In part two of my interview with Amy and Jake Malouf, we discuss the verdict from their October 11, 2016 Mormon Disciplinary Council on charges of Apostasy, along with their reactions to the verdict.
Amazing. I was so irritated on your behalf listening to their letter back to you–in their minds, the truthfulness of the church is the one absolutely, so anything that disputes ut must be wrong and anyone open to other possibilities has been lead astray. It’s maddening every time I encounter that. Having said that, I got so much from listening to this. Amy, I appreciate so much that you went into that room and spoke without fear or shame about the sexism in the church. That’s huge. Jake, I appreciate your commitment to honor and integrity. It’s pure insanity to me that these traits are only valuable in the church as long as it is exempt from critical analysys. I’m so happy for both of you, and for your kids. Thank you so much for doing this. I’m still not sure if I believe in God, but if there is a God, I think his love is magnified through you.
Sorry about the typos… wrote that on my phone and neglected to proofread. :-/
Jake and Amy
Your letter to the High Council was marvelous. So clear and well thought out. I really related to what was said and how you said it. In my eyes it was forthright and kind. I don’t know how someone on the high council would view it but I don’t think it could be better said.
I wish the high council could bring themselves to hear what you were saying with their hearts open but sadly that was never their intention.
Best of luck to you establishing your new self-identity and purpose outside the church. You should be nothing but proud about how you handled yourselves.
The fact that all excommunication letters seem go out of their way to forbid the wearing of garments and payment of tithing suggests to me that the process as it currently exists was originally designed around getting polygamists out of the church in the early 20th century.
Yes, the men present have nominal authority over the only woman present, but in reality they have no authority at all, none that they are free to exercise. They must all sit there with their mouths shut. Any one of them who asked a question of his own or picked up a copy of the Malouf’s statement off the table out of curiosity would be subject to censure by the others and by higher authorities–later if not on the spot. Amy might have felt that she was under their collective thumb. They might have felt that she was under their collective or individual thumbs. But each of them and all of them are under the thumbs of the higher authorities of the so-called Church. None of them are free to act on their own volition. Absolute conformity is their only option unless and until they are ready to leave for good. Such is the nature of a cult.
Best wishes to all of the Maloufs.
Wow! That letter was brilliant. I really wish we could hear from the high council about what they thought & felt when hearing it. The letter was so reasonable, well worded, with so much thoughtful truth – how could any high counselor listen to that letter, being read aloud vocally by a friend and neighbor, and not gain an immense amount of compassion for the people sitting across the table; people fully expecting to be socially executed by you? It blows my mind that over a dozen men can hear it and not ONE is willing to even discuss it or take a stand on any of the obvious issues.
Thanks for the time you spent writing that letter Jake & Amy, and for sharing it with us. So sorry for everything you had to go through to get to the point that you could enjoy true religious freedom. Shame on any church leader who is willing to call someone before a court without even sitting with them and discussing any of their concerns or questions.
I’m so jealous of this couple, being able to not only experience the transition together harmoniously, but to even have it strengthen their relationship as a couple and family. I’ve spent the past two years in anguish as I’ve studied and struggled with my transition alone. I’ve tried to talk to my wife about so many of the obvious issues, and how my feelings about the church have changed, and she’s pretty clearly stated that she’ll choose the church over me, so I can either get in line or get out. It’s pretty devastating hearing that from someone you’ve been married to for almost 30 years.
But what’s she gonna say? What choice does she have when the church teaches that she can’t get to heaven without me (or some other man who’s temple worthy!) It’s a catch-22 situation for believing women, and non-believing men alike. While I no longer believe that I can’t live a heavenly life without her, or without secret hand shakes, I certainly won’t enjoy this life as much after losing my family. And so I put on a smile, suck it up, and deal with the pain, like a good soldier. I’ll willingly sacrifice to keep her, but if any of my kids hit the same wall I did with the church, I can’t imagine that it won’t force my hand.
There are so many of us, men getting back in line to preserve our marriages and families, and growing increasingly resentful about the power of abusive priesthood (and priestesshood) and the entire culture of “in or out”. Like the burger chain “In and Out”, you only have one choice – one Faith Hamburger. Either openly love the burger, or suffer. So many of us bite & chew, but can’t swallow, because it’s so tasteless and unhealthy for us. But we have to put on a show of pretending to enjoy it, for the sake of our families. The Maloufs didn’t have it easy, but certainly easier than someone who has to sit in an excommunication hearing alone, and then lose his home and family afterward. For those of us in these weird closeted split-faith marriages, spiritual life can be downright unbearable.
My only hope and prayer is that at some point, good men sitting in these excommunication hearings LISTEN and ABSORB what was said, study it out prayerfully, and then move up in church leadership to the point that they can make positive changes for all of us. Eventually the rest of the close-minded patriarchy will pass on, as McConkie and Packer did, and if we are lucky, the groundwork that people like Amy and Jake have laid will empower new leadership to see reason, to follow a true spirit of love, and do what’s right to make the church and it’s culture adapt, as it has in the past, to make it a better and more Christ-centered community for everybody.
I’m so happy for Amy & Jake. I know envy is bad, but I can’t help but feel it anyway.
I hope you continue to share your lives with us online so those of us who can’t follow in your footsteps can at least experience some of what it feels like to live vicariously through you. Think of it as a sort of “work for the dead”, even though I am still alive physically.
