Being shunned common?

by mtnhiker323 Jan 2012

- After looking at a lot of material both positive and negative, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I don't want to join after all. I believe my best friend has become aware of my decision because he seems to have been avoiding me as of late and I believe this is the reason. Is it common for members to shun investigators who decide the church is not right for them?-

Three friends of mine, including my best friend are Mormon. I am not currently Mormon but was thinking of converting for awhile and mentioned this to my best friend. I have not spoken to the missionaries in person yet, but have talked to them online about a few beliefs. I have also looked at the good and the bad on sites such as, blogs, youtube, websites, etc of people who are very happy with mormonism as well as people who decided to leave the church for various reasons. After looking at a lot of material both positive and negative, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I don't want to join after all. I believe my best friend has become aware of my decision because he seems to have been avoiding me as of late and I believe this is the reason. Is it common for members to shun investigators who decide the church is not right for them?
After looking at a lot of material both positive and negative, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I don't want to join after all. I believe my best friend has become aware of my decision because he seems to have been avoiding me as of late and I believe this is the reason. Is it common for members to shun investigators who decide the church is not right for them?

Re: Being shunned common?
Yes. Shunning is common. It's not formal shunning as it is in the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Most Mormon friends cannot really see you past their religion. If they feel like you have rejected it AT ALL, then they will probably feel like you have rejected them. It is commonly observed that Mormonism overrides personal identity and family relationships, so that same totalism or absolutism especially interferes with friendships with non-members.

So the "shunning" is something that a Mormon apologist would deny, b/c it's not formally and explicitly condoned or required, but realistically, practically, many exmos have experienced the loss of friendships that had been in place for YEARS simply due to changes in their views about Mormonism.

Basically your "friend"--who is your friend to the extent that within Mormonism he can be--experiences pain and confusion when attempting to interact with someone who has made clear his or her doubts about Mormonism. It is interesting that few Mormons can conduct functional and meaningful relationships with those outside the church, especially after those people have described reservations about the church.

Re: Being shunned common?
If you are felling "shunned". it's because the MORG comes first...always has...always will...he is NOT a real friend...

CA girl
Re: Being shunned common?
Yes - it's common. When I quit going to church, pretty much everyone LDS who had been my friend at church, quit being my friend. Oh, sure, they would be "friendly" enough if they bumped into me. Only a couple of people talked down to me and only one turned and walked away from me, instead of speaking to me. But the rest, even the ones who had been my best friends, didn't bother to ask why I wasn't at church and pretty much quit calling me to do things. If you don't fall in with their religious beliefs, they see you as not as spiritual or good as they are and they have no use for you. They will only be nice to you in a fake way in the future, in order to try again to bring you into the church. In fairness, Mormons are so busy 20-30 hours a week with church obligations from personal scripture study to actual church work and attendance and they just have no TIME for people that they don't trip over at church. They also have most of their social events around the church, so socializing outside of church events is a puzzle to them. Unless it's something church-approved, like a playgroup for young moms and their kids. Actually socializing with non-LDS is rare because they have no time and no skills in friendshipping.

Sorry your friend is being such a creep but he's probably just been programmed to seen non-LDS as potential converts or nothing. You chose nothing. But it was the right choice. Better to lose this friend now than 20 years from now, find out you have only Mormon friends and all your Mormon friends are as false as he is.

Re: Being shunned common?
The model for sharing the gospel has traditionally meant making friends with people who you think would make good prospects. A few years ago the model changed to sharing the gospel with people you already know. I read that this is not the case, but I wanted to throw that out there.

Shunning is very common. Many times people will be all friendly to someone until they either join or not and then their job of fellowshipping is done. For a perfect example of this, go ahead and let on that you want to join. Then go to church and see how many people touch your shoulder and shake your hand while smiling brightly.

After about three weeks starty asking questions in the foyer about some ogf the stuff you have read and see how quickly the hand of welcome is withdrawn.

