Sunday, December 15, 2013

Please Come Back

So yesterday, in response to my phone call to the church inquiring as to why I had not received any correspondence regarding my resignation letter, I found a letter in the mail from them.  Enclosed with the letter was a pamphlet entitled "An Invitation".

The letter is short and to the point, stating that they have received my letter.  It goes on to say that "the Church considers such a request to be an ecclesiastical matter" which must be processed by my local bishop and stake president.  Whatever... I don't care what they do as long as it gets done.  It does go on to say that the bishop will contact me.  Why contact is necessary, I don't know, especially since I requested no contact.  But they have a long history of not respecting people's requests to be left alone so I'm actually not surprised at all.  I'm hoping they don't contact me though.  I really just want to be left alone and for all of this to be over.

The brief letter closes with a plea to please prayerfully consider the eternal consequences of this request and to refer to the enclosed message from the First Presidency.

The letter is not signed by anyone.. It simply ends "Confidential Records".

The "An Invitation" pamphlet:

Appears to be a sincere plea from the "brethren" to all who have fallen away.  It states that their interest is in the individual man or woman and to make sure that all are "remembered and nourished by the good word of God".

"If any have been offended, we are sorry."

Yes, I am offended.  For details please read my post entitled, "I Am Offended".

Further along, it states, "We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew."

So arrogant.. They are assuming that I am now unhappy since I am inactive and no longer wish to be a member.  Only in their wildest dreams!  Not only is it arrogant, it is manipulative.  Who are they to know what makes me happy?  Who said I ever knew happiness when I was active?  At the time, I would have said I was, but I would have been lying.

In short, this pamphlet is a perfect example of Mormon arrogance and manipulation, and it makes me all the more determined to NOT go back.  What makes them think that a person who has voluntarily requested name removal is going to suddenly want to come back with such an assumptive and impersonalized message?

I remember sitting in meetings as a believer discussing ways to reactivate ward members.  One of their favorite tactics is to make the person feel "needed" by offering them a calling.  This pamphlet stresses that "The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, and devotion".  Jesus doesn't need it.. God doesn't need it.. THE CHURCH needs it.  Nope, nothing has changed.  They want my loyalty to THEM!  NOT GOD, NOT JESUS.. THEM!

I wonder if this pamphlet has ever convinced anyone to go back? I'd be surprised if there are any at all. Leaving the church means you turned your brain on and stopped allowing yourself to be manipulated by them.  After reading this pamphlet, I am all the more convinced that LDS, Inc. is nothing but a cult.

My sarcastic moment: The inside of the pamphlet has a picture of the three big Mormon cheeses.  When I opened it, I felt a shockwave of priesthood power and I knew I was looking at true prophets.  I have been so deceived!  I have been prideful and arrogant, thinking that in my own weakness I can stumble through this life without their divine guidance.  I had better run back to them right now with my 10% and subject myself to their judgments while I beg for forgiveness!

I'm actually very relieved to receive this letter.  It means that my request to have my name removed has been officially received.  According to US law, I became a non-member the moment they received my request.  They are now just wasting their own time and resources by jumping through their own hoops.  Makes no difference to me.  I'm just hoping the time soon comes when I receive the final notification that my name has been removed and I am no longer a member!


Mark Hill said...

