Subject: Is It Necessary for an Ex-Mormon to Formally Leave the LDS Church?
Date: Mar 22 10:32 2003
Author: catholicgirl

. . .either through excommunication, or voluntary having their name removed from official records of the LDS Church?

There are a couple of other threads running at the moment which touch on this issue.

So, I would ask you.


1) Someone who has either been excommunicated or had their name officially removed from LDS Church membership records?


2) Anyone who considers his or her own self (philosophically and practically) to have left the LDS Church, whether or not they have had their name officially removed (and whether or not they have joined another faith)?


Do you believe it is necessary for an ex-Mormon to formally leave the LDS Church? Or do you just believe it was necessary for yourself, but might not be for others?


Would you recommend that people who have already moved onto an alternate lifestyle, or lifestyle that might be incompatible with LDS Church teaching, who might be hurt by excommunication proceedings, NOT initiate a formal name removal request, or at least be forewarned that excommunication proceedings could be initiated by the LDS Church?

Subject: No, I was just gonna duck under the radar
Date: Mar 22 11:39
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac

but there was a combo of things in the last two months that made me have to take a stand and make my own 'Proclaimation to the world" which will tell everyone that I don't believe because it is a lie!!!!!!!!

The Feb article by President Nelson, who, speaking for god, told us that god's love is conditional.

Little E. Smart would have never been abused or kidnapped if JS had never been born.

I was told by my spouse that I was not worthy to lead family prayer because I didn't honor my priesthood.

It was my time to be a man and take a stand.

That probably didn't answer your questions.

Subject: Isn't it sad that we have to deal with this question?
Date: Mar 22 11:40
Author: Cheryl

People leave normal, non-cult churches all the time. No one tracks them wherever they go. No one knocks on their door or leaves ant-infested cookies with sappy notes on their porches. Most folks simply make a decision about church affiliation and follow it. If they regret that decision, they return.

Mormonism is more like a lifelong curse than a normal religion. I was baptized at age 8 and left at age 21. Then, the church stalked and harassed me for over 25 years. Incredible!

I think the main advantage of formal resignation is to shut down harassment even though it often is not 100% effective. The second reason is freedom. Many of us need that formal separation to finally feel free after years of bondage.

Leaving normal churches is easy. Psychologically, many ex-mormons have to formally resign to feel they've left mormonism.

Subject: Well said
Date: Mar 22 11:48
Author: Makurosu

I don't think there's any necessity to remove your name, although after the Chinese water torture of harassing calls and visits we ultimately sent the letter.

It gave me a feeling of empowerment. For once, I was the one in control, and it was quite therpeutic. Even though, the Church tries to make you feel like you're asking it for permission to leave, you're the one initiating the resignation.

Also, it was interesting how fast the contact stopped. It was sudden. No more calls and visits! They really don't respect your personal boundaries.

Subject: You said it right there:
Date: Mar 22 11:53
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac

Psychologically, many ex-mormons have to formally resign to feel they've left mormonism.

Signing that letter in red ink in the SP's office last Sunday felt a little scary but really good.

And to say the words, "I believe JS was a lying con-man, and make the whole thing up" to my spiritual leader/superior after he bore his testimony to me felt even better.

Now I wish I had just said, "How's that working out for you?"

Subject: Exactly...
Date: Mar 22 11:58
Author: Shakjula

As a Never-Mo this whole situation is still perplexing to me. If I wanted to leave my own particular religion, all I have to do is not show up. Someone might call, but it's never anything that could be construed as harassment. There's absolutely no need to contact any member of the clergy to explain why I'm no longer practicing or whatever. Sure, my baptismal/chrismation records will always remain on the books, but who cares? They're nothing more than historical records and nobody keeps track of where you are.

I personally believe that one could be deemed as an Ex-Mormon simply by having no connection with the faith aside from being on some database. If you don't believe, are not attending, holding callings, and most important of all, paying tithes, then I think you're an Ex-Mo. Any reasonable human being would look at the situation and say, "Ah. No longer a member. Probably doesn't want anything to do with the Church" and move on. Maybe a phone call just to be sure. If the person on the other end says "Thanks, but I'm not interested", then you thank them for their time, and cross their names off. Simple.

My personal belief is that Church Headquarters should establish a way for people to resign their memberships on-line. Just like unsubscribing from a topic list. Log on, give your name, address, and the number of people who are coming with you, hit "Submit", and then have Headquarters send out a form to verify everything.

Subject: Reverse Discrimination
Date: Mar 22 13:18
Author: oracle

Mormons call it friendshipping, you call it harrassment. At this point, you would be rejecting a person solely on their religion in determining whether you are going to be friendly to them. If a baptist neighbor brings you cookies, do you consider it harrassment or stalking? Do you couch all efforts of kindness towards you to be harrassment or stalking? (this would be you predetermining their motive in a generalist way) If not, why would you not allow a mormon to be kind to you. There are members of all religions who give cookies without the underlying assumption they want you to join their belief system.

Subject: Re: Reverse Discrimination
Date: Mar 22 13:34
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac

Sorry big O, but you are working on the assumption that I don't know the motive behind the cookies.

As your President Nelson stated in last month's Ensign, everything is 100% conditional with mormonism.

Lest ye forget, I have been on the giving end of the plate of cookies.

Don't give me the "you are being mean by not being nice" song and dance.....I know better.

Subject: Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Mar 22 14:07
Author: Cheryl

After moving several times from state-to-state, never attending church in the area or paying tithing, AND after telling every mormon, verbally and in writing, who called to leave me alone for 25 years, you think they were "just being friendly?" Anyone who claims that is stupid. Perfect strangers from organizations repeatedly rejected don't show up at anyone's door with unwanted "gifts." That's what stalkers do.

Oh, no! They were stalking and harassing me.

Subject: No.
Date: Mar 22 12:00
Author: brefots

To answer the first question I'd say that exmormon is anyone who considers him/herself no longer a mormon. Many exed mormons are still mormons in their heart and minds, exmormons are not regardless of membership status.

I don't believe formal resignation is neccessary for everyone. I do however believe that formal resignation is a good path to choose in ones exodus from the mormon mind-set.

Subject: Not necessary: Advantages/Disadvantages
Date: Mar 22 12:00
Author: mikemgc

I don't think it is necessary at all. In my opinion, the membership record is just a meaningless piece of paper since the church has no real validity. It's a formality. I haven't gone to the morgue or had any activity with them for 18 years. I haven't had my records removed yet because I still want to have a voice and be heard by friends and family I care about that are still in the cult. I see myself as a covert subversive. I like to point out things to them to open their eyes. They won't listen if they know I have removed my name or been excommunicated. They automatically go into shut down mode. It has nothing to do with fear of what they will think of me if I formally leave. I've been going my own way for my whole life and have never cared about that.

I also post on newsboards and post the real truth when articles about the Mo's come up. I don't reveal my religious affiliation initially and when they respond that I'm just a disgruntled ex-mo, or a prejudiced non-mo, I tell them that is not true, that I am a member and have been for 43 years. That always freaks them out. One other side-advantage as I see it, is that if I am a member of record, I can always go to the morgue for food or financial support in the event of a disaster or rough financial times. Nothing wrong with that, way I see it, they owe me for that tithing I have paid.

The advantage to having your name removed is that the morgue doesn't get to count you on their rolls and artificially pump up their numbers for the media. It also reinforces the fact that you are completely out. They'll also stop sending their Home and Visiting teachers to see you and quit calling to update their records. (but have to watch out for the missionaries now).

I'll remove my name one of these days when I'm satisfied that I don't have a need to be heard anymore. But like I said, it's just a formality to me.

