The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (2023)

To be a Mormon among Mormons is to realize the American fantasy of good neighbors. They’re the kind of neighbors from whom you borrow a cup of sugar and whom you trust to pick up your children from school when you’re stuck in a meeting. They invite you over on summer evenings for lemonade at the table in the backyard next to the hydrangeas. You eat their Jell-O salad at picnics. (Lime Jell-O is so popular among Mormons that the corridor of Mormon communities from Utah to Idaho is often called “the Jell-O Belt.”) And, of course, you see them every Sunday at church.

Joseph, 27, lives just west of Salt Lake City in a Mormon ward that spans a couple of streets. His church is just down the road, and the bishop, who presides over the ward, lives around the corner. Most of his neighbors are active within the Church, and when Joseph first moved in, he was, too. After he and his wife began trying to start a family, they became particularly close to their neighbors across the street who were older and had children of their own. The couple included them in all of their entertaining. The neighbors didn’t have an ice maker, so, often, one of them would swing by to pillage Joseph’s ice and chat. Their friendship was a paradigm of neighbordom, which inspires envy in this writer, whose interactions with her neighbors are limited to whacking the wall with a Swiffer when their music is too loud.

A family can also be very petty, especially when one of its own begins to drift away

In an article written for the Church’s official newsroom, titled “Why Mormons Make Good Neighbors,” Elder Larry Y. Wilson extols his fellow “church-attending Latter-day Saints” for their neighborliness. He begins with a quote drawn from a letter Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Winston Churchill: “I have a very high opinion of the Mormons—for they are excellent citizens.” (Wilson does not include the rest of Roosevelt’s quote, which ends in a barrel-bellied jab about polyamory.) He goes on to cite a survey showing that Mormons feel warmer toward their own members than any other religious group. “Practicing Latter-day Saints tend to be healthier, happier, better educated, and more committed to family values,” Wilson writes. “The Latter-day Saint community functions like an extended family.”

Depending on your experiences with extended family, Wilson’s comparison is either a soothing affirmation or a grim warning. A family can be very warm — particularly when that family is tied together by proximity, faith, a sweeping shared value system, a history of persecution, and the belief that “the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” A family can also be very petty, especially when one of its own begins to drift away.

Last summer, Joseph chose to stop attending church services. He made his decision in the wake of a protest by Sam Young, a businessman and former bishop from Texas. Young had been fasting for weeks to raise awareness about a policy that allowed bishops to conduct one-on-one interviews with minors, often about sexual matters. His cause struck a chord with Joseph, who was sexually abused when he was younger. Joseph attended several events Young held, and after one of them, he never went back to church again.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (1)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (2)

Joseph and his wife also announced their decision to their neighbors. “We still hang out with them,” he says, “but it just seems like, recently, they’re more distant. We don’t get invited over very often.” They still talk sometimes, but the friendship has chilled a bit, if you will: Joseph’s friend doesn’t swing by for ice anymore. “He doesn’t come over at all or check in on us to see how we’re doing. It’s just kind of sad. Not only are we leaving the Church, but we’re leaving our friends. We’re leaving our life. We’re leaving everything.”

Joseph hasn’t attended church services in nearly a year. He canceled the automatic payments that withdrew a 10 percent tithe from his income each month. When he’s out mowing his front lawn, his neighbors don’t greet him. Some don’t even look at him, and when they do, they stare pointedly at the tattoos he’s gotten in the past year.

But Joseph has joined a new community, one built of former Mormons who have found each other on the internet and who are committed to helping each other navigate the logistical and existential difficulties of leaving the Church.

In recent years, the Church has been embattled by the efficiency of the internet. It’s never been easier to stumble across information that contradicts the pillars of faith. That’s true for many religions but especially Mormonism, which has a very recent history. Where the unsavory specifics of an older faith’s origins may have been eroded by time, reduced to a handful of too-old-to-question texts and some shriveled relics, the early years of Mormonism are well-documented and easily examined online. The internet has also given Mormons new platforms, from forums to podcasts, where they can share their findings. The result has been a mass undoctrination.

But even when Mormons who choose to leave the Church can do so with the click of a button, it’s not that simple.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (3)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (4)

During a Q&A at Utah State University in 2011, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who was then the official Church historian, fielded a polite hardball question from a woman in the audience. She asked when the Church’s manuals would begin reflecting what she’d learned about the Church through her own research. “It’s interesting, in several of the scriptures that give us the information about what the Church historian should do, it’s ‘speak to the rising generation,’” Jensen said. “So our hope is to equip them, in a knowledgeable way — to give reason for the hope that is in them, and to do it in age-specific ways.”

The woman then asked Jensen whether he was aware that many Mormons were leaving the Church because of what they’d learned about Church history on Google.

“We are aware,” Jensen said, sounding defeated. “We do have another initiative that we’ve called ‘Answers to Gospel Questions.’ We’re trying to figure out exactly what channel to deliver it in, and exactly what format to put it in, but we want to have a place where people can go. We have hired someone that’s in charge of search engine optimization.” Salvation was suddenly a matter of clicks: it was up to Google’s algorithms whether a Mormon seeking answers found them on or on an ex-Mormon blog. The Church began a 21st century crusade for its members’ attention. is now, recently changed to encourage the use of the Church’s proper name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (The update appears to have temporarily hindered the Church’s search engine optimization. Until June, the Church’s SEO was so good that generally outranked Wikipedia in any Google search that included the term “Mormon.”)

