How to Have Your Name Removed From LDS Church Records

How to Have Your Name Removed From LDS Church Records

This page contains basic guidelines on how to have your name removed from the records of the Mormon church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Much of the material comes from those who have already struggled through this process, and now offer their suggestions on what will be effective. We also offer several sample letters that may be used to help you write your own letter requesting your name be removed from the membership list of the Mormon church.

General Guidelines

  • Make your request in written form. 
     
  • Mail copies of your letter to the Stake President and the Membership Records Dept. at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. 
     
  • Indicate on your letter that you have done this by putting CC in front of the Stake President's name and also Membership Records Department, SLC — this lets the Bishop know that these others have received the letter, and he's more likely to respond in a timely manner. 
     
  • You only need to write one letter. Make photocopies for the additional copies you'll be sending out, and be sure to keep a copy for your own records. Use certified or registered mail to the home address of the bishop and stake president.

Suggested Content

After stating that you want your named removed from the membership rolls of the LDS Church, you may want to include some or all of the following elements.

  • Your reasons for leaving. 
     
  • You will not participate in a church court or disciplinary council as you have done nothing wrong. You simply do not want to be a member anymore. You are exercising your freedom of religion. You are asking for a simple administrative procedure. 
     
  • You do not want any contact by anyone except by mail confirming your name has been removed from the records. This includes no home teachers, visiting teachers and church leadership trying to visit you or call you on the phone. 
     
  • Your decision is not based on personality conflicts with other members, nor is it the result of immorality (two things that are typically presumed about people who decide to leave the LDS Church). 
     
  • You understand what you are requesting. 
     
  • You also may want to have everyone in the family who are leaving sign the letter, including your children.

Sample Exit Letters

              Sample letter 1         Sample letter 2

Suggested Follow-up

The LDS Church tends to drag out such requests as long as possible, therefore you may want to consider one or more of the following options:

After 30 days call the Mormon Church records office in Salt Lake City, and tell them you made a formal written request to your bishop or branch president more than 30 days ago. They can verify if your name has been removed. If they find it is still there, they will contact your local leaders and tell them to act upon your request. Here is the necessary contact information:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Membership Records Dept.
50 E. North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 240-3500

It is possible your bishop may stall the process because he is "concerned about your eternal future." His concern is not the issue. If he persists in refusing to process your request, your follow-up letter might include a paragraph mentioning your willingness to approach the local media with the Church's lack of compliance with your request. The LDS church does not like negative publicity.

Your bishop may also say you must have an "interview" or attend a "court". This is not true and it may be necessary to remind him of your initial request for no contact from church leaders, and mention your willingness to take either legal or public action.

If you have not already done so, you may want to contact our online support for people leaving the LDS Church. It is called MIT-Talk and has over 150 members — many of whom have left or are in the process of leaving the church. Others in your position have found the support, friendship, and ideas from this group to be helpful in the transition process. Information on joining MIT-Talk.

 

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