Okay, so I haven't been very present on this site for a while. I found it at a time when I really needed the support, but have come to a point now where I am confident with my views and not needing the reinforcement anymore.
That being said, something happened last night that bothered me, more then I thought it would I think, so I wanted to share it here and see what you guys thought.
To preface, I haven't gone to church for years. I have moved twice now since the last time my records were moved and also gotten married and changed my name. So last night at 8pm we got a knock on our door. It threw my husband and me off guard, we live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, it was an hour before our bedtime (we work early), we were watching a movie enjoying a cocktail, and we weren't expecting anyone. So he gets up to answer the door. There are two old men standing there and they said they were looking for me, except they used my maiden name. I didn't want to get up to go to the door, I was on the couch with a blanket. I was only wearing my nightie, as I was getting ready to go to bed, and did not feel comfortable at all getting up to greet two old men half clothed. I answered from the couch that that was me and they said they were from the ward and something about me going. I felt totally taken off guard and so did my husband. I didn't know what to say so I just said, I'm not interested and that was that. Afterwards we felt like we could have been a little nicer, but really it would have been the same outcome either way. No matter what they had to say to me I would still not be coming to church. The fact that I do not go should be an indicator that I am not interested! I do not consider myself mormon at all anymore (I'm an atheist) and the only reason I haven't removed my records is to maintain the peace with my family. It shook me up a little, I did not appreciate it. I don't appreciate strangers knocking at my door late in general, let alone the local bishopric. I don't know what they expected showing up unannounced late to my home to bombard me about church. What did they think was going to come from that? It left me shook up with a bad taste in my mouth.
Then there is the issue of how they found me. I wouldn't be suprised at all if it was my dad or my grandpa that sent my records or address and tipped them off. They have done it before a few years ago when I was single and they are both in the bishopric. I was just wondering if there is any other way that they can find you besides someone tipping them off? This whole incident alone makes me reconsider sending in my resignation. Maybe I am overreacting, I guess it wasn't a huge deal, but it really bothered me. It bothered my husband as well. He has never been a member and he thought it was rude and intrusive.
I think I just needed to vent about that. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for listening!
Update: So guess who showed up to my house just last night! Two young girls from some local youth ward, using my maiden name again! I didn't quite catch if they were from a singles ward or not, but I'm not single. They were young and nice, but come on! They tried to give me a flyer for a rock climbing activity. I was going to just take it from them to be polite, but really I'm not going to even consider going so I just said no thank you and let them keep it. It was snowing like crazy too, they should have been home and not out knocking on strangers doors. I was nice though, I stood in the door with my huge tattoo in their face and told them to be careful out there. Sigh, I think it's time to send in my resignation letter.
It was the same with me, we were busy and I wasn't even wearing a bra! It made me super uncomfortable too, I'm sorry about that! The only reason I am worried is because I have had friends who have had their home ward called when they sent in their recognition and my dad is in the bishopric. But at the same time I'm thinking it may be time just to pull up my big girl panties and do it. I'm not coming back and my family doesn't need to keep holding out hope that I will. Thanks for your input!
I've dealt with something similar.
Consult with your husband and decide between the two of you on doing something that you're both comfortable with doing, but that you know will make the ilk of the bishopric as uncomfortable as humanly possible. Should they arrive unannounced again, have a secret code word between your husband and yourself and unleash whatever you've come up with once that word is said. It needn't be crass or vulgar or explicit -be creative! (I suspect the forum rules, which I've yet to read, ha, might prohibit me from offering the details of my chosen counter-assault, but I never saw hide nor hair of the folks in question again, and I'm all but certain an extensive memo declaring me to be persona non gratis was circulated far and wide within the church. LOL.)
This is funny, I wish I could hear some of your suggestions ;) I'm sure my husband would be happy to go along with this, we'll have to start getting creative!!
Well, here's one that's on the aggressive side, but it's pulled directly from game theory. There's a strategy in game theory called "tit-for-tat". It's an expression you've probably heard. Basically it means you mirror any action made towards you by someone else. Someone behaves in a manner that is cooperative and agreeable, you respond it kind. Someone behaves in a manner that is aggressive, you respond in kind. Eventually the other person learns that a cooperative strategy on their part will be more productive for them.
