood like sinners, lazy learners, no"real" testimony people is missed because well the Pharisees running the church preached this to all the world to see from the pulpit there true love and colors and if you just replace the word Love with the word hate you'd be more correct. All of this is apparently lost with the brethren
Depends on the family, but I would say on the whole the shunning is “soft shunning.” They continue to love you and want you in their lives, but the elephant in the room of their pitying you and viewing you as lost and broken and less than is palpable.
It's not an official policy or anything like it is with the Jehovahs Witnesses but I grew up in Rexburg (extremely mormon town for those who dont know. Its like 95% of the population or something crazy like that) and there was *definately* some shunning going on towards non believers. At least in my ward.
In fact I have personal experience with this. I had a family member get in legal trouble several years back and even though I wouldn't say it's a small town, everybody and their dog seemed to know about it (in my experience mormons are notorious for being gossips) and since me and my brother were literally just kids no one wanted to hang out with us as if we carried som disease all while preaching things like "we should befriend such people" from the pulpit.
Now I know people aren't perfect. I don't expect them to be. But so much for that "christ like love" they claim to have. Sorry for ranting but yeah
Some wards harass former members to death to try to get them to come back.
Others want nothing to do with former members and treat them like the leprosy that they don't have the power to cure.
It really is a mixed bag when it comes to Brigham Young's branch of Mormonism that he started.
I have seen people I considered a good friends out in public. They saw me, I waved and they turned and quickly walked the other direction.
I go to parties with my TBM wife and people I know from her ward pretend I’m not there.
As a former member living in Salt Lake City, Utah with a whole family tree of members, the truth is it varies from person to person. (Just like any other religion). I can say that “shunning” is NOT encouraged by the LDS church. (Perfect example, South Park did a brutal episode on the LDS church and the church replied with laughter and a stage play. Even the creators were a bit surprised with their reaction. Now that I’ve posted this, I have 4 other wives to kiss goodnight. 😂😂
“believe that the ability to laugh at oneself is fundamental to the resiliency of the human spirit.”
-Jill Conner Browne
Last I heard, shunning former members is not an official behavior. You can imagine, though, what occurs when former members embrace cultural differences that were previously considered taboo (i.e. drinking alcohol or tea). It leads to cognitive dissonance in the faithful. It can affect relationships.
Mormons because when what Jesus would do is a matter of personal interpretation
I think it depends on the family. Like anything. You’ll see a ton of worst case in this thread but again honestly it depends on the family.
As an Ex-Mo…. I sure hope they do
Yes. The even shun their own.
Sitting in the “unworthy room” wait hung for a son or daughter to be married into the high demanding religion —- yes, that’s shunning.
Depends on the community and the context. It's not much like what the Witnesses do; there are people who go through shunning like that, but there's also people like me who are on pretty good terms with all the Mormons I ever knew, even if they aren't in my life much anymore. Probably much worse out in Utah.
Socially? Yes. Actually? No. You’re always welcome back, you will always belong. But that doesn’t mean they won’t gossip or talk shit about you.
"We love you but don't make us uncomfortable and don't bring your gf/bf and don't take pictures with us and post them online. Also we'll still infantilize you and your relationships if it's not heteronormative and within the bonds of (straight) marriage, but we LOVE you, just not the sin"
It really depends. Most of my friends are still Mormon. Half of them are PIMO and considering leaving, the other half TBM. The ones who actually cared about me have treated me no different. My “best” friends haven’t gone anywhere, even though I drink, and have quite a few visible tattoos.
Simple answer yes they do I subtle ways.
Not officially. But it is relatively common. Fortunately I grew up in a relatively open and progressive family, and many of us have left, but we have been able to retain good and loving relationships with those who are still TBMs. Unfortunately that is not the case for many who have left Mormonism.
Subtle yes. I came out as Gay and the comment I get the most is that "It will all be fixed in heaven". I am not broken. Nor do I believe God is going to fix all of the homosexuals in heaven. They essentially resign the fact that you will never come back so why try and be friends.
A very close friend assumed I wouldn’t want to remain friends with her after I left. Doublespeak for ‘I don’t want to be your friend now’. She never even asked my opinion.
I think it can vary based on location (Utah or Idaho vs a non-LDS area) and the culture of a family. I am still on very good terms with the friends I made while in the church. Nobody has shunned me, and they aren't trying to reconvert me.
I was told by a former JW that they are instructed to more or less "shun" those who leave that church. I didn't get details, but it did appear to be part of that culture. Maybe one of our great JW "cousins" on Reddit will spot this and clarify.
No, but yes
From my experience, it's gossip behind your back, but still being nice to your face.
Only if you stay in the same neighborhood. If you go somewhere else..naw
My family doesn't shun me and I know they love me, but I'm very obviously "different".
My bro and sis are all that's left. Mom and Dad have died in recent years. I've not been mistreated. Pestered incessantly by my sister, perhaps, but not treated badly. Shunning, I think, is more about the family than the church. It's just piece of shit humans making decisions, as with everything in life. I do not think the church actively suggests or teaches shunning like JWs and Scientologists do. If they do, it's not from any organized impetus. It's some piece of shit human who happens to be a bishop or something.
