Posts Tagged ‘leaving the church’

LDS Church – Official Resignation

At the very end of 2009 I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons). I was severely depressed and suicidal, willing to grasp at and try to believe anything with a promise of some kind of peace or better life. I was desperate for community, for love, for belonging. I was desperate for some kind of, any kind of hope.

From the beginning I knew it was a crock. I shelved this knowledge and tried and prayed so hard for it to be true, to be able to believe.

It really was an odd choice of church for a same-sex-attracted quasi Christian / Buddhist / agnostic soul.

I came and went over time. I alternated between trying to set aside my lack of faith for the possibility of hope and community. Each time I went back, my experience of cognitive dissonance grew by the hour, along with my personal guilt for not being “worthy” (in the eyes of the church) and for knowing in my heart of hearts, that I simply did not believe. Each time I left, these feelings had driven me to the point of breakdown. Each time I left I did so, somewhat ironically, to save my own life.

Eventually I learned that the church and its teachings were never going to be my saviour. I learned that I’d never be able to really believe. In all my time in the church, I was never able to “testify” to or attempt to recruit other lonely and lost souls. It didn’t sit with me – I knew deep down the potential ramifications of joining the church.

Throughout my time in the church, I stayed connected to and supportive of other queer friends, and even kept participating in a social group for same-sex attracted Christian / ex-christian / post-christian women. A number of these women are still dear to my heart and so very important to me. These women were more my saviour than the church could ever be. With these women, and with a supporting church, I could be and was accepted for myself – through my ups and downs, through my involvement with Mormonism, through the trials and joys of life.

To me, “officially” leaving the church is still a difficult thing to do – it feels like cutting ties with a safety net that I could always run back to, like some kind of drug. This net for me though is woven with barbed wire, and this drug for me, is one that has the potential to kill – my spirit, my soul, my faith, my body.

I didn’t mind being an “official” (though “inactive”) member of the church. I like to drop in to the occasional service, and I have friends I hold dear that are faithful members.

For me, the tipping point in offically resigning, has been seeing and knowing the unimaginable damage of the church’s teachings around same-sex-attraction. These teachings that create division in families, ostracism of good souls, and the damaging beliefs held individuals that they are sinful and unworthy to the core, simply for living the way that they were born to live. I don’t want this membership of mine – of just one  – to be counted among the official numbers of the church and thus inadvertently be aligned with such harmful teachings and false doctrine.

Today, I posted my official letter of resignation to the church. Actually, I posted it to three people, having had my last request ignored.

People within the church often say that the Church is perfect, but naturally, the people within it are only human and thus will always be less than perfect (as we all are). I believe the reverse is true – despite the false foundations and doctrines of the church, it still has many, many good souls that are a part of it. I hope that they, too, regardless of their beliefs, are able to stand up and halt the harm that the teachings of the church cause.

Love. Love without condition, without judgement, without expectation. Just love.

Johansen X