Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Resign, Withdraw Your Comments, or Face Church Court



Many of you read my post on An Insider's View of Mormon Origins by Grant Palmer. In that post, I detailed some of the amazing misconceptions of the history of the church. That post appears to have been my undoing. On Thursday, I met with my Bishop to discuss that post, and my apostasy. The church's handbook describes apostasy as follows:

1. Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.
2. Persist in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after they have been corrected by their bishops or higher authority.
3. Continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects (such as those that advocate plural marriage) after being corrected by their bishop or higher authority.

My Bishop pointed out to me that the last paragraph is considered apostasy. He brought a highlighted copy for reference and read it to me aloud with a bit of strain in his voice. I include it here for reference:
It matters to me. I think the truth should will out, and no matter how much Mr. Smiths 'works' draw people to Christ, they were built on complete falsehood. Like former President Bush was wrong to go into Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein under false pretenses, even though Saddam was bad man, Mr. Smith was wrong to invent this wonderful fairy tale to bring people to Christ. Seems like a good goal, but completely unjustified.
In his opinion, this followed point 1 from the manual. I.e. it 'Repeatedly act[ed] in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.'

The key phrase here, I believe, must have been the Mr. Smith was wrong to invent this wonderful fairy tale.

Anyways then, I have resigned. Below follows my resignation letter:
To Whom It May Concern:

With this letter, I hereby submit my resignation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, effective immediately. Please remove my name from membership records.

Last week, my bishop explained to me that I could stop publishing apostate thoughts about church history, resign, or risk enduring church court proceedings. In considering the aspect of censoring my thoughts about this church and its history, I was reminded of Joseph Smith’s attempts at censoring the truth about the sordid details of his polygamous philandering published in the Expositor by his second counselor, William Law. Mr. Law tried to keep quiet as long as possible, but then found he no longer could keep quiet upon learning of the prophet’s indecent proposals to his own wife. Upon publishing the Expositor, the prophet ordered the former friend’s printing press destroyed and all copies of the Expositor destroyed.
I believe that the truth about Mr. Smith can no longer be suppressed, and should be spoken of openly by members of the church and the public. I fear for the morality of the members of this church, that are expected to profess knowledge of the divinity and veracity of both the Book of Mormon, and its prophet, when at most, members have only a strong faith generally based on faith promoting versions of the past.

This decision has come as a result of much study and heartfelt sorrow discovering the shady past of this church that has for so long been such a big part of my life.

I look forward to the day when this church openly and honestly discusses the past and lets the consequences follow as they may.

Sincerely,


Brent Fisher

11 comments:

Tom said...

It is a sad day when you feel you need to resign because you have been threatened by a church leader. I do understand how difficult this journey has been for you and your family. Thank you for having the courage and integrity to share your experiences with us. Again, thank you Brent, you are a wonderful example and a good friend.

Brent said...

You are welcome Tom. Thanks for the book: Under the Banner of Heaven. I love it.

I'm half way through. Quite Thrilling!

Nathan Raeburn Kennard said...

This blog post demonstrates what I have seen again and again, that for some people, a personal sense of integrity can lead to rejection of long held beliefs. Some people react to ideas that are different than theirs as though they have been personally attacked. I hope you do not loose many friends. Good luck. I look forward to visiting with you.

Brent said...

Darned integrity. :D

Joe Budro said...

Congrats, Brent. I haven't followed your blog for a few months, but this should be a happy time for you. You are FREE, man. FREE to discover whatever you want, to believe whatever you want. Free to think more, without guilt. Live it up! Play some music, read the ExMO blogs, explore, travel, shake off the old nonsense. Get on with your new life...

Joe Budro said...

Here, have a laugh, watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfEE_nYehZ8

Saganist said...

I'm sorry to hear you were basically forced into resigning, especially if it's not what you would have chosen to do anyway. I don't see anything in your writing that's unreasonable, but apparently voices of reason constitute apostasy these days.

Blank Field said...

I'm 64 now. I was raised in the Church, did my Mission, graduated from BYU, was married in the Temple and did all this simply because it was expected of me. I knew during my Mission that there was no such thing as a True Church. Obviously for social reasons I remained an active Mormon. But finally it all became too tedious. I've been "hard core inactive" since about 1977. I'm still on the rolls of the Church and am friendly with the active members who get assigned to fellowship me, and with the Missionaries when they come by.

I think I'm lucky. I still get to be a social mormon, which is something I'm comfortable with. And because I'm convinced there is neither a god nor a True Church, I just live to please myself and my loved ones. Obviously ol' Joe and the whole charade that followed his slight of hand activities were all fake, but most people like to believe they're special. So I don't fight the Church; the GAs have no control over me. So I've gone over 30 years now living and let live. But still, if I ever saw a bunch of JWs beating up a pair of Missionaries, I'd go the aid of the Missionaries. I may no believe in my Team, but it's sill my Team...

From what I've seen of the ex-Mo movement, there sure are a lot of people working hard to prove the church isn't true, but I've already done my Mission...

Suz said...

So I realize it takes the audacity of King Kong to ask... but since you know me pretty good I feel like my peaking interest on your choice won't be taken' offensivly... I hope! Atleast it isn't meant to be...
So... does it mean that you just don't like the church or does this include the members of this faith? After all, the members of the LDS faith do believe it's teachings... And further, if I love my faith does that mean that I can never hear you sing with that amazing voice? And one last thing... You do realize that you are on the top of my list of musical numbers at my funeral... it was a deal! hehehe... and I would imagine it to be in a Mormon chapel... but I don't mind if you aren't a member... :)
Now, I'd be lying if I told you I'm kinda afraid to hear the answer... after all, you might hate me. That would be sad for me. You can think I'm clueless, but don't hate me... too much history!
Have a good one.
Becky

Brent said...

Becky! Hello friend. We definitely have too much past. You should know, I'm a very nice person who never hates. I believe that we all must follow our own journeys, and I would never dream of depriving someone else the same privilege I have had of following mine. I wouldn't do that by conditioning our friendship, or our relationship on it either.
As for singing, thanks for the complement. I've always enjoyed singing with you. I have drums, electric guitar and piano setup in my basement, and I'm learning lots of piano songs on all of them (when I have time). My most recent is 'Imagine' by John Lennon. I can almost play and sing at the same time. I mean, I can, but sometimes its tougher than chewing gum and walking. So I make my kids sing along. My other one I'm doing is 'Somebody' by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode. It reminds me so much of Colleen. She has been so faithful to me through out all of this. Its the most amazing thing. I've been able to share ideas and experiences and still remain in love and with my best friend. Hard to give it enough words to describe the deep appreciation I have for her and the whole experience.

On other notes too, remember when I asked you to play some of that Jazz music? I still have those books, and I learned how to play one of my favorites, 'The Girl from Ipanema'. It's such a fun, breezy song. But I do have a bit of a time singing & playing it at the same time. Perhaps someday. When next I am in Arizona, we should definitely do lunch and a big music fest!

Or, if you come to Utah, we'll have a jam session in my basement!

Suz said...

sounds good my friend...
Some things never change... :) Glad to hear you guys are still doing well.
Hang in there.