About 1,500 resign from LDS Church at event prompted by policy change on same-sex couples

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Mormons who are unhappy with the recent change in LDS Church policy regarding same-sex couples and their children gathered for an event in Salt Lake City Saturday afternoon, where a reported 1,500 people left the LDS Church as part of a mass-resignation.

For some, the new policy regarding same-sex couples and their children was the last straw. Participants turned in letters requesting they be removed from LDS Church records, and attorney Mark Naugle tell FOX 13 News there were 1,500 resignations requested at Saturday's gathering.

“This is going to be hard for a lot of people,” said Lauren Elise McNamara, Organizer of the LDS Church mass-resignation event.

Hundreds filled out forms, resigning from the LDS Church.

“We want to keep the energy as loving as possible, and that's going to be hard because a lot of us are angry,” McNamara said.

Right outside the LDS Church's world headquarters, members turned in their resignation forms.

“I'm resigning today with everyone else, and so is my husband,” McNamara said.

The event was sparked after the LDS Church announced its updated policy that children of same-sex couples cannot be members of the faith until they reach the age of adulthood, move out of their parents home and disavow the practice of same-sex relationships.

Friday, the LDS Church clarified that the policy applies to children whose primary residence is with a same-sex couple, and that children of same-sex couples who have already been baptized will not have their membership activities or priesthood privileges curtailed.

“I had said I’m done, but I wasn't ready to do the paperwork, and then this hit and I said: 'It has to happen now, I can't wait any longer,'” McNamara said.

That’s the reason many were there.

“I’ve been a member my whole life, and it's just kind of the final straw for me,” said Connie Walker from Provo.

To make the process of leaving the LDS Church easier, notaries and lawyers were on hand.

“I never would have imagined it would have been at an event like this, where we could do it with other people, to show support and love for each other, because for me, that's what really matters is love and to accept people for who they are,” said Matthew Rogers from Salt Lake City.

While hundreds came to resign, others came to show support.

“I'm here because I left in isolation," said Jessica Myer of Provo. "It was, it was like a really hard decision to make. It was really important to me at the time. It was really hard, and I wanted to come out and support and make it not so hard for people."

This all happening the day after the LDS Church's First Presidency gave clarification to its members, calling for all children to be treated with respect and love. But those attending the resignation say the new policy does the opposite of that.

“I feel that it puts a pit between our relationship, and that it's only harming families, versus helping,” said Eric Brewster of Layton.

In response to the resignations, the LDS Church released this statement to FOX 13, saying in part: "We do not want to see anyone leave the church, especially people who have been struggling with any aspect of their life. The church exists to build people and help them heal."

But, still, some are walking away from the LDS Church for good.

“I would say, actions speak louder than words,” McNamara said.

Once the LDS Church receives the resignation letters, they will inform those who resigned that their request is being processed. It is important to note that, according to a poll from the mass resignation Facebook page, only about 4 percent of those attending the event are active members of the LDS Church.

See below for the full statement from the LDS Church regarding Saturday's event:

“We don’t want to see anyone leave the Church, especially people who have been struggling with any aspect of their life. The Church exists to build people and help them heal, and there isn’t one of us who doesn’t need help at some point in our lives. We hope that today's guidance from Church leaders and the additional commentary will help provide understanding and context to some who may be considering resigning their membership. It’s extremely important that our members read what leaders have said, and do not rely on other sources or interpretations or what people think they have said."

62 comments

    • T

      It took me 2 years of asking them to remove my records until they finally did it. So….these people are probably in the same situation. Lol

      • HYRUM_JUSTICE

        If it takes 2 years to do anything except get a 4-year college degree you really weren’t trying very hard T. Sorry to hear you were ineligible to resign again this week.

    • Arwen

      Not really, the 1,500 people who resigned were doing it for the first time. There were more than 1,500 people there that could not resign because they already have done this is in the past. I was one of those that resigned and I’m very happy.

  • Faux News

    My wife and I sent our letters on Monday. I have no ill will toward those that still want to believe in their doctrine and have faith in this religion. We however do not agree with the LDS belief not do we think it is what a loving deity would want for it’s children.

    • bob

      Nobody believes you were actually faithful church-goers. Especially with a name like “faux news.”

      Obvious liberal is obvious.

      • Faux News

        As a former elders quorum president, mean people like you and bob are why we chose not to belong to an organization that spreads this type of hate and attracts this type of character. You are correct we have not been active for a couple of years after dealing with your type of judgement. We truly wish you happiness and I hope you find it. God speed.

      • HYRUM_JUSTICE

        @FAUX NEWS
        A lot of elder’s quorum presidents have apostatized over the years Faux News. Even one of Jesus’s apostles, Judas Iscariot, chose to abandon his beliefs. Nothing new.

