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Bini

How do I remove my name as a member?

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To make this as painless as possible, Bini, you want to include in your letter that you understand that name removal cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation and revokes temple blessings (if you've been to the temple).  For a male (if necessary) you should also include that name removal withdraws the priesthood.  You should also state that you understand you may be readmitted to the Church by baptism and confirmation only after a thorough interview.

 

If you wish, you may also request immediate name removal and that you want the 30-day waiting period to be waived.

 

You have my best wishes for a happy life outside of the Church.  And of course, the invitation (and request) to continue your involvement here.

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I'm assuming yes but does this process also mean that my sealing to my family will be dissolved? If so, I'm definitely NOT telling anyone in my family because I'll get grief for sure, I saw how well they took it when a few other siblings left permanently.

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I'm assuming yes but does this process also mean that my sealing to my family will be dissolved? If so, I'm definitely NOT telling anyone in my family because I'll get grief for sure, I saw how well they took it when a few other siblings left permanently.

 

My understanding is yes. But someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

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A family sealing has no meaning for those outside the covenant. I don't think there is any sort of "official" dissolution of parent/child sealing when membership is revoked. For example, were such a person to withdraw from the Church and then rejoin, I don't think any separate sealing to parents would need to be done. But clearly, those who reject the covenant will not gain the blessings of the covenant.

 

Note that I am speaking outside my knowledge, especially regarding procedural matters.

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I pulled my list of topics to address in your letter from the Church Handbook of Instructions.  It does not address parent/child sealings beyond "temple blessings."

 

From a clerical perspective, whether you've been sealed to your parents or born in the covenant is of little consequence.  They appear differently on the record, but everything I've been taught is that the effect is the same.  When a husband and wife have a sealing cancelled, however, the status of the child is unchanged (for example, a BIC child will still be listed as BIC).  I've never said anything that addresses the instance of a child leaving the covenant.  I suspect this is because, practically speaking, the child made no covenant.  It is strictly between the husband and wife.  As long as they remain sealed, the promise to them is that their posterity will be sealed to them.

 

I suppose that could open a different Pandora's box of questions ("What if I don't want to be sealed to my parents."), but that's a discussion for another day.

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The potential or inevitable dissolve of a family sealing doesn't upset me, at least it hasn't yet, but the thought of disappointing my parents gives me a major guilt trip. I know they'll be crushed for this to go through. I should have said this earlier but I have no grudges against the Church whatsoever.

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Yeah...sealings to parents can't really be canceled unless there was reason to be sealed to another parent because of adoption. And even then, I'm not sure a cancellation would be necessary. Interesting thought. But baptism is not the catalyst for a child's sealing to his/her parent, so removing oneself from membership (unbaptizing, so to speak) would not affect it in reverse.

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Bini, I find your post interesting, as approximately 20 years ago I had my name removed after having been born a raised in a family that has been LDS since the church was very young.

I have been in heavy prayer, study, and consideration for some time now, concerning returning.

I left with some sorrow, much guilt (betrayal of family), but was sure I was doing the right thing.

I now realize, with sorrow, that my baptisim, blessings, etc, are no more.

The realization of this (though of course I always knew it... I had just never addressed it in anyway) is something I found slightly difficult to deal with.

Just make sure you are very certain in what you are doing. It may bring painful regret in the future.

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Bini, you want to include in your letter that you understand that name removal cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation and revokes temple blessings (if you've been to the temple). You should also state that you understand you may be readmitted to the Church by baptism and confirmation only after a thorough interview.

 

If you wish, you may also request immediate name removal and that you want the 30-day waiting period to be waived.

After more than a few years in leadership and mission work, I saw a lot of people who claim the letters are ignored. It may be because they didn't have the specifics as stated above. The statements are important. It could also be the Bishop isn't effective. There was a letter format found searching the Internet that had all the specifics. In short, write the letter to the Bishop, that is the "requirement". I'd follow up with a phone call. Don't be concened about perception or being lectured. A good Bishop won't require any more than the letter. They deal with this all the time.

 

Personnally, I'm sorry to hear it.  I know inactive members feel harrassed by visits when having requested no visitors. Leadership is always changing and people don't remember who the "no contact" members are. Some leaders refuse to respect privacy. They all have a story about the inactive member that was "saved". I wish you the best and welcome you to come back and be re-baptised when you are ready. :)

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I haven't done it yet. The urgency I'd felt a week ago has calmed itself a bit, but I feel pretty confident that this is something I want to pursue. I was baptised when I was eight, like most kids raised in the Church, and I don't feel that I knew the magnitude of the decision I was making. I wish I had been allowed more time to learn and process before doing it. Honestly, I don't recall there being much of an option, but I do recall it being expected by family and ward members. I'd like a clean slate and to be re-baptised if and when I'm ready.

