Disciplinary Council

Mormon-Stories-Logo-Large

January 15, 2015 (updated 1/17/2015)
For Immediate Release
North Logan, UT
Phone: 435 227-5776
Email: johndehlin@gmail.com

Mormon Podcaster and Scholar John Dehlin Threatened with Excommunication

Summary: As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon church), I have been summoned by my LDS Stake President, Dr. Bryan King, to appear before a disciplinary council to be held on January 25, 2015 at the North Logan Utah Stake Center, located 2750 North 800 East, North Logan, Utah beginning at 6 p.m.  The charge is apostasy, and I have been informed that the likely outcome of the disciplinary council will be either disfellowshipment (i.e., official censure) or excommunication (i.e., termination of my membership).  The main items specifically mentioned to me by President Bryan King and Bishop Brian Hunt as contributing to my alleged apostasy include:

While my family and I would prefer to be left alone by LDS church leadership at this time, I would much rather face excommunication than disavow my moral convictions.  In the coming weeks, months, and years ahead, it is my intent to provide increased support to Mormons who are transitioning away from orthodoxy.

Bio: John Dehlin is the founder of Mormon Stories Podcast (http://mormonstories.org).  He is a former employee of Bain & Company, Microsoft Corporation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Utah State University’s Department of Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology.  John’s research interests involve the nexus of religion and mental health, and his research has been accepted for publication in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals including the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Behavior Modification, the Journal of Homosexuality, the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, and Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research.  John’s work has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and Nightline, as well as in the New York Times.

A PDF of this press release, along with key correspondence between me and Bryan King can be found here.

Background

In 2001 I was called to serve as an early morning seminary teacher for the LDS church while working for Microsoft in Washington state.  During that time, I began to study LDS church history in depth with the intent of strengthening my beliefs about the church, and becoming a better teacher.  While studying, I discovered many very troubling and hard-to-find historical facts regarding the church, which included:

This accumulcation of evidence served to unsettle and transform my world.  Consequently, I spent several depressed years trying to reconcile these facts with the church that I loved (and still love).  When I discovered that many of my LDS colleagues at Microsoft were also experiencing severe depression and distress over these issues, and that many of their marriages were in jeopardy because of their doubt or disbelief, my wife (Margi) and I made the very difficult decision to leave Microsoft in 2004 to try to be a part of the solution.

In 2005, I started Mormon Stories podcast (http://mormonstories.org).  At the time, I had been inspired by writers such as Lowell Bennion, Eugene England, and Leonard Arrington – all of whom had been aware of these difficult historical issues in the 1960s and 1970s, were eventually punished in one way or another for their open discussion of these issues, but who had found a way to remain faithful to the church.  My goals with Mormon Stories were to:

  • Help bring awareness to these difficult and hidden issues, so that others would not be blindsided by the information.
  • Help to model the thoughtful, balanced, yet faithful discussion of these topics.
  • Begin to provide support for the thousands of current and former LDS church members I have encountered whose mental health, marriages, and/or extended familial and social relationships were continually jeopardized by the discovery of these troubling facts (since the LDS church continued to hide this information, and punish those who spoken openly about it).

As years progressed, I gained increased awareness of other unsettling aspects of LDS church culture such as gender inequality and the church’s damaging treatment of its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members.  Given the high rates of suicide of LDS LGBT youth, I earnestly sought to develop and nurture research and resources for LDS LGBT church members, and for those who struggled to stay in the LDS church after experiencing a crisis of faith (http://staylds.com, http://mormonmatters, and http://athoughtfulfaith).  In 2011, I also worked both directly and indirectly with LDS church leadership, teaming with several close friends, to conduct a large survey to better understand why so many educated LDS church members are leaving the church (http://www.whymormonsquestion.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Survey-Results_Understanding-Mormon-Disbelief-Mar20121.pdf ).  I have been told from sources within LDS church headquarters that all of these efforts were important parts of the LDS church’s new initiative to be more forthcoming about its history.

Investigations.  Over the past ten years of my work with Mormon Stories podcast, my local LDS authorities have initiated formal investigations of my work on at least three separate occasions.  Instead of feeling supported in my earnest efforts to alleviate suffering within the church, these investigations have always felt very intrusive, threatening, and coercive to my family and me.  I could never fully understand why the church would continue to harass me when I was working so hard (along with many others) to provide much needed aid, comfort, and support to struggling church members – especially when the church itself had done virtually nothing over the years to support these people in desperate need.

The first investigation was in March, 2007 – which ended in my exoneration.  The second began in May, 2011 – during which I spent well over a year meeting almost weekly with my former stake president, Mark Jensen.  During these discussions with President Jensen, I was fully open and honest about my doubts regarding key aspects of LDS theology.  Nonetheless, at the conclusion of these discussions, President Jensen concluded that in spite of my doubts and disbelief, I was worthy to remain a member of the church, and to baptize and confirm my son.  From this time to the present, my love of and positive feelings for the Mormon community, along with my doubts and disbelief about LDS theology, have not changed.

While I concluded my ongoing discussions with President Jensen in early 2013 content to remain a member in good standing, several prior and subsequent events began to make me feel increasingly concerned about the way the LDS church treats its struggling members, often leading to people losing the support of their families and social support networks, their livelihoods, and even, in case of LGBT church members, their lives.

In June of 2012, I interviewed a former London, England, U.K. stake president (Tom Phillips) who provided details of his experience receiving a secret LDS church temple ordinance, called the “Second Anointing,” during which he was anointed directly by LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard, and “sealed up to eternal life” (promising him exaltation in heaven).  In this interview Tom also detailed how he subsequently lost his faith in the LDS church, and had several unpleasant interactions with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland as he tried to reconcile, and receive support for his shattered beliefs.  This series of events tragically resulted in Tom losing the support of his entire family.

In July of 2013, I interviewed former Swedish LDS area authority 70 Hans Mattsson (http://mormonstories.org/hans-mattsson/), who spoke of his significant concerns regarding the way doubt/disbelief continued to be handled by the church.  Hans’ story uncovered significant troubles experienced by LDS church members in Sweden, and showed very clearly that the LDS church was/is deeply inept in its ability to support LDS church members struggling with their faith.

In October of 2013, Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a general conference talk entitled “No Other Gods” that was deeply troubling to me.  Having counseled as a mental health professional with dozens of young LGBT Mormons who were/are tormented over their inability to change their sexual orientation, I was deeply concerned that such language from Elder Oaks and others would contribute to, and possibly accelerate the rash of suicides experienced by LDS LGBT members.

From that point forward, I decided that as a matter of conscience, I would need to begin speaking up more forcefully, to provide additional attention and context regarding LDS church teachings or policies that I believed to be harmful to its members.  This was followed by my delivery of a TEDx talk in public support of LGBT individuals and same-sex marriage, and my public support of the Ordain Women movement.

In February of 2014, I was summoned by my bishop, Brian Hunt, and informed that he would be initiating yet another investigation into my efforts with Mormon Stories.  He explicitly listed my work with Mormon Stories, my support of same-sex marriage, and my support of Ordain Women as primary causes of the investigation.

At that point my wife and I felt tired of feeling harassed by these ongoing investigations, and concluded that we would no longer cooperate with them.  We did, however, continue to attend church with our children through June of 2014.

On June 7, 2014, I was contacted by letter by my current stake president, Dr. Bryan King (whom I had never met), and informed that he would be initiating a disciplinary council against me, with the intent of either disfellowshipping me from the church (i.e., putting me on probationary status), or excommunicating me.

At my request, Bryan King met with me to discuss my situation and concerns.  This meeting occurred in late June of 2014.  In early August of 2014, we met for a second time, wherein Bryan King verbally enumerated several specific terms for avoiding church discipline and remaining in good standing with the church.  These terms included:

  • Censoring and removing all past episodes of Mormon Stories podcast that were not favorable and/or faith-promoting to the church.
  • Agreeing to never again interview anyone for Mormon Stories podcast who expressed doubt, disbelief, or criticism of the LDS church or its leaders.
  • To never again voice any public doubt or criticism of the LDS church or its leaders.
  • To cease my public support of same-sex marriage, and of the Ordain Women movement.

On August 10th my wife (Margi) and I responded in letter to Bryan King, letting him know very explicitly that we would not be able to agree to these terms, and requested a speedy resolution to the investigation.

Yesterday, January 14th 2015, my wife and I met with Dr. Bryan King and his two counselors.  We were informed that a disciplinary council has been set for me for “January 25, 2015 at the North Logan Utah Stake Center, located 2750 North 800 East, North Logan, Utah beginning at 6 p.m.”  At present, we plan to attend this disciplinary council, though the date and time are subject to change.

While I acknowledge that LDS church leaders are in a very difficult situation as they attempt to retain membership during very difficult times, I consider it a matter of conscience to continue to advocate publicly for the many LDS LGBT members, feminists, and intellectuals who experience deep and continued marital/familial/social/spiritual/occupational/psychological distress as a result of the LDS church’s history, teachings, and policies.  The past ten years of my life have been dedicated to providing support to these individuals, and while my family and I would prefer to be left alone by LDS church leadership at this point, I would much rather face excommunication than disavow my moral convictions.

Over the coming months and years I will be teaming with my wife (Margi) and others to provide additional information, comfort, and support to Mormons in transition.  The goal will be to help provide information, community, resources, and support for those transitioning away from the current view of LDS orthodoxy and towards greater health and well-being – whether they remain in or leave the LDS church.  For those interested in collaborating in this effort, check back at http://mormontransitions.org in the coming weeks/months/years for additional information.

Sincerely,

John P. Dehlin
Mormon Stories Podcast
http://mormonstories.org

 

154 comments for “Disciplinary Council

  1. David Macfarlane
    January 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    It looks as though this chapter of your life is coming to a close, John. It seems clear the church will excommunicate you. Importantly, it has always appeared to me that you and your family are making this trip together, which is tremendously important. I’m proud to support your efforts both financially and ideologically, and I hope your upcoming transition is as painless as it can be. Best of luck.

    • Kevin James
      January 16, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Warning Signs that You are in a Cult

      If you suspect the group you are in is harmful, but are not sure, ask yourself these questions:

      •do they claim to have a special corner on the truth, something no other groups has?
      •are you told to not question what is being taught, as the leadership are godly, honest, have divine authority and you must trust them?
      •are you discouraged from asking questions as to why members have left, and expected to accept the reasons the group leadership gives you?
      •do they put down other churches, groups, etc, while pointing out their faults and errors to build themselves up? do they use peoples faults and sins as examples of what to do and what not to do?
      •are you made to feel your failures, as though your performance is not up to par to their righteous standards?
      •do they recommend for you to be around their people, expecting you to attend all group activities? if you do not, are you are questioned about your spirituality or dedication?
      •do they stop you from reading anything negative about themselves?
      •do they call those who fall away enemies, dogs, or cancer, even using examples from the Bible or other such materials?
      •do they place and emphasis on evil and the devil, declaring that the world outside is a threat to the group?
      •do they defend themselves in every area?
      •do they give importance to a spiritual goal, such as enlightenment, godliness, salvation, that has no real tangible way of being measured?
      •do they operate in humility, or seem arrogant, and make demands on you to obey, using such statements such as “real believers obey without question or if you really were a devoted follower you would do such and such”?

