So, I’m probably going to have my name removed from the LDS Church’s records, i.e., formally resign from Mormonism. I’m not ready to do it quite yet, because I have to write a letter first. Not the letter to the Church, but a letter to my family, explaining why I do not think the Church is true, and why I am resigning.
What I am not trying to do with this letter is convince anyone that I’m right. I’m also not expecting anyone to agree with me, or even think that my position is reasonable, defensible, or plausible. While it would be great if that happened, experience tells me that most Mormons are so fully inoculated against “Anti-Mormonism!!!” that it will essentially go in one ear and out the other (or in the eye and out the ears, or out the whatever). If someone surprises me, I’ll be, well, pleasantly surprised. But I’m not going in with optimistic expectations- so far, my family’s reaction to me leaving the Church has been really mixed. Some people have been understanding and supportive, and some people have reacted with hostility. I don’t want to get disappointed, so my expectations are kind of low.
That said, I do have some expectations, some goals that I intend to accomplish with this letter:
1. I want to break the ice. I want to bring the subject up and indicate my willingness to talk about it. I’m not excited about the prospect of future uncomfortable silences, or white elephants in the room, so I’m just going to be the one to start the conversation. If people are interested in talking things through, I’m game, and I want people to know that.
2. If people just hear through the grapevine that I am planning on leaving, they’re probably going to freak out. I’d rather control the information and be the one that tells people.
3. My family is steeped in Mormonism, and many of our relationships are based on the religion and the religion’s assumptions. It would be naïve of me to expect that leaving the Church won’t irrevocably change things. Again, I may as well brace for it, even if it’s uncomfortable.
4. I feel like I at least owe my family an explanation and a fair warning.
When the letter is written and sent out, I will probably post it here.
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