Over the last couple of days I have re-stumbled across two of the most important videos I’ve ever seen. I strongly encourage anyone attempting to understand those who have left to dedicate 25 minutes to watch the first video and decide if you’d like to watch the second.
Late 2011, John Dehlin and his associates fielded a survey in the effort to understand the main reasons people leave the LDS church and the perceived consequences of living as an ex-mormon within a Mormon community. It targeted only those who had once believed the LDS church was “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” but no longer did. To find participants the survey link was posted on several ex-mormon blogs and participants were self-selected; these results, therefore, don’t claim to be perfectly representative of the ex-mormon community, but the authors of the survey feel they do express the concerns they’ve heard echoed throughout the “bloggernacle” online. There were 3,086 participants.
I think, if you watch or read nothing else I put on this blog, this is what I’d have you watch. This presentation of survey results, given at a conference at UVU in Orem, Utah, is sensitive, straightforward, and calls every listener to be more understanding, real, and loving. I think every member and ex-member should spend the time to watch it.
In this extremely important video, John Dehlin discusses the issues that cause Mormons to question. At the time the video was produced John was an active and believing member of the LDS church. He still is, but now classifies himself as an “open Mormon,” citing the 13th Article of Faith to explain his position, “. . . we believe all things . . . we hope all things . . . we have endured many things . . . and we hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
Take a moment to watch the first 5 minutes and get a feel for what it’s like. The topics he brings up are difficult to hear but essential for transparency and understanding. I believe he’s sincere when he says that is his purpose. This is a great opportunity to hear the controversial issues discussed candidly through the mouth of a believing Mormon.