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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

3.6 (301 )
5 star
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4.5 (111 )
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4.5 (106 )
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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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  •  
    Andrea Homestead, FL, USA 06-11-09
    Andrea Homestead, FL, USA 06-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Review by a non-Mormon"

    If I were a devout Mormon woman, I would be seething over this book. However, I am not a Mormon and still feel quite upset with the way this author takes her "dirty laundry" out for the whole world to read. She implies that the Mormon church is the one that made her father (supposedly) abuse her. I can't think of any religion that has a perfect history. This lady takes things too far. She is sarcastic and is constantly reminding the listener that she has a Ph.D., as though this legitimizes her claims. I feel sorry for her family. She does the craziest things (like chopping down trees in the middle of the night), while her husband and small children are neglected. If Mormon men were so horrible, why did her own Mormon husband put up with her antics? I wanted to listen to this book before visiting Utah to learn something about the "Saints." Instead of siding with her, I think I actually disagree with her. Who knew? Her 9O yr. old father shouldn't have had to put up with all her accusations at that age. It sounds almost evil of her. Her diatribe pleads with the listener that abuse victims should be open about their history, even if it took place decades ago. As the daughter of an abused mother, I wish she never had told me what happened to her in her youth. It never helped me, it only made me angry, and it didn't help my mom either. She grew more depressed in her older years by reminiscing about her horrible childhood. Get the therapy and then REALLY forget about it, I say! Don't live in the past, Martha!! Live, let live and enjoy what you have in the moment.

    45 of 83 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sid Middlesex, NC, USA 03-19-05
    Sid Middlesex, NC, USA 03-19-05
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    "Don't Bother"

    This book is a pitiful attempt by a disgruntled ex-mormon to place the blame for her own shortcomings on her religious upbringing. It is nothing more than sideways slap at the Mormons. Don't waste good reading time on this book.

    38 of 71 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Wilson 04-06-09
    V. Wilson 04-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A review from a non Mormon who hated this book."

    I'm not sure why I listened all the way through this mess of a book. It is full of new age woo, and Martha is no more reasonable (and probably less trustworthy) than your average Mormon who thinks that Joseph had the Book of Mormon translated directly from gods gold plates. I highly doubt that Martha was abused by her father no matter how much she "believes". This book is about 95% Martha's self obsessed drivel and about 5% interesting info about the Mormons and her Mormon life. Pass, and save yourself hours of your life and a few bucks to boot.

    25 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 11-01-17
    11-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "This book helped me to heal from leaving the LDS ."

    I really loved this book. it has helped me tremendously to recover from my grief of leaving the LDS Church.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rina 04-24-17
    Rina 04-24-17
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    4
    4
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    "A Good Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Leaving the Saints to be better than the print version?

    I found the narration a bit annoying. I am a part of a bookclub and those that utilized the audiobook also found the narration not reflective of the author's spirit and a tad irritating. If you don't mind overdramatic/bad acting, then you will get through it. If you don't get bothered easily, then you won't even notice.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found the author's courageous vulnerability to be the best part of this story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I like that I understood the performance. I did not enjoy the over acting/bad acting.


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

    No, it was not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Kay Haering slc, utah 03-03-16
    Melanie Kay Haering slc, utah 03-03-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Martha Beck is a treasure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Because it deals with faith transitions and truths within the LDS faith


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Leaving the Saints?

    I laughed when her husband was leaving the church and the stake president said that all his power, priesthood and blessings were being taken away--however--you can still pay your tithing and receive those blessings--also her findings on incest within the Provo area and her research outside of Happy Valley


    What does Bernadette Dunne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nothing--would have loved it if Martha read it herself


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

    yes--In fact couldn't stop--listened at home on my Echo as well


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend..best book I have read and listened to in the last six months. Beautifully written and forthright

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurture Learners and Able Observers 11-04-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inconvenient truths."
    What did you love best about Leaving the Saints?

    This woman's courage. Dedication to the truth.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Her ability to confront an inconvenient truth.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Natural reader.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many spooky moments.


    Any additional comments?

    Hard for me to confront the people that left reviews here, volunteering to add to her burdens. Every time we knock a woman in the dirt, we all die a little. Some folk are ruthless and even offended by a woman's honest story, this is very spooky.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    THERESA SANTO 04-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A must read!"

    This was such an amazing story. It spoke to me and was very healing! Loved it and I admire her courage. Thank you for having a voice for those who haven't found theirs yet!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sally 07-26-14
    sally 07-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Too many parts to limit it down to only one being the best. I found this to be very eye opening, interesting and 'attention keeping'. Having come from the religion in my childhood made it even more intriguing and it actually brought comfort to me to learn the things I questioned were not on my own observations.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great read/listen to add to my goal on becoming educated on many spectrums of many different religious beliefs. In no way do my high reviews make a statement of judgement who have chose this particular religion as their true path the happiness. Live and let live. But also be open minded and respectful of all diversity.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen United States 07-11-13
    Karen United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Beautifully Done"
    What did you love best about Leaving the Saints?

    The author's openness about her life story and the sweet tenderness the author expresses toward her family, including her father.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Leaving the Saints?

    The dialogue with her father when she tries to understand him and find a way to connect with him by using Shakespeare, among others.


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Everything.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, quite a shock to be brought back to some of my own reactions when I realized what my memories meant over 30 years ago. I've lived with the understanding for decades, but was surprised at how powerfully the feelings could still be triggered.


    Any additional comments?

    I disagree with the reviewers who state that she was harsh and cruel with Mormons and her family. My impression from reading the book is that she deeply loves and appreciates Mormons and her family and was especially kind and loving with her father, in spite of great trauma inflicted by him. She appears to have worked to understand where he came from so that she could relate with him as intimately as he would allow. Confronting a 90-year old man is not necessarily cruel depending on how it is done. It had the potential to set him free and that seemed to be her motivation, in addition to wanting a healed relationship with him.I've worked with many survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Many find that it is not healthy for them to continue in relationship with their abuser if that person refuses to acknowledge the truth. It is a sad but sometimes necessary split.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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