Destigmatize those who leave the mormon church by providing a platform for anyone to tell their own story. De-demonize doubt. Promote post-mormons as “normal” and provide a collection of honest answers to some tough mormon questions that are officially unanswered and danced around. Foster healthy (and respectful) conversations about hard things within communities and families.
Wait, what is this site?
Remember the old mormon.org website? Before we were told that the term mormon was a victory for satan, there was a website about what it was to be a mormon. It allowed verified members to add a profile that basically bore their testimony of the church. It had a catalog of questions to answer and I thought it was pretty interesting to have a website set up to let people share their beliefs and faith. I even set up a profile. The church showcased and presented member stories, even if they were the sanitized faith-promoting versions. Fast-forward to today, when the website is no longer online and all those profiles have been removed. The site changing made me consider what if there was a place where we could actually share our beliefs and answer common questions. Somewhere unfiltered and uncensored (though we aim to keep it PG). So since we’re discouraged from saying mormon anymore #victoryforsatan, I registered the domain and created wasmormon.org. Hopefully it’s truthful enough and toungue-in-cheek enough to be informative and thoughtful yet playful. Though it I’m sure will have a slant away from active, believing members, I hope the term wasmormon can be inclusive of all those who were mormon. Including post-mormons, ex-mormons and [insert any mormon labels here] alike: ex, post, progressive, liberal, middle-way, new order, fundamental, unorthodox, conservative, inactive, less-active, big tent, anti, ex-ed, etc. If you think about it, even active, TBM, card-carrying members could be called wasmormons since The church is distancing itself from the term mormon altogether.
What is this site for?
This site is set up for you to tell your own “mormon story”. I’ve found it therapeutic to write my own story down, it has helped me process all that comes along with a deconversion. So, this site is a place to encourage others to do the same. This site is for users to share where they are with mormonism, have you left, are you still in the pew, have you been marginalized or removed? Create a profile to tell your story.
What Is a Profile?
A profile is your opportunity to share your beliefs and experiences in the gospel with others. Creating a profile is easy and the site will walk you through the steps of creating your own, uploading your photo, writing about yourself, and selecting relevant topics about the church that will help others better understand your story.
Share your own story to process your own journey and help others cope with their own transition. It’s easy to register and share your story, no matter how small.
Why Should I Create a Profile?
The old mormon.org website was a missionary tool intended to provide sanitized information about the faith. This site however, is a place for honesty and integrity and is built for you. Tell your own story, there are a few prompts but otherwise, we try to get out of the way so you can tell your story. You own your story and you’ll get to tell it in your own words. You can also choose to be included in the directory where anyone can read your story to understand where and how you fit (or don’t) into this mormon culture. We each have a right to tell our own story, and if we don’t the church will. Each story can help the believers understand friends and family who have left, and also help give others who have left a real sense belonging which helps during a crisis of faith.
How Do I Get Started?
Create an account with an email address and then create your own profile. This site is secured with bank level security and will never share or sell your information. You will not need to create or connect in any way to an LDS Account, thankfully this site is not affiliated with the official cojcolds. Register or sign in to get started.
I don’t know where to even start with writing my story, what do I do?
Your profile is set up so that you can start wherever you can and always come back to it later. Add to it or even remove things that have since changed. There are some questions you can choose to answer that may guide you in your telling. The site will continually be updated with more questions and you can even add your own questions to answer on your profile which will be added to the system so anyone can then answer them. Start small if you wish, add your background and only list a few high level things you have struggled with.
What are these profile questions?
When creating a profile there is an option to answer questions. There are many questions to answer, and you can also add your own questions. Also, to share the interesting answers to the questions there is a catalog of honest answers to each question to allow visitors to read the aggregation of answers per question. Here are the answered questions thus far.
What will people say about me?
Not much actually, there are no comments on the site so you have the floor on your profile. This site is more for stories, not conversations or trolls. Please refer to our community guidelines and code of conduct.
I’m not receiving a sign up verification email
Please check your spam folder, and add yo[at]wasmormon.org to your contact list. Also, check that you’ve correctly input your email address. You could request a password reset by clicking the lost password link on the login form. Alternatively, you may create your account using an existing facebook, google or twitter account for authentication.
Can I share my profile online?
Yes, it is created so that you have a shareable url unique to your username. Share it with others so they can better know your story.
Do you have any other resources to help me?
Is this site secure?
Yes, this site is using secure https. It is built using a secure system called WordPress as well as additional security features. Remember, your login is only as secure as your password. You may also login or create an account using your facebook, twitter or google account, then you don’t have to worry about a password. In those cases, don’t worry, only your profile information (name and email) is passed to this site in order to create your account.
What happens to my profile information?
Your information is displayed on your own profile page and if you allow a link to your profile is included in the directory page.
What does it cost?
