Hundreds resign from LDS Church at mass event

SALT LAKE CITY – Hundreds of people gathered at City Creek Park in Salt Lake City Saturday to officially remove their names from the records of the LDS Church in a mass-resignation event. The event comes in the wake of the church’s policies concerning the children of same-sex couples which came to light Nov. 5.

Event attends sign letters of resignation from the LDS Church, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News
Event attendees sign letters of resignation from the LDS Church, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News

During the event, which took place Saturday afternoon near the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is estimated that 1,500 people requested letters of resignation, attorney Mark Naugle told Fox 13 News.

The resignations come in response to the church’s policies concerning same-sex couples and their children. For those attending the mass-resignation, the camel’s back was finally broken.

“I’ve been a member my whole life, and it’s just kind of the final straw for me,” Connie Walker of Provo told Fox 13 News.

As reported by Fox 13 News, the event was organized by Lauren Elise McNamara who, along with her husband, signed letters asking to have their names removed from church records.

“I had said I’m done, but I wasn’t ready to do the paperwork, and then this hit and I said: ‘It has to happen now, I can’t wait any longer,’” McNamara said.

Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News
Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News

The church’s policies – which church officials have said are not new, but simply written-out clarifications – were put into effect Nov. 5. Written in the church’s “Handbook 1,” a book of instruction and guidelines for the church’s lay clergy, same-sex couples are declared “apostates” and subject to excommunication.

As for the children of same-sex couples, the policy amendments state the children are rendered ineligible for many church ordinances, such as baptism and receiving priesthood ordination, until after they are 18. However, they remain free to attend church meetings and activities.

Should the child of a gay couple want to join the church at that time, he or she must move out of their parents’ home and disavow the practice of same-sex marriage.

The idea behind the policy is to help avoid potential conflicts for the child between the church and their gay parents, church officials have said.

Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News
Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News

“Church leaders want to avoid putting little children in a potential tug-of-war between same-sex couples at home and teachings and activities at church,” said Michael Otterson, church public affairs managing director, in a statement released by the church Friday.

The statement was a part the LDS Church’s effort to further clarify the meaning of its amended policy that had left a flurry of questions and confusion in its wake for those inside and outside the church.

Church officials said the policy applies to children whose primary residence is with a same-sex couple. As for the children who have already been baptized or ordained to the priesthood and are active, their privileges in the church will not be rescinded.

Despite the offered clarification, hundreds still gathered at the mass-resignation event where Naugle helped them with forms that expressly stated participants’ desire to have their names removed from the records of the LDS Church.

Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News
Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News

Naugle gave attendees two forms: one that declares that person is resigning, and another that authorizes the attorney to act as his or her agent, so that the only communication the church can have is through the person’s attorney, said Tracie Parry, who shared her experience at the event with St. George News.

“(That’s) so that way (the church) can’t guilt trip us or tell our families or try to excommunicate us through a ‘court of love,’” she said.

The line for the forms was long and wrapped around two or three sides of the park, she said.

Like others, Parry was there to officially resign from the church, adding she hasn’t been active in the faith for years.

“I think that for a lot people that was the case,” she said. “I haven’t attended for years and years.”

Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News
Hundreds gathered at City Creek Park for an event involving the mass-resignation of Mormons from the LDS Church in protest of its policies toward the children of same-sex couples, Salt Lake City, Nov. 14, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Tracie Parry, St. George News

Fox 13 News reported that, according to a poll on the mass-resignation event Facebook page, only about 4 percent of people attending the event claimed to be active members of the LDS faith.

During the event, the mailbox used to deposit the letters was overflowing, Parry said.

“ … which I think is definitely a sign of how many people really support the LGBT population and don’t like what (the church) is doing to families,” she said. “… I really think the church has strayed from what it’s supposed to be.”