I am a 14 year old active teacher (but secretly atheist) and the strategy is a little different. They told us as deacons to invite them to clean the church after sacrament which would bring the "spirit" and keep them from leaving. What a load of crap. My earliest moments of prayer were me listening for an answer and hearing my own thoughts and thinking, "that my thoughts, where's the fucking spirit?" I followed church leader advice and prayed for god to tell me he was real. I was having an emperors new clothes moment and thought everyone else was had special knowledge I needed. I would go to bed crying because I wasn't getting answer. I've had doubts my whole life (I've been naturally curious and intelligent, IQ 142, my whole life and google has been my teacher and library since I was 10) but reading your blog and was the straw that broke the camels back. It makes me angry that 10 fucking percent of the $1,400 I earned programming this summer (a self taught skill) goes to those damn thieves and their fucking SLC mall. It also makes me sad that my friends and siblings are so indoctrinated. I can't speak up because my parents would kill me for being a "wicked, sinful apostate".
I'm trying to discreetly save my friends from this cult but it's hard. I told my TBM friend last week after seminary that God does change by explaining how in the OT god was racist, sexist, and supported slavery but changed his mind in the NT and changed his mind again when Brigham Young said the blacks liked slavery and that emancipation was an abomination and finally again 2 weeks ago with the announcement that black skin is not a curse (on that subject why won't the church get rid of the fucking book of Abraham. Everyone knows it's a fucking fake but the brainwashed mormons. WTF!). He just quoted scripture saying god doesn't change so I was wrong. I said actions speak louder than words and when we have 2 contradictory things where one is passive and the other active, the active always wins. He's too brainwashed to accept the truth. Sorry for all the tangents but the whole promise of Moroni (aka joe smith the conman and child rapist) is complete bullshit. You have to have faith to faith and believe to believe. I also hate the fact that the shit about Joe being martyred for the by the agents of satan is taught against contrary evidence. He was imprisoned for destroying a printing press that exposed his uncontrolled sexual predation of 14 year old girls and married woman. He fought backed and fired several shots at the mob of the farmers who got scammed and the missionary men who's wives he stole. He wasn't innocent.

I'm trying to survive seminary by making a game of how many people I can take away when by the time I come out at 18. If any of you have any innocent sounding questions that I can ask to expose the church and "god" for the fakes they are you can send them to

I'd like to bear my testimony that I know the church is not true. Joseph smith was a child predator and con man. The Book of Mormon is a fabricated story created by Joe. Jesus Christ may have been a real person, but his divinity is as real as the pagan myths he was derived from. I know the Invisible Pink Unicorn is real and that her horn will shoot forth a rainbow from which I can bring me 50 orgasms and the ability to comprehend her coexisting invisibility and pinkness. Fuck the HS. I say these things in the name of no one. Amen

TL;DR I'm a 14 year old atheist that feels trapped in the church.

Mark Hill said...

Sorry one last thing is how the church deals with masturbation. 94% of men masturbate. Why do they have such a problem with it. I discovered it at 5 (yeah just a bit young *sarcasm*) and felt tremendous guilt and body shame when I learned it was wrong. I actually wished we weren't members. That's what started my questioning.

Mormon411 said...

Mark, LOL, there's nothing more spiritual than scrubbing toilets and vacuuming floors! I got out of the church before they started that crap and I'm sure glad I did. They would rather use my tithing money to build a shopping mall than pay a janitor to clean.

The one thing we all need to remember.. We can't get anyone out of the church. No one got you out. No one got me out. We did it ourselves. Honestly, the best way to get people out is by not being what they claim apostates are.. We must not try to force it on them. We must conduct ourselves as the happy atheists we are. If they see us trying to "tear down" their truth, it will only confirm what they have been taught to believe. This is why I blog anonymously.

Ask questions that make people think. In fact, you might try telling them about some "doubt" you have and asking them what to do about it. Hopefully you sharing this doubt will cause them to think a little. It usually won't, but you never know.

One of my very earliest doubt moments was from the movie "Angels in the Outfield" where someone makes a statement that god is just an imaginary friend for grownups. That little seed took a long time to sprout, but it eventually did.

I like how you shared the example of god changing. That's a good one. You never know; down the road your friend might start thinking about it more. Maybe you could ask him why god really cares about how many earrings someone wears.. Don't be pushy and just ask him as if its really bothering you. Make a list of things to bring up and introduce them slowly, one at a time.

I sometimes forget that even though we view the church as complete nonsense, it still means the world to our family and friends. Just as we would like them to simply respect our views, we must remember to do the same. We don't want their views shoved on us, so let's take the high road and not shove ours on them. I know it's hard, but it's the right thing to do. Ask those doubtful questions but do it in a respectful, non-threatening manner. That's all we can do. Remember, just as you're trying to plant a seed of reason in them, they are trying to plant seeds of faith in you.