Creating and account and a profile is free for you. This will always be free.
I have purchased a domain name and web hosting to run the site, so far it’s something I’m willing to pay, but if it becomes a burden, I may ask for small donations on the site. I believe in the mission of this site, so I am willing to pay some out of pocket expenses for general upkeep. I’m never going to place ads or attempt in any way to make money from traffic or users on this site.
Can I edit my profile once it is published?
Yes, you can login to edit or even remove or hide your profile at any time. To delete your profile completely from the site, just let us know via the contact form.
Will I receive any spam?
What if I’m still a member of the church?
Congratulations for staying in the pew. To each his own. You can tell a faithful story here if you wish too. This is not meant to exclude faithful it believing members of the church. Technically any member of the church was a Mormon, right? Enjoy!
Can I create a profile for someone else?
We ask that you only speak for yourself. You may feel inclined to create an account using a pseudonym or omit a photo, that is fine. But we ask users to refrain from setting up a profile for or posing as someone else: someone current (Donald Trump or Dallin H Oaks) or a historical figure (ie Helen Kimball or Emma Smith). Even though I know some historical figures well deserve a profile (William Law, John Bennett, Thomas Marsh, Symonds Ryder, Oliver Cowdery, etc) and perhaps we can create an appropriate crowd-sourced profile for these in the future, but for now, let’s please stick to telling our own stories.
Are there any community guidelines?
Yes. Keep it civil, aka don’t be a jerk. No hate messages or trolling. Be respectful and decent to others. Please refer to our community guidelines and code of conduct. If a profile is not following these guidelines, the contributor will be notified and asked to correct the infraction. The profile may possibly be removed or hidden in the meantime. Please report any issues on the contact page.
Are you connected with the official church?
Ha ha, nope. wasmormon is not affiliated or in cahoots with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any part of it. I have yet to receive a cease and desist order or anything of the like. This is a website and anything I’ve written here are my own words (except for what others have written on their own profile). I speak as an individual. I don’t mean to offend anyone and if anything I’ve written has, please accept my apology and let me know what it was so I may take more care in how I’m expressing myself. This site is wasmormon.org. The official position of The church is not to use the term mormon to self-describe, ie they don’t want to be called mormon anymore anyways, so we’re calling ourselves wasmormons to distinguish ourselves.
Who made this site? and why?
Me. To help process my own faith transition I wanted to write it down. I’m a web developer, so I build websites all the time. Some say I even obsess over building websites, so when I had the idea to build a site where I among others could share my own mormon story, it just happened. After thinking about it, I realized I knew how to do it and valued the idea, so I jumped in and this site is a result of that. I am happy it has helped a few share their story. Please, let me know if you have idea on how to make this site better or more appealing.
Have you made other church related sites?
Yes, I created a few apps with an aim of education. One app to help users be more familiar with church leaders and another to better learn scripture mastery verses and the articles of faith. You can find them on the major app stores. I also created a website to catalog mormon themed apps at ldsmormonapps.com where you can find my apps along with others. Enjoy!
What’s with the blog?
I’ve added the blog to the site as a place to post and organize thoughts regarding a faith transition. Quotes from leaders, analogies for faith transitions, comments on current events or simply site updates. Are you interested in contributing blog posts to share your own thoughts? I’m completely open to that, this is a platform to give people a place to share their story and thoughts. Contact me and we’ll work out the details as to what and how contributing looks like.
A Note To Family and Friends
We would like to share this message with active and/or believing mormon family and friends. We know that many of you might be confused about our choice to leave the church. We don’t blame you if feel this way. There was a time when we didn’t understand why anyone would step away from the church. We couldn’t imagine being in the place we are now.
Here’s what we would like you to know:
- No one offended us. We love you every bit as much as we always have!
- We no longer believe in the truth claims of the church and we no longer trust the church as an institution; however, we still see much good within Mormonism.
- If you love the church and you feel it helps you to be a better person, we respect your choice to stay fully active. It is not our intent to get you to change your mind.
- We don’t need to be rescued! There were aspects of our faith transition that were extremely painful, but we have worked through them. We have peace.
- If you have questions for us, we are completely open to talking about anything. If you know someone who has left the church and you want to know how you might approach them, we may be a good resource for you.
- We hope that you might find a way to understand that the church may not be a safe place for everyone and that some people leave the church because they are following their conscience.
We have made the choice that is right for us.
This website exists because we understand the challenges the post-mormon community faces and we aim to help alleviate some of these challenges. We hope those transitioning out of the church to become the best new version of themselves and maintain healthy relationships with those still active at church. We will forever be grateful for our journey through mormonism and for all the good things we learned as active members even if we simultaneously recognize things we may have learned or experienced that were not as good or even harmful. In the place we are now, we believe in the power of love more than ever before.