I’ve had a few friends ask about the process I went through to leave the church, so for easy access and your advantage I’ll tell you. I’ve heard horror stories of people trying to leave the church before. The church will tell you no or they’ll demand additional things or even tell you you have to go through a church court to be excommunicated or something like that… The truth is you don’t need to do anything but express your wish to leave. Legally they are an organization and you are free to leave at any time. You do not need to be there.
Why should you ask to have your information removed from church records? For me it was a cathartic means to an end. I also no longer would have random people contacting me from the church, I wouldn’t have the missionaries stopping over (even though before I even came out that I wanted to leave the church they told the missionaries to stop coming). Basically the church no longer had a hold on me and I wanted to be as far removed from them as possible. When I figured out the truth and history of the church I was so angry and hurt that I’d dedicated my life to them that I couldn’t even stand the sound or sight of the LDS church. I wanted to run into the church building and tell everyone what I knew. I wanted to get up on the stage on Fast Testimony Sunday and tell everyone that Joseph Smith was a liar and this is how I knew… So to throw it in the church’s face literally I decided it was time for me to remove my name from the fake number of 15 million members.
My first letter: I actually emailed the church. For months I’d been trying to write a letter to send in the actual mail, but one night my anger got the better of me and I just emailed it. It was quick, painless, and actually worked… And I didn’t have to waste a stamp.
Emailed to: email@example.com
***Add my full name including my maiden name
***Record Number (You don’t have to if you don’t know it.
Monday, September 30, 2013
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, withdraws the priesthood held by a male member and revokes temple blessings” I also understand that I will be “readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview”. (Quotes from the current Church Handbook of Instructions.)
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 let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the church.
Mrs. Marie C. Conlon
After sending this letter I received a letter in the mail from the LDS church.
Snail Mail from the Church:
October 2, 2013
Dear Sister Conlon,
I have been asked to acknowledge your recent letter in which you requested that your name be removed from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I have also been asked to inform you that the Church considers such a request to be an ecclesiastical matter that must be handled by local priesthood leaders before being processed by Church employees. Therefore, your letter and a copy of this reply are being sent to President (Stake President) of the (Stake I’m in). He will have Bishop (brand new bishop) of the (ward I’m in) Ward contact you concerning the fulfillment of your request.
In view of the eternal consequences of such an action, the Brethren urge you to reconsider your request and to prayerfully consider the enclosed statement of the First Presidency.
Well I’d been warned by other former members that this might happen. My advice to you, if you really want to get out of the church – BE PROACTIVE!!! Do whatever you’ve got to do to make sure the church holds up their side of this deal. Don’t wait for the church to come to you. They never will. Remember, they need your membership. They’re hoping that all the red tape will make you annoyed or disheartened and just give up. They’re counting on that! That’s how their membership which says 15 million is actually closer to 5 million. There are over 10 million members who have left the church but never officially resign!! Stop being counted as one of their ever growing bunch!!! The LDS Church membership is dropping at a record pace they don’t know what to do! Why do you think they’re currently posting everything they can about the awkward history of the LDS Church right now? Because people are finding out the truth AND LEAVING!!! And it’s not just a couple thousand, it’s millions! The truth is coming out. Thomas S. Monson is currently being taken to court for fraud!! I’m telling all of you the truth!!! This Church is a bunch of LIES!!!!
Anyway, back to what to do next now that you’ve got this letter. Be proactive. I went onto the LDS.Org website and looked up the ward I was in according the my address. They list the bishop and counselors contact information along with the stake president. Both my bishop and my stake president just so happened to have their email addresses listed so I emailed them both a copy of the first email I sent to the LDS Membership Records. I also CC’d the membership records.
