Help! Names removed from Mormon Church

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 10:29 AM GMT
    I'm thinking about removing my name from the LDS churches records. Has anyone done this before? Or, does anyone know the process?

    I have a lot of questions, and my case is a little sensitive. I don't know where my records are. The LDS church has a history of contacting immediate, as well as distant family in regards to my membership, causing unsolicited embarrassment for all involved. I would like to avoid that if possible.

    I stopped believing in the church towards the end of my mission. I studied at BYU, and while there, sorted things out. Three years later, I'm trying to build a life with my partner, and we both believe that it would be healthy and liberating to no longer be on the churches records. I'm only recently starting to rebuild relationships with my family since I came out to them, and this would be just the thing to destroy my family relationships all over again. However, I want the harassment to stop, and would like to just move on with my life.

    I know some who read this, will ask themselves 'what's the big deal?' To them I say, don't worry about it, this isn't the media for explaining something seemingly simple, but deceptively complex.
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    Nov 14, 2010 11:54 AM GMT
    budfb38 saidI'm thinking about removing my name from the LDS churches records. Has anyone done this before? Or, does anyone know the process?

    I have a lot of questions, and my case is a little sensitive. I don't know where my records are. The LDS church has a history of contacting immediate, as well as distant family in regards to my membership, causing unsolicited embarrassment for all involved. I would like to avoid that if possible.

    I stopped believing in the church towards the end of my mission. I studied at BYU, and while there, sorted things out. Three years later, I'm trying to build a life with my partner, and we both believe that it would be healthy and liberating to no longer be on the churches records. I'm only recently starting to rebuild relationships with my family since I came out to them, and this would be just the thing to destroy my family relationships all over again. However, I want the harassment to stop, and would like to just move on with my life.

    I know some who read this, will ask themselves 'what's the big deal?' To them I say, don't worry about it, this isn't the media for explaining something seemingly simple, but deceptively complex.



    This is fascinating. I had heard that Scientologists harass apostates, but I did not know the LDS do too.


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    Nov 14, 2010 12:22 PM GMT
    Wow, only Hassidic Jews harass me and it's always around that weird holiday where they shove some kind of branch in my arms, tell me to repeat some Hebrew prayer, and then say I need to go to synagogue. Sukkot? I feel like they're always celebrating Sukkot. Why is that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 2:08 PM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidWow, only Hassidic Jews harass me and it's always around that weird holiday where they shove some kind of branch in my arms, tell me to repeat some Hebrew prayer, and then say I need to go to synagogue. Sukkot? I feel like they're always celebrating Sukkot. Why is that?


    Not much weirder than our Thanksgiving traditions, I suppose ( what's with our passion for those useless little decorative gourds? icon_lol.gif

    But, yes, it surprised me that this observance goes on 7 days. given the early Israelites had to work so hard just to scrape out a subsistence at times.

    But as a discipline in reliving the primitive conditions their ancestors had to endure, it forms a strong empathetic connection between modern life and what they endured after the Exodus.

    that kind of unifying discipline in observance is way ahead of the Christians in terms of maintaining an emotional continuity. The kind of commitment to faith required by Mosaic law is unequivocal while the Christians are allowed considerable latitude while still retaining "God's Grace" Not so in Hassidic Judaism. The social pressure is constant on the Hassidim to conform.


    I am not familiar with Jews trying to harass others into taking part in their festivals - they are usually intended to be quite exclusive to the tribe. THEY are God's Chosen (with the great responsibility that goes with that
    The ones trying to press fronds into your hands are clearly mistaking you for an observant Jew. It is acceptable to politely thank them for offering and say you are not observant but you wish them well in this time of Thanksgiving.

    I do not think that is the kind of harassment the OP means ( a polite offer to celebrate WITH you. harrassment by definition requires persistent unwanted advances.
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    Nov 14, 2010 2:32 PM GMT
    I went to BYU-Hawaii. My situation is different as I'm the only one in my family who was involved in the church. To me, stop going to church is good enough. However, I understand how you might feel harassed by their attempts to contact you. Fortunately, there hasn't been any of that for me.

