Sunstone Workshop: “Staying in the Church After Becoming Disaffected”

John Dehlin Faith Promoting Stories, Mormon

From the workshop….

  • The essay.
  • The audio recording of my August 2007 Sunstone Workshop entitled, “How to stay…”
  • The PowerPoint file from that presentation
  • The audio and video files from that presentation
  • The PDF from my October 2007 Sunstone Workshop entitled, “How to stay…”


For those interested, I’m hosting a 3.5 hour workshop on “Staying in the Church After Becoming Disaffected” at the Sunstone Symposium this August. I don’t pretend to be an authority or anything, but I do know that many people who get hit hard w/ church history or culture come to the unfortunate conclusion that leaving the church is their only option — and that this can often hurt all parties involved (the church included). And so I’m hoping to share a thing or two I’ve learned over the past 2 years, as I’ve personally counseled over 200 people in this situation. This session is intended to be both for those who are struggling, and/or for their loved ones trying to cope with the situation.

I’d LOVE to meet some of you there!!!

Date: August 8, 2007
Time: 2:00 – 5:30 pm
Cost: $25 (all proceeds go to Sunstone)
How to Register: To pre-register, fill out and send in the registration form included with this program, visit WWW.SUNSTONEONLINE.COM, or call the Sunstone office, (801) 355-5926.

Abstract: Thousands of people leave the LDS church each year. However, many who have left or are considering leaving feel a great deal of ambivalence towards this decision, since
leaving the Church often has very serious familial, social, occupational, and even psychological implications. Many members caught at this crossroads consider only two paths:
(1) stay active as a full blown, traditional member; or (2) resign from the Church and cease all meaningful affiliation. In addition, though there are some exceptions, many who
have left or resigned from the Church do not find the joy and fulfillment they anticipated when making that decision. Religious ties, especially in traditions like Mormonism, are
extremely deep and complex.

In this workshop, John Dehlin and other presenters will discuss “middle way” strategies for maintaining Church involvement even when one is disaffected and feeling out of the mainstream of Mormon life and belief—a third road to consider. The workshop format will consist of short presentations on various reasons that lead to members’ feeling disaffected, accompanied by group discussion.

Advisory—Please note that this workshop does not encourage Latter-day Saints who are content in their relationship with the Church to pursue a “middle path.” This workshop is intended for those who currently find themselves at this crossroads in their own faith journey or who want to be supportive of a loved one who is seriously considering abandoning Church activity. Some possible strategies discussed in this workshop will feel somewhat radical while others, much tamer. No particular strategy will be recommended as right for everyone. The workshop’s ultimate goal is to provide support, insight, and information about what has worked for others as they seek not only to survive but thrive as Church members who have a different outlook than most others who fill up LDS Sunday meetings.