This letter is my formal resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I wish for this action to be effective immediately. I can’t even begin to explain how weird it is to type those words. That is a sentence I never imagined would be in my thoughts, let alone writing to you in such an official capacity. There was a time in my life when the church was everything, yet now it means so little. I have no animosity towards the church, and in fact, am very grateful for the many beautiful ways it has changed my life and made me who I am. However, after years of research, thoughtful prayer and contemplation, and listening to my heart, I have discovered my personal beliefs no longer fall in line with the teachings of the church or the covenants I previously made within the walls of the temple. The person God made me to be, the way I truly feel in my heart of hearts, and the woman I proudly am today cannot exist and be what you consider a “true and faithful Mormon.” For these reasons, among many others, I am prepared to step away from the church entirely to be the person I believe God intended me to be, rather than live a life being “inactive” or considered a “bad Mormon” in the eyes of all those around me or in the eyes of you as church leaders.
I understand the gravity of this decision and all that comes with it, including the cancellation of my baptism and confirmation, my temple blessings, and the sealing of my marriage. There are many reasons why those things no longer hold the sacred value they once did. The first being, I believe in God and I believe in eternal families, but not in the way you do. I do not believe that a forever family comes only through faithful Mormonism and a sealing performed within the walls of a Mormon temple. “Families Can Be Together Forever” is such a sweet and loving song; until you realize it’s also a song of exclusion and the separation of many wonderful families, families like the one I grew up in. I cannot fathom a God that would put me on this earth with very specific parents to raise me, provide for me, support me, love me, and live a lifetime of worrying and caring for my well-being, or to give me a very specific sister who would be my best friend through life, and to give me the opportunity to choose a devoted, loving husband, and together, become loving parents ourselves to three beautiful children; only to give us circumstantial eternal togetherness. And quite honestly, if God’s love and eternal happiness for me rests solely on being a member of this particular church and blindly obeying a meticulous set of rules, rather than a result of who I am as a person and how I treat the very beings he placed in my life here on this earth, and even persons I don’t personally know… well, then I’d rather live an eternity in “hell” (or whatever lower realm of exaltation I am seemly doomed to) with the rest of my family and loved ones anyway. For whatever knowledge and understanding I lack, I know that God knows my heart and intentions. I am not scared of what is waiting for me on the other side, because I feel at peace with this decision. I have never been so certain of how my heart feels, than in the moment I made this decision. With each new policy change and excommunication of incredible people standing up for themselves by socially speaking truths and sharing their personal feelings, it solidifies my decision even more. I just can’t be the good and genuine person I want to be in this world and live to your standards of what “good” really means.
I truly am grateful for many aspects of the church and wholeheartedly believe there are many wonderful values and lessons that are instilled within me because of the church; which I hope I can instill in my own children. I love and respect all those who do believe and do not seek to change anyone’s opinion. I simply want everyone to be happy in this life and I believe in a God that wants that, too, regardless of what they believe in, whom they choose to love, or what they choose to drink, etc. I have gone through a major change of perspective towards organized religion in general and have had my eyes opened to things I cannot simply ignore. While there are beautiful words spoken and incredible lessons to be learned during conference, I no longer believe that a man called to be a prophet, knows what I need or who I should be, better than the conscience and heart God created within me. I do not believe there is a connection between the prophet and God that outweighs the connection I have with my God through my own personal prayers. For that reason, I cannot sustain the leaders of the church with honesty and a believing faith. I want to live an honest life; a life I can be proud of and a life of being who I really am. I am an advocate and support certain groups of people that the church has taken a stand against. I accept certain ways of living that undoubtedly go against the church’s beliefs and teachings, and I am more proud to take an active stance for these people and my personal beliefs, rather than living a life blindly obeying what someone else thinks I should believe.
God didn’t give us the chance to live in this day and age just to be molded exactly the same, to have such closed-minded perspectives and so much hatred that we look down on others who are and choose to live differently. Or, live everyday striving for a state of perfection through a meticulous set of rules, just for us to feel an enormous amount of guilt every time we fall short. God loves me and He is proud of me; this I can promise you. I could have never fathomed the amount of happiness I would feel since stepping away from the church. For the first time in my life, I know who I am and I am proud to be my authentic self. I have found such greater reasons to be a fighter, because I know my own hand in this life is far greater than you ever led me to believe. And, I live my life as the best human being I know how to be, not because you or anyone else is telling me that’s who I have to be, but because that’s my choice and the mark I want to leave in this world. Writing this letter of resignation, rather than just remaining an inactive Mormon, has been the single last thread that has kept me from closing this chapter in my life and moving onto the next. Which has been a chapter of feeling free and taking a true stand for myself and the things I now believe in.