Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: Links to church policies on this page now use web archive resources, as the church has recently moved these pages behind a login wall in an attempt to prevent them from being accessed by individuals without a leadership calling.

I'm not ready to resign but don't want to be contacted. What do I do?

The church has a policy specifically stating that membership records should not be edited using any method to show the record as "Do Not Contact". If you contact a local leader and ask to be put on such a list, they might respect your wishes (until a change in leadership means this is forgotten), they might do nothing, or in some cases they might intentionally increase contact believing this will get you back to church.

Your best option is to change your phone number and email address on the church website or using their Member Tools app. If you leave these fields blank, they are likely to be restored to your last known details. We recommend removing your actual contact details and using a Google Voice phone number and a junk email address.

The church has removed your ability to change your own home address in most parts of the world. You can set your profile to Leadership Only, which reduces how many people can see it online (although nothing stops them from giving your address to other members). If in-person visits are a problem, consider hanging a sign instructing no unannounced visits or getting a digital doorbell to help screen visitors so you don't have to answer the door.

Do I need my membership number to resign?

No. Your membership number helps the resignation process but isn't necessary. Make sure you provide enough identifying data, including your full name and date of birth.

Where do I find my membership number?

On any old temple recommend, printout of your membership record or patriarchal blessing. If you have a login to access the LDS Tools app or church website it is visible there. If you are willing to contact your local ward, the bishop or ward clerk can provide your membership details. A membership number is not needed to resign.

When am I no longer a member?

Legally, you are no longer a member of the church when they receive your resignation request. The church considers you a member until they process your request.

I'm under 18, can I resign?

Only with the signature(s) of all legal parents and/or guardians. For further advice on how to prepare for leaving the church when you turn 18, visit this page and scroll down to "the real content".

My child was blessed but not baptized, do I need to resign for them?

Yes. All children have a membership record created when they are blessed and will need a resignation submitted on their behalf if you do not want the church tracking them and visiting at age 8 to prepare them for baptism. Some children have records created even without being blessed - it is worthwhile either submitting resignations for all children, or enquiring with the local ward or via the church website or LDS Tools app to find out which children are on the records.

Will my family be told?

There is no formal notification process for your family members. Our understanding is that bishops find out who has been moved out of their ward, including resignations, in regular reports. Many bishops do not pay attention to these reports so may not be aware of your resignation.

Your family members may find out through other means. Common concerns are:

  • FamilySearch: Your family will not find out you have resigned on FamilySearch. Although your view will change (resigned members cannot see temple ordinance details, and your personal LDS ordinances will no longer be visible), the details of living people are not visible to any other user.

  • Their membership record: On the church website, LDS Tools, and printed membership summaries, names of all parents and children are listed, with these linked to membership records of other members. When you resign your name remains as a fact on their file, but your membership details are no longer visible as there is no linked membership record for you. Some wards ask members to check printed copies every year during tithing settlement/declaration.

  • Networks and gossip: You should assume that your family will eventually be told of your resignation through networks of mutual friends or leaders from your ward speaking to them. In some cases, bishops or other ward leaders may intentionally reach out to family members to inform them that you have resigned and ask them to fellowship you back to church. If this is a concern, make sure your resignation letter specifies a requirement for confidentiality, or consider using QuitMormon which provides some legal protection.

The bishop has asked for a meeting or phone call. Do I have to do this?

No. The church General Handbook section 32.14.9 asks bishops to reach out to attempt to address your concerns and talk you out of resigning. You do not have to speak with the bishop in order for your resignation to be processed. Unless you want to speak with the bishop, decline the request and state that you want your resignation processed immediately with no further contact.

If the bishop continues to insist on a meeting, refer him to the Handbook, escalate to the stake president, or consider an alternative resignation option.

Does the church delete all my details?

Our best understanding is no. Resigned members are labelled as such and moved into an archival "ward" in the church database for resigned members. The church claims this is necessary in case you want to return, so that your original ordinance and priesthood ordination details are retained. The same process is used for excommunicated members.

It is not believed that the church continues to use tracking methods to keep the contact details of resigned members up to date.

I resigned months/years ago but the local (insert leader or missionary here) contacted me. Does this mean my resignation wasn't processed?

If you received a letter from the church or a confirmation email from QuitMormon, your resignation was processed. If not, you need to follow up because your resignation probably wasn't processed.

Local church members often do not use the current digital ward list when making contact with members. They may be working from a printout or saved details in their phone that are years old. Missionary area books are similarly not well maintained. As a result, you may be contacted years after your resignation is processed.

You can choose to ignore any contact, or respond telling them you are no longer a member and to update their records.

What if I want to be excommunicated?

Excommunication is now called "withdrawal of membership". Resignation is also called "withdrawal of membership". How your data is processed and the church's doctrinal beliefs of the consequences are exactly the same for either process.

Excommunication requires a church court to meet and convict you of a "sin". Currently, church leaders are encouraged to avoid excommunication wherever possible and lean towards disfellowshipment ("membership restrictions") or taking no formal action. It varies depending on who your local leaders are, but most people who are excommunicated are those who have a large public voice speaking out against the church, or in favor of things the church considers a sin. Excommunicated members are usually those with a presence in their local Mormon community (either current active members or those who recently stopped attending) who are viewed as having the ability to negatively influence current members.

For most exmormons, it is unlikely you would face excommunication even if you requested a church court. If you no longer want to be a member, you should resign.

I'm on the local Do Not Contact list, isn't that enough?

There is no such thing - the church has a policy specifically stating that membership records should not be edited using any method to show the record as "Do Not Contact". If you believe you are on this list, it is being remembered or privately recorded by the local bishop or other ward leader and is unlikely to be passed on when leadership changes. Local leaders are actively encouraged to reach out to your family and friends to update contact details if you removed them from your record via LDS Tools, or if a previous leader removed them and labelled you "Do Not Contact".

Why bother resigning if I no longer go to church?

People choose to resign for lots of reasons. These may include:
- personal closure after religious or other trauma associated with the church
- a desire to formally disassociate from an organization whose policies they do not support
- prevention of ongoing tracking by the church (see
this church wiki for how they keep details of inactive members up to date)
- prevention of ongoing contact from the church
- feeling they are not truly ex- or post-Mormon without resigning
- preventing family from being able to hold a Mormon funeral or dress them in temple clothes when they die

What should I do if QuitMormon says my resignation is complete but I still show up on the ward list?

If QuitMormon tells you that your resignation is confirmed but your records are still on the ward list, you have the following options:
1. Wait - anecdotally, resignations are being processed by the church 2-8 weeks after QuitMormon's confirmation emails
2. Contact the QuitMormon team and ask them to follow up, or to confirm whether your 'resignation complete' email was automated or based on the church saying they had completed your resignation
3. Try another resignation option - our first recommendation would be to email the scan/photograph of your notarized QuitMormon letter direct to church HQ with a brief cover letter email complaining that the church has not yet acted on your attorney's instructions and you are re-sending the letter to request it be actioned immediately.