Captain Kirk…I can relate to your reply. I was just like your wife for about 10 years of our marriage. My husband and I have been married 25 years. After about 7 years of marriage, Sundays became a day he dreaded. He was working ~50 hrs a week and Sundays frequently were a 4-5 hr ordeal after meetings before and after church with our various callings. I could see a withdrawal in him with all things church. At first, I thought it was just that he simply was tired and our family was being stretched thin as some of our weekdays were filled with church duties as well. I started to look down on him asking him to pray more, read his scriptures more and attend the temple with me and that God wouldn’t give him what he couldn’t handle. It wasn’t enough and he revealed to me he just doesn’t believe in the church anymore, but had been afraid to tell me for fear of losing us. I struggled on and off for about 10 years and went through every emotion possible. Especially anger towards him for not “fulfilling his priesthood calling,” and jeopardizing our temple endowments. I was embarrassed going to church alone. I was embarrassed he wouldn’t bless our children. I was embarrassed I had to ask my Dad or brothers to baptize our children. We seriously almost divorced 2-3 times over the church. Every time I prayed I would ask God if I could please divorce my husband as this wasn’t the life I chose. Every time…the impression I got was “no.” My husband was worried the church was going to split us up. I eventually was determined that I was NOT going to let the church be the catalyst. I pleaded with my bishops to help him come back to the fold. Luckily, I had a couple of wise bishops. One told me (after confirming my husband wasn’t a adulterer or abuser) to take 2 Sundays a month to spend with him and the family outside of church (hiking, family outings, movies etc.) to strengthen our marriage. I couldn’t believe he suggested this, but he was the bishop so I tried it. My husband began to appreciate this type of behavior and I started to see the good man he was. Another bishop told me to love him and buoy him up. He was a good father, provider and loved us all. I soon also started to see that he was a good husband and that the way I treated him as a husband and father was my responsibility. I was NOT going to let the church split my family up. Our marriage carried on for some time with me going to church alone with the kids, but I didn’t pretend anymore. We moved every few years for his job and I used to make up excuses like “he has to work Sundays” or “he’s sick.” But I started simply stating the truth that he hates church and attending is just too stressful for him. It was nice not to lie. We found a medium that wasn’t quite complete in my eyes (I was always fasting and praying for him to become active again), but carried us a few years. After my last child was born 6 years ago something changed within me. Maybe it was the hormones, I don’t know. But I remember being annoyed at the RS presidency for calling and calling me for the post baby visit. I finally let them in and it felt so forced and they gave me the token blanket that they gave all new Mom’s with meals promised the next 3 nights. After that…no more contact. Crossed that off their list! Then my visiting teachers called me at the end of the month. Check…crossed that off their list! That behavior just started to annoy me. It kind of opened up Pandora’s box for me and all things I had put on the shelf over the years started to break. A child asking me after church why Laban was killed when murder is a top ten sin. Friends saying “there’s no way she could be wearing her garments in that outfit.” I just had to take of the rose colored glasses for my own sanity. Long story short, I’ve been inactive for about the last 5 years and have read enough stuff that I know there’s no way the mormon church is the true church. It has saddened some of my family members, but I don’t pretend anymore. My husband and I and our children have come out on the other side together and stronger. Luckily my children kind of transitioned with me and there were many deep discussions about faith and belief. Luckily none of them had gone through the temple so they didn’t have that yolk around their necks. They are kind, compassionate, driven, smart kids who seem to be more resilient with the transition than the years it took me. None of them believe the church is true, though we’re all in agreement it produces many a good people. We just don’t want to be part of it anymore and I’m finally free of the mental gymnastics, shame, embarrassment, guilt, justifications etc. It hasn’t been easy. It rocked my whole world when my husband didn’t play “peter priesthood.” I realize that’s because my sheltered, brain washed upbringing didn’t allow me to see him for anything else. I love my husband more than ever. I’m am a better person because of him. I’m grateful I tried to listen hard to the spirit and never imposed “yes” when I asked for divorce. I’m grateful I listened to wise clergymen who told me to love him and buoy him up for the man he is. And as far as not being the life I planned…when is it for anyone? Change is the only constant.
I hope your wife doesn’t split up your family over the church. The God I have known all along deep down does want families to stay together regardless of belief. I can see in hindsight that divorce would’ve potentially wrecked our children’s lives. A man I revere who is basically an active mormon atheist told me something that I pray will come to pass in the mormon church. He said it’s about the 3 b’s (I’m probably not giving credit to whomever this really came from). But basically…the Jewish religion says “belong, behave, believe.” First, you belong to us. We value you as a person and what you have to offer. You’re part of our culture. 2nd, behave. Don’t go killing people and stealing stuff. 3rd, believe. We’d like you to believe our Jewish religion, but it’s okay if you don’t, because you belong to us and we love you. The mormon religion says “believe, behave, belong.” First, you have to believe everything or you simply don’t measure up. 2nd, don’t kill people and stuff. 3rd, you can belong to us really only if you believe. I fear in 50 years the mormon religion will dwindle. I can’t see them ever owning up to any of the untruths, racism, sexism, crazy ass belief that this aged white male driven church is truly being lead by God. They are pawns. I know this from first hand experience taking care of the brethren and their wives in a medical capacity that was my job a few years ago. They are good men, but sheltered robots. I pray for marriages like yours. I’m ashamed of the way I treated my husband in hindsight making him feel like less than a man because of his beliefs. I hope your wife will see you for the good man you are and that you can both live true lives together.
Thank you for the thoughtful reply to my comment. You’re a saint and a lovely person for taking the time to share your experience; it gives me hope, and hope is something I desperately need right now. Your story sounds so familiar, and I pray that 5-10 years from now I might be so lucky as to be in a similar situation, if I live that long. If God exists and has any care for me at all, I pray He’ll help me find a way to glean more from life than sitting through endless mind-numbing meetings, talking about the same things over and over and over, and help me reclaim my time so that I can more fully live a Christ-like and healthy life.
