Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast as we interview Leah and Cody Young about their recent excommunication.

The backstory: A year and a half ago Leah and Cody began learning about the problems with the LDS church’s truth claims. This launched them and their family into a faith crises, leaving them without support or community. They attempted to obtain support from their Mormon bishop and stake president, but neither were able to help them.

A few months later, Cody and Leah started a Facebook support group for questioning and post-Mormons in the Columbus, Ohio area. Within a short amount of time their bishop and then stake president called them in and delivered them an ultimatum: disband the Facebook support group, or face excommunication. Leah and Cody did not feel that they could ethically do this. Both meetings with their stake president were recorded.

Later in this process Leah and Cody decided to tell their story on Mormon Stories Podcast, along with their brilliant 15 year old daughter Brinley.

A few weeks ago Cody and Leah received a letter informing them of a disciplinary council. Cody and Leah attended their disciplinary council on Sunday April 14th.

In this interview we will discuss:
– The events that led up to the disciplinary council.
– The audio recording of the disciplinary council.
– Their reactions to the disciplinary council.

Typed versions of Leah, Brinley, and Cody’s testimony before the council may be found here:


The below song was written for the Young Family by John and Rabbiah Oreilly from Australia. They connected with Cody and Leah after feeling deeply touched by their first interview and have kept in touch since. When the Young’s were excommunicated, John was astounded by the irony that they were primarily disciplined for creating a space to comfort others. He says “I was amazed by Brinley’s brave testimony as a witness and hearing Cody and Leah to pour their hearts out to the men in that room. It felt as though they were not listening with their hearts but instead following strict instructions. This is our tribute to a family we have come to love.”


Part 1 – Leah and Cody describe the events leading up to their disciplinary council:

Part 2 – Leah and Cody meet with their Stake President to express frustration over a lack of resources for questioning Mormons:

Part 3 – Leah and Cody are told by their Stake President to cease providing an online support group for questioning Mormons:

Part 4 – A recording of the disciplinary council convened on April 14, 2019:

Part 5 – Leah and Cody describe their feelings after learning they have been excommunicated for running an online support group for questioning Mormons, and for speaking openly about their doubts:

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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Part 5

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  1. Vicky Yeates April 19, 2019 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Could not get the sound.

    • Sharon April 19, 2019 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      I right-clicked on the livestream and selected unmute.

  2. Peter Koteles April 19, 2019 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    First of all, good for you for taking a peaceful stance (Romans 12:18). As someone who works globally in inter-denominational missions work, I hope it might encourage you to consider that your identity/label (ie. apostate, insider, outsider) doesn’t depend upon your affiliation with a given religious set of rules but, instead, in your identity with a particular person; in this case Christ Jesus (John 10:27-28). Yes, be truthful and transparent to your (faith) journey. Blessings.

  3. James Boley April 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you for what you are doing. I am currently in the process of figuring out where I fit into the church. One year ago I was released from the high council and called to be the elders quorum president. I asked to be released from being the EQP as I feel it wasn’t fair for the elders in my ward to be ministered to by a brother who is having severe doubts. My wife is still a faithful member, but she has been unbelievably understanding. Until relatively recently, I thought I was the only one who felt the way I did. Stories like this have been a tremendous amount of support.

    Having sat on the high council and participated in disciplinary councils, I am ashamed of how I treated individuals.

    • Cody Young April 20, 2019 at 11:53 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for the heartache that you are experiencing. In a very real way, we understand how scary and heartbreaking this process can be. Glad that your spouse is being understanding. I too look back on some of the ways I thought and acted and feel embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I think that’s actually a very common experience, especially for those of us who administered the church in the priesthood. I applaud your bravery and honesty.

      • Mitch April 26, 2019 at 4:17 pm - Reply

        Ya don’t beat your self up James (and Cody), all of us acted in that way at some point. 10 years ago I was absolutely convinced that I was right and anyone outside of our faith was missing the boat big time.. I’m embarrassed too, but keep in mind we were all essentially brain washed. Not by a person, but by a perpetual system. Let’s work hard to change that system for our kids and grand kids.

    • Debbie May 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      James, I think that your admission of feeling “ashamed” of how you treated people will help many. And, perhaps there are some amends you can make. I know for me that it just helps tremendously know that people can agree on “reality”, even if they are at odds with their conclusions.

  4. Richard Pecjak April 20, 2019 at 11:15 am - Reply

    An amazing way to say goodbye. Welcome to being born again in truth.

