Kiersten White: From Mormonism to Non-Belief

Kiersten White, a prominent novelist known for her bestselling books, has a unique story about her journey from being a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to embracing non-belief.

A Mormon Upbringing

Growing up in the mostly Mormon community of Highland, Utah, Kiersten White was deeply embedded in the faith from a young age. She was related to pioneers who trekked across the plains in the 1800s to freely practice their religion. The church’s teachings, rituals, and community significantly formed her worldview and her identity. White was undeniably loyal to the tenets of her faith, making herself a perfect example of a true believer.

Kiersten White Early Adult Life and Marriage

Staying true to her faith and tradition, she pursued her education at Brigham Young University, where destiny had her meet her future spouse in the first week itself. Soon after her 19th birthday, the couple took their vows in the temple, and by 21, they were parents to their first child.

Kiersten White Unveiling the Non-Believer

At the age of 40, White shockingly revealed her atheistic views in a feature story by the New York Times on LDS young adult writers. This revelation came as a surprise during the reporter’s investigation into the high number of LDS young adult fantasy and science fiction novelists.

The Journey to Disbelief

White’s journey to unbelief was not a sudden occurrence but rather the conclusion of years of dissatisfaction, particularly with the church’s gender standards. White’s journey to unbelief was not a sudden event but rather a culmination of years of disquiet. White, despite the depth of her faith, experienced a degree of unease in regards to the responsibilities that expected of women within the context of the church.

Gender Expectations and Abuse

She recalls the difficulty she had to overcome in order to satisfy the church’s ideals of femininity while also being ambitious and competitive. Her history of sexual assault only served to exacerbate her cynicism with the world. She related an incident in which a church official interrogated her in an inappropriate and overtly sexual manner. It happen throughout the course of the interview that she required to do in order to receive permission to get married in a temple.

The Realization and Aftermath

Because of these experiences, Kiersten White had a realization that the importance of women in the church limited to their bodies and their ability to carry children. She came to this realization as a result of a moment of enlightenment. She was fortunate to have a husband who was supportive of her and her own inner fortitude to help her get through these challenging times.



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