Nearly 100 submit resignation letters to LDS church

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Close to 100 people marched through the streets of Salt Lake City Saturday to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where they officially resigned from the Mormon Church.

Participants in the mass-resignation event said women's inequality and LGBT discrimination were just a few of the reasons  behind why they officially resigned from the church.

"I'm very nervous, but I`m also happy just to begin that next phase of my life," said Brendon Carpenter, who was one of about 90 to resign. "As I have been studying the Book of Mormon and the bible while on my mission I discovered for myself that I didn`t trust the leadership anymore."

Stephanie Orgill said there are a number of issues of discrimination within the church that led her to resign.

"The treatment of women and children and also the gay community to me the most disgusting and the cultural of obedience rather than free thinking," Orgill said.

Orgill and Carpenter said they lost all hope in changing the culture of the church when Kate Kelly, a vocal advocate for women's rights, was excommunicated last summer.

"I feel like I have to take a stand, those were my heroes that enforced my Mormonism, and to take them out of the equation I just don`t have anyone to rely on anymore," Carpenter said.

Kelly, who now lives in Kenya, returned for the mass resignation.

"There is a lot of ritual in Mormonism and it’s sort of like a ritual to say I'm no longer part of this organization," Kelly said.

She said it's important to formally submit a letter of resignation, that way church leaders know exactly how many people are leaving and their reasons for leaving.

“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of a huge exodus of people leaving the church," Kelly said.

Those who do resign say it's a decision that will impact their entire family.

“I know they will be crushed because I'm the youngest of ten and every one of my siblings, and family and cousins and everyone are still very much Mormon," Orgill said.

Dale Jones, the LDS church spokesman issued this statement:  "Every person is valued and loved. They are our brothers and sisters, colleagues and friends. Each makes their own decisions about their participation and church membership. Regardless of their choice, we love them and wish them well, and hope they will find the support and answers they seek."

266 comments

  • Spencer

    Weird article – the only two people interviewed are a couple, and she hasn’t believed in the church for years. It isn’t like a bunch of current Bishops are getting together to denounce the church. Most of these people unofficially resigned years ago.

  • Brad

    I am so happy for the Church. We just got rid of those who were not really committed and didn’t have testimonies of who runs the church.

    • Jean

      Hi, Brad, I find it interesting that you would be glad to get rid of members of the Church, because they don’t have testimonies of those who run it. If you are a priesthood member, you should be saddened that they were unable to gain a testimony. You may want to to think about that.

    • Rollie

      Congratulations to those who got out from this cult religion. Hopefully, you can live a Godly life now away from radicalism and polygamous marriage rite. Hallelujah-

  • monthigos

    I’ve never had my name removed from their records. I’ve heard it’s a massive pain. I guess I’ll just be another person artificially inflating their numbers even though I have not participated in that church for over a decade. I would be curious to see what their numbers are for people who actually pay their membership dues (aka tithing). Probably much smaller and a better representation for people who actually participate.

    • Jessica

      It is actually very easy to resign. It just takes a long time for the LDS church to “release” you. Mormonresignation.com will guide you through how to write your letter and where to send it. I am so very happy since I am no longer a part of this organization.

    • Raylene

      It wasn’t hard for me to leave it. I wrote a letter to the Membership Dept. in SLC, and they replied that they “considered it an ecclesiastical matter” and would forward the letter on to ‘my bishop’ and ‘my stake president’. A couple weeks later my neighbor knocked on my door, said he was the current bishop there, wanted to talk, then inside asked my husband and I if we really wanted to leave, and wanted us to know it was a major decision, that would take a lot to get back in. We both told him we were happy to be out, and wanted them to stop counting us as members. I cited some of my reasons of Black and female discrimination, lack of any evidence of Zarahemla ruins in S.America below ‘the narrow neck of land that is a day’s journey for a man from sea to sea’, the idea of a ‘sealing-bouncer’ that will kick loving people out of the Celestial kingdom if they’re not sealed to those they love, polygamy and it’s other factors such as church leaders signing a manifesto with US gov. that they would stop and then still continuing it, dna evidence showing there is only one small tribe of Native Americans that have any Israelite lineage and all the other tribes of the US have absolutely none, scientific evidence with carbon dating, etc., showing the earth is millions of years old – not just 6,000 as preached. With that he left and it was DONE. ;-)
      (And I didn’t even get into how my neighbor that worked at BYU had been threatened by the First Presidency with losing his job if he continued to teach about evolution in spite of the plethora of clear evidence, or about discrimination against LBGT, or about historic evidence in Utah of women and children members starving in the late 1800s while the Church refused to give them any help or assistance and at the same time threatened to excommunicate local men that were giving them financial and food assistance rather than paying it into tithing and fast offerings to the Church.)

