Like many, I have had the experience of reading a few exit story letters of people leaving the Mormon Church. Most of these come from people I don’t know directly through social media and the like. I am sure that there are folks who feel quite sincere, and are open and honest in their explanations. It also seems reasonable that many people will have similar reasons for leaving the church. But it seems suspiciously odd to me that so many of these stories sound exactly alike. It is enough to make one wonder if there are sample letters or templates out there for individuals to base their letters on.
There are such templates – a simple google search reveals. And unsurprisingly they read just like the few exit stories I have read.
Intellectual integrity is a common appeal in almost all such letters, which seems a tad ironic in a letter that borders on plagiarism. And it is difficult to take the list of grievances seriously, when the list reads like many other lists containing the same old criticisms that have been addressed well and often.
Again, I am sure people have their reasons for wanting to leave, and I am also sure these reasons will overlap. But it would be more interesting to read if these letters had some originality to them. Following the templates takes the shine off whatever sincerity or integrity they would like to express.