Mormon Group Leaves Church

More than 100 Mormons declared their independence from the church and left their religion behind, largely because of the church’s traditional bigotry toward LGBT people. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Carrying U.S. flags and signs boasting “Finally ExMormon,” “Research the church,” and “Transcend Mormonism,” a crowd hiked Ensign Peak on Saturday and chanted “freedom” to the valley below.

Minutes earlier, many of them had signed a “Declaration of Independence from Mormonism” and addressed formal “letters of resignation” to the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to remove their names from LDS records.

“Life is so much better. There is peace and so much happiness” after leaving, co-organizer of the mass resignation event John Larsen promised the crowd of about 120 before the hike.

The group chose Ensign Peak to mirror what LDS Church leader Brigham Young did in 1847 when, days after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, he hiked the hill to plot out the city.

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  • So they’re now Lessmons?

  • d cwilson

    I think this is the first major break from LDS that didn’t involve polygamy.

  • Michael Heath

    It’d be interesting understanding how their beliefs differ from the denomination they just left, especially after death.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    RE Michael Heath #3: I have no idea how you would survey post-death beliefs.

  • Tony …listen, learn, change

    You just know the LDS isn’t going to strike their names from the books. If anything, the church will find a way to double the 120 people.



  • Adamvs Maximvs

    I think he’s making a crack about Mormons baptizing people after they’ve died….

  • andrew

    This is like 100 cellos at the bottom of the ocean.

    A good start.

  • I hope at least some of us make a committment to keep track of these people and see how they fare after leaving their church. If their cult tries to punish them for their temerity (as cults are known to do), there will need to be a quick public awareness and response.

  • busterggi

    A massive defection from the church – what do they think they are, Roman Catholics?

    andrew @7 – I thought it was violas.

  • bananacat

    So we’ve basically witnessed the formation of yet another Christian denomination. It’s great that it sucks slightly less than the one they are leaving, but I’m doubtful that most of them will give up religion completely.

  • mithrandir

    Oh, I’m sure some of them will keep a lot of their wacky ideas about afterlife and planets of their own in heaven and whatnot.

    And you know what? I’m fine with that.

    Now I know that it’s a bad mental habit to go around believing things without evidence, and especially to go around believing that believing things without evidence (aka faith) is a good thing. But baby steps. If people can discard the ridiculous and harmful beliefs, I’m not really in a rush to insist they also have to discard the ridiculous but harmless ones. Like all bad habits, faith is something that you can’t expect people to quit cold turkey.

  • Actually there was a schism by Joseph Smith’s first wife around the time the polygamy thing was just getting started that became somewhat successful: The RLDS. They recently renamed themselves “Community of Christ”.

  • ArtK

    @ busterggi

    No, cellos burn longer — or something like that.

  • nonpersonhobofico

    Exmormon here. I posted some info about this event in the comments a few weeks back.

    @2 Mormonism has splintered dozens of times in the past, often over things not relating to polygamy. Google Mormon succession crisis if you care to know more. Moreover, this was simply people resigning from the Mormon church *NOT* forming a new one.

    @10, 11 No new denomination was formed. While exmormons have widely varying beliefs, most end up as atheists. See this (page 7) survey. One reason is that Mormons are relatively knowledgeable about religion (see this study). Once the brainwash vortex is broken, many are able to shed the imaginary worldview that goes along with it completely.

    Not that it matters. 100 people is a drop in the bucket. 1000s more resign each year on their own. See this article. The Mormon isn’t likely to disappear any time soon, but hopefully it’ll be crippled to the point in the near future that it won’t be able to abuse its power and harm humanity (see Proposition 8).