WARNING: If you live with people who are members (parents, a spouse, siblings or a roommate), they will almost certainly be told about your resignation. If family members live in the same ward or stake that you do, they will probably hear about your resignation.
On this site you will find a sample resignation letter. When you resign, you can use that letter exactly as it is, you can edit it to fit your own tastes, or you can simply write your own letter. The first paragraph of the sample letter is the most important paragraph. It's important that you RESIGN from the church, not 'ask for name removal'.
BEFORE you send your letter, be sure to read ALL of these instructions and the section called THE PROCESS.
If more than one person in your family is resigning, you can include all the names on one letter or you can write a separate letter for each person. If a child is a minor, at least one parent has to sign the letter. In cases of divorce, a custodial parent must sign the letter of a minor child. If the child is old enough, he or she should also sign the letter.
If you're having your children sign the letter, you might want to skip having it notarized since taking everyone to see a notary might be a hassle you don't want to deal with. Be sure to include in the letter the full name and birth date of everyone who is resigning. We recommend you include the names and birth dates of any unbaptized children because it's likely that they are listed as 'members of record'.
You will need to put your current address on the letter. Don't worry about where your records are; if they are somewhere else, Member Records will send them to the local ward. (It's all computerized now, so they just print out a page or two about you and send it) It doesn't matter if you haven't had anything to do with the church in 30 years, even if you've moved ten times since you last attended. Just send your letter with your birth date and your current address to member records.
MAILING YOUR LETTER
We recommend that you send the letter to Member Records in Salt Lake City, using a service that will provide you with proof you mailed the letter and proof that the church got it. NOTE: In the United States we HIGHLY recommend that you use Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, a service available at the Post Office. With this service, in just a few days you will be able to look up the Delivery Confirmation number on the internet and you can print out proof that it was delivered. Apparently if you send your letter this way, Member Records assumes you've used this website, so they know you know your rights. We have discovered that they are more likely to return your letter to you if you DON'T use priority mail.
The United States Post Office has free large red and white Priority Mail envelopes that you can use, which will make your letter really stand out from the rest. We've found that Certified Mail often gets delivered without being handled properly (it arrives in a tray of mail, appears to be a regular letter, and postal employees deliver it without getting a signature). Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation currently costs around $5, actually a little less than Certified Mail with Return Receipt.
Mail your letter to:
Member Records, LDS Church
50 E North Temple, Room 1372
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5310
You can, of course, just mail your letter via regular first class mail or you can mail it via UPS, Fed Ex, Airborne or any other service you happen to prefer. You don't HAVE to have the letter notarized, but someone (probably the local bishop) will probably believe they have to call you or visit you to verify that you wrote the letter. We haven't had enough feedback about using other services to tell you how it will go. They might return your letter to you and say you have to get it to the bishop yourself, but it might go just fine.
In most cases the church will handle your letter just fine without all of the precautions, but occasionally people run into delays or hassles and 1) they're glad they have proof they mailed the letter and that the church got it and 2) they're glad that Member Records is involved because Member Records will call the bishop or Stake President and get them to handle the letter appropriately.
NOT IN THE UNITED STATES?
If you are outside the U.S., you can either send your letter to a local or regional office of the church (a mission or other church headquarters) or you can send it to Salt Lake. If you send it to Salt Lake, we recommend you send it via registered mail. Salt Lake will forward the letter to people in your area. Unfortunately, we don't have a LOT of experience helping people outside the U.S. resign from the church. We've helped tens of thousands in the U.S., but only about a hundred outside the U.S. If you need to contact Member Records by telephone from outside the United States, you can reach them at +1 (801) 240-2053.
If you've said in your letter that it is your formal resignation from the church and that it is effective immediately, you become a non-member the minute they receive your letter. All the rest (see THE PROCESS) is just them jumping through their own hoops.
You don't have to go to any interviews or invite anyone into your house, nor do you need to have a telephone conversation with anyone about your resignation. YOU get to choose whether you talk to them if they call or appear at your house. Be sure to read The Process BEFORE you mail your letter so you know what is likely to happen next.