Mormons Resigning Membership
Gregory W. Dodge, Supervisor
Mr. Dodge seems to be keeping busy these "Latter-Days" keeping up with the fleeing sheep. The church has had to hire on new people just to keep up.
If you are considering purging
your membership in the LDS Church please check out
these links which were created to answer numerous requests of these webmasters for assistance on how to exit the Mormon Church :
Black Sheep Roster The only spot on the net where exmormons post their names, reasons for leaving and date of official name removal. Contains examples and resignation stories.
MormonNoMore.com Advice and example letter on how to officially resign your LDS membership
Click here for a related site The Mormon God of Growth
George Washington resigns from Mormon Church
Dear Mr. Dodge,
This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as The Mormons, to be acted upon post haste. I request that my name not be counted among the inflated numbers of this organization. Since I was not able to give my consent, being dead and all, to being baptized into this poor excuse for a religion I demand that you quit thinking of me as a member.
I have given this matter considerable thought as I have nothing better to do since I'm dead. I laugh at what you call the 'seriousness' of my request. Oh sonny, if you only knew what I knew! I have two words for you to ponder - worm food! Afterlife, schmafterlife!
This request should be processed immediately, without any 'waiting periods', as I've been waiting long enough. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind.
I am asking for a simple administrative procedure under my constitutional right to practice freedom of religion. Take that! How ya like me now? I expect my request to be handled promptly. I consider the act of my baptism, which was done without my consent, harassment and an invasion of my privacy. You did not act with my best interest at heart nor could you have possibly known what I wanted. How damn presumptuous can you get?
P.S. Take that picture of the Founding Fathers coming to visit the temple down immediately. We consider it to be very vulgar!
(Editor's notes in parentheses)
I know (Yup, just like you "know" the church is true.)that my opinion will not be posted because of your pride (Thanks for the condescending self-righteous judgment) and that you know (Thanks for making assumptions on my part.) that people will read it and know (Thanks for your spirit of prophecy and ability to predict the behavior of thousands of people.) that it is true. Well let me tell all of you that there maybe so mormons that are not very commited (How about just plain ol' realistic?) but that is no reason to say that we as a church are more mean than the nazi's. We do don't kill (Heard of Mountain Meadows Massacre?) and we don't hate (Exclude Blacks and homosexuals.) and if their is a mormon that hates then that person has some work to do. We are a kind church we give out money and we give out clothes and shelter to the needy, since 2000 we have given out 170,000 wheelchairs to people that cannot afford them. (Isn't that the main fucntion of a church? The LDS church provides the least amount of humantarian aid per overall budget than any other major denomination. What humanitarian aid is given by the LDS church is a tiny fraction of its overall budget.) We do more for the community than most churches will ever do. (Better get to checking the facts on this one and how utterly presumptuous, pompous and insulting for you to say this.) And for your information we are Christian we believe that without him as an influence in our lives that we would be mis-guided. And all of you that think that the mormon church is wrong and all the members are corrupt i challenge you to pray to our Fathter in Heaven having real intent and ask him if the mormon church is true and if you are serious and really want to know then he will give you the answer (I did this and like most people, get an answer that says "Stay away from Mormonism, it's a spiritual disaster.) but until then i suggest that you stop bashing on a religion that all it wants to do is be happy here on earth unitl our return to our Father in heaven.
Oh by the way i think your web page needs a new format because it looks just like a LDS webstie. (Now you are showing some brilliance here. The web page is a parody of www.lds.org. It's supposed to look like the LDS web site. Mormon's don't get a lot of humor, sarcasm and parody. They are too serious about their silly beliefs and culture to catch on.) What's the matter no inpiration since you all left the church. But there is one thing that i want you to laugh at and that is this: that more you rag on our church and the more you try and make us look bad the more we have strenght and by the way why would Satan try and destroy a church that isn't true. (Then why are Mormons leaving in droves since the Internet arrived? Click here to view the statitistic on LDS vs. Internet.) I love you all but i don't love the way you treat such a kind bunch of people.
I Leave you with this message in the name of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ.Amen.
God be with you till we meet again. (No thanks, and I don't think God is any too anxious to meet up with your type soon either.)
