Friday, April 18, 2014

SLC Lecture: Bob McCue: The Evolving Self in Post-Mormon Relationships

Legends Bar and Grill

677 South 2nd West, Salt Lake City, UT

Bob McCue will be speaking at Legends Sports Grill, 277 S 200 W, SLC, at 7pm on Thursday, April 24th, 2014.

Bob is a post-Mormon of pioneer stock on both sides of his family. He is a Canadian tax attorney, holds a BA in Russian with a religious studies minor, an MBA and a law degrees. Bob served a mission to Peru, as a Bishop for five years, and in a variety of other LDS leadership capacities.  In June of 2002, his Mormon world painfully imploded during several days of intense research he conducted while attempting to help a friend debunk anti-Mormon literature. Until then, Bob had followed the Mormon injunction to avoid anti-Mormon material.

For about five years following Bob's departure from Mormonism, he read and wrote extensively about adjusting to life outside of Mormonism, how our brains work, and various topics related to Mormon origins. He was trying to understand how he could have been wrong about so many of his foundational beliefs, while learning to exercise more reliable judgement. Bob also describes this period as a massive brain re-wiring project that helped him take the first few terrifying steps into new life. Samples of Bob's writing can be found  on websites such as Mormon Curtain  and  Bob's initial letter to Elder Holland, and a response letter, have been widely read and resonate with many former and current LDS people whose religious beliefs are evolving.

Now over a decade into his post-Mormon walk, Bob regularly expresses gratitude to family and friends for how life has surprised him. He seldom thinks or talks about religion, and when recalling his Mormon life or his trauma on the way out of Mormonism, feels more like he is remembering a book he read than his own experience.  The gulf between his present and former lives fascinates him.

Bob will share his thoughts with regard to the various evolutionary stages he believes he has experienced since leaving Mormonism. He will address particularly:
·  the role fear plays in preventing personal growth;
·  how hard it is for most of us to grasp our own capacity to change;  and
·  how a new physical or social environment can facilitate fundamental change.

Bob acknowledges that what works for him will not for many others, and believes that the more opportunity we have to listen to people trying to make sense of their experience, the more likely we are to discover what works for us.

Bob offers his story as a perspective that he hopes some will find useful, and no more than that. This personal sharing is also another small installment on the debt of gratitude Bob feels to people like Michael Quinn, Grant Palmer and countless others with whom he interacted over the Internet as he took his first trembling steps toward Mormonism's exit door. Without the perspective and support they provided, Bob could not have changed as he has.

Bob believes that we can look forward to a life-long process of emerging from ourselves in surprising ways as we seek resonance with the changing music around and within us. These rebirths are terrifying at times, and far more often exhilarating.

After Bob's presentation, there will be ample time for Q&A.

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