By Sharon Lindbloom
13 December 2016
On Sunday, the The Salt Lake Tribune published “Kirby: Five kinds of ex-Mormons” by humor columnist Robert Kirby. In his article, Kirby noted that he has, in the past, written about “Five Kinds of Mormons” and “Five Kinds of Non-Mormons”; the logical next step is determining the five kinds of ex-Mormons. He explained,
“So, in the interest of fairness, there are only five kinds of ex-Mormons in the entire world.”
Kirby’s list looks like this (descriptions paraphrased by me):
- Blissed-ex: Those who were once Mormon in name only and don’t know what they’re missing now as former members
- Kleen-ex: Those who have left the Church and moved on, bearing no ill will
- Spand-ex: Those who still feel betrayed by the Church and don’t want to talk about it
- Con-ex: Those who have left the Church but can’t leave it alone; unforgiving constant complainers
- Gas-ex: Outraged former Mormons who spend great amounts of time and money fighting against anything and everything LDS Church-related
The Gen-ex is an ex-Mormon-now-Christian who loves Mormons. Gen-exers left Mormonism because, in examining that faith they found that it does not conform to many of the essential teachings on the true nature of God, Christ, and salvation as revealed in the Bible. Gen-exers are under conviction that Mormonism leads sincere people away from saving faith in the one true God. Therefore, Christ’s love compels them to expose spiritual error in an effort to bring Mormon people — their people — to His truth.
Gen-exers, through reading their Bibles, have gained a firm conviction that the wrath of God is real. They believe the Bible teaches that God will one day pour out His wrath on sin, and the result will be a Godless eternity for all those who have turned away from His merciful and gracious offer of redemption in Christ alone. They believe Mormonism leads people away from worship of the one true God and calls them to trust instead in a false Christ. So they endeavor to explain the ways in which Mormonism deviates from the Bible in the hope that some may see and understand that Mormonism is not what it claims to be — it cannot provide true reconciliation with God leading to eternal life in His presence.
Gen-exers understand that obedience to Mormonism’s laws and ordinances will not save anyone. There is no law that can give life (Galatians 3). On the contrary, eternal life is knowing the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). They want everyone to embrace what God says in His Word, namely,
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
Gen-ex-Mormons GENerously give of themselves, lovingly calling Latter-day Saints to put away Mormonism’s false Gods and embrace the one true God (Joshua 24:23). These ex-Mormons care about truth; they love Christ; they want their friends and loved ones to understand what Jesus has done for them. Therefore, they don’t go away from the LDS Church quietly.
Gen-ex-Mormons are not unaware like the Blissed-ex; they are not apathetical like the Kleen-ex; they are not in denial like the Spand-ex; they are not grumbling like the Con-ex; and they are not angry like the Gas-ex. Rather, they are the Lord’s servants who endeavor to
“not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:24-25)
This sixth kind of ex-Mormon, the Gen-ex-Mormon, is perhaps a rare breed. But with all due respect to Kirby, the Gen-ex kind of ex-Mormon is the best and most important kind there is. Though I have never been a Mormon, these Gen-exers and I have much in common. We have been called by God and commissioned by Christ to love the Mormon people and bring them the Good News of the blessed Gospel of grace. We take the words of Charles Spurgeon, a Christian preacher from the 19th century, to heart:
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
Because of Christ, Gen-ex-Mormons truly love Latter-day Saints — and so do I.