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Shunning Former Members


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I live in the most educated part of the country (DC metro). The LDS people here are talented, politically level-headed, and well-connected. I'm often beaming with pride at the service they do, e.g. with helping Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

We still hang out with people who've left the church. 

But I hear that in Utah people sometimes disown their kids if they leave, or tell their kids not to play with kids who leave. Under the pretext of not wanting their influence. Someone who lives in the corridor can confirm or deny.

I mean, if they're all up in your face about what's wrong with the church, then you're not obligated to be around those kinds of people. That's rude. Otherwise, there's no need to sever ties. A person's religious beliefs arent the only things about him/her.

 

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I'll say one more thing: ostracization from family and friends often happens whenever someone leaves a faith. I have a Jewish convert friend who doesn't tell friends and family in her hometown she's joined the church. For them, becoming atheist or Buddhist is fine, but follow Jesus and you're a traitor.

But shunning is no good, and I'd like to know to what extent it happens.

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3 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

I live in the most educated part of the country (DC metro). The LDS people here are talented, politically level-headed, and well-connected. I'm often beaming with pride at the service they do, e.g. with helping Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

Makes me wonder if you know someone I know there. She's organized and amazing in your refugee work.

3 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

We still hang out with people who've left the church. 

But I hear that in Utah people sometimes disown their kids if they leave, or tell their kids not to play with kids who leave.

I've heard this a lot, but I lived there for 39 years in 4 different places and volunteered in 5 different schools regularly and never personally knew anyone who did this.  I'm sure it happened (we have someone here on the board who it happened to), but I don't think it happened very often.  I did however have a mom accuse it of me only to find out her pastor was teaching her child to not have contact with my son because he a member. 

Either way it isn't right and should not happen ever and I made sure to teach my children to include and welcome others. 

3 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

Under the pretext of not wanting their influence. Someone who lives in the corridor can confirm or deny.

I mean, if they're all up in your face about what's wrong with the church, then you're not obligated to be around those kinds of people. That's rude. Otherwise, there's no need to sever ties. A person's religious beliefs arent the only things about him/her.

 

 

Edited by Rain
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3 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

I live in the most educated part of the country (DC metro). The LDS people here are talented, politically level-headed, and well-connected. I'm often beaming with pride at the service they do, e.g. with helping Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

We still hang out with people who've left the church. 

But I hear that in Utah people sometimes disown their kids if they leave, or tell their kids not to play with kids who leave. Under the pretext of not wanting their influence. Someone who lives in the corridor can confirm or deny.

I mean, if they're all up in your face about what's wrong with the church, then you're not obligated to be around those kinds of people. That's rude. Otherwise, there's no need to sever ties. A person's religious beliefs arent the only things about him/her.

 

So true, but if you are intimate enough with them to say that the only thing that has changed in the relationship is a common  testimony and spiritual identity, it does slim down the points upon which the relationship is expressed and enjoyed, and the relative sense of meaning concerning areas of interest and what makes one happy.

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3 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

I'll say one more thing: ostracization from family and friends often happens whenever someone leaves a faith. I have a Jewish convert friend who doesn't tell friends and family in her hometown she's joined the church. For them, becoming atheist or Buddhist is fine, but follow Jesus and you're a traitor.

But shunning is no good, and I'd like to know to what extent it happens.

I would say shunning is far less common than a dampening of mutual joy. I have been shunned by only a couple of people who have left the Church.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

And in my experience, there is a loss of common interests that almost always affects the relationship, unless it existed outside of religious things before they left. 

I think this may be because what remains may be too thin to fill up whatever was lost. New,  meaningful shared interests need to develop since preserving relationships requires that they grow. 

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4 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

I mean, if they're all up in your face about what's wrong with the church, then you're not obligated to be around those kinds of people. That's rude. Otherwise, there's no need to sever ties. A person's religious beliefs arent the only things about him/her.

What do you think about this scripture in JST Mark 9?

JST, Mark 9:40–48. Compare Mark 9:43–48
Jesus compares cutting off an offending hand or foot to discontinuing associations that may lead one astray.
 40 Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell.
41 For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
42 And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off.
43 It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched.
 44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.
45 Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.
46 And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.
47 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/jst/jst-mark/9?lang=eng

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3 minutes ago, bluebell said:

And also, for a lot of my friends, the only time I see them is at church or church functions or through church callings.

I am really close to a lot of people, and consider them good friends, and we interact a lot over social media or texts. But the only time we ever see each other is through the church. So you take that away and you really have to put forth a whole new kind of effort to stay in each others lives. And sometimes it just doesn’t happen, even though it doesn’t reflect how you feel about each other. 

It definitely requires one-on-one time, and yes, we are spending time building Zion for a reason. So the loss of common testimony and spiritual identity really affects how much time we spend with each other.

One person I know simply stopped calling, writing, etc., so I'm the only one reaching out these days, trying to respect their space.

Edited by CV75
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1 minute ago, CV75 said:

I think this may be because what remains may be too thin to fill up whatever was lost. New,  meaningful shared interests need to develop since preserving relationships requires that they grow. 

I do think this is true and I see it as a real problem.  It's one of the reasons I wish people didn't get so busy and put more time into socializing or just being with others. 

My friend and I started a book club here that we made sure was not a church thing for a number of reasons.  After awhile I had to drop out because of timing with my kids, but have recently been thinking of being with them again. However, it frustrates me because one of the members is now in the relief society presidency and she keeps trying to make it an RS thing.  It is ok to have a non church social life!

