Messages to my Family

June 12, 2014
By

1487775_738196073219_1721715103_oIt’s a surprisingly heart-wrenching experience to tell your wife and children that you are being put on trial for apostasy by the church you love.

What I learned today is that it’s even more difficult to receive this news as the spouse or child of an alleged apostate — especially when you happen to live in a very conservative Mormon town, and will likely face considerable social stigma as a result of your father’s decisions (for no fault of your own).

The decisions I’ve made have certainly led to this week’s events.  I desire no pity.

But if you have a word or two to share with my dear wife, Margi, or with our dear children (Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston) — who have born much of the brunt of my “activism” over the past nine years — please consider sharing it with them here.  Perhaps it will make them feel like the sacrifices they have made — and will likely continue to make — were for a worthy cause.

It would mean the world to me.  Thanks in advance.

1,152 Responses to Messages to my Family

  1. Jaron Sullivan
    June 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    Five years ago I was going through one of the most painful moments of my life because of a transition of faith as I learned about difficult issues in the church’s doctrine and history through my own research. I tried talking to LDS church leadership, other members, and my family, but largely felt alone due to the difficult nature of talking about questions of faith. In many ways I felt like my world was falling apart, even though I had a great career being developed and a supportive and loving wife and children. At that time John had given a podcast that offered an open door for people that were struggling with doubts about the church to reach out to him. I sent an email, and his response was a personal phone call that lasted several hours, followed by several months of email dialogue that helped me immensely. At a time when I was ready to leave the church, his wisdom and love touched my soul in a way that changed my decision and lifted me out of a dark place. Your father is a person that truly loves and cares for people, sometimes people that are thousands of miles away with no prior connections. His work with Mormon Stories has been one of truth and love that has helped thousands of people. Regardless of the outcome of the church court, hold your heads high because you have a great man in your family!

    • Colleen
      June 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I want to ditto this comment… My mom told me this morning about my favorite podcast guy. How disappointing. John has found educated church historians & leaders in the church to talk about issues that have plagued my testimony for years. I have received tainted answers from my church leaders about my important questions. Since my mission at the Joseph Smith Memorial- 1990 I have received incorrect answers like the Blood of Ham (blacks & priesthood)- immoral thoughts -premortal sins (prop 8)- no mason in temple endowment- & temple penalties- no hat & seer stone ect. John interviewed the most knowledgeable people to educate us on the difficult questions strengthening my testimony through deeper understanding & the spirit. Its heartbreaking when I feel you have always encouraged us to hang in there & stay in church- if this church is lead by revelation you would be praised not shunned… Fear has replaced love- I believe many people will leave the church in suport of you. You changed my life & gave me spiritual insight & understanding. Your family will be in my prayers.

  2. Annette
    June 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Dehlin family,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. Thank you for all of the sacrifices you’ve made to allow your dad to strengthen those of us who doubt, who have concerns, who need hope.

    I served a full-time mission, taught in the MTC, was in the YW stake presidency, in the RS. presidency, taught gospel doctrine, taught RS, and taught in Primary. The entire time I struggled with doubts mostly caused by the weakness of people in leadership positions. I believe that the “church discipline” your dad faces is yet another example of (probably well-meaning) people in leadership messing up big time. I think anyone who stops and looks at it sincerely would conclude that Jesus would do no such thing.

    Hang in there! There are many people (including me) praying for you and rooting for you right now.

    • Tony Bonnici
      June 15, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Dear Dehlin Family –

      John Dehlin and his Mormon Stories podcasts have been a life-saver for me. After 35 years as a true believing Mormom, it was devastating for me to uncover the underbelly of the Church to which I had dedicated my life. My search for truth has spanned 8 years and led me on a long hard path, where the source of meaning in my life has been severely challenged.

      I needed to talk about these things, to sort them out, but found very few I could talk to, without negatively affecting their faith, which I refused to do. But I did meet with my home teachers, bishop, stake president, and an LDS author, and wrote to the apostle that had conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on me back in 1975… all to no avail.

      There seemed to be no place or person to whom I could turn and I thought I was losing my mind, until I found the Mormon Stories podcasts and realized that I was not alone, that there were thousands of other Mormons who were struggling like I was. They were reasonable people and the thoughtful and honest commentary in those interviews was helpful and healing. I found great inspiration (e.g. Terryl Givens) and great criticism (e.g. Grant Palmer), but both helped me to better understand the reality of Church doctrine and history; and helped me to realize that I was not losing my mind.

      I have less trouble with the more colorful, unsanitized version of LDS history than I do with the fact that the Church has worked hard to bury it, and to denigrate those that refer to it, now includinmg John. After listening to many, many podcasts hosted by John, I consider him to be an honourable man, sincere in his search for truth and in his desire to help others that are troubled by what they find (including me). Thank You.

      • Marcus
        June 15, 2014 at 11:20 pm

        Dear Dehlin Family,
        I just learned of this news item this evening, and am heart struck at it. For years, like others on this post (like Tony in the message above), there were many things that I learned through church apologists that just simply did not add up. I wanted to have the un-spun truth, just the simple truth from official church sources, but could not even find links on lds.org or other official site that even addressed some of these topics.

        One of my friends in Virginia introduced me to John’s podcasts, and I thought – Finally, SOMEONE is actually dealing with the truth!! I found the range of persons on the podcasts helpful to me in my faith crisis. At the same time, I marveled that John, even with all the knowledge that he has on the matters, elected to stay in the church. For that reason, I remained in church for now, though an isolated person in purgatory in Utah County, struggling with thoughts of suicide, and no self worth for the inability to deal with the deceptions I had been taught my many decades in the church. It was being able to listen to people like John and those that he interviewed that gave me hope that one day I could arrive at a truthful decision.

        Last year, the Church actually attempted to deal with a few issues and posted a few articles dealing with some of the issues – polygamy, blacks, etc. – but still without full disclosure or dealing with things still difficult. For instance, you will not find “polyandry” when searching official sites at all. The apologists have ramped up publications vindicating the church/leaders in all accounts, but their details are frustrated or not supported by their own research – or that of credible others. It is the work of John and people like him that are forcing the church to be more honest in dealing with these things, at least in some small measure. They will, however, protect the corporation of the church at all costs. If they deem that John is a detriment to their growth or continuance, they will cast him out whatever his personal consequences – the corporation will care for itself. I am sad that these is this response rather than increased honesty and openness about things. However, to be fair, some of the remaining issues are so problematic for the church that honest dealing with them would result in multitudes leaving. So, for them, losing one man and a few of his friends is statistically better for the organization than full honest disclosure of things. Too bad. It might come home to haunt them in the long run.

        Well, be at peace, John. You have done an admirable work here. I hope that you will continue your efforts in this field – it is so desperately needed by so many like me. Please take heart that this work has been done in a time of great need, and has served many people in keeping hope in their hearts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. Paul
    June 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    I don’t know your dad, and haven’t listened to his podcasts, but we know about and appreciate his work in our neck of the woods. Don’t worry about what other people think. For every person who might feel unkindly about things, there is another who has enough in his or her cup to extend understanding to you.

    For each who feel the raging storm have also a surety of its passing.

    Just know we stand with you.

    • Rachel
      June 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Just wanted to echo this…there are ppl all over devastated by the move to call a disciplinary council. Here in Cambridge, MA we’re praying for the church leaders to be guided by love rather than the spirit of fear that the squashing of conversation and dissent represents.

  4. Meg
    June 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    John Dehlin, I have wanted to write you for a long time. Your projects have played a major factor in me being able to remain in the church. Your podcasts, interviews, and writing online helped me through a particularly rough time in my life when I was seriously doubting everything I knew to be ‘the truth.’ Your willingness to be honest about doubts have liberated me to do the same — I feel so much more at peace with all of life’s ambiguity now. Thank you for having the bravery to do it. I stand by you and your family. I CLAIM YOU – You represent the brand of Mormonism that I want to be apart of. Thank you for all you have sacrificed so that I can feel a sense of community and peace.

  5. VLD
    June 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Long time reader, first time poster – I can’t even express the pain I feel for you and your family right now. If anyone kept me sane and LDS, it was you and the other contributors to sites like yours. You all made me feel like it was OK to be who and where I am in the gospel. It made my journey less scary because I knew there was a place for me and my questions and my thoughts and my liberal politics…

    To your children — my own father has been excommunicated twice over a grievous sin (he actually did deserve to be ex’d – I do understand your dad did nothing wrong, which makes this such a tragedy for you)… People will treat you differently, it’s embarrassing and it feels unfair, but you will survive it and you will learn some hard lessons, and you will find out who your real friends are. No matter the outcome, you will survive this and you will be OK… I’ve been through it and it changed me for the better even though it was rough at times… Just keep swimming and smiling and loving each other, it WILL be OK. {{{hug}}}

  6. Max
    June 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Dear Dehlin Tribe, I hope that my little comment and all these hundreds of others will serve to remind you of the beautiful and inspiring work that John has done. Mormon Stories has been a resource and a refuge for so very many people, and without a loving supportive family I don’t think John could have gotten very far on such a daunting and, I’m sure at times, frustrating task. Keep your chins up, and soldier on; we are with you ever step.