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Bini, whatever you do, I would strongly suggest to take your time. No need to rush. I do not know what you are going through but whatever decision you take, please take it when you are the least stressed and emotional. We tend to take wrong decisions that way.

 

Most importantly, no matter what you decide I want to wish you an amazing life whether is in or out of the Church. We are sisters and always will be. :)

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Clean slates are nice.  I wipe mine all the time.

 

As a convert, I have occasionally been tempted to think I have more skin in the LDS game (to put it crudely) because I consciously chose to join the church and didn't just grow up in it without an explicit decision to join.  I certainly understand the desire to "own" your membership in a church by consciously choosing it instead of having it pressed upon you.   

 

But I can't help wonder if there isn't an easier way to clean your slate?  Best wishes whatever you decide, of course.

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After more than a few years in leadership and mission work, I saw a lot of people who claim the letters are ignored. It may be because they didn't have the specifics as stated above. The statements are important. It could also be the Bishop isn't effective. There was a letter format found searching the Internet that had all the specifics. In short, write the letter to the Bishop, that is the "requirement". I'd follow up with a phone call. Don't be concened about perception or being lectured. A good Bishop won't require any more than the letter. They deal with this all the time.

 

Personnally, I'm sorry to hear it.  I know inactive members feel harrassed by visits when having requested no visitors. Leadership is always changing and people don't remember who the "no contact" members are. Some leaders refuse to respect privacy. They all have a story about the inactive member that was "saved". I wish you the best and welcome you to come back and be re-baptised when you are ready. :)

My feeling is the letters are ignored for a few reasons... One might be because the letter has no signature or the Bishop doesn't do anything with it. Most important part of the letter is the person needs to sign it.

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I haven't done it yet. The urgency I'd felt a week ago has calmed itself a bit, but I feel pretty confident that this is something I want to pursue. I was baptised when I was eight, like most kids raised in the Church, and I don't feel that I knew the magnitude of the decision I was making. I wish I had been allowed more time to learn and process before doing it. Honestly, I don't recall there being much of an option, but I do recall it being expected by family and ward members. I'd like a clean slate and to be re-baptised if and when I'm ready.

 

I have not said anything before because it is your choice, (and I can respect that)  I had no real practical experience to offer, and all the generic things I might have said had already been said.  But with this post I feel I have something to add.

 

When you asked about having your name removed I figured/guess/assumed that you wanted to cut off all contact with the church more or less permanently.  Removing your name is the way to do that.  But this post sound like you are more interesting in maybe taking a break and then trying to start over?

 

Removing your name for a reset or starting over is like setting off a bomb when you want to remodel your house.  Sure it can gets you a clean slate, but it is much more extreme then is really necessary.

 

If you are looking to come back (maybe) at a future date then there are less extreme methods to do that then to have your name removed.

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I was baptised when I was eight, like most kids raised in the Church, and I don't feel that I knew the magnitude of the decision I was making. I wish I had been allowed more time to learn and process before doing it. Honestly, I don't recall there being much of an option, but I do recall it being expected by family and ward members. I'd like a clean slate and to be re-baptised if and when I'm ready.

 

My past has some similarities here.  I left the church at age 19 (basically, as soon as my mom couldn't make me go any more).  I didn't believe.  I had never believed.  I had rarely tried to believe.  

 

By age 26, I was a few credit hours away from a minor in philosophy (but hadn't found any answers there).  I wanted what my LDS friends had, but wasn't willing to lie and pretend and attend a church or worship a God I didn't even know existed.  So I started reading the BoM and praying to know.  Before I would budge in genuine church activity, I needed to believe.  And before I would believe, I needed to know.

 

Anyway, here I am as a moderator of lds.net, so you can guess how it turned out.   From my perspective, when I got my genuine testimony I would need to be rebaptized.  They told me "nope - just pick up the covenants you already made and start keeping them".  That made sense.

 

God bless you Bini.  Stay true to your sense of right and wrong.  I came through my experiences with the notion that the only truly valid reason to be a Mormon, was you believe God wants you to be one.  The book promises that sure foundation if you jump through the hoops in the right way.  I did, and it was worth it.

 

Oh - did you ever kiss the guy from Walking Dead?

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I knew that coming back to the forums would get me second guessing myself.

