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Resigned from LDS Church on Sunday

Posted on 13 November 2008 by admin

On Sunday, I went to the Westwood chapel behind the LA temple to see if I could meet with the bishop to be excommunicated. There was a special combined ward service going on at the time and “brethren” standing guard outside because protesters were in front of the temple. I wasn’t dressed in mormon attire so they initially wouldn’t let me in. They called a counselor from the stake presidency outside and I told him that I was a member and that I’d like to join the service and speak with him and/or the bishop after. He escorted me in to an overflow area after I promised to be respectful/not make any outbursts.

On the way through the halls, I was a bit surprised to pass Larry King! I guess his wife is mormon and he sometimes comes to church with her. I wondered if he’d say anything about the protests and controversy on his show the next day. His guest was Judge Judy and she was just disgusted by it all. He seemed to concur. Very interesting that he was INSIDE the compound where the protests were going on and kept that out of the story. I guess that’s professional of him?

Anyway, after the service, while waiting for the counselor, a number of members talked to me — some thinking I was just a curious visitor (until I told them I was there to ask for excommunication). One guy amazingly was hopeful that I’d reconsider. I was fairly conspicuous coming in during the service since I’m extremely tall, was dressed in street clothes, and was obviously emotional (since a heart wrenching call with my parents earlier in the morning when they told me they voted FOR prop 8, citing all the reasons you’d expect).

The counselor eventually came and took me to the bishop and they met with me for awhile. I expressed how much hurt I felt about prop 8, and the church involvement on top of it all. They were very kind and understanding, listened to me, and didn’t try to argue or make a defense. They let me write out a letter of resignation (I actually used the term “renounce” in the letter) and said that they’d work on it for me. They said it might take more time than usual as they thought it was safe to say the church was going to get hundreds if not thousands of letters like this at once.

Once finished, I left and joined the protest in front of the temple for awhile.

For those wondering about the service, I arrived during the second half of sacrament (and I proudly took the water and passed the tray). The remainder of the service was a primary program that seemed like it may have been planned for awhile. Not sure if it was moved up for this occasion. I don’t know what might have been said at the start of the meeting. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t have long talks about this huge controversy, unless I missed them at the start.

Overall, it was a very emotional experience. Went as well as anything like that could have gone.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Kathleen Kilday Says:

    This poor young man has obviously not been to church for a long time. He doesn’t remember that in the fall of every year the children 3-11 put on a program for the congregation. It happens in every Mormon congregation worldwide. Of course there would be no mention of politics or elections in a sacrament meeting. It is the most sacred meeting in the Mormon church. Imagine his surprise that he would be treated with respect and kindness. We Mormons will continue to treat our fellowmen with love, respect and kindness even when they desecrate our holy temples, say mean-spirited things about our religious leaders, threaten us with violence and denigrate our rights as American citizens to vote our conscience and claim victory when the majority of voters agree with us. The treatment of Mormons in the aftermath of the election is both uncivilized and unAmerican, but we will continue to be civilized American!

  2. admin Says:

    Not surprised at all by the kindness and warmth, Kathleen. I don’t think you’ll see one word from ME on here about the mormons being violent devils or any such thing.

    But I don’t think you treated the gay and lesbian community with much love and kindness when you ganged up on us to strip us of the right to marry.

    Wouldn’t you be upset if someone stripped your church of its right to hold services, or your right to marry? Would you ever stop fighting the good fight for freedom and equality? I think not. Nor will we.

  3. arod Says:

    This whole issue is moot. The issue at hand isn’t about the right of RELIGIONS to accept gay marriage, but for GOVERNMENT to recognize contractual mergers between individuals, which, from a government perspective, is what marriage is. All the arguments about whether gay marriage will tear apart the fabric of society is bogus. The fact that the Mormon church voted for the proposition shows that the Mormon church isn’t interested in a separation of church and state. The issue with the proposition was to extend to gay couples the same rights that straight couples enjoy. Specifically, those rights include:

    a. the right to merge assets
    b. the right to visit a partner in the hospital ill
    c. the right to execute the will of their partner
    d. the right to buy property where a married couple is treated differently than two non-married individuals (e.g., buying a house)
    e. the care of children in the even of the death of one partner
    f. the right to divorce and divide up the assets

    I find it ironic that the Mormon church is against a proposition that is pro-family, as shown by points b,c, and e. points a,d, and f are essentially legal issues that the legalization of gay marriage would ensure. By the Mormon church moving against such tenents, and funding the voter drive against such a proposition, they are inherently violating the separation of church and state as defined in the Constitution. If they have a problem following what the Constitution lays out, then they can leave this country.

  4. Maverick Says:

    Larry KIng? I hope its only a coincidence, but Larry did NOT host his show Friday night on Prop 8. This will have to be looked into.

  5. Joe Says:

    “arod” listed rights which need to be extended to gay/lesbian couples. I don’t think any Mormon would disagree including its leadership. So put those rights on the ballot and I bet they pass.

