The "LET ME OUT OF THIS CHURCH" Saga….

Life is a learning experience. I’ve learned a lot in the past few days. There has been a great furor on this blog over the fact that I have NOT been allowed to resign from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have had this story questioned MANY times since I have told it. Always by active Mormons. I shall now give you yet ANOTHER blow by blow. How fun. As I have recounted in the past, I followed the required protocol, which meant I had to contact my bishop, in my local ward, and send him a letter. He was then to forward the letter to the stake president, who in turn was to forward the letter to Church Headquarters.

I sent the letter. Nothing happened. I called. The bishop did not return my calls. I called the stake president. He did not call me back either. Several months letter, angry at being ignored, I called Greg Dodge at member services. If memory serves, I did not speak with him personally, but the man I spoke with was very kind. He promised results. A few weeks later I got a letter from the church saying that my name removal was being processed, and warning me of the “eternal consequences” of such an action. A few weeks after that, I received a letter stating that my request had been processed. Please note, my husband’s name is included in this letter, as he also requested removal. The letter read:

Dear Chad and Natalie.

This letter is to inform you that your names have been removed from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This action is listed as a name removal, and not an excommunication.

This action may be rescinded if you send a second request within 30 days to President XXX XXXXXX……

If you are satisfied with this action, no further correspondence is needed.

Very Truly Yours,

Bishop XXXXXXXXXXXX”

A scanned copy of this letter is available here. It’s not a great copy, but hey, I received it in 1998, and the Church letterhead is this light silvery color.

Approximately three years later, I received notice that my name was on the ward directory. Not only this, but I was there twice. Once under my maiden name, along with that of one of my daughters, and a son named Robert (an apparent spirit child). I was also there under my married name, along with my husband, WHO WAS ALSO ASSURED HIS NAME WAS REMOVED. At least, I assume that NO FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE IS NECESSARY means “we are through with your unholy asses.”

At this time, I laughed and decided who cares? What’s the point? I talked to a lawyer friend about legal action. He laughed. In Utah, the MORMON CHURCH ALWAYS WINS. If you step outside of the Mormon corridor, you might have a chance of winning a suit. Not here. Why bother?

Of course, whenever the home teachers or the primary president or such would come around, I would request NO CONTACT for my entire family. This always lasted about, uh, two or three years.

I have had Mormons harangue me about harassing the primary president. HELLO! She came to my house, did not introduce herself, and asked for MY DAUGHTER! I’ve never gone to HER HOUSE and done the same.

I received comments like this:

Laura Says:

November 10th, 2006 at 10:19 pm e

GROW UP Cambre’s Mom, noone cares that you are such a great mom that you stood up to someone who didn’t respect your boundaries while trying to be kind.
I have a feeling you are quick to hate other people who are not like-minded as well. That’s too bad for you.

And I received object lessons like this:

6. Connie Myers Says:

January 3rd, 2007 at 8:20 am e

We moved to Switzerland for the beauty, the travel opportunities, and for the great job offer. We chose a home in a little village not far from Zurich and enrolled our children in an English-language international school.

The Swiss people are proud of their heritage. The Zurich region is German-speaking – well, sort of. The language of the area is Swiss German, a variety of German far removed from what is spoken in Austria or Germany. But the people of the region are proud of their language and their heritage. And that’s fine with me, as long as they’ll leave me alone.

We’re an English-speaking family. We notified the local gemeinde (government office) that we’d enrolled our kids in the English-language school, and asked them to take our names off the school rolls. We thought that would be the end of it.

One day our doorbell rang. The woman at the door asked for my daughter, speaking English with an obvious Swiss accent. My daughter was four years old and not accustomed to adult visitors.

Me: Who are you?
Her: I am with the school district.
Me: Whoa, wait a minute. First of all, what is your name?
Her: [tells me her name]
Me: Why are you here, asking for my daughter?
Her: I stopped by to tell Andrea about her new Kindergarten class.
Me: Okay, stop right there. What makes you think you can come to my door with an invitation to Andrea to come to a kindergarten class, or whatever it is you have, and NOT tell me who you are or what you want? Isn’t that a bit presumptuous?
Her: Well, I didn’t mean it that way. I just didn’t want her to feel left out.
Me: Left out of what?
Her: Left out of making friends with neighborhood children her own age …. Well, hey, I made a mistake, I think. I’m sorry.
Me: Look, I am not trying to be rude, but have you even THOUGHT once about what you are doing? How would you feel if I showed up at your house and invited your daughter to a school in MY language? All the while smiling nicely at the mother? What would you do?
Her: Well. Hmppph. I’ll tell the gemeinde you want no contact.
Me: Good.

That’ll last about ten minutes…..They’ll be BAAAACKKKKKKKKK.

The nerve of these people. Just because they speak Swiss German, the majority language, what makes them think our family wants to be indoctrinated? We’re an English-speaking family and have no desire to change. We’ve told them that on the official record. Why can’t they leave us alone?

And since this is one of my VERY favorite comments I’ve ever received, I wanted to share it, as well:

mail: princess7tink@xxxxxxxxx
Message: I just want you to know that I think you are horrible. I heard you on the radio the other day talking about your book and thought I would check out your site just to see what it was about. I just got through reading your story on leaving the Church and having your name still be on the directory. BIG DEAL!!! GET OVER IT!!! PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND STOP CRYING ABOUT IT!!!
Just because you don’t like the LDS church and the teachings you shouldn’t be discouraging others from having the missionaries come to their house or opening
their door to them. If others are discouraged because of reading what you had to say, I hope you are severely punished when you get to the other side and see
what you are missing and what others missed because of you.

I of course have received much, much more like that. But that one doesn’t have much to do with the saga of my name removal. But it’s funny.

So, fast forward to the past few weeks; weeks in which Johnny believes he has been trying to help me get my name off the records.

Trappee Johnny is pretty peeved with me. Quite frankly, I think he is peeved without reason. He also probably doesn’t appreciate being called a Trappee. But hey, he’s here and commenting, so he gets to play with us.

Apparently, Johnny, who left an email, is upset because I accused him of leaving a fraudulent email address. See, when I WROTE him an email at said address, some guy wrote me back and asked me who the heck I was. After that, Johnny averred that HIS email is actually one NUMBER off the one he left, and a computer’s “cookies” resulted in the wrong address being printed every time he posted. Interesting. Just a note. This email address is ONLY visible to the person posting and to me. I would have thought Johnny would have noticed the typo, but go figure.

But the fact that HE HIMSELF accused me of HAVING FABRICATED my story, I’m perplexed as to why he thinks he’s been so helpful. When I go back and read some of his comments, I do think his intent was good. But the problem is, HE’S believing what he has been told. I wish it were that easy.

Johnny said:

# Johnny Says:

August 6th, 2007 at 11:01 pm e

Strange that you of all people would get a copy of the ward directory. That’s contraband for you. Its clearly marked for “Bishopric and Ward Clerk” only. Who do YOU know on the inside???

But you didn’t answer the most important question: who was covered by the letter from HQ that said your name is removed? Just you or did it list your husband, and each child?

What you’re describing would be a first in this church: that HQ accepts your name removal and now magically it’s back on the directory; In more than 11 years now of dealing with church offices in salt lake on an almost daily basis this would be a first. For everyone else when HQ deletes your membership record from Membership General Directory (which means moving you to the ex members & excommunicated lists) that’s it, they just don’t put you back on. You need to request re-admitance by baptism etc etc………………..

I now honestly doubt that you are being completely truthful in all of this, especially the details.

Really you should begin by putting up a copy of that letter from HQ as a start for some credibility. (I can actually check from here, from my office pc, whether of not it’s legit.)

Now he accused me of not being truthful, especially the details. He claims that I could not have a copy of the ward directory. HELLO? They hand them out like candy here in Utah. They left the damn thing on my doorstep! I wasn’t even home. And my mom has a copy of HER ward directory posted on her cupboards in the kitchen, by her phone. Are they really contraband in Australia? And if so, WHY?

And I posted the letter, as he requested, even though he declined to post HIS credentials, like say his temple recommend. Not sure how that’s fair, but hey, I’m playing along. Don’t want to be accused of fabrications.

Both me and my husband were included in the name removal. Since MY CHILDREN WERE NEVER BAPTIZED, only blessed, they should have been included just CUZ. Apparently, this is not true. If you let someone say a little prayer over your kids head, they are COUNTED A MEMBER. I was trying to be nice to my dad. Didn’t know I’d be fending off the primary president for the rest of my life! Robert has never been blessed, however, since he declined to be born. I’m wondering how HIS name ended up on the records.

One of Johnny’s “blokes” from Australia, Mark, also posted here, accusing me of all types of lack of credibility, and ethics, and other such hogwash. Since he posted with a bogus email address, Spam Karma ate his comments, and I cannot retrieve them. I was accused by Johnny of removing them. NOPE. Wasn’t me. I even returned them once, only to have them disappear again. It appears to be a problem when someone doesn’t leave a real email address, and frankly, if you aren’t even willing to stand behind your words, don’t bother to come here.

