This post is by Heather B. We have all heard this mantra; if you are involved with church related discussion boards, you have probably heard it often. For sake of discussion, let us assume that the person who has left the church has not ‘sinned’ and will never ever come back no matter what.
So let’s say that Joe Mormon left the church. He has friends that are members, and family that are members. We’ll make it easier and say that he does not live in the corridor.
How would you have him behave? Is he no longer allowed to mention anything about his past, even though he spent most of his childhood doing church related things, and attended a church sponsored college? What about those wedding pictures in front of an LDS temple, what should he do with those? How does he explain to strangers and employers that he happens to speak an obscure language and lived overseas for two years?
Should he cut off his mormon family, or should he have to live in complete silence around loved ones who will continue to be highly involved in their own faith? What happens at life events like baptisms and weddings and funerals and missions? How can those in the church makes these events easier for Joe? Or should Joe just have to suck it up and deal with it, since he is the one who left?
How would you as a faithful member want Joe to behave? How would you accommodate his new beliefs in your own life? Or would you really rather he just disappear?