As the grief and shock regarding the truth of Mormon history and doctrine began to ease a bit, I suspected I would resign my membership…eventually. I was in no hurry. I’d even toyed with the idea of submitting my resignation on the one year anniversary of the “Big Reveal.” But taping the interviews for “Polygamy: What Love Is This?” moved that timeline up. When Doris Hanson introduced me as “a former Mormon,” I almost interrupted her as I still felt very much like a Mormon and my name remained on the records of the church. Until she made that statement, I’d never considered myself a former Mormon. I’d just recently been able to identify myself as a “transitioning” Mormon. I still belonged to a ward, had visiting teachers, and a current temple recommend!
Except for one son and his wife, none of my Mormon family or friends knew that I’d left the church. Now that I’d made my story public, I had to consider the possible ramifications of that choice. I knew excommunication was a possibility. Being kicked out of a club I no longer wished to belong was of little consequence. But I knew it would be hard on family members who were solid in the church. Because I’d endured a lifetime of other people dictating what happened to me, I chose to be proactive and resign. Thus making Doris’ statement 100% accurate before the interview was released. The resignation letter follows:
Member Records Division, LDS Church
50 E North Temple Rm 1372
SLC UT 84150-5310
This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to church rules, policies, beliefs and “discipline”. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and completely removed from the membership rolls of the church.
I have given this matter considerable thought. I understand what you consider the “seriousness” and the “consequences” of my actions. I am aware that the church handbook says that my resignation “cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation…and revokes temple blessings.” I also understand that I will be “readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview”.
My resignation should be processed immediately, without any “waiting periods”. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind. I expect this matter to be handled promptly, with respect and with full confidentiality.
After today, the only contact I want from the church is a single letter of confirmation to inform me that I am no longer listed as a member of the church.
These are just a few of the many reasons as to why I’ve chosen this action:
I’ve learned that the Bible IS translated correctly and can be trusted as the Word of God.
I believe Christ is who He says He is in the Bible, and is capable of doing what He claimed He could do –“Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall never pass away.”
I believe in the Jesus of the Bible. He is my living prophet, priest, and king!
- Gordon B. Hinckley claimed “The traditional Christ [of the Bible] of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.”
- And yet, the Apostle Paul warned:“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Cor 11:4)
I take His words at face value and consider them as truth:
- “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No man cometh to the Father but by me.”
- “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
- “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matt 5:17)
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
My testimony of Jesus Christ is Rock-solid; but there just isn’t enough of Him in the LDS church. And since my beliefs no longer coincide with the doctrines taught in the LDS church, I resign my membership.
Writing the letter was relatively easy. I was fine when I took it to the Post Office where, for peace of mind, I sent it certified mail. Then I sat in the car and sobbed! A lifetime of identifying myself as a Mormon had ended. The legacy of Mormonism handed down in my family for generations was no longer a source of inspiration and pride. Tears of grief and relief mingled as God held me through this cleansing and healing process.
A few days later, when I was questioning the timing of my resignation, a friend’s comment helped me realize I’d done the right thing. Though I don’t remember her exact words, the message remains solid in my mind. She said something along the lines of, “That which we lend our name to, holds our loyalty.” Did I want to lend my name to a church whose doctrine I no longer believed? Did I want others to think I was merely “inactive,” when the truth was I deliberately walked away from the organization and into a relationship with Jesus Christ? My loyalty was to God and God alone, not the corporation of the LDS church. Once again, I was at peace with the timing of my decision.
Within days, the bishop knocked on my door. He said he came to verify that I’d sent the letter, rather than it being a vindictive act by someone else. I confirmed that I was the author of the letter. Shortly thereafter, the confirmation letter from LDS Church Headquarters arrived in the mail.
My new identity is firmly rooted in my relationship with God. I stand by the words spoken into the microphone at the Women’s Retreat: “I am the Beloved, Abba’s Child, in whom Christ dwells and delights.”
With that being said, I also wear the label of a former Mormon. I’m fine with that. It allows me the freedom to continue spreading my testimony of Jesus Christ wherever possible…including on the program “Ex-Mormon Files” with Bishop Earl Erskine. God continues to move in interesting ways! All He asks of me is to follow.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 1:12 ESV)