Here is the bottom line. I followed the rules. I wrote the letter. I was ignored. I called the bishop. I was ignored. I called the stake president. I was ignored. I called Church HQ. The bishop finally acknowledged me. The name removal letter (the first one) was sent. Later, I received an official notification. I am now being told it was not official, by Johnny.

I polled the ex-Mormon community, and discovered that everyone’s experience is different! Go figure. Some people got what I got. Some people got letters from Greg Dodge. Some people got letters marked copy. Some people received confirmation they had been removed, only to find their names BACK ON.

Johnny says that IF my name was removed by all the right procedures, it would NOT show up back on the ward records. Hmm. If that is true, where did they GET IT? They don’t give out personal information like birthdays, and children’s names, in the YELLOW PAGES. Or white pages for that matter. There is only ONE PLACE TO GET IT. The Church.

So…. That’s the story, and I’m sticking to it….

Today, I put in a call to Church HQ. I also intend to make a copy of my letter for my bishop, the nice man with ten children who visited my house the other day. When I called the Church I was told Greg Dodge was not available. I left a message. The saga continues…..

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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44 Responses to The "LET ME OUT OF THIS CHURCH" Saga….

  1. Cele says:

    So how I doubt it will make a difference, but someone should be happy that your hoop jumping days aren’t done.

    Like

  2. Renee says:

    Here’s one for you…I’m at my 8 year old’s football practice and a little girl is talking to a little toddler boy…asked him how many sisters he had. The little guy says “One.” The girls says “Oh no, you have 1,000 sisters…in the spirit world” or something to that effect. I may be totally off base, having only gone to Primary once as a child with a friend (and having my mother freak out over it after the fact) but I just kind of fell flat on my back. I’m sure the other parents wondered what was wrong with me. Or maybe it was obvious.

    Good luck with this effort Natalie, you had to decide whether it was worth it or not.

    Like

  3. azteclady says:

    I insist, Natalie, you are so much more patient (and civil) than I’d be in your place. Good luck!

    Like

  4. INTJ_Mom says:

    Ok Natalie, you’ve inspired me to get off my duff. I went to Mormon No More and copied out the resignation form letter, personalized it and printed it out. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time now, but I’d been stalling only because I’ve been kind of worried about whether my resignation would cause my 4 yr old son to lose his one neighborhood friend (the parents are pretty TBM) that’s close to his age. I heard that the whole ward is notified when someone resigns? Is this true?

    But, the neighbor friend is starting kindergarten soon and he’s actually rather destructive and ill mannered so truthfully I kind of wouldn’t mind if he was no longer coming over to my house and breaking things and encouraging my son to misbehave. We’ve put up with the neighbor kid because our son is such a little extrovert. I figure since my kids will be in private school they aren’t likely to be hanging out much with the neighborhood kids going to the neighborhood public school or different private or charter schools anyhow, so my whole reason for stalling is probably a moot point.

    Anyhoo, I’m going to follow all the recommendations at Mormon No More to the letter and I’ll let you know how it all turns out. I’ll be going to get my resignation letter notarized this coming week and send it in Priority Mail and all like the Mormon No More website instructs.

    Like

  5. Johnny says:

    You still don’t get it!! What a saga this is, across the Pacific Ocean &, what? 2 weeks now!!! I’ll try to be calm:

    this part: “Here is the bottom line. I followed the rules. I wrote the letter. I was ignored. I called the bishop. I was ignored…… The bishop finally acknowledged me. The name removal letter (the first one) was sent. Later, I received an official notification.

    This second letter means that the process was done up to where the Stake President tells bishop to write that second letter. Then ‘cometh’ the mistake; by whom? Don’t know but a mistake on our side, ie made by the church, NOT a conspiracy to keep you a Mormon; I would guess -99% sure- it’s the stake presidency who stuffed up. They had to collect your first letter, copies of the two the bishop wrote, complete and sign what is called “Report of Administrative Action” instruct the Ward clerk to take your records of the rolls and then mail everything to church HQ. I guess they stuffed up because even if the poor overworked Ward Clerk takes you off the rolls in his computer, when HQ does its update automatically overnight, pluff, you’re back on because they didn’t move you to the excommunicated & Name Removed listss.

    See, Natalie, again I’m saying that the mistake and the problem’s on OUR side, the Mormons made the mistake! But you can fix it as you are starting to do by calling HQ (best bet) and sending the copy to that nice man Bishop with 10 kids and no time to waste. I know the church has this problem and honestly a friend at the SLTrib would be a better bet to solve this. I’ve admitted many times this administrative error and told you clearly that there is nothing more the rank&file can do. The whole process is too long and error prone and quite frankly ridiculus!!