    But what the gay/lesbian community don’t get is that changing the definition of marriage is more than that to Mormons, Blacks, and others holding traditional BELIEFS. It is a word. But it is important to them. And as of now, they are the majority.

    So having the traditional definition of the word marriage upheld by a popular vote is certainly NOT a civil rights injustice. It’s a protection of a belief that the MAJORITY hold at this time. That’s democracy.

    The gay/lesbian community should be focused on obtaining equal rights by pursuing the rights currently not allowed (listed above) for domestic partnerships…one by one.

    American civil rights refer to actual rights, not the right to acceptace on a moral level. Claiming that the word ‘marriage’ is a right and enforcable over the majority of the voting people is silly and oppressive. All Americans deserve to shape government, not just the gay/lesbian community. They need to remember at this time that they are not the only ones who live here.

    But, once again, I believe a majority of the people would support assuring that domestic partnerships have the remaining few rights missing awarded to them if given a vote.

    The only one that might need to be worded with care is the right to adoption. Private religious organizations need to have the right to refuse adoption to gay/lesbian couples based upon a difference in beliefs. However, public adoption should be allowed. This makes sense as it again is not lawful to impose one’s beliefs on another person’s private organization because it imposes on freedom of religion.

  6. admin Says:

    Joe, thanks for taking the time to reply. I’m glad that you seem to be generally in favor of equal rights for gays and lesbians, if not the word marriage.

    The case for gay “marriage” — including the use of the term — is a matter of due process and equal protection. Everyone is free to their own beliefs, but the government and law are forbidden from anything less than fundamental fairness, unless there is a rational basis for the government to single out a group of people.

    I think that case law to date is pretty clear in showing that there is no rational basis for treating gays and lesbians differently. Laws that unfairly single out a group based on unpopularity have continually been thrown out. There has to be more substance.

    So the burden isn’t on gays and lesbians here (aside from having to stand up for ourselves). The burden is on people who want gays and lesbians to be treated differently to enact laws that rationally have a basis for doing so. A review of the California Supreme court ruling, the recent Florida gay adoption ruling, and the United States Supreme Court ruling overturning sodomy laws all say the same thing in this regard.

    Individuals will always have the right to not accept gays and lesbians. The government and our laws do not have that luxury.

  7. Cal Says:

    Admin good point. Gays and lesbians are not asking the voting public for a marriage license, we’re asking the State, a governmental entity which is supposed to be blind to discrimination. Why we had to ask “permission” with Prop 8 from the voting public is beyond me.

    There are still folks in the US who disapprove of many social advances: interracial marriages for example. That doesn’t make it right to deny people who should have them. No one is forcing any “belief” on anyone. Anyone can still believe what they like about gay marriage, that doesn’t mean it’s right for the government to condone that belief or be forced to condone it by the voting majority.

    Re the adoption thing. Many adoption groups receive government money of some sort and therefore need to comply with anti discrimination laws. This has always been the case and hasn’t changed. If a church group runs totally private adoptions without government assistance, it’s like any private adoption. You can decide not to give to gays, blacks, interracial couples, whatever. The second any church group takes tax dollars to help run the organization it should be required to comply with all laws, correct? Just like you may want your money you give to your religious organization to be used for religious purposes, I want the taxes that I pay to go to organizations that follow the law. Many people don’t seem to realize that religious organizations are only too willing to accept public financing for some of their activities and have a hard time separating the religious organization from requirements imposed by its acceptance of these funds.

  8. James McMichael Says:

    I am not a Mormon so I do not have to be so kind as Ms. Kilday. It sems that every one of these “resignations” from the Church is by someone, like this person, who has not been active in the Church for a long time. One does not have to go through the formality of writing a letter to have left in every meaningful sense. Thus,these “protest resignations”, by people who are long-inactive, do not really signify dissent within the Church. And, while this may sound petty, if this person’s purely-formal “membership” in the Church was really significant to him, I think it more likely that he would have shown up in proper attire and prior to the beginning of the Sacrement Service, especially because he could have just mailed the letter and not shown up at all. The whole story is at least as suggestive of a calculated attempt to hurt the Church for political purposes as it is of any anguished decision of conscience.

    Lastly, why doesn’t he capitalize “Mormon”. Are we sure this person really was a Mormon? If so, then he should recall that:

    “Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power–

    They are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;

    For they are the vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the Devil and his angels in eternity;

    Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come–

    Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

    These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone with the devil and his angels–

    And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;

    Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.”

    Doctrine and Covenants 76: 31-38 (February 16, 1832).

  9. chelovek Says:

    James McMichel:

    If you are not mormon, why are you quoting the d&c?

    If you are that familiar with mormonism I would suspect that you have considerable sympathies for mormonism and mormon doctrine.

    Your post strikes me as odd indeed.

    I normally capitalize the word “mormon” but just for you …

  10. R. Noble Says:

    One question for admin. You stated,”I arrived during the second half of sacrament (and I proudly took the water and passed the tray). Why did you take the sacrament and what were you proud of? Is the church true or not? If its false, why bother taking sacrament. If it true, why leave? Please email me. I am very interested…not looking for a fight.

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