Stake President ______
In an effort to avoid some of the expected heartaches ahead, and to squelch forthcoming rumors, we are sending you this letter. This is to inform you that as of Sunday, (Date?), we are terminating our membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We request the permanent removal of both of our names from church membership records.
We understand there may be a thirty day church-prescribed waiting period. If possible, please waive this condition and process our request as soon as possible. We also request that the term "excommunication" not be used in any way regarding this matter since we are voluntarily leaving the LDS church. After this process is complete, please send us written confirmation stating that our membership was terminated at our request and for no other reason.
We want our friends and family in the LDS church to know that our decision to leave the church has nothing to do with the people, or personalities, or any "sin" on our part. Our decision is based solely on our conclusion that we now believe the Book of Mormon is not real history about real people. We believe it is a nineteenth century work of fiction produced by Joseph Smith, Jr. The Book of Mormon is called the "keystone" of the LDS religion. Consequently, when that keystone failed, Mormonism came down with it, crumbling to the ground in a heap of rubble.
In our studies, we have found it impossible to ignore certain facts regarding this book, some of which include: impossible population growth, conclusive DNA proof that the "principal ancestors" of the Native American people were of Asian descent, zero archeology, wrong plants and animals, steelmaking, language issue, the eyebrow-raising translation process, etc. . .
For a long time, we believed, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Perhaps we could have continued our walk with the Latter Day Saints had these been the only problems we encountered. Then we had to wrestle with the numerous "first vision" accounts, the Adam/God teachings, polygamy, racism, Joseph's numerous affairs, magic, occultism, masonry/temple connection, and finally, his dying in a gun battle with the Masonic distress call on his lips and his magic Jupiter talisman still in his pocket. Despite the bleak picture this painted, we still believed.
B.H. Roberts's loss of faith in the Book of Mormon as expressed in his 400 page manuscript "Book of Mormon Difficulties" helped seal the book's fate for us. Also, the fact that "Mormonism" or "the fullness of the gospel," is not even contained in the Book of Mormon. Doctrinal conflicts with the Bible came later as Joseph became bolder. We now reject all of the church's non-biblical teachings. We especially reject any dilution of Christ's' sacred atonement, such as the offensive doctrine of "blood atonement," as if we could "add to" what the Savior has already done for us. When hanging on the cross, "He declared, 'It is finished' (in Greek, literally meaning: 'Paid in full...'"
In all sincerity, we have wondered why the Book of Abraham is still accepted as LDS scripture. It has been proven beyond any doubt to not be a 4000 year old document written by the hand of Abraham, nor is it a record of anything remotely Christian. The fact remains that it is a 2000 year old common Egyptian funeral document. It is inexplicable to suggest that pagan priests would have "woven" or "hidden" in a coded manner, Abraham's true gospel knowledge among their false teachings. As far back as 1970, the RLDS church dumped it and pronounced it as "simply the product of Joseph Smith's imagination. . . ." Utah Mormons should have done the same.
For us, the Book of Abraham disclosure was the lethal blow to our testimonies about Joseph's prophetic calling or abilities. For years we just never took a close look at it, thinking Professor, Hugh Nibley, had it under control. We figured that he was much smarter than us and he's fine with it. It must be OK. Granted, we're not scholars as he was, but we are smart enough to know when there's a trout in our milk! At this stage of our letter, it seems almost pointless to continue on and mention other hurdles like the white Lamanite warrior, "Zelph," the six foot tall Quaker-dressed moon men, or the Kinderhook deception.
In the end, we must agree with Thomas Ferguson's conclusion. Disillusioned after searching more than 25 years for archeological evidence to validate the Book of Mormon, he was forced "to admit that the case against Joseph Smith was absolutely devastating and could not be explained away." Another writer, who reported on the Joseph Smith papyri affair, concluded that "even the most devastating acts of disconfirmation will have no effect whatever on true believers. . . . Why? Because cultural Mormons, of course, do not believe in the historical authenticity of Mormon scriptures in the first place. So there is nothing to disconfirm."
His observation became apparent to us as we sought answers to some tough questions. Alternative theories to what the Book of Mormon declares abound among our trusted, well-informed Mormon friends and family. Frankly, their heartfelt 'spins' were dizzying. We, however, are weary of it all and can no longer pretend to believe. If you or anyone would like to discuss any of these things further, know that you are always welcome in our home. But our decision to exit the church is final. Also, know that we hold no ill feelings or antagonism toward the church or anyone in it. We are painfully aware of how our decision will alter our relationships with all of our LDS friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members.
Finally, we are aware that most members who leave the LDS church become atheists and abandon God altogether. This is not the case with us. It is precisely because we believe we have found Christ that we take each others hand and confidently make this giant leap into Christianity. We are already attending a thriving, bible-based Christian church, here in Orem. It was only after we removed the "Joseph Smith filter" from our minds and simply read the Holy Bible that our eyes were opened to the Good News about Jesus Christ. We believe in the biblical doctrines of grace, the atonement, and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ as taught plainly in the New Testament. For us, Christ is enough!
For the reasons listed above, we hereby resign our membership in the LDS church.