The very next morning I received a response from the Bishop…
Dear Mrs. Conlon.:I am prepared to act on your request immediately, but I cannot move forward until I have a signed letter from you. The message you sent will do, if you simply print it out, and sign it. Please send the letter to:[His Home Address]Regards,[Name]Bishop, Vista 3rd Ward
Mr. [bishop],As I’m sure you’ve been made aware by the Church Membership Records department, my request was received on October 2, 2013 and acknowledged. I was informed that you would have to do your part in signing paperwork and sending it in. No further action was to be done on my end. Once this letter of resignation was received by the Church, my resignation was complete.This email constitutes as a legal, binding document per the Electronic Signatures In Global and National Commerce Act.Please complete your process and send in the documentation for my removal. If my request continues to be delayed I will involve my attorney and press for legal action.
Sincerely,Mrs. Marie C. Conlon[Enclosed photograph of letter from the Church]
Mrs. Conlon:I went ahead and submitted your request and attached the unsigned email. President [name] just texted me that he completed his part of the process. When I hear from Salt Lake, I will let you know.Regards,[Bishop's name, no title]
And one day more… October 9, 2013
Dear Mrs. Conlon:Your name has been removed from church records, as you requested. To maintain confidentiality only the principal ward leaders will be notified. This should ensure that you will not be contacted by home teachers, visiting teachers or any others in an official capacity.I believe you already know that should you want to fellowship with us again, you will be welcome. Furthermore, the way is open for your baptism and restoration of blessings. In all likelihood I will be the bishop in this area for many years. If there is anything I can ever do for you, you have only to ask.I remain, sincerely, your brother,[Bishop's name, no title]
ME: “Thank you very much. Will I be receiving an official letter via mail stating this?”BISHOP:“Dear Mrs. Conlon:I do not know if additional confirmation of this change will be sent from Church Headquarters. I asked President [Name], but he didn’t know either. As far as I can tell from the handbook, it is my responsibility to notify you. That is why I emailed you as soon as I noticed your name was deleted from the ward roster by Salt Lake. It seemed rather abrupt, but then, that was your request.- Bishop Huyett”
I wanted to post this because it is another reason for me to think there are reason people need to get away from this church!!!
View the TV News address here…
(KUTV) There is controversy stirring over an article in the LDS Church publication the “Ensign.” The featured article for the March issue tackles “What is the Lord’s Standard for Morality,” The article just released has fired up LDS marriage and family therapists, some who say takes women back 35 years with this one simple article.
One major point causing concern is something referred to as the “rape mentality” many are saying is portrayed in this article as the standard for behavior. But that’s not all, the therapists we spoke to say the overall tone of the article creates fear instead of a healthy conversation about human sexuality which is an important part of life from beginning to end.
The talk in question was given by Tad R. Callister an LDS general authority at BYU Idaho. He says, “Our dress not only affects our thoughts and actions, but the thoughts and actions of others.” He goes on to say, “the dress of women has a powerful impact on the minds and passions of men, if it’s too low, too high, too tight it might prompt improper thoughts in the mind of a young man striving to be pure.”
The talk went unnoticed until it was printed in the church publication the “Ensign.” LDS therapists nationwide took to their blogs outraged by the “rape culture” ideology where women are responsible for a man’s sexual actions.
Kristin Hodson and Alisha Worthington are sisters, active LDS members and therapists who deal with sex issues. They say this talk not only belittles women but men. The women believe, “it lowers men down to not much more than an animal, just walking around with these lustful thoughts and breaking out like the Incredible Hulk and attack a woman if she is dressed in not the right way.” They say the message of fear and strict standards for women are not based in evidence, but based on cases in the Middle East where women who are dressed literally from head to toe are sexually assaulted and raped on a daily basis.
In the article Callister says that, “in the end most women will get the type of man they dress for.” This is the wrong message according to therapists who work with women on issues of self-worth. Hodson says, “it’s a very confusing line for women – they need to dress sexy enough to attract a man, but modest enough not to induce lustful thoughts.”
The article explicitly states there should be one voice on the issue of morality and parents, counselors and teachers should not be considered. Hodson says members of the LDS church should remember they are, “a church of families, strengthening the family and empowering parents to talk to kids about sex is more important than ever.”
The article also brings up issues of concern to several therapists where sex talk with adults is referred to as procreation on a childlike level instead of tackling the issue head on. There is concern that there is only fear, not talk of love and the good that comes from healthy sexual relationships.
To read more about topics tackled like masturbation, pornography and LGBT relationships check out the following links:
http://www.TheHealingGroup.com has more information from the sisters who sat down with 2 News. Their book http://www.RealIntimacyBook.com deals with many of the issues in the article released in the Ensign. To watch the full talk given at BYU Idaho https://video.byui.edu/media/Tad R. Callister “The Lord’s Standard of Morality”/0_jrht2ioo
For a counterpoint discussion from and LDS Sex therapist blogger go to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mormontherapist/2014/02/morality-we-can-do-much-better-than-this.html
By Heidi Hatch
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
This bit of information was my final straw with learning the history of the LDS church. When I learned that Joseph had fake translated what the LDS church uses as the book “The Pearl of Great Price” aka the Book of Abraham… I was livid. Scared. I felt completely alone! But as I let the information sink in that Joseph Smith was actually a liar, I felt like my world opened up. I didn’t have that trapped feeling anymore… The more I’ve learned the more I’m thankful every day for the steps I took to research and not be afraid. If the church was really true, why would they be so afraid of people researching their history and doctrines?
I’ve had a few people ask me since I posted that I’ve left the church what it was that made me leave. So I’m going to attach a document I found recently from a fellow searcher of faith with the same questions and information I found… I found my own answers from the LDS Church’s own books and their lds.org website. I did not search anti-mormon websites for the answers. But this document is a perfect layout of all the answers most of us are now finding.
Please read this and there are locations provided for you to cross reference for your own validation.
To those who are still coming to this blog, I feel it right that I inform you in a blog post what has happened since I last wrote over a year ago…
I have since left the church. I am NOT a Mormon. It was not due to sin, it was all to due with the doctrine of the Mormon church. As I continued researching and studying my eyes were opened to the errors and false doctrine within the standard works alone. I didn’t search any information other than the approved works.
I feel blessed to have had the drive I did when I was making this blog back in 2008. I believe God gives us paths that we must follow in order to learn of him and my trip down Mormon-hood was where I needed to be.
My story as to why I left…
It’s not like this was an easy choice, people. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and thought “Hmmm… think I’ll stop being a Mormon today.”… This was long coming. I’ve been back and forth with my faith for many years. As a child I wanted to believe. I was so excited to have Young Womens to go to and a club of friends to have. When I finally went I became so annoyed by the girls and teachers discussing more about who liked who that week than actually teaching about god. I didn’t know much about God and I thought this would be my way to learn. It wasn’t. I stopped going. After High School I got heavily into the church and thought the happiness I felt in belonging meant it was true. A young returned missionary I’d been dating made learning bible stories and doctrine easy for me. The questions I had were simply answered with simple doctrine. Anything large, I didn’t even think to question. I was happy with simplicity. It wasn’t far reaching from my comfort zone.
When I turned 20 I wanted to desperately go on a mission. I wanted to be what my boyfriend at the time was for me in teaching the gospel. I’d only been active in the church for a year. Many things could have stopped me, but I pushed on and went on a mission. I was so sure of the basics I felt I could teach them to others with passion and a voice to shake the earth. I received a strong feeling from god to go on a mission. I believe God leads us through specific paths to help us find what he wants us to. Going on a mission was one path I had to take in order to learn truly about him.
As time went on while serving my mission and 24/7 study of the gospels, I realized my need to understand more than just the basics. My need for the “How and Why” started kicking in. If I was going to teach others, I needed to know the “How and the Why”… I started researching the approved doctrines we had as missionaries.
My first big discovery was with Polygamy. I remember it clearly. I was on my mission, standing on the porch of our mission apartment studying while my companion was showering. I laid my scriptures on the balcony ledge and let the wind open them. 3 pages opened… Wilford Woodriff’s explanation that anyone trying to lead away god’s people from the true doctrine would be taken from the earth…. The doctrine of plural marriage in D&C 132… and King Solomon being condemned in the bible for having multiple wives and concubines. I stood there. My mind flooded with questions… I grabbed the phone and called the mission president. He told me that I didn’t need to concern myself while on my mission with that doctrine. That we wouldn’t know the true story until the next life. For some reason that didn’t settle with me, but rather than continue my whole mission with doubt, I said “OK” and pushed it to a back burner.
