This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I wish it to be effective immediately. I never imagined I’d write that last sentence. At one point after my mission, all I wanted for my life was to serve in the church. Working in the Timpanogos temple one summer after a semester at BYU Idaho, inside those walls I dreamed of being sealed and having my own family who I would actively raise in the gospel. A lot has happened between then and now. Now I don’t even want to be affiliated with the church. It’s not that I hate the church, or hold any personal animosity towards it. I simply don’t believe in its truth claims, nor do I agree with most of its teachings. I want to raise my kids far away from the influence of any religion, especially one that preaches against civil rights, sponsors exclusion, promotes spiritual abuse, and motivates by fear, guilt and shame. There is too much harm the church has done and will continue to do to people. I can’t ignore it, and I won’t be any part of it. It’s sad, because I believe the church does a lot of good, and believe it has the potential to do so much better. I have hope for the church. I hope someday with new leaders, it realizes the mistakes that have been made, and does its best to correct them. It wouldn’t be the first time. To make it clear, I’m leaving the church for the many harmful negatives, but I’ll truly miss the positives. I understand by sending this letter in, I’m throwing away my baptism, my priesthood, my temple blessings, my temple marriage, and any other blessings rooted in those things. It’s weird how the things I used to hold most dear, which gave meaning to my life, no longer hold any value whatsoever. It's an odd feeling to so nonchalantly toss away everything that gave my life meaning. It’s like someone long ago handed me a gift and told me the box’s contents are valuable beyond anything else I would ever own. Believing to be among the select chosen few to have such a special gift, I cherished it and went to great lengths to keep it safe. I never needed to question its contents. I believed in its value without needing proof. The steps it took to learn the gift box was actually empty was difficult and heart wrenching. I frantically searched every corner of that box. For a long time I carried around a box I knew was empty. I was afraid to let it go. I finally came to the realization that I gave the gift value, not the other way around, and trying to hold onto it was holding me back. With both hands free, there was so much more of life I was able to embrace. The reason I can throw my baptism and temple blessings away so easily, through a simple letter, is because I now understand the only value they really had was the value I gave them. They never made me more valuable, or more special, or chosen. Now that my focus is no longer on something empty, I can see how special everyone is, and that’s more fulfilling than anything I felt before. This letter is my complete exit from the church. I don’t want any further contact from the church except when I move, the young men are always welcome to come over and help me move. Seriously though, I’ll miss the kind people and incredible community the church gave me. Here’s to not looking back. Cheers.