In Kristine Haglund’s recent article in Slate Magazine regarding the end of the “Mormon Moment,” she wrote:

“Around the same time that Kelly was excommunicated, the host of the popular Mormon Stories podcast, John Dehlin, was threatened with disciplinary action as well. Unlike Kelly, he was not excommunicated, perhaps in part because he initially kept details of his interactions with church leaders out of the media.”

While I really enjoyed the article overall — and feel that it was a very important piece of writing — I did feel the need to correct Kristine’s misstatement….since in reality, I explicitly declined my stake president’s request to be silent, and have written publicly about my  interactions with him (Kristine has since corrected the statement, which I super-appreciate  — Thanks, Kristine!!!!).

Anyway, I wrote the blog post below as an attempt to explain my opinion as to why Kate Kelly was excommunicated and I have not been (to date) — not just in response to Kristine’s article, but also because many people continue to ask me about my status with the church.

Anyway…here are the top 8 reasons why I believe Kate Kelly was excommunicated, but that I have not yet been (Please note that Kate has offered her own explanation as well, which I think is a fabulous response):

1) Kate Kelly and Ordain Women reached more people both within and without Mormonism in a more visible way than I have to date with my podcast and other efforts (media-wise), and I think that this matters (i.e., effectiveness/media exposure matter). A lot. I believe that the more effective you are at garnering media and membership attention, the more “at-risk” you are to the brethren.  Don’t get me wrong…..Mormon Stories Podcast has reached A LOT of people (certainly numbering in the hundreds of thousands at this point), but it has reached very few people outside of Mormonism.  Ordain Women, on the other hand, has garnered significant international attention.

2) I think that the Ordain Women actions on temple square were very embarrassing to the church in a very public and (to some) in a very sacred and inappropriate setting (for what, in effect, was a public protest). I think that this had something to do with it.

3) I believe that the topic Kate Kelly represents (gender equality) strikes fear in the hearts of the patriarchy more than almost anything else. For example, at the end of the day, literalistic faith claims (one of my main concerns) can be maintained regardless of evidence….mostly because it’s impossible to prove a negative (i.e. that Joseph DIDN’T see God). As another example, in the mind of the brethren (I’m guessing), LGBT issues only affect a relatively small percentage of the membership in super tangible ways.

When it comes to gender equality — there really is no escaping it. As my friend Heather Olsen Beal likes to say….[in]equality is not a feeling.  It can be measured.  And the inequality is systematic.  And drastic.  And we’re talking about over HALF of the active membership of the church who is directly affected by this (and all the membership, of course, if you think more broadly…since sexism hurts men too). But make no mistake.  At its very core, the LDS church is a patriarchy….and opposing patriarchy strikes at the very heart/soul of the current church power structure (and family structure) in a way that almost nothing else has so far (or can). Men love their power, basically….and don’t want give it up.

4) I think that I benefitted hugely from timing. I believe that the backlash against Kate Kelly‘s excommunication was very strong and negative for the church, and I think that this negative backlash may have given the “brethren” pause to do it a second time with me — at least within the same short timeframe. While I do believe that a disciplinary council for me is inevitable, I believe it likely that Kate‘s backlash persuaded the brethren to delay my own disciplinary action…just to diffuse the tension, and to avoid this looking like another “September 6.” Remember…others (like Brent MetcalfeGrant H. Palmer, etc.) have been disciplined over the years with much less fanfare. But effecting discipline on a group of people, within a short time frame, often has more severe repercussions (I believe). I’ve also heard people speculate that the Meet the Mormons movie timing might have affected things a bit (this is total speculation).

5) My situation was also different from Kate in that (as I understand it) her leaders worked with her over a period of months in some capacity. In my case, I received my letter threatening a disciplinary council HAVING NEVER MET MY STAKE PRESIDENT. I think that once I brought this fact to light (thank you New York Times!!!), it was super embarrassing to President King, and I believe that this (in effect) shamed him into making it appear as though he was giving me due process (i.e., showing charity or a good faith effort at rehabilitating me). I believe that his is what the last few months have been for him.  I also believe that he sincerely wants me to “repent.”

6) I think that my male-ness/privilege/power certainly has/d something to do with it. Perhaps President King feels more respectful towards, or more threatened by, or more fearful of me than Kate Kelly‘s bishop did of her — at least in part because of my gender. Or maybe Kate’s leaders felt more fearful/scared/disrespectful of her because she is a woman.  I don’t know…I’d only be guessing here.   But I’d be a fool/blind to think that gender doesn’t matter int his regard.

I also think that the differences between Kate being tried by a bishopric vs. me being potentially tried by a stake high council are potentially very meaningful in this case. Who knows if some on my stake high council, for example, support me (vs. not)?

7) I do have some friends/family in relatively powerful places who I know intervened with top-level GA’s on my behalf. I think that this may have made a difference.  I believe it to be very likely that my stake president was told to ” step back” by someone above his pay grade (even if in an indirect way).

8) I think that there have been some things that happened on the local level, in my stake, and in Cache Valley, that likely influenced the decision. For example, my stake president happens to be colleagues with at least a few very close friends of mine. Also, there have been a few prominent families in my stake who have spoken out to my SP about their support of me, and I think that this may have made a difference.  I believe that my stake president may be fearful of what will happen in our stake if he takes action against me.  Again…I’m speculating here.

If you forced me to speculate….my guess is that a disciplinary court will be held for me within the next 1-12 months…and that they have only been delaying because of some of the reasons mentioned above. In other words…the delay is due to their desire to protect themselves and their power, and to minimize the possible collateral damage to the church…and not for any other reasons….and certainly not because they are operating in accordance with God’s will.

I could be wrong…but that’s my impression.


  1. David Conley Nelson December 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Excellent analysis, John. I’d also add that Kate’s voluntary removal, first to Provo and then to Kenya, made her less of a threat to the Church as an in-person reminder of what they did. You’re a relatively well-known man in a smaller yet important community, a Utah university town, and if they ex’ed you, you’d be there to encounter the principals on that church court, potentially, on a daily basis.

    • Peter Nuttall December 25, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      David, Provo is a university town.

      My guess is that Kate’s local church leaders made the unfortunate decision to hold a court for Kate Kelly, since as best as I can tell, it wasn’t until the hearing that Kate did anything that warranted excommunication for apostasy. Anyone who has been through church discipline, or anyone who has spent a day in a secular court and applies their brain towards making the analogy, could grasp that refusing to show up to the hearing (and instead asking followers to stage a protest outside the building) demonstrated complete contempt for the authority behind the process. A US judge would have cited her for contempt of court. An LDS church court had no choice but to recognize her contempt as apostasy. It wasn’t until the hearing that Kate went from publicly disagreeing with church leaders, to actually publicly denying their right to lead. That’s what happened with Sonia Johnson as well — her excommunication did not occur until she challenged the authority of church leaders to lead in the first place.