      • bob

        I’m an atheist. If you’re making decisions about your membership in a particular religion based on ME you’re not very bright.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        @Faux News
        It’s the same old story Faux. People become inactive, look for reasons to get their feeling hurt, and then carefully and tenderly nurse those hurt feelings. Your decent from what you were to what you’ve become is sad.

      • Faux News

        You did not comprehend the point of my statement. It was not you personally that was the change agent as i do not know you nor care about your opinion and I believe you should choose any path your heart desires. It is people “like” you that try to coerce, intimidate and belittle people if they do not choose your one and only perceived true belief and your way is the only right way mentality. This is the type of person that the LSD church tends to attract and support and I simply cannot be a part of that. I do not have hurt feelings and was simply making a statement and then a follow up clarification to you which your seemed to take offence too like all your other angry posts belittling people. Again, I wish you happiness my friend and hope you find your personal peace and can overcome that chip on your shoulder. Good luck man.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        @FAUX NEWS
        At one point in your life you were an active member of the LDS Church, very likely served and LDS mission, and thereafter lost your testimoney. I’m watching a similar story in my neighborhood where a very active father baptized his oldest daughter, is now in the process of getting divorced, and is leaving his wife to struggle without his help to keep their children active.

        It is an ageless fight between the two forces: One for good, and the other for evil.

    • Faux News

      So far from the stigma and stereotype Mormon that left the church. Nope did not serve a mission. Yes I have a strong loving and intimate relationship with my wife. Love all my kids and grand kids and spend Sunday dinners laughing and poking fun at one another. Have a great job and love live. I know it may not make sense to you but one can have a wonderfully fulfilling life without a man made god. Freedom without guilt is an incredible feeling. I truly hope you find it. anyway, your a total downer and finished with responding to your hate as I now know there is no use in debating with your kind. Love life my friend! :)

  • Finny Wiggen

    A group of individuals who were already inactive, use a policy that is based on love, to claim they or others were wronged, so they can get their moment in the spotlight.

    They were already opposed to the church, but this way they can convince themselves they are victims, or are taking a stand.

    The reality is that their actions are the absolute definition of immaturity and intolerance.

    Being perpetually offended is not something to be proud of. Not is faux grandstanding.

    I am sorry to point it out, but you look childish.

    Take a moment and try to understand this policy. If you still disagree act like an adult, not an entitled child.

    Our don’t. But understand that the only ones who think you are acting courageously are yourselves.

    The rest of us grew up years ago.

    • daRenegadeMama

      The “rest of you” didn’t grow up years ago, Finny. You gave up years ago. Gave up your free will. Gave up your ability to think for yourselves. Gave up your willingness to stand for the downtrodden. You gave all of that up – and then became entitled.

      Forgetting the persecution your ancestors endured for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences (even if it -er polygamy- violated the social norms of the time), you’ve became entitled powerholders wielding you power over those YOU chose to relegate to the margins.

      Thank God for these “children” and their unsubdued belief in (and collective action toward) a “righteousness” that embraces the beauty of humanity and isn’t steeped in festering entitlement and bigotry.

      • Finny Wiggen

        You show who you are, by how you behave. Only one side of this has displayed absolute intolerance. The other side, love and acceptance. Only one side is grandstanding, and displaying immature pretended outrage. The other side is largely ignoring the immature high school behavior, and simply living their lives.

        Only one side took the time to research the decision, and try to understand it. The other simply reacted. That same side tries to understand and works to make intelligent level-headed decisions. The other side is constantly seeking to call those they disagree with names, and put them down in big emotional displays of intolerance.

        Indeed, most adults have grown up. Most of us take the time to try to understand those around us, and support them. You are not on that side. Though you are to emotionally invested to realize or accept it, and too immature to admit it.

        I wish you all the best. Being as intolerant and reactionary as you are will lead to a rough life and a constant state of being offended. That much drama is not good for anyone. It poisons the soul. But again, you are to invested to even realize that you fall into that category.

        The church you persecute loves and supports you. While we do not participate in the well of anger and high school drama that you do, we do hope that when you do grow up that you will join us, perhaps not in fellowship, but in common human love and tolerance for others who have different beliefs.

        You will find it to be a much happier life, when you don’t have a list in your pocket of who has offended you, and who you need to publicly get even with.

    • Arwen

      Since when is standing up for what you believe childish and immature? Let me tell you what is immature, being judgemental like you. Your comment is just based on labeling people and you don’t even mention the issue. YOu don’t mention a policy that discriminates children and hurts families. This is the real problem, this polciy. Not the people that are upset about it.

      Why would,ypu protect a policy like this? It’s is sad that some mormons are becoming the Pharisees of the last days since the letter of the law has become more important to them than to love people.

