We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Leaving the Saints Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$27.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (287 )
5 star
 (138)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (72)
Overall
4.5 (101 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.5 (97 )
5 star
 (66)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joel Baton Rouge, LA, USA 07-05-05
    Joel Baton Rouge, LA, USA 07-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "What does her family think about this one?"

    A quick search at google for "Martha Beck's family" will retrieve her 7 siblings response to her book. They all seem to disagree about this being classified as non-fiction.

    25 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sid Middlesex, NC, USA 03-19-05
    Sid Middlesex, NC, USA 03-19-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Rina 04-24-17
    Rina 04-24-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    mk

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    280
    54
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    J Shreveport, LA, United States 06-04-05
    J Shreveport, LA, United States 06-04-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Who's next on Martha's List?"

    I had to get this book just to see for myself; Ms Beck accuses her father of the most vial and evil things a man could do to his child. I had to investigate her story.

    In her initial chapter, she writes several times of her total confusion, total doubt and totally not knowing the truth and then tries to convince the world of the truth in her words. Who in their right mind would follow a woman who admittedly lied about her faith and trust in God over and over, and in the same breath repeatedly admits she can?t separate truth from fiction? She's not credible.

    I listened to her story only because of who she was in the LDS community. Forget that she's lost her pathway in the Church and that someday, when truth matters, rather than her popularity and money, the forgiveness of the earthly father, whom she so evilly abused with these lies and accusations may be important enough for her to finally tell the real story.

    You'll find some truth about the Mormons mixed with these stories but it is all twisted up with her story-telling so don't take anything to the bank on Mormons.

    Since she's published her book, her ENTIRE family has publically stated that her story is total fiction. Which is where I'd have to put my trust.

    Some of her stories are "funny" but when you measure them up against the harm she did to her family and most of all her father, in his final years, it's only sad story. My hat's off to her family for keeping the cork on this bottle until now, but given what she's done to dear old dad ... each of them had better look out too.

    21 of 42 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.