Monday, February 6, 2012

Why They Leave?

'You are so angry'
'You are so hateful'
'You will only be happy again when you come back to church'
'You are unhappy because you are sinning'
'You will only be at peace when you leave your sinful life behind and begin attending church again'
'Tithing has natural consequences if you don't pay to the church'

These are all things I have been told when I stopped attending the mormon church. I fundamentally reject all of them. I have never been happier or more at peace since leaving.  I have told many people,

'Good things happen to good people; bad things happen to bad people.
Bad things happen to bad people; bad things happen to good people.
This isn't religion, this is life.'

When I stopped paying tithing, I was so afraid that god was going to reach out and punish me. That didn't happen. I went from working a minimum waged job-part-time job, to a full time job, to a full time job with benefits. I have been able to support my children.  Why? Because I worked damn hard and took extra classes to supplement my education. That is life. God had nothing to do with it. Neither did paying or not paying tithing.

It is easy for people who live their lives by certain values to then judge everyone by those same values. People who pay tithing have been told all their lives that if they pay, they will be blessed. Yet, statistics show that those same people are no more financially well off than those who don't pay tithing. Also, there are more filings for bankruptcies in the state of Utah than any other state.

I was told my entire life as a mormon that those who leave, do so for only a few reasons: 'You want to sin'; 'You have been offended'; 'You are too lazy to walk the straight and narrow path'.

There is a new survey that shows these assumptions to be false:

Here is an excerpt:

Reasons why People Lose Faith
If you no longer believe that the LDS church is the true church (and once
did), which of the following were factors in your loss of belief:
                                                 Moderate to Strong Factor                         Primary Factor
I lost faith in Joseph Smith                                            81%                        39%
I studied church history and lost my belief                     84%                        39%
I ceased to believe in the church's doctrine/theology       87%                       38%
I lost faith in the Book of Mormon                                 79%                       35%
I re-evaluted what it means to believe/know, and realized
that I never really believed.                                             52%                       18%
I lost confidence in the general authorities                       71%                       18%
Church's stance on homosexuals / Prop 8                       68%                      15%
I did not feel spiritually edified at church                         67%                      15%
Church's stance on women                                            70%                       14%
I became bothered by church culture
 (e.g. conservative politics, etc.)                                     57%                       11%
I lost my faith in God 39% 11%
Church's stance on science-related matters                     64%                         9%
I lost my faith in Jesus                                                   39%                          8%
I lost confidence in my local church leadership                41%                         8%
Church's stance on race issues (blacks, native
  Americans, etc.)                                                            72%                         7%
I did not receive the promised spiritual witness                 37%                         6%
I received a spiritual witness to leave the church and go
  elsewhere                                                                      18%                         5%
I or someone I loved was abused by someone in the church.12%                     3%
I wanted to engage in behaviors viewed as sinful by the
church (e.g. alcohol, extra-marital sex)
                                                                                        8%                         1%
I was offended by someone in the church.                         8%                         1%
Lack of meaningful friendships within the church              13%                         1%

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