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Uptick in GenZ / Millennial apostasy?


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2 hours ago, ttribe said:

Riiiiggghhhttt...it's all in my head when former fellow ward members look right at me in the grocery store and reverse course to avoid interacting with me.

These threads wherein believers declare to former-believers what's "really" happening to them are such a joy. 

Come on, ttribe. You know as well as I do that there could be myriad reasons behind why someone might reverse course when faced with a potentially awkward exchange. Many of these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with how many former members on the board characterize such situations but rather the individuals are simply afraid of what could be a highly uncomfortable or even charged exchange - an exchange they would rather not have. And yes, as you seem so certain about, they could be avoiding you because they are all lily-livered, scalawags who are fare-weathered friends. Good grief.

For what it's worth, as often as I find myself wholly at odds with your posts (though not always!), I would not turn and walk away from you. ; )

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45 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

It's a very difficult space for everyone. Abut ten years ago, we had a young member of our ward formally apostatise over the Church's opposition to redefining marriage. He was my home teaching companion before he left, and he would frequently tell me about how judgemental everyone else was. His evidence was all along the lines of: someone looked at me during Institute.

'And you know what he was thinking when he looked at you?'

'It was obvious!'

He reminded me of my Very Angry Sister-in-law when she told us all after church one Sunday that Sis So-and-so had told her she was getting fat. I was dumbfounded. Why would someone just walk up to another person at church at say, 'Wow, you're really getting fat'? Shocked and curious, I asked for the exact words that Sis So-an-so had used.

'She said, "Oh, that's a nice new dress"'.

'And then she said, "You look fat in it"?' I asked.

'No'.

'So what else did she say?'

'That's it'. Super-confused look on my face. 'She knows very well that I to had to buy a new dress because I've gained weight!'

Anyway, one evening in frustration, I pointed out to my apostatising home teaching companion that the only Church member judging people was he. He couldn't see it, of course, and he was really offended, so I never brought it up again.

When he formally resigned from the Church, he was very clear that he wanted no contact from any of us. Respectful of his desires, we let him go his merry way. One morning about four months later, he rang me on my mobile. I was excited to get a call from him, sincerely hoping he wanted to resume contact.

He was angry. 'You people are all a bunch of hypocrites', he said. 'You were never my friends; you just pretended to care'.

Confused and hurt, I asked him why he felt this way.

'It's been four months since I left, and not one person has reached out to me to see how I'm going!'

I reminded him that he had told us all personally that he wanted zero contact. I told him that he had repeated that instruction in a Facebook message to me. He insisted I was lying.

After he hung up, I didn't know what I was supposed to do. Leave him alone like he'd originally demanded? Check on him in a few days and risk being accused of being fake and just checking in on him because of his phone call?

In the end, I waited a couple of months and then sent him a message and asked if he'd like to come 'round some evening for dinner.

He never replied.

I tried one more time. Same response.

So yeah ...

I honestly suspect he's on an ex-Mormon forum somewhere telling everyone how fake and judgemental Church members are. Oh, and how much we hate gay people.

 

You might be right, but hopefully he acknowledges what you did if only for himself in his mind. I was somewhat like your friend with hurt feelings when no one reached out when I went inactive for a year with not one person reaching out wondering where I'd been, and I never told a soul to not contact me. Oh, well. But just know that you did that best thing ever, and that guy will feel grateful deep down and may even return. 

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33 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

But just know that you did that best thing ever, and that guy will feel grateful deep down and may even return. 

I have zero guarantee of that, but we can both hope together! I really enjoyed having him as my companion.

Regardless, if I ever bump into him at the shops and actually recognise him, I'll head straight over and say hi. If I don't see or recognise him, but he sees me, I already know how he'll interpret that ...

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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47 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

If I don't see or recognise him, but he sees me, I already know how he'll interpret that ...