“Everything I read just made me more and more sure it was wrong.”

Mormons struggling with questions about their faith can either seek help from their bishop or, says Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff, they can find scriptures, articles from Church leaders, and video libraries on Woodruff also points me to the Gospel Topics Essays, a series on divisive points in the Church’s history (“Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah”) and its present (“Book of Mormon and DNA Studies”). The Church began releasing the Gospel Topics Essays in 2013. They are the “Answers to Gospel Questions” that Jensen teased in 2011.

But the Gospel Topics Essays don’t always validate beliefs. One former Mormon tells me she began to have questions about Church history when she was helping her daughter study scripture ahead of her baptism. When she read that the Book of Mormon said Christopher Columbus would discover America, her mind snagged on a loose thread: she knew there’d been people in America before Columbus. “I started reading the Church essays that they’ve recently released — on blacks and the priesthood, homosexuals, stuff like that — and everything I read just made me more and more sure it was wrong.”

Evan Lloyd, a 41-year-old lawyer in Arizona who left the Church last year, speculates that most Mormons don’t even know the Gospel Topics Essays exist. “They are really hard to find, even on their website. You really almost have to go through Google to get to the part of the website where they are,” he says. “But when you go to your bishop’s office and you’re like, ‘I read about Joseph Smith having 30 wives, and one of them was 14, and he was marrying married women’ — that freaked me out — then the bishop can go, ‘But we’ve had it on the website. We never hid it from anybody. It’s just not something we talk about.’”

An article in a cached 2015 back issue of the Church’s magazine, Ensign, called “When Doubts and Questions Arise” draws a distinction between questions and doubts. “Largely because of the internet,” writer Adam Kotter begins, “it is not uncommon for members of the Church to encounter ideas that challenge their beliefs. Some members find the questions raised to be disconcerting and wonder whether it is acceptable to have a question about their faith.” But where questions are asked in the hope of affirming one’s beliefs, Kotter writes, a doubter withholds his obedience until his doubts have been satisfactorily addressed.

Joseph started out as a questioner. He read the Essays in depth and studied the resources on FairMormon, a nonprofit providing “Faithful Answers to Criticisms of the LDS Church.” But he says that questioning the Church without suspending his faith made him feel like he was doing “mental gymnastics.” Like many doubting Mormons, he made his way to Reddit. In particular, he began to haunt the “exmormon” subreddit, a haven for Mormons scrutinizing the Church’s teachings. The subreddit has over 123,000 members and is perhaps the purest expression of the internet as a “resource.” Members come to post questions (logistical and philosophical), to share beer recommendations for first-timers (most active Mormons don’t drink alcohol, tea, and coffee), and to vent (“I suppose to her, families are forever, unless someone comes out as trans.”)

Many come just to read. A few originally joined as “downvoters,” faithful Mormons who lurk in the subreddit solely to vote down posts. Moderator vh65 tells me that some of those downvoters are now regular posters themselves. “After a month, they’re like, ‘Wait a minute—that can’t be right,’ and they start researching. Now some of them are very well-known, popular posters who completely swing the other way.”

“When the LGBT policy leak came out, I was enraged by it.”

vh65 began researching Church history after someone in the subreddit linked to a New York Times interview in which she read that Joseph Smith had married a 14-year-old. vh65 says that the internet’s real impact on her faith was not in allowing her to stumble across information that disturbed her, but in the way she was able to deeply research that information and verify its accuracy using sources she trusted. She began a reverse catechism, starting with primary documents from Church history: the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Smith’s 14-year-old wife Helen Mar Kimball’s recollections, and issues of The Evening and the Morning Star, a Mormon newspaper published in the 1830s.

Most importantly, vh65 explains, conducting her research on the internet didn’t require vh65 to engage with anyone. While unvarnished accounts of Church history have always been available — Fawn M. Brodie’s 1945 biography of Joseph Smith, for instance it used to be much harder to access them discreetly.

“When you wanted to research, you had to go to Sanders’ bookstore,” says vh65, referring to Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City, “and that was kind of like a woman going to a liquor store in a small town in Utah — everybody’s going to know, right?”

None of that social queasiness exists on Reddit. Sometimes users even include their real names in screenshots from, showing that they’ve submitted their resignations. QuitMormon is a pro bono service run by an unassuming T-shirt-and-jeans Utah immigration attorney named Mark Naugle. The 34-year-old has streamlined the process of resigning from the Church. When users are ready to have their names removed from Church records, they simply submit a request to Naugle that includes their name, date of birth, address, membership number, and whether they’re a minor. Naugle takes it from there, sending a form letter to the Church that requests the removal of the client’s information from all records. Crucially, the letter also forbids further contact between the Church and his client. Mormons never have to reach out to their bishops to explain their decision to leave, and they won’t receive well-meaning visits from their former peers.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (7)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (8)

Naugle first began helping friends and family with their name removal requests in 2010 after graduating from law school in Utah in 2009. He lived out of state for a while before moving back to Utah in 2015. He’d begun to frequent r/exmormon, and in the spring of 2015, he began offering his services to strangers. That November, there was a surge of requests after Mormons learned, through a leak to the media, that children of LGBTQ couples could not get baptized. In April, Church president Dallin H. Oaks announced that LDS leadership had rolled back the policy, but r/exmormon was alive with criticisms for what some viewed as a too-little-too-late gesture: “‘We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today,’ says Oaks, as if he wasn’t the one most prolifically supporting it,” one Redditor wrote. “Fuck bigoted old men!” said another.