Stake President Flooded with Resignation Requests
My brother is an Stake President on the east coast, and we very rarely talk about the church as part of our agreement. However, last weekend I flew back to see his one son graduate from college and his daughter from high school.
On the way back from the airport he made this comment, “It is people like you that are making my life terrible.” I asked “what people”? He said all these people who are resigning from the church and ones that I have to hold “Courts of Love” for.
His comment was that he receives about 25 resignation letters a month. Over half are from people who have never attended in the area, the rest from inactives. They are holding on an average of one Court of Love each week.
He asked why do people resign in such great numbers? I tried to explain that is was the only way to get peace and quiet from the church. He explained that under the new directives that each person or family that submits their resignation letter must be visited by a Home Teacher or be interviewed by the bishop before they can be released.
I asked why. He stated that the church wanted to know why they are losing so many members. I asked are they going to do anything about once they find out? I love this comment. "Well that will be up to Gordon B Hinckley. Then he went on to say that since they don’t have enough Home Teachers to handle all of these, sometimes it is taking up to 4 months to get them processed.
I gave him an idea of just approving them and send them a letter. He said “I can’t. That would be against church policy". About that time we arrived at his house and the conversation ended.
He can’t understand why people are leaving in such numbers. His stake is down 25% since last year and the inactivity rate is about 40-50%. Now that is according to him. So much for the fastest growing church.
Ex-Mormons, contrary to how most TBM's view them, actually find more joy, fulfillment and happiness outside the LDStraightjacket because the narrow limitations imposed upon them by the Church are removed. They are then freer to explore many things beyond the rigid confines of a Mormon life. - 05/29/2003 - giordandelros
Brainwashing ourselves into a testimony
Growing up in the church, I heard the most outrageous things about why, as a girl, I was inferior. Of course it was never put that way, it was always couched in the most patronizing language. It reminds me of the John Lennon song, Woman is the Nigger of the World. "While putting her down, we pretend that she's above us," all of that false respect and bullshit that the women really are running the church through their husbands.
When other girls would parrot these things in self-loathing ways, it made me sick. It's really weird and sexually masochistic.
I also hated being told what to read and see, being admonished not to learn about anything that might not agree with church doctrine, as though our minds our fragile and we will be tempted away very easily. Well, they were right: if you consider things intellectually, neutrally, or scientifically, you discover that's its a bunch of hogwosh.
This is the hardest part for me: since heaven is being with your family, and I am not going to heaven, I have also ruined it for my mother-- and I think that is a huge factor in why people feel so horrible and guilty for not staying in the church, brainwashing themselves into having a testimony.
What one "loses" is more than made up for with what one gains . . .
A friend of mine, Marthy Nibley Beck (daughter of Hugh Nibley who, with her husband, John, left the Church back in 1993), told me of a recurrent dream she had as she was taking her path out of Mormonism.
In it, she found herself standing on the edge of a chasm, looking down into an abyss. She would hear a voice telling her, "Jump!," but she was too frightened to do so. This same dream scenario occurred many times, always with the same ending.
Then, the ending finally changed. She found herself, as usual, on the edge of the chasm, looking down into the abyss, and hearing the voice, "Jump!"
This time she followed the voice and jumped. Instead of falling, she floated skyward.
Leaving the Mormon Church was for me, as well, a jump--to freedom. It began my long overdue journey into the expanse of individuality.
I have found that the Mormon Church has only as much hold on you as you allow it to--that if you overcome your fears of rejection, of the unknown, of the concern of others, of the worry about what might be lost in terms of family and friends and, instead, focus on what will be gained--if you follow your inner voice, your own light, and jump, then you have only done what you must do:
You have been true to yourself.
Yes, I have lost some things in that jump: some friends, some family, some security that comes from traditional community.
But I have found so much more: personal peace, individual freedom, closeness with those family and friends who understand and accept, the joy of living in the moment, new opportunities to see the world from different perspectives and with unique and perceptive people, a wealth of heretofore unexplored experiences, the excitement of discovering and validating one's heart and head--all without the shackles of an oppressive religious cult trying to clip your wings, deny your essence and suck you dry.
