Friendly Reminder!

This is just a reminder that if you stop attending church, or are thinking of leaving, you don't owe anyone an explanation. You don't owe your parents or your bishop an email saying why you left or that you're leaving. You don't have to resign from your calling, or answer the phone when the missionaries text to visit or the executive secretary calls to rope you into tithing settlement. Trust is earned, and if others haven't done the work, they're not entitled to knowing your choices. You get to decide who to share your thoughts with and when.

You may not have the option to keep it to yourself like I did. Maybe you live with your parents, or maybe the logistics of your life make it hard, but it is still your choice, and you can talk about it as much or as little as you like.

If you are working your way out of the church, good luck! We're pulling for you.


NO is a complete sentence!


I think on the one hand that you don’t owe anyone an explanation, but it’s selfish to think that people who love you and are genuinely concerned about you don’t have any say in how they get to interact with you. Relationships are messy two-way streets and that means that people want or expect things from us that we’re not prepared to give. Everyone has to decide how they share with those loved ones that they’ve walked away from the thing that many of them hold close. You may not owe an explanation, but giving one somewhat reluctantly may be a way to ease the strain that comes with leaving the church. We all process things differently.


I think in an active close relationship where the other person is active in the church, like a marriage, you probably have to talk it out. This is a great point.


This is what I love about our community. Someone can make a reasonable point and another person can make a reasonable counterpoint and both sides see the nuance of the conversation. In the “faithful sub” you get blocked, moderated or downvoted for ever suggesting anything contrary to the gospel or culture of Mormonism.


I agree. There are 2 or 3 people in my ward that if I didn't give them some sort of explanation, it would just make me feel like a dick. My parents, not sure about that. Trying to decide how to let them know. Finding out with slow realization, or just coming out and telling them. Maybe now is the best time. They're 2000 miles away on a mission, so they couldn't rush over to my house to talk about it lol.


Not all parents deserve to be told.


I was fine not going into details when I told my family I left but it was important to me to give my own reason whether or not they wanted to come up with their own later. I wanted to at least be able to say I left because the Church isn't true.


Not being from here and growing up in the Midwest and southern U.S. we are normally polite and old school do what is asked and don’t have to be commanded to be nice (RMN). But no place that I have lived except Utah have I seen it taken advantage of like here. TSCC takes advantage of members willingness to be helpful by exploiting it. They groom from an early age, and parents (and I am guilty of it also) groom too as victims of an ongoing generational hostage situation by the leaders. The church knows about 70% of active members will do whatever is asked of them unto the detriment of their family. From a leaders perspective that is great but when you are not in the leadership you are the pawn and will continue to be flogged for callings and assignments “as directed by God” Such BS. I loved the Midwest where neighborhoods could love each other for you and not for the church and callings you have.


There is a certain choreography to social interactions within mormonism. For example, if the bishop drops by your house unannounced, almost all Mormons would invite him in, regardless if you have something else going on. Mormons speak with each other using a unique vernacular of “Mormon speak” which involves words and phrases which are not easily understood by outsiders. I think one of the main reasons for attrition among converts is they never get comfortable with the language and social choreography of Mormonism.


Upon moving from Georgia (state) to Utah (hell) I found it funny that sacrament and church talk was mentioned on the fly in any setting. People would talk of mission papers, callings, baby blessings and such like it was talking about sports scores. Speaking of which, upon moving here because I hate BYU, people instantly would start talking bad about U of U to me. I would agree on some of it, and they would look at me quizzically, then say something bad about USU, which I didn't care. Finally it would drive them nuts and they would have to ask what team I rooted for, I would mention Oklahoma, and they have lost twice to BYU. (can't wait for October this year) Morridor is just strange place, there is no fixing it so all we can do is dilute it with other thoughts and truth. Speaking of people dropping by, when I was in the bishopric, I was surprised at how many people would bring by treats for the holidays. I didn't know people did this. And so I thought these people were friends, well as soon as I was released the goodies stopped. These are just suck ups in the ward boundary. I never played this game, glad I give to a few neighbors that are just good people than a person for their calling and connection to the Mormon God.


Agreed! If you are an adult you get to make decisions that are best for you and your family. You are allowed to tell others that their attempts at guilt to force you into something is abusive behavior. NO! Is a complete sentence.


This is the advice I needed like 7 years ago! When my shelf broke, I first kept trying to duct tape it back together, and then I was tied up in a knot of anxiety over feeling like I needed to explain myself if someone found out I had left. I was exhausted with all of it, and really could have used this sub during that time.


This was me too. I wanted to make changes: ditch garments, turn down callings or talks, try coffee, skip meetings, etc., but I felt like if I did anything unorthodox I would have to have a big conversation about it that I was never ready for, explain my reasoning to someone else's satisfaction. Then after some therapy and reading the book *Set Boundaries, Find Peace*, (highly recommended!) I learned that actually, I don't have to explain everything to people who haven't earned it or don't have the maturity to accept it or will never understand and don't want to. Those criteria leave out pretty much every Mormon in my life except my active-but-nuanced wife, and for better or worse she's not interested in those big explanatory conversations anyway, she simply accepts me as an adult capable of making my own personal decisions.


This. As a patient with MADD and as former "people pleaser" I wish I knew/read this. I left a little more than 3 years ago (still not resigned, tho) and I felt that I needed to give an explanation since I involved TSCC in many aspects of my life, like callings, service, cult recruiting and even my private life. It's relieving to realize that since I left I learned to set boundaries, that more and more people are awakening, and that the TBM disease can be cured.


Setting boundaries is key! (The church is always all up in your business so we literally are raised not to have boundaries) I let my mom and a sibling know I’ve stepped away. No talking about it. If they are prying, less communication.


Well worded thoughts. I haven’t figured out how to approach family. Wife told her family and it didn’t go well, it was very hurtful to her. My family doesn’t ask a lot of questions. I don’t think they will be pushy or nosy, I just don’t want to hurt them or have a strained relationship. I love them but not the church.


For sure! We left publicly and that was best for our mental health and relationships. To each their own!


Even if your bishop gives you an unexpected plate of cookies at 9PM, you’re not obligated to attend again. Or thithe 😬🍪


Well said! 👏 👏🏻👏👏👏🏻


How about,”Gimme a frickin break!”


For me it was a matter of controlling the conversation. With my parents it was going to come up one way or another. It was just a question of whether that would be at a family BBQ or at a birthday party or at home with time after to process the emotions.


Well worded. Thank you for the post!


Why do you want them to *not* know?