      Be aware of:

      •an instant bonding or friendship without even knowing you
      •being told you have a special calling or potential and that if you join you will move further ahead; flattery is used often in cults

      •when you ask questions about the history of the group, the answers are vague or avoided altogether
      •feeling that something is being hidden from you

      Cults will always divide the family unit instead of bringing them together. They will make you choose between God and their church. They use scriptures such as: “Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace” or “one must give up brothers, sisters, wife, and house for the kingdom and be a true follower”. Children often become the most hurt because of strict rules enforced on them. They lose their childhood and are deeply affected, being unable to adjust later on in life. Religious systems that are not balanced can be socially and psychologically disastrous for innocent children.

    • lessons_not_learned
      January 17, 2015 at 9:56 am

      This is nothing more than the modern day version of Joseph having the printing press destroyed. The information age is the Mormon church’s single biggest problem and excommunicating people for voicing their feelings will prove counter-productive overtime. If the church is run by God, what are the people in ivory tower afraid of?

  2. Will Roberts
    January 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Sorry it has come to this John. Best of luck to you whatever the outcome. If I can send a letter of support or anything else, please let me know.

  3. The Pangwitch
    January 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    No Mention of the Second Anointing?

    Me thinks that is their true target no?

    From a PR perspective, the LDS leaders better hope this doesn’t become framed as “John Dehlin excommunicated for exposing the 2nd anointing.” Which would cause members to say.. “what is the second anointing?”

    • JV Meyer
      January 15, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Mr/Miss Pangwitch,
      would you kindly provide a link to some information about this 2nd anointing? Thank you.

      • Calvin Nickell
        January 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm
        • JV Meyer
          January 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

          Thank you. After 30+ years in the church (formally resigned last year) I have never even heard of the 2nd anointing. My Dad was second councilor and never heard of it either.

  4. Amy
    January 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    JE SUIS JOHN!

    They may excommunicate you, but they will never silence you. Your voice will continued to be heard and your positive influence felt among many. I stand with you John!

    • Anon: Afraidtospeakout
      January 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      It is pretty ironic that this week, after radical Muslims are being condemned for trying to squash free speech that the church is essentially doing the same thing. Apparently it is to okay to question in public. The church WILL silence those who do.

      How heartbreaking that I must face the reality that this is how the inspired men who lead the church think.

      No free speech in the LDS church. No questioning. No public discussions…..or else.

      • Ryan Wimmer
        January 15, 2015 at 11:26 pm

        Let’s not make this a big deal. It is a club, clubs get to decide the rules to being a member of the club. I would not compare Muslims murdering people to a club meaninglessly expiring ones membership from the club. That is an absurd comparison. A private club does not have to respect free speech or questioning club actions or decisions.

        • Able Dog
          January 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

          Seems to me that the personal nature of salvation has been replaced with the need for a church? Salvation is a personal relationship with God, not with our standing in a church. Might as well be a country club. We sure know how to screw things up!

      • JV Meyer
        January 19, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        When your foundation is built on fiction, free speech is a very dangerous thing.

  5. January 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    The church needs to back off on Ex-ing people. Give people more agency.

    • Michelle
      January 16, 2015 at 3:14 am

      I actually really appreciate how John explains very clearly how he is claiming his agency. He would rather not remain a member if that would mean he would need to violate what his conscience has dictated. This IS what agency is about. The Church has every right to have boundaries. If anything, boundaries don’t restrict agency, they invite it.

      John’s voice is not silenced, and although I disagree with much/most of what John has said and done with a lot of things, I absolutely celebrate his right to choose what he wants to stand for and do. I also think that it’s important for the Church to be able to draw lines in the sand according to what it feels it needs to stand for.

      Godspeed, John.

  6. January 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I can only speak for myself of course, but my guess is, thousands of us will be standing with you. If the church is too small for you, it is too small for me…a woman who has found a lifeline in the Mormon Stories Podcasts.

    • Joe_Sm
      January 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I would have to agree with Collette.

      Many of us have journeyed down a difficult path. When we learn that the LDS Church is not what it claims to be, we have to decide if it is a good or worthwhile organization. I lean towards the “not worthwhile” camp. But I have held out hope that the LDS Church (the organization) will change.

      When Kate was Ex’d, I was close to giving up hope. But I hung in there.

      At this point, whether they dis-fellowship or excommunicate you, John… it probably doesn’t matter. I think it finally time to be done with the Mormon Church.

      @John D

      I wish nothing but the best for your family and you during this challenging time.

      • Getting over the disappointment...
        January 16, 2015 at 12:47 pm

        Joe_Sm, well said about the struggle of coming to a realization that the church is not what it claims to be.
        It is a soul-wrenching experience. Some emerge without being bitter, some will continue to struggle with the transition….

        John Dehlin has been provided a safe place for people who are struggling. He has taken time from his incredibly busy schedule to reach out to me to provide advice and support. I will always be in his debt.

        John, you and your family are in my thoughts. I look forward to hearing about your future endeavors. I am sure you will continue to be a light for people who need your wisdom and encouragement.

    • Derek
      January 15, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      I agree with Collette too. That will be about the final straw for me too.

      Thank you John for all you have done and all you do. It has meant a lot for so many of us.

  7. Latterday Skeptic
    January 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Unfortunately, some things are just eventually inevitable. *sigh* I suppose it best to see it through. Thank you for being courageous enough through all of these years to highlight your journey in public for all of us who were too afraid to do so in the shadows. As long as the church remains afraid of open inquiry, it will forever rightly be cast as a cultish entity that only seeks for its own survival, rather than being an institution strong enough (and true enough) to withstand dissenting or alternate opinions. You’ve made and will continue to make a new era in Mormonism, where freedom of expression and inquiry will take the place of entrenchment, authortarianism and stubborn traditionalism. May a much kinder God, rather than those who claim to represent Him, bless you and your family.

  8. Diane
    January 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I sure this is a hard day for you, John. You have done a great job of helping the good members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints see the the truth behind so much deception and for that I’m so very grateful. This past year has been such a hard one for me as I try to work through what I feel is such a betrayal from our church leaders. I’m trying to figure all this out in my mind and listen to what my heart is telling me too and It is a brutal journey many of us are on together. Please don’t forget that you have many by your side to support you at this difficult time. Keep fighting until all the amazing members of our church have the opportunity to see the history for what it really is. I still believe in Jesus and want to share this scripture with you : John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

  9. Holly
    January 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Regardless of the outcome, I am sorry that you are you family are going through this process. In my experience it is not a court of love (and not fun). Thanks for all you have done.

  10. Lawrence Kennedy
    January 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    So many people take bullying seriously when it’s person on person, this is no different, the LDS is bullying Dehlin to shut his site down and force him to be still, Keep up your work and ignore them, you will survive without them.

  11. Michelle Smith
    January 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Frankly, I would hope that ANYONE threatened with a disciplinary council simply not attend. Do not dignify the process of humiliation with your presence. You’ve already said and done everything you need to, so let them do what they will do without your sitting there as a target for their self-righteous damnation.

    • Jeff
      January 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      I agree. The best part of a very despicable process would be to refuse playing the game.

    • DeAnn
      January 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Yes. I agree. You, John, could certainly choose not to go.

      Years ago, in 1979, when I asked to have my name removed, I was instead called to a Court which I did not attend. I was subsequently excommunciated.

      In those days, one could not just resign the way you can now.

      Ah, well.

      John, I suspect you will go because you probably have some things you still want to say to some of them.

      • James Jenson
        January 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

        While I certainly think you should entertain the option of not attending, to me the most important thing is that you not feel intimidated or bullied or abused, but rather feel proud of speaking out so honestly and humanely for all this time. I suspect you will want to say what’s on your mind, though the reader of this blog will be more likely to “hear” you than will the court.

    • Scott
      January 16, 2015 at 12:27 am

      I disagree. Attending the disciplinary council provides an opportunity for others to hear a different perspective. Perhaps the high council members will be influenced to give talks that are more inclusive.

  12. Carla M.
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Wishing you and your family all the best. Both the church and the Mormon Stories Podcast have played good and important roles in my life. This news makes me sad, on so many levels.

  13. Todd gillies
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    John, my heart goes out to you and your family. I have recently been drawn to your podcast and it has helped me tremendously with my faith crisis which began two years ago after I was left alone from a cheating spouse. There were no real support groups for divored singles and as I felt more and more ignored and left alone in my circumstances, my ex wife who moved to a new ward was embraced and fellowshipped with no disciplinary action taken on her behalf. I felt abandoned by the church and was searching for answers. Your podcast has been a true godsend in my life. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. You are a true disciple and I consider you a true friend.
    No matter how the church treats you and your family you have done great thing for others and I know your life is blessed.
    God bless you
    Todd Gillies

    • Dave
      January 17, 2015 at 12:17 am

      Todd,

      I hope you have found some peace after all you have been thru with your ex-wives. Remember to pray always for good things to happen in your life. John should be ok either way as his intentions are what matters in the works he has performed. The leaders have to protect “their” flock so to speak and will take action to do that if they feel the flock is threatened. You my friend are just too cool and smart to let things like this drag you down so lets dive down deep into the abyss of spirituality and find ourselves in Gods mind on matters of personal growth and let our conscience be our guide and our light. GodSpeed brother.

  14. Darlene
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of the difficulty that you and your family are dealing with now. Even thought you know in your heart that what you are standing for is right, it hurts to see people/leaders of an organization you’ve lived in since birth has decided you cannot remain with it.(I’m ahead of things, I know) For myself, I put too much energy into the church, more than I should have; but it was my life.
    You are here to do great things, and you will help people/members even more now. You won’t be ousted by God, that’s for sure.
    I support you and your family as hundred’s of others do and will. Follow your heart and believe in yourself!!
    There has to be a falling away before things can be restored, and that is and will be happening. In time, I believe that the church’s..”You can’t be a member anymore”, will fall on deaf ears to the masses. They will loose their clout.
    Prayers to you and yours. You’re the valiant one.
    Most sincerely and with warmth,
    Darlene Nicholes

  15. Thomas Allen
    January 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family, John. You have done a tremendous service for members of the church like me. Thank you.

  16. Jay
    January 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    John,

    A admire that you have been willing to pursue the truth at all costs. That is integrity. That is a high standard. That is the challenging approach to life. The easy way is to simply do as your told and follow the rules without serious questioning.

    If the mormon church decides to excommunicate you, it will send the message that seeking the truth and talking about your journey is not acceptable unless you arrive at the answers the mormon church has provided.

    What kind of a quest for truth is it if you are required to arrive at preset answers?

  17. Shelama Leesen
    January 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    John, as you already know and will soon experience yourself, it can be suprisingly easy and liberating to live a more authentic, fulfilled and happy & joyous life without the “blessings” of being a member of the Mormon church.

    Many in the bubble of Mormon intellectualism and apologetic will celebrate your removal but, sadly, they and the church will continue to lose ground to honest, intelligent thought and inquiry. It’s unfortunate that they wrongly see you as a problem and not a symptom.

    Look forward both to more podcasts helping honest Mormons in transition, and to your continuing good and important work regarding same-sex marriage and LGBT issues, etc.

