Thursday, March 27, 2008

Give Me Words to Speak :: Heavy

Dear Bishop:

It is with a heavy heart and careful deliberation that I write this letter to resign from my position as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am fully aware of the implications and consequences of resigning; such understanding is why I am asking formally to be removed from the records of the Church.

These past few days I have been praying and desiring to know whether or not I should give, yet again, the Church's guidelines another sincere effort; in my meditation, I foresaw my suicide. Thrice I've tried with all the energies and sincerities of my soul to bear the yoke the Church would have be bear, and thrice I've been plowed under, each time more deeply, each time more scarring.

My faithful tenure as a Mormon has left me emotionally and financially desolate. I have been unable to hold a steady job despite my great talents and abilities; I have been unable to complete even one semester of school at a university level despite my great talents and abilities.

As a Mormon, I sought help from the Church, yet my intentions were demeaned, I was mocked, and the uncompassionate, merciless rhetoric spawned by church leaders (such as “You need to change your attitude” or “Your focus is off” or “You cannot make decisions based on desires for physical gratification” – which rhetoric has never, in any way, accurately represented my heart, attitudes, or actions) was smugly spat at me as I shrunk more closely to suicide.

Nevertheless, the Church refuses to see this actual damage done to so many in my situation; the Church silently encourages its members to heartlessly turn a blind eye to actual evidence of grief, pain, and desires of death unfolding even within their own homes; the Church refuses to place the blame where the blame belongs and is horribly content with placing this blame on already wounded hearts.

The Church refuses to see that their prescribed burden is simply too heavy and the yoke too difficult for the majority of homosexuals. A truly compassionate, honest, meek, and humble heart will testify that such is true and that such has not been for a lack of sincere effort and purity of heart.

I know the Church believes her harmful actions are rooted in love and compassion, but the love is tainted and the compassion false – if they were pure, the love would testify of the horrible, horrible damage being caused and the compassion would allow for the absolute best life possible for all of God's children. I sincerely and strongly believe that Christ atoned not just for the straight man to bear a light burden and easy yoke, but for the gay man as well. Once the Church can finally humble herself enough to see such, this that is most plain and simple (as the scriptures testify Christ bears witness), I will, with a rejoicing heart, reclaim what is rightfully mine, a membership in Christ's Church.

And it truly is not my desire to leave the membership of the Church now; nevertheless, there comes a time when one must humbly admit one can do no more and can take no more abuse, remove the heavy burden and difficult yoke, lay them at the feet of the Savior, and then take upon oneself a lighter burden and more manageable yoke in the hopes that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly compassionate and merciful and will look upon the intent of one’s heart. That time for me is now, and as the yoke that I am able to bear is unfortunately one towards which the Church can feel no compassion and mercy, and as I do not want to be made a liar who has agreed to one thing but then acts contrary to the agreement, I must ask to be released, effective immediately, from the contract I signed at baptism to follow the guidelines of the Church.

I feel impressed to reiterate that the motivations behind my actions are not rooted in any lust or desire or disposition to sin or justify sin; rather, my intentions are rooted in my sincere inability to progress successfully in life – if I am able to progress at all – under the counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Again, such is not for lack of sincerity and purity of heart, and any words that would have anyone believe otherwise are hateful and hurtful lies.

As I leave, I leave with the sincere hope that the heart of the Church will one day be softened and that she will finally be able to see what is truly the most compassionate, most merciful, most loving, most kind, most charitable and therefore most Christlike thing to be done with those in my situation who, despite our best efforts and most sincere and pure of hearts, are unable to sustain a truly healthy, happy, prosperous life as dictated by the LDS Church.


Andrew Martin Pankratz


  1. Hey Andrew, I've just posted my own resignation letter on by blog.

  2. Well I guess you just about said all there is to say. I think its funny how people when they write what should be a simple procedural letter use it to get a few more licks into the thing they are attacking. Of course the last time I wrote a letter of resignation I also slammed into my boss. Its human nature I suppose. But if someone is leaving because they don't think something is true anymore I don't think a final exit speech is really going to do them any good. It is what it is so now you are free of the bonds of the LDS Church. Now that you have left the church are you going to leave it alone? I wish you all the luck and love in the world and I pray for you to find what you are searching for. I hope that when you do you will be able to accept it and it will be able to fit your conscript of what is right. I think the sad thing is that yes you did pretty much spell out what your problem was. You expected the church to change and bend its doctrines to make you happy. It doesn't work that way. I hope you find what you are looking for. I really do. You are a smart and bright guy.

  3. It makes me both incredibly sad and indescribably angry to sense how disastrously the church has failed you. I'm so sorry.

  4. Crow:

    And is this final exit speech going to do Andrew any good, or are you just trying, fruitlessly, to prove yourself right yet again? I fail to see how you're helping him. All I see is you stroking your own ego and trying to convince yourself that you are right. If you really are right, then why worry so much?

    You expected the church to change and bend its doctrines to make you happy.

    Again, you miss the entire point. He didn't say that he was right and the church is wrong, but that Christ and his teachings are supremely right, and that the church is not behaving in a way congruent with those teachings when it comes to homosexuality. A albeit subtle, (and I'm not surprised you missed it) but important difference.


    I feel the same way. For all of us.

  5. Craig you ozze so much bitterness that I wonder if resounding to you is even worth it. I read your own resignation letter but choose not to comment on it. Honestly I think you will be happy out of the church because now you can attack even more. As Elder Maxwell once observed it seems to be a sad truth that people who leave the church can't seem to bring themselves to leave the church alone.

    While I do regret that Andrew feels this way I will say that I feel his pain and desperation that led to this choice. It's sincere and not spiteful, bitter or sarcastic. He may lash out but I know it's in pain. He feels that the thing that should love him has failed him and I feel bad about that. And I'm sure you will say its people like me who forced this on him.

    For the record you made an accusation that I would like to clarify.

    What he said was that the church was not acting in what was HIS opinion would be Christ teachings of homosexuality. Yes he claims that he isn't sure if he is write or if the church is right. But it appears that he feels he knows the answer enough to write a letter.

    However as he wrote today it does sound as if he is at least open to other peoples opinions. At any rate, I have never rejected his friendship. That was a choice he and you made. I won't do that and I never will. I don't close doors on people just because I don't agree with them.

    He may not accept me as a friend. But if we share the same Heavenly Father he and I and yes even you are brothers and no matter what, while you may not like me. I may not agree with you. I still do love you and I hope one day that we can all agree on that.

  6. it seems to be a sad truth that people who leave the church can't seem to bring themselves to leave the church alone.

    In some cases, the Church should not be left alone. This case is perhaps one of the greatest examples as the Church is the cause of a lot of pain and suffering and is actively seeking to force her beliefs on others -- which is simply not right and needs to stop immediately.

    What he said was that the church was not acting in what was HIS opinion would be Christ teachings of homosexuality.

    Actually, what I am saying is that the Church is not acting in a manner congruent to her teachings of evaluation -- such is a fact.

    And, then, I imply that if one were to follow the guidelines of evaluation -- the same guidelines set forth by God -- then we are led to accept gay marriage and to allow gay couples to adopt.

    Such is the topic of my next post.