I would be thrilled to find a compromise like you did! If I could go to church every other week, or once a month, and go camping once in a while, travel a little, interact with strangers on the road, make new friends and experience new things – I would be thrilled out of my mind. My wife is so rigid, so robotic in her faithfulness. She’s a good person, don’t get me wrong, she’s a saintly woman. But her undying commitment to attending every single meeting makes me want to literally hang myself. I’m lucky if I get to go on one camping trip a year, and even then, I have to pack the Sunday clothes, abandon nature on Sunday morning, and find a local church. It’s absolutely insane! Didn’t prophets retreat to the mountains to recharge, pray, and find God?
Not Mormons! Ya gotta be sitting on that hard metal chair every Sunday come hell or high water or you won’t be worthy!
If I could get back the thousands of hours I’ve spent sitting in church talking & listening to other people yack on endlessly about the church and gospel, and actually spend that time simply living the gospel, loving and serving and interacting with other people in meaningful ways, I’d give everything I own to get that time back. The older I get, the more I realize just how precious every hour is. I mourn for the countless hours spent sitting in bishopric meetings & ward councils that I could have spent with my wife & kids, with my neighbors, with nature, with God. I literally mourn for all the lost time. Not that all of that time was wasted, there were good moments of course, but as a whole, I realize now as I near the end that I could have had a much more meaningful and rich life.
Maybe having a rich life isn’t what it’s all about. Maybe the “Ends” justify the “Means”… but looking back, it sure feels mean. I don’t care about coffee, beer, wine, fornacation, revealing clothes, and all of the other things that ex-mormons like Kate Kelly so often embrace with giddy excitement. It’s not about that for me, it’s all about time with people I love, and all the people I COULD have loved had I been there for them, instead of being locked inside a church house TALKING about love.
I love you for sharing your story and your time with me. I’m so happy for you. If you were once like my wife, then maybe some day things will get better. I will hold out and hope for as long as I can. But I fear eventually I’ll lose it all… and then having all the time in the world won’t matter.
unfortunately, there is a good chance the high council and SP didn’t really even listen to the letter. Based on the letter they got back, it sounds like the leaders just walled up and just felt like they were being attacked by two arrogant people. It is sad, because certainly a lot of thought and heart went into that letter. It sucks to poor out so much, and get back, “One day you will realize you were wrong, gain some humility and perspective (LIKE US! :) ), and come back crawling.” How nice.
When I first left, I thought, man, if I can just explain some of this stuff, anyone that looked into it would leave! Our whole stake is going to leave if I can just throw some bullet points at them! Turns out, I was dumb. Somehow, we sometimes forget just how hard we ourselves fought to hold our testimonies when we were in. I was a fair mormon warrior (in my defense I think it was better when i first found it). Now, I want to spoon my eyeballs out of their sockets when I point out an obvious problem with the church and I get the same fair mormon arguments back that I once used. But as mad as I get, I realize, damn, that was me. And I know there was no convincing me. I needed time and I needed circumstance to get me out. Without that, I never would have been able to break out or see things differently completely. And it took time for me to also realize, it’s fine for those that never to do see things differently. Cause I don’t know what is going on anyway, i just took the step that brought me the most happiness, and I don’t know what that step is for others.
I love at the end of the book, “No Country For Old Men”. Sheriff Bell is going through his own sort of crash of beliefs, and he says, “”I’m being asked to stand for something that I don’t have the same belief in I once did. Asked to believe in somethin I might not hold with the way I once did. That’s the problem. I failed at it even when I did. Now I’ve seen it held to the light. Seen any number of believers fall away. I’ve been forced to look at it again and I’ve been forced to look at myself. For better or worse, i do not know. I don’t know that I would even advise you to throw in with me . . . If I am wiser in the ways of the world, it come at a price. Pretty good price too.”
“Finally I said, Loretta, I cant do it no more. And she smiled she said, “You aim to quit while you’re ahead?”
“No mam, I just aim to quit. I aint ahead by a damn sight. I never will be.”
Simply awesome!!! I’ve never met these wonderful folks – but I love them!! I so wish I could meet them, buy them a drink and hug them. I’ve felt more spirituality in listening to their story than I’ve EVER FELT within an LDS Chapel; or from an LDS Leader. They represent the kind of person I wish and hope to become!
Amy and Jake
Thank you for sharing your thoughtful, articulate and generous thoughts. Loved the letter. This is truly a personal and painful life experience. There is a shock and soberness that comes with the reality of how very little you as an individual are valued by the LDS Church when you reach out for honesty. Especially when you have given so much and for so long. Like cold water in the face!
I loved your comments on how the goodness of the Human soul is not owned by the LDS Church. They would certainly like you to think so though wouldn’t they?
Amy you touched my heart in both podcasts when you spoke about being a woman in the Church and making that work in your life. It has been many years since I have felt any emotion or shed any tears about this subject as I chose to leave and not have this toxic mindset thrown in my face on every turn. But I feel your pain. I do remember and I am certain it has not changed. Unless there was a response that you did not mention when you stood in your power and shared what it is like to be an LDS woman what you received back was silence. How tragic. Another lost opportunity to acknowledge the active and purposeful suppression of 1/2 of the creation of the Universe. But then again what a perfect example of the message LDS women live with every day. The Church is not about supporting and honoring women. It is about men and their eternal glory and how a women can help make that happen. Just follow the money all the way back to Joseph Smith with his egotistical mindset and appetites. Then Brigham Young and his crazy dictatorial and greedy rule. If the early Mormons were not so far away from civilization they would have never survived as their “secrets” would have been exposed. Both of these men had themselves ordained as Kings and Joseph even as a God. I mean if we had not been taught these concepts at the knees of people we loved and trusted the whole thing is abhorrent! Do not lose another moment of your precious life looking to the LDS Church to give you value as the unique woman you are. Jake I loved how proud you were of how Amy expressed herself. It came across in your voice. Thank you on behalf of all women.
You touched on many subjects but I am sure other comments will address them.
