Jump to content

Resign or Not to Resign


Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, Calm said:

That depends on what one believes the commitment means. If it means basically that one wants to try and be like Jesus and be part of a group of people who are also trying....which is how I was taught and how I taught it to the many 6 and 7 year olds in Primary, I think they are capable of knowing that much. 

In a way, yes, so therefore many who leave the church are therefore not breaking the commitment they understood they were making at age eight. In fact, some are striving to keep that commitment by leaving the church.

However, the fuller picture of commitment can make it fundamentally different for the person making it. 

37 minutes ago, Rain said:

I was blessed to teach a 7-8 year old primary class before ( and then after as well) my children were that age. I always though 8 was just a number, but in that class I saw each of the kids make a change.  More awareness of being able to make their own choices.  Less childlike.  Harder to manage.  It wasn't exactly at 8.  Some a little before and some a little after.

I also taught a number of other ages as well. While the kids definitely matured through the year I never saw that fundamental shift.

You might think it was just from being taught about baptism etc, but I spent 3 years (each 3 years apart) coming in every week in every grade to grade school to help out. I saw this there in inactive and non member homes as well.

There is just something about age 8.  Giving them the opportunity to follow Jesus though baptism is a good thing. Expecting them to understand consequences fully then shows that we don't really understand their maturity and/or are naive as to our own lack of understanding as adults.

We can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have.

 

That's right. And like Maya Angelou says, "when we know better, we do better." And thus a person who has been striving to be good and true, but who eventually learns that they must leave the church to do so, is doing the best with the knowledge they have. Thus, an 18-year-old or a 36-year-old or a 96-year-old should not be held to the standard of incomplete understandings of their younger selves. 

Those who try to obligate a person that way to spiritual commitments are not imo in line with this gospel teaching of line-upon-line. 

Link to post
3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

In a way, yes, so therefore many who leave the church are therefore not breaking the commitment they understood they were making at age eight. In fact, some are striving to keep that commitment by leaving the church.

However, the fuller picture of commitment can make it fundamentally different for the person making it. 

That's right. And like Maya Angelou says, "when we know better, we do better." And thus a person who has been striving to be good and true, but who eventually learns that they must leave the church to do so, is doing the best with the knowledge they have. Thus, an 18-year-old or a 36-year-old or a 96-year-old should not be held to the standard of incomplete understandings of their younger selves. 

Those who try to obligate a person that way to spiritual commitments are not imo in line with this gospel teaching of line-upon-line. 

Since God knows our thoughts and feelings He is the only one who can really do it.

I do think there is a difference in this and giving a reminder as parents and leaders though.  And in how it is done. The trouble is that it is a very fine line. I would suspect that when we do it to most people wanting to leave it has crossed the line.

It's that thing of knowing when you are controlling and when you are parenting.  If you don't parent it is a problem. If you control it is.  Differentiating between the two is really tough sometimes.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
20 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Can you help me understand the process here. A person resigns from the LDS church, I'm assuming by letter or some such. How does that cancel their baptism, temple marriage, etc? A ceremony gave the baptism and marriage, how does a letter or phone call get rid of it? The latter seems bureaucratic -- taking a name off of a membership list. How does that connect to the former -- a religious rite?

I'm curious as to your theology here. I'm not being critical of it. 

This is an interesting question to think about.

When one is baptized into the LDS church the person raises his right arm to the square and says "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ I baptize you in the name of the father, and of the son , and of the holy ghost. Amen"

IMO- that means the person has accepted Christ through baptism.

Associated with the baptism is the confirmation. Confirmation is associated with baptism but it's a separate ordinance. During the confirmation the priesthood holder confirming will say "I confirm you a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost."

So one could argue that the baptism as a follower of Christ is focused solely on being a follower of Jesus, and not necessarily connected to membership in the church. To me, confirmation makes one a member of the church, not baptism, so IMO a person who resigns would retain their baptism even while giving up their membership in the church.

There is no ordinance that dissolves the prior ordinances. The resignation really is just a bureaucratic process. I think a person should be able to resign their membership in a church while maintaining their baptism. Think of it this way, if a person resigns they also lose all temple blessings, yet they don't lose the legality of their marriage. Their marriage continues because it's not dependent on membership in the church, just like a baptism.