  5. John Holley April 20, 2019 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    While I sympathize with Leah and Cody and others that have gone through the painful experience of church disciplinary courts, I believe that bishops and stake presidents actually do share in the moral culpability of church administration. Local church leaders have stewardship for the members and must therefore be first and foremost accountable to God rather than the brethren in Salt Lake. Their guiding principles must need be the compassionate love of the Savior.
    And while members shouldn’t expect perfection from the lay ministry of the church, they should be able to anticipate that their leaders will lien to God’s understanding instead of criticsm and judgement of an established theocratic bureaucracy. Jesus Christ never excommunicated anyone. That is not his way. To successfully achieve its purpose, the church must serve as a vehicle to closen the relationship of its members to God. Church leaders are to function as God’s servants and serve the children of God, not impose themselves as controlling celebrities who sit in judgement. Their mantle of authority must be founded in humility and vested in spreading the light and knowledge of God, not in postulating challenges and stubborn wrong headedness that their authority is more important than truth. They are not keeping his commandments when they fail to manifest love for God through loving those they are called to serve, and instead excommunicate members who pursue further light and knowledge.

    • Donna Wirfs April 25, 2019 at 7:28 pm - Reply


  6. Aaron W. Johnson April 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    That which is True never changes. Much of what we encounter in day to day life is accurate and inaccurate information, subject to the context and content of its respective circumstance. Truth, however, is eternal. Truth is invincible. Truth is True at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances.

    Truth can be denied, ignored, attacked, mismanaged, misrepresented, and sometimes hidden – but – Truth remains regardless – because – Truth is invincible, immortal, and eternal – because – God Is Invincible, Immortal, And Eternal. I know as surely as I am breathing that we – each of us – are the literal Power of God, profound, individual, and unique; an eternal expression of our All-Knowing, All-Powerful Creator, like waves upon the infinite sea of our loving Source, directly connected at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances, only seemingly “detached” at times due to the distractions of the external. Regardless of personal belief in premortality or afterlife, come to know the ever-present living Power which makes you alive, for it is the very reflection and Power of God, unique and infinite in depth and understanding.

    Come to know that Power. Silence the mind and just be. Some of the ways I’ve learned to do this are: listen to silence; sit back and observe the mind; closing the eyes and focusing upon a color you enjoy; putting all attention into the hands and feet and legs and arms and center, it takes one out of living in the head.

    You are a self-contained spiritual superpower. Come to know that Power, for it is the very Power that makes you alive. It is the Infinite Power of God. I love all of you, everyone. Love yourself; truly love yourself. Accept and celebrate yourself, unconditionally. You are beautiful, wise, deep, gifted, powerful, and magnificent.

    What I have shared is a living Truth I have come to know. It took adversity nearly beyond my endurance to experience it, so I deeply wish to give it away to all, for it truly is a Truth all of us can experience without effort or trial. None of this is “my message”. All Truth belongs to God.

    All I’ve shared is free of belief. It is a living reality. You are the most powerful and direct connection to God you have. Turn the eye inward. Know thyself…..and live ☺

  7. Mike April 21, 2019 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Those statements during your council were excellent . I haven’t heard better explanations of why people leave and what they experience when they voice doubts. Especially liked Leah’s reference to the Sunday school lesson. So many of Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s statements defy their own definitions of honesty you quoted. Question: is there a way we can get copies of those statements you prepared? Thanks.

    • Mormon Stories April 26, 2019 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Mike, these have now been attached to the blog post!

  8. Vickie Duncan April 21, 2019 at 10:42 am - Reply

    The church will someday soon realize the mistake they have made in exing the Youngs. Their willingness to work together to help salvage a community of unconditional love (that is so much needed) and room for those who want to partake of what the church does has to offer…well, they have lost a chance to make things right. To understand that the essays, the very real history of this church is not the fault of those who need a belonging.

    Much love to the Youngs. Your courage, your very intentions speaks volumes for what Christ really stands for…and has nothing to do with the name of this church.

  9. Vickie Duncan April 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh…and addition to my above comments. You guys are NOT apostates. Just once I wish…with your recordings and support there was a way to fight this . So many people who are hurt by the church..or in a degree of any kind of problems..they need you…they need all of us. That has everything to do with love. People need to know more about the that they can find the help and understand the reasons for help…within a church that is need …desperate need of encompassing the “all” the Jesus speaks of. The system sucks. Sometimes I think inside the heads of your bishop, stake president and council…they hear you…the system sucks.

