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:
Dear Bishop (Stake President, President):
This letter is to inform you that I wish to resign from the Church, and request that my name be stricken from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I have made this decision with full understanding. I am operating within the constitutional religious freedom guaranteed a citizen of the United States.
I insist that the Church record show that the only reason for terminating membership is my request of resignation. And I request a letter to that effect be sent to me. I will not hesitate to take immediate legal action against you personally, and the Church corporately, if anything is done to libel my name or cause me any loss of reputation. I further insist that you honor my request in a timely manner.
Copies of this letter have been sent to the bishop of the ward within whose boundaries I reside, the President of the Stake, and the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I take this action because Im fully persuaded that the Mormon Church is in great error, teaches false doctrine, and greatly displeases God.
I believe that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. He failed every major test as to the validity of his office according to Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and Galatians 1:8. Further, I do not have confidence in any of the successive prophets of the Church since Smiths time.
I do not think the gospel has been "restored" because I dont think it was "lost from the earth." Jesus said the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, and I dont think they ever did.
I am convinced the Book of Mormon is not of divine origin, but a text Smith copied from the King James Bible and secular writings as a fraud to get financial gain and power over the lives of others.
I find the "Law of Eternal Progression" in direct conflict with Isaiah chapters 43-46, Deuteronomy 6:4, and Job chapters 3842.
I have many other doctrinal differences with the Church. I do not believe in baptism for the dead, the authority of the Mormon priesthood, or the three levels of heaven.
Since I have become born again through faith in Christ and that alone, I have become aware that all Mormon doctrine is tainted with error.
I have come to this decision after prayer, and it is absolutely final. Any attempt to contact me to change my thinking, by Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, Missionaries, or other representatives of the LDS Church, I would consider an invasion of my privacy.
Since I have done nothing wrong, I will participate in no Church court or trial.
I have obtained great peace of mind since coming to a knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have assurance that my salvation is not dependent upon my own futile attempts at righteousness, but on Christ. He is my salvation.
I would personally encourage you to examine again the first eight chapters of the book of Romans, the book of Galatians, and the second chapter of the book of Ephesians.
I pray for your salvation,