The PostMormon Community is a community to help support individuals who have left or are leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The primary support mechanism of the community is the PostMormon.org website.
In addition there are PostMormon chapters across the United States, Canada, Europe, Ecuador, New Zealand and Australia.
The PostMormon community is probably best known to the wider public outside of the ex-Mormon circles for using billboard and newspaper advertising in Utah, Idaho and Oregon to raise public awareness. Their second billboard advertisement in Idaho Falls, Idaho, was taken down early by Lamar Outdoor Advertising, after the owner of the property on which the billboard is situated requested it be taken down. The owner of the property is an active member of the LDS Church.
The PostMormon community was founded by Jeff Ricks in 2002 in the Cache Valley area of Utah. Initially it was a support group for former members of the LDS church, and a place for them to cultivate new friendships in this predominantly Mormon community.
The community website was created in 2004 and has become an anchor for the community. The website's bulletin board is heavily trafficked, and is a place for members of the community to chat, vent, and support each other. There are also pages for each chapter to help them coordinate their activities.
In 2005 the PostMormon Community registered as a corporation and in 2006 they were granted non-profit status. In 2007 they started using billboards in places around Utah to advertise their group. The most recent[when?] billboard was put up in St. George, Utah.
Criticisms of the PostMormon Community
Critics of the PostMormon Community frequently argue that it is an anti-Mormon organization whose purpose is to tear down the faith of active members of the church. Latter-day Saints are taught that speaking ill of the church or its leaders is sinful, and some members could view many discussions on the PostMormon.org message board as disrespectful of LDS Church beliefs, doctrines, leaders, and culture. Faithful members have tacitly argued that such activities speak to the truthfulness of their beliefs, describing former members with the couplet "they can leave the church, but they can't leave the church alone."
The PostMormon Community response to these allegations has been that they are engineered to dissuade active Mormons from further investigation. Aaron M. Anderson's article "Strengthening Against Apostasy" mentions that debating doctrine is a door to apostasy; thus preventing any meaningful discussion of Mormon doctrine.[unreliable source?] Charles L. Wood has suggested that the inability to meaningfully discuss doctrine within the LDS Church has acted as a form of "mind-control".[unreliable source?]
Non-Mormon historians have often encountered similar labels, such as "anti-Mormon", for their discussion of church history "in so far as they reject that truth." "That truth" being that the LDS church is God's one true church on the face of the earth. This is no surprise, considering the following by Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer: "there is no such thing as an accurate or objective history of the Church which ignores the Spirit.... Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer...".
The Postmormon community does not actually cause members to formally resign or even to stop attending. The website's discussion board is limited to indirectly attacking the LDS church written by people still attending. As a result, the Postmormon community's slogan "You are not alone." has been criticized for intimidating those who have turned in their resignation and severed all ties with any Mormons to believe they are indeed alone.
Salt Lake City
Arguably the largest public ex-Mormon group in Salt Lake City, the SLC PostMormons do a wide range of events from debating whether there is a god between an ex-Mormon and Mormon, having a panel of Mormons and ex-Mormons discussing the challenges when someone leaves the LDS faith, to support meetings and lectures on LDS history.
- PostMormon Community Website, at PostMormon.org
- Map of chapters, at PostMormon.org
- Billboard story[dead link]
- Idaho Fall billboard comes down early, at PostMormon.org
- St. George newspaper article about PostMormon.org, at PostMormon.org
- 85% of population Mormon in 1990[unreliable source?]
- The 2004 version of the PostMormon website in the Way Back Machine[not in citation given]
- The Cache Valley Chapter web page, at PostMormon.org
- Articles of Incorporation, at PostMormon.org
- Non profit status, at PostMormon.org
- 7th billboard in St. George, Utah, at PostMormon.org
- Deseret News - Letter to the editor[dead link]
- Oaks, Dallin H. (February 1987), "Criticism", Ensign
- Maxwell, Neal A. (November 1980), "The Net Gathers of Every Kind", Ensign,
Newcomers, you may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight; someday they will bow deeply before the throne of the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and that this is his work. Meanwhile, be unsurprised if, as the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth, some seek to chip away at it (see Dan. 2).
- Anderson, Aaron M. (March 4, 2008), "Strengthening Against Apostasy", Grace for Grace (blog)
- Wood, Charles L. (2004), "Mind Control LDS Mormon Church", MormonConspiracy.com
- Ridge, Martin (1999). "Chapter 8: Mormon "Deliverance" and the Closing of the Frontier". In Nugent, Walter; Ridge, Martin. The American West: the reader. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-253-33530-2.
- Smith, Joseph Fielding (November 1971), "A Call to Serve", Ensign
- Packer, Boyd K. (Summer 1981), "The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect", BYU Studies, 21 (3)
- Piper, Rachel (January 23, 2013), "When Your Loved One Apostatizes", Salt Lake City Weekly
- Mecham, McKoye (January 27, 2013), Post-Mormon group member discusses leaving religion, KSTU
- Stolz, Martin (June 2, 2007), "Split Over the Mormon Church, but Maintaining Some Ties", New York Times
- "'Post-Mormon' sign removed". Deseret News. (AP). June 24, 2007.
- Boyles, Greg (April 9, 2008), "Post-Mormon Community on Campus", The Utah Statesman, archived from the original on October 21, 2013
- Lish, Brittany (March 19, 2008), "Post Mormon group supports those who leave LDS church", Dixie Sun, Dixie State University, 37 (22), archived from the original on 2008-04-11
- Griffiths, Lawn (September 4, 2008), "Group uses billboards to reach out to ex-Mormons", East Valley Tribune