A presentation entitled “What I’ve Learned after 15 Years of Mormon Transitioning” delivered by Dr. John Dehlin at Utah Valley University on August 18, 2015. Sponsored by the Utah Valley PostMormons.
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The Mormon Transitions Project provides podcasts videos, and content to support those transitioning from Orthodox Mormonism to either progressive Mormonism or post-Mormonism.
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I find it hypocritical that you talk about approaching discussions by appealing to emotions and feelings when so many of your issues are “Intellectual” in nature, and so many postmormons transition to atheism by logic and abandon the spiritual side of things. Please explain.
Actually Jim… the journey out of Mormonism is almost wholly spiritual. The “intellectual” processes are merely triggers that the spirit acts on. Just ask anyone who is gone through the process. As new indisputable facts are learned through intellectual inquiry, a very dark spirit begins to surround the church. In fact, it becomes so dark that it cannot be ignored or disputed. As these facts are taken to the Lord in prayer, the dark spirit around the church gets darker and a new light is formed around the pathway out of the church. My biggest challenge was not believing this pathway could be correct – even though the spirit was lighting it up like beacon. It took me 2 years to finally succumb and walk away from the darkness. Boy… am I glad I did! I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful life has been away from the darkness of Mormonism!
A “fact” today is a “misunderstanding” tomorrow. Intellect will never understand the things of God.
Excellent talk! Great advice, thanks for your wisdom. I’m going to listen to this a second time, I agree with the suggestions you give about dealing with people, post Mormon, and especially realizing people’s emotional bond to their beliefs. I have always known, even though I have only been out 18 months, that you cannot deconvert people, but you can share with them some of your experience, if done in the right way. I have no desire to take someone out of the church, it’s so painful… yet beautiful and rewarding in the long run. Kind of like the spring after the winter that you talk about. It does get better and thinking for yourself… well there’s nothing more wonderful! I think we all have the ability to learn truths on our own. I think our world can be filled with more love, more appreciation, and less arrogance, in a post Mormon life, thus a happier life!
Excellent talk, John. I’m pretty well transitioned out of Mormonism. My hardest years were from around 2007 thru 2010. It really helped to have your podcasts to listen to, during those years. I still listen and chime in, once in awhile, but my life has moved on, for the most part. You’re very right about finding new communities, new friends, who will support you in your transition. Especially important for those who have only LDS family and friends. I was fortunate in that most of my family were non-LDS and glad that I was getting out. I had a lot of support from the get go, in that way. Thanks again for all that you do! You are helping thousands of people and I think this is going to only get bigger with time. It’s a very good thing that you do.
Just my opinion, but I get the sense that a lot of people leaving the church right now are simply scapegoating so they can be spiritually lazy—transferring their own feelings of inadequacy, guilt, depression, lack of spirituality, whatever, upon the church and using that so that they don’t have to look too deeply at what is wrong with their lives or themselves. The pride and overdeveloped sense of self-worth of this entitlement society is a major factor in this as well.
Jim, you clearly don’t really understand why Mormons leave.
The truth is that it is so easy to stay a Mormon especially if you were raised in the church. How easy would it have been to sit on cruise control and just shut down everything and everyone. After all the church is perfect, our leaders can’t lead us astray, the Lord would remove them, wouldn’t he? It is so “Mormon” to accuse others of “spiritual laziness”, “entitlement”, and “pride”.
This is the tragic comedy of Mormonism… There has never been a more “Spiritually Lazy” or “Entitled” or “Prideful” bunch than Mormons. When the church teaches that “the very elect will be deceived” they should seriously look in the mirror.
John, You are my hero. Thanks so much for the advice and perspective. I am learning how to begin the transition, and hope that I can manage the fallout. Using restraint and listening and not pushing others will be the hardest for me and the most important. It is risky and scary and I’m not sure I’m up for the task yet. Advancing slowly and thoughtfully and respectfully seems wise. I especially liked your advice to write your own story. Before listening today, and after listening to a number of interviews previously, it occurred to me that I could do a JohnDehlin Virtual Interview and began outlining and answering questions. It was very helpful and therapeutic. Thank you for the work you do. I feel like you are a friend.
[…] presentation entitled “What I’ve Learned after 15 Years of Mormon Transitioning” delivered by Dr. John Dehlin at Utah Valley University on August 18, 2015. Sponsored by the Utah […]