How to Resign
from the Mormon Church

(This document was originally published as chapter sixteen of the book, Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately? Chosen Books, 1986. That book is now published by Spencer Books.)

"I am afraid of the pressure that I know the ward can put on me....
I don't want to be excommunicated. I just want to drop out quietly if I can."


It is important for exiting Mormons to break connection with the Church. It is necessary for several reasons.

First, unless a person actually resigns, the Mormon Church will carry his name on its membership roll forever. Even if they havent been to church for thirty years. Exiting Mormons who remove their names bring the Church growth numbers closer to the truth. This is important because many people investigating Mormonism are unduly impressed by the "numbers."

Second, by resigning membership in the Church, the exiting Mormon is delivering an important message to others. The action says, "I am not a Mormon, and I think something is wrong with Mormonism." I wonder how many bishops are amazed at the letters requesting excommunication that cross their desks.

Third, I think an important spiritual connection is broken when one breaks with the Mormon Church. A Mormon convert voluntarily places himself under Mormon authority and, hence, the spirit of Mormonism. Resigning breaks the spiritual connection. I know many people who have had a very real emotional release after verbally renouncing, then formally resigning from the Mormon Church.

Resigning can be accomplished by mail. You do not have to attend what is known as "excommunication court." But, the letter needs to be firm, and it needs to be mailed to three people:

1. The bishop of the Mormon Ward the Latter-day Saint currently resides in. If the bishop says he doesnt have those records, insist that he get them.

2. The Stake President of the Stake of residence.

3. Finally, the President of the Mormon Church. Be sure that each copy of the letter lists all the others receiving copies. The President of the Church can be reached in care of The Church Office Building, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The resignation letter must be strong. But it should be your own words. Here is a sample letter: