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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 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a divsion of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Sheila
  • Gilbert, AZ, USA
  • 07-03-05

Read it and decide for yourself

I found this to be a riveting story and as a third generation Utah Mormon I found her depiction of Mormon culture to be right on. I was raised in Utah, graduated from BYU and served a mission for the LDS Church, and in my opinion, Martha Beck is just telling it like it is. Anyone wanting a glimpse inside the faith will find her account interesting and perhaps disturbing, but just because you don't like the message why shoot the messenger? I found her personal revelations believable and backed up with strong physical evidence despite family denials. I think people should listen to her well written story and decide for themselves.

43 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not very good

I don't have much to say. I thought that the reader was great, and I love Martha Beck--but this book was not written at the standard of "Expecting Adam." In fact, I kind of got the impression that her story was a little bit on the bogus side. I was quite disappointed.

17 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What a pile of tripe

Biased, bitter, bigoted and totally misleading. If you want listen to someone's self-absorbed whines, go for it.

31 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joel
  • Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  • 07-05-05

What does her family think of 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.

18 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Judy
  • Alamo, CA, USA
  • 08-12-05

Terrible

Martha Back has a flair for the dramatic and cares nothing about the truth! I read her book, and her personal life details aside (who knows what the truth is about that stuff) it is filled with lies about the Mormon church to make it look ridiculous. Her whole tale about "leaving the saints" is a bunch of baloney because she never believed in God most of her life anyway. You might read this book for the entertaining aspects as a pure work of fiction. It is full of lies and is just ridiculous!

18 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I am an exmormon and even I did not like that book

Any additional comments?

First of all, first three hours of this abridged version is unnecessary. So I cannot even start to imagine how unnecessary was the unabridged version. I feel like nothing in the LDS theology bothered her and she wouldn't even have any problems with the pearl of great price if her did not abuse her. <br/>I would love to hear more her spiritual experience after she left and less about her dealings with trauma.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful