Since publishing my work, I have been approached by a number of people who have been coming to terms with the truth, asking my advice on how to approach family members with the devastating news that their Church is not true. Experience has shown that if someone studies everything out privately and concludes for themselves that the Church is false and only then faces a spouse or other family members directly, fait accompli, with all the evidence at once, claiming they have discovered the Church is not true, then they may be in trouble. Immediately, an almost impenetrable and extremely defensive ‘wall’ may well be put up; the evidence (and invariably also the messenger) may be rejected without conscious consideration. Any and every aspect will be strongly argued and not ‘considered’ at all. The Church programmes us to subconsciously reject anything that may ‘offend’ a testimony without consideration.
Members already ‘know’ what is deemed to be true through ethereal means alone. The unwelcome messenger is considered to have lost the spirit; they are under the influence of Satan and viewed as ‘apostate’. Many a Mormon Bishop has advised an active member to divorce an apostate spouse and find someone else who is worthy to take them to the ‘Celestial Kingdom’. There are countless heartbreaking stories on exMormon web sites concerning broken Mormon marriages.
In discussing this problem with a number of worried and concerned members who were studying their way out of the Mormon Church, it transpires that by far the safest and most successful method of tackling it is to immediately discuss initial concerns with a spouse in terms of the first thing that they discovered which indicated there may be a problem with the authenticity of Mormonism. When someone approaches their partner in a manner such as: “Look at what I accidentally discovered (specify an aspect) concerning the Church. This can’t be right, surely? It contravenes all we were ever taught and yet appears verified as true. If so, it brings the truth of the Church into serious question. What do you make of this? What do you think?” In instances that I am aware of, members who have entered into some such early discussions have usually succeeded in continuing their study of the truth together, subsequently leaving the Church as a couple. They have then been much more easily able to take the same approach with children who are then much more likely to follow them.
If you find yourself in this situation, I strongly advise early, open, non confrontational discussions, allowing you both to reach the same conclusions together, gently and with care and love, before moving on to the next topic. It is truly devastating to have to face the truth and many people would rather not have to. However, the ‘joint study’ method of gaining an understanding of the truth, then being able to both arrive at a final decision together, will, more often than not, at least save a good marriage, whereas facing a partner down with an already made personal decision could cause irreparable damage to an otherwise healthy relationship. For a happy outcome, find a way to ‘discover’ the truth together.