I recently sent in my resignation letter. Here’s the FAQ:
What was in the letter?
I copied the text of a sample resignation letter available on many sites explaining how to resign and used that. I chose the briefest and most perfunctory version, which contained all the needed language to prevent any stalling or refusal to comply on their end. There was no point in getting personal, since my resignation is going to be handled by some drone at the COB who has no interest or need to hear my list of grievances. The sample letter is a fitting way to resign, because it treats LDS, Inc. with the same one size fits all attitude with which it treated me.
What were your real reasons?
There are oh, so many, but if I had to sum it up:
- The Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price are not historical records. This an essential requirement for the church being true.
- Mormonism privileges whiteness over other races in its scripture, culture, and power structure, holding that dark skin is a punishment from God.
- Women are barred from leadership and kept segregated from one another through multiple layers of priesthood authority.
- The top-down structure of church power leaves no method for correcting abusive or incompetent leaders.
- Loyalty to the institutional church is prized over loyalty to family or the gospel.
- Homosexuality is forbidden, despite scientific evidence that it is natural and normal.
- The church has repeatedly engaged in political activity over the years that is racist, sexist, and homophobic.
- The church has changed so much over the years that even if the organisation was the true church when Joseph Smith founded it, it isn’t the same organisation now.
What was the procedure?
I used a letter that contained the necessary language to require them to mark me as no longer a member. The letter was notarised and I scanned it for my records before sending it with a tracking number so I could verify delivery. Now it’s the waiting game. The church usually sits on these letters for a month before taking action, despite the fact that legally I was no longer a member the moment they received the letter.
Does your family know yet?
No. I’m waiting for confirmation that I’m no longer a member before telling them. This is partly because I don’t want to give them false hope that I can be dissuaded during the Church’s waiting period. It’s also partly because I want them to know that my decision was real and final when they learn I’m no longer a member.
What’s your family’s reaction going to be?
Not sure. Either shock, sadness, and withdrawing, or shock, sadness and anger. I shall only inform my parents initially and let them decide who they wish to tell and when. I hope for my granny’s sake they do not tell her. I will happily pretend for her sake. She’s very old and doesn’t need this burden. My guess is that there will be a period of estrangement, but for the sake of appearances they’ll eventually let me back in to family events.
How do you feel?
Not that different. This is just executing the formalities of a state of mind I’ve been in for some time. My membership in the LDS Church is largely symbolic, as I haven’t attended actively for several years. The only anxiety I feel is over how much this will hurt my parents, and I particularly worry about my elderly grandmother should they choose to tell her.
Dunno. Heroin? More likely I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing all along — earning a living, spending time with friends, and looking after the loved ones in my life. Damage control and drafting the letter that will break the news to mum and dad. After all, I want them to get this bad news from me and not from the LDS gossip chain . . .