For now, you might have to continue to go to church and pretend (that's what Mormons do so well anyway so you should fit right in). It's very difficult to eventually come out and announce that you no longer believe. But we need to ask ourselves, which is more important to us: how others view us or our own personal integrity?

I'll think more upon this matter and write a post about it. I'll see what innocent-sounding questions I can come up with to start planting those seeds of reason.

Mark Hill said...

Thank you for your reply. You're right, I think I need to plant those seeds of reason in a more non threatening way. As soon as I reveal my opinion on something (prayer, book of Abraham, ect.) even if I lie that I'm still a believer, people immediately take it as a personal attack directed by satan. It's sad how indoctrinated they are, but all I can do is be a comforting source of logic and reason. I enjoy reading your blog. It helps me realize I'm not alone and there are other intelligent people out there with the same questions.

senigami said...

You are not alone. I am an active member and secret atheist (for reasons of family). In fact I'm the executive secretary to the bishop in my ward. Once you realize what it is you are seeing it can be quite entertaining to attend church.

As our gracious host Mormon411 has mentioned the best way to express your opinion is certainly in a non-threatening way. Once they feel you are attacking them then they will be closed off to whatever you have to say, even that 2+2=4. It goes back to the game. I try to find ways of bringing things to light in the most non-threatening way as possible. It's amazing what you can get away with when you take the stance of the believer as well. I was able to share a "spiritual thought" in bishopric meeting about Joseph Smith translating the plates by staring into a hat! I couldn't believe I got away with that one, I had to stop myself from laughing. I blogged about the reversal of dark skin doctrine by simply stating that it was about time they did that. Basically I try to bring out interesting and educational points as observations with the hope that with enough of the truth being brought to light that people will eventually start to make up their own minds. "It's amazing how god could take an standard old piece of Egyptian burial parchment and inspire Joseph Smith to come up with the Book of Abraham. Just goes to show you the power of god." No believer could argue against that and you just educated them.

Also just so you don't feel alone, there is a website for non-believing mormons called hope that helps you out.

senigami said...

sorry, my bad, I meant: (not .com)

Mark Hill said...

Thank you senigami. I will check out that website.

Mark Hill said...

Senigami and mormon411, what are your opinions on coming out to parents and friends. Senigami, I understand you didn't do it yet and would like to know better your reasons. If I were to tell my parents, when and how should I do it?

senigami said...

Honestly that is a question that you are going to have to answer. It really depends on how you gauge the reaction will be on those around you and if you are ready for that. Being that you are underage you are really at the mercy of your parents wishes for 4 more years. I do not know the disposition of your parents and can't recommend a course of action. Do understand that it is possible that by alerting them to your position that you could become the 'project' for saving and would have no way of taking back what is said once you say it. Remember that the general perception of your age is that you do not have enough life experience to make proper decisions by yourself. How would your parents react if you were to tell them you were gay? It would probably be a fairly similar reaction. Remember you are declaring to the church that you wish to be an apostate and a sinner and you wish to go to hell rather than strive for the celestial kingdom. Those around you will feel that Satan has gotten a hold of your heart and that with a large amount of prayer, scripture study, and fellow-shipping you will eventually see the light. The parents of your friends in the church may wish to keep your evil influence away from their children for their spiritual safety. Do no act rashly in this decision to let others know. You can live quite peacefully in the church without going 'rogue'. Now that you have 'seen the light' you will not have the burden of guilt on your shoulders. The church still contains a number of good teachings from good people who honestly are striving to be kind and good to others. Remember that those around you in the church really are doing what they feel is best and honestly care about you. They are as much a victim of the organization as you are but are still indoctrinated. Do some research and see how those people reacted that were liberated from the oppressive polygamist cults not that long ago. They had long therapy and counseling to deal with the process of loosing their religion. It is not an easy thing to go through.