      John, when you anticipate a church disciplinary committee within a certain timeframe, is that a prediction or a goal?

      • chiefhawkeye January 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

        I can’t agree with this analogy. The secular courts have authority to send you to jail and impose fines; while church authorities have arbitrary rules and arbitrary “fines” to impose upon it’s church members. In this case a fine would be excommunication. And for those of us who have already been excommunicated, I can tell you that it’s a huge weight off your shoulders. Life goes on, and in fact it goes on with a lot less guilt, wasted time in countless meetings and you find out that the world isn’t such a wicked and bad place after all.

  2. lgaj December 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I respectively disagree John. I think you are a bigger threat. Kate was the visable top of the iceberg. You are the much larger part that is under the surface but posses a much larger threat. Most women in the church are not “excited” about Kate’s platform. However, you represent hundreds of thousands who are “watchfully waiting,” to see what happens to you. They represent men and women who have significant issues over church history and the way the church tries to “spin” its way around it. They are the thinkers as opposed to those who are satisfied by “grazing” on the correlated lessons that have put to sleep those who are aware of your efforts. They also represent a significant tithe paying and responsible position holding membership. I think the fall out if you are excommunicated will be severely felt by the church and they know that and are afraid of that. I hate the politics of excommunication procedures and timing. I say let God do the excommunications. We still haven’t learned how to love yet. And LOVE is the only solution that will keep the church together and the love that is there is quickly being disbursed and lost. I am not interested in watching our faith become another Protestant sect. I have nothing against Protestants, but I would never have gone on a mission if our Church wasn’t what it’s truth claims, claim it to be. Not that those are gone both by the internet, President Hinckley, and comments like Elder Holland leaving off “only” when he referred to our Church as a “true and living church.” That was not an accident what he said last April. His October talk was peppered with one strongly voiced phrase, “I don’t know.” They don’t know what to do because they do know any more than we do–PERIOD!!!!! They will continue to lose the confidence and faith of the movers and shakers in this church until they address the issues causing the “failure of faith.” At least President Benson believed. I don’t think the current group still does. They know things President Benson was never exposed too. This church desparately needs a George S. Patton type of leader. Not to kill Germans, but to face and kill our ghosts from the past. We have a group of 15 politicians leading this church. We need the “best damn ass kicker” we can find to clean up the politics and business as usual. If we don’t I will no longer be a part of it and regret that I wasted so many hours and dollars on an organization what wasn’t what it said it was. Come on Church of Christ, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, WAKE UP NOW, OR your going to go down in history as the “BERNIE MADOFF” of American Christian sects.

    • Lilli December 6, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

      You are very right. Church leaders have not learned how to love yet, let alone keep Christ’s other commandments, they continually break his commandments, thus they are the last ones to be passing judgement on anyone til they get the beam out of their own eye.

      But of course their pride keeps them from seeing this and makes them feel very righteous & justified.

      Bottom line is, they have absolutely no authority to excommunicate anyone, except themselves, which they have done long ago, for all leaders of the Church are apostates from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the Church is a false & apostate Church. I have never known of one leader or even member, past or present, that keeps the commandments of Christ or is Christlike.

  3. Jeff G December 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Or maybe when both local leaderships prayed about it, one received an answer of “yes” and the other “no” and there’s nothing more to know or say about it….. assuming the church is actually led by revelation, of course.

  4. Katie December 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Great analysis John. I agree with everything you said. I would also add (as a complete outsider not knowing either of you or your local leaders from Adam’s house cat), that you and Kate have had a slightly different tone in engaging church leaders. Kate came out strong, refusing to change any of her actions, strongly believing in the rightness of all of her actions. She’s a woman of conviction and integrity, but did not appear to be able to bend to work with the leaders. You, on the other hand, were able to have a discussion where you acknowledged things you could change (and things that you could not). You agreed to be quiet about your interactions at least for a small period of time while you were engaged in active discussions with your stake president. That difference in tone was significant. Kate insisting at every turn that she was right pushed them harder than you who accepted some room for movement and compromise. And, I think that her being a woman and being unbending was particularly hard for them to deal with. For clarity, I think that it was wrong in every sense to excommunicate Kate Kelly. But I also see some difference in tactics that may have made a difference in the outcomes in these cases.

  5. Eric December 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I’ll admit that when I first saw the headline that two prominent members were up for excommunication, I thought it would be Kate Kelly and another OW official. When I heard that it was you, my thought was, “What has John done?” While I’m aware you have your own concerns about the gospel and the church, I never felt like Mormon Stories Podcast was about your own agenda, but was about allowing both current and former Mormons to share their stories and their perspectives. I wonder if your leaders finally figured out that you didn’t have an agenda, and that may be why they’re backing off.

  6. Michael Tweedy December 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I do think you are right in all you say, and whatever your personal hopes and desires are, I hope you will see satisfaction. I’ve scratched my head several times over your motivations, but in the end I extend my trust. It’s all good with me. I appreciate the light you’ve helped shine on a murky and musty place.

  7. Matt December 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you for Mormon Stories John. I only found this website a short while ago and it speaks to me. Please do more YouTube interviews! I really enjoy them. You should do a piece on Tithing Settlement and/or a Q & A type deal. I have been a member of the church my whole life and have a ton of questions/concerns. Keep up the good work.

  8. Holly December 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I think it mainly boils down to the fact that much of society in general, and especially the church patriarchy, are scared and threatened and put off by women who speak their minds and advocate strongly for anything. These women are painted as being shrill and obnoxious, and are treated like they are a problem that needs to be “dealt with” or silenced. Men are certainly given much more latitude in general when they act as advocates or voice their opinions. I believe that both you, John, as well as Kate have done a great service to so many of us and have emboldened those of us who question or even (gasp!) doubt to speak our minds rather than fade into the background, which is so easy to do in this culture, and this is a very scary and threatening reality to the leadership. I think you’re right that they backed off due to the public backlash over Kate’s excommunication and probably also the other factors that you mentioned, but if and when they attempt to hold a “court of love” for you, I, for one, would love to see you give them the proverbial finger rather than play their game. They cannot exert any authority over anyone who does not willingly grant them such authority. I don’t think they should have the satisfaction of disciplining or removing someone who has done nothing more than speak the truth. Godspeed.

  9. Jason December 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm - Reply


  10. […] his priesthood leaders.” This speculation is patently false, for many of the reasons that John Dehlin pointed out himself, including that he did not agree to be silent about his discipline. In fact, he shared the direct […]

  11. Jamie December 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Another difference is that Kate Kelly was judged by her accuser. Just read that again…the man who accused her of apostasy got to render the verdict as well. Imagine that in the American legal system. Ridiculous, right? Now apply that to Kate’s situation and you can see how bogus that “court of love” really was.