 

I'm sure I'll get LOTS of disagreement on this post but I think it could be an interesting discussion.

Link to post
21 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Like most things, “resignation”, means rejecting it all, and all the blessings that accompanies it. Also a simple phone call, or a simple letter is not how it is done. 

How is it done?

Link to post
1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

How is it done?

From what I understand, the first thing is to to seek reconciliation, then a more legal process, not sure “legal” is the best choice of words, but the only term that comes to mind. Others here may know, as some have left, and then returned, realizing their mistake. Also to return requires work, so the Church can be sure that members know it is not a revolving door, but every effort is to make those who left,  to feel both loved and wanted. In fact there are some great testimonies on this very discussion board, for those who have returned. But a phone call saying “I quit”, or a letter saying “I am out,”, it is not that simple. But many from our past and recent present have been welcomed back. Those who have returned, who were once showing anger on this very website, are always received back here, with no animosity, only with the love of Christ, as we are taught to be Christlike. Like the “Prodigal Son”, we rejoice and kill the fatted calf, to set the table, for a feast and rejoice  

Link to post

There is a lawyer out there who tries to make it as simple as a letter. One submits one’s name online to his website and other necessary personal info and I believe sends a notarized letter (it doesn’t say that on the website iirc, but it was published in the SL Trib) and he submits a letter on their behalf threatening legal action if the Church doesn’t immediately take them off the membership rolls and stop all contact, iirc. There were fraudulent resignations originally, so the Church added the notarized letter if someone chooses that route rather than submitting a request to one’s bishop.  Last I read the info, it takes about a total of 6 weeks to process. 
 

If not the lawyer route, it used to be one told the bishop or if one contacted Salt Lake, the request was sent to one’s bishop and he would make contact for attempts at reconciliation or to confirm they really wanted out. Then the bishop sent the info back to Salt Lake confirming the resignation.  This caused problems for some in the past apparently as bishops might not send the confirmation in immediately and instead sit on it.  Now you can send it straight to Salt Lake and it gets processed there. If one chooses to go through the bishop, I don’t know if delays still can happen or if policy is to submit immediately. 
 

added:  I didn’t realize the Stake President was involved, Nehor is much more knowledgeable about this than I am. 
 

In the past, a church disciple hearing/court would be formed and anyone would be excommunicated if they chose to leave rather than it be seen as a resignation, but they have the option of resigning for a number of years now...thinking 30 at least, but I am just guessing. Might be more, might be less.  I think there was a lawsuit that might have triggered the change, but whether for our faith or another I don’t remember  (there was a court case for another church that made an announcement of excommunication with some public condemnation of immortality when their member resigned iirc that may influenced the Church to create the straight resignation option, but I can’t remember if there was a specific case about the Church as well).

Restoring blessings I am not as familiar with. There needs to be an interview with the bishop and if there were any unresolved issues that might have led to membership limitations, those need to be dealt with. 
 

Edited to remove stuff I messed up. 

Edited by Calm
Link to post
On 8/20/2020 at 6:20 PM, Meadowchik said:

Except that joining the church at 8 is also rejecting all the other possibilities precluded by church membership, which can also mean that it is restricting their opportunities to know God.

One of the cruxes of mortality is that we cannot do it all. Our choices as to what we do choose to do are, in many ways, more important than what we actually accomplish.

On 8/20/2020 at 6:41 PM, Meadowchik said:

Not necessarily to the OP, but to the general topic:

I don't think it is good to hold a person to such a promise they supposedly agreed to at age eight. What an unkind thing if a parent holds that over their older child's head. I do not think God would do that or want us to do it.

God as the ultimate parent does not hold it over our heads and gives us the opportunity to revoke those covenants.

  • Like 1
Link to post
5 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

How is it done?

It has to be requested by the member. If a person verbally requests it the bishop requests a chance to talk with them and attempt to understand why and seek reconciliation if possible. A signed request has to be submitted. This is usually done in letter form. A scanned copy or photo of the request is uploaded into the church system. The Stake President then reviews the information and agrees that it is correct. If the person requesting removal is a minor their legal guardian must agree as well.