Parents and siblings do this too. When a member of the family chooses to leave the church- not just go inactive but actually leave the church they can expect hostility and shunning. Some parents even go so far as to ignore their own Grandkids and GreatGrandkids.

If you've been a member for a long time and leave, you can expect a serious round of harrassment and lovebombing from people you don't usually hear from or talk to, followed by complete silence, people avoiding you on the street, and rumors of infidelity or weakness, being offended or sin of a grievous nature, all geared toward making the rest of the membership afraid of you and to reassure them that the church is true but you were too prideful to repent.

You may out of desperation even consider going back just so you won't be shunned by mom and dad, friends and neighbors, but if you did return you would always be regarded with suspicion or caution. You'll never give a prayer or speak up in class without a scrutinizing ear trained on you looking for any deviation or hint of subversion.

Yes, it's not unusual.
If you want to try to keep the friendship, I would keep your reason for no longer being interested quite neutral. You could try, "It's too big of a time commitment for me" (Mormons go to church for three hours on Sunday, have assigned church jobs known as callings, and lots of semi-mandatory activities,) or if you drink coffee, tea, or alcohol, you could just tell them that keeping the Word of Wisdom is not for you. Or try, "I just don't think I'm that religious," or a general, "I just don't think it's for me." I wouldn't discuss church doctrine or history at all.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Some folks round these parts say its rather un-common.
These same folks, of course, are still close friends with all their old mormon acquaintances which explains why they aren't invited to attend temple weddings and such.


Re: Being shunned common?
Now I ask you, How could such "pain and confusion" be put in place just by being pare of a church? How does the church get that reaction and loyalty out of people? What mechanisms does it use?

Re: Being shunned common?
My own mother shunned me after I decided to leave the I guarantee members are more than capable of shunning investigators

Re: Yes, it's not unusual.
I respect the effort and the promoting of a "benefit of the doubt" here summer, but I'm thinking back to my days as a blessed Nevermo--people that I had to hide a lot of things from or be repressed around, be secretive or pretend that certain things didn't matter when I was around them--I don't think I had many friends like that. Those are "friendships" where one has to hold back part of oneself and to some degree be fake. I don't think they function well or much to either party's satisfaction.

The whole point of friendship is that it is an "easy walk," something that takes no effort because you like the person and care about him or her. You want to be around that person and you want to be a good friend--"the kind of friend a friend would like to have." That gets you over any challenging times, but the friendship itself isn't a challenge.

It is interesting that some Mormons can get past the religion and still be friends with someone who has rejected Mormonism. I have always thought that that meant that those Mormons, being more than or being able to see past their Mormonism, were "good eggs," Menschen--human beings par excellence. Being able to be a friend with someone despite some huge dysfunction of a belief system like Mormonism means that you are a real human being or are at least in solid touch with your humanity--that is saying something. Admittedly, I think everyone would agree that those Mormons are the exception. There are probably more of us outside Mormonism who would be friends with different Mormons if they could take us as we are.

Re: Being shunned common?
I have a sister that hasn't spoken to me in over 5 years. She has even refused to send my family a Christmas card although we still send her one.

The kicker was at a funeral this past spring where we had to sit together as part of the "family thing". She refused and sat in the foyer rather than having to sit next to me for an hour.

Certain shunning is mandatory while most of it is unofficial.
Mormons don't use the word and don't realize that's what they're doing when they avoid anyone they disfavor or anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable.

Mandatory shunning involves preventing "unworthy" family and others from going inside the temple to witness or participate in the temple rituals. Also, in preventing certain people from eating and drinking blessed sacrament bread and water, or speaking and saying prayers at church.

It's common for mormons to show displeasure by shunning anyone who they think with join the church but does not follow through.

Yeah, I'm hoping for the best for the OP.
...and keeping my fingers crossed that it hasn't been missionary type friendshipping all along. I guess he'll find out soon enough.

I'm lucky that my Mo friends have been of the saner variety. My good friend in high school never once tried to get me to a church activity or to convert me. I guess even she could see that it would never work, lol.

