So, many of you know that I'm from a long line of Mormon Pioneers, and that I was born and raised in the Mormon Church. I've considered myself "out" of the church since 2000, when I officially told my bishop I was done. He proceeded to threaten, cajole and intimidate me, then tried for about six years to reactivate us by sending the latest brave soul to our door to tell us how lost we were. I politely told each and every person that we were fine, and to please just leave us alone.
A few years back, someone close to me that I knew resigned her membership in the church, and I've been wanting to do that since she did, but just never found the time to do it. Okay, maybe I was still deeply frightened of such a step, regardless of how much I profess to not believe in the church. But the idea continued to intrigue me, as I don't believe in or recognize the church leaders as having authority over me, and didn't want to endure the stigmatism of having a church court in order to leave the church.
I found this wonderfully supportive website: http://www.mormonnomore.com/, which gives support and instructions for how to resign your membership. Resigning sounds to me like it's a choice I made, rather than one made for me because I've sinned. Since I had no choice in the matter of being baptised when I was but eight years old, I did have a choice about how I was going to leave.
We (me and four of my five children) received our letters from the church last week letting us know that our resignations had been accepted, and that if we ever wanted to return, to contact our local church leaders. It was all very clean and very non-dramatic, just as the site promised, if the instructions were followed exactly. This process was dramatically different from other people I know who have left, who have been forced to go through a church court trial, and in the process have had their names slandered from the pulpit of the local ward house. It was truly a blessing to me to be able to finally cut the last connection. Leaving that last string attached, even though I haven't felt part of the church emotionally or physically for over 10 years, still bothered me, because I don't do anything half way, and this felt hypocritical to me to still be an official member. Almost like I was saying: "Well, I'm going to remain a member, in case it's all true, and I'm just temporarily messed up." That wasn't the way I felt, so completing this final step was what I needed to do.
A very dear friend, who is one of my few remaining LDS friends from my "previous life" directed me to the blog of a true warrior. A woman and her family who live in a very active LDS area of Utah, and who had the courage to leave the church and follow their own path in life. She has written a letter to her family explaining her reasons for leaving the church, as well as her feelings during the process. And it is a process, I assure you!! I'm linking to her blog here (which I hope is okay; she's a goddess in my eyes, as well as a fantastic writer), because this letter could have come straight out of my head.
As I was sharing with my friend, none of my family who are still LDS have ever asked me any questions about my beliefs now, or the reasons why I left, save one of my sisters in law. I am more than happy to share, if people ask, and I'd rather you know why, than make your own assumptions. Read this open letter to Mormons, and if you still want my personal take on it, ask me and I'll tell you.
Angela's open Letter to Mormons: Angela's Blog: Wholehearted
Signed: extremely happy to be MormonNoMore
AKA: your same old friend Dayna