Overcoming the fear and jumping is the best thing I ever did. I HAD to do it. It was the only thing I could do.
And I am so much better for it.
The losses pale in comparison to the gains.
I would recommend it to anyone.
JUMP--and enjoy the ride.
Priesthood "Daddies" - Internet
It seems that even better than "disillusion with the doctrine", the internet is grabbing "daddies" like there is no tomorrow. These TBM Priesthood holders are going on the internet porn sites and finding better "pieces of candy" than the one they got at the temple altar. These daddies then start corresponding in the chat rooms and suddenly, they have a better exit plan than sending a request into the church membership department. I would venture a guess that every person who visits this site can name at least two families that have broken up because the daddy tells mommy that he has found someone who is his true soulmate. Personally I count seven families in my ward. The sad part is that mommy is left wondering what "sin" she committed (or is Jesus testing her faith)?
User Friendly Resignations
We need a site on the Internet where people can go sign in their name and request excommunication or removal from the records of the church - like this:
Let's make it easier to leave than go through the bullshit of church politics. I waited 6 months to be told I was no longer a member.
Happy Valley Hatred
However, since I reside in "happy valley" Utah, the ostracism, slander and gossip continue to this day. I think much of the "persecution" that the LDS church speaks about they bring on to themselves; look at the way they treat people who don't want to belong! It just confirms to me how the LDS church is really a cult and not Christian in any sense of the word.
I never knew that people could be so capable of hate (since the nazis) until I lived among the Mormons. With this in mind, I can see how the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened.
10/24/2000 - Elsewhere at Recovery BBS
I get the church news to see where new stakes are created. In 1995-1997 over 100 stakes were created each year throughout the world. In 1998 89 new stakes were created. Last year. 1999, 37 new stakes were created. Thus far in 2000 (through September 2000), 30 new stakes have been created. Three years in a row of decline. The church news does not publish stakes that have been dissolved. I will have to wait til the Church Almanac comes out to see that information, if the church will still do it.
08/23/2000 - anon
I got *the* letter yesterday, after almost a year. The delay was basically due to the lazy bishop who apparently just ignored my first letter. It took a couple of calls to Greg Dodge at Confidential Membership Records to make him act.
The letter says (capitalization intact):
Dear Brother XXXX,
This letter is to notify you that, in accordance with your request, you are no longer a member of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Should you desire to become a member of the church in the future, the local bishop or branch president in your area will be happy to help you.
The signature is printed on the letter, not even done by a signature machine. The last letter I got from Dodge was actually signed. They must be running a lot of name removals to have automated it more than their other correspondence.
Also noticeably absent was any kind of letter begging me to reconsider or come back. I remember others mentioning such a thing last year. Maybe they've given up.
Marrying Mikiko at BYU
I served entirely in small remote areas. I worked hard and I put all unrelated thoughts out of my mind. I spoke exclusively Japanese the last 30 months and I had not even seen a white female face more than once during the three years of my mission. I hardly recognized my mother at the airport when I returned and my sisters had all grown and changed beyond comprehension. They were complete strangers to me. They had such big round eyes, huge ears, and even more enormous ugly noses. Their frizzy hair had gone several shades lighter. They were monstrously tall and gawky, with embarrassingly large breasts and buttocks, hands and feet. Worse, they were such an ill-mannered pack; noisy, immodest, tacky, rude, vain, and selfish in comparison with the traditional women of Japan. In reality my family had not changed beyond the expected development of three years, but my perception of reality had been altered profoundly. Of course most new potiental girlfriends shared these intolerable characteristics.
I met Mikiko at BYU my first Sunday at church. We were both at about the same stage of cultural shock. I felt strongly drawn to her and I atributed this attraction to the Spirit. I worked through another person to discretely arrange our first date. We went to a Japanese restarant in Salt Lake with another mixed race couple and had a wonderful time. The next day I took her to a fireside to hear one of the apostles speak. The topic was marriage and I was deeply touched. I proposed marriage to Mikiko in Japanese during the closing song. Tears streamed down her face.
