This is a guest post written by a wonderful woman who just so happens to be inactive LDS living in Utah. Her experience is raw and true to the experience of many inactive and non-LDS people living in Utah. Please give love, support, and great thought to her powerful letter.
Dear LDS Neighbor,
I am inactive LDS. This does not mean that I am lost. I did not fall away from the church. I left it. I am not wandering, I am simply on a different path than you. I'm not saying which path is better because I believe that nearly any path in this life can lead to extreme happiness. Being inactive does not mean that I am an alcoholic, covered in tattoos, a drug addict, or bad person. Stop treating me like one. You have damaged me for long enough, and it needs to stop. I simply don't go to church on Sunday.
I have no intention of convincing you or your children to stop going to church. I'm not going to offer you alcohol, or try and tell your kids things contrary to what you have taught them. That would be rude and inconsiderate, and I am neither of those things. Please let my children be friends with yours. There is no need for children of any age or religion to believe that other children are inferior. Please stop interfering with friendships between kids who are innocent and loving.
Please, don't try to convince me to go to church. If I want to go back to church, I will go. I know where it is. I would love to be included in neighborhood events, and even invited to ward activities. I'm not going to cause a scene or be inappropriate, I just want to be included. Quite frankly, being inactive can be lonely when no one will talk to you simply because you spend all day on Sunday with your family instead of going to church.
Don't spread rumors about me. If you haven't heard it from me, and you're telling someone else, then you're gossiping. If you want to know why I don't go to church, become my friend, and ask me. I'm not going to gossip about you.
Ultimately, I don't need you to save me. I just need you to be a good neighbor and friend. The only difference between us is three hours on Sunday.
With Love and Respect,
Your Inactive Neighbor