Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2nd Annual Mass Resignation Event

Mass Resignation Event from the LDS Church

June 29, 2013, 7pm – Open to the public.

Salt Lake City, Utah.

In June 2012, around over a hundred people showed up to support resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormon or LDS church). This year, they are doing it again. Former and current members of the LDS church will be marching on Ensign Peak at 7pm, in a mass resignation event from the LDS church.

This event means a lot to the people who are involved. Resigning from the church is a milestone for some, showing that they no longer want to be associated with the LDS church or its practices. Many people never resign who no longer believe. Those who do resign do it to make a statement, either to the church, themselves, or their families. For some, that statement is simply to stop the church from contacting them to return. For others, that statement is for themselves, marking that they have moved beyond church culture and church beliefs. For others still, that statement is about disagreement with church history or practices, such as the Evergreen rehabilitation program, the polygamous nature of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and changing church doctrines.

For many who resign, Mormonism has been a culture and way of life. Leaving the church can be a traumatic experience for some, as they adjust to a world “outside the church.” As an example, people who leave the LDS church may not experience their first coffee, tea, or alcoholic drink until they have left the church, which could be in their 30s, 40s, 50s, or beyond. Many people who stop believing in the church feel that they have to learn how to live a new life.

Members can resign from the LDS church by sending an email to with their full name, date of birth, and membership number. Other information such as baptism date and their ward or branch can also be supplied. Alternatively, a letter can also be sent to Member Records, 50 E North Temple, Room 1372, SLC UT 84150-5310.

Monday, July 2, 2012

We Did It!

The Resignation Event on Saturday was a great success! There were somewhere between 120-150 people there. The press coverage has been incredible. Thanks to everyone who attended and helped out.

Above is a picture of the Declaration of Independence from Mormonism document that we signed at the event. It basically just says that we resign our status as members and wish our names to be removed from LDS Church records. We had two copies there in case the first one got filled up (which it did!).

Here are links to some of the news stories about the Resignation Event an audio file of the speech John gave right before we marched up Ensign Peak.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Resignation Letter

My resignation letter from Mormonism is below. Since I put a lot of thought and effort into writing the Declaration of Independence from Mormonism when I first decided to resign, I decided to basically turn that into my resignation letter. It explains the main problems and concerns I have with the Church and why I can no longer believe, trust, or support The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 To the Membership Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

This letter is my formal resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You may be interested to know that my husband, John, and I have taken this journey together. We discuss all kinds of things together. We both feel much more satisfied and contented in our lives now than we did as believers. Our children have not been raised LDS and they are growing up to be healthy, moral, and intelligent young people.

Although the reasons for my formal resignation are many, I would like to make known three of the main factors contributing to my disaffection with the Church. I believe that the LDS Church is not what it claims to be, is not trustworthy, and is the cause of significant individual psychological harm and damaged family relationships. These factors are described in more detail as follows:

