Leaving the Saints

Leaving the Saints

How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
Leaving the Saints is an unforgettable memoir about one woman’s spiritual quest and journey toward faith. As “Mormon royalty” within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Martha Beck was raised in a home frequented by the Church’s high elders—known as the apostles—and her existence was framed by their strict code of conduct. Wearing her sacred garments, she married in a secret temple ceremony—but only after two Mormon leaders ascertained that her “past contained no flirtation with serious sins, such as committing murder or drinking coffee.” She went to church faithfully with the other brothers and sisters of her ward. When her son was born with Down syndrome, she and her husband left their graduate programs at Harvard to return to Provo, Utah, where they knew the supportive Mormon community would embrace them.

However, soon after Martha began teaching at Brigham Young University, she began to see firsthand the Church’s ruthlessness as it silenced dissidents and masked truths that contradicted its published beliefs. Most troubling of all, she was forced to face her history of sexual abuse by one of the Church’s most prominent authorities. This book chronicles her difficult decision to sever her relationship with the faith that had cradled her for so long and to confront and forgive the person who betrayed her so deeply.

This beautifully written, inspiring memoir explores the powerful yearning toward faith. It offers a rare glimpse inside one of the world’s most secretive religions while telling a profoundly moving story of personal courage, survival, and the transformative power of spirituality.

Baker & Taylor
In a moving and inspirational memoir of faith, the author of Finding Your Own North Star describes growing up within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, her decision to speak out publicly of her criticism of the church, and her difficult decision to leave the Mormon church to pursue her own transforming search for spirituality. 60,000 first printing.

& Taylor

The author describes growing up within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, her public criticism of the church, and her difficult decision to leave the Mormon church to pursue her own search for spirituality.

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780609609910
Branch Call Number: 289.2092 BEC
289.3092 BEC
Characteristics: ix, 306 p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 23, 2019

Leaving the Saints is an excellent but disturbing account of sexual abuse that is sanctioned by a cult that hides behind the wall of lies and silence.

Nov 20, 2015

Audio version is excellent!!

Jul 26, 2015

A disturbing account of how accepted truths in a modern church simply don't hold up to scrutiny. Of note is how the Mormon Church took a hit in credibility when the parchment thought to have been the source for the Pearl of Great Price turned out to actually be the Book of the Dead. The author, practically born into Mormon royalty, also relives the horrors of being raped by her father as young as age five, and to also learn her father faked most of his sources in his commentaries about Mormon scholarship, which eventually led to Martha Beck quitting the LDS church (as did her husband). Whether one regards Mormonism to be a cult or not, Beck's self-account is a reminder one shouldn't always things at face value.

Jul 11, 2014

I highly recommend this book. Beck does a masterful job of revealing her growth and development in a closed community that brooks little challenge or rebellion of any kind. It happens to be the Mormon Church, but it could be any one of a number of communities keeping members on a short leash and fed a constant diet of dogma. The shunning and coercion brought to bear on Beck, and also her family, is a chilling, mind-boggling portion of the book.
Beck also carefully and respectfully exposes the reader to her own growing consciousness and memories of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, its links to her eating disorder and anxiety, and what happens when she confronts him.

Jul 10, 2012

Extremely sad and uplifting at the same time. A real page-turner.

Aug 13, 2011

This book would more accurately be categorized as fiction, since it is a mixture of fact and fancy.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top