When my husband went through a faith transition, in the Mormon church we were each raised in, we lost friends and a sense of community. Many of the people we had developed close relationships with pulled back from us. Some of our family members struggled to navigate this unexpected change in his perspectives and beliefs. Our church experience altered as now I had a husband that was no longer believing. We were now a mixed faith marriage instead of the traditional Mormon family. It wasn’t that people were mean to us or purposely hurt us, but they began to stop inviting us to things. They were uncomfortable around us when we ran into each other. Our opinions, views, experiences and lives were viewed differently. They tried, rather awkwardly, to avoid discussing anything of real depth and meaning. It was excruciating. When I transitioned out of the faith, several years after my husband, this continued. We even uprooted ourselves from the area we had lived in for fifteen years and moved to another part of the country to have a fresh start with the hopes that we could find community and friends again.

Our story is not unique. Within Mormonism there seems to be a real risk of this since community is such a big part of the Mormon experience. If someone finds themselves outside of the traditional orthodox beliefs, family situation or perspectives they often feel isolated, estranged from loved ones and alone. This also happens when a Mormon comes across information that contradicts the official church narrative they have grown up hearing. They may not be sure where to turn to find resources and information, let alone a community of like minded people, to help them navigate what they are experiencing. They can try searching online and hope to discover what’s out there, but they are left with what their google search results show them. Often their questions, concerns and needs can’t be discussed with those closest to them due to the risk of negative consequences on relationships. For those that end up leaving the Mormon faith they risk the loss of not only their faith, but their social interactions and friends as well. All of these situations may result in very real pain, isolation and emotional distress.

Seeing and experiencing this myself has touched me deeply and motivated me to help others. I wondered if there was something I could do to help ease these situations; help people find access to the available resources and locate each other. After connecting with some incredibly talented, empathetic, intelligent and capable people, that’s exactly what we did. The Mormon Spectrum website is designed so that you can access what you need, whether you are in or out of the Mormon church. We want to provide the best content available in the hopes that you will be able to explore, discover and choose what works for you. We hope to provide a safe and empowering space for everyone who is navigating this spectrum of Mormonism or trying to understand loved ones who are.

Our Objectives and Goals:

*To supplement the religious experience and community for believing Latter-day Saints, while also providing resources, support, and community for people experiencing a faith transition and/or those that have left the LDS faith.

*To help exploring, unorthodox and post/ex Mormons find all the amazing, innovative, incredible stuff that’s been created by others online.

*To enable Mormons to learn about other parts of the spectrum.

*To help foster better understanding between loved ones and friends who are on different parts of the spectrum with the hope that their relationships can span their differences and remain intact.

*To provide a worldwide map of in-person communities where like-minded people can get together and as their authentic selves see and sustain others who live nearby—in real life—and develop a loving sense of community and support.

http://mormonspectrum.org/

Originally posted on Main Street Plaza by Alison Udall