My very best to both of you and your family.
Jake & Amy,
You guys are awesome; I absolutely loved your letter! Way to go on taking back your power.
After 35 years of activity, I left the church this past June, after having my world crash from reading all of the essays and delving deep into the true history of the church.
I feel your pain and can relate to all that you said. I shed so many tears after learning the truth. Thankfully, time is healing my heart and my feelings of anger and betrayal have subsided. I can finally say that I am happy! I’m finding a new normal outside of mormonism. I joined a fb post mormon group in my area, which has helped with my transition out of the church. I found a new church to attend and love worshipping there. I’m grateful to have a few mormon friends who have remained my friends although they know I’m no longer a member. Just this week during a lunch date one friend confided that she no longer believes in the church but stated she stays for the community the church offers.
Thank you so much for sharing your story! God bless you and your family.
John Dehlin, thank you…thank you…thank you!!!
I have been anxiously waiting for this follow-up! Your letter was very touching (maybe we can all borrow it? j/k). It will be interesting to find out in the future whether you ‘planted a seed’ in one of those men’s hearts/minds and if you one day hear from them about it. No doubt. Truth speaks louder and I wish I were in Anchorage to be a part of such a great support group. All the best.
Wow, that letter is POWERFUL. I’m not all the way through the episode yet, but it’s clear that the two of you are extremely thoughtful, authentic people and the church just wants people who blindly obey and don’t question anything. It’s so sad. Huge props to you both for being so brave, and all the best to you and your family.
Who the hell do they think they are? God is NOT a respecter of men! They told you they can take the Holy Ghost away from you? OMG, I have heard it all now. My southern Baptist mind can’t wrap my mind around that kind of arrogance. They are deceived if they think they have power over God and the Holy Spirit. He lives in you, not them. God bless.
Appeal it like I did that you may become a witness against the first presidency
Also in the d&c 85 or 86 in the chapter pertaining to the OMS it says the house of god will be put into order. Implying that it will be out of order. Also that the OMS will carry the scepter.
Thank you so much for this follow-up podcast. Jake and Amy confirm my own experience about the love and happiness that exists outside the church. It turns out that Mormonism doesn’t have a monopoly on love, kindness, or joy.
Wow Jake and Amy, you two are so amazing in how, with love and kindness, you’ve dealt with this attack against you. I gathered from your podcast story before the Oct. 11th meeting that you both had a solid foundation built on Truth. Listening today to this and how lovingly and kindly you’ve spoken about those who would throw you out tells me that your foundation is solid. Thank you for your great example of Christ-like forgiveness and unconditional love. I’ve said it before and I must say it again. May God continue to bless you and yours Forever and Always 😃
The world is not a dark and dreary place when this family occupies it’s space. The Maloufs enrich the world we live in.
Thanks to JD for bring to light the myopic view of an organization that can only live within its self.
I applaud you courageous stand. But Amy, if your experience is anything like mine was, you will find it nearly impossible to hang on to your Mormon friends. Fear will pull them away from your association as the Morg warns them not to associate with apostates. When that happens don’t let that make you sad. There are multitudes who are as good or better than any of your Mormon associates.
Amy, your box analogy was absolutely fantastic. Your decision to ‘save the wrapping paper’ was fantastic. People of good conscience (like yourselves) are what continues to give me hope for humanity.
I got chills near the end when Jake spoke of the father and son who had contacted him after his podcast. Wow. If that was the only good that came from this- so worth it. Love to you all!
I am VERY impressed with the letter that you read. That is top notch and I appreciate that you shared it as I think it will probably be the basis for many others that are sadly probably going to follow.
Just wanted to let you know, my wife and I listened to this podcast and were deeply moved by your honesty and integrity. I have listened to almost all of the Mormon Stories episodes and this was with out question one of my favorite. My wife and I transitioned out of the church almost three years ago. What a heart wrenching experience this was.
It helps so much to see good honest people that have gone through similar experiences. This podcast continues to be a reassurance that there are good people that have come to the same conclusions about the church and the need to be honest about what we found. It can be a very lonely experience but one that is very gratifying as well.
Thank you for being so loving not only toward members but also those that the church continues to disapprove of and reject. We have a gay son that is one the best, loving persons that I have ever known. The church will never know this because they choose to reject him and others that would have had so much to offer.
Thanks for stepping to the forefront and representing a Christ like love for so many that need this kind of understanding and kindness. Thank you John for this and many of the Mormon Story podcast that have been so helpful and therapeutic to us.
What a great letter. It’s too bad your former leaders couldn’t have cared less. It kind of reminds me of that Simon and Garfunkle song “The Sound of Silence” where it says people listening without hearing. All the publicity surrounding your excommunication certainly won’t help the missionary effort . The local LDS leaders certainly didn’t think this one out too well.
What an excellent podcast,
Jake and Amy, thank you for the courage, for the opening up, for the sharing of your story. As I listened to your story, I felt pain as I empathized with your realization that the Mormon church is not what it claims to be. The pain for me came as I recalled my own experiences from my own journey which ultimately lead me to resign my membership. For myself, that pain was caused by the sense of betrayal stemming from their deceit and their lack of accountability. Wow, what a sense of betrayal! Most severe pain I had ever felt in my life!
Jake, you’re recounting of their request for you & Amy to not record or mention any names for that matter, demonstrates a cowardice on their part in my opinion. This makes me wonder, do these men really believe that they are inspired by the God as they claim? If so, Why would any true messenger acting in His will shy away from, or explicitly ask rather, that their names not be divulged? Particularly when administering such an act of “love” as this process is claimed to be? I marvel at how unfair, undignified, and how blatantly attempts get made to stack the deck in their favor for such proceedings. It is as if they make sure they have all the protections they think they need (legally etc..), and by doing so, place you & Amy both in a position of vulnerability. Where is the “love” in this? All these men, every one of they, should stand up and put their names with their actions, they should demonstrate accountability, and not fear any transparency. Thanks for sharing that experience. I can’t help but think, what fools they all are for pushing this process! You had asked to simply be left alone, but they called you in and forced this process on you, they could not leave you alone, but yet they were hoping and pressuring you to simply resign. trying to get off easy. Thank you for making them do their process, and thereby exposing their brutality masked in “love”.
