Regarding the “Authenticity Required” argument.
This started out as a reply to an old friend on my last post, but I think that it warrants a deeper look. Many friends, family, commenters, and the bishop who came to my house have said that the Mormon church needs to confirm the veracity of my request to remove my name from their records. On the surface this may sound like a reasonable argument, but when examined through the critical eye there are blatant holes that cause it to fall flat.
The argument mainly relies on the “what if” scenario of a fraudulent removal request, in this case some ne’er do well falsely resigns another person from the church. In this case the victim should have nothing to worry about, because first and foremost God wouldn’t fall for it (he is after all omniscient).
As for the local effects say that member records removes him/her, then passes that on to the Stake, then to the Ward, logically the individual’s continued attendance would be noticed and the bishop could easily ask for confirmation without being required to go to the person’s home. A quick e-mail/phone call and the matter is resolved. Alternately if this occurs as a member is moving, then it would be caught almost immediately since the members will ask to have their records transferred to the new Ward and/or Stake.
The church itself did not even acknowledge this as a reason in their official correspondence with me. They simply referred to the matter as ecclesiastical in nature, which required local priesthood leaders to contact me (see their response letter here). The bishop visited me 2 days after receiving their letter, I was out so he left his phone #, which I called about a half hour before my interview on Q Transmissions. I explained in no uncertain terms that I was to be removed from their records and that the letter was not an invitation for proselytization. A couple days after that he came to the house again acknowledging the receipt of my phone message (which call display would have confirmed it as coming from me) but still requiring a face to face. Once again I had to tell him to remove me, and expressed my displeasure at the hurdles being placed in my way. It wasn’t until this point that he mentioned authentication being required. I was not asked to sign any documents, my ID was not requested, and I did not have to confirm my last recorded address that the church had. A couple of days later the bishop dropped a letter off indicating that he had sent the paperwork to the member records. I have yet to receive confirmation from member records despite nearly 3 weeks passing since the last letter from the bishop.
I have found that it is easier to quit a job with a resignation letter than it has been to quit the church. I will be sending yet another letter to the church if I have not received confirmation of my removal by the first week of March. This new letter will not be as nice since this ordeal has been going on since the original letter was sent on December 12, 2008 and it is currently February 22, 2009 over 2 months later.
Returning to the original topic of authentication, as Janine said in the comments on my previous post that there may be some truth in this The Science Pundit did point out that there is a reasonable limit. What could have been a quick matter has been stretched out needlessly, I for one will be glad when this is finally over. Stay tuned as we await the final chapter to my resignation from the mormon church.
Thanks again to SP and Janine their comments on my last blog post inspired this one.