“When the LGBT policy leak came out, I was enraged by it,” Naugle says of the initial leak. “A lot of people were. I went onto Reddit and just said, ‘Hey, I’ve offered this before. I’m willing to do it now. Here’s my email address.’” Until November 2015, he’d received no more than 200 requests for his services. After that day, he received 2,000 emails in 48 hours. (r/exmormon also saw an enormous spike in membership then.) People offered to help him build the website and automate the process, and was born.

Naugle has seen more leaps in requests since then. His inbox is like a seismometer for Mormon discontent. When, for instance, a then-Mormon named Jeremy Runnells published a letter he’d written to Church Educational System (CES) outlining his doubts about the Church’s teachings, it tore through communities. Almost every former Mormon I spoke to cited Runnells’ letter as a catalyst for their departure. Then, there was Sunday, September 16th, 2018, the day Sam Young, whose protest had motivated Joseph’s break with the Church, read his excommunication letter aloud in Salt Lake City.

The next morning, Naugle arrived at work. “I pulled up the queue, and realized something had happened over the weekend,” Naugle recalls. Over the next two weeks, he received about 2,500 more resignation requests.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (9)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (10)

Like any popular online community — and any offline community, really — r/exmormon has a spectrum of tone. vh65 says that r/exmormon used to look a lot more like r/mormon, which has fewer members and fewer memes. Some users on r/exmormon are more radical than others in their resentment for the Church.

“Any visitor to this subreddit looking to confirm the ‘angry bitter resentful ex-Mormon’ stereotype could do so pretty quickly,” one Redditor wrote in a post for r/exmormon newcomers. “It’s also worth mentioning that the ‘angry bitter resentful ex-Mormons’ are probably overrepresented here, as many who leave the Church completely move on and don’t even give it a second thought anymore.”

For instance, where more aggressive r/exmormon contributors use the word “cult” to describe the Church, many avoid it. It’s a bitter word for people who have recently emerged from a community renowned for its Stepford politeness. “I hate using the word cult, but it’s so hard not to call it that,” one former Mormon says. “I don’t want to be nasty.”

Naugle has no reservations about the term.

“Every time she gets in an Uber, she’ll ask someone what their religion is.”

“Any organization that tells you what to eat, what to do with your body, what to do on specific days of the week, and then ostracizes you when you actively disavow them, I think is a cult,” he says. “Any organization that requires a lawyer’s help to leave it so that they stop harassing you and stop hunting you down worldwide I also think is a cult. Having experienced it myself, having been in the organization and knowing the psychological damage it can cause, they’re a cult.”

Naugle went through the process of resigning from the Church in 1999 when he was 14. He grew up in Orem, Utah. Orem is a town south of Salt Lake City, bordered by the same chapped mountains, but it’s much more conservative.

Initially, I thought of Naugle as the Pied Piper of doubters, merrily guiding Mormons into digital sin. But Naugle doesn’t feel that it’s his responsibility to convince — or even gently encourage — Mormons to leave the Church. He says he leaves that mantle to other former Mormons, like Jeremy Runnells, the author of the CES Letter, and John Dehlin, who mans the popular podcast Mormon Stories. Naugle says he largely refrains from posting on r/exmormon, except to give updates on changes to the QuitMormon process.

I’d also expected someone who spends 40 hours a week helping other people leave the Church to describe his experiences with more vitriol, but Naugle talks about his time as a Mormon with the calm detachment of someone describing being under anesthesia.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (11)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (12)

The Boy Scouts are a sore spot. In Utah, the Boy Scouts used to be intertwined with the Church to the extent that Naugle’s troop met in church buildings, and meetings were led by men from his church. He recalls one incident when he and several co-Scouts were playing Go Fish on a camping trip. One of the particularly devout troop leaders, in an apparent geyser of reverence, blustered into their tent. He told the boys that by playing with face cards, they were summoning Satan and told them to go pray for an hour. (President Joseph F. Smith said that the immoderate repetition of card games leads to “an infatuation for chance schemes” and ends in “the complete destruction of religious feeling.”) When his family left the Church, Naugle says, he knew he couldn’t go back to the Boy Scouts.

Naugle’s extended family is divided on the subject of his work. His parents, having left the Church themselves, are supportive. “Mom takes every chance to brag,” he says. She is skilled at finding subtle segues into conversations about faith so that she can bring up her son: “Every time she gets in an Uber, she’ll ask someone what their religion is.” Some members of his extended family disapprove — “they think I’m Satan incarnate” — but they never mention it, and they tell their children not to mention it.

When Naugle’s family was finally removed from the records, it seemed like everyone in his community was suddenly aware of their decision. “Our neighbors all knew. Our teachers, our family, our extended family, our friends,” Naugle recalls dispassionately. The family felt shunned. “It was a pretty terrible process, to the point that as soon as my parents got the chance to leave Utah, they were gone. I basically did the same, and my younger brother as well. He would rather never return. It was a really bad experience, so that’s kind of why I do this: to let people leave without having to go through that.”

“But at the time, I was just done, and needed it to be done.

