Mormonism Exodus: The Process of Leaving Egypt
By Ed Decker
We have to take time to rejoice at the large numbers of Mormons who are finally taking the position that they must choose between Jesus Christ and the Church of Joseph Smith. So many members have just silently left the "Church" and gone elsewhere, suffering the visits of the "Home Teachers" in silence, not wanting to cause problems with friends and loved ones.
But once Jesus Christ begins to do the special work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we want to proclaim Him King and Lord. That is not too easy sometimes when your name sits on the records of a Church that denies His true identity and Divinity.
We have the growth of a movement taking place. More and more Ex-Mormons are asking for their names to be removed, and we have seen newly saved Mormons taking that position almost as quickly as they become Christians! So much has happened to open up the true Gospel to the Mormons and so many have responded that such Excommunication proceedings are becoming an active part of the calling of a Bishop or Stake President.
WHY GO THROUGH THE HASSLE?
So many of us just want to leave the pain and anguish behind-to just go our way and forget it. After all, we know our new position with the Lord. We don't need to go through the hassle of an excommunication trial and all its ugliness. We aren't willing to be publicly "drummed out" for the horrible sin of just wanting to serve the real Jesus and go to a true Christian Church. Why go through it and hurt family members still in the LDS church?
These questions, thoughts, and much more have been on the minds and hearts of every one of us who have "gone through the hassle." We now see the reasons to go through it and we see the fruit of the effort. It is vitally necessary to separate ourselves from darkness. We should not allow our names to be used by the forces of darkness to be counted as among their numbers. Their PR picture shows a fast growing Church full of happy active people living the fulness of the "everlasting gospel." They talk about the tens of thousands rushing into the church every year. They don't talk about the heavy missionary program selling Mormonism with canned sales techniques designed to lure the unsuspecting into their web. They don't mention the many thousands going out the back door almost as fast as others are tricked through the front door. If there is no one willing to stand up and shout, "I quit!", it's going to continue! It is time that the public see something about Mormonism that is true. It's time they saw the dark side.
Second, we need to take enough of a group stand that those still locked into Mormonism because of their fear of public humiliation and ostracism will be encouraged to speak the truth of their heart openly. Third, it's time we stop taking the "label" that goes with excommunication and go in to this thing demanding our right of freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America. We don't have to put with this form of dictatorial, heavy-handed humiliation. We are talking about resignation, not excommunication!
Fourth, it's time that the LDS leaders realize that they are going to have to revise their procedures to allow for resignations, without all the "Kangaroo Court" routines. Or else they are going to have to sit there and listen to tens of thousands of Ex-Mormons tell them about Jesus. But to do that, they are going to have to admit that their perfect society is a perfect failure.
By 1989, the Church had instituted its own response to this "exodus." Now much of the action by the Church is handled through an "administrative procedure" and not excommunication. It's quicker and saves them untold hours of having to deal with Ex-Mormons vibrant with the love of Jesus!
We need to acknowledge that this new, streamlined process was won by the blood, sweat and tears of the continuous numbers of Ex-Mormons who endured public disgrace for the sake of the name of Jesus, and who loved the LDS people enough to stand up and be counted! We thank God for their legacy, and we pray that it will continue.
The Mormons claim world-wide membership of over 9 million. Yet, by their own figures, less than half of them ever attend church. Only half of those who do attend regularly have every been through the temple and qualify for even a shot at the Celestial Kingdom, and only half of these few still hold active temple recommends to ever get back in the temple. The real shocker is that only half of this 12.5% who can go to the temple actually do. The end result is that since only active temple Mormons will get to the Celestial Kingdom and become gods and polygamous wives of these gods, Mormonism has an actual failure rate of over 90%. Can you conceive of the impact on the LDS church's Readers Digest image if over one million persons resign from the Church? Imagine the impact on the members of the Church as the lists of names are read off at every priesthood or Sacrament meeting.
OK! HOW DO I GET OUT?
Now that you are ready to take the necessary action, you need to decide what specific action suits your situation and your own personality. These individ-ual needs can be broken into three main categories:
Group 1: You already have been through enough pain and emotional trauma and the last thing you want is harassment from Bishops, Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, Stake Presidents, and even family or friends.
Group 2: You have a strong Christian testimony and a strong constitution. You would love to share both the error of Mormonism and the Biblical antidote with everyone who has to listen to you tell it. You want to share the good news of the Real Jesus with the LDS court.
