188.8.131.52.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s">184.108.40.206.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.0:$c4g4s-0-0">On Wednesday I will be interviewing my good friends 220.127.116.11.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-1-0">18.104.22.168.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-1-0.$c4g4s-1-0">22.214.171.124.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-1-0.$c4g4s-1-0.0">Steve126.96.36.199.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.2:$c4g4s-2-0"> and 188.8.131.52.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-3-0">184.108.40.206.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-3-0.$c4g4s-3-0">220.127.116.11.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-3-0.$c4g4s-3-0.0">Chris Holbrook18.104.22.168.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.4:$c4g4s-4-0"> for 22.214.171.124.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-5-0">126.96.36.199.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-5-0.$c4g4s-5-0">188.8.131.52.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.$c4g4s-5-0.$c4g4s-5-0.0">Mormon Transitions184.108.40.206.0.$editor0.0.0.$c4g4s.6:$c4g4s-6-0"> podcast. Steve and Chris are two of the main leaders behind the very successful Utah Valley Post-Mormon community (with over 1,000 members).
220.127.116.11.0.$editor0.0.0.$dkgjd">Please post your questions for Steve and Chris here on how to create healthy, successful communities for transitioning and post-Mormons.
Given the treatment of students, faculty and/or staff by BYU if they leave the church, are new members of the group vetted in any way to minimize the chances of people being outted? Have their been problems with “narcs”? (Especially interested as my nephew at the Y is a non-believer, and feels very isolated socially, but with two more years to graduation, he is particularly concerned about being discovered .)
How do you deal with family shunning?
Being ex-Mormon gives us some things in common. I am not sure that is enough. Do you find people in the ex-Mormon groups “dating” for friends with whom they have more than the ex-Mormon identity?
When you try to join a new community but you start noticing all the same problems….on your doorstep…things in the mail…etc. and you just want to run. How do you transition when nothing fits anymore?
Do you have any thoughts on how to create a community for our non-believing kids here in Utah Valley? One of my teens in particular is very worried about being shunned when her friends find out she doesn’t believe anymore. My younger kids’ friends are all LDS, too, and I’d like to know how to help them navigate those friendships and make new, non-LDS friendships here. Thanks!
What kind of activities do the different groups do when they meet? In our LA meetup we have met for lunch, we have met fo dinner and coffee. We have had a beach family day also.
What kind of activities do other groups find successful?
We had a family event where true believing kids and spouses were welcome to attend. This afterwards seems like a bad idea as the believing spouses now knew who in the community were no longer TBMs and could take this info back and share with friends before members of the group were ready to have this info made known. Do you successfully hold activities that include true believing spouses and if so, how do you avoid the potentially negative outcomes of this?
Hi Steve, I had the pleasure of meeting you when you, Chris, John, Allison, Micah, and others came to a conference here in the south. I crave an in-person Ex-Mo community, but I find that its hard to attract people to attend events I have organized. Many people RSVP and then very few show. I theorize it is because there are so few Mormons here that its easy to integrate into mainstream society and the social group isn’t needed to build new friendships. Do you have any opinions as to the benefits of maintaining an Ex-Mo network for people who can easily leave that social group behind? What about the types of events that draw people to attend?
Do you get any pushback on having regular meetings? It seems some exmos rebel against too much organization, not wanting to replace one church with another. On the other hand, some exmos are looking for something to fill the void the church left. Is that an issue you have seen, and if so, how do you balance that?
Is there a point where an ex-mormon should move on from identifying as ex-mormon and move on from ex-mormon websites and gatherings? I wonder sometimes if exposure to new people and things that are completely unrelated to mormonism might be the healthier option at some point.
This is somewhat similar to other questions, but do you struggle with organizing events? It seems that identifying with what you’re not (ex-Mormon) is less healthy than trying to move toward a greater cause. How do you fight the distinction between “providing a space for those who are struggling” and “trying to get others to support your group/event”?
Are you providing something for the youth? If so, like what….? It’s hard to replace the social connection of YW/YM….
Steve and Chris are awesome! they provide love and support for so many people in the most difficult time in their lives. I am one of those people. Thanks for all you do!!
I found my transition a bit less lonely because I jokingly joined another ‘cult’ (CrossFit) about 1 1/2 years before resigning. I love this community, and I am grateful to be a part of something so positive in my life. I also decided that I wanted to worship Christ in a way that I had hungered to do the past 40 years, but couldn’t, so I attended non-denominational churches that sang praises… In addition, I decided NOT to JOIN a church, but to be ‘invisible,’ so I would have time to connect and find where I was spiritually. However, I found a wonderful, small Sunday School group that is supportive and, as a bonus, I am enjoying studying the Bible without the LDS spin. Still, I am married to a TBM who wants to avoid discussing this new chasm at all costs…
For me, I believe the best ex/post mormon community is one that serves as a valuable waypoint on the path back to a normal social life. The LDS church is so good at subtly but completely replacing normal social structure and interaction that we forget how normal neighbors and friends are supposed to behave. I feel socially retarded because I no longer have assigned friends and pre-approved activity templates to follow, and have lost (or never had, in the case of BIC) the skills to cultivate those things on my own.
How can we proactively help each other regain those skills, and ultimately “graduate” from mormonism into our own thriving social scene? I’m thinking about things like encouraging regular churn in the post-mo community leadership (newcomers considered before old-timers), small breakout group activities (taking care to ensure that the shy ones are included until they become self-sufficient), enough activities that have nothing to do with mormonism, etc. I’m curious to see what ideas you have, or things you’ve seen that work.
There are many of us that really don’t want to define ourselves going forward by our relationship to mormonism. Thanks so much for what you are doing!