That is my issue. I have a hard time recognizing people out of the usual setting and instead will be clueless or worse, sense I should know them, but because I don’t, get nervous about talking to them and I might try to subtly avoid getting close enough that if we know each other, we would say hi. Even if I register they are someone from school or church or doctor’s office, etc. names generally elude me. In the past, that would mean trying to avoid contact, but now I just say my brain is useless when it comes to names and I know I should know, but I don’t. 
 

So it is quite possible a former member saw me turn into another aisle at a store in order to avoid them, but not for the reason they think. 
 

Otoh, if I saw one of my sisters in a store, there is a good chance I would try and avoid her as she has disowned the family and even threatened legal action if someone shares her contact info with a sibling or niece or nephew.  No doubt if she saw me avoiding her, she would be quite accurate in her interpretation of why that occurred. I can think of two other people I would avoid if possible in the same way because contact is just too negative of an experience, but I was always polite and even nice to them, so they would likely be clueless. 
 

There was one day last year my son showed up at the door unexpectedly without his family and it took a minute and him saying something for my mind to shift from “stranger, likely a solicitor” to “son”.

Edited by Calm
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5 hours ago, bOObOO said:

Well at least we give you some options about what you could think.  When people look at me in a store and then reverse course I usually figure that them seeing me caused them to think of some things they forgot to do or get where they came from, so they were simply going back to wherever they came from to take care of those things.  So then I usually follow them to see what they were going back for and I interact with them there.  Sometimes people are just in a hurry and scatter brained and not very organized about how they go about doing things.  Sometimes when you really want to interact with other people you just need to be persistent while being willing to follow people wherever they go.

Why on earth would I want anyone to tell me how to think?  That's completely foreign to me.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I can think of two other people I would avoid if possible in the same way because contact is just too negative of an experience, but I was always polite and even nice to them, so they would likely be clueless.

Yep, there are just some people where, after an interaction or two, one realises that it's wise to just back away slowly. My personal rule -- both on this forum and elsewhere -- is not to engage with crazy.

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10 hours ago, rongo said:

Often, a lot of the judgment people feel coming from the Church/Church members is in their heads. That is, they feel judged, stared at, thought less of, etc., even when those they feel are doing it are not doing it. This happens a lot with people who are apprehensive about standing out in church meetings. Many of the young people leaving the Church have family who are doing everything they can to retain and maintain normal relations, not make it awkward or hostile, etc., but this is only perceived by them as being very different. I think a lot of this has to do with self-consciousness, dissonance, and sometimes even conscience. 

There is some merit to this. One also has to consider what the church teaches is bad/good, right/wrong etc about all kinds of things. When one is doing or believes something contrary to these teachings it is easy to assume the potential judgement being passed on them by faithful members. If the belief is that if someone does such and such they are bad… well I’m bad and that’s what they think about me. 
 

perfect example is this. Growing up I was taught to never date or marry outside your own race. It was against our religion, the prophet said so and it mixes the race of your descendants. You are white for a reason. That said, when I asked a girl out in high school who was not white I knew I could never take her to meet my parents if we became a thing. I was disobeying Spencer w kimball the prophet. 
 

we go out and lo and behold we become an item and my mother finds out. Dimed out by my sister of course and holy hell broke out at second class’ house. “ How dare you date a “bleep” behind our backs! You are forbidden to see her again! Of course we kept dating, went to prom etc. parents hated that. She wasn’t even Mormon but that just made it even worse since she was also a “bleep.” 
 

so when one of my kids is getting sealed in the temple twenty plus years later to someone who isn’t white…, yea it is not in my head what they are thinking. They taught me they hated that and no good Mormon does that. Def not just in my head. Never told my kids but my wife knows. My kids grew up military brat. They don’t have a problem with blacks and other races. 
 

Prob just in my head but I know what they believe and they believe this is a horrible thing. Good Mormons though… ask anyone around here lol

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The below video showed up on my recommended list today. It's a pretty well-thought-out response to the OP and so many other comments on this thread.

