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Curtis Penfold Website Photo

Ex BYU Student, LGBTQ Ally, Feminist, Activist “My name is Curtis Penfold and I’m an Ex Mormon”

 

FAQ

 
Why did you want to go to BYU if you’re not a believer? 
 
I started out at BYU as a believer. I loved the Mormon Church and didn’t plan on leaving it.
 
Can’t you just get an ecclesiastical endorsement from another religion if you’re not longer Mormon? 
 
No, you can’t. Leaving the LDS Church is against the Honor Code. You are immediately suspended if you do so.
 
 
I’ve heard of Mormon turned atheists that were allowed to continue attending BYU. What makes you different? 
 
I know some Mormon turned atheists here at BYU who’ve been able to be open about their non-belief without any problems from their church leaders. I know others who’ve had lots of problems with their church leaders. I fall in the latter category.
 
Remember, a church leader can take away a students’ endorsement FOR ANY REASON.
 
What about all the faithful Latter-day Saints who want to attend BYU? Shouldn’t they kick you out to make room for them?
 
I was one of those faithful Latter-day Saints. And then my beliefs changed. Maybe other faithful Latter-day Saints wanted to attend BYU, but the fact is, I WANTED to stay at BYU, too. I enjoyed my program and I enjoyed my work.
 
Non-Mormons can attend BYU. Why can’t ex-Mormons?
 
How can BYU benefit if they let BYU students who leave the LDS Church keep attending? 
 
Well for one thing, they’d have less enemies from those who feel they have to hide at BYU, or who feel that they’ve been kicked against the curb by BYU.
 
For another thing, it could help the Mormon community by having Mormons create bridges in their youth with the ex-Mormon community, while at BYU. Mormons can become more open-minded, self-aware, and accepting of others if they could come in contact with those who believe differently than them while they’re young.
 

So BYU kicked you out of your housing?

My apartment was owned by an independent company that has a contract with BYU. They house non-BYU students, but if anybody breaks the honor code, they’re supposed to kick them out, or else they can’t house BYU students anymore, and they’d lose a lot of money. I got kicked out for leaving the LDS Church. Even after being evicted, they still expect me to pay my rent until somebody else buys my contract.

 
You mention that part of the portfolio talks about occult activity. How can you be into the Occult if you’re an atheist? 
 
My relationship with the Occult (and with anything religious in general) is similar to my relationship with art, poetry, and theatre. I might get something out of performing Hamlet on stage or painting something. It might help me view my life from a new perspective or help me discover new things about myself. But I don’t believe anything magical is going on.
 
Just like I don’t believe anything magical is going on when I read Tarot, participate in a ritual, or pray in traditional form to Santa Muerte. I might not think anything supernatural is going on, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get anything out of it.
 
Some feel that me being interested in the Occult is a good reason to kick me out of my school, my housing, and my work. I happen to disagree. I also hope that a person will never get kicked out of their school, housing, and work for being a fan of Lovecraft either. Or for being atheist. Or for being pagan. Or baptist. Or Satanist. Because freedom is a beautiful thing.
 

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -André Gide

To read Curtis Penfold’s Mormon resignation letter and story, click here.
 
For more info, check out an article about Curtis Penfold here.
 
To view the BYU Honor Code, click here.
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robbie
November 18th, 2013 at 11:55 am

I knew it supporting sin is wrong and atheism can be disproved in a heartbeat

BryceThomson
March 13th, 2014 at 4:17 am

Please disprove atheism in a heartbeat.
Bonus points if you do so without quoting or referencing scripture.

robbie gorman
March 15th, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Ok. You preach atheism like a religion. Ironic huh and try to disprove the bible

Doc
October 9th, 2014 at 11:21 pm

• Hey Robbie so it seems like you are probably Mormon and think that you are a good one at that. I have bad news for you friend, you are on a forum telling someone that what he or she believes in is a religion, but I assure you that your “religion” specifically people like you are doing more harm that good for the Mormons. These are people who basically are baring there testimony about the awful things your religion is doing to them and your just rolling your eyes saying that its okay. Well its not, if you go by your religious teachings and not cherry picking you would know Jesus loves everyone and I mean EVERYONE not just the ones that you love and not just the people you think he should love.
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So if you want to be a good person then be a good person and don’t discriminate against ANYONE cause you are just as bad as the WBC people plain and simple. Oh and before you make any assumptions. I used to be Mormon but not have to be a closet ex-member because If I let it out that I am no longer Mormon my wife and I will lose our jobs. Looks like all that acting in highschool is paying off 11 years and no one is on to us non Mormons working right beside them. .