  7. Marc Lewis
    June 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Dear Clara & Winston & Dehlin Family,

    Your husband/father John is a bonafide hero. His committment to helping those who struggle in the LDS faith is a monument of integrity, worthy of our highest esteem. Sadly, iconoclastic heroes suffer persecution where not merited, sacrifice where not required, and infamy where not deserved. Please understand that the pain you may endure as a consequence of his valiance will only in time make your glory the brighter.

  8. J
    June 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    John,
    I applaud you for taking responsibility and acknowledging that your decisions have led to this weeks events. You asked a few months ago for your name to be removed from church records, and for people from the church not to contact you. I understand that, and that is your choice, however your wife and children STILL have their choice too. They don’t have to be alienated from the church as you imply, or subjected because the choices YOU have made. Just because you believe one thing, doesn’t mean they have to agree. I know it’s tough as a parent and spouse to believe differently, but they on their own should have the chance to figure out for themselves what they want and what they feel God truly wants from them. If they still want to believe, attend church and be friends with those who are members they should be allowed to freely choose as well. Yes, it is possible even where you live. Joseph Smith never said we should fear others, or other religions, or shield our children from them. Rather the exact opposite. That we should learn from everything that is out there. At least give them credit as they’re abiding by your wishes, to have your name formally removed. I hope you will be able to find what you are looking for and keep a personal relationship with God. I hope you allow your wife and children to do the same. All the best to you and your family.

  9. Bets
    June 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Dear Family of John and John, I am also saddened by the events of past few days. My decision to leave the fold (though not “officially”) five years ago has been one of the best choices for my family. They have a much happier and settled mom and wife. My husband is still very much active. My daughter, Caitrin, and I are honored to know and know of you. I know Caitrin has reached out to you, Maya, and please know of her admiration for you and she will never speak ill of you or your family. Margi, you have a husband who was willing to go “deeper still” as the Bible says, having all the “right answers” wasn’t enough. He desires to be changed by what he knows. Your journey ahead is not for the weak. I salute you! If you need a friend, Margi, I will be there.

  10. Jessica
    June 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Dear Dehlin family,

    Please know that John’s honesty, compassion, and fundamental goodness have meant a great deal to so many people. I am not even a Mormon, but I’ve listened to almost every episode, and it’s helped me deal with doubts and difficulties in my own faith tradition. Thank you for supporting him.

  11. Jamaica
    June 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I have only just now come across your fathers work. I am a 41 year old woman that was disfellowshiped quite some time ago because of my actions and honesty. I would not change a thing about my life choices, I would change many things about the process I went through with the Mormon church, but that is neither here nor there. I want to thank your father for his bravery. I wish I could console you, as a family, in some way for any pain or alienation that his actions cause you. A voice for change, when change is needed, is a beautiful thing. Stand up straight. Know that you are of great value and loved.

  12. Penny Meadows
    June 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Dear Mr. Dehlin and Family,

    I have listened to many of your podcasts, and have grown closer to Heavenly Father. I have always felt that you were actually “CALLED” by the Father to do this work. I’m praying with all I have that you stay a member of the LDS church. If you don’t, whoever has caused this are W-R-O-N-G!!!!!!! They better NEVER come across my Operating Room (I’m an OR nurse) table–they won’t wake up with everything they went to sleep with! I hope to meet you someday.

  13. Holly
    June 13, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. So many of us stand in love and support with you. I am from Logan, UT, and I know it can be a wonderful place. It can also be a difficult place to be when you stand out. Just know that there are so many who send you love at this time, with much gratitude for what your father has done and is doing, and much gratitude for you and the sacrifices that you have made and make on his behalf.

  14. Aaron Hart
    June 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    To Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    Your husband/ father gave me the fourm to explore Mormon issues when I was plagued by doubt. It is due to Mormon Stories that I am now happy with the Mormon faith. True, I am not fully orthodox, but I have faith in the restoration and that God speaks to me through the language of Mormonism. Religious revalutioneraries have never faired well in history. Buddha was poisoned, Jesus Christ was declared a blasphamor by the High Priest of the temple and sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, Martin Luther was excommunicated for challenging indulgences in the Catholic Church, Ghandhiwas killed for his peaceful revolution, and Joseph Smith is still hated by many in mainstream Christianity for challenging several of its “sacred” and “infalliable” doctrines. The reality is an institution is most powerful when people stay in line and is threatened when one of its members speaks out loud that he has doubts and others start to listen. John Dehlin did something that the LDS Church has never attempted to doand that was to create a support network to help Mormons navigate a crisis of faith. John Dehlin would not have been succesful if the LDS Church had taken the initiative upon themselves. Your husband/father is a hero to thousands of Mormons and I will keep him and all of you in ky prayers over the next several weeks.

    God bless you all and keep you safe.
    Aaron Hart

  15. Tawn
    June 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    John has made a unique place here at Mormon Stories where all of us who have felt alone or marginalized in our Mormonism have been able to come and feel welcome. Ultimately my little family and I left the church and are very happy with our decision. I believe that John Dehlin and his work on Mormon Stories is the primary reason we don’t feel bitterness, hostility and resentment towards the church. It’s hard to maintain those feelings right now, when the church is doing such an injustice to your family. I am so sorry. You are brave people.

  16. Carrie
    June 13, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I want to send you my support, John. I struggled with my doubts until a YSA Q&A fireside where Bednar publicly rebuked told me to put a sincere question on the shelf. A little later I had an overnight epiphany that I didn’t have a testimony anymore. I was devastated and I was angry. Around that time I discovered your podcast and over the last couple of years it had helped transition me out of anger to acceptance of my upbringing and pioneer heritage. I will send you a small donation so you can continue to help Mormons that painfully find themselves on the outside

  17. ben vanbenthem
    June 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    It is hard to believe this story. We are all God’s children and we are all loved byHim regardles of our religion or orientation. I am a non mormon protestant and am reading your faith decision in disbelieve.
    As far as your family they should never loose their faith in God. He is all that counts.

  18. Brian Foote
    June 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Well if there is no place for you there is no place for me. I may follow you out the door. Kids, your dad is a hero!

  19. Andrew
    June 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I haven’t been to church in over a decade. I came across the Mormon Stories podcast about a month ago. I have been obsessively listening since. I am hoping to be a father for the first time soon. John’s testimony, as well as most guests on the program, of the emotional and spiritual benefits of raising a family in the church has really had a positive effect on me. The podcast has made me feel like i can possibly put aside all the intellectual issues i have with the church and raise my family in the lds faith. The lunch that John had with an apostle that told him explicitly “we want you in this church” was also really helpful to me, because i felt even if i didn’t have an intellectual testimony of the church’s value, i could have an emotional,and spiritual testimony of the church’s value to my family, and still be wanted.
    That was all contradicted by hearing the news of this court. I am stunned. From what i know of John, I have a tremendous respect for him and i see a lot of myself in him. The leaders certainly seem to have drawn the line, and to me it is clear, if they don’t want him, then they don’t want me. I hope the Dehlin family the best through a difficult time.

  20. Lessina
    June 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Actions speaks louder than words. And yet we should not question or ask questions. What does the church have to hide that it reacts to the quest for more questions and church history including facts in such a negative way

  21. Orion
    June 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    John and mormonstories.org truly steered me away from suicide.

    Male, 6th generation LDS born in the covenant, married in the temple

  22. Phyllis McComb
    June 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Please know that there many friends that weep with you today. I believe that the Savior is one of them. Wishing you love and peace.

    To the Dehlin kids,
    I was a much older person before I realized just how brave my father was. I always thought him a great man, but age and experience showed me just how wonderful he truly was. I believe you will have that same experience.
    God bless you and your family

  23. Beverly Carlson
    June 13, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,
    Father’s Day is this Sunday and I want you all to give your dad & husband a big hug from me! While you hug him I want you to think of all the people he has blessed and hug him extra tight for them. I can’t imagine how brave he must be to stand tall for truth. You all are being prayed for by many. I truely hope this is his best Fathers Day, ever!
    I support him in all he does.
    Thank You, John for asking the hard questions for all of us, whether Mormon or Exmormon.

  24. Casey
    June 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Dehlin Family,

    I feel so very very grateful for John’s work and willingness to put himself on the front line to help those like me and my husband who have been struggling with the historicity of the church and it’s doctrine. We felt very alone in our struggle before coming across the Mormon Stories podcast. I admire the integrity, compassion, and courage John has taken to help those in need. I realize that the sacrifices he has made have been your sacrifices as well. Thank you! Thank you for supporting him so people like my husband and I can feel a bit of peace while weathering through this storm. My hope is that all of you will be able to feel at peace no matter what the outcome may be. I love the saying “BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.” You guys are the GOOD!