We hiked part way up Mt. Timp the next morning to read favorite scriptures to each other and to pray together. In my entire life I have never had such overpowering, strong spiritual experiences. We felt that angels were nearby ministering to us and if they had appeared it would not have surprized us. The next 80 years of our life seemed to be trivial and we could taste the future glory of the celestial kingdom. While sluffing classes up on Timp, we were in such a ecstatic spiritual state that we felt that we had recieved the more sure word of prophecy, that our calling and election had been made sure. We knew it more powerfully than anyone could know anything. Our prior strong testimonies of the gospel in comparison to this elated spiritual experience seemed like the little granite pebbles at our feet in comparison to the newly discovered colossal snow-capped peaks surrounding us.
We visited our Bishop to arrange to be married in a couple weeks and he did not express any concern. My mother gasped at the news and my father called me a "damned fool rushing into marriage like this." I was beyond listening to them and soon found myself kneeling across the temple altar. An elderly senile stranger made crude tangential comments (I was thankful for Mikiko's poor English skills) and then he sealed us as man and wife for time and all eternity.
Problems began on our honeymoon. The words of a missionary companion came crashing into my mind describing his idea of sex with a Japanese girl: "It would be like jacking off in a knothole of a 2 X 12." We persevered but flunked midterm exams. Using the Spirit to answer multiple choice questions didn't work very good even at BYU. We dreaded every night, coming up with plausible excuses or trying to perform. Mikiko missed her period and we were so thankful for this most convient excuse and went through another round of spiritual rapture not nearly as strong as the previous one. Then she got sick and I gave her a couple of Priesthood blessings but she got worse. When I thought she might die, I took her to the hospital. They said she wasn't pregnant, they easily addressed the problem, and sent us home with some pills. Modern medicine certainly made my Priesthood appear weak and inefffective.
During these trials something else was beginning to happen. I started to return to my previous more normal personality and perceptions. My brothers and sisters talked to me about my mission and our previous adventures and I reinterpreted many of them. Some of the hot BYU chicks with their alittle too short skirts started to attract my attention. Forgotten hobbies (basketball, auto mechanics, hiking) beckoned to me. At the same time my perfect little doll of a Japanese wife began to be Americanized and I did not like it. When she tried to act like my sisters she was such a jerk. Suddenly we were two entirely different people who hardly knew each other. We no longer were attracted to each other, in fact we hated each other. Politely but deeply.
After finals when it was obvious that our careers at BYU would be short, we went for a drive. Completely by accident we stumbled onto the old WWII Japanese concentration camp down in Topaz. Mikiko was shocked and outraged that 3rd and 4th generation Japanese Americans lost their homes and were imprisoned in this desolate place and left to die right in the middle of the Mormon kingdom. If this could happen to them, then it could happen to her. Why had not the Prophet tried to free these people?
I did not think it was so bad. They were the Enemy and they attacked Pearl Harbor. California was next and they would have helped with the invasion. "But you Americans dropped the bomb on Hiroshima!" she cried. It saved millions of Americans and probably tens of millions of Japanese lives, I contended. We might still be at war. "As far as I am concerned we still are!" and she stormed off. Enraged I chased her down. I tackled her and started to choke her. I was so mad at her.
She hitched a ride home with a family of non-Mormon Japanese folks and spent a few days with them. I don't know what they told her but it changed her outlook for good. In dignified silence she packed a few cloths and left me. The eternal marriage lasted less than 5 months. She left the church and returned to Japan to patch things up with her family. If you have any understanding of the Japanese ideal of perservance in the face of all difficulty (gambaru), then you can appreciate the gravity of this act. I am surprized that she didn't commit suicide.
I don't care how strong you claim your spiritual experiences have been. I have experienced these feelings as deeply as I can imagine. I was raised in a good but less than perfect Mormon family and I had a good mission. The overpowering personal revelation I recieved one Monday morning on Mt. Timp was as close to heaven as I believe one could get at the time. Yet I was wrong. Dead wrong. If I could be so wrong about Mikiko, I could be wrong about most anything else. And so might you. Of course our senses and even our rational minds can decieve us too. In this life we walk by Faith. I do not hold the Mormon church or my family responsible for my stupid actions. Much of what is taught in Mormonism is good and I still love the Mormon people. They are my people. But some things they teach are not right. Spiritual experiences can be a great source of creativity and motivation. They can be comforting in times of grief. But they are not infallible. Anyone who believes otherwise is setting themselves up for a disaster such as my temple marriage.