    • Wayne Dequer
      January 15, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      I am a pretty orthodox member of the LDS faith, and I would never “celebrate” the removal of another member. In 18 years of serving in capacities where I was present at or part of disciplinary councils, the only time I felt to celebrate was when members were reinstated or formal probation/disfellowshipment drew to a positive close. There are times when church discipline is necessary and even productive. However, anyone who celebrates the church discipline of a brother or sister, really does not understand the central message of the pure love of Jesus Christ within the Gospel. That pure love is absolutely essential.

      While I disagree with some of Brother Dehlin’s views and even question some of his actions, I appreciate his general integrity and the good he has done in many instances. He and his family should be in the prayers of all members who hear this news.

  18. JJ
    January 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks, John, for your transparency. I observe that being a change agent is rarely pleasant. Forcing the dialogue forward and open with honest conviction is a gift to all humanity.

  19. kinglamoni
    January 15, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    God bless you John!

  20. James
    January 15, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    You have and will continue to have my support regardless of your official standing as a member. And you will continue to have a much needed influence on so many lives as you continue. Carry on!

  21. Tawnya
    January 15, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    John,

    We are sending much love and support to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you for all of the lifesaving work that you do!

  22. Lovelife
    January 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    John,
    you’ve helped me so much during this mind boggling difficult time of questioning and shock. You still continue to help so many of us. I personally believe that Jesus is behind you and Jesus spoke against pharisees who kick people out of churches. I am so sorry that this has come to this. I pray for your family!

  23. Ben
    January 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for being a brave voice for so many of us who desperately need to hear the truth burning inside of us to be spoken aloud. Thank you for not letting your spirit of love and spiritual encouragement be silenced by the power plays of this world. Thank you, God bless, and love and strength to you and your family.

  24. No thank you
    January 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I was raised to revile state fascism, only recently realizing I was raised to incline to spiritual fascists. I’ll have none of that anymore. What you’re doing is forcing them to make that public. Well done.

  25. Alex Beam is my Co-Pilot
    January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    You have helped so many, including me. All you have done will not be in vain. Rest well at night knowing that thousands of people owe their sanity and lack of depression to all the good work you have done.

    The church was going to show their true colors sooner or later. No amount of tennis playing with Jeffrey Holland can fix this…You are the best! I look forward to the 21st recording.

  26. Dave
    January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I am not a mormon supporter but you can’t back a disgusting practice and expect to still be able to justify a connection to God. Any religion that embraces homosexuality is not associated with God. Because God detests the practice.

    • Shelama Leesen
      January 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Well, Dave, I just asked Her and She says that you’re wrong. That being a lesbian Herself, She’s perfectly fine with homosexuality.

      At least as long as — just like for all sexual relations — it’s safe, respectful, non-exploitative, mutual, honest and fun and does not violate trust. And as long as a woman’s partner makes sure that her pleasure is not neglected. The more ‘like’ the better; the more love even better still. But consenting adults having recreational sex is perfectly fine.

      Your trouble, Dave, is that you somehow got caught up with this man-made bronze-age god and just simply refused to think honestly or critically about it.

      May She bless you.

    • Ryan Wimmer
      January 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Did god tell you that? He hasn’t told me, you have his phone number? Did god send you a post card about it? Surely your too intelligent to just believe what some ancient desert dwellers scribbled about it.

      • Kevin
        January 16, 2015 at 8:20 am

        I believe I read in the bible that women shouldn’t speak unless spoken to. Yeah I think I’ll throw that out also.

      • Glenn
        January 16, 2015 at 8:22 am

        yeah the Bible says a lot of things…Don’t eat pork, or shellfish or snails. Don’t be fat (Leviticus
        3:17) Don’t uncover your head or wear ripped clothing (Leviticus 10:6) No mixed fabric clothing Leviticus 19:19. No tattoos Leviticus 19:28 No mixed gardens Leviticus 19:19 Translation: Since all the other rules are being followed so perfectly, let’s just shout this one out as loudly and as often as you can…..Leviticus 18:22

      • Ryan Wimmer
        January 16, 2015 at 10:10 am

        I have read it, several versions with different books included, nothing magical happened. Mormons told me the same about the Book of Mormon, nothing happened there either. So what part is overwhelming with wisdom? Is it the Book of Genesis where the earth and vegetation is impossibly created prior to the sun? Where Joshua tells the sun to stand still despite the facts that the earth moves around the sun? Where god tells what type of slaves can be purchased (Lev 25:44-46)? How to treat foreign and Hebrew slaves (Ex 21:2-6)? That female slaves must please their master (Ex 21:7-11)? That you can beat a slave as long it survives a day (Ex 21:20-21)? Most countries have had slavery so not much wisdom there. Is it the part where god says to slaughter people including children and babies (1 Sam 15:3)? That isn’t that great, Muslim terrorists and the Sandy Hook shooter share in that infinite wisdom. Is it that you should kill people for blasphemy (Lev 24:10-16)? That isn’t special to the desert dwellers, the Paris murderers last week share that wisdom. Or is it the wisdom where god says to kill disobedient children (Deut 21:18-21)? Help me know where the wisdom is soooo awesome.

        • Jay
          January 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm

          As a person who has never been a member of the LDS Church, I also read the book of mormon cover to cover. It was tough because it was incredibly boring. I too didn’t find wisdom. I found a poorly written story.

          I told my contemporaries I wasn’t impressed with the book of mormon. They protested greatly. Then I copied three pages from the BoM. I also wrote out three pages that I made up on the spot. I shared the two versions – the real BoM and my version – with about a dozen mormons. About half correctly guessed which version was the real BoM.

          For the most part, if you weren’t raised being told the Book of Mormon is some divine scripture, you’ll most likely find it one of the least interesting books you’ve ever read in your life. It was for me.

          • James Jenson
            January 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

            Mark Twain,as one would expect, gave the Book of Mormon a famously cogent review (it wasn’t positive). My father, also an intelligent man and a died in the wool Mormon, thought it a crock of shiest. I, who have no taste, find it a thrilling yarn.

          • JV Meyer
            January 19, 2015 at 10:56 am

            I was raised being told that the BoM is a divine scripture, but in my heart never held it as anything other than a poorly written work of fiction.

          • James Jenson
            January 19, 2015 at 11:17 am

            JV – If you pray about it, you will get a burning in your chest telling you it is a poorly written book of fiction. Trust me.

  27. Paul Belfiglio
    January 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I think it’s so sad that in our supposedly more enlightened era things like ‘excommunication’ still exist, or especially went it’s for something like ‘apostasy’, which is a term you can drive an eighteen wheeler through. Maybe the powers that be more accurately mean ‘open apostasy’, i.e., “Think whatever you want, but just keep your mouth shut and fingers off the keyboard; that way we can maintain a membership “under my [our] power” by way of fear and threat for social, familial, and personal wellbeing, as well as post life, ‘Al di là’ spiritual damnation.”

    Yeah, ‘fake it until you make it’ is the order for the day, and the Socratic principle of ‘following the evidence wherever it may lead’ be damned, and most certainly what Apostle Hugh B. Brown said, “Tolerance and truth demand that all be heard and that competing ideas be tested against each other so that the best, which might not always be our own, can prevail. Knowledge is the most complete and dependable when all points of view are heard.”.

    Aw, Fuhgeddaboutit; I’m too old anyway. That’s why I wrote (and it may be of some help to you, as well):

    Let what’s gone or ought’a go, go;
    There’s better to come what you come to outgrow;
    Know what’s important, though—
    To reap, to sow,
    To keep, forgo,
    Then detach, relax, let go the woe.
    You’ll own more than you’ll ever owe
    Commanding your own vessel whether sail, drift, motor, row;
    Charting your own course throughout life’s ebb and flow;
    Treasuring your own cargo in the soul’s hold below.
    So,
    Let what’s gone or ought’a go, go;
    There’s better, always better to come what you come to outgrow.

  28. Helen Sweany
    January 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    When the 18 “judge not that ye be not judged” judges show up, can you show up with your own 18 too? Would be nice

  29. sarah
    January 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Ex communication doesnt show the love of God. It shows the lack of, the only commandment we are given in the new testament is to love God and eachother. Love covers a multitude of sins . Love is kind, patient, not easily angered, holds no grudges, this is what the Bible says. Jesus loved the prostitutes, the thief, the poor, the sinner. God loves you John! Praise his holy name! Talk about a new beginning! I will lift you and your family up in prayer.

  30. jon
    January 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    On a side note. The *Tom Phillips and the Second Anointing* podcasts didn’t upload correctly, or you changed your mind? I’ve listened to them before and they were really good, so I thought I would give them a second listen.

    Hope you get your desired outcome. I know that being disciplined by the church could undermine the podcast, but hopefully it will continue to have its reach. Nothing worse then having a bunch of men acting as philosopher kings of our lives, especially if you believe you only get to live one and then are gone forever. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to make my life decisions on my terms and not on terms that are based on what other people desire.

    • articulett
      January 15, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      You can find the entire interview here: http://mormonisminvestigated.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/tomphillips-unedited-ms.mp3

      (I think Jon took them off this site during a previous threat of excommunication.)

      They are excellent.

      • jon
        January 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm

        @articulett,

        They came up in the RSS podcast feed with a note from John saying that he regretted not posting them out of fear during his previous excommunication fiasco. But now he wanted to post them. Since I couldn’t find them on the website as one of the recent postings I’m assuming that he posted it and then changed his mind again? Maybe, he’ll wait until after the disciplinary hearing to post them again?

        Thanks for the link.

  31. Guy C
    January 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    JD… Best wishes to you and your family during this time!!!

  32. January 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Someone needs to take John’s bishop aside and explain how the Internet works. This is like a parent threatening to throw their child out of their house, and sever all contact, if they don’t take down the Slayer band poster they hung up in their room. John is a guy with a blog, a message board, and a YouTube channel, just like half the rest of the Internet.

  33. Carol
    January 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    In October 2013, Dallin Oaks quoted Thomas Monson from a 1986 Conference Talk. This is what Dallin said: ““Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”

    John, your courage has the smile of God’s approval, according to the leaders of the LDS Church. You are standing up for your beliefs, and behind you are thousands of people ready to back you up.

    • You KNOW Who
      January 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Dallin Oaks is a hypocrite and a moral coward himself. And he knows EXACTLY why.

  34. Darcey
    January 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    John,
    I am deeply saddened for you and your family to hear of this news. There is nothing that can be said to ease this disappointment that you have not already expressed to the many individuals you’ve touched helped for the better. It is unfortunate that in alienating you and your community the church is possibly alienating its own from a strong and united group of individuals who are well positioned to help the church and its members through what are sure to be very tumultuous times ahead. The church’s vitality and future generations will be faced with challenges that likely will not be overcome without the support of individuals who are now thriving within communities like that of “Mormon Stories”. Thank you for all you’ve done and sacrificed to pave the path.

    May God’s Light Shine Upon You (whatever or whoever she/he/it is).

  35. Scotty
    January 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    John,

    I would resign my membership rather than humiliate myself in front of their stupid kangaroo court. You don’t need explain to them your reasons or intentions. These self-rightous assholds already have their minds made up and nothing you say to them will matter.

    Sorry you and your family are going through this. Hang in there!

  36. Maranee Parry
    January 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Sending love and support out to you and your family. Mormon Stories has been an intregal component of my healing process after leaving the church. Thank you for all you do and will continue to do.

  37. JR
    January 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hey John, I’m not sorry for you & your loss, I’m sorry for the church & its loss! This has been a long journey, and I’ve been along for the ride since sometime in 2007. I’ve been able to listen to most podcasts and appreciate all you’ve done. It was mentioned above to not show up to the court. I say show up and give em hell! Gods speed brother…..let me know when you’re ready to go have that beer.

  38. Michael Tracy
    January 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Getting out of the cult was the best thing that ever happened to me. My entire life changed for the better. It was like getting out of prison. I hope you find the same joy and success that came to me. All good things! Mike

  39. Eric
    January 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Nothing original has emanated from Brian King’s mouth. His letters read like they could have written by any one of hundreds of stake presidents. Does he even have a mind of his own?

    Certainly he has not personally dug into and investigated any of the problematic issues in any detail. That is obvious. How embarrassing for him and what a sad day this is indeed.

    • Jay
      January 15, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      You’re probably right. However, if Mr. King has researched any of the problematic issues, he knows full well he’s not allowed to express the thoughts in his mind. I’d venture to say a number of men that will be on the disciplinary council do respect John Dehlin and will envy him the evening of January 25th.

      They will know that they are talking with a man who thinks, who is not afraid of the truth, who takes the hard path and sets a high personal standard. I think many of the men on the disciplinary council will be silently embarrassed at their own inability to speak the thoughts in their mind.

      • Yepp
        January 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm

        Jay: Agreed! I’ve had friends who are in their ward bishoprics or sit on the high council that have privately told me that they’re envious of myself and others like me who have left, but they can’t because they’re stuck due to “image management” issues from other church members & leaders, spouses, children, parents, and even in the workplace. Sad.

  40. Lilli
    January 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    John,

    I pray you will have the peace, comfort and joy from the Spirit knowing you are standing for what’s right, despite that the Church continues to cast out ‘the righteous & those who stand for truth & right’ from among them.

    This discipline will just make the Church look worse and awaken far more people to it’s real agenda, then if they had let you remain a member. Let them reveal themselves.

    But I would not allow them to abuse you further by giving them the satisfaction of your attendance or even a response to their summons.

    I would do what Christ did and answer them nothing, and not support their abusive charade and pretense of authority. They will feel the wrongness of their unrighteous acts far more if you make them do this without your attendance or response, who knows, you may even wake up an Alma among them. You have already said your peace, to them and on this blog and they have rejected it. Silence will make them face themselves.

    • Fred
      January 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Lilli, Can you please explain how the church is “abusing” John. Is it really fair to go that far?
      John has a right at anytime to terminate his relationship with the church. If he did so, we wouldn’t accuse him of abusing the church. Shouldn’t the church also be able to terminate their relationship with John without being called abusive?

      • Chad
        January 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Since there has been multiple separate inquires spanning years – one could easily see how this could be viewed as ‘abusive’. This is a slow death by a thousand paper cuts scenario. Not cool, just get on with it already.

        I don’t see the issue being whether or not the church as a right to terminate relations, any group should have that right. The key issue are the alleged reasons for the alleged apostasy.

        Regardless where one stands on issues such as gay marriage or women in the priesthood, my view is that one should be able to voice disagreement in any forum – even public forums such as this one, without fear of retribution. Imagine if your business workplace tolerated retribution for whistle blowing (regardless of which side is correct), Imagine getting booted from a country and losing citizenship for being critical of that country’s leadership.

        It may not be apples to apples, but pretty close..

        • Lilli
          January 15, 2015 at 11:19 pm

          Chad,

          Good comment. And it is apples to apples, for God always expects us to respect each other’s right to free speech, whether in relation to government, church or personally.

          Christ was all about calling out the errors and evils of the Church in his day and he commanded us to beware of and do the same.

          False prophets don’t respect free speech though, they want to stifle people’s opinions and the warning of others, especially regarding the truth, for it shines a light on what leaders are really doing.

          True prophets and a true church would be like Christ and welcome and even command it’s members to stand up for right and speak out against wrong, even and especially in the Church.

        • Michelle
          January 16, 2015 at 3:32 am

          I think there are different ways to look at the multiple communications. It could be death by a thousand cuts, or lots of opportunities to make a choice. If the Church had acted and excommunicated swiftly, I could understand the fear that any expression of doubt or disagreement on key doctrinal issues is not allowed. But to me, the long amount of time that has passed communicates the opposite. I can totally see why it could feel like death by a thousand cuts, but I think it can cut both ways and there are different ways to look at what is happening.

          As per your examples, imo, if a salesperson continually maligned the company and undermined its products and mission, that employee would likely be fired. It’s a violation of a contract and relationship. And the Church has never pretended to be a ‘voice of the people’ entity like the government is designed to be. The Church proclaims to be set up by revelation through appointed channels (prophets) for the key doctrines. To be open to repeated violation or undermining of those key doctrines and processes would essentially render its mission irrelevant. If you allow everything, you stand for nothing. And on the flip side, John has decided not to allow into his life everything the Church stands for. He is sharing where he stands, and I said this before but I’ll say it again – I may disagree with him a lot of stuff, but I think it’s powerful for people to understand better where each ‘side’ stands. John’s position is clearer to me than ever (because he gets to make a distinct, defined choice), and the Church’s becomes clear when an excommunication becomes an option. A core principle in psychology is boundaries; this is the stuff of boundaries right before our eyes.

          They also can be hard when they are presented and so I sympathize with the trauma some are feeling and I extend my best wishes to you, John and your family.

      • Robert Hodge
        January 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

        The Church abuses him because of the stigma placed upon him as a Mormon heretic. This action will have many repercussions for him and his family. Like most Mormons. past and present you will excuse the church and put your hands like the monkey of lore, hear no evil, see no evil. That they have the right is not in question, but the methods and reasons are more than suspect, they are downright diabolical.

      • Lorb
        January 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        Fred, while John may feel the church should change in certain ways, as I understand it, he would still prefer to remain a part of it. I can understand that some church leaders may like to see John change in certain ways, even if he doesn’t, why can’t they allow him to remain a part? Excommunication feels like an exceedingly violent act. From my perspective, it betrays a fearful stance on the part of the church. A more confident, integral organization wouldn’t feel threatened by one who advocates for change from within.

      • Lilli
        January 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        Thank you Robert, very well said.

        Fred,

        It is definite spiritual and emotional abuse to discipline or cast out someone for standing for right and truth and calling them apostate and wrong and causing others to look down on them and even shun them as most members do when someone is exed or leaves.

        It is also prideful of those leaders to believe they are instead ‘righteous’ and have any supposed authority to stand in judgment of anyone, when they themselves do not even live their own teachings, let alone Christ’s teachings, yet they of course don’t excommunicate themselves. Pride only exes those who disagrees with them, it can’t see how they themselves are the real apostates.

        Anyone who knows John and understands Christ’s doctrines knows he is 10 times more Christlike then any of these leaders are who are judging him.

        This abusive action will most likely cause John to lose much in the way of relationships with relatives and friends and probably financial losses as well.

        The church may give lip service to ‘supporting families’ but actually it destroys families by their precepts and practices, far more then it helps them.

        While this action is actually a blessing for John in God’s eyes, for it’s a good thing to be out of an apostate church, it is apostate behavior by the leaders that he was treated so unChristlike, especially when John was only trying to expose the truth, which the leaders clearly don’t want exposed.

        This is just like King Noah running Alma out of the Church, because Alma finally saw and stood for the truth.

      • Bradley
        January 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        John is free to leave at any time, but that’s not the point. He’s about helping members where the leadership is failing them. Do you abandon the people you care about?

        Being dragged into a bishop’s or SP’s office week after week is certainly harassment, even if you don’t consider it abuse.

        John is an embarrassment to the Church only because the Church engages in embarrassing behaviors. Rather than stop the behaviors, they shoot the messenger. But that won’t fly in the 21st century.

        • Ryan Wimmer
          January 19, 2015 at 3:06 am

          John isn’t being “dragged” into any office. They can ask John to come and he can freely choose to go in or not to go in. And if anybody here really thinks this is “abuse” or “harassment”, both are illegal so report it to the police. You would become the joke of the day for an absurd police report. A private club can decide who can or can’t be a member, they only have power over individuals that freely submit to that power.

  41. Burt
    January 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    It’s a pity the church managers choose to continue the practice of excommunicating heretics in a manner counter to revelation in the D&C. It doesn’t bode well for the excommnuicators (D&C 121:37) and fails the proclaimed purpose of the church to bring souls to Christ. As this is a power play being played out in the age of internet communication do keep those press releases coming.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/us/john-dehlin-mormon-critic-facing-excommunication.html?emc=edit_na_20150115&nlid=69832050&_r=0

  42. Fred
    January 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    John, I wish you well. I have enjoyed your pod cast’s and found them enlightening.
    However, I must say, I’m surprised that the church hasn’t excommunicated you sooner. While in some ways your work throws a lifeline to some members I believe it also harms the church and the testimony of other members. They shouldn’t have to keep you as a member and having read of your most recent feeling towards the basic teachings of the church I can’t imagine that you would mind being excommunicated.
    I hope you and your family look back ten years from now and find that this was the right path to go down. Best wishes.

    • Lilli
      January 15, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Fred,

      It is often impossible to leave the Church and still keep all your close relationships in tact, even with close family members, because of the fear and judgment the Church causes it’s members to have of those who leave or who are exed.

      So it’s not as easy to leave the Church as you think it is, even if one finally realizes the Church is not true or righteous. Otherwise John may have already left on his own.

      Many stay in the Church despite not believing in it in order to keep a marriage or family together or to keep their children from emotional turmoil or for social or career reasons, all of which are completely understandable.

      Just imagine if your children were teenagers or early 20’s and near marriage but believed in temple marriage, would you leave the Church and not be able to be at your children’s marriages? And want your children to look down on you or avoid you and not let you see your grandchildren much because they feared your influence?

      And if the Church was true (which it proves it isn’t) then the fact that John was exposing ‘truth’ would do no harm to a true Church, for true prophets welcome truth seekers and questioners and ‘provers’ like John, they don’t cast them out.

      And the truth that John has been exposing does not harm any ‘righteous’ testimonies either, only can only harm ‘false testimonies that should be shaken, for it does no one any good to have false testimonies in false prophets, false teachings and false churches.

      John does the members a favor in trying to warn them about the awfulness of their situation in such a church that does not follow Christ and does not respect women and their total equality as Christ taught they must.

    • alice
      January 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      I don’t think, deliberately or inadvertently, John or anyone else does more than a fraction of the damage that the church does to itself. All John ever did was shine a light on what the church prefers to be able to do in secret.

  43. Sue
    January 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I echo how much I have needed a arm to lean on this past year. Questions were asked and as I sought answers, they were not the answers I anticipated. I finally ran into mormon stories (that must be the problem.) Even my bishop before I heard about mormon stories, going into his office because of my questions and seeking answers, said that he felt mormon stories was hurting members more than helping. I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I see how much mormon stories is helping members because the rabbit hole only leads to more questions. Eventually you need support and that is how I found mormon stories. I needed to know I was not alone. It is lonely still at times to be an apostate among my family and my friends. I love my new view and enlightened way of living. There is no going back once you see the trauma from fundamentalist damage to ones life. Healing is what I want now. Thanks!!!

  44. articulett
    January 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Remember– their powers are just pretend.
    (but the shunning aspects still hurt.)

  45. karrie
    January 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    John,

    I want you to know that you kept me in the Church. I will be forever grateful to you. Your work on Why Mormons Leave was tremendously helpful, as was your discussion of whether the church is historically true. Hey, I’m a recent convert. I’m intelligent, I can read all the anti-mormon literature. There is no “proof” of the BOM. It’s all about faith. Your discussions convinced me to stay, not to leave. All of this concern about you influencing members to leave is nonsense. Hang in there.

  46. Christina Andersson Hanke
    January 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    John,
    When the Church forced me out you wrote to me, very kindly, how sorry you were and that it was a loss for the Church. I want to return those words to you now. Thank you so much for your courage, your work and for sharing with us.

  47. snj
    January 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Sorry to hear the news. The clear message is that you can’t have doubts or beliefs contrary to the church and talk about them honestly or openly and be a member in good standing. It’s starting to feel like a mini North Korea.

    One of the most bothersome parts from the New York Times article for my life is that now my non mormon acquaintances will assume I’m anti gay since I attend church on a regular basis. The will think I haven’t been excommunicated therefore I must be anti gay.

    It’s super embarrassing telling people I’m Mormon these days. I can’t even bring myself to invite people to church. The talks/lessons are endlessly centered around finding more people to come rather than the simple messages of Christ and his teachings. I have had so many friends leave the church this past year and many of them have joined other denominations that uplift and actually serve their communities much more than the Mormons. All of my Catholic friends are completely re-energized by Pope Francis. I have felt more warm fuzzies for Pope Francis and his Christ centered/loving leadership than from any of my own church leaders during this past year. Ironically, the Catholic church has many of the same social positions as the Mormon and millions of skeletons in the closet. However, the Catholics have chosen to move forward and focus on other issues, primarily the poor, which I believe is one of the primary messages of the Book of Mormon. I can’t feel Christ or the prophet guiding this church today. Rehearsed speeches every six months including anti gay sentiments.

    Excommunication is completely archaic. How is it possible that our church is moving so many steps backwards? Why is the church so off track? What a paradox to kick people out of church.

    I keep hoping and praying for change and more open dialogue within the church but continue to feel disappointed week after week esp. by leaders whom constantly remind us to follow them. The constant message is “follow the prophet” “follow the leaders” “Joseph Smith is amazing” , “don’t look at anything other than church approved sites on the internet” “don’t look at porn” and very little emphasis about following Christ’s teachings and the love that he extended to all people including sinners with whom he broke bread (parable of the lost sheep) and taught.

    I have witnessed in my life more hurt and pain in families caused by the church esp. when family members are shunned for leaving/asking questions or gays are constantly bashed. The church, in my eyes, is closing in on itself. Who will be left after the wounded have left? Definitely not the kind of judgmental people with whom I like to engage in my life.

    I have loved Mormon Stories because the church issues with which I struggle are openly addressed in a thoughtful way. There is no other place for dialogue like this within the church. Until the day the church is more welcoming to thoughtful thinkers and people who have doubts, it will continue to lose people. The day John Dehlin is excommunicated is another sad day in the messy history of the LDS church. One would think the church would learn, move forward and openly confront the issues (at church, not embedded on lds.org) which are causing so many people to leave instead of going after thoughtful people such as John who are actually trying to help people understand and come to grips with many of the internet exposed and true realistic problems within church. Truth claims that were once deemed “anti mormon” are now turning out to be true. Mormon church, where do you expect members to turn because there is no support at church at all.

  48. Wayne Dequer
    January 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    I know a few folk who may well agree with you, Nelson. However, I believe that the heart of the gospel is striving to be true disciples of our Lord and Savior. The heart of the Gospel is developing charity and acting out of the pure love of Jesus Christ. I am not currently called to serve as a common judge in Israel so I have No reason to pass judgement on John Dehlin or you. However, do you really think your comments come from what the Gospel teaches is most important and vital?

  49. Dave
    January 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Divinity is Infinite Love. That’s my testimony, and nothing can take God’s infinite love away. Churches and titles are just houses of cards and puppets, mere shadows to the Light of the Infinite Love of God.

  50. Christian Schmemann
    January 15, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I am very saddened to hear of your coming disciplinary council. I will keep you in my prayers.

  51. Mel
    January 15, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    The Mormon Church is basically a real estate company. It is not a Christian Church, but it does promote family which is a positive. The problem is the Church itself has been based on a lie all along (Joseph Smith) and millions of people have been misled. At a point, very few want to know the truth because it is both embarrassing and frightful when thinking of how one, and their loved ones past and present, have been living a lie. Suggestion, if you are going to follow Jesus Christ, then follow him according to the scripture of the Holy Bible. The U&T and Book of Mormon are just out and out mythology…Good luck!

  52. Robert Hodge
    January 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    From what I have read, it seems that the outcome has already been decided. I don’t really know why you would attend this kangaroo court that is only being done for process and to give the general authorities cover by telling the world that this is a local matter.

  53. Cory
    January 15, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    When will members of the church get it right? “Apostasy” means renunciation of faith; “heresy” is unorthodoxy. “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” –Chinese proberb. Good luck, John!

  54. BB
    January 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    You forced their hand. You deserve it.

    • Winebibber
      January 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      Exactly! You forced their hand. Now you get to decide if it was worth it. Personally, who the hell cares. It’s all buIIsh!t.

    • Kevin
      January 16, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Figuratively speaking the Church forced the issue by not being honest all these years about everything. And when people discovered it, they acted ineptly by punishing those that sought the truth. It was only a matter of time before the Church had no where else to hide. Thanks to people like John and the many that came before him.

  55. Sue
    January 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I grieve for you and my church. Blessings to you.

  56. concerned_member
    January 15, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Good riddance? Really? sounds similar to the way I was taught to react as a mormon when someone questions their faith in Mormonism. Nelson, how about something more like “hey John, were really sorry to hear about your loss of faith in our religion, and please know you are welcome here anytime because we love you as our brother, and you will always be welcome here. Instead, goto church this sunday like most and pat yourself on the back for being a servant of the lord.

  57. Laura
    January 15, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I have been part of the peanut gallery saying john dehlin has been sounding like he wants to be excommunicated, but as I hear other people say it too, that viewpoint really has its flaws. It’s like saying someone distanced themself from a spouse after the spouse said they didn’t want them anymore. I’m sure john is in a lot of pain and the excommunication process will continue to be violent. Current research shows that shaming someone doesn’t inspire change, so how can this really be about love? I don’t think John Dehlin represents me entirely…a lot of our viewpoints are different. I am really interested to see if the church stands behind his stake president using his support of the LGBT community as one reason for excommunication though. So many Mormons are now supporting LGBT rights…and not just outliers…I sure hope that reasoning didn’t come from Salt Lake and church leaders distance themselves from the horrible message that sends our gay brothers and sisters and the world.

    • Lilli
      January 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      I believe that in less then 10 years the Church will change it’s tune and completely reverse yet another doctrine like it has so many times before and accept and allow ‘same sex marriage’, in order to keep it’s customers, I mean members, from leaving, for already it seems a majority of members support SSM. Follow the profits.

  58. James Calder Marshall
    January 15, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    “Real beauty is to be true to oneself. That’s what makes me feel good.”
    Laetitia Casta

    I don’t know why we can’t have a big tent mormon family, kind of like our own big tent immediate and extended families we have here on earth! I mean, would we be happier and better off if we excluded uncle so and so from the family shin dig because he ‘a a little bit odd in some family members eyes?

    Plus I really think the worst truth claim of them all is the 12th article of faith by far and away, but I haven’t heard one word about this issue from the good and well known truth seekers like john delihn.

    I hope the best for you and your family. God bless!

    JCM

  59. Jason Belcher
    January 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    John,

    Your work has helped me view life more clearly, with reduced confusion. It has advanced me in a continuous struggling journey to be more charitable and Christlike. It has helped me appreciate the beauty and manifestations of truth within nuance and complexity. It has helped me move past much of the fear in my life. It has helped me understand, and even empathize with, the psychology behind these actions against you.

    Thank you.

    Whatever the result of this proceeding, may it quickly arrive at closure, leaving you with comfort and peace of mind. I look forward to your future endeavors. May God continue to bless you.

  60. Michelle Eldredge
    January 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Best wishes to you and your family John.
    You have no idea how much this breaks my heart to see you have to go through this. It is horrible and simply abuse. The control the Church has over it’s people is intolerable and offensive to say the least. Know we all have benefited from your gracious honesty and unfailing loyalty and outstanding integrity. Stand tall sir, you have nothing to be ashamed of as you well know.

  61. Ray Pusillo
    January 15, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    John,

    I can feel you reading everyone of our contributions and getting a sense of the effect this is having on all of us, including you and your family. My impression is that it’s much more honorable for you mirror the truth face to face, in that kangaroo court, then to allow this opportunity to be passed by.

    This is an opportunity to shed light and true reasoning upon those men and then have it reverberate all over the world. Your standing up for real human truth and dissolving the bands of deception the egos that have perpetrated religious orthodoxy and entrapment will continuing to fail!

    They fail by refusing to admit the lack of discernment that should have been so easily a characteristic fruit, that from the beginning of the Mormon Corporation… was not evident again and again. The egos of these self proclaimed saints made this binding of true Divine Nature within all of us a historical fact.

    Stay true to your proclamations, be resolute and face these pitiful ones, eye to eye and don’t shed one drop of a tear. You have helped liberate so many already, now millions will discover the truth beyond the ego based great and abominable darkness of religions!

    Thank You

    • jennifer
      January 16, 2015 at 12:15 am

      “Kangaroo court” describes it perfectly in this case. I remember I had an uncle who was a very prestigious doctor that was summoned to a church court by his ex-wife who hated his guts and my Mom was asked to testify and she told me it was so strange and it felt fake to her. They sided with my uncle at the end but it sounded to me like a soap opera court where they acted and enjoyed it and decided to side with the most powerful and rich person in the room. Sometimes I can’t believe what people I have come to know and love are capable of if put in the right circumstances. I am sure some church courts are helpful but I really think other times they are courts of kangaroos, play acting with real consequences and witch hunts. When people call one of those super ridiculous meetings a court of love I feel sorry for them because obviously they have something psychologically and emotionally wrong going on inside their minds.

  62. January 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    John – you’ve hung in there caring about marginalized people for a long time now. It’s time to know that this is really not about Mormonism, though, but about orthodoxy based on no evidence at all – doesn’t matter what church or religion.

    Testimonies of this particular superstition are held by people who still believe in the Tooth Fairy. In your real thinking mind, I think you are past this. There is no question that the Church has given good service to many people in raising families, etc., but you are especially able now to give another kind of help without all the baggage of superstition. Regardless of what I’ve seen others and you saying, I can’t find myself believing that you believe a guy put the universe together. Continue your wonderful work with women and the gay (and related) community, and do it with the extra confidence you must be gaining in real data and scientific inquiry. Enjoy the ex-communication. I know you and family will deal with this with grace. I haven’t been ex-communicated, but likely would be if I were as honest as you are in public. Joseph Smith said a man with no enemies is no man at all. You’ve got a few, and they tend to be judgmental and exclusivist ones – Hallelujah.

