Meridian Magazine – Are You a Liberal Mormon? – By Joni Hilton

John Dehlin Mormon Stories

A brief history of this article:

1. An article entitled “Are You a Liberal Mormon?” was written by Joni Hilton (writer for Music and the Spoken Word) and published by Meridian Magazine on October 31, 2013. This is the original link to the article (which has since been taken down).  A full version of the original article can be found here.

2. Sometime after we posted a link to this article on Facebook expressing concern, the article was taken down.

3. A listener shared with me this response that she received from the Meridian Magazine Editorial Team after the article was taken down:

“XXX (name withheld here for privacy reasons),

The team in charge of editorial today was not on the top of things and we agree that this article is extremely offensive and it will be taken down.  It has been removed from the homepage and will be completely deleted from the site before long. There may still be a cached copy if you don’t clear your cache, but it will be removed in the next few hours. God loves everyone, regardless of whether they are liberal or conservative. James E. Faust was a liberal Mormon too.  We are embarrassed that it slipped through somehow.”

4. On November 1, 2013, Maureen Proctor – Editor-in-chief of Meridian Magazine- published this response to the debacle — leaving many curious as to whether or not she understood the concerns of those who objected to the article. The “we didn’t mean political liberals” retort felt to many as though she missed the central points of the concerns/criticisms.

5. Today (11/4/2013) I received the following email from Maurine Proctor, Editor-in-chief of Meridian Magazine:

Dear John,
You have posted a Meridian article in its entirety on your site. May I remind you that posting an article in its entirety is not considered fair use. I request that you take this article down immediately.

Maurine Proctor
Meridian Magazine

6. Consequently, we have edited the text below to only include excerpts.

Sincere best wishes to Maureen and the good folks at Meridian Magazine.


Are You a Liberal Mormon?

by Joni Hilton

Meridian Magazine

(We have been asked by Meridian/Ms. Proctor to not include the entire article, only a few excerpts are included below. )

“Liberal people had been to Europe and let you knew it. They had Continental tastes, exposure to the latest fashions, and eagerly embraced whatever was new and exciting. ”

[Liberal Mormons decide] “which aspects of our faith to accept or reject, from honoring the Sabbath to wearing less than.”

[Liberal Mormon are] “members of convenience. When they didn’t like something the Prophet said, they felt perfectly fine skirting around that one, and writing their own rules.”

[Liberal Mormon are like Jack Mormons in that] “you see them staggering out of a bar, or heading into the shopping mall on Sundays.”

[Liberal Mormon are] “slippery.”

[Liberal Mormons dodge] “Gospel Doctrine class because the teacher is “so by-the-book.” This criticism is meant to imply that he’s a dolt who never questions anything, so why should I attend a class taught by someone so narrow-minded?”

[Liberal Mormons] “…disagree with several points in the Proclamation to the World, say no to callings that insult their intelligence, and create their own spin on how God will ultimately judge us (very leniently, usually). They think bikinis are fine, iced tea is a tasty drink, and R-rated movies are often artistic and worth seeing.”

[Liberal Mormons] “…do not read their scriptures every day. They do not attend the temple, they do not show up to help someone move, and they do not Home Teach or Visit Teach with regularity. They view those who do as quaint minions who never question authority and who follow the rules like mindless sheep.

[Liberal Mormons] “…do subscribe to with gusto” to “free agency. In fact, free agency is their justification for the Designer Gospel they have refurbished to suit their individual tastes.”

[Liberal Mormons] “…are playing right into Satan’s hands.”

[Liberal Mormons have] “…forgotten that Christ runs this church, not mortals. God’s laws are unchangeable and eternal, not somebody’s notions that sway in the breeze and adapt to each new social trend.”

[Liberal Mormons forget that] “When the Prophet speaks, the debate is over.” This is because the prophet is speaking for God and telling us what He would have us hear. He is not just the president of a corporation, giving us his personal views.”

[Liberal Mormons believe that the church is merely] “….a smorgasbord of ideas from which we choose.”

[Liberal Mormons are] “…unwilling to sacrifice and work will fall by the wayside, then claim it’s where the wiser folks actually belong.

[The Liberal Mormon approach is] “…an admittance of weakness.”

[Being a liberal Mormon] …. “….takes little– if any– effort. Like laziness, it spawns rationalization, something the obedient never have to worry about. The dedicated members don’t have to excuse or explain themselves; they simply continue working, inching along on the path Christ outlined. Only when we stray do we feel we have to justify our choices. Perhaps that’s one way to tell if you’re at risk. Only the Liberal Mormons feel the need to explain their twist on faith.”

Some points that were noted at the end of the article:

  • Joni Hilton shares short videos that teach easy household tips and life skills at :
  • Joni Hilton’s blog is:
  • Joni Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President in her ward
  • Joni Hilton is advertising the following book for Christmas: “Wishes for an LDS Child” at