(Updated on 1/19/2015 to provide more detail, based on feedback from Bill Benac).

In Peggy Fletcher Stack’s January 16th, 2015 article entitled “Did Mormon podcaster go too far? Dehlin faces possible excommunication,” she attributes the following opinion to Mormon apologist, blogger, and attorney Steve Evans,

“Evans questions whether Dehlin’s support of gay marriage and Ordain Women was the main reason for the move against the podcaster.”

In the letter I received on August 7, 2014 from Dr. Bryan King, it lists as #3 on his list of conditions for continued membership:

“Stop promoting groups or organizations that espouse doctrines contrary to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

In our August 7th meeting with Bryan King, I asked Bryan to clarify specifically which groups or organizations were problematic.  In that interview (with my wife, Margi, present), he explicitly mentioned both Ordain Women, and my public support of same-sex marriage as being problematic.  In the context of discussing “problematic groups,” when asked directly if my public support of same-sex marriage was a problem, he answered, “Yes.”

I have tried my best to be 100% open/honest about what I understand to be the reasons/causes for the disciplinary council, based on my discussions with Bishop Brian Hunt and Bryan King.  In my press release, I stated the following as my understanding of the main reasons:

Even though the media have chosen to focus on SSM and OW in many of their stories, I don’t believe that I have ever claimed that SSM and/or OW were the only causes for the disciplinary council, or even necessarily the main causes (if I have done so, I’m more than willing to apologize/clarify).

And while it is impossible for anyone to accurately weigh the various factors that contributed to the decision to hold a disciplinary council, I believe that it is very accurate to say that my support for same-sex marriage and Ordain Women was a main factor, and/or a significant factor in the decision (#3 of 4 specifically listed by Bryan King in his August 7th letter to me).

Whether or not any specific item is the “main reason” is purely a matter of speculation, in my opinion.

For a more complete review of the history and my positions on the disciplinary council, see here.


  1. Annick Dupal January 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    So is Marie Osmond next on the chopping block? Because, as I understand it, she has been very supportive of gay marriage.

    Sorry for your difficulties.

  2. Robert Hodge January 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

    No John, those specifics you cite are just the excuse. The real reason is that you are giving voice to people who have difficult stories to tell. Stories of one sort or another that the Church does not want widely circulated. You are like the Nauvoo Expositor. But in your case they can’t use thugs to destroy the press and pie the type and then throw it into the street. So instead, they have to come after you personally, just as they did with William Law and many others. It is institutional fear that motivates this ecclesiastical witch hunt , not justice.

    I hope you find peace, as I have.

  3. Your Buddha Nature January 17, 2015 at 11:01 am


    Press on fearlessly, the fallacy of any authoritarian exceptional-ism in human history is the ego’s pattern. Kate Kelly and everyone involved would be better off to seek the authority all ready inherit within themselves. Stop playing into the hands of the deceived that deceive. Validation is the pay off most of these blinded souls reap, whether they realize it or not. They utilize the reward in this dimension or life, and they will be among the least prepared in the next life.

    Move on, press on, do your thing, you are blessing generations… Just as the 13th Amendment ushered in new freedoms and elevated human decency, dignity and respect. The next step would naturally be to respect the choice of those who choose committed companionship to whom they do so sincerely and willingly. The government should not be interpreting God’s will, it should be a means of the people’s will. Because God is within them already, no priesthood authority needed!

    It’s time to pull the plug on the validation stream to the orthodoxy mongers and establish our own Buddha Natures as our source of truth and unity… This is the message, the authentic message the Nazarene actually taught, which threatened the foundations of the establishment at that time.

    The Shroud of Turin is authentic proof they failed to erase him, for he has risen a complete being as our example. Now the truths he gave us are once again revolutionizing the human paradigm.

    Keep shedding light on the authentic nature within each of us.

  4. Eugene Kovalenko January 17, 2015 at 11:19 am

    During the 1950s and 1960s, after returning from an overseas military intelligence assignment, I became aware of a Soviet psychological and parapsychological warfare offensive, called ‘psi warfare’. Imagine my surprise when I subsequently discovered that this psi warfare offensive was not only ‘over there’, but in my own Mormon backyard!

    Ironically, that is exactly what Mormon Church ecclesiastics are currently waging in their offensive campaign against John Dehlin, to say nothing of past campaigns against Kate Kelly or the famous September Six.

  5. p January 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Something to share with President King & disciplinary council during your excommunication hearing (published three days ago):


    Please ask Dr. King his opinion of American torture protocol and the role of Mormons in both its creation and legal justification. Also, you might ask if, in his opinion, it is moral for the Church to accept tithing monies from the roughly $80,000,000 aforementioned LDS practitioners received from the government for development and implementation of said protocol. If appropriate, you might then ask Dr. King which, in his opinion, is the more serious offense, involvement in torture, or publicly communicating principled stands on LDS social/historical issues about which there is currently great debate and uncertainty. Lastly, and, again, if appropriate, you might ask Dr. King if he considers the elevation of one of the Mormon protocol architects to the level of LDS Bishop to be anomalous or normative.