    -BUT IT ISN’T A CONSPIRACY TO KEEP YOU ON OR FORCE YOU BACK AS A MORMON.

    It’s just a plain administrative mistake!. It was the McKay presidency who cracked down on Bishops who where excommunicating inactive people just to make their stats look better (ie higher %’s) and since then they have this mess of a process, it used to be just the request letter and a church court to excommunicate the person (with all of its paperwork) but now its this mess of a process.

    On those other points:

    “Are they really contraband in Australia”
    yeap Australia Mormondom is very against membership directories going out like that; the way they do in Utah (I believe you now -doubted before, true, my appologies due, because I never heard of that and there’s being a lot of 1st presidency letters and instructions on keeping membership rolls private for bishop and ward clerks only as the General Handbook says; Also I just saw episode 8, season 2 Big Love where a Bishop tells Barbara that he checked the records and they list her as Inactive in their new Ward??? –that could never happen here either, so Utah is different, but from you and big love I still think its Utah society and not the church per se) But maybe you should come here and spend a month or so and I can prove all of this personally?

    And this:” Johnny says that IF my name was removed by all the right procedures, it would NOT show up back on the ward records”
    -Yeap, again, how it is and very true, once they do it correctly!!!

    “Hmm. If that is true, where did they GET IT?”
    -Well if the stake president didn’t mail in the form and letter to HQ….then you’re still a member, for the church at least, counted as such in those 13 million or so. But this can be fixed!!!! Like I’ve said too complicated and tedious a process which I would change -if I only could.

    And lastly: my temple recommend? Just how much trouble do you want me to get into? And fired from a good paying job??? Look, I’ll scan it now and put up what is possible to do without given away every detail but you can see its still current. Give me a few minutes.

    (dam, episode 9 of S/2 big love just finished from torrentspy. My wife & I are dying to see it because Roman Grant got killed last episode, and we have to see it quick because last week there was a letter from 1st presidency arguing against big love, what a shame since it helps out the church a bit I think. Dam
    I’ll try once to scan, if it goes through good, if not it will be later tonight)

    Like

  6. Johnny says:

    Let’s see if it will post. If not I’ll email it, ok.

    But be a mate and look at it and delete it. I’m kind of on a ledge here posting my recommend. The blue splip bit is the current colour here for temple workers, in Sydney temple since it changes every year.

    Like

  7. Johnny says:

    Nope, doesn’t show up. I’ll email it to you Natalie separately. Already answered that confirmation email from today.

    Like

  8. Kris says:

    Holy freaking crap! I go and have a baby and everything goes to hell for you Natalie…LOL! I have however, been poking in here and there to try to keep up with all the trapees.

    What a fiasco you are in…again I must say that my pre-member roots kick in here and truly believe that if you ask for no contact that means no contact. If you ask for your name to be removed it should be removed. My cousin had his removed fairly easily but then that was in Canada so it might be different with different laws and such governing church vs. “state”.

    Just so everyone is clear…I am Kris, and I am LDS and active, however I have a brain and therefore think outside the box (church) unlike many other members of the LDS church. Hehe. Good to see you are well and dealing with the same old same old so to speak. Nice to see Cele and azteclady are well too (Hi!). Keep keeping it real ladies…don’t forget there are “normal”, brain using members like me outside of Utah!

    K.

    Like

  9. Tracy says:

    Oh, for heavens sake.

    Johnny, why should Natalie even write the letter in the first place. She’s leaving a church, not resigning from a job.

    Why isn’t it sufficient to be able to just walk away, and not have to jump though hoops to get off the roll?

    Like

  10. Wayne says:

    And you scoffed at the idea that such a thing could happen.

    http://www.sltrib.com/lds/ci_6469615

    You know what I believe? I believe, Natalie: (and this is not official church doctrine!) that there is an organizational structure in God’s kingdom, (in what is referred to by most believing
    Christians as Heaven). I believe that the Father and his son (Jesus the Christ) are in charge and are directing the activities there. I believe they are directing others: whether it be angels or whomever to carry out those instructions. I think they are helping God, by teaching those who never heard the Gospel in this life, to learn and except it there, so they can have the opportunity to accept or reject it.
    I think the Church there may even consist of the same organization as it is here in the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    And if it is, it just may be part of your hell, when you get there, to find out that you may still have a Bishop pounding on your door to check on you, and maybe, just maybe, even (dreaded as it may sound) Home Teachers!! You may even discover your name is still on the records of His church.