Re: Being shunned common? --- It happens. Depends on the person and the relationship. 

Shunning is an institution of Christianity.
One of the core tenets of Christianity is to not allow any evil influence to spread into the congregation.

Re: Being shunned common?
Absolutely it is common. they want you as a member and if you don't join up, they will look for some one else. Lovebombers got my daughter once - 25 of them. That time she did a lot with them, and then said NO, not interested. 22 of them disappeared. Only three who were her good friends from HS stayed as friends. And unfortunately, they kept her somewhat still interested and by 14 months later, my daughter was marrying a Mormon. she waited forever to convert - three more years, but she did it. I say RUN and run fast. Make new friends as most likely your friends only hang with Mormons. Very limited in who you can meet due to that. Protect yourself. Mormonism is a fraud and they only want your money, your time and for you to get busy being a mom or dad. YOU don't decide your time to be a parent, they do. And you can't plan financially until you meet their demands. Oh and do you know anything about the Temple and the crap that goes on in there? It is not spiritual at all. Plus they give you new undies to where and are they ever stylin'. RUN.

Re: Being shunned common?
I wouldn't call that person a sister at all. Sick!!

Re: Being shunned common?
What do they hope to gan by this shunning? While considering changing churches, I investigated for almost a year before I decided to join another church in my mainstream denomination rather than the LDS church. My "friends" at the LDS church rarely speak to me. Knowing that they valued me only as a potential member rather than as an individual, why, if I'm ever looking for a new church in the future, would I ever consider LDS again?

Re: Being shunned common?
My sister was shunned. We aren't Mormon and we were so proud when we found out.

In her case, the Mormons had organized to oust a public school teacher who had transitioned from female to male. In our state, it would be illegal to discriminate against a transperson.

My sister defended this teacher against the mostly Mormon bigots who were trying to get rid of the teacher. She was later told by three different Mormons that Mormons who attended a meeting that involved both of the wards in town were told not to associate with her. She was initially very angry, but every person she told this story to told my sister how proud they were of her. She came to wear her shunning as a badge of honor, particularly any time she ran into any local Mormon bigots.

Me From Cali
Re: Being shunned common?
Why the shunning? Because that’s one of the hallmarks of a cult, not a church, especially a church that is all about Jesus.

Re: Being shunned common?
I think shunning is the norm, and to be expected. Let me tell you why:

A Mormon must meet certain requirements in order to gain entrance into the holy temple, culminating in a bishop's interview and a temple recommend. During the bishop's interview, this question is asked of the member, "Do you associate with apostates, or apostate groups?" The answer to this question must be "no", or the member will fail the interview. I always lied to this question, because my closest friends were always non-Mormons--whole groups of them!

The elitist Mormons are taught that a prophet of God said that the Mormon church is "The only True Church," and that all other churches are "wrong."

The current Mormon prophet says that apostates are lazy, offended, and wicked.

Any "snobbery" you feel is absolutely REAL. It is not you, it is them. Please don't take this personally. We have all been shunned.

Growing up as a TBM, I was not allowed to date any boys who were not Mormon. I was sent to BYU, and married a friendly, smiling returned missionary--who had a history of violence his family kept secret. He beat and strangled me, and almost killed me. I know this is extreme, and maybe I'm too trusting--but it is an example of how phony Mormons can be. They are trained to recruit, recruit, recruit! Bringing a new investigator to church brings them instant popularity and esteem within the group.

New investigators love the attention, but as soon as they are baptized and become members, they are overlooked. They are not "born in the covenant" like the ideal members. New members are more likely to leave than the "BIC" members. New members are often single--and there is no place in Mormon society for single people.

I disagree about the play dates, unless they are like "trunk-or-treat or other Primary parties meant to lure in child recruits. Most Mormon children are not allowed to play with children not of their faith. I, as a child, was not allowed to play with children of color. Now that's shunning!