1. I can no longer believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Many of the basic teachings of Mormonism are impossible for me to accept as true.
  • The “Book of Abraham” papyrus was written in Egyptian, a language now readable by Egyptologists. Proper translation reveals that the papyrus clearly does not say what Joseph Smith claimed it did. It appears that the “Book of Abraham” is a fraud.
  • The Book of Mormon is inherently and inexcusably racist. The whole foundation of the story is that dark skin is a curse from God. I do not believe that this is the case. I reject the religion which was founded upon The Book of Mormon’s racist teachings.
  • The Book of Mormon has another clear and fundamental problem that makes it impossible for me to continue to believe it: Native Americans are not of Jewish descent.
  • The Church is generally anti-scientific. The Church has taught that the earth is only 6,000 old, that evolution is false, and that there was a global flood in which God killed thousands of infants and toddlers. I put my trust in science when it comes to these matters.
2. I can no longer trust The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I feel that the Church has not always been forthright in regard to some important information.
  • The Church has been teaching its members for years that Joseph Smith used a Urim and Thummim to translate the “gold plates.” Numerous Church films, paintings, and lessons relate this version of the process. However, historical records relate that Joseph most often “translated” with his “seer stone” (the same rock he had previously used in money-digging efforts). To translate, Joseph would put the rock into a hat and then put his face into a hat while he dictated to scribes. The “gold plates” were generally not even in the room during this “translation” process.
  • Joseph Smith had at least 30 plural wives, but only his first wife, Emma, is mentioned in Church films, paintings, Sunday school manuals, and seminary and institute manuals. At least 6 of Joseph’s plural wives were already and simultaneously married to other men. He was also sealed to several of his other wives before he was sealed to Emma. The Church has apparently attempted to hide these potentially disturbing details.
  • Brigham Young had 55 wives, but the Church’s Sunday school manual about Brigham Young mentions only two of them (one of whom died before his Mormon conversion)..
  • Brigham Young openly taught from 1852-1877 that Adam (of the Garden of Eden) is our Heavenly Father who was a resurrected and exalted man from a previous world and Eve was one of his wives. Church leaders have denied that this doctrine ever existed.
  • The Church has always taught that righteous people can become Gods (and Goddesses) complete with their own kingdoms (called Exaltation). As an example, Ch. 47 in Gospel Principles states, “These are some of the blessings given to exalted people...They will become gods.” In recent years, while continuing to teach this concept to believers, outsiders and investigators are told things like former President Hinkley’s, “I don’t know that we teach it, I don’t know that we emphasize it.” This type of response seems to show Church leadership to be duplicitous and untrustworthy.
  • Church members are required to pay the Church 10% of their incomes in order to be able to attend the LDS temples. The temples are where Mormon marriages and other rituals believed to be vital to salvation take place. Despite such high donation requirements, the Church does not disclose its financial statements and expenditures. Members pay thousands of dollars to the Church each year and yet are not permitted to see what is being done with that money.
3. I can no longer support The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I believe that some of the actions and teachings of the Church are harmful.
  • The LDS Church teaches that homosexuality is a sinful choice which must never be acted upon. The Church has spent a lot of time, resources and effort to make and keep it illegal for homosexuals to marry who they love. The Church’s harsh treatment of homosexuals has been the cause of heart-wrenching self-loathing, mental anguish, and even suicides.
  • The Church teaches that any sexual expression or experience outside of marriage is evil. Unfortunately, many people have been damaged by these teachings to the point of inflicting self-injury and sometimes committing suicide, often over an activity as harmless as masturbation.
  • The Church encourages and facilitates the routine ostracization of ex-mormons and non-members. Nonmembers are not permitted to attend the weddings of their family and friends that are held in Mormon temples. Sadly, church members cannot simply choose to marry outside the temple so their non-member loved ones can attend. If they do this, the Church requires that their marriage sealings must wait until a year after the “secular” wedding. Of course, young people are reminded that something horrible (death) could happen to one of them within that year, and then their marriage would be permanently over rather than eternal. Ex-mormons are generally viewed with a combination of suspicion, pity, and contempt by their LDS neighbors, friends, and family members.
  • The Church is a misogynistic institution that limits the opportunities of women. The Church teaches women that their place is in the home and that they are only suited to being leaders over women and children. Women are never appointed as leaders over men in the Church. Women were not allowed to pray in sacrament meetings until 1978 and still are not allowed to pray in General Conference sessions.
  • Although the Church now allows black men to hold the priesthood, they continue to teach that dark skin is a curse from God (it is, after all, the basis for the main story in the Book of Mormon). This doctrine is potentially emotionally harmful to people with dark skin, and is therefore untenable.
I do not want to be counted as a Latter-day Saint in any reported membership statistics. I request that you remove my name from all LDS Church records. I understand that this action will result in the termination of my baptism, temple ordinances, and sealings done in the LDS temples. I know what I am asking and it is what I desire. I am an educated, well-informed adult and have not believed at all in The Church for about 8 years. I am absolutely certain that I no longer wish to be considered a member.

As soon as possible, please send a letter confirming that I am longer a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thank you,
Zilpha Larsen

Note to Reader: If you would like to learn more about John and me and our thoughts about Mormonism, check out (a podcast with between 15,000-20,000 listeners). There are many people’s ideas, research, and opinions shared on Mormon Expression (including a few true believing Mormons). Mormon Expression discusses Mormon culture, doctrine, and history in a funny and entertaining way. Also check out Mormon Expression Voices ( for the personal stories of people’s struggles with Mormonism. But if you’d like to know where our new focus is now (outside of Mormonism), go to our new podcast,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flyer for Mass Resignation

ENSIGN DOWNS PARK (at the base of Ensign Peak)  
 SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M.
Have you had enough? Are you ready to come out into the light?   
When your courage is ready to match your intellectual integrity, it’s time to take a stand.   