  63. Jeff Egnew
    January 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Lots of love John! Thank you for all that you do for those of us who have questions and struggle with fitting in somewhere in the church. I have learned so much from you and am truly thankful.

  64. 2BizE
    January 15, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    John,
    My heart truely goes out to you and your family. Your podcast have been though provoking. They have helped me struggle through my own faith crisis. While the corporate church has brought little to the table except lies, half-truths, & misdirections, you have brought solutions, love, empathy, and understanding. You have brought to my attention that many LDS folks are experiencing the same faith crisis. More than anything, you have provided me with hope as I am stuck between faith and rational thought. God Bless!!

  65. Rose
    January 15, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    When I listen to Mormon Stories I always think of the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where these two clothes weavers promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that was supposedly “invisible” to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. However, when the Emperor paraded before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cried out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The child is John Dehlin in my mind and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for his courage to say something. he comparison only works until the end now because I am pretty sure John Dehlin is going to be beheaded (excommunicated) for pointing out the obvious.

    I feel like so many members see the problems in things like church history but look away and ignore it really do act like nothing is wrong. They really do act like the naked Emperor is wearing clothes. I feel like others who can’t see the Emperor (live far away from church headquarters and do not speak English) base their beliefs off of other people swearing to them that the Emperor has the most amazing clothes on earth (the church is the one and only truth church on the earth) and that is how the church really grows now.

    This reminds me of what a life long church historian/ CES employ said in one of the interview on here. He said the church was hemorrhaging right now and he predicted it would not change but over the next twenty years it would get smaller and more tightly controlled. He said there would be purging and the growth of the church would come more and more out of less educated populations in far away lands… it is astonishing and really sad.

    To be very honest and I was born in the church and lived as a member my whole life and loved this church. However, I found out myself the Emperor was not really wearing clothes and I would rather be excommunicated than say an Emperor had beautiful silk and satin robe draped over his body when I knew he was actually totally nude and could see it. Talk about brainwashing problems… I never knew what it really meant until I figured out I was somewhat of a victim of it.

  66. C. Rider
    January 16, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I’ve enjoyed your podcasts, especially the earlier ones that had a better balance of guests, the Richard Bushman one was really great! Though I don’t agree with you on some things I think you have personal integrity and are honest to a fault, unlike that deceptive publicity opportunist Kate Kelly. I think it’s unfortunate you allied with that individual. Best to you.

  67. Jonathan M
    January 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Very sad for you, your family and the Church I still love. But I think the current leadership of the Church have essentially brought this on themselves. Don’t think many reasonable people could really blame you for following your conscience. You are a good man, John.

    • January 16, 2015 at 12:42 am

      John I’m pleased you dropped the first shoe.
      http://mormonstories.org/mormon-stories-2014-end-of-year-update/

      You are given the Keys to the Court of Love, I think I believe that perhaps The Church is true.
      Selling your own blood back to devout offspring is stock in trade; keeping faith in
      Liberty through Obedience and the King of the Earth –– with the Mormon Music Man while keeping fealty to an inbred gerontocracy is not helpful.
      Mormon bondage lives for the afterlife and here on earth too.
      What’s the chant? Where are my robes? Who’s in charge in this Religion Making Business?

  68. Mungagungadin
    January 16, 2015 at 12:22 am

    For a very long time, excommunication by the leadership of the church (which they pretend is done on the local level) has become a mark that is defining our truly valiant souls. I am sorry for the pain this will cause you. We are only proving that Jesus is *not* leading the church, when the church throws out our thoughtful and honest members. We are demonstrating that the leadership of the church is no better than the people in leadership roles, and that it is a terrifically low bar.

    Keep your chin up. Keep being honest, true, courageous, compassionate and keep your eyes open while others shut theirs to our past and to those we “discard” and deny. Keep that spirit of inclusion and responsibility. I am convinced that is our real task and that you are doing marvelously at it.

  69. PuyallupProvoboy
    January 16, 2015 at 1:04 am

    They really are dumb to do this! You are like Obi-Wan Kanobi. This will only make you stronger! Thanks for everything you have done!

  70. Richard
    January 16, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Take heart John . You will be in the best of company . No one can live a lie for long .

  71. Isaac M
    January 16, 2015 at 2:47 am

    John,
    I hope you do know there are thousands of us Active Mormons who are solidly behind you. For fear of victimization they may not openly identify themselves, but they are there. It is evident everywhere. Thank you for your courage and determination. I pray for the LDS church that whatever they want to do to you does not become counterproductive to the spiritual and emotional health of it rank and file.
    Wishing you all the best for you and family

  72. peter burgess
    January 16, 2015 at 4:07 am

    John I have been right there with you on your journey although I jumped ship some time ago.

    Thank you for sharing so many valuable stories without which I would possibly still be trapped in the narrow-minded ‘Mormon’ mindset which was a product of my upbringing as a devout member and missionary. To me you have been as scientific about the whole process as is possible, and thereby you have facilitated an objective and educated perspective on hundreds of issues for which I thank you again.

    Verdict = It’s all made up – and I’m not ok with that. Respect the right of other people to ignore the facts and/or be ok with Mormonism being made up but I don’t respect the decision to be ignorant of the facts or of the pain and suffering that people continue to experience as a result of limited beliefs.

    I’d like to see the Church take it’s own medicine. Repent and go and give all that it hath to the poor and needy. Become a genuine force for good.

  73. Ricardo Eneas
    January 16, 2015 at 4:59 am

    I was an active mormon TBS for over 25 years. I live in Brasil the country that LDS Church says there are more than one million members, but they all very well hide !The government survey only found less than 300 thousand.I totally understand John Dehlin. Although he is a very well educated man, I can see his posts,he is a decent man,he is fighting against a fanatic Cult.
    Mormonismis one of the most complex religions I found on this planet, by the way I traveled a lot. He would be more safe, OUT. Mormonism is the GOD of mormonism.Mormons don´t believe in GOD they believe in mormonism the system. All conclusion he took, I DID TOO more than 10 years ago, when I decided study in fact the reality of the mormon faith. All he writes about it, the historical informations ARE CORRECT ! SO ??? …. ? Mormonsim is not what is written, what is preached, is all white washed as you say. Who am I to give advices to John. If I could I would say, Write the letter, say bye bye , leave them alone with their angels with swords, priesthood and annoiitnings… This group can be very dangerous to our mental health, Mormonism as a religion is going bankrupt. Members are tired, new converts stay less than 6 months, old members some are totally fanatic. Is a waist of time. I feel sorry for stupid people like ME who had take more than 10 years to take the right decision , LEAVE>>>

  74. sherry johns
    January 16, 2015 at 7:25 am

    John, my deepest thanks to you for having the courage to speak and to share the truth. You have blessed my life in unmeasurable ways with your thoughtful podcasts. Many many blessing to you and your family. May Mother and Father continue to walk this path with you.

  75. James Jenson
    January 16, 2015 at 8:09 am

    That Nelson has the (words fail me) to say “good riddance” to a Brother reminds me of the story of Cain and Abel.

  76. Chris
    January 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    John,

    No surprise here, just the length of time that it took to get it going since you are so outspoken and on the fringe of the corporate doctrinal message.

    Was your wife summoned as well? That seems to be an emerging trend. I don’t have to tell you, but I will anyway – you’ll be fine without your membership. It doesn’t mean anything. In fact, I was told by a church patriarch, “Hey, did you know you don’t need a Patriarchal Blessing to get into the Celestial Kingdom?”

    What a relief!

    Keep up your voice of sanity and reason.

    Godspeed,
    Chris

  77. Pete
    January 16, 2015 at 9:02 am

    John, I am a Mormon myself, or so they claim, I haven’t attended their church in many years. You are lucky to be rid of your association with a church that was founded by the likes of Joe Smith and Brigham Young. A con-artist, child molesting egomaniac and a murdering lunatic cannot be the founders of God’s one true church, I don’t care how many people have a burning in their bosom. No doubt radical Muslims have the same burning and fervent beliefs. This is nothing more than a very successful cult founded by despicable people. Good luck to you.

  78. TJ
    January 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

    John my thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for doing such a great work and providing us with all facets of Mormonism. I look forward to the future of the Mormon Stories…

  79. R.G. Frano, A.-E.M.T.-4-Paramedic_Preceptor, A.C.L.S., (Retired)
    January 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Re: “John P. Dehlin, 45, host of the “Mormon Stories” website and podcast — a hub of discussion for thousands of skeptical Mormons — said that his regional church leader confirmed on Wednesday that a disciplinary hearing had been scheduled for Jan. 25. Mr. Dehlin said he was told he would be disciplined and probably excommunicated if he refused to remove podcasts that are critical of the church and to disavow his support for women’s ordination and same-sex marriage.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/us/john-dehlin-mormon-critic-facing-excommunication.html {NYT’s, 16.Jan.15})

    I became aware of this ‘excommunication’ effort via the above URL / drudgereport.com

    Senator Orin Hatch is both Republican & Mormon, if memory, serves…
    The following URL is the ONLY time in my memory where I can claim ‘agreement’ with Sen. Hatch:

    1.)’…http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/may/28/utah-senator-gay-marriage-will-be-law-land/
    I quote: “SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch says it’s obvious gay marriage will become legal across the country sooner or later. Hatch says people who can’t see what’s happening aren’t living in the real world. He made the remarks Wednesday on KSL-Radio’s “Doug Wright Show.”

    No one has ever been forced to endorse ‘gays, married’…
    Such endorsement’ seems to be a major stumbling block for our homophobic-prejudice-afflicted brothers ‘N sisters.

    The recent (tiny) sampling of businesses who’ve risked bankruptcy / become, bankrupted, via refusing to bake a cake / otherwise treat their gay customers with the exact same respect as they treat ‘straight’, (hetero), customers, (like the woman I live with & myself…), have brought these economically, disastrous -results down upon themselves through their own selfishness & superficial piety.

    Keep in mind: ALL money is ‘green’, regardless of whose wallet / purse it’s extracted, from / whatever purpose it is used for…

    In my own, (NeoPagan) faith, we gladly accept / marry anyone, to anyone, else, assuming, (for discussion’s sake), they’re adults, etc…
    They’re still required to meet whatever, (other), legal requirements exist, locally, to satisfy the requirements for (secular) licensing of such a long-term commitment(s), of course!
    However…we DON’T presume to deny our Deities’ will(s)!

    That is to say…
    We recognize that each, ‘N every human being, (‘hominid’), who has ever existed over the past 150,000 years, (that’s an ‘armchair guesstimate’), has been brought forth from exactly the same sources / circumstances…so, therefore…

    We dare, not (impiously) challenge the wisdom of our Deities / the ‘Deity’, (for those of ‘monotheist_persuasion’), who continue to permit human existence / continue to allow both gay, ‘N straight humans…!

    I’ll close this comment via standard end-greeting:
    Blessed…Be Kept!

  80. Jeff
    January 16, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Mr. Dehlin,

    I had never heard of you or your website until yesterday when i stumbled upon a link on the drudge report regarding your possible ex-communication.