You can also request to be removed by sending a signed and notarized letter to that effect to Church headquarters. In this case local leadership is usually not involved.

If legal action demanding removal is threatened the same procedure is generally followed but the Stake President usually handles it and the local leadership also calls the legal help line to make sure everything is done correctly.

If the person was either supposed to be attending soon or if leadership has knowledge of some serious sin that would require a membership council that is noted but the removal is still done.

As far as I know only bishops and the ward clerk can submit a removal request. It is possible assistant clerks can as well but I don't know. The bishop has to sign off if he did not originate the request and on the stake level the Stake President has to sign off.

When your name is removed it revokes all saving ordinances, removes membership, and you can only return via rebaptism.

 

If someone wants to come back they can contact their bishop and he and the stake president will work with them. The missionaries are not directly involved and cannot rebaptize. Occasionally missionaries are asked to help teach the returning person. It is normal to wait at least one year after resignation before being considered for readmission. The bishop then interviews them thoroughly and asks if any serious sins were involved (including any recorded when the person asked for removal) and helps to ensure that any are resolved. If their membership was removed by a membership council or when one was in process a council is mandatory. One can also be held at the bishop's discretion if there were sins unknown at the time. There are a few situations that require First Presidency approval (murder, incest, sexual abuse of a minor, apostasy, practicing plural marriage, embezzlement from the church, gender transition, or other serious sins if they were done while holding a prominent position. The interview process is much more searching and involved than a normal convert baptism.

After all that you can be rebaptized and confirmed. This is not done in a public baptismal service or during sacrament meeting. If they were not endowed they are re-ordained to the Priesthood office they held before (if male) and can get a limited use temple recommend.

If they were endowed they do not get the priesthood and are treated as a member who has not been through the temple (no garments) and many not hold any kind of temple recommend. A year after they are rebaptized they can apply for a restoration of blessings which gives them back priesthood office and all temple ordinances. The First Presidency has to approve this process. The exception is that if the person was a patriarch, bishop, or seventy they do not get those offices restored. Presumably an apostle might also lose their office but such a situation would be handled by the First Presidency and the Twelve so there are no instructions on it. The restoration is done by a General Authority or the Stake President. Once that is done it as if the time away never existed as far as everybody is concerned. The church records available at the local level make no reference to the time they were not on the records. Salt Lake will have a copy of the forms but they are unlikely to be seen unless a membership council comes up again. The one exception is that an annotation for being a sexual predator or dangerous would stay on the record unless the First Presidency approves removing it.

 

There is no formal ordinance for removal but the people with the keys acting on behalf of the apostles have to assent to it.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post

Thanks for the corrections, Nehor. My husband was more interested in his dinner than the details and thus I winged it, so it looks like I skipped some steps of resigning and he had never processed a rebaptism, etc so I was going off memory (from decades ago of a friend’s experience) in a cotton balled brain (I hate the heat of August, I always sleep through birthdays and my wedding anniversaries; I suspect the smoke isn’t helping) and missed a ton. 
 

What a run-on. I should edit that...ah well, maybe later. 

Edited by Calm
Link to post

Dropped my son off at college today for his first year.  Just called him and told him about the do not contact list in the Church.  Told him to wait on resigning.  He is still young and if later on that is something he wants to do I am ok with it.  I am ok with him not going to church and his current agnostic views.  Right now its the resigning part that keeps my crying and if he can hold off on that for a while, I can handle the shock better.  Too much too fast.  He said he would contact the bishop to not have his records sent up and he already withdrew his resignation.  I feel a lot better.  Thanks for all of the comments brought up here.  Agency is hard.  I suppose things like this are required for us to experience.  Our heavenly parents have lost a lot of their children.  I suppose if eternal life is what one desires, its part of the package.  To allow those whom you love to make decisions that will cause pain.  There is no other way.

