Resignation from Mormonism (sorry it's long)

Ahhhh, closure.

The local Mormon bishop will be getting this in his mailbox tomorrow:

I had said previously on the SDMB that I didn’t understand why people bother with resigning from Mormonism. But as the months passed, the frequent visits from missionaries, home teachers, and local leaders just got too tedious. And then we realized that in a couple years, there is gonna be intense pressure to baptize our kids. I’ll brainwash my own kids, thank you very much. I don’t need people teaching them that Mommy and Daddy are damned because they rejected the One True Church.

It has now been one year since my wife discovered that I was an apostate. Surprisingly, she converted 100% to ex-Mormonism within a month. It was an exciting, terrifying ride, and with our resignation it is finally over.

I just had to share the good news with someone, and since all my friends and family are still Mormons they wouldn’t really understand what a relief it is to be free. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this.

While I have no problem with infant baptism, nor with religions which fail to completely live up to their mission (it’s sort of built in to all religion that people fail at it), I must agree that the LDS church has a big problem with falsifying its history. I’m not even talking abut miracles, per se - a lot of the stuff they believe are just kinda silly, not even getting into being theologically unsound. unfortunately, they are another of the American cults which formed around the sme time. They happened to survive by near-total isolation, unlike most others. They oftenm mean well, but their beliefs are just wrong. Their bad Christianity and bad thought, and bad in that they substitute American iconoclasm for good theology. Iconoclasm has its points, but it creates a dangerous tendency to intellectual masturbation.

Yep. I was talking to my neighbors yesterday, and trying to explain ex-Mormonism to people who don’t really know all that much about Mormonism. I still believe that, for the most part, the modern LDS Church is good. Completely false, and evolved from a horrible evil cult (specifically the 1850s in Utah), but still good. I love their family values. I enjoyed the social aspects. But once I learned of all the lies, I could no longer pretend to believe. And then it was hard to hang out with good people who keep telling me that “Satan has clouded my judgement.”

The letter needs to have your full name, birthdate, and signature. They will probably contact you to make sure it’s you who sent it. :slight_smile:

It has those in the header. As well as my wife’s and children’s full names and birthdays. And I don’t mind if they call me for more info. It would be a nice confirmation that they are processing it.

Sorry - my ignorance showing here - why not just stop going to church. Is a big statement truly necessary? I don’t doubt you, just trying to learn.

Congratulations on what must be an exciting time of change for you and [The Wife].

Congratulations. It’s very freeing, isn’t it? Sometimes I just randomly remember that I’m no longer a member, no longer an eager follower of the cult, and it’s like a breath of fresh air. Were you raised in the church? It’s difficult to break away because the doctrine infects every single part of your life. I haven’t been active in about a decade, and I’m still trying to untangle my conscious and morals from their harmful lies.

It is necessary. Once you’re on the books with the LDS Church, you’re there forever. Which means they have no qualms about sending home teachers and missionaries to your house to harass you into being active again. The only way to officially remove yourself as a member to send an official letter to Church Headquarters (you shouldn’t send it to the bishop, unless you really want him to know, he can’t remove you from the rolls. Here’s the full instructions to be removed).

Depending on your community and your situation, it can be quite annoying and invasive. If you google around for stories about people who left the church, you’ll find some pretty terrible tales. Also, there have been instances where people with disagreements/conflicts are ex-communicated, which they don’t bother to make a private process and includes summoning you to what amounts to a tribunal–again, depending on your community and context, this can be a very…vexing…situation (I don’t know if any of that is true for the OP obviously, I’m just speaking of general reasons people take this step). Most sane people probably can’t imagine the local spiritual leader summoning you to their office for “court,” where all sorts of invasive and personal questions are asked, but it’s SOP for the Mormons, and according to all of the personal testimonies (hah) I’ve read, the process is neither “kind” nor “gentle”.

Plus there may very well be personal reasons that the OP didn’t expound on. I know that I don’t mind the occasional call from the local ward (though how they found my personal cell number, I’ll never know) but I don’t want anything to do with them for many reasons. I mean, if you found out an institution you were a member of (possibly by virtue of birth/family) has a very, very grievous history full of all sorts of serious crimes, not to mention terrible lies and extremely bigoted and hateful beliefs, would you want your name associated with that institution?