Jacob has published on the psychology of polarising political movements, and his insight that people like Dehlin and his ilk are using the same methods to stir up the same kinds of fear, hatred and suspicion is powerful, in my opinion.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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6 hours ago, secondclasscitizen said:

There is some merit to this. One also has to consider what the church teaches is bad/good, right/wrong etc about all kinds of things. When one is doing or believes something contrary to these teachings it is easy to assume the potential judgement being passed on them by faithful members. If the belief is that if someone does such and such they are bad… well I’m bad and that’s what they think about me. 
 

perfect example is this. Growing up I was taught to never date or marry outside your own race. It was against our religion, the prophet said so and it mixes the race of your descendants. You are white for a reason. That said, when I asked a girl out in high school who was not white I knew I could never take her to meet my parents if we became a thing. I was disobeying Spencer w kimball the prophet. 
 

we go out and lo and behold we become an item and my mother finds out. Dimed out by my sister of course and holy hell broke out at second class’ house. “ How dare you date a “bleep” behind our backs! You are forbidden to see her again! Of course we kept dating, went to prom etc. parents hated that. She wasn’t even Mormon but that just made it even worse since she was also a “bleep.” 
 

so when one of my kids is getting sealed in the temple twenty plus years later to someone who isn’t white…, yea it is not in my head what they are thinking. They taught me they hated that and no good Mormon does that. Def not just in my head. Never told my kids but my wife knows. My kids grew up military brat. They don’t have a problem with blacks and other races. 
 

Prob just in my head but I know what they believe and they believe this is a horrible thing. Good Mormons though… ask anyone around here lol

You’ve had awful experiences. God will consider all. IMO

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Quote

You, as others have done, took [President Nelson's] “victory for Satan” comment out of context. The “victory for Satan” is not the use of the name Mormon per sé. It is the use of a name — any name — to supplant the name of Jesus Christ in reference to His Church. Christ Himself in 3 Nephi declared that this should not be done. President Nelson’s teaching is in line with that declaration. 
 

On 9/20/2021 at 11:00 AM, 2BizE said:

Scott, while this may be the real intent of the change, it is not the perception experienced  by a broad number of members and non-members.  

 

Perceptions can be and very often are false. It is neither honorable nor respectable to adhere to a false perception.

Quote

Remember he also banned any books at Deseret Book that had the word Mormon in it. Authors had to change titles or risk the book not being sold there.

A lot of us have had to change our behavior to one degree or another with respect to how we identify the Church. Even the most faithful among us occasionally need a course correction, and it is one role of the prophet of God, acting under inspiration, to give such a correction from time to time. They who are wise and who love the Lord will heed such correction. 

Quote

 

This certainly shows the deep hatred Pres. Nelson has for the word Mormon.

 

 

 

I reject this as false. President Nelson, as much as anyone I can think of, grasps and appreciates the greatness and nobility of the prophet Mormon, who preserved the Nephite records and abridged them into the volume that has been brought forth for us in the latter-day dispensation and that bears his name. It defies reason to think that one with such a grasp and appreciation would hate the name of such a man.

And it's a perfectly safe assumption that Mormon himself would not approve of his own name being used to supplant the name of the Savior in identifying the Church of Jesus Christ, as it was Mormon who preserved the recorded words of the resurrected Christ to the Nephites:

Quote

 

8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

 

(3 Nephi 27:8-10)

Quote

 Young people care deeply about perceptions. They don’t want to be perceived to be associated with an organization that does not represent their social beliefs. This is one reason younger folks are distancing themselves from the church and it’s leaders.

See what I wrote above about there being no honor or respectability in adherence to a false perception.

