Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


John C. Allen


This paper looks at both the causes for and the consequences of apostasy from the LDS (Mormon) Church for those residing in the state of Utah. While previous quantitative research has identified many of the demographic characteristics associated with becoming a religious apostate, fewer studies have used qualitative methods to explore the expressed reasons that individuals have when choosing to relinquish their faith. This research offers an in-depth qualitative exploration of the causes for apostasy by examining the results of interviews with 21 heterogeneous respondents identified using a non-randomized snowball sample. The results were analyzed with an inductive grounded theory approach to ascertain the reasoning behind an apostate‟s decision to leave their religion. This research identified 14 reasons for leaving the LDS Church. All of participants in this research expressed at least one intellectual concern with church history or expressed concerns with human rights issues as reasons for leaving their religion. In addition, this research also identified 17 different positive and negative consequences that impacted the apostates‟ sense of community.



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