Episode 12: Ex-Mormon Exit Narratives

The panel is joined by Seth Payne to discuss his work on the phenomena of Ex-Mormon exit narratives. Topics discussed include the sociological research on such narratives, exit narrative’s formulas and structures, the communities playing into the narratives and narrative purpose and intent. Seth’s paper on exit stories can be had here: http://www.sethpayne.com/?p=691

Episode 12

30 comments on “Episode 12: Ex-Mormon Exit Narratives”

  1. Polygamy Porter Reply

    First Seth, you presented you research in a very unbiased professional manner. Thank you.

    Now on to your pipe dream…

    RIGHT.. the leaders of LDS Inc will change to allow NOMish viewpoints to be expressed and respected??

    Jesus will return before that happens.

    Hi, my name is Porter, my family just moved into the ward, I do not believe that JS translated the BOM or the BOA, or most of the B&C, nor do I believe the temple to be of any importance to me and my family, HOWEVER, I do love the social aspect of the ward and the bit about Christ. By the way, do you serve coffee at this ward? My last ward near the college had a great iced cappuccino.

    Well Brother Porter welcome to the ward! We are happy to have you and your lovely family who dresses casually on Sunday and your cute wife in the halter top.

    Oh and by the way, we do have a coffee bar with all proceeds going to the YM and YW organization. *Chuckle* it is a good thing you like iced coffees as that is the only way we serve coffee!

    BTW, make sure you bring a six pack of your favorite beer to the next Elder’s Quorum party, but no hard liquor or wine! Only mild drinks made from barley *chuckle*!

    Thanks! But our family has chosen to only attend sacrament meeting and only on *Christ* days.

    Ok hun, lets go grab some coffee as Sacrament meeting is about to start!

    Perhaps we will run into the Bishop and we can give him our tithing on net-net earnings!

  2. Polygamy Porter Reply

    First Seth, you presented you research in a very unbiased professional manner. Thank you.

    Now on to your pipe dream…

    RIGHT.. the leaders of LDS Inc will change to allow NOMish viewpoints to be expressed and respected??

    Jesus will return before that happens.

    Hi, my name is Porter, my family just moved into the ward, I do not believe that JS translated the BOM or the BOA, or most of the B&C, nor do I believe the temple to be of any importance to me and my family, HOWEVER, I do love the social aspect of the ward and the bit about Christ. By the way, do you serve coffee at this ward? My last ward near the college had a great iced cappuccino.

    Well Brother Porter welcome to the ward! We are happy to have you and your lovely family who dresses casually on Sunday and your cute wife in the halter top.

    Oh and by the way, we do have a coffee bar with all proceeds going to the YM and YW organization. *Chuckle* it is a good thing you like iced coffees as that is the only way we serve coffee!

    BTW, make sure you bring a six pack of your favorite beer to the next Elder’s Quorum party, but no hard liquor or wine! Only mild drinks made from barley *chuckle*!

    Thanks! But our family has chosen to only attend sacrament meeting and only on *Christ* days.

    Ok hun, lets go grab some coffee as Sacrament meeting is about to start!

    Perhaps we will run into the Bishop and we can give him our tithing on net-net earnings!

  3. Thaddeus Reply

    I find it fascinating that the exit narratives of those Mormons who go on to become Evangelical Christians are more likely to contain fabrications than those of the Mormons who go on to become secularists. I’m not sure what to make of it just yet, but it is fascinating nonetheless. Congrats to Seth, John and the panel! Another great episode!

    (LOL @ Porter! I love that guy!)

  4. Andrew S. Reply

    Since I wrote about this project once before, I thought I wouldn’t have much to say. BUT, near the end, Seth talked about how he thinks it is a tragedy of how so many ex-Mormons leave their heritage (or something to that extent).

    I don’t quite agree with this (and this is something that’s been a frequent part of my blog’s articles). I don’t think that ex-Mormons necessarily leave their heritage. After all, it’s ex-Mormon, right? Mormon is always a part of it. You never become non-Mormon, even if you’re secular, or even if you are in another religion. You simply have lived too much and know too much and respond too much to pull it off, even if you want to.

    And I don’t think that EVERY ex-Mormon necessarily “wants to” drop the heritage. Rather, what they want to drop is the institution and the baggage with that.

    So, for example, as a post-Mormon, I do visit the bloggernacle blogs, even write at one. I write on my own blog, and I write on an Outer Blogness blog. I still keep up on some Mormon issues. I still look into that “troubled heritage.” And even for many who don’t go this far, they still participate in forums and message boards with other ex-Mormons. That’s a new chapter in the heritage, I think, not a shunning of it.

    But I think I can see WHY Seth would say this — I think he has a definition of “heritage” that isn’t the same as my definition. For me, I do not need to be sitting in the pews every Sunday to be experiencing my heritage, and this has been where I don’t get Seth and John Dehlin and others. (Now, if my ward were like a bloggernacle blog, perhaps things would be slightly different…but even then, tithing would be an issue. Etc.,) My status in the church institution does not affect my heritage, in my opinion. So, I don’t feel like heterodox members need to make the church pews friendlier for me to go on Sundays. I’m content to stick to blogging or unofficial church things (e.g., Sunstone, this podcast, etc.,)

    Just a few (long) thoughts.

