cover of book

Why I Stay 2: The Challenges of Discipleship for Contemporary Latter-day Saints
edited by Robert A. Rees
Signature Books, 2021
Paper: 978-1-56085-291-9 | eISBN: 978-1-56085-396-1
Library of Congress Classification BX8656.W55 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 248.4893

One’s religious affiliation may be determined, at least, initially, by family and culture, but the ultimate choice to stay is, in the end, personal. This second volume of Why I Stay touches on the weighty decisions and complex issues people ponder in a faith journey and which fork in the road to take once they face them. 

Twenty-one women and men discuss what it is about Mormonism that keeps them part of the fold. Their deep, unique experiences make their individual travels even more compelling. Kimberly Applewhite Teitter, growing up in the South as a Black Latter-day Saint, often encountered well-meaning Latter-day Saints whose words messaged the idea that she was at some level an outsider or perhaps not as authentically Mormon as others in her congregation. Thus, she writes, “At the end of the day I’m still Black—still have felt the weight of proving that I represent the church I’ve fought so hard for my entire life.” Yet the very episodes that could have driven her from the church became lessons on the meaning of discipleship. 

For Carol Lynn Pearson, staying boiled down to two reasons: “I find a great deal of love in this church,” and “where I do not find love, I have an opportunity to help create love.” The stories she shares illuminate that mantra. Mitch Mayne, an openly gay man, has faced many challenges by his decision to stay. “Most days, it seems I can’t be Mormon enough for my LDS community, and I can’t be gay enough for my LGBT fellows.” In his essay, he answers the question many have asked: “Why don’t you just leave the church?” 
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