 

Estradling, thanks for your post. I have been going pretty strong in terms of the gospel for the last few years, but this last year has been a shaky one for me, I've just lost motivation and passion. Should be a good reason for this but there isn't. I've just started re-questioning things in my head, some of those things just don't add up, no matter how I try to problem solve it. Interestingly enough, my hang-ups aren't on Church history, but more of just basic stuff like the Plan of Salvation and life after death in the three kingdoms. I'm not convinced. I have never read the Book of Mormon in entirety, at this point I have little desire to, but also knowing myself (I'm not a reader - can't even read gossip mags) I won't ever get around to reading it. I know there's debate on whether someone can know the gospel is true without reading the BOM, so assuming the answer is NO, you can't know without reading it - then I'm probably just never going to know. (I do know people in my life who claim firm testimonies but have never read the BOM, so maybe it's possible...)

 

NT, thank you for your words. While I'm on the fence right now, I believe I have a good hold of what is right and what is wrong. In some instances, I think I've become a lot more straight laced in my approach on things, solely because of my daughter. And no, I haven't met Norman Reedus yet but it's coming up very soon, after the New Year. I have heard from other fans that he has no personal space boundaries, and I might get more than what I had bargained for, so maybe blue steel will suffice.

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Bini, I often find reading the Teachings of the Prophets books to be a huge inspiration. It's not written in King James English so it can be a much easier read than our scriptures.

I don't know if you've tried perusing those, I've had a loss of motivation for reading scriptures lately and instead I've started reading the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, it has been a huge inspiration.

My faith boils down to 3 basic things. Do I believe in God? Do I believe Christ is His son, and that he atoned for us? Do I believe Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God?

If I find I can answer those, the rest sort of follows naturally, If I cannot, then I know what I need to look at. (For example, If I am not sure Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, Why? How do I find out?)

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I haven't done it yet. The urgency I'd felt a week ago has calmed itself a bit, but I feel pretty confident that this is something I want to pursue. I was baptised when I was eight, like most kids raised in the Church, and I don't feel that I knew the magnitude of the decision I was making. I wish I had been allowed more time to learn and process before doing it. Honestly, I don't recall there being much of an option, but I do recall it being expected by family and ward members. I'd like a clean slate and to be re-baptised if and when I'm ready.

 

I don't think any of us that were baptised at age 8 "knew the magnitude of the decision" we were making. Hence, 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little'.

As far as not being much of a reader - than *listen* to them instead.  You can also watch the 'kids videos' on the church website.  

At any rate, it's your choice but I also don't like the idea of possibly hiding this from family.  I understand about losing your steam but please don't do anything you might regret. 

Edited by notquiteperfect

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I knew that coming back to the forums would get me second guessing myself.

 

Estradling, thanks for your post. I have been going pretty strong in terms of the gospel for the last few years, but this last year has been a shaky one for me, I've just lost motivation and passion. Should be a good reason for this but there isn't. I've just started re-questioning things in my head, some of those things just don't add up, no matter how I try to problem solve it. Interestingly enough, my hang-ups aren't on Church history, but more of just basic stuff like the Plan of Salvation and life after death in the three kingdoms. I'm not convinced. I have never read the Book of Mormon in entirety, at this point I have little desire to, but also knowing myself (I'm not a reader - can't even read gossip mags) I won't ever get around to reading it. I know there's debate on whether someone can know the gospel is true without reading the BOM, so assuming the answer is NO, you can't know without reading it - then I'm probably just never going to know. (I do know people in my life who claim firm testimonies but have never read the BOM, so maybe it's possible

NT, thank you for your words. While I'm on the fence right now, I believe I have a good hold of what is right and what is wrong. In some instances, I think I've become a lot more straight laced in my approach on things, solely because of my daughter. And no, I haven't met Norman Reedus yet but it's coming up very soon, after the New Year. I have heard from other fans that he has no personal space boundaries, and I might get more than what I had bargained for, so maybe blue steel will suffice.

Sometimes our trials make us stronger. I know I don't know you personally but I do hope and pray you have a change of heart.

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I knew that coming back to the forums would get me second guessing myself.

 

Estradling, thanks for your post. I have been going pretty strong in terms of the gospel for the last few years, but this last year has been a shaky one for me, I've just lost motivation and passion. Should be a good reason for this but there isn't. I've just started re-questioning things in my head, some of those things just don't add up, no matter how I try to problem solve it. Interestingly enough, my hang-ups aren't on Church history, but more of just basic stuff like the Plan of Salvation and life after death in the three kingdoms. I'm not convinced. I have never read the Book of Mormon in entirety, at this point I have little desire to, but also knowing myself (I'm not a reader - can't even read gossip mags) I won't ever get around to reading it. I know there's debate on whether someone can know the gospel is true without reading the BOM, so assuming the answer is NO, you can't know without reading it - then I'm probably just never going to know. (I do know people in my life who claim firm testimonies but have never read the BOM, so maybe it's possible...)

