Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

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Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Post by Roy »

I did not read this book myself. I am bringing it here because I saw an article on it and in the article the topic of Mormonism is brought up specifically.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/min ... ef850aba38
The internet has been particularly important for people leaving conservative religions such as evangelical Protestantism or Mormonism. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is actually the first main example Bullivant uses in the book, which is surprising because it’s such a tiny percentage of the population, around 1.5%.

Bullivant chose it because it’s a “canary in the coal mine” story — if even the Mormons are starting to bleed members, “that shows what a big issue this is for everyone else.” The erosion of Mormon attachment, he said, indicates “the breakdown of religious subcultures,” which has been especially profound in places such as Utah and southern Idaho where, in decades past, a person’s entire social and religious life could be spent around members of the LDS church.

The internet chips away at that enclave. “This was important for many of the Mormons I interviewed, who were encountering new things about Mormon history online. But even more than this, they’re starting to hang out with non-Mormons and ex-Mormons, people who are very much in your boat, and that becomes this other world you can inhabit.”
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Arrakeen
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Joined: 25 Aug 2018, 18:49

Re: Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Post by Arrakeen »

Roy wrote: 02 Dec 2022, 13:55
The erosion of Mormon attachment, he said, indicates “the breakdown of religious subcultures,” which has been especially profound in places such as Utah and southern Idaho where, in decades past, a person’s entire social and religious life could be spent around members of the LDS church.
I think in the case of the LDS church, part of the breakdown of its subculture might be its own doing. Even though I'm young, I remember there being a lot more church activities solely for fun when I was a kid. More and more over the last few years I've been seeing a push to try to make every little thing spiritual. Hiking trips, ward campouts, Scouts, etc seem to be getting replaced by devotionals, family history days, missionary preparation seminars, and the like.
AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Post by AmyJ »

Arrakeen wrote: 02 Dec 2022, 17:45
Roy wrote: 02 Dec 2022, 13:55
The erosion of Mormon attachment, he said, indicates “the breakdown of religious subcultures,” which has been especially profound in places such as Utah and southern Idaho where, in decades past, a person’s entire social and religious life could be spent around members of the LDS church.
I think in the case of the LDS church, part of the breakdown of its subculture might be its own doing. Even though I'm young, I remember there being a lot more church activities solely for fun when I was a kid. More and more over the last few years I've been seeing a push to try to make every little thing spiritual. Hiking trips, ward campouts, Scouts, etc seem to be getting replaced by devotionals, family history days, missionary preparation seminars, and the like.
We had more communities because more people spent time (or more people spent more time?) on arranging them and feeling positive towards them for users to consume. In the last 20 years, the nature of "community" has shifted dramatically - with specialists designing those communities (digitally - forums/blogs/channels), professionally (different government-sanctioned standards), and local programs competing with state and national programs. In addition, people join the "communities" they are passionate about (video game communities, decor communities, etc. - tons of niche resources and interests out there easily accessible). Also, with parents and grandparents living longer, and the increasing competitiveness of employment, people have more demanding outside home commitments.

There are a lot of questions that make it hard to see the church organization as "the truth hub" - especially if you compare "truths" of the church vs "learned truths" and/or "mental health truths". All those forms of truth can be reconciled with God's help, mental facilities, and drive to do so - but in the past, people didn't have to reconcile them as much.

It's also hard to see the church organization as "the community hub" - especially when you consider the other community hubs with lower admission costs/higher payoff like school/community sports, libraries, media, service organizations, or other ministries. There are also communities that might be a closer fit for you as a person - supporting introvert's interests, or the lifestyle you have interests (additional needs etc.).
Roy
Posts: 6882
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Post by Roy »

Roy wrote: 02 Dec 2022, 13:55 The internet chips away at that enclave. “This was important for many of the Mormons I interviewed, who were encountering new things about Mormon history online. But even more than this, they’re starting to hang out with non-Mormons and ex-Mormons, people who are very much in your boat, and that becomes this other world you can inhabit.”
I think that the effects of peer pressure are strong. If you are a young male Mormon and all your friends/peer group get mission calls, there is a strong pull to do likewise. I also feel that the preference of young LDS women to prefer to date RMs is another effect of this peer pressure. Nobody wants to be undatable within your social network.

I think that even within Mormon strongholds of Idaho and Utah, we are seeing a larger percentage of LDS young people choosing to not follow the LDS "covenant path" as laid out for them. If only half of your peer group goes on missions and those that choose not to go seem happy, successful, and well adjusted then the option to not go now feels more viable. At a certain point, the peer group is no longer reinforcing church expectations.

Among my LDS nephews (really small sample size, I know), I would say that less than half are going on missions when they reach the expected age when ALL of their LDS male parents went on missions.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
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