  • Like 2
Link to post
18 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

Dropped my son off at college today for his first year.  Just called him and told him about the do not contact list in the Church.  Told him to wait on resigning.  He is still young and if later on that is something he wants to do I am ok with it.  I am ok with him not going to church and his current agnostic views.  Right now its the resigning part that keeps my crying and if he can hold off on that for a while, I can handle the shock better.  Too much too fast.  He said he would contact the bishop to not have his records sent up and he already withdrew his resignation.  I feel a lot better.  Thanks for all of the comments brought up here.  Agency is hard.  I suppose things like this are required for us to experience.  Our heavenly parents have lost a lot of their children.  I suppose if eternal life is what one desires, its part of the package.  To allow those whom you love to make decisions that will cause pain.  There is no other way.

There is no official "do not contact" list. I tried to surreptitiously add one to a few church records and got smacked down for it though they complimented me on my creativity in method. ;) 

Edited by The Nehor
  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

There is no official "do not contact" list. I tried to surreptitiously add one to a few church records and got smacked down for it though they complimented me on my creativity in method. ;) 

Maybe not an official one but I think you can put it in the records.  I know in our ward there are individuals we don't send home teachers to. 

Link to post
5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

One of the cruxes of mortality is that we cannot do it all. Our choices as to what we do choose to do are, in many ways, more important than what we actually accomplish.

God as the ultimate parent does not hold it over our heads and gives us the opportunity to revoke those covenants.

I would agree, and go further. God would not validate improper covenants at any time. They wouldn't need to be revoked. One of the tragedies of mortality is people feeling so certain of their own ideas that they proclaim them as God's truth to other people.

Link to post
2 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Maybe not an official one but I think you can put it in the records.  I know in our ward there are individuals we don't send home teachers to. 

It depends on the local unit. My son's ward (of which we're technically a part) has been mostly considerate of our wishes. That could change when the bishop changes, however. (He moved back to the US during Covid and has still been serving as the bishop. At least he has a sense of humour about it :) )

Link to post
4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

One of the tragedies of mortality is people feeling so certain of their own ideas that they proclaim them as God's truth to other people.

I don't see much of a tragedy with simply proclaiming such as it may encourage people to explore ideas out of their own comfort zone and by doing so improve their knowledge, their lives, and other lives.  It is no more tragic imo than scientists debating which theory of physics explains the world the best.  Only when the exploration is forced in some fashion will it likely be tragic.  

Edited by Calm
Link to post
10 minutes ago, Calm said:

I don't see much of a tragedy with simply proclaiming such as it may encourage people to explore ideas out of their own comfort zone and by doing so improve their knowledge, their lives, and other lives.  It is no more tragic imo than scientists debating which theory of physics explains the world the best.  Only when the exploration is forced in some fashion will it likely be tragic.  

Benefits can still come from an attitude of sharing belief, they don't only come out of misnaming it as certainty. Even without force, the tragedy comes for the believer who treats their belief as fact, and for anyone who trusts them. "Dad believes X and I believe Y" is very different from "Dad knows X and I believe Y." Or "I KNOW X and my spouse believes Y" is very different from "I believe X and my spouse believes Y." It produces unnecessary conflict, it causes suffering.

Link to post
14 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Maybe not an official one but I think you can put it in the records.  I know in our ward there are individuals we don't send home teachers to. 

You can keep such a list but it is not part of the records unless you get innovative (and don't get caught).

12 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It depends on the local unit. My son's ward (of which we're technically a part) has been mostly considerate of our wishes. That could change when the bishop changes, however. (He moved back to the US during Covid and has still been serving as the bishop. At least he has a sense of humour about it :) )

If you ask not to be contacted institutional memory usually takes care of it. When a bishop (or relief society president or elder's quorum president) changes out that request may be forgotten. Missionaries are the most common culprits in violating such a request because they sometimes visit members without consulting the ward first.

Link to post
12 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I would agree, and go further. God would not validate improper covenants at any time. They wouldn't need to be revoked. One of the tragedies of mortality is people feeling so certain of their own ideas that they proclaim them as God's truth to other people.

To be honest I prefer the honest religious convictions of those who are wrong over those who insist such convictions are wrong to have. In the latter religion tends to devolve into a kind of sloppy sentimentality. I am not opposed to that in general but I have better sources for it than religion. If a religion does not attempt to describe things as they actually are then I find I have little appetite for it.