    Meanwhile any disciplinary action against John will involve a stake high council. Six men for, six men against. Sound a bit more fair?

    The fact that disciplinary actions are so different (and patently unfair) for men and women is one of the things OW is fighting for.

  12. Paul Emett December 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    John, I’ve followed your odyssey from a distance. Some things in your post seem troubling, and I thought you might appreciate a different perspective:
    1) The ostensible directive of priesthood disciplinary action is to express the will of God in your life (chastisement is by nature an ever-present part of the divine/human relationship if you believe God is more holy/good/perfect than we). It seems you’ve ruled out the possibility of this being the case.
    2) It seems you’ve framed your interactions with President King as adversarial. What advice would you give to a person who’s directive is to act in behalf of their adversary?

    Look, John… you don’t know me, and I don’t know you. Sometimes I feel totally bewildered by your conclusions because I see them so differently, and I worry you’re leading others down a road fraught with difficulties. Is there room to consider a different approach?

    • Lorb December 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm - Reply


      In your point two, you indicate your perception that John sees his Stake President as an adversary. In your following question, it seems you’ve conflated President King with perhaps God or the Church. At least, that’s how I’m perceiving your question. I can’t speak for John, but it’s at least possible that John does not see either God or the church per se as an adversary, and yet that he could still view this specific church leader, or even the entire current roster of church leaders as potential adversaries.

      It’s also possible that your concern that John is leading others down a road fraught with difficulties may be matched by others’ concerns that current church leaders are leading others down roads fraught with different though equally difficult challenges.

      Perception colors everything. I’ve spent most of my life in a place where it seems I may have shared your perception. I’m not saying I’ve abandoned it, but I have allowed myself to move to a different place to see how things look from a different perspective. Unsurprisingly, the view is very different.

      • Paul Emett December 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply


        You’re right. I’ve conflated President King with the Church and with God. Each man who is called to a position of judgment (anyone who sits on a disciplinary council) within the Church is instructed to act as a representative of the Church, and of God. In my view, those instructions necessarily conflate the parties. Unless one allows skepticism/cynicism to destroy all trust in the sincerity of others, a certain degree of conflation must be allowed.

        Let’s say someone in John’s position (subject to a disciplinary council) does see God in a way that is not adversarial, but precludes the possibility that the will of God can be expressed through a particular appointed representative. Let’s go a step further and say the disciplinary subject believes the appointed representative is sincere in his intent to fulfill the instruction to represent God’s will, but the disciplinary subject has little confidence in the appointed representative’s ability to do so. Such a perspective is possible, without doubt. But is it useful?

        Isn’t the lack of confidence problematic for the outcome? Doesn’t the preclusion of this particular possibility make the (beneficial) outcome of its potential course impossible? Hasn’t the lack of faith (in the process and/or the people involved) determined the very nature of the disciplinary action?

        Perception colors everything… I think we agree. Each battle’s seed begins with what was seen. It would be a mistake to assume that because I’ve expressed one perspective, that I haven’t tried on different perspectives, perhaps similar to some you’ve alluded to. This is a major criticism I hold against this forum, that the benefits of different perspectives don’t seem to be widely appreciated. Doesn’t each perspective hold blind spots?

        Forgive me if I’ve tried to constrain your choice of perspective. Your choice is both valid and authentically chosen, I’m sure. My intent is to offer pitfalls I’ve experienced, from the blind spots of a perspective (cynicism) I’ve eschewed as problematic at best, and at odds with truth if I’m being frank.

  13. casey December 2, 2014 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Will your SP read this post you wrote?

  14. casey December 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    What do you think your stake president say about this post, if and when he reads it? Do you think there are any lds leaders who act or try to act in accordance to God’s will, or are they all from the top to the bottom trying to protect their power and them selves?

  15. Doubting Thomas December 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    So what you’re saying John is that because you know people in the right places you are being treated differently than Kate Kelly who was excommunicated (and her parents that had their temple recommends taken from them for supporting their daughter).

    The wild component of this story is something you did not address, mainly that Kate believes the church is true and you do not.

    Go figure.

  16. Huntley Thatcher December 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks John…….I have been wondering and I think your speculations are probably very accurate. What you have done for so many of us is truly a sacrifice on your part and that of your family. Words cannot express my gratitude. You are making a huge difference!

  17. Paul Belfiglio December 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    “Why was Kate Kelly Excommunicated, but You Have Not Yet Been?”

    The way you have posed the question, being the title of this post, indicates that this is more about a question others have asked of you, rather than you asking this of yourself. Nevertheless, I have to wonder: Do you really care, and if you do, how much so? Whether you were to answer that you really didn’t rather than did, or did rather than didn’t, would have some bearing on ‘why’. What I am suggesting is that whoever is in charge of your ‘case’, as well as perhaps being mandated to handle it in a certain way by a higher authority, gives primacy to the way in which you would answer this question. But this is only unique to you, and not Kate Kelly. This point is important to keep in mind.

    I have a distinct impression that Kate Kelly from the very inception of her movement was an issue of very little concern to the LDS church leadership, which is probably a contrary viewpoint to how some others see it. In Kate Kelly’s self-estimation, and to those who supported her both directly and indirectly, was NOT perceived by the top, LDS echelon as a great threat to the church on a sweeping, world-wide scale. To be sure, it was and still is to certain groups both in and outside of the church, but on a large scale it isn’t. I don’t have any data to back up my thesis, but I would venture to say that the vast and greater majority of women in the LDS church are not at all concerned about not having priestess-hood authority. Kate Kelly, Sonia Johnson and others of this ilk are no more a threat to the well-being of the current status quo of the LDS church than it is, or has been to other movements in, for one example, the Roman Catholic church. In essence, patriarchy appeals to many, many woman in all walks of life throughout the world, so long as they have their viable respective and respected niche in the main body politic. A LOT of women, no matter what their belief or non-belief system is, DO NOT want to be employed as firefighters, auto mechanics, soldiers, or in any other historically male designated profession, or ‘be in charge’. They are very content to have their own, primarily female,orientated activities, historically amenable professions, specific, culturally defined areas of control and authority, etc., along with the support and even admiration of the male populace. And it’s going to be this way for a very long time. In short, Kate Kelly couldn’t see the forest beyond the view of her own particular ‘feminist’ (for perhaps the lack of better term) tree.