IMO, hatred and shunning is at the core of Mormonism. They hate gays. A Mormon neighbor dis-owned his own son, when he refused to go on a mission. Another neighbor dis-owned his son because he married a Chinese woman. The grandson is grown up now, and is a star basketball player at a university--and the grandparents have never seen him play. They don't even acknowledge his existence.

The cult comes ahead of family, and the bottom line is that there is no love. Your friend is probably afraid you will tell him the truths you discovered about his fake church. Shunning hurts your feelings, but you will recover. You will find true friends in the real world. I'm 80% sure that Mormon guy friend was a false friend to begin with. If you are a female, he will never date you seriously, unless you join his cult.

Congratulations on doing some research, before jumping in. As most of us will tell you, it is very difficult to leave. Yes, it is a cult.

I don't think it's intentional
But the deal is that Mormons identify themselves so completely with their church, that they take a rejection of the church very personally.

Maybe they just need some time to get over their disappointment. Or maybe they are just kinda shallow.

larry john
Re: Being shunned common?
shunned for mental depression, even in rightousness and accused as demonic depressed, and terminated attending for years
when all the time I did justify some legal drug in my body even right down to herbal ciggs I was stable, had callings and well liked as long as no one knew my secret of stability and yet told I had the spirit with me.

In rightousness or mormon rightousness I had only non stability and upset the apple cart.

Its all about image and stability and paying tithing and not rock the boat, except to murder apostates, that I became the hunted for my life once by a mormon racist.

Its all finally over but many mormons would kill for their god and prophet if asked to do it and others would finally question and get the hell out.

I will attend now occasionally, but I take it as a pinch of salt and see it as a great empire club just like catholicism
filled with ego centric power hungury gold diggers and a lust for many wives for mormon rewards here-after.

Woman just love to be an eternal baby machine to stay in the church but there are those who just in it for the morals and live a better life I guess.


What do mormons hope to gain by shunning? They want to teach you a lesson.
The mormons feel rebuffed. They take it as a personal insult if someone doesn't like their religion. By shunning they hope to show how easily they can give or take love and friendship in hopes that the targets will be desparate enough to rethink their noncceptance of mormon fellowshipping.

Re: Being shunned common?
Mormons in my old ward were cliquish and would gang up and talk about people in the ward who didn't fit the norm. Even the RS Prez called this group of women a bunch of bullies and later it was shown they were the friends of "J".

Anyway, as an aside, I liked my non-Mormon friends. To me they were a life line of sanity. I also stayed tuned to this web site. But that is just me, I appreciated those friends despite them not wanting to be Mormon.

But yes, getting dropped like a hot potato is common. Heck, once you join the church, you get dropped like a hot potato. That community you thought you found goes elsewhere.

Re: Being shunned common?
The primary binding agent in mormon culture is co-dependence: every member depending on every other member to keep his "faith" (aka dependency) strong and "true".

The withdrawal of even casual interest is a grave matter: someone who was about to mount Zion's treadmill reversed course and declined.

The infantile mormon culture will always be wounded by rejection - and reply in kind with shunning. This is not doctrinally-driven, but culturally-driven. When you come right down to it, cultural norms, rather than doctrine, are the primary motivator of mormon behavior.

Re: What do mormons hope to gain by shunning? They want to teach you a lesson.
I made A "friend" last year in school. We got along great for a long time. I found out she was mormon and since I did't know much about it I showed mild interest. From then on I joined in with their church activities. I was having a hard time with my own faith so I searched for truth in her religion. I always felt something was off in our freindship but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. After witnessing testimonys at mormon camp I questioned my own faith but realized I could never change my core beleifs as an Orthodox Christian. After camp communication with her seemed to stop. During the school year she continues to ignore me. When I've confronted her about that she said she was busy.I asked if we were still friends she said we were so I hung out with her again. At her house the once friendly parents seemed menacing and an akward scilence hung around in the air. I think she is shunning me for not being a convert. I feel that all this time I was used just as a potential convert. Now looking back all her friends are mormons. So much for being best friends....

"Recovery from Mormonism -"