Two men pull up to a house they’ve never been to before. It’s dark, but a few lights appear on. They slowly get out, not saying much and walk up the walk to the door. One reaches out and rings the doorbell. Soon, a woman appears and opens the door.
One says: “Are you Sister Smith?”
She says, rather emphatically, “I thought I told you people that I want nothing to do with YOUR Church! We want to be left alone.”
“Sister Smith, we want to respect your decision, but it is necessary for us to check with you every once in a while to make sure you still live here and that no contact is still your desire. Since you seem to want no contact with the Church, have you ever considered having your name removed from the records of the Church?”
“And have you excommunicate me? I haven’t done anything wrong!”
“Actually, the procedure has changed and all you need to do is write a letter that states you wish to be removed from the records and your request will be granted.” No other Church action is taken.”
“Well, I could never do that; my family in Utah would be devastated!”
And so it goes.
I have been yelled at, cursed at, threatened with the police, etc. just for showing up at a member’s door and asking about them. And yet, most do not want their name removed from the Church rolls.
Either, they have family concerns, are just too lazy to write the letter, or don’t care enough to do anything about their Church membership other than request no contact from the Church.
And so, every once in a while someone in the ward mistakenly contacts them and that person gets yelled at or told in no uncertain terms that their contact is unwelcomed. Sometimes the “no contact” members are nice about it, but often they are very hostile and nasty. We sometimes send letters to their house as a form of contact – one way contact in order to count them as home or visiting teaching. In my current ward, we have quite a list of “do not contacts.”
So, it has always intrigued me as to why these folks seem unable to completely divorce themselves from the Church. Even though they want no contact. They sometimes cite family concerns but doesn’t their family know they are not even the least bit active in the Church? Maybe the family hopes the person will one day change their mind.
What are your experiences with this situation? Maybe, you are one of those that I describe in this post. Please comment.