7 years later I found myself alone. My fiancé had almost died and I watched it happen. Our relationship was over. I knew then that I needed God. I needed him more than I’d ever before. I’d been told all my life that if I followed God I would never be alone. I focused my life goal on researching the gospel and becoming a strong and faithful woman in the church…
The Missionary Library was where I allowed myself to study. I studied daily. Missionaries visited me and taught me. One of my friends was baptized. It was while on a visit with the missionaries that a desperate cry came via phone to come and see her. We piled in the car and rushed to her side. She’d been talking with her ex about their baby girl that had passed away a few years back. She wanted her new husband and herself to be sealed to her daughter. The father of the child wouldn’t let that happen. She was beside herself in torment trying to understand what to do. Her daughter would never be sealed to her. Her life was over…. As I prayed quickly to God begging for an answer I had these words come to my mind… “If God is really a loving God, he would never separate a mother from it’s child. The sealing will not stop you from being that Child’s mother. The atonement of Christ has covered the cost. Families will not be separated. Sealed or not.”
I didn’t understand it. I’d been taught all my life the only way to be with your family forever is to be sealed, have your children either born in that covenant or be sealed to you. We were never taught the doctrine on families who divorce. New Members who ex husbands don’t want their children to be sealed to them… etc..
It was while talking with my cousin that I gained the courage to speak to my bishop about how I was feeling and the things I’d had questions about. I had full faith that he’d be able to calm my troubled heart. I went into his office, had dedicated a good 30 minutes of his time and told him I needed guidance. My heart was open and ready to hear anything he said. I assumed they would all be comforting… I simply said “Well I’ve had some questions even since I was a missionary about doctrine and the history of the church….” I was cut off and then he began a tyrannical lecture on how the history and the people didn’t matter. All that mattered was the Book of Mormon. Everything else, anything anyone said, it didn’t matter.
I had no idea how to respond. I sat quietly and in tears. I’d not been talking with “anti-mormon” people. I’d not looked at “Anti-Mormon” crap. I had only been searching within the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and the History of the Church. I’d not even tried to honestly compare the bible as all my life I’d been told that I was to judge the bible with a grain of salt because it had many errors in it. The most accurate was the Book of Mormon. All I knew was the Mormon version of Christianity.
I decided after trying to shake the feeling of depression that I would then with an open heart and open mind search the Mormon doctrine with the eyes of someone who knew nothing. Who knew their had to be a higher power and that I wanted to know everything. I searched the Missionary Library again. I felt disconnected to the Book of Mormon. In a way that I could truly judge the authenticity of Joseph Smith, his work, his story, and what the Mormons believed.
I kept telling myself that since I believed in a God that I’d be ok just staying in the mormon church. I kept researching the bible, the book of mormon, the doctrine & covenants and the pearl of great price. I also went to the Church library and read from the books they had there – History of the Church volumes. (I didn’t have the internet at the time.)
I went to the meetings, went to the events/activities, eventually my knowledge led me to become very annoyed with things that Mormons would say and the way they saw things. Very close minded. Sunday school lessons were frustrating to sit through. I’d bring up a different way of thinking about things, people would ponder, but the teacher would insist on bringing everyone back onto the close-minded track they wanted people to be on “Read your scripture. say your prayers. life will be good”…. Believe me, I taught in Sunday School. I know what goal the teachers are supposed to have in their lesson plans! Teach the principle. Don’t deviate. I was also a missionary, lesson plans must be so others see things in your way. No way else. Remember, your way is the right way!
I stopped going to Sunday School.
Eventually going to Sacrament became frustrating as I continued to research the bible and compare it to the teachings of the Mormon Church. Sacrament alone was so foundationally different. My hunger to know how Christ originally had his church, what he practiced, and what he believed lead me to keep searching. As I searched questions I’d had for years became answered. Doctrine no longer was left to “we’ll know in the next life” when things contradicted themselves. I knew the real story behind it. Every simple testimony aggravated me. I wanted nothing more than to get up and proclaim what I knew to be true. It had nothing to do with “modern prophets” and everything to do with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Yahweh, Jesus the Christ, the true Apostles of Christ, etc…
I stopped going to Sacrament.