  25. George
    June 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Comforting those that stand in NEED of comfort.

    • Penny Meadows
      June 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Glad to hear that your stake president is going to meet with you privately first. Hope that will be the end of it. Keep praying that you and your family won’t be harmed in any way.

  26. Annie
    June 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I love and appreciate your Dad and want to thank him for all the good that he brings to the Mormon discourse. It is wonderful the way he has organized a large amount of knowledge at the click of a button.

    I left the LDS Church over twenty years ago and have chosen instead The Way of the Tao, from this commentary by Robert G. Hicks we find words that I hope will bring you some peace:

    “If you’re brave in daring, you’ll be killed;
    If you’ve brave in not being daring, you’ll live.
    With these two things, in one case there’s profit, in the other there’s harm.
    The things Heaven hates – who know why?
    The Way of Heaven is not to fight yet to be good at winning -
    Not to speak yet skillfully respond -
    No one summons it, yet it comes on its own -
    To be at ease yet carefully plan.
    Heaven’s net is large and vast;
    Its mesh may be course yet nothing slips through.”

    Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching

  27. Kim
    June 14, 2014 at 9:39 am

    John,

    You have been an inspiration to me! As a convert of 9 years I have had many struggles. Your stories and the information you provide has kept me moving forward. For so long I thought I had to be like everyone else, like a certain molded Mormon. You have helped me to see that I can be different, think different and STILL be an active member! I pray for you and your family and I pray that the church will not excommunicate you. You have helped my heart in so many ways!!!

  28. June 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

    John’s family, please know your father helped my brother come back to belief in the Church. Many years ago he drove from Logan to the south valley slc and spoke comfort to his suffering and doubts in a way that showed him very slowly back to full activity just in time to hear Apostle Uchdorf give his famous Oct 2013 address, in which he was assured he was welcome, even in his unorthodoxy. Also, Elder Holland spoke to mental health issues in that same confrence which touched him and many others who struggle likewise in this community. My prayer is these two Apostles with the Prophet Monson will step in and stop this foolishness towards your father. We have little precious time before the internet explodes a new truth struggle on the general membership, one that can only be stemmed with the support of all the faithful members who went through the Lords refiners fire within the podcast efforts found here.

  29. Sherry
    June 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    The Dehlin family,

    I am so grateful to you and your wonderful father and husband for the sacrifice and service you have given me through Mormon Stories. I was in a very dark place struggling to understand how the church could be so dishonest about it’s history when I stumbled upon this website. I feel that it saved my sanity and possibly my life. I believe that what brought all this about after so many years is probably the Sandra Tanner podcasts. The church has been trying to shut her up for decades and your interviews probably really angered them. John, I hope that whatever the outcome, that you don’t let the church dictate to you what you can believe and that you can continue the good work that you do. Thank you so much for your dedication to the truth.

  30. Lynne Burnett
    June 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I was born 3rd of 8 children in very Mormon family. Mark E Peterson was the officiator at my parents temple marriage. When I was a temple married mother of 5 children in my 40′s, I fell in love with a woman. For the next 15 years I struggled with what that meant in my life as well as my church. I have now been married to that woman for the past 5 years and I am so happy with my decisions. John’s work Mormon Stories and his passion for the Mormon LGBT community has touched me deeply for years. I hope you will always be proud of his work as his wife and children. I hope the pain of this time fades quickly. Thanks for sharing your husband/dad.

  31. Marc
    June 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Dehlin family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. Please know that John’s work has helped me immensely. I feel a huge debt of gratitude for the sacrifices that you’ve ALL made.
    Hoping for the best,
    Marc

  32. Richard Redick
    June 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Dehlin family: Your father is a great resource for members of the Church who have been troubled by the manner in which the LDS Church provides “faithful history” to its members in preference to factual history. For members who have sacrificed all their lives for this Church to come into contact with factual history that they cannot refute is quite a painful experience. The Church should provide good resources for those deeply troubled. After all, the Church created the trouble. But, the Church does not provide these resources, and local leaders are often unaware of the issues that trouble the church member troubled in this way.

    I am very grateful for the thoughts that John has shared online, and the interviews that he has provided on Mormon Stories. For those (like myself) who love the Gospel, love the Church, but hates some of the things it does, it is a real struggle to stay active in the Church, and to support it financially. Obviously, the resources John has provided do not make the issues go away, but they do make the burden easier to bear. He has been a source of comfort to me, and – I think you can see – to so, so many others. You have every right to be proud of him. You really do.

    I am really sorry that this church we love so much cannot think of a better way to deal with loyal, troubled members than to threaten them with excommunication. The Church has had 184 years to figure out what to do with John Dehlin, and this is the best it can do????? Think about it. People who claim no spiritual gifts could do better than that, given 184 years to prepare!!!!

  33. William Vaughan
    June 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Dear John and Family,

    While you may feel the pain and discomfort from this situation, God will protect, and bless you 10 fold. Everyone knows the LDS church has historical issues which MUST ultimately be addressed. They cannot hide these things forever. You are serving a purpose my friend, you are playing a vital part in turning a massive ship in the right direction. And God will protect and honor this.

    Stand tall and firm, and know that thousands of like-minded Chrsitians support you and are praying for your family. The LDS church is wrong for these recent actions against you, and it will backfire on them. Keep the faith, always looking forward, and never behind you.

    Sincerely,

    Bill Vaughan
    Oak Ridge, NC

  34. Huntley
    June 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    After hearing you on NPR and reading your essay ….it was the first time I didn’t feel alone! I am more than sorry that you are going through this, but our prayers are with you! Thank you for your extreme sacrifice!

  35. David Duffy
    June 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Mr. Dehlin: I praise you for your courage and your willingness to place reason and intellectual honesty above dogma. Your church is pressuring you to submerge your reason and still your voice under penalty of excommunication. The Catholic Church did exactly the same thing to Galileo when he defied church teaching about the earth’s place in the universe by declaring the sun to be the center of the solar system, not the earth. They threatened him the same way and Galileo was forced to recant and spent the remainder of his life under house arrest. It seems we haven’t come very far, have we? At the time, burning at the stake was a real possibility and make no mistake, if it were not for modern secular laws, the church fires would still be blazing. Yours is the light of reason, may it never be extinguished.

  36. Hans jr
    June 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    Don’t let the Church leaders discurage you. I guess they think they are doing the lords work but sadly it is all about politics. Support eachother and always be open, that is what helped us in our big family.

    /Hans

  37. A R Vapor
    June 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    To the Dehlin family:

    I don’t know your father personally. But he has affected me for the better. Since high school, I have had so many questions regarding the church. I learned that it was okay to ask these questions because of people like your husband and father. And as a result, I feel a little bit lighter every Sunday, because I know Mormons like him exist.

    Press on! Your sacrifices are worth the world to me and others like me! And I’ll be praying for you!

    A R Vapor

  38. Glenn Allen
    June 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    To your children:

    I love your father because I know his intent is to love those who feel outside the system. I truly believe that God judges the intent of our heart. When your dad stands before the judgement bar of Christ, there will be many there to stand as witnesses on his behalf. I will be one. I am a straight member of the church. Raised six kids in the church who are active, went on missions and married in the temple. I hope you will keep those goals. It’s been very hard for me dealing with church history issues being 61 and being taught by those who whitewashed the facts. I believe there are literally 10′s of thousands of people like myself praying for your family. I’m afraid I would not have the courage of your father. I was cut down and threatened too many times for speaking out. It hurt my family when I did and my kids think I’m a bit of a nut for taking a stand for others who also had no voice. What really counts is to know God is on your side right now. I can feel it and my eyes are wet with tears on your behalf.

    Remember God is on your side !!!!

    Love you,

    Your Brother,

    Glenn Allen

  39. Justin
    June 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you for your willingness to speak about difficult issues. I was raised mormon and first began to have doubts a few years ago at the age of 16 when I became aware of church historical issues. The biggest struggle for me was not necessarily the historical issues, but it was that I felt like I was being lied to and deceived. I now go to one of the top law schools in the nation and I have learned that debate and open discussion is the only way to confirm beliefs. If there are difficult issues then these are things we need to talk about. It is not okay to ignore them. I am in deep gratitude that you have provided an avenue over the years for honest discussion. It should never be frowned upon to ask questions. If the church does take disciplinary action against you then I will have severe trouble coming to terms with the thought of kicking people out for asking questions. Your discussions and transparency keep people like me in the church, it does not drive people away from it.

    Thank You

  40. Parker
    June 14, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    This latest development has really affected me. I think the reason I’m taking it so personally is that I identify very closely with John. I am a lifelong member, former missionary, bishopric, etc and became very interested in the history of the church after my wife and I married. After discovering some very big questions about church history with no convincing answers, I became very frustrated and depressed. I love the church and the Saviour and all my family for many generations have been proud members, but it was Johns website that helped me to look at my faith through new eyes.

    Excommunication for John means excommunication for everyone like him, in the form of a clear message from the church that people like him, which means me too, have no place in the church. I currently serve in a stake calling and can tell you that were we live we are losing our youth and returned missionaries in greater numbers than ever before. The internet will destroy the church unless we allow for people at all levels of faith to participate.