    Check out these links:
    http://www.exmormon.org/remove.htm
    http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/nameremovalletter.htm
    http://4mormon.org/lds-removal-records.php

    Good Luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 2:48 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]jprichva said[/cite]
    UpperCanadian said I am not familiar with Jews trying to harass others into taking part in their festivals - they are usually intended to be quite exclusive to the tribe.

    They don't bother with the goyim, doll. They focus on those of us born Jewish who don't observe the 613 mitzvot in the Torah, They seek to lure us back. It won't work as long as their idea of fashion is long black coats, long sideburns and black hats. My heavens, what were they thinking?[/quote

    Oh, i thought the payos were reins. I'll pass on joining them then. (but I kinda liked the coats - if i could have a leather one.

    I'm already circumcised : icon_wink.gif

    My Mum is Mohawk - think they'd buy that the Mohawks were the Lost tribe?
    icon_twisted.gif



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 3:01 PM GMT
    I sometimes share your inclination to break all ties with the Mormon church to disassociate myself completely from some of its policies. And I'm sure if you went and told them you were actively gay they'd proceed to excommunicate you. But going through that process or asking for your name to be expunged from the church records may just further alienate people, family members and friends you are trying to reconcile with so you have to decide if that's what you want. For better or worse, this is the tribe that raised us, and we therefore have personal and emotional connections that will outlast any bureaucratic process the church uses to delist us. So you might want to consider a less confrontational route. These contacts from the "reactivator" squads are often initiated by your own family members, who ask for them to occur in hopes of bringing you back into the fold, and not from the overzealousness of your local congregation. I just went to the local bishop and asked him to stop having them call on me and he's respected my request. I told him that if I was ever interested in coming back I would let him know. Good luck.
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    Nov 14, 2010 3:12 PM GMT
    I am also intrigued by this whole thing, hoping that doesn't sound like a crass tourist.

    The ex of my friend was raised LDS and -- despite moving across country -- continues to be contacted by local people trying to convince him to return. I am pretty sure his family's not behind it because he has a great relationship with them from what I can tell.

    I heard recently that the Roman Catholic Church is starting to make it harder to officially leave their fold as well. I am not really sure what they can do to stop you, since they can't come find you and drag you to church, but I guess it is similarly difficult to get them to "write you off". I am glad I left when I did, but I can relate to the way I would feel if I knew that my name was still being used somewhere as a member or if I got phone calls from people telling me I was "one confession away" from returning.

    I hope you will keep us posted how this turns out.
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    Nov 14, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidI heard recently that the Roman Catholic Church is starting to make it harder to officially leave their fold as well. I am not really sure what they can do to stop you, since they can't come find you and drag you to church, but I guess it is similarly difficult to get them to "write you off".


    Unless you were very actively involved in a parish, I wouldn't know how the RC Church would have a clue you left.

    Almost every Catholic I know is someone who has abandoned the Church. No one "officially" left. You just stop going to mass. And the only attempt I have ever seen or heard about to get people to return to the Church is parishioners handing out fliers on the street corner inviting people to come to Easter or Christmas mass.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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    Nov 14, 2010 3:59 PM GMT
    madtown said
    njmeanwhile saidI heard recently that the Roman Catholic Church is starting to make it harder to officially leave their fold as well. I am not really sure what they can do to stop you, since they can't come find you and drag you to church, but I guess it is similarly difficult to get them to "write you off".


    Unless you were very actively involved in a parish, I wouldn't know how the RC Church would have a clue you left.

    Almost every Catholic I know is someone who has abandoned the Church. No one "officially" left. You just stop going to mass. And the only attempt I have ever seen or heard about to get people to return to the Church is parishioners handing out fliers on the street corner inviting people to come to Easter or Christmas mass.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.


    This is what I was referring to. I don't know how it is being applied anywhere besides Ireland.
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    Nov 14, 2010 4:04 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidThis is what I was referring to. I don't know how it is being applied anywhere besides Ireland.


