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THRIVE hosting events to help those transitioning ‘away from religion’

By Tim Vandenack - | Jan 20, 2022

Photo Supplied, THRIVE

Clint Martin, left, a member of the THRIVE Board of Directors, at a group event held Nov. 14, 2021, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. THRIVE offers assistance to those leaving organized religion and it is hosting a series of events on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. With Martin are Carah Burrell and John Dehlin, also a member of the THRIVE board.

PROVO — Leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be a tough, lonely affair.

“It’s a very dramatic and harsh transition for people and they need help and support,” said Clint Martin.

With that in mind, Martin, who’s from Springville, and others who have left the LDS church have formed THRIVE, meant — as stated on the group’s website — to assist people “as they transition away from religion.” On Saturday, the Provo-based group is hosting a series of gatherings across the country, including one in Provo and another in Ogden, meant to let others who have left the church fold know that they are not alone.

“The biggest takeaway and the biggest hope is that people can connect with people where they live,” said Martin, who serves on THRIVE’s board. The events are geared mainly to those who have left the LDS church.

THRIVE launched in 2019 and formally became a nonprofit organization last year, though most of Saturday’s events are priced at $25 to help cover organizational costs. Martin, who himself left the LDS church, said he knows of no other organization like THRIVE. There are online support groups for former LDS church members, he said, but nothing that allows for the sort of interpersonal connection that THRIVE targets.

“We just provide healing, growth and support for people who have left organized religion,” Martin said. “This organization isn’t about trying to bash on the church… It’s really more about providing support to them. A safe transition is a difficult process.”

As is, many who leave the church suffer in silence and THRIVE aims to let those who separate from the church know they aren’t alone. “Only people who have gone through this can really understand how painful it is,” Martin said.

The Provo event is sold out, though slots are still available at the Ogden event, to be held at Shepherd Union on the Weber State University campus. More information is online at thrivebeyondreligion.com/event/thrive-unite/.

Featured speakers at the varied events include others who have left the LDS church, mental health experts and more.

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