Brutality masked in love is the worst, the nastiest type to have.
I can’t fathom how any of this is helpful to their cause, I don’t see any virtue in these actions by pressing this court under these circumstances.
Amy, I appreciated very much your metaphor about the church being a box with very pretty wrapping. Inside the box, deep inside where few members dare dive in, and those with the *integrity* who do the deep dive end up leaving, is contained within a total mess. A stinking festuche of problems, messes, corruption, corporatism, prevarications, equivocations, and pain – real severe pain. The sort of pain that can be soul crushing. The sort of pain that has been covered up for generations as demonstrated by their shifting faith narratives and doctrine over the years. It all can be summed up has an enormous load of unresolved, unrepentant, senior leadership owned corruption, that they refuse to take any accountability for, because as you stated, the prophet can never lead you astray . This severe – hurt and pain gets delivered by the huge sense of betrayal awaiting for those who open that box and dive deep, those how get the awakening which pits loyalty against integrity. Transcending is never easy or painless, it clearly requires deep significant changes which are by nature, extremely painful. Anyway, excellent metaphor.
You both nailed it when you said the church is about loyalty and obedience to the prophet, which are the church’s values which supersede the virtue of honesty and integrity. Anyone who’s been in long enough can recognize this, few have the courage to question and doubt. That is beginning to change. Once doubt happens, which can’t be resolved, there is clearly not room any longer in the boat. They want you out, they kick you out. They chased you both down, would not leave you alone as requested, and forced your through this process. To what end? Well, I for one, and I think many others, are validated with our prior decisions to leave.
Wonderful story, thanks for sharing. Best to you & yours.
Jake & Amy,
Thank you for sharing your experience. You’re interview with John was mature, sincere and comforting. I’ve had undiagnosed autism all my life and frequently found myself marginalized, belittled and shamed by the church and by my parents. Your statements about keeping your faith in Jesus while maintaining your personal power and not giving people authority they pretend have over you was beautiful and healing to me. Many thanks forver!
Jake and Amy,
I love your spirits, attitudes, and love of life. I’m older than you guys, with a lot more dust on my boots, and really do appreciate your actions, from my perspective, as do countless others. Even Richard Bushmann, recognizes “the dominant narrative of the church is not true” and that “it cannot be sustained” as is. We are witnessing this in our own lifetimes.
The mantra of “doubt your doubts” is already so worn out. Churches including, my own, wouldn’t exist if their founders didn’t have doubts. Scientific discoveries wouldn’t take place if doubts were not acted upon….the world would still be flat.
Enough of my thoughts…may I conclude with some lyrics from a great musical artist from my era, that you may appreciate, as it talks about, being honest with yourself, love of life, and helping others, teaching truth, and cherishing our friends, as you are doing!. It even has Chiasmus! Maybe Jimi was a prophet.
STRAIGHT AHEAD, by Jimi Hendrix
Hello, my friend
So happy to see you again
I was so alone
All by my self
I just couldn’t make it
Have you heard, baby
What the winds blowing round
Have you heard, baby
A whole lot of peoples coming right on down
Is coming on strong
And don’t give a damn, baby
If your hair is short or long
I said, get out of your grave
Everybody is dancing in the street
Do what you know, don’t be slow
You gotta practice what you preach
‘Cause it’s time for you and me
Come to face reality
Forget about the past, baby
Things ain’t what they used to be
Keep on Straight Ahead
Keep on straight Ahead
Straight Ahead, baby
Straight Ahead, baby
We got to stand side by side
We got to stand together and organize
They say power to the people,
That’s what they’re screamin’
Freedom of the soul
Pass it on, pass it on to the young and old
You got to tell the children the truth
They don’t need a whole lot of lies
Because one of these days, baby
They’ll be running things
So when you give them love
You better give it right
Woman and child and man and wife
The best love to have is the Love Of Life
Pushing on Straight Ahead
Straight Ahead, baby
Hello my friend
It’s so good to see you again
And I’ve been all by my self
I don’t think I can make it alone
I gotta keep on pushing ahead
Amy and Jake….
Much love and appreciation from one of the tens of thousands (maybe more!) out here in the world that are battling through a transition. My kids all found their way out of Mormonism by the time they were done with high school, leaving my wife and I to wonder about the future of our Mormon family when our kids didn’t buy into it. Now after 30+ years of marriage I have finally disclosed to my wife that I have transitioned to a “progressive Mormon” status. Totally unorthodox, but still going to one hour of church each Sunday in support of my TBM wife that has had her heart broken by the rest of us finding life outside of the Mormon box. This is the only way to save my marriage. I am unable to express feelings, pain, emotion, or talk about any church related faith promoting or faith defeating history I have learned about. It is all a taboo subject. We just co-exist loving our kids and grandkids.
I agree with the earlier comments by St. Ralph talking about the High Council and their inability to pick up a copy of your letter to read along with you, or to ask a question or to make a comment. It reminds me of the Three Wise Monkeys and the proverbial principle; See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil. One can interpret this in many ways, but it brings to mind what was going through the minds of the 15 men in the Disciplinary Council who were very likely given orders to “ask no questions, be deaf to any heartfelt or spiritually magnified comments by those being disciplined, and look at no information that may be presented to this council.” If things continue to run the current course, I would bet that a couple of those 15 men will start to ask questions and look for “enlightenment” in the years ahead. I guarantee that most of those men have been watching for this follow-up interview to see what was said about the disciplinary council and how you reported back to this community. I hope and pray that they are open to the spirit of your story, and to the many other comments and stories that are coming out all the time.
