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Title Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - Exmormon Foundation Annual Conference
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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - Exmormon Foundation Annual Conference October 20th, 2008 -

Former Mormons have gathered in Salt Lake City for a weekend of story swapping, education, mingling and support. [...] Steven Hassan, a nationally recognized mental-health professional from Boston, will be featured today when he offers his address, 'Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves.' Other topics to be explored this year include 'Leading the Way: Experiences of Former 'Part Ex-Mo' Families,' 'Science, Homosexuality, and Mormonism' and 'Diary of a Mad Mormon Housewife (Banished to the Ward Library).' The foundation describes itself as a community that combines ex-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of whom were leaders, missionaries and longtime faithful Saints, with those who are questioning. Among the group's goals is the desire to build peace and understanding between current and past LDS Church members, allowing family members and friends ' who may have gone different ways ' to honor one another. "It's incredibly difficult when someone leaves' the LDS Church, which is an 'all-encompassing community,'" said Spjut, 36, a returned missionary who left a little more than two years ago. The hope is that conference attendees "come away feeling empowered," he continued. "They can live their lives on their own terms, and that's OK."