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Leaving the Saints Audiobook
Leaving the Saints
Written by: 
Martha Beck
Narrated by: 
Bernadette Dunne
Leaving the Saints Audiobook

Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2005 Martha Beck; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The book is full of Beck's laugh-out-loud hyperbolic wit and exquisitely written insights." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (267 )
5 star
 (122)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.4 (81 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (78 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Karen Chapel Hill, NY, USA 11-06-09
    Karen Chapel Hill, NY, USA 11-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling"

    This is an extremely well-written and narrated book that I feel is balanced in terms of the positive attributes of the Mormon Church but also some of its internal problems as they particularly relate to the author. Her personal story is compelling and it was interesting to hear about her searching and strength as she faced the "skeleton in the closet", despite its ramifications. Her style is engaging and I felt that she would be someone I would like to know as a friend.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Markus 04-11-14
    Markus 04-11-14
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    "Powerful insight into the Mormon religion"
    If you could sum up Leaving the Saints in three words, what would they be?

    Vulnerable - Powerful - Valuable


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author shares both her personal story as well as facts about the Mormon religion. She does so in a great way that is insightful and entertaining.
    While she is brutally honest about the abuse she experienced in her childhood, she seems to be fair in her depiction of Mormon doctrine and practice.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ina 12-07-11
    Ina 12-07-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Enjoyed every minute"
    What did you love best about Leaving the Saints?

    This book is my first deeper insight into the LDS. For me it is a great account of a story of spiritual search and is universal to a degree. During my own spiritual search I found that most, if not all churches and spiritual groups claim to have the Truth but often then do not practice what they preach and I guess many people might be going through some of Martha???s experience as we speak...
    My own search for Faith almost 20 years ago, as a teen of post-communist Eastern Europe, led me to became a Baha???i, as the Baha???i faith rang True to me afirming that all Religions come from the same source???none is better than the other???God simply sends different Teachers according to the need of the time.

    Also using the learnings from beeing sexualy abused to serve other victims of it is a truly courageous experience...
    I admire the courage, detachment, sincerity and insight of the account.
    Thanks for sharing it Martha!


    Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have but loved her reading!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Amazing reader!!!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 11-21-09
    Linda 11-21-09
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    "Excellent"

    She dares what many others could not.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-29-09
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 08-29-09 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "An expose..."

    but not always believable--she definitely comes with an axe to grind.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan scottsdale, AZ, USA 06-07-05
    Susan scottsdale, AZ, USA 06-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very brave, indeed..."

    ...to tell this compelling story. I hope that this book will inspire countless people to free themselves of pain and shame by recounting their own truths - no mater how forcefully they have been strong-armed and shamed into silence. The only way out is through - Martha Beck really charges straight on through.

    5 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie Leura, Australia 05-12-13
    Kylie Leura, Australia 05-12-13
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    "Real review by a non-mormon!"

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the 1 star reviews that are imaginatively titled "review by a non-mormon" are actually written by mormons desperately trying to discredit the author in an attempt to maintain the crumbling facade of their illegitimate religion. This book is a fascinating and spell-binding account of one of the most bizarre cults I've ever encountered: the church of latter day saints. Almost everything about their religion is farcical and at some points I actually laughed out loud! I was fascinated to learn that their founder, Joseph Smith, actually taught that the moon was inhabited by people that dressed like Quakers. There is absolutely no doubt that Joseph Smith was a fraud and his bizarre theories have been disproven time and time again by modern science. He even co-opted some genuine Egyptian documents and pretended to "translate" these as the "Book of Abraham". In modern times it has been shown that the translation was completely fabricated and that the documents were actually the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a relatively common-place document buried with Egyptians in ancient times to provide directions for them in the afterlife.
    Despite the fact that the entire religion is built on lies, people actually adhere to this religion and use it to bully, intimidate and control other members. Not only that but sexual abuse is rife in the church and community and the religious tenets are completely disempowering to women (the teachings actually advocate polygamy!).
    I found the religion, its leaders, practices and beliefs absolutely shocking.
    It is incredibly brave for Martha Beck to write this book. She had to go against the grain of her family, her entire community and her upbringing to find the courage to reveal the truth about this crazy cult. Everyone should listen to this book.
    I can only hope that this book helps to dismantle this oppressive religion/cult.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Lexington Park, Moldova, Republic of 08-23-08
    Karen Lexington Park, Moldova, Republic of 08-23-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Review of Leaving the Saints"

    This book gave me the most detailed information on the mormons. In high school my first boyfriend was mormon and all Martha spoke of I heard him talk about. I didn't marry him although he wanted to marry me once I got to college. This has been my interest ever since to understand this group of people. Her book gave me all I needed. Martha doesn't know who her "it" is but I do so in the title when she stated she found her faith well faith in an "it" isn't faith but false hope. "There is only one God. And there is only one go-between for God and human beings. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave himself to pay for the sins of everyone. That was a witness given by God at just the right time." If Martha ever crosses or disagrees with her it she will upset him .....Stan and then need to know faith in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ will give her what she is searching for and it is true and real. Read John the gospel. I am praying for this woman and am glad I listened to her story.

    2 of 26 people found this review helpful

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