I told my Bishop about my feelings as frankly as I possibly could. He said that, if what I reported was true, then I would be, by definition, the first actual "Son of Perdition" he had ever personally met. At that point I felt it was my responsibility to leave the church. How could I deny my own experience? Mikiko got hurt badly and so did I. Neither one of us will ever really get over it.
It is up to each of us to figure out what is good for us and what is not. And to strive to make the church better or else to leave it.
A Salt Lake City Ex-Mormon Presbyterian Minister's Take On LDS Growth
Thanks for calling me "Neal" rather than using some ecclesiastical honorific. I am only aware of a couple of phenomena that may indicate trends among ex-Mormons joining churches.
First, however, I'm a career-change cleric. I graduated from a Presbyterian seminary in 1991. The seminary was small, about 150 Master's of Divinity students (small like that is not unusual, however). I was also one of four ex-Mormons at my school. After I left I know at least two other ex-Mormons enrolled, one of them a former Bishop/Stake President from Utah. As far as I know, I'm one of four ex-Mormon clerics serving along the Wasatch Front. But one of them is the Anglican Bishop! Another is a young man serving as an associate pastor of an Evangelical Free Church in Orem, Utah (next to Provo/BYU).
That ministry setting is 96% Mormon, but the EVFree congregation is pushing toward 500 worshipers a week. At the moment their ex-Mormon constituency is around 35-40%, but has been as high as 70% in the past (but they keep attracting Gentiles, which dilutes the exmormon component).
A Baptist congregation near me has grown to over 800 members and has attracted several hundred ex-Mormons, a significant number of them former Bishops and Stake authorities. Another Baptist new church start in Draper ('way south of Salt Lake City, half way to Provo) reported that when a local Mormon Bishop was released from his job (the usual 3-year rotation), the next Sunday he showed up at the Baptist church with his electric bass guitar in hand and joined their praise band! He hasn't been back to the ward since.
Related to this may be the growing phenomena of contemorary worship that uses rock and roll music in worship. At Westminster we are large enough to have two services of worship, one "traditional" with organist-choir-hymnody, and the other "contemporary" with electric guitars and bass-electronic keyboard-drum kit-congas-vocal ensemble-front singer. The participants in the traditional service (including in the pews) are mostly Gentiles. The participants in the contemporary worship are mostly ex-Mormon!
The churches along theWasatch front that are attracting the most ex-Mormons are those that rock Sunday mornings. I'm the 52-year-old lead guitarist in my praise band ... All that to say, ex-Mormons aren't "flooding" the Trinitarian Christian churches here in Utah, but there is a steady flow. It would be difficult to detect trends elsewhere because Mormons are such a small component of other population groups. My church appears to be growing at a rate of 40-60 members a year (we're still trying to assess the pace of our growth -- we're the size of two Wards now and could be as large as a Stake in a few years).
Each new member class typically attracts between a fourth or half of the new members from Mormon backgrounds. So, I don't know what the situation is outside of Utah. But Mormonism as a culture is quite a bit less healthy in Utah than elsewhere.
Utah has over 2,100,000 people, less than 250,000 are Gentiles. Utah also has the 10th highest suicide rate in the USA, and is always in the top 3 in the USA in divorce rates and spousal/child abuse cases. When Mormons from outside of Utah relocate here they often do not like the character of the culture.
The typical ex-Mormon we see walking through the doors at Westminster is recovering from ecclesiastical shell-shock. As you probably know, the typical disaffected Mormon is pretty burnt out on institutional religion and often loathe to give any other church a try. It took me over eight years to seriously look at an alternative to Mormonism.
The surprise to me was how historic Christianity had been misrepresented to me as a Mormon. The Christianity that Mormons object to has never existed. For example: I'm a Presbyterian. I've never been anything but a Presbyterian Christian since I became "churched" again. However, the last church I served was the oldest Baptist congregation in the particular California county I lived in (Marin County, just north across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco). I spent six years telling Baptists to repent ... it doesn't get better for a Presbyterian!
