Religion is a guiding force in many people's lives, including celebrities. While some stars are passionate about their love for their faith, others have openly admitted to struggling with the tenets of religious doctrine. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that doctrine — which includes abstaining from premarital sex, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, tea and keeping oneself "temple worthy" — can be hard to put into practice, especially when fame comes knocking. Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at the celebs who once belonged to the Mormon church but ultimately left the faith… starting with Amy Adams. The Oscar-nominated "American Hustle" star has said she was brought up in a Mormon household but was forced to leave the church when she was 7 due to her parents' divorce. While she no longer practices the faith, she does admit that she still carries a lot of "religious guilt" whenever she goes out and has fun with her friends: "You can't really misbehave without feeling badly about it — at least I can't." Keep reading for more…
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Although we aren't certain exactly when Golden Globe-nominated "Sully" actor Aaron Eckhart left the Mormon faith, we do know his parents are practicing members and their influence, as well as that of the church, remains an important part of his life. In a 2011 interview with The Telegraph, Aaron said, "I can't really say I'm a practicing Mormon now, but there are influences. You have it in your blood and bones. To me, spirituality transcends any sort of organization, but I believe there is a right and wrong and a higher power."
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Grammy-winning singer Christina Aguilera is also rumored to have been raised in the Mormon faith, although she's never confirmed or denied the claim. What we do know is that her parents met while attending Brigham Young University (a private university owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and reportedly married in a Mormon temple before divorcing when Christina was 7. They also reportedly received home-visiting teachers from the church. It's also been claimed that the "Lady Marmalade" singer identifies as a Catholic.
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Even the late Paul Walker, seen here in "Furious 7," once belonged to the LDS church. Before his 2013 death, Paul shared in an interview with USA Today that his faith helped him hold himself accountable and make choices (especially about who he dated) that were in line with his values. Although he no longer considered himself a Mormon, he did identify as a non-denominational Christian in his later years.
Singer Jewel's family once belonged to the LDS faith but left when she was 8 due to her parents' divorce. The Utah-born and Alaska-raised Grammy winner has never publicly disclosed whether or not she was ever baptized in the church.
Yes, it's true, our favorite "Hey, girl" hottie, Ryan Gosling, was also raised Mormon, but he eventually left the church. According to Ryan, his childhood was "very religious" and his mother once admitted she was a "zealot." Ryan said even with his early experiences in the church, he never was able to truly identify with the faith. Today, the Oscar-nominated actor considers himself a non-denominational Christian.
This one might be a bit of a stretch, but comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler may have also been raised Mormon, or at least had Mormon influences in her childhood. In a 2014 speech at the Gloria Awards, Chelsea shared that her father was a used-car dealer and her mother was a Mormon. While it's unclear if Chelsea ever practiced the faith, we do know that she's a member of Reform Judaism (the same faith as her father) and even had a bat mitzvah in her youth.
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler was also raised Mormon, which he's said inspired him to later major in religious studies in college. In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Win shared that he was no longer practicing the faith but that he did miss the sense of community he had in the church as a child, explaining, "What I got from it was a sense of belonging to something bigger."
Although unconfirmed by Keri Russell herself, it is believed that the former "Felicity" star was a member of the LDS Church in Mesa, Arizona, until the age of 15. One former BYU blogger by the name of Pete Thunell went so far as to track down a childhood friend of Keri's in 2000, who confirmed the actress was indeed Mormon and claimed she even went to church with her.
Songwriter and Panic! At the Disco frontman Brendon Urie shared in 2016 that he was raised Mormon but decided to leave the church as a young man. Of his religious upbringing he said, "I still use a lot of good values from growing up in the church, and there was a sense of community. But you were also being heavily judged by people that wanted to look down on you for not being as great as they are."
