My husband and I just sat down and wrote our resignation letter to the LDS church. I honestly feel very somber right now, but I also feel liberated.
Most of what we put in our letter was taken from suggestions online of how to resign the most effectively and efficiently, but I knew that to gain some closure, no matter how deaf the ears it falls on, I wanted to include a personal statement on why we left. Here is what we added:
In case the person(s) reading this wonder why the members of a family, who have each individually spent their lifetime in the church, would choose to permanently sever their ties from it, we’d like to include briefly why we chose to do so. Upon investigating historical and doctrinal facts directly involving the church, most all of which have not only been undisputed, but also confirmed as factual through church leadership and/or through research of experts in their respective fields, we found that a large number of things we were taught in our time as faithful church-goers were either incredibly inaccurate or outright false. These facts include current and past actions and policies as well as the veracity of most of the claims of the church and events surrounding its founding. Considering the amount of time, money, and resources that our family and countless others have spent in the church out of expectations and hope of blessings that rest on these claims and teachings of the church, it is unacceptable that these facts are not transparent, and in many cases actively suppressed from the general membership of the church. Other church policies and teachings that aren’t hidden, but actively practiced, have so negatively affected the lives of good people that we find it difficult to discern the promotion of love, honesty, and integrity that we were taught from a young age that the church valued.
A comprehensive list isn’t necessary as there are plenty who have pleaded directly with the church to address these issues found in church doctrine, history, and policy under threat of church discipline. We are personally experiencing the ill effects of some of our closest relationships due to our decision to leave the church. However, the hardships we’ve experienced are greatly overshadowed by the true love, honesty, and integrity that we’ve come to see is abundant in so much of the world and humanity, often in spite of what we were taught in the church. Because of these reasons, we have decided that the LDS church is not an organization we want to be a part of.
Since the bishop is anticipating our resignation to avoid calling us in for church discipline, we are mailing the letter to him directly.
In going through this process, I’ve come to realize that I don’t really need to hide behind an anonymous picture of Emma Smith, as symbolic as she is to me personally. If in revealing myself to the world, someone I know becomes offended by what I have shared here, I hope that they can understand that my criticisms are of the institution of the church.
Yes, my resignation comes partly at this time due to threats that because of what I’ve shared publicly I won’t be allowed to leave on my own terms if the resignation isn’t sent in soon, but it is also overdue. I’ve made no secret of the fact that in my own mind, I have already left the church. I left for my integrity, I left for my children, I left because I could not support an organization founded on deception and maintained with hypocrisy.
In leaving, I’ve found so much joy, peace, and love. My mind isn’t filled with confusion, and my morality is my own. Life is a beautiful adventure.