A mass exodus is believed to have happened after the Mormon Church’s decision on gay Mormons in 2015; church insists that reality says otherwise.
Few Christian denominations have taken so much effort to discuss and take major decisions about gay members of their faith as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At a time when more and more people are fighting for gay rights, the Mormon Church has understood that this issue can no more be ignored if it has to remain as strong as it is today. No wonder then that they recently announced that Mormons can be gay and accepted by the Church, although homosexual relations are still considered sinful. Their website, Mormon and Gay, stands as proof of this.
However, last year, the same church came under severe fire from Mormons as well as non-Mormons for its ruling that married gay Mormons are apostates. The church leaders were criticized not only by younger church members, but by some older members as well, members who have been known to be traditional and conservative in their faith. One of the biggest results of this decision was that many Mormons decided to quit their faith. Members felt that gay Mormons were being punished for something they are not even at fault for.
This gave rise to a rumor that there was a “mass exodus” of Mormons from the LDS church. People had come to believe that a huge number of Mormons had quit their faith after the announcement to deny blessings and baby rituals to children of gay Mormons was made. Mormons took to social media to announce their decision to resign, and this only strengthened the belief that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had lost most of its members. In fact, attorney Mark Naugle, a lawyer who offered to help members get their names out of the membership rolls of the church for free, revealed that he received more than 12,000 applications from church members from all over the world. Besides this, Naugle says he has received many more people who decided to simply quit unofficially!
A year after all the outrage has quietened down somewhat, there is a very different picture from what was perceived. The number of people who converted to the Church overshadows the number of people who quit many, many times over. This leads to a conclusion that the “mass exodus” is just an exaggeration. Although a number of people did publicly announce their decision to quit, this number is found to be minuscule in comparison to the number of Mormons who chose to remain.
Now that the Church has announced that a person can be gay and Mormon at the same time, it can be assumed that the Church will regain a part of its reputation which it lost in November 2015.