Layden, Merle & Georgina

To our Friends and Family:

As some of you may know, we have been out of step with the “Friendly” truths for some time.  There was a time we were what might pass for respected elders. We lost that standing by standing up for principles a number of years ago.   I guess you might say we have been kind of bystanders. Some would call us luke-warm, or uncommitted.  It would be safe to say we have been a skeptic of fine sounding preaching and self-proclaimed truth tellers.  We felt guilty and doubted whether we had the goods.  We’ve considered just pushing it all away and abandoning religion entirely.  

We all care about our own legacy.  We care that we have taught well or upheld a true example.  But we need to trust that we have worked with the knowledge, skills and tools we had in our possession at that time.

As for the ministry – They would do well to teach us how to learn, not what to learn.  They could show us truth, as well as tell us truth.  They could display honest love and compassion.  In so doing they would be giving us the best they can offer.  They could trust they are not the author, or the keeper of our faith.  They could be loving, stubborn, fearful, tearful parents to us in the Gospel.  But they can never stand between us and our Father, or us and our Redeemer. 

We don’t want to do anything just because we see others and are willing to “me too!”  There has to be more than just disgust at misdeeds and wrong teachings.  There needs to be a convicted assurance we have been shown the weakness of the teachings and the fruit of wrong doctrine sufficient to seal our gut reaction to so many things. 

It is not a secret we are extremely concerned and uncomfortable with what we have seen this last year.  We need to feel reassured we are taking right steps, even if they are a bit uncertain.  That has come to us with force and with peace of late.  We can’t support doctrine and practice that is not only misguided, it is harmful. So after 60 plus years of experience in this fellowship, we have made the decision to leave. 

We have no wish to be critical of your decisions.  We want to continue our relationship on the grounds of mutual respect and understanding.  We would like to keep open all lines of communication.  Most importantly, we love you all.  That hasn’t changed and never will. 


Merle and Georgina (Collyer) Layden
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
March 1, 2024