  10. S. Thurman April 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Been a return missionary and having a long long history of Mormonism in my family. With a few grandfathers with multiple wives. I left the church after my mission because they did not want people like me. I knew I was gay I had always known I was gay and when I brought it to the bishop all he said was well just don’t do it anymore. I agree they’re very and Unequipped with life situations and things other than the basic yes no don’t do it. For years I did not trust God because I believe he didn’t love me because of who I was and am and what the church thought about it. “I’d be better off dead!!” now I see years later that there’s many things about the LDS church that has brought question to their teachings and most of all to the history of what really the truth is. And having the revelation 2 1/2 years ago reversed because I guess God was wrong about the children of gays. For once in my life it gives me hope that maybe God does love me and doesn’t hate me as much as the church says he does and that brings great peace to me that there is a God that loves me being gay or not gay judging me on my quality-of-life not on who I love. You had to go through so much more and so many ways with so many family members I left soon after my mission so I didn’t have to live through what you had to live through. But I did sacrifice my family I had to leave my family I felt like I had to get far away from them or disappoint them daily . Hang in there I testify to you God does still love you even after the church because he has shown me that as hard as it was for me to except it by what I was taught he does love me and hopefully after this life will still love me. Also I must say that I think it seems to me that church is acting in a fear that someone might say something showing the church in a bad light of bringing up history that Shows the church in a different way that it’s been taught. That the teachings of the church does not coincide with history. All of these things that they’re afraid of it seems like to me. Shows the church in a different way that it’s been taught. That the teachings of the church does not coincide with history. All of these things that they’re afraid of it seems like to me if they had nothing to worry about they wouldn’t be so concerned about people like the Young’s them bringing up the history of the church. It’s it’s obvious that they are hiding something and they know they’re hiding something and that’s why they’re acting in such a fearfull way. When you have nothing to hide you don’t worry about what anybody says and they seem to be doing the opposite when you have nothing to hide you don’t worry about what anybody says. Ask yourself why do they excommunicate members of the church that question and not members of the church thats been arrested and found guilty of sexual charges per taping of children and child abuse. In the words from the church itself and what they say they stand for those two things are completely conflicting with their behavior. So so sorry for your hurt and pain.

    • Jared May 9, 2019 at 12:20 am - Reply

      I am an active high priest and served as the high priest group leader up until the changes last year.. I commend you all. I always thought that gays were wrong and unacceptable to god. But 6 months ago when I learned the truth about our church, I realized I was wrong. …not because I felt it in my heart, but because the church told me I didn’t like gay people. This is what happens when we stray from Christ’s true teachings . He loved everyone.

  11. George April 21, 2019 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Anyway to get a written copy of Cody’s talk outlining his concerns at the disciplinary council? It was very concise and well written.

    • Mormon Stories April 26, 2019 at 10:59 am - Reply

      This has now been attached to the blog post !

  12. Corvey April 22, 2019 at 8:30 am - Reply

    The subtle and bias notion of the Stake President was that of “Priestcraft.” Apparently anyone having association with the work of Mr Dehlin constitutes “Apostacy.” Never mind all that other stuff that was not the Young’s fault. Nevermind, all that other stuff about faith crisis, families being emotionally torn, anda collapse of a social identity. All that is of concern is the wickedness of those that in a modern and advanced world of understanding still are practicing the Priestcrafts of an earlier time. Sheesh, what do I do now? Should I stay or should I go….

    • Scott April 23, 2019 at 8:18 am - Reply

      If MormonStories is priestcraft, what then is Deseret Book?


      • Corvey April 24, 2019 at 2:38 pm - Reply

        It’s DBs publication of Children’s Bible Stories that scares me the most. The Bible is for adult only reading. The hero’s of the Bible can be rotten to the core redeemable at the same time. A rating system should be employed warning parents of the dangers found in the Bible.

  13. Sabrina April 22, 2019 at 10:51 am - Reply

    MormonThink is concerned with truth. It is neither an anti-Mormon website nor an LDS apologist website. Instead, for each topic we present the strongest and most compelling arguments and explanations from both the critics and the defenders of the Church.

  14. Benji Sanders April 22, 2019 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    This is history repeating itself.
    – Anti-science/history for a church that “embraces” University degrees and education… this is going to be their eventual undoing.
    – False/fake corelated “approved” history… lol
    – Anti questioning atmosphere.
    – Anti support of those who have questions.
    – Barbaric excommunication practice.
    – Church dictatorship – where only one person can have meaningful “revelation”.

    “The church”, rather “THAT church”, must be so so scared. We, those who are educated, are their biggest threat, even if we have peaceful intentions. I guess when tithing dollars are at stake, excommunication is the knee-jerk reaction. How robotic, how mind-numbing, how cruel, how heartless you are, oh so fallen LDS church.

  15. Scott April 22, 2019 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Cody, Leah, and Brinley,

    Thank you for your example of love and courage. My heart breaks for you and your family, but it also rejoices in your courage and integrity and the bright and joyful future that you have ahead of you. Having watched all your story through the podcasts, I feel like I’ve come to know enough about your family and experience to truly love you, and I sincerely wish all the best for you and your family.

    I am currently in the midst of my own struggle in the LDS faith and with navigating a graceful faith transition. Your story has been an inspiration to me and the resources you’ve shared have been extremely helpful and healing for me. I truly believe that you are following the example of Jesus Christ by being so genuine, fearless, and loving. I hope to come through my own faith journey with the same degree of integrity. You inspire me. I love you for who are—not for what the church or others might want to to be. Keep being you—keep being amazing.

  16. Aaron W. Johnson April 22, 2019 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    ( : New Blog Started : )

    Greetings Brothers, Sisters, and Friends : )

    For the past eight years, a wide variety of people in my life have encouraged me to get a blog going, and after listening to this podcast I’ve been promoted to finally do so. None of this blog is about me or anything rooted in ego or attention seeking. I have shared my story there as well as why the blog’s been created, yet such is there simply to let everyone know I am at your service as a friend.

