Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW WHERE MY RECORDS ARE?
This is one of the reasons we recommend you send your resignation to Member Records in Salt Lake. If your records are elsewhere, no matter where they are, Member Records will make the transfer when they receive your resignation. They will also look up who the local bishop is and they'll send your resignation to him or to the stake president.
WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW WHAT WARD I'M IN?
Again, Member Records will take care of this when they receive your resignation. They will find out what ward you live in, who the bishop is, and they'll forward your letter to him. They will send you a form letter in response to your resignation and they will tell you who they sent your resignation to.
WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN?
If you want to remove your children from the membership rolls, include their names in your letter or write separate letters for them. In the church handbook it says, "the written request must be signed by the minor (if over the age of eight) and by the parent, parents, or guardians who have legal custody of the minor." If your children have not been baptized, they may be listed as 'members of record'. In your letter you can tell the church to take their names 'off the records' too.
If no one in the church ever heard that you had any children, those children are probably not even listed as 'members of record'. If you have Mormon parents or family, however, they may have notified the church that you had children.
WHAT IF I'M UNDER 18?
If you're under 18 and you want to resign, you will probably need a parent's permission to do so. Sorry, but that's not really surprising. Hang in there until you're 18 and then you can resign without anyone's permission to do so. If your parents are willing to give their permission, they'll need to sign a letter saying you have their permission to resign. One of your parents can do that.
WHAT IF THEY SAID THEY ARE GOING TO EXCOMMUNICATE ME?
If someone in the church has threatened you with excommunication, you can get it stopped by resigning before they complete the process. (see Legal Precedent) If they threaten you with excommunication AFTER they receive your letter of resignation, you can also get it stopped. See The Process.
WHAT IF THEY CALL ME OR DROP BY MY HOUSE?
You don't have to be polite, nor do you have to let them in. Don't agree to any interviews. See The Process. The only power or authority they have over you is what you GIVE them.
WHAT IF THE HOME TEACHERS OR VISITING TEACHERS COME BY?
You will have to decide how you prefer to handle any visits by church members. You can simply tell them you are no longer a member of the church. You can tell them they don't need to visit you any more or you can come right out and say that you want no further contact from church representatives. If those people are also neighbors or friends, you can tell them you still want to be a good neighbor or friend, if that's how you feel about it.
WHAT IF I LIVE OUTSIDE THE U.S.?
There is information on this in the Instructions. Outside the U.S. you'll definitely have to deal with local leaders and, unfortunately they are not as used to handling resignations. They often resist giving you a letter of confirmation after you resign. Each country is different and we don't have a lot of experience in helping with resignations outside the U.S. Sometimes local leaders 'excommunicate' people who dare to resign and we are unable to stop it.
It is important to note that the Mormon Church is an American corporation, and their employees in Member Records probably do not speak anything but English. If you do not speak English and are reading this in another language, you should either submit your letter in your native language to your local church leaders or the nearest mission office, or send your letter in English to Member Records in Salt Lake City, Utah.
WILL MY FAMILY FIND OUT?
It depends. If you live in the same ward or stake your parents do, the bishop or Stake President will probably tell them. Does 'your' bishop or Stake President know your parents? If so, they will probably tell them. Does someone in the bishopric or Stake Presidency know your family? . . . This gives you an idea of how complicated this can be. They shouldn't tell your family, but sometimes they do.
WHAT IF MY NAME HAS CHANGED?
If your name has changed since you were a member, you'll want to include any names you used as a member in your letter. If you're a woman, you could possibly just use your maiden name, but I would recommend you list all names you used as a member, whatever the reasons were.
THEY RETURNED MY LETTER TO ME NOW WHAT?
It happens. Member Records may return your letter to you. Click HERE to find out what to do about that.
SOME QUESTIONS ARE NOT ANSWERED HERE
There are some questions that are debatable and you really should get more than one opinion on them. For those questions, we recommend the Recovery From Mormonism bulletin board at ExMormon.org. If you ask the questions there, you will hear about other people's experiences and you'll get a variety of opinions, then you can decide for yourself.