Thanks JD for Mormon Stories. Thanks Amy and Jake for your willingness to walk this course together, and to be a voice to give strength and love and encouragement to the rest of us transitioning at a slower pace. God Bless.
Brother Jake and Sister Amy!
That was awesomely shared! Thanks! My understanding is more complete and i will always love you both regardless of church affiliation!
Brother Daniel :)
Amy and Jake,
I followed your podcasts and can relate to the path you find yourself on when you start to address the questions and contradictions that you have had for years regarding the church. Its a slow and unveiling process. I am a single 33 y/o female, who has struggled for 5-6 years about if the church is true. I am now at the point and am contemplating putting in my resignation letter after finding too many things that don’t add up. It is comforting to hear that there is a fruitful and positive life after mormonism. It was refreshing to hear an honest opinion about both of your feelings after you guys were “officially” excommunicated. I wonder how I will feel knowing I no longer have my temple ordinances, not even baptism? Its a situation I have never been in my entire life. Life is so unpredictable but its seems to be blooming into something beautiful out of the burned ground that is left after losing one’s faith… I NEVER post ANYTHING online but I wanted you guys to know, I understand and am going through the same thing.
Most of all though, I appreciate the voice from another woman, standing up to the smothering patriarchal order within the church. I am also tired of feeling limited and silenced within the church because I am female. I feel its time to unite our voices as woman and say, enough is enough, we matter, we are not just here to support you, we have a voice, a purpose…we have power. I want my voice added to the thousands of other women in the world who are standing up to the sexism within the church and to let our voices be heard!
love, an unsilenced voice
Jake and Amy, my husband and I really enjoyed both of your podcasts. We appreciate your well thought out and articulate letter. Three and a half years ago we started on our journey of knowledge and had our world crumble. It is painful to learn that what you were taught to be true is not. My husband has yet to tell his whole family about what we presently believe; as far as they know we are still active believing members. I have had to tell my family and a few close friends as it tore me up inside to not be authentic. What a weight was lifted off of me for being true to me! At this time we are overall happy and have a huge network of authentic relationships with people that like us for us. Our children are growing up being taught that they are beautiful just the way they are. There is no fear mongering, guilt tripping and or manipulation; simply choices because they have the freedom to choose. The Mormon Dream is an incredible dream and sadly at the end of the day that is all it is; a dream. Thank you once again for sharing your story as it is healing to know your not alone!
Very well-written and well-thought-out letter. Jake, are you related to Dr. Ray Malouf? If so, he was a good friend of my grandparents, and the doctor who delivered me.
Yes! He is my grandpa, and he delivered me too. Definitely one of my heroes. Recently passed away at the ripe age of 100.
Great man, sorry to hear he passed away, but glad he made it to 100!
Jake and Amy,
Wow! Your strength, courage, kindness and incredible articulation through all of this is so powerful. The grace in which you have handled all of this is truly an example.
Thank you for sharing something so personal. My husband and I felt support and strength listening to your story.
Thank you both for your example of kindness, love, service, and integrity!
In the “court of love” I was touched and saddened that it was only the Maloufs showing kindness and the true love of God.
Violently kicking this good family out of the church almost exactly the same day as “LDS Church leaders offer counsel on diversity, love and inclusion in new video series” is giving me so much cognitive dissonance I feel like my head is about to explode.
May God bless the Maloufs as their light of Christ shines even more brightly!
I have listened to both of your pod-casts many times over the past few days. Your honest, straight-forward approach to what has been going is really inspiring to the many of us who have been watching from the sidelines ( computers), since we are not all in and around the Anchorage area.
I am so happy that you did decide to go the Court of Love/Hearing. You showed that the Church had no power over you. You showed them that you were the same people they all knew, the only difference was the Church. It sucks that many of these men, their families, friends from the ward, family members and some friends you have had for life will see this as a big slight against them and feel that you are abandoning them. And in all honesty you are not. I know you know this and are experiencing these types of things.
When we talked last year on Facebook, we had some good back and forth conversations, but the Church was hardly a topic that came up much. If it did it was one comment here and there on posts that I shared or you shared. You have not purposely led anyone away from the Church. You have the right to share what you want, to write and inform.
The Church wants its members to just follow the leader and never question.
As I have never led anyone out either. I share what I feel. A take it as you want deal. I give details, stories from my life, examples, share links ( CES Letter ), share the Essays and take lessons/talks straight from LDS.Org that constantly contradicts supposed Church policy and teachings.
My one thing I will tell someone is “Don’t Doubt your Doubt’s”.
I am really shocked that I have not been called in for a Church Court for what I have written, posted on my blog or shared on Instagram or when I was on Facebook. I have voiced my opposition about the Church in many avenues and nothing. I guess I am not a threat.
– Jake – I shared your pod-cast with many old Sky View friends and people who knew/know you and there was a great positive response from 98% of them. Some of the ones I shared with are currently struggling through the same type of things you did. I am here for anyone who needs someone to talk to, to listen and help. I know you and Amy are there for them as well. If anyone is reading this from Cache Valley / old Sky View friends please email me at email@example.com , you are not alone. Lets talk.
You both are loved and supported by many many people back here in Logan.
Wishing you both continued happiness and spiritual progression to a far better life.
Love from Logan,
Hi Jake and Aimee, thank you for your wonderful courage and desire to speak out in truth and honesty and love and be a voice for all of those who cannot feel able to speak out in honesty through fear or anxiety of any kind, well done to both of you and l wish you all the success in the world, from England, take care, thanks Jon for this great interview, looking forward to many more to come, love your podcast, all the very best Jake and Aimee.
