25 February 2012

PE: My Letter of Resignation

Today, I sent my letter of resignation to Church Headquarters. I followed the format suggested on this site which details all the steps you should take if you are thinking about resigning. Originally, I wrote quite a bit about why I was leaving and my experience. I decided to be brief and to the point. All I really want to get across is that I strongly oppose the church's involvement preventing full equality to gays.


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."

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.

While I am aware that including my reasons for my decision are not required, I will include a brief statement for the reader’s knowledge.

I vehemently oppose the decisions made by church leadership to actively contribute to the voice of anti-gay rhetoric in the political, secular, and public sphere, particularly concerning marriage. I do not agree with leaders abusing their ecclesiastical power to rally members to fight against the civil rights of any class of people. I stand for equality, kindness and decency- ideals which I believed this church stood for. I want nothing more to do with an organization that continues to be indecent to a group of people in the name of God. It has forever stained the image of God in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people. It has cut deep wounds into the hearts of gay people and their loved ones around the world and relentlessly continues to throw salt on those wounds. I have had enough of the embarrassing lies the church continues to spew which are responsible for the betrayal, abandonment, and even death of some of the most beautiful, talented, and loving children of God. I am absolutely ashamed of the Church I once represented and outraged that the leadership seems determined to remain unapologetically ignorant and bigoted on this matter.


Jonathan Adamson


Chris said...

Jonathan - A well written and serious letter. I totally concur with your assessment that the Church has been "indecent" towards gays. Over the last few years, I have distanced myself considerably from the Church, starting with a lot of concerns I have about Church doctrine and history. As I came out later as gay, I was more willing to face the idea that the Church is really an unhealthy place for gay people, spiritually, emotionally and socially.

I am not at the point where I am ready to resign my membership and I am not sure that is a step I will eventually take. Hopefully you still recognize a lot of good in the Church and the fact that many wonderful individuals make up its membership. There are a lot of areas where the Church shouldn't be cut any slack, but I think it is important to still see the good in Mormonism. Personally, I am still working through bitterness and a feeling that I got rolled over by the big bus of Mormon orthodoxy, but a more peaceful perspective is my ultimate aim. Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

Writing this letter and sending it is pretty difficult for some people, but I am proud that you wrote it. You're a very good, decent person, Jonathan. Not being a member of The Church will NOT change that. I still hold most of my previous values, but I have also grown in my connection to our human family and our Heavenly Parents.

Well done.

jimf said...

> Writing this letter and sending it is pretty difficult for
> some people, but I am proud that you wrote it.

Yes, I can well imagine that it feels like being in a really
fast elevator that's just started to head down. ;->
Or like going over the top of a Ferris wheel.

But it was the right thing to do.

I've never had to do anything comparable -- I'm one of those
people to whom religion just never "stuck", and on top of
that my childhood religious indoctrination was pretty tepid,
anyway. But I admire people who manage to extricate themselves,
despite the fact that they once took it all very seriously
indeed, and despite the fact that their families still do.
Of course, being gay, and hence having it be **impossible**
to "do the right thing" according to the authorities, is
a pretty good incentive to re-evaluate the basics
(especially if suicide is the alternative).

On the other hand, some people, despite having apparently
freed themselves intellectually, take much longer to free themselves
emotionally. I met somebody once, a gay guy who, despite
having nominally rejected his childhood religion, still had nightmares
about going to hell because he'd "given in" to being gay.
That was decades ago -- I hope he's gotten over it by now!
The right therapist is no doubt useful in such a case.
Or maybe even just the right reading material. The very
**idea** of hell is such a transparent bid for social control,
and such a **nasty** threat -- being punished for all eternity?
Come on! -- that it seems more like something you'd scare
little kids with, rather than something a grownup could possibly
take seriously (and what decent person would want to scare little kids?).

jimf said...

> I am absolutely ashamed of the Church I once represented and
> outraged that the leadership seems determined to remain unapologetically
> ignorant and bigoted on this matter.

A book about how politics seems to be all about sex these days --
something I saw on the "New Non-Fiction" table at Barnes & Noble
last weekend:

_Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America_
Nancy L. Cohen

(Speaking of Barnes & Noble -- they've definitely been de-emphasizing their
"gay and lesbian studies" sections lately, and I believe one of the three stores
in my area has quietly eliminated the section altogether -- I couldn't find it
after their last move-the-shelves-around reorganization.)


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