    The purpose of this blog is to provide an additional venue for support in a safe and loving environment. In it, I do declare a concept which I have come to experience as a living reality for me in my own life, yet the ideaology/theme/message of that concept is simply what I have found to be my own anchor, and though I believe very strongly that it is true, such is only what I believe, and none need agree with, apply, or engage it as a medium of discussion or anything else.

    I have spent the past eight years learning to walk and use my body again, something doctors were sure would be impossible. It’s been the most excruciating trial of my life, and it’s been a wonderful blessing. During that time, my world view as a Latter-day Saint experienced a tremendous shift; I came to see what truly matters and what does not in my life. My hope is to share what has given me hope and lasting peace, and to have one more place where people can help and encourage each other.

    The blog is:

    God bless the Youngs for their steadfast devotion as true exemplars of Christ’s Gospel of Love. Thank you, Youngs, and thank you all.

    Your Friend,

  17. Lok Yiay April 23, 2019 at 11:18 am - Reply

    I am I mistaken, or is it permissible to record these courts?
    I didn’t this so. What is the deal?

    • Benjamin M Sanders April 23, 2019 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      For a church so set on control of information, definitely not. But then again, do I need permission to reply to you or should I go ask your bishop first? Nope, it’s a free country. There comes a time when we all must choose to stay in any abusive relationship or choose to leave and/or protect ourselves with all of the evidences against the perpetrator of abuse. You have to decide for yourself if your relationships are healthy, transparent, and positive. Some people have a great relationship with the LDS church, others not so much. It is a choice to have faith in that belief system or not. It’s a choice to feel sad or happy for those who no longer believe.

    • Fatfinger April 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      Permissible by whom?

      The church?

      Who cares what they say?

      If the church was what it claimed, there would be no court.

      • DosRios April 25, 2019 at 3:21 pm - Reply

        Couldn’t agree more, well said.

  18. Gonnaneedbiggershelf April 24, 2019 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    John, Cody, Leah,
    Amazing podcast. I was moved and really felt the similarities in your case and mine. My name is Adam, and you Adams’ story and history is similar to mine, however I am at the same point as Cody.

    My dear wife is still TBM and while we started reading the essays together she will no longer discuss with me and has doubled down. Doesn’t want to talk about it. We started with lamanite DNA and book of Abraham. And she won’t talk or even look at church sourced material at this point.

    Cody, your statement you read was so on point and exactly what we need to have at the ready. I wrote a similar response to my Bishop when he sent me the Corbridge talk recently after we spent 2 hours in his office going over things.

    I would love to have a copy of your statement and permission to adjust to me personally and use with my family. I am getting a flood of talks sent to me by immediate family. I would like to respond in love when they sincerely ask and include some of this succinct and clear summary of the issues.

    I still attend with my wife, but am done with the temple and asked to be released from my callings.

    I should probably seek a group here similar to what you have started and get support in keeping the marriage together as we have kids and grandchildren at this point all involved TBM.

    Thanks for Listening!

    • Mormon Stories April 26, 2019 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Hi, these statements have now been attached to the blog post!

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Adam, oh how our heart just so hears you and aches for you! Thank you for this kind message – we have all read it. Thank you for taking the time to share. All of our statements are now attached here to this post, all linked. Please use them in anyway that you find helpful! We are cheering you on! If you go to you can find wonderful groups of support in whatever area you live in! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you in your journey! Wishing you the best!

  19. Jason Woodward April 26, 2019 at 12:21 am - Reply

    In the Mormon church committing sexual assault, rape, financial fraud, physical abuse will NOT get you excommunicated.

    But asking questions about the gospel topic essays will get you ex’d faster than an rm losing his load on his wedding night. 🤓

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      It’s really something isn’t it?

  20. Jack April 26, 2019 at 5:48 am - Reply

    So here is my puzzle: The Church excommunicates Cody and Leah for hosting a support group, but BYU (aka the Church) awards (which I applaud) a devout Catholic with an honorary degree? And, then he gives a great talk (listen to his comments on ideological polarization). I wonder how many students in the audience are now pondering Catholicism?

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Brinley once stated “Mormons like everyone BUT those who leave their church.” She was somewhat joking at the time, but her underlying point and experience is valid. It seems as though people who are in ANY other religion or no religion at all are “safe,” while those who leave are “deceived.” Those people who believe differently just “don’t have the truth yet,” whereas we “had the full truth and walked away.” This is how we have experienced it at least. I have a great deal of Mormon friends who are perfectly lovely to people of other faiths, yet they will not longer speak to us…they don’t even want to be connected to us, in any way, because we left AND because we shared our experience.