    Thank you John for your courage. May the Lord bless you and your family.

    • Penny Meadows
      June 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      I agree with this message. Brother Dehlin (along with his supportive family) have helped me see the gospel in different views. I think Brp. Dehlin is bringing forth a more fullness of the gospel. Excommunication is NOT the answer, encouragement is. Thanx for all you have done for us–Bro. Dehlin and his family for sharing with the world. You are in everyone’s prayers, and on the temple prayer rolls.

  41. Rebecca
    June 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    Once I became aware that your Dad was facing this situation, I was heart sick. Mormon Stories podcasts have been truly enlightening and although I have not listened to them all, I have enjoyed the ones I have heard. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t. But I am grateful to your Dad for taking the time to share with us the information and the interviews that challenge us to think.

    I have had to learn about what it means to have a member of my family who is gay, and how he does not fit in the Mormon church. Yet, Mormon Stories has given me such hope when all I felt for a very long while was deep despair and painful loss. I don’t know if I will ever find all the answers to my questions because in my case, God seems to take a very long time to give me answers. However, I know in a couple of situations he has comforted me and I received a very clear witness that he was aware of me.

    I pray that He is comforting you all too at this time. I believe He is there, and I hope you can feel his love. Be proud of your Dad because I for one truly believe he loves The Lord and wants the very best for his family.

    I always believed the Church was for people who were honestly searching for the truth and to provide a path for us to return to Our Heavenly Father. I believe your Dad is an honest man with great courage and has only been on a path to search for truth. I hope others believe that too.

    Wishing the best for your family, may you always find peace, love, and may your hearts be comforted.

    With deepest gratitude, Rebecca

    • Rebecca
      June 15, 2014 at 5:40 am

      First sentence of the second paragraph should be “I have learned what it means to have a member of my family who is gay, and how he does not feel he can fit in the Mormon Church.

  42. Tate_T
    June 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    If you husband and dad is the bad guy, there is no hope for humanity. Stand by him, love him, and follow his example. In the end, it’s all about FAMILY. Don’t let this organization eventually force you to choose between church and FAMILY (like they did with Kate’s parents). Good luck, stay positive, and remember what is most important.

  43. Maggie
    June 14, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I have been listening to these podcasts for about a year now. I have never posted before, but wanted my gratitude to be known.

    The first podcast I listened to was of a wife telling about her husband leaving the church while she chose to remain faithful. I had NEVER heard anyone talk about this openly before. Even in my own family and close circle of friends it is sometimes like the elephant in the room that cannot be talked about. My husband has always been on the fringes of the church while I would be considered a valiant and faithful member. It has been a complicated struggle and numerous times I have had to choose my husband over the church. Anyway, that podcast spoke to me like nothing else ever has. I could have spoken every word of it myself. I finally felt like I was not the only one. It was sheer relief! I also realized that there were probably many more people in the church who varied in their beliefs and experiences and that I didn’t need to feel so strange anymore with my situation. Although that is easier said than done.

    Many of John’s podcasts have been the only voice of reason I have found in the Mormon world. I still listen and am also still a pretty faithful member, dragging my husband and two kids along with me. Many weeks it is hard. I hope you will find people who will support and understand your situation and empathize instead of judge. These are my prayers for your family. And that John can stay in the church membership because he is needed!

    One last thought. Eternity is right now, not some future thing. I have had to grasp the goodness that is right before me many times. (Namely keeping my family together rather than giving up on my husband for the church). We shouldn’t have to choose.

  44. I'm Still Here Because of You
    June 15, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Dear Dehlin Family,
    Hang in there! Your dad is a brave and honest man who has made a huge difference in my life. I have been able to stay in the church because of the support I receive through his podcasts. His calm and thoughtful approach has helped me through the darkest hours of my faith crisis. I pray things go well for your father, because I don’t want to raise my children in a church that would expel a man of such obvious courage and character. Hang in there and be proud of your father and what he has accomplished. There may be those who will not understand, but those of us who do stand with your family and send you our love.

  45. Ben
    June 15, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Dehlin family,
    Your dad/husband is one of my heroes. He has amazing courage and integrity. A scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants comes to mind when I think about all that John has done:
    “Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.”

  46. Morning Glory
    June 15, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Hello Dehlin Family–

    I left the church several years ago. This resulted in me divorcing my husband. He stayed in the church, but also is not a nice person. He also maligned me to my children, made me look bad because I left the church. Had I not left, I would have been excommunicated because I no longer believed in church doctrines and was starting to speak openly about it.

    I don’t have thousand of followers supporting me. I fight the battle to see my children alone. I fight to keep my sanity in a world that is upside down alone. Divorce is a sad thing, but the split in my family due to differences in faith is downright wrong. That split can happen with our without divorce. The person who uses religious differences to cause more separation and strife, is not a person who is about love.

    I am telling you to choose love.

  47. Fran McGee
    June 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I don’t know what to say, except that your father/husband has been a light in a tunnel for me for the past few years, especially the last 2 years, as my decision to take in a disabled MALE family friend and try to help him and keep him from becoming homeless. The work John does has been crucial to my sanity, has helped me feel that I”M ok, and most of the church members are too, but a few, some of whom happen to be leaders, happen to still live in th 19th century. I guess out here in Snohomish, Washington the church is much more liberal than where you are, so I’m sorry for any disapproval you will have to feel. Just remember, that for every one person disapprove, there are at least 2 or 3 on your side, who do approve, very much, and want to thank you for all the years you have supported and loved John as he has done that work which has helped so many of us, and I’m SURE SAVED LIVES.

    I know that you, his family, his wife and children, standing behind John, is what has given him the strength and energy to do everything he has done in the past 9 years, which is amazing! That means you guys are AMAZIING! You are the glue that holds everything together, his family.

    Thank you for loving and supporting, and doing whatever you’ve had to do to keep yourselves sane and still support John. I am so sorry for the pain I am sure these latest actions have caused you guys, as well as John. It isn’t fair you should have go through this, that anyone should have to.

    I will continue to pray for all of you, as will thousands of others.

    With Love, Fran

  48. Enoch Brown
    June 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Hi John and everyone on this site,

    I wanted to share with you a letter I wrote to the Salt Lake Tribune, because we need you.

    Losing John Dehlin and others like him would be tragic for the church.

    A former student of mine once turned in a writing assignment, in which he outed himself as having same sex attraction. He was responding to a news article on bullying, and had experienced more than his share. Because of the type of school where I teach, this is actually not uncommon, but this student’s anguish needs to be shared. When I told him that a person’s goodness had noting to do with genetic traits that determine sexuality, he was floored. He had been repeatedly taught by society and members of his church that having same sex attraction made him a creature to loathe; something evil to be hated.
    I do not assume that this teaching was intentional, but it was real. Mormonism needs heroes like John Dehlin, who will stand up for those who are marginalized, and work as Christ did to strengthen all.

  49. Allie Harris
    June 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I too appreciate the work your husband and father has done to promote thought, understanding, and comfort for many of us who think and ask questions beyond correlated teachings. I pray for you all and hope that some good and some progress will still come of what may now look totally negative. The story of Joseph sold into Egypt, physically removed from his family, gives me comfort knowing that in the end God’s purposes were fulfilled.
    God bless you in all your efforts and sacrifices.

    Allie Harris

  50. Jacqueline
    June 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I too am a long time reader and listener, first time poster – I too do not have the words to express the richness and depth of understanding and purpose implied by the term “body of Christ” that I have gained from topics, discussions and dialogue you have bravely initiated, fostered and shared.
    I know that you have helped many of us who love the Gospel but struggle with the some of the institutional culture and actions, feel like we can stay engaged. As someone earlier posted Mormon Stories have made me feel that is okay for me to be who I am and where I am in the gospel and the same is true for the person on the pew next to me.
    To you, your wife and children thank you. You are all in my prayers, in my thoughts.
    I believe Julian of Norwich was right,
    “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

  51. June 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I won’t share details publicly, but Mormon Stories and other podcasts and communities that have resulted from it are significantly responsible for the continued strength of my marriage. My wife and I have been able to love and support each other completely through the trials of faith crisis thanks in a large degree to the examples modeled for us in Mormon Stories interviews and discussions. I am not in the pews alone every Sunday thanks to your husband and father. Thank you for sharing him with me.

  52. Charla
    June 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I am so sorry that you are hurting. I hope that this trial will reveal who your true friends and supporters are. Anyone who would ridicule, shun, or criticize during this difficult time doesn’t understand what we are taught about mourning with those that mourn and comforting those in need of comfort.

    I’m not sure how I would feel if I was in your situation, but I admire your dad/husband for having the courage to speak his mind and create a community for those that feel alone, pushed aside, and unloved. I admire the time, effort, and determination your dad/husband has shown to ensure that those who question have a place in the church and remain part of the body of Christ.

