So, back in July of this year I informed the local Bishop that I had decided to leave the church and requested that my name be removed from the records but I did so in an email. I should say this was a series of emails that had started back in May. The Bishop was my Home Teacher and had emailed me to let me know that he had come by when I wasn't home. I was well aware that he'd come by because at the same time I was coming home and saw his car in the driveway so I drove past the house and sat around the corner until he left. Anyway, I basically asked that he not come over to my house anymore and told him I was considering leaving the church. He attempted multiple times to have me come in to his office at the church so that he could speak to me about my "spiritual welfare". I refused to speak with him because once I had made my mind up that I was leaving it was a non-issue in my mind. He sent me back and email saying that I would have to write a formal letter and mail it to him. I thought this was pretty silly but said okay.
Months went by and I was very busy and neglected to type up the letter and mail it to him. In November I started getting cards and letters from the RS again. Someone here on LAM told me about Greg Dodge and gave me his email address but when I sent the email it did not go through. Last Monday I decided to go ahead and type up the formal letter just to be done with it and I mailed it via certified mail. I got confirmation that the letter was signed for on the 20th. In the letter I stated that I did not want any further contact with him or anyone else on any church business except a letter from the church stating that I was no longer a member.
Well, a few minutes ago I turned on the front porch light and opened the door because I was expecting someone. I looked down and in front of the door there was a large bowl and a note. The bowl was full of fruit and peppermints. My first thought was that it was from my neighbor but considered in the back of my mind that it was from the RS lady that's been sending the letters. But NO...it was from the Bishop. I do not use my front door unless someone is coming over and I can't remember the last time I even opened it. I have no idea how long the bowl of fruit had been there. The note was not dated it just said "have a Merry Christmas". The fruit appeared to be fresh so I'm thinking it hadn't been there long. The weather has been somewhat warm as of late so I'm thinking if it had been there over a week it would have been mushy. So now I'm thinking "what the hell???" How much clearer do I have to make myself? Don't come to my freakin' house and don't waste time, paper, and postage sending me church related stuff that I am not interested in!!! I even threatened legal action if my request was not taken care of in a timely manner so he'd know that I'm dead serious.
I'm just wondering from those of you that have also formally resigned if you've had any instances like this?
None for my part. They pretty much leave us alone other than casual conversation when we meet on the street, neighborhood or store.
Tomorrow will be the first time ever that I don't go to church except when I was sick. I am interested to see what people's reaction will be. The only people who know now how I feel about things are my parents. Did you ever actually get a confirmation letter that your name had been removed? If so I don't see why they should be contacting you anymore since you shouldn't show up on any of their lists anymore. If you didn't get a letter I would say maybe the Bishop never finished all the paperwork. If I was you I would just ignore it and try not to get to upset by it. Unless the people contacting me had personally caused me some injury and it was traumatic being in contact with them I wouldn't mind unless it was really becoming obtrusive into my life.
First off, most make the mistake of going to their bishops/stake presidents and asking them to remove their names from the books. They're trained professionals that will try and convince you to stay. It is best to contact the membership records down in SLC and ask them nicely to have your name removed. It is also best to "nicely" threaten them with litigation, going to the media, and stating your rights to leave whatever organization you please without being harassed and/or threaten into staying. And if they TRY to excommunicate you, you have grounds enough to sue them.
Here is a link used often, and explains what will happen in the course of this process. It also gives you a couple sample letters with which to use and send to the records department.
Hope this helps.
The Lord miraculously created an error on the mail server so the email would not go through. He is telling you that you need to continue to be miserable as a moron...I mean Mormon.
I found they only have (the appearance of) concern for you when they realize you are about to fall off the roles and they need you in the numbers, because that's how the kingdom measures success: Through charts, grids, and accountability taken at endless meetings. Did YOU do YOUR visiting teaching this month, SISTER? No pressure, and enjoy your family on the Sabbath, after all you can do.
BTW, I emailed Greg Dodge at Membership Records, and all I got was no reply; the stake president called my Dad, the bishop (my judge in modern Israel, that is) showed up in a great show of humility with another member of the ward after I specifically demanded no contact. I told the stake president this, and he said it was okay because the bishop had been fasting and was prompted to come over. Ohhhh, well if he was fasting, that makes it all better and a-okay. Now I am a ward fasting project. I hope they starve over me.
My daughter sent in her resignation letter to Greg Dodge's office in October of 2010, but we didn't think to certify it. After about 5 months of no reply, we called to see what is going on, and they had absolutely no record and suggested that it had been lost in the mail. We procrastinated sending in a new one (which we would definitely certify), but finally the bishop called in my husband (not daughter) in September of 2011 to ask him if he should process 17 year old's letter. That was the first time we realized that it wasn't lost. Husband was active at time and gave permission saying it is her free will.
We never heard anything....again....so finally called Greg Dodge's office in October of 2011, one full year later. We reached Greg Dodge himself this time, and he said daughter had been removed just a few days ago from the records of the church and we should get a letter from the bishop any day telling us this. Also, he was super nice and apologized all over for it taking so long. Anyway, it is now January of 2012 and we have yet to receive any sort of letter or notice from Bishop or anyone else that daughter is removed.
Long story short, they will play games, they are assholes. The ward has completely ignored us, so bowls of fruit have not been an issue, however getting them to follow up on their responsibilities has been like pulling teeth. Yes, I know I should contact the Bishop because my daughter really does want that letter in her hand to show that it is official, but the dude makes my skin crawl and I'm having a hard time facing that. Maybe I'll just call Greg Dodge again, after all, he is really nice.
All rather creepy and irritating attempts to convince me not to leave the church were from my family but for the most part I was left alone by the church after I decided to leave except for a few family friends harassing me.