Though we invite all to come unto Christ and receive His ordinances and covenants through His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ is not a social club.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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25 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

You’ve had awful experiences. God will consider all. IMO

Yea but it is 100% all-in Mormonism so stepping outside that or “kicking against the pricks “ makes the non compliant one have an awful experience. Just this illustration alone the family / church attitude can be backed up by tons of material spoken by our prophets. One guy is mark e Peterson. Go look up racist quotes attributed to him. He was a total racist. I grew up with that dude visiting our home and eating dinner with us. The current 15 were raised like this so it isn’t hard to imagine what they believe. 
 

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17 hours ago, ttribe said:

Riiiiggghhhttt...it's all in my head when former fellow ward members look right at me in the grocery store and reverse course to avoid interacting with me.

These threads wherein believers declare to former-believers what's "really" happening to them are such a joy. 

 

17 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

I definitely am not saying that you haven’t experienced those things and that former members don’t experience judgment from members. I am just saying I think there is some truth to some people seeing judgment when it isn’t intended. I am sure there have been times when things I have done might’ve come across as judgmental when I didn’t intend them that way. 

 

15 hours ago, Vanguard said:

Come on, ttribe. You know as well as I do that there could be myriad reasons behind why someone might reverse course when faced with a potentially awkward exchange. Many of these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with how many former members on the board characterize such situations but rather the individuals are simply afraid of what could be a highly uncomfortable or even charged exchange - an exchange they would rather not have. And yes, as you seem so certain about, they could be avoiding you because they are all lily-livered, scalawags who are fare-weathered friends. Good grief.

For what it's worth, as often as I find myself wholly at odds with your posts (though not always!), I would not turn and walk away from you. ; )

Obviously, shunning and awkwardness happen, but I don't think it's a stretch to also acknowledge that at least some of this rests on the the people who have left (and possibly more). Not in all cases, of course.

I've seen people who have left who continually put their family in impossible situations (like wanting them to go to an NFL game with them, and then raging about brainwashing, blind obedience and allegiance to the Church, and lack of love for them when they patiently and kindly explain that they don't do things like that on Sunday. Which the person well knows). 

In one of the cases I have in mind from the OP, the wife married an inactive dud. Several children later, she's been working as a nurse and her husband struggles to hold a job and doesn't provide. She has commented for years that her life isn't how she envisioned it, and she also has had to shoulder the entire load as far as gospel study, church activity, etc. I think a contributing factor to her apostasy is that it's an attempt to relieve cognitive dissonance in herself. One of her issues is that she rages about how the Church makes working mothers like her feel huge guilt. I told her mother, "Hmmm. You've worked your entire life. She has worked her entire adult life. Probably 4/5 of the women in the wards she's lived in work. The Brethren actually haven't talked about women working outside the home since the 1980s. It isn't the Church making her feel guilty about being a working mother, not since before she was born. Her rage seems to be more of a psychological reaction to her necessity for working, her fatigue having to do it all for the family (including spiritually), and her disappointment that her husband is no help at all temporally or spiritually." In a lot of ways, it's easier for her if the Church isn't true --- then a lot of her perceived "failures" aren't failures at all. 

But, it's interesting that her perceived negative message and effects from the Church are at least somewhat a product of her own psychology, and not the reality of her experiences with the Church, family, etc. 

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15 hours ago, Vanguard said:

Come on, ttribe. You know as well as I do that there could be myriad reasons behind why someone might reverse course when faced with a potentially awkward exchange. Many of these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with how many former members on the board characterize such situations but rather the individuals are simply afraid of what could be a highly uncomfortable or even charged exchange - an exchange they would rather not have. And yes, as you seem so certain about, they could be avoiding you because they are all lily-livered, scalawags who are fare-weathered friends. Good grief.

For what it's worth, as often as I find myself wholly at odds with your posts (though not always!), I would not turn and walk away from you. ; )

Once would be more likely to follow the situation you suggest.  A pattern is something different.

For the record, I know from experience all members don't behave that way.  Heck, I just testified in a case yesterday and the attorney who engaged me is now in the Bishopric of the ward we used to be in together. 