  21. Mitch April 26, 2019 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    I’m very impressed by the way you conducted yourselves in the council, especially your daughter. I also loved Cody’s summary of the issues that we are all struggling with. I’m truly mortified that my church would treat someone that way and take the stance that they did. This is pushing so many of us away from our church. I’m so sorry, on behalf of my church, AND on behalf of decent human beings. Just know that this is the tip of the iceberg. You have and will inspire thousands, and this story is not over. Thank you for sharing your story!

  22. Teancum April 26, 2019 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I’m very sorry to see people like the Young family leave the church. I remember the pain I experienced when I learned about the same aspects of church history the Young’s site as their reason for questioning the truthfulness of the church. The pain is real!

    But what I don’t understand is what they decided to do about the pain they experienced. The pain drove me to my knees pleading for help. I got my answer in a big way! I learned that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be and that Joseph Smith is what he claimed to be–a prophet of God.

    I’ve been reading about members exit stories for a long time. Hardly any of them speak of turning to God in “mighty prayer”. I don’t get that.

    To those who question after learning the things the Young’s learned about church history and etc. I hope you will turn to Heavenly Father for answers. I know what it means to cry to the Lord in pain and frustration until you finally get an answer. The answer didn’t come easy for me, but the answer was so powerful that it can be described as a mighty change. Since obtaining an answer, my relationship with Heavenly Father is much closer than prior to learning about the problems in church history. I’m thankful for the pain now. It brought me much closer to Heavenly Father. I wish the best to those who end up traveling the road the Young’s did. But I hope you will consider my experience and turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart and stay there until you get an answer.

    • Amy April 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      I have absolutely NO DOUBT that the Youngs and anyone else who has been an authentic, sincere truth seeker spent COUNTLESS hours in agonizing , heart wrenching prayer, pondering and quiet contemplation for an answer. COUNTLESS. AGONIZING. HOURS. I know I did.

      Just because you got your answer DOES NOT MEAN everyone will walk away with the same answer. I walked away. My dad chose to stay. No one is more right than the other, or going to a higher kingdom, or more worthy.

      The minute we ALL can stop pointing fingers at another and saying “I’m right, you’re wrong” will be the beginning of an incredibly powerful conversation. Until then, it is even a bit pointless to discuss.

      • Teancum April 27, 2019 at 6:59 pm - Reply

        We have agency. We had it before mortality and we will have it afterwards. I support the principle of agency. When someone decides to leave the church, I respect their choice. I’ve communicated with numerous former Mormons and most of their exit story don’t mention spending countless, agonizing hours seeking an answer to prayer. Maybe John D has more information on this topic. I would be interested in learning more.

        I don’t think we should conclude it is pointless and give up on keeping the conversation going.

        A new and interesting aspect to all this is that some who have left the church are returning. I would like to know more about this as well.

        • T John April 30, 2019 at 9:08 am - Reply

          My exit story includes many agonizing hours (even years) in prayer…so there’s one for you :)

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      I am happy for you, truly! Sounds like you are in a great place. So are we. Many are hurting, so many. It is not your job or my job to label, judge, admonish, control others experiences. As I see it, our job is to love others. It’s so freeing to just allow others to be and say “I see you, I love you, this is hard, I am here for you.” This is not hard or confusing to do. When we project our expectations or validity filter upon others, it gets really hard to decipher who’s journey is “acceptable” or “right” or ending up in the correct spot. Not your job, not ours. Listen, love, learn, seek to understand. That’s all. Simple. It’s why we created a support group.

    • Rex May 2, 2019 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Teancum, I spent many hours on bended knee. I never got even a whisper. But there’s probably a difference between me and you, and that is I was honestly expecting the answer to come from an external source.

    • Maurice May 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Teancum, the pain people feel is caused by the cognitive dissonance experienced when their long held beliefs are challenged by the new facts that they learn. One of the problems faced by church members is this teaching within the church that the bad feelings come because what they are hearing is wrong and they equate the pain caused by the cognitive dissonance to a prompting of the Holy Ghost. What it actually does in these cases is cause people to miss a great learning opportunity. To remove the cognitive dissonance one has two choices. Accept the new paradigm supported by the evidence and dismiss the old beliefs that are not supported by the newly learned facts or one can ignore and completely dismiss the facts and cling to the old paradigm. The honest way and the only way that will move your progression forward is to accept the new facts and change your paradigm accordingly. You have chosen to ignore the facts and go back to the old paradigm, feeling the good feelings of cognitive consonance by convincing yourself the old one was right in the mistaken belief that this relief is a witness of the Holy Ghost when in fact it is just the contentment of not having to change the core beliefs ingrained in you for a very long time.

    • Merry June 17, 2019 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Teancum, my husband has prayed and prayed and prayed. And he feels like the Spirit is guiding him to leave the church. While I have prayed and prayed and prayed and I feel like I am supposed to stay in the church. I can’t state why people who leave the church don’t mention the part prayer has played in their faith transition. But it could be because of the audience they’re speaking/writing to. It could be because of their purpose for speaking/writing. Maybe it’s an oversight and they intended to include it. Maybe their prayers and communion with God is too personal to share with the world. Or maybe they just didn’t pray that much about it. But you and I assuming that they didn’t pray about it is pretty arrogant, considering that they were raised in a culture that taught them to bring their questions to the Lord.