    John Dehlin, on the other hand is a much more complicated and serious issue because it not only has to do with truth claims that may have a large scale, deleterious affect on the LDS church, but also there are harmful and/or disquieting effects it may be having, (or certainly is having) on not only JD, but many others, as well, i.e., a personal, very visceral, crisis of faith. This is far more serious in implication than, as many would assert, “a small, powerless fringe movement of pathetic, uppity, foolhardy and dis(mis)oriented women”. Also, again from my perspective, I think JD is ‘all over the map’ when it comes to the various levels of LDS authorities wanting, or knowing how to deal with this case. But again ‘attitude determines altitude’, which has a lot to do with how JD answers, or has been answering the ‘caring’ question posed above. And for what it’s worth (again, my impression) I think JD really loves a lot of aspects of *his* Mormon ‘tribe’, and this very well may resonate with a lot of LDS authorities; not all, I am sure, but enough to make some difference. So, there is this, and *absolutely* (from my very own first hand knowledge) the influencing aspect of who you know, i.e., friend(s) in high places. In many cases this has great weight on the judgment scale.

    After all that I have said, though, regardless whether I hit the ball for just a first base run, or to home (or completely struck out!) I wish JD all the best for him and his family. His efforts have contributed in making a beneficial, much needed difference in my life.

    • Juliathepoet December 3, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply


      I understand that as a man it may not seem like very many women care about feminism. Certainly you would have to pay attention to women and to what is happening with them to have any idea about the needs and hopes of women in the church. And I certainly understand that if you were raised in the church you were trained to ignore the needs of women, but I think you underestimate the disaffection that many women feel with the role that patriarchy allows them.

      I am not going to take the time to go through u our comment and point out all of the misogyny, but I think that the leadership of the church takes very seriously the threat that women with vision and the ability to mobilize are to the viability of the church. They are seeing the backlash from Kate’s excommunication everywhere, not just in the Mormon belt. Leaders don’t really know what to do, and in many cases they are just making it worse, and driving families away faster because of the lack of understanding of the values of women.

      Your comment is a perfect example of the attitude that continues to drive away more and more members and potential members. Excommunicating Kate didn’t stop OW, and neither did taking away temiple recommends from hundreds of other women who are OW supporters, or openly feminist members. The fact that young people today grow up in a society that teaches equality, and comes close to achieving it, makes the starkness of patriarchy even less appetizing. When I talk to teenagers both in and outside the church, the majority of them understand that the people that are being punished by the LDS church are mostly women. The work John does is mostly focused on current and former members. Kate mostly has influenced current and potential members. Really, she is the bigger threat, but excommunication can’t change that, something that the current leaders, raised to only think within the bounds of patriarchy, still don’t seem to understand. Eternal families and continuing revelation are the main “draw” that the church has to offer converts, but eternal submission of their wives isn’t that interesting to young men raised outside the church, and Kate’s excommunication has made it clear that women who want continuing revelation that relates to their lives, are not welcome.

      • Michael Surkan December 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm - Reply

        @Juliathepoet – While I agree that the inequality of the church is absolutely stultifying to a good minority of women I beg to differ that anything more than 20% to 30% of current female LDS members have a problem with the status quo.

        Almost all the active women members I know on a personal basis are perfectly fine with the their status in the church and say very derogatory things about Kate Kelly. I also can’t help but notice all the women posting on the Feminist Mormon Housewife blog about how hurt they feel by the hostile attitude other women in relief society have towards their concerns. Post after post on FMH talks about how they have to shut their mouths during relief society because they only get other people mad by arguing their case. If there really was a groundswell of feminism in the church then I don’t think there would be quite so much despair amongst the FMH contributors.

        You are absolutely correct that inequality hurts the recruitment of new members, but this is not first and foremost on the minds of the current church leadership. As John pointed out, the first priority of church leaders is to KEEP THEIR JOBS. A lot of men would lose their power if women were given equal status.

        • Juliathepoet December 5, 2014 at 5:02 am - Reply

          As long as we are admitting that the church is losing many young adults and whole families of progressive/uncorrelated Mormons, then I think that your numbers for any given Sunday of active members is probably accurate. Let’s say that 80% of women attending church last Sunday would like to see Kate thrown out and never allowed back. Are we saying that is what Christ wants? Is that what you think we should be modeling for each other and our children?

          Assuming that your low, 20% number is true, is that okay? One out of every five women is mourning the way they are treated, and that is not worth understanding and rooting out the cause of it?

          No matter what number we came up with, if we know we are hurting others, or stand to the side and shake our heads at the tragedy, and then go oabout our comfortable lives and do nothing about it, we then bare part of the responsibility. I am not possitive about the exact number, but I am sure it is more than the one to ninety and nine ratio that Christ used when He taught us to care for and lovingly find those who have gone from us.

          I know over 100 people who have resigned their church membership during 2014, and hundreds more who are inactive. All but 3 had been active members in 2013. Yes I am a feminist, so about half of that number fall in that category. 23 of them are between the ages of 18-24, and most of them are not connected to families with strongly feminist parents. They simply found no place for them in the church, and so they saw the way the church treats those who are different, and made the choice to walk away. I’m not willing to cheer as they leave.

          • Michael Surkan December 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

            #Juliathepoet – Just to be clear, I do NOT approve of the inequality practiced by the LDS church, which is just one of the reasons I haven’t been involved with the LDS church for nearly 25 years. I take my 12 year old daughter to a Unitarian church and she just loves it.

            One of our pastors is a female atheist, so it suits me just fine.

            That said, I just don’t see the LDS church changing its stance on equality any time soon. Too many men would lose their power if women were treated equally and the reality is that there just aren’t enough women members who want change to force the issue.

            It really saddens me to know so many LDS women who are content to make themselves subservient to men. I sometimes feel like the abolitionist talking to a slave who is fearful of life without a master when I talk with my lady friends who are still members of the church.

        • Felicity December 5, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

          I was raised in the church in a fantastic ward. it wasn’t til I moved overseas to NZ that I registered the level of misogyny in the church – it seems really bad here. When I went through domestic abuse I assumed that church leaders would support me. They didn’t. I was told to bake an apple pie, make myself pretty and to go to the temple with the man who raped me. Then I was refused welfare. I NOW consider myself a feminist. But it took years to evolve to that. Previously I simply tolerated not wearing trousers to church, not being of equal worth. Now I have had my awakening. If the circumstances are right, others will have their epiphany too. And FMH are there waiting, will reasoned argument at the ready

      • Paul Belfiglio December 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply


        I have three points to make in response to your errant, offensive diatribe lobbied against me. Please pay attention.

        Point Number One: I don’t have a dog in this fight, which leads to the second point.

        Point Number Two: My rhetorical question to you is: Do you usually make it a habit of shooting the messenger? I made it sufficiently clear that I was stating my _impression_ of what I _think_ is/was the stance of _LDS church authorities_, and NOT my stance; I claim no ownership, nor do I claim any sort of supportive role regarding THEIR _perceived_ (by me) message(s), which surround this issue.

        Number Three: You have a right to your _opinions_, which I would never think of attacking in an offensive manner, hence, one would think that you would grant the same privilege to others. It’s called the ‘Golden Rule’, or similar to, ‘the pot not calling the kettle black’. In other words, pointing an accusative finger at me to insinuate that I am a misogynist, what do you call the other three fingers pointing back at you? You, nor I could ever quantify with any degree of certainty how _all_ of the women in the world-wide LDS church view this issue. My wife, for instance, who most definitely is not any sort of Molly Mormon, or anything similar, and to whom I read my post, stated that she has never had any desires for priestess-hood, or ecclesiastic authority of any sort. It is also _her opinion_ that there are numerous women that she knows who think the same way.

        I could on making others comments about _your opinions_, but I don’t feel confident that you are capable of engaging in a healthy, respectful debate about this subject. If I’m wrong about this then you are at liberty to inform me otherwise.

        In the meantime, I extend my sincere efforts towards you by “writing kindness in marble, and injury in the dust”.

        • Juliathepoet December 5, 2014 at 4:37 am - Reply


          How nice to interact with you in such a friendly way. I am so glad that you clarified your lack of a canine pet. That makes as much difference to responding to the comment you made. I don’t know if you are a misogynist, but I stand by the fact that your comments both contain blatant mysognistic language and concepts.

          My comment did not attack (or shoot) you, and I can’t see what you think you are the messenger for. However, I think you may be confusing your experience with what is happening all over the world. No matter how many people have wives who don’t want the priesthood, (or who are not willing to take the risk of a fight with their spouse when he is already worked up and reading something to them) that does not change the fact that more young women and young mothers are leaving the church because they want to protect their daughters.

          Does that mean that they all want the priesthood or priestesshood? Nope. Do all of them identify as feminists when they leave? Nope. Does that stop the exodus from being a long term problem for the church?

          Why are young people are not staying in the church? Lots of reasons, including inequalities that are stark and out of steps with their expectations in the rest of their lives. Why are families, young and old leaving the church? Of course it is for lots of different reasons, and there are as many reasons that feminists stay. All of those things are important, and if you think that the church culture and dismissiveness isn’t part of the problem, that insulting the intelligence of the women who are trying to find ways to stay and have hope isn’t part of the problem, then you are right that there is no point in engaging.

          Your third point stains your hands with the title of misogynist much more clearly than anything I could say. Thank goodness Christ is more willing to engage with those who are purposely offending others, and that his forgiveness extends to all. It is not the church culture that gives me the strength to stay, but the gospel and the spiritual experiences that have affirmed that there is still light and knowledge available to those who seek for it. I am always sad when I hear that people are “perfectly happy” with the way things are at this time. Continuing revelation and greater knowledge are the goals we should be reaching for, not acceptance of the status quo, and the damage that it inflicts on so many.

          • Paul Belfiglio December 5, 2014 at 7:56 am


            First, “I don’t know if you are a misogynist,”

            Then, “Your third point stains your hands with the title of misogynist much more clearly than anything I could say.”

            In a subdued voice, “wow.”

            Likewise indeed, is there “anything _I_ could say.”?

            All the best to you.

  18. Meg Stout December 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Hi John,

    You have created your own media outlet, where Kate used the world-wide media as her platform. Kate’s behavior was tone-deaf when it comes to Mormon culture but in tune with world media. You, on the other hand, know how to play Mormons very well. Your plea that retaliation against you not be allowed to splatter your family was well done.

    II see the Church leaders as husbanding the Church membership. Thus minimizing collateral damage to the Church is entirely aligned with what I would expect God to will, if God is concerned about the Mormon Church. I believe He does care about the Church. I suspect you aren’t quite as dedicated to the idea God cares about the Mormon Church.

    I think both you and Kate would acknowledge that part of your respective ministries in the past years have focused on altering the Mormon Church. In this sense, you are both similar to aggressive growths in the Body of Christ, and it seems possible that you are therefore in a sense regarded as cancers, affecting the health of that Body.

    In Kate’s case, her approach to altering the Body of Christ was aggressive. I think had she flown back to Virginia and met with her leaders, it’s possible that she might have been able to remain within the Church. But she did not choose to cooperate, instead encouraging protests and showing up in a sleeveless outfit (tone deaf if one is trying to portray oneself to Mormons as innocent and wrongly persecuted). Thus she was cut out, in hopes of minimizing the opportunities for metastasis.

    In your case, you are a slow growing kind of thing. Most people don’t actually know who you are. In fact, if you and Kate hadn’t compared notes and provided the information about your nearly simultaneous notification of pending action, the world at large wouldn’t know you exist. Within the Church you provide an interesting service, as there are those who feel disenfranchised by the Church who obtain a sense of solace from your podcasts.

    I don’t know if you recall, but years ago my husband and I were going to assist you with the podcasts. At the time we were talking about reaching out to Gladys Knight.. For years I kept seeing podcast files showing up in my drop box. But I was busy and lost track of what you were doing.

    Anyway, you have gradually evolved to where you are now, and by virtue of that long, slow growth into what you are now, action against you would hurt those who love you. Even though it has been many years since I offered to help out with Mormon Stories, I still feel a bit of affection for you. And in a similar manner, I imagine there are thousands of others who similarly feel an affection for you.

    Then again, it may just be a difference of circumstance. I have two aunts who were baptized as children. The aunt who decided it was nonsense and went on to live a life of “debauchery” was never close enough to the Church for them to notice how far she had wandered from the standard for membership. Therefore her name is likely still on the roles of the Church. The other aunt actually got married in the temple and liked getting visits from her visiting teachers. But something came up that caused a confrontation, and her name is not on the roles of the Church.

    • Rude Dog December 3, 2014 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Maybe it’s not cancer. Maybe it’s a tumor, a meningioma, growing benign at first, then due to its size, starts to effect the parts of the brain that it touches. At first it was growth between the hemispheres of the cerebral cortex that caused the headaches and nausea, growth of polygamy, priesthood denial, Book of Abraham claims. Then came the blurred vision of Mountain Meadows, post manifesto polygamy, Mormon reformation, followed by outright seizures of correlation, ERA, LGBT isssues and gay marriage, expressing itself as symptoms of twitching, half thought out and hurriedly penned family proclamations due to the tumor reaching the amygdala, causing spastic jerking California political involvement and human harm.

      Perhaps the messages and information of John and Kate (and many more, including Quinn, Palmer, Both Toscanos, S. Johnson and the list goes on..and let’s not confuse message vs messenger, the message is what stings, but it’s the messenger the church goes after) are a type of formalized medicine, a medicine that in itself makes the body sick in its attempt to kill off the tumor. Maybe the lay membership like you Meg are the enablers, like a wife offering her dying husband another cigarette, saying “now now, you go on dear, we won’t let any of those quack messages make you feel bad.” How about that analogy?

      The difference between you and I Meg is a church that looks like to me, to be in turmoil. With thousands leaving it every year, and millions falling into inactivity, and a 15 million mark given by trumpets whereas reality would dictate maybe only 3-4 million active and participating, I would think the church would take its hands off its ears and put them over its mouth. You seem to think “All is well in Zion”, who are these troublemakers? Some of the responses of the church, especially to Kate Kelly just further embarrasses itself in public, but even worse, the tumor continues to grow. Perhaps John and Kate are a cancer in your world, to me, they’re just harnessing the light of information and putting together forums and organizations that propagate a healthy message of healing, of long term progression towards health, a message the church dimly seems to be defensively responding to (unfortunately its response seems like a whitewash handling of its whitewashed history) due to the fact that itself sees some of the symptoms. I’m afraid though that an aggressive course of action will not be followed. Not saying the host will die, but only continue on its staggering path, like the Catholics, stultifying the minds of its followers.

  19. Mormon Heretic December 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    John, I think your analysis is excellent on this situation.

    As for Kristine Haglund, I do remember a Facebook post from you shortly after your letter from your stake president in which you said you would stop being interviewed by the media while the process moved forward. I think that is what Kristine remembers as well. You did lower your profile after having interviews in NY Times, KUTV News, etc. for about a month or so. Then you continued as you have. So I think Kristine was right on that point.

    Yes, in the long run you haven’t changed much, but in the short term you did.

    • John Dehlin December 3, 2014 at 7:55 am - Reply

      Kristine’s article made it sound like I broadly agreed to be silent…which wasn’t true even a tiny bit. I overtly declined to be silent, but strategically chose to operate in good faith between July and mid-August — until I received a verdict. Then I disclosed all that was relevant. To me there’s a huge difference….because Kristine gives the impression that I capitulated and silenced myself based on a request, which was not true at all. And then Kristine tried to tie this non-capitulation into a theory as to why I wasn’t excommunicated….which I believe she has zero basis for (unless she knows something I don’t).

      Still…I was super grateful for Kristine’s piece, and have respect for her in many ways.

      Mainly, I just didn’t like that she gave the impression that I capitulated (which I did not), and that she tied it to my non-excommunication (which I don’t see as being a significant factor).

      • Mormon Heretic December 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

        I see that Kristine has changed the article to match what I said. It now says

        Around the same time that Kelly was excommunicated, the host of the popular Mormon Stories podcast, John Dehlin, was threatened with disciplinary action as well. Unlike Kelly, he was not excommunicated, perhaps in part because he initially kept details of his interactions with church leaders out of the media.*

        *Correction, Dec. 3, 2014: This article originally misstated that John Dehlin agreed never to speak with the media about his church disciplinary process. He did not make such an agreement.

        See John, she fixed it! :)

  20. Jake December 3, 2014 at 2:11 am - Reply

    I believe you (JD) are the bigger threat to the church in that the information you disseminate leads many people to become disaffected and leave. But perhaps by now the leaders have come to accept that this is inevitable. The church’s history IS concerning and some people will leave. Good riddance. But by challenging the patriarchy, Kate has cut to the core of what they really care about – maintaining their own absolute power over the members.

  21. Damon December 3, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Keep up the good work. I love the new mormon studies podcast idea and the first installment was wonderful. I think Brent Metcalfe will do an excellent job. As for your excommunication, I think it’s a function of media timing. They are probably studying the potential fallout right now somewhere near 47 E. South Temple and are waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on the process. Hopefully you can make it as public as possible so we can all enjoy their future media missteps together.

  22. […] they pull me back in!” John Dehlin posted a piece on his website yesterday entitled “Why Was Kate Kelly Excommunicated But You Have Not Yet Been,” in response to a piece from Kristine Haglund at Slate yesterday. Dehlin lays out 8 reasons […]

  23. Rude Dog December 3, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Hey John, I know that you have a healthy attitude of come what may. I thought the interview with Brent Metcalfe was the highlight of the entire podcast series. I especially respected his attitude towards his own excommunication. You asked him if he thought about not going, or taking media with him. I loved his response, that he wanted to face his trial, without aide, without anger. It was a rite of passage for him, which if you think about it, puts him, Kate, maybe yourself in some pretty good company of those that have been excommunicated throughout the millennia, those that have come up against charges of heresy, apostasy. These are they that fill our history books, and in a good way.

    • John Dehlin December 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Rude Dog – I love your comment. And yes….if a disciplinary council is held….I plan on thinking of Brent as my role model in that regard.

      P.S. So fun that I know you in real life now too!!!!!

      • Rude Dog December 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm - Reply

        Me too!!

  24. Clinton December 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    John, I think that too many are focusing on you as a threat to the church when they ought to consider how much of an asset you are to the church. We have spent so much time suffering because of the news that the church may just be a club, but I think you are challenging us to see how great the club is and how much greater it can become. I hope you will not lose sight of this vision and can keep doing what you are doing with all the energetic openness, honesty, and compassion that you have consistently demonstrated over more than 500 recordings. The stories are so effective at breaking down the labels, splitting apart the categories, and defying the sort of logic that leads to bad conclusions. I feel like I really know you and those you have interviewed although we have never met. The stories produce the same amazing feeling I get when I read the stories of Jesus or read the journals of my ancestors.

  25. Craig December 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    John, as you asserted, “since most of this is speculation” may I add a few comments also. Your “speculations” were well founded, not without merit, and timely. I tend to agree with all you have pointed out. I have only been aware of your podcasts for the past three months, but I have gone back into the archives and listened to a lot of the them. I especially enjoyed Christine Jeppsen Clark. It was her father and his blind obedience (which is at the core of the problems today) to the wishes of Boyd K. Packer, that caused us so much heart ache. I have been officially out of the church now for thirteen years, but was threatened with excommunication at the same time as the Packer led purge of 1993 that started with the “September Six”. You and your podcasts have never stopped exposing the church for the cult that it is and the effects that it has had on those bold enough to actually examine the church, its history and workings–with an open, honest heart. Those brave souls–willing to risk eternal salvation–asked hard questions of themselves, their leaders, and even in some cases, the “Brethren” in SLC. All with startling results. Your podcasts have pointed out the fraud, and continued deception that is “business as usual” by the leaders in the church today. Your podcasts leave little to the imagination about your feelings and that, I’s sure, has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be. You have every bit as large, if not larger, an impact as Kate does. Your posting of the proceeding with your Stake President, proved that you will not be threatened and intimidated into silence. The leaders (from the very top on down) are aware of that. That, in my opinion, is the only reason they haven’t acted so far. They fear the coverage that this will get, and what will happen when they finally decide enough is enough. You won’t escape their wrath for much longer…my opinion here. As you pointed out, it is just a matter of timing. What the impact will be and how much fall-out will come of it, we will all see shortly. It isn’t IF, but WHEN!