    I would like to applaud you for your efforts in asking difficult questions as well as standing by your moral convictions even to the point of ex-communication. Let me give you a brief background on myself so as to frame correctly the information I would like to share with you.

    My name is Jeff. I am 30 years old. I was raised in the church but am currently not active due to some extremely extenuating circumstances. Growing up I dabbled with marijauna because in my mind it wasnt a big deal. I cleaned up served a mission in Tonga. Upon my return I moved from my home in Washington to attend UVU in Utah. Met a girl, fell in love and was married in the temple. Two years later we were divorced after she had cheated on me. I was rocked and fell away from the church drank to kill the pain and became an alchoholic. I was in and out of school but worked in restaurants and decided to move to Maui where I met a girl. In my new found freedom outside the strictures of a church where living faithfully had in my mind brought me nothing but pain I had no qualms about being intimate… Well she got pregnant. I now have a beautiful two year old daughter and to keep this short I have been thru hell and back to keep our family together.. It has involved moving 6 times in two years all over the west coast and utah, but we have settled in in washington and things are finally going very well. We will soon be engaged. I cannot however attend church as her and her family are extremely anti mormon and with all we have been threw it is just not a road I can go down. I have spoken extensively about this decision with my bishop and he fully supports me.

    It kills me now to be unable to give my daughter the blessings that the gospel provides. It racks my soul that i cannot attend the temple when after years of research and prayer i finally understand its purpose. So if you will indulge me it is my firm belief that if you continue on your course you will be making an incredible error…

    Here is why.

    The church will stop at no lengths to defend the family. They are spot on in this. It is not my intent to tell you that those who are Gay will go to hell.. Quite obviously they will not. I was once like you. My thinking being, they are not hurting me, there is a separation of church and state so while I may not be gay my political views are my own and just because the church does not condone it does not mean that it should not be allowed within this country where All men are created equal and love is love so if they want to declare it thru marriage that is their right as citizens in a free nation. insert some more fancy rhetoric.. you get the point…

    In this I was extremely misguided. My views while I thought them progressive were not nearly progressive enough. I have come to understand we are in a war. It is happening all around us, everyday, it is a war that is being fought for the souls of mankind. I am sure this has occurred to you in some fashion or another but friend I invite you to pause and consider the warnings from Christ and many modern prophets. The battlefield is all around us and Satan is so subtle that even the very elect may be deceived.

    In all of nature we see the divine role that gender plays. Whether it be in nature or the animal kingdom we see over and over that a male and female are needed to produce offspring. This coming together of the two divine energies, each so opposite the other, to create a new life is truly remarkable. Bloodlines are created, genes are passed down and so the entire Universe continues to perpetuate itself by this combining of opposites.

    As a species we are self-aware. We have free will. Animals and plants while they can be very intelligent operate basically on instinct. So God did not need to give them commandments as they are hard wired being of lesser intelligence to operate within the laws of Nature. These laws are as we know we’re not written by God they are eternal and transcendent. God simply let’s is know about them. Man again having free will had to be instructed as to not only what he was supposed to be doing here… But also the where, when, why and how. So by divine decree in harmony with eternal law God have Adam the first commandment… He also established the family man and woman’s role in it and that it is this sacred unit that is central not only to our species but every other that has ever been in existence.

    The entire argument of gay marriage is not one of damnation or sin. I do not look upon them with judgement. It is certainly not my place. But this tremendous push of the gay agenda is not mere coincidence. graphs and charts can prove gay parents are equally as qualified as traditional parents to raise a child and I am sure they are correct. Some of my best friends are gay, I have family who are gay. They are all incredible good happy people… In a word they are normal to me. The right of each individual to express “love” is inherent in most peoples minds. After all God is Love. However there are two points I would argue. Marriage between Man and Woman is the only time sex is condoned before God and that to fulfill the the commandment Adam and Eve received first in the garden. I am aware people also have sex recreationally in marriage but we can agree the main purpose according to God is to procreate. I am going to split a hair here. Gay individuals make the assertion that because their human faculties are sexually attracted to their same sex that must mean they love them. When in fact we see this same thing happen to men and women and even if the relationship lasts to the end of this life the lust that was there at the beginning of the relationship fades and turns in to something more meaningful. I would venture to say that love between partners has little to do with the initial sexual attraction. We also boldly declare to God that it is our plan not his that is important. That it is our feelings not his that matter. That we being able to think for ourselves have an inherent right to set at naught what God has by divine decree revealed to us as sacred because of our sexual preference. Let me be so bold as to say that while sex can be important in a happy marriage it is far from the only thing that can create the bonds of love. That God from His own mouth has put in place the unit where procreating and bringing souls in to this world is ordained and that that unit and the definition of it are not up for debate. Anything that alters it is far worse than an attack on the constitution or any other document or set of laws drawn up by mankind and you can be sure it is the literal work of Satan himself. He who in the temple video converses with men so often and intimately. It is the same now as it ever was…

    If you follow technology at all in the news you will see the rapid advancement in AI as well as robotic technology. If you have seen the movie “HER” with Joaquin pheonix it is a brilliant illustration of what will happen within the next ten years. There is a complete movement called transhumanism, perhaps you are aware of it, that embraces the combining of man and machine to advance our race. I would ask.,, If the Gay premise, that marraiges primary and indeed only function is to symbolize the love and commitment of two willing parties, were applied to the millions who will find love not with someone of their own species… but an AI unit that will begin in the virtual world, and as robots improve and are taylor made to be everything you want… You pick everything about their physical appearance and they are given conciousness programmed to love you and learn with you.. What will stop these millions from claiming their own right to be married based on a premise that already is accepted the world thru but tweaked just enough to include the AI that they so dearly love. We have after all already established marriage is about mans love as he sees it. Procreation is merely an after thought. It is secondary because Man has determined that it is our will and reasoning that is right. That it is a great injustice and intolerant of millions who simply want to symbolically show their inner commitment to the one they will spend this life with in the way this species always has. Marriage. That this love and if they so choose the love they have for a child makes them a family… And to the world certainly it does.. With the advantage of knowing the gospel plan we can understand the danger in redefining laws that God himself did not write, yet because His plan for us he and we must play by the rules. To think we know better in our enlightened state aided by so much technology that God and his laws are merely something to be cast aside if it does not fit todays culture.. Even if it is the most sacred and holy of all things given to us in our eternal quest for growth is folly.

    I have quotes and other things i wish to share.. I would love to chat. I of course am more than willing to listen to what you might say. I dont know quite how to end this other than to say this is the first time I have ever done anything like this. I simply felt I should for some reason. Excuse me if i trailed or rambled I hope with out a proof read I expressed myself in a way that could be followed. I do believe however I was prompted to right this. I tell you these things in great humility, knowing I am not a scholar nor am I extremely learned but I do know these things. I know them to be true because God has opened my mind a little concerning these things.

    • Paula
      January 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Jeff,
      You need to listen to a bunch of the podcasts. I think you will enjoy them.

  81. NMarsala
    January 16, 2015 at 10:33 am

    John,

    Keep up the good work, I am glad that you choose not be be silent and censured by LDS Church and to continue to stand for what you believe in and for God given right to speak openly about what you believe and to discuss non revisionist history in the quest for truth. I recall from my decades of activity, the countless talks and quotes read and heard from the general authorities that proclaimed that all truth belongs to church, that they don’t hide it or fear it, but welcome it. That no matter where truth exists it belongs the church and they claim it. That was always hard for me to swallow, it always sounded very exclusive and elitist. The Church seems to only have one exception to claiming and proclaiming all truth. That is when the truth is counter to their narrative or doctrines and undermines their “revealed truth.” Again, Keep up the good work, you have my continued support.

  82. Michael C
    January 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    This move to discipline you is an act by small minded people that are insecure with their own beliefs. Relying on excommunication to keep the members in line in the internet age is a reflection of the church’s youth and immaturity. The church’s inability to deal with the internet sunlight that is now shining on the dark corners of its intentionally hidden past is reflected in their actions against you. If the church wants to put you out of business based on your supposed heresy, they should address the issues you discuss head on, in an official capacity and not hide inside their granite tower in downtown SLC afraid to talk to historians, the press or members with legitimate questions. Shooting the public messenger is not the right way to deal with the issues the messenger discusses.

    Only men that have a lot to hide avoid addressing the issues you discuss directly and broadly. As with all of these issues you discuss, especially the homophobic, misogynistic church culture that needs changing, the church will only change when forced by external forces, as it eventually did when it backed away from polygamy and its racist policies.

    Give the church another decade or so and they will get a new “revelation” making women equal to men in church authority and giving gays the ability to live as committed married couples. For once it would be nice to see the church actually being led by inspired men (and women). Having prophets, seers and revelators that are perpetually leading from behind puts their claims of divine leadership in serious question.

  83. Galen Paul Schatzman
    January 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Good for you for not giving in to the church. Recently, my wife became enlightened and began to question things as well. As a 10 year U.S. Air Force veteran I am thankful there are those in this world who question what they are told and speak freely their thoughts of issues generally not discussed do to the church’s fear of expression. I have had questions about it too. I also was perplexed why the church sought to lie and cover up it’s actual spending against gays and lesbians; why is it so hard to allow a person to leave free and love someone else of the same sex? In a world so full of hate you would think this would be the last thing anyone would be worried about.

  84. Paula
    January 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    My thoughts are with John. I have missionary son. Halfway through his mission he said he didn’t believe the Book of Mormon was a true/actual history and it wasn’t’ from lack of studying, praying and trying his hardest to get a testimony. I can’t really blame him. The stories and supernatural occurrences involving golden plates returned to Angels, stones in hats, dark skin turning light, Christ in America, the Three Nephites still living today, chopped off arms in the name of service, ancient people migrating to America on ships and barges, the earth’s age at 6000 years (D&C) are just a handful of stories/claims which are hard to tell my non Mormon friends with a straight face. I think Mormons are so accustomed to the stories that they don’t even stop to question or realize how crazy the stories sound. It doesn’t help that Joseph Smith’s life, his scriptural “translation” accounts, first vision(s), and private life are full of unscrupulous facts that even the church doesn’t ultimately deny. I’m sure my son is NOT learning the full story about the things he teaches others even as a full-time servant for the church. The manuals and study guides need to come clean.

    In addition, there is little room for doubt in the church today. The church demands faith and in many cases knowledge. My missionary says when bearing testimony, he is instructed to say “I know”, not “I believe”. The hard core missionary culture demands it. It never surprises me to hear of return missionaries leaving the church.

    My son loves the tradition of being mormon and the good friends he has made through the church. He is a good person. He likes the church standards. I don’t know how he will find a place in the church if he doesn’t believe these historical and scriptural stories with all his heart. The apostles have said there is room for doubt but I certainly don’t feel or see it in my ward.

    I’m very worried about my children going through the pain that I have experienced as I have learned troubling information about church history. The betrayal hurts more than the actual facts.

    If John Dehlin is excommunicated, the message will be that even the doubting Thomas is no longer welcome and certainly NOT welcome to publicly share any doubtful feelings.

  85. concerned_member
    January 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    agreed. record this “court of love”. would love to listen to the entire barbaric event on my way to work one day.

