Messages to my Family

John Dehlin Disciplinary Councils 1153 Comments

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.

Comments 1,153

  1. Hi John,

    I’ve read about what you’re going through and feel very much for you. I have questions myself, and would hope that open questions and doubting are grounds for dismissal from the Church.

    I hope your family can understand that what you’re doing takes courage – real courage like what Ammon and Moroni did, willing to stand up for what they believe, even in the face of those who you once considered your friends.

    Good luck!

  2. Hi John,

    I’ve read about what you’re going through and feel very much for you. I have questions myself, and would hope that open questions and doubting are not grounds for dismissal from the Church, but rather an areas where we can learn and grow together.

    I hope your family can understand that what you’re doing takes courage – real courage like what Ammon and Moroni did, willing to stand up for what they believe, even in the face of those who you once considered your friends.

    Good luck!

  3. I hope your wife and kids know what an impact you’ve made in my life. Without Mormon Stories and the community you help put together, I don’t know where’d be. I find it rather discouraging what the church is doing. I stand by you John as I’m sure thousands more do.

  4. John your work has helped so many and you have always desired to walk the path of discipleship. I hope that you and your family can have some peace and happiness during this time knowing that you have been instrumental in helping and aiding so many in the faith and family.

  5. Dearest Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    I want you to know how deeply saddened we are to find out that the church is choosing to try to excommunicate your husband and father. He has done so much good for me, for my family and an endless amount of LDS people who have struggled substantially for years to find an outlet and a voice for their issues that often times made them feel unwelcomed and unneeded in the church. He has eased the guilt and emotional strain for countless people who have the utmost appreciation for your husband and father. Please be assured that he is a noble and honorable man, regardless of whether or not the church chooses to excommunicate him. You have so many who love you all and who sincerely hope and pray for happiness and success for your family.

  6. John will be remembered for his courage. Those taking this action against him will be remembered as cowards on the wrong side of history.

  7. I am so sad and outraged. I have listened to almost every single podcast on Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, and A Thoughtful Faith. I have appreciated your model of how to respectfully talk about all the messy issues of our time. I can only think that they have no idea what you and Kate Kelly have been talking about and who you are…honest seekers. They aren’t listening but merely acting out of fear. It would be good for you to move out of the state. Come to beautiful North Carolina. We would love to have your family here!

  8. There are no words. I am so grateful for the work that you have done John, it has and continues to help me immeasurably through my faith transition, which has most definitely been the hardest experience in my life. I am shocked and saddened to hear that the church is making this move, I hope things will not be too difficult for your wife and family through this process and I hope they know how much your personal sacrifices mean to me and many, many others.

  9. The day will come when they realize that you were right, the sun does not revolve around the earth.
    I wish you the best.

  10. This breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what your family is going through – but they know your heart and intentions better than anyone. Like you’ve said before – no matter where you feel your faith is, always pray – always study. My mother has said a lot the same. No matter where you feel you are in the church, stay close to the Lord.

  11. MS woke me up, kept me in, and then helped myself, my wife and 3 children all find our courage to be honest with ourselves and our creator.
    We knew it was broken (church) …the lack of evidence, and evidence against, was clear and overwhelming.
    At a final point we asked ourselves, how is this false worship (of things made by man) helping us find and understand god? How does it actually draw us closer to our Savior.
    At that point, we knew we couldn’t find that within the_very_narrow construct of a church that demands total obedience.
    Leaving is not easy. It is traumatic. Pride, fear, shame, embarrassment, anxiety.
    We had all the promises. I mean we were Israel.
    But it IS worth it.
    Every single day is another day out of the “cave” (read Plato’s Cave allegory).
    We only wish we did this sooner.
    Good luck. You’ll be fine. There is a world of people who talk together on line and in person.
    If you want to laugh and talk try Reddit exmo. New Order Mormon has some incredibly nice people and isnt Stay LDS. RfM is angry, but has it’s place.
    Look, learn, enjoy.
    We were living in a world black and white TV, in Mono. Now we see so many colors of gods creation, and hear in stereo.
    you will never regret this journey.
    You will never know how Many people MS helped, nor the lives of troubled kids possibly saved.
    I’m sure you are well aware of that horror story.
    John is one of many champions who took one for the team. This might just bring him closure, and bring him home

  12. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    I don’t know your husband and father personally. But I know him through his works. They are righteous works. Those works offend some people — who also don’t know John Dehlin — who happen to be very powerful people in the Church. But just because one is a church leader, that doesn’t make his every action right. Very highly placed people in the Church commit sins also.

    Your husband and father has worked tirelessly over the years to help church members who have been hurt. For that, he may unfortunately suffer. Life is not always fair. But everything will get better, a sir foes eventually for those who strive for righteousness. Stick by your husband and father. He is a good man.

    Dave Nelson
    College Station, Texas

  13. John, I admire your courage, intelligence and am thankful for your thoughtfulness as you shared your journey through the doubts, problems and goodness of Mormonism during almost a decade. If your family could see that from the eyes of a lot of us they would admire you as much as we do. You helped a lot of us understand the struggle of doubt that we were going thorough. We appreciate your ability to organize and bring some of the best minds together to discuss Mormonism, including the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks again John, and may your family support you as you have us, even if they don’t share all your beliefs (as some of us ;-). May God bless you in court as you present your case in such a way that your family can be proud, no matter what the outcome. Keep up the good work.

  14. To the wife and children of John. I live in Sweden, a remote small country in northern Europe. I would like to let you know that you should be proud of John and the work he is doing. His work has helped me, my wife and our 4 children greatly in our pursuit for peace and joy in our lives.

    No organisation, community, or church should in my mind be at the center or the source of joy in a family. For me the source and power of a healthy family life comes from the relationships between the family members. It comes from honesty, integrity, empathy, charity and most of all love. Community, belief and religion can for some add to satisfaction in life, but for me it should always be regarded as the icing on the cake, or “the onion on the salmon, as we would say in Sweden” :). My point is that if one is not happy, or content with one topping we should not be afraid to try something different. So be aware that people, even in Sweden, has been greatly helped by the work and effort that John has put forth. “If your daily life is in harmony with your highest parities and values, only then will you have a credible claim to inner peace”. And finally: “Everything will in the end work out for the best. If it is not working out, you are not at the end… I wish you truly all the best”.

  15. We have been navigating this faith transition quietly and one of the only bright spots has been the Mormon Stories podcasts and John’s down-to-earth kindness and prior experiences. At a time when we didn’t know where to turn safely, I reached out on an impossible whim, knowing how busy and how many thousands of messages he must receive from people in far greater need, and he answered and directed us to a great therapist and offered words of comfort. Genuine, good-hearted, honest man. Prior to opening up to me, my spouse dealt with this completely alone for months, and spent hours listening to podcasts. It was literally the only support they had and the only thing that kept them from feeling completely lost and alone.

    We are now facing the inevitable similar outcome that your family is experiencing now – our kids are beginning to feel the effects of ostracization and judgment from their parents’ choices. But I believe in the long run we’ll be stronger, more loving, kinder people for the experience. Love to your family and praying for your peace and comfort.

  16. While I have never met him, the name “John Dehlin” is synonymous with Courage. I stumbled upon Mormon Stories almost 4 years ago, and it was life saving. His work is fair, honest, thorough, and simply courageous. I will always have a sincere and profound admiration for his drive and dedication, and his family should be proud of him regardless of what label the church tries to apply. History will smile upon John Dehlin and his work…it will be a legacy for his family to be proud of.

    Thanks, John. Best of luck.

  17. Dear Margi,

    John’s courage, optimism, and love for all people have helped me to see that there is a better way. I admire and stand with him and am sure you know that your husband is a giant among men. The day the LDS church excommunicates John for his good work is the day they prove to the world that they no longer follow Christ.

  18. I am sending ALL of you my deepest, most heartfelt blessings for the days ahead. John, you have been an inspiration and a blessing to me, and to thousands of others in the last few years. I admire your desire to follow you heart and do what you feel is right and good. I hope your family is proud of you for speaking your truth and I feel that has been your only desire. May Mother and Father shower their love and blessings upon you and your family as well as upon those who are seeking to harm you, that their hearts might be softened. You are in my thoughts and prayers dear brother….

  19. John has been a support and stay to me for the past two years. I have the deepest respect and love for him despite having never met him. What a wonderfully honest man and with great integrity. I am amazed at the great work he has done for so long. You have an awesome Father/husband. You can’t keep the voice of the people down by excommunicating people like John. It’s really not a smart move at all.

  20. What wonderful work you have done John, very inspiring. I personally appreciate your example and service in such a just cause. I pray for you and your family that your hearts may be comforted and the load easy to bear.

  21. Margi, Anna, Maya,Clara, and Winston,

    Throughout history people have been criticized for speaking out against injustice and inequality. It’s these individuals who are eventually recognized for their integrity and it’s the people who criticized them that fade into oblivion. This, no doubt, will be tough for you, but my hope is that you remember through this trial that you are facing this for no other reason than one man’s search for truth and desire to be genuine. When you feel down, remember that you are on the side of right. Your Husband/Father is someone to be proud of. I know this is something that goes without saying for you. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. These podcasts have been my nearly constant companion over the past several weeks as I have been trying to sort through things. I’ve tried others, but no one else has John’s combination of earnest truth-seeking, compassion, and humility as he interviews people and makes the variety of Mormon voices heard. It’s just what I needed at this time in my life, and it sickens me too see the Church react in this way. You have every reason to be proud of your husband/father.

  23. During a difficult time in my testimony, I ran into a few Mormon Stories podcasts that really helped me anchor my testimony in the Gospel and enable me to withstand the doubts and questions I face day by day. I would not be where I am without John Dehlin. Thank you.

  24. John,
    Please hand them your resignation and go out on your terms and do not let them drag you through an inquisition.

    My nephew was ex communicated at 18 by a rouge bishop right at the time his mormon girlfriend had been murdered. The bishop did not care and exed both of them right before she was killed.

    What I learned from sitting on a court with the stake president to get my nephews ex communication reversed….was that the most important thing to the church is not having its name and image made to look bad.

    It was the right thing to do at the time because my nephew was distraught from his girl friend being murdered….he was in despair that his church had kicked him out and abandon him. They did so because he made the church look bad that he was living with his girl friend…they both were 18 and she was kicked out of her Mormon family home over an argument about make up and she had no where to live…so she moved in with my nephew.

    They exed both of them. She was dead when her family found out they exed her the same week she was murdered.

    Just resign….they will drag you through the mud in that meeting because you make the church look bad to the public and the membership.

    That is why the ex people often times…not because it is what is best for them. It is to protect the name of the church.

    1. I agree. There’s no reason for you to go through a court. Just resign. You can still resign even if they have started a court procedure. Go out on your terms.

  25. Dear Margi and children,

    I want you to know that your husbands work saved my marriage. I learned things about my church and thought the only option was to end my eternal marriage to be fair with my wife. Through his example and bravery and love, John showed that there was a better way. A “middle” way, which helped me to seek balance in a dangerously polarized world. I wan’t you to know that he taught me to engage with my parents with love and respect even though I come from a very emotionally polarizing family. I want you to know that I have a sincere gratitude for John and all the work he has tried to accomplish and all the heart and love he has shared.

    You probably won’t ever know, but he brought be back to the fold, steadied my mind when I felt the world was ending, and helped me to find the strength to right the ship and hear my own voice in the storm. I an not active now, but he helped me see clearly, not just all good or all bad.

    So thank you for your patience, thank you for your behind the scenes sacrifice, and know that there is love and respect for your entire family for engaging on this journey with John. He has reached out his hand and touched lives, and I won’t forget what he has done. I won’t forget what you have done by supporting him through what must have been a very difficult 9 years.

    I hope that this can bring your family together. I know it’s not ideal, and no one asks for this. But you have my support, one nameless voice on the internet. I’m sorry that it’s not more.

    Also, To your children, There is a certain kind of bravery that it takes to follow your heart above all the other voices in your head. Not many men can do it with the amount of compassion and love that your father has shown. Be proud of him, and hold your head high knowing what kind of man you have for a father.

    Peace and love to you and yours,

    Joe W

  26. You’re a good and honest man John. Thank you for the good work you have done to help so many. I’m so sorry about the difficulty your unfolding story will have on your wife and children. I’m a closet Mormon intellectual. I don’t talk about it much (only when someone asks). I love my children and wife and have not been able to attend temple ceremonies, etc. out of principle. Even though it is painful to my children and family, they love me and have learned to accept me. I guess love is the only thing that will lift you and your family above it all and hold you together.

  27. I’ve spent the better part of the last year actively making decisions on whether or not the LDS church is an organization I can be a part of moving forward. It’s been a difficult road. I’ve often found comfort in the Mormon Stories podcast John clearly works hard on. I consider John to be a man that pushes discussion much more than an agenda which is what I appreciate most. I’m not an emotional person by any stretch but hearing about this situation today and coming to this website to further research really has touched me as to the difficulty of John’s situation. I wish Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston to know that there are people out there who care for them and care about this situation. I’m sorry for this difficult time.

  28. I think your father is a courageous man. Please be very kind to him during this process. He will need your love and support now as much as ever.

  29. To John’s Family,

    Your father has led, with intelligence, sincerity and integrity. Be honored to be with him.

    Andy

  30. Dear John and family,
    As you go through this difficult time together I want you to know what a great support you have been to me and my children. When I was lost and confused at the onset of my faith crisis you and Mormon stories were there for me when nobody else was. You gave me strength, I felt your love, you showed me that despite my doubts and questions I could stay in the church I loved. You provided me with a safe place to question, learn and meet others and most importantly to know I was not alone. Know you are not alone now. Thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you. Much love Alison.

  31. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston, I don’t know what you’re feeling, but my heart goes out to you. My thoughts are with you. Know that along with so many others, my life has been so deeply impacted for the better by Mormon Stories. I am forever grateful for the sacrifices made by your family to make this work possible. I stand with you.

  32. Your father and husband is a wonderful man who has helped thousands stay in the church and helped the rejected ( through no fault of their own) begin to understand the issues at hand in the church. He has done his best to remain honest and unbiased in his research which has helped so many.
    If the other members of the church and the leaders had a heart half as big as John Dehlins, then the church would be a happier place where people would choose to remain and progress.
    god Bless all of you from me an dmy family in Scotland. We love you a llxx

  33. John and family,

    I am so sorry to hear this. I was just notified by a mutual friend. Here is what I wrote to him who said he was finding it harder and harder to define why he is a Mormon.

    “This is heart-breaking. And truly troubling. My optimism is diminished. My faith and hope is not though. Nor is my belief that this is only two steps back after some significant steps forward. And that more steps forward are yet to come. They may be more painful and slower than I thought though.

    I met John Dehlin at the gay pride parade just this last Sunday when Jane and I walked with Mormon’s Building Bridges. We posted pics on our Facebook site. What a powerful experience that was. It does make me worry how it might effect my current calling in the church and for future callings.

    And I really worry how this will effect people whom I know and love who are already on the edge of staying in the church. That is my largest concern right now.

    I guess we will see how this will play out. I fear not well for many. I’m sure it will have somewhat of a dampening effect.

    Having said all that, and having listened to Maxine Hanks this year just eight feet away recount her excommunication in 1993 as one of the September six, there may be things we are not fully taking into account. Maxine admits she was at least half the problem in her excommunication. At the time she was an edgy feminist and no longer believed in God let alone the church. As hard as excommunication was she said it was a useful and valued part of her journey. Now, re-baptized nearly two years ago, she is enjoying a calling in the young women. She is at peace, feels at home, and is grateful for the journey she experienced. She continues to be thoughtful, extraordinary and a feminist.

    Here is how I continue to define why I am a Mormon: The fruits that being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have born in my life have been by far undeniably beautiful and good. And in the main, the church continues to do a huge amount of good. Additionally, I have had profound spiritual witnesses that I still cannot rationalize away through “god genes,” social induced transcendence, or neurological fantasies. Such explanations haven’t fit what I experienced.

    Yes the church’s history is problematic. As is this historical moment you alerted us to in the current NY Times. As is every history including mine and yours. We have found doctrine and revelation not be the pure and simple “ideals” that we once thought. And yet they still have great power and merit to do good. Or harm if we aren’t careful. The organization of the church is both amazing in it’s capacity to do good in the world as well as frightening in it’s ability to do injury at times. It appears that the church, like nearly all things we encounter is complex, paradoxical, and at times inexplicable. God does the best with what he’s got.

    Not only will I not “sleep through the restoration” I want to be part of it. I will stay as long as they let me. And I pray daily to do no harm and to try to be meek as I walk an uncertain line of both personal and institutional revelation and rational faith.”

    John, I am grateful for your Open Stories Foundation and for helping me have a richer faith experience. I feel I have been blessed by your efforts to explore and understand this thing we call Mormonism as well as God and faith in general. I pray that you and your family will feel the comfort of the spirit and the love of the Divine as well as many appreciative individuals here on earth.

  34. John’s family, your husband and father are largely responsible for me being alive today and for my marriage still existing. John has sacrificed an awful lot over the past number of years and has become the mouth piece for many of us too weak of afraid to stand for what we believe is good and true.

  35. I served a mission in Guatemala as well and even though it was 5 years after John’s time of service I know the issues which he spoke which lead me to discovering who John is. A seeker of truth who stands on principal. Feel blessed to have such a honest man in your family. As he will always have the power of god with him because of his righteousness.

  36. I started listening to Mormon Stories a year ago after learning things about the church that sent my life into a tailspin. I honestly feel very indebted to John for creating a safe place where I could process the thoughts I have had this past year, and learn ways to cope with the struggles that accompany a loss of faith. Thank you, John, for all you have done for me. Much love to you and your family.

  37. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    You guys are so lucky to have such an amazing husband and father. I am so sorry for the hatred and bigotry you have and will experience. Please know that it is only the result of fear and pride fighting against a good man. Good will win. In the meantime, keep your chins up, and support John with all the love and affection your hearts certainly must feel for him. You are an amazing family! God bless you.

  38. John, your work saved my life. I was the mother of a six month old baby and I started digging into the church and I felt so isolated. I was depressed and lonely. My husband left me and all I had left was the church, and the church history was breaking my faith. I started to havereallyscary thoughts of suicide and hurting myself because i felt like nobody loved.me,.not even god. I joined staylds and started listening to your podcasts. I felt like maybe I would be ok. I made friends. I heard stories just like mine about feeling abandoned and lied to. I went to therapy and started to heal and repair my life and my relationship with my husband. I started to heal my relationship with the Lord. If I hadn’t found your website I would have given my son to his father, and killed myself. Because of your work and the friends I made, I am here. I am alive three years later. I have a happy marriage and mylittle boy is my life.
    When your wife and children face the fallout, tell them to remeber my son. He is four. His name is henry. He loves pancakes. He loves to go to the zoo and see the camels. And he has a loving mom, alive, and healthy with him loving him every day because you stand up for what is right and you don’t let people fall through the cracks.

    Thank you

  39. Question everything and be open to the possibility that you are wrong. John fosters this perspective and it’s a great way to live. Thousands of people have benefited from John’s work and his sincere desire to question the status quo, and whether the status quo is doing things the right way.

  40. Sending you all my best thoughts and wishes, and every prayer that I can wring from this broken heart will be for you. Thank you for your sacrifices.

  41. I hope y’all know just how much good John has done for me, even if I’ve never met him. He helped give me the courage to come out as a gay mormon and live openly in cache valley. So thank you to all the Dehlins from me. Much love!

  42. Reading today’s news about John made me absolutely sick inside. He and others that have courageously spearheaded the movement to have a forum to discuss difficult issues has saved me. I was in an incredibly dark place for several years while I wrestled with the beast of Mormon history. John’s efforts and writings brought peace to my soul and encouraged me to go on with my life in a different capacity that I never realized was possible. Regardless of what happens, I cant thank John enough for his honesty and desire to be genuine. In a community that discourages questioning and fosters obedience to a ridiculous degree, it takes amazing moral fiber to swim against the current. Thank you John for all your efforts.

  43. Sorry that those who profess to be devotees of Christ seem to have forgotten so much about him. Two greatest commandments are being ignored by the church. I sincerely hope that friends and neighbors in your area reach out rather than shun, embrace rather than push away and empathize rather than judge.

    I have posted my support of John’s activities on my FB page….
    I post my hopes for your family here…the church can’t tell you if you are good or bad…they can’t make you a family or a couple…you do that for each other.

  44. When I first discovered Mormon Stories I felt a huge weight lifting from me. For the first time I knew I wasn’t the only one who experienced doubt. John was such a rational voice when I felt surrounded by confusion. My sincere thanks go out to you and your family. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.

  45. John- your faith and courage have given me the strength and renewal to continue having faith and hope in the church and it’s people to change. The world needs more people who love like you, who listen like you and who LIVE LIKE CHRIST, Like you! THANK YOU to your family for the sacrifices, love and support that they give you, we all feel it. HUGS from Georgia.

  46. John, I am so so sorry you and your family are going through this. Your brave words and activism has not been in vain. You and your family are in our prayers.

  47. Margi, Anna, Maya,Clara, and Winston,

    Your father is a brave man. It takes a lot of courage to own up to one’s own mortality and imperfections. His work has kept me sane and has helped me see the world with new eyes. You are being thought about, you are being prayed for, and you have thousands of friends to come to your aid.

    -Ryan Flake

  48. Sending love to your wife and children. I am speechless at the news but want you to know your dad and husbands work has helped me tremendously.

  49. Dear Dehlin Family,

    Sitting here trying to think what to write to you has been hard. My children keep asking me why I keep crying. I was the YW President lately in my ward and loved working with the youth. I saw what it is to be a youth right now in this world. I also grew up in Provo and went to High school at Timpview. I know what it is like to be surrounded by peers that are members. I know first hand how people were treated by members when they were not members or inactive. I watched it happen, standing on the outside. Nothing I write is going to make it easier or better.

    Your father was a light when I felt the darkness was going to swallow me. He taught me that my thoughts and opinions mattered. That I’m not broken or sinful for being who I am. I am sure that he has instilled that in you too. My debt to your father is one I can’t repay and my debt to your family is steep. Thank you from The Lambert family in Huntsville AL for sharing your father with us. So much love and support from us to you. If we can do something we are there.

  50. John and family — thank you, in behalf of my own family and friends, for your tremendous strength and courage — it has made ALL the difference in our ability to see and clarify our steps in our faith journeys. No matter the outcome of this threatened trial, we feel it will only be for the greater good of THOUSANDS of real pioneers who have only done what their ancestors did — see truth and light. Thanks for being a beacon on that otherwise terribly dark path. We love all of you in the Dehlin circle of family and friends.

  51. I’m so sorry that the amazing work that John has done is causing such strife for your family. He has created a much needed space for tens of thousands of people. People that, without him and mormon stories, wouldn’t have had anywhere else to turn. Please know that we are all hurting for you and praying for peace and acceptance.

  52. John’s efforts provided a safe place for me in one of the darkest periods of my life. I may be alive today because of this. I’m sure it’s terribly difficult. I’m sure the sacrifice doesn’t always seem worth it. But I’m grateful. So thank you.

  53. God bless! Remember that Divinity is Infinite Love. God is above any organization… an organization is like a person, a fallible person–no institution can speak infallibly for God. God is Love.

  54. My heart is breaking for your entire family. I believe what John is doing is important, and no less so because he may be disciplined by the church. He saved my marriage. My two little children will grow up in an intact family because John showed us there was a middle way.

  55. Dearest family,

    Hold your heads up high. Your father is a hero, and each of you are as well, as you work together for the equal dignity of all humans, to be supported, defended and nurtured.

    If you come to my town I hope to celebrate with you and my family for your bravery, and for showing us all how to live with integrity even when things are difficult.

    Like the pioneers of old, there are times when the trail is dusty or cold or lonely, and the path forward is uncertain. But in the embrace of your family you can know this for sure, that you love each other, and that your love for each other has created this moment when your love ascends to the heavens and shines on people far away, whom you haven’t met, but who understand your sacrifice that you have make and continue to make for their sake.

  56. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston, you are a great support to John. You have many supporters as well. Many, many of us stand with you in spirit during this difficult time for your family.

    All the best will come to you, regardless how the trial turns out.

  57. I will think this will have a ripple effect the church will regret.

    To your family I say–I bet you are just as brave as John and I bet you will weather this storm beautifully.

  58. To John, Margi and your family

    I have only know you, John, for a short time. But in that short time I feel like I have a solid grasp on the type of human being you are. Margi, it was a sincere pleasure to meet you the other night as well. If there is a spirit to be felt, it has been felt by me only when I am on the company of honest, sincere good people. And I felt that when I met and got to know you both.
    The sacrifices and efforts John has made are immeasurably good. Your entire family has the love and support of so many people who know and understand your struggles and questions. Thank you for helping me with mine and for helping countless other people going through their own journeys.
    God bless.

  59. To the wife and children of John Dehlin:
    The road cannot have been easy during these past nine years, but the walk is worth it. Many lives have been touched, including my own and my husband’s as well, because of the work of your husband and father. It may not be of significant comfort to you to know that two lives were touched and changed for the better, but the lives of our children will be, and there are others who will be showing their support and love to all of you during this difficult time. May the countless stories of many lift you up and surround you in love. We are grateful for the sacrifice that has been made, and for the voice John gave to those of us who didn’t recognize we had one until coming to this haven that has been made possible by his work and passion.

  60. Hey my friends,

    I feel for all of you and I hope that you know you are not alone. My family has been put through very similar experiences, though it has not yet escalated to the point of disciplinary action. I have seen my Father and my family bullied again and again by Church authority and have seen the toll it has taken on myself, my family, and my parents marriage.

    All the best for you…Prayers/Positive vibrations coming your way!

    Much Love

    Nick

  61. The reality of the situation is that Kate Kelley is the real target. They just needed a high profile male to excommunicate also. If it was just a woman being excommunicated more media would pick up the story.

  62. If I learned anything during my tenure as a Mormon, it was the value of truth. As a missionary I preached us. truth and encouraged others to find it. As a gospel doctrine teacher I told my students to never fear the information in front of us; it can only lead to the truth.

    Your father/husband has been an advocate and voice of truth; a voice needed in this culture that pays lip service to truth seekers, but discourages the act.

    Johns acts are noble and just. I would be proud to call him my father or spouse if i were in your shoes.

    At the end of the day will john fold to the pressure, or will he maintain integrity? Which would you rather he do? If there is a god, which would He rather john do? The answer is simple, and for that you should be proud!

  63. John you will never know how much support your Mormon stories and efforts to build this community has meant in support of me and my family. My darkest hours were thinking about what the truth really meant. I am a returned missionary with 42 years in the church and recently found out the truth behind much of the things in the churches history. I was devastated but had no idea where to turn for help. I found Mormon stories and the support that it has given me in these dark times has been incredible. Thank you for all the work you’ve done for me and my family it has been a huge. If it hasn’t helped a single other soul, it has helped me. It has helped me get through a dark time thank you and I’m sorry the sacrifice your family has had to make

  64. To John’s Family,

    You should be proud of your dad. It’s hard to make the world a better place. Some people don’t appreciate it. There are a lot of us that do. Your dad is taking a stand and saving lives.

    Go give him a hug!

  65. Your family should know that I personally know several people who have needed you for their own sanity over the last many years (and these are people that are in my “real” life–not people online). I am not sure the Church, in all its calculating, considered the full measure of damage it has accomplished simply by sending you that letter. People with sincere and relatively mild disagreements with the Church just had their brother’s head put in a guillotine and are now left to see if the blade will be dropped. This scene will move mild disagreements to pure disgust with the institution. It is not that JD did not knowingly walk toward the guillotine, because he did. It is that some of us held out hope that the days of its use were behind us. Not so much, apparently.

    I kind of hate myself for ever being a “Mormon” right now. It just feels icky, creepy, backwards, and dare I say cult-like. Perhaps it is time to remove that label more formally. My family’s pain will be far less than what the Church has decided to put your family through.

  66. Margi,Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston thank you for your sacrifice in this life. Your husband and father has healed many hearts and mended families. This will be hard for you. People will speak unkindly, they will fear those they don’t understand, and this can lead them to be cruel. I hope there are those that will be kind to you and be your support. In life we must do what we feel is right and let the consequences follow. There isn’t another option. We must all do hard things. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing a special person with us.

    May you always have the power to do what’s right,

    David Jason

  67. I am one of many who will tell and thank you for going through what you have and will for the sake of many. I am heartbroken at the pain that you will endure all in the name of a Church who is drawing a line in the sand. I am new to this and going through so much physical stress and greif and depression. I too am only here able to function because of Johns uplifting, positive words. I am truly sorry. You are stronger than me and for that I am grateful to lean on you. I am sorry, so sorry! Please know I wish you all well!

  68. Dear Dehlin family, just wanted to say a big THANKYOU for you sacrifice and bravery for standing together and being a Voice for all of us, I know it was not easy but we love you and appreciate all that you do. Mormon stories has been such a positive influence and has changed my life for the better! We stand by you and best of luck !

  69. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston:

    There’s no doubt that your husband/father has helped many people, but this note is about you, not him.

    I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I think about how this must feel for you. For years now, you’ve been dealing with the ups and downs of his activism and perhaps even waiting in fear for this shoe to drop. I have no doubt that you love him and he you, but that doesn’t mean that it’s been easy to be living in a small predominantly Mormon town and to have your husband/father at the center of controversy.

    And now it’s about to break wide open with a church court! I’m writing to tell you that it’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be mad at John, and it’s OK to be mad at the church. You can love a person or organization at the same time as you’re mad at them. It’s possible to hold both emotions.

    It’s also OK to be hurt. To be hurt that John has acted in ways that put you in this situation through no fault of your own. To be hurt that the church is disciplining John when you believe that his heart is in the right place.

    It’s OK to do what you need to do to take care of yourself as the chaos hits. You don’t always have to be front and center supporting him if that’s not the right thing for you, and I would hope that he would support you in that.

    Now, and throughout the weeks to come, I would encourage you to find people to talk to — people you can trust with your honest experiences and emotions as you feel anger, shame, hurt, and any other emotions that pop up. Please don’t keep those emotions inside and turn them on yourself or each other.

    I send you all a blessing of love and peace and an extra dose of The Comforter to stand with you and by you throughout this challenging time no matter what the outcome.

    From my heart,

    Martha

    1. I think I misunderstood your request. I thought you were asking people to write and show their support for your family in what must be a very difficult situation for them.

      In seeing the mismatch between what I wrote and what others are writing, I went back and reread the initial request, and I see that you were looking for people to tell them how what’s happening to them is all worth it.

      Since I think they probably need to hear what I wrote, too, I’m leaving my message here and hoping it helps. Blessings to you all.

  70. To John’s family:

    Several years ago I was in a bad place. Very bad. I thought I was crazy, I thought I was abnormal, I thought I was disturbed. My life was crumbling around me, and I had nowhere to turn. I couldn’t talk to my friends, my wife or anybody else. I considered taking my own life, several times in fact. In those times, I would put on a Mormon Stories podcast and go out for a run. I would spend hours, running, trying to purge my soul, and at the same time listening to somebody whose message was that I was not alone, I was not crazy, and there were more like me. Over time I came to find peace, got the courage to open up to my wife, and started on a path that has made my life very happy. We are both grateful for that voice in the darkness.

    It may be a stretch to say that John’s work saved my life, but not much of one.

    I don’t know the pain of ostracism or rejection, and there’s not anything I can do to help. But if my thanks for your suffering means anything, please accept my sincere gratitude and well wishes.

  71. I have always admired your Husband/ father for standing up for open communication. I know that it is simply fear and limited understanding that would lead church decision makers to this ultimatum. I hope you understand how many individuals John has touched. His message has never been dogmatic or opinionated. is voice speaks to “right an wrong” –not about “true and false”. It has always been about finding your own personal experience and following your own convictions to your own happiness. As a parent it is the single most important message I strive to instill in my children.

  72. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston, I am so sympathetic to the sting you may feel from your surrounding community over the likelihood that your husband and father will be excommunicated for his brave, GENEROUS, honest, and loving work.

    John has helped so, so many people to save their marriages, save their lives, to save their church memberships and to have the bravery required to live authentically. He is a hero and a bright light. Not a lot of people have the kind of remarkable integrity I know that he has. Few people withstand criticism as well as your father has.

    John indirectly helped me to leave the church (and finally be happy) and helped people close to me to understand and empathize with my concerns about the church (though, sadly, that didn’t last). He helped me to find kindred souls who let me feel less alone in the world. People who could testify that my brain was not a handicap, that my reasoning and my heart and my desire to live truthfully and authentically were not evil.

    When John passes away at the age of 130 (if people even still die by then) there will be thousands of people at his funeral. Brilliant people, accomplished people, loving people, good people, all drawn to the same in John.

    I hope you feel very proud.

  73. My transition out of the church was a dark, difficult time for me. Because of people like John I was able to have productive and intelligent conversations with my husband as we asked difficult questions and faced down painful answers.

    There must have been a lot of times when his family had to wait while he finished up yet another post, yet another podcast. The sacrifices his family made over the years has made an enormous difference for so many people. Thank you, to all of you.

  74. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    I want you to know that I think John is one of the most caring and Christ-like people I’ve ever met. I am personally very grateful for the work he does and has done. The world needs more people like him.

    Peter

  75. Dear Dehlins,

    I wish I could tell you face-to-face how much I appreciate your father’s work and example. Many tens of thousands of people have experienced the same things he has, but precious few ever have the courage and strength to turn their feelings into something positive by looking outside themselves and helping other people. He is leaving a legacy you can be proud of.

    All my best wishes,
    Gentry

  76. John, over the past 6 years of our acquaintance and friendship I’ve often thought of Margi and your kids and worried about them. Especially when you were spending sooooo much time helping others with their faith crises. Margi and your wonderful children deserve as many “Thank yous” as you do for their contributions and sacrifices to your cause. Love to all six of you, as well as your wonderful mom.

  77. To John’s Beautiful Family,
    Many many people love and respect your husband and Dad. Though you are likely feeling stigmatized and marginalized by the church and community right now, know that many many lives have been touched for the better by the podcasts and John’s nonjudgmental love for all God’s children. We love John and you you right back. I stand with you and send virtual hugs. Christ’s way is all about love, never control. Look to the light and may the force be with you. Be proud of who you are–truly amazing.

  78. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    John’s compassion, curiosity, and integrity have blessed my life and have led him into controversy with people who wish to distance themselves and the organization they govern from him. This situation unfairly places on you some of the burdens. Perhaps it will make those burdens easier to bear to know of my profound gratitude for the compassion, curiosity, and integrity John has exemplified.

  79. When I was going through a very difficult faith transition, I felt like I had no one to turn to. My parents and family wouldn’t listen and church leaders were largely unsympathetic or couldn’t understand. Truth be told, I was in a very dark place. But the discovery of John’s discussions about faith journeys and his openness about the problems of Mormonism made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that it was possible to go on. They made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. I will be forever grateful for what he has done in reaching out to people like me and validating those struggling with doubts. In my opinion, he has acted in a far more Christlike and truthful way than most leaders I have encountered in the church.

  80. Dear Dehlin Family,
    I know I am just a stranger to you but your father has been a great comfort to my husband and I as we struggled with our doubts about the church. When we felt alone or like we didn’t belong we could listen to Mormon Stories and learn and evolve in our faith while feeling part of a community. He has been an example to me when I felt bitter and angry towards the church. He showed me a path where I could take the good the church had to offer while still forging my own way and thinking for myself. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is more authentic now than before I had any doubts, and the only way I stayed in the church was through the work your husband/father has done. Remember that the easy path is not always the right one.
    Sincerely,
    Chelsea Brown

  81. John, Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston, this may be a sad and hard time for you all, especially living in Utah, but the world is a big and beautiful place full of loving and compassionate people like yourselves, and in the end the lds Church really has no power over your families true value, happiness, and potential. Wishing you peace and happiness in the present.

  82. John, I just want to say that I applaud your integrity. Perhaps, a church organization is doing what is within their lawful/technical right to do in disciplining their own as they see fit. I have been following you from your first casts about the “kiddie Baps” during your Guatemala Mission and onward. You have shown yourself to be a man who pursues truth and one who is possessing compassion and thoughtfulness with your fellow people. I suppose it was only a matter of time that the Brethren were going to make their move as they are now. But I just want to encourage you and your family that the great people of this world become great by their willingness to speak the truth, no matter the cost. You have the gratitude of so many whose lives and experiences you gave voice to. Pre-internet era, we endured our shame and agony alone. Your work gave a voice and a community with whom to fellowship and receive support. Many have been richly blessed in your efforts. I strongly believe that the outcome will not be in vain. You have, as have people like the Tanners, forced progress in a church which is sorely lacking in true and real prophetic insight. From the bottom of m heart, I thank you and your family for the sacrifices you have made and the hardships you have and endured and may yet endure for the sake of truth. May God’s strength and blessing be added to each of you as you navigate this difficult season through a highly complex journey.

  83. John and Family,
    Standing up for what is right is rarely if ever easy. Quite often it involves offending those who are fighting for what is wrong. Unfortunately in this case, those people are the ones with the power in the church. The important thing to remember is that you did the right thing. You kept your integrity in tact. And above all you need to remember that family is family, and stick together now more than ever. Some of us who have left the church didn’t have that same experience. There is far more happiness and peace on the other side of this difficult journey. I wish you all the best.

  84. Hi Margi and children,
    It’s so terrible to get online and hear such bad news about John. I am a convert from Ukraine for 14 years. 10 months ago after reading Rough Stone Rolling I had a major faith crisis. My spouse was deployed and I felt like I was left alone, literally alone to deal with what’s been going on with me. When I felt like there was no way out and I probably didn’t deserve to live for having questions about church I shouldn’t have had and even find out the answers I wish were different, I got online and tried to search for people who I could relate to. I felt alone and then I found staylds website. I started to read about John and found his podcasts. When I didn’t have anyone I could openly discuss what was going on with my spirituality, I found and absorbed the stories of others. Those stories helped me realize what I want in my life, those stories most likely kept me alive and still helping me find happiness. I still have a long way to go but I am grateful that someone was so brave as to voice his opinions and doubts and help those in similar situation who are scared to voice opinions at the moment to come to terms with present and move on, move on finding what makes each individual happy. I learned that it’s OKAY to ask questions. We all have that right and it can and should NEVER be taken away from us. We also deserve satisfactory answers. Thank you John for EVERYTHING you have done for me personally. I admire your strength and openness. Hang in there Dehlin family, you are in many people’s thoughts and prayers right now.

  85. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston

    I am so grateful that your dad as allowed me the opportunity to speak directly to you. I wanted to tell you that I and so many others view all of you as the most courageous and loving people. You are supporting the LGBT community and you are doing what is RIGHT even in the midst of intimidation and ignorance. You kids are sending messages to others out there not to sit back and do nothing…not to be content to witness discrimination and injustice. You are leaders. You are heroes.
    To Margi…you are fabulous. I am sure that John could not have done this valuable work without you and your love and support. You too, send a message of love and solidarity of family and good will. You are a hero….to so so many.

    And, your dad and husband…well, I dare say that you should be nothing but PROUD of him. Hold you heads up high in knowing that he has spoken the TRUTH. He has taken the path of the most resistance. Hold you heads up there in Cache County knowing that kindness and compassion ALWAYS trumps petty gossip and criticism. You do not need those people in your life when there are so many who value and honor everything your family stands for.

    Finally, to John…to your husband and dad….You saved my life. I found your podcasts at the lowest of lows in my life. I felt abandoned by my church, by my God…and in you I found someone who understood my heartache, my pain…you gave voice to my concerns and you and your podcast community literally nursed me to health. Your dad saved my life. And, I guarantee mine is not the only one! How many of those people who are criticizing and ostracizing can say that?

    We are all with you in spirit. Stand tall. And feel blessed that while things may seem hard you have the greatest family in the world…with a dad who has helped and saved countless.

    Tons of love to all of you.

  86. John
    You have been a ray of sunshine to me. You stand for truth and honor. Your family should hold their heads high and never be ashamed. Thank you

  87. Hi Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston:

    I’m sorry to hear the news of your father being threatened with excommunication. I take comfort in the thought that this is not an accident. This didn’t happen to him. He made decisions and took risks in full knowledge of the possible consequences. He’s not a victim. I think that’s what makes him a great man. He’s forging his own path. I hope that when you feel the burden of his decision weighing on your shoulders, you’ll be inspired by his example of “doing” rather than being acted upon. There’s a great lesson for life for all of us. I can’t pretend I know what you’re going through – I no longer live in Utah and I’m not in school – but let me express how truly grateful for the support your father has given me and our community in the past years.

    Christopher

  88. Dear John, Margi & kids ~

    My heart and prayers are going out to you today. This journey has been long and difficult, but oh please do know how very very relevant and helpful it has been to so many of us.

    John’s videos were among the first ones I viewed upon my struggles with church doctrines. I can not tell you how much it helped to know that I was not alone.

    Please do know that your sacrifice is not in vain.

    So many of us are so very very thankful for all you have done.

    Thank you!

    gloria

  89. You provided a place of peace in a dark time for me. While I would never say my experience was worth the pain your family has experienced, I can’t express how grateful I am. The world could use more courage like yours and theirs.

  90. Margi and Children,

    John is a healer. He reaches out and lifts up the downtrodden. He comforts the afflicted. He offers dignity, hope and love. Except for my wife, John has been my best friend (even though I’ve never met him) as I went through a difficult faith transition (which I never wanted to go through, but it came to me). Irregardless of John’s personal beliefs, he is probably the most Christian man I know of in this day and age. If there is a God, I think he has worked through John to touch me and countless others. God bless St. Johnny!

  91. Your podcast was crucial in my investigation of the church. I remember being in my room, sleepless and disturbed, with my religious floor seemingly crumbling to pieces beneath me, and repeatedly turning to your podcast for support and comfort. Thanks for being brave enough to stand in the uncomfortable crossfire and being able to bridge the gap between believers and non believers. Yours is the voice of reason that I very much needed when I was deciding what to do with my activity. And I also appreciate your public experience and vulnerability. I’ll always be a fan of your work!

  92. John has done more to help me find a niche in Christ’s church more than the church. Because of his work, I have felt less isolated and more enabled to serve and love to a full, I inhabited capacity despite risk of ostracizing. He has sacrificed to be the face of what many people have feared and for that I owe him.

  93. Thank you so much for sharing your husband and father with us. He has been a great help to many people including myself. I am gay and the support he has given through his interviews, his research, and his advocacy has been truly life-changing for me as my family was able to watch and learn how John became an LGBT ally. He has been a beacon of hope in a church that really could do better, and has the responsibility to be better. I am saddened by the decision the church has made and feel a great loss. History will look back on this as a mistake made by men who let their mortal minds get in the way of true inspiration and a better tomorrow. What John has started will not die in vain- it will go on living in the hearts of all those that have been uplifted by his work. Thank you for supporting him and loving him and your willingness to share him with the rest of us.

  94. John,
    Your journey has helped me to understand mine. 2 years ago I could be considered an ‘almost atheist’ and inactive Mormon, ready to resign my membership. One reason, of many, for this was due to my love of my LGBT bros & sis and the persecution they recieve. I lived in Cali during prop 8 and it was horrendous what was done in my region and all over. As an ally I also felt ostracized and could not stand being a part of a religious institution that was doing such awful things.
    One of the most pivotal transitional moments for me was attending sunstone to hear you speak at the “why I stay” session. You spoke to me.
    Now, because of you an many other pivotal members who aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions, I’m an active member. I also got my endowments a few weeks ago.
    It is such a step back in our community. I felt like there was a place for people like us, but now, I’m not so sure.
    Thanks for all you and your family have done for people like me and so many others.

  95. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston,

    John in a very real way saved my life. I hope that can give you some comfort during this time. While many may say harsh things about him, his motives and what he has done let me share what he has done for me. I was a scared 26 yr old closeted gay mormon when I stumbled upon Mormon Stories Podcast. The first interview I watched was with Benji S. At the time I was living in Beijing China, and felt even more alone in my struggle to deal with being gay. During that time I reached some of the lowest lows of my life. I was considering reparative/reorientation therapy. I even got to a point where I was done living in this daily pain and prayed God would end my life. Your fathers work rescued me from all of that. His work then helped me to reconcile my faith, and rebuild my faith and relationship with my Savior. Through Johns work I found pride and joy in who I am. Be proud of him and his work. When people say harsh things to you, remember you are in good company with those who have suffered for the progression of equality, faith, and justice.

  96. My heart goes out to you and your family. John has done so much for so many, I appreciate the sacrifice your family has made. Stay strong.

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

    Thank you for sharing your husband and father with so many, like me, who have felt all alone and vulnerable during difficult times. If you are feeling alone and vulnerable now, please know that we are with you, in thought and spirit and solidarity.

  98. John,

    I feel so very fortunate to have crossed paths with you, first when you were, what, 10, in Saturday’s Warrior with Joel at U of Houston? Then later to stan in awe at what you’ve accomplished with dignity and courage. Years ago, I said, “if I were going to do another 2 year mission, I’d go door to door, but this time, instead of telling others how they should live their lives, I’d ask them, all of them, what they’ve figured out, what life has taught them.” Then I reconnected with you and found that’s exactly what you’ve done, handed a microphone around, creating a remarkable “testimony meeting” where EVERYone, said what they felt, what they experienced, the joy, the pain, all of it.
    In my days of doing stand-up, i worked with a lot of extraordinary talented people. None impressed me on the level that you have – really doing something BIG with your life, with your talents. That your family has stuck by your side through it all says you all are something very very remarkable.

    I fully expect that later you’ll look back on this as a liberation of sorts. If anything, finally ridding yourself of this church action looming over you, will be the freedom you’ve needed. I have few heroes, man. But you are definitly on that short list.

  99. To John’s family,

    I understand the pain of being connected to an activist; it’s not easy, yet some of us are compelled to act according to our consciences and family members often feel the fallout. I’m sorry for that to my own family as well, but we have to do what we have to do in order to be able to hold up our heads.

    I was so grateful to listen to your husband/dad when I first left the church and most of my family were still members. He was trying to bridge the gap with understanding. I hope you will be the recipients of the love and respect he has earned for you all.

    It hurts, but thank you.

    Jean

  100. Dear Dehlin Family,

    John reached out and helped me through my darkest moments. I am a fan. He has done for many, that which those in authority should have been doing. Best wishes.

  101. Dehlin Family,

    You have all made big sacrifices, and I am extremely grateful for each and every one of you. Your sacrifices have blessed the lives of many, including me. The courage you have demonstrated is inspiring, and I hope you realize the positive impact your family has had for many people working through various transitions, doubts, and beliefs.

    With Love

    Ryan

  102. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    Take heart. The hardest path is the best path. If Martin Luther hadn’t had to be a monogamous monk and instead could have had an awesome beautiful family when he nailed his manifesto to the doors of the catholic church, certainly, his own children would not have wished his bravery away, and nor should you. Your family is paving the way towards a better society. Keep moving forward, and do not look back.

    God bless you all.

  103. It has been my belief that the John Dehlins and the Kate Kellys of the world are not unlike the pioneers that the LDS Church so reveres. Many early pioneers made difficult choices that sometimes saddened their families. John and Kate have made difficult choices to follow their hearts and to do what they believe is right.

    I have to admire the heck out of that.

  104. Dear Dehlin family,

    John has given strength to the weak, a voice to the voiceless, and dignity to the shamed and marginalized. The Church leadership (to a man) could learn a lot about the Christ-like virtues of honesty, integrity, compassion, and courage from him. He is everything they profess to be but are not. His efforts have blessed me greatly by uplifting my spirits in my darkest hours. My thoughts and prayers are with the Dehlin family. I am confident that your best days lie ahead of this trial.

    -Dave G

  105. Dear Margi and kids,
    John is a great man. You should be so proud of him. He helped me through my faith crisis and helped me find a solution that put my life at peace. John is kind and an all around wonderful person. Please recognise that your husband/father, when he is sat a computer or is in meetings spending hours away from you guys he is helping thousands my people like myself find peace and keep their lives/families together. Thank u so much for sharing him with us. John is my hero and I really am upset the church is doing this to one of their brightest and honest members. My love and prayers are with u all.

  106. Dehlin Family,

    Your father/husband is unquestionably a great and honorable man. He has stood up for what he believes in while allowing others of all creeds, beliefs and orientations to fully express themselves in an open and non-judgmental forum. I tried my hardest to channel his soft-spoken courage in making some very important life decisions and it has made my life innumerably happier. I live in the same area you all do and I know all too well the silent stigmatizing, glares of judgment and outcasting you will be on the end of. Just remember that you are experiencing the same things that Christ did in his time. It is only through the passing of time that we all realize who the heroic and brave ones are. You will all certainly be on the side of the heroic through your strength. Regardless of the vocal, and also quiet, hate that you will received just remember that those doing so are not following the most basic tenet of Christ-like behavior:

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”

    God bless and stay strong!

    Brian

  107. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    I’m so sorry for you all. I can’t imagine what this must feel like.

    For me, it’s confusing. Your dad has helped my spiritual life. I didn’t know where to go as I lost my faith in Mormonism and his podcasts helped steer me away from anger, depression, and resentment. His podcasts also helped my wife understand how to deal with my changes in faith. He has done a lot of good for a lot of people. And now you are suffering.

    Your dad helped my spiritual life come out of a dark, dark place. He’s mentioned how his work impacted you in the past. Now it’s hurting you again. I’m so sorry. I’ve been blessed by his work, and I hope you can take some comfort that I’m living better because of him. There are a lot of people that have been blessed by him.

    Thank you for letting us have a little part of your dad’s life. It has changed ours. And I’m so sorry that it is hurting your life. I wish it wasn’t.

    Best,
    John

  108. If John Dehlin isn’t good enough for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, then none of us are…and that’s a sad, sad, state of affairs.

  109. Margi and kids, Prayers and thoughts of support to you all. And to those who judge you or your husband/dad, may their hearts be softened and led to understand.

  110. John and family,

    I am so very sorry this is happening after all the good you have done. Your example has helped me personally to stay engaged in the Church when I thought it was no longer possible. Know that you have made a positive difference in my life and the life of my family. I will continue to attend my ward and continue to use my callings to make a place for people that question and are hurting. They need a voice. They need love. They need more than they are getting. Doing this to you hurts all of us. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Your Mormon brother,

    Jason

  111. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, perhaps hardest when our loved ones pay also pay a price.

    Please know John’s efforts were not only for strangers, but for each of you. His desire to improve the church came from the same place in his heart that desires to make the world a better place for his family.

    No words can take away the sting you feel now, but in time it will be clear; John Dehlin was a good man who was undeserving of this action.

    All love and peaceful wishes to the Dehlin family.

  112. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara & Winston,

    Your father is a courageous man and one that is held in high-regard by thousands of people all over the world. He has helped more souls know and love the truth then will ever be known. I know it is tough to have a big-picture view when all the stress, and negativity being directed at you is so immediate and personal. Please, as my dad would say: keep your chin up. You have noble blood coursing through your veins.

  113. John, becoming a public figure and sharing your personal life with strangers may not have been your goal. It certainly wasn’t your family’s. But the great things you’ve done, the marriages and relationships you’ve helped save (like my own) are many. I am deeply saddened by the news and the thought that this is bringing additional heartache to your family. All I can give is my support to you and your amazing family and hope for the best.

  114. Dearest Dehlin Family, We don’t know one another but we are family, true brothers and sisters. When you face hardship I share it willingly with you as I would my own blood siblings. To John’s wife and children, take pride in a husband and father who is exemplary in his example to follow the dictates of his conscience. He is an man of integrity. Remember that when Joseph Smith was dissatisfied with the current state of religion, he climbed over a fence and walked off the beaten path and into the woods in search of truth. God did not give us these complex mechanisms called brains if he did not want us to think for ourselves. I applaud you John and family and metaphorically stand by your side and am grateful for giving voice to so many who have not the strength to speak for themselves. Please let me know how I can show solidarity. Me must speak the truth as we see it and live without fear. God bless – I know He/She will.

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

    My heart goes out to you at a particularly tough time. I became acquainted with Mormon Stories after I had come to some difficult conclusions about the LDS church, and it has been a great source of comfort even as I have returned to some level of activity. I believe the church needs Mormon Stories. It gives LDS people who question, but still love, the church a place to air those questions. So many other sites filled with questioning people are difficult to stand, because those within the group hate the church. It has been a great place for people like me, those who might believe the same things they did decades ago, but still can express gratitude for what being LDS has meant. I know this must be an incredibly difficult moment in all your lives, and I hope you will trust that no matter what happens in the coming weeks all of you will come to terms and to a place of peace about all of it.

  116. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston:

    I don’t know any of you personally, so I can only imagine what your lives must be like. But having grown up in a staunchly LDS community in Southern Utah, I think I may have an idea. I’m sure it’s not easy to have a husband/father who is as outspoken as John. But for everything he’s done, and everything you’ve done to support him, thank you.

    I understand that many people think John is a heretic. I’m sure you know plenty of people who feel like he spends his life trying to lead people out of the church. But in my case, he’s done the exact opposite. I’d given up my faith long before the first episode of Mormon Stories was ever recorded. I considered myself a hard atheist before there was any such thing as a Mormon-themed podcast. When I first heard about Mormon Stories, I decided to listen to an episode out of pure nostalgia, not thinking I had anything to learn from it.

    Gradually as I listened, I began to see Mormonism from a different perspective. I realized that there were a lot of things about the church I still loved and appreciated. I discovered elements of church history and doctrine, good and bad, more rich and fascinating than I’d ever imagined. And I came to realize that there was a way to engage with the church without compromising my intellectual and moral beliefs.

    John’s point of view on the church is unusually complex, and it took me a long time to figure out where he was coming from. I agree with some of it, and I disagree with some of it, but I respect just about all of it. And the process of understanding John’s beliefs, complex as it was, led me to further examine my own beliefs. That journey led me to start re-identifying, in some sense, as Mormon. It caused me to start attending church, getting to know my ward, and raising my own son with an understanding of his Mormon heritage. This isn’t 100% due to Mormon Stories, but John’s influence in that process is fundamental enough that I’m not sure where I’d be without it.

    I know this must be very difficult for you. As heartbreaking as it was for me to read about it today, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. But whatever people say about John, please understand that there are people out here who have had our lives changed for the better through his influence. I know none of that would have been possible without your support. So for everything that you’ve done, thank you. I hope I have the opportunity to return the favor someday.

  117. Dear John and the whole Dehlin family, thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. Your tireless effort and willingness to devote yourself to helping others is so greatly appreciated. You will never know of all the lives you’ve influenced and the strength you gave to others as we struggled through the most difficult experience of our life. John, you were our companion when we had no one to look to. Our journey would have been unspeakably harder if you had not been there with us.

    Thank You

    Craig & Marianne Boydell

  118. John has made a positive impact on my life. The work he has done in the last several years has helped me be a better wife and mother. He helped me see the good in the church and my husband.

    It is unfortunate that the church has decided to take this approach. It is more unfortunate that these actions will negatively impact the lives of you, his family. Unfortunately, people tend to alienate and mistreat those who are not like them. I think this happens far too often in Mormonism. It’s like we are conditioned to act this way. We do it out of fear, instead of acting out of love.

    You have an amazing family! John is one of the most accepting, genuine, authentic people I know (by evidence of his podcasts). Thank you for sharing him with the listeners of Mormon Stories. I’m sorry this has resulted in negativity toward him and your family. My thoughts are with you during this time. My hope is that those who are true friends will rally around you and those who are not will quietly fall out of your lives. I also hope you will see the love and admiration of large community of people you have never personally met. We are standing with John and your family.

  119. To John’s family,

    John’s podcast was the first thing I found on the internet to help me make sense of all the bad I saw in the church. His work has been invaluable to me and my peace of mind. I want you and John to know I really appreciate all the sacrifice he has made to help people like me.

  120. Dear Margi, John and Family,
    I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel to your family for the courage and commitment to each other and to the search for truth and compassion for all God’s children. I have been through seven years of hurt and anguish as I searched for answers to my questions. I have been ostracized and been the subject of constant gossip and judgement, merely for having questions. The teaching of the church have caused some of my children to think less of me for those questions, which has broken my heart. And it has been a perilous and painful adjustment for my marriage, but we are getting through it and I feel I owe so much of that to John and his commitment to help people see all sides and to have compassion. I know you are feeling great pain right now, but I know that your sacrifice and struggle has been for the cause of truth and you will one day, if not now, feel great pride that you stood up for each other and for others who were hurting. You have been a huge part of my survival these last few years and I thank you so much.

  121. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, & Winston,

    You don’t know me, but I want to let you know something that you already know, that your dad & husband is an amazing man. I can’t possibly understand what your family is going through, but I do want to express my thanks for sharing him with all of us. When I started questioning the church and going through my faith crisis, it was one of the darkest times of my life. I could not eat or sleep and was so completely depressed learning things about the church that completely turned my entire world upside down. It was John that helped me to make sense of what was going on in my mind, in my life, and with my faith, and helped me to know that I was not alone in what I was going through. I’ve never talked with John in person, but I owe so much to him. So does my wife and 5 kids (from 18 to 8) who have been going through this with me.

    I know this is not an easy time for any of you. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Hopefully it helps to know that there are so many that John has helped. So many lives that he was touched in such a positive way. I am not sure how I would have navigated through a very difficult time in my life without him.

    Love and respect to all of the Dehlin family,

    Ryan

  122. To the Dehlin family,

    Without the work of your husband and father, I might not be alive today. There were a few times during my faith transition where I contemplated suicide, and listening to the podcasts were a godsend. They helped me know I wasn’t alone. They also helped save my marriage. My wife remains a believer, but we have learned to respect and even appreciate each other’s differences. She and my children know a little of your pain, because I’ve been ostracized and shunned by my ward for daring to question. John’s podcasts were a candle in a very dark night of my soul. I hope and pray that you are able to find a measure of comfort and peace in what will be a difficult time for your family.

  123. Dear Dehlin family,
    My thoughts and heartfelt responses go out to you at this time. I admire your family as you have gone through the last nine years together. May you continue in love and loyalty.

    Alecia Harris

  124. You fought the good fight. You had (have) a voice for those who often find themselves voiceless. That takes real courage, and I would think your wife and children would be very proud of you. (Perhaps you and your family could move to downtown Salt Lake, which is much more progressive than many other Utah towns.) I also want to include the words of Edmund Burke, who said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” You didn’t let that happen. You did something, even at great personal cost. I wish you peace.

  125. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston,

    In this situation you’ve probably asked yourselves what happens to Dad? Does he lose his salvation because he’s been excommunicated? What happens to our family in the eternities? What about our temple marriage?

    Be at peace.

    The idea that you lose all your ordinance work, sealings etc was invented in the 1930s by John Widstoe. It was done to discredit the fundamentalist’s claims to authority. Roll your eyes at anyone that tells you otherwise.

    Your husband/father is the good Samaritan spoken of by Christ himself. He has bound up the wounds of those who fell amongst the paradoxes of Mormonism. While the priests have passed them by or written them off as unredeemable. He has stopped to tend their wounds and helped to bind them up. He’s given us hope to live.

    Even the Lord himself was excommunicated by the Jews, kicked out of the synagogs and dealt with unjustly. Jesus broke all the social norms in his day. John whether he believes it or not is very Christ like in that aspect. Choosing Love thy neighbor as thyself without amendment over obedience to norms mistaken as doctrine.

    He has taken an initiative, has been anxiously engaged. D&C 58

    27 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;

    28 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.

    He’s a good man who has devoted his time and talent to God’s children stand with him and God bless!

  126. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,
    I am an LDS woman from Washington State. I am married to a gay man that left the church because of its treatment of him. I have felt so grateful to your husband for giving us mixed orientation marriages within the church a voice. When I saw the work that John had been doing I wept. I collapsed on my couch and wept because I felt heard. I had hope for the first time in years. I have felt so betrayed by my people, my family, my culture. Your husband/dad changed that. I can’t imagine the hurt that you are feeling, but I will weep with you, for you. I will stand with you. I believe that what your husband/father is doing is what Christ would endorse. When all my world was crashing around me I found comfort in the scripture in D&C that states, “Therefore let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion, for all flesh is in mine hands. Be still and know that I am God.” D&C 101:16 Our loving Heavenly Father is watching over your family. All will be well.

  127. Margi and kids..Thank you for supporting John over the last 9 years. I stumbled on the troubling church issues a little over a year ago, I stepped away shortly after..I was hurt, depressed, scared, and didn’t know where to go. I found mormon stories and it literally lifted me off the ground. It was the only voice that said honor our heritage, be proud of where we come from and hold to the good. That thought has been my motto. I love my heritage. I haven’t gone back to church and don’t plan to but I love learning about the pioneers and all the interesting people and stories from mormon stories. It’s the only positive form of enlightenment I can get amidst this difficult faith transitions.. Thank you John l, Margie and family. We still need you guys if you are up to it. So many of us like me are hurting…we lost trust in the church and fear losing our identity through excommunication so I am sorry you are going through this. Thank you. We need you. You have All done more for me than I could express. We are now all modern day pioneers treading a new path for future generations. The path is difficult but it’s easier together.

  128. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston, and John,

    Your sacrifices as a family have helped thousands……spiritual fruit has been manifest by your efforts and it has not been in vain. Continue to fight the good fight, this too shall pass!

    Take courage, fear not what man can do, and Christ is with you always! He employs no servant at the gate……have faith and hope in Him and Him alone.

    At my house, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for helping me to see and hear, for helping me to develop real compassion.

  129. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston, I just want you to know that John was instrumental in my easy transition from Mormon to non-Mormon. Finding Mormon stories was life changing for both my husband and I while we were going through the tough time of questioning the faith we’d believed our whole lives. John doing what he did provided the very support system we needed and made our leaving so much easier and we’re now truly happier than we’ve ever been. I respect your husband/father greatly for what he has done and my heart goes out to each of you right now. It’s terrible that doing what you feel is right can lead to such heartache, but it despite that, know that it has helped countless people who appreciate it so much.

  130. I came across John Dehlin’s writings and his Mormon Stories podcast at probably the darkest point of my disillusionment, of my faith crisis. At that point, I was bitter and my heart was full of animosity. Through listening to his podcasts, and through a number of personal email exchanges, John was instrumental in softening my heart. Although my journey through Mormonism isn’t done, and I’m still conflicted, through his efforts, I found so much to love about the Church, its members, and its leaders. If it weren’t for John, I doubt I’d have any faith at this point. His intellectual explorations, his openness and encouragement of spirituality all helped me so, so much. If in fact there is a God, then works in mysterious ways, and as the Church itself has said, he works through his children. If there is a God, then John is one of His most valiant sons. My thoughts, hopes, and prayers are there for his family and him. My heart breaks for what the Dehlin family must be going through, but please know how much help he’s given to so many people, including me.

  131. John Dehlin, your father, husband and worthy role model has helped me through bitter hell by providing a sane view to the insanity I suffered while finding impossible reconciliation between my own conviction, and the religion I loved. I don’t believe in mormonism anymore, but “mormon stories” has been crucial in regaining my sincere self. I used to generalize and despise almost all mormons just by that credential alone because of what I’d been through, and the judgement I percieved from others. But John’s ventures are among the witnessing elements which helped me embrace contentedness between myself and those with differing views. I wrote an email a while ago thanking John for the things he does, despite our probable differing views, and maintain that he is not in the wrong to demand better of those who demand allegience. (As I see it). Thank you John for doing what you do, I’m both sorry, and grateful to you that you are a scapegoat for what appears to be a sharpening two edged sword. I was once told that family was the base unit of the church, and part of my disaffection accelerated when that base unit was compromised and abused by the organization. Family above all. You’ll be in my thoughts and conversations.

  132. We will find out, sooner then we think, that Elder Uchtdorf’s words apply to what your husband is going through.

    “And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.

    I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes.” (Come Join With Us, Dieter Uchtdorf)

    I’ve only recently found John’s website and started listening, and I commend your husband for his courage in standing up for what he believes in. You and your family are in my prayers.

  133. Dear John and Family,

    I would like to express my gratitude for the courage it takes to speak openly about topics that are sensitive and sacred. I am so grateful for the humble, authentic way John has created a safe place for people like me, my wife, and our 4 children who have bumped into issues and have had a shift in our perspective to share this journey with others and not feel so alone.

    I have come to appreciate people sharing their perspective not as absolute facts or truths but simple through the lens of their personal experience. It has been my experience that when we simply show up in love and compassion, we quickly diffuse the fear and contention others might be feeling.

    Adversity and judgment have given me and my family the opportunity to rise above the drama and strive to put into practice the principles Jesus taught of turning the other cheek, in as much as thou has done it unto the least (or greatest) of these, and Father forgive them for they know not what the do. These have principles seem to be the most powerful way to experience joy in the journey for me.

    Simply know that you are loved deeply. May you feel that love and peace now and as you move forward with faith and courage.

    With love,
    Scott

  134. Thanks for all you’ve done, John. I was able to work out several difficulties I’ve had with the church thanks to you and your podcast before I went on a mission to Korea. You have made this church a more tolerant, desirable place to be. Your family should be proud.

    Much love,
    Ben

  135. Dearest Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    In my darkest hour of my faith crisis, your dad threw me a lifesaver. His work has helped thousands who were and are hurting deeply. His work will continue to help countless people in the future. You should be proud of your husband and father.

  136. To John’s family,
    I sit here trying to fathom your heartbreak when I feel my own so deeply. How can I possibly say what John has meant to me? His work was the net that caught me when my heart was burdened with so much confusion and sadness that I felt like I was falling like a dead weight to the bottom of the ocean. This space became my home, the safe place in which I could grow in to myself. It is the place I found brothers and sisters; the place where I came to know that I was loved, accepted, and even cherished. To risk sounding hyperbolic, John and what he created saved my life. I can only imagine the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make on his behalf, but my oh my how grateful I am.
    All the love in the universe,
    Lisset

  137. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I would just like to personally say that John’s podcasts have meant the world to me the past several years. Just knowing that I wasn’t alone and that there were many who struggled with church history issues, etc. has helped my soul more than I can say. Thank you for sharing your husband and father with us the last several years and please know there are many behind you praying for your comfort and who are grateful for your sacrifices. I am eternally grateful.

  138. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston –

    All the amazing work John has done in giving people a voice has helped me and my wife more than anyone knows. I’m 100% sure John is a fantastic husband and dad. You’re lucky to have him!

  139. Dear Dehlin family,

    Thank you for sharing your husband and father with the world. He was Instrumental in opening my eyes and validating my concerns. John is a wonderful and caring man and I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know him through his podcasts.

    I hope that in the uncertainty to come, that you all draw on your strength as a family and stay strong. I hope that you all find peace through this time:)

    Many, many thanks!
    Ryann

  140. The church excommunicated me in the early 80s because I told them I no longer believed (after seeking the truth and discovering the lies). My cognitive dissonance disappeared and I felt a huge burden relieved. If your friends and loved ones abandon you now, they were never really there for you in the first place because true love is unconditional. Seek out the Unitarians/Universalists for spiritual comfort if you need it. They’re honest and nonjudgmental. Best wishes to you.

  141. Dearest Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    May you find peace and comfort at this very difficult time! Words can not express how grateful I am for the solace that Mormon Stories has brought me. Each of you are in my heart and thoughts.

    Best Wishes,
    Clarissa

  142. Anyone who stands for a cause eventually suffers from this kind of treatment. My personal mantra is “What’s in the way, is the way.” This is an opportunity for you to learn some very great lessons about true light and love. The greatest growth comes from the greatest pain. I don’t believe that God excommunicates people from Him EVER! The only way that I have been able to cope with some of the most painful things in my life is to change the way I think about it and then feel the gratitude for what I have learned from the experience. Stand by your husband and father and never be ashamed for the strength and bravery he has exemplified. Read the book called “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. It will touch your heart and help you to understand what those who fight for a better world go up against when they stand for a cause that goes against the current grain of societal conventions (in this case church conventions). I know you will feel judged and look down upon by those who don’t get this. There are many who support you and do not look down upon you. Just trust God because he knows the truth of everyone’s heart. It will all be okay no matter what happens.

  143. Dearest Dehlin Family,

    I’m so sorry. As someone who’s father was excommunicated publicly in her teen years, believe me when I say that I am truly sorry that you’re being dealt this blow. Just remember – as I so often had to during times of gossip, judgment, and grief – that the pain will hurt only as much as you let it. Keep your heads high, even if it feels at times like your shoulders may not be strong to support them. The Lord will bless you, and I will be praying for each of you. Be strong, and pay no attention to the nay sayers.

  144. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara & Winston,
    John (Dad) is someone I have listened to and read over the past year. It’s clear that he is principled and I believe a decent man. Whatever fallout you may receive from these recent actions, you should know that John has support the world over. Thank you.

  145. Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    Please know that your father is a courageous hero who is loved by many. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. You can be very proud of him.

  146. To John’s Family,

    Your husband and father is a true hero! He is an embassador for truth and the service he has provided through Mormon Stories has been invaluable to the Mormon community. He has helped so many through their difficult times by bringing the truth forward and sharing others stories. Thank you John, thank you! As his family, you are lucky to be associated with a true pioneer.

  147. In my darkest hour, when I was alone, my husband no longer trusting me, Feeling isolated from and misunderstood by my ward members, no family to turn to, I turned to the internet seeking others who might be able hear me. I found mormon stories and this human being named John Dehlin. I can’t tell you just how important a role he played in my family’s life the last seven years. At first, Mormon stories provided comfort for me as I didn’t feel alone anymore. My husband heard some of the Podcasts and it softened his heart as he heard John speak in his wonderful way coming from a place of non-judgment and he wanted to be more like that and regretted the way he had treated me during this hard time. I know that this service has come at a great personal sacrifice by John and his family. He is an ally to truth and to compassion. We are so grateful and mindful of the dehlins at this time. You are in our hearts. From all seven Malmgrens

  148. John I’ll say this. I wish I were half the man, intellect and compassionate human being you are. You have changed mine and my wife’s lives with your work. Thank you for having the courage to stand up and try to right the wrongs. To quote the book of mormon “thine afflictions are but a little while” and a message to your family. If any man in the church had as much integrity and compassion as your husband/dad what a wonderful place this would be. Keep your chin up Mr dehlin. If knew the love and the support in your corner it would blow your mind.

    1. To paraphrase Groucho Marx:

      I wouldn’t want to be involved in any club that wouldn’t want John Dehlin as a member.

      I would rather have John as the loving man he is. If he has to stop fighting for the disenfranchised…stop loving the unlovable…stop speaking for those that have no voice….

      …just to be part of a church? Forget that church. That’s not christianity…that’s something terrible.

  149. I for one am extremely grateful that your husband and father John Dehlin has ventured onto paths that are not the mainstream and has opened our eyes and hearts by hearing about others and their various struggles through their faith. I as with many feel that you will continue to love and honor him. He is authentic and a good man and I’m sure you are proud of him.

    Sincerely,
    Tadd Lowe

  150. “I don’t wonder anymore what I’ll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree…I’ll tell these things to God, and he’ll laugh, I think, and he’ll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We’ll sit and remember my story together, and then he’ll stand and put his arms around me and say, “well done,” and that he liked my story. And my soul won’t be thirsty anymore.”

    ― Donald Miller

    This is all part of the story your Dad will share with God and there’s lots to like. It is his story. A story where he helped many people, myself included. There are many stories still to be shared here at Mormon Stories I am sure. Go out and life your best life. No man, nor church has the power to stop that. You got the pen, enjoy the blank piece of paper.

  151. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston,
    Your husband/father is a hero who has actually saved the lives. I know this hurts for you but one day he will be vindicated and you will be able to be incredibly proud that he stood for the things that Jesus himself would have stood for. While it is difficult today, I hope you can find a way to continue to stand with John/Dad. As much as you need him, he needs you, and there are a lot of us who depend on his voice because we do not have the courage or the attention that he has. There are thousands of us who also stand with you. You are making a sacrifice and that is heroic too.
    With love and gratitude – Jennifer

  152. Your dad has done more to bridge gaps, heal damaged souls, and alleviate suffering for members of this church than any other over the last 10 years. Pay no heed to the cowards who are excommunicating him for simply sharing truth and creating a space were honest dialogue from both sides of the isle can take place. Thank you for sharing him with us. Hold your heads high and be proud to be the wife and children of such a kind, noble, and brave man.

  153. John is a little rough around the edges in the expression of his faith. However, his authenticity and honesty is unparalleled. In a church culture where anything but the suggestion that “I know” is unacceptable John has had the courage to suggest what he believes, doubts and simply doesn’t believe about the foundational claims of the church. That takes tremendous courage. I have no doubt that he would love nothing more than to fully believe it all. That would be SO MUCH EASIER. I have never taken anything he has said as an attack on the church, rather I have taken it as a man honestly expressing the limits of his faith and belief struggles. That is exactly what has attracted thousands of followers who simply want to have an open dialogue about their own faith struggles….a dialogue followers would prefer to have openly and honestly within the walls of the church. That kind of openness is not allowed. Doubt is portrayed as a dirty word. A faith crisis as a result of coming to terms with some very unfavorable church history. It can feel worse than falling off a five story building or having bricks fall on your head. To some people it is worse than death itself. Yes, people commit suicide over issues the church wants to suggest should not be spoken about in public. The question in my mind is not whether John Dehlin’s work and comments have saved someone from suicide, but how many have been saved? Ironically, the question is not whether someone has stayed in the church because of his work, but how many? Isn’t this the essence of an ideal Mormon? Not a person who shuts up and toes the line, but one who courageously puts himself out there and saves others through openness, honesty, and transparency? John Dehlin is an important conduit between the church and the disaffected that the church would be very smart to keep in the fold.

  154. Dear Dehlin Family,

    We send our love to you. Please do not allow others, whoever they are and whatever office they might hold, to make you feel in any way ashamed of the brave and honourable standard John has set in his pursuit of truth. So many people worldwide have benefitted because of John’s honesty and courage, so be proud of what he has accomplished. His example of real leadership has provided others with strength to open not only their eyes, but in some cases their mouths too, whereas those who presently choose to condemn John’s integrity, are as yet blind men, too weak to face the reality. There are many of us who metaphorically speaking stand shoulder to shoulder with John at this emotional time, asking the question: if he is to be challenged in this way, then why not us also? And we are ready to be heard. The tide is rising, and in due time the voice of history will justify you. Thank you to you all. You are not alone, and have many grateful friends.

  155. We are here for you Dehlin Family! We love you. It is VERY HARD having an open mind where we live. You are strong. Keep on keepin’ on. Love, Christine Hunsaker

  156. Doing the right thing comes at a cost. I hope that Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston can understand that. You’re doing a good thing, John, and I realize that telling kids it’s for a good cost sometimes doesn’t matter. I don’t have kids, but coming from my own parents the only thing I can suggest is that they ask you, John, about what’s happening, keep involved, and form their own opinion and let you know what they want as well. Just Keep Swimming.

  157. I met John and Margi briefly at a Mormon Stories conference I went to near the very beginning of my transition out of the church. Both were very gracious, but most importantly, the conference itself was a wonderful opportunity to meet with people who understood what I had been going through. And I have felt the same thing from many of the Mormon Stories podcasts. They helped let me know I wasn’t alone during a time in my life that I felt very isolated. I can’t say whether the sacrifices John and his family have made were “worth it” in some cosmic sense, but they are absolutely, sincerely, recognized and appreciated.

  158. Dear Dehlin family,
    Sorry you have to suffer through this. I needed help dealing with an untraditional marriage I found myself in, my husband was gay. John was the only one talking about the issues I was dealing with, church, family, etc. I needed help and guidance and I appreciated his voice. It meant the world to me. I have since remarried and am still an LGBT ally. Glad I made it through a rough road and wish you the same. Hugs to all.

  159. John,

    I taught your daughter Maya in 8th grade. I was her history teacher. I knew who you were, but didn’t make the connection about your daughter until after she had left my class. I was impressed by Maya when she was in my class. She stood up for her beliefs. She stood up for gay marriage. That’s hard to do in 8th grade. It’s really hard to do in 8th grade in Cache Valley. I’m sure she gets it from you.

    I have never met you, but I have listened to podcasts, followed you on facebook, etc. I think you are a hero. I admire what you have done.

    Maya, your dad is a hero.

    -David

  160. Dear Dehlin family. I reach out to you from the worldwide community of Latter-day Saints to tell you that I think this this action is wrong, and to tell you that you are loved. I extend my love and warmth and strength and and peace to you. Always.

  161. Margi,Anna,Maya,Clara,and Winston:

    Hold your heads high and be extremely proud of yourselves. While the near-term impact of a very shortsighted decision by the church may be difficult and confusing, you should know what a critically important role John has played for so many individuals that have had honest, painful struggles trying to make sense of their beliefs in the church. John filled a vacuum created by the church’s inability to be honest and open with itself and its members. There is nothing more honorable that exploring and standing up for truth, honesty and openness. I met you all briefly at the social event for a Mormon Stories gathering in San Diego and it was clear that you are a very close family. Supporting John through all of the ups and downs of his exploration of Mormonism was likely very difficult at times but he made a huge difference to a lot of people as they explored their own relationship with Mormonism. For that you should all be very proud and honored to have him as your husband and father and I am sure he is honored and proud of you all. There are a lot of people wishing you and your family nothing but warm support and best wishes.

  162. Margi and Family-

    Simply put, your husband and father is a hero. His podcasts gave me hope and a new lease on life when I was facing struggles. He is a very Christ like man. He has been “willing to mourn with those that mourn; and comfort those that stand in need of comfort”.

    Thank you for all of your sacrifices. Please know that you have the love and support of countless individuals.

  163. I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish I knew what to say. I am immensely disappointed but appreciate you and all your work. P

  164. My heart hurts for you guys. No one would put up a fight like that unless they truly loved what they were fighting for. It would be so much easier to leave. I’m not a member anymore; I left years before the movement for different reasons, but I deeply admire your strength. I want you to know that I’m rooting for you all. Stay brave!

  165. So sorry Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston. It is hard to be judged for spreading a message of love and inclusion.

  166. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston

    I want you to know what a huge difference your father has made in my life. For years I’ve struggled to find my place in the LDS church. It wasn’t until I found the work of your father that I finally found some peace. I want you to know that he is an amazing man. He is a leader and pioneer and you should be so proud of him. It takes a lot of courage, passion, and desire to do what he’s done. Don’t be bitter. Don’t be mad. This may seem silly… but today I am reminded of the wise words of Conan O’Brien after he was kicked off the Tonight Show (the job he’d dreamed of doing all his life). Here’s what he said: “All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” Hang in there…. and be kind. Much love to you and John.

  167. To the Dehlin Family,
    John has been a shining example of having integrity for the truth in our LDS community. Like many thousands of others, Mormon Stories has played an important role in my faith journey. You can be proud of your husband and father for his effort to broaden our spectrum of understanding and give voice to the voiceless. Living an authentic and faithful life is not about being a member of something; it is about increasing our understanding, empathy, and capacity to love others. Regardless of how things may turn out, John is to be commended for not wavering in the face of pressure. Now is the time to stand by him.

    This type of discipline confirms so much of what is discussed on Mormon stories. Christian embraces others; corporatism makes other expendable when they don’t meet its demands. We will soon find out which one the Church leaders will represent.

  168. Dear Dehlin family,

    Your devotion to each other through all the ups and downs that your family has gone through is extraordinary. Each of you is made of strong stuff that has carried you through to this point. This excommunication is frightening. We are all holding our breath for you. No matter what happens, you have proven to the world a thousand times over that you are stronger, you have more fight, you have more conviction, you have more love than whoever judges you on any given day. Hold your heads up high and show up for another day, whatever nasty things they imagine about you or say to you. We’re here for you.

    Best wishes.

  169. To the Dehlin family-

    John helped me stay in the church for several years after I stopped believing in it. He has helped thousands of people keep their marriages together and has even literally saved lives by the priceless work he has done. He has helped countless numbers of people find peace. Despite what some old guys in suits may think, he has been anxiously engaged in a good cause for many years now.

    Although I am no longer a believer, the following hymn comes to mind:

    Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.
    Onward, press onward, the goal is in sight.
    Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.
    Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

    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!

  170. John, your work has been pivotal in helping me to be a whole person. I have learned to love my Mormon relatives, forgive Mormon ancestors who were just doing the best they could, make dear friendships with women who have had similar journeys and teach my kids about their interesting history. I can not thank you enough for the good work you have done. Please don’t stop as you have many, many people who stand by you and love you.

  171. For what it’s worth, to anyone willing to stop and listen, it is immediately apparent that John Dehlin is a man of great integrity. When I think of John and his interviews on Mormon Stories, words like sensitive, caring, open, honest, and “letting people speak in their own words” come to mind. In a word, decency. I would be proud to have a husband or father such as John. I believe in a small way we are truly seeing greatness in our own day, and no good deed goes unpunished, as they say.

  172. I wanted to post here to show my support. I am one that doesn’t attend church anymore and it was your husband, John, that made me feel more accepted in the community I live in. Maybe not directly with him, but his podcasts and many stories he has shared has given me the courage to stand up for what I am and what I feel strongly about. My wife is a strong LDS member and I am not. Seeing how you and John have stayed together this long has given us hope that our marriage can work as well. It may not be easy all of the time, but the important thing is that we work at it every day and we are happier because of it. Thank you for allowing your husband to share his wisdom all of these years. I hope to see more from him after the outcome of this situation. Thank you again!

  173. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I am an active, believing member of the church. And I would like you to know how much I have gained from, appreciated, and valued the work that your husband/father has done on Mormon Stories. My heart, mind, and testimony has expanded because of the many interviews that John has conducted over the years. My faith has matured and deepened, and Mormon Stories has been a part of that.

    My heart breaks for your family in John having to face this church court. In my view, John is doing such an important, needed work. I see him as a true Christian in trying to help many Mormons feel understood, accepted, and loved. May you feel the Savior’s love in a very real, tangible way during this difficult time.

  174. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, & Winston ~

    Hey guys…my name is Derek. After an amazing full-time mission in Brazil, I was sealed and married to my wife in the Salt Lake temple in June of 2007. Next week, after 2 adorable kids and another on the way, we’ll be celebrating our 7 year anniversary. My story is the same as most on here….I wasn’t looking for it, but stumbled upon the questions I “never knew I never knew”. Let me reiterate; after a lifetime of membership and service, mission, Elders Quorum President, etc….I never knew. My wife doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to talk about it. I love her and never want to hurt her, and therefore have been alone to my thoughts. I don’t know your husband/dad personally, but listening to his pod-casts has helped me through such a life-altering time. I often asked myself “how doesn’t everyone know this? How can this house built upon a foundation of sand NOT FALL?!” It’s because not enough are as strong as John to stand strong and ask the questions we’re all too afraid to ask. Not to be dramatic but if anyone in this was ever an actual martyr, it’s your Old Man! By the looks of it, he’s “taking one for the team”!

    I love and appreciate all you do.

    A resounding THANK YOU from Seu Amigo,

    Derek.

  175. Please know that you are loved by so many. Love each other. Love those who persecute you. Find peace and meaning in your journey.

  176. My heart is broken that your family is facing this. I know that church discipline and excommunication is a difficult and scary thing – I went through it as a child when my father was excommunicated. It changes things. I just want you to know, though, that what your husband and father has worked on has changed my life for the better. He helped me to make sense of things that I’d been struggling with. He helped me know I wasn’t alone. I hope that your family will feel comfort and support through the coming days and months.

  177. John,

    You have helped me in more ways than you can imagine. When I had no one to turn to about my doubts, your podcasts became those “people.” I hope that your wife and daughters understand how wonderful you are. Thank you for all that you do. And to your family–thank you for sacrificing so that John could bring about a positive change in so many lives. Your behind-the-scenes sacrifices mean the world to so many people.

  178. John and family, we are so sorry for this unwarranted attack on you. I believe in the ideals that John has tried to promote – that of widening the tent. It is so disappointing that the church cannot tolerate someone so giving and loving. Our thoughts are with you, and we stand behind you!

  179. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston–
    I don’t know where I would be without the Podcast John started. I have admired his bravery to question the Church, and his bravery to stay in it. I’m sure I will admire his bravery as he handles this tough situation, too.

    The podcasts–a few in particular–helped me discover who I was. John’s willingness to pressed forward and continue asking questions and building bridges between communities during times of his own personal has given me the courage to be–or try to be– who I am, and who I believe God would have me be.

    Hang in there! John, you matter to *this* starfish.

  180. John,

    I was prejudice and rude over an internet conversation with my 1st cousin’s son who came out as gay recently. I was insensitive and spewed doctrine and chastisement. I then found your podcast about Mormons and supporting our gay and lesbian fellow members. I realized that my actions and those of many of us well intentioned people are part of the reason our youth are committing suicide and are depressed when they realized they are gay. My views, thanks to you, have changed. While not an avid vocal supporter, I have grown to love my cousin, her son, and commiserate with their frustrations and sadness in how they are treated in the Mormon community in which they live. I openly apologized to them for my actions. I don’t know what I would have done without your research, voice and advocacy for our LGBT church family.

    You are much more help inside the Church than outside. Either way, keep singing, “Do what is right…let the consequence follow.” Who knew this would be the consequence. Ugg.

    God bless your family and you through this.

  181. To Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,
    I am so sorry for what is happening to your family at this time. I just want you to know how much Your dad and husband has helped me personally. At a time when no one could answer my questions and I felt all alone and my whole world felt dark, I could always find answers and hope in his podcasts. No one I knew could answer my questions but at least he was trying…taking this journey with me and helping to bind the wounds of so many who were hurting, spiritually bleeding. Thank you so much for your sacrifices, I hope at this time you will grow closer as a family and support each other. Family First! My love and prayers are with you all.

  182. John I am disheartened to hear the news. Even though I have only met you a couple of times I see you as a mentor and friend. I am grateful to you for helping me keep a healthy perspective as I have navigated my faith journey. My love of the gospel has been cultivated and strengthened by your efforts.

    Please share this with your wonderful family.

    Love you brother!

  183. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston

    Your father is a great man. That will never change. You may hear others say
    negative things about him, but those people are fearful. Because he values truth more than blind, thoughtless obedience, he makes these people uncomfortable. These people fear doubt, yet doubt is the very basis of faith. There can be no real faith without doubt. Your husband/father honors that doubt and helps those with doubt to find an open forum to express it. Without such a forum, countless people suffer in silence and feel they are somehow broken.

    Hugh B. Brown, an esteemed church leader from the past, said that we SHOULD question because truth will always win out. By not allowing questions to be explored freely and
    openly, the current church leadership is acting afraid of the truth and training people to be afraid of asking questions, which is how we learn.

    When I told my wife I was questioning, she was afraid at first. The church was central to our social connections in the small Utah town where we live. But as she starting exploring my questions, she decided to follow me out of the church. Our two oldest children were at BYU at the time, and we decided to go visit them the following Easter to break the news to them. We explained briefly
    where we stood and why, then left them to decide on their own what path to follow. We promised to respect whatever choice they made. Our son took a year to finish his degree, then he followed us out of the church. Our oldest daughter is still active LDS, but
    our youngest daughter is not.

    There have been some awkward times, but the truly good people from our old ward are still our friends. Others have turned away, but that is their own problem. It hasn’t had a measurable impact on our jobs as teachers, and we have made new friends at a new church. There are a few things we miss about our old church, but we are happier now, and closer as a family. Our youngest daughter still has friends at school. It has turned out to be less of an issue than we thought it would
    be.

    Whatever happens to John, don’t let it come between you and him. If the church wrongly insists that he leave, that will not change what a great husband and father he is. You are very blessed to have him in your lives.

  184. While we ultimately decided to leave the church almost a decade ago, I’ve been encouraged by people like john. I wonder where we would be now if there had been a safe middle ground for us to share our questions and concerns, rather than feeling as if we had to tow the line or get out.
    Blind obedience to anything is always dangerous. You are lucky you have a father who is raising you to think critically and be true to yourself. Hopefully he is paving the way for you to have a safe place to do that within the church, if that’s what you choose.
    Even as an ex member, I found your dad’s TED talk inspiring. I literally clapped at the end! Change takes guts and I know your dad has brought love and tolerance to many people through his activism. You should be proud!

  185. Dear Margi and kids. Your father saved my life. He is doing God’s work, thank you for supporting him through this.

  186. I’m proud to say “I know John Dehlin, he’s a courageous honest man, that gives of himself for the sake of others”.

    To your beautiful family: Your dad is ahead of his time. He stands at the front, of the front lines taking the fire so others may pass.

    Feel comfort in knowing that the dust will settle, and the majority will eventually catch up to where he is today.

  187. John,
    While I’ve known of the historical and doctrinal problems for several years I felt alone and insecure in that knowledge. Your podcasts helped me to recognize that others had also woken up.

    My wife is R.S. President, and straight TBM. BUT, we both recognize that we value each other as people, and that we still like and love each other, and that goes a LONG way. It is possible to have a good marriage and family life, even with very differing views on Mormonism.

    Our 16 year old daughter is about as spiritual, and in the church as you can get, but she too puts up with my lack of belief in the church, and loves me. So it is possible, and judging from the wonderful family you have, probably likely that things will work out.

    Thank you for your tireless effort in bringing forth the truth.

    I hope that God will bless and comfort your family in this very difficult time.

    A friend in Idaho, formerly from Cache Valley.

  188. Hi Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston:

    The only words I can think to say right now are I love you. I was enraged when I heard the news about what the church is doing to your father. He was my first psychologist when I arrived at USU two years ago. I have no doubt in my mind that God crossed our paths because I needed to feel like I was a normal human being I would probably not have made it through my coming out process alive if he had not worked with me. John Dehlin has done so much to help better the LDS church by honestly taking on some very hard issues, and the fact that you all have stood by them for all of these years is truly admirable. Think of the story of Joan of Arch,she sought to liberate France from English and Burgundian oppression and was ultimately martyred for doing so. Your father is following in her foot steps by acknowledging and addressing the concerns of people that have doubts and now he is figuratively being martyred for doing what’s right. This isn’t easy but know that there are hundereds of us supporting you every step of the way (sorry for being so long winded)

    Chris McKenna

  189. To Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Sir Winston,

    John Dehlin is a very good man who is paying a price (from an insecure organization) for essentially thinking out loud. This action says more about said organization than it does about your good dad and husband.

    My very best wishes to all of you!

  190. Dear Dehlin family–

    I want you all to know that I regard your husband and father as a personal hero. I’ve never met him, but I’ve followed his work and benefited from his open mind. He has immense intelligence, courage and integrity, so much more than the small-minded men who are seeking to punish him.

    I’m a doctor and we live in Colorado. My wife and I and our three children left the church 4 years ago. We did it together as a family. There were many dark moments, full of fear of the unknown, moments of intense regret and self-doubt. Our parents, siblings, church leaders and friends cursed us, pitied us, wept for us, tried to intimidate us, and eventually ignored us. We were ostracized and isolated by pretty much our entire social and family circle. It was like we were a disease, and everybody was afraid of catching our germs.

    There were nights when my wife and I would tuck our kids into bed, then go down to our living room, sit on the couch, stare at the snow falling outside, and cry. We would cling to each other as if the rest of the world had dissolved beneath us, and we were the only two people left on earth. We’d go up to our children’s bedrooms, look at our daughter sleeping peacefully, and consider how different her future would look than what we had always planned for her. And again the fear and regret would creep in.

    I’m not saying this to frighten you, but to let you know that those moments will come. And when they do, please know that you are not alone on this journey. There are many–tens of thousands of people, past, present and future–who know your pain, who admire your courage and integrity, who are reaching out to you know across time and space in solidarity, who will stand by you and support you in whatever way is possible.

    It won’t be the same as going to sacrament meeting and feeling the warmth of 200 like-minded friends and leaders, or to a temple sealing and feeling that sense of security of knowing your eternal destiny, surrounded by your loved ones who feel the same.

    But this is a necessary step on the archetypal Hero’s Journey. All who seek the Hero’s Path must face the fear of going it alone, of losing contact with all that is safe and familiar, of leaving the tribe into which they were born, of the agonizing pain of risking all in pursuit of truth.

    You will all face that pain. You will suffer. But you will have each other. And one day soon, you will emerge from that darkness, stronger as individuals, stronger as a family, more certain of your place in the universe, more confident in your own integrity, more capable of loving others completely and unconditionally. Your mind will expand. And then you will be able to help the next heroes on their journey.

    So although other people may paint your husband and father as a villain, know that he is the opposite. He is a hero, to me and many others.

    Best wishes to all of you on this journey,

    Mark

  191. I am so sorry to hear that you and your family are having to go through this. This must be so difficult. I applaud John’s bravery, but it is unfortunate that you all have to suffer. Please know that he, as well his family, are loved by many people.

  192. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara & Winston,

    I’ll keep it short. I might be dead right now if it wasn’t for the efforts your husband/father has made with mormon stories.

    I love John, he is a true hero!

  193. Dear Dehlin Family,
    I’m sorry for your pain and heartache. I grew up in a small town in your same valley. I can relate to the social challenges that come as a result of a family member doing something counter to the culture. While the actions of one of my family members was truly disgraceful, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your family’s actions have been nothing but honorable. It takes integrity and a genuine caring heart to do what your father has done. He has helped so many be able to accept and love themselves even if they don’t fit the TBM Mormon mold. I am so grateful for his presence. Walk tall Dehlin Family, God knows the intents of your hearts and that is all that matters. Wishing you Peace, Joy, and Love

  194. John has been like the voice crying in the wilderness during an incredibly distressing crossroads of our spiritual live, when all around seemed to be crumbling – and there was no-one to turn to who understood. His support of – and love for the truth was like a beacon and helped my husband and I begin to realise that we were NOT the only ones stranded on an island of confusion and disillusionment, as we struggled to come to terms with previously unknown (to us) Mormon history.

    I believe that John’s ceaseless work over the years has been a blessing to thousands and has saved people’s sanity, marriages and lives. When members, bishops, stake presidents and the church hierarchy have turned aside and left them abandoned, John has been like the good Samaritan.

    Thank you John… and to his family, who have without doubt felt the struggles and paid the price of sharing him with so many others. Stay strong and united. God bless you all – and thank you.

    1. Dehlin Family,

      I don’t know any of you, but I want to thank you. In 2010, while listening to a general conference talk, I experienced what many call a “faith crisis.” I didn’t even know that term; I was a very active member (returned missionary, former MTC employee, pioneer ancestry, parents in the Mormon Tabernacle choir… The list goes on!)

      Anyway, I felt like my entire world had collapsed. One of the first things I found was John’s “stay LDS” website. At the time, I felt like I was on a sinking ship and John’s words were my life preserver. Of course, I soon started gobbling up Mormon Stories and have since been a supporter.

      My husband and I just want to add our voices to the many other voices here and thank you for sharing John and supporting him even when it has been difficult.

      I wanted to add, that we now consider ourselves “postmo’s” and that our lives are wonderful. It’s great to live with integrity, and we are grateful every day that we made the choice to move on.

      We wish you all the best and hope your community will be kind!

  195. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston:

    I remember when I first started listening to Mormon Stories. I devoured episode upon episode. Some made me sing with joy, some made me cry, some clarified and some confused. But beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am still in the Church because of John. Your dad/husband has done so much for so many people. He’s been a strong voice through this transitional phase in Mormonism. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have. I’m praying for you guys.

  196. Margi, and kids,

    This new makes me so sad because I can tell how much John loves the church. My husband and our 4 children (who are roughly the same ages as you), made the extremely difficult decision to resign from the church about 3 years ago. This was following several years of searching, praying and trying to make things work within the church. Your husband/dad helped us so much while we were struggling and I don’t know if we would have survived as in intact family without his podcasts. I know that this will be hard on you, but if your ward is anything like ours they will still love you. I am still so impressed at how well all of our member friends reacted to the news of our resignation. Please know that you have helped so many people by supporting John. THANK YOU!

  197. To Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston

    I don’t know all of the reactions you’re going to experience as a result of the action being taken against your dad, but I imagine it could include people saying something mean, or excluding you, or acting differently towards you, even though you are the same person you were before. They might tell you your dad is a bad person and they might not listen to why that isn’t true.

    For the people that your dad helps – LGBT members and members who are doubting and those who leave the church, but still have families who are in the church – this is the kind of thing that they experience every day. And that doesn’t make it fair that you might have a hard time – not at all! But if things do happen that upset you, I hope you’ll remember that this is the kind of hurt your dad is trying to stop. And it’s the right thing to do.

    I don’t think that your Dad could have done all he’s done to help people if he didn’t have your love and support and that of your mum. Thank you for being there for him. Thank you for helping him have fortitude and keep moving forward. I hope you also get kind and supportive reactions from people over this. I hope there are many who surprise you and that you find out that many agree with your dad’s activism.

  198. Margi and kids,

    This new makes me so sad because I can tell how much John loves the church. My husband and our 4 children (who are roughly the same ages as you), made the extremely difficult decision to resign from the church about 3 years ago. This was following several years of searching, praying and trying to make things work within the church. Your husband/dad helped us so much while we were struggling and I don’t know if we would have survived as in intact family without his podcasts. I know that this will be hard on you, but if your ward is anything like ours they will still love you. I am still so impressed at how well all of our member friends reacted to the news of our resignation. Please know that you have helped so many people by supporting John. THANK YOU!

  199. As we told our 6 yo about the news today, her words were “there is always room in our house and our church. (John’s) family can come stay with us andcome to our church. They can sleep in my room and I can sleep on the floor.”

    Take hope that the priesthood can not be used to exercise unrighteous dominion, your family can still be eternal, God still loves your whole family.

    Thank you to John for the great help he has been to me as I grope in the dark seeking for a relationship with Christ that The Church has failed to show me in the last 28 years.

  200. John’s family,

    Your father is a hero to me. His kindness, love, and selflessness is inspiring.

    I’m sorry that it has come to this and that you may be hurt by this. Please understand that he has helped countless others in significant ways, including myself.

  201. John: sincere thanks for all you have done. There is a good reason why your work resonates with so many people. Although you do have lovely teeth and are a snappy dresser, Mormonstories is much bigger than you, and I hope you’d take that as a compliment (as intended). Your wife and kids will be fine. If you chose inauthenticity, you and your family would have a different set of pain and trials to deal with–probably worse in the long run. –unless the church brings back the Danites and blood atonement–not that I want to give them any ideas.

    Margi–thanks. You might disagree with my comment about John being a snappy dresser, but you’ve gotta admit he has lovely teeth.

    Kids–pick up after yourself. Mind you mum and dad. Study hard. Chart your own course, make great friends, be a great friend. You guys will be fine! Really. The drama will fade, and you will be in your routine of normal life–pick up after yourself, mind your mum and dad, study hard, blah blah blah. Your dad is doing something that is very important to him, and very helpful and important to a lot of other people. That is very cool.

  202. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    I don’t need to tell you that your father is a good man. Nor to point out how many lives he’s touched through his sincere approach. Nor how meaningful the community he’s created has been to so many! It’s obvious by the comments that precede mine.

    I grew up in North Logan. It’s my home, and that of many family and friends. And as long as it is, the name of any Dehlin is safe in my circles. You don’t need to look to a future time for the love and support of those around you. It’s here. We love you. We support you.

  203. John and family,
    I am a former Mormon living in Salt lake City with my wonderful husband and 2 tiny kids. Living here has been trying on my soul for so many years. I find so many of the church’s teachings to be damaging to not only members but, since the church is so overwhelmingly dominant here I don’t think it can be escaped by those who do not attend. John’s activism has brought me so much hope and relief that there are those fighting from “the inside”. I didn’t want to spend my life fighting fit something that didn’t really love me back so I left and am so very happy outside the church but I can understand and respect why you choose to stay. Please know that your work (I say your meaning all of your family) is helping so very many. The conversations and issues that your husband and Dad is having so very thoughtfully and respectfully are so very important. He has provided a home for so many to have a dialoge that, at least in Utah, is so very badly needed. I worry a little less about my children being here because of John and his work. If there is a God THIS is his work. My heart and my thoughts are with you all. Please know there are thousands and thousands of people who love and support you. If I can ever do ANYTHING to help any of you please feel free to reach out. I am a member of the Mormon stories podcast group on Facebook.

    All the love in the world,

    Mickelle Weber
    Salt Lake City

  204. Dear Margi,
    I really want you and your children to known what a great impact you and John and your children have on us personaly and for a lot of swedish members. Thank you Dehlin family for everything you have done. It was a sweet uplifting experience me and Hans had last year meeting with you and John.
    We think of you a lot and hope you and your family will manage to get trough this stronger together.
    With so much love,
    Birgitta Mattsson

  205. Dear Dehlin family,

    A faith crisis is the hardest thing to deal with especially totally alone. I don’t know if I would have survived had I not found John and Mormon Stories. Please know you have made a difference in my life and I will always be grateful.

  206. John’s writing and podcasts have been very helpful in allowing me to heal the wounds of separating from a culture that no longer serves the world. Don’t let local judgment get you down. They are an extremely small part of a large world that doesn’t need Mormonism anymore. Find peace in prayer, meditation and well rounded friends

  207. To Johns family,

    My heart goes out to you at this time, I can only imagine the turmoil that you must be going through.

    Had it not been for your husband/dad, I would not be able to navigate through my own faith crisis which I am currently experiencing. Knowing that I was not alone and that there was support out there has been a life saver. It is sad that this support is not offered from within the church and then you would not be experiencing the pain you are.

    John you are a man of integrity, compassion, courage and possess an amazing strength that has seen your through your own faith crisis thus far. I wish there was a way followers of Mormon Stories could all be there for you now as you have been for us.

    I wish you all well. I know the Lord will protect you and in some way ease your burdens at this time.

    Love and support

    Tracy Parkes-Brookes
    Perth, WA

  208. Dear Dehlin Family,

    John and each of you are beautiful flowers in a wonderfully diverse field! The work John does and the support you all give saves lives and spreads light and love far and wide. Never regret the good you do and the good you stand for together! “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Let this trial strengthen your resolve to love. Move forward unified and continue to let your light so shine. Love and mad respect to you all!

    -Eric

  209. To John’s family:

    What John’s work with Mormon Stories did for me is not possible to adequately put into words. My life is so much more peaceful, true, authentic, and joyful on a deep level than I ever knew it could be. Mormon Stories was a safe place for me when there was none other. The courage and humility offered by the people involved in those podcasts, and then my local community that rose around them, allowed me to fill my own skin, to find my voice, to feel that I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t alone.

    Whatever may happen, I am grateful to the bottom of my heart for the work of John and Mormon Stories. My whole family thanks your whole family. Namaste.

  210. I am proud to know John. When I first discovered the uncomfortable truths about the Church and its history, it was a very dark time for me. John (and a few others) were the beacons that provided some hope for me while I was discovering my own path. I have much appreciation for what he has done. You all (and Kate) are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  211. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston, i want you to know what a great man John is. I respect him more than just about anyone I know. I just wanted to let you know that he’s well loved.

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

    Your husband and father’s work made a tremendous difference in my life when I had nowhere to turn. He is an honest man who recognized the need to be truthful and authentic with himself and others; and as a consequence, he has helped so many people find love and acceptance for who they are as individuals. Maybe it might seem alienating for you right now, but outside your small town, just know that there are thousands and thousands of people who love and support the strength and support your father has shown others and who also recognize that there is a very loving and accepting family behind his work. Just know that we are thinking about and praying for you to have a peaceful mind and heart. Truth is so much more important than the validation from those who refuse to understand or listen to a view different from their own. I hope that as you encounter ignorant comments and rejection from others, you will remember that there are so many who genuinely love and support you. Peace and love to your family.

  213. Caveat – I am probably in the severe minority here writing as a faithful member who has appreciated many of the interviews John has conducted.

    * Remain faithful in the Church and hold on to the goodness of its community, people, and doctrines
    * Anything good can become vitriolic when you surround yourself with enough people who help you believe otherwise
    * If you choose to remain in the Church, seek thoughtful yet faithful mentors such as Philip Barlow, Teryll & Fiona Givens, and Adam Miller
    * Remember that our religion ultimately rests on the relationship between God and Apostles who act as his servants. Forgive these men their weaknesses, but recognize that following them is an expression of your faith in God and in this religion
    * The essence of the Gospel is to drink the bitter cup without becoming bitter
    * Don’t let your father’s relationship to God and the Church define your relationship to them. Case in point: LDS Apostle Matthew Cowley had a well-intentioned but obstinate father who was removed from the leading councils of the Church for his stances against church policy and procedures, but still chose to remain faithful.

  214. Dehlin Fam,

    Support and love from the Sullivan family. Having had the surprising experience that we have, we know that whatever you create for the future ahead, we are confident that you will have every possibility for happiness:)

  215. Dehlin Fam.

    God bless you all! What is being done here to John, Kate and others, in my name, is not right. John’s work, among others, has given me hope for a better future for this church and a reason to stay. It appears that was in vain. Regardless, thank you all for your sacrifice. You are in my thoughts.

  216. Dehlin Family,

    Despite what others may say, you should be proud of your dad and husband. Remember John has added more to the fabric of Mormon culture than 99% of the active LDS population. Be proud. Appreciate his contribution and the thousands of lives he has helped. Don’t be shy to remind “haters” of the good he has done.

    All the best.

  217. From the New York Times:“I worry that the church is kind of shooting the messenger,” [John Dehlin] said of the excommunication notices. “They’re shooting the people who are trying to help and be part of the solution.”

    Yep. John’s message of moderation and tone of love backed me down months ago from resigning and burning a whole lotta bridges. Thanks to his wife and children for being a support for accomplishing so much Good.

  218. To all,
    May you find peace in these difficult times. Know always that goodness, virtue & courage, all of which your father display, are independent of authority. He’s been a source of inspiration and comfort to me over the last few years and may he continue to be so for you.

    Best,
    Parker

  219. “To fight the good fight is one of the bravest and noblest of life’s experiences. Not the bloodshed and the battle of man with man, but the grappling with mental and spiritual adversaries that determines the inner caliber of the contestant. It is the quality of the struggle put forth by a man that proclaims to the world what manner of man he is far more than may be by the termination of the battle.

    It matters not nearly so much to a man that he succeeds in winning some long-sought prize as it does that he has worked for it honestly and unfalteringly with all the force and energy there is in him. It is in the effort that the soul grows and asserts itself to the fullest extent of its possibilities, and he that has worked will, persevering in the face of all opposition and apparent failure, fairly and squarely endeavoring to perform his part to the utmost extent of his capabilities, may well look back upon his labor regardless of any seeming defeat in its result and say, “I have fought a good fight.”

    As you throw the weight of your influence on the side of the good, the true and the beautiful, your life will achieve an endless splendor. It will continue in the lives of others, higher, finer, nobler than you can even contemplate.”
    ― Hugh B. Brown

  220. Sweet Dehlin Family –

    My heart is breaking for you as you are going through this incredible trial. My Husband is not believing – and this is only important to point out so you can know that I have a small taste of what it feels like to be impacted by decisions of your loved ones.

    There is nothing anyone can say to ease your pain – but please know, that in time, things will be better. The light will be brighter. I sit here and mourn with you who mourn. I’m not sure what more I can say other than I have felt a peace surrounding this situation that Heavenly Father will make it right. He will not forsake you.

    Please know that your efforts to be supportive of your Husband and Father have not been in vain. There are many who stand with you. Please know that I am among them. My love and prayers to you all.

  221. God bless your husband and father for having the strength to host a podcast that has changed so many people’s lives.

    John Dehlin has helped me to reconcile my feelings with the religion that I have been raised in and love. His podcasts and earnest endeavors to find and share truth has helped me curb anger and find peace with the LDS church. Ironically, it is his outspoken views that has gotten him I to this situation that has made me feel closer to the church and far less angry.

    Thank you, John, for your work. It has meant the world to me.

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

    I wish I could meet you.

    Please be aware of how many lives John has improved through his and your work.

    Remember that each of you are in charge of your own identity. Institutions may influence you for better or worse. History and genetics are beyond your control. But the goodness of your hearts – your wonderful qualities that you possess are your own to keep and to share. They aren’t gifts for which gratitude should be exacted. You are yours.

  223. You have been trying to make Christians out of Mormons. This is not an easy thing to do. I have been trying for years to do the same thing. My prayers and best wishes will be with you during your struggle with those who must be right at any cost.

  224. Dear Dehlin Family, My faith crisis is perhaps the most distressing event in my life, I think perhaps I was on the verge of a mental break down. It was Johns work, his podcasts, his support in creating a community of acceptance and love for those who have doubts, that has kept me sane. I know of none other who has helped me more during this time than John. Thank you for loving your dad enough to share him with the rest of us shmucks. Truly grateful, thank you.

  225. Hi John,

    I’ve listened to your podcasts for 3 years now and love every one of them, from faithful to less so. I’m an active member of the Church with a calling, temple recommend, and 100% visiting teaching done. 🙂 I hope that you’ll feel peace during this time. Love to you and your family.

  226. John and Family- Thank you for being a voice for those that feel voiceless. Your personal sacrifices are not unacknowledged. Thank you for sharing your family, your support, your concerns, and your care with the broader world so that people don’t have to question in silence.

    May you all find peace in your hearts through this difficult moment.

  227. John’s was a stabilizing voice in my life while I was coming out of the closet. I will be forever grateful for his integrity in speaking up and speaking out.

  228. John and family,
    I am so sorry for the pain you may be feeling. Please know that the Mormon Stories podcasts have been a huge blessing to my life and have assured me that I was not alone. I feel I am a better person and a better mother because I was able to be inspired through those podcasts. I will forever be greatful for your family’s bravery and courage. Please know you are not alone and that many stand wanting to help. Love to your family.

  229. I am saddened by the news. The news reflects much more poorly on the church than John. I was in a very dark place until I found Mormon Stories. I thought I was losing my mind because not everything fit together as tidy in my mind as it did for others at church. I felt depressed after church every week and dreaded every Sunday. I came across the article in New York times about Hans M. and listened to my first Mormon Stories podcast. Pretty soon I was listening to dozens of podcasts on MS by people who felt and thought the same as I. Finding Mormon Stories was one of the best things that ever happened to me and my faith. I felt like I finally found some like-minded people. I feel indebted to John for the “therapy” Mormon Stories provides me. I am still active in the church but when I hear all the “crazy” at church that used to send my head spinning, I just relax and think of my people at Mormon Stories. I’ve even used many inspiring quotes from John’s interviews to share with my son serving a mission. Thanks John for inspiring me and my family.

    The Mormon church is turning into a communistic society. I predict the pews at church will eventually fill only the narrow-minded or people who get the power rush from their church callings. Where is the integrity of the LDS church? For example, instead of announcing at General Conference we are 15 million plus strong, why don’t they relay the REAL number of active members? If feels like the general authorites are lying right to my face. Anyone who serves a mission knows that the active membship list is really low. Why don’t they confront some of the church history issues? Why don’t they confront the fact that so many people are leaving? Personally, I know many stellar families in my life whom have recently left due to the church’s historical deceptions and general authority rants against gays. These are the real problems facing the church, not the gays or women and priesthood ladies. Mormon Stories is one of the few vessels where truth is shared in a thougtful way. I find it ironic that the church claims so much real estate on “truth” and “love” and then directly contradicts itself by ousting people who share actual historical truths or extend love to the disenfranchised /sidelined members at church (esp. gays).

    Sadly LDS are losing their most talented, thoughtful and brightest people. I can’t imagine Christ would condemn the doubters-even doubting Thomas was one of HIS apostles.

    Lately, I’m so embarrassed to tell people I’m Mormon, It’s shameful the publicity the church is drawing for its anti-gay stance. Especially when the church CLAIMS it is NOT political. (Note to Mormon Church-take a closer look of the example of Pope Francis.) I’m certain the church’s GA strong condemnations from the pulpits will turn into another Mormon HIstory blunder.

    John, I think you would have a lot more peace living outside of Utah. But I also think the struggling LDS people in Utah need you. You have a potential blossoming practice in Utah for so many gays and stuggling lds members. I hope you have a prospersous career from all your studies, time, energy, suffering…. you certainly deserve it.

    I hope you don’t feel defeated by this. With all due respect, you are one of my heros.

  230. Because of John’s work, I wasn’t alone during one of the most difficult trials of my life. His websites, podcasts, and communities gave me the hope and validation that I needed to climb out of my own sadness and confusion. I met two amazing friends through the Mormon Stories facebook community, and they have been such a support to me. I have learned more about my faith and religion than I ever would have otherwise. I am happy now, I had the strength to do what was right for me, and it was all facilitated by John.
    I admire his advocate work for LGBT persons, and his feminism. I look up to John. I appreciate all that he has done for the LDS community, and I know he could not have done it without the love, support, and patience of his dear family. Thank you for your sacrifices and thank you for sharing your John with us. I live in Utah, and I am proud to be neighbors with the Dehlin family.

  231. Oh how I wish we could form a stake or two or 10 (maybe more) with all the people that John has helped. His work is important. The communities he has created/influenced are many. The validation he has brought to the struggles and pain of so many can not be overstated. I know that for me, personally, Mormon Stories have helped me reframe my relationship with both the LDS church and God. I’m forever grateful to John for all his sweat and tears, and am deeply saddened that some in the church think he doesn’t belong among us. His heart is big and good.

  232. MargI, John, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston. I am your Dad’s cousin and I only met you guys that one time I was at your house last year….but you guys are really the greatest. You have learned how to shine in amazing ways…I was so impressed by your open hearts and love of life, and I knew that you couldn’t have become such amazing people at such young ages without the help of amazing parents.

    I hope that you guys don’t suffer for the misunderstandings people have about your brave parents. They have chosen to stand up for right, and that stance doesn’t come easy. I know that you guys are going to also follow in that tradition and be understanding of those who are hurt, and those who suffer and those who are ostracized, and stick up for them, even when it comes at a cost. That cost might be friendships. That cost might be standing in your community. However, there is nothing better in life than to be able to hold your head high. You belong to a family that is outstanding and you can hold your heads high with pride in the example your parents are setting for thousands of people who are watching them and being inspired by them.

    I love you guys, and I love your parents. I love your aunts and uncles and grandparents. You have a lot to be proud of!

  233. Dear Dehlin family,

    John has made such a difference in my life and the lives of many others. He is such a Christ-like person and his work is so important. Your family will be in my prayers.

    Cynthia Burnham

  234. I have always been impressed by John’s honesty. I can’t say the same for church leaders. Blessings to each of you.

  235. I’m very honored and grateful to know John. I value his insight. It is the product of honest, humble and fearless pondering. Evidently he has courage. If he is full of guile and this is all part of a scheme to gain publicity then he is really, really amazing at hiding his guile and stupid for not using said guile to earn piles of cash in other ventures. And, since I’m being honest- I envy his skill with social media. I just wanted to add my name to the list of vocal support for him. Happily, I can tell by the length of the list above that I, and consequently you, are not alone. Best wishes and happiness!

  236. My heart and prayers are with your family. This is a pain so many of us feel with you. Im so deeply saddened.

  237. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    Your father is a hero. He helped save my life. 7 years ago I was going through hell and your father helped pull me out of it. Since then I have served 2 deployments to Afghanistan as a Combat Medic in the US Army. I would never have made it to where I am today without him and others like him. Thank you for standing by your dad. I would be honored to do the same.

    With much love and heartfelt gratitude,

    -Dan Christiansen

  238. John, you are the direct inspiration for so many positive changes I’ve made in my life, particularly my decision to become an outspoken LGBT ally. Thank you for your courage.

  239. As a convert becoming aware of my church’s anti-LGBT* stance, I became so disheartened. It was John’s work that helped me want to stay in the church. I had hope others could change their homophobia once they understood through his and others’ true callings of bringing love and understanding. I am grateful for that. I hope this doesn’t sound like I am dismissing the profound impact his excommunication could have on the family, but I see it as a badge of honor.
    — LDS mom of 3

  240. Dehlin Family: thank you and I’m sorry. Thank you for being supportive. Thanks for helping someone out in Denver, CO that you didn’t even know. Thanks for being so generous.

    I’m sorry you all have to go through this. It isn’t fair. But I want you to know that I’m so grateful. Thanks for sharing your family with me when I felt so alone. It made getting through things easier. I hope you are all able to get through this a little bit easier too knowing how much we all appreciate you. With love,

    Tanner

  241. To the family,
    You know your dad is awesome, and he’s awesome because he’s actually a man who won’t treat you poorly depending on your views of something.

    If your friends or people around you treat you poorly, well, in some ways that’s no different than what you imagine the Mormon pioneers experienced for their beliefs.

    Change sucks, but few people have ever complained about finding out who their real community really was.

  242. Dehlin Family,

    Your father is one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and has honestly made the world a better place. The world can be a harsh and cruel place, and generally that comes about when someone is willing to go out of their way to do something GOOD. John, his blog, and his example have helped me tremendously, and though this situation is difficult and extremely tough, know that he has helped many thousands of people with his example. We all stand behind him and your family.

  243. Excommunication is a violence of the worst kind. It is a hypocritical lashing out at one who challenged the status quo. Hypocritical because Jesus taught us to love our enemies. I hope your wife and children come to know what a brave man you are.

  244. My partner & I joined the church a year ago. Your podcast has kept us sain. We love you & your family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Remember Heavenly Father loves all! Always & at all times. It’s pure.

  245. Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    I was devastated today to learn of the pending disciplinary councils for your father and for Kate Kelly. Thank you so much for enduring chaos in your own lives for those of us who (in our own struggles) desperately need to hear the voices that John has brought to us through his podcasts. Know this: John’s courage has inspired me to do what I can to make the church a safer place for people who see things a little differently. One day I will find the courage to go public with my identity, and more importantly, with my belief that everyone in the church should be able to have their voice heard without fear of being maligned or spiritually abused. When I do, I hope my children will forgive me. Bless you all.

  246. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I’m confident you’ll see thousands of notes just like this, so I’ll be brief. The work John has done has helped me navigate my own crisis of faith and has been instrumental in helping keep my marriage and family together despite strong differences about important church related issues.

    I am so grateful for all he as done and the support you have given him to allow him to help me and so many others. I’m sorry for what you are all having to go through, but I’m so glad you all have the courage to stand up and help so many people, like me, that you’ve never met, and in turn given us the courage to stand up for what we believe.

    Wishing you the best,

    Brian

  247. John – you have been such a huge blessing in my life during the last few years. I have spent countless hours listening to your podcasts and reading on mormon stories. Thank you for all that you have done for our community!

    To the Dehlin family – Thank you for allowing your husband and father to help so many during some of the hardest times of our lives. He has done, and will contiune to do much good.

    Thanks to you both, and I will stand with you!

  248. Hi Margi and Dehlin kids,

    I think you’re all beautiful and I’m proud to share some DNA with you. I know this has been a struggle…the whole Mormon Stories thing from the beginning. But the work you and John have done has been a huge support to me. Any testimony I have has been maintained through the things I’ve learned from the community. So thank you.
    All my love,
    Cousin Gretta (Parkinson) Whalen

  249. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston –

    Your dad has been a brave leader in standing up for the truth and showing the world that there is always more than one version of a story. I anticipate that your lives will change due to all that is going on, and people you know in school, work and neighbours may even treat you differently, however, please know that there are more people who support your dad than there are active members of the church in Utah.

    At some point, I hope that you all are able to live for a period of your lives outside Utah, you will find that the rest of the world is not like Utah, and that you can see how the normal part of the world lives (and believes).

    God bless and you have our support.

    Brandon

  250. Dear Dehlin family,

    I have probably listened to every episode on Mormon Stories, but I have never committed before. Like many of the other posters on here, I too found Mormon Stories when I was in a crisis of faith. It was back in 2007, and I had nobody to talk to. Mormon Stories was my lifeline, it literally saved me and my family from great despair. I guess what I am trying to say is thank you John and thank you the Dehlin family for allowing him to perform a little small miracle in my life and my family’s life.

  251. John and family –
    My life has been plagued with guilt, shame, and self-hate. The Mormon stories podcasts and communities have allowed me to breathe again, to truly taste of an authentic life of love and honesty. Thank you for sharing John and his talents with those like me who would otherwise be drowning in sorrow and fear. His capacity to love, inform, and reach people on a spiritual level is an asset to the world–independent of institutional or organizational creed.

    God bless

  252. Your father and husband has done so much for so many. He is in the right despite what you may hear whispered about. Please give him your love and full support. Never turn on him. I wasn’t afforded that when I started leaving the church. He deserves your love.

  253. Mormon Stories was a light amidst the darkness I felt after reading Rough Stone Rolling and not having anyone I felt comfortable talking to about my questions. I thank you all for the light and knowledge that have impacted me and helped me stay in the church knowing there were others out there that felt as I did. I went through the hundreds in podcasts in a few months after learning about it last year and check everyday for new ones! I appreciate that John is completely genuine and loving despite the implications against him for his transparency. I often feel like so many members put on a facade and shut down any thought contrary to the elders. It was refreshing to have someone just be open and honest about the truth, the pain, and the concerns others refuse to face. And there is no other podcaster I’ve come across that is as interesting and we’ll spoken as John. My heart goes out to you and your family!

  254. Dehlin family,

    The hardest thing I’ve ever gone through has been my faith crises. My world came crashing down and I had no idea what to do. My ward, family and friends wouldn’t talk about it, so I found myself very alone. My husband directed me to Mormon Stories and it was so refreshing and helpful to know that others had questions even Edward Kimball who was Spencer Kimball’s son. I emailed your dad and he emailed me back within minutes to tell me about a support group where I live. Your dad a complete stranger showed me more love and compassion than people I have known most of my life or for many years. Thank you Dehlin family for letting your dad/husband help me and so many others. We all know what a sacrifice this has been for all of you. Hang in there and remember that the most thing is family. Love to you all.

  255. Remember, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.

    All of the wonderful things your dad has done for so many has been noticed not only by people, but by God. I fully disagree with what the Church Leaders are choosing to do, and that scripture applies to them also, but your dad/husband has touched and helped so many that I know he has nothing to fear. Judgment is God’s job. He alone knows the hearts and minds of men.

    This is a sad and dreadful thing they are choosing to do. Peace be with you. Your family has more love and support than you could ever know.

  256. Thanks for all the great work you’ve done. Your influence is strong and greatly appreciated by myself and many others. Seriously. Thank you.

  257. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston,

    The mormonstories podcasts have helped me in more ways than you can imagine. It has helped keep our family together and helped us to understand each other better. To the kids, your dad loves you more than you can ever imagine. What the church hierachy has chosen to do (which I completely diagree with) is not ANY kind of statement about his value, worth or worthiness. There are so many people that he has helped become closer to Christ by having the courage to deal with issues that so many others cannot. I hope that you will be met with nothing but unconditional love and acceptance, which is what Christ taught and what the Church claims to espouse.

  258. Mormon stories helped me through a tough time in my life. Thanks for what you have shared John. I don’t always agree with you, but I do admire you and wish you luck.

  259. Dear Dehlin family,
    I can’t tell you how outraged and saddened I was to hear about what’s happening. John is a tremendous force for good in the church and in the world. His podcasts have given me perspective on my doubts and hope when I needed it the most. I am inspired by his research on and interviews with LGBT Mormons and his work to make the Church more inclusive and accepting of those who doubt and those who don’t fit the mold.
    I’m so sorry that the tremendous good you’ve done is being rewarded with pain, but please know that John is a hero to me and many others. I’m reminded of the story of Nehemiah trying to rebuild Jerusalem against all odds, who when faced with distractions responded “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.” John is doing a great work, and you are doing a great work in standing with him. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  260. I appreciate so much all that John has done to help those of us seeking answers about the LDS church. Before I heard about his podcasts I felt so alone and emotional. I have found so much peace knowing that it is ok to ask questions and that there are other people who are struggling with issues just like me.
    I know it must be tremendously difficult for your family to have people think you are an apostate. I hope you will remember that even though some may feel that way, there are so many others who do not. Much love and prayers for your sweet family.

  261. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston;

    My heart hurts today by the lack of love and compassion that has been shown to your father and husband who has been such a help to so many people who bear heavy burdens. John’s example of turning the other cheek, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and loving those that have despitefully use you has been a source of great admiration to me. He is a father, and husband that you should be proud of. I’m so sorry for this difficult time. You all deserve so much better than this.

  262. John Dehlin is a hero! Where most knees tremble, his are steady. Where most people look away and refuse to face reality, he stands tall. Where many hide in anonymity, he stands bravely in the light of day, where many are embarrassed, he has no shame. Where others pass a wounded stranger on the road, he is the good Samaritan, where most have a heavy bias, John strives to consider all viewpoints and the opinions of others. Thanks to John Dehlin and his family for all of the service rendered to the LDS community, and the sacrifices made to be who you are, and accomplish all that you have.

  263. Please know that John, through Mormon Stories podcasts and the Facebook page for me and many people I know, has been a light of hope! Hope that maybe we do not have to abide by a bad culture? One that hides and alters Truth! That we can Share our opinions and doubts with anyone we want! Instead of the culture that says “never discus your doubts with anyone else.. You might Damage their Testimonies!.. That is not how Christ operated and not a loving way to live.
    Though I can not imagine the anguish and adversity you and your beautiful family (especially teenagers) are going through.. Isn’t it better that they see the shinning example of your husband and their dad standing up to exclusion and questioning some Very Wrong goings on!?
    Sending you and your family love and support in this trying times! “Right is Might”!
    Sincerely, Susan

  264. If there is a God, he would value honesty more than conformity. John Dehlin has more integrity than the leadership of the LDS Church. My immediate family who have been sucked dry with time and money to this church will end with this generation! It’s a relief to me that Mormonism will not continue with my grandchildren.

  265. John is a f*cktard who shouldn’t be shocked that this happened.

    He says he loves the church but yet tells people to live by their own rules when he, and everyone else, knows that the church only wants there members living by the church’s rules.

    Margi run while you still can.

  266. I found such comfort in some of the podcasts your father and husband helped create and share. My husband shared his unbelief in the Church 2 years ago and it shook my world. I found a podcast that night about how to handle things when your spouse leaves the Church. I listened to entire thing in tears because the concerns she had I was having and it made me feel like although it would be hard we could make our marriage still work. I also listened to the parenting podcast about how to raise children in a mixed-faith marriage. I found such comfort in what John gas done and what he has shared. I know my husband did also look at many stories as he was transitioning and it helped him to make things easier on me and our children. I want you to know his grateful I am to John.

  267. I have never met john however have been blessed to have him advocating for finding truth and peace. He has brought forth many of the questions my heart sought for years.
    I am saddened the church is behaving in an archaic dark age way. John has helped thousands of members stay in the church.
    One thing I do know is that what others think doesn’t matter what counts is how you present yourself and treat others. John has shown this in the kindest most accepting way possible.

  268. John, Margi,Anna, Maya, Clara, & Winston,

    My love and support goes to all of you. It is not always easy to do the right thing. You are amazing people all of you. I hope that you each know how many people love and support you. Hang in there through the upcoming publicity.

    We love you and wish you the best at a difficult time.

  269. Dehlin family
    I am sorry for what you are going through. I admire your father/husband greatly as I am sure you do. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what he has done and I know he couldn’t have done it without his wife and children. I have struggled in a very similar pattern as john and his messages resonate with me. I have found an enormous amount of strength and guidance through the mormon stories podcasts. Your family is not alone in this. Our family in SE idaho is in a very similar situation not far from you in Logan and you have our complete support, prayers, and good vibes! We are together, brothers and sisters navigating our faith. I hope our leaders see the man your father is and his tremendous heart and influence. All the best from our family to yours ,
    Respectfully,
    Friends from Idaho,
    The Taylor’s.

  270. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,
    When my husband and I started questioning, our journey led us to Mormon Stories and your husband/father. He filled our empty vessels and we quickly found a safe home amongst his podcasts and facebook. He is, indeed, a hero and our wishes are that he and all of you remain strong. Hold your heads high because you have nothing to be ashamed of, nor to feel guilty over. Thank you for all you have done to support him. So much a part of who he is, is because of all of you. Thank you for supporting him and loving him. Now, we are supporting you and loving you.

    Tim and Debbie Garvin, Barstow, CA

  271. You will most likely feel ostracism from people you have known for a long time but know there are a lot of people who have your back. Don’t let the others get you down and think about all of us instead.

  272. To John’s Family, John and to the public who may read this:

    John and I do not know each other well but we have known each other since the beginning of the Mormon Stories podcast. John took the time to counsel me at a SLC Sunstone Symposium and he got nothing in return for doing so, but I will remember and deeply appreciate that day permanently.

    I know that John does not like excessive adoration and I’m thankful for that and I won’t do that myself. I am not a “Dehlinite” as some threatened by his activism might call those of us who listen to his podcasts and follow his news. But I do stand by John for the truths he has been willing to state publicly and unapologetically. I even believe that at times John has bent over backwards to be friendly to all and to avoid rocking the boat to the point of sinking it.

    Is John a hero? I don’t know. Will John’s apparent excommunication cause pain to his family and others? I would guess this will not be a pleasant experience to navigate.

