Saturday, July 18, 2015

Why I left

This post is primarily intended for members of my home ward.  Some may have noticed I am not at church as often anymore.  For those who may not be aware of what has happened, I wanted to give an explanation:

On March 20, 2015, I sent a letter of resignation to LDS church headquarters.  They replied that they had forwarded my request to my local leaders.  Sixty days later, I received a letter from headquarters indicating that my resignation had been accepted.  This post is an attempt to explain how and why this happened.

I would like to talk about some potential reasons for leaving that don't apply to me.  There are a number of reasons that members usually ascribe to those who go inactive or those who leave to explain what happened.  Here are some of the ones that don't fit my situation:

Offense:  I didn't leave because I was offended.  I love the members in my ward.  Almost without exception, I have been treated with kindness and love during the last 10 years that my family and I have been in the ward.  I still value my neighbors as good friends and am thankful to be among them.

Sin:  We are all sinners.  Thus the need for the atonement.  Ether 12:27 tells us that we are given weakness so that we will be humble and come to Christ.  Sin can drive us away from God, but it can also allow us to come to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  I believe the promise in Ether 12:27 that the Lord can make weak things become strong.  Through following the promptings that have led me on this path, I have experienced the fruits of having my heart changed.  Most of this I have experienced after being re-baptized.  I have found the promise in 2 Nephi 31:13 to be true.
I have seen God working within me to remove from me from the "works of the flesh" (Galatians 5:19-21) to the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Testimony:  I believe in God.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of this world.  I believe that Joseph Smith Jr. was called of God as prophet to do a work for laying the foundations for Christ's second coming.  I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.


The Reasons Why:

A short summary on a blog post cannot adequately tell the story of many years of studying and seeking to come closer to God and what has been involved throughout.  I can say that with me, the Lord first opened my eyes temporally to truths about our situation as testified in the Book of Mormon.  He then opened my eyes spiritually to truths about our situation which also are testified of in the Book of Mormon.

This short post cannot adequately explain the whole story.  Other posts on this blog explain the story a bit more.  So without being able to give a full explanation here, I am left to summarize what happened as follows:

I have found that there is reason to believe that the condemnation put on the LDS church for taking the Book of Mormon lightly in D&C 84 was never lifted and that in many cases we have failed to see what the message of the Book of Mormon really is.

I have learned that D&C 124 laid out an opportunity and a promise for the early members to receive a greater endowment from the Lord.  This section indicates what would happen if the early saints succeeded.  It also indicates what would happen if they failed.  When I look at and compare both lists and then compare them to what happened in history - it has opened my eyes to which of these (success vs. failure) actually happened.

I have come to see that we parallel the ancient Israelites in many more ways than I first realized.  Their story is our story.  Most of them couldn't see it in their time.  And it seems that it is just as difficult for us to see it in our time.

D&C 84 tells us more about this than we realize.  When Moses was taken out of their midst, the lesser priesthood continued and they were left with the preparatory gospel instead of the fullness of the gospel.  (D&C 84:23-27)

I have seen patterns showing that we now deny and even teach against the fullness of the gospel because we don't even know or realize what the fullness of the gospel is anymore even though the fullness of the gospel is demonstrated over and over again in the Book of Mormon. (See The Actual Message of the Book of Mormon)

Denying the fullness of the gospel was something that was foreseen and prophesied about in the Book of Mormon. (3 Nephi 16:10)

I have seen in recent events and signs that show that the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and that the Lord is setting his hand again a second time to accomplish his marvelous work and wonder.  The events that are prophesied (3 Nephi 16 and 21 and Jacob 5) relative to the fullness of the Gentiles coming in are happening before our eyes.

I feel that this blog entry from a friend does a pretty good job of laying things out.  There are many other blogs that explain this better than I do.  I have linked to them on the sidebar.

But Why Resign?

I wanted to share what I was learning.  I tried doing so on facebook during the fall of 2014.  Some who saw that were concerned and reported their concerns to the bishop.  I was called in to see the bishop.  Later I was called in to talk with the Stake President.  I was asked not to talk about or comment about these things in church.  There was no attempt to show me that these things were not true from the church leaders - simply that I should not be sharing them with others.  I was released from my callings as part of this.  I came to the realization that if I disobeyed and spoke of these things in church, I would be disciplined further and even excommunicated.  I felt it was better to resign rather than be excommunicated for wanting to share the items listed above.

A friend of mine in a similar situation, summarized it this way when talking with his daughter-in-law:

"Just finished explaining to my daughter in law why I had to leave the church. I asked her if I had stayed a member, could I discuss certain topics in GD class? Would I be allowed to kneel during the sacrament prayer? Could I question the succession to the presidency? She said no to all. I asked her what would happen to me if I stayed and did these things anyway? She said she thought I would be excommunicated or at least disciplined. I then asked her if she could understand how I couldn't remain a member where I was continually kept in silence? I think she started to get it."

So I hope that this explanation can also help you understand why I left.  I hold no ill-will toward the church.  I believe it is doing what it is meant to do and is playing its part in these winding-up scenes that we are in preceding the second coming.  I have not been offended and I hope that I have not offended you in my efforts to explain what has happened and foster a better understanding between us.


Bret Naylor

Edit:  A friend of mine recently resigned and gave his bishop a letter explaining why.  I feel this is a better summary of the issues.  His post can be found here.


  1. I feel the same way about the early Israelites and us. We really are them. You have a gentle way of explaining things that I admire.

  2. Thanks Bret. We are as blind and ignorant as those at the time of Christ's mortal ministry. Our pride and our LDS traditions sure keep us bound down in a false sense of security. The Book of Mormon is the key to understanding what is really happening and what the Lord Himself has prophesied will be our fate if we don't cast off our idols and worship only Him.