Many active LDS Church members feel justified, almost compelled, to judge us without really understanding why we became disaffected from the Church we once loved & sacrificed for.
Unfortunately as active Church members it is almost impossible to understand the mind-set of those who leave for doctrinal reasons unless one is aware of the information & facts we have discovered ourselves.
I personally found it inconceivable as an active Church member.
We’re not talking about being weak or offended, or leaving because we want to sin. We’re not even talking about losing the Spirit by failing to study the scriptures or pray regularly.
As a Bishop for nearly seven years I very well understood the Church mindset when dealing with disaffected members & found it impossible to show compassion & understanding even for my apostate brother & sister-in-law, acting as a protector of the faith instead.
It’s emotionally tough for everyone involved in the situation when members leave for doctrinal reasons.
It’s challenging for those who leave & is incredibly difficult for LDS friends & family to accept the change of beliefs & continue the relationship as previously.
For me, having grown up in the Church, serving faithfully as a missionary & in many callings over 46 years including seven as a bishop, I found it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do as I resigned as bishop out of honesty & integrity to the truth.
I plead with anyone who is interested in truly understanding our situation to study the evidence for themselves before judging us.
Only then can one empathise with our situation.
It’s the subject of a recently published research project by the University of Utah: http://www.whymormonsquestion.org/2012/03/28/understanding-mormon-disbelief-march-2012-results-and-analysis/
I highly recommend this excellent presentation created by Brother John Dehlin, an active Church member, who is researching the reasons members leave & how to help them:
This is a brilliant essay on the doctrinal issues. But I would warn those who are happy in their faith from researching this unless they are absolutely sure of their testimonies: