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  1. Thank you for a great interview with a great message. Thank you for being who you are. I love the work you are doing. Thanks again.
    David W. Larson

  2. Your’s is an extraordinary presence of mind here, John. Thank you for what you’re doing and how your’re doing it. At the risk of irritating my TBM friends out there, I believe the holy spirit was with you in this interview. Ironically, as a corporation attempting to function as a church, the Church­™ needs voices like yours. Mortal groupthink will never get us back to God. Also, according to the D&C, theological strong arm tactics offend God and lead to automatically cutting off the priesthood of those involved. Be well and please know that thousands of us value your work and your large heart.

  3. Some difficulties I’ve had as a member of the LDS organization is due to the fact that many times it acts too much as a dichotomy with regard to it’s official name: The Church of Jesus Christ *OF* Latter-day Saints, i.e., there is the church of Jesus Christ, and there is the church of latter-day saints.

    They (the ‘Brethren’) who are supposed to be the governing auspices of the church need to get their act together by more clearly (and homogeneously and fairly) amalgamating the two. As it is now, church disciplinary councils are not so much bona fide ‘courts of love’ as they are expedient and precipitating games of ‘leader roulette’, ‘let’s make a deal’, ‘who knows?, who’s right?’, etc. This, or the process is ofttimes totally circumvented with: ‘good ol’ boy, so look the other way’.

  4. I really liked your interview. I have lived most of my life in a communist country and the church really reminds me of the time I lived during those times. My own ancestors were punished by just being who their were or speaking up. I feel the same kind of control in the church. Having questions, doubts and not being able to speak is stifling. I wish it was different sooner. My experience in the church is mix of good and bad, but the secrecy and members reporting each other to leaders is not something i can be part of anymore.

    1. Thanks…I feel the same way…I teach early morning seminary here in my Heidelberg stake and I try to teach the students to share their real feelings as I share mine about the doctrines and concepts. If the church is a place where real feelings and concerns aren’t honored it is not honoring its own concept of truth, namely “things as they really are”. If my feelings really are this or that way, I should never ignore that and stand to my conscience…until with God I come to a different conclusion and can really feel differently.

      Thanks also to you John Dehlin and your pioneering efforts for more openness and honesty about our personal faith issues …know that you have support and grateful listeners here too.

  5. John,

    Please, please appeal any disciplinary actions to the FP. It would be great if they were forced to be the ones to decide on these matters, rather than random local leaders. The FP ought to be the ones taking a stand on how vocal members can be, and what sort of room there is in the Church for doubt.

  6. Thanks for all you do. I hope you feel the support of many people behind you. Between you and Shawn McCraney (found him on one of your podcasts and love his ministry), it has helped me know what to do, where to turn now that I’m a disaffected but cultural Mormon and a believer in God and want to do His will.

    There are always those strong enough, determined enough, to go against conventional wisdom (whatever and wherever it might be) to new places, ideas, and thoughts. Those like me are grateful for your efforts, hard as it must be for you and your family. So sorry that the trailblazers must pay a price; those like me are grateful.

  7. I’d like to express my gratitude to President Brian King. If not for his actions and the attention it has attracted I may never have discovered John Dehlin and the mormonstories.org podcasts. It has been a real blessing to discover an entire universe of folks who have been through the process of discovering the church isn’t what it claims to be and managed to find their way out. When it happened to me, clear back in 1974, I felt completely alone. Thanks to the internet and the attention President King and his LDS handlers have brought to folks like Kate Kelly and John Dehlin I now know that I was never alone, I was simply isolated.

  8. I think the internet has become a complete nightmare for the Church considering the 15th century way in which they operate. Similar to what cl_rand has stated, i’m also grateful for the way in which the church has stirred controversy with Dehlin and many other online blogs and sites. They are much bigger and have deeper pockets and as a result have made the word spread quicker. As John has stated many times, all he wants is to be left alone to do his thing. I’m no “PR” genius, but I think the Church is doing itself more harm by “acting” rather than just ignoring him and all the others. Correct me if i’m wrong, but I believe Jesus taught “turn the other cheek?”