    Like

  11. Cele says:

    Hey Kris I had wondered where you had been, congrats on the baby and welcome back.

    Wayne you just scared the holy crap out of me, and if heaven is ruled by the LDS then I am looking forward to the outer darkness – because that is not the God or Jesus I was raised to believe in.

    Like

  12. Renee says:

    Wayne, I believe it notes that he is of the church and these home teachers are assigned to HIM. That means it was a Mormon attacking his own home teachers. Not the heathens.

    Ugh.

    Like

  13. azteclady says:

    You know what I believe?

    I believe that what goes around comes around.

    I believe that people *coughWayneetalcough* who spend this much energy being offended by other people’s beliefs, to the point of uttering threats of eternal damnation and wishing ill to those same people… I believe those individuals–no matter what their religion–will get exactly what they are putting out.

    Like

  14. Wayne, what happened to this scripture?

    For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them. (Alma 1:24)

    I think you’ll agree that those who resign their membership have hardened their hearts and withdrawn themselves from the Mormon community. Let’s make with the blotting out their names and remembering them no more.

    Like

  15. Natalie says:

    Wayne, you are one seriously SCARY dude. If Gordon B. Hinckley handed you the Kool-Aid, I KNOW you would drink. I saw that story WEEKS ago. You can put your prophet delusions of grandeur away. That man has undoubtedly NEVER heard of me. LOL.

    Like

  16. Tracy says:

    “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Heb 6:10

    “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

    The Mormons may have blotted out your name Natalie, and will not remember you, but God has not.

    Like

  17. Annette says:

    Thank You Wayne and Johnny! I have just been reminded why I left mormonism. I don’t hink anyone should be bothered for life over a decision made for them when they were 8 years old.

    I don’t even know what to say to your idea of heaven. WOW

    good luck Natalie and I really respect your willingness to put yourself out there.

    Like

  18. Kris says:

    I agree with azteclady’s last comment. And I also believe that someone should be able to walk away and have their wishes met in a timely manner as to their membership in anything like Tracy said.

    K.

    Like

  19. azteclady says:

    Hey, Kris! Congrats on the baby! Take care of yourself too.

    Like

  20. Natalie says:

    Hey Kris, congrats on the baby! Glad to see you back!

    Like

  21. Renee says:

    Kudos to Kris – I know of many people who are of many faiths with a brain. We all have to ask difficult questions of ourselves and our beliefs! Some people can’t do that. LOTS of people can. That is something to celebrate. P.S. So is a baby of course. Congrats!

    Like

  22. Johnny says:

    “Johnny, why should Natalie even write the letter in the first place. She’s leaving a …. Why isn’t it sufficient to be able to just walk away, and not have to jump though hoops to get off the roll? ”

    Tracy: I actually agree. The testimony of two witnesses should be enough. Two witnesses being the home teachers. As Kris said if you ask you should be left alone, fine with me.

    But the reality is different as I’ve repeatedly tried to explain here. The brethren made it so and put up all these hoops because, (I think), they just don’t trust Bishoprics enough. Now we all suffer: Mormons and the non-Mormons who want to leave.

    And because reality is different, I keep asking Natalie to write another letter to correct the mistake since this isn’t a conspiracy to keep her a member or, better, on second thoughts, go to HQ and the Salt Lake Tribune, (DesNews won’t do much I guess) and make something public about this problem. Trust me: most Mormon local leaders and the rank&file will say ‘finally’!.
    What happened in Spanish fork (re:Wayne’s post) is a good example for you yanks, and this happens around the world. Not always with a ‘large silver revolver’ but verbally violent? Yes definitely.

    Worst of all is that men eventually get tired and stop doing home teaching all together; they give up and then those frail old people who need help to fix a lamp or something, never see home teachers.

    Please make this mess public (a blog isn’t pucblic enough); for you, for non-mormons going through the same, for mormon leaders who hate the status quo but can’t get near the brethren, and also those old people who need a lamp fixed and do need home teachers. Bye,

    Kind Regards,

    Johnny.

    Like

  23. azteclady says:

    I’m confused…

    Earlier in the comments Johnny said (among a slew of other stuff), “And lastly: my temple recommend? Just how much trouble do you want me to get into? And fired from a good paying job???”

    And I wonder… why would a self-professed hard working mormon get in trouble by defending mormonism and trying to set us heathen/sinners straight on the “real reality” that we are seemingly too dim to see?

    Like

  24. JOOM says:

    My e-mail has been hacked and my blog is stalked by TBMer’s! They search for information to spread! The most recent one was from a quiz “What kind of beer are you?”! They desperately need a life. No matter what blog I start, they show up! Best of luck, but unfortunatley, they are always there!