It was at this time I wondered what was I to believe if I don’t believe this? The Church had taught me all my life that anything besides their teachings was absolutely wrong. Not even to question. The only ones allowed to question were those seeking to become Mormon.
I left the singles ward I’d been in and moved to the Family Ward. I told my bishop how I felt and my testimony. I was told I was in good standing. I could take the sacrament. I could participate in lessons and I could even have a calling! I could go to the temple! I wasn’t someone who left the church due to sin. Yes, I’d had sins in my past like all members do, but it wasn’t a reason I left. I was in good standing.
One evening a set of sister missionaries came to teach me. I let them know how I truly felt about the book of mormon as they were trying to teach something and they burst into tears. Rather than upset anyone else, I figured I’d continue my studies on my own, but always allow the missionaries in my home as a sign of respect for what they were doing. The next set of sister missionaries came to visit. Oddly enough one of them was a long time FB friend’s daughter. I promised I’d watch out for her. They wanted to have me come to lessons and teach with them. I had to eventually tell them I didn’t believe I should. I believed nothing that they taught, but didn’t want them to know that. I wouldn’t cause disruption in her missionary experience.
The moment I realized that I could no longer believe was when I finally found out the truth of the Book of Abraham (Pearl of Great Price). How Joseph had “translated” the parchment and it wasn’t even the least bit correct. My heart sank. I felt like my world crashed and crumbled into pieces. One by one all of my feelings of doubt were gone but now that I had my answers I had nothing left to do but leave. I was not prepared for the actual moment I’d have to walk away. I don’t think it’s possible to ever be ready. I was angry, I felt lied to. I feared for the first time for my family and friends. The lies. The faith that so many put in a man. In a religion that so incredibly false. (I’ll go deeper into the doctrines if you message me only. Not here) I was sick, tormented for days wondering what do I believe in now. Everything felt wide open. Like every door was open and nothing was standing in my way… I was scared with my freedom.
A few months went by and my feelings of loss started to go away.
The points of doctrine that eventually lead me away felt like stepping stones out of a dark hole I’d been stuck in for 28 years. I took what I did believe in and have started my life over. From the moment I let go of the hope that my childhood faith was true, life has gotten ten million times better than it’s ever been. I know who my real friends are. I know who true family is. I have met the love of my life who doesn’t judge me and loves me for no matter what I believe.
Every religion has that tool as a way to keep members. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I do not believe in Joseph Smith or the LDS church. I do not believe in religion. I do not believe that Christ’s church can truly be on the earth because humans are too corrupt to run it. I believe that God and Christ want us to do as he taught in the bible. To walk by faith in HIM, not a church. To do good in the world. To be a good person and take care of others. To show our faith by good words, thoughts and actions. In the end, it is God and Christ who will judge us. What “earthly club” (religion) we joined will not matter. But who we followed will.
So it’s been QUITE a while with all the things going on since I’ve posted.
Here’s a quick update. Christy is out of the hospital and home. It’s been a struggle because she’s definitely not the same Christy but she is Christy. We love her still.
I met a young man in October and we began a long distance relationship. We decided to get married and had been planning the whole thing. I picked out a beautiful dress and bought his ring. November 18th in the Sao Paulo Brazil temple. Then as things progressed, I kept feeling that I needed to look into an issue he’d had with the military but told me not to worry about. So I looked into it and found that a dishonorable discharge was given for him avoiding being deployed with his unit last year. I was heart broken! I’d bought a ticket to go to Brazil where he’d gone right before his unit deployed but now had no reason for going. Then as soon as I found out this information and decided in my heart I could never marry a man so immature and disrespectful not only to me but our country, he contacted me and said that he’d got the feeling that we shouldn’t get married. The Lord told him that. LOL! GOOD THING! GOD MUST BE SMART!!! I asked him what he wanted me to do about the trip and he said to still come. I prayed and felt I should still go but not for him. I was to go for his mother. I asked my bishop. He was very against me going! I asked him to give me a blessing. I was told to go and prepare for a great adventure awaiting me…
Well I went, my ex was immature and rude the whole time. Would hardly even talk to me let alone look at me. When I got home we fought via email. We can’t even communicate without him getting upset. His parents loved me and told him he was making a huge mistake. By the end of my stay there I finally just told his parents that I had made the choice to walk away. They still said I was adopted. LOL!
