Seeing the Light : Mormon Conversion and Deconversion Narratives in Off- and Online Worlds
Journal of Media and Religion
Religious worlds proliferate online, but the Internet does more than simply reinforce preexisting religious identity. Among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or the Mormons, the impulses that drive spiritual communion in the offline world also motivate active online communities of questioning and former Mormons. Using ethnographic methods and dialogic analysis, I explore the discourse of heterodox and former Mormons on popular online forums and parallel these with the testimonies of faithful Mormons. I show how questioning and former Mormons use the Internet as their sanctuary, engaging in a ritual of sharing that binds them in a spiritual community, despite their disavowal of faith.