    Like

  25. Krystn says:

    Keep on keepin’ on! Your blog is inspiring to me. I just figured I wouldn’t bother with the letter since you had so much bad luck with it. I look forward to finding out what happens with the call to church HQ. I haven’t been active for over 9 years. And now off to my own little saga…someone in the RS called my hubby and told him they wanted to “kidnap” me for a RS breakfast. WTF? Now they want to FORCE me to attend their functions. Off to kick hubby’s a@# cuz he thought it would be funny to say it was ok. Maybe I should try the nekid thing when they come to the door. And maybe I should make an appt with the elders for my non-member hubby.

    Like

  26. sam says:

    Johnny said:
    The testimony of two witnesses should be enough (to leave the church).

    What? He makes this statement like it’s completely normal. This goes back to the cult atmosphere of the Mormon Church. I’ve never had to have “the testimony of two witnesses” to leave a particular church or faith. I just quit attending. How odd that you have to write letters, beg, plead and have the testimony of two to try and leave the church. Sounds pretty desperate and controlling on their part.

    Best of luck to you, Natalie. I’m rooting for you.

    Like

  27. Johnny says:

    Sam, you’ve misunderstood. I was taking about what it should take to cancel a membership record.

    I was saying that the two hometeachers(two witnesses) should be believed and respected enough so that their report is acted on by us. ie the Bishop send’s his two reps out (home teachers) they return with the report that Natalie doen’t want to be a member anymore; then the bishop believes them and cancels Natalie’s membership record without the letter or any more fuss from either side -mormons and the ex-mormon.

    That’s what I was trying to get at, whilst acknowledging that the problem is on our side of the fence.

    Like

  28. sam says:

    Johnny: I appreciate your attempt to clairify, but it still makes no sense.

    You have to send out two hometeachers who are respected enough to report that they “believe” an individual wants to cancel their membership? How about BELIEVING the individual who has made the request?

    Do you not think that someone can make a decision on their own without sending two witnesses to report to the bishop before he “believes” them?

    How odd.

    Like

  29. Johnny says:

    Sam: Off course the individual can and should be believed! Makes no sense???? really!!

    Thing is that the individual needs to somewhow get his message to the bishop to ask & request that his records be deleted. I was only saying that it should be good enough for the individual who wants to leave to tell the home teachers and that they -the home teachers- should be able to initiate the process without a written request, ie famous 1st letter talked about so much here. So home teachers should be believed by the bishop and bishops should be believed by the church……………………

    I was also saying that its my church who has the problem in processesing these claims and not the people asking to leave nor is there a policy or conspiracy to keep everyone a member and never let them go. And I was saying that something could be done by you guys making this problem public so that the big bosses will change things and make it easier for you to leave when you want to. That’s all, makes sense? (I bet you’ll say nope, not clear????)

    And off course someone can make a decision on their own but they somehow have to communicate this to the people who control those lists ie church. Should be a simple process, maybe a phone call? or how do the political parties do this over in yankie-land when someone wants to cancel their membership? Any easier than the LDS church way? you tell me because here we need a written request witnessed by a Justice of the Peace and certifified mail……….and on and on (for political parties not the church)

    Like

  30. azteclady says:

    Yes, Johnny, your church has the problem letting people go.

    I would imagine that simply stop attending *should* be enough, because hello! this is a church = voluntary membership.

    But it’s not only NOT enough to stop attending, one has to request to have one’s name and address and other personal information taken off the membership rolls. And one has to cope with people coming to one’s house to try and “fix” whatever problems one has with the church. And one has to deal with having other people come to one’s house asking for one’s minor child–without introduction or permission to/from the parent–for church activities. And on and on and on.

    And THAT, Johnny, is why people like me see the mormon church as a cult. Because in all other clubs where the membership is voluntary, just not going anymore is enough.

    Like

  31. Why not a user-friendly form on lds.org? Send a confirmation letter to the address of record, and then drop the person from the records after 30 days if you don’t hear back?

    Dreaming.

    Like

  32. Tracy says:

    “or how do the political parties do this over in yankie-land when someone wants to cancel their membership? ”

    I don’t know Johnny, I don’t live in the north-east United States, I live in the west, and what does a political party have to do with dropping a name off a membership list of a church?

    If you’re talking changing political affiliation, I can go to the register-recorders office, or DMV and request a change of party affiliation, and it’s done, no muss or fuss. No party member comes to my door, asking if there is anything they can do to rectify the situation.

