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An Open Letter to Our Family and Friends

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

To our very dear family and friends,

We have made some big life decisions that we would like to share with you, and we hope they are received with love.

We have decided that it is in our best interest to part ways with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The most important thing you can know about our decision is simply why we made it, and that is because we just don’t believe it is true. We don’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, we don’t believe the Book of Mormon to be a true, historical document, we don’t believe the church to be the one true church on earth. In short, we don’t believe in the very foundational truth claims that the church makes.

We feel very strongly about our convictions, and we fully understand their gravity. We understand that many of you will be hurt and enormously saddened by our decision to leave the church. We understand that many of you, out of love and pure concern, will feel that we are making an enormous mistake. But believe it or not, the very principles that the church taught us growing up (such as the importance of honesty, standing for truth, doing what’s right even when it’s hard, loving others as Jesus taught, etc) are the same principles that helped us realize that we couldn't accept many of the things the church has stood for in the past, as well as some of the things it stands for today. They helped us realize that, in order to live with integrity, we have to leave. And as a result, we feel very strongly that we are doing the absolute best and right thing for our lives, and for our family.

We won't go into the details of every doubt or disbelief we’ve had that ultimately led to this decision, but we can promise you that they were all based on historical facts, as well as current church issues that, we believe, contradict the very values that Jesus Christ himself taught. While there are good and uplifting things (and people!) to be found within the church, we just don’t believe that, at its foundation, it is built on truth.

It may seem as if our decision came out of nowhere. In reality, it has been several years in the making. This has been a long, arduous, and very sincere journey on our part, and while we aren’t at the end of our journey yet, we feel very confident that we are on the right path together, and we are truly happy.

To clear up some possible misconceptions you may have regarding our decision, here are a few key points we want to make:

•We did not leave because living the gospel was too hard. In fact, in many ways, it would have been much more comfortable for us to continue to live the way we always have.

•Our exodus was not initiated by offense or heartache. All the ward members we have interacted with have been kind and loving.

•We have not been deceived by anti-Mormon literature. All of the historical facts, evidence issues, and current church problems we learned about can be directly tied to church sources, such as the Gospel Topic Essays, the Joseph Smith Papers Project, and even the scriptures themselves.

•The allure of "worldly pleasures" did not contribute to our decision at all.

•We were not looking for reasons to leave the church.

•Neither one of us convinced or sought to convince the other that the church was false. We both came to our conclusions separately, and while we were open and honest with each other about our own convictions, neither of us, at any time, pushed the other towards a conclusion either way.

We want you to know that we don't believe the church is all bad. In fact, many of the values that we were taught by the church are deeply engrained in us, and are a part of who we are. We believe in them, and they will continue to guide our family as we grow. We believe it’s possible to learn and possess good foundational values even without church attendance, and we will teach these values to our children as well.

We sincerely hope that our decision will in no way come between the deep love we share with each of you, our family and friends. We love you all so much, and we promise that we are still the same people, with the same hearts, as we have always been. We vow to respect and support you in your beliefs, and in the things that are meaningful to you. We simply ask that you understand where we are coming from, and that you respect and support our journey as well.

With a deep and tremendous love,

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