    • Julie June 19, 2019 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Agree Teancum . In my experience any time you turn away from the basics of the gospel is when you get in trouble . And I always am sceptical of those that protest the loudest . Not helpful at all .

    • A. Styles February 11, 2020 at 9:39 am - Reply

      I couldn’t agree more with you, Teancum. In the end, it’s a simple decision of choosing faith over disbelief. And as you mentioned, each person has their agency to make that choice. It is sad that once church members decide to pursue and foster their disbelief, they will always find info to back it up if they try hard enough. Regardless of whatever “factual” information you manage to dig up from lives that were lived over a century ago. Choosing faith isn’t always easy but it’s always worth it in the long term.

  23. Rae April 27, 2019 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Jesus commanded to love my neighbor. He never commanded to love my religion. So beautifully said ♡

  24. RobG April 28, 2019 at 4:04 am - Reply

    All three of their testimonies are beautiful and true and profound. And they should have been enough. In a sane and healthy church, they would have been.

    But as I read them I was thinking, the Young’s are going are to get excommunicated. Gina Colvin’s experience made me think there was a very small chance for an outcome similar to hers, but I didn’t really believe it for the Young’s.

    A church that would prefer that you resign seems even more likely to excommunicate if you don’t. I vehemently disagree with the Mormon church and these courts and excommunications, but almost see — in the sorry state of the Mormon church and in its very nature — their necessity. At least from the blindered view of Mormon leaders, and the extreme necessity of keeping up the face and the narrative. Everything’s in danger of collapsing if they don’t. To winnow down the membership to TBM’s is the only option they’re seeing.

    Whether they admit it to themselves or not, at some level there are some Top Mormon Leaders who fear or intuit or know that the problems are real and the doubters are fully justified. But how does that work in the Mormon Church if it becomes admitted public knowledge? Whether in a ward, or at General Conference, how would it work for the Mormon leader to admit over the pulpit that the evidence clearly supports not only doubt but outright rejection?

    At the local level, TBM bishops and SP seem mostly just clueless, but some of the top leaders in SLC must know or suspect. Or maybe they’re all equally clueless. Jeff Holland seems almost desperate in his efforts to shepherd the faithful. And Bednar’s a total lost cause automaton TBM.

    Another reality is that the Mormon Church has long since outgrown and rejected the wise counsel of J. Reuben Clark — ““If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” Boyd K. Packer would have told Clark to can it and get in line or get lost. Maybe now, even Russell Nelson, too.

    It’s barbaric and sick, unjust. And unChristian and inhumane. But it’s the current reality in the Mormon church, from the local bishop to the disgusting and cringe-worthy Renlunds. Probably even Russell Nelson. Expect their appeal to be rejected by Nelson.

    But does the Mormon Church have a realistic choice when they’re “the only true church” and led by “prophets”? Even as their growth rate plunges toward stagnation and negative growth when they’re supposed to be filling the whole earth? And while they’re already losing the millenials? Mormons have no clue how minuscule the percentage of the world’s population is composed of active Mormons.

    Kudos and blessings and love to the Young’s. And to the countless Mormons who are doomed to the same fate, and to the damage that creates in people and lives and families…. ; (

  25. Mary Moon April 28, 2019 at 11:52 am - Reply

    If anyone ever needs proof that the Mormon church is a cult, these interviews should provide that proof. Truth doesn’t matter, love doesn’t matter, even the very rules of the church itself don’t matter. If they want to kick you out, they’re going to do it. I am astonished at the way the Youngs continue to insist that these men (always men, always white) are loving men. From a complete outsider’s view, they surely don’t appear that way.
    I would say to the Youngs is that there is a huge, great big world out here with people in it who are not under the sway of any religion but who choose daily to love and to be kind and to be honest. A world where others are welcome and do not feel threatened by truth. A world where there are camps for girls (and boys) which do not require a camper to remain silent about their beliefs in order to “protect” the other campers. A world where communities form which are based on commonalities having nothing to do with a church which indoctrinates their members from the very moment of birth with their strange and random beliefs.

  26. Cory Jorgensen April 28, 2019 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Very hard listening to the episodes with the stake president, who just doesn’t seem to “get it.” I don’t know if Leah and Cody were brave or just foolish for agreeing to talk to him, but good for them for being so composed and for answering with such thoughtful and smart replies. Very well done!