Thank you for these interviews and for the courage to follow through despite all of the obstacles mormon culture puts in the way. It’s good to hear that people will sometimes put friendship above membership/shared belief structures. Mormonism’s cookie cutter restrictions are not life affirming. Quoting Goldblum from Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” Truth will win out and those that joined or stick to mormnism because of its truth claims are in for a shock when they eventually get around to opening the box that mormonism is wrapped in.
Many in my family are in the category of having opened the box, but now pretending they’ve never seen inside because it was too scary to confront whether they’ve given all of their time and talents to a false religion built on lies.
Amy and Jake. I watched your first and second interview with John and was very moved. Can we agree that if there was such a thing a a saint, John would be one? But seeing your letter (r/exmormon) you prepared for the “court of love” literally brought me to tears and your last statement about meeting with the council members on more congenial terms, “the first round is on us” brought me to laughter, in the middle of tears. I am the only one in a family of 7 adults who is not TBM so I can empathize with your situation. Thank you so much for sharing this. You folks are awesome and I wish you the best in your life and your pursuit of truth. LDS.inc doesn’t deserve folks like you.
In the words of John Dehlin…”BEAUTIFUL”
Shame on them for letting you both slip through their fingers! What a loss for the church when families like you get shoved out!
When you guy have each other and you’re on the same page it makes it much easier. In my case my wife refuses to research or listen to the truth. Her attitude is nothing the church does is wrong and I can tell the church depresses the hell out of her. My circumstances are much more difficult. I envy your relationship.
I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. I was in your wife’s shoes for 5 years! Please, please just choose to see the best in her. She might be grieving a kind of loss she feels with you leaving. Because if you aren’t growing in it, you’re leaving it.
My husband tried to help me see that it was the church causing my sadness too, but my journal proves I knew it was him causing It ;)
But because of the overwhelming grief I felt I did read and pray more than I ever had before. Which was so important. Reading the Bible in particularly showed me the contradictions between what Christ taught about marriage and family and what the church taught! Just look up Eunuchs in the bible and start there ;)
My amazing husband ended up being the reason I could even begin to look at things more objectively. Or even have reason to look at Christs teachings and not try to twist a confusing verse to defend mormonism.
You are now her reason to see thins differently than she once did. And I pray she someday will thank you for loving her through this time!
So remind yourself to just love her! And be a man she can easily love while she is so obviously sad, depressed, and grieving. It is not easy. My husband and I are SO thankful for the times we gave each other space, reacted kindly instead of defensive or pushy, or when nothing was said, but acts of service were done for each other.
Don’t lose hope. I believe in miracles because it was one when my eyes were finally opened and my heart was finally softened. Ironically, now my husband and I believe in eternal marriage more than ever, after going through that together we feel like nothing can seperate us ever again!
Crew, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there. We are grateful every day, like literally every day, that we made it out with our family intact. It’s better than winning the lottery (well, probably. It would be pretty cool to win the lottery too)
Thanks for sharing your experience. The part of your letter about not being able to choose between accepting or rejecting the terms in the temple ceremony was something I never thought about until now. However, the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood is something that is used against us to shame us about not ever doing anything good enough. I remember asking a former stake president about using our free agency and he said something like “you don’t have free agency when you have taken the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.” Funny, I never remember taken an oath nor was it ever taught in Sunday School or priesthood. Must of missed that lesson! All the best to you both. You now have an extra day off and an ten percent increase in your income!
This was a great podcast and your letter was articulated so well.
I have a question. Three podcasts ago, star Tyler Glenn’s album venting his anger towards the church was highlighted. Glenn stated here https://fox13now.com/2016/04/29/tyler-glenn-of-neon-trees-opens-up-about-solo-music-video-that-slams-lds-church/ that he has not resigned from the church but is waiting for the church to take action to excommunicate him. How is it possible that the Malouf’s, an unknown couple to most of the church all over the world, are chosen and sought out for excommunication from the church for two facebook posts that went essentially unnoticed while Tyler Glenn makes AN ENTIRE music album including videos that are openly sacreligious against the church for a huge following of listeners around the country and world and he is NOT excommunicated? The Malouf’s didn’t share their questions and grievances to any noticeable degree when compared to Tyler’s parading of his anger for the whole world to see. He is “repeatedly acting in clear, open and deliberate public opposition to the Church and its leaders,” and no leader is going to excommunicate him?
I don’t ask this question to advocate for or against who should be excommunicated. I ‘m merely asking because LDS™ has such a totally inconsistent policy. I wouldn’t even call it arbitrary either because it seems unknowns are expendable membership while well-known rock stars may bring unwanted anti-LGBT attention to the church and harm their reputation if they are perceived as bullying a gay artist. (It’s obvious they are concerned about softening the perception of their anti-gay policies and culture or else they wouldn’t have recently spent the money on a new and more inclusive-sounding web site- mormonandgay.lds.org – and on “diversity” videos.) Is excommunication driven by principle or PR? Why are they choosing to give Tyler a complete pass and not the Malouf’s? How can anyone be blind to the fact that this “true church with revelation from God” is really just a business trying to do damage control by hiring a PR firm to bring their public likeability ratings up?
Jeff, I think you know the answer to your question of “Why are they choosing to give Tyler a complete pass and not the Malouf’s?”
Without Mormon Stories picking up on this it wouldn’t even been a blip on the radar screen. With Tyler you know there will be press covering it and I would suspect he wouldn’t go through it without bringing up how much pain the church caused him.
I think the Malouf’s were suspected of spreading dissent and causing rank and file members to leave or at least question. Tyler went from a poster child of a Mormon success story, to still a positive story in that he came out as Gay and still said he wanted to be Mormon – then very quickly went to making a video spitting on a picture of Joseph Smith. I don’t think your rank and file member loses their testimony because of Tyler. They just look at him and say, “Oh man, he went off the deep edge” and somewhat write him off along with the pain he is expressing. If a member knows a gay member it may affect them, but that isn’t everyone in the church.