During that service to the Baptists I was also approached by an ecumenical officer of the local Roman Catholic Diocese. Fadda Tom's approach was to see how inclined I would be to become a Roman priest (and my marriage was no obstacle). I would not have been the first married Presbyterian cleric to have switched to Catholicism. I gave that offer a serious look, but didn't feel any sense of God's Call to make the switch.
The 1.5 billion Christians out there are no where nearly as divided as I was taught as a Mormon. All the essential doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ are exactly the same in the Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox communions. The differences are mostly in style and emphasis. Which leads to the one clear trend out there for ex-Mormons.
The largest Roman Catholic facility (parish church/school/rectory etc.) in the United States is in Sandy, Utah, the next city to the south of Salt Lake City. I'm trying to track down the exact data, but it seems that close to half of the ex-Mormons who move on to a different church become Roman Catholics! And compared to Protestants, the Catholics thrive in Utah -- there's about 200,000 of them. I was totally unaware of this trend until just a few months ago.
I agree, the PC may be the great challenge to Mormon obsfucation. I'm fairly well informed about real Mormon history and practice, and the Internet is a great resource. My current "Mormon Project" is tracking down how widespread the practice of polyandry was during the Nauvoo period. Polyandry was certainly going on, but I'd like to know how many Mormon women were enjoying multiple husbands (and you won't find any talk about that kind of stuff in the Gospel Doctrine class down at the Ward!).
OK -- 1986 was the last year the Ensign published a full Statistical Report. I had been tracking decades of Improvement Era/Ensign Statistical Reports and analyzing the numbers.
For example, in the decade up to 1986 you could see the growth in "Priests" in the Aaronic Priesthood report and then compare that growth figure with the expansion of the number of missionaries. Guess what? While the cohort (to use a sociological term -- I have graduate level training in the sociology of religion) of priests expanded at a particular rate, the number of new missionaries didn't begin to keep up -- meaning: in the decade up to 1986 the number of Mormon young men willing to serve on missions declined by about 40%.
And the decline in the percentage of Mormons receiving their Endowments was down to less than 1% and slipping more every year. But, since 1986, the Mormons won't publish their numbers any more ... I don't blame them.
And not incidentally, when I left the Mormon church (became inactive) I was holding a Temple Recommend.
The interesting challenge for ministry up here is helping exmormons realize there is a church life after Mormonism -- but that post-Mormon church life will be very different than their Mormon experience. For example, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend our teenagers showed up at church dressed for rock climbing. And directly after our celebrations of divine worship, we carpooled to Farmington Canyon to spend the rest of the Sabbath day on Buttcrack Rock. All three of the climbing guides working with the kids were exmormons and affiliated with Westminster church. In fact, this year I have baptized the new infants of two of the climbers, the third climber was me.
And when the day was done, I gave each of my climbing associates one of my fine, Dominican Republic, Cuban-seed, cigars.
Life in the Church of Jesus Christ is not only very different than Mormonism, it's a lot more reasonable and fun!
Westminster Presbyterian Church is on the Net at http://www.angelfire.com/ut/westminster/
08/11/2000 - Comments for Bro. Neal Humphrey
A couple comments, really side issues. First Utah is only about 70% Mormon and that percent is falling. Which gives you at least 600,000 "gentile" Utahns out of about 2 million, not the 250,000 you mention. I point this out because it bears on the other stats you mention. Utah divorce rates, suicide rates, and so forth are not equal to Mormon rates anymore. In fact Mormons use the same figures to show how all those "wicked Gentiles" are ruining the state.