There was an outpouring of support for the soon-to-be-ex-Mormons, Parry said. From the street, drivers waved and honked their horns. Various ex-Mormon support groups were also at the park, having set up tables. Others t the event displayed signs protesting the church’s policies.

As reported by Fox 13 News, the LDS Church released the following statement regarding the mass-resignations:

We don’t want to see anyone leave the Church, especially people who have been struggling with any aspect of their life. The Church exists to build people and help them heal, and there isn’t one of us who doesn’t need help at some point in our lives. We hope that today’s guidance from Church leaders and the additional commentary will help provide understanding and context to some who may be considering resigning their membership. It’s extremely important that our members read what leaders have said, and do not rely on other sources or interpretations or what people think they have said.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , , , , , ,

39 Comments

  • St. G November 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Good for everbody.

  • Lastdays November 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I find it quite interesting for those who “resigned” their membership from the LDS Church because of this clarification issue.
    If their testimony in the basic beliefs and the gospel of this church were strong, something as trivial as this baptism clarification would not rattle them in the least. I haven’t thought twice about it. When times get hard, and they will, difficult things will be asked of people which will test their beliefs and convictions to what they stand for. Those who gave up over this would have been of no use when things get really, really difficult. So it’s probably for the better if they leave anyways. But we still love them.

  • proudpatriot November 15, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    As a LDS member you don’t need to resign you simply just don’t go.
    If your a Muslim and you don’t want to be a member are if you are gay you are dismembered and you don’t have to turn in a resignation first.
    Much easier ?

    • 42214 November 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Good comparison, LDS vs radical Islam.

      • .... November 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

        Hey why isn’t The Prophet Mesaman .in here defending his woman abusing. child molesting welfare fraud .tax dodging bigot cult. ..he must be out there collecting his flocks 10 %.

        • Rainbow Dash November 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm

          I was wondering the same thing. Maybe he did us all a favor and bought himself that bus ticket he was always going on about. I wonder where the Village Nutjob(Native Born New Mexican) is too. Maybe he finally decided that the internet had become to “obscene” for him so cancelled it like he did with TV so many years ago.

    • radioviking November 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      proudpatriot , Good thing US laws made changes to Utah after the 1890s; here is a quote from your prophet Brigham Young: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” Journal of Discourses Vol. 10 page 110.

      .
      Look it up! Brigham Young told the saints that everything he taught was scripture from God! His doctrine of blood atonement isn’t too far from Islamic Sharia Law! (Ouch for the Mormons!)

      .
      Death penalty for interracial relationships!?!? Wow, amazing how God changes His mind (blacks forbidden priesthood and ordinances of salvation) and you act like the LDS Church is socially benevolent. Look up what Brigham Young taught about homosexuals….. Do your homework before you get too self righteous and proud of your racist, bigoted, and forceful religion —–modern civility has made many blind to the church’s past leaders!

      .
      Not to mention Joseph Smith and his Danites mob (including his personal hit man Porter Rockwell killing off Joseph’s “adversaries”). Look it up if you really want to be honest with God.

      .
      Good luck.

  • BIG GUY November 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Hard to believe a same sex couple would want their child baptized as a member of church that refuses to baptize them. Where were these protesters when the church refused to baptize children of polygamous couples? Oh, that’s right, polygamists are bad so liberals don’t care about their children, but same sex couples are liberal darlings hence the outrage. Liberal identity politics and grievance politics at its worst.

    • Rainbow Dash November 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Big Guy, As a liberal allow me top correct your definition of what a Polygamist is. Outside of Utah a polygamist is defined as an adult who is married to, or in a marriage-like relationship with, multiple other ADULTS! In Utah, and only in Utah (in the U.S anyway), a “Polygamist” is a MORMON who is “married” to multiple children. Those of us who aren’t MORMON and don’t drink the Koolaid call those people PEDOPHILES. I do not take issues with Polygamists because POLYGAMISTS marry other ADULTS. I do have a problem with PEDOPHILES though, for obvious reasons.