What I am tired of is these threads in which the arrogant presumption is that those who have stayed in the church get to tell me what my 'actual' experience has been.  No one gets to tell me what my experience is, how I felt, or what I perceived.

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59 minutes ago, ttribe said:

Once would be more likely to follow the situation you suggest.  A pattern is something different.

For the record, I know from experience all members don't behave that way.  Heck, I just testified in a case yesterday and the attorney who engaged me is now in the Bishopric of the ward we used to be in together. 

What I am tired of is these threads in which the arrogant presumption is that those who have stayed in the church get to tell me what my 'actual' experience has been.  No one gets to tell me what my experience is, how I felt, or what I perceived.

I wouldn't want others telling me what my experience is either. I do get to suggest possibilities for viewing the experience differently though. The problem as I see it is that your characterization (and frequently that of others) rarely acknowledges (your quoted post is the exception) the possibility there could be other dynamics in play that have nothing to do with 'turning one's nose up'  or some such. I have had encounters with friends who were former members - encounters that had I known how aggressively antagonistic they would be, I would have turned around and gone the other way myself. Or course, when and if that happens, we can easily see how the experience becomes easy fodder for the former member to caste myself or any other member in a negative light for the former member's own purposes.

If leaving the gospel were not hard enough, managing intimate relations with those who remain in the faith can be fraught with highly charged, difficult, and hurt feelings on both sides of the aisle. Not jumping to cynical conclusions about the motivation of either party would be a worthwhile charge for everyone to pursue.

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20 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

I wouldn't want others telling me what my experience is either. I do get to suggest possibilities for viewing the experience differently though. The problem as I see it is that your characterization (and frequently that of others) rarely acknowledges (your quoted post is the exception) the possibility there could be other dynamics in play that have nothing to do with 'turning one's nose up'  or some such. I have had encounters with friends who were former members - encounters that had I known how aggressively antagonistic they would be, I would have turned around and gone the other way myself. Or course, when and if that happens, we can easily see how the experience becomes easy fodder for the former member to caste myself or any other member in a negative light for the former member's own purposes.

If leaving the gospel were not hard enough, managing intimate relations with those who remain in the faith can be fraught with highly charged, difficult, and hurt feelings on both sides of the aisle. Not jumping to cynical conclusions about the motivation of either party would be a worthwhile charge for everyone to pursue.

Maybe another contributing factor to the shunning is that the ones doing the shunning just don't know what to say or how to behave around the newly-departed ex-member.  If their previous conversations had centered on ward gossip or mutual acquaintances in the ward, the shunner just may not know WHAT to say in a casual conversation.  Rather than make awkward small talk about the weather or the traffic on I-15, all the while studiously avoiding any topics that might cause friction or ill feelings, they duck down an aisle in the grocery store instead. 

I suffer from (and sometimes even enjoy)social anxiety.  I can totally empathize with someone avoiding such a conversation.  If I were to do it to someone, it wouldn't be me turning up my nose at a former member, it would be me removing myself from a conversation that could be potentially awkward for the both of us. 

This is not an attempt to tell ttribe what is happening to him, but an attempt to get inside the head of the people who are treating him this way.  Hanlon's Razor rarely lets me down: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."  It's very possible that these people are avoiding you not to be malicious, but because they don't know how to behave around you.

Edited by Stormin' Mormon
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7 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Maybe another contributing factor to the shunning is that the ones doing the shunning just don't know what to say or how to behave around the newly-departed ex-member.  If their previous conversations had centered on ward gossip or mutual acquaintances in the ward, the shunner just may not know WHAT to say in a casual conversation.  Rather than make awkward small talk about the weather or the traffic on I-15, they duck down an aisle in the grocery store.  All the while studiously avoiding any topics that might cause friction or ill feelings. 

I suffer from (and sometimes even enjoy)social anxiety.  I can totally empathize with someone avoiding such a conversation.  If I were to do it to someone, it wouldn't be me turning up my nose at a former member, it would be me removing myself from a conversation that could be potentially awkward for the both of us. 

