Bishop David Grider
Cedar 11th Ward
Cedar City, Utah
Dear Bishop Grider,
This letter is being sent to inform you that I am officially requesting that my name, and the names of my minor children, be removed from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This request is being made after many months of soul searching and studying on my part. I did not easily come to this decision, and in fact have found it to be one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I have a deep love and gratitude for many friends and family that are still members of the church, and wish to make it very clear that we are not leaving because of hurt feelings, or being offended by anyone in the church. I have had to base my decision on my faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and my intellect. This decision is being made freely on my part, and my children's, and with a full knowledge of what the LDS church teaches the consequences of making a decision like this are.
I insist that our records, and the letter notifying us that our names have been removed from the church records, show that the only reason why mine, and my children's names have been removed, is that we requested it to be so. I also insist that the word "excommunication" not be used in the church records, or in the letter notifying us of this action. I would not hesitate to take legal action against the church if anything is done to slander our good names, or if members of this stake are given the impression that we left because of immorality.
Please understand that we are taking this action because it has been proven to us that Mormonism is false, and does not teach correct doctrine according to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the doctrinal problems my children and I have investigated are:
1. We do not believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, or that he received direct revelation from God. We also believe that we will be judged someday according to our faith in the Savior, not Joseph Smith. We believe that he taught false doctrine, and that he has led many good people astray, and away from the true teachings of Jesus Christ that are taught in the Bible.
2. We are convinced that the Book of Mormon is not of divine origin, except for the verses that are plagiarized from the Bible. We do not believe that Joseph Smith translated any part of the Book of Mormon, and that it is nothing more than a contrived document.
3. We are convinced that the Pearl of Great Price (particularly the Book of Abraham) is a pure work of deceit and fraud. It became apparent to leaders of the church that the papyrus that Joseph Smith translated into the Book of Abraham, was nothing more than Egyptian funeral documents, yet they continued to claim that the book was of divine origin. This fact has been hidden from members of the church for many years.
4. We are certain that the Doctrine and Covenants is also false, and has been changed and rewritten so many times, that Saints today have no clue what some of the false doctrines that Joseph Smith taught really were.
5. We are convinced that polygamy is a wicked principle that is taught by the church, and that it is demeaning and devastating to women. We are also convinced that it was an excuse for Joseph Smith to commit adultery, since he practiced it for at least 10 years prior to the 1843 "revelation".
6. We are convinced that, on the whole, the LDS church has made serious and substantial changes to all of their scriptures, and most of church history. We believe that this has been done to satisfy and comfort its members, to hide doctrinal errors, and to protect some leaders from exposure to their moral failures.
7. I am convinced that men and women are not treated equally in the LDS church, that women's issues are ignored, and that women are truly made to feel like second class citizens. LDS doctrine is completely offensive to women, and could not possibly be pleasing in God's eyes. I am also convinced that depression among women in the LDS church is rampant, and always ignored by church leaders. The impression is given that any LDS woman who is depressed, must not be living the gospel.
8. We believe that the often quoted statement, "The glory of God is intelligence", is completely contradictory to what the church truly teaches about members increasing their intellect. Free thought is discouraged, and members are told what to read, when to pray, how to pray, and what to think.
9. We do not believe that God was once a man or that he lived on a planet similar to Earth. We do not believe that he became a god through obeying laws. Furthermore, we do not believe that men on this Earth can someday become Gods. According to the bible, God has always been God, and is "from everlasting to everlasting".
These are just a few of our major issues with the doctrine of the LDS church. I could write many more pages of other problems that I have with the doctrine, but I'm sure that my point has been made very clear. WE DO NOT WISH TO REMAIN MEMBERS OF A CHURCH THAT IS BASED ON FRAUD AND LIES!
In closing, I wish to tell you my greatest reason for leaving the LDS church. My four beautiful children! I do not want my children to grow up in an oppressive religion that dictates every aspect of their lives, and teaches them that men are superior to women. I know that I can raise good, moral children outside of Mormonism, and teach them integrity and the most important of Christ's teachings: The love of their fellowman. The LDS church does not own the patent to teaching these important values. My greatest hope in doing this, besides my own happiness, is the goal of having my children reach their full potential. If my daughter reaches her full potential in this life, and my sons become better men, who respect and treat women with the dignity that they deserve, then my goal will be accomplished.
I ask that you please respect our request to have our names removed immediately, and be aware that we will not welcome any visits from missionaries, home teachers, visiting teachers, bishopric or stake presidency members. Our decision is final in this matter, and any missionary efforts on the part of the LDS church, will be considered an invasion of our privacy.
I would also like to add that my children although minors, have made the decision to leave the LDS church of their own free will and have not been coerced into this decision. Their signatures here attest to the fact that they no longer believe the teachings of the LDS church and no longer wish to be members.
Sharon **** Taylor (*)
****** *** Taylor
****** *** Taylor
****** *** Taylor
****** *** Taylor
Stake President and,
Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints
50 E. North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
* Sharon's middle name, and the names of her minor children have been deleted for the sake of privacy.