  • NathanDaSkate

    It should not matter what religion you are or were Raised in. All people should be treated with Respect, And all Children should be taught to love thy neighbor no matter what Religion you are. I was not so Fortunate growing up, I had friends that I played Soccer with and went to school with, that I was not allowed to hang out with Because I was Not LDS. I know that is not common practice, but it affected my outlook on the Church in a Big way, Parents always taught me the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated, Which is what I have taught my kids. For those that say the Church is not Land owners or anything like that, They happen to own a Majority Share in Swire Bottling here in SLC, also the Budwiser Distribution plant.

    • NathanDaSkate

      Also, my Wife’s Family is LDS, and we had family Members that refused to attend our Wedding or Reception because we chose to have the wedding in our Back yard and the ceremony was not performed by the Local Bishop. This to me does not always show that the Church Preaches Acceptance of those Different then you, or who believe differently

      • Steven Spacil

        What your LDS family members did DOES NOT show what the LDS Church “preaches”. It merely shows what bad manners your wife’s family has. Look at it this way; ALL the children in Miss Jones English classroom are taught grammar, spelling, proper sentence structure, writing skills, and vocabulary. At the end of one semester do ALL of the students know ALL of the same material? Of course not. Some are better at spelling, some at vocabulary, some at writing, some excel at all topics taught in that class. But when they walk out of that classroom they DO NOT all have the same amount of knowledge and the same can be said for church members of any religion.

        I have seen the exact same circumstances in other LDS families and every family member attended because they loved their family member, NOT because of what they were or were not taught in some church. I am terribly sorry for your wife’s family’s bad manners. It must have been mortifying to her. But I hope she just continued to love them as a GOOD LDS member or Christian should.

        As in anything there can be good examples and poor examples of anything. Whether it be a race, religion, creed, sports team, political party, police department, neighborhood, or pet. What we should all strive to be is the best we can and just because a member of a particular group isn’t, don’t assume the whole group is that way. You will be happier and a lot wiser for it.

      • Heather

        I’m so sorry you had to experience those things. That is NOT what I was taught as an LDS member, but I had the very fortunate experience to grow up LDS outside the ‘Mormon Belt’ of Utah/Idaho. The culture vs doctrine is not always one and the same. You, unfortunately, experienced the cultural, not doctrinal beliefs. Many general authorities of the church, had to clarify in general conference talks to allow our children to play with those of different beliefs. This was a principle that I already practiced before it was announced. 99% of my associates and friends are not LDS, and I found them better gifted at living the doctrine I have been taught than several LDS people I have encounter who have been taught the same as I have. No one is perfect but I do my best to love everyone and choose to seek the best in them. Hang in there and don’t give up on those of us who practice true principles of the LDS doctrine, not the culturally-created ones.

  • bob

    Seems like a lot of comments, but all of us taken together constitute an utterly insignificant percentage of both “members” and “ex-members.”

    Nobody cares. I find it amusing.

    • jarbow

      For someone that says “I don’t care” a whole lot, you sure to seem pretty attached to the comments section of this article. If you truly “don’t care” then why have you been commenting on the article since it was posted a couple days ago?

  • Pedro

    D&C 132 is suspicious. God starts threatening Emma with destruction if she does not abide by Joseph Smith having multiple wives…….seems more plausible/logical that JS wrote the section because he had his eye on a few ladies and it was real convenient to have “God” tell Emma to go with the program or be destroyed. “Honey, its not my fault God wants me to have extra marital affairs, you better listen or you will be destroyed, God says so!”

  • Robert Gabbitas

    All you LDS people trying to debate with the Anti-LDS people, just realize, these people have spent years looking for faults in the church, and have years of experience rationalizing their decisions and reasons for leaving it. They relish the opportunity to justify themselves to you in hopes that you will join them (thus making them feel better about their own decisions). The old adage is true “Whether you look for the good or the bad in people, you WILL find it” (I would add the words “whether or not it’s actually there”). My point is that there really is no point in debating with these people. There is truly nothing you can say that would change their minds. No amount of proving anything leads to a testimony. All we can do is love them, pray for them, help them in any way we can, and bare testimony to them. Beyond that, their decisions are between them and the Lord and it’s not our place to judge them. We don’t know the path they’ve walked and their time on this earth isn’t over yet. Condemning them will only serve to push them further from the Gospel and make our sin (of judgement) worse than theirs. Something to think about.

    • Just Jess

      Thank you.
      As a former LDS member, I agree with you. I personally hold no hate or bitterness towards the church or the members in general. I have my reasons for leaving, but it’s good to see that there are still people of the faith who understand what it is to be a member. I hope you hold on to this ideal, and see that not all of us are sinners, merely children of the same God/Goddess that see things a little differently.