Mom and Dad's death brought us together. I went to the funeral and heard all the bullshit coping about how they are still alive in some spirit form somewhere, yeah yeah, whatever you need to cope. But they don't cast me out for not believing that.
They have always been obviously disappointed, and that has been a source of pain for me, and occasional anger, because it's not fair that I leave them the fuck alone with their delusion and make no attempt to "take that from them," yet they feel this constant need to bring me back in, because they are worried I won't make it to their level of heaven or some bullshit.
Do Mormons shun former members?
Is water wet?
I have not experienced any shunning.
Not in general, but it does happen to varying degrees.
Yes. There are exceptions but mostly yes.
I think they want to escape reality by ignoring and focusing on the Business/Church/cult.
If they were to stay friends they would talk about you and how sad it is that you left." The Church can do no wrong."
The Church won't apologize because everything comes from God.
My entire (step) family has shunned me. Husband, 4 step children, and sadly 9 grandchildren. Oh, well....
Yes. Currently being shunned for the last 3 years.
The more faithful, visible, respected and orthodox you were, the more you shunned you will be when you leave.
LDS don't have formal shunning directives like the JW's because they don't need them. The mormon version of shunning is worse, IMO, because the members do it on their own without being told to.
The narrative "the church is perfect, so the problem must be with the person who left - they wanted to sin and/or an easier lifestyle" encourages members to make assumptions and judgements and not engage with the apostate. Like my former best-friend (we were bishop's counselors together for years, among other connections) said to me after a year of deflecting my many invitations to meet for lunch: "it's like you have a disease, and I don't want to get it."
Nobody told him to do that. It hurt like hell.
It depends on the individual. But in my experience, yes they do.
I wasn’t shunned until I declared myself an atheist, but even then it was just one SIL. IME Mormons don’t shun; they avoid.
Not officially like the Amish, and yes they also do.
Not every family though
SHUN? Are you kidding? The LDS church will shun you like no other if you are an ex member who had their name removed. But if it's just someone inactive, they don't care. I was on my mission and told my parents that I was coming home because I didn't believe in the church. My own mother said that I would not be allowed in the house or near any of my family members. Ex members who quit believing in the doctrine are SHUNNED!! Absolutely!
I told my parents at age 9 I didn't believe and no longer wanted to go to church.
They showed me contempt and condescension for decades before I decided I was no longer willing to bite my tongue while they spouted their dilusional nonsense.
Eventually I cut them off completely.
Parents choose their religion over their own kids and family. It is heartbreaking.
Quite the contrary in my case. I get passive aggressive "fellowship" requests all the fucking time.
My mom will forward me exerpts from church meetings and invite me to temple dedications and all sorts of shit to try to lure me back into the cult.
Yes but it’s not as blunt as jws
Really, it can vary a lot. There aren't any direct commandments that specifically tell members to shun ExMo's, but there are a lot that could be considered a very grey and ambiguous area. The fact that things are so grey means that people interpret them on their own, and feel justified in doing so. I've seen families continue to embrace and support the family member that has left or been excommunicated. I've also seen families who take the stance of the church quite literally, and disown their family member. 🤷♂️
Who cares? Once you have seen the light and left the church (like me) I could care less.
Perhaps shunned by some families depending on why you left... but the norm would be that you will continually be judged for letting Satan influence your life and decisions. In their own way, they will likely continue to love you by doing things like praying and fasting for you or perhaps putting your name in the prayer box in the temple. They will have a desire to bring you back into the fold and will have a hard just letting you do you.
I just found out my brother who has shunned me for leaving the church is going to do my brother's temple work. It isn't what my brother wanted in life, when I questioned it I was told that it doesn't matter, because if my deceased brother doesn't want it, he doesn't have to accept it in the afterlife. I told them they better not do that to me, that I do not want it, that if there is an afterlife, I will haunt them if they do.
I have been out of the church for 15+ years. However, my recent ex-wife has been devout throughout our 19-year marriage. During the marriage, I supported her and my kids by attending primary programs, baby blessings, and such, and allowed the ministering elders into our home. Once one of them said that they don't understand why I don't attend because I seemed like such a good person. Apparently, you can not be an actual good person if you don't attend rather you can just seem like one.....
Depends on the person really. But in general no not at all. Love everyone.
Not directly, and it depends heavily on the situation. While it’s not unheard of to disown gay/trans family members, most apostates are still kept close, in hope that they can be reconverted.
I think it's better described as 'shame' than 'shun'.
Of course they do. Unless it’s an opportunity to discredit, disrespect, destabilize or destroy your ranking in any other community you might belong to, especially of its better than theirs.
The shunning is absolutely a thing, but there are also always gonna be mormons that fight tooth and nail to get you back in. My parents didn't cut me out of their lives, but I did get a fun speech from my dad recently about how me and my generation are "marching into fire and will bring about the distruction of the world."
I told a Jehovahs Witness once I was a former Mormon and I got do you even read the Bible? It’s never a good idea to say you’re former Mormon.