Naugle estimates that he has processed over 40,000 requests so far. There are sites that provide instructions for Mormons to submit their own letters — many former Mormons in r/exmormon have had success doing so — and Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff says the simplest way for a person to remove their name from Church records is to write to their bishop with their request to leave. But just as vh65 didn’t want to risk anyone from her community seeing her leaving Ken Sanders Rare Books in the ‘80s, many Mormons fear the social repercussions of approaching their bishops with their requests. Naugle’s involvement adds a layer of legal authority between users and the Church, preventing the battery of outreach attempts that upset Naugle as a teenager.

Sometimes the Church does contact loved ones of people who have put in resignation requests. Evan Lloyd left the Church last year, and he says that after he’d submitted his resignation request through QuitMormon, the Church began contacting his wife instead.

“They were kind of circling around her, making sure that she was good and she was still gonna be an active member of the Church,” Lloyd says. He had told his wife he wanted to leave the Church, but he hadn’t told her that he planned to remove his records. “She was caught by surprise when the Church started calling her. I probably should have communicated that a little bit better.”

Lloyd’s remorse suddenly gives way to conviction: “But at the time, I was just done, and needed it to be done.”

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (13)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (14)

Not everyone in the ex-Mormon community has requested name removal. When we first speak, Joseph still hasn’t. He says he refrained at first because his wife wasn’t ready, then because he heard that removing your name from Church records can make it difficult to get your transcripts from Church-affiliated schools like Brigham Young University. (Joseph spent a semester at Brigham Young University-Idaho. A few years later, he got his associate degree at LDS Business College.) Having now earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Utah, which is secular, Joseph is less concerned about accessing his transcripts, but there’s still something keeping him from submitting his request. “I think there’s really nothing holding me back other than just a little bit of... I guess you could call them butterflies.”

vh65 still hasn’t removed her name, though she did request “no contact” from her bishop. (“I had moved, and I hadn’t had anything to do with Mormonism for almost a decade, and somehow people from my work showed up at my door.”) She worries that by removing her name from Church records, she would upset her mother. When I ask her if she ever feels disingenuous, moderating r/exmormon without being, officially, an ex-Mormon, she pauses for a second before answering. “Originally I just wanted to resign,” she says. “I want to be separated completely, but how can I do this without hurting my mom, who I really care deeply about? And then I realized that I spend all my time on this subreddit, and I’m fascinated with Mormon history. It’s my culture, it’s my tribe, and even if I resign, it’d still be part of who I am.”

Most of the former Mormons I spoke to craved immediate cathartic closure, like Evan Lloyd. Sometimes, even with Naugle’s streamlined process, they weren’t able to get it.

They watched ‘Game of Thrones’ — porn shoulders everywhere — without shame

One couple in Missouri, Josh and Jaimie, decided to leave the Church last year after they both read Runnells’ CES letter. By the time Jaimie read it, Josh had been ready to leave the Church for some time. He had reached out to a friend of theirs whom they suspected had already left the Church. (Jaimie had noticed that the man’s wife was wearing tank tops and showing “porn shoulders” on Facebook.) The man had pointed Josh to QuitMormon, so he was ready to put in their requests as soon as Jaimie wanted to leave.

Josh and Jaimie had resigned themselves to helping their children remain in the Church if they wanted to, and they explained their decision to their children in turn. Their eldest daughter, then 11, had already been baptized, and she chose to leave with them. They put in another request. Their youngest two children didn’t care much one way or another but were glad to have their Sundays free. When they asked their eight-year-old daughter whether she wanted to remain in the Church, she told her parents that she wanted to experience what her older sister had experienced during her baptism. Josh and Jaimie froze somewhere between puzzlement and support. The eight-year-old went on. “I wanna see what it’s like to be dunked,” she said. He and Jaimie unfroze, relieved.

Jaimie and Josh began to move on from the Church. They no longer went to church or tithed. They watched Game of Thrones — porn shoulders everywhere — without shame. They had never clicked with the majority of their ward, which Jaimie says is “very Molly Mormon.” Some of the friends they had made began to drift away, and they let them.

Josh and Jaimie assumed their unbaptized children’s names had been removed from Church records when their own QuitMormon requests were processed. Then Jaimie got a call from a sympathetic friend who is still active in the Church. The friend told her that their unbaptized eight-year-old daughter was listed as the head of household in Church records, along with a “membership record number” issued to babies when they’re blessed. The Church had removed Josh and Jaimie’s names, as well as their older, baptized daughter’s names, but their other two unbaptized children’s membership record numbers were still listed, as was the family’s contact information.

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (15)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (16)

The Church calls records of unbaptized children whose parents have requested name removal “canceled records.” Church spokesman Woodruff says that while the names of children who are immediately related to a member of the Church will still appear in Church records as part of that member’s family unit, they will not have individual membership records. He also says that canceled records are not accessible to bishops.

Naugle says the Church has only recently begun removing the names of unbaptized children. For a while, he was considering a class action lawsuit. “They’ve told my clients that a child on the record, who is not baptized, is removed when their parents are removed. But we know that’s not the case because people, at the local level, still keep showing up for these kids, bringing them cookies, asking them to come to church.” The good neighbor becomes tiresome.