      • Rainbow Dash November 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        Oh and as a liberal, I work my hardest to ensure those children are removed from those “people” and that way of life before any damage is done. Tell me, what have the Mormons been doing? Oh that’s right….they’ve spent the last few years focusing on gay people and telling everyone that they should be accepted everywhere….except the Mormon church that is. Now I don’t know what you think but that doesn’t sound like something Jesus would do, does it?

        • Citizen November 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

          Let me correct your definition of a homosexual. A homosexual person is defined as someone who is mentally ill including the desire to molest children.

          • GrandmaB November 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

            Citizen, that may be you rather sick and stupid view of homosexuals, but it isn’t the mainstream definition. So, don’t try to sound intelligent, you don’t. And isn’t it amazing that pedophiles would NEVER identify themselves as homosexual. I worked in corrections, in a prison setting for a long time and never once met a pedophile who identified HIM self as a homosexual. Interesting that! That isn’t to say there might not be one or two out there floating around somewhere. In other words, there are more self described heterosexuals who identify themselves as pedophiles. In fact the vast majority.

      • BIG GUY November 15, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        My comment was about polygamists, not pedophiles. Are you concerned that children of polygamist marriages are not allowed to join the LDS church? Or the Catholic church for that matter? If so, why haven’t you protested in the past? Same sex marriage is a liberal hot button and anyone who would dare to so much as express disapproval, much less take any action demonstrating disapproval, is a bigot in the liberal mind.
        .
        But I ask, who are the bigots? Liberals are closed-minded and intolerant while seeing themselves as open-minded and accepting. Recent events have demonstrated this clearly. Liberals prevent conservative speakers from appearing on liberal college campuses while insisting they value free speech. A college dean who dared say “all lives matter” was forced to back down and apologize by those who only allow “black lives matter.” Liberals champion “affirmative action” where people are categorized based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin, while calling those who do not prejudge people bigots. Liberals have inverted just about all real liberal values.

        • Rainbow Dash November 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

          You need to go back and read my comment again, BIG GUY. In this state the terms “Pedophile” and “Polygamist” are homologous. This is not true virtually anywhere else. If it is true what you said about the college dean, I agree that forcing him to back down was wrong. There are bad eggs in every basket. Personally, I do not judge individuals based any of the things you mentioned but I do judge based on actions taken and words spoken because I have common sense if someone or something is doing something I believe or know is wrong, I want no part of it and I will say why in the hopes that others will see the folly of it. Most of the time, I am right. I have no problem with individual Mormons. All of my closest friends are Mormons, the town I grew up in was 80% Mormon and most of the people I associate with both personally and professionally are Mormon. The only time I have a problem is when people and organizations decide that they should exclude people or hurt people simply because they don’t fit into some narrow mold of who they think that person should be. If speaking my mind when I perceive that to be happening makes me a “bigot” then so be it.

          • Gary November 16, 2015 at 12:46 am

            Except just ONE problem with your post rainbow is where you make the claim that Mormons are polygamists. Are all of your closest Mormon friends polygamists? Is 80% of the town you grew up in polygamist? Are your associates personally and privately polygamist? Because remember, you claim that polygamist and pedophile are homologous meaning same or similar. Or are you simply a liar? I know for sure that you do not have any common sense because basically every group and organization in existence has rules and standards for entrance and acceptance. Or are you going to say that your local university must allow everyone who wants to attend to do so with no restrictions? Do they allow a “D” average for example? I thought not.

        • GrandmaB November 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

          Big Guy, this has been an amusing back and forth. No progressives aren’t concerned about the children from polygamist marriages being eligible for baptism in the LDS mainstream church. There are not very many polygamists in this country. It used to be an estimate of approximately 35% of all populations were homosexual. And, it would never be an issue, a polygamist child living at home wanting to attend a mainstream LDS church. I believe there are ways for them to become members.

          And all of the “examples” you have of liberal close mindedness. Sad. You are so uneducated, or just plain stupid, that you don’t understand that “black lives matter” is incredibly important. It is understood by the dominant racial group in this country that their lives matter. It is not white young men and women who are being shot down daily, unarmed, by our police force, for no reason that is good enough to justify the taking of a life. But, as you are obviously part of the problem, it is not too surprising you would bring up that example. So, you are obviously prejudiced and bigoted. Good luck with your tolerance. You just proved yourself a mainstream bigot.

      • ladybugavenger November 15, 2015 at 6:02 pm

        Ya rainbow dash. Pedophiles they are

      • BIG GUY November 15, 2015 at 6:56 pm

        “Affirmative action” = “diversity.” A rose by any other name is still a rose. Diversity advocates are bigots by definition.

      • Ladyk November 17, 2015 at 2:37 am

        Dash you are quite simply wrong about polygamist in Utah. There are many more polygamist here in Utah who are not part of the group you are referring to. These other polygamist do not perform marriages of very young girls to older men. So your generalization is simply wrong. As for polygamist outside the State of Utah, you might be surprised to learn that there are many people who are choosing that type of lifestyle who have nothing to do with believing in Mormonism and some who choose no religion at all but who choose to live that way as consenting adults. I don’t think it will be very long before it will be legal in every state . So you will have to watch what you say or be labeled a bigot and hater. Also, I would be careful who you call a pedophile. If a girl is of legal age to marry then strictly speaking the person she married is not a pedophile. We may personally find the age difference between the man and the legal age girl a personal moral issue but if it is legal then aren’t you kind of a pot calling the kettle…well you know the rest. I don’t want to be insensetive.

        As for those who want to try to bash the LDS church.1- I love it when those who say they were members for years prove they actually know nothing about the church by what they say was their reason for leaving. 2- it is interesting that if it is something you don’t agree with then the LDS church members are bigots, judgemental haters but you calling them names and saying things that aren’t even true doesn’t make you the bigots, judgemental haters. You can fight for what you think is right but the LDS church can’t. I think that is called being hypocritical. I don’t care that we have different opinions. Go ahead and fight for what you think is right. Say your opinion but be adult enough to allow me to do the same without you spewing lies and hatred.

        • .... November 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

          Mormonism is a cult. and they’re bigots and haters and liars and always deny the truth……..and this is the truth !

        • Rainbow Dash November 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm

          LadyK,

          Thank you for your reply. Please allow me to further clarify what I said. Ive been been in Utah for 10 years. I have a friend back home who is in a polygamist relationship who is not Mormon, never has been and probably never will be. I said what I said because the only time Ive ever heard the term used in Utah is when someone is referring to those creepy perverts in Hildale, Colorado City and other like places around the state and nation who use the Mormon religion as an excuse to molest little girls and boys. I call the people who do that Pedophiles. My point was that I think the fact that many Utahns extend the definition of “Polygamist” to those “people” is wrong. To me, a Polygamist is an adult who is married to multiple other adults!

          I define an adult as a person who is 18 or older (the same as the legal definition). I think an adult should be able to marry however many other consenting adults they want to. If an 18 year old wants to marry a 96 year old, a 40 year old and a 21 year old all at the same time, I say, good for them. They’re adults and as adults they can do what they want as far as I’m concerned.

          1.) The Mormon leaders can do whatever they want to, I won’t stand in their way but I also won’t stand there quietly and support them when they do or say something I believe is wrong. I do not support the Mormon religion and am vocal about it but that does not mean that I hate the members. Neither does that mean that I don’t support their right to express an opinion that is contrary to my own. Quite the contrary in fact, I very much do.
          2.) The Mormon church can and does fight for what it thinks is right. In 2008 the Mormon Church donated a lot of money to the “marriage is between a man and a woman” side of the Proposition 8 campaign for example.
          3.) I don’t lie. Everything I’ve said is true and is backed by research, personal experience, experiences others have shared with me and other things. If I say something that is later proven to be wrong, I admit my mistake and move on, wiser then before I entered the conversation.