Group 3: You not only feel that the brethren of the priesthood deserve to hear the truth, but feel that the ladies deserve to hear the truth of your leaving also. You prepare a statement to share at the Fast and Testimony meeting just prior to your formal "Trial." Now, you can select the Group you feel most comfortable in and we will get back to that in a bit. Let's deal with the logistics of actually notifying them of your intentions.
DOING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
If you aren't careful, you can end up on the Mormon merry-go-round. You need to give the church formal notification. To do this, you have to address a Certified letter" to the right individual(s).
If you know the name and address of your Bishop or Branch President and Stake President, great! If you are a member of the Melchizedek Priesthood, address your letter to the Stake President and Carbon Copy (cc:) the Bishop or Branch President, and always send a copy to the Presiding Bishop at Church Headquarters, 50 East North Temple St., SLC, UT., 84150.
If you are married, include your spouse and children in your letter and have them each sign with you. Resign as a family. If you are not a member of the Melchizedek priesthood, or a woman taking action alone, send the letter to the Bishop or Branch President and send copies to each other the others as above. Again, always resign as a family.
Now, if you do not know the names and addresses of your local officials, call the local LDS stake center or Ward/Branch and tell them your address and ask the name of the Ward/Branch you would attend. Then ask the name and address of the Bishop or Branch President and the Stake President. Then follow the procedure as outlined above. Worst case, send the letter to the Prophet and Presiding Bishop, but expect a good six month delay before your records finally "catch up" with you. Then it will be the Bishop knocking on your door. It would be much better to be able to take the initiative locally.
WHAT SHOULD THE LETTER SAY?
If you are in Group 1 and do not wish to attend any trial or meet with anyone from the Church, you should make that position clear, and let the letter contain some of the doctrinal problems you have with the Church. The following are some of the many statements that have been given by others (and they apply to all 3 groups):
1. I do not place my eternal life in the hands of any latter-day prophet nor is it (eternal life) conditional on my membership in any Church or priesthood. I place my life at the foot of the cross.
2. I do not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He fails every test of a prophet including leading people after another god, uttering false prophecies, teaching false doctrine and lying.
3. I am convinced the LDS church NOT the "Restored Gospel." I do not believe that the real "Gospel" ever left the earth!
4. I am convinced that the Book of Mormon is a contrived document and not of divine origin.
5. I am convinced that the Pearl of Great Price (particularly the Book of Abraham) is a work of pure fraud.
6. I am convinced that the Doctrine and Covenants has been rewritten, added to, and whole sections deleted in such proportions as to make it invalid as scripture of any kind, even if it were true that God spoke these things to Joseph Smith (which He didn't)!
7. I am convinced that the LDS church has made serious, substantial changes to all their scriptures as well as most church history. I believe they have done this in order to dupe their members, to hide doctrinal errors and to protect some leaders from exposure of their moral failures.
8. I am convinced that these changes are so numerous and of such magnitude as to invalidate the authority of the church in any spiritual or temporal sense.
9. I am convinced that the priesthood of the LDS church hold absolutely NO authority to act in the name of God. Its origin is a lie and its power is the power of priestcraft and Satan is its Master.
10. I am convinced that the god of the LDS temple ritual is Satan, who teaches doctrine to Adam and Eve, and whose apron every patron wears and to whom Adam prayed and was answered and to whom all the temple patrons pray (until 1990), crying "Pay Lay Ale."
11. I am convinced that the True and Living God will not require us to meet him at some cloth veil, wearing secret underwear, and chanting mystical secrets in his ear to be found worthy to enter his presence.
12. I am convinced that the LDS "Law of Eternal Progression" with its unscriptural description of the nature of God is an abomination in the sight of God.
SAMPLE "GROUP 1" LETTER
Dear (proper official):
This is to inform you that I hereby resign from the Mormon Church and request that my name, and the names of my wife and children be stricken from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This demand is made freely and with full understanding of the consequences of the act, as taught by the Church. Please be advised that I take this step by the power of my free agency and under the right to freed of religion as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.
We must insist that the record and the letter notifying us that our names have been removed from the records of the Church show that the ONLY reason that our names have been removed is that we have requested it to be done, as an act of resignation. I will proceed with legal action against you personally and the Church corporately if anything is done to libel our good name and cause us any loss of reputation to comply with this letter of resignation in a timely manner.