      • Finny Wiggen

        Why would someone support a policy based in love and the welfare of children?
        Because I care about children, and want what is best for them…

        The bigger question is why do you insist that the policy is mean-spirited, without any effort to look at why it was made. Tolerance must be built on understanding, and goes both ways.

  • SonofMosiah

    Would be interesting to know how many actually turned mailed their papers. Sounds like news outlets might be blowing this up to be a lot more than it was. 1,000 mormon haters, “hundreds’ fill out the form… 12 actually mail it… I wonder

    • GreenJello

      The main attorney on site collected approximately 1500 resignation letters today, and will be mailing them on Monday. Hundreds more mailed their own letters today at the mailbox closest to the Church Office Building.

      • HYRUM_JUSTICE

        I think it’s time to hold another Family Homo Evening Greenjello. We’ll let you say the opening prayer.

  • Truth Bomb

    The sad fact is many of these were not “active” members of the LDS church in the first place. They were “members” in record only so “losing” them well have little to no net impact.

    It’s real basic: If someone does not sustain the leaders of the church then they really shouldn’t go anyway. This action to disavow yourself from the body of the church is simply the public confirmation of a private choice you’d already made…

    • HYRUM_JUSTICE

      The sad fact is that none of them were active, and the vast majority of them aren’t now and most likely never were members in the first place.

      Deviant $exual behavior has never been compatible with Christian teachings. They’d be better off joining the predominant religion in Iran where they’d find true acceptance.

  • Maynard

    What I find most sad is the way basically people are saying there inactive so good riddance …wouldn’t you want to try to make them more active… Kinda shocked that so many are against a religious group so much

    • Finny Wiggen

      No one is saying good riddance. Simply pointing out the obvious.

      Pointing out that they were already inactive is not the same thing as saying you are glad they are gone.

      You can point out the obvious, and be sorry these individuals made poor / self centered choices at the same time.

    • HYRUM_JUSTICE

      They’ve gone far beyond inactive Maynard. They’ve come out in open rebellion and aposatized. Reminds me of child throwing a temper tantrum. Best cure is to ignore them.

  • Mark

    Long disaffected “members” of the LDS church resign in protest of a policy that mirrors a longstanding one dealing with children of polygamist families. Ho hum…

    Thanks for the reminder that the prophets who have been warning about trials in the last days really are inspired!

  • bob of all bobs

    I say good riddance, these people were not really “true” mormons to begin with.
    You can’t call yourself one and then cherry pick which God’s laws you agree with and wish to follow. Make room for us true belivers. You people are supporting sinners and you won’t be missed.

  • Nancy

    I am not surprised that so many are choosing to leave the church after this. I too was shocked and confused about the new rules in the handbook. But after some deep thought and intense pondering and prayers I have come to the conclusion that this decision really is a decision of love for the children.
    Before my eyes get clawed out by comments please hear me out…
    Imagine a child, living in a loving family with two moms or two dads, finds a church that they feel good about but the church teaches that their parents could never be together forever and it isn’t the correct way of living. If that child, still young and living with their parents, becomes a member of that church it would put a wedge in the relationship with their loving parents. The child would grow up with an unwelcome open door for battle. The parents may become bitter for the child’s decision which creates a whole world of conflict between the whole family. When there is unresolved conflict in the family the whole foundation of the family starts to crumble. The child would then be left growing up in an unstable home feeling alone, and wondering whether or not they are loved.

    Although the church sounds like it is pushing those children out, it really is meant to give the child an opportunity to grow up in a loving, supportive family. A family that will teach the child to be strong and believe in themselves to make important decisions as adults.

    I do believe and have faith that the prophets of the church are led by a loving Heavenly Father that is very aware of what is happening in this world. I believe and have faith in the Plan of Salvation (which is what the church is based on) which teaches that a man and a women can be together forever with their families. Nowhere in the Plan of Salvation does it say that Heavenly Father hates people who choose a homosexual life and the people in the church should show never hatred towards them (some do and will but it is not what is taught in the gospel). I believe Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and wants children to grow up securely so that, like I said, when they are old enough to understand the world they can make their own decisions with confidence in themselves.

    • Finny Wiggen

      You are correct, and it goes much deeper than that.

      At baptism, we make covenants, and at confirmation we receive the Holy Ghost.

      We are then accountable at a higher level, and to a higher law.

      What would happen to these children if they were baptized, and then ultimately fell away, following the beliefs of their parents?

      Their eternal consequences would be greater than they would be, had they never been baptized.

      Not allowing them to make covenants that they are not ready to make, and that there is a high likelihood that they will not keep is highly merciful.

      It is out of deep love for these children, and for their welfare that this policy was out in place by the Lord.

