Monday, November 16, 2009

No Contact

So Sunday has come and gone, which means my Bishop has probably received the letter from SLC telling him to keep my ass in the church ASAP.

But I've not heard from him. I think (since he received a copy of my letter from SLC) he probably is going to respect my request not to be contacted, and submit my request in 30 days. I guess my Christmas present this year will be my letter of confirmation that I am no longer a member of the LDS church.

Other than that, life is going great!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Resignation Rejection: Full Text and Commentary

For those who are interested/requested, here is a transcript of the "resignation request rejection letter" that I received.

Dear Brother Horne:

I have been asked to acknowledge your recent letter in which you request that your name be removed from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have also been asked to inform you that the Church considers such a request to be an ecclesiastical matter that must be handled by local priesthood leaders before being processed by Church employees. Therefore, your letter and a copy of this reply are being sent to President Stephen J. Klenk of North Hollywood California Stake. He will have Bishop Mark S. Mikolyski of the Studio City Ward contact you concerning the fulfillment of your request.

In view of the eternal consequences of such an action, the Brethren urge you to reconsider your request and to prayerfully consider the enclosed statement of the First Presidency.


Gregory W. Dodge
Manager, Member and Statistical Records

 So yeah, then there was a pamphlet inside that was even MORE aggravating.

An Invitation to Come Back

We reach out to members of the Church throughout the world in a spirit of love and brotherhood inspired by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our interest and concern are always with the individual man or woman, boy or girl. Our great responsibility is to see that each is "remembered and nourished by the good word of God" (Moroni 6:4). If any have been offended, we are sorry. Our only desire is to cultivate a spirit of mercy and kindness, of understanding and healing. We seek to follow the example of our Lord, who "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38).

To you who for any reason find yourselves outside the embrace of the Church, we say come back. We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew. You will find many with outstretched arms to welcome you, assist you, and give you comfort.

The Church needs your strength, love, loyalty, and devotion. The course is fixed and certain by which a person may return to the fill blessing of Church membership, and we stand ready to receive all who wish to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The First Presidency

There are so many things about this letter that are aggravating.

Mostly, though, it's the magnanimous glee with which they "apologize" for any offense (but not apologize that they hold the opinion that causes the offense, it's more like "sorry you got offended, we were just trying to be Christlike, maybe you should pray about it until God tells you how right we were all along."

Also, I love this gem--"We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew"

WTF? Um, I AM happy. I'm happier now and more at peace now then I have been in any adult memory. When I was attending church, my soul was in a constant state of turmoil, of self doubt, pain, and aggravation. My emotional turbulence prompted my college friends to dub the seventh day of the week "Sour Sunday" because I would be miserable and depressed whenever I came back from church. The inability for me to be one and at peace because of the doctrines of the LDS Church are what made me almost leap off a subway platform my Junior year in college. So, yeah, I'll pass on returning to THAT kind of "happiness".

I am sure that what ever happens, I'm going to be out of the Church by the end of the year, but I was hoping that I wouldn't have to be guilt tripped about it. The thing is, even though I'm mostly able to just let it roll of my back, my Mormon Programming is so deeply ingrained that I almost considered "prayerfully consider[ed] the enclosed statement of the First Presidency."

But I don't need to pray about it, because I know by the fruits that I am doing what is right for me.

I am really looking forward to the day when the church no longer has power over me—let's not forget, that is what this whole exercise is about—it's about the church trying to claim my agency to leave. To prove they are in charge, that they have the power. But they are wrong. I am empowered as an individual who understands his rights and is sure of the path he is on.

Let me know what you all think. Peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

They Won't Let You Go

I know understand why the LDS Church is seen as a cult by so many people. It's because cults don't allow their members to leave of their own free will. They have to fight, crawl and push their way through the bullies of the Holy Order of the LDS Church Administrative Bureaucracy™.

Basically, they refused my request, and are instead sending it to my ecclesiastical leader (Bishop Mikolyski). If he calls me, I'm going to be pretty angry.

I called the LDS Church Member Records Division (1-800-453-3860 ext 22053) immediately and this is pretty much exactly what I said, since it was a pretty concise way that I found online to express my feelings:
“As you know, I stopped being a member of your church on the day you received my letter. It is clear that someone in your office thinks I don't know what my rights are.
I do NOT have to contact anyone else regarding my resignation. As a non-member I am no longer subject to your rules and regulations or policies. I DO have a right to get a letter of confirmation from you that states that my name has been removed from the membership rosters of the church.
Please stop wasting time and effort and handle my resignation appropriately. If you don't handle this appropriately, I may involve a lawyer or the press.”
So, we'll see what happens.

I should have known better than to think they'd let me leave quietly. Now I'm gonna get nasty.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fifteen Years

I was baptized on November 6th, 1994.