Be advised that this action has been taken because it has been demonstrated to our full satisfaction that Mormonism is in great error, and teaches false doctrines (you may wish to list some of them here). You may be assured that our decision has been the result of much prayer and is final. Any attempts of Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers or other representatives of the LDS Church to contact us will be considered an invasion of our privacy and an infringement of our free agency. We will not participate in any Church court or trial, for we have done no wrong. My family and I rejoice that we have received the real Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, and we have the assurance and joy of our Salvation according to God's Word, the Holy Bible (1 John 5:11-13).
"GROUP 2" AND "GROUP 3" LETTERS
In this case, you want to attend the court and have your say and witness there. You should be brief and to the point. The key is that you are resigning, not submitting yourself for "excommunication." If they will not let you simply resign through their "administrative procedure," then you should be prepared to go into the trial as the plaintiff, not the defendant!
Dear (proper authority):
This is to inform you that I (We) hereby resign from the Mormon Church and request that my name, and the names of my wife and children be stricken from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Be advised that this action has been taken because it has been demonstrated to our full satisfaction that Mormonism is in great error, and teaches false doctrines (you may wish to list some of them here). Should you not immediately comply with this legitimate exercise of our free agency, and my right to religious freedom as guaranteed by our Constitution, I demand that an appropriate court or courts be convened at your earliest convenience, so we may attend and state our full reasons for this request. We expect that such court(s) will be convened in a timely manner. Any attempt to delay our request will be considered an infringement of our free agency.
We must insist that the record and the letter notifying us that our names have been removed from the records of the Church show that the ONLY reason that our names have been removed is that we have requested it to be done, as an act of resignation.
Please be advised that I will attend my wife's/children's courts and that they will attend mine. We will also being a Non-LDS person for our own witness and bring and use our own recording equipment and will record the proceedings, in order that we have a true transcript of the proceedings.
We have prepared formal statements which we will read into the record at the time of the court hearing(s). We will bring copies for each member of the Court. (Note: lf is a Bishop's Court, bring 5; if a Stake High Council Court, bring 16 or more.)
We eagerly await your response to our request. We pray that the appropriate court or courts will be convened within the week, if possible. It will be a joy and pleasure sharing with you what Jesus Christ has done in our lives, and how we have chosen to follow Him, forsaking all others!
A LAST WORD
Above all else, go into this with prayer and love, and a gentle spirit. Anger will not glorify the Lord. If you feel more comfortable, read your statement and refuse to debate anyone on anything. If you are a Group 3 tiger, read your prepared statement at that Fast and Testimony meeting. Don't go alone! Try to tape record it! We would very much appreciate copies of all correspondence and official letters. Many people are now able to simply resign, without the hassle of the trials.
It is also important when leaving the Church and becoming a disciple of Jesus to renounce any past ties, both spiritual and mental or emotional. This is because membership in the Church involves submission to satanic, lying spirits (1 Tim.4:1) and priestcraft. This is a subtle, invisible form of spiritual bondage. While it certainly does not affect your position of salvation through Jesus, it may hold you back from a full and victorious walk with Him. This is especially true for those who have been through the temple.
We have also found that it is helpful in many cases for new Ex-Mormons to be re-baptized in a Bible-believing church, and for those who have had temple marriages to renew their wedding vows before a Christian minister. All of these actions are ways of starting anew in Jesus and separating yourself from the Mormon mindset, both spiritually and emotionally (2 Cor.6:14-17).
You might wish to pray something like this: "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the authority I possess as a believer in Him, I rebuke any and all lying and deceitful spirits of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which may still think that they have a claim on me or my family. In Jesus' name, I renounce the spirits of priestcraft, the spirits of Moroni and Mormo and declare that you have no power over me any more, for I am bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth who died for me on Calvary.
"I renounce any covenants made by me at my baptism into the LDS church and any priesthood or Bishopric blessings given to me. (If a former Temple Mormon: I renounce any and all covenants made in the LDS temple- especially those placing my family and children under bondage to demonic principalities and powers!) By the power of the blood of Jesus, I also renounce any generational sin or hereditary bondage which may be oppressing me or my family through covenants made by my parents or ancestors; and I nail all these things to the cross of Christ, 'forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'(Phil.3:13-14)...in Jesus' name. Amen."
Remember, let us know how you are doing!