      • Jim

        in your comment you speak as if everyone baptized into this church has a full understanding of what that baptism means. How is allowing an 8 year old who has absolutely no grasp of these so called “scriptures” or better yet The Bible( actual Scripture) any better than letting these children that you speak of make the same commitment? Your reasoning is flawed. I agree that the parents are practicing a gross sin according to God’s word The Bible (1 Cor. 6:9-11) But it is their’s not the childs. But all the better, it give the children an opportunity to find The Truth of God’s word and not be taken in by the misguided teachings of this church and it’s apostasy.

      • Finny Wiggen

        You make my point for me. You are looking at it from your perspective, rather than that of those who made the Decion.

        You view the Church as just a club or organization. We view it as the kingdom of God on Earth, and his only authorized Church.

        You are right, 8 year olds are not ready to make a commitment that they will later be accountable for.

        And that is precisely the point.

  • Isis D.

    So, honestly what’s the actual issue? That homosexual parents want their children in church? Is that such a bad thing?! They want their kids to have a faith. If that’s the case and you’re resigning you are childish.

  • wick308

    Humans are silly.. So one of the first times people left the church in droves was word of wisdom.. That was the last straw for them another time was when Joseph Smith told folks, the could not own other humans (doves) that was their last straw.. Then there was the whole hey.. African Americans can have the priesthood.. That was that last straw.. Now it’s this.. Really.. The church didn’t change folks the just adjusted fire do to same sex marriage.. I really don’t think this is a last straw.. I just think it’s a bunch of people needing an excuse.. At least be honest with yourself and take personal responsibility and stop pointing fingers.. The truth is.. Ya’ll just couldn’t hack it.. Befor you want to give me crap I grew up in the South and was persecuted every day for being LDS. Quite literally to my face.. Kids were not aloud to play with me because I was a LDS “Satan Worshipper” or I flew around in our temples in manic underwear.. Or baptize in secret in goats blood.. It never broke me.. But ya’ll are saying this broke you.. No way mannn.. You quit because you could not hack it.. Another thing.. Holy crap ya’ll are sensitive.. It is impossible to be direct in this state without some ones feeling getting hurt.. Well cowboy or cowgirl up. If you quit because you just didn’t want to be LDS just say that.. Quit justifying your actions with pointing fingers and lame excuses..

  • HYRUM_JUSTICE

    God has never condoned deviate $exual behavior. In the days of Noah He caused a great flood and drowned all the wicked, including their children.

  • Bob the Wiser

    Good for these people, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I also take issue with the reported numbers, who did the counting? Other news organizations are reporting thousands, not 1500, resigned. 1500 reportedly resigned IN PERSON while another 2000 did it by mail. That’s 3500 resignations – and doesn’t even count the people who have been doing so since this policy was announced or those who will continue to do so without the benefit of an “event.” I would like to see more of these events organized and promoted in high-mormon concentration areas – around Provo and rural Utah. We need to get the advocacy going to get these people away from this hateful cult…http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/11/good-news-thousands-resign-from-mormon-church/

    • HYRUM_JUSTICE

      How many of those who apostatized where active members who lived their religion Bob. Many will chose the LGBTQQIP2SAA lifestyle in the last days Bob. Just as you’ve done.

    • HYRUM_JUSTICE

      Members of the LGBTQQIP2SAA community all suffer from exaggeration syndrome. The sun will still rise in the eastern sky tomorrow, and new converts will outnumber the apostates. It’s actually healthy for the tree Bob

  • bob

    Actual MORMONS…..as opposed to people who happen to be on the books…..believe that Jesus is personally in charge and makes the policy decisions.

    NO ONE who believes that resigned. They’d have to be insane.

    Therefore, logically, no real Mormons resigned.

    I feel like I shouldn’t have to point this out. I’m an atheist and even I know better. I think the church’s new policy is mean-spirited and nasty, contradicts the New Testament, and will backfire in a big way…..and I’m STILL not dumb enough to believe that actual MORMONS resigned.

    It’s just trivial grandstanding by people who have no dog in the fight. Mormons can believe what they want to believe, and exclude whomever they wish to exclude for whatever reasons they like. I’ve expressed my disagreement, but there’s an end of it. I’m not going to “protest” what’s none of my business. If they all want to wear matching sneakers and wait for the next comet that’s their business.

    There are far worse things going on in the world.

  • Loren Evans

    Another perspective…1500 people effectively excommunicated the Mormon church from their lives for the church’s unworthiness. Folks left behind, something to think about.

  • Loren Evans

    A sure sign of a weak religious following is how they have to put down those that leave the church in order to justify their staying behind. They suggest that those who leave turn into persecutors of the church, when in fact, the church persecutes those who leave with shunning, legal actions, even millions of dollars and 1000s of hours spent to take away their legal rights. A true Christian people would lament those leaving and wish them the best in their new path.

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