A series of small failures


Here’s my letter
November 7, 2008, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s a formality, really. I haven’t been an active mormon since I got back from my mission. But here’s the letter, finally:

Member Records Division, LDS Church

50 E North Temple Rm 1372

SLC UT 84150-5310

 

This letter is to inform you that as of November 4, 2008, I have terminated my membership in the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. The Church’s participation in the political campaign against gay marriage in California and other states is the catalyst for my action.

Please remove the name Jodi Lynn Mardesich (birth date December 9, 1960) from the records of the LDS Church immediately — as dictated in the General Handbook of instructions.

I understand that my resignation from the church cancels the effect of baptism, withdraws the priesthood (not applicable to me as a woman), and suspends temple sealing and blessings. I do understand the consequences of this action, and make this formal, written request that my name be removed from the records of the church immediately.

Therefore, I ask you to promptly complete the form “Request for Administrative Action”, and forward it to the Stake President. You will need to send me a letter telling me that you have done so. Furthermore, I formally demand that the 30-day holding period be waived and that the Stake President will forward this letter and the form to the Office of the First Presidency.

I will not participate in church court or disciplinary council as I am no longer a member.  I am exercising my freedom of religion and I am requesting the administrative procedure for membership removal. I do not wish to be contacted by anyone except by mail confirming that my name has been removed from the records. This includes home teachers, visiting teachers and church leadership trying to visit or call by phone.

Throughout the years I have had strong objections to the doctrine and teachings of the LDS church. Just after returning home from my mission to Uruguay, in 1984, I stopped going to church. After extensively researching church history, I am confident that Joseph Smith was not a prophet. I do not consider Thomas S. Monson a prophet. I don’t believe that polygamy was God’s will in the past, or that it will be a holy institution in the future. I do not condone the church’s overt encouragement of its members to campaign against the civil rights of homosexuals. The church’s involvement in the campaign to strip rights from homosexual couples in California, Arizona, Hawaii and other states has been the final straw for me. I can no longer be counted as a member of your church. The church does not speak for me.

 

Signed,

 

Jodi Lynn Mardesich

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17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I read your piece on Salon and admire your convictions and courage to ‘out’ the atrocities of yet another hypocritical religion. Once men assume the role of prophet, steering the minds of the masses with soiled intentions, it’s over. God might not be dead, but religions are dying on the vine.

Comment by lou messing

There’s one thing Joseph Smith got right: All religions are false; make your own church.

What the Mormons have forgotten, is that that is always true.

Comment by Chris

I came here after reading your piece in Salon. Excellent piece, very engaging and moving. I wish more people would stand up as you have. Best, and keep on blogging.

Comment by Angel

I’ve wanted to write my own resignation letter over proposition 8, but am somehow terrified the church will notify my elderly mother. I was raised in the church, baptized at 8, and am the youngest of ten kids. I am now an atheist who believes in equal rights for all. Cheers to you for having the courage to resign!

Comment by pipit

Thanks for writing your words and giving me the courage to take my name off the church’s records as well. I served 6 months of a mission in Brazil and North Carolina before making myself sick enough to come home, though the church, my family and friends all tried to get me to tough it out…

I’ve been so upset about the prop. 8 decision but I’d completely forgotten that I’m technically still one of them… I hope you don’t mind if I use your letter as a template for my own?

Thank you !

Comment by Jonathon Howard

Good for you.. read your piece on Salon & wanted to stop by to show my support. Plus, you are inspiring others to stand up for what they believe in.. like Jonathon above.

Also, everyone, don’t forget about the nationwide protest this Saturday – you can find out more and where to gather in your city here: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/

Comment by Stacy

Just earlier this week I sent in my letter of resignation, I too served a mission, in Southern California, and I stopped going to church shortly after returning. I search the scriptures and church history and didn’t like what I found and being gay didn’t help keep me in the church either. I’m one of the lucky thousands that was able to get married before the passage of the hateful propositions. I’ve been married a few month now to the man I have spent the last 20 years of my life. Thank you for your support of our marriage and for posting your story.
JeanPaul

Comment by JP

Wow. Wow. Wow. I’m so glad I found you via Salon! I’ve weighed withdrawing my membership from the Mormon church for the past 22 years, and always – ALWAYS – talked myself out of it for any number of reasons (they’d contact me MORE! – My parents would be HURT! They’d try to get me to participate in an EXCOMMUNICATION!), but NO MORE!

I want to be courageous and stance-y and proud like you, Jodi. Thanks for pushing me off that precipice at last. And thanks for your articulate and thoughtful article/post/letter(s).

True believers in Mormonism will probably never get the irony of how unloving their stance(s) toward all non-heterosexual people, brown people (“forgiven” and given priesthood rights at last or not), and women are. I’m inspired by your upholding the principles of authentic, loving, humanist values.

Comment by rebekah

[…] her to get her name off of the church membership list: The day after the election, I wrote my letter of resignation. I sent it to the membership office of the church, telling them that I am no longer One of Them. […]

Pingback by Proposition 8 Creates an Ex-Mormon | All Reason

Thanks for sharing your story and for your courage to stand for something. Won’t you now sign for something too and add your name to the growing numbers of exmormons who are speaking out against bigotry and hatred!

http://signingforsomething.org/blog/?page_id=1784

You are not alone!

Comment by Suspicious Minds

I was born and raised a Mormon and spent a significant amount of my life trying to believe it. I never managed to gain that “testimony”, mostly because I have common sense.

When people find out that I’m from Utah, the first thing they want to know is if I’m a Mormon. When they find out I’m not a believer it’s open season on Mormon bashing. I used to join in because Mormonism is, indeed, preposterous. Then I realized that all other religions are just as preposterous. I learned to discourage the bashing by pointing out that most of the best people I know happen to be Mormon.

This is why it’s so hard for me to understand the hateful position that the LDS Church has taken regarding Prop 8. Those same people stand with the church on the issue, and while none of them are inherently hateful, they fail to see the hatefulness of their position.

I’ve never felt sufficiently motivated to write the letter of resignation but I am now reconsidering. Any by the way, I want all that tithing back that I paid when I was too young to know better, with interest.

Comment by Cap'n Parrotdead

The passing of this Prop made me angry, but like you, the final straw for me was learning how much money the Mormon church as a whole and as individuals gave to the campaign for discriminating against non-heteros. After I get back from this Christmas visit with my family I’m resigning as well. Can I copy the formal section of your letter? I myself wasn’t sure how to resign, but your letter is far more than adequate and I admire its firmness. Thanks!

Comment by Garin Davidson Tripp

garin, feel free to use any of the letter. Make sure to send it priority mail with tracking. you will still probably get a response like the one i did. good luck!

Comment by jodimardesich

Thank you for your post and everyone for your comments. They have helped to cement my belief that even if the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not the true church, it is still best organization out there for teaching people how to stand up for what you believe.

Comment by Richie

I usually don’t ordinarily post on many another Blogs, still I just has to say thank you… keep up the amazing work. Ok regrettably its time to get to school.

Comment by Vita Panama

It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why

Comment by Tod Honeymoons

[…] donate in force until their leaders strongly urged them to)  was the final straw for me. I resigned from the Mormon church. I blogged about it. I did my part – for a while – and let go and moved […]

Pingback by Unfinished business « i am blossoming




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