My Resignation Letter from the Mormon Church
Yesterday I received my resignation letter from the Mormon Church. To say the letter was non-descript and impersonal is an understatement. The Church I had dedicated my life to wrote me all of two sentences. After 42 years in the Church, donating tens of thousands of volunteer hours, freely giving many tens of thousands of dollars in tithing, serving two full years as a missionary in Mexico, serving as an unpaid Mormon bishop over a congregation for two years, and yet, all the Church could muster to say to me when I resigned was ‘goodbye’ and ‘let us know if you want to come back’.
The Church literally sent me an unsigned form letter.
There were no regrets expressed that I was leaving. No questionnaire about what issues lead an extremely devout ex-Mormon-bishop and his family to resign. No expression of gratitude for my previous dedication, service, and donations. No interest in hearing my story or understanding me. The letter was frank and indifferent. If this were a conversation between two best friends in the middle of a rift, then this was the equivalent of one of them stomping away in defeat while saying, “Fine, have it your way”.
Compared to other official letters sent to me by the Church, the tone was different. There was no well-wishing, no words of encouragement, no flowery expressions of God’s love or the goodwill of the Church towards me. There was no warmth from the Mormon prophet expressing unconditional love from God. Just two cold sentences, spoken like a lover spurned, or a contract terminated.
Similar to how Mormons believe in an anthropomorphic God who has passions and vanities similar to humans (e.g., is offended at the improper use of official names and titles), the Mormon Church often acts like a controlling parent, one who loves conditionally, who doles out praise on the obedient and loyal children, and withholds warmth and acceptance from the children who can’t be controlled or manipulated.
Anthropomorphism as a feature of Mormonism is one of the things that led me out of the Church.
Mormon God seems to change his mind all the time. He somehow lacks the power to stop his prophets from making grave human errors, such as when eleven Mormon prophets in a row withheld offering salvation to an entire race for 150 years. Mormon God bends to the will of governments and social pressure, as when the Church abandoned polygamy in favor of statehood, and abandoned the ban on blacks holding the priesthood in favor of mainstream acceptance. Mormon God changes his mind every few minutes, if you are to believe as Mormons do that one day to God is as a thousand years to man. The LGBT exclusion policy that was “revelation” in November 2015 was later reversed by the Church in April 2019. That’s only five minutes to Mormon God. And the reversal of the policy was billed by the Church as Mormon prophets pleading with God to just do the right thing and stop hurting God’s own children. So yeah, Mormon prophets are more empathetic and less capricious than God himself.
I could go on with dozens of more examples, but I’ll stop here.
It’s no wonder then, that when my family and I resigned that the Church acted a little huffy and indignant. I mean after all, the Church is the one that is injured, right? It just lost a 6th generation Mormon, a full-tithe payer, a fully indoctrinated member, and his family. That’s not supposed to happen.
And in its injury, the Church forgot that it’s supposed to be the magnanimous and loving one-true-church-of-God. But it’s okay. I understand. The Church is only human.