In this episode of Mormon Stories and Mormon Transitions podcast, John interviews Brynne Thomas Gant — author of the article entitled, “They Can Leave the Church, But They Can’t Leave the Church Alone.”  The purpose of the episode is to explore common negative stereotypes about post-Mormons, and to better explain the complexities of leaving the LDS church.

Part 1:

Part 2:


  1. Teri June 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you Brie for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
    Swallowing the metaphorical ‘red pill’ and becoming aware of the Mormon ‘Matrix’ has been a difficult intellectual journey. Your experiences and insights are much appreciated and an inspiration.
    I too felt a deep betrayal after listening to [] and then reading Simon Southerton’s book regarding the DNA evidence contradicting Book of Mormon claims about Polynesian origins in the South Pacific.
    I am Maori and am a 6th generation member having attended, the now defunct, Church College of New Zealand. My ancestor assisted in the translation of the Book of Mormon into the Maori language, 1888.
    As a youth I listened to visiting Prophets and GAs emphasize the special status of Polynesians as ‘direct descendants’ of the House of Israel. We were taught that Hagoth was our link to the New World. That view is obviously contrived and now scientifically contradicted thanks to the genome project and evidence which shows Taiwan as the genetic source of Polynesia and not Zarahemla?
    I look forward to following your insights and prose.

  2. Matt June 28, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    FYI. URL correction – The URL listed returns a 404 PAGE NOT FOUND

  3. Matt June 28, 2017 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Great story and great perspective.

    I thought I recognized you, apparently we were classmates, but on opposite sides of the school. Bruins 2004!

  4. marlbey June 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I left the church 25 years ago, and the church won’t leave ~me~ alone. When I move, they call relatives to find my new contact information. When I disconnected my land line, they couldn’t call me anymore and started stopping by my house unannounced. I live in a large city in the east, where the Mormon population is pretty small, and there are no Mormons in my neighborhood… so these visits are not neighborly—- they are intentional and the visitor has to go out of their way to stop by. They send the missionaries, home teachers, visiting teachers multiple times a year. I guess I could get hostile and demand that they remove me from the rolls and leave me alone. Instead, I am polite to these people but repeatedly tell them I don’t want home/visiting teachers, and I don’t let them in my home. The missionaries show up to ask me why I left the church; I don’t go around preaching my reasons to them. So I find the Glen Pace talk pretty funny.

  5. EDiL13 July 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I found your comments about not being able to leave the church alone or be left alone by it particularly interesting because I am in that situation. My name was removed from the records of the LDS church 12 years ago at my own request, after 33 years of membership, but I am still married to it. I love my husband dearly but he is still 150% devoted to his religion, so I have never been able to put enough distance between myself and his church to heal from the damage that was done to me (although I do have to admit that it wasn’t all bad, or I wouldn’t have stayed in as long as I did), and it continues to cause problems in our marriage. I can relate to much of what has been said in this podcast.

    I joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation immediately after leaving the Mormon church, and my husband and I juggled two churches almost every Sunday for most of the last 12 years (our Sundays got pretty hectic). But my relationship with that organization blew up in my face earlier this year, and I ended up resigning from that church too. I don’t plan to go “church shopping” again — I feel like I’m pretty much done with organized religion now, so if nothing radically changes in the next 3 years, I’ll probably go on record in the 2020 census as a “none” :)

    So now the only social life I have is my husband’s church and the internet. I am retired/disabled and I no longer drive, so attending the LDS church with my husband is now my only weekly opportunity to get out of the house, although it should be noted that I’m an introvert and as such I don’t need a huge social life, but through no real fault of my own or my husband’s, the only friends I have left that I have an opportunity to see on a regular basis are all Mormons. That’s a little scary.

    These podcasts are now the only “counterbalance” to Mormonism that I have, now that I no longer see my Unitarian friends on Sundays anymore. So thank you to everyone who makes them possible and who participates in them or supports them in any way.

    EDiL13 (Elohim’s Daughter in Law)

  6. JoeS July 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    I don’t believe that less actives are bad or particularly unhappy, even though evidence indicates that inactivity decreases happiness, and increases many negative things (including suicide). And, certainly, those who lose their faith can’t know the light and deep joy of daily communing with Christ and receiving His light in the Temple by a lifestyle of humble repenting, serving, keeping covenants and so on. That sweet and joyous fruit is offered to all (even to the most bitter), but I know that it isn’t for everyone. Most will reject it. BUT, what I don’t understand, is why so many who lose faith spend their time discouraging, justifying, and “helping” others lose theirs. I’m not saying you’re doing that, but it’s clear that many are. Why would anyone seek to hurt others by breaking up eternal families and leading them to abandon the light and love of Christ and forget the goodness which we all know comes from true faithfulness? I think maybe that’s what is meant by leaving us alone. ❤️❤️

    • Ryan D July 8, 2017 at 9:01 am - Reply

      You should understand the mindset perfectly as a TBM. Don’t you feel that truth is important and that people should be living their lives by it in order to glorify God, to be as happy and successful as possible, and to avoid harm? Probably you do.

      Why is this mindset only appropriate for those who believe and feel as you do? Many “struggling”/former members feel a sense of responsibility to share some of the truths they’ve discovered about the Church. That there is a vast number of these truths the church itself never bothered to tell you is irrefutable.

      Point is, you don’t have to agree with the position to understand the mindset. Now, knowing that, go nack and reread your comment and highlight all of the things you mention that only a believer believes. Asking questions along the lines of, “How can they not believe in the Church when it’s so super dooper true?” does not resonate with this audience since they have very good reason to believe that it explicitly is NOT what it claims to be.

  7. Nancy July 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I hate to tell you this Joe but my husband and I are a lot happier since leaving. If anyone asks why we left we tell them but never volunteer. Even though we resigned over a year ago ward members continue to visit us, as neighbors of course! It’s odd becausd they pretty much left us alone as members except for official church business. Hmmm I’m sure there is no ulterior motives…. just trying to rescue lost sheep! It is pretty demeaning to me to know that’s how they view us now. I’ve never tried to get anyone to lose their faith but I’m supportive of those who do because 99% of the time their family isn’t.

  8. Haika July 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Brynne, I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast but my question has nothing to do with it. I graduated from a high school in southern California in the early 1970s. In my German class was a Mormon girl named Vicky Gant. I am fairly certain she moved to Utah not long after graduation and probably has a different last name. Any chance she is related to your husband?

  9. D July 3, 2021 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I echo what has been said.

    The church never leaves you alone.

    I think they are fanatics and I am much happier being away from them as much as possible.

    They want to be unmonitored so they can proceed to convert the world without any scrutiny.

    But if you new people were driving off a cliff, wouldnt you warn them?

    Thats what many exmo’s do. They give people the rest of the story, and the Mormons dont like it.

    Again, just glad that I saw through them and left.

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