  9. John,

    I am very grateful for the work you have done with MormonStories and have now gone through about 80% of all the podcasts you have done. I think that, outside of the last 7 months or so, the podcasts have been pretty balanced and I really appreciate that. In fact, your podcasts have helped encourage me to reach out to members of FAIR on some questions and to dig a little deeper myself.

    What I am confused about, however, is your comment on this TribTalk where you say that MormonStories will continue to be a place that supports believing members. After listening to episode 516, it seemed as if you were pretty clear that the direction of MormonStories, and your own emphasis specifically, will be to help facilitate a place for people leaving the Church.

    If I were to listen to this TribTalk interview and then immediately listen to Episode 516 which you released less than one month ago, I would think I was hearing two different people speak. In episode 516, you are very pointed in the fact that you feel as if the Church is very harmful. In fact, you don’t mention, and haven’t in the past 7 months, many positive things about the Church organization itself. Then, on this episode where you are being interviewed by a member of the media, it seems very contradictory.

    To me, I am with you on many things. I have no idea how I can remain in good standing because I can no longer tacitly endorse anti-LGBTQ and racists teachings through my silence. I appreciate all that you are doing to help people and the Church progress. The confusion for me lies in the fact that what you say to the media compared to what you say in the podcasts here are very different things. To apostatize, or fall away, from an organization that you believe is causing a lot of harm is the right thing to do for a lot of people and you shouldn’t try to tiptoe around this.

    Perhaps you feel as if you can do more good and can be a more legitimate voice of change as a member than someone who has been excommunicated. I wish you would just be explicit about it though.

  10. Wow, John,

    I am new to Mormon Stories and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found you! For about 15 years, I have had many of the concerns about the Church that you talk openly about here. But I haven’t had anyone other than my husband whom I could discuss them with.

    You are so right about how the way the Church is run is a “recipe for mental illness”. I have experienced both depression and anxiety over Church doctrine and practices for the past decade and a half. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Church hides much of its history, I was stuck here believing that if I ever left, I would not make it to the Celestial Kingdom. (Hence, I put up with earthly mental illness in hopes for eternal peace.)

    Thank God, I recently discovered unedited Church history. It has allowed me to see that this Church was created by man, not God, and that I don’t have to believe things that don’t make any sense to me any more.

    Again, I can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing to promote mental health in the Mormon community.

  11. “Shooting the Messenger”? John that is exactly what they are doing. This is not about any of the personal issues you have with the Church, it is all about the effectiveness of your podcast in informing those interested in the issues that cause pain for the Brethren.

  12. John,

    You’ve provided a tremendous service. The fact that your disciplinary hearing coincides with the mormon church’s public statements that it wants legislation that allows the mormon church to discriminate against gays is another great opportunity for you and Mormon Stories to reach people.

  13. John,

    I have loved and admired the LDS Church and Mormon culture for over 25 years. I read the book of Mormon years ago and I have hesitated joining the church precisely because of the lack of tolerance for open questioning and discussion. Frankly, it breaks my heart that a you, a good and decent man, is being threatened with excommunication for asking the wrong questions.

    I would love belong to a church that allows honest discussion. I have hoped that the LDS Church will become more tolerant. It hasn’t happened yet.

    This disciplinary action is reminiscent of Martin Luther challenging the Catholic church. That started the Protestant Reformation.

    John, maybe you could be the Latter Day Martin Luther?

  14. John, you and your family are in my heart and prayers. May you find peace and God’s grace, because ten years of fearing excommunication is a nightmare.
    I was raised as a fifth-generation Mormon, daughter of a bishop, sister of a stake president. Twenty-five years ago I began to act with integrity, aligning my actions with my beliefs and left the LDS church. Nineteen years ago I was confirmed an Episcopalian. Here I find female equality in sacrament and authority. Here I find an inclusive spiritual home, where LGBT people are welcomed, blessed, married and revered as pastors and leaders. Where straight families worship next to gay couples or families, without an eyebrow raised. Where reason and an understanding of historical content balance tradition and ritual. Where authority and ministry belong to all. Where obedience to law and authority is subordinated to the Golden Rule and a trust in one’s inherent goodness and intelligence. My church home. May you find your own place of peace.

  15. John,

    This was definitely one of my favorite mormon stories pod casts!Thanks for doing this interview! Thanks for keeping it real and God bless you and your family through this difficult transition.

    JCM

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