Subject: Here's what I posted on another thread related to this. . .
Date: Mar 22 12:15
Author: catholicgirl
Mail Address:

. . .entitled "The Fundamental Problem is. . ." (which I believe was meant to go under KathyWUT's thread about the upcoming excommunications):   [see]


The irony is . . .if a member initiates the formal name removal process in the first place, primarily motivated by a desire not to be harrassed by the LDS Church, they might then, in the process, subject themselves to more harrassment than they would have encountered anyway (either by opening up the possibility of ecclesiastical action, or just the jerking-your-chain business which accompanies the name removal process).

I'm not entirely convinced that everyone should be subjected to that form of final control or spiritual abuse, no matter how firmly they want to stand on principle.

For some of these people, for example, they might prefer their privacy in the first place. And all they're doing is opening up their vulnerability and allowing the LDS Church to further abuse them. It is indeed ironic, and quite sad.

But if the LDS Church has nothing valid to give in the first place, then any membership in it is quite moot. And an "excommunication" is them taking away something they didn't have to give in the first place, and abusing the person in the process.

Why give the LDS Church that much power over an otherwise independent person? To stand on principle? To make the numbers "clean?" (They will never be clean, no matter how many people "formally" resign membership, as they still continue to carry those names on a separate roll.) To avoid future harrassment? As some have indicated here, even having one's name formally removed does not insure that.

I do believe those initiating the name removal process ought to be adequately and fully informed of the possibility that the LDS Church could initiate ecclesiastical action in the form of church discipline if it finds what it believes just cause to do so.

Subject: If one has to "formally" leave in order to "get out" this just gives the Church...
Date: Mar 22 12:52
Author: Nicky

more importance than they are worth.

I think that if you no longer consider yourself a Mormon then you are not a Mormon.

If you are an Atheist, who cares if "they" consider you a member as long as you don't see yourself as one?

If you are a Theist, God and you know that you are not a member. So who cares?

If it makes you feel better to be officially OUT then by all means.

But if it not worth your time then don't bother.

Subject: Who has the power....
Date: Mar 22 13:07
Author: Tom

When a person knuckles under out of fear then the Morg is validated. Fear is an intangible yet seems as solid as a brick wall. Fear is in the mind. It is voluntary cooperation
with those who appear powerful.

The Morg has no power! What they have is granted by the controlled. Removing your name is the one, and only one, statement as to who's boss.

The Morg wants to be loved but they will accept fear in substitution. Just as long as you participate in the game it really dosen't matter. They take it as a victory when you hide or run. They congratulate themselves that your "guilt" is evidence that they are right.

Claiming you to yourself is what name removal is all about.
The Morg impotence is laid bare by it. The charade is over.
You have beaten it instead of it beating you.

When you no longer fear you begin to be free.

Subject: For me..
Date: Mar 22 13:16
Author: Silent

I have only begun to question the church over the last few years, and only started to back it up with evidence this year. I am inactive and don't believe, but if people ask me I still say that I am Mormon because I'm still on the rolls. Although I prefer it if people don't ask me that question. I hope to resign someday when I have the courage to do so.

On the other hand.. my uncle has probably not believed in the church for about 15-20 years and he has not resigned from the church, but I do not consider him a Mormon. He is an agnostic. I think perhaps it is because for probably most or all of my life he has not attended church.

Subject: Re: Is It Necessary for an Ex-Mormon to Formally Leave the LDS Church?
Date: Mar 22 13:30
Author: kristinela

I don't have a strong oppinion or advice but I will say that when I converted to the Mormon church, I did not resign from the Catholic church.

Would there not be some legal ramifications to the church holding an excommunication proceeding when you have already written asking for resignation? I have heard of this being mentioned in a resignation letter, something to the effect that you would not stand for any kind of church proceeding or "court" and would seek legal action if your name was not removed without a hassle. It seems ridiculous that the church not allow a resignation and instead attempt to excommunicate. (you can't leave before we kick you out...)