Kaori
July 26th, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Alicia I don’t see where the ex-mormon was tearing down the LDS chcurh or beliefs of others, I think these ex-mormons videso (as there are many) were put together because somehow Mormons feel there only going to be happy if they stay in the religion or maybe because they feel they are condemed if they leave?? I appreciate your feedback, it’s nice to see a current member being willing to converse with people like me who are are trying to connect the dots with all these chcurhes, there is good and bad with everything I think.

robbie
November 18th, 2013 at 8:16 pm
D. William Johnson (admin)
November 19th, 2013 at 8:59 am

This website does not exist to evangelize a particular religious identity or shame people for their sexuality.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses shame their members for taking blood transfusions or celebrating Christmas with their families. What evidence do they have to justify this behavior?

Likewise, shaming an individual for being transgender or homosexual needs to be justified by evidence. This sort of shaming is a very serious problem in our society that leads to suicide and self loathing – so if you believe that promoting this kind of behavior is justified, I hope you can understand that your rigid beliefs deserve some rigid evidence before I am willing to accept your position and agree with you.

Just so that you are aware, the kind of evidence I am looking for that will be persuasive to me, is not the kind of evidence that can be universally used to justify any belief, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses example mentioned above. Perhaps someone believes that denying blood transfusions is important because thier argument is based on the BIble? Even if we ignore the question of the Bible’s divine origin, the Bible can be misinterpreted and is not sufficient evidence for shaming individuals for their sexuality. What about an amazing conversion story that appeals to the emotional state of the Jehovah’s Witness, similar to the video you linked? What if a Jehovah’s Witness came on this website and linked to an emotional story about someone converting to their faith, leaving behind the horrifying sin of celebrating Christmas? Wouldn’t you ask for some serious evidence to support such a belief? Would an emotionally powerful story be sufficient to persuade you that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were on to something, or would an appeal to your emotions as the only source of evidence be a red flag to use your skeptical mind with regards to their truth claims?

Question everything my friend. I hope you can learn the best methods of HOW to question, so that together, we can be empowered to collect knowledge that will stand the test of time and grow into something beautiful far into the future. In my experience, the methods used in discovering truth or exposing falsehood is probably the single most important thing I have learned in my life. Thanks for your comment.

robbie gorman
March 7th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Did u actually watch ut without youre prejudgmental hate? The gyy read from the bible. You obviously only want evidence that you agree with. Jesus Christ dued for u me and everyone else. You have no respect for God. Wake up before ge returns and you fCe judgment. Become a Follower of Jesus Christ or suffer hellfire. Choice is yours. God bless

Brenna
March 21st, 2014 at 11:12 pm

I would rather rot in hell than spend one minute in a heaven where your “god” refuses to accept people for who they are.

robbie gorman
March 24th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Evdn tbough Jesus loves you? He died for u and me!

Deep
June 19th, 2014 at 1:14 am

If you need special unrawdeer to remind you to be pure, then you really have some religion problems.That is attaching a shovel to your door so you remember to shovel the snow in the winter time, due? (Duh if you are religious to that full extent anyway) +8Was this answer helpful?

Elisabeth
February 17th, 2016 at 6:46 pm

Mike ZahajkoRussia Yekaterinburg-I will never forget the apiaicprteon I gained for scouting while at a zone conference in Tyumen Russia. Our mission president felt inspire to ask all missionaries who had earned the rank of Eagle to stand up. I remember the feeling as I stood and looked around to see that EVERY priesthood holding missionary was standing with me. I felt the unity and the apiaicprteon for the program.- Specifically, I used skills like communication, leadership, service, starting fires, knots, and more!

robbie
November 22nd, 2013 at 11:44 am

Woooow. Jesus said if you love Him to go out and feed his shhep. By that He means for those who love Him to not only feed folks who are hungry with food but also to share His gospel. I don’t care if it upsets u, I’m more scared of GOD than I am of you. Hell is real! Please please please! Accept Christ as your Lord and Savior before its too late. I’m a sinner just like u and everyone else. I love u thats why I tell u these things. God bless

Zunaira
February 17th, 2016 at 9:03 pm

Brooke, these really are incrbdiele. My favorites every time are the really close up head shots. I think I would be nervous to have a camera in my face like that, but these women just shine through your lens. And you capture that! Profesh, you are.

robbie
November 22nd, 2013 at 11:51 am

BTW if you were to die today where do u think u would go? Are u really willing to take that chance? Please talk to JesusvHe will answer trust me.

