When the history of 20th century Mormonism is written, Paul Toscano will likely go down as one of the most controversial and divisive figures of that era. Paul is the husband of Margaret Toscano, and was excommunicated (along with 4 others and 1 disfellowshipment) during the infamous “September Six” incident in September of 1993. This is Paul’s story — as told in his own words.
I feel that interviews like this are essential within Mormonism for at least a few reasons:
- For those interested in Mormon intellectualism — the series of events leading up to the September Six excommunications are absolutely fundamental.
- History tends to repeat itself — and you never know if some from today’s bloggernacle risk a similar fate as the LDS intellectuals of the 1980s and 90s. Perhaps we can all learn some lessons from this interview, to help keep history from repeating itself yet again.
- In my limited experience, I have found most of the Mormon intellectuals of the 1980s and 1990s to be honest, thoughtful folk, who were mainly just trying to make sense of that which is very difficult to reconcile at times — namely thought and faith within Mormonism — and were often quite sincere (and even naive) in their desires for church improvement.
- I find these stories to be fascinating, and even inspiring, in their own right.
- Generally speaking, I worry that the LDS Church may have damaged itself through these excommunications — regardless of the mistakes made by the “Six.” I sincerely hope that we can learn from our past decisions, and seek to not repeat them
I hope you enjoy. And a MAJOR thanks to Paul for taking the time to record his history.