    • Raylene

      Actually, Robert, for years in the Church I was rationalizing away the problems with the Church. Ie: how could the scripture say “God is no respector of persons” yet discriminate against women and Blacks, how could Joseph Smith institute polygamy when there were plenty of single men around that could marry the single women, and how could polygamy go on for so many years when statistics show male to female birth ratios as almost exactly 50/50 – what are all those single men supposed to do, and why would God make the ratio equal but then have some men marrying more than their share – many of them only young girls (Joseph Smith has been documented by the Church as having one bride that was ‘almost 15’), and what about the scripture in Jacob that tells the Nephites they aren’t as righteous as the Lamanites who have save one wife and concubines none, and the claim that North and South America were primarily populated by Israelite decendants even though dna evidence shows only one small tribe of Native Americans living in Florida that have any Israelite dna in them, etc. Because we were brainwashed that the Church is ‘true’ from young ages, and then set that up in our belief systems, those problems in the Church have to be overlooked and rationalized away. Robert, don’t you want to make sure you are REALLY in the true one, so when you get to Heaven you’re not in a situation you don’t want to be in with “GOD”?

  • Robert Gabbitas

    All you LDS people trying to debate with the Anti-LDS people, just realize, these people have spent years looking for faults in the church, and have years of experience rationalizing their decisions and reasons for leaving it. They relish the opportunity to justify themselves to you in hopes that you will join them (thus making them feel better about their own decisions). The old adage is true “Whether you look for the good or the bad in people, you WILL find it” (I would add the words “whether or not it’s actually there”). My point is that there really is no point in debating with these people. There is truly nothing you can say that would change their minds. No amount of proving anything leads to a testimony. All we can do is love them, pray for them, help them in any way we can, and bare testimony to them. Beyond that, their decisions are between them and the Lord and it’s not our place to judge them. We don’t know the path they’ve walked and their time on this earth isn’t over yet. Condemning them will only serve to push them further from the Gospel and make our sin (of judgement) worse than theirs. Something to think about.

    • jarbow

      “Anti-Mormon”. I see this term thrown around a lot, usually from folks whom haven’t tried to understand the reasons why people are leaving and want a nice and convenient way to label them. This isn’t an attack on you, you aren’t being persecuted. Many of the thousands of members that leave every year have good reason to leave. Some leave and never spend a moment worrying about it, others may be more compelled to speak out about whatever issue personally affected their decision to leave, and I don’t see why that’s a bad thing.

      You aren’t going to fix problems by being quiet about them. Many former Mormons, such as myself, still maintain healthy relationships with those whom are active in the LDS Church. So, it isn’t a fine line, it isn’t “Us vs Them”. Try understanding the pain of those whom have left, and you might actually have a better chance at reaching them.

  • Patrick Beachley

    If you don’t accept the doctrine it’s probably best you find your happiness and fulfillment elsewhere. I wish you the best.

    • jarbow

      Thank you Patrick. Nice to see a positive remark in the midst of all the judgmental and negative ones.

  • Sarah Wilson

    Why don’t they just leave already and stop shouting it to the rooftops……need attention much?

    • jarbow

      It’s so easy for people whom haven’t gone through what these people have gone through to make snap judgements and oversimplifications such as “they are just doing it for attention”. I can assure you, for many that have left or are considering leaving, the struggle has been more heavy than you can imagine. You aren’t going to fix problems within an organization like the LDS Church without bringing the problems to the forefront. Staying quiet doesn’t lead to change, speaking out does.

      • Steven Spacil

        Exactly WHAT have these people “gone through” that caused them to leave the church. I myself “went through” struggles with the Catholic Church that haven’t caused me a moment of harm in the 40 odd years since I left. I never made a big deal about it, I never told anybody I wasn’t coming back, I just stopped going. Twenty years later I found the LDS Church and it struck a chord within me that no other church had. Sure there have been times when I’ve been offended by “people” within the church, and times I’ve had my doubts about the truthfulness of its teachings, and I even stopped attending for over a year while I sorted through a difficult period in my life; but despite all the cracks in the foundation, the hubbub over allowing blacks or women to hold the priesthood, or the current LGBT flap, whenever I have doubts I go to my knees and ask for my own answers and I am never disappointed.

        You can find fault in ANYTHING you want to. Pick a subject and there is someone that can destroy it for you if you let them. But that’s where your faith, blind faith, and a testimony come in. I’ve had my own life altering experiences and but for the grace of God I shouldn’t be here. I know that without a shred of doubt and no one will ever be able to change that. I feel sorry for those that leave the church because they have failed to develop the faith and belief that would enable them to “live in the world, but not of the world”.

        I hope they can find whatever it is they seek.

