YAY! My letter is signed and submitted. I decided to send my letter to both my Branch President and to the Membership Records Department, since I've heard mixed information on what actually works I figured I'd play it safe. Well, as safe as you can be using email...This is a copy of my letter (minus my birth date and record number). I decided to publish my letter on my blog
Membership Records Division
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
50 E North Temple Rm 1372
SLC UT 84150-5310
Dear Membership Records Division:
My name is Joseph Samuel Edwards, I am writing to resign my name and records from the membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
There have been a number of stumbling blocks placed by the wickedness and corruption of the Prophet, Apostles and Seventy. These stumbling blocks include the incredible hostility and insults towards LGBT people by President Monson, President Packer, President Nelson, Elder Oaks and at times even Elder Holland. These stumbling blocks do not come from outside the Church or individuals who are angry at the Church in order to justify their own sins, instead these stumbling blocks are the fault of a Church that has become far more enthusiastic with its own prestige than it has addressing the wounds of the people it has hurt over the years.
1. Elder Oaks recently referred to Transgender people as being Mentally Ill at a Stake Conference and he has repeatedly been highly insulting to all LGBT people worldwide. His remarks have also included an approval (in 2007) for parents to disown their LGBT children under various conditions, an attitude that has been attributed to the expulsion of a number of teenagers from their homes for coming out of the closet as Gay or other Sexual Identity. The hostility from this and other similar remarks by Elder Oaks has also been attributed to the ever increasing rate of LGBT Youth Suicide in Utah. Attempts to bring these points to his attention, or the attention to any Church official or member have been met with derision and hostility and rebuffed by Elder Oaks’ remarks stating that the Church and its leaders will apologize for nothing. Only a person or organization that believes it is perfect, beyond reproach or beyond need for repentance would deny the possibility of apologizing.
2. President Nelson and the entire November 2015 Policy is also a dramatic insult that convinces me that God is not in this Church. The grip of Satan on the culture of a populous is and always has been the reason for dramatic exclusions of entire groups of people. Need I remind of the horror that was the Priesthood and Temple Bans against people of African descent? That Ban has since been acknowledged to have never been an actual doctrine of Christ’s gospel. If the Church is so willing to promote false-doctrine as doctrines for decades and then repeat the same error under a new topic, then the doctrines of the Church are more closely related to the Philosophies of Men than the Gospel of God.
3. The political corruption that was well articulated in then Senator Gordon Smith’s remarks, as shown by Mormon Leaks, is also a clear indication that the LDS Church is not the pure and incorruptible presence I was taught it was as a child. The fact that the LDS Church is willing to use its formidable religious power to control the efforts of politicians is a dangerous sign to anyone but the morally corrupt. The then Senator Smith used his position as Senator to coerce the Ambassador from India to allow LDS Missionaries in India by suggesting that Indian and American relations would be negatively impacted if India did not support Mormon proselyting. The idea that Mormons holding positions of political power should use their positions to grant the Church advantages over other groups and religions is entirely wrong and immoral. This idea has been demonstrated in excess in the State of Utah where the LDS Church has nearly unlimited control over the Utah State Legislature. The Church’s ability to control legislation by suggesting that any Lawmaker (that is a member of the Church) who disregards the Church’s perspective on a proposed bill is potentially unworthy or is defying the Prophet is a gross misuse of power. In fact, it would be described as an “Unrighteous dominion”.
4. The LDS Church’s involvement with the World Congress of Families is another stumbling block provided by the Church itself. The World Congress of Families has boldly and blatantly declared its intentions to promote the criminalization of homosexuality and other sexual variances. Yet the LDS Church maintains a clear friendship with the organization as demonstrated by the inclusion of multiple LDS members and officials having held positions of authority in the WCF over the years and by the exceptionally warm official welcome the Church gave that organization in its Salt Lake City Conference in 2015. Furthermore, the organization actively praises Russia for its persecution of Gays and other LGBT people while actively condemning any and every law to protect them, including Hate Crime protections, Housing and Employment protections and the like, the WCF claims that these protections are among the worst developments in human history. Even if the LDS Church does not 100% support the efforts (primary or minor) of this or any other organization it should be noted that the lack of 100% agreement has been cited by LDS officials (even up to the level of General Authority) as cause enough to reject any and all interactions with LGBT centered organizations such as Mormons Building Bridges and Affirmation. That imbalance alone implies that any “disagreements” with certain positions held by the World Congress of Families are far less important than “disagreements” with any position held by an LGBT organization.
5. Last, but not least, is the recent tendency of the Church to protect child molesters. I know of a specific situation where a family accused a man, who had served as Bishop multiple times, of repeated sexual molestation and other crimes. Their report was rebuffed by the Office of the First Presidency who essentially ignored it and ignored the complaints against the inappropriate behavior of the Stake President involved in the situation. The Office of the First Presidency claimed it wasn’t their concern and that the man would continue with his membership completely unaffected. The man is most certainly guilty with multiple testimonies of his crimes, yet the Church protected him willfully. The Church's only concern was that the family might sue the Church over the situation. The Church has also been recognized and accused of protecting other child molesters from Church Discipline in the recent Navajo Tribe lawsuit currently developing. The fact that the LDS Church has filed restraining orders against the Navajo victims is testament to the sickening lack of charity and heart in what is supposed to be God’s Church, led by Jesus Himself.
There are many more crimes, sins and offenses that the LDS Church itself is a willing participant in. I have said nothing that suggests a minor disagreement with another member; I have said nothing of any perceived spats between myself and other members; instead I have spoken only about the specific and tragic examples of the Apostles and Prophets themselves. These men claim to work under the constant direction of Jesus Christ yet their fruits suggest otherwise. Their fruits suggest Corruption, Abuse of Power, Hostility towards Victims, Lack of Sorrow over Death and Suffering, Willingly Demeaning or Belittling the Children of God and many more wrongful behaviors that do not belong in the Church I was raised to believe in. If the Church ever was True it has since fallen into Apostasy and I would rather stand alone fighting for the principles of Jesus Christ than defend Pharisees, Zoramites or King Noah and his Priests in their hypocrisy.
Joseph Samuel Edwards
A Now Former Member of the Church