After converting to Mormonism as a teen and attending BYU, Haleigh Evert’s relationship with the Mormon church grew unfulfilling and complicated. After leaving the church for a time, Haleigh came back to the Mormon church, married in the temple, and started making videos and writing about her Mormon journey.
Haleigh eventually published the book “Why I Left the Mormon Church and Came Back,” which is still sold at Deseret Book today. Then, after years of promoting and defending the Mormon church, Haleigh read the CES Letter for the first time (just a month and a half ago).
In this episode we discuss Haleigh’s conversion, her reach on social media as a Mormon influencer, and her life now after reading the CES letter.
- Haleigh’s YouTube Channel
- Haleigh’s Instagram
- The CES Letter by Jeremy Runnells
- Unveiling Grace by Lynn Wilder
4:20 Haleigh’s mom gets baptized and she attends church
16:40 Breaking the law of chastity, bishop using patriarchal blessing and temple to increase commitment
22:08 Visiting BYU and feeling that’s where the Lord wanted her
30:08 Meeting RM at BYU then breaks up with boyfriend
34:20 Markers of undue influence and YW leaders influence to marry in the temple/follow pat blessing
51:55 Exposed to BYU students who party and trying to date while staying chaste
1:01:14 Trying to go on a mission, falling for non-Mormon man then being ghosted
1:14:11 Purity culture at BYU, feeling like God led Haleigh to AZ, losing faith
1:28:43 Complicated relationship with the church, sleeping with Elder’s quorum pres
1:38:00 Reactivating in the church and feeling hopeful
1:43:20 Meeting her future husband (CJ) and sharing her past with him (and vice versa).
1:53:56 Disciplinary council process and living out probation
2:22:33 Going through the temple and non-member family excluded from wedding
2:52:10 Married life begins and husband discloses sins
2:56:19 Going viral for talking about coming back to Mormonism and getting book deal
3:25:48 Preaching the joys of Mormonism while feeling unhappy at church, marriage unraveling
3:43:41 Other Mormon influencer’s post spurs empathy for different beliefs
3:54:00 Haleigh lists her problems with the church while she has space to reflect during COVID
4:12:14 Haleigh feels duped after reading the CES letter
4:27:53 Regrets choosing the church over loving people and changing beliefs
4:32:35 Haleigh and her husband struggling with different views
4:44:05 Final thoughts and an apology to those Haleigh influenced in the church
5:04:26 Bishop assuming there is no happiness now for her and her family outside the church
5:16:52 Path forward for Haleigh