    I raise my voice with others in support of your dad/husband and I pray that our leaders’ hearts will be softened. No matter what happens I am convinced that your family will never be broken.

    With love,

    Charla Willian

  53. Marty Erickson
    June 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston
    I’m so sorry to hear of these possible proceedings with your husband/father. I grieve with you. I’m heartbroken. I’m praying that it all does indeed go away. I’m sorry you each have to face the effects of this time. I hope and pray it will strengthen you each and as a family. I hope it is a refining fire and I hope you each feel confident hopeful and have the strength and courage to carry on and live well. The situation does not seem right. I’m so sorry John is caught in the midst of it all. He seems to me to be a deeply loving and good hearted man with a deep conviction for love and justice–especially for all Mormons. I hope for deep blessings of peace to be upon you all through this time. I stand with John and with Kate.

  54. James
    June 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    John & family,

    I found out about church history issues several months ago and it crushed me. I couldn’t understand why an organization that I loved so much would hide so much from me. I am going through the healing process now – outside of the church. Even though I am firmly convinced in my decision, I still am interested in so many different perspectives to Mormonism and I’m hooked on Mormon Stories podcasts.

    John, you are doing an amazing service to everyone out there that goes through this. I honestly believe that in the end, your name will be on the history books for good. PLEASE DO NOT STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    On behalf of me and my family, THANK YOU!

  55. Parker Dylan Shaw
    June 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Dear Dehlin family,

    Please know that I mourn with you and your husband and father. He is an honest and courageous truth seeker, and a compassionate healer of many suffering souls, including my own. Regardless of the decision that the disciplinary council may make, truth and goodness are overwhelmingly on John Dehlin’s side. There is no disciplinary action that can discredit him.

    With love and pain,

    Parker Dylan Shaw
    Pittsburgh, PA

  56. Richard Doyle
    June 16, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Mrs dehlin

    I once sent a message to your husband and criticized him for a decision he made last year. I just want to say “I’m sorry”. I feel that john is a great man trying to clarify the truth, and if I had beutiful children like him and a wonderful wife such as yourself I would push for the truth as well. Well you’re a great family and I hope all is well with you guys. Lots love

    Richard Doyle

  57. Caitlin
    June 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,
    I am not a Mormon, though I’ve investigated the church many, many times. I have always wished I could be baptized, but I could never fully subscribe to the doctrine that excludes LGBTQ persons (who are living with partners and families) from their community. I have also struggled with many other church teachings, and I’ve never been able to “take the plunge.” I view what your father is doing to be incredibly brave, heroic, and hopeful. I wish that he were holding the church reigns, because he is truly a man of God. He speaks truth and love, and his voice is one of the best things to happen to the church this century.

    Thank you for speaking up. You have my utmost respect.

  58. Angela Towers
    June 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    Thank you for all that you have done for me and our church community! I am greatly saddened by the disciplinary council news and wanted to share a bit of my experience and support for you.

    For context, I converted to the LDS church in 2008 at the age of 25. The beautiful theology and core message of the church was opened to me over the course of a year prior to joining. Growing up Christian, I was excited about how Mormonism added to what I already knew – namely personal revelation, a Heavenly Mother, eternal progression, prophetic revelation and open canon, the Godhead, and a thriving community of Latter-Day Saints. During my investigation and early months in the church, I also picked up the social norms and culture of American Mormonism easily.

    A couple of years into my journey as a Mormon, I began to be troubled by a slow trickle of Saints out of the church, the official church stance on several social issues, and some personal questions I had from my experiences in the Temple. If the church was inspired, why did these conflicts exist? At church, I could only see shining, happy faces and no one who also seemed to be in struggle (something I know now is untrue). Who was I to talk to? I turned online for answers and found some brave, differentiated and inspiring voices. I began to feel some peace knowing I was not alone in my questions. I began to feel excitement seeing that others had bleeding hearts for social justice *and* for their Mormon faith – they were not mutually exclusive! And I finally and sadly began to understand why some of my friends were leaving the church behind. This online community of support was heartening and mostly found on Mormon Stories, through John’s vision and work. And as I learned some of uncorrelated Mormon history and also gave room to hear criticism of the church, I felt simultaneously disturbed and grateful. After all, if I was a Mormon, I wanted to understand *all* that I was taking on -the good and the bad – and why my fellow Saints were leaving. And I stayed in the church, determined to be a more honest and compassionate Latter-Day Saint. I inquired about starting a local support community for Mormon Stories listeners in the Triangle, NC Area (a safe place for anyone who might be struggling too), and was able to be part of this small group’s founding members.

    My journey is still continuing and undetermined. In any case, I feel so grateful for the role of Mormon Stories in my journey of faith. It has provided a space to safely explore my own questions and understand the questions of other Latter-Day Saints. At this point, I don’t believe the church has any such open-minded forum in which to discuss these issues. And it is **so** very needed! As members, much is asked of us in accepting doctrine, developing testimonies, forming families, following leaders, and shaping our lives around the Gospel. This Gospel is intertwined and often confused with the church structure and culture. It is completely natural and important that questions surface and doubts arise regarding the Gospel and the church. In my mind, John had questions or doubts. The difference between him and me was his vision, bravery, and willingness to take action and support others in the fold. Because John opened up what was in his heart – the good and the bad – he has formed so many connections and, in my opinion, helped make our faith that much richer, more honest, and more hopeful.

    As you can imagine, the news of the disciplinary councils was very upsetting for me. I understand the main offense is likely John’s *perceived* negative influence in a public forum. However, this disciplinary council is symbolic to many, many Saints of censorship, disapproval, and discarding of those views and voices like theirs. It is quite devastating to someone who is holding onto faith by a thread, not an iron rod. Although I do not know all of the circumstances surrounding the decision to hold these councils, I believe that John is being unfairly disciplined. He is doing amazing work to build and widen the Kingdom. Our church needs the heart, challenge, and voice Mormon Stories brings – we are and will be so much better for it.

    With gratitude and hope,
    Angela Towers
    Durham, NC

  59. Ian
    June 16, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I have an immense amount of gratitude for the time, effort, and heart that John has poured into Mormon Stories. The world around us is colorful, wondrous, and complex. For those of us willing to venture outside the sheltered environment of cultural Mormonism John’s works have provided a balanced and respectful means of engaging that world regardless of where life’s journey takes the listener.

    Any difficulties you experience are not without purpose and they are not yours alone. John, along with an increasing number of others, have been called to pioneer an effort to return the Church to the historic principles it was founded on, namely to encourage a search for truth and cultivate the spirit to discern our individual straight and narrow paths. I pray that the spirit of this effort continues to roll forward so that tolerance, acceptance, and unconditional love will prevail and reclaim those who have been estranged.

    God bless you all! Be long-suffering and of good cheer. God hears your prayers and walks with you.

  60. Todd
    June 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Margi and kids,

    Your husband/father’s dedication and work are remarkable. I won’t use this forum to tell my story or go into detail about what John’s podcasts have meant to my wife and I (because you probably won’t be able to read through the 1000+ comments anyway), but I wanted to make sure anyone looking will see mine among the vast number of comments from those of us who have been positively impacted. John’s interviews and intentions feel so genuine to me and highlight the best of what Mormonism has to offer. Anyone who has listed to over 200 of the interviews as I have, would be dreadfully blind to think John is detriment to the LDS people. It is still very frustrating to see the church take yet ANOTHER step backwards. I am glad to hear John recognizes his work is bigger and further-reaching than the leadership of the LDS church (by stating he will continue this work regardless of the disciplinary action). I hope your family will be able to see the bigger picture, keep this situation in perspective, and not let the fear and dogmatic restraints of the organization to defeat you.

    All the best,
    Todd

  61. Rose
    June 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I just cried and cried when I read this post a few days ago. I was too upset to comment until now.

    Dehlin family— if you knew my life story, I promise you that you would feel some comfort in knowing that your Dad’s website gave me peace and a feeling I was still lovable in an otherwise torturous lds life within the church. I am still a member and I am happy now because I know I am not alone. That is all I really needed— to know there was others out there like me. I feel very similar to your Dad in how he believes in the church. I am a historian by trade and I learned too much about the church history to leave it alone on a “mental-shelf” in my mind— it was beyond devastating to me, but your Dad helped me survive the worst of it. Thank you so much and I am so sorry for the pain you have gone though as a family— I want to repay you all someday. I want to make it worth it to each of you. The leadership in the church just has no idea what they are really doing. The are shooting the messenger… I know they don’t see it that way. They have a very different experience in their religion. The 12 and 70 are a part of the most spiritual and uplifting experiences a person can have, and on a daily basis. I believe this gives them the ability to put much more on their “difficult-to-understand-LDS-history” shelves. I feel like this is the reason many of them have little understanding and patience for what the average LDS person feels when they come across difficult church history.