Edited by The Nehor
  • Like 1
Link to post
18 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

To be honest I prefer the honest religious convictions of those who are wrong over those who insist such convictions are wrong to have. In the latter religion tends to devolve into a kind of sloppy sentimentality. I am not opposed to that in general but I have better sources for it than religion. If a religion does not attempt to describe things as they actually are then I find I have little appetite for it.

To each his own, and in that spirit, I'll observe that religion can exist without claiming certainty about other people. It can be non-authoritarian.

Link to post
29 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

 

If you ask not to be contacted institutional memory usually takes care of it. When a bishop (or relief society president or elder's quorum president) changes out that request may be forgotten. Missionaries are the most common culprits in violating such a request because they sometimes visit members without consulting the ward first.

Missionaries were indeed the most recent culprits in our case. They tried to drop in uninvited at our house to speak to our eight-year-old child.

That said, in my experience a new bishop can have a different attitude from his predecessor, maybe moreso if some family members are active.

Link to post
6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

To each his own, and in that spirit, I'll observe that religion can exist without claiming certainty about other people. It can be non-authoritarian.

That is not what "authoritarian" means.

  • Like 1
Link to post
4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

That is not what "authoritarian" means.

No, I do mean authoritarian, where the claim that religious leaders know the will of God is accepted and then following them is considered obedience to God. Religions can talk about life, the Universe, and everything without requiring such a dynamic.

Link to post
12 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

No, I do mean authoritarian, where the claim that religious leaders know the will of God is accepted and then following them is considered obedience to God. Religions can talk about life, the Universe, and everything without requiring such a dynamic.

No, still not a correct use.

Link to post
On 8/21/2020 at 7:36 PM, carbon dioxide said:

Our heavenly parents have lost a lot of their children. 

You have not lost your son.  Keep an open door with communication, and remain open to his process.  If you maintain a relationship with him, you will feel much better about it all.  
we aren’t supposed to control or manipulate.  It’s ok to just really love HIM.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
On 8/20/2020 at 9:41 AM, carbon dioxide said:

Last night my 18 year old son threw one at my wife and I.  I suppose I was not shocked because for a while know I have questioned how much of a testimony my son had.  I however did not want to push him to much and give him his space.  He is going off to school in a few days for how long with COVID I don't know.  Anyway he said he does not have a testimony, does not plan to go to church and put in a resignation.   He says he stopped believing in 8th grade and went to church for his friends.  He read some anti stuff when he was younger and it sort of set him off.  Over time he has put a lot of it aside and is just wants to live life.  He does not rule out coming back to church but plans to continue living most of the how he has grown up.  No drinking or coffee ect.  Needless to say I am super depressed right now.  I have not been the best example in home church stuff though I don't  think it would have mattered even if I was.  He said as much to us.  I know my kids are not my possession.  We raise them and hope for the best and even the best parents like Lehi have problems.  Thankfully my son is not near a Laman or Lemual. 

Anyway the one thing I asked him was not to resign.  Take time off.  Don't go to church.   I feel that resignation is just a serious step that he should not take.  I don't know what he will do.  Am I right on this?  Does it make much difference between a child not going to church and not resigning or not going to church and resigning.  One part of me suggests its a big deal but the other is if one is not going to church, does it really matter if his names are on the roles.  Am I stressing too much on this?

Did he take a swing at you literally?

I'm not religious like many of you are nor do I have the patience due to the life I've had, I put up with very little and for some things can and do have a hair trigger temper.  That being said, I'd have reacted far, far different.  They live under your roof, you gave them what i'm assuming is a stable childhood, theirs is to obey especially when you are footing the tab.  If they don't like it, out the door they go.  If they're that stupid to act up in the middle of a pandemic, that's on them.

This is why I'm glad i'm not a parent here, from what i've seen parents here let their kids get away with far more than I ever could, i'm one of those this is how it was for me, deal with it or else.  Considering the criminal consiquences that happen for even the slightest response from parents, glad I'm not in the same boat as a lot of you are, laws here are just plain rediculous at times.  Can't help but wonder if that factors into why so many millenals are opting out of being parents.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...