  5. Mister IT Reply

    >I find it fascinating that the exit narratives of those Mormons who go on to become Evangelical Christians are more likely to contain fabrications than those of the Mormons who go on to become secularists<

    I found it fascinating but also noted that no evidence was presented in the Interview, in the PowerPoint presentation, or in the Sunstone White Paper which simply says:

    "the Mormon exit narratives which originate from secular anti-Mormon sources are less likely to contain blatant narrative fabrications while those produced by members
    of theological anti-Mormon groups are more likely to contain fabrications which further the
    narrative’s evangelical purpose."
    (p.13)

    Evangelical Ministries: Concerned!Christians, Life After
    – 26 unique!narratives
    – 25% contain!blatant fabrications
    (p. 16)

    "…the evangelical narratives
    at times introduce blatant fabrications to further the purpose of the narrative and to reinforce the
    narratives’ overriding evangelical themes."
    (p.17)

    There are no citations, no clarifying footnotes, or even examples presented in Mr. Payne's presentations.

    Therefore, the courtesy of some hard evidence – such as specific example of the alleged fabrications that were found would be appreciated. Until then, personally, I will consider these claims unsubstantiated and open to question.

  6. Mister IT Reply

    >I find it fascinating that the exit narratives of those Mormons who go on to become Evangelical Christians are more likely to contain fabrications than those of the Mormons who go on to become secularists<

    I found it fascinating but also noted that no evidence was presented in the Interview, in the PowerPoint presentation, or in the Sunstone White Paper which simply says:

    "the Mormon exit narratives which originate from secular anti-Mormon sources are less likely to contain blatant narrative fabrications while those produced by members
    of theological anti-Mormon groups are more likely to contain fabrications which further the
    narrative’s evangelical purpose."
    (p.13)

    Evangelical Ministries: Concerned!Christians, Life After
    – 26 unique!narratives
    – 25% contain!blatant fabrications
    (p. 16)

    "…the evangelical narratives
    at times introduce blatant fabrications to further the purpose of the narrative and to reinforce the
    narratives’ overriding evangelical themes."
    (p.17)

    There are no citations, no clarifying footnotes, or even examples presented in Mr. Payne's presentations.

    Therefore, the courtesy of some hard evidence – such as specific example of the alleged fabrications that were found would be appreciated. Until then, personally, I will consider these claims unsubstantiated and open to question.

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  9. Elder Vader Reply

    Amanda, I also worked for a semester at the Provo Temple.  It was fun for me at the time.  I really wanted to memorize the dialogue at the veil, and also memorize the blessings during the initiatory ordinance.  

    I’m glad you guys came on and told your story.  I liked the back and forth of dialogue and compromise.  

    • Amanda Nokleby Reply

      Thanks for listening to the podcast! My time as a Provo Temple worker was a really amazing time. I still remember that year quite fondly, and I loved being able to memorize the ordinances. Even though I don’t believe fully in the meanings behind them anymore, the words are still meaningful to me, along with the symbolism and mythology. Thanks again for the support! 

  10. highpriestinaspeedo Reply

    Excellent podcast! Bravo to both of them, but especially Amanda for having the patience and the desire to work things out. Sadly, far too many otherwise good and loving marriages are ending over a spouse’s disaffection. There’s a lot of great advice for both believers and non-believers in the podcast. Thanks, Matt and Amanda, for sharing your story and best of luck to both of you as you continue your journey.

  11. Crystal Scott Reply

    Love the thoughts on being let down by priesthood leaders and then, your statement that some intellectual persuits (like engineering) do not challenge ones view on “the Gospel.”  I do feel that those things (being let down over and over and over again by someone with the authority to act in God’s name), and being a research scientist/educator that have really afforded me the opportunities to puzzle about a lot of things- which eventually have led me to question much of what I had learned in the LDS church.

  12. Kathy Reply

    I really enjoyed the podcast.  It’s nice to hear a couple with differing beliefs be able to talk about it together.  LIke others have commented, it gives me hope.
    By the way Matt, we are related.  John and Luke Johnson are my grandfathers.

  13. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Matt made some comments that struck me as meaningful. As we stop identifying as Mormon we should remember that at one time it may have been important to us. Furthermore, those close to us may still value some parts of our former faith. In order for us to connect with them, we need to understand their continuing experience in addition to our being understood. Your story continues to make me think. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Kyle Elser Reply

    Can’t wait to listen to this, I just outed myself to TBM DW, and we’re doing good. I love my wife and  I’m determined to do what it takes to show her that every day, and it was super scary to have that talk.  I’m looking foreward to hearing how others deal with the whole church/marriage hokey pokey
        Put the wife in, take the husband out, and shake it all about.

  15. Lane Sawyer Reply

    FYI, the podcast player is not on this page (or Episode 13 either) but it shows up on the other ones. Don’t know if my computer is just freaking out or something is wrong on your end.

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