Saturday, January 1, 2011


I resigned from the mormon church today.  If you leave a Protestant church, you just leave, but not in the mormon church, there is a very formal process.  You have to write a letter to the local church leader, the bishop and send a copy of that letter to church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Ut.  There is very specific information that has to be contained in the letter.  Because so many people are resigning now than ever before, people can resign by e-mail and by fax, now.  I resigned by e-mail.  I hand delivered the letter to my bishop, however.

That conversation was interesting.  The bishop asked if the letter contained allegations of abuse by my former husband.  I was not expecting this question. It upset me, as I had this conversation with this man before. He knew the answer. I admit I yelled at him, "Are you kidding me? You know he abused me! You know he was $7,000 in arrears in child support and yet he was given a temple recommend anyway! His bishop and Stake President knew this.  This is a misogynistic church. Yes, my letter spells all this out, but nothing is going to change!" He told me to stop yelling at him.  I calmed down and we had an interesting conversation.

We discussed  the origins of the church, how the mormon church grew out of Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon's desire to understand the nature of god and how they were members of the Campbellite church and how the mormon church and book of mormon contains the doctrines of the Campbellite church.  We discussed tithing and how the church spends 3 billion dollars on the city creek mall and yet expects its members to pay tithing even before they buy food for their family.

One of the most interesting discussions was about spiritual experiences.  He told me he just knows the church is true because he has had spiritual experiences.  He told me knows that I too have had those experiences.  He asked how do I explain that.  I told him that I have done a lot of research because I have had to be at peace with everything.  I told him this was one of the most troubling aspects for me.  I told him that I did have these experiences, but that they contradicted each other.  I told him that what I found is that science has explained these as our mind telling us what we want to hear.

I gave him an example that when I was dating the soon-to-be husband, I prayed about marrying him, and received an answer that he was the one that I should marry, that he would treat me well. He didn't, and then when the marriage was crumbling, I prayed as to whether I should divorce him and received an answer that I should divorce him, and received an answer that that is the path I should take.  This was very confusing to me.  Why would I be told to marry him, then be emotionally abused by him for 20 years, then be told to divorce him?  What kind of god was this?  When searching for answers, it makes sense that it was my sub-conscience telling me both answers and not some supernatural force.

I am a pleaser and my family was putting heavy pressure on me to marry.  It was logical for me to marry this man.  He was established, owned a home, was working on his masters, held down a good job.  When the marriage was dissolving, I had tried everything to make it work, literally everything, and the only path was the path out.  My mind knew this.

At one point the bishop tried turning this into a temple recommend interview (odd-here I was handing in my resignation and that is what he is worried about?) by asking me if I was keeping my temple covenants.  I told him I don't believe in that stuff.  He told me I wasn't going to convert him to believing my way.  I told him that wasn't my point, that I was just telling him all the research I had done so he knew I hadn't taken all of this lightly (again, odd, since he knew about most the stuff I was telling him about).  I wanted him to know I had been thorough and introspective.

How do I feel? I feel odd.


Too Hard Headed to Give Up said...

I haven't resigned, but I did try to give my recommend back to my bishop. I hadn't DONE anything that made me unworthy, except that I realized I didn't want it.

He told me to keep it, and bore his testimony about how having a recommend makes us better people. I challenged him on that. A slip of paper makes people better? How?

It was about this time that he decided there was someone else that needed to talk to him. And I was gone. Recommend still in my hand. I decided I didn't really care one way or the other about the paper. I just wanted to tell someone that I didn't want it anymore.

Congratulations on resigning.
I'd feel really odd too...

AGoffinM-town said...

Thanks, Too Hard Headed to Give Up. If the bishop had said ANYTHING, other than what he did, I would have been ok. But I was so caught off guard. Isn't it funny how they can throw us by their response? Why did it matter at that point if I mentioned the abuse in my marriage? It didn't seem to matter to the church leaders during the marriage, during the separation or after. Why now? Just let me go in peace.