Mormon Stories Shared Values Statement

  1. We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.
  2. We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.
  3. We seek spaces where we as Mormons can live lives of intellectual and spiritual integrity, individual conscience, and personal dignity.
  4. We acknowledge and honor different spiritual paths and modes of religious or non-religious truth-seeking. We respect the convictions of those who subscribe to ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.
  5. We recognize the confusion, distress, emotional trauma, and social ostracism that people on faith journeys often experience. We seek constructive ways of helping and supporting people, regardless of their ultimate decisions regarding church affiliation or activity.
  6. We affirm the inherent and equal worth of all human beings. We seek spaces where Mormons (and all people) can interact in safe places regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In this spirit of egalitarianism, we prefer non-authoritarian and non-hierarchical means of organization and affiliation.

1 comment for “Mormon Stories Shared Values Statement

  1. July 21, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Raised with knowledge of the important roles my great-great grandfather, A.O. Smoot, and great grandfather, Reed Smoot, played in establishing the Church of Latter Day Saints in Utah and indeed the world in 1870-1930, but not a believer myself, I am shocked to discover Church leadership has decided to outright lie to its followers and teach that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist and ‘teach around’ the historical inaccuracies in the Book of Mormon. As a six year old, my father proudly told me the history of my family, the role polygamy played in our family, the effects of AO Smoot’s polygamy on his son’s Senate service, and how the Smoot family was a living example of the Church’s move away from a historical precedence of using polygamy to ‘grow’ church membership rapidly, in a time when having large families was also highly advantageous (in frontier living) to a modern, spiritually-uplifting religion of which we could be proud to have in our background. Lying about fundamental truths was strongly discouraged by my father and my stepmother, Letitia Fairbanks Smoot, descended from the Eggertsen’s of Provo. Both had been raised within the Mormon faith, and both had chosen other spiritual paths long before I came into the world. But both would have been horrified to find that this path of outright lying to the faithful evidently chosen in recent years by the Council of Presidents and the 12 Apostles.

    That these lies are being exposed (to great embarrassment of the Church elders) at this time — when many other scales are falling from society’s collective eyes (the Catholic Church internationally-occuring sex scandals, the abuse going on athletic depts. across the country, and many incidents of bullying) only serves to underscore my Dad & stepmom’s approach to spirituality: in the face of all, one must maintain FAITH. Blind following of any leadership, spiritual or secular, is not wise, and does not use our intellectual capacity to the fullest, to develop our spiritual relationships to their fullest in this lifetime. I’m pleased to find this website, and while slightly gob-smacked at the hubris of church leadership to think that lying from the pulpit would ever bring anything but (spiritual) grief to its members, hope that these comments bring solace to some, and help point a way forward: one that includes honest admission as to what we now clearly perceive as ‘wrong’ (exclusion of African-Americans and blacks from leadership, history of polygamy, damning of homosexuality, etc.) was once perceived, ‘right.’ It’s an adult that can admit times have changed, and so do their institutions. Hopefully the President & Apostles will grow with their members. God bless to all.

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