Leaving the Fold

James W. Ure, Author Signature Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-56085-134-9
You can take the people out of Mormonism, but you can't take Mormonism out of the people. Or so say 18 ""inactive"" Mormons profiled here, who grew up in the church and left it during adulthood yet still wrestle with their Mormon heritage. Interviewer and editor Ure, an inactive Mormon himself, negotiates his own place outside the tradition during the course of these engaging conversations. A three-time Utah governor admits his difficulties in accepting the Book of Mormon as literally true, while a divorced woman speaking on condition of anonymity traces her defection to her realization that the Mormon theology of eternal families left little room for the divorced. Some of those interviewed gradually, and almost painlessly, drifted away, while others tried mightily to conform to the religion's expectations (one gay man recounts enduring electroshock therapy to ""cure"" his sexual orientation in the early 1970s, a procedure that is no longer recommended by the LDS Church). While some of the defectors' complaints involve specifically Mormon issues, such as the veracity of the Joseph Smith story, many outside the Mormon tradition will be able to identify with more general laments, such as the strict religion's exclusivity and insularity and the guilt that many feel when they fall short of their culture's expectations. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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