I recently finished reading “Leaving the Saints” by Martha Beck. I found Martha’s unique writing style and lightheartedness to be a refreshing portrayal of a very painful past. In “Leaving the Saints”, Martha shares her story of rediscovering the truth of her childhood trauma, her experiences with growing up in the LDS (Mormon) Church and her journey to spiritual transformation. Many of Martha’s stories confirmed within me that the memories of my childhood were not my imagination. Although I was raised in a Fundamentalist Mormon community, the beliefs and practices are not far from those of the traditional Mormon Church. This I have been able to gather from Martha’s book, along with other research.
It is important to recognize that “Leaving the Saints” was written nearly ten years ago and many of the Mormon beliefs and practices have evolved since that time. Members are no longer threatened with disembowelment for example. Albeit the church is still a patriarchal society loaded with fear-based beliefs, as many religions are.
The journey out of religious dogma into discovering our own innate spirituality is a process that many of us are undertaking. I applaud Martha’s candor about her journey and where she is today as a result of discovering her own inner truth.