So to me it seems an easy calculation for any PR firm to make.
Cheers to the Malouf’s for standing up for the fact they did nothing wrong and for John and Mormon Stories for shining a light on this. I would hope that every person excommunicated in like circumstances would also be willing to share their story to a wide audience. It may be the only way to get the church to stop hurting members AND ITSELF.
I used to hear others stories on this podcast because of my husband asking me to hear one out. We never made it through a complete one. And we never even made it through half of one without me interrupting out of defensiveness. I was always pointing out the one reason I couldn’t rely on the stories being given. Either they were too young to really know, too angry to really have the truth, too excited to be part of a sinful world, or because they seemed to make fun of current members. Whatever I could find to discredit these podcast stories. Because that’s what they were, stories. I didn’t see the people. Until Jeremy’s story. First one I got through. ;D thank goodness I got through that one, because now I get to hear and benefit from so many other people. Even re- listening to past ones I shut off once before.
I just needed to express this gratefulness I feel after listening to this couple. Grateful that I am in a place that I can not only listen to stories, but really hear the people and understand why they feel the way they do. I’m especially happy to be in a place that I could hear Amy and Jake today! I loved the reminder that seemed so evident when you said it Amy, the LDS Church doesn’t own the Holy Ghost or Christs Atonement, or Gods Kingdom. I might have added two. ;)
I once thought I could control the outcome of what those three things did for me depending on if I sinned or not. (Forgetting that Christ already died, my faithfulness couldn’t go back in time and take any of the pain away he Already suffered)
Soo many more things that were said by you both were very eye opening and helped me collect my thoughts. I feel after hearing this today I will be able to present myself more accurately and lovingly to others. I also feel inspired to get more involved in outdoor adventure like loved! Where I can enjoy people and places way more than I have been! And be as energic as Amy. :) and like Jake had said, I have been given way more light and truth outside of the LDS church.
Thank you both for your energy and inspiration. I see you two on a God given journey. Not one you’ve personally chosen. Although you may have personally chosen to go with it. And we all are benefitting from that choice.
Responds well to flattery… : )
You are too kind. And I’m glad you found our experience helpful. That means a lot.
Thanks for the link to the letter John (and Jake and Amy of course). I’m going to share it with my family. You know, if the church loses just one incredible couple like this from every ward, the damage will be significant. You can’t replace people like this with the people the missionaries are baptizing. That’s not meant to be judgemental, it’s just an honest observation.
What an amazing letter! So well written. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It has helped me in so many ways and I’m sure there are many others that would agree. I only hope that one day my wife will be able to understand the topics you covered so eloquently.
Dear Jake and Amy,
Your thoughtful and kind approach to what had to have been a disappointing and sad experience was most impressive. Although I am not LDS, I am married to a man BIC from pioneer stock. I have watched his journey through the process of addressing church and family concerns with great interest and much support. Of special heartbreak to me is the shunning , which I hope that you will not experience, that is directed to many who are having a ‘crisis of faith. I applaud the way in which you have approached this process . We watched both of the podcasts with great respect for each of you.Our conclusion is that your membership should be treasured rather than so easily discarded. The LDS organization will not be sustained when good families are brought to discipline for merely seeking their spiritual truth. May you and your family be blessed and happy as you continue on your spiritual journey.
What a perfect comparison with the gift!! the appearance of beauty– but the emptiness inside
And it is so true that we go through the mourning process—like losing someone we deeply loved
For me it was like losing someone I loved but finding out that person didn’t really exist at all– it really messes with your heart and mind
It is deeply disturbing and heartbreaking
But after the dust settles you realize you have such a burden of guilt and fear taken from you, and have a great sense of freedom
And peace .
I admire you for your courage to ‘ stand for truth ‘ your sensitivity and your deep love ❤️
I have more an intuitive sense of the pain, angst and betrayal that comes with finally recognizing the truth about Mormonism (and also Christianity) and transitioning away from it (them), although my own leaving, years ago, was for issues totally unrelated to things uniquely Mormon.
But what I do know is that there is abundant life, joy, liberation and fresh air outside of Mormonism. Just as Jake and Amy have discovered and will continue to discover. They might not find the enlightenment and freedom I did in the Synagogue but, perhaps, that will also form part of their journey. It never became permanent for me but I still credit that discovery years ago for transitioning me out –– very rapidly, both Mormonism and Christianity collapsed utterly and totally at the same time… no pain, no regrets, just ‘an incredible lightness of being.’
As time goes by, less frequent visits to the synagogue still evoke a smile and the same feeling of liberation and freedom –– which is permanently nostalgic now, back to the moment of first discovery.
Still, it was only after being out of Mormonism for almost 20 years, and then moving back to Utah among the Mormons, did I most fully realize the cultural control and conditioning, and how much false shame, guilt and “unworthiness” formed my Mormon universe for the first decades of my BIC Mormon life. It now makes me cringe.
My own family has members deeply in, fully out, and in transition, and it is from them I have learned of the first hand pain, disgust, and disappointment and even anger and vitriol.
Good luck, Amy and Jake. As you well know, you were always worthy enough.
I laugh as I hear the statement of appeal this decision. I wonder has there ever been an appeal that overturned an excommunication decision. I’d love to read that letter that recants all the information declaring the person no longer has the HG or temple privileges. It just sounds so hypothetically funny in my head to think of the wording that might be used. “ah never mind that cancelation of church rights and privileges – we cancel the cancelation and you still have all that. I mean this is the part i start doing some verbal gymnastics i.e. eating my shoe – help me if I choke…”
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