It is a common response from active believing members to be surprised that ex-Mormons or non-believing Mormons would still be interested in the Church.
Many times as a member I heard it said, & even thought & said it myself, that, “apostates from the Church can leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone!”
At the time I was a bishop I couldn’t get my head around why my own brother would continue to be interested in the Church even though he didn’t believe it.
I thought I knew why. I believed the Church teaching that once a member apostacized they remained interested in the Church because, like evil spirits who couldn’t live the gospel teachings but who still knew it was correct, they were obsessed with trying to prove it wrong, and failing.
How wrong was I!
The fascination with the Church has more to do with coming to terms with a great big massive con. Initially its like feeling one’s heart & soul have been suddenly ripped out of one’s chest in an emotionally traumatic disappointment. One feels terribly letdown, abandoned, gullible, empty & hurting.
It’s really like an extended, aggravated grieving process. Especially when most, if not all, one’s extended family are still active believing members.
As a missionary minded & well trained evangelist (by the Church), once one discovers the hoax one feels particularly desperate to tell one’s friends & family. Because, let’s face it, we want to help our loved ones avoid the same pitfalls we’ve experienced.
The other reason that we continue our interests in the Church is because for decades the Mormon belief system defined us & altered our neurology. The Church made us who we are!
We want to come to understand the world from a completely new perspective, but we have to keep referring back to our Mormon psychology as a reference point for moving on. A process which, for some, can take a great many years.
After a lifetime of mind-control inculcating fear, guilt, shame, cognitive biases, phobias & prejudices is it any wonder it takes most people years to get it out of their system & be free!?
Our particular effort in engaging in dialogue with General Authorities is to encourage them to make sure all members are taught a correct understanding of Church History rather than the sanitised version we get taught at the moment.
We feel it is important that the Church which preaches of honesty does not itself practice misrepresentation & deception.
Below are some links to my previous thoughts on this subject:
Best regards in your journey through life,