Many members never become less active. Yet, many do. Everyone’s path is unique.
I’ve never left the Church, but certainly have modified my views as I’ve been exposed to truth from all kinds of sources. Nobody’s faith should remain the same for long, is my view.
Below are stories that show how and why certain Latter-day Saints stopped believing and practicing their faith. And how and why they returned.
Great insights from Elder Uchtdorf:
Three prominent Latter-day Saints left the Church. Years later they returned. Each story of deconversion and reconversion is very unique.
I’ll introduce each panelist briefly:
- on the right: Janet Eyring; niece of Spencer W. Kimball and cousin of Henry B. Eyring; grew up in Berkeley, CA; graduated from BYU in 1976; served mission in Toronto; got Master’s & PhD at UCLA; crisis of faith started as a child & wasn’t resolved till 46; spent 20 years outside the Church
- middle: Don Bradley; grew up in Upstate NY; Bachelor’s in History from BYU; spent time as an agnostic and atheist, then back to theist, then Baha’i, then generic Protestant before returning to the Utah-based church where he had begun; now getting Master’s in History at Utah State
- on the left: Maxine Hanks; related to Marion G. Hanks; was excommunicated as one of the “September 6” in 1993; was out of the LDS Church for 20 years; 1/2 of life in the Church, 1/2 of life out of the Church; feminist who has authored or co-authored several books including Women & Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism, Mormon Faith in America, Getting Together With Yesterday, A History of Sanpete County, and was a contributor to Secrets of Mary Magdalene, Religion in America, and Latter-day Dissent.
Don Bradley was interviewed about his period outside of the Church:
Dusty was referenced in a talk by Elder Uchdorf as one who opposed the Church who returned to faith:
For young Latter-day Saints:
Patrick Mason — author of Planted — discusses belief and doubt.