Extended Audio Sample

Download Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith Audiobook, by Martha Beck Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,871 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martha Beck Narrator: Martha Beck Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2005 ISBN: 9780739317815
Regular Price: $13.75 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Leaving the Saints is an unforgettable memoir about one woman's spiritual quest and journey toward faith. As "Mormon royalty" within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Martha Beck was raised in a home frequented by the Church's high elders, known as the apostles, and her existence was framed by their strict code of conduct. Wearing her sacred garments, she married in a secret temple ceremony, but only after two Mormon leaders ascertained that her "past contained no flirtation with serious sins, such as committing murder or drinking coffee". She went to church faithfully with the other brothers and sisters of her ward. When her son was born with Down syndrome, she and her husband left their graduate programs at Harvard to return to Provo, Utah, where they knew the supportive Mormon community would embrace them.

However, soon after Martha began teaching at Brigham Young University, she began to see firsthand the Church's ruthlessness as it silenced dissidents and masked truths that contradicted its published beliefs. Most troubling of all, she was forced to face her history of sexual abuse by one of the Church's most prominent authorities. This book chronicles her difficult decision to sever her relationship with the faith that had cradled her for so long and to confront and forgive the person who betrayed her so deeply.

This beautifully written, inspiring memoir explores the powerful yearning toward faith. It offers a rare glimpse inside one of the world's most secretive religions while telling a profoundly moving story of personal courage, survival, and the transformative power of spirituality.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000556

Quotes & Awards

  • Martha Beck’s riveting memoir teaches us more about love, spirituality, trauma, truth telling, and hope than all the self-help books combined. It is one of the bravest, most achingly honest books I’ve read in years. Leaving the Saints is a priceless gift. Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger
  • A courageous, touching, and beautifully written spiritual journey of the heart. I applaud Martha’s candidness and perseverance in her steadfast pursuit of the power of love. Judith Orloff, M.D., author of Positive Energy and Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing
  • Very sad. Very brave. Very true. Martha Beck has written a universal story for anyone who has confronted physical and spiritual abuse and freed themselves from the tenacious grip of patriarchy. Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge and The Open Space of Democracy
  • Leaving the Saints is a brave book. Martha Beck shares her journey out of religion and into faith and healing with heartbreaking candor, softened by wit and uplifted by a deep spiritual longing. Sharon Salzberg, author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela Morrison | 2/17/2014

    " I thought this book was awesome. And terrifying. And funny. And very uplifting as Beck, now an ex-Mormon, discovered...against all odds!...her own delicious connection to spirit. But alas, I guess she is damned to the Outer Darkness forever now. Oh, well... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Khoelterhoff | 2/16/2014

    " I just finished reading this and feel like my eyes have been opened to recovery in a new way. I keep quoting this book to my husband and feeling grateful all over again for the freedom that I know as my faith. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan | 2/15/2014

    " Well-written; however not worth the read. Self-indulgent and opinionated veering far from the truth at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 HBalikov | 2/13/2014

    " Having read the thought provoking Under the Banner of Heaven, I was not sure what to expect. But Krakauer is viewing it from outside. Martha Beck's view is from the core and it is very personal. Having left Utah for an academic life in the Ivy League East, we find out why she goes back and what awaits her. At times gut-wrenching, it gives a chilling portrait of what she finds both at BYU and in her personal history. Highly recommended. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsay | 2/11/2014

    " I believe her story is true from her perspective - that it is her truth, no doubt including many objective and painful facts. However, on the whole I felt the book offered only a caricature of the religion and most of the people in it. I put it down about 2/3 through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Celia Powell | 1/22/2014

    " A memoir about Mormonism, childhood abuse & organised religion. There's lots of heavily divided reviews about this book on Amazon, and it is a divisive book - it's a very angry memoir, with good reason (no-one in the author's family believes that her father molested her). It's an interesting story about a spiritual awakening and is well written, but it didn't really hold my interest - I'm kind of over spiritual awakenings, I think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 1/17/2014

    " Another beautifully written memoir, Martha's latest chronicles her decision to leave the Mormon church to find her faith. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fred | 1/17/2014

    " confirmed that religion is scary, especially the mormons, but the author is truly odd in how well she recalls the oddest of memories at the strangest of times. (see the snake on the porch anecdote...who thinks like that in the moment?). I believe her claims. 100%. i think the author "remembers" things having had years to process and analyze them. Great insight, good story, doubt i'll read anything else of hers though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 1/17/2014