    I think all I can say is that John is Mormon to his core and wants to do what is right. Like so many of, he had the concept of the search for truth seared on his soul. John speaks truth and sometimes he speaks more than I myself am willing to. I’ve followed John long enough to know that despite his human weaknesses he desires truth to be made known. I don’t believe that he can be faulted for that. He can’t be faulted for sharing his deepest feelings (even in those moments when he is wrong) because he is just trying to live authentically.

    Knowing and accepting this won’t necessarily make the social ostracism and other factors of a excommunication any easier for those close to John.

    I feel unsettled over this entire matter because I will stand by what John stands for and will stand by John to the extent that it makes sense. I’m sorry that I cannot offer good words of consolation as I want to be consoled myself. I feel this is a blow to intellectual Mormons across the world and not just your immediate family. But you will take the brunt of the force inevitably.

    Please forgive my need to say all of these things publicly here and forgive those of us who have needed someone like John when your family has needed him more.

    I will always be a friend and ally to John and his family.

    1. PS this is coming from someone who’s parents’ choices caused gossip and feelings of alienation from the ward as well. This too shall pass!

  273. Dehlin family,
    I have not commented before but today’s events prompt me to respond. The thoughtful, sincere, and intelligent conversations fostered by John have changed my husband and my lives for the better. This church that is a part of my blood, how can there be no room in it for your husband and father? Please know that I live in Utah and you would never be ostracized or judged in my home.

  274. I just want to comment and say how heart wrenching reading this news is. I have been so thankful for you and your podcasts they have helped me so much during my confusing trial of faith. I honestly didn’t know where to turn or who I could talk with about my questions. I have truely felt a sense of comfort and community listening and reading your thoughts.

  275. Several years ago a Dehlin Family friend was in Boston for their baby’s heart surgery. They were alone in a strange city, full of anxiety for their child, and scared for his life. John wanted to reach out and offer comfort from Logan. Since he couldn’t be in Boston personally, he did the next best thing. He reached out to someone in his vast Mormon network who was in Boston. He sent my husband David and I to the hospital with a care package and a message of love. The Epistle of James calls this pure religion. John is a man who sees need and does what he can to reach out with charity. That is a man, father, friend and husband to be very proud of indeed. I have been encouraged and heartened by John. My friends and family have been encouraged and heartened by John. Thank you for all you do and all you are.

    “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only… Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.” (James 1:22 & 27)

  276. Dear Margi and Dehlin children,
    I know this must be devastating news for your family to receive that John may be excommunicated for his podcasts and website. I don’t know if my story will help easy any of your pain, but John’s podcast were a true gift when I left the church and was looking for the truth of our Mormon history. What I heard was a validation of truth, no glossy sugar coated version, that helped me in my journey as I sifted through the confusion. The cultural of family in the LDS church is wonderful and harmful if you disagree. Our family chose to leave the Mormon faith but keep up on the news regularly as I am not ashamed of the heritage God gave me. God, Jesus are still very much apart of my life after leaving the church. The confusing and emotional process in or out of the church is difficult and John’s podcasts impacted and helped me through that process. Thank you John for your sacrifice.

    Your husband and father’s sacrifice remind me of a story that is told in the book by Andy Andrews called the “Butterfly effect”. In there he speaks of a man who helped change the course of our American History, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. (I won’t ruin the story it’s a quick easy read and very good.) John has been a catalyst for change and that has rippled into so many lives I believe for the good. Right now you can see some of the impact that John has made for the Mormon church. Yet I think it will be many years before you will see the full impact that he has made.

    God bless you John Dehlin. May His love and Grace give you peace and wisdom during this time. Being a leader for change can be a very lonely road. You and others have carried that burden for so many others. Again thank you!
    Sara

  277. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made. I can’t tell you how many times I have found comfort in one of the Mormon Stories podcasts. The work your husband/father is doing has touched countless lives, many of which I’m sure you’re unaware of, like mine. My husband and I left the church about 4 years ago. It was probably the most difficult decision I’ve made. The research, interviews, firesides, websites and articles you’re husband has worked so hard on have given a voice to those of us who feel like we can’t speak our heart in church. That means the world to me. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. You may feel judged by some, but there are so many more of us that are indebted to you and see your husband as a light when we have found ourselves in a very dark place. So again, thank you SO much for your sacrifice.

  278. Dear Dehlin family,

    I’ve sat here at my keyboard for the past five minutes trying to find the words to describe my appreciation for Mormon Stories. I stumbled across the podcast as I was navigating my own faith crisis even though, admittedly, I have never been a Mormon. Yes, I’m defiantly not in the key demographic that this community is targeted towards, but it has helped me in ways that I still can not explain. I’ve found every podcast to be thought-provoking and have caught myself becoming surprisingly emotional at times.

    I just wanted to show my support for not only your family, but also for the community at large. The same kind of support that made a friend and myself load up in a car, travel from southern-middle Tennessee to Missouri for a Mormon Stories convention over two years ago… and would do it all over again (that’s about nine hours one way).

    I’m hoping for the best outcome for everyone.

    Aaron

  279. John’s efforts helped me realize that I am not alone. I am grateful for your support for him because it indirectly supports me and others like me.

  280. To John’s wife and children,

    You can’t possibly know the influence John has had in my life for the better. He is a rockstar to me. I imagine that influence he’s had on my life has come at a tremendous cost to your family in terms of time and stress. I want to thank you for standing by him all these years. You’ve touched tens of thousands of lives in ways very few people in the history of the world ever will. God bless you for your sacrifice.

  281. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston,

    I know this can’t be easy and I’m so sorry. I am so sorry for John as well. When John spoke publicly about his doubts, it was though a burden had been lifted. Someone understood me. I was no longer alone. You are not alone. I love you and feel your pain.

    Some day, hopefully soon, your husband and dad will go down in history as a maverick, a brave man, a man who helped thousands of. The Mormon Stories podcasts have been so enlightening, helpful, interesting, and beautiful.

    I am sure you are proud of him and honored to be his family. Hang in there, Mormons are sometimes thoughtless in their comments. Be strong, have hope, and be kind to each other.

    Many blessings and tons of love during this difficult time,
    Lisa

  282. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, & Winston,

    What an amazing time in the history of your family! The groundwork is being laid during these days for you to be able to say of your father “he was a giant who stood on principle his whole life! He stood for truth, righteousness, kindness and equality!” This is but a chapter in a book…the pages of which will tell a glorious story of your husband & father. What seems hard right now is actually just a birthing process that will bring more joy and more beauty in to your life than you now can even comprehend. Bear with patience these difficult days and know all things work together for the good of those who serve the Creator. John is a servant. And all things ARE working together for good. Do not LET your hearts be troubled. Do not LET yourselves be afraid. ALL is well! All is well!!! You have not nor will you LOSE anything. You will only GAIN AND GAIN AND GAIN. Reed Abplanalp-Cowan

  283. 1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

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

    Two years ago unbeknownst to you your family shared a gift with our family, and that was the gift of love, delivered through your husband and dad. As complete strangers he took the time to meet with us, to hear of our pain and offer his sincere empathy and support. For this I am so grateful and continue to offer in return my love, support and empathy to your family.

    Sincerely,
    Nicole

  284. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    I’m so sorry for what your family is going through. John’s work has meant so much to me. When I was at my darkest hour, his podcasts helped me see that I wasn’t alone. He helped me come to a place where I could stay in the church I love, but believe on my own terms. Thank you for sacrificing so much to help your husband/father create the community and the support that he has created in Mormon Stories. God bless your family. Again, I am so sorry. My heart aches for you.

  285. Dear John and Family,

    I just want to thank you so much for putting the time in to this website and allowing your Dad/Husband to spend so much time interviewing and creating these podcasts. I’m sure it has been a burden on the family many times and now that your Dad/ Husband may be excommunicated it gets even harder.
    I want you to know that I will be forever grateful for the personal stories and thoughtful interviews posted on this website. It has helped me through a time when my entire world shattered and crumbled beneath my feet. I felt like I was left with nothing but darkness for a long period. I had very few to turn to and was so grateful to hear there are others who are willing to talk about the hard issues of the church and can do it with respect and thoughtfulness. Mormon Stories helped me realize its ok to love my gay brother and its ok to love myself for who I really am.
    I can’t express to you how much this podcast has done for me. It has changed my life and helped me find support when I needed it desperately. It has opened my eyes to a world where I can love everyone unconditionally. Your father is a great example of unconditional love and no matter what the stigma may be in your community know that he has touched many lives. Thank you thank you thank you for standing behind your Dad/ husband and allowing him to do this!!

  286. I am very grateful to you for all the work you put into making life better for people like me who stumble, for whatever reason, upon the skeletons in the Mormon closet. I am grateful for the opportunity your work gave me to realize that life does not end with the collapse of childish faith (which in my case was doomed to die anyway: you certainly did not destroy it; if anything, you helped my faith in humanity survive the demise of my faith in churches). I wish you and your family the best. Wherever good people are valued for their goodness, rather than some empty signal (like membership in a particular church), you will be valued and loved.

  287. It’s not about all the people your dad/husband has helped. It’s not even about whether he’s right or wrong. No. When you’re a man, it’s *always* about whether you’re being a good husband and father. And here is the example he has set for your family:

    1. He is a deeply good person.
    2. He has sacrificed much to do what he thinks is right.
    3. He is so…very…HONEST. That’s been his big “problem,” hasn’t it? He can’t help but be honest.
    4. He has tried very hard to seek and serve the truth.

    Whether he ends up being officially a member of the church or not, those are excellent traits, and I hope you always view them as a blessing.

    And, yeah: he’s helped a ton of people.

    Regards,
    Matt Mosman

  288. To the dear family of John Dehlin:

    As you may or may not know, I questioned the church when John was on his mission and even asked him some of my questions about 25 years ago. His response was not what I expected, and I later left and had my membership removed from the church, never quite getting my questions answered or any validation so long ago.

    Years later on a long drive in the car, I was passed some earphones and an iPod from my brother-in-law with a podcast from John talking about his mission and the letter I sent and he also mentioned my dad. I had no idea that years later he had formed the very thing I was searching for…a place where a person could come to have questions answered, a place where a person could feel support and love and comfort, and a place where others would listen and validate your concerns while leaving decisions up to you. Hearing this podcast, I felt vindicated. I sat in the car and cried. I was amazed how I had experienced a shift in my whole being, by hearing my old friend, John, speak on a podcast.

    Then just a couple of years ago, he interviewed my mom, Dad, and me on a podcast, which also released more feelings that I didn’t know still existed. It was cathartic. From that moment to now, I have been on a spiritual journey that is truly changing my life. I cannot imagine where I would be without that first podcast and the initial “shift” in my spiritual being. Where would I be without the participation in my own podcast, even though it brought up so many repressed emotions, it was very difficult to speak through the tears?

    I wholeheartedly owe much of my spiritual and mental well-being to John and the Mormon Stories Podcast community for giving me and many many others a place where people can come to be heard, to be validated, and to be loved without judgement. Every time I have donated money and time to this cause, it is in your names. As a mom and wife, I can only minutely understand the toll this might have taken on you all through the work of his podcasts and the many events. It is not easy having a husband or father who is often gone, and I have experienced both. But, to now have this emotional burden, and the social stigma that may come with it, I cannot imagine. Even when I left, it was on my own terms.

    My heart is full of love and support for you all. I am forever grateful for the help I have been given. If there is anything I can do for any of you, please let me know. I send all of you my deepest love and compassion and also enormous strength and courage for the days ahead. Love each other and be strong. We (as the podcast community) are all with you now and will still be here after the dust settles. I pray for the best outcome for you and your family.

  289. Your father/husband has had an enormous impact on my life! When I was at the lowest point of my life, I felt his loving arms wrapped around me. I was not alone. John truly embodies charity: the pure love of Christ. What a unthinkable indictment of the church! I wish you all the best. Thank you a million times over for sharing John with our community. Love.

  290. Dear Family of John,

    It must be very difficult and confusing for you to understand all of this.

    Know that we each have our own path to walk. And now it’s time for yours. Your father has offered such amazing insight and perspective and now “THE CHURCH” must do what they do well with fear.

    It took me many years to find my peaceful connected place after coming out as a gay and HIV-positive man, and leaving Mormonism at the age of 29.

    May you all trust the seasons of change will rain, storm, shine, and color you well!

    Be brave!

  291. Margi and Kids,

    Thank you for your sacrifice. The work of your father has helped me personally. I am an unbeliever while my wife and children are believers. Much of John’s work has helped my wife and I come to a good understanding in our marriage. You all have in no small part made that possible for me. Thank you

  292. I admire your courage. I hope your wife and children will recognize that what you are doing takes character, and that your story gives strength and perspective to many.

  293. Dear Dehlin Family,
    I wish I had the words or vocabulary to write the feelings of my heart. I can only try to convay my love toward you with all humility. The work you have done has not been in vain. The messages that have been shared have touched my heart. I struggled to put away anger and frustration as I went about searching for my answers. Then one day I stumbled across John’s podcast and gave it a chance to sink in. It was the one about the five myths and truths as to why committed members become disaffected with the LDS Church. I watched it several times. It spoke to my hard heart and softened it. I felt the pure love of Christ in John’s message. I began to follow every podcast I could at this point. Thank you for the example you and your family have been to me and so many others that have felt lost and discouraged. By standing up and sharing your voice, I have found my voice again also. I will forever be grateful to you and your wonderful family!

  294. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston

    I don’t feel like I can truly give you an adequate message. I’m so sorry that this is happening to your family. I am very grateful for John and the effort that hundreds of hours he puts into his podcast. My husband and I were on the brink of divorce and listening to Mormon Stories brought us back together. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary and are happier than ever. It brings tears to my eyes to think of how much sadder and emptier my life would be if we hadn’t found a way to communicate and reconcile our differences. Mormon Stories helped us do that and helped us heal in our ways we didn’t even realize we needed to until it happened.
    When I had concerns about LDS Church history, my bishop told me “Listen to Mormon Stories.” He told me that he had concerns too, and that he listened to the podcast and he emailed John back and forth and few times and John Dehlin helped him stay in the Church.
    I have since decided to leave the Church, but I am still deeply saddened by this news today. These actions seem to say that those who ask questions are not welcome, and it is not okay to try to be inclusive and loving to gays and it is not okay to not fit a cookie cutter. Diversity, thinking and inclusion make this world a more beautiful place. I am very sad that the leaders of the LDS Church do not agree. Your husband/father has made a tremendous effort to make the church a more hospitable place for those inside it. As far as I can see his actions are based on love. The world needs more love, not less. We should not reprimand people for being kind and for seeking the honest truth. The LDS Church has done itself a great disservice by threatening and labeling your father.
    I wish you the best, you will be in my thoughts.

  295. Dear Margi, Anna,Maya, Clara and Winston,

    I just wanted to let you know that I and many people are thinking of your beautiful family at this difficult time in your life. I’m from Australia, I was raised lds, went to early morning seminary, went on a mission, got married in the temple and now have 3 beautiful daughter, 12,17&20. 4 years ago my wife and I decided that we could no longer live the lds lifestyle any longer, and wanted to get out as our daughters were starting to get a testimony, and it scared us. The last 4 years have been tough, as we have lost some family and friends, but what we have gained is far greater then what we have lost. Listening to your dad’s pod cast have really helped us in many ways, and I’m sure you are just as proud of him as we all are, your dad has been able to help many people escaping the church. Your church family and friends won’t be as kind as they ought to be, so brace yourself and don’t listen to anything negative, stay positive. I’m not going to bag the church out, in time and when your ready I’m sure you will see it for what it really is. I’m proud to say that I am a first generation Ex Mormon.

  296. Deepest thanks to you all! So, so crappy. We support you and appreciate that the world has great people in it like you.

  297. John,

    Your work is honest and compassionate & I am confident helps a great many people. I hope this process is not a painful one because it is the church that is acting defensively, doing what it feels it needs to do to survive. Sadly, the leadership of the church collectively “can’t handle the truth” but your example of speaking out is a critical voice for members who question. I am convinced that when people take a course of honesty and compassion they can’t help but reap good things. Keep up the excellent work & all the best to your family! They should be immensely proud of your commitment to “do what is right”!

  298. Dear John’s Family,

    I hope that in the days that come, this powerful wall of support for your husband and father will help to sustain you. John has been such a blessing in so many people’s lives. This message thread is a powerful testament to the many ways that people have been touched by his work. I wish you support and comfort as you go through this period. Thank you for sharing John with those of us who desperately needed to hear the conversation he has lead.

  299. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry for the price you pay for you husband and father’s activism. I’m sorry this bleeds into your life and affects you.

    Just know that your pain, and your sacrifice, does not goes unnoticed by those of us whom John serves.

    We appreciate you. We thank you. We love you. We wish we could support you in some small way as a token of what John has done for us.

    He has changed my life for the better. He has given voice to the voiceless. His work has taught me, educated me, inspired me, and sustained me.

    I’m sorry that my benefit has come at your cost.

    Bless you. Bless you. May you be strengthened and fortified during this time of trial.

  300. Dear Dehlin family,

    Please don’t be discouraged. Bad things happen to good people and the world outside the church is not a scary place. In fact it is fun and can be whatever you make it. Be proud of your desire to question, always doubt your certainty before you doubt your doubts, and seek truth and beauty without restraint from ‘leaders’. Instead of excommunication, see this as your graduation to being masters of your own destiny.
    Best of luck.
    Claire.

  301. Dear Family,
    Your dad / husband is my hero. He is the voice I did not have and has helped answer the many questions I had for years yet could never find answers to. All my prayers and support are with you.

  302. John and Family,
    I just want to say that my heart goes out to you and your family. A few years ago I would have wondered why you wanted to stay in the church if you didn’t 100% believe and had so many issues with it. Now I see it so differently now that I see that Mormonism is such a part of us and these are “our people”.

    A year ago I had a spiritual experience that led me to understand God differently and opened my understanding to what I believe to be divine truth. I was freed from LDS theology in a very short time… It was liberating, but with the liberation came severe depression as I felt that a part of me died – the part of me that I thought would never die. I had to find who I am separate from church. I am still somewhat active and feel that your podcast saved my marriage and helped me keep my sanity.

    To: Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston, I am not sure how your husband/Dad’s work has impacted your family. I would imagine that it hasn’t been easy. I feel the need to thank you for your sacrifice. Your husband/dad is the epitome of courage. Thank you for “letting” him save so many lives – if not temporal – spiritual lives. Hugs to all of you!

  303. Dear Sister Dehlin, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,
    With all sensitivity to you, Margi, and with full appreciation of the weight you do and will bear, I’m going to direct my thoughts to your children. Please don’t be offended if I offer a moment of levity; I figure you can use it today! To begin on the appropriate serious note, however, I don’t even know you and yet am so sorry. Kids, I respect what your dad has been trying to do tremendously. I would have loved to have had your family in my congregation when I was bishop. In that calling for well over six years, tried to be guided by the Lord, and apply Matthew 22: 36-40. It sounds to me like your dad has been trying to do the same, and that’s a wonderful thing. Think about that scripture and what it says: As I read it, those two commandments are the basis of EVERYTHING else. I admire your dad for trying to do follow the spirit of those verses. I am not familiar with Mormon Stories (Hey–I’m 62! I don’t even LISTEN to podcasts!) (although this may make me start…) so I went to “about Mormon Stories” and was struck by how much I connected with the six shared values. Thank him for me, for touching the heart of an active Mormon way back in New York. I say “active” because I want you to know that there are still many of us who affiliate with the Church who strive to love and embrace all people. I fear that you will be confronted by some who may say they espouse the teachings of the Savior, but whose actions may suggest otherwise. They may be angry, naïve, ignorant, or simply prejudiced. Whatever the case, they miss the Spirit of Christ and what He was hoping to teach us. I pray for strength for you. I would encourage you to do two things: First, don’t let them get under your skin. I’m reminded of a story about two men who approached a New York newsvendor every morning to buy a paper. The vendor was a crusty, angry, short-tempered fellow who only made eye contact to better be able to curl his lip and almost snarl. Nonetheless, the first man would cheerfully pay for his paper, smile widely, and wish him a happy morning. Every morning. Finally his friend asked why and how he could continue to be so nice to someone so surly. “Why should I allow him to decide what mood I’m going to be in?” was his reply. He understood that when we carry our own internal strength and warmth with us that we are not negatively influenced by others, try as they might. May you strive to be the same!
    Second, please continue to do whatever it is that you feel brings you closer to your Heavenly Father and to each other. That may be praying together, spending time together as a family, serving in a homeless shelter together, volunteering at a gay youth home together, holding family home evening together–whatever it is. The Lord loves you and can help sustain and strengthen you.
    I am tremendously saddened by this news today. I have always needed to feel that the Church was big enough for every one of us. I disparage of that hope when I hear things like this. I am lessened today because I know pain is coming your way. Please love and honor your father. Love that he’s trying to do a good thing and encircle God’s children with love and supply them a safe place. What more can any of us do?
    Be well!

  304. The LDS church does not deserve someone like you in its ranks, John. You represent feelings of kindness, honesty, acceptance, curiosity, questioning, and truth. The LDS church has NONE of these qualities. You will be a better person without this religion.

  305. Thank you John for all you have done. I have not always agreed with your conclusions. Sometimes I thought you were way off the mark. But I appreciate a place where I can read or hear different ideas than those I listen to in Church. They prompt me to think and to research and to comment. Many of the lessons I hear have deteriorated into just parroting back the correct answer without any thought as to its meaning. I need more. I need honest discussion. And I need a place where I can comment on what is really happening in my life instead of trying to impress the investigator with the perfection of our society. I appreciate the Bloggernacle because I can speak the truth about my life. I think we have twisted the Gospel of Christ into something ugly. Just read the comments on http://www.deseretnews.com regarding John and Kate Kelly’s coming Church disciplinary trials. Many of these people are completely un-Christlike; I think it is these people who should be called in by the Church and tried for their membership for un-Christlike conduct and speech. If anyone is giving the Church a public black eye and failing to follow the prophets, it is these people.
    I am appalled that somehow the Church I love finds questioning and exploring ideas, even ones that might be false, threatening in any way. It is in the free exploration of these ideas, the ability of people to read and listen and correct errors they see that I feel we come closer to the truth. John’s site gave me that place.
    I feel as sad this day as I did the day Sonia Johnson was called in for discipline or the day the Six were called in. It seems we have learned nothing.

  306. Dehlin Family,

    Be proud.

    Feel nothing but pride. Proud of the man John is and proud of the causes for which he stands. He’s a beacon of light and hope for so many. Walk with your chin up. Stand with your chest forward. Your entire family has touched thousands of lives. Thank you to John and thank you to you as his family. The path is not easy, but make no mistake, there are people alive, families healed, marriages saved because of his voice.

    Be proud.

  307. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I’m a regular listener to Mormon Stories Podcast. But I’m not LDS and have no LDS connections. I’m a linguist in Australia and I found the Book of Mormon fascinating from a language science perspective. But it is your Dad’s / Husband’s interviews that has given me an honest, thoughtprovoking view on the beautiful LDS people and my own walk with Jesus as a Christian. I confess that I don’t know the full import of what is happening for you at this time, because I’m not LDS, but I am praying for peace in your hearts and strength for your family.

  308. I am in a better place thanks to John. My family has struggled as I have come to terms with the role of the church in my life, so I know a small part of this challenge that you are facing.

    While your husband and father has helped me come to terms with issues that had left me in a sort of limbo for years, he has also softened my heart to the church and it’s leaders. He has done this mainly by offering informational dialogue that has helped to give me perspective with regards to issues that I’ve struggled with for decades and has led me to better understand the human element that makes the tapestry of this church.

    I have seen him criticized by both believers and non-believers for being true to what is in his heart. This is both ironic and revealing.

    There is too much willful ignorance that causes so much needless suffering. I am profoundly appreciative of John’s shining a light on so many difficult issues and have felt the love in his heart for the sufferer as he has done so. John is a good and courageous man and time will speak well of him. Time will not speak as kindly to those who have tried to silence the sufferers or the sound of their suffering.

    Thank you Dehlin family for your many sacrifices. May you be blessed in this trying time.

  309. Dear Delin Family,

    I found the Mormon Stories Podcast in 2007 at a very difficult time in my life. I don’t even remember how I found it, it’s like it was just there one day, and I believe the Spirit someone led me to it. I have always been a believer, but I have also always struggled with church history as well as being a liberal feminist who often felt like I was one of the only liberal feminists in the church. When I found Mormon Stories, I had decided to leave the church and was despairing at the loss of my spiritual home, but I felt that I could just not be the only one like me anymore. John helped me to find others like me. He helped me to see that there was a place for someone like me in Mormonism. Because of him and his work, I have been able to stay in the church that I love so much. I appreciate the sacrifices he has made and that you as his family has shared in, and I stand beside you during this very difficult time.

  310. Although times are tough, I truly believe the time will come when your husband and father becomes widely acknowledged as a great man whose courageous work helped lead the Church we love to greater tolerance of difference and to greater openness concerning the realities of its history.

    You can be very proud of him.

  311. You’re the man!And Margi, you are the woman! Thank you for bringing Mormon Stories to me, you created an environment unlike anything I had experienced within Mormonism. I felt safe and alive. No one else could have brought me that in my time of greatest need, but you could, to a total stranger!

    Thank you and my you continue the fight for honesty, integrity, truth, justice, love and hope!
    Mike

  312. oh Dehlins… I can’t even begin to tell you how much I look up to ALL of you. Thank you for being a support to John and each other. His work and your support of it (whether explicit or implicit) is so helpful to an entire community of Mormons of all stripes, shades, and persuasions. Please know that people all over the place are constantly thinking of you and wanting nothing but peace for your family–however it comes. Be well!

