Activist John Dehlin calls LDS Church’s excommunication process ‘despicable’; says no one should go through it

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 30, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — John Dehlin, longtime social activist, podcaster and outspoken critic of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says the organization’s modern-day practice of excommunication is “despicable” and “barbaric,” and needs to end.

Dehlin, creator and host of the popular Mormon Stories Podcasts, made the comments Tuesday in a wide-ranging conversation with reporter Bill Gephardt.

Dehlin spoke openly of his personal challenges in dealing with excommunication, as well as the devastating impact it initially had on family and friends. He also discussed the implied connection between the LDS Church’s 2015 decision to prevent children of same-sex households from becoming church members until they turn 18 years of age and a reported spike in LDS teen suicides.

To hear Dahlin’s comments for yourself, please click on the video player above.


  1. John, what would make the excommunication process less “barbaric” for you? No excommunication at all? You rail against a religion (predictably) that now you say you’d like to rejoin…in the same breath you again rail against it. You have no credibility at all. And now that you are no longer a member, you’re just another bitter, anti-mormon on the outside looking in with even less credibility than you had when you were a member. Personally, I hope someday you will rejoin because you sincerely want to and because you think it is the right thing to do – not just to prove some point for yourself or for others.

    • While the word “bitter” is thrown out there quite a lot to describe former members of the church, it may shock you how un-bitter most of us are. Also, with his work as a clinical psychologist and PhD, I’d say John has at least some credibility.

      • Good point. I rarely visit the Mormon/Ex-Mormon world anymore because I’m having so much fun and joy not being in the church. But when I do I’m always slapped-in-the-face with the complete refusal of Mormons to understand that their reality is far from the best reality. “Bitter” is so simple. Can we experience hurt and ostracism and,perhaps, occasional anger than we’ve been lied to? Yes. But we leave because it’s where greater happiness lies. For us. This, is a bitter pill for those we leave behind to swallow. Maybe that’s why they attach that word to us. Diverting their pain and fear…?

        • Carl, the only bitter pill for us to swallow is knowing that our brothers and sisters, whom we love deeply, have been decieved into believing greater happiness is found outside of God’s plan of happiness for us. And yes it does bring enormous amounts of pain and fear to see family, who means everything to us, take that path.

          • Devin, while your beliefs are certainly sincere and come from a place of love, do you have any idea how condescending it is to claim that any happiness other than your own is “deception?”

          • THIS Devin!!! This is the problem: your sorrow, pain, and fear over watching family “take that path.” Could you step outside the Mormon box for a minute and understand how this sounds?: You are essentially telling your family and friends that their decisions are not valid, and despite the fact that they tell you they are happy, you won’t believe. It’s not your family that has created the developing chasm that will inevitably grow between you, it’s the “doctrine” that they have broken the chain. A doctrine of anyone without blind faith is prideful and misled. It’s a cruel, unrelenting doctrine of sadness and control. This doctrine says that the .001% of people on the earth who happen to know and have faith in a specific set of rules and “ordinances” are the only ones who can have real happiness in this life and the hereafter. We all know you mean well with your belief in your ultimate happiness. Maybe one day you’ll see how this is the epitome of arrogance. You don’t KNOW that your happiness is more happy than mine, or anyone else’s. And if it is, we are using the gift of agency to choose something different. And it’s bringing us OUR ultimate happiness. So no more sadness please. It’s a slap in the face to good, thinking, loving, striving people who found something other than your limited reality.

    • Yes. I think he’s saying excommunication is an outdated practice and has no place in any modern church. I agree. It doesn’t take a “bitter, anti-Mormon” to see this. Just a regular 21st century person.

    • It’s funny how your comment is really exactly how the mormon church would want you to think about the situation, don’t listen because he is just bitter, don’t listen because he is ‘anti’, don’t listen because he doesn’t have anything real to say. You should watch a documentary on how the Scientologists operate, it’s shockingly similar.

      The honest truth is that John more effectively and lovingly got people to stay with the church than the church ever has, John being a perfect example of “don’t look at the history, but