When I got home I started 2 new jobs. One as an office manager/HR manager and the other as a photographer. The photographer job was only 9 hours a week. The office manager job was full time – 40 hours. My boss had told me that he planned to fire the girl who was the current manager and hire me. Well when I got there she wasn’t fired, she was moved to sales and docked her pay. She said she’d raise hell all week she was training me and by the beginning of my second week, she did. I got into work one morning, my desk was changed, everything was different. She was sitting there. I went into my boss’s office with her and he said “Its not working out I’m going to have to let you go” with her sitting right next to me! Ugh!!! So I now have no job… other than one that I can’t survive on. I have no idea how to make rent, how to pay bills by the end of this month. I’m SCARED! I was laid off at the job I had before that one. And the job before that I was laid off too! The economy SUCKS here in the states and I can’t find work to survive! I may end up declaring bankruptcy! I have no idea what else to do! :’(
So that’s my life right now in a nut-shell. Yes, I’m struggling right now with my church attendance. Mainly because I’ve been sick as a dog since I got to Brazil and I’ve been trying to find work. :’( I have a meeting with my bishop tonight though. First time seeing him since before I left to Brazil.
Oh I almost forgot some things! Since before I left to Brazil my friend D and I have been writing each other. He’s currently in Boot Camp at the San Diego MCRD. He and I knew each other because of the Marine Corps. He was the guide at the recruiter’s office. He and I also worked at another place together. At the same time I was starting dating my ex I started falling for D. D told me I was crazy for falling for my ex. He was right. He left to boot camp telling me he’d stay out of my life and I’d never see him again. I had started falling in love with him. Well after about 2 months at Boot he tells his sister to find me and give me his address. I wrote him. We’ve been writing ever since. He writes almost every day. I miss him so much. He’s active in the church – PS. He says we can go out when he gets home. No guarantees on if we’ll end up together, but we can at least try. haha!
To those who don’t know, my friend Christy is currently in the hospital. On August 28th she suffered a sever head injury that resulted in 3 neuro surgeries to remove clotting. I have been helping to keep a blog for her and would love to share the experience I had today with her. It touched my heart…
“I saw Christy for the 2nd time since the accident today. She’s looking so much better. They took out every other staple in her head today too. Dustin and I sat with her for a few minutes. It feels so peaceful in the room. I know of no other way to describe the feeling than to say it feels like being in the temple. The spirit is so strong there. Christy had been coughing a lot to try and clear her throat. The nurse came in and cleared it out for her. Dustin left for a moment after she was done. I slid to the edge of my chair to see Christy and she opened her eyes and looked at me. As she did she pointed to her right and I asked if someone was there. She nodded her head. I asked if it was Grandpa and she quickly shook her head no. She was very sure it wasn’t him. I asked who it was and she shrugged to say she didn’t know. The spirit in the room was indescribable.
I can’t wait for Christy to come home so I can talk to her some more about the gospel. I loved our conversations. I miss talking to her and telling her things. I can’t do that right now. I hope she gets better soon. I miss her and love her. I’m so thankful she’s still here. Each day is a blessing. I’ve learned that now. Every breath is a blessing. This life is so short. I’m so thankful for Christy. So thankful for our loving Heavenly Father and for our Savior Jesus Christ. I’m so amazed by the sacrifice they both made so that we could have the chance to take a step back and look at our lives and change.
Christy, come home soon! We need to go to the temple. I miss you!
Alma 37:6 – “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.”
Please visit Christy’s blog – Prayers For Christy