Josh and Jaimie say they were able to reach out to their bishop, with whom they’re on friendly terms, to ask him to remove their contact information. The bishop said he couldn’t remove their children’s names. They turned to Reddit and saw that another couple had sent the Church a letter threatening legal action if their children’s membership numbers were not removed. They received confirmation that the certified letter they sent to the Church had been received, but they still don’t know whether their children’s names have been removed.

“It’s my kids’ information. They’re minors. This cannot be legal. I feel like they’re counting those kids as members,” Jaimie says. “At conference, they don’t say whether they’re only counting baptized members, or whether they’re counting people with record numbers as well, which would be these little kids.” (Woodruff says that neither name removals records nor canceled records are included in membership counts.)

“I’ve always felt that as long as I’m alive and have a law license and can do this, I will”

Naugle has encountered other specious bureaucratic roadblocks in his work. Last year, the Church claimed that fraudulent requests for resignation were being submitted to QuitMormon, and Naugle was required to add an identity verification step to his process. Now clients submit government-issued identification along with their requests. “I don’t think it was an invalid concern,” Naugle says serenely. “Technically, anyone probably could’ve gone on, if they have enough information about a person, and asked to remove their name, and faked their signature. I doubt that it happened. There was one instance where someone submitted a false request for the Prophet of the Church, which I caught.” The culprit had confessed to Naugle, and Naugle had alerted the Church himself.

Late last year, the Church asked that all resignation requests from QuitMormon go directly through Kirton McConkie, the law firm that represents the Church. Previously, Naugle had sent requests to the Membership Records department. Now he emails resignation letters directly to Daniel McConkie, a shareholder in the firm. “They received over 6,000 emails in a six-week time period. I don’t think they realized that was what was going to happen,” Naugle says, not without amusement.

Last week he received a letter from Daniel McConkie. “We regret to inform you that our current arrangement with you for processing of requests to remove names from the membership records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not working and will therefore be discontinued,” the letter began. McConkie admonished Naugle for submitting duplicate requests, requests from people whose names have already been removed, requests from deceased or faithful members, and incomplete requests. “The problem is that your automated, largely impersonal system does not truly screen for fraudulent or erroneous submissions,” the letter continued. QuitMormon users will now have to upload notarized, written requests as well.

When we discuss the new requirement on the phone, Naugle sounds copacetic, if a little tired. This latest hurdle will necessitate an open call for notaries nationwide on r/exmormon. Naugle is not a notary, and even if he was, he would not be able to notarize requests for his own clients. Many people have volunteered to help him manage the site in the past: Evan Lloyd says he’s reached out and offered his services, and there are legions of Redditors ready to volunteer. But Naugle rarely deploys helpers.

“No one’s as reliable as yourself,” he says, “and this is very sensitive, confidential stuff, too, so I don’t really feel comfortable just sending an email to a random person that I met on the internet.”

It’s as though QuitMormon is Naugle’s answer to the occupational callings Mormons receive from the Church. I ask Naugle when he plans to move on from QuitMormon. “I guess when I’m dead,” he says. “I’ve always felt that as long as I’m alive and have a law license and can do this, I will.”

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (17)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (18)

The time since Joseph left the Church has been marked by small milestones. He deleted his social media accounts, not wanting to risk getting sucked back into his old circles. He worried about “coming out” as an ex-Mormon on social media. He was particularly concerned that the people he met on his mission, the long trips Mormons take to share the gospel, would reach out to him.

“It’s actually kind of liberating, knowing that I don’t have to be worried about what Sister Smith has to say about my tattoo,” he says. “If I want to show somebody, I can show the anonymous friends on Reddit.”

In April, Joseph tells me that while he still wasn’t ready to remove his name from Church records yet, he was getting closer to submitting his QuitMormon request. “I think it’ll happen when I’m at peace with myself and the decision to leave. I think that’s also when I’ll unsubscribe from r/exmormon.”

A month later, Joseph emails me to tell me that he’s decided to submit his name removal request. He says he’s been spending a lot less time on the r/exmormon subreddit. “I went from looking at it daily, probably every few hours — and spending a long time in the chats — to a casual scroll through every few days,” he says. “I just went on vacation with my family, and it felt good to be there with them, and not speak a word about the Church or obsess over who has what calling.”

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (19)

The website that helps people leave the Mormon Church (20)

Many former Mormons wean themselves off r/exmormon after a time. vh65 tells me that the subreddit’s founder, Measure76, now rarely posts. Jaimie and Josh continue to turn to r/exmormon for support. Jaimie recalls how accommodating their first ward was when she was a new mother and Josh was busy with work. “I don’t know what I would have done without that community, from the first second we got there. Even though they didn’t know us, that community was so wonderful,” she says, a little wistfully. “But it’s nice to at least have a community online that’s kind of akin to it, where you can have each other’s backs, and cheer each other on.”

“I’m on that subreddit a lot because it sucks. It sucks so bad,” Josh says of leaving the Church. He often tells Jaimie he wants to spend less time on the subreddit — they’ve wondered whether the subreddit is its own sort of religion — but then he’ll see a message from someone struggling with the decision to leave.

“Every day there’s a new person on there like, ‘What do I do? How do I handle this?’ I served a mission for three months for the Church, finished, had fun for three months, and got sent home. I’ve done more missionary work against the Church in the nine months we’ve been out.”

