Mormon | Religion | Salt Lake City | Utah

'Declaration Of Independence From Mormonism'; Faithful Leave Church Over Gay Rights, Science

450px-Ensign_Peak,_5-24-2008Yesterday afternoon, roughly 150 Latter Day Saints publicly resigned en masse from their church in Salt Lake City. The defectors ventured from Utah, Idaho, and Arizona to convene in a public park and tender their formal letters of resignation, which they gathered in a large basket to be mailed to LDS HQ by one of their soon-to-be-ex-co-religionists. They they hiked from the park up to Ensign Peak, where Brigham Young stood 175 years ago to gaze down at the place where he'd soon build a city. Once there, the defectors hugged and laughed and cheered, and yelled: "Freedom!"

The reasons for defection were numerous. From Reuters:

Among the reasons cited by those resigning are the church's political activism against gay marriage; doctrinal teachings that conflict with scientific findings or are perceived as racist or sexist; and inconsistencies in the church's explanation of its own history, including the practice of polygamy.

The church, which renounced plural marriage over a century ago as Utah was seeking statehood, often downplays the prevalence of the practice by early faith leaders, including Smith, who some scholars say was married to more than 30 women.

But it was in fact polygamy that John Larsen said began him on his journey out of the church. When doing research on the Larsen family tree, he was disturbed to find that a female ancestor had married Smith, likely while she was still married to another man, he said.

Zilpha Larsen said her questions began when she discovered that the veracity of an allegedly accurate translation of ancient Egyptian writings that were included in sacred Mormon texts were in doubt. "Once you start doubting one thing, then everything becomes suspect," she said.

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  1. I wish them all well in their new freedom.

    Whatever the level of cynicism among the LDS elite leadership may be--and I suspect it's high enough to satisfy a Scientologist--these folks are giving up a shot at physical immortality. They are relinquishing the comfort of assurance that they could spend eternity in literal contact with their families, conquering death.

    None of this can be easy for people indoctrinated into a rigid, authoritarian and hierarchical community that permeates and saturates their lives.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Jul 1, 2012 4:46:30 PM

  2. I resigned from the Mormon church about 5 years ago and I've never been happier! Kudos to these people! They've taken a brave step, living in Mormon communities and stepping away from the church. They will be ostracized at first and then envied by many still in the church.

    Posted by: Brad | Jul 1, 2012 5:00:11 PM

  3. 150 people finally woke up and smelled the coffee.

    Now begins the de-programming.

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 1, 2012 6:06:26 PM

  4. When I left the church, I thought I was liberated, but 2 years of roaming around in a wilderness of hate and criticism, satisfying my freedom to drink coffee, alcohol, sex unlimited, I knew it wasn't for me. As much as I and my fellow defectors who remain friends tried to say it was the best and only proper thing we could do, the Spirit was always there to help me truly 'see the light' again. I am now in full fellowship in the church and will NEVER EVER leave it again. I know my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love me so much. I KNOW the Church is true. I look forward to meeting my Savior. It crossed my mind that I should mobilize those who I have discovered have experienced what I have, but realize it's not what we do. We just choose to be the best that we can to continue to build the Kingdom of God in our areas, to foster good relationships with our families, friends and neighbors, and help in whatever way we can our communities and the world. To those 150+ who have chosen to do this, may your peace be everlasting.

    Posted by: oncebitten | Jul 1, 2012 6:39:10 PM

  5. @oncebitten -- Since you are commenting on a Gay blog (and basically pissing into the wind, if you think you convince anyone)
    I respectfully suggest you go away and do not come back until your church of evil allows all its children to be who God made them, and quits its meddling in the lives of others.

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 1, 2012 6:49:01 PM

  6. @oncebitten

    Nice try, but I call BS

    "my freedom to drink coffee, alcohol, sex unlimited"

    Ummm.... no one said by leaving the Mormon church you had to take part in all that. That was your choice. This is typical "mormon think," that if you leave Mormonism you have to be exactly opposite of who you were as a Mormon.

    Posted by: Chrissypoo | Jul 1, 2012 7:45:20 PM

  7. I'm glad that these people where able to break away. I hope they are able to stand up to the ostracization and shunning that it will incur.


    No one said you had to partake in the things you did when you left. Nor where those things what it means to be free from the oppressiveness that comes with the Mormon religion.

    Also, I have a video for you in relation to the book "The Perl of Great Price"

    Posted by: Kogenta | Jul 1, 2012 8:10:00 PM

  8. Oh, now they get it!

    Posted by: anon | Jul 1, 2012 8:16:03 PM

  9. It boggles my mind that anyone could belong to the Mormon cult. Just do a few Google searches on Mormon history or read "Under the Banner of Heaven" and you will see this is a cult formed by a charlatan and a con man who was murdered by a mob for his crazy beliefs and polygamous lifestyle.

    mormonism elevates crazy to a whole new level. And it has a long violent history of massacering those who don't believe. Their sickening campaign of Prop 8 is just one more example of Mormon hate and hypocrisy. If tou look into them you find a sickening batch of pedophile incest lovers.

    Posted by: Rob roberts | Jul 1, 2012 8:29:32 PM

  10. Chrissypoo is right on. Oncebitten is operating under the fallacy and the fraud that morality comes from religion. People who believe that think that you necessarily become immoral and behave immorally if you reject religion. But if you listen to people who actually have left their religious upbringing, they do it because they realize they have a perfectly good innate moral compass and their religion violates it. Oncebitten, while claiming to have left his church, confesses to lacking the very instinct that compels people to do so--to be truly moral.

    @Oncebitten, if you have to lie to make your point, then the point you're pursuing is a lie.

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 1, 2012 8:46:32 PM

  11. God Bless these Mormons who are the real Christians who refuse to be slaves to a religion that hates people who are different. If only more religious people took a stand for what is right and stopped following these hateful Christian leaders who want people to harm minority people just because they are different. The ones who go free and leave their false prophets and their anti-gay Christian religions where they preach hate will be the real religious leaders of tomorrow.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 1, 2012 9:41:43 PM

  12. Mormonism is no crazier than Catholicism, Islamism, Judaism, Hinduism, Protestantism et al. As an adult, I am embarrased to admit that as a child and young man growing up in an Irish Catholic family, I believed that a piece of bread on the altar in my parish was the creator of the billion gallaxy universe. Millions still believe such total nonsense.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 2, 2012 3:49:28 AM

  13. DaVinci said: There are three kinds of people in the world, those who see, those who can see when shown, and those who cannot see.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Jul 2, 2012 6:20:03 AM

  14. Good for them, they ALL should resign . . . ;-)

    Posted by: Rob Zeleniak | Jul 2, 2012 9:07:16 AM

  15. How childish to think that non-Mormonism is about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. It's about thinking for yourself and not relying on a fairytale to answer deep questions.

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 2, 2012 2:08:51 PM

  16. Genuine morality comes from within a person. It is biologically driven, not religiously instilled. Religious morality is false, fake and comes at the expense of our evolving brains. When "Oncebitten" set aside his religious, false morality, there was nothing there.

    Posted by: boone68 | Jul 2, 2012 3:52:03 PM

  17. This “mass resignation” of 150 of the 14,000,000+ members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been an interesting media event. Membership and activity in the Church is voluntary. It saddens me that these brothers and sisters have taken the step to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I wish them well and hope they will reconsider in the future.

    Posted by: Wayne Dequer | Jul 6, 2012 2:43:47 AM

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