I dropped this in the mail on November 6th, 2009:

I've closed the door on an exactly 15 year long chapter of my life.

And I wish I could explain how it feels.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moho Halloween!

As many of you know, I went to Salt Lake City and visited with all my moho blogger friends. It was so wonderful and I had some great experiences.

Most of you were at the party, and know it was a nice time with lots of socialization and some great costumes. It was a really good time, but many of my readers were there, so I'm going to skip to the "after party" if you will... haha!

After the Moho party and Scott's house, Canyon, his friend C. and I went to this club in SLC to get a drink and dance a bit. It seems a little weird to think about gay bars in Salt Lake City, but I'm glad they exist—the immediate difference I noticed was that this place was practically empty, whereas on halloween night gay bars in LA are twice as packed as normal!

We went to the bar, and the 'tender said all they serve is beer (probably a result of SLC's ridiculous liquor laws). Canyon hates beer, and our very attentive bartender offered to make us "samples" of different beers with juice mixed in. So we took him up on the offer, and he made us three samples. I tried the first one, which tasted like cranberry juice. He told me it was called "Cranberry Summer Breeze" (which he said with a playful lisp) and I laughed, it was actually really good--cranberry juice, soda water and michelob. So I got that. There were two others, one with OJ and another with Lemonade (Canyon got the lemonade one, which was humorously entitled "Lemon Especiale" I gave him a good tip, and we went out to the patio to get away from the music and talk some.

Now, a patio in November (it was technically novemeber at this point) in SLC is not very warm. So we were not super comfortable, but it was the only way to have a conversation. So we talked for a while, and this guy in a tunic, who appears to be working for the bar comes over and checks on us, and he seems to be hitting on me, touching my shoulder, talking to me more than the others... it was nice. He wasn't exactly my type, but it's always nice to get hit on (which never happens in LA)

Another bartender was dressed like a Swat Team style police officer (complete with REAL taser) and we talked to him for quite a bit--he was really cute and very friendly. I was just taken aback at how much friendlier everyone seemed the whole night!

After we finished our drinks and went inside to dance for a bit, I ended up dancing with this guy in red strapless dress with a blonde wig who called himself "Alexis"--I couldn't figure out if he was just being cute to complete a costume for halloween, or if he really was a cross dresser. He was cute, and very friendly and we talked a bit during some of the dancing, as the club was getting emptier and emptier... near the end it was just me, Canyon and Alexis on the dance floor "they're all just so intimidated by us" I quipped.

So Alexis took off, and I was going into exhaustion since I was going on about 22 hours being awake (and traveling, which is always tiring.) and so we were heading out. But we stopped to ask one of the other employees who was sweeping up (he was also in a tunic) is it was true that they showed "Glee" here on Wednesday nights. He confirmed it, then turned to me and said "Can I rub your belly?"

I just about lost it laughing.

"Sure" I said, and he started rubbing my belly and said "That's hot". I asked him if he liked chubby guys and he said yeah. So I gave him a hug and told him that if I wasn't sharing a room with three other people that night, I'm might have taken him home with me.

Anyway, we went home (The three of us were all crashing at Scott's house) and just as I was about to finally get in bed and rest, I reached for the lamp in the basement where I was sleeping, and knocked it over in the dark. The moment between when I knocked it and it hitting the ground is vivid. I blurted out "OH MY GOD" at full volume, which was punctuated by a resounding CRASH as the glass around the lamp shattered all accross the basement floor (and me in stocking feet).

Needless to say, I basically woke up the entire household. The Alan Westermark and his son (both in from San Diego with an early morning departure) were awoken, as was Sarah. I was so embarressed, and not because I broke the lamp, but because it was 3am and I'd just woken everyone up after a very very long day. Sigh.

Everyone was very cool, C. helped me quietly clean up the glass in the dark (I only got cut once!) and then we talked quietly before hitting the hay.

The next day, I was picked up by Marcus and he took me to Brunch with a bunch of people from the party. Robert, Brandon, Michael R., Michael W., McKay, and, Marcus and I went to Market Street Grille, and I had my first Mojito. It was actually really good, I enjoyed it.

After that we went geocaching which was fun, and then we went back to the Michael's apartment and played Catch Phrase. I napped for a while, and then we made dinner (Just me and the two Michaels, as others had to leave)

All the guys made me feel so welcome in Salt Lake. It almost makes me want to move up there so I can be a full time part of this awesome gang. Sadly, I don't think that's reason enough—I've got to build Moho Zion right here in LA!

So that was essentially my trip. A lot of fun. I'm sorry if I rambled on incessantly with every mundane detail, but I really enjoyed myself, and figured I'd share with you.

I'm really excited for the next two months--this is a great time of year (aside from the darkness) because it's so busy and I can keep myself distracted from how much I want a boyfriend! HAHA.

Also, stay tuned for an important post tomorrow...