    An appropriate venue for revealing the details of this discussion might be the Washington Post article that will inevitably follow your excommunication. I look forward to it.

    • Ephima Morphew January 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Through The Law of Witnesses, and the Mormon Bible there is founded Mormon Exceptionalism; Mormon Scripture is at best ambiguous allowing Mormons to do most anything in the name of “Our Heavenly Father.”
      It doesn’t bode well for the excommunicators (D&C 121:37) and fails the proclaimed purpose of the church to bring souls to Joseph. For Jews there are always more penises to circumcise, for Mormons there are always more souls to scrub.

      Mormon Exceptionalism Example:
      Recent traces of this superiority is displayed by the Mormon designers of our national torture protocols. Evil is anything Un-American, what better way to draw attention away from the Mormon Covenant? From Dick and Lynn Cheney to Jay Bybee and on to James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the moral deficiencies compound by mormon standards, it’s business as usual in “The Religion Making Business.”

      Mormon Wet Work:
      Beyond the Mormon Wars and the Mountain Meadows Massacre: 12/08/08
      The Recent Surrender of Blackwater Mercenaries in Salt Lake City reveals the level of moral hazard Mormons will stoop to. The Blackwater killers believed they would receive favorable prejudice in any court proceeding coming from charges of crimes in the Iraqi blood-bath if they surrendered in Utah.

      The Court of Love could start with clear and present moral failings starting with Judge Jay Bybee, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen; from there the moral failings could move to investigate the Court of Love itself.

      Mormons Say, religious tradition holds, “Some things that are useful are not very true.” That simple statement, In the Religion Making Business, some things that are useful are not very true speaks to the fundament of Mormon Fundamentalism, excommunicate John Dehlin and stop masterbating and the rest will all be sorted out in the end.

    • winebibber January 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      P – go back to smoking your wacky bowl!

    • Sue January 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      P, I read that article. I actually read his book called “Learned Optimism” years ago. I just couldn’t apply it to my depression. I seen now my depression was so caught up in the narrative of the church that my “learned helplessness” was just as powerful as if I was a dog. My depression that has resulted has been intense and now I find myself so angry that I had lost all ability to escape the shocks. I had become helpless. I actually still feel helpless and trapped. I have left the church 2 months ago but with 4 kids, extended family, lost friends, and immense suffering, the road ahead is still long.

      • Robert Hodge January 19, 2015 at 5:06 am

        Easy to say but so hard to do. Set your anger aside, it does nothing but damage you. Remember that all these are also victims of the duplicity of Joseph Smith, though it is getting increasingly difficult to see why they don’t see through the sham.

  6. square peg January 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I agree with Robert. I’m certain they are just using those items as their excuse. I think in truth, the many other things you have discussed on podcasts that they would prefer to keep buried are the bigger issue. I think a great number of those things have kept people like me much more informed to things they would prefer us not to be aware of. For me personally, the Ordain Women movement and the LGBT issues are not the things that made me lose my trust in the church. It was many other things (historical issues,etc.-most of the things spelled out in your Why People Leave presentation) put together. But if they can keep the average member in the dark over the other things, they can make it look as if the only things people leaving the church over are the big ticket issues like OW or LGBT issues, when that in fact is not the case. There are many who have deep and legitimate concerns that led us out that didn’t even touch those two issues. So while it’s true that those are MAJOR issues for the church, it is very easy for them to sweep the other issues, (which for some of us are even BIGGER reasons for not wanting to stay in the church) under the rug of those two things.

    • Sue January 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      I also agree as you do. For me leaving the church recently had little to do with Ordain Women (I actually feel Priesthood is not real anyway) and LGBT, I actually know many faithful member who are outspoken about this but are not losing membership.
      The podcasts helped me so much to find that I was not alone. It gets lonely one the front-lines but when you see that there are many in the same boat. It is so comforting.

  7. karrie January 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I think discussion needs to stick to charges.. my questions are 2:
    1. WhY is expressing these beliefs wrong??
    2. What would Jesus do?
    Because otherwise , they are changing the name of the church to the church o f latter day saints

    • Sue January 17, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Karrie, when I expressed my beliefs to my bishop and lost my calling and recommend based only on beliefs (not even anything to do with OW- I was of the Priesthood is not real group, so why do I need ordination.)

    • Lilli January 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Christ? Since when does Jesus Christ have anything to do with the Church? It’s clear that the leaders have never followed or really believed in him since the beginning, when you compare Christ’s teachings with the Church leader’s practices & precepts. They just use his name to sound good while doing the opposite of what he teaches and are just lucky that so few members ever study the actual words of Christ, but instead just study the words of their prophet’s.

      For if Christ was here he would be quickly exed too, for he would be leading the ‘Ordain Women’ campaign, since he was the original teacher of total equality for women in all things by teaching his Golden Rule, humility and pure love.

      No this all boils down to arrogant prideful conspiring controlling men who don’t want good men in the Church who stand up for right, truth and the respect of women.

      These leaders may pretend to be righteous and not understand their deception but everyone know right from wrong deep down, they just don’t want to give up their positions, they would rather go along with evil.

      But someday soon they will change their tune and apologize (like they did with the Priesthood and Blacks) when they change their doctrine to give Priesthood to women and accept SSM, in order to keep most all of the members from leaving.

      For soon it will be as apparent to all just how evil it is to withhold Priesthood from women as from Blacks, as all Christlike people see that even now.

      • Lilli January 18, 2015 at 7:14 am

        As if they even ever had an Priesthood to give anyone anyway, which they never did and don’t.

        For Christ says it’s impossible for evil men who don’t keep his commandments to have any Priesthood or be true prophets.

        So John your just being exed from an evil organization. Thank your lucky stars, or if you believe in him, thank your Heavenly Father for the extra push out that was hard to do yourself.

      • Sue January 18, 2015 at 10:09 am

        I agree.
        On the local level they are just so “in” they don’t see or are afraid to see. They are just busy with family, work, calling, and tryng to serve.
        I don’t like having lay clergy who have no education in church history or therapy…main things they do

      • karrie January 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

        This whole dialogue saddens me. I am endowed member of church, i receive value from my membership and participation in the church, but to see John be threatened this way for his extremely helpful blog distressed me greatly. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  8. Maundy January 17, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    John, like any successful corporation they want to keep control of their brand and message. Anyone who is perceived – true or not – to be messing with the brand or its message will have their name on a list sooner or later.

  9. Jay January 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    If John is excommunicated, I expect the mormon church to do everything possible to persuade people that the excommunication had absolutely nothing to do with John’s position on gay rights, women’s issues or discussing mormon history.

    The letter to John regarding his excommunication will be, in my opinion, a carefully crafted letter written by the mormon church’s attorneys and publicists that attempts to put the best public face on the excommunication. Unfortunately for the mormon church, it can’t fool the general public.

    The information John has provided to date establishes, without question, that the mormon church does consider John’s position on gay marriage, gay rights and Ordain women cause for excommunication.

    In the end, the message from the mormon church to its members is you can’t freely share the thoughts you have in your mind. It sure sounds like mind control to me.

  10. Kevin January 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    If John is excommunicated, they can ex me as well. I support OW and gay marriage. If my sons or anyone else asks I have no problem telling them the more informed version of Church history instead of the white washed version.

    John provided a place for people to come to who were struggling. He doesn’t knock door to door trying to convince people of his beliefs. Sound familiar?

    This March will mark 11 years since I have been in the church. I didn’t educate myself well enough because the people who were an integral part in me getting baptized either hid the facts or weren’t educated themselves. Then I repeated the process when I went on my own mission (what was then the Ogden Utah Mission and served 6 months up in Cache Valley). I told people who had concerns that they had learned it from “anti-mormon garbage” or quickly justified it. I look back and realize I wasn’t forthright with people myself and played a part in the game.

    The ironic question to ask is, who is really leading people astray?

  11. Stormin January 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Speaking for the key leaders (1st Pres and Qu. of 12) behind all of this. John ——- You are/possibly messing up our tithing revenue stream —- You Are Fired (excommunicated)!!

    But remember we are still you outward(fake) friends that will always welcome you and your money back —— remember with LDS inc. its just “Business and only Business”!

  12. Altaa January 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for all you do, John. I find the comments referring to the church as a club or business hilarious. “If you don’t like how they’re doing things, then just leave!” Right… It’s just as easy as it sounds…

  13. Lilli January 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    I believe the Church doesn’t care at all how many members it loses or excommunicates.

    In fact it probably only wants to keep a small percentage of it’s members who are truly blind followers who don’t think or ask questions but who help it look like a real church.

    For I would guess the Church is so rich now that they don’t need tithing anymore to stay afloat, (though they take it as long as they can get it) and that if the Church lost all it’s membership the top guys would be just fine and their lives much easier and that they would continue to make big money with all the businesses that they have built up instead of using that money to build Zion and take care of the poor.

    I think they are glad to find any excuse they can to get rid of their members.

  14. Ephima Morphew January 19, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Lilli: On strategic economics, “In fact it probably only wants to keep a small percentage of it’s members who are truly blind followers who don’t think or ask questions but who help it look like a real church.”

    Lilli you’ve come up with a whole new economic model, “The Incridible shrinking church ––
    It all about the numbers.
    ” if the Church lost all it’s membership the top guys would be just fine and their lives much easier and that they would continue to make big money with all the businesses that they have built.”

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