Suicide rates are measured in various ways. Successful suicides are more frequent in young people. In populations with large numbers of young people, the suicide rate will be higher. Utah with its enormous population of teenagers and college age students should have the highest suicide rate in the nation by far, everything else being equal. Actually, age adjusted suicide rates in Utah rather closely match national averages. This is not surprizing. If you have ever dealt with suicide you realize that it has little to do with spiritual fulfillment or the lack thereof. Most suicides are the result of severe depression, and other organic conditions, such as schizophrenia, or less commonly the result of alcoholism, drug abuse and a variety of complex factors. Many good decent religious people with terminal cancer kill themselves to avoid the pain and suffering. Why a suicide rate is even mentioned in the discussion of religion is about as relevant as the average stool volume. And I think we both can agree that Mormon or not, any suicide rate above zero is too high.
Similar demographic problems plague divorce rates. Young people have higher divorce rates. Where would we include non-temple Mormon marriages to be fair? How about the equivolent in other denominations? In addition some, but not all groups of Gentile couples tend to live together first before marriage, and they may or may not marry or split up after some period of time ranging from days to years. Divorce rates are strongly related to the year since the marriage began along with age and other factors. How one handles these common-law marriages in their statistical analysis has an enormous impact on a divorce rate. The first year of marriage is the most risky. Often it is not even part of the study. If a couple lives together for two years then marries, when did the marriage begin? Is it more valid to compare that relationship to the first year of a temple marriage or to the third year? I don't know how to "adjust" for these differences with no clear and consistent definition of when marriage even begins or what relationships are marriages. Some States regard any cohabitation beyond a night or two as a common-law marriage. How can comparison of a divorce rate have any meaning at all when the definition of what constitutes a marriage is no longer consistent?
Rates of criminal activity such as spouse and child abuse are even more dicy. Do you compare conviction rates? The Law, definition of a crime, and courts are quite different from State to State. The threshold for pleading out a case to lesser charges versus throwing people in jail forever is highly variable. All of these crimes are believed to be vastly under-reported so accurate comparisons are impossible to make. Yet those who work these cases will tell you that a large portion of the reports are without alot of merit. For example couples in the middle of nasty custody battles will make all kinds of false accusations of this nature against each other. Again I don't see how you can say Utah has a better or worse record than anywhere else.
At least you didn't trot out the well worn latter-day rumors about ritualized sexual abuse, incest, anorexia, and obesity.
It is mildly irritating when the LDS church misuses statistics to paint its own rosey picture. It is equally irritating when other ministers do the same thing, and claim the Utah/Mormon sky is falling.
I do not live in Utah anymore. I have lived in several places in the United States, and I consider Utah a pretty nice place to live. Better than most places but not better than all of them, especially in certain catagories. One thing I find most interesting is how Utah has become so thoroughly secularized like its neighbor California, in comparison to the Deep South. And how oblivious most current Utahns are to this regardless of their religious preference.
I would like to see us all work to make the place where we live better, regardless of where it may be. And I think Bro. Neal would agree.
04/19/2000 - Bob, a True Believing Mormon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Also the zero population growth movement is a Mormon conspiracy. We talk everyone else into quitting and we continue having large families. Pretty soon lots more of us and lots fewer of "them".
We must be the true church to have created so much opposition. I do love the Anti-Mormon and Ex Mormon sites. There is nothing to fear in them, much to learn and a lot of falmes to be sent.
05/30/2000 - anon
12/01/1999 - Lynn (re: calling the Church Office Building about name removal)
I called again and this time talked to a very nice man, I believe he said that his name was XXXXXXX. He apologized and told me that they were processing between 150 to 200 exits per day and there were only five (5) men available to do the work. He volunteered more information that I am sure he was supposed to. He seemed very nice but very "tired". So I am sure that they are "swamped".
11/30/1999 - Tami
I just called Greg Dodge, the very nice man in the Confidential Records center at church headquarters. He doesn't show my name being removed yet, but he stated that they had roughly a week's worth of backlog that they're working on. He said that if I didn't receive a letter from him in about a week stating that my name had been removed to call back. I asked him if that was standard and he said yes, they now send verification letters out to those who have requested name removal.
(Editor's Note: Mr. Dodge is apparently quite friendly with those leaving, and the entire department is handling things as best they can. As recently as May 2004, people in the Confidential Records department reached by telephone acknowledged the 150-200 resignations per day rate, and lack of manpower. Perhaps the Church should consider a new department; Membership Resignations.)
Anyway, two things immediately spring to mind:
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