  86. Todd K
    January 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    My thoughts are with you and Margi, and your family, in this. I admire your commitment to charitable action and to seeing long-overdue reforms in the LDS Church. Unlike you, I chose to leave – because I knew that I would be stifled if I spoke what I felt from my heart. Even though my choice, the challenges of losing your community, being at odds with family members, and more is heartwrenching and even surprising. Your path is courser, unfortunately, for the organization has decided it must leave you, seemingly giving them the “last word”.

    As an aside, John, I think I would roll out the whole crew to your Disciplinary Council. Scare up Richard Packham, someone from the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Kate Kelly, the CES letter writer and others, and have them as your evidence-givers; insist that every word of every essay recently published be read as part of the process; review the CES Director letter in detail. While it is all over but for the whimpering, I’m not sure that it is charitable to let them do their thing without raising the voice about that which offends and which has led to this place. Let some of the others help share your burden in presenting that information; friends can make that burden lighter.

    I will light a candle just for you at my Unitarian Universalist meeting this Sunday.

  87. shane
    January 16, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Your impending excommunication will generate good publicity for your website, and publicly demonstrate [again] that the leaders of the lds church are a bunch of out of touch old white men. let them make fools of themselves. stick to your guns, and invite as many reporters as you can to your excommunication!

  88. James
    January 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Yo, Nelson! What a brilliant depiction of the efficacy of the church’s teaching on God’s love. By its fruits…

  89. WoodyStilts
    January 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    John, leaders such as your stake president get what they deserve when they push alternative voices away: a weakened, less resilient organization. It’s sad and completely unfair to us active members when they do this. In my opinion, though, your Mormon-ness is determined by you, not by anyone else, and absolutely not by some power-hungry local leader.

  90. Cameron Crimefighter
    January 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    John, I started watching your podcast a few years ago when I lived in Portland Oregon. I have recently moved to North Logan (a few months ago) and would love to join anyone there in solidarity. Are small groups welcomed inside or outside the chapel.

  91. DHB
    January 16, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Well John,

    It looks like the day of reckoning has finally arrived for you. You must now go before the church and its leaders and answer the charges that have been levied against you. As it turns out you, in my opinion, are guilty as charged. Yes John guilty as charged. As far as I can tell you have proven over the years to be very guilty of all of these things.
    Guilty of:

    1. Helping people like me that have devoted there entire life to the church, who have given time, talent, money, love, devotion, life.
    I have loved and revered Joseph Smith and spent years studying him trying to understand his life and motives. Yes I cared enough to look closer to understand him more fully. I began to find problem area’s historically with his story. I always believed in the end he would be somehow vindicated. The more I studied the more my world started to fall apart. I knew something was majorly wrong. I had no clue what to do.
    I continued to attend church and hold positions. I couldn’t tell anyone about this not even my wife who was active and happy. So I agonized in silence alone for years. I finally found Mormon Stories and with it I found a way to tell her about my faith crisis. It was to put it mildly difficult for her, she was patient with me and trusted me enough to listen and finally study these things for herself. We are no longer active members. We have a strong marriage and are happy with our new life. Wow what a major life style change for us. The pain of bearing this alone was gone for me. Yes John your are guilty of helping once true believing people like us with there own faith crisis.

    2. You have been charged by the church, and are guilty of helping the LBGT community. When I found out my son was gay I was still a TBM and felt God would help me change him. I discarded his pain and pursued my fatherly responsibilities/churches agenda. After church counseling sessions I finally came to the realization it was me, not him that needed the help. I’m sorry for what I put my son through. All he wanted was to be loved and accepted by me. Your guilty of helping good people that are in this community that struggle every day with these issues.

    3. Your guilty of taking a strong moral position for what you believe in. You have had your own first hand experiences with your faith crisis. You know the extent of this pain. Your guilty of caring to much about these people and there pain.

    John it turns out that you like many people that have gone before you cared enough to do something. You are a pioneer in the necessary movement of change in the church. You have represented each of us down in the trenches where the real differences are made.
    My advice for you is to go to this disciplinary court. Hold your head up high. You have the ability to articulate yourself to them. You represent thousands of people that have gone before in these courts that were shamed and diminished. You will represent them past, present and future. I have sat on these courts and know something about them. Well intended men that are doing real harm to good people. Sometimes we fall victim to believing that what we do in the name of Jesus will be justified in the end. Those people that needed understanding and love only received judgement and rejection.
    This hole of mormon orthodoxy of belief only gets deeper and deeper, the deeper it gets the more damage they do to themselves. Every shovel full only shows intolerance and a lack of empathy and compassion towards others. It gets harder and harder to climb out. Who knows what will be left of the church when this happens.
    I don’t want to talk down the church, the church will always unavoidably be part of who I am. I just ask to be respected enough for them to be honest with me. The church taught me from a young age to learn and live the 13th article of faith. It starts with “we believe in being honest true chaste etc” I ask that they be as honest with me as they have asked me to be with them.
    John in some ways if feels we are going through this disciplinary court with you. Your sentence is our sentence. Your judgement is our judgement.
    Some day truth in all of its power will find its way to the surface. It will win and you and people like you will be vindicated. You will get your metal of truth and honor. Like others that have gone before paving the way for the rest of us.
    I hope you and your family can understand the love and appreciation from thousands of us that have benefited because of you. We thank you and support you in this your hour of trial.
    Thank you for being guilty of possessing the spirit and love of Christ.

  92. Norton R. Nowlin, M.A.
    January 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    My advice for this teller of the truth is to resign from Mormonism and demand that his name be stricken from the records of the Mormon Church for doctrinal reasons. Don’t give the liars and deceivers the satisfaction of excommunication. They will try to accuse him of immorality or some other bogus charge. He is dealing with people who are polytheists and lovers of lies. These blasphemers are going to have to do a lot of repenting before Jesus will accept their contrition, if they ever realize the evil of their ways. These people believe that only people who are approved by Joseph Smith will enter into the Mormon heaven call exaltation. They don’t believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that God never changes. Who would want to stand before a group of these pagans and be judged?

  93. Bella
    January 16, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    If the LDS leadership have a problem with what John believes or teaches, then they just have to prove him wrong.
    I don’t see the need to excommunicate someone because he says what he thinks. In the end, the LDS leadership still has not proven John wrong as far as I know. Maybe the impossibility to do this is what fuels their desire to get rid of hi through this “court of love.”

    John, If I was in your situation, I wouldn’t go to that meeting unless is made public and broadcasted. I would also bring a witness for my own protection and if they don’t agree to this, then I would not meet with any LDS leader.
    It is my experience, that LDS leadership would use information they get to make you look bad and make them look good. They know that if they excommunicate you, people are going to be upset and they are going to look bad. They want to avoid bad church image. They will use media and any information they get to justify their actions in excommunicating you. Most likely, they already decided you are out even before they send you the letter.

    John, you are smart and wise and would do fine. John you are right. It is not worth it to sacrifice your moral conscience for this church. The church cannot control you or what you post on this site and that makes them mad.
    It is not nice to be excommunicated but it is worst to stay in church with no freedom to say what you know is wrong.

  94. CaliforniaModern1
    January 16, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    John, speaking as a born-again Christian, you are of far greater importance to God than a thousand rules and ordinances. His love for you never changes and it is beyond limits.

    May the promises of Numbers 6:24-26 be yours: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

  95. January 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I grew up Mormon. I served a mission. I believed with all my heart. I believed enough that I was excommunicated twice. That’s right. Twice. The first time was when I confessed my college experiences with women to whom I was not wedded. Then, after years of work I was rebaptized. I was teaching sunday school. Everyone saw a future bishop in me. I was trying. The bishop finally said it was time to send off to Salt Lake to get the paperwork started for my restoration of blessings. That took a year and a half. I finally broke. My eternal salvation, the key to the Celestial Kingdom and eternal life with my family was being held up by paperwork. I went back and reread the scriptures. I’d been through the Bible cover to cover 9 times by that point. I’d been through the Book of Mormon 12. The D&C and Pearl of Great Price I knew inside and out. This time was different though. No Mormon study guides. No blinders. Judge the work by its merits. By their fruits ye shall know them. Nothing will break a testimony faster than the unvarnished scripture, read without the rose colored glasses. My faith in the church was destroyed. Not long after it I came to the sudden and distinct realization that there was no God either. Growing up believing God is your literal father and Christ your literal brother and then losing that faith is like losing family members. I’ve since found that a life without religion and God is a good one. Seek out the problems in the world and try to alleviate them, not because God is going to give you a shiny new Universe to populate, but because doing good makes the world better for all of us on our one spin on this rock. The second excommunication was far sweeter than the first. I am free to believe in science, evidence, and rationality. I can fight for the equality of women. I can be an ally for the LGBT community. I can read what I like, watch what I like, and live as I like. My daughter will not be relegated to second class status. I can attend my gay friends’ weddings and even perform the ceremony. I am free. Breathe that free air with me John.

  96. Becky B
    January 17, 2015 at 7:16 am

    From the above replies and the site as a whole, it’s apparent Mormons are maturing faster than their leaders. A church has to have core beliefs and must somehow maintain identity as it grows in numbers and diversity, so I don’t envy church leaders’ job. However, top-down, elitist leadership never did work and it sure isn’t working now. The church has become so authoritarian as to be abusive, and not just of dissidents but of loyal line members. MormonStories.org looks to be part of a huge grass-roots reform effort. Good job, good luck!

  97. Randal Cox
    January 18, 2015 at 4:58 am

    It’s sad to see that the Church’s promise of transparency is still unfulfilled, when LDS members on the front line are there to help those in transition and to provide answers and solutions to difficult questions. Jerald and Sandra Tanner are another example of LDS Members excommunicated for sharing actual history and exposing questionable doctrines, and as you noted in your open letter there are scores of other examples of members being wrongfully ousted from the church they loved.

    Many members are leaving and many more will leave and the only way to stop the exodus is to accept the difficult history as it really is without the whitewash, admit that the Book of Mormon is not scripture but can still be referenced to for its good lessons, and face the difficult head on. We are told by the apostle to test all things and ask the difficult questions. ” Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV)

    My prayers are extended for you and your family, for healing from this trial you are facing, and the Lord’s blessing as you move ahead with your mission in presenting truth, and providing support to Mormons who are seeking.

    BTW, I’m an ex-Mormon and because of these very questions I had submitted my resignation which was approved in December 18 2013.

  98. Snj
    January 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    John will have a flourishing practice. We have several families whom have left the church in my area. Leaving the church for them has had nothing to do with John. The transition from the mormon faith is extremely difficult and he will help a lot of people. The people who make flippant statements about John have not listened to his podcasts.

    • James Jenson
      January 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      The psychological process of those who make flippant comments about John’s financial motivations are so transparent as to be incredible if we did not see it in human nature all the time. We say “oh, he must have some nefarious motive for violating my illusions. Money!”

  99. Sunny
    January 19, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Sorry to say but I am so glad this happened!! If not, I may have never found your website 🙂 Been looking for straight up answers for a while now, finally found a place that is not afraid to put it out there! Thank you!!

    It speaks volumes that these topics are talked openly about among the mormon congregation but then hidden from the public, now you are to be “disciplined” …haha! Don’t stop what you are doing!! People deserve all the facts before making a decision, the Mormon church representatives are sounding more like used car salesmen then representatives of the Word.

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