My advice would be to take your time and think it through. You are in no hurry. Just relax and have fun with it while you can. You asked about my reasons... For myself I am waiting for my kids to grow up because once I 'come out of the closet' so to speak I know that my wife will not be able to handle it and we will probably become separated. I attend church and the temple. I find it a peaceful time to relax and think about things I need to to or perhaps take a nap. I bring my smart phone to church and use the time to catch up on my comics. At your age your time is mostly social anyway. Think of the church as a club. Plus nobody is forcing you to pay tithing anyway. My wife does and it pains me to look at the thousands of dollars that we are throwing away when we have outstanding credit card bills that we could have paid off. Good luck to you my friend and remember that there are many around you who feel the same way but also cannot voice their opinions for fear of the repercussions it would generate. Look to the inactive / less actives for your examples. *See Mormon411

Mark Hill said...

Senigami, your advice is very helpful, thank you. It wouldn't be so hard for me if I wasn't having to lie all the time to keep friendships. I especially hate the interviews. I have always lied about masturbation, but now, I'll have to lie about every question. I don't know if I'll be able to do it. The bishop in my ward is a nice person who I respect, unlike many ex mormons who's stories I've read. The church forces you to make the choice between integrity and family. I don't see God in a church like that. These next four years are definitely going to be huge challenges.

Mark Hill said...

Mormon411, has blogging about your experiences helped you? I'm thinking of doing that to help me vent my frustrations with all the mormon teachings.

senigami said...

Mark, I appreciate your frustration, especially since as a youth you still have the annual and semi-annual interviews. When you are asked in the interview if there is anything that hasn't been resolved that you need to bring up you aren't lying when you say no. Their idea of sin is not the same as yours at this point. What is sin to an atheist? What are the ten commandments? (see

As an atheist you are held to a higher law than those in the church! You now have a greater respect for life and a greater responsibility to make this life the one worth fighting for. No more putting up with crap with the promise of something after you die. That is the rule of complacency that people in power love to push on to those they would subjugate. Yes for now you must play their games, which is really all it is. Like a child in a club house. If you want to play in the club house you must abide by the club house rules and pretend along with the rest.

When I first realized I was an atheist I was very angry and frustrated. Over time it will pass and I found that being able to talk with a few people about it has really helped. A family I know has left the church (still christian though) and I sometimes visit them and they accept me along with my atheism and understand why I can't leave yet. Those are the kind of people I wish to associate with, (those who can truly accept without judgement) and look forward to the right time when you and I can both do as Mormon411 has done and remove these chains of Mormonism, but until then you need to find your center of peace and decide what is truly important in your life. For me it is my relationships with my family. I value that more than anything and am willing to give up a few hours now and then in order to be happy. What do I care what people wish to believe in? As an atheist church still contains some benefits. I encourage you to read "Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion" if you can find a copy. Hang in there, it gets easier.

Mormon411 said...


You mentioned that you blog.. What is the address? I'd be thrilled to trade links with you.

Thanks for that amazing insight. We each have our own time to make our beliefs known. I find that it's easier to get through life by saying as little as possible. If I am with family and they want to bless their food, I am quiet and respectful. My family is aware of my views but we have so many that are out of the church that it's not as big of a OMG type thing. I've been lucky in that generally, my family and friends have been very non-judgmental of me. I am divorced however as my ex-wife couldn't handle it. She chose the church over her own family like a good little Mormon. So, yes, I've suffered my losses but I'd do it all again. It was not me who chose to end things. I will never end a friendship or relationship over religion. If ties are ever broken, it is because someone else did it.

Mark, you face a tough decision. If you choose to keep your mouth shut until you are 18, it will be hard. I personally could not do it. You could choose to go rogue, but you really are at the mercy of your parents, and if they are anything like my mom, they will make sure you pay the price for daring to question god. This is the challenge that every ex-Mormon faces. It's just sad that we cannot simply believe as we want without having to worry about how they will make us pay the price. I would expect better behavior from those in "the only true church" but it is what it is. Jesus would never condone the way they treat apostates.

Yes, I have found that blogging helps. It has helped me but has also helped others like yourself. I would make one suggestion: do not blog under your real name. If you choose to do so, I'd be happy to link to you as well.

I always hated interveiws, even when I had nothing to hide! I hated having my personal life opened up and examined. I always felt that 1) only "god" can determine my worthiness, and 2) if they had the spirit of discernment, they wouldn't need to ask me. I fibbed through some of my interviews and they never seemed to catch it.

