Date: August 09, 2019 01:07AM
It's been a while. I hope everyone is doing well. I hope those of you who are new, are getting the support that you need, especially if your exit is/has been rough and raw. For those of you who haven't left the board, I hope things are going well for you as you give your support to others.
I don't have much to do with Mormonism lately unless I'm visiting "home," or when I choose to since I haven't stopped researching religions and world mythologies - because I like doing unto that.
With that being said, I do have a few posts in me because this summer was unusually Mormon heavy, and I thought that some of you might be interested.
I decided to go to a class reunion a few weeks ago even though I was originally not interested at all about attending. The school I went to was about 90% Mormon, and I've only stayed in touch with a scant handful of people since graduation, all of whom have left the church, or weren't Mormon to begin with.
As the reunion was announced a few months ago, a social media group was formed in order to invite us to the event as well as discuss said thing. The admins of the group encouraged people who would be attending to post updates of their lives as they felt comfortable, in order for us to re-get to know each other before the event, since more time has passed from graduation than we'd been alive at the time of our schooling.
Pretty much all of the posts originally were laden with Mormon signifiers. People talked about missions and temple marriages and having so many children as to need an entire world for their brood. My best friend from school (who has also left the church) and I discussed these posts privately, and we both agreed that this event was a hard pass at the time.
However, something unexpected happened. As more people started posting updates on their lives, there were posts creeping in that lacked any Mormon signifiers from people whom I had known were true believers as I had been during school. Further, a few people were openly discussing drinking meetups if no alcohol was going to be served at the event.
I started to get tempted to go. The writer in me was becoming curious as to what this would be like if there were more ex-Mormons than myself and a few others I knew. I talked to my friend, and we both were kind of like unto, "I'll go if you'll go," kicking it back and forth for a week, until I realized that it was now half the people in this social media group that weren't Mormon anymore, and then I was definitely going. And I wanted to see if I could sneak an informal poll.
My friend informed me that his mother offered to host us and a small group to "pre-game" at her house, near the school. And that was immensely funny to me. We got booze and snacks to my friend's mom's house because she's cool like unto that, and partied a bit before a school reunion.
My friend and I went to the event. Everyone was nice, and I was able to probe some groups of people, and got some help with a few other people who had also left the church which really surprised me.
Returning and reporting to each other, we all came up with an informal number of like unto 50% of people we had known in school had left the church. And we were all struck by the significance of that figure. Most everyone had had kids. I don't because I eat mine. But that's a separate issue.
Our school, having been one of the highest Mormon concentrations, (we had one of the largest seminary programs on the planet) has now been devastated by apostasy. And they are parents whose children will also most likely stay away from the church.
Of course, as people move around, I couldn't say what my former school's current religious demographics are now. That would be interesting to know, but this mass apostasy has significant ripple effects. One of which being, my peers can't be vicious about apostasy, without getting ripped apart themselves. There are too many of us. If half a population leaves a religion, every person knows at least one person who has left the church, but most likely knows several people who have left. That puts real pressure on an organization to have a cultural shift.
It also allows for people who are unhappy to see in person what real people are like who leave the church. My seminary experience was riddled with apostasy propaganda where Brother Fakename Realguy was a happy Mormon who first started peeking at women's bare shoulders which lead him to questioning god's perfect morality, causing him to become addicted to sniffing markers before finally cursing the heavens as he died in the gutter from an acute lack of the holy spirit.
Which maybe happened ONE TIME.
The rest of us left the church, had some stuff to work through - which takes time and effort - but then are eventually much happier.