 

NT, thank you for your words. While I'm on the fence right now, I believe I have a good hold of what is right and what is wrong. In some instances, I think I've become a lot more straight laced in my approach on things, solely because of my daughter. And no, I haven't met Norman Reedus yet but it's coming up very soon, after the New Year. I have heard from other fans that he has no personal space boundaries, and I might get more than what I had bargained for, so maybe blue steel will suffice.

 

I hear you there, likewise history has never big a hang-up for me.  Rather the tripping point for me was… smiles.  People just kept smiling like robots, whether or not they were actually happy!!  I’m a huge proponent in being an authentic person, and I’m NOT going to fake being happy or believing something I don’t. 

 

We all have doubts on something.  For me a theological constant study point is the post-mortal life-- I don’t think its so simple as the cartoon diagram we show investigators.   It’s a big topic, and I find that swallowing the whole theological elephant doesn’t work well.  Instead, I (try) to go through each segmented idea and evaluate it on it’s own merits.   It’s a lot more work than the approach “I prayed about the BoM so everything must be true”, but it’s how I feel comfortable doing things.

 

Don’t let people rush you on your faith.  Take things how you’re comfortable. 

 

As to whether or not you can know the Gospel is true without reading the BoM, I would say totally!  You can know the Jesus is your savior without ever touching a BoM.  Now, can you know if the BoM is true without reading it… that’s more questionable.  But the Gospel is so much more than reading just the one book (yeah I know that comment will likely get me scolded, but it is how I feel).  The Gospel is Christ, the Father, the love of God, the love of fellow men, prayer, etc- acceptable to everyone whether or not they are even capable of reading the BoM.

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As I’m thinking about this, I recall a story from General Conference*.  The speaker told of when he went to ordain a new temple president and matron in a third world country.  The speaker recalled how impressed he was with the simple and pure faith of the new temple matron.  But she was embarrassed to have an apostle of the Lord see her!  Why?  Because she could not read and came from very humble circumstances (hence one can guess she never read the BoM herself).  But none of that mattered!!  Her faith was pure and she was beloved daughter of God!!! And now she was in a position to help so many other children of God with her pure and simple faith.

 

* I think it was told by Pres. Uchtdorf(?).  Admittedly I’m foggy on the details, and would love it if someone could help me narrow it down. 

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As I’m thinking about this, I recall a story from General Conference*.  The speaker told of when he went to ordain a new temple president and matron in a third world country.  The speaker recalled how impressed he was with the simple and pure faith of the new temple matron.  But she was embarrassed to have an apostle of the Lord see her!  Why?  Because she could not read and came from very humble circumstances (hence one can guess she never read the BoM herself).  But none of that mattered!!  Her faith was pure and she was beloved daughter of God!!! And now she was in a position to help so many other children of God with her pure and simple faith.

 

* I think it was told by Pres. Uchtdorf(?).  Admittedly I’m foggy on the details, and would love it if someone could help me narrow it down. 

 

That was President Eyring's talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/continuing-revelation?lang=eng

 

 

Tears flowed down his cheeks. I saw that his wife was also weeping. I waited for them to compose themselves. She stood up and stepped toward me. She looked up and then said timidly that she was happy but also sad. She said that she had so loved going to the temple with her husband but that now she felt that she should not go with him because God had chosen him for so glorious and sacred a trust. Then she said that her feeling of being inadequate to be his temple companion came because she could neither read nor write.

 

I assured her that her husband would be honored by her company in the temple because of her great spiritual power. As well as I could with my small grasp of her language, I told her that God had revealed things to her beyond all earthly education.

 

She knew by the gift of the Spirit that God had given, through His prophet, a supernal trust to the husband she loved. She knew for herself that the keys to give that sealing power were held by a man she had never seen and yet knew for herself was the living prophet of God. She knew, without having to be told by any living witness, that the prophet had prayed over the name of her husband. She knew for herself that God had made the call.

 

She also knew that the ordinances her husband would perform would bind people for eternity in the celestial kingdom. She had confirmed to her mind and heart that the promise the Lord made to Peter still continued in the Church: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.”5 She knew that for herself, by revelation, from God.

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