    " Told with more wit and panache than I had expected, Beck chronicles the agonizing events that led to her abandonment of her Mormon roots for what seems to be a vague sort of transcendentalism. Beck is a writer of considerable skill, carefully weaving together her tale of family dysfunction and spiritual questing with just the right amount of unofficial LDS church history to help the reader make sense of it all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 12/23/2013

    " Fascinating, crazy true account of Martha Becks life within the Mormon community. Loved it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli | 12/16/2013

    " Made me think. I didn't care for the chronology, or lack thereof. I couldn't tell when anything was happening, but it ultimately didn't matter to the message. It was just a little annoying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 12/14/2013

    " I feel for the pain Martha Beck went through. But it is inspiring how she let go and used forgiveness in her life in order to find peach. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate VanDerbeek | 12/8/2013

    " read this when you read under the banner of heaven. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 12/5/2013

    " For such a heart wrenching account of her past her tone is surprisingly light. An excellently told story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laine | 9/10/2013

    " In a way, this book reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love. As far as spiritual journey memoirs go, I liked it better! It was sad and powerful and very well written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janiece | 7/18/2013

    " Fiction. The definition of memoir is consistently debatable. But according to her husband at the time this is probably along the lines of a million little pieces fiction masquerading as memior. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/6/2013

    " Interesting...in a weird, yucky way. It didn't sell me on becoming a Mormon. I have always been interested in the religion only because I've had friends who were Mormon and always wondered what it meant to be a Mormon. It feels like it's a cult and also brainwashing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dolly | 4/24/2013

    " A moving story of betrayal and self-deception, although it peters out at the end, making the sub-title something of a misnomer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 3/31/2013

    " I am always intrigued by people who leave the faith of their upbringing (esp. mormons.) I plan to read more of Martha Beck. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gnmsmom | 2/7/2013

    " I just loved the author's approach to her life. No self-pity, lots of honesty and humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron James | 8/30/2012

    " A must read for any recovering mormon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaelann | 8/30/2012

    " amazing story of self-reflection and strength tied up in the sad story of family, community, and religion "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 8/22/2012

    " This book was not quite what I expected, but the relationship between the author and her father was interesting on every level. I found the book to be very interesting and hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeannette | 5/29/2012

    " There was far too much woo in this book. The over the top spirituality over powered the hilarious anecdotes about the craziness of the LDS church. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 12/25/2011

    " I love Martha Beck. She writes in a way that is accessible to all, while not 'dumbing us down'. I find her humor to be quite enjoyable as well. Of course, this is a serious subject matter about how she made her journey out of Mormonism. Quite a compelling story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JulieAnne | 5/27/2011

    " An excellent memoir and insight into the strangle old of the LDS in Utah. I appreciated the author's storytelling strategy and use of personal as well as academic voice. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 5/11/2011

    " A truly chilling story about the Mormon faith and this one woman's personal journey. This book is disturbing and makes you reassess your opinions on religion, Mormonism in particular. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merissa | 4/11/2011

    " Jerry Springer-esque
    post-religious pulp fiction
    “Bee-tee-dubs – we’re gay!”
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexgarrity | 3/25/2011

    " Eye opening look into life as a Mormon woman, mother, and wife. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laine | 3/4/2011

    " In a way, this book reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love. As far as spiritual journey memoirs go, I liked it better! It was sad and powerful and very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renne | 2/19/2011

    " Equal parts fascinating, horrifying and absurd. I loved Expecting Adam but this was even better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malerie | 12/28/2010

    " Moving, disturbing, encouraging, and unexpectedly funny. Martha is blatantly frank and her honesty carries the story through her own grasping for truth. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 12/23/2010

    " Entertaining. The wire-tapping black helicopters were especially humorous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzan | 11/17/2010

    " Great book. Well written, touching and loving portal of growing beyond the messes life sends our way. I will have to read this again as I think the wisdom in this book will deserve repeating. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Martha Beck is a writer and life coach who specializes in helping people design satisfying and meaningful life experiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and a master’s degree and doctorate in sociology, all from Harvard. She is currently a monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine and the author of the bestsellers Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and the memoir Expecting Adam. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.