Come stand with us and feel the light of freedom.

 Please come to the event if you are supportive of the cause, whether or not you are currently resigning from Mormonism!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mass Resignation at Ensign Peak!

Out of The Shadows and Into the Light March and Rally

Where: Meeting at Ensign Downs Park (at the base of Ensign Peak)
When: 10:00am Saturday, June 30, 2012

If you are ready to resign from Mormonism, this event would be a great way to make sure your voice gets heard! If you have already resigned, you are also welcome to participate in the event and sign the Declaration of Independence from Mormonism document. If you're not LDS or not ready to resign, but just want to show your support to those who are resigning, you are also invited. Families are encouraged to attend together. Please be aware that the press will be invited, too.

We will meet at Ensign Downs Park (just below the trail head to Ensign Peak) between 9:30 and 10:00am. If you are resigning, bring copies of your resignation letter in a stamped envelope. We will have some unsigned letters available for people who haven't had the time or know-how to create their own resignation letters. All of the letters will be collected to be mailed together after the event. We will also have the "short version" of the Declaration of Independence from Mormonism (see this at the bottom of this blog entry) for everyone who wants to sign it.

We'll be marching to the top of Ensign Peak as a group carrying banners and flags. Our group should be visible from a good portion of the Salt Lake Valley. After the Ensign Peak march, we will celebrate and chat in the park. Bring a picnic for your family if you'd like to, and some chairs or a blanket to sit on (there are no pavilions or tables at this park). After the event winds down, an entourage will take our pile of resignation letters to the SLC post office.

We ask each family to try to create or purchase some kind of flag, banner, or poster for maximum visibility when we're on Ensign Peak. Even a piece of cloth on a stick would work for this. And, of course, the bigger the better. This is NOT a requirement, but is simply highly encouraged.

We will have a "base camp" in Ensign Downs Park where people who aren't up to making the hike up the mountain (about a 20 min. hike uphill) can hang out. This is also where we will be meeting initially, sometime between 9:30-10:00am. Base camp will be the letter-gathering place and we'll have water and shade there for those who need it.

Declaration of Independence from Mormonism (short version)
We the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, find it necessary to publicly and formally dissolve the bands which have connected us to the Mormon Church. We hereby declare our independence from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and resign our status as members. We demand that the LDS Church no longer count us in its numbers and immediately remove our names from all Church records and databases.

Note: We have a SLC Permit for our event. Please read through the city's guidelines (below) and come to the resignation event prepared to behave accordingly.

First Amendment Petition Guidelines
Salt Lake City Corporation
1. Any signs must be carried by hand or supported by lathe-type sticks only.
2. You may not interfere with pedestrians or vehicular traffic. If people do not stop to
listen to you, you may not insist that they do so. Specifically, you may not grab or
attempt to physically restrain or touch visitors of the businesses or residences in the area
or any person on public or private property.
3. You may not block or attempt to block any entrance or driveway.
4. The petitioner has agreed that the group leader will be the group coordinator.
5. The petitioner shall use its best efforts to notify all participants of these rules before the
start of the event.
6. The petitioner acknowledges that the event is for nonviolent purposes.
7. The petitioner agrees to be responsible to leave the areas of the event clean, and that
all objects such as: signs, sticks, leaflets, or candles will be removed by the petitioner's
8. The petitioner acknowledges the constitutional right of anyone to ignore or not listen to
your group and ignore or not read any information literature that your group may be
passing out.
9. Your group may not obstruct the free passage of pedestrians, vehicles, block driveways,
entrances, or exits to any business or building, and may not enter onto private property
without the permission of the property owner.
10. The group shall abide by all pertinent local, state, and federal ordinances and laws while
conducting the activity. 11. Violent acts will NOT be tolerated in any manner.

Click link to see map for event location: Ensign Downs Park, Salt Lake City