When Spencer W. Kimball wrote these statements, they would have applied equally to a member of the Church who was resigning their membership since the only way to resign at that time was via excommunication.1


The following is a transcript of the 1969 Miracle of Forgiveness, pg 329. Emphasis added.


The scriptures speak of Church members being “cast out” or “cut off,” or having their names “blotted out.” This means excommunication. This dread action means the total severance of the individual from the Church. The person who is excommunicated loses his membership in the Church and all attendant blessings. As an excommunicant, he is in a worse situation than he was before he joined the Church. He has lost the Holy Ghost, his priesthood, his endowments, his sealings, his privileges and his claim upon eternal life. This is about the saddest thing which could happen to an individual. Better that he suffer poverty, persecution, sickness, and even death. A true Latter-day Saint would far prefer to see a loved one in his bier than excommunicated from the Church. If the one cut off did not have this feeling of desolateness and barrenness and extreme loss, it would be evidence that he did not understand the meaning of excommunication.

An excommunicant has no Church privileges. He may not attend priesthood meetings (since he has no priesthood); he may not partake of the sacrament, serve in Church positions, offer public prayers, or speak in meetings; he may not pay tithing except under certain conditions as determined by the bishop. He is “cut off,” “cast out,” and tured over to his Lord for the final judgment. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31), and especially already branded as an apostate or transgressor.

Inasmuch as ye are cut off for transgression, ye cannot escape the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.

And I now give unto you power from this very hour, that if any man among you, of the order, is found a transgressor and repenteth not of the evil, that ye shall deliver him over unto the buffetings of Satan; and he shall not have power to bring evil upon you. (D&C 104:9-10.)


Originally heard through missedinsunday here.

  1. The 1983 Church Handbook of Instruction on page 51 states: “Church courts should not be convened merely because a member is totally inactive unless he … makes a written request (not a form letter) at his own initiative to have his name removed from the records of the Church and patient efforts to dissuade hime are unsuccessful.” Page 59 states: “If a person’s name has been removed from the records of the Church in response to his request, any announcement should not include the word excommunication. It merely should state that his name has been removed from the records of the Church at his request.” And on page 61 in a discussion on excommuniation, it discusses sending the name-removal letter to Church headquarters: “In cases of excommunication the same records are sent to Church headquarters … along with the following items when applicable: 1) The letter written by a person requesting that his name be removed from the records of the Church.” Originally h/t Lavina Fielding Anderson in her discussion of Norman Hancock and resignation