The following letter, I sent to my family and close friends as I left the Mormon Church in October of 2008. My intention was to be upfront and clear, and to be understood about my journey, and hopefully to avoid ill feelings and confrontation. In that regard it was essentially successful. Although I know it caused my family great pain, and I know many meals were missed, and many tearful prayers were offered on my behalf, they have shown me unwavering love and continue to seek to understand what I have done. I have not been ostracized as many in my position have. I love them even more for that.
The price has been high, however. My leap resulted in the demise of my 22 year eternal marriage, the loss of respect in my highly LDS town, and a painful (but ultimately enlightening) journey for my two amazing children in their upper teens. There was also significant professional fall-out. Through a series of unanticipated corporate maneuvers, a large portion of my music recordings and publishing rights are owned by the LDS church where I am no longer viewed as an asset.
The letter was passed around more than I intended, raising my status from "disaffected" to "apostate". In November of 2008 I answered a summons to appear at a Church Disciplinary Counsel to answer charges of "Apostasy and Other Serious Transgressions", even though I no longer lived in that Stake. So I stood at the High Council table opposite the 12 men with whom I'd served in various church callings, and who would have continued influence on my children. I related my journey and expounded my position firmly. I was removed from Church membership. And the clouds began to part.
My journey since, though admittedly a difficult one, has shown me a new, wonderful, freedom of the heart.
This letter was not written for the public. It has taken me some time to realize that my story might be strengthening to some who find themselves in a similar dilemma, being a difficult and painful place to be.
So if I can help, I share it now.
To read the rest of Shane's story, please visit the link below: