Leaving L.D.S. Church

From Mainstream LDS to Independent Fundamentalist Mormon

Gary, Vicky & baby at LDS chapel

1985 – Gary, Vicky & baby at LDS chapel

Gary, Vicky & family at Rock

1998 – Gary, Vicky & family at Rock

For those who have asked me “WHY?” I left the mainstream LDS Church — here you go! (There are more details in the 7 page letter to my family members in the link below).

To begin with, it was not easy leaving my security within the LDS faith; during this transition, I was confused, sad, angry, and concerned for all my loved ones that I was leaving behind (probably similar to how my LDS family members feel about me today!) However, after learning about early Mormon teachings, I realized there was a time crunch!  Terrible calamaties were going to visit the earth, and there wasn’t much time to prepare before the Lord’s second coming.

Before leaving the mainstream LDS Church, Gary and I traveled to Utah to meet Ogden Kraut, and his plural wife, Anne Wilde.  It was at Anne’s home that we learned more about the “fullness of the gospel” and what was required of God’s chosen people in this last dispensation (polygamy, gathering, United Order, Law of Consecration, wearing long garments, etc.).  After reading several of Ogden’s books, we became Independent Fundamentalist Mormons.  After converting to fundamentalism, it wasn’t long before Gary and I decided to move back to Utah, where we started meeting and gathering with others who shared the similar beliefs.

I believe the year was 1987, and I was about twenty-four years old, when I wrote a letter to my family describing why we were leaving the mainstream L.D.S. Church and going back(wards) to the roots of our religion.  My letter leaving mainstream Mormonism is packed with some good information for LDS members interested in learning why many individuals leave the mainstream church and become Mormon fundamentalists.

Besides reminding myself that this letter was written nearly thirty years ago, using a typewriter (!), and from a woman (me!) who took her scriptures very-very literal, and trusted people, it is quite disturbing. If you take away early Mormon teachings, and exchange it with another fundamentalist religion, or a high-demand group, there isn’t much difference between me and other young zealot believers we read about in the news who follow their fanatical beliefs or leader (including young recruits of ISIS, and other cults), except for the flavor of beliefs. After re-reading my letter, it is no surprise that I ended up joining a fundamentalist group and living in a cave, preparing for polygamy — all the ingredients were there, and no literature or warning signs to prevent the spiraling momentum downwards into  polygamy!

There were so many factors that played into my departure from the mainstream LDS Church.  During this time, I had a temple recommend meeting with my bishop that didn’t go very well, especially after he asked me if I sustained Ezra Taft Benson as a “prophet, seer, and revelator.” I told my bishop that President Benson didn’t prophesy, have a seer stone or see into the future, or reveal messages from the heavens, so I could only sustain President Benson as a “president” of the LDS Church.  I was asked to go home and pray.

I also noticed a stark difference between the members at church, who focused their attention on gadgets (okay, more  like crafts) clothing, and second cars, compared to a group of non-materialistic individuals that I read about in the scriptures, who were equal in all things.  I wanted to be in the Enoch club.  This contrast was more significant to me than anything else.

My letter has the historical context needed for an open-minded individual to follow a young inquisitive couple out of the mainstream LDS Church into Mormon Fundamentalism.

Many of my views have dramatically changed since leaving Mormonism. None of the positive aspects of either of these two religions/teachings make up for all the false ideologies perpetuated through religious leaders, or so-called prophets.  Today I have minimal gadgets, believe in more social programs for the needy (not socialism, per say), never give myself or all my possessions away, would like to start sewing, and find more pleasure in going to the gym with my ipod and visiting nature than carrying wood and hauling water into remote living quarters. On my delivery route, every time I go into a adult bookstore, I remind myself, “I can be in the world but not of the world!” Then, when I step into a bakery shop, I realize that I am human.  The biggest change that has incurred in my life, due to Mormonism, is that I no longer believe that any church or religion is 100% true.

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