  • Ryan

    #I’MAMORMON and this is what I personally believe. 1. God loves all of us and wants us to do the same. He loves variety and we are it. 2. I’m not perfect and that’s ok. But some things the church has helped my try to be better at are things like cooperation, responsibility, citizenship, respect, resourcefulness, compassion, faith (having inner strength and confidence based on our trust in God), and a few other things… 3. I don’t live up to my covenants all the time, but I try. 4. and i have always believed very strongly about the 11th Article of Faith (The Articles of Faith are a list of 13 things we as LDS people are to believe.) IT reads: ” We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

  • Renee Wells

    In the last days, even the very elect will be deceived and and many will turn from the fullness of the Gospel. How sad it is that they give up eternal exaltation because they want power in this life….I feel sorry for them and pray they can find their answers.

  • B

    It seems sad so many saying good riddance if they want to leave….they say Mormons are judgemental if you are not Mormon by most of the comments it seems to be true….shouldn’t they try to figure why people are leaving instead of just saying oh well we didn’t need em anyhow

  • CarlyLogan

    It doesn’t comes as a surprise to me at all that this is taking place. When the Lord returns, He will gather His people The Lord always gathers the righteous by separating them out from the wicked, never vice versa. Such siftings and gatherings are apparent throughout the Book of Mormon. Please choose wisely.

  • jim

    As God is, man can become, forgive me if I didn’t paraphrase it very well . What a wonderful prospect, to be a God or even like God!! It sounds just like the lie satan used to tempt and deceive Eve at Genesis 3:5 . It must be one of his oldies but goodies, because he hooked her and some 15 million more people that have that same presumptuous attitude .

  • Pia Helene Poulsen

    I grew up in the church in Denmark, Europe. I’m right now not a member of the church due to some stupid choises I made. I’m working on getting baptised again, because I truly believe in the gospel. I don’t know, what’s going on in Utah. but I do know that members of the church in Denmark sincerely believe that every person on this earth has a right to choose for him or herself how he/she wants to use/spend their time on earth. We don’t talk bad about people leaving church. We are sad that they go, but we love them and hope that one day, they will return. I have 5 brothers – which is very unusual in Denmark. (to have that many siblings) Some come to church, some don’t. My mum do, my father does – but everybody loves each other and respect each other. And that’s how it should be. We don’t disown anybody nomatter what lifestyle they choose !!!! If any Latter day saints forget that in the States, their local leaders should remind them of it. (sorry if my english isn’t that good)

  • Will

    I keep hearing the word, “resign” from the church….is it a job, a religion, or a way of life?

  • rockwelljrhank

    As in the Parable of the wheat and the tares…
    1. The man sowing seed is the Son of Man (Jesus).
    2. The field is the world.
    3. The good seed are the children of the kingdom (followers of Jesus).
    4. The tares are children of the wicked one (those who follow the enticements of Satan).
    5. The enemy is the devil.
    6. The harvest is the end of the world.
    7. The reapers are the angels sent to reap the field.
    8. The tares bound and burned are the evil ones separated out and cast into fire (punishment) at the Judgment.
    9. The wheat gathered into the barn represents the righteous who are separated out and made to “shine forth” in the kingdom of the Father.

  • Constance

    oh my goodness I’ve never felt this sad in quite some time. My faith is besides the point at this moment. Have we all gone “mad”?
    Can we not all love and care for one another regardless your choice in faith?
    Why do we need to put each other down like one is expecting to be lifted by being mean or calling names.
    I guess I just felt people in general were better than this.
    I’ve read so many posts and I’m in awe with tears in my eyes as I feel the pain in the words written here.
    We need to comfort each other not push each other away, why is it so hard to give support instead of criticism?
    I know we are all better than this we just have to be.

  • Dolores Quenano- Rosario

    My family and I is so much grateful that we are converted in this church , We so bless we belong to this church. We are not that rich but we had enough to do the living. What matters most is our relationship with God. Follow HIs Divine teachings and His Christlike attributes. :)

  • Kirbert

    They’re rejecting one cult. Will they reject ALL cults, or will these people show up at a nearby Catholic church next Sunday?

  • JRO

    I would hardly call 100 people a “mass exodus.” Making a big show of it by marching through SLC. What? Do they want a medal or something? And Kate Kelly? She was ex communicated for actively leading people astray.

  • Shawn

    I am an active member of the LDS faith and I do know a lot about the many discrepancies, and odd things about the history of the church. I have read the CES Letter, I know about the Book of Abraham, and the list goes on. I can understand how people question and even leave the church. However, for me I still came to the conclusion that the Gospel and Priesthood have been restored. Sure there are faults, but this is expected because although someone is called to be a prophet or apostle doesn’t render them incapable of making mistakes e.g. Judas. I’m sorry that we are losing good people, that we no longer will get to rub shoulders with at church, but someone not being a member doesn’t mean we can’t rub shoulders and be friends outside of church. We are all doing the best with what we’ve been given, and all people can and should seek to improve who they are.

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