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When her excommunication from the LDS Church was upheld last week, Kate Kelly announced that her husband, Neil Ransom, would resign his own membership.

Kelly was excommunicated in June for leading a movement that sought to have women ordained to the priesthood. She appealed the judgment to top LDS leaders. They stood by the decision. So now her husband will resign.

From the outside, there are a lot of ways to look at Ransom's decision to leave — spousal support, loss of belief, doctrinal differences, etc. Maybe it's me, but resigning from a church your spouse was fighting to stay in seems more than a bit ironic.

But everyone has a breaking point with a group. Whether we're talking marriage, business partners or membership in a quilting circle, there may come a moment when affiliation no longer serves one's best interests.

If the Dachshund breeders club you belong to starts making noises about strapping bombs to the objects of their affection and then shooing them into congressional restrooms, you might decide it was time to leave. I might decide it's time to get a wiener dog.

Given that I don't always agree with leaders in my church (or any other group for that matter), and I am on record as saying that ordaining women is OK with me, it seems fair to ask what my breaking point with the LDS Church would be.

I've given this matter the amount of thought it merits (almost none) and came up with these "end of the line" points that would force me to formally leave the LDS Church.

POLYGAMY. This would be a deal breaker for me. I don't care if church leaders do (or once did) take extra wives. I do care if they insist on me doing it. I'm already outmatched just being married to one woman.

UNITED ORDER. On this I would fight the church to the bitter end. There's no way I would give everything I own to the church and allow them to parcel it out based on community need. I'm not surrendering my cannons to anyone other than a SWAT team.

JACKSON COUNTY. This one is based on a prophecy that the church will one day slog back to Jackson County, Mo., and reclaim the land that it was driven away from by mobs more than a hundred years ago. Best of luck. I. Am. Not. Going.

SACRIFICE. I do not care how insistent God is/was that I build an altar and sacrifice one of my kids or grandkids to prove my love for him. I might just as well worship Satan instead.

KILLING. I would on-the-spot resign if any church leader tried to use my membership to leverage me into killing women and children in order to build up the kingdom of God or some other ridiculous thing.

Special Note: I'd like to believe that I'm independent enough that had I been at Mountain Meadows (or Jericho), I would have announced my immediate resignation by shooting the first person to even bring that #$%@! up.

MISSION CALL. I've heard that Brigham Young forced men to serve missions by threatening to excommunicate them if they refused. For me, I'd resign if called to serve in the Antarctic, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Berkeley, Salt Lake City, Disney World and any planet farther away than Mercury.

You probably have your own deal breaker list even if you don't know what it is yet. I thought there was more on mine, but apparently I've managed to find work-arounds for them.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or Find his past columns at