Another great website to visit is They have forums where you can post new topics, ask questions, and receive feedback from many before you who have been in your shoes. There is a huge archive of articles and stories there too. I have spent many hours on that website. Another would be There are thousands of articles on this website.

"Trapped" is exactly how I felt my entire life. I never would have admitted it at the time, but I always felt like it was blackmail. "Choose" to comply with every rule and commandment OR be cast off from the presence of those you love. I never felt that god was someone who loved me. I felt he was someone who was looking for any excuse to damn me to hell.

Mormon411 said...


One more thought. I found out the truth about the church at a much later age than you, so I never had to worry quite so much about being punished by my parents. However, I feel that my entire youth was stolen from me. I was so worried about staying righteous that I never allowed myself to have any fun. You are still young and still have time to enjoy your childhood. And you'll never have to suffer the horrors of a mission! Be grateful for that! It was like being in a prison camp. They dictate everything to you. They manipulate everything you do. They watch you like a hawk and threaten you with hell if you don't comply to every rule; since you are a missionary, you can come under greater condemnation for noncompliance. It was awful and I hated it.

Heather said...

This conversation is why I love this blog. =)

Great post, great responses. =)

Mark Hill said...

Something I find interesting about missions is how before it they feel the "spirit" so strongly and know it's the right choice, but then they go on their mission and realize the emperor has no clothes. They talk only about what they're doing on their mission, no gospel or love. Then when they come home, they are think it was their problem, so they preach how great it was. Or, they come home and realize they were in a fantasy world and have a hard time adjusting. They are extremely judge mental (like my cousin). He came home and took an internship in Texas. He dad is a cheap (but rich executive), so he stays with my aunt and her new wife. He tells them they are to hell for not honoring the sabbath day. Her husband is now an exmormon. The missionary program is all about creating mindless tithe payers. They keep telling us the profit individually assigns missions through revelation, but why then do we need to fill out an application? Where does he get that much time with thousands of applications a day? I'm glad I got of this before I wasted my while young life.

senigami said...

@Mormon411, about the blog, sorry I have no blog to link with you. I was just referring to the few veiled posts that I make on Facebook, trying to get my believer friends to expand their views. I try to come up with ways to educate them without sounding like I am. Perhaps if there is interest I will make a blog for that sort of thing. I'd love some contributions from readers to create a reference for friendly educational posts to members.

Mormon411 said...

Heather, thanks! Feel free to throw in your two cents. How have your family and friends reacted to your leaving the church?

Mark, the mission is a very interesting experience. As members, we are/were taught to follow the guidance of the spirit. However, on the mission, they handed out a little white rule book to everyone. It was to be kept in our shirt pockets just behind the name badges. This little white book was the Bible of the missionary. There was no "follow the spirit". It was all about "follow the rules". I was amazed at how they didn't even try to hide the fact that they wanted us to be robots. They wanted 150% obedience and compliance. I figured out very early on that the missionary program was not inspired. God would not try to take away my identity. He would want me to use my personal strengths and attributes to touch people's lives. It horrifies me to think that if the Mormon church ever did "fill the whole earth," as is their goal, that this is how they would rule. They would take away your identity and your freedom. Although I still believed in the church many years after my mission, it was, no doubt, the first step in my seeing the truth.

My first companion was an absolute drill sergeant and I nearly had a nervous breakdown with him. He was so controlling and manipulative that I had to escape him by locking myself in the bathroom while he sat outside and kept trying to manipulate me through the door. If I didn't comply, he would be on the phone with all the mission leaders to tell them how "hard hearted" I was being. I got more than one visit from the DL to figure out what my problem was. How could I tell them that he was being abusive when all he was trying to do was to enforce the precious mission rules? He came out smelling like roses and I took all the shit. I was a junior companion my entire mission. I don't know how, but I managed to complete the entire two years although it was hell most of the time.

I hated knocking on doors, not because of the proslyting itself, but because I knew the people didn't want us to bother them. Door knocking was so utterly ineffective and the winters where I served were bitter cold. My best memories were visiting with member families and getting in a little subtle flirting with their daughters, lol! I was a good missionary, but I never bought into the philosophy that I had to strictly obey every rule in order to be effective. People often told me I was their favorite missionary they had ever known. I didn't need a stupid rule book. I just needed to be allowed to be myself.