Subject: Re: Is It Necessary for an Ex-Mormon to Formally Leave the LDS Church?
Date: Mar 22 13:31

Dont' let the LDS use you to pad their already inflated membership stats!

Subject: They still pad their membership statistics regardless. . .
Date: Mar 22 13:51
Author: catholicgirl

. . .and as much as a person formally requesting name removal would like to think that they reduce the stats by one, it isn't always the case.

They are highly motivated to inflate those statistics; what makes you think they'd let that influence it, and suddenly become scrupulously honest?

Subject: in my case no
Date: Mar 22 13:33
Author: JeffL

I'm single with no lds wife/exwife or kids of my own. Just over 30 now so I'm probably like tainted goods to them or something. I've managed to slip off their radar for 9 years. Yet I live right in Salt Lake City less than a block from one of their churches. I wonder how long it will take them to notice. I pray every day that the missionaries will come knock on my door so I can once again return unto the fold. Just kidding :) If they bother me I'll send in that letter.

Subject: I think it's absolutely necessary
Date: Mar 22 14:37
Author: jroskelley

And I can honestly tell you that I didn't always think that. I've spent the last 20 years being completely inactive in the mormon church. I just never gave it any thought. The Morg was a "non" thing in my life. I saw no advantage or disadvantage in simply being inactive.

However, the past 6 months or so that I have spent here has taught me a much different lesson. I have learned that not removing my records from the Morg is the same as passive support of them.

If I don't remove my records they continue to count me amongst their ranks as a member...and they have every right to do so.

If you were an environmentalist and joined a group which you later found out was in favor of many anti-environmental issues, would you simply drop out or would you formally resign?

If you were a member of a women's group that you found was actually not lobbying for anything on their agenda -- the agenda that got you interested in the first place -- would you just stop supporting them or would you officially resign?

If you joined a group on the premise that you would have friends and family from now until the end of eternity, but later realized they were started (by JS) and furthered (by BY) by pedaphiles, liars, theives, cheaters, robbers, murderers, greedy business men, and that one of their primary agenda items is to oppress women and "keep them in their place" as 2nd class citizens, would you just stop going or would you officially resign?

This is tacit or passive support of these organizations if we simply fade into inactivity but don't formally resign. Do you really want to have your name forever linked to this evil, dispicable, vile group?

It has been estimated that only about 25-30 percent of all mormons are actually active. Wouldn't it be great if that number the Morg touts (11,000,000) as its official headcount suddenly dropped to 2,500,000 to 3,500,000 where it belongs because everyone that was inactive finally sent in a letter to the Morg requesting their records be removed?

I think every inactive mormon should officially have their records removed from the Morg's records. Don't show tacit support. Don't show passive support. Show them exactly what you want to show them: ZERO SUPPORT.

It's just my opinion (except for the factual stuff). I could be wrong.

John Roskelley

Subject: I've joined organizations and left without a formal resignation
Date: Mar 22 14:47
Author: Cheryl

You make some really good points. But I really don't think the church has a right to count you among their ranks until or unless you jump through their contrived series of arbitray departure hoops.

I don't think most organizations, other than mormons and the mafia, consider you a lifelong supporter no matter what.

Subject: Ex mormons don't believe
Date: Mar 22 16:16
Author: Tea Davidson

Whether they're on the records or not. We felt we should remove our names and did so. It has made quite a statement to those who knew us in this stake. We don't belong therefore we are not expected to do all their stuff. I am an adult, and can decide what I will drink, eat, wear, do and watch. I have easily adapted to this freedom, others see that and that I don't abuse it.I'm still a nice sincere person.

Subject: I think this is an important reason:
Date: Mar 22 16:44
Author: Troy

It is important to formally resign from the LDS Church because in doing so, one sends a statement of protest to an unjust and deceitful organization. Also, one has to wonder what goes on in the minds of the people who process exit requests. If there is anything we can do to undermine the deception within the minds of LDS members, we should do it, in the name of honesty and humanity.

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