Andrew and Lauren were both born into Mormon families. They’re married now, and neither is religious. Since they are no longer members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they want their names off the church’s membership records. They also want an official signed letter as confirmation that this happened.
To say that this is proving to be difficult would be an understatement. It’s been four months, and they’ve made little progress
In their original letter to the church, they wrote this:
Please know that the time for you to influence us even by persuasion is past. Our decision was taken only after thorough study. Our decision is final. Any efforts by priesthood home teachers, Relief Society visiting teachers, or any other representatives on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to contact us either by letter (other than that requested herein), by telephone, or in person will be a very unwelcome invasion of our privacy, and will be considered as harassment and an infringement on our free agency.
So Andrew and Lauren made this decision on their own after much consideration and they want the church to respect that.
Of course, that’s not going to happen.
From there we get a long diary of events that lists all the hassle the two are put through:
Call to Lauren
The bishop rang Lauren and asked her if the letter was a hoax. He also asked if it was also her decision to leave. Often people say “Are you just doing it because Andrew is?”, this can be insulting to presume that Lauren cannot make her decisions for herself… Considering the letter was signed by both Lauren and I and having our date of births under the signature to verify the validity of who we are should be clear indicators that this was not a hoax and Lauren and I have both made the choice ourselves.
Tuesday 8th May 2007
Another call to Andrew
The bishop called and asked for the reasons why we left to fill in a form to send away. I said that I didn’t want to prolong the process, and he said that if I complied in answering his questions it would make the process quicker…
Sunday 27th May 2007 Around 6PM
Surprise Visit by a member of the stake presidency and a member stake high council
When friends visit they tend to ring up and politely ask if it’s convenient to come around. This was not the case with these official representatives…
The saga still isn’t over.
Andrew has this to say about it:
We have given them over four months. We have given them over a week since the 30 day period they set themselves in the unsigned letter – probably not worth the paper it’s written on – to see if they would have sent a confirmation in the post. Have they? No.
Since coming out proclaiming my atheism ex-Mormons (over the whole UK, not localised to my area) have told me about their experiences with asking for their names removed. They said that their requests have not been granted because it doesn’t seem to have persisted with contacting the church for official confirmation that it has been done. This needs to stop! We shouldn’t need to pester, one letter signed should be enough.
If anyone can give me advice regarding the situation please comment on this post as it would be a great help to others and myself wanting disassociate themselves from religion.
If you have advice for them, please pass it along.
Isn’t it amazing what some churches will spend their time and energy on…?
[tags]atheist, atheism, Mormon, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Relief Society, stake officer[/tags]