As a childless and unmarried woman, I was treated poorly, often ignored in my wards. I felt invisible and worthless; that I brought no value to the church and that I was not needed. Yes, I was offended and it was painful but I remained in the church despite that mistreatment. I left when I no longer believed the church’s truth claims.
Absolutely not. I can, perhaps, best demonstrate that by sharing something I wrote at the time:
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A natural conclusion for many who read my criticisms of the LDS church will be that it is lead by wicked and deceitful men. It may be hard for some to believe, but I truly don’t think that this is the case. Quite the contrary. The positive examples of many of the members of the church whom I have known personally and, otherwise, observed, including its highest ranking priesthood leaders, are one of the main things that encouraged me to believe in the church when I was young. It always seemed to me that these were intelligent people of admirable character. All these people, along with many of the teachings of the church, inspired in me a desire to likewise be a person of character, intelligence and compassion, and to seek after the good things in life and shun the bad traits within myself. Since my teens I have continued to be inspired by the examples of my fellow church members, and many of these individuals continue to inspire me now. I regard them as among the best of people.
Also, remember that I have myself been a leader in the church. One of low, local rank, yes, but, a legitimate leader nonetheless. The point is, that all the church leadership is taken from the general populous of the church; each generally trying their best to live in a way that they believe God would approve of, to fulfill the commitments that they have made, and to promote a message that they honestly believe. This was certainly the case for me, so how could I presume to think that it is not the case for everyone else?
You’ll recall my earlier statement that, “what the church’s methods accomplish is the creation of “true believers” who regulate themselves out of personally motivated desire or belief.” This truly is the case. While it is true that I am not the only member of the church who has, does or will seriously doubt the validity of this church, even while they occupy a leadership role within it, I am confident that no one, at any level of this church is “[laying] in wait to deceive”.[ A reference to Ephesians 4:14] As critical as I am of the church [in my writings], my criticisms are not meant as attacks on any person in the church, but rather as an effort to expose fundamental flaws in the doctrine and culture by which all within the church are deceived and unintentional participants in a process that amounts to one of deception.
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When I first left, my opinion of the church, its leaders and its members was that they were misguided and engaging in practices that were harmful, but I took them to be essentially honest and well intended. I attributed the dishonesty that I saw at work in the church to the effect of Meme's - in the original Dawkinsion sense of the word - subconscious biases and learned strategies that the membership had become aculturated to and whose consequences they were irresistably insentivised to not notice. Any anger I felt was not over how I had ever been personally treated.
However, that picture has changed since leaving the church due to how I have been treated by members of the church as a result of my departure, and new information that I have acquired that makes it much harder to give both leaders and members a pass on the ways that they twist facts to suite their purposes and demean those who decide to speak their criticisms.
I have been offended, like when I occasionally attend I hear comments made about the type of person who leaves the church, how they haven’t worked hard enough or been steadfast enough. This is hurtful because I have studied extensively. Instead of the blame attached to the individual who broke free, analyze why the church encourages you to “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith” and read only faith-promoting sources. Why are historical documents “anti-Mormon”? If the church is accurate why does it not stand up to scrutiny? Why are dissenters labeled and warned about?
The reason I am offended enough to leave is not because of any person. I am offended by truth claims that are not true. I am offended that I was taught and trained for 28 years of my life in false ideologies that caused me harm.
I don't think "offended" is the word I would use. The PoX and the Priesthood Ban absolutely played a role, but I felt more confused than anything.
I always felt welcomed by the community and shrugged off any interpersonal issues. So no, I wasn't offended in that sense.
But I was offended by some of the doctrine, or at least certain people's interpretation of it. There was one fifth Sunday (BYU YSA ward) where we were told in advance to prepare questions about relationships - any kind of relationships, family, friends, romantic, whatever. Then when the lesson came, the bishopric spoke for the entire time on why our salvation depended on getting married, why now was the best time to do it, and gave some really bad and sexist (to both men and women) advice on how to do find someone to do it with. Besides being asexual, I was also 21. My roommate was 18. My best friend a pew over was openly gay. It was almost comically out of touch, but everything was from the words of the prophets so we didn't dare laugh. Offended might be a good way to describe how I felt that day. When I got home I thought to myself, "Is this really what the church teaches?". I didn't leave over that lesson or others like it, but they certainly contributed.