    I like how they call it "defecting" from the Church. Obviously the Church operates differently over there.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Nov 14, 2010 4:08 PM GMT
    so they contact you (call? email? drop by?) in order to try and make you active or participate in the church? to what degree have you told them that you're not interested in the organization?

    i do remember trying to have fun with a missionary who dropped by my college aptmt. I gave him my phone number and I must have gotten calls every day at the exact same time with people trying to tell me about joseph smith, etc. it was entertaining a first and then became unbelievably annoying
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    Nov 14, 2010 4:28 PM GMT
    Hunter9 saidso they contact you (call? email? drop by?) in order to try and make you active or participate in the church? to what degree have you told them that you're not interested in the organization?


    I wonder if anybody has ever filed a restraining order against an organization vs. an individual, and what the result was.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
    I don't know if they ever do... My step mom said she had her name removed decades ago... However when she forwarded her address to my house temporarily when she was moving back here, we had a visit from the local Bishop looking for her... It was kinda creepy.
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    Nov 14, 2010 5:36 PM GMT
    Ok, so just to clarify a couple of things. I understand peoples curiosity, but remember this is my life. I don't mind sharing but when you say my life is interesting I feel like a science experiment. I know no harm is meant, and, none was taken, but for personal reference, don't refer to human experiences as interesting, unless they are your own.

    Ok, so I can only speak about my situation. Here goes, the LDS's department of church records has called my grandparents on both sides, three aunts, all my brothers and sisters, and of course my parents. They did this every couple weeks for a while. Now, they do it about every six months. The bishop of the church I used to go to has been to the house I used to live in (I know because they are friends of mine). Missionaries and a bishop have also gone to my parents house on two separate occasions.

    So the process is this:

    Write a letter to the following people:
    -the Department of Church Records
    -Your last Bishop
    -Your last Stake President

    The letter must say that you want your name removed from the church, where your church records currently are, and you have to mention legal action/denouncing them for public reproach, you also must specify that they are not to contact relatives or friends, that they are not to "excommunicate" you, that they do not have the right to delay your request until an official meeting with a church authority, nor, are they to wait for the thirty day request period.

    My problem is that I'm not sure where my records are, and contacting the churches I've been to in the past could start the phone calls and visits all over again.

    Excommunication is when they kick you out of the church for personal sin.

    In my case it would be embarrassing for my family, as several of them work for the church, plus, if my records are at the church where my family attends, the church officials, and their wives have big mouths. For that same reason, a letter written to the bishop, and stake president (who both know my family very well, and gossip equally as well) would cause problems.

    God this is turning into a novel.

    So, my situation now is that the therapeutic benefit, combined with the peace of mind that myself, friends, and family will never be bothered again by a barrage of well-intentioned phone calls, has me evaluating how much I really want to do this. Not to mention the hypocrisy of being a member of the LDS church (one of the biggest contributors to Pro-Marriage hate campaigns, like Prop 8 ), and me working at the local Pride Center.

    I'm thinking of talking about my experiences in a blog. If you're "interested" icon_smile.gif please contact me.

    Also, my situation is more difficult because I live in Spain. Yeah....
  • Cutlass

    Posts: 426

    Nov 16, 2010 2:58 AM GMT
    budfb38 saidOk, so just to clarify a couple of things. I understand peoples curiosity, but remember this is my life. I don't mind sharing but when you say my life is interesting I feel like a science experiment. I know no harm is meant, and, none was taken, but for personal reference, don't refer to human experiences as interesting, unless they are your own.

    Ok, so I can only speak about my situation. Here goes, the LDS's department of church records has called my grandparents on both sides, three aunts, all my brothers and sisters, and of course my parents. They did this every couple weeks for a while. Now, they do it about every six months. The bishop of the church I used to go to has been to the house I used to live in (I know because they are friends of mine). Missionaries and a bishop have also gone to my parents house on two separate occasions.

    So the process is this:

    Write a letter to the following people:
    -the Department of Church Records
    -Your last Bishop
    -Your last Stake President

    The letter must say that you want your name removed from the church, where your church records currently are, and you have to mention legal action/denouncing them for public reproach, you also must specify that they are not to contact relatives or friends, that they are not to "excommunicate" you, that they do not have the right to delay your request until an official meeting with a church authority, nor, are they to wait for the thirty day request period.

