To whom it may concern:
After twenty-eight years of whole-heartedly living “after the manner of happiness,” I found myself miserable, insecure, resigned and lonely. Confused by the anger and self-loathing I felt participating in the church of the god I loved, I did something unthinkable: I stopped going.
And, I started seeing a therapist.
Just over a year later, I am happier than I ever was as a dedicated, believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, I feel proud of who I am and confident in my worldview. No longer paralyzed by my fear of missing out on motherhood (though motherhood still remains a goal), I have found a career path that challenges my potential. I feel satisfied by more authentic, loving relationships with friends and family members. I am dating someone who truly loves and respects me as his equal. I am humbled by the knowledge and wisdom that abounds in the “secular world.” I am hungry to learn and contribute.
I no longer believe in the god of my upbringing. I am, in fact, an atheist. I am also very much the same person I was before: moral, empathic, loving, optimistic.
I no longer wish to be a part of a religion that I now recognize to be just as man-made as all the rest. My heart aches as I reflect on my past life. From personal experience, I have learned that “it is not the mind of heretics that are deteriorated most, by the ban placed on all inquiry which does not end in the orthodox conclusions. The greatest harm is done to those who are not heretics, and whose whole mental development is cramped, and their reason cowed, by the fear of heresy."
For twenty-eight years, I never dared cross the line. It is true that I did learn many important lessons within the context of Mormonism, such as the value of loving all people and of seeking knowledge and understanding. But, as with Adam and Eve during their stay in the Garden of Eden, I was unable to experience true love, happiness, and meaningful personal progress until I partook of the forbidden fruit and left the “garden” (the Church).
Within my field (educational psychology), I have found that ideal learning exists when understanding is sought through objectivity, experimentation and evidence rather than an approach characterized by emotional manipulation and declarations of authority. I cannot condone the closed, conformist approach of the LDS Church.
I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effective immediately. I request no contact from this point forward, except to acknowledge that my request has been processed and my name removed from church records. I expect this acknowledgment within 30 days of receipt of this letter.