In his article in Ensign magazine, Adam Kotter wrote that the internet leads to questions and doubts by exposing Mormons to “ideas that challenge their beliefs.” But if the internet is inherently threatening to the Church, or to any faith, it’s perhaps not because of the way it affirms doubts. Rather, it’s in the community it opens up — a community that can be just as close-knit and supportive as a ward. Where offers scripture, the internet beyond the Church’s domain shines light into what has historically been a black box: the lives of the people who have left.


What is the easiest way to leave the Mormon Church? ›

There are sites that provide instructions for Mormons to submit their own letters — many former Mormons in r/exmormon have had success doing so — and Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff says the simplest way for a person to remove their name from Church records is to write to their bishop with their request to leave.

How to find answers to questions LDS? ›

Finding Answers to Gospel Questions
  1. Look at Questions as an Opportunity to Grow. We are naturally curious people, so questions will always come. ...
  2. Hold On to What You Already Know. ...
  3. Learn by the Spirit. ...
  4. Move Forward with Faith. ...
  5. Trust That Answers Will Come in the Lord's Time.

Why is it so hard to leave the Mormon Church? ›

Social. Ex-Mormons who publicly leave Mormonism often face social stigmatization. Although many leave to be true to themselves or to a new belief structure, they leave at a cost; many leave feeling ostracized and pressured and miss out on major family events such as temple weddings.

How do I withdraw from LDS Church? ›

If you're certain that you'll never want to re-join the church, write a letter to your ward or branch's bishop and request to have your name removed from church records.

What percentage of Mormon missionaries leave the church? ›

While an estimated 40 percent of returned missionaries become inactive sometime after completing their mission, only 2 percent become apostates, meaning that they request to have their names removed from church rolls, or are formally excommunicated.

How do I get my name removed from LDS records? ›

Removing Names from Church Membership Records

An adult member who wishes to have his or her name removed from the membership records of the Church must send the bishop a written, signed request (not a form letter). A request that Church representatives not visit a member is not sufficient to initiate this action.

How do you find answers easily? ›

  1. Learn with Pen and Paper. The best way to learn any answer is to read it and then write it down on paper. ...
  2. Learn by relating answers with daily life examples. Only if you can do this properly, you can feel how easy it will be to learn. ...
  3. Use Mnemonics. This is where you will get the sure shot output.

Where can I get all my questions answered? ›

  • User-powered question and answer platform. ...
  • Ask a Librarian. Online reference desk service from the Library of Congress. ...
  • Brainly. Post questions to a community of millions of students and teachers. ...
  • Chegg Study. ...
  • Dummies. ...
  • eHow. ...
  • PolitiFact. ...
  • Quora.

How do you get answers to any questions? ›

To find an accurate, peer-reviewed answer to your question, the best place to look is academic websites. Search the website for articles, lectures, and videos relevant to your question to gather research towards the answer. Some popular academic websites include Academia, JSTOR, and Bartleby.

Is the Mormon Church in decline? ›

In recent years, the global faith of 16.8 million has grown by less than 1% annually and, in fact, is shrinking in a number of regions. In the United States over the past two years, for instance, 21 states saw Latter-day Saint membership decline.

Why do Mormons live so long? ›

Mormons live by a health code called the “Word of Wisdom.” They abstain from alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee because the body is the temple of the spirit (I Cor. 3:16-17). The study revealed Mormon males had a life expectancy of 84.1 years — 9.8 years longer than that of U.S. white males.

What are the rules for Mormon swimming? ›

Water activities are closed on the Sabbath.

No bare midriffs, no halter tops, no bikinis, or short- shorts. Women and girls are asked to wear one piece swimsuits, or tankinis, (men and boys are to avoid small, tight swim trunks). Adult supervision is required at anytime youth are swimming or boating.

How much is the LDS payout? ›

While denying wrongdoing, the Utah-based faith settled its part of the California case for $1 million. (Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City. A California jury has awarded nearly $2.3 billion in sex abuse lawsuit that named the church.

What happens if you don't tithe in LDS? ›

The tithe is God's law for His children, yet the payment is entirely voluntary. In this respect it does not differ from the law of the Sabbath or from any other of His laws. We may refuse to obey any or all of them. Our obedience is voluntary, but our refusal to pay does not abrogate or repeal the law.

Can I be forgiven LDS? ›

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness for our sins through sincere and complete repentance. Sinfulness brings suffering and pain, but the Lord's forgiveness brings relief, comfort, and joy.

Was Ryan Gosling LDS? ›

He and his family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Gosling has said that the religion influenced every aspect of their lives.

Who is the whistleblower for the LDS Church finances? ›

Whistleblower David A. Nielsen is stepping up his push for federal authorities to fully investigate his billion-dollar allegations of financial wrongdoing by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors.

What percent of Utah is Mormon? ›

Introduction. The Mormon population in the United States varies greatly from state to state. Utah has the highest concentration of Mormon adherents, with 66% of the population identifying as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Why do Mormons keep so many records? ›

The alleged idea was that church members could use such records to identify and posthumously baptize ancestors, who might join them in the afterlife. The Church has claimed that its longtime interest in digitizing historical records isn't some religious plot but an effort to connect people with their past.

Why do Mormons keep family records? ›

Mormons trace their family trees to find the names of ancestors who died without learning about the restored Mormon Gospel so that these relatives from past generations can be baptized by proxy in the temple.

Is Quit Mormon free? ›

If you've decided that you no longer want to be a member of the church, resigning on your own can result in unwanted contact from church leaders and multiple requests before your resignation is finally processed. We provide a free service that lets you resign without the hassle.

