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Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith Paperback – April 25, 2006
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Beck frames her narrative around a conversation with her aged father, dipping in and out of stories of her childhood, marriage, third pregnancy, and teaching. She contrasts her perceptions of the leadership of the institutional church as controlling and patriarchal with stories of the warmth and generosity of her Mormon community. Beck unfolds her search for identity, forgiveness, and a personal faith in competent prose, punctuated with surprising dark humor and glimpses into her anorexia, suicidal obsessions, and alleged abuse. Although she leaves readers with many unanswered questions after the last page is turned, one thing is clear: Beck believes that "no matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth." --Cindy Crosby --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Eight years later and a second of my three sisters came out with suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a man inside of our family, at my grandparents. The second sister was able to remember the attacker, my grandfather, a priesthood holder and the family patriarch. I had hoped that my family would respond rationally, considering how well my sister could remember and describe the events, how well my grandfather fit the profile for a sexual predator and considering the inexplicable damage to her perineum that doctors felt was caused by sexual abuse, considering her personal psychological problems (consistent with those of victims of sexual abuse) and considering that even I was able to remember the semen stains on my sister's teddy bear as a kid, Also considering that all of my aunts and uncles were aware that my uncle molested my mother as a child (they were witnesses) and then allowed him to become a school bus driver for the local school district, I assumed this would be a moral no-brainer. Forgiving him once was stupid, ignoring the current situation with yet another victim and another predator in the family would require a level of corruption and self delusion a nominally sane person wouldn't be capable of. I thought that everyone would at least respect my sister's search for justice and recognition, even if they weren't willing to believe her.Read more ›
Martha's book is the most honest and even-handed account of the church and its doctrinal dilemmas I have ever come across. Most accounts are either for or against the church and seek only to destroy other viewpoints. I didn't get that feeling from Martha's account at all. It's clear that most of those condemning this book haven't read it. Ignore them and read it yourself.
I grew up reading every LDS Church book I could get my hands on. I pored over them, practically memorized some of them, and read the Book of Mormon and other scriptures daily and prayed with all my heart. I was the kid who always loved to go to church; no one had to drag me there. After a great deal of soul-searching over many years, I left the LDS church about 20 years ago, at the age of 27. I didn't experience the kind of sexual abuse Martha went through, and my heart goes out to all who have suffered so, but I could relate 100% to her descriptions of the Church, the doctrines, the good people who try so hard to be perfect, the yearning for God, the incredible mental efforts to try to make sense out of the nonsense, the secrecy and obsession with control of the leadership. I'll never forget how disappointed I felt when I first put on the temple garments and went through the endowment ceremony at the Oakland Temple.
I first became aware of certain issues about unsavory behavior by some of the leadership while on my mission, and it left a terrible taste in my mouth.Read more ›
This book was very interesting and I know that there is a lot of debate as to whether or not Martha is telling the truth about her father. I don't think anybody has any right to say whether she is telling the truth or not because no one was there except Martha and her father. Therefore the only two who truly know the truth are Martha and her father, and of course God. I can tell you that here where I live there was a big discussion one night after fireside about this book, and all the people at my church who are devout Mormons strongly accuse Martha Beck of being a liar. I asked them just casually if they had read her book. They all claimed they would never touch it. That's what made me (secretly of course) obtain a copy of her book and read it.
I'm glad that John Beck has not suffered any loss of friends or relationships because he left the church. But I can tell you that if indeed that is true, that John Beck has a had a very rare experience. The vast majority of Mormons who leave the church suffer a lot of judgement and loss of relationships. When you leave the church you are an apostate and according to Mormon doctrince, have no chance to get into heaven. It's only outer darkness for the apostate unless the ex-Mormon rejoins the church and gets re-baptized.
I am very confused because I know the evidence that Joseph Smith was a very deceitful con man is black and white. There is no arguing it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Martha's honesty, wisdom, grace & humor are so appreciated. As a former member of a similar cult I identified with so much of her story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steve S
What a wonderfully written story! I appreciate and admire Martha Beck's ability to be loving and forgiving of her father, mother, siblings and the Mormon church while also being... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Renzgirl
Touching, honest, brave and enlightening. I believe her story. Thank you for speaking truth to power, Martha.Published 4 months ago by Kory Harris
Great writing style and fun to read in spite of the seriousness of the subject. I highly recommend this book because it is full of truth, a commentary on a dominant religion and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Webster
Well written and informative while also a heartfelt story. The story is tragic and still hopeful for survivors. I learned so much and grew in faith and understanding God's grace.Published 5 months ago by Lisa Griffin