Congratulations, and I’m glad to hear you’re feeling so much peace from taking this step. Here’s hoping that your resignation is treated with the same dignity and grace you’ve shown here.

All the best for you and your family.

I was a missionary back in the day. Most of my converts were the 9-year-old children of inactive church members. When kids turn 8, they are supposed to be baptised. If the parents have failed to indoctrinate the kids, the Primary (sunday school for kids) will try to persuade them to get baptised, and then if at age 9 they are still unbaptised it becomes the missionaries’ responsibility. My kids are age 1, 2, and 5, and already we’ve had several offer from people that the kids don’t know to come and take them to church.

So we resisted resigning for a whole year. We enjoyed the many LDS visitors for a while, whether they came to say hello or to Bible-bash. But then when the home teachers sent a txt asking when their next visit could be, The Wife said to me “ugggh, do we have to?” It had become a chore. Several times a month, them coming to our house with their perma-grins to show us how happy we could be if we returned to Mormonism, and us with our perma-grins to show them how happy we were to be free.

The decision to resign was to give closure to us and to prevent the harassment of the little’uns.

Yes, I was raised in the LDS church. It’s the only lifestyle I’ve ever known. Kinda weird to be out.

I saw that resignation site that you linked to. It sounds like it sometimes works, but they sometimes just return the letter stating that it’s a matter between the ex-member and the bishop. It linked to another site that recommends working with the bishop first. I’m going to do both.

I was oddly hoping they would excommunicate me. I dunno why, just seemed appropriate that I could be enough of a nuisance to them for them to have to take action. But The Wife counsels me not to be too outspoken, so despite dozens of visits many of the local Mormons still think I’m merely “inactive.”

Thanks to all for the support.

Congratulations. My sister is considering sending in a similar letter. She’s pretty tired of getting tracked down after each move, and how they keep sending people after she’s specifically said to not contact her. Since we grew up as Mormons we were taught the lies they feed the members.

I wouldn’t have nearly the same issues with the church is they were simply honest about their history. You can even find Mormons on this board who whitewash doctrine they would prefer outsiders to not know about.

I haven’t officially resigned because of the hassle of it. Until fairly recently, the Mormon church used to not simply allow people to resign and would hold church trials to excommunicate them instead. They were forced to change this policy after being sued. Since I don’t know what Japanese courts would do and thus don’t have as an effective threat of a lawsuit to make things go smoother, I haven’t done it yet.

The missionaries used to keep coming around. This was when I was living in a different part of town, and someone from the States must have sent my address since I obviously didn’t. I would tell them to go away, and to not contact me, only to have another set come 3 months later. This went on for several years.

I got home one night, very late, after a number of drinks at the local bar to find a message in my mail box from yet another new set on 19-year-old kids.

"Dear Brother Tokyo,

"We stopped by to see how you are. . . please call me at 555-1111.

“Signed Elder Whoever.”

So I call him, at 1:30 am, and ask the sleepy voice on the other end for Elder Whoever. The proper response to getting a call in the middle of the night is to ask the caller if they are out of their fucking mind, but the boys are always personally pleasant. After a couple of minutes, and slightly more awake young voice comes on.

I introduce myself and tell him I got the note in my mailbox. He’s remarkably cheery for being awaken in the middle of his sleep, and starts off on his spiel.

I ask if he knows that I have repeatedly requested to not be bothered. No, he doesn’t. I’m listed as a member and he’s new in the area.

I don’t really like to be forced to be an asshole, and I was polite the first 20 times, but good god, enough is enough.

"Elder Whoever, listen very carefully to what I say. I have nicely requested, many, many times to be not contacted and I still get hassled. This has ended now. This is the last visit from you or anyone else.

"You need to tell both the local bishop and your mission president that I will take legal action if another missionary or member steps foot on this property. I will file a complaint with the police and will pursue civil action as well.

“Now Elder Whoever, do you have any questions?”

“No sir.”


That ended the visits.

Rhodes, if you don’t mind what started the doubts?

Allow me to add my congratulations. Just in case you, or anyone else, would like additional information about the issues surrounding Mormonism, I find this website to be the best source on the topic.

One of the nice things about being an apostate from Catholicism is that I’m one of about 35 bazillion, so only my mom ever talks about it.

