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Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,


Member Records Division, LDS Church
50 E North Temple Rm 1372
SLC UT 84150-5310

Mr. Monson,

My name is Andee *** ******, and I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my entire life.

I was born and raised in the state of Utah, a place that makes Mormonism seem normal. Nearly everyone in my life, including parents, relatives, family friends and even my school teachers could have promised that the church was true, the Book of Mormon was historical fact, and that Joseph Smith was a really swell guy.

I was taught to obey, trust and respect my church leaders. More times than I can count, I was told that all callings were inspired by God. We should trust the men that God chose to run the one true church.

I never questioned anything. It never occurred to me that everyone I knew and trusted could have it wrong. I knew they wouldn’t knowingly lie to me, so why would I question them? I assumed that they knew what was best, and that I should follow in their footsteps and be an active member of the church. It was a cozy feeling… knowing that we were the ones who had it right, and that all we had to do to be with our families forever was follow the rules and regulations the church set for us.

Sadly, I can no longer place my trust in these leaders. I don’t say that to offend you... as a matter of fact, I hope this letter doesn’t come across as angry or bitter. I hope it’s simply direct and honest.

Before I go into the reasons about why I can no longer place my trust into this leadership, I need to mention a couple things…

As a child, I was taught over and over again that people leave the church for one of a few reasons…

They were offended. This seems silly to me, and it always has. I could never walk away from my entire belief system because I didn’t get along with my bishop or some relief society lady made fun of my hair. I wish church members would give us a little credit for getting over the day to day disagreements that occur in everyday life. This might be a reason for someone to become inactive, but certainly no reason to drop the church completely and formally resign their membership.

They had sins they didn’t want to confess. Have to be honest here, Mr. Monson, this one really gets to me. For the record, I am a good person and I will always be a good person. I have a good sense of right and wrong, and the credit for that goes to the wonderful parents who raised me, not the church…

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. I have never stolen a car, talked a senior citizen out of their life savings, knocked over a convenience store or killed a man just to watch him die.

They wanted to sin and not feel guilty. I don’t need a church or a certain set of beliefs to keep myself honest, hard working or out of prison. I can make good decisions on my own. If someone needs a church in order to keep them in line, we are in a sad state.

There are literally hundreds of reasons why I cannot stay a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but those reasons have nothing to do with an error or sin I have committed or want to commit.

I have been a member of this church for nearly 30 years, I went to Sacrament meetings, Sunday School, Young Women's, Girls camp... you name it, I was there. The church had more than enough time to teach me the correct version of Church history, but instead, I was taught a very different series of events that turn out to be 100% false.

Sexism.

There is no equality in an organization that forces women to constantly be subject to the authority of a male priesthood holder. There will be no equality until women can hold the same callings as men.

Gender determines your entire life if you are a member of this church, and it's very stifling to a young child figuring out what they want for their lives. If a young man doesn't want to go on a mission, he shouldn't be shamed into doing so just because he is male.

We should never have to look a little girl in the eye and sadly explain to her why God wouldn't want her to help pass the Sacrament, or why she would never be able to be a bishop. Mothers should be able to bless their own babies. We shouldn't have to have a male priesthood holder hanging around girls camp just in case we need a male's priesthood blessing. This is sexism, plain and simple, and the God I believe in would have no part of it.

Racism.

When I learned of the racist comments made by many former prophets and apostles, my heart sank. These men were supposed to be close to God, they were supposed to speak for Him. How could a prophet of God, or apostle, say these things?

"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:336).
"And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;..." John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304
"And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground- it would also take the life of his children."(Wilford Woodruff Journal)
"That negro race, for instance, have been placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born." Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, page 43.
I could list more, there are plenty of quotes that make my skin crawl, but in the interest of time I am sure you get my point. Again, the God I believe in would never... EVER... have someone like this speaking for Him.

I personally believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owes people an explanation and an apology for the horrible things said by these past leaders. I doubt that will ever happen, because in order to do this, you would have to admit you were wrong. In order to admit you are wrong, you have to admit you CAN be wrong. In order to put this "behind us" as Gordon B. Hinkley mentioned on Larry King Live, you need to step up and own the mistakes and evils that were made.

Treasure Seeking.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Joseph Smith translated the plates with the use of a rock and a hat. The story of the first vision and translation have been repeated to me hundreds of times since the time I was a fetus. Never once have any of my leaders told me the truth about how this really happened.

When I saw actual documentation about this, I realized for the first time that the church was keeping things from me. You were lying by omission, and you continue to do that to the believing members of your religion. There is no excuse for this.

Joseph Smith used this same seer stone, or peep stone, to find buried treasure. He was arrested and tried for fraud, and this is important because it shows his true character.

Polygamy.

Joseph Smith was never commanded by God to practice polygamy. This is laughable at best. Why in the world would God ask Joseph Smith to take on other wives, some as young as 14? I can't even come up with one good reason, Mr. Monson. It's no wonder that you hide this information from members of your church! Anyone would be as outraged and hurt as I was when I read this for the first time.

It was not common practice for girls as young as 14 to marry. Joseph Smith told these young girls that by marrying him they were saving their families for eternity. He also claimed that horrible things would happen if they didn't agree to the marriage.

Joseph Smith also married women who were already married to living men. He would send the men on missions, and then seal himself to their wives.

This is a far cry from the promises my leaders made to me that polygamy was just to keep the church growing, or to provide assistance to widows.

Joseph Smith isn't the man the church claims him to be. Not at all.

Proposition 8.

Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stepped into the political world and asked the members of it's church to donate their time, money and talents to Proposition 8 in California. This Proposition, if passed, will determine marriage to be between one man and one woman only.

