Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Removing One's Name From the Rolls of the LDS Church - Vintage
11/12/2012 - James White
Attached to this sheet is a copy of what can be called a ‘representative sample’ of a letter that requests that a person’s name be removed from the rolls of the Mormon Church. Some introductory comments are necessary.
First, there are some folks who leave Mormonism, come to Christ, and have no desire whatsoever to have their names removed from the rolls of the Mormon Church. We know of some folks like that. However, most of the time a person who finds out the great deception they have been under in the Mormon Church have a great desire to have their names removed from the Church’s membership rolls. They can’t handle the idea of still being counted as one of the “Saints.’ However, it has been proven more than once in the past that the Mormon Church does not like to remove anyone’s name from their roll. In the past people have spent great amounts of time, even money, in trying to get their names removed. Others have found that the LDS Church has “excommunicated’ them, even though it was they who requested that their names be removed. Some have suffered loss of friends and loved ones because of the stigma associated with “excommunication.”
In recent years, certain lawsuits have demonstrated that the attached letter should make removal of one’s name a simple, easy process, if done correctly. Certainly there will be some who encounter more resistance than others - however, generally, we have found that following the outline here given will result in action being taken within a month’s time, or even less. The Mormon Church has no right to maintain your membership in an organization that you do not want to be a part of.It is important to include each of the following elements to assure a smooth procedure:
1. Send letter in triplicate, certified mail, return receipt requested. Many people have written letters that the Church denied having received - make sure that doesn’t happen to you! The letter should be sent to three persons - first, to the Bishop of the ward where you are currently assigned. If you don’t know who that would be, contact a local ward and ask. There shouldn’t be any problem in getting the information, even if you have to write to Salt Lake first to get it. The second person is the President of the Stake of which your ward is a part. Once you know what the ward is, there should be no problem tracking this person down, either. Finally, send a copy to the Office of the First Presidency, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
2. Make your intentions clear. This means that they must understand exactly what it is you are saying - you want your name removed from the rolls. Let them know that you do understand what this means in their eyes (see second paragraph of the letter).
3. Give a positive testimony of your salvation in Christ. This letter can be an opportunity of witness, and even if you are confused at this time and have feelings like ‘I’d just like to get this over with,’ you won’t regret having taken the time to share with these men later.
4. Give reasons for rejecting the LDS system. This is for two reasons: 1) they need to know that there are problems in their belief system. Exactly what you bring up will be up to you and your own situation. What most concerned you about LDS teaching? Was there something that God particularly used to open your eyes to the false teachings and deception in Mormonism? Talk about whatever it was that was important to you. 2) This functions to give the Mormon Church what it needs to have a reason to remove your name - "heresy."
5. Lay the groundrules. It is at this point that you must make a decision. The sample letter requests that no representatives of the Church try to contact you to change your mind. We suggest this as the best possible course of action, as many people who wish to leave Mormonism are in a state of flux at this time, and don’t need home teachers and Mormon missionaries banging on their door while they are working on getting into the Word and getting to know the Lord in a personal way. However, at the same time, if you are in touch with a solid, Biblical church, or with a counter-cult ministry that can be of help, you may wish to allow the opportunity for dialogue to have the chance of sharing the gospel with these folks. The decision is yours. Remember, however, that if you are looking for a quick, simple process, it would be best to close off communication immediately at this juncture.
Also, the mention of legal action is not meant for spite - there have been such legal actions, and the Church has come out on the losing end enough times that they aren’t interested in playing around.
6. Sign your name! May sound simple, and it is, but it is important. If you are a parent, and are including the name(s) of your children, make sure they sign as well. The signed names must correspond to the name(s) listed at the beginning of the letter.
If the above procedures are followed, there should be no problem in having your name removed, and that quickly. If there should be a problem, we would like to hear about it. You may wish to contact a Christian lawyer as well, if need be. Be assured of our prayers and support at this time, and if you should need any information, counsel, whatever, just let us know. We would be happy to help.
Phoenix 20th Ward
City, State, Zip
Dear Bishop Jones:
This letter is being sent in triplicate to Bishop Jones, State President Robinson, and to the Office of the First Presidency in Salt Lake City. These letters are being sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
I am writing to ask you to remove my name, <give full name as it appears in the signature at close of letter>, from the roles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do this with full understanding of the consequences as taught by the LDS Church. I ask this due to my having found the real Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I have found that Jesus is not the spirit-brother of Lucifer, and just one of many gods, but that He is the eternal God of creation who died on the cross for me. By simple faith He has become my personal Savior, and all my sins have been washed away. I now know that my salvation comes as a free gift of God (Romans 6:23), and that there is absolutely no way that I can earn it, and that even to attempt to do so is to insult the One who offers salvation to me. I have been born again, saved by grace, which is totally inconsistent with the teaching of the Book of Mormon at 2 Nephi 25:23.
I have also found that the LDS Church has not been honest and open with its people. Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God, as he violated the Biblical standards of a true prophet as laid down in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 and 18:20-22. He violated the first passage by proclaiming, “...you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you...” (The King Follett Funeral Discourse as recorded in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-348). This is in direct violation of what God has said in Isaiah 43:10: “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” This teaching is causing people to follow after ‘another god’ as Deuteronomy 13:2 said would happen. This alone makes Joseph Smith a false prophet. However, it is quite easy to list a number of false prophecies of Joseph Smith that allow him to qualify under the teaching of Deuteronomy 18:20-22. Some of these would include Doctrine and Covenants section 111, 114, and 124:59-60. The most amazing, however, is the entire Book of Abraham, which is, in reality, the Egyptian Book of Breathings taken from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, all of which is totally pagan material.
I am taking this action of my own initiative. This is my right as a citizen of the United States. I am not to be excommunicated. No communication from the LDS Church is to contain the word “excommunication," - as I am the one initiating the action. Should the word appear in any of the letters from the LDS Church concerning this matter, legal action would definitely be in order. Also, I am hereby requesting that no elders, home teachers, or any other representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visit my home to attempt to persuade me against this action. I trust my request will be honored.
It is my hope that you, too, Bishop Jones, will come to know Jesus Christ in a personal way. He is the ‘way, the truth and the life.’ He is not an organization. Accept Him by faith, and the gift of eternal life can be yours.
I sign my name in witness of this request that my name be removed from the rolls of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
(Signature of full name)
Name and Address