Three Categories of Sinners!!!

Bull received (from his TBM brother) this unsolicited catalog of all of the types of those who leave the church:

Group 1: People who have battled patterns of behavior who fight until they conquer it
Group 2: People who go inactively quietly in an attempt to minimize feelings of shame or guilt because they have lost confidence in their ability to change
Group 3: Inactive people who actively seek to cover-up wrongdoings by justifying a choice to become inactive based solely upon scholarly merit.

And he gives his reaction here.

Maybe this is too easy a question for this crowd, but what do you think?


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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7 Responses

  1. I think any theory about people starts to fail as soon as it begins to involve categories.

  2. Andrew S says:

    wait, what exactly is an example of group 1?

    What are the patterns of behavior that someone would fight, successfully conquer (which sounds like a good thing), and then leave the church for it?

    I thought that the normal idea about exmembers was that they had some behavior they COULDN’T conquer (e.g., 2 or 3, lol)

    I really wonder about the psychological hypotheses these guys raise to justify these things.

    (P.S. chanson, i don’t know if you saw it, but I have an article in the docks [it was an unfinished draft for a while, but I brought it out again recently to complete it])

  3. Andrew S says:

    Oh, I get what the dude was saying.

    He’s saying that Group 1 would remain as believers and group 2 and 3 are the exmormons.


  4. Matt says:

    I think Bull is totally on to something. You know what they say, the church is a hospital for the sick soul. Explains both why the faithful are imperfect and why they stay. But you know what else they say about hospitals … the surest place to catch all manner of ailment. The sick consorting with the sick.

    The goal should always be to avoid the hospital and to leave it as soon as possible should you find yourself in one.

    Love it when they let the patients write stuff. Makes you treasure your relative good health. 🙂

  5. Bull says:

    Geez, I go to check my email this morning and my sitemeter report had jumped up from its normally paltry numbers. I guess it helps to post. Thanks for the link.

    I replied to my brother that I left for intellectual reasons and not because of guilt or sin. After my reply he went into retreat mode and basically apologized if I had thought he was somehow implying that those were my reasons for leaving.

    Of course, he then asked if I had left because I had been offended by someone in the church. You couldn’t have predicted that either, could you 🙂

    The final nail is that he’s not really interested in my reasons for leaving because he can’t deny his spiritual testimony. Couldn’t have seen that one coming either.

  6. aerin says:

    I agree with Jonathan – #1. Good luck putting mormons and former mormons in any categories.

    And what happens when I say my reasons for leaving were different, and the other person (Bull’s brother, for example) disagrees? You can’t get anywhere.

    With that said, I’m not sure that any sort of peer reviewed study or research has ever been done to find out why some mormons leave. I would be interested to see that. The LDS leadership certainly doesn’t seem to be interested. And if they are interested, they would rather shape the data themselves – not necessarily listening to or addressing the many doctrinal and ethical concerns of why some people leave. Maybe there are some people out there who believe that what is true IS, in fact, useful.

  7. rebecca says:

    Andrew, I had the same thoughts – #1 sounds like a GREAT reason to leave the church!

    When people ask me why I left (rare – usually they avoid asking) I tell them that what the church believes and teaches does not line up with my personal sense of morality. If I don’t mind pissing the person off a little, I say that I believe what the church teaches is insidiously immoral. 🙂

    Holly, at Self-Portrait As, posted some interesting thoughts about a book she read on the Christian right (not Mormons).

    One quote from the book that I found particularly on-point (among many) is this one, which sums up the relationship between me and some friends and family members:

    “People are no longer judged by their intrinsic qualities, by their actions or capacity for self-sacrifice and compassion, but by the rigidity of their obedience.”

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