Former "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl was raised in the Mormon faith and although she no longer practices, she still feels it was the best thing for her childhood. In a 2014 interview with Good Housekeeping, Katherine, who lives in Utah about an hour away from the LDS epicenter of Salt Lake City with her husband and kids, shared, "That [Mormon] structure and discipline was really good for me… I had a childhood that was a childhood. I listened to my parents. I respected the rules."
"Milk" and "Big Love" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black is an openly gay celebrity who was brought up in the Mormon religion. The Oscar winner made it clear that he has issues with the church that go beyond its uncompromising stance against LGBTQ members who engage in same-sex marriage, sexual relationships or gender nonconformity. In a 2015 interview with the University College Dublin, Dustin shared that growing up, he also had frustration with the way the church treated his mother and other women, saying, "It'll be hard for me to ever be involved in organized religion that treats not just gay and lesbian people differently, but women differently."
TV and film actress Mireille Enos was raised in Houston, Texas, as a member of the Mormon church and even attended and graduated from the church-owned Brigham Young University. Though she's no longer a member of the church, Mireille does appreciate the foundation it gave her, saying: "I'm so grateful to have been given this idea of being part of a larger context. I think whatever your endeavors are, it helps to feel you're not alone in the universe."
The Used frontman Bert McCracken was raised Mormon but rebelled against the religion early on, even going so far as attending other churches, much to the dismay of his parents. In a 2014 interview with Loudwire, Bert professed his love of freedom and happiness "devoid of pain and shame of the system," later saying, "I'm just obsessed with how religion has ruined the world, maybe because I grew up Mormon."
"Rock of Ages" actress and former "Dancing With the Stars" pro Julianne Hough was raised Mormon and as late as 2012 still referred to herself as a member of the church. However, in a 2013 interview with the New York Post, Julianne shared, "I'm not practicing, but I'm so glad I was raised Mormon." She also claimed her father (who is an active member of the church) still has a strong influence in her life. "Dad has this thing where he texts: 'Are you in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time with the right people?' He has this intuition and will always text me when I'm in the wrong situation."
Emmy-winning choreographer and professional dancer Derek Hough (who's actress Julianne Hough's older brother) was, like his sister, raised in the Mormon faith. While Derek no longer considers himself a member of the church, he still practices some of its tenets by not drinking alcohol or coffee… while working on a show.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alum Eliza Dushku was also raised a Mormon. In a 2014 interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, Eliza shared, "There will always be that part of me that's Mormon," although she said she no longer considered herself to be a practicing member of the faith. However, that might have changed. In 2016, she shared on Twitter that she'd gone to "Mormon church with #MamaJ" and was "moved by the warmth and diversity of her ward."
Actor Matthew Modine, known for his roles in "Full Metal Jacket" and "Stranger Things," had a nontraditional Mormon upbringing that ended when his father, an LDS convert and church bishop, decided to leave the faith. In an interview with The Observer, Matthew relayed a story about his father having a conversation with other members of the church about Mormon missionaries converting Buddhist monks. "My dad said, 'Well, we're talking about the history of Buddhism and antiquity of Buddhism and the similarities of Buddhism and Christianity. And [the Mormons] said, 'Look, there's no point to that conversation. The point is, to Mormons, that we're going to convert the two Buddhists. That's the end of the story.' And my dad said, 'Thanks, I'm done.' And he left the church."
"Stan Against Evil" and "Take My Wife" actress Janet Varney was raised Mormon but left the church when she was 17. Identifying today as agnostic, Janet says that religion wasn't a big part of her life once her parents divorced and that although her mom still practiced, her father wasn't much of a believer, which allowed her to evaluate if the faith was something she believed in or not.
"The Greatest Showman" and Broadway actor Will Swenson was brought up in the Mormon faith in Provo, Utah, and even starred in a few Mormon films early in his career. Will shared in a 2009 interview with Vulture that he doesn't "practice Mormonism at all anymore" but was still willing to star in faith-promoting movies, like his active Mormon cousin's 2004 film "Sons of Provo."