*Almost entirely mormon friends, which means not really friends once we leave the ward.
Our ward has had three families leave the church in the past year. Going back six years that increases to seven families gone. Yesterday in ward council someone brought up one of the more recent families to leave which happened to include a RS Counselor and Assistant Clerk, and one of the families who left the church together a few years ago but are now divorced. The following points were made by the more vocal members of the ward council:
- "They still come to RS activities and meet-ups at the park. It like they want the benefits of the ward without contributing."
- "I heard she's not even Christian anymore." Response: "I think that's mostly her husband's fault. She just says things to make him happy."
- "They're really just looking for reasons to be angry at the church."
- "Nothing has ever been hidden. Its' right there in the essays!"
- "Joseph made mistakes, but that's ok. We're all human."
- "This is just the purge the church has to go through in the last days. The rest of us need to remain strong."
- "That is how this always go. They leave the church, have no rules to obey, and their marriage falls apart."
- "Temple and prayer are the only way to know truth."
- "Read Todd Calister's BoM book!"
- "We need to address the elephant in the room about why people are leaving. It will keep happening until people know the truth."
I actually agree with this one. But the person who said it has never read the essays or any degree of actual church history. They said this from the perspective that there ARE faith promoting answers and no valid reason to leave. Just a few seconds later they admitted to having no idea what people would be so concerned about in church history.
- "People get mad about the seer stone, but it's just like receiving revelation while reading scriptures on an iphone."
- "Three witnesses also left, so no one is safe. We have to be vigilant and strengthen our testimonies."
After the meeting, while I was fumbling with keys to open the clerk's office, one person from the WC who knows I have done a fair amount of study/research and that my testimony has "evolved" asked me how my testimony was doing. All I could answer was "I'm still here." He pushed more, but my only response was "I'm not going anywhere yet." He laughed and asked why I didn't say my testimony was strong. I laughed back something about not knowing the magic phrase he was looking for. And that was it.
After church I vented to my wife who was as understanding and helpful as she could be. She told me I should talk to our bishop about where I'm at and the study I've done. But I'm not really sure what good that would do, other than possibly get me released. She only suggested that because she doesn't really know where I am at and she seems afraid to ask herself.
There are days in WC were we really try to make plans to help people in need and do good things for the ward. But this was nothing more than a gossip-fest by people who will never really do anything to understand the "elephant in the room" which is really just the fact that it isn't true.