  313. Love you John. You have been a beacon of light in a trying time in my life. If it were not for you I would have surely felt very alone. My husband and I relied on your podcasts for a long time to get us through a tough 5 years of our life as we tried desperately to hang onto the church and not leave. In the end we left and have felt peace in that decision, but those years were hard and we will always be thankful to you. I am sorry your family is suffering because you were out trying to help the few that needed it. You were more Christlike in helping the 1 and leaving the 99. You are a good man. You deserve nothing but praise.

  314. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston-

    I have met some wonderful and very influential people in my lifetime. I have seen things and been to places where I count myself lucky to have lived a wonderful life. But I am in awe every time I’m around your husband/father. So much in fact that I feel nervous to even say hello to him. He is a wonderful man of courage. He changed my outlook about how to engage with my gay son and his podcasts gave me the strength to look at a new perspective. I am a better man because of John Dehlin.

  315. There is so much I could say but I will keep it simple. I have never met John. My only interaction with the Mormon Stories community has been through the podcasts (including the excellent Mormon Matters and Mormon Sunday School podcasts) and the Facebook group, but John’s work is a big reason for “why I stay.” Excommunication is often reserved for those who drive others from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; John’s work has brought me closer to it and for that I am grateful.

  316. John you have been an inspiration to a lot of new strugglers the last few years and know more about why people struggle than about anybody. Keep it up and remember the world does not revolve around Mormonism, you and your family will be fine.

  317. I personally commend John’s efforts over the years and have no doubt that he has always had the best intentions with his work. In my mind, he’s only done and said what many of us are afraid say/do. Please know that in my mind, John Dehlin is a good man who only wants to help bring about positive changes in the church. I know others won’t see it that way necessarily but I do! Thank you John, I’m on your side all the way!!

  318. Dear Dehlin Family,

    My heart goes out to you! John you have been a great source of support to many who have walked down the long and lonely road of doubt, isolation and stigma. It’s my belief that God wants strong people to love and care for his children when they feel they can’t go any more and you have done just that for many people. Hang your head high for you have given people a new hope to search more and find themselves on that road. In the end, you have helped many see the glass half full and also half empty and most important, you have shown us the glass as it really is. My hear and prayers are with you and your family.

  319. I want to start out by saying that I never leave comments on blogs or articles, but I felt so moved by your situation that I wanted to reach out and say how incredibly sorry I am that your are being put through this ordeal. I grew up as a Latter-Day Saint, but am no longer practicing and a part of the reason is due to experiences I have had myself and experiences of others I love that are of a similar nature. I am not in anyway trying to say that I understand what you are going through, especially due to the public nature of your situation, but I want you and your family to know that I admire you all and am so grateful for the efforts you have made and are making. I truly believe that the church would not be hemorraging membership if they were willing to allow those who have a unique voice to continue to speak. Whatever happens please know that there are those of us that are behind you and your family and that you are truly courageous. Best wishes!

  320. While I admire John’s courage and appreciate his desire to make a difference, I’m very sorry to hear of the negative effect it has had on his family and personal life. It is truly a shame that a community purporting to follow Christian values can’t find anything but love and respect for your family. If God’s glory is intelligence we should all strive to learn and understand more about the gospel we all hold so dear. The very public nature of John’s journey must have been very difficult for your family. Many of us have followed along with him for nearly 10 years now, and it has never ceased to amaze me how much criticism he has taken from both sides. It is easy to criticize, but it takes a strong man to carry on despite the nay-sayers. I appreciate your willingness to allow him to take time away from your family to do the important work of shining a light on the disenfranchised and questioning, the counseling, and the other significant activities that the church does not seem to deem as necessary. I’m so sorry for this difficult chapter in all of your lives.

  321. For the Dehlin family,

    John has touched countless lives through his passionate activism. He has made people feel loved and like they aren’t so alone in the world. I cannot think of a single thing that is more Christlike. Jesus said to love everyone, not just our friends or those who are the same as us. He said we were even better if we loved our enemy [or those how are different than us.] John has done that.

    He has exposed our wounds to the very core and said [through his podcasts and actions] what I think Jesus would say, “I love you. You have a place here.”

    I realize it may be hard to see John face such social and religious stigma, but doing sometimes doing what is right means facing down authority. It means flipping tables. It means fighting the social norms of our culture. It means finding our own way, even when people may not understand.

    John is a fighter. Fighters do this to serve fellowman out of love. He does because he believes his Creator would expect nothing less of him. So I hope your heart is full and hold your head up for, John.

    Because standing up for what you believe in the face of adversity is never easy. Peace, love, and well-wishes to all of you.

  322. Dear Dehlin Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of this news. It breaks my heart. It is important to know that your father and husband has done much to help many make sense of the things they may be experiencing in the church. He took his personal time to counsel with my son and former daughter in law (who are both precious to us) about church related issues that were impacting their relationship. Being courageous is a high risk endeavor. And it looks like this time the risks are going to bring a hard burden to the whole family. I am so sorry for the pain that this may bring about. I want you to know that I admire John and the work he is doing to keep people included and to provide them with a safe place to learn, and discuss and figure out some very difficult things. All of our love from Virginia.

  323. Dehlin Family,

    In the last year and a half, John has been (even when I disagree with his statements), a voice of reason and reconciliation. His approach of acknowledging the facts and facing problems while trying to remain peaceful and flexible has modeled for me a way that I can try to keep my marriage from falling apart.

    I am grateful to him for the work he’s done and the thought and effort he’s put in over the course of his work on this podcast. He has touched my life, and many others, by being willing to talk about the problems.

    I hope you forgive John the pain, and do your best to learn from his example.

    John – Whatever the outcome of this, I hope it is one to which you can reconcile your life, and find happiness. Good Luck.

  324. Winston,

    Just wanted to say that your Dad has really helped me understand some of the sad stuff that happens to people in the church. It’s such a gift to help people realize they’re not alone in how they feel.

    Your Dad is really a wizard in the way he uses the internet and technology to help people connect with each other and support each other.

    Hopefully not many people will say mean stuff about what’s happening at church with your Dad. But if they do, remember this: they’ve only heard PART of the story and they don’t really know what is in your Dad’s heart. Remind them that your Dad is actually a really good person. Have faith that as time goes on, most people will understand that. If you’re ever confused about what people are saying, then let your Mom and Dad and your sisters know about it.

    You seem like a great kid! Hang in there, ok?

    All the best,

    Justin

  325. Keep up the good fight. Live authentically. This is all I can hope to teach my daughters. We have left the church and have not looked back. Life is about love and courage. Hang on to both!

  326. Dear to Dehlin family,
    So sorry that you are going through this experience right now. As someone who is trying to make the Church work in my own life, I can honestly say that I would not be in the relatively healthy spiritual place that I am in right now if it were not for Mormon Stories. I have felt the Spirit more often in my life recently thanks to John’s amazing work. I hope that your family may at least feel some sense of the strength of so many who stand in support of you.

  327. Margi,Anna,Maya,Clara,Winston and John;
    More than 10 years ago in the dead of the night and at the end of my rope I searched the internet for answers, Why Stay? Stay LDS had about 20 members at the time and your Dad/husband answered my letter. He saved me that night. He probably can’t remember because he has saved so many of us. My issues were huge but his words, his podcasts, his talks have been a mainstay in my journey. Honestly, for me, it was a safe place to be because all around me was cruel and vicious. I had left a horribly abusive marriage to a church leader, as more and more of the truth came out I was criticized, my family vilified. Mormon Stories helped me through so much. In the end, there wasn’t room for me and my history isn’t mormonism. My parents were converts so my ties not so strong to endure the cruelty.
    I have encouraged to those around me more than anyone will know to seek answers at John’s words. Over and over he has been the reason many of the people I love have stayed in the church, more importantly, he has saved many lives with his words of acceptance and his pursuit of a more loving and understanding church. This was never more apparent until this last week when a family member I adore in tears told me she was LBGT. I was the first person she came to since coming out in therapy. She felt I would understand.
    As i have been friends with John I have seen the ups and downs of the cost your family journey has endured. I have admired the love you have for each other and for the strength. Please, please know how grateful I am for the sacrifices you have made as John as been the voice for so many who have been silenced. As i have now learned, my departure not only from a very abusive marriage but also an abusive church is now referred to as the start of the BEST of my life. My hope and prayer is that if the church follows through on their threat that you know many of us will recognise the sacrifice your family has and continues to make and that we are in debt to that sacrifice. And most importantly, thank you for the example of a loving and accepting family that you are. I have modelled it in my new life and clearly its working, my niece coming out to me is proof of that.
    God Bless on your journey, it will be the start of the best of your lives.
    John, please continue in your quest, you are saving lives, you really are!

  328. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston,

    I’m sorry that this is hard for you. Even though I haven’t met John, he is one of the kindest, authentic, christlike people I’ve ever known. That to me is worth more to Heavenly Father than a membership in any organization. Sending positive thoughts your way.

    Rebecca

  329. I wish I had the time and words to express to you, John, and your family, what your work has meant to me. I am a better person and a better Mormon because of the trailblazing of John Dehlin. At least I try to be. The example that he has given of a faithful doubter and a doubtful believer is an inspiration.

  330. Wow, I am at a loss for words to express how disappointing this news is. John has been an inspiration, a voice for careful and thoughtful reason, and an advocate for loving all in a manner more Christlike than I have seen many people aspire to. What a strong, amazing man — and I am sure he is backed by a strong, amazing family as well. These steps taken by the LDS church seem more Pharisaic than me — throwing the book at someone for a perceived letter of the law violation — than Christlike. I have never heard anything other than a message of love, understanding, and truth from John. My heart goes out to all of you — John and family — during this time.

  331. John, I support people standing up for what they believe in. However, that goes both ways and applies not only to for those who oppose certain aspects of the church but also the church when it determines that the opposition has gone too far. I hope that you and your family receive support from the community and are not ostracized for what is taking place. I know that if you go into a disciplinary council humbled and seeking repentance Christ’s church will always welcome you back. If you feel you are unwilling to conform, then I hope those around you will do as the scriptures say to mourn with those that mourn and stand in comfort with those in need of comfort. I have always turned to God when I felt alone, maybe if you still have a testimony in God he can also comfort you in your time of need.

  332. Dear Dehlin family,

    Your father and husband offers a voice to hundreds, thousands of individuals who feel marginalized, left out, or otherwise discounted by what can be a very loving, but also very lonely, church. I was talking to a friend at work today and expressed my firm belief that your dad, his activism, and his love for those who possibly don’t have many sources of love, has likely saved many, many lives. In a world that can be cruel to those it deems different, even a blight, having someone like John Dehlin stand up and say “let’s treat each other like human beings, with love, respect, and dignity for all”, is not a small thing. I’m so sorry for the pain you will encounter as a result of a small and narrow minded few, but hopefully the voice and the weight of thousands standing behind you and your family will outshine, outweigh, and outnumber any hurtful or negative whispers drifting your way. Stay strong, and God bless. You have legions of friends standing with you.

  333. Margi, Anna, Maya,Clara, Winston –
    Thank you for your service. That is what we say these days to returning Veterans. Consider yourself veterans, you have earned the right to do so. John Dehlin has been the mainstay for me in trying to comprehend what it means to be LDS. Because he has shared with so many, in such open ways, given what I have learned about how the Church and Church membership behave when a member is not quite doing it right, it would seem to me you, his family, have carried the brunt of the maelstrom these last years. Your courage will not go unrewarded, of that I am sure. John has set a model that will be difficult to dismantle. I have a good feeling that you are more likely to find support among the membership and can only become stronger followers in Christ, as this Church twists and turns on itself struggling to find it’s identity in the 21st century. Be well, and blessings.

  334. Dehlin Family,

    This week, “fresh courage take.” John’s work is hugely important to countless people, and he has made a a significantly positive impact on my own life. His voice is needed now more than ever. I’m sure you never asked for any of this, but please hang in there. This too shall pass.

    J

  335. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston-

    I think John is a wonderful guy; it seems to me that it is because of his honesty about his questions about the church that led him to start Mormon Stories, and eventually has led him to this point. I hope that you will value his integrity, even though it may be personally very tough for you. I believe that no matter what happens over the next few months regarding John’s membership in the church, both you and John will better understand yourselves and the world. I think you’ll be better able to face other challenges that come in the future.

    My best wishes!

    Chris

  336. John and family,

    My heart breaks for you. John, your love for the Savior is evident, and I can’t imagine how much this is hurting you. Please know that you have been an anchor for so many. Your words and website kept me in the church and helped me feel whole. You gave me a voice, and I always felt that you listened. Thank you for creating a safe place for those who find themselves suddenly wandering in the mists. I hope you feel the outpouring of love and acceptance from all those who are expressing their gratitude here.

  337. John, we’ve never met or spoken, but I love you like a brother. You have provided a safe place when all I had been raised with ceased to make sense. You have been a calm, compassionate, honest voice of reason that allowed me to know I was not alone. I’ve now come through the other side of my crisis, happy, safe, with my family intact. Thank you. I pray that your family might understand the enormity of your influence for good.

  338. Thank you Margi for the sacrifices you’ve made and are making. Your husband and your history and your good family’s example helped us so much a couple years ago during a very difficult time. I’m not great with words, but thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts.

  339. Your Husband/Father had been an inspiration to me. He had helped me when nothing else would or could. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed when someone has the personal integrity to stand for what they believe.

  340. I am so sorry. It does cause incredible pain, both for you and for your family members. I have followed your podcasts for a while now and have so appreciated that you indicate why YOU CHOOSE to STAY in the church despite all the unanswered questions. I too choose to stay, but you are correct, it is VERY difficult to be the parent or family member of an alleged apostate and those who openly are asking questions. It causes so much sadness and grief and strife as we all try to sort through how to ask questions, receive answers yet still continue to worship and love our Lord, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. BIG Hugs to your family. Please know there are many of us out here in cyber-land hurting for you and who hurt daily for our own family member choices. I have appreciated many of John’s thoughts but am keenly aware of how painful it is for family members.

  341. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    You can look up to your Dad and Husband as a man who is willing to think and share his thoughts. I hope you are all as proud of him as so many other people are.

  342. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston:

    I want to thank you all for putting up with what I can only imagine is a chaotic life so that John could do his amazing work. It has meant so much to so many of us, myself included. I am sorry that it is now causing you heartache on a level that I cannot know. But you should know that John’s work has helped me through a lot of heartache of my own.

    I learned of the problems with the church several years ago, and in a very short period of time. Within a matter of weeks, I went from a staunch believer and defender of the church into a complete unbeliever. I did not have any support, and was terrified that if anyone ever found out that I had lost my faith, I would lose my believing Mormon wife and family. I was scared, I was alone, and I felt like my entire life had been based upon a lie. I felt stuck, and I was so deeply unhappy.

    It was in the middle of that stage of terror that I found “Mormon Stories.” I cannot describe the amount of hope and relief that it gave me at the time. Your husband and father was courageous, honest, and respectful, and his questions and searches gave a voice to my own feelings and frustrations. The community he started gave me an outlet to connect with others in my position. His questions and doubts validated my own, and let me know that I wasn’t alone, and didn’t need to feel so alone on that journey. In time, this gave me the courage to speak with my wife about my doubts, and John’s counsel, and that of many of his guests, had instructed me in how to do that, and how not to do that, and it made it so much easier. What could have been a disastrous event in our marriage actually brought us closer together, thanks largely to what I had learned at “Mormon Stories.”

    Six months ago, when my wife began to feel that it was ok to ask her own questions about the church’s teachings and history, I directed her also to “Mormon Stories” and to John’s work to learn more and to hear the many voices that John has collected over the years to speak about difficult issues within the church. His interviews with both critics and apologists taught her so much more than I ever could and gave her tremendous comfort as she has now navigated her own faith transition. We are happier than we have ever been, our family is happier – and I do not exaggerate when I say that a large portion of that is due to the work that your father has done to help the thousands of people like us.

    Your father, starting as nothing more than just another guy on his computer, has started the most important movement in Mormonism in the past 100 years. He has given a voice to thousands. He has forced the church to sit up and take notice. And now the church leaders have shown that they cannot stand the scrutiny, cannot stand the truth, and are willing to threaten and bully their own followers into submission. I don’t know your father personally or all of his faults, but I can see that he tries very hard to be a man of integrity. This decision by the church’s leaders shows that your father has more integrity than they do. Your father is a bigger person than the church. Your father has stood up for what is true and right and good, even though it may cause his whole world to come down around him.

    But it won’t cause the world to come down around him, or around you. We support you. Thousands support you. Thousands thank you, and owe you for the sacrifices that you have made. John couldn’t have done this without your patience and support. And what a difference that has made. Thank you. Take heart. You’re not alone, any more than I was alone at the beginning of my journey. It just felt like it. I hope that this message and the hundreds of others being shared here will give hope and comfort, just as John’s work gave to me and my family. We’re here to support you and wish you the best.

  343. Dear Dehlin family,
    I want you to know, that no human being can take away covenants made with God, even if they officiated those covenants.

    You will be ok, God has your back. Blessing of peace and comfort to you. I am so so sorry.

    Love

    Talya

  344. Dehlin Family,
    I want to express my how grateful I am to have stumbled across Mormon Stories… because it has helped me continue on in the LDS church along with my believing husband and young children. I can’t really articulate how the stories, honesty and thoughts expressed have paralleled my own many times. They helped me feel less angry and at times I felt such relief I cried because I felt more understood and less alone. I’m so sorry this is such a hard time for your family. I have been blessed by your sacrifice and can’t fully express how but thank you, thank you, thank you.

  345. To the Dehlin Family:

    Your father’s work has done so much good for me in my life. I stumbled upon Joseph Smith’s polygamy and polyandry, the Adam-God theory, and other doctrinal and historical issues when I was 17 years old. I lived in a very conservative religious community and I felt absolutely alone and distraught. All I had done was look around on the internet and my world fell apart. I had a great deal of anxiety, fear, panic even. I felt like I was in the wrong for finding out about these things. I felt like I was evil for doubting. I felt like I was the only one who knew these things. Thankfully your father started his Mormon Stories podcast at around the same time I was going through this transition and he introduced me to a broader world of Mormonism–the Mormonism of Lowell Bennion, Eugene England, Greg Prince, Richard Bushman, and more. I realized that there were others out there who were trying to make it work. I wasn’t alone. Because I had a mission still looming over me, you don’t understand how refreshing and even life-saving this was for me. I don’t know how I would have done it otherwise. Your father and husband is a real hero (as you already recognize). He is a role model for me. He has been an advocate for the marginalized, the gay, women, the doubters. He was just who we needed at the time. He has saved marriages and lives.

    While I no longer believe in the Church or Mormonism, I know that John’s work helped me more spiritually than anything I learned in Sunday School or Priest’s Quorum. His work didn’t lead me out; it kept me in. But after seeing some things on my mission and not having that pressure hanging over my head anymore (I served out my two years honorably) I decided that the Church just wasn’t what it claimed to be and I no longer consider myself a believer. I cannot even begin to thank him or pay him back. He is an example of empathy for those who, within the institution, do not get it. He tried to make a safe space for them. It’s too bad that it has come to this but I believe truth and honesty will win out in the end. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you. My thoughts are with all of you in this time. Best wishes.

  346. Dehlin family,
    At my lowest time, when it felt like my world was falling apart because my husband had just announced his loss of faith to me, it was the Mormon Stories podcasts that helped me through. John is a good person for standing up for what he believes and has helped countless people navigate the rough waters of loss of faith.
    Its so sad that it has to affect you negatively and I’m sure it will be rough. I hope the outpouring of support from this community will help. I wish you love and peace.

  347. Dehlin Kids,
    Yep: You guys are gonna have a rough couple months. Maybe years. No doubt about it. But you know what I thought when I read your dad’s plea for messages to his kids? I thought, “It probably really sucked sometimes to be Abraham Lincoln’s kids. Or Martin Luther King’s. I should be more grateful for the kids of these great men. They gave up a lot so I could feel better about things.” Now it’s a pretty big statement to call your dad a Lincoln or a MLK, but to some of us, he kind of is that guy. He has helped so many of us in our darkest hours. No, he didn’t end slavery or start a Civil Rights Movement, but he stood up for the same kinds of values. That’s pretty amazing. I wish I had a dad like that. And while this isn’t going to be easy for your family, I — for one — am grateful to you and your mom. You guys deserve a hell of a lot of praise, too. You have one impressive family!

  348. Dear Dehlin Family

    Thank you for everything you have sacrificed in support of your husband & father, that has enabled him to be a support to the thousands of strangers in the Mormon fringes.
    I have such admiration for your father and your family. As difficult as this time may be for you, please remember that we were taught by the church to choose the right and let the consequence follow.

    We have a right to be heard and the example of the Dehlin family has enable many people to be honest.

    My thoughts are with you and wish I could give you all a huge hug. Words can’t express the impact you have made in the lives of so many people and how grateful I am to you.

    Much love
    Amanda

  349. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, Winston:

    I am terribly sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I am shocked and saddened at this course of events. I hope you find some comfort in the fact that your father has helped thousands of people, including me. He is a hero to me and many others, and all of us stand united with you.

  350. Dear Dehlin Family,

    Thank you for supporting your husband/father. His courage has helped my family navigate our faith crisis over the last 3 years. He helped my husband and I find the words to speak to one another and our family members about our change of belief. He helped us remain very happily married with two small children.

    I am sorry for the pain that y’all are going through. I am grateful for his courage and his love for all people.

    I hope you are able to feel the love he has given to the mormon community. Thank you again. We are sending positive vibes and prayers your way.

  351. Dare to do right. Feel gratitude for the opportunity to help so many. Everything will work out because there is a loving God.

  352. Dehlin family,

    The work that John has done, over May years, has and continues to inspire me. I am no longer a member of the LDS church, but I retain hope in the beautiful simplicity of the gospel of Christ because of John’s work.

    He, and many others like him, are courageous souls whose work has given me hope that there could be a place for me in the LDS church someday. Maybe, just maybe, there will come a time when we as a people will have the courage to live as we would have others think we do. I thank god for men like John who have the courage to actually stand for what is right, not what is convenient.

    The vitriol that I’ve experienced and read online has largely come for those who practice not what they preach and it is my hope that you, as a family, will find a safe harbor in which to weather this storm. And it is my hope that the arms of one another is the safest.

    You are all so loved. So very, very loved.

  353. Dear John and Family,

    Please know that I have benefited from your efforts. Your interviews of wise and seasoned LDS faithful, such as Terryl Givens and Richard Bushman, have been instrumental in my remaining faithful to the Church.

    Thank you.

  354. Dear Dehlin family,

    Such a sad day. Your Dad helped me when I found out about my gay son. His voice helped me make sense of things and allowed me to reconcile where I stand. I am eternally grateful for his hard work, shameless voice, and clarity of thought. His gift has blessed so many. And to be excommunicated because he developed that gift and shined a light on issues that need addressed is shameful. I want diversity of thought, ability to question without threat of punishment, and develop our minds and souls through research, study, sharing experiences, and honest discussions. To silence someone that has embodied these principles does nothing but promote us to be silent, suffer, and feel worthless. Thank you for sharing your father and husband with the world. And from one aggie family and alum to another, go aggies!

  355. Dear Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    My prayers are with you and your Dad this evening, and if possible I want to send you love and suppport all the way from Niagara Falls, NY. Even if certain Church leaders don’t get it, I see the guiding hand of the holy spirit in the work your Dad has been doing. It has been a great blessing to me and my family. And I pray now that you and your family will recieve all the blessings you need for your peace and happiness.

  356. John Dehlin, and his work, helped me to understand a loved one who was experiencing a crisis of faith. The podcasts gave me the vocabulary I needed to talk to her about her doubts, and the talk was valuable for both of us. As I watched John’s interviews with people who have left the church, their experiences, told with such honesty, helped me to admit that if the church was what these people thought it was, I would leave, too. Fortunately the church isn’t what they think it is. Nor is it what John sometimes presents it to be. I can understand the disciplinary action. Although very careful, John does more than question; he sometimes condemns with his questions. I have heard an occasional echo of something amiss leaking around the edges during his interviews. I really hope, and expect, that time outside the church will bring him to appreciate his membership. I think we need John’s voice in the church, without the criticism that sounds faintly in the background of his otherwise very good work.

  357. Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    The covenants that you made are between you and God. Thank you John for being such an inspiration and at suck a personal cost. You have helped many!

  358. I have often found that regardless of the reasons, justifications and or results (of the actions of a family member) the rest of the family is mainly concerned with how it affects themselves and the family unit. It’s natural and to be expected in my opinion. My point being, I can’t image what John’s family is going through and I truly feel nothing but concern and compassion for any pain and suffering they might go through.

    That being said, John and what he has done and offered for people like me, has truly been a life saver. I went through a faith transition all alone and with no one I could talk to about it. And until someone recommended the ‘Mormon Stories Podcast’, I was starting down a dark path of thinking. He (and his guests) offered me a safe place to think and process my thoughts, fears and concerns and I will always be grateful to him and what he has done. I know this will not help any real pain, anger or frustrations John’s family might have, but it’s the truth (as I see and know it) and I wanted it to be part of the record.

    Thanks John and I’m sorry for what is happening.

  359. John,

    I want to thank you again for all your hard work and effort. It is obvious that you care deeply about the issues you’ve addressed over the past few years. You have done what we have all been afraid to do and have helped so many individuals along the way. I can say from personal experience, when I started doubting certain issues in the church YOU and mormonstories were there for me when no one else was. I am eternally grateful for your research, time, and patience helping people find their way through the woods.

    To the rest of the Dehlin family, I am also grateful for the sacrifices you’ve suffered through together. I cannot imagine the pain you are all going through, and I feel so incredibly frustrated that it has come to this. For what it’s worth I support you all 110%. I feel the church is making a huge mistake, but it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last. Stay strong and support each other. Thank you again, for everything!

  360. Wishing this day would’ve come sooner. I congratulate you on your ability to make so many people think you wanted to build their faith. Your gift for deception is so strong you may have partly convinced yourself.

    1. Dehlin Family,

      Please ignore Thomas, and anyone else who leaves a post like this. The love your father has generated and what he has started is far bigger than their bitterness.