The thing that is most hopeful about your story, Rhodes, as that [The Wife] and you are on the same page. I can just imagine how difficult and scary it must have been to be honest with her, and how great of a relief it must be now.

Lots of things. I learned of the multiple conflicting accounts of the First Vision when I was in Institute. That teacher was semi-apostate after he was forced to participate in destroying original documents about the Mountain Meadows massacre. It had always bothered me that there were horses and steel and Hebrews in the Book of Mormon. And that so many Revelations in Doctrine and Covenants are no longer observed.

I had always wondered why non-Mormons weren’t impressed with Joseph’s translation of the Book of Abraham. My real studies began when I saw images from Egyptian funerary texts decorating a Mormon friend’s living room. Those were supposed to be pictures of Abraham, but now I learned that they are Osiris.

So I made a list of topics to research. Book of Abraham. Book of Mormon archaeology. The whole Joseph Smith story. Mountain Meadows. Racism. The ever-changing Endowment. Polygamy. Efficacy of prayer. When I learned about Blood Atonement, I knew I could never believe in Mormonism again.

I have a question concerning being summoned by “a court” prior to excommunication. What would happen if you simply refused to answer the ‘summons?’

I worked with a Mormon years ago; he came to work one morning in an absolute rage because he had been ‘billed’ for ten percent of his income. The bill cited his previous year’s total income, down to the penny, including income from part time work away from his principal employment. He maintained they had acquired his W-2 forms. Would that be possible? Or legal? How would any church obtain that information?

Indeed. I’ve seen lots of stories of families who were torn apart because one spouse couldn’t go on participating in the cult/church, and another remained active and faithful. For an organization that claims to care about families, it certainly has no problem wedging itself firmly between them.

Are you from Utah? I was raised in it, too, and I still find myself with certain beliefs/attitudes that I know aren’t logical but come directly from all the indoctrination. It took me a really, really long time to get to the point that I would believe any of the truth about Joseph Smith, even though I’ve considered myself an atheist since the age of 19. When you end every testimony meeting with “And I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God” and happily go along with all the veneration and nearly deification of the man, it’s quite a terrible jolt to realize that yeah, the whole polygamy thing was about raping teenage girls. And oh yeah, the night he was tarred and feathered (allowing that events more or less happened that way) it was because he got caught with a 12 year old girl.

I know the Endowment ceremony has changed now, but that’s fairly recently. When I think about all the people who went through it and walked out with an increased faith in God, despite all the utter ridiculousness including feeling up the women and the miming of evisceration, and I wonder how people calmly accepted that for years and years. The more distance I get from all the doctrine and practices (not to mention the hatemongering) the more stunned I am that the LDS church is a real thing, and furthermore, half of my family believes in it completely.

I wasn’t completely honest with her at first. I was scared shitless. People get divorced over their religious differences. Or if they stay together, they are miserable. Only in my wildest fantasies would my wife become apostate with me.

But I knew I had to tell her by the end of 2009. She was setting up Temple Recommend interviews for us, and I was not going to pass. Also, Tithing Settlement was going to be a problem. I was done sending money to an organization that calls Brigham Young a prophet. Then she noticed on her own that she hadn’t seen me pay tithing all year.

She read my research notes, we had lots of deep talks, she did a bit of research herself, and she agreed.

I don’t know how he got the tax info, but every member is expected to bring their personal information to the bishop once a year to “settle” their tithe. 10% of your income isn’t like some suggested donation–they seriously want that money and they expect you to prove that you’ve handed it over. When the very logical “But I can’t afford to eat without that money” argument is offered, they convince the sheep that God will provide if they only make this small sacrifice. Shockingly, God doesn’t provide for all of them, but they still send in their money, only a small, small percentage of which goes to any sort of charitable or relief purposes. The rest goes to the church coffers so they can do things like support Prop 8 and buy most of downtown SLC.

LDS is one crazyass religion, but the promises made by the theology are incredibly seductive, so I understand the appeal.

I admire your decision and your forthrightness in expressing it. I applaud and congratulate you.

Did you start a thread about it before you told her? I remember someone with a similar fear.

Did she have some doubts before you came out? (Sorry if I’m being really nosy.)