In the context in question, the most entertaining application of this strategy is to first discover where the offending members of the church live. Since they're willing to arrive on your doorstep, unannounced and at inconvenient times, your response should be to arrive on their doorstep around, say, 4:00 AM on a Saturday morning. Be persistent but polite about knocking or ringing the bell. Once you're speaking to the individual you want, i.e., not a spouse or child, simply say: "I apologize for dropping by unannounced but I was inexplicably compelled to drop by just to say hello." Then, say "hello" -and promptly turn around and head to your car and leave. Do not engage in any further discourse, regardless of what they do or say.
If the individual you've just awoken has any sense of decency and an IQ above 85, he/she will get the message. If for some reason they don't, rinse and repeat every week as needed until they do. Change it up a bit though. Visit Friday morning one week and Sunday the next so they don't detect a set pattern. (Each visit should consist of the above covered dialogue from you -no more and no less.)
Again, it's a bit in-your-face, but it works.
They DO have that rude practice and it is, indeed, rude to tack someone down like a beast in the jungle.
I love the post of "No Big Deal" and agree with him. They will never forget it and hopefully, they will learn the lesson. But do it to the people that should have identified themselves at the door. Have no more respect or them as they have for you. The balls to go to your door and ask you why you havew not been attending..very very offensive! I'd tell them because I live in a free country with freedom of (from at times) religion. Now get away from here before I call the cops, go piss off ya buncha monkey bugars.
Haha! It is rude! But they don't see it that way, they are just trying to spread the gospel or save a soul, blah, blah. My little sister is on a mission and she writes all the time about how she doesn't get why people don't want to talk to her, all she is doing is trying to spread god's love. She, like the people who came to my door, can't even comprehend how arrogant that is. I'm doing just fine, folks. I tried to play your little game and it thoroughly sucked. I'm doing so much better on my own!
There are ways too find people. the police do it all the time. On the ward level they will not have those resources. They normally get the info from SLC via a request from a concerned relative or the phone book. If they do not know you exist then they are not going to be looking. Next time ask them if they would like to come in to share a coctail.
Ha! I will totally do that if there is a next time!
The church has people who find missing members. Your membership record gets turned back to SLC if you move out of the ward without a forwarding address. I have received phone calls from church headquarters looking for members of our family that the church has lost track of. I refuse to give up peoples location to the church, but not everyone will do this. There is a possibility that someone in your family gave them your new address.
The may also be able to use your forwarding information from the post office if you filled out a change of address form.
Another possibility is you may have a meddling family member who called the ward to let them know where you are, hoping that you could be convinced to return.
Now that they know where you are, they will periodically contact you. You can try a no-contact letter, but that only works for a while. As new people are called into leadership positions, you will be contacted and need to reinforce your no-contact request. This will go on until you formally resign. Even after that, family members can still send the missionaries over.
I just send people on their way with a clear, concise, and polite message that we are not coming back.
I'm pretty sure it was probably someone in my family, they've been known to do things like that in the past. We're moving soon, so we have a few more months maybe before they track us down again, ha. I figure that's all I can really do at this point, politely let them know that they are wasting my time and theirs. I live in Utah, there are churches on every corner, don't they think if I wanted to go to one I would have?
That is a very awkward time for them to be stopping by. Maybe they were discussing you at a meeting and assigned 3 of them to stop by on their way home. I don't think you were rude at all. They probably would have been more shocked if you got up and talked to them in your nightie! I think you can expect people to keep finding you as long as you are a member. Some will give up and realize that you aren't coming back but then if new leadership comes in or you move to a new area there will be new leaders who will feel obligated to try. In SLC there are members that are called on missions to try and locate lost members. They search in public records databases to try and find an address and phone number and then try to call them personally or they send the missionaries or local members over to visit them. I read about it in the Deseret News a couple months back.
Thank you, I appreciate the validation! One of my friends told me I should have just gone to the door in my nightie, they would have been out of their pretty quick- well I would hope at least!