    My problem is that I'm not sure where my records are, and contacting the churches I've been to in the past could start the phone calls and visits all over again.

    Excommunication is when they kick you out of the church for personal sin.

    In my case it would be embarrassing for my family, as several of them work for the church, plus, if my records are at the church where my family attends, the church officials, and their wives have big mouths. For that same reason, a letter written to the bishop, and stake president (who both know my family very well, and gossip equally as well) would cause problems.

    God this is turning into a novel.

    So, my situation now is that the therapeutic benefit, combined with the peace of mind that myself, friends, and family will never be bothered again by a barrage of well-intentioned phone calls, has me evaluating how much I really want to do this. Not to mention the hypocrisy of being a member of the LDS church (one of the biggest contributors to Pro-Marriage hate campaigns, like Prop 8 ), and me working at the local Pride Center.

    I'm thinking of talking about my experiences in a blog. If you're "interested" icon_smile.gif please contact me.

    Also, my situation is more difficult because I live in Spain. Yeah....


    Oh yeah, that does complicate things, your living in Spain. All the time I thought you were living in Utah (or maybe Idaho or Arizona). Aren't all your records in some central file in Salt Lake City at the LDS headquarters? I guess you can't just tell them to throw them out because you are no longer a Mormon. And what makes it worse is that all your relatives are devout Mormons. That's why you're constantly bombarded with messages from the Mormon Church, and they're not giving up on you--both the church and your relatives. And the worst part is that you don't want to cut yourself off from your relatives because I know that the LDS are very family-oriented, and they just can't accept any family member leaving the flock. Since you grew up with them and had them constantly around, you'll find it very difficult to cut your ties.

    I found myself in a somewhat similar situation in that I didn't attend the church my parents went to. Nevertheless, they considered me a "member"
    and kept sending me mailings despite my never attending the church. (I still get them.) Nevertheless, I sometimes donate to the church in memory of my parents, and I guess that's what keeps me on their list.

    I think the LDS and Roman Catholic Churches are horrified to find people leaving their one "true" church, and I know the Catholic Church has a program to get back "lapsed" Catholics in the hopes of their return. I think it's easier to get out of the Catholic Church than the LDS church because you can tell the Catholic Church to stop communicating with you and never going to mass, but I'm sure you will continue to get mailings telling you to come back.

    Being a Mormon and gay or Catholic and gay sounds like an oxymoron to me. Both have shown no sympathies to gays and act as enemies to our quest for equality. I can't imagine any gay person belonging to either church, but I know some do, and it boggles my mind. When I see people defending either church, I look upon it with a jaundiced eye, and I wonder if they're not masochists.

    The reason I haven't included the evangelical/fundamentalist churches here, who are just as bad as the LDS and Catholic churches if not worse, is that no gay person in his right mind would belong to them, and practically all gays who grew up in them have left. Good for them.

    Keep us posted on your developments. Your strategy may help other Mormons leave their church officially.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2010 3:33 AM GMT
    You need to write a letter and formally request your name be removed. Google it, there are many websites that outline where and who to send it to. I know any written correspondence sent to Church HQ gets redirected back to your Stake President, at least it used to.


    To avoid going through your last home Ward write directly to:

    LDS Membership Records Dept.
    50 E North Temple Rm 1372
    Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5310
    (801) 240-3500

    You should include your date and place of birth and the last known Ward to have your records so they can locate your file.

    This site also has information:

    http://www.mormonresignation.com/
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 16, 2010 5:09 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    UpperCanadian said I am not familiar with Jews trying to harass others into taking part in their festivals - they are usually intended to be quite exclusive to the tribe.

    They don't bother with the goyim, doll. They focus on those of us born Jewish who don't observe the 613 mitzvot in the Torah, They seek to lure us back. It won't work as long as their idea of fashion is long black coats, long sideburns and black hats. My heavens, what were they thinking?



    Ohhhhh, I think they're adorable.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2010 5:17 AM GMT
    Pretty damn easy, just some paperwork and letters, most of my immediate family is currently in the process... they are really annoying about that shit...