          Again thank you for your reply.

          Rainbow 😀

    • April November 15, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Agree!

  • anybody home November 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Excellent.

  • Susie November 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I left the Mormon way of thinking many years ago. They have too many ideas and beliefs that do not and I mean do not go along with the teachings that the bible tell us. They are a cult and try to convince you that you will go to hell because you do not belong to their so called religion. God loves everyone of us and he doesn’t care what church you go to just that you go. I could go on forever about this so called church, but I feel that everyone has a right to live how they want to and when we( and I mean Mormons too) meet our maker he will make the final call as to where we go. And by the way I have had some very very rough times and my knees are sometimes sore for being on them but I would never pay a church to make sure I am happy and without worry. Blessings to all!

  • NotSoFast November 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Big Guy, it all comes down to the political correct times we live in. No? I wondering if & when the ACLU will take them to court to demand they conform or lose their religious tax status as well as the removal of the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution. Maybe the subject will come up in the national elections band wagon soon. If the LGBT folks really want to express their displeasure, they could refuse to bake wedding cakes for normal people.

    • Richard November 16, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Tax exemption is a privilege not a Constitutional right…

    • 42214 November 16, 2015 at 8:59 am

      What’s the difference today re: political correctness to the 1964 voting rights act and the civil rights movement. That was the courts and legislature moving to protect the rights of a specific group being discriminated against by what was considered the mainstream norm at the time. Now it’s the gay community being discriminated against by religious groups and the so called family values conservatives. It took the LDS 14 years after the civil rights act to recognize the equal rights of blacks and then only after threats of sanctions by the feds, which coincidentally prompted a divine revelation to brother Kimball. I think removing tax exempt status from all religious corporations would be a very positive step. 1964 vs 2015, no difference.

  • ladybugavenger November 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Good for them! And you foster kids stay away from mormonism! We are all sinners, not just your gay parents. Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins. Now go and sin no more!

  • 42214 November 15, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Mesaman, did you resign today?

    • .... November 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Hey Mesaman are still a bigot Mormon ?

  • ladybugavenger November 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    You should leave the Mormon church because it’s a cult!

  • munchie November 15, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    If this policy makes people leave this cult then I’m all for it. People warn you about the Mormons before you move here but you think, “Hey, people are people, it’s beautiful here and very affordable (compared to California). After you’ve been here for awhile, you realize that this cult has their fingers into every aspect of life here and if you’re too strong-minded to join them then you are always going to be excluded as an outsider.
    Now, before someone tells me that if I don’t like it, I can leave, that is exactly what I will do when it makes sense (financially) for me to do that. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to endure and laugh at this Church/State.

  • .... November 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    It’s not a church.it’s a cult ! Just Mesaman being a member says all you need to know.

  • fun bag November 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    i’m so tired of the homosexual agenda it makes me wanna throw up. ive seen the gay agenda infiltrate and take over the episcopal church and find it sickening. the world could be burning and the gay agenda wouldn’t care so long as they get their way. social liberalism is a disease…

  • fun bag November 15, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    if the good ol’ momo’s don’t want homosexuals and their offsprings coming around it’s up to them since it is a private club. this is the least of my problems with LDS inc…

  • Richard November 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

    The church is doing each and every one of these kids/SSM parents a favor. They’ll thank the church later when they grow into healthy adults without the influence of a destructive/ manipulative corp. in their lives.

  • radioviking November 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    It’s ok for God’s prophet Joseph Smith to have sex with 14 year old girls, but these dang homosexuals need a ‘court of love’ disciplinary action? Consenting adults is evil but it’s ok to manipulate teenage girls like a cult pedophile?

    .
    Mormons need to do some research and soul searching. Be true to God, not men!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.