This is not an attempt to tell ttribe what is happening to him, but an attempt to get inside the head of the people who are treating him this way.  Hanlon's Razor rarely lets me down: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."  It's very possible that these people are avoiding you not to be malicious, but because they don't know how to behave around you.

Well said - this is what I am trying to get at. And yes, it goes without saying that ttribe and others get to characterize how they feel in such circumstances. And of course there are examples of members behaving awfully when around those who were formerly active. What no one gets to do, however, is to characterize motivations of others based solely on whether the member 'ducked and ran for cover' when the former member was in close proximity.

Edited by Vanguard
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13 hours ago, ttribe said:

Why on earth would I want anyone to tell me how to think?  That's completely foreign to me.

People who would try to tell you how to think would only be giving you their own ideas about how they think you might be able to think differently than you do or may do without their input.  They would not be able to force you or compel you to think as they do or how anyone else chooses to think.

You saying this idea is completely foreign to you actually tells me quite a bit about you and how you think.  It's a bit tough for me to take your statement at face value though.  Surely there have been times when other people have shared their thoughts with you while you considered their thoughts as another way you could think about something.  Maybe you just have a very short memory span and can't remember an instance like that in your own life.  Anyway, whatever you meant when you said that, I now think about you and your own thought processes a bit different than I did before.  Thank you for sharing some of your thoughts with me.

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On 9/17/2021 at 9:21 PM, rongo said:

I met my wife at the Sears call center in Provo, Utah (East Bay, actually). We fielded calls about problems with Sears appliances, and scheduled repair work. While one could get the impression from our job that Kenmore products were terrible (every time a call came through, it involved problems), we realized that 100% of the calls we took were problems. People didn't call to tell us that they were having no problems, that everything was working well, etc. 

Aware of this (that anecdotal evidence and experience does not represent the reality of the overall picture), my wife and I have noticed an increasing and intensifying increase in apostasy among young adults in their 20s and 30s. This general trend has long been discussed and worried about among youth (e.g., anecdotal experience in our stakes, mission age change to "stop the bleeding," keep 'em active programs post mission and in institutes, Church magazine focus and articles, etc.), but what we're seeing is rapid, "bombshell," seemingly out of nowhere announcements from young married couples with children that they are leaving the Church or that they want to (this doesn't come "out of nowhere," but it's the first anyone knows about it). We've been called and asked advice from friends about their children (sometimes in other states), and in many cases, these apostasies are among "the cream of the crop" (youth we knew well). By the time of the "bombshell" announcements, they neither want nor are open to help, discussion, question-answering, etc. 

Is anyone else noticing this? 

I know that in certain quarters, the response to this is, "Well, no duh. The Church is false, you could drive a truck through the holes in the truth claims, they're just seeing the light about how false everything is and becoming enlightened, etc." Obviously, I disagree with this, but I do agree that the way the Church has handled some things over decades is a contributing factor. 

Things can escalate very quickly these days.

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1 minute ago, Navidad said:

I know that most of this conversation is an intra-family discussion and that I am not part of the family. So I offer my thoughts with some trepidation. For some years now I have spent much more time around LDS church members than any other group/class/type/culture of folks. If I may offer a comment, it would be this. I believe there is a tremendous amount of codependency between many church members and the institution that is the LDS church, and vice-versa. I would expand that a bit to include evidence of codependency between family members as well. The Church very much needs its faithful members for a variety of reasons. In turn the members need the church for an equally varied set of reasons. The relationship is very complicated and complex. Codependency is often described as a circular relationship where someone needs someone who needs to be needed and so on. I think in some way LDS women are conditioned to be care-givers (as are many Mennonite women). They grow weary in well-doing but need to be care-givers even when overwhelmed or taken advantage of.