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2 minutes ago, Rain said:

I do think this is true and I see it as a real problem.  It's one of the reasons I wish people didn't get so busy and put more time into socializing or just being with others. 

My friend and I started a book club here that we made sure was not a church thing for a number of reasons.  After awhile I had to drop out because of timing with my kids, but have recently been thinking of being with them again. However, it frustrates me because one of the members is now in the relief society presidency and she keeps trying to make it an RS thing.  It is ok to have a non church social life!

Absolutely, especially with a mixed group.

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5 hours ago, Hamilton Porter said:

I live in the most educated part of the country (DC metro). The LDS people here are talented, politically level-headed, and well-connected. I'm often beaming with pride at the service they do, e.g. with helping Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

We still hang out with people who've left the church. 

But I hear that in Utah people sometimes disown their kids if they leave, or tell their kids not to play with kids who leave. Under the pretext of not wanting their influence. Someone who lives in the corridor can confirm or deny.

I mean, if they're all up in your face about what's wrong with the church, then you're not obligated to be around those kinds of people. That's rude. Otherwise, there's no need to sever ties. A person's religious beliefs arent the only things about him/her.

 

I know it happens, I live in Utah in a very big population of LDS. And I've seen it happen, and hopefully I didn't outwardly do this to anyone. We rarely had non members in our neighborhoods, that's how saturated we were with just members, even all active ones too. And it's a very big problem in Utah from what I've seen from a FB private group from my home town. I have heard said that even active LDS that move here hate it. They can't believe how awful it is, and feel like we're in a big bubble here. I envy those that live in states outside of Utah, and wonder what that's like. My poor niece on my husband's side hated my former neighborhood/ward we were both able to be in together, she has two adopted black children and I guess it was horrendous the comments she had from members. I feel bad that that particular ward, my old ward, is the reason her family moved to Virginia, he's an air traffic controller. She wanted more diversity for her children. And she doesn't want to move back to Utah, and most of her extended family and siblings and mother live in Utah! It's pretty bad, I hadn't realized right in my previous neighborhood, before she moved there, I told her how wonderful our ward was. Boy was I wrong, sad to say. And she even grew up in a heavily populated LDS area in Utah, but I guess it's since she adopted black children. Which was surprising to me that she had such a horrible experience. 

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I'm so agree with you. I also find that kind of behavoir ridicelous. It's a thing in Utah. I don't understand why those people behave like that. Maybe it's because they live on such a high altitude, with les oxygen. 

Edited by Dario_M
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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

 

One person I know simply stopped calling, writing, etc., so I'm the only one reaching out these days, trying to respect their space.

That's kinda rude of that person.

I would stop reaching out if i where you. Such a waste of time and energie if you ask me. 

Edited by Dario_M
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7 minutes ago, Dario_M said:

I'm so agree with you. I also find that kind of behavoir ridicelous. It's a thing in Utah. I don't understand why those people behave like that. Maybe it's because they life on such a high altitude, with les oxygen. 

We’re only at around 4500 feet, give or take. 😁

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28 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

 before she moved there, I told her how wonderful our ward was. Boy was I wrong, sad to say. And she even grew up in a heavily populated LDS area in Utah, but I guess it's since she adopted black children. Which was surprising to me that she had such a horrible experience. 

Well... she probably will hate you now for that. 🤣

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37 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

And it's a very big problem in Utah from what I've seen from a FB private group from my home town.

Completely shunning people? Or just not be friends with them?

I would love to live in Utah. The community is amazing and it's about as close as you can get to a an ideal Christian community.

If I didn't have dreams, I would've stayed in Utah after college.

Edited by Hamilton Porter
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6 minutes ago, Hamilton Porter said:

Completely shunning people? Or just not be friends with them?

I would love to live in Utah. The community is amazing and it's about as close as you can get to a an ideal Christian community.

If I didn't have dreams, I would've stayed in Utah after college.

It kind of depends where you live. I live next to Hill Air Force Base, and we have way more nonmembers (nonreligious nonmembers, to be more specific) than members in our neighborhood. Still an awesome neighborhood to live in, don’t get me wrong. I love all my neighbors. But it’s not what I would call a Christian community.

It’s just a really good community. 

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26 minutes ago, Dario_M said:

That's kinda rude of that person.

I would stop reaching out if i where you. Such a waste of time and energie if you ask me. 

It may well come to that point, but for now, reaching out doesn't negatively impact my happiness.

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16 minutes ago, Hamilton Porter said:

Completely shunning people? Or just not be friends with them?

I would love to live in Utah. The community is amazing and it's about as close as you can get to a an ideal Christian community.

If I didn't have dreams, I would've stayed in Utah after college.

Sorry, not completely shunning, but from what the move in's say about LDS in Utah being rather protective of their children playing with their children if they aren't LDS. You'll get several posts that say how lonely it was growing up non LDS in highly populated LDS areas. This is in the Bountiful area that I grew up in. 

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9 minutes ago, CV75 said:

It may well come to that point, but for now, reaching out doesn't negatively impact my happiness.

It would negatively impact my happiness for sure. But also my energy. Apart from that it's not a really polite way to end a friendship. That person could also have been honest and told you that he/she doesn't wanna be friends with you anymore and don't wanna have contact. That's then way more clear for you. Then you know for sure that it would be a waste of time to continue sending letters to him/her and focus your energy on something else....like...other people. Nice people. 

Edited by Dario_M
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