    Like

  33. anne johnson says:

    I’m new to this site and not terribly familiar with Mormonism, except that it’s in my Last Will and Testament that I never be posthumously baptized.

    I suggest that you call upon some bored gods and/or goddesses to help you purge your life of this grasping church. You could be warlike and ask the help of Mars or Quetzalcoatyl, or you could take the sweet route and rouse a gentle goddess — Brighid, for instance. In my experience, ancient deities are so eager for work they’ll take on absolutely any hopeless cause.

    Like

  34. INTJ_Mom says:

    I am eagerly awaiting your next blog post, Natalie. I check every day hoping to find a new entry. Maybe that sounds weird, but I just so enjoy your writings, I think I’ve become addicted, LOL.

    I went and had my resignation letter notarized today. Didn’t have time to get to the PO yet. Am planning on doing that tomorrow.

    Like

  35. Johnny says:

    “If you’re talking changing political affiliation, I can go .to……..DMV and request a change of party affiliation, and it’s done, no muss or fuss. No party member comes to my door, asking if there is anything they can do to rectify the situation”

    I honestly wish it was this simple in the church as well. Here in australia the process is much more involved to change political affiliation but every country is different.

    But aside from agreeing that leaving the church should be more simpler, as I’ve said many times, I think you guys are dreaming or at least misleading readers by claiming that when you leave church members will come after you or something. Done correctly (the long tedious & error prone process) you are gone and no one will visit. Done incorrectly you will still be seen as a member on the lists to visit one day.

    But aside from that, home teaching world wide varies but always less than 10%,, worldwide. Utah is higher at around 27%. But still the majority of people on the list aren’t visited each month……but I suppose you guys won’t believe that either, right???

    Like

  36. azteclady says:

    You know… I think the ONE major factor bugging me is how Johnny and his ilk insist that “done correctly” the process is, if not exactly easy, at least effective. Yet, when confronted with the fact that Natalie has done everything correctly and *still* get hounded… Well, then it’s time to turn it around and make it Natalie’s fault. “If you would *only* write another letter” “if you would only spell your name correctly” “if you would only… (insert platitude of choice)”

    She–and others–have done it correctly, step by step, and received proof of it. And the church won’t let go of them anyway.

    (And we won’t even comment on Robert, the spirit child at Chez Collins, hmm?)

    Like

  37. Wayne says:

    I was thinking: If Natalie WERE to get her name off of the records of the Church, (which I don’t think she does), it would upset the premise of her web-site.
    What I mean for instance is:
    What would she then call her web-site? Maybe something like: “Un-trapped by the Mormons”, or maybe “Finally!! Released from the Mormons”. Or maybe “Free at last from the Mormons”.
    Then if it were to happen: What would she then write about? She would then be different from all the other “Trapped Mormons” who love to spend their time defending her with their blogs, to help her put down all of us mean Mormons.
    She would rather spend hours, days, weeks, months and years writing about her trials of being “Trapped by the Mormons”, rather than take a comparative small amount of time writing a 30 min letter to the church reminding them of the former efforts. It might even take making a copy of the same letter she posted on this web-site and sending it to Church headquarters.

    Like

  38. azteclady says:

    Wayne, m’dear… lemme explain to you: this here place? It ain’t a website–it’s a BLOG. Blog means “online log” or “online journal” and frankly, after living all her life in Utah? and after spending ten close to ten years trying to get her name off the rolls? I think no one but an idiot would make an issue if she kept that name on the (extremely unlikely) event that her name were off.

    Now, her actual website–you know, where she promotes her writing? That one is at nataliercollins.com, which wouldn’t have to change regardless of anything else.

    Capisce?

    Oh and a tip? Natalie is a writer. She actually enjoys writing. She would have probably spent as many hours, days, weeks, years writing about anything else regardless of where she lived/was born. Deal already.

    Like

  39. Wayne says:

    To Azteclady:
    Perhaps, I do not understand the difference between a ‘blog’ and a ‘web-site’. My apologies to Natalie. But the original thought doesn’t change, does it? If she got her name removed from the Church, (Let me get it right this time.) Her being a ‘WRITER’, she couldn’t ‘WRITE’ or ‘BLOG’ about not being able to get her name removed from the records of the Church anymore and being ‘TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS’. She might then be forced to write about something else.

    Like

  40. Natalie says:

    Wayne, I hate to be insulting, but damn, you just REQUIRE ME TO DO SO. Are you REALLY THAT DIMWITTED?