  27. Steve April 29, 2019 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I am an active member of the Church, and am horrified by this proceeding. This podcast alone will likely be a tipping point for many people who are close to leaving. I wonder if the stake president gave permission for the recording. I can’t imagine any of them wanting this to get out, as it portrays the Church in a horrible way. I have written to each of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 asking them to be honest about the Church’s many doctrinal and historical problems. Of course, I have gotten no respose. I’d like to see someone in the Church start a social media campaign and get the signature of as many members as possible. This movement would ask the Church to be openly honest about false teachings associated with polygamy, race, and homosexuality that have harmed so many people. The person starting the campaign would likely be excommunicated, but what if thousands of members were to sign it? I’d love to see something like that snowball as it could call attention to the fact that those who question are not evil. We need to more effectively address the divisions in families and communities that this nonsense is creating.

  28. red-ite episode 700 April 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Thank You for Recording The Hearing, It was more gentle and listening than I thought it would be. My Ex would tell me nothing of her Excommunication even though I was the one who brought the charges with the facts against her as I understood them.
    All the presentations were great hitting bullet points of problems in church history and doctrine. But I do not understand why you could not give up the face book page. Couldn’t you move to just a member maybe even use page name, at least till the time the children left the home? I can see their view that “doubt” was being supported by the page.
    Your Stake President said he had questions he put on the shelf. I think that was easier before the internet, Now the questions, answers and discussions are easily looked into. As church endeavors have less activity; missions, temple work, church attendance, members are likely to turn to investigating their questions on the shelf and finding a way to talk about it. Maybe facebook is one of the avenues.
    Do Not Drink Delins’ “Kool-Aid” that Whites, particularly Males are the problem. Or his Developing Myth of the “Great Warrior, Story-Teller, Prophet SAPIAN King” as to the creation of Society and Religion.
    I was listening for your views on; Creation, Adam, Noah, Christ, Death, Resurrection , Heaven. I did not hear much. I hope you do not loose your hope in Christianity, or even in God. As you live your life outside the LDS please share your thoughts and hopes on big questions.

  29. Dave Folland April 29, 2019 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    I experienced my faith crisis on my mission in the Central German Mission. When I returned hime in 1965, I spoke to many people seeking answers to my questions. I received many thoughtful opinions, but don’t recall anyone who just listened with empathy and support. Finding no middle ground, I threw out the baby with the bathwater and no longer participated in the Church. Battling shame, fear, and guilt, I just stopped talking to people about the Church.
    I’m sure if I had access to a support group like you established, Leah and Cody, I could have handled this in a much healthier way. The upside is that I became driven to show myself and my family that I could be successful without the Church. I became a successful pediatrician, husband, and father of 3 wonderful children. By midlife, I felt no longer needed to prove myself, but it took a long time. Bless you for your courage and for great gift you offer so many in their faith transitions. BTW-Brinley was phenomenal.

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind remarks and for sharing about your journey. I am inspired by you!! Truly. I see so much courage and bravery in your walk…I am just sorry you didn’t have voices of encouragement, love and validation surrounding you every step of the way. Thanks for listening, sharing and caring!

    • Julie June 19, 2019 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      There is a support group within the Teachings of the Saviour . It is called a ward where you mingle on Sunday and attend the temple regularly again where all your answers are received . I am reminded Joseph Smith was counseled not to join any other church that counsel still applies today .

  30. Christianoam April 30, 2019 at 12:38 am - Reply

    These stories and recordings are always entertaining and frustrating to listen to- BUT, I really feel like they are a giant waste of time. The church leaders act nice and cordial, but their heads are buried so deep in the sand. You can throw out concepts like confirmation bias, cog-dis, or “safe space”, or names like Kate Kelly- but I honestly don’t think the average joe Bishop or Stake Prez has any idea what you’re talking about nor do they have any interest in understanding what you’re talking about. They are robots going through the motions, completely disinterested in learning new things from someone who has lost their way- they are only there to protect the membership, minimize the damage you may cause and report to the higher-ups that they did their job.

    Lots of great speeches, but they’re wasted on people incapable of hearing.

    • Leah Young May 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      I can see why you would feel this way. I bet that 20 years ago people in the LGBTQ community felt like all of their efforts were for naught. They would have had a hard time believing that Gay Marriage would every been legalized…but it was. It was because so many people used their voices, and those voices joined together and got louder…and eventually together, their efforts made a difference. So we add our tiny little efforts to others, with conviction and hope that we too can be a part of creating much needed chance and acceptance.

      • CHRISTIANOAM May 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm - Reply

        Hi Leah! I can’t argue with your point about simply wanting to be a part of eventual change, and I respect that. As I wrote my initial thoughts, that did cross my mind- but I think my cynicism and frustration with it all got the best of me… That said, I don’t think I could be as gracious as you and Cody were towards these church leaders. While I agree they are in general, well intentioned people- they weren’t innocent bystanders in all of this, particularly the stake president, whom you both described throughout as a loving man. Sure he is part of a flawed system, but he did have the option of looking the other way, or not going after your family so aggressively. They do have the opportunity to think for themselves, to some degree, and it seemed to me like they refused to have open minds and loving hearts, but instead acted on fear, ignorance and blind allegiance instead. Like you said, perhaps next time will be different for people in a similar situation.