    Thank you for the sacrifices that were made in your family to have your Dad help so many other normal people. I felt so much understanding and hope through mormonstories.org. Thanks again Dehlin family… my thoughts and prayers are with you~

  62. Karim Lazarus
    June 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I want to personally thank each of you for your support and advocacy, albeit spearheaded by your father, John. Your father’s podcasts have been a great source of comfort and solidarity for me as I have struggled with my faith in the doctrine of our Church, and the reality that I am a homosexual. I converted to the Church in college, while at the Air Force Academy, and served a faithful mission in the then France Bordeaux Mission. I subsequently finished college and went off to flight training and served ten years in the military. Throughout that time I struggled with the self realization of my homosexuality, and what that meant to my LDS faith. That struggle made me feel isolated from the gay community, because I am Mormon, and the Mormon community, because I am gay. It was you’d father’s podcasts, and his subsequent introducing me to others like me, and more importantly supportive, faithful LDS persons, that finally helped me arrive at a place of peace in my own mind. Please don’t ever question the strength of your father and husband’s testimony or the power of his advocacy and allegiance with the gay community. They both have meant the world to me, and I thank you all for having supported and sustained him along the way.

    Sincerely,
    Karim

  63. Gail
    June 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    WE are so saddened to read of this news. Our thoughts are with you. Your father and husband is courageous and his work has kept many of us open to remaining in a church that has been part of our lives. Now is not the time to share my story but to let you know that your stories as a family need to be heard.

    From The Netherlands with Love.

    Gail and Jon

  64. Tony
    June 17, 2014 at 6:33 am

    As a gay mormon I cannot find words for what your dad has done for me. Thank you seems like so little to say compared with the life changing gifts John has given me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong and loyal to John as he has been loyal to the truth.

  65. Lorena Tobón
    June 17, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Dear Margi,
    Dear Anna,
    Dear Maya,
    Dear Clara,
    Dear Winston,

    I spent long years in the closet, married to a man, when I really wanted to be married to a woman. My coming out process, my self-acceptance, my discovery of a TRULY LOVING and ACCEPTING HEAVENLY FATHER would NOT have come about if it wasn’t for your husband and dad’s efforts to imagine, create, and maintain this wonderful place where to share our MORMON STORIES; where to critique our own faith; where to feel like you can listen and talk knowing most people won’t judge you for doing either. It is safe to doubt your beliefs and it is even safer to do it openly so that help and company-advice and warning can be provided. May God be with you through these hard times. With love and admiration to John, AND Margi, AND Anna, AND Maya, AND Clara, AND Winston. THANK YOU!!!

  66. Brooke
    June 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    You have been in my prayers. My in-laws live in Cache Valley and I get to visit them often. Let’s all go out for Aggie ice cream. I’d love to give Margi and your kids big hugs. If you feel lonely, know that I am your friend.

    Much love,
    Brooke

    p.s. I’m quite serious about the ice cream.

  67. Jarom Lamoeaux
    June 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Dehlin Family-

    “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.”

    John cares about what’s right. Do you believe that your father or husband can stand before God in the next life and say that he did the very best with the life he had? I can’t answer that for him, but I can say that my thinking is in line with John’s and that I know God is pleased with my choices.

    Do what is right; let the consequence follow.
    BATTLE FOR FREEDOM IN SPIRIT AND MIGHT;
    And with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.
    God will protect you; then do what is right!

  68. Enrique
    June 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Dear Dehlin family:

    I am sorry you are feeling so bad about this, but let me tell you… the church teaches that, to leaders we must just bow our heads and say “yes” to whatever they say or do. There is a vast group of members (I hope) that still keep our dignity and decide to exercise our own thinking. I am one who decided to rule on my own because the leaders over and over have been proven wrong, even by other leaders. No wonder how many people have a hard time with the contradictions in the church morals. John has been a great advocate to us and has been a brave member. A living link.
    My message, specially to Jonn’s wife is, to see the person who is next to you. The person who has been the real supporter and lover to you and children. Open your eyes and see who is wrong for real here.
    Thank you John.

  69. Pat Burnett
    June 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Your father is a rare and wonderful person. It is comforting to know there is someone who understands life and is not afraid to honestly communicate. It is rare. Thanks

  70. Sue
    June 17, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Many years ago, I was having a conversation with a Mormon friend who enjoyed discussing the church, its history, and its doctrine in a much deeper and philosophical manner than most of my other Mormon acquaintances. Once, we were discussing the topic of revelation and he said, “This is where I stop asking questions.” That simple statement said so much.

    John is not afraid to ask questions. Bravo.

  71. Katie Hoover
    June 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,
    We all hate to see or experience suffering. I’m grateful for your dad’s courage to stand up and discuss the harder things within Mormonism, that many of us were silently bearing because of our testimony or dedication to the church. I have a brother who I deeply love and found out in my first years of college that he was gay. I felt increasingly conflicted within the church. Whenever I braved asking the questions that were not welcomed in church (i.e. Blacks and the priesthood) I was always shut down and made to feel foolish for asking such questions. The church I grew up in and love was increasingly a place of silence and shaming. I’m sorry your family has to live under public eye of the church and others. That said, I am beyond grateful to your family. A collective consciousness needed to happen, where we could talk openly and honestly about the dark aspects of our church history and practices that were not in alignment with the values we were being taught. “You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.” -Brene Brown. Thank you for being brave with your lives so that we could do the same for ourselves, to live and love authentically without fear or shame.

  72. Anthony
    June 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    To John and the Dehlin family,
    I am a non-LDS member, who has never attended a Mormon church, who lives on the other side of the world from where you are, an intellectual working in the area of religion, a father. Please know that John’s podcast has opened my mind and life to the really existing, often inspiring, sometimes bewildering, world of Mormonism. John is an inspiration, through his willing and public vulnerability, for all truth seekers living and loving within very fallible communities of faith. Thank you for calling us to live in the nuance. Having shared the podcast journey for some time now, I am deeply saddened at the news of the trial you are all presently going through. I don’t pretend to know the communal difficulties that this will entail. But our shared humanity and divine image compels me to reach out with this message and with prayers to God that justice will rise from these flames. In solidarity for the days ahead. Thank you and take care. Anthony

  73. God bless everyone no exceptions
    June 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family

    I needed someone in my life like your Father and Husband. I had questions and doubts that I couldn’t find peace or answers for. I tied to talk to others about my concerns and hurt. The usual response was that I was lacking in faith or that Satan had a hold of me. Deep in my soul I felt that they were wrong. I knew that I just wanted to true to myself. Through your Father I was able to feel good about myself, move away from feelings of anger I felt towards our church and continue to grow and become a more Christlike person.

  74. Dr S
    June 17, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Dear John,

    You’re the best man the church has. I hope they will realize this.
    More than anyone else in the church, you have your hand on the pulse of the church. Better than anyone else you know the issues and what
    needs to change. I hope you stay in the church.

    On the other hand though. You will get a ten percent raise and Sundays off. Think of what you can do with that. You’ll have more
    time for your podcasts and media skills. Love.

  75. Kelli C
    June 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    My story is very similar to many that have already been posted. At a time when I struggled while first learning the real history of the church, I found John’s podcasts. They were a beacon in the dark. Before finding his work, I felt like I was the only one going through a crisis of faith. John helped me maintain my sanity and gave me a soft place to land. Thank you for the sacrifices your family is making in order to help all of us! I can’t imagine what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  76. Carissa
    June 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    I have had too many moments of doubt in my life to count – moments where I questioned whether or not I should stay or not. I am liberal, a feminist, and married to a devout Catholic man! But I have found so much hope through Mormon Stories and the open-minded discussions and lectures from John. It is hard to talk about Mormon issues sometimes – either experience the shock of the fellow member of your congregation at your lack of pure faith, or feel the wrath of the anti-mormon who wonders why you could still attend the Mormon church! John Dehlin has given a very neutral and open ground to have these important discussions, and it has kept me thinking openly and rationally, and I really attribute it to helping me keep going to church despite the barriers! I don’t know how an apostate could help keep so many members keep going to church, myself being one of them.
    Thank you John, and your family, for your courage and love!

  77. Matt J
    June 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Love you Brother. You have done a lot for myself and my family. Really you have no idea how much! Thank you!

    To your beautiful family: stay strong, stay together, and be proud of your dad, and yourselves for supporting him. He has done innumerable things that have helped people, in ways that will never be quantified in this life time.

    Am really disappointed in the Church’s reaction. Sadly it speaks volumes of it’s current state and collective mindset.

    Matt
    Australia

  78. Joseph
    June 18, 2014 at 12:18 am

    To Mr. Dehlin, and family:

    I have not read or listened to a whole lot of Mr. Dehlins material. For that reason I do not have much of an opinion on it. I know only what I have heard, and I have heard good things. I pray you are not branded or mistreated by others. I know that is probably in vain. I will say this, in this world of confusion, be true to yourself. Those words echo words I heard from a loved one recently. ” Be true to yourself.” I only write this to tell you, that The Lord is mindful of each of you. He does love you. The second part of James 5:16 reads, ” The effectual fervent prayer of a rightous man availeth much.”

    I wish also to quote from the book of Alma, 13:28; ” But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive,patient,full of love and all long suffering.”
    The point being, that God loves you. he hears your prayers. He knows your heart. I like this verse in Alma because it shows us also, that if we continue to do that which we know is right, We will be strengthened. I know from personal experience doubts in the church, and in myself. I also know that I have been supported in each of my trials. (These are my anchor, I continue to believe in this church.) So shall you be supported. I know this is true. If you keep praying, and reading scriptures you will see an increase in these blessings. Perhaps if it is only an increase of strength with-in yourselves.
    Continue onward. Be of good faith. Continue onward. No matter how bleak it seems, there are those of us who would reach out to support you.

    with love, Joseph Veit

  79. Ron Hada
    June 18, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Dehlin Family,

    I have been a fan of John’s for some time now. I really can’t add much to the sentiments of support that have already been expressed, except to let you know I value the work that John has done and will continue to do regarding those who go through faith struggles within the LDS church. I add my voice to those who can say that John and Mormon Stories are a big part of my ability to stay within the church . I’ve been through my own faith roller coaster and John’s work has allowed me to more fully appreciate and enjoy the ride as I find the right balance in my heart AND mind. I can only imagine the social pressure you all are going through that is unique within the LDS culture. If you were in my Ward/Stake, I would be standing beside you in full support of the right to ask valid questions and not risk excommunication. I hope that when the dust settles, the tent of modern Mormonism is big enough for everyone. As an aside, I’m also able to finally start a donation to Mormon Stories. I support your efforts.

  80. Adam
    June 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    John,

    I have honestly struggled for years through a lot of these issues and was just very recently, the last week or so, brought to your website through the media coverage and through a discussion with a close friend, and old mission companion. I have listened to about 10-12 hours of podcasts these past few days and I can’t explain to you how I am feeling. It’s like I am having a “spiritual” experience working through some of my issues.

    I knew a lot of the difficult stuff but never spent the time to really investigate it. That is a major problem for people within the Church. They hear that Joseph Smith stuck his face in a hat and the world comes crashing down. I basically was left with a laundry list of these difficult things and no where to work them out other than through Anti-Mormon blogs or the rose colored denial of my Church leadership.

    I was really angry at everyone and everything and ended up being depressed. My wife and son, unfairly, paid for this to an extent. I couldn’t believe how I could let myself believe this stuff. I wanted to lash out, and did to a degree. In the end, the anger subsided but I have been struggling to find my place in the Church.

    Even though I was only baptized when I was 17, this Church is my culture, identity, and is, frankly, the traditions of my fathers. The thought of leaving the Church is so scary for me. I don’t want to be an outsider or even on the fringes but I also don’t want to lie to myself.

    What I have listened to these last few days has, for the first time since I was first troubled, provided me with the thought that maybe there is a way that I can work these issues out and not have to live in a scary world outside of Church membership. This is the spiritual experience I have been having. There are in fact people that know these things and that come out stronger on the other side and I can be one of those. I am realizing that the process that I have gone through, and continue to go through, is not because I am sinful or faithless but that it is a perfectly normal process that many, including yourself, have gone through.

    I feel for your family and feel for you. If you are like me, the thought of losing membership to an organization that provides an environment that cultivates introspection, spirituality (no matter how defined), graciousness, and a strong family based platform is scary. I am glad that you have not allowed this to hold you hostage because that is how I have felt at times. I hope your family, and Church leadership, knows that this forum is continuing to pull people from depression and despair and is leading people to find peace, regardless of where they find it.

    Adam

  81. CassieK
    June 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    The work your father does certainly brings people closer to God. Being a Mormon teaches you to stand up for what you believe in, if nothing else. Be so honored to have such a righteous father!

  82. Nate Berg
    June 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Dear John and Dehlin Family,

    Thank you for standing for truth, knowledge, and personal integrity.

    I grew up in a very active LDS family in Cache Valley. I am now 40 years old, married to my best friend, and have three beautiful children. I served a mission, my wife and I got married in the temple, I was a scout master, Elder’s Quorum President, 2nd counselor in a bishopric, 1st counselor in two branch presidencies, gospel doctrine teacher, young men’s president etc… I have tried my VERY best to serve God and my family my entire life. Just a couple months ago I asked my stake president to release me from my callings in my branch.

    I loved this church because I honestly believed with all my heart that it stood for good, truth, right, forever families, true eternal progression and personal integrity above all else!!! I still want to believe this. But I do not presently believe this…not when those higher up in the Church purposefully try to cover the truth, supress knowledge, and do their best to stamp out honest investigation of our “OWN” history…our “OWN” roots…our “OWN” ancestors and “their” stories…”OUR” stories.

    Your father has helped so many. He has helped so many keep their faith and hope in the Church. To see him treated this way by the Church whom he obviously loves is a complete mystery to so many of us who “know” John is being honest. We hunger for the truth! We hunger for progression to something much grander than just a cover-up of the past to protect our “fragile” faith today. How can we learn from the past and move forward if we don’t even know what the past is? I hunger for a Godly organization that isn’t afraid of the mistakes that were made in the past and isn’t afraid to admit them openly and to learn from them and grow past them honestly and with integrity. I’m not concerned with the mistakes the Church has made in the past. I am concerned that the Church is afraid of the mistakes it has made in the past and just can’t seem to muster up enough courage to completely be open and honest…the way we ALL know God wants us to be.

    Your father is a hero…a super hero for standing for truth and integrity. He’s a super hero for standing up for the underdogs…just like Jesus did. He’s a super hero for standing up for his wife and children and demanding that you have the oppportunity to find truth for yourselves. If only EVERYONE could be so brave and good. I believe we can be this brave and that we should be this brave. We owe it to those living this very day and to all those whom will yet live in the future that they may have their freedom! That we all may live in a world where our hearts, minds, and souls are not ruled by fear. To me, this appears to be John’s personal dream. John, I thank you for sharing the “spark” of divinity within you with all of us. It is helping fuel a raging fire of change within the hearts of humanity.

    “Whos on the Lord’s side who?!” I will gladly stand with those who demand honesty, integrity, and individual agency. John, I stand with you in this journey. I pray that your family and many many others will have the courage to do so also…for this is our moment…our time to build a better world.

  83. Cack
    June 18, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    The collection of interviews recorded on this website are a treasure trove off history. As I’ve listened to these stories my mind has grown and expanded- as well as my capacity for empathy and love. Thank you to your family for all of your time, efforts, sacrifice and charity. Prayers for all of you.

  84. Troy
    June 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,
    My heart was broken the day I learned of the action the Church wishes to take against your father and I can only imagine the pain this news has been for your family. Mormon Stories has been my saving grace as I have struggled with my Faith crisis ever since reading Rough Stone Rolling. I looked to John for answers on how to remain in the Church even though I had many things sitting on my “shelf”. I have learned from John how to except the Church despite it’s many worts and shortcomings for the betterment of my family. And for this I am in Johns debt. Thank you Dehlin family for sharing this great man.
    My only fear now is if there is no room for John in the Church’s so called big tent is their room for any of us with the same questions and misgivings that President Uchtdorf once spoke was welcomed in this same tent.

  85. June 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Dehlin family,

    I just want to thank you for your courage and honesty. I think if there were more open, respectful dialogue at church on Sunday, the church would be a safer, more inclusive place. Thank you for being an example to the rest of us.

    Much love,

    Julia

  86. Ian
    June 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I won’t speak for others in the Church, because this most recent episode has only underscored the profound disconnect that I feel with many of my brothers and sisters. But I want you to all know the following: I want you with us. You may not be better for having us in your life, but I guarantee you that we are better for having you in ours. Although I don’t claim to know much of substance, I feel like I’ve figured out a lot about process. And I will preach that an unexamined life is not worth living. If there is one thing that I believe our heavenly parents want from us, is for us to become sincerely reflective and intentional about what we believe, how we think, and what we do with our lives. Your husband and father represent an honest attempt at that very task. And you should be so very proud of him for that. I have gotten so much out of Mormon Stories. Even a week later, the most apropos description of how I feel is just “sad.” So I certainly don’t expect anything different from you. But realize that god is much happier with us making mistakes after trying to work it out than from never taking the risk to think for ourselves. I send my love and support your way. And, to John, thank you so very much.

  87. Margret
    June 18, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    To the Dehlin Family,

    I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart and soul. I have been active in the Church all my adult life. I’ve conducted music, taught primary, taught Relief Society, taught Gospel Doctrine for five years and served in the Relief Society presidency.

    My testimony has not prevented me from having questions about the institution that is the Church. It has been so refreshing – even vital – to hear directly from those involved in some of the issues facing the Church. “Mormon Stories” has deepened my understanding and has given me much needed perspective. For this I am enormously grateful.

    I’m sure this must be a very trying time for you as a family. Know that by reaching out with compassion and without judgement John Dehlin has helped a lot of people. He is also helping the Church, even though they don’t realize it yet. You can be very proud of him.

    To the Dehlin children: in time you will come to value even more the example your father is setting for you of honesty, courage and integrity. You will draw strength from it throughout your lives.

  88. David W Larson
    June 19, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Dear family

    My life would have been completely different, had I had Mormon stories to listen to 26 years ago. I had spent 6 years reading and questioning the Mormon church. I had a wife and 6 children(ages 8 to 22). A daughter just married. A gay son on a Mission in Singapore. We had just 5 years earlier adopted 2 special needs children from church social services. I had no where to turn to. I had no one to talk to about my thoughts and beliefs. My wife listened to the church leaders and divorced me. I could not blame her. I would have done the same if the cards were reversed. A year later I had my name taken off the records of the church. I considered the church to be a fraud from its very foundation. I remarried a convert to the church who had previously been a Methodist. She has loved me and accepted me for what I am. I have never left the church mentally. After 26 years I’m still reading ” The Rest of the Story Books”. I have been listening and reading information on your dads site (momonstories.com) for the last 1 1/2 years. He has brought me a peaceful and better understanding of the church. The divorce broke up my family, and after 26 years I have little hope of it ever coming back together. Don’t take sides. Love both of your parents. They are both great people. I will forever be thank to your dad. He as been a great source of love, compassion, understanding and strength. He would be a great friend.

    David Larson

  89. KD
    June 20, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I think others have already expressed it better than I could but it is important for me to add my voice. This podcast has been a balm for my soul. I’m forever grateful for the very important and courageous work that John has been dedicated to. This podcast allows me a way to stay connected to my Mormon heritage and culture.

    God Bless,

    KD

    • Goo
      June 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      I LOVE the “balm for my soul”!!!!!!! Heritage & culture that’s perfect! Well said!

  90. Goo
    June 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    John’s Family,
    When I found Mormon Stories Podcast I was ELATED! I must have told 100 people within my first month… The educated & ACTIVE guests strengthened my testimony & easily clarified all my “Mormon Issues”. In my research- It was hard to find information that answered my many questions. John’s podcasts gave me the actual truth- not an opinion- not an outdated quote from Mormon Doctrine. John & his guests encourage listeners to stay in the church. Reinforcing the idea of community and a good environment for serving others & following the Savior. How weird the community wants to toss their biggest cheerleader – It undermines all the good the podcast stands for. Unfortunately John is the glue that adheres many to the church. If HE gets the boot- that glimmer of hope -he encouraged all to hold on to- will die. When the structure overrides the spirit – the disillusion melts the desire to wake up on Sunday &/or go Visiting Teaching. The Savior’s actions show only faith, inclusion, & love – it is unfortunate that fear, & exclusion, & not love… drive this stupid endeavor. It’s hard to encourage you guys when I am wicked disappointed. I am so sorry for the “Orthodox Mormons” in charge of this which hunt- they stopped following the Savior & walk in the Pharisees & Sadducees footsteps. John changed my life & gave me strength to stay true no matter what may occur- so I hope you too can hold on. Summit View loves you! So if it gets weird in Issaquah go south- find us & you will find a humble community of acceptance. -Goo

  91. Julie Aikens
    June 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Dear Dehlin family,
    The first interview I ever heard on the Mormon Stories podcast was between John and Matthew Garrett about the Indian placement program. I had an Indian sister for two years, so learning more about that program was fascinating to me! I loved how your Dad wasn’t afraid to ask hard questions and get real answers. It’s something I’ve been trying to do since my parents divorced and what I thought was true in my life began to unravel.

    Since that first Podcast I have found a friend in John. Through his interviews I have been led to read many beautiful books, one of my favorites being Letters to a Young Mormon by Adam Miller. My views have been broadened and my testimony both challenged and strengthened at the same time because of John’s words. I have loved this journey!

    I am deeply saddened that John will be facing a Disciplinary Council. I have been praying that hearts will be softened and he will be allowed to keep his membership. Thank you for sharing your Dad and husband with me! I feel like his podcasts are a soft place to fall and rest in troubled times.

    With Love,

    Julie Aikens

  92. Kris B
    June 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I have found mormon stories and the work that John has done to be a great blessing to me during my faith crisis. In the movie The wizard of OZ, the wizard tells the Tin Man that a heart is not judged by how much a person loves, but by how much that person is loved by others. Just by reading these posts I think it is obvious how good of a man John is and how much he is loved. No matter what the church decides, they will not be able to take away the fact that John is good person and a man of God. Our Savior’s message is not one of discrimination and hate but one of love. The greatest commandments given to us are to love God and love one another. That is all I have ever seen from what John has done and we are lucky to have people like John in the world.

  93. Elsje
    June 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Dear Family,
    Sometimes the road is difficult, but always remember you are loved- there is nothing more important. Now imagine that someone is not loved or excepted and you and your family can do something about it. Please believe in your Dad and make sure he gets lots of hugs and kisses every day. Because of the love he is spreading, other children will get to live. This is a very important work. Thank you for sharing him with us, we are grateful! You can hold your heads up high and be very proud. The correct road is seldom the easy one. Sending much love and happiness to you and your family! :)

  94. JB
    June 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Dear Dehlin Family,

    I left Mormonism by my own request 10 years ago after being an active member by entire life. I discovered a life of love, grace, and compassion beyond anything imaginable. When I was Mormon, I felt as though I was desperately sucking the breath of the Spirit through a coffee straw. Now my JHWH is like the Alaska pipeline.

    Know that many prayers of love and support are being lifted to a very real God, by many many believers of all faiths. For you and your entire family. Love, Love, Love and the Lord’s compassion to you all.

    • Bets
      June 26, 2014 at 9:07 am

      Are you sure it was a “coffee” straw? I appreciate the visual; great analogy and I can relate.

  95. Spencer
    June 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    John’s podcasts were the greatest contributor to my finding peace during a very painful faith crisis. Knowing there were others like me gave me hope and the courage to find new life. Thank you Dehlin family for supporting him and allowing him to do the work he’s done.

  96. James Calder Marshall
    June 26, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I for one have really enjoyed, and learned a lot from your website. I love how you let your guests speak their peace and really give them ample time and respect to tell their stories. I am so glad that the mormon community has great people like yourself who not afraid to have real interviews and conversations about sensitive issues which are rarely if ever given a proper forum in any settings in mormondome. I truly feel that websites like this are to the mormon church what Edward Snowden, wiki leaks, Ron Paul, and the alternative media on the internet are to the US government and it’s totally controlled and scripted main stream media(or governments the world over for that matter). And ironically both of these organizations claim Devine rights to monopolies which neither reason, logic, morality, nor history support.. I would highly recommend the short online essay called “Anatomy of The State” by Murry N. Rothbard, “The myth of the rule of law” by John Hasnas, or “the obviousness of anarchy” by john Hasnas to anyone who thinks I’m barking up the wrong tree. After reading those three short essays I think you might just have a mind blowing experience, which will get you to read, question, and learn more! This site is a perfect example, like so many others of what the true potential of the internet is and how one lonely web site can really speak truth to power and have a really big impact on the lives of many. God bliss you John Dehlin and I’ll keep your family in my prayers! Hey, and thanks again for he great service you’ve rendered unto the mormon community!

  97. Tiffany
    June 30, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Dear Dehlin family,

    I was the perfect young Mormon woman. I wanted to please, I chose the right, and set an example for all my peers. But in my gut I felt that I didn’t really know why I was doing all this–I mean, I knew I wanted my parents to love me and I wanted the respect of the people in my ward and school. But why was I making these daily decisions? I always felt unsettled and confused, no matter how many times I bore my testimony.

    When your dad created a virtual space (the podcast) where my nagging questions could be voiced freely, discussed and critically examined from all sides, I felt like a light started to flicker inside my heart. As I realized that there was someone as smart and careful as your dad who was working to make people like me feel safe enough to explore and search for more information and eventually find my own way, my heart seemed to light up, grow bigger, and beat true. He has risked a lot to help me (and doesn’t even know me), and I am forever grateful!

    But the most important thing your dad has done (in my view) is to defend the rights of LGBT people. He has saved lives through his work on LGBT issues.

    I wish I lived in your community and could be there to stand by and support your family. Please remember there are families like mine who would love to be your neighbors, friends, and defenders! I am sure that each member of your family is smart, fierce, and dedicated to whatever cause you hold dear. Just because your dad gets a lot of attention doesn’t mean he’s the most important member of your family! Each of you must be an amazing individual with your own passions that will help the world be a safer, happier, more just place. Find your passion and the rest will all make sense.

    All my best,

    Tiffany

  98. Jordan Sorensen
    June 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Dear Dehlin family,

    I don’t agree with some of the actions that John (sorry for the formal address) has made but I love him for who he is. Brutal honesty with oneself is a difficult thing to accomplish in life and should be prized from those who can display it. John is an inspiration for many and no matter where anyone stands on his “activism” or beliefs i don’t think anybody could deny he is a good man. No matter the outcome of a future that we cannot predict please know that for all the church and its members flaws the core belief that we are gods children and he loves you is always of great comfort. Best wishes!

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