I understand that the church feels it has a moral obligation to teach it's members what it feels is important about homosexuality, but when you take your beliefs and force them on the rest of the world, you are unbelievably out of line.

You don't have to like gay marriage, you don't have to love it. You don't have to participate in it, and you don't have to teach your members that you think it's okay. You also don't have the right to determine that for the rest of the people in the state of California or anywhere else.

The church's actions have saddened me to the point that I am ashamed to be a member. I am so ashamed, in fact, that I look back and wonder why I didn't see this church for what it truly was... one giant lie.

I have to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, that once I realized that I had been lied to, and that I had to inform my Mother that I couldn't in good conscience stay a member of this church, I feared the worst. The lies you taught my entire family could have cost me my entire family. Luckily for me, she is an amazing woman and ended up resigning long before I did.

The lies you tell hurt people. They tear families apart. They make people feel as if they will never be good enough. If you consider yourself a man of God, you should stand up and do the right thing.

  • A mother should never have to stand outside a temple and cry while her child marries.
  • A young child should never have to be subject to "worthiness interviews" alone with a bishop behind a closed door.
  • A church involved in politics should lose it's tax-exempt status.
  • A young woman should never feel it her duty to marry a man just because he completed a mission and she is of a certain age.
  • A person should never be taught that if they decide they don't believe in a certain religion and leave, that they will be damned to "outer darkness" for all eternity. Keeping people in your church through this type of fear is cult-like.
  • Any member of your church should be able to find and read anything they want about your church without fear of being subject to church courts or other discipline. If you have nothing to hide, stop hiding it.
No matter what, there is a growing number of latter-day Saints who are ready to stand up and have their voices heard. I truly believe it's only a matter of time until more believing members walk away from your organization and learn the truth.

I refuse to stay quiet and watch you lie to people. I will continue to be active with SigningForSomething.org, my blog, and helping other Mormons who find themselves questioning everything they had ever been taught. It's a dark place to be, and I will be there for them.

My father gave me some fantastic advice about those I should trust when I was a little girl. He looked me right in the eye, and said, "Andee, would you buy a used car from that man?"

Mr. Monson, I couldn't buy a used car from you.

I can't trust anything you say.

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.

Sincerely,
Andee *** ******


20 comments:

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    That's really good. I bet it feels amazing to have it written.

  1. Andee Says:

    It does feel good. I am glad it's done, and I won't have to feel tied to this freaking church any longer!!!

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    It is a most marvellous feeling not being Mormon anymore. It really does feel different: life is better, freer, happier, funner. Once I knew I was no longer Mormon, it was as if I had finally started living, and even though I hadn't been living as a Mormon for about 2 years at that point, it was still noticeably different for me.

    Congratulations. We should have a party.

  1. Carter Niven Says:

    Congratulations Andee,

    It was an amazing letter. I thought you might like the feedback here on your blog as postmo has been getting a lot of hits.

    I think the most difficult thing for the church to understand is that we leave for ethical reasons. The church takes a huge moral stance, but it is the wrong one. We leave because we believe in something more than what the church offers. Its morality never matched the people of the past and since it has tried to be a main stream Christian Church it has been playing catch up for decades.

    But, now you are free. I originally wrote my letter in my journal but after this prop 8 crap immerged, I wrote sent it in. I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Next week it will be four months... I think it is time to give them a call.

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Yeah, definitely phone them. As soon as you do that, they expedite it. Often they'll just sit on it until you actually phone. They think they're sneaky or something.

  1. Andee Says:

    Carter,

    Hell yes, give them a call. That is Waaaaay too long to wait. Give 'em Hell!!!

    Andee

  1. Andee Says:

    Craig,

    A party would be fantastic. I could even *gasp* have an alcoholic drink! Oh, look at me slipping away into sin and destruction!!!

    Andee

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Have you ever had an irish coffee?

    So much delicious sin!

    I'm serious about the party too!

  1. Mere Says:

    I <3 it! Excellent!

    I wonder how they recruit people to handle resignations and why they haven't left the church as well. I don't think I could handle hearing letters like this day in and day out. It would seem wiser to hire a non-Mo to handle them, wouldn't it? I mean, it's not exactly a faith-building task.

  1. Peter Says:

    Did someone say party???

    I think every resignation should be followed with a raging party.

    Your letter is great. I plan on having all my friends and family read it. Your words will serve as inspiration for many people to search for the truth.

    Welcome to the outside Andee.

  1. Andee Says:

    Thank you, Peter :D

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    So where and when is this party?

  1. Andee Says:

    Look at you guys... serious on the party issue ;)

    I dunno... are you going to fly to Utah? Or are we all going to have our own little party and check in online? Hahaha.... my work schedule sucks, so that might be an issue.

    We *could* actually plan something for my birthday in January? :O

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    A party in Jan for your birthday would be fun (mine's in the middle of dec), but what about one before then for those of us who live in northern Utah?

    There has to be one day you have off we could booze/coffee/tea/[insert various sin here]-it-up.

  1. Andee Says:

    Craig,

    I totally thought you lived in Canada? Silly me. Where do you live? Email me if you would rather ;)

    Andee

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Oh no, I live downtown SLC. 2 blocks from the HQ of the whore of all the earth, *ahem* I mean Church HQ.

  1. Andee Says:

    OMG, we should totally meet up soon! I had no idea you lived so freaking close! That's awesome :D

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    OMG HELLS YES!

  1. Andee Says:

    I am working like a slave until a few weeks from now, but we can totally meet up for dinner some time! You might have to deal with my picky vegetarian ways, but it should be a good time.

    I am so happy to know you are closer than I thought!!!!

    Andee

  1. [kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] Says:

    Just let me know. Also, I am well versed with cooking vegetarian as a very good friend of mine is vegetarian too. I can't wait!