If you're able to walk away from the LDS Church with the support of family and friends, count yourself among the lucky ones. Most individuals leaving the Church get pushback of some kind from Mormon relatives and acquaintances. While you can expect resistance, negative reactions, heated arguments, awkward conversations, and strained relationships, what should you do if things turn toxic? How do you set boundaries to protect yourself and your family?
Tracy and four of her sons take a five-week long cross-country trip, staying at the homes of ex-Mormons along the way. Scott and the rest of the kids rendezvous with them in Utah for the Crookston family reunion. By the end of their extraordinary adventure, three of Tracy's teenagers reject Mormonism. Of her remaining LDS adult sons, one leaves on a mission for the Church and the other comes to faith in the Biblical Jesus while in rehab. Yet, with all the miracles taking place, Tracy and Scott take a surprising step.
Weekly Family Home Evenings and daily family devotions become a battleground over theology. Every attempt Tracy makes at teaching Biblical truth is undermined by Scott as he continues to defend Mormonism, even though he doesn't believe it. Tracy and the kids look for a new church to attend. Some of their misconceptions about Christianity are cleared up.
With tattered tee-shirt, threadbare jeans, and a crumb-laden bosom resembling a snack tray, Tracy (now the ward's new Relief Society president) is escorted to Harpo Studios in Chicago to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show for a Frumpy Clothes Makeover. Does Heavenly Father hear and answer prayers over pet fish? Maybe the answers are different than we expect.
Did the people across the street have something against large families or something against Mormons? Tracy couldn't wait to move out of the neighborhood, away from those "born-again Christians." Her neighbors weren't the only ones who didn't like Mormons. When Walter Martin discussd Mormonism on his radio program, "The Bible Answer Man," he got the facts right, but always put them in the worst possible light. One day Mormons would be vindicated and the whole world would see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth! The immediate problem was that Scott wasn't so sure about that anymore after reading the book, "By His Own Hands Upon Papyrus."
Tracy is introduced to popular Christian music and begins incorporating it when asked to sing special musical numbers in Sacrament Meeting and other Church events. She and Scott become well-known for their talents, despite being so bad at one time that they were given a 5-dollar tip to stop singing.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people." Tracy discusses the importance of transparency and patience with loved ones as you make the transistion out of Mormonism. In the words of leadership expert Simon Sinek, "Good leaders make you feel safe." When your active LDS family members feel safe around you, remarkable things can happen. In the conclusion of this series, you will be encouraged to know that God is FOR you, not against you, as you go through the process of leaving the Church. The basis for the series on Leaving Mormonism is the Kindle book, "Confessions of an ex-Mormon: What I Wish I Knew When I Left the Church" (available on Amazon).