Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How should I tell my parents about resigning?

Okay, well some interesting developments have happened recently. Blondie and I have submitted our resignation letter to the church. We have received a correspondence from the church and you can see the results of that here.

This brings up some hard questions concerning my parents. We have not told them yet that we have submitted our resignation letter. From everything that I have heard, they will most likely find out when they have their tithing settlement at the end of this year since the tithing statement will show all of their children along with their member record number. In my case, it will probably say something like Member – no.

I have started to wonder how they will react to this. I am sure that they will be crushed once more after coming to the knowledge that I am officially out of their “true” church. We are making plans on going down to Arizona to visit them between Christmas and New Years. I am getting the feeling that it may not be a very pleasant visit if they find out about us right before we come down.

Here is an interesting twist on this situation. My brother is in Afghanistan and he will be coming home at the end of this month. He and his family currently live in Ohio. I had the chance to chat with him online last night and I told him about our letter. He was surprised, but supportive knowing that this will be the best for my family. He also surprised me by saying that they are planning on also coming to Utah and Arizona to visit with family members and our parents. I was very excited about this because this would mean that my family and I would not be visiting my parents on our own, my brother and his family would be there also. Extra family support is always good.

So here is the new situation that I have been thinking about today. If my parents find out about our resignation right before we all come down to visit, I will have once again ruined their happiness of visiting with my brother and his family. This happened last year when I sent them my letter telling them my feelings about the church right before my brother came to visit. I did not want to tell them right before he came to visit, but I was kind of cornered into telling them since they wanted my brother and I to give my dad a blessing. I was not comfortable with faking a blessing so I sent them the letter. They blamed me for ruining the visit. I really do not want to repeat this and I am envisioning that this could happen again.

The thought hit me today of how I might resolve this situation before everything hits the fan. What if I sent them a letter now telling them that we have resigned from the church? Of course, they will still be hurt and feel really bad, there is just no way of getting around that. The good thing would be that they would have time to recover from the shock and prepare for our visit along with my brother’s visit later in the year. The other good thing is that they would hear it from me and not find out second hand from some random bishop’s visit.

What do you think? Do you think this would be a good idea? Has anyone else had experience with telling his or her parents or family members about officially resigning from the church? I would love to hear what you have to say.


  1. I think you are right on just getting it over with. I have read people's accounts of family finding out through other sources or finding out years and years later and it is more damaging then just getting it out there right away.

    These very same questions and concerns come up on the Post-Mormon forum all the time. The advice given is almost always similar. There is simply NEVER an ideal time to drop this this bomb. I did not write letter, but I kind of wish that I had because everything I wanted to say was simply not said in the conversations that I had. Plus it gives them a little bit of time to sort of get used to the information.

    No matter what the first few times you see them and speak to them will be awkward. Just do your best to show them that you are still you. (I know that is crappy advice, "Just be normal..")

    I wish you luck.

  2. I agree. Better to do it now and give everyone time to deal with it. Kiley gives great advice about the likelihood that conversations will be awkward for a while still. As much as I wish we could all just be open and honest with family and friends at all times it would seem that there are some people for whom openness is scary. I have a MIL who would rather live in denial than deal with our defection. Then she complains about the distance between her and I. If she wants closeness she'll need to be more accepting of me and my choices. I feel as thought that is really what it is coming down to with our family members who are still Mormon. There seems to be an unwillingness to accept us as we are. To them we are faulty and as far as families go that just should not fly, so I don't know what the answer is there. For me, it is easy enough to just back off from interacting with my MIL, I was never that close to my own parents anyway, I have always felt a bit like an orphan. I get my acceptance from my own little family. I guess I mother myself now. (ramble, ramble...sorry (; .... ).