Those who leave the Church for whatever reason are still children of our Heavenly Father. It is not our responsibility to change their minds, only to love them—always—unconditionally. We must not desert them, whether they come back, or not. As we leave the ninety-nine and go after the one, we must remember that the one has agency which not even God will take away. We must respect that agency, as we love and respect them. We may (after heartfelt prayer) discuss and/or invite, but the decision to return is their own.
Every situation is different, and everyone has his or her own story. We need to be willing to listen—really listen—to their stories. A lot of assumptions are made about people who are not attending Church on Sunday, and most of those assumptions are wrong. We have never really dealt well with those who leave the fold. It is time to start having some serious and open dialog about it, with no one excluded from the conversation.
Mormon Women Stand would like to thank Nick Galieti from Fair Mormon for his interest in this important topic and for his willingness to help shed some light on the issue and get it out in the open for discussion. You may access the Fair Mormon interview here.
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