        In any case, I was so impressed with your family when you guys did the first podcast and you are all really great examples, so thank you. Best to you and your family!

  31. J April 30, 2019 at 8:56 am - Reply

    What is the specific Renlund talk being referenced?

  32. Nteny May 1, 2019 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Does anyone have a link to the video on YouTube that Leah described of a collection of testimonies from multiple faiths? I’d like to see that.

  33. Debbie May 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Listening to Part 3 became so very frustrating, but I also realized that everyone was being “true”. Leah and Cody were saying what was true for them, what they do believe. But so was the Bishop. For me, it was further confirmation that the church, ANY church/religion, is a private club – guided by rules about membership. It is not “true”, just the most popular or powerful private club in YOUR life. It’s hard to let go of things I treasure (like the community), and impossible not to feel the grief and pain of real loss. But what choice do I have if I come to recognize the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or any other religious/spiritual organization, for what it really is?

  34. Lori May 1, 2019 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. The statement Cody read during the disciplinary council was SO powerful!

  35. Nancy May 2, 2019 at 9:18 am - Reply

    This is a vast distinction between the gospel and “the church”. There always has been. The Youngs choose to live the gospel. When leaders of the church seek to understand the distinction, they will become open to doubts, explore their own failings – and if they choose to -will realign with the gospel. Leaders who ask individuals why they want to stay in spite of renouncing the church, do not understand the community of the gospel. Thank you Cody, Leah, and family, and thank you John Delin.

  36. VFanRJ May 2, 2019 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    To me the gap and disconnect between what was discussed in the court of love compared to the excommunication letter indicates that the SP received outside guidance and oversight, perhaps even from the SCMC.

  37. Jim Beilfuss May 5, 2019 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Hi Cody and Leah,

    With a few weeks now passed, I hope you are recovering from the stress caused by going through an LDS excommunication ceremony – I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for you!

    Thanks for producing such a clear recording of the “court of love” – the presentation you two put together was well thought out and reflective of your feelings and experience. The sad thing is that it is telling how much your former stake president listened and cared for you as he was more anxious about cutting you off at the allotted 60 minutes than showing true empathy. Unfortunately, the Church encourages the leaders it chooses to put rules and the image of the institution above shepherding and love. I find it depressing that the devout simply do not have the ability to understand those who become progressive and/or leave because of personal integrity. At the same time, I find many of these folks to care about others within their ranks, which is very nice. How complicated it all is!

    I am preaching to the choir here, but I really want you to know how important it is to have groups to support those experiencing a change of faith. The service and love you are providing to those in your area is unquestionably appreciated. From personal experience, the support group we have in Tooele, Utah has about doubled in size since I joined it over two years ago – there is a definite need for these groups. I even emailed my former stake president telling him that if he was meeting with “doubtful” members who simply could not get the Church to work for them, to please refer them to us. Of course, his response to me was less than helpful to those who struggle and need support.

    Keep up the good work – there is an entire community of former Mormons out here and they are of the kindest people you may find yourself calling friend!

  38. Geri Harames May 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you for having the courage to share your journey and beliefs.
    Would you be kind enough to list/link the information, books and resources you referred to in your meetings and on Mormon Stories?
    Thank you in advance,

  39. Carter August 7, 2019 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    I’ve always had doubts about the church since I was a youth that I would periodically put on the “shelf” but considered myself to have a very strong testimony. After seeing your sign near Rexburg Idaho, I reopened that vault. A lot of the problems with the church I already knew but after reading everything on your website and other places, I finally “connected all the dots” and realize the chances of the church being true is about the same chances of me winning the lottery.

    So two things. One, I think you need to put up more of those billboards, especially in Utah where I live. I just so happened to be traveling down to Idaho when I saw it.

    And two, how long does it take to overcome the sadness that comes when you find out that everything you built your life on was based on a lie?

  40. Michelle Culpepper December 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Wow! Cody and Leah, you both are soooo brave. I am almost embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard y’alls’ story until today. Listening to each of your testimonies, I can feel the love and compassion you have for the people who find themselves in the midst of the lonely journey out of the Mormon church. All I can say is, wow!! Your messages were so powerful and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story. You handled yourselves with such class, even when you were asked questions you had JUST answered prior to their asking. Your Christlike character definitely shone through and you should be very proud. I wonder how many of those men’s shelves cracked after that meeting…and how many of them are frozen in fear because they know what will happen to them if they express any type of doubt in their faith. Good luck on your journey!

  41. Elli July 17, 2020 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I write from Europe. Three generation of this church. I am appalled about the comments by the Stake President about John Dehlin who does an excellent job. This is now a war. My empathy after listening the very interesting disciplinary council. This excommunication serves the purposes of mind control exercised on the people.
    Unfortunately this traumatic experience for the family is something that needs to be accept more and more. The mark of Cain is put upon them by this group, that after all, is behaving like a cult or a sect.

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