    As I have listened to the archived (as well as the live) podcasts, the thing that is the most disturbing to me, is the final result in a lot of of those who have found the truth, squared their shoulders and left–often at great cost to families, friends, associates, reputations, ect. They express a doubt as to the very existence and reality of God our Father. And that is such a serious thing. To think that a church can perpetuate a fraud of this magnitude on so many, and then those leaving are destroyed in their faith to the extent that they even reject God totally, is beyond words. Thanks for all you are doing, and the help you are undoubtedly giving to so many at this time.

    Be even as Paul when he testified; “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

    It takes great courage to ask the hard questions, and greater courage still, to act on the facts that are revealed! I have learned by personal experience that if you truly desire the TRUTH, more than life itself, Father will not leave you hanging, twisting in the wind. May we all have this kind of courage in the face of such mind control, cult mentality, superstition, threats, family and peer pressures. There is LIFE and LIGHT outside the “Mormon” cult. “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and yea shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”…is not just for Mormons. God is no respecter of persons. God is LOVE, unconditional LOVE, all encompassing LOVE!

  26. Charlie December 3, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Yeah, it all comes down to what the stake president thinks. People telling him ‘a’ or ‘b’ will influence his decisions, whether they be people like his counselors, stake members or a word or two from a GA.

    I’d speculate that what influenced him most though was the idea that the mainstream media would become involved, so he put off the council to avoid their questions.

    But sure, in a few months or so he will probably hold one, seeing you haven’t changed anything and the mainstream media’s attention has abated.

  27. […] Dehlin posted a piece on his website entitled “Why Was Kate Kelly Excommunicated But You Have Not Yet Been.” Dehlin lays out 8 reasons why he has not been excommunicated, although Kate Kelly has. Dehlin […]

  28. alice December 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    What about Rock Waterman’s current status?

    If I remember correctly he was named as a candidate for a court of love at the same time John was. John’s SP backed down but I have no idea if Rock ever appeared before a court or what the verdict may have been.

  29. Bella December 8, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

    I think you are right in everything you said John. My husband and I recently decided we are not meeting with anyone in leadership in our area anymore, since they don’t help us to correct things that happened. In our area there have been a few single sisters that were HARRASSED by men in the church and nothing was done about it.
    The church leadership instructions for us were to “forgive and forget.” The leadership made everything possible to make sure other members would not find out about it. They did everything to protect the men involved at the expense of the well being of the victims, who expected some type of resolution.

    Even if this church is true, we don’t trust the men in leadership in our area in Orem. That is the main reason we stopped going to church. My husband and I know they could try to excommunicate us. We think if they don’t do this is because they want to protect their image and make sure they stay in power. We also have recorded all our communications with them and I think in our case, this might be the reason for not excommunicating us. They know we have information in writing of what happened, including some e-mails.

    We haven’t felt the love or support of the male leadership in our area. We have felt their concern for keeping a good image and for staying in their positions of powers. They have also shown they are very concerned for the offender but not for the victim. The church will fall because of men like these, that have no inspiration from God but from a different source.

  30. Jay December 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Patience John. Patience.

    It’s coming.

  31. Yvonne Dimaggio (please use Michelle as my name) December 13, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Thank you John. I’ve been looking for answers about all of my concerns. Your presentation hit every single one of them. I finally feel like my issues have been validated, and that I am not alone. I have only been in the church for five years, and have been fully dedicated to the doctrine’s taught to me, until I recently worked as an user at the latest temple dedication in Phoenix. I was horrified when picketers and protestors were outside, all criticizing the church leadership, and specifically Joseph Smith. I had not never heard these things before, and I left in tears. I know that I have the spirit in me, that spirit prompted me to find out the truth for myself. It has taken me down a path that makes staying in the church difficult. Like others, I relied on church resources, which only increased my doubts, especially about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and even Heber C. Kimbell. Some of the statements that were documented by these individuals repulsed me, to say the least.

    I am married to someone in the Priesthood, and after communicating some of my concerns to him, he has distanced himself from me. He tells me that I should stop going to church, and that I do not have a testimony. He accused me of allowing the protestors to make me question my faith, and beliefs in the church doctrines. After going to the temple the first time, I also began to wonder about the connection to the Freemasons, but was told the Freemasons copied the ancient rituals from biblical times, but also doubt this is truly the case. I simply want logical answers, truthful answers and to not be judged by other members or the church authorities. I will likely never go to the bishop to discuss, as I have seen and heard what happens to people like me. Your message was communicated objectively and makes those of us with doubts feel somewhat substantiated, and that our feelings matter. Thank you for your service to those of us who feel alone.

  32. JKB December 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    If you look on the YouTube, you can see exactly where she is going to be excommunicated. She looks directly at the young man going into the General Priesthood session April 2014. She embarrassed him. She embarrassed every single man going into the General Priesthood assembly. If you look at the you tube, she was the only woman in the line looking directly at each man going in. There was no Spirit, no Holy Ghost in that meeting. The men were too upset at walking past being patiently stared at by Kate Kelly.
    The General Authorities must have been absolutely furious that their meeting was wrecked. Since then, they changed their rules.
    John you have never done that.

  33. Troy December 22, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Joseph Smith once gave 13 articles of faith that basically identified what the Church believed in a nutshell. In the 13th, was a phrase that states, “if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report, we seek after these things.” I love that phrase as it is so easy to look for negative and attack people and motives through assumptions. Get enough people to join the assumptions and somehow it is treated as a truth. That which is negative stirs up contention and adversarial thoughts towards one another. It was written in 3 Nephi chapter 11 that the Savior commanded the people, before He taught them the doctrine, to get rid of contention. When people are filled with contention, pride and just seeking to trip up a person with words, they will never…I repeat NEVER be open to hearing or seeing the truth. I find many errors in the above posts in regards to men and power and their attitudes of being afraid or consequences. The bottom line, whether John or Kate Kelly or anyone else wish to believe it, is that if you want to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you agree to follow the Savior as it is has been explained in what the Church teaches. If you do not agree or do not like it, then you are free to leave but if you don’t leave, and criticize the leaders who are donating their time, doing what they can, regardless of if we believe they are doing their best or not, how can we possibly know since we are not privy to what happens behind closed doors and through prayer. However in publishing and promoting the constant barrage of attacks against those leaders who have been given the charge to evaluate where your testimony is, seems just like the pharisees and saducees we read about who try to trick the Savior thru the law. It is like going up to a person and hitting them in the mouth. When they don’t retaliate, you hit them again, trying to get a reaction and when after so many times, they finally protect themselves with a block…the person can then claim to be a victim of abuse from the person they were hitting. The actions of John have a consequence that he already knows will end up with a disciplinary council as he has been egging it on instead of just leaving. He is not seeking peace and a unity and to listen at how he can remain in good standing. He is attacking and daring them to take action after he constantly berates his stake president. There is a saying that you are condemned by your own words…and that will be what happens here. For whatever reason the Stake President has not acted, has been time that John can show what is in his heart and his feelings for the Church. Is it not obvious what those feelings are? So the more he challenges, belittles, trashes etc…he is sealing his own fate and then will say he was persecuted. That is also the issue with Kate Kelly…you can have your opinions, but when you try to take matters into your own hands and try to rally people to your cause to change a church that you supposedly believe in, then you have pushed your actions from personal opinions to open rebellion against the Church and it’s teachings and simply put, because you do not believe in the Church, and will not leave and instead try to get others to join your movement against the Church teachings, despite being warned over and over…then you will have consequences based on your actions and then you will blame the Church and look to find more fault as how dare they take action etc when they warned you of the consequences. I feel bad that so many are filled with anger when it is pretty simple. It is not about who is male or female btu it does vary with leaders. Some try to hope that if a person really wants to stay, then give them time to change their ways to be in accordance with what the Church teaches in outward behavior. Never once does the Church tell you what to think…but it does say when you attack the Church and get others to follow, then by your own actions, you do not believe in the Church. It is a heavy price to seek after contention and look for constant negative as there is something far greater than that…and that consists of peace and an understanding.

