A group of 150 Mormons quit their church in a mass resignation, Reuters reported. Participants from around the country gathered in Salt Lake City on Saturday for the exodus.
To actually resign from the church, the group had to address formal "letters of resignation" to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, asking that their names be removed from LDS records. They then celebrated by signing a "Declaration of Independence from Mormonism."
"This feels awesome," Alison Lucas, one of the participants, told Reuters.
The group carried US flags and signs that read "Finally ExMormon," "Research the church" and "Transcend Mormonism," the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The crowd met in Ensign Peak, the same spot where church leader Brigham Young hiked to in 1847.
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The reasons for the exodus vary. Some people are unhappy with the church's stance on gay rights. The LDS only allows gays in the Mormon church if they promise not to act on their "inclinations." The church also fights gay marriage on the political front. In April, the Mormon Church in Maryland lobbied to overturn the state's recent law legalizing same-sex marriage, the Washington Blade reported. The church is also known for its role in helping to pass Proposition 8, the California measure that banned same-sex marriage before it was struck down this year.
Others leaving the church were bothered by logistics. Michelle Hobbs said she was resigning because the timeline of events laid out in the Book of Mormon just didn’t make sense to her. "It’s just all man-made. It’s very disappointing," she told the Tribune.