I am in a bit of a pickle. I am an ex-mormon and was using welfare from the Mormon church even though I had declared myself an Agnostic-Atheist.

How you might ask? I never actually got my records deleted from "Mormon High Command" (That's What I like to call it) so I am still technically a member in the eyes of the church.

I met with the bishop and got food from what is called the Bishop's Storehouse which is basically food for the poor members bought with tithing money. 

I was super up front with the bishop too. I told him I was an atheist and had no intention of ever paying tithing or going to church again, and he still allowed me to get food orders from the Bishop's storehouse. 

One more thing, I am married and we are super poor. I am working as a dishwasher, she is from Vietnam, is a student, and we are working toward getting her a green card. So you can see my motivation in getting free food.

I want to get myself removed from the church records and I probably should since I no longer use the church for that need.  But the economy is bad and I could lose my job at any time. So I have a bit of a moral conundrum. Keep using the church for my survival or lose that safety net by doing the right thing and getting my records removed.

Maybe some other ex-Mormons can weigh in. Or even others that might have something to say. I'm open for discussion.

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Well .. you were honest and told them the truth up front from the start and they had no problem with you getting help from them ..so in that case I would continue receiving their help. You seem to really be needing assistance from them. So I would continue to receive their aid.

I think since you were so honest about what you believe (or don't believe) and the church was willing to help you anyway, you aren't doing anything wrong.  You asked for help, told the truth, they helped, you accepted it.  That's not immoral.  I agree with Rusty that you should look up other helpful resources too.  Maybe you can get enough help that you can get ahead.  Hoping for the best for you~ Melinda

Since their religion told them to give to the poor, would it not be interfering with their freedom to practice their religion, to deny them the "Grace" derived from their charitable donations?  Do you really think that they will EVER remove you from their records?  From what I understand, those records and genealogy records are forever.  How else can they get your wife's dead maiden aunt married to a dead mormon man, and baptize her mormon, if they erase those records.  Remember, their goal is to make sure everyone dead or alive becomes a mormon.  You said you told the bishop you're an atheist.  He gave you food anyway.  That was nice of him, or maybe manipulative.  Does it make any difference?    Let people be kind to you.  When you are doing well, help others - maybe even that bishop!

If you had an overflowing pantry, would you give some food to a hungry mormon?  I think you would.  You are an ethical man.  I admire your willingness to consider denying yourself food, rather than acting in a dishonorable way.  Accepting a needed gift is not dishonorable.

Good post Joshua, it takes real guts to be as honest and forthcoming as you were not just with the church but on here as well. And your situation is a tough one, and not just financially but morally as you well know. It's a real sad state we are in that our young bright people have to go against their ideals in any way just to make it to the next day. Hearing stories like yours just makes me indignant at the moral compass of our country.

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