Why gay rights? You guys aren’t gay – no one in your family is gay – so why do you care?
Bowie’s love of wearing high-heels not-withstanding, it’s true – we are not personally impacted by LGBT rights or issues. But it is this question and this sentiment that baffles us the most. Why should it matter? Especially in a church that teaches we are all brothers and sisters, why do we wait to make a stand or show empathy and love until AFTER it is personally effecting us? It’s easy to see someone being beat up in the hall and just look the other way – we just refuse to be those people.
Why take your names off the record? What about being the change you want to see?
The policy change was an illuminating moment for most LDS Activists. It highlighted the fact that the church is not a democracy and any change must come from the top down – and as much as the liberal echo-chambers celebrated what they thought was progress over the last few years, the reality is that the church simply cannot budge on certain fundamental issues. We have also come to realize that trying to help other people find ways to ‘make the church work’ or stay active is like writing checks you can’t cash. Many people have been given false hope that there is a way to reconcile fundamental flaws in the church and the differences in their moral opinions and are now feeling the full brunt of that misconception. We truly feel that we can do much more good and make much more progress in our own lives (And hopfully in the lives of others) outside the confines of Mormonism.
Is it because of sin? People only leave because they want to sin.
Through our entire tenure in the mormon church we have abided by every commandment and principle asked of us. It is simply untrue and insulting to have this thoroughly painful, profound, life-altering decision be brushed aside as an excuse to try coffee.
What about the children? Isn’t it selfish to make them suffer for your faith crisis?
First and foremost our children are our lives and the most important factor in making the decisions we have. We are good parents and our children are good kids and we are committed to sticking together though life’s travails as a family. As we have come to learn more of the unfortunate truths about the church, it’s history, and it’s ability to tear families apart (think of the most frequent outcome of a child leaving the faith, or the church’s requirement for kids to denounce their gay parents) we decided that we wanted no part of a future where our children felt conflicted in their love for us, and vice versa. It is actually FOR our kids that we have made such swift actions toward distancing ourselves from the church.
Scriptures say that the very elect will be deceived? What if you are being deceived?
We have made these choices with as much study, personal experience and inner conviction as we can muster. It has been a decade long process of pain and inner turmoil to get to this point. If we are the ones that are deceived, then it is a deception so thorough, so convincing to those of a good heart with good intentions, that we cannot fathom a Supreme Being who would punish us for falling sway to such a deception. And if it is true that the very elect will be deceived – then it is a requirement that each person look as closely as possible at their own beliefs and truly ask if they or their leaders are the ‘elect’ it is talking about.
You talk about losing faith in God and the Church, but you admit to feeling the spirit? What gives?
It is undeniable – we’ve felt the spirit on hundred of occasions through our lives. But so have people in every faith in every age throughout the history of religion. Feelings of love and happiness that come from pondering the wonders of life, or helping other people, or reaffirming already cherished beliefs is a natural phenomenon of the human condition. We understand that It’s less satisfying to put it in naturalistic terms – but for us it is not a conflict to have once felt the church was true and to now have conviction that it isn’t.
What’s to stop you from ‘fighting against the church with the same zeal in which you believed in it’?
First, that saying is patently untrue. Ward rosters are filled to the brim with people who have left the church completely and have found ways to move on with their lives in peace and happiness. However, it IS our full intention to continue to fight for equality, empathy, love and compassion for ALL people with the exact same fervor as when we were in the church. But our goal is not to see the church fail. We love our family – we love all the good Latter Day Saints that make the world a better place. And that will never change.