The church is a cult, cult, cult. They will take everything that you are willing to give. They will rape you of your time, energy, talents, and money. They will teach you you're never good enough and only by being more obedient to them can you ever hope to reach that unattainable goal of perfection. The members are literally prisoners and slaves. So I blog in the hopes that I can reach those very few people who just feel that something isn't quite right.

Senigami, if you ever do decide to blog, please let me know. Maybe I'll start a FB page, but I don't know if I really have the time or desire to do that.

Mark Hill said...

I asked for advice on my situation on exmormon. The people there are more Christlike and helpful than most mormon I know. They are smart and don't buy into lies. I'll post a link if you want to take a look.,1111270,1111767#msg-1111767

Mormon411 said...

Yes, there really are some wonderful people there. It's sad and ironic that the most Christlike people you will ever know are those who the church labels as apostates.

That's a lot of great advice there and I would have to say I'd also recommend the course of keeping your mouth shut for now and going through the motions. Save your money and make a plan. Paypal does pay a small amount of interest so that's worth looking into.

You're a damn smart kid and I'm sure you will be just fine!

One person made a comment that really struck me:

"This is the only church that I know of where people regularly lie to belong and get kicked out for telling the truth!"

Heather said...

Since you asked @Mormon411..

The first 6 months things with my family was strained (mostly with my parents). I lost most of my friends, and also my best friend- that was one of the most painful things I've ever gone through. Not only was she my best friend, she's my (soon to be ex) sister in law.

But I survived. Most of us all do. Luckily I left with my husband (who lead me to questioning) so we were able to lean on each other, cry together, be each others rock. There is no way I would have been strong enough to do it alone.

I've since gained better friends and the relationship I have with my TBM family is actually pretty good. I don't share my opinion too often and I play nice at family gatherings. Its better that way. I'd rather keep things going this way than loose it all with a couple of verbal tangents.

I'd say I'm pretty lucky. So much more so than some of the unfortunate experiences I've read about.

Mormon411 said...


I'm sorry to hear about your losses but it certainly could have been worse. In these moments, we discover who our true friends really are. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your best friend, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Obviously, I don't know you in person, but what I do know of you, I think you're an amazing woman and anyone would be a fool to stop being your friend.

It's very rare when a couple leaves together. Usually, one or the other will stay in the church and this causes stress which ends many marriages. I'm so glad that your husband was able to share what he found with you and that you were open minded and receptive. It's awesome that you had each other to lean on. I would have given ANYTHING to get that kind of support from my ex-wife. ANYTHING!

Heather said...

Thanks Mormon 411:).

I was lucky and I try not to take that for granted. The new friends I've been able to gain are much more grounded and rounded in their lives. It's important to have friends that challenge you and keep things honest- and I've never had that till now.

My husband and I are rare in the case that we left together. I'm so sorry about your situation I really hope you are in a happy/ content place, or are at least working towards that. I cringe when one would rather cling to a thing than a real person:(

I'm so glad to see you blogging again- at least for now:)

Mormon411 said...

Thanks, Heather, I'm slowly recovering; I lost everything except a few pieces of furniture. My ex and I had other issues too so it wasn't entirely the religion thing, but it certainly didn't help.

senigami said...

Well Mormon411, you asked for it and so I am happy to provide it for you. I have set up a blog at and I welcome any visitors. Thank you for your interest. Not a lot of posts at the moment. It was hard enough to get everything set up just they way I wanted it. Just made my first post on it today and hope to have more to come. Thank you for your inspiration to do this.

Mormon411 said...

You're very welcome. I'm very glad you have decided to do it. The more voices we have out there, the more people we can free from it.

Just imagine a future where people like you and I don't have to worry about how our families will retaliate when they find out we no longer believe. I strongly believe the LDS church destroys lives and families. No one should have to worry about being persecuted for their beliefs, and that includes ex-Mormons and atheists!

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