Is there a website that answers any question? ›

Brainly. A site with the motto "Question Everything Answer Everything," Brainly has a wide range of subjects with hundreds of helpers who help answer questions.

Which app is best for finding any answers? ›

Socratic by Google 12+

Which app is best for finding answers? ›

Best Homework Helper Apps
  • Homework Solver App - Math. (iPhone, iPad) ...
  • 2. Answers - Homework Help. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
  • CameraMath - Homework Help. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
  • Photomath - Camera Calculator. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
  • Brainly. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
  • Chegg. (Android, iPhone, iPad) ...
  • WolframAlpha. ...
  • Mathway.

Is answer the public free? ›

The free version of Answer The Public is extremely powerful, but it's only a matter of time before you hit your daily search limit. If you want more searches, or the premium features described above, you'll need to opt for one of the tool's paid subscription plans. Each plan gives you the option to pay monthly.

Is there any app for scanning question and get answer of multiple choice questions? ›

QuizMe App | Interactive quiz with multiple choice questions.

Is there a website where you could ask anonymous questions? ›

With Slido, people can submit questions anonymously, which brings even the most pressing ones to light.

Does anyone have any questions for my answers? ›

Henry Kissinger once famously opened a press conference saying: 'Does anyone have any questions for my answers? ' Kissinger clearly knew what messages he wanted to convey, and was ready to deliver his points regardless of the questions thrown at him.

How do I get Google to answer questions? ›

Ask the Google app in three easy steps.
  1. Ask the Google app in three easy steps. Take the appTap the app. Say Hello Background Say "Ok Google" ...
  2. Ask the Google app. Talk to Google to get answers, ...
  3. Ask the Google app in three easy steps. Take the appTap the app. ...
  4. Ask the Google app. Talk to Google to get answers,

How does Google find answers to questions? ›

We use a huge set of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. The program that does the fetching is called Googlebot (also known as a crawler, robot, bot, or spider). Googlebot uses an algorithmic process to determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site.

What religion is closest to Mormon? ›

Similarities. Mormonism and Islam each believe in a life after death: belief in the Last Judgment and an Afterlife is one of the Six Articles of Belief of Islam; it also forms an essential element of the Mormon belief system.

Is the Mormon church in trouble? ›

In February, the SEC fined the Mormon church and Ensign Peak a total of $5 million for using shell companies to obscure the size of its investment portfolio. SEC investigators found the church "went to great lengths" to hide $32 billion in securities over nearly 20 years.

What percent of America is Mormon? ›

Mormons make up 1.7% of the American adult population, a proportion that is comparable in size to the U.S. Jewish population.

What is the life expectancy of a LDS person? ›

Life expectancy was 77.3 for LDS males, 70.0 for non-LDS males, 82.2 for LDS females, and 76.4 for non-LDS females. For those alive at age 80, the remaining years of life expected were 8.2 for LDS males, 6.5 for non-LDS males, 10.3 for LDS females, and 7.1 for non-LDS females.

What is the fastest growing religion Mormon? ›

Study Shows that Mormons Are the Fastest-Growing Religious Group in the U.S.

Why do Mormons marry so much? ›

Some leaders and members of the Church practiced polygamy during the mid 1800s because they were commanded by God to do so. So marriage then between one man to several women was according to God's will. Though all the reasons for this commandment are not clear, some reasons are understood.

Can you use condoms as a Mormon? ›

McConkie's popular book Mormon Doctrine stated that all those using condoms or other artificial contraception are "in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness." The BYU Honor Code in 1968 stated that "the Church does not approve of any form of birth control." In 1969 the first and only First Presidency ...

Do Mormon girls wear bathing suits? ›

Nevertheless, Mormon women are encouraged to buy swimsuits that uphold the church's general standard of modesty. While this does not mean their suits have to cover as much as the garments would, they generally are expected to cover midriffs and to wear bottoms with sufficient coverage.

What is the Mormon chastity rule? ›

Within the LDS Church, chastity means more than abstinence from sex. It means to be morally clean in "thoughts, words, and actions." It also means sexual relations are only permitted between a husband and wife. The church teaches its members that "no one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage.

Who is the highest paid LDS Church employee? ›

Highest Paying Jobs At LDS Church

Field Manager jobs at LDS Church earn the most with an average annual salary of $82,904, while Administrative Assistant jobs earn the least with an average annual salary of $39,315.

Who is the highest paid LDS employee? ›

At LDS Church, the highest paid job is an IT Manager at $122,500 annually and the lowest is a CS Rep at $45,084 annually.

Do LDS pastors get paid? ›

Local clergy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serve as volunteers, without pay. But “general authorities,” the top leaders in the church, serve full-time, have no other job, and receive the living allowance.

Can Mormons get tattoos? ›

Mormons, more properly referred to as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are counseled by Church leaders not to tattoo their bodies–as their body is considered a temple and a gift from God. (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Church President Russell M.

Can you tithe without giving money? ›

See, the Bible is pretty clear on the importance of tithing. And it doesn't offer another option when it comes to giving 10% of your resources back to God. But the Bible does promote giving both your money and your time—especially if you don't have the ability to give above your tithe.

Can you tithe without going to Church? ›

Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, said that giving part of one's tithe to ministries outside the church is acceptable, but hardly preferable.

