Standing For Something More
Standing For Something More
The Excommunication of Lyndon Lamborn
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After a highly publicized and controversial exit from Mormonism, Lamborn intertwines the story of his awakening with psychological aspects of religious belief.

July 23 2007                Inca Trail, Peru


I was with my brother Lee and some friends hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  It was the first day of the trek, and we had stopped for lunch.  Our guide, being very cordial, was asking the group, who were all US citizens, about our home states.  Lee said he lived in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The next question was not a big surprise.  Are you a Mormon?  Lee responded in the affirmative, and since our guide knew we were brothers, he then turned to me and asked the same question.  As I sat there in that tent in Peru, the experiences of the last two years of my life and my startling discoveries flashed through my mind.  I looked around at the faces, the question hanging in the air; I realized that no matter where I went on the face of the earth the question would continue to come up.  Are you a Mormon?  There is no way to avoid it.  To make matters worse, I had served as a membership clerk for the church.  There was no middle ground on whether one was a member or a non-member in my mind, it was either ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.  I knew at that moment that I never wanted to answer that question in the affirmative ever again in my life.  It was a defining moment.  The ‘yes’ answer, for me, brought with it too much wasted emotion, too much frustration, too much revulsion, too much embarrassment, and too many worn-out follow-up questions that become exhausting to answer (How many wives do you have?  You have never tasted beer or smoked a cigarette?).  What I needed was a clean break with no residual ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church).


How did I get here?  What events transpired to land me in this predicament?  Did I ask for this?     


Leaving the church was not going to be easy.  If she were to find out, my mother would be devastated.  My wife and son were sure to endure pain as a result of my departure.  Since I was a prominent and outspoken member of the congregation, my departure from the LDS church might include a ‘disciplinary council’.  A disciplinary council is a panel of fifteen men, most of whom I know personally, given the responsibility of judging what, if any, action should be taken to protect the church and help me see ‘the error of my ways’.  This process, if required, was going to be torture.   


July 23 2007                Inca Trail, Peru


So there I was, looking at the faces in the tent, they were waiting for my answer to that dreaded question; was I a Mormon?  “Yes”, I said, “I am too.”  I hoped that this would be the last time I would ever have to answer the question that I was a Mormon in the affirmative.  I had no idea of the wild ride the next few months would bring. 


Lamborn was a lifelong church member, perennial Priesthood leader, and a former full-time missionary for the LDS church.  He is of  pioneer stock heritage, with polygamists on both sides of the family tree.  Married for 28 years and father of three, Lamborn is employed as an aerospace engineer and professor of mathematics.


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