Title

‘Like a Cord Snapping’: Toward a grounded theory of how devout Mormons leave the LDS Church

Publication Date

12-1-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Humanities

Publication Title

Critical Research on Religion

Volume

8

Issue

3

DOI

10.1177/2050303220924096

First Page

297

Last Page

317

Abstract

This study describes the cultural, cognitive, social, and emotional work that once-devout members of the LDS Church must engage in to leave the church and divest themselves of Mormon culture. A Grounded Theory approach with a multi-modal memoing process showed that, for the devout, leaving the LDS Church and Mormon culture is not a singular event, but rather a process of gradual transformation that requires time and effort, passing through a series of punctuating events. Formerly devout ex-Mormons had to confront various problems, including the LDS Church’s truth claims and ethical contradictions from within the particular Mormon framework that leavers believed in and followed, which in turn had shaped and constrained both their leaving process and their post-Mormon selves. Interview data revealed a necessary reconstruction of post-Mormon emotionalities. And devout women who left Mormonism bore an added burden of overcoming internalized misogyny.

Keywords

apostasy, high-cost religion, LDS, Mormonism, religious disaffiliation

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