Ferdinand
February 17th, 2016 at 9:17 pm

I loved meeting you guys and seieng you again Lani! I was so happy I was able to make it! You are all great and so inspiring. I was glad to be a little part of it. Sarah Bobo

muucavwon
January 2nd, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Hey Curtis, thanks for sharing your story. I was a BYU student who’s beliefs changed before I graduated, but luckily it was right at the tail end. I’m so sorry that your life has been upended all due to a vindictive stake president, but I’m sure that you will go on to bigger and better things.

Also, the troll here is pretty hilarious. Makes for good times.

robbie gorman
January 4th, 2014 at 8:51 am

Troll hardly your mother is a troll 3852015511 I saw curtis walking and he was dressed like a woman. I looked at him and said r u serious? And laughed my butt off

Keli
January 11th, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Just because he wore a dress that means he’s dressed like a woman? Why? Because society says only women can wear dresses? Does that mean when I wear pants I’m dressed like a man? Get over yourself and leave Curtis alone.

Lou
January 21st, 2014 at 2:20 am

You’ve got to be kidding Keli. Get a grip.

Lou
January 21st, 2014 at 2:21 am

So Curtis was cross dressing on BYU campus? He left that out of his sad, sad tale of thinking BYU owed him an education despite is attempt to undermine what they’re trying to do – raise moral people.

Curtis Penfold
February 28th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

So it was Robbie Scar who shouted at me that day in downtown Provo a couple months back? I was wondering about that.

Just to be clear, I did not start wearing dresses or blouses or make-up until after I got kicked out of BYU, out of respect for the honor code. (Which prohibits cross-dressing, whatever that means).

I do find it interesting, Lou, that you somehow connect what people choose to wear with whether they’re moral or not. That does seem rather shallow.

Some moral people wear dresses. Some immoral people wear suits. What you’re wearing has nothing to do with morality.

Leila
February 17th, 2016 at 9:01 pm

I never expect these tgnhis to happen, but they do.1. After graduating high school I went on a road trip with some friends. On Sunday we went to Sacrament Meeting and there was a girl from our graduating class there visiting her grandmother.2. While I was serving my mission in Monterrey, Me9xico I saw another girl from my high school.3. When I was in Arkansas for an internship, I attended a tri-stake activity in Branson, Missouri and saw a girl I knew from the Colony Apartments.

robbie gorman
January 12th, 2014 at 6:49 am

Or what? Youre real tough behind a screen u ignorant witch. 3852015511

Lou
January 21st, 2014 at 2:24 am

I can’t imagine anyone feeling sorry for this guy. Why in the world would you go to BYU and spend more money when you’re not happy there? Go to the UofU. They’re just begging to have you go up there. They’d probably give you a scholarship for being so out there with all your cool, open-minded beliefs. LOL

What?
March 19th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Do you think before typing these, or…

Lou
January 21st, 2014 at 2:27 am

I love how they try to make it sound so bad that somebody turned him in. Of course they did. They should. Private University. they make the rules and people work hard to get in there who want to keep their rules. Go to the UofU. They’re super cool and tolerant. their football team has losing records a lot, but I’m guessing you’re not a football fan because is misogynistic.

Nadine
January 23rd, 2014 at 5:49 am

I had no idea that there could be such consequences for changing your mind / “losing your testimony”. Thank you for sharing Curtis so that people can learn what happens at the school their tithing money goes to… Although non-Mormons are welcome ?!?! I guess because they are potential future Mormons. Best wishes with your education outside BYU.

robbie
January 25th, 2014 at 12:53 am

U suck go pray and turn to Jesus for guidance

robbie gorman
March 6th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

That was me curtis u looked ridiculous

robbie gorman
March 14th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Just remember curtis I will be at the next provo pride parade holding a sign wuth scripture.

Ale
February 17th, 2016 at 8:55 pm

I’ve been using a flat iron and recently deciedd to go curly. So I dug out my Conair Curlcare Model CHV20R from the closet. The problem is: I can’t remember whether or not to add water to the roller machine. Do you know the answer? If so, please help!

robbie gorman
March 21st, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Man says show me and I’ll believe. God says believe in me and I’ll show you.

NotMyRealName
December 31st, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Hey Curtis, I was in your BYU singles ward for a while. Also currently on my way out of BYU and the church. Just wanted to say your story has helped me out, so thanks. Don’t know if you ever check this page for comments, but I thought I’d let you know you’ve at least helped someone with all this.

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