We know that folks who leave codependent relationships often do so with a lot of noise, trauma, and pain, especially the children of codependent parents. Others sneak away and hope no one notices until they are already gone. The only thing more complicated that continuing a codependent relationship is breaking one up. I won't say any more. I mean no disrespect, but my wife and I often are worried about our friends in the church and the stress they seem to be under to be worthy enough (a codependent trait). I ask no one to agree with me in what I am saying. I only ask that you not attach any malice on my part for this observation I am one who is on the edge of inside - these are just some thoughts from that position! Gracias.

This rings true. It is a complex relationship between members and church, and breakups are going to be traumatic. 

Years ago, they had the addiction recovery couple speak in all the wards. The sister said that absolutely everyone suffers from codependency, and therefore everyone should be at the addiction recovery meetings. When I was not enthusiastic about such a push, I asked her what codependency is. What is the actual definition? Yours above is as good as I've heard.

She was unable to define it, but she was certain everybody has it. I didn't find something everybody suffers from, but which can't be define, to be very useful or compelling. :) But, I do know people who need people (cue Barbara Streisand), who need to be needed, etc. in a cycle that feeds off itself. 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I know that most of this conversation is an intra-family discussion and that I am not part of the family. So I offer my thoughts with some trepidation. For some years now I have spent much more time around LDS church members than any other group/class/type/culture of folks. If I may offer a comment, it would be this. I believe there is a tremendous amount of codependency between many church members and the institution that is the LDS church, and vice-versa. I would expand that a bit to include evidence of codependency between family members as well. The Church very much needs its faithful members for a variety of reasons. In turn the members need the church for an equally varied set of reasons. The relationship is very complicated and complex. Codependency is often described as a circular relationship where someone needs someone who needs to be needed and so on. I think in some way LDS women are conditioned to be care-givers (as are many Mennonite women). They grow weary in well-doing but need to be care-givers even when overwhelmed or taken advantage of.

We know that folks who leave codependent relationships often do so with a lot of noise, trauma, and pain, especially the children of codependent parents. Others sneak away and hope no one notices until they are already gone. The only thing more complicated that continuing a codependent relationship is breaking one up. I won't say any more. I mean no disrespect, but my wife and I often are worried about our friends in the church and the stress they seem to be under to be worthy enough (a codependent trait). I ask no one to agree with me in what I am saying. I only ask that you not attach any malice on my part for this observation I am one who is on the edge of inside - these are just some thoughts from that position! Gracias.

I know for a fact your observation is correct. But IMO, this wasn't the case many years ago. You would have liked our church better before correlation. Women had their own Relief Society, with their own ideas on lessons, and they had their own magazine and had control over money. They weren't under the Priesthood but had their own entity. Women writers were out there and they had more freedom of thought. They even gave blessings to other women. This article is very informative. I only remember watching my mother in those days, and in my early married life, our RS lesson's were separate than the men's and had more cultural lessons that were geared toward women. https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/relief-society-175-years?lang=eng 

ETA: I think my reply here may not seem to be on the same page, I'm just saying I think women are happier controlling their own destinies and when women had more say I think they were happier.

A process of correlation took place around this time as Church leaders increased their efforts to streamline Church programs and emphasize priesthood authority. Auxiliary organizations stopped keeping their own independent financial accounts, some Church magazines combined (the Relief Society Magazine and the Improvement Era ended and the Ensign began), and Relief Society increasingly pursued its welfare and social service efforts through the official Church welfare program. As Church membership outside of the United States grew dramatically, members of Relief Society looked to the particular needs of their own communities to determine how best to fulfill the service aspects of Relief Society’s purpose. Relief Society service projects were thus transitioning in some respects from a top-down model to a grassroots model.

Edited by Tacenda
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59 minutes ago, rongo said:

They certainly are escalating very quickly with some people. Head-spinningly. 

In the last 2 weeks, say, what are you seeing as the top reasons given for leaving (most significant first)? 

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