    • Paul Belfiglio December 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      @Troy: If you were living in Europe in the year 1520 or so, and were born into an ardent Roman Catholic family, and were yourself an ardent true believing member in that religion, would you have supported, or at least agreed with Martin Luther in his reform attempts, or would you have told him to step in line with the Church leaders, its doctrines and practices?

      “Oh, but that’s different! That was the false Catholic church with all of its obvious flaws. It needed to change because it was doing a lot of harm to a lot of people.”

      This how you would more than likely respond, or close to it, correct?
      Okay then, so you obviously being an ardent, true believing member of TCOJCOLDS, if you came to the very rational conclusion that there was a need for the LDS church to change a particular doctrine or policy, what would YOU do? I know the vast majority of LDS members would just keep silent and turn the other way. If it didn’t really impact them directly then they would think that it’s none of their business and the church leaders and God must know what they are doing, etc., etc.. Right? You would agree that is this probably what most members, wether believing or otherwise would do. Well, even though most believing and fully non-believing members do and would act this way, not all wouldn’t. And the issue isn’t about believing on not believing that the LDS church is the ‘one and only true one’, it’s about ABUSE of power and indiscretion in an organization regardless of whether you belong to it or not; or worse, it’s about being a member of a church that purports to be Christian and that you gave tens of thousands of dollars to and countless hours and years of voluntary service only to see that this church was not/is not acting in a very Christian manner. For example, it doesn’t take a Saint (genius) to realize that just because a very righteous man happens to born of the so-called Negro race, is Christian grounds for denying him the opportunity to bless and stand at the head his own family with priesthood authority like every other male in the church. But why did that change, Troy? Oh, a ‘revelation’! No, Troy, it changed because the church eventually came to the realization that racial bigotry isn’t very Christian AFTER numerous complaints, protests, and pressures were put on the church forcing the change to come about. You can call it a ‘revelation’, I call it a ‘realization’.

      There are many, many other changes that have occurred within the LDS church, and there will continue to be changes to ‘keep up with the times’ (and the money coming in) that will be birthed by the implementation of the LDS church’s social research (those hired for specific projects, and those working full-time for the Church) examining the protests and complaints that members have with regard to some aspects of the church. The changes in the temple endowment ceremony with regard to the egregious ‘penalties’ is yet another example of this.

      And what about all of the people who were excommunicated because they promulgated the truth claim that Joseph Smith, so-called ‘translated’ the BofM by putting a rock in a hat? However, now the church admits that this is how it was done, consequently, if anyone says this openly in church or writes about it they need not fear that they too are going to be excommunicated. Yeah, NOW, but what about THEN?

      Many looked the other way when a bishop castrated a young man because he wouldn’t consent to giving up his fiancé to a bishop who desired her for another one of his plural wives, and although Brigham Young wasn’t pleased with this certain bishop’s action, he still didn’t have him released as bishop (instead of having him hung!), but I for one wouldn’t be so ‘tolerant’ and silent of this heinous crime. Would you?! Would you really call this, as you put it, “push[ing] your actions from personal opinions to open rebellion against the Church and it’s teachings…”?

      I don’t know how old you are, Troy, but Jesus never advocated for naiveté. He was a man of justice and action and He is to be our exemplar.

      Having said all of this, I’m not in any sort of way a John Dehlin ‘fan boy’, but I will respect any man that stands up to any sort of abuse, lies, and other indiscretions supposedly done in the holy of name of Christ Jesus and His ‘one, true, church’.

  34. Paul Belfiglio December 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Erratum: “not all would” instead of ‘wouldn’t’. Also, please excuse other typos, and grammar points.

  35. […] a December blog post, Dehlin predicted that a disciplinary hearing would be held in his case within the next 12 months. […]

  36. […] a December blog post, Dehlin predicted that a disciplinary hearing would be held in his case within the next 12 months. […]

  37. Parker West January 16, 2015 at 2:25 am - Reply

    John, I read the update regarding the most recent attempt to silence you. The wire story went out from the Trib to newspapers in the UK as well as in US dailies, I caught the story in the Gardian (London). The Kelly situation was one that had to be acted upon immediately Ms Kelly pushed her believes to the front doors of the Politburo, with organized protests, even a silent protest into ward meetings. The church had to do one of two things either start to make changes to institute a priesthood that did not consider eligibility based on one’s sex, or take away her platform, they did what you would expect them to do.
    You however served a valuable service to offer a meeting place for those of us who had to tear off the blinders we’re not ready to be intellectually honest with ourselves, because there were pressures to drift rather than leave the faith. I’m certain that many stayed because you were still a member, we could pacify each other and get our concerns off the chest.
    I was with FAIR working in apologetics for several years thinking I was doing some good, answering questions people had picked up off the Internet’s anti sites. I still could not stomach the churches position on homosexuality or accuracy in any scripture. I have copies of conference talks given by Millet and another gentleman who had the position that evidence against really silly ideas, Noah’s Ark and The Flood that never happened, the 6,000 year old earth, etc was in error because Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and he said the Bible was RIGHT! That was the most cultish statement any religion could offer up and I wondered how the folks in the Geology and Cosmology departments at BYU were feeling when they heard this garbage.
    You and I know each other from hanging around the old True Believers sites and FaceBook groups, I admire the work you are doing and I would support you in any way I could. The church will again be hung out to dry for doing rather idiotic and self destructive things re: Prop 8 support, September 6, Kelly excommunication, if they cut you off. Every paper in the country will have the story and readers say to themselves: “What the Hell are to Mormons doing to their own people, it seems they will not allow for critical thought or honest questioning, what are they hiding?” I told you they were weird folks Hazel.

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