    I AM A WRITER. I WRITE ABOUT LOTS OF OTHER THINGS. I have a FOUR BOOK CONTRACT with St. Martin’s, a THREE BOOK CONTRACT with Berkley Prime Crime, and a book with Five Star.

    This BLOG is the LEAST of my writing. I also blog on http://www.murdershewrites.com, and jennytpartridge.wordpress.com.

    Three blogs, three publishers, a variety of subjects. I WRITE dimwit. Sheesh. Now you made me feel bad, because I had to get all PISSY with you.

    Like

  41. Wayne says:

    Natalie:
    Quote me, where I said in my (let me get it correct) ‘BLOG’ that insinuated that you were not a ‘writer’. I know you are a writer and I am sure you are a very talented one. I was suggesting that you would have LESS to write about on your BLOG if your name were to be removed from the membership records of the church.
    To be upfront with you, I wasn’t even aware that you had a ‘web-site’. I stumbled on to your ‘blog’, and that is where I focused on the things you were writing about. And you will have to admit that a good percentage of your ‘writing’ there has a tendency to focus on the Mormon Church and its ‘weak’ members, and their efforts to ‘pick’ on you.
    If you think the LDS church is not the ‘TRUE CHURCH’ please tell me which one is, and I will leave the Mormon Church and join yours. But like I said from the beginning: Make sure that church is free of all the problems you are so insistent that the Mormon Church, its doctrine, leaders and its members have.
    Again, I suggest you research the ‘history’ of your religion, (you indicated once that you were a ‘Christian’), and that (your church history) will give you much more to write about. It is called the Bible. Do you catch what I am saying? You believe in Jesus Christ—He is the leader of your belief system—The Bible is HIS history kept by writers of that day—The Old Testament is the history of HIS ancestors, followers, Prophets and etc, etc, etc.
    I posted this on your ‘blog’ before, and you didn’t like it when I posted it a second time. But I am going to give reference to it again for those who want to see what I said, because I think it applies to this discussion. And if I needed any more help in making my point, I could always go to your friend Richard Packam’s web-site about why he became an atheist to get all the information I would ever need.

    http://www.nataliercollins.com/weblog/2007/02/15/the-worst-massacre-in-utah-history/#comment-32976

    Like

  42. Natalie says:

    But WAYNE, I don’t WANT you to follow me. You can’t seem to figure that out. I am NOT going to share my religious beliefs with you, because I don’t consider them relevant. I am NOT involved in a religious “My God is better than your God” contest here.

    YOU seem to cling to Mormonism because it’s the closest thing to the TRUTH that you can find. I don’t feel the need to cling. And that is where we differ.

    And if you REALLY researched Mormonism, you would SEE that it is, indeed, FILLED with problems. Instead, you choose to dismiss these things.

    And the reason I said something about you posting your comments again and again is that your POINT is lost here.

    It simply isn’t working.

    Like

  43. Natalie says:

    More about YOUR point, Wayne. I went back and tried to read it again, and what I saw was frightening. I understand the MMM mentality, but it DOES NOT EXCUSE WHAT HAPPENED! Don’t you tell me it was war! It was NOT war! It was murder, plain and simple. Those people were PASSING THROUGH!!! On their way to a better LIFE, just like the Mormons sought when they left the east and traveled to Utah.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to justify it in any WAY SHAPE OR FORM. The truth is, Mormons have KILLED MORE PEOPLE than they have lost. It doesn’t even come close. YOU should really do your research, open your mind, and stop parroting the Mormon party line.

    That is what CREATED THE MMM in the FIRST PLACE!!!

    Like

  44. nomo12 says:

    I just wanted to comment on Johnny’s comment. I am the Ward Bulletin person (yes not by choice I might add) and I have 3 lists of the ward directory. Also my MOM in the RS got me a copy, the Bishop’s secretary got me one and my dad is in the high council, my uncle is a bishop, and the RS secretary all have ones that were made readily available to me at my beck and call. Seriously, grow up Johnny. Anyone seen Arsenic and Old Lace? Reminds me of the creepy brother Jonathon and his little minion, “hey johnny we should go!”
    And how does that saying go, “Love others as Jesus did” etc etc etc. Wow the Jesusly love is filling these comments from the Mo-section of the crowd and quite frankly accomplishing the complete opposite of what they are meaning to do. You can believe and have faith until you die and keep the wool over your eyes, however, you will be lead around in life blind and completely ignorant. Who ever said, “Ignorance is bliss” must have been mormon. Yes, it is bliss, until you realize that you are smarter and more aware of the world then that. When you get raped at 18 and the leaders of your faith believe it is your fault, there is a serious problem with that.

    Like

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