What great insights into how we can better love those who have left the Church.
I was recently asked to speak in the leadership session of my stake conference regarding my experiences leaving the Church for several years, and my recent choice to return. I decided to use this opportunity to teach a lesson that is sorely needed in LDS communities about how we treat those who choose to leave, regardless of the reason:
I’ve been asked to share with you today my experience leaving the Church for several years, and my recent choice to return.
Your instinct might be to get excited. You might hope that I’m about to share the secret sauce to bring loved ones back into the fold. I’d like to tell you right up front that this is not my intention.
My goal in speaking to you today is not to show you how to explain away someone’s doubts or rekindle their testimony. Rather, I want to share what I and others felt upon leaving the church — regardless of their reason for leaving.