Can adultery be forgiven LDS? ›

To the woman taken in adultery, Christ did not soften the commandment to not commit adultery. Rather, He counseled her to 'sin no more' (John 8:11). He promises all of us forgiveness through repentance.

How do I quit the Mormon Church? ›

No matter why someone decides to leave the church, the process can be fairly grueling. In order to no longer be considered a member, you must submit a letter that announces your official resignation, according to Mormon No More, an organization that is meant to help people leave Mormonism.

What are the unforgivable sins in the LDS Church? ›

The unpardonable sin is to willfully deny and defy the Holy Ghost after having received His witness. No man can sin against light until he has it; nor against the Holy Ghost, until after he has received it by the gift of God through the appointed channel or way.

How do I leave a church gracefully? ›

7 Steps for Leaving a Church Wisely
  1. Make Sure You Have Valid Reasons. ...
  2. Be Honest About Your Own Motives and Failings. ...
  3. Affirm the Good in Your Church. ...
  4. Resolve Outstanding Conflicts. ...
  5. Talk with Your Leaders. ...
  6. Say Goodbye to Friends. ...
  7. Commit to a New Church.
Oct 15, 2017

What are the most strict Mormon rules? ›

Cultural practices which are centrally based on church doctrine include adhering to the church's law of health, paying tithing, living the law of chastity, participation in lay leadership of the church, refraining from work on Sundays when possible, family home evenings, and ministering to other church members.

What is the golden rule of Mormon? ›

We encourage all of us to practice the Savior's Golden Rule: 'Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them' (Matthew 7:12).” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Loving Others and Living with Differences,” Ensign, Nov.

Can a non Mormon attend a Mormon church? ›

Non-Mormons are, however, welcome to attend the Latter-day Saints' chapels, where weekly Sunday services and meetings take place. The general public are also allowed to tour newly-constructed temples during the brief window of time before they are officially dedicated.

What are valid reasons to leave a church? ›

7 Good Reasons to Leave a Church
  • Discerning the Good from the Bad. ...
  • The church abandons orthodoxy. ...
  • The church becomes more about politics than Jesus. ...
  • Transformation is absent. ...
  • You live too far away. ...
  • You have no opportunity to serve. ...
  • You cannot submit to the leaders. ...
  • The church is homogenous and insular.
Sep 19, 2017

How do I remove myself from a church? ›

How to write a church resignation letter
  1. Use the appropriate salutation. Before starting the body of your letter, include the proper salutation for the person you're writing to. ...
  2. Express your intent to leave the church. ...
  3. Provide reasons for your departure. ...
  4. Express your gratitude. ...
  5. Offer your assistance. ...
  6. Include a sign-off.
Jun 24, 2022

What to consider before leaving a church? ›

How To Know When To Leave A Church
  • The Gospel Isn't Being Taught. ...
  • The Church Isn't Doing Anything For People Outside The Church. ...
  • You Haven't Found Community (But You've Tried) ...
  • There Is Abuse Of Power In The Church Leadership. ...
  • You Don't Agree With The Vision. ...
  • You Don't Trust The Church With Your Money.
Apr 27, 2023

Are condoms allowed in Mormon? ›

McConkie's popular book Mormon Doctrine stated that all those using condoms or other artificial contraception are "in rebellion against God and are guilty of gross wickedness." The BYU Honor Code in 1968 stated that "the Church does not approve of any form of birth control." In 1969 the first and only First Presidency ...

What are the taboos for Mormon church? ›

Alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs

These are all specifically banned in the Word of Wisdom, except for drugs. The prophets have made it clear that drugs, other than for medical use, are also banned. Mormons are also strongly discouraged from drinking soft drinks containing caffeine.

What are the rules for kissing in the Mormon Church? ›

Kissing. Church leaders have stated that outside of marriage "passionate kisses", defined as "more intense and last[ing] longer than a brief kiss", and "prolonged kisses that involve the tongue and excite the passions" are "off limits".

What are the Mormon hair rules? ›

Hair should be kept "relatively short and evenly tapered." Faux-hawk, crew cuts, mullets, spikey styles, and messy hair are prohibited. They can't bleach or dye their hair. Sideburns can't be longer than mid-ear either. "Bathe, shave, and brush your teeth each day.

What are three Mormon beliefs? ›

Mormonism includes significant doctrines of eternal marriage, eternal progression, baptism for the dead, polygamy or plural marriage, sexual purity, health (specified in the Word of Wisdom), fasting, and Sabbath observance.

Why do Mormons give 10%? ›

Equality. Because each person gives 10% of their income, Mormons regard everyone's contribution as of equal merit, because the cost to each person is the same. And so each giver is equally blessed by God for their gift, regardless of its actual size.

Do Mormons believe Jesus is God? ›

The Book of Mormon establishes clearly that “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations” (Book of Mormon title page; 2 Nephi 26:12). At the heart of the doctrine restored through Joseph Smith is the doctrine of the Christ.

What is the difference between Mormon and LDS? ›

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also called Mormonism, church that traces its origins to a religion founded by Joseph Smith in the United States in 1830.

What are Mormon priests called? ›

Elder as Title: The title "Elder" can be used for any holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. As a title it is typically used to refer to male Mormon missionaries (e.g., Elder Smith or Elder Jones) or to General Authorities (such as Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf or Elder Walter F.


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