Moment Poh Ling Yeow knew she had to leave the Mormon church: 'Strayed sheep'

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’s Poh Ling Yeow has opened up about leaving her Mormon faith behind.

The former MasterChef alum was a practicing Mormon from the age of 16 to 24 before leaving the church due to an eye-opening experience overseas.

Poh LIng Yeow talking on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
Poh LIng Yeow opened up about leaving the Mormon church on I'm A Celebrity. Photo: Channel 10

Speaking to her campmates, Poh explained that her family joined when she was a teenager after the Mormon church “came door knocking”.

“My family was going through some hard times and it was just kind of what we needed,” she said.

“I came from a very conservative upbringing and wasn’t even allowed to socialise much, even in my late teens. And I thought, I’ve just got to get out of here to be able to figure out who I am.”

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Poh said she saved up her money and flew to Canada because she has an uncle who lives there and she also had a working visa.

The star went on to say the turning point for her was when she made best friends with a transgender woman.

Poh LIng Yeow in red talking on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here
She flew to Canada while she was still with the church and had an eye-opening experience. Photo: Channel 10

“That just totally flipped my world upside down. She was so kind to me. She taught me how to catch the subway, gave me mace, told me I could call her anytime if I needed help and she was just hilarious,” she said.

Poh said Canada was very liberal compared to Australia and she would be “going to friends houses and the mum would be smoking pot”.

“It just completely changed my view of the world,” Poh said in a piece to the camera.

“When I came back, I was just transformed, I couldn’t really hold on to the views that I’d grown up with anymore.”

Speaking to her campmates, Poh said she always found church difficult due to her creative mind and when she got back to Adelaide, she was “out of sorts”.

“I didn’t know how to reconcile my new morality with the one that I’d come from and I just slowly drifted apart,” she explained.

Poh talking on I'm A Celebrity Australia
Poh met her first husband, Matt, through the church. Photo: Channel 10

That’s when she and her ex, Matt, became really good friends, because they were both grappling with their feelings towards the church.

Poh went on to reveal that her parents are still practicing mormons, her brother served a mission and they all go to church, saying: “So I’m the strayed sheep”.

She explained there was initially “quite a lot of family heartache” over her decision to leave the church but she “never really regrets anything”.

Poh previously spoke about leaving the church on an episode of The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show, saying her first husband, Matt, helped her 'break out'. 

"The reason why we had such a strong friendship was because we found solace in being able to talk philosophically and discuss freely our philosophical issues with being in the church. There weren't many people around that we could do that with," she said. 

"I credit so much of the things that I do now to him just pushing me all the time philosophically. He's got quite a bombastic personality that is also what broke us," she laughed.

"But... if he hadn't had that sort of personality, I would have just stayed in church and not wanted to upset my parents and probably just ended up doing something really sensible, like graphic design instead of visual arts."

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