It’s easy to see why this is a Big Question. This is an age of widespread disaffiliation from religion, especially among younger people. And most of us have a loved one or friend who has decided to step away from the church. It’s important to understand why. It’s important to understand how this transition feels from their point of view. It’s important to understand what part we might play, for good or ill.
To explore this question, we reached out to the other side of the globe and invited our friend Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye, a professor of Asian Studies at the University of Aukland in New Zealand.
Melissa sets up the conversation with this really helpful post which includes some great resources to dig into. Then, she sits down with Jana Riess, author of The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church to explore the reasons people leave the church. You can watch that interview here.
Then, Melissa interviews BYU religion professor Rachel Cope about what is challenging the faith of her BYU students these days. You can read that conversation that here.
Melissa also interviews David Ostler about how we as family, friends and fellow ward members can unknowingly contribute to people leaving the flock. David is a former bishop, stake president and mission president and has been researching and writing about this concern as part of his recent church calling. You can see that here.
As a bonus, we also have this really insightful conversation between Patrick Mason and Spencer Fluhman, prominent scholars and writers who have published and spoken widely on this subject.