      1. Not bitter. Happy. Happy that people will now see him for who he is and not a “member in good standing”. My mission buddy’s exit from the church was facilitated by John Dehlin. Let’s call a spade a spade. Mormon Stories is not a faith promoting organization.

    2. Thomas, your comment is classless, insensitive, and uncalled for. You obviously do not have a clue what you are talking about.

      1. As referenced in my previous comment I do indeed have a clue. I have listened to many hours of the podcasts and come to my own conclusion.

        1. Actually Paul, Thomas does have a clue.

          Many here express feelings of being shocked and dismayed? Really? Does Thomas not really represent 90% of the real church? As in the church I attend every Sunday, every week? I get it, we here on the panel of electrons live in a la-la land of anonymity and ideals that are frankly despite our solipsism, much smaller than the reality that is the establishment. We admire heroes and ideals at our desks, by ourselves, but when we sit in the meetings, teach from the trough, and worship in the tradition, do our esoteric perceptions of how the church should be compared to how it really is really have a chance other than an occasional hero’s story of how a liberal bishop treated them respectfully when really the elephant’s portion of experience is of suppression, sweaty palms of courage rising in a GD class to say something that doesn’t get said out of a polite deferment?

          I don’t agree with Thomas and find his insertion unfortunate. But he’s representative. Are we not here commenting because of this reality in the first place?

          I’ve always been slightly annoyed at my friend John Dehlin’s almost naive but endearing wish to retain and break bread with the mass that is the church. The end of that road for those who really care about the reality of our species will never be a happy one.

          Margi, Thomas represents an ideology that rhetorically helped put a shotgun under the chins of bright eyed youth who just a few years ago passed the sacrament or bore strong testimony at an ESY event. John’s work took many fingers off triggers and at least deferred a horrible event. Rarely do parents get the opportunity to show their kids through words and deeds such a courageous path. Take it!

  361. Hey Dehlins,

    So sorry this is happening. Mormon stories helped my wife and I through a difficult transition. If we were more active and public about our issues with the church we would have faced a similar challenge. I hope this is only a season in your lives. Some times I wish religion could act differently towards people who doubt, but unfortunately the doubters almost always face opposition and fear. However, history seems to prove the doubters are right in the end. I don’t know if that offers any comfort, but in the mean time I hope you can find shelter from this storm and peace in your hearts.

  362. Dear Dehlin family,
    Your father is a true hero and a spiritual giant. He displays enormous courage and integrity, and has made thousands of people’s lives better, including mine. Each of you is loved, and I honor you for the challenges you have been willing to take on, in support of your father and his honest, open hearted desire to support the church in making a more open and loving place.

  363. Dear Dehlin Family,

    Thank you for all the work you’ve done and all the sacrifices you’re family has made. I am very saddened and disheartened to hear the news. I can’t express how helpful Mormon stories has been to me. I feel like the church left me long before I ever had any issues with the church. As an ‘older’ (30’s is not old!) single, childless woman I was ignored and made to feel worthless. Skipping church on Sunday became a matter of self preservation because I couldn’t shoulder the messages of inadequacy, worthlessness & having no place to fit that I received every week. Finding Mormon stories was the single most powerful thing that has brought some peace into my life. It helped me realize that I was not alone.
    Thank you, thank you.

  364. Dear Dehlins, thank you for giving up much of your time with John. I’m a typical story, raised in the church, mission, temple, etc. My world was turned upside down when I got very honest with myself and questioned at 30 years old IF the church might not be what it said it was. There is no way to prepare for the nasty turbulence in your life after that moment, the things I didn’t know I didn’t WANT to know! John’s efforts in his research and podcasts made an enormous difference in my life, helping me organize my thoughts and go through a long healing process. Regarding the problem that they are responsible for creating, the church is more about being right than it is about helping people. John’s work has truly helped me, and I’m extremely grateful.

  365. I am so sorry for what is happening to your family. I feel that you have reached out to those who need to be heard, to be understood, to those who need to understand deeply. Please accept my gratitude for making a middle space between strict orthodox belief and giving up in frustration. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry for the irony of it all.

    My inactive sister told me today that it’s people like you who have helped her to not shut the door completely. Thank you for helping her. Thank you for helping me.

  366. My heart is broken. A few years go when I was thinking about leaving, I listened to a talk you gave (why I stay). It saved me. I never thought about leaving the church again after that. So I find it sad and ironic the church sees you as a threat, when really you are probably their greatest secret weapon. Don’t give up.

  367. Dehlin Family,
    I am grateful for John and his important Mormon Stories work. He has helped me know what it means to be a Mormon, and my faith is strong because of him. I will pray for your family.

  368. Dear Dehlin Family,

    John’s following is a testament to his much-needed tone and service in the church. He is a modern-day pioneer. Not only that, but he has helped me on a personal level come to terms with my religion and culture in a way that I think is healthy.

    I thank you for lending him out to all of us and wish you all the best!

  369. Dear Dehlin Family,

    I am sorry that this is happening to you. Keep in mind that there are many of us out here that have been helped greatly by Mormon Stories. I have learned so much and been introduced to some great people. Mostly I found out I wasn’t alone. Neither are you.

  370. I found out about these news through a Reddit thread, and the comments of that thread are full of people saying that John is a huge reason that they stayed in the church, and I’m one of those as well. When I first started questioning the church I found Mormon Stories and realized that I’m not alone. I realized that I could actively attend church while not agreeing with all the teaching. It was quite the relief, and I am active three years after the fact in large part because of Mormon Stories and the work that John has done. It’s a shame that the church is taking this route, and it’s taking a step towards undoing all the good work for the church that John has done.

    Here’s the link to the Reddit thread if you want to read the almost entirely supportive comments of people like me, people that are active because of John: http://www.reddit.com/r/latterdaysaints/comments/27wmov/church_courts_for_kate_kelly_and_john_dehlin/

  371. Dear Dehlin Family,

    This must be a very difficult time for you and likely to remain so for some time. I hope that you will be comforted by the love that your family shares and the good wishes that the many, many people that your husband and father have helped are sending your way. I have not followed John’s site or his podcast, but I know others who have been helped by his words, and I am grateful that he has brought peace to many souls. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Follow your consciences, hold to that which you know to be true, live for what you hope to be true, and always be there for each other. Best wishes for you.

  372. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston,

    John is on the right side and in the end, truth will prevail. It’s difficult to go against the grain of a community, but without people like John, our society would be in the dark ages. The words that come to mind are 2 verses from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

  373. Hello, Margi, and Clara, Anna, Winston, and Maya,

    I’m a Mormon Stories podcast supporter and listener from West Virginia. Hearing other people talk openly and honestly about their experiences on the podcasts has been so helpful to me. It has made me more open and accepting of different points of view, and also it has helped me feel not so confused and alone in my faith journey. Giving people a chance to share their stories is an act of compassion. So I’m very sad to hear that John is facing disciplinary action. My guess is that each of you has your own special fears about what will happen next–but also your own gifts to bring to the situation, whether it’s being there for each other, or putting friends at ease when they’re not sure what to say, or continuing to focus on the beautiful and the good, etc. Regardless of what happens, loving people and caring about their pain is never a bad choice. Stay strong!

  374. To the family of John Dehlin,

    First I want to express my sorrow for what you are experiencing, I know it must be very difficult. I don’t want to rationalize or make selfish excuses, however I do want to try to explain what your father/husband has done for me and my family. After being very active in the church for 42 years My husband and I stumbled upon the historical doctrines of the church and felt we could not stay in the church. We lived in Davis County, UT, and experienced backlash and ostracism. I found John’s Mormonstories and it literally saved my life. My whole identity had been stripped, I was depressed and isolated, feeling alone and like an outcast. Listening to his podcasts helped me see I was not alone. John Dehlin is a hero in my eyes, standing up for what he believes is right and just. I realize that you all are paying a heavy price for that honesty and I am sorry for that. However, I hope you will be proud of the strong, courageous and honest person that he is. I thank you John for being there for me in a very difficult time of my life. We have since moved out of Utah and have never been happier. You were a huge part of our recovery….thank you so much, I hope things work out for you and your family for the best.

  375. John-you acknowledged that the decisions you’ve make created the problems you are now facing.

    I hope you choose to stay in the church, it’s your choice.

    As for your wife and children. Each of them will make their decision.

    I was raised in a family where my father never joined the church, my mother wasn’t active until she was in her 80’s. My brother left the church years ago. Three of my five children want nothing to do with the church they were raised in. I’m very close to all of my family. I never let their decisions affect my love for them, and they in turn love me.

    My point is that we can love and respect one another even though we disagree on some things.

  376. Dehlin Family,
    I have listened to John’s podcasts for some time. So many of my struggles I found reflected in his many topics and guests. I have not always agreed; but I firmly defend anyone’s right to an opinion and to sincerely question. God has given us many gifts and chief among these is a mind and the gift of reason and rational thought. If the glory of God is intelligence; then seeking learning and enlightenment is a wise use of this “talent” that God gave us to magnify. John and Family, my support and prayers are with you and thank you for your helping me in my own journey.

  377. When I began questioning my faith, I was in a place of extreme pain. I felt like the person who was beaten and left for dead by a band of robbers. As I sat bleeding on the side of the road, reaching out for help, the faith community that I had always turned to suddenly turned away from me, afraid that I might make them unclean. It was John Dehlin, and other good Samaritans like him, who reached down, cleaned my wounds, and offered me unconditional love. It was just what I needed at the time. For that, John has my love and gratitude.

  378. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston. I am a complete stranger to you, but please know that your husband and dad is a hero. And you are heroes for supporting him.

  379. Dear Dehlin Family,

    After reading the NY Times article…in speechless! But I don’t that want to mean that I actually don’t say anything about this–your dad has done more for..how do I say this? Maybe I’ll get my thoughts together first and then formulate something to write…but lest I never get to a point at which I feel like I my thoughts are cogent enough for presentation, I’ll say this: your dad is a great man who has done great things and has helped tons of people. It has always seemed to me that what he does is motivated out of love. I wish there were more like him in the world! Have I met him? No. But probably most of the people he’s helped have never met him! Bless him. Bless you all. I’m asking myself, “This? This is all you had to say? And this is how you said it?” Seems inadequate to me, but better to speak than to remain silent when you feel strongly about something.

    Much love,

    Vicki Winkel

  380. Dear Family,

    I hope you get more comments here than you can possibly ever read. Your dad is a hero. I am so very sorry for the hardship his courage will create for you but know that it means the world to many, many people, including myself. He hasn’t done anything wrong, but has only spoken truth and helped give so many people a voice.

    Best wishes to all of you,

    Kristin Matthews

  381. I have never met your husband/father but I have appreciated so much his perspective and insight into Mormonism. I honestly feel like I have shared in his journey as far as struggling to keep faith in a church I have loved.
    There is something inherently Mormon about doing what you think is right and letting the consequence follow. If the leaders feel they need to remove someone like your husband/father from fellowship for the sincere, authentic journey he has engaged in then ultimately we are all worse off for it.

  382. a word of advice: Don’t go to the council!

    If a stake president calls you in it is because he has decided that you will be excommunicated -most likely outcome, 99.9% probability- or disfellowshipped if something extraordinary comes up during the hearing (never does).

    You will be all alone, probably at the end of a long table, with many men staring at you, some you may never have seen before, and half of them are suppose to be your defenders to make sure no injustice happens to you, the other half will be prosecutor types. But all men will just ask some questions and then they wait for the president to end the council and leave the room. You will feel alone and vulnerable. The system is set up so that you feel that way to compel you to speak the truth, but you will hope for some clemency…. which never comes. And it is set up so that one man, the judge -the stake president- can decide your fate and claim afterwards that 15 of the finest men in the stake support his decision!

    For a miracle to happen you have to convince them that you know that gay sex, for example, is a sin plus a few other things you don’t believe in. Nothing short of that will change the outcome. If you do convince them, then he may only disfellowship for a year. Otherwise it will be excommunication and then to return you will have to convince your new bishop and stake president that you know and sustain that gay sex is a sin.

    So you are between a rock and hard place. Why bother going to suffer the humiliation and stress of it all. Better is to stay with your family that night and start explaining to them why people will ostracise them, something people in Utah will most definitely do.

    Hopefully you will take my advice for what it is, advice from a long time follower of mormon stories.

  383. John has changed my life for the better. Because of him I have accepted myself as a mormon while embracing my agnostic beliefs and not attending church. He has done so much for my mental well being without knowing me personally. I know he has touched so many other people and changed their lives too. Hang in there through the hard times, by supporting him you have supported everyone he helps. Including me. Thank you.

  384. This remind me of a song… ‘Do what is right let the consequence follow, battle for freedom in spirit and might!’ Thanks for your example John!

  385. Dear Dehlin Family,
    Integrity is everything! That is the gift you give each other and the world! Thank you for your example and leadership!

  386. Dehlin Family

    John you have been so instrumental in helping us cope with the church not being true. Your podcast “Top 5 myths of why people leave the church” was so well done and very kind!! Family members and our bishop that couldn’t understand why we left felt that it was excellent. It gave them at least some understanding of why!!!
    Hans Matteson, the Tanner’s, Simon Sutherton and many many more people that you have interviewed about the TRUTH have been so empowering for us to stand up for that truth as well.
    I know your mission has been to show both sides, but at the end of the day no matter how good some things are in Mormonism the truth is the church isn’t true. The fact that the church is now trying to kick you out, just shows that they know it too. They have to protect the interest of the church because we all know there is no middle ground. We are so grateful for mormonstories!!! We feel that you have done a marvelous thing and hope that you will continue to teach the truth and keep doing what you do best. Mormonism will always be apart of our heritage but in the end it is far better to know the truth then live a pleasurable lie. George Owell and Mohnadas Gandhi say it well; “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” and “Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”
    Your children and your wife should be nothing but proud of you for standing up for that truth.
    You have a great following, and just like FDR has said “With great power, comes great responsibility” You have a great responsibility on your shoulders with the people that follow you, and you have carried that burden well.
    This is just my opinion, but screw the church, if they are not careful they will lose an amazing person with a lot of integrity!! Which is clearly something that some of those top leaders do not have.
    Press on friend and brother in the battle for truth!!!
    You will always have our respect and support.
    THANK YOU…..THANK YOU…. THANK YOU

  387. Mormon Stories kept me sane, during a terrifying time of despair. I have so much admiration for the entire Dehlin family, and am terribly grateful for the efforts and sacrifices you’ve made. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My little family, wife and three children, were directly impacted for good through what you’ve done.

    My heart breaks for the pain you all must go through. Much love.

  388. John has made people struggling in the church feel safe and heard. He has helped so many people not feel alone. He has reached thousands of people and made them feel loved and normal. Just know that the world has been made a better place because of your husband and father. It must surely be difficult to be in your situation, but there is more love out here than there is hate! Stay strong and know that your are all loved!

  389. It is because of your work that I am still in the church today. I was so sad when I heard this news today. My prayers are with you can your family. Thank you for all you have done.

  390. Dehlin Family,

    Your husband/father has been a great influence and godsend to many, myself included. And I am sure he wouldn’t have been able to do everything he has done without the love and support of his beautiful family. Stay strong and keep supporting each other. There are many out here that send their love and support to you all. Love be with you.

    April

  391. To the Family of John Dehlin:

    Your father and husband is a brave pioneer who has helped countless people confront the complexities of faith in constructive ways. My life has been forever changed for good because of his work, and for this I am immensely grateful. I am deeply saddened by this tragic and unnecessary action, for the great harm it will cause. Please know that I stand with you during this difficult time; I pray that you will be sustained by the love of Christ as you pass through it.

  392. In the following months I hope that your family can feel the prayers and love of your brothers and sisters in the gospel. When you are feeling judged and misunderstood know that there are numberless sympathizers; that we are grateful for your sacrifice and are in your debt. I have felt peace as I’ve listened and learned from John Dehlin, a peace that I believe comes from the Holy Ghost. Thank you for your selfless acts and your courage. I hope that something miraculous comes from these events – I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

  393. I feel incredibly sad by this news. I have personally been blessed by your courage to speak. My marriage has been strengthened and I am a way more understanding and loving person. Thank you.

  394. The small windows that John has provided into the lives and experiences of so many honest, compassionate, sincere, and intelligent people have helped me to understand that I’m not alone in my struggles within Mormonism. Thank you Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston for the sacrifices you have each made; my heart goes out to you at this difficult time.

  395. Dehlin Family,

    I hope that you will feel peace and love in the days to come. I’m grateful for the work John does on Mormon Stories and we need more people like him in his profession also. Most Bishops and Stake Presidents, while good people, can’t understand people with problems like mine but people like John can.
    I pray Jesus will be with your sweet family.

  396. Dehlin Family,
    Thank you so much for Mormon Stories and John Dehlin. They have both helped temper my emotions during an emotional period of my life, and helped me examine my faith in an honest way. I will appreciate it my entire life.
    BrianP

  397. Dear Dehlin family,
    Your dad has made a profound difference in life. Period. Thank you for sharing him with the community.
    With love,
    Laura Fauchier

  398. John has paved a path that has brought countless of members and non members the tools to relate and communicate better between the divide. His work made the difference in my leaving the church by allowing me to exit with grace and knowledge, rather than hate and bitterness. He has changed the lives of too many to count. Thank you. Thank you for your love and support as a family.

  399. I cry for you. I remember when you taught seminary to me and you began this journey. You seemed so sad that you started it and yet refused to stop. Over a decade later why would you continue if you were never happy with it in the first place?

  400. John, your work with Mormon stories helped save my marriage. We were already struggling and my faith crisis was surely going to be the breaking point. As it turned out, I was able to start looking at my husband in a different light. No longer did I see him as a priesthood leader who regularly sucked at his priesthood responsibilities. Instead I saw him as a good husband and amazing father. I also looked at my marriage with a different end goal. No longer was I staying married because I wanted my eternal glory. Instead I was choosing to stay married because I wanted to be with him. But had I not been listening to your podcasts, I believe I would have reacted rashly and up and left both the church and my husband. I have since left the church, but luckily still have the husband.
    We have been taught our whole lives to “do what is right and let the consequences follow”. We have been taught to be honest and make good choices at all times, in all things and in all places. We have been taught to stand for what we believe. We have been taught that love and charity are more important than anything else. Your family can look at you and see you as a living example in all of these areas. For you, they are not just words on paper. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain being heaped on your innocent family. I hope they can rise above this and hold their heads high knowing that if the ultimate goal is to “be Christ like” then their husband and father has not failed at all.

  401. I’ve been reading your messages from other readers. I was just talking to my cousin who also WAS a member of the LSD organization . He also has with drawn his studies. I’ve said I’m having problems with the JW’s organization myself. They support the abuse of the woman and dis communicate them while supporting the abuser. It took the Kingdom Hall one and a half years to turn up at my place and ask me why I was not coming anymore. I tool them as it was. I was told by my husband I needed to go to the elders and profess my adulterist actions with an 85 year old man before I could be excepted again. I flatly refused because there was nothing adulterist about our friendship. This man is part of a very important family in town and I think my husband and this formor elder that nothing could be happening. But true friendship. This older man was there to help me and still is when my husband could not be bothered. Tomorrow is our 10th anniversary and I’m very sure this one will be the same as the rest and go unnoticed. That’s the way of the JW’s . There reason for ignoring there wives never giving them notice on Christmas or birthdays. What ever day it is. If it has a label on it the wives go unnoticed.
    I have stared back because of my marriage but I don’t think that’s going to continue for much longer. So as your going through your battle don’t give up on your cause. Give it everything you have. Other religious groups have there problems as well. I’m not giving up on my struggles either. Follow your heart. It’s is true and it will tell you if it’s right or wrong. Your heart is the ONLY thing that is true.
    Be true to yourselves always
    A friend else where

  402. Dehlin family,

    Throughout history numerous men and women have faced expulsion or excommunication from the churches they loved. Some of these people were kicked out for following truth, showing compassion, and just being a badass. Your dad is guilty of all three.

  403. I am not someone good at expressing myself and have not been a vocal commenter on Mormon Stories Facebook page, but feel it is important to let you know how much your podcast and forum of open discussion has meant to me; finding somewhere you can voice your feelings and relate to others (part of a community still). You have the same concerns/questions that the Mormon Stories community deals with, but you have allowed yours to be public to help others, which has had it sacrifices (for lack of a better word, not sure I like the word consequences). Please know that your time, passion, and commitment to helping me and others not feel alone in our questioning is an amazing sacrifice that not many could make. I have always felt that you were sensitive in your approach in how you handled the podcast and page. John, you are respected, loved and appreciated by many people! The churches actions this week are so disappointing to myself but in no way reflection on you, but a reflection, unfortunately, on the leaders of the church and those actions are based on fear.
    As my brother said, “Bad move church. John Dehlin was the one thing keeping me tied to the church.”

    I hope my feelings of respect and admiration can bring some comfort to your family. You’ve all got each other and that in the end is what counts.

  404. Dear Dehlin Family,

    Stay strong and stay together, your father has done so much for people around the world and it is because of his gentle techniques that our family is still strong and together. Even here in Australia his influence is felt for the better and is helping to pave the way for questioners to be able to stay in church activity. It may be a long and hard road ahead but know that our prayers are with you and people everywhere are grateful for the hard work your father has put in. We love you and will be praying for you.

  405. Your podcasts are my biggest lifeline. You are one of “my people,” and I am wrenched by this news. Your children should be so proud to have a father so ethical, courageous and good. John, so many of us love you and your activism. You have created a space that no one was brave enough to pave. This news makes me so very sad and so very angry.

    Love to you and your family at this difficult time. You will never know the effect for good you have had on my life.

  406. Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara, and Winston~

    I have known John for a couple years now online. He has been incredibly gracious and kind. He has been a strength to me time and again on issue after issue. He is gentle, good, educated, funny, and deeply sensitive to those around him. I am certain he is feeling your pain in real and measureable ways. I am so sorry this is happening to your family. Make no mistake, your husband is a good man. Make no mistake, Dehlin kids- your dad is awesome. There are so many of us who have been made better, more educated, kinder people because of him. He is deeply and greatly loved. So are you all.

    John has been there to console me and help me when I felt desperate and depressed. I know now that it has been the same for thousands and thousands of others as well.

    It feels like the world you know is crumbling- and it is, but it is not because of anything bad about John. Take faith in that.

    Also, Virginia is a pretty great place to live 😉

    Crystal

  407. I am so saddened by this news. John (and Kate) have both exemplified what they have taught., namely, humility, faith, seeking for truth, love for all, overcoming fear of differences, turning to God. If a person can be rejected for living true to those convictions, that is disheartening. Their rejection is my rejection because the safe place they created for members who critically evaluate situations in the church and still want to grow in faith through that process, has just shrunk. May you be strengthened and comforted knowing that your efforts were not in vain. For me, your work has turned me to seeking a stronger connection to Christ. To Margi, Anna, Maya, Clara and Winston, you have a lot to look up to.

  408. Hang in there John, if it wasn’t for you and your efforts I would still be in a miserable state of mental health, but you set me free with your podcasts. Unfortunately, the Church continues to insist on making enemies with it’s rhetoric and dogma around the one and only true church claim. mg

  409. Margi and kids,
    Like so many here I am a stranger to you. But I have seen your faces on John’s cover photo on FB and I have wondered how this beautiful family would weather the storms that come from your husband’s/father’s convictions. To this day I’m staggered by the thought of what you have gone through and go through. Where do you find the strength for that? Only you can answer.
    Without knowing you personally, I nonetheless feel a genuine affection for you and gratitude to you for what has to be an immeasurable sacrifice. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  410. Nothing is more Christlike than being a positive source in the lives of others for no self-gain, even while being persecuted by their supposed peers. History will shine well upon you for the gifts you have given us. I sincerely thank you for the work you do. It has been a great help to my family and me over the past few years.

    1. Cousin John; great to see you contribute here. I appreciate all the mormon stories as well and how they have impacted my life. My message for the Dehlin family is to use the apocryphal phrase often attributed to George S Patton, “non illegitimi carborundum”

  411. Dear Dehlin family,

    My heartfelt gratitude goes out toward all of you for the sacrifices you’ve all made so that so many of us could find peace, answers and support in our struggles. Like so many others, discovering the Mormon Stories podcasts was a turning point for me when I felt utterly alone and isolated in my thoughts and beliefs, which was affecting me in every aspect of my life and thereby affecting my husband and kids.

    As far as I’m concerned, the church also owes John a deep debt of gratitude for providing a framework that allowed so many who were on the fence to remain active (at least somewhat) in the church and not only derive some benefit from the Mormon community but also contribute to it. I believe this action by the church is not only unwarranted and a blatant slap in the face to a member that has contributed so much, but will also be a PR disaster of enormous proportions. I think many fence sitters will now choose to jump ship altogether, which is very sad for the church in so many ways beyond the obvious publicity problems that will ensue. Sadly, this latest move by the church has caused me to relive the feelings of betrayal and disaffection that I have often felt over the last several years when I have learned yet another thing about the church that was different than what I grew up believing it was all about (and what the church purports to be).

    Please have peace knowing that everything John has done has been incredibly courageous and is (or should be) the very essence of the church’s teachings on honesty, doing what is right, and pursuing the truth at all costs. God bless all of you for what you have done for so many of us and in your journey to come.

  412. Dehlin family,

    It takes far more courage to speak from your soul than to remain silent in the face of injustice. Patriarchy is the water we swim in, both in the world more broadly, but definitely in the Mormon Church. It’s so pervasive that we very rarely see people like John, who dare speak truth to power. This decision by the Church is a public display of power and authority, and make no mistake, it is intended to inflict pain. The way it is happening demonstrates the cowardice and arrogance of the Church leadership: silent, smug, powerful. It is the antithesis of the true love of Christ.

    It takes exceptional strength to do what John is doing. He has literally saved actual lives, and most incredibly, many of them are the most anguished and vulnerable people in the world. He is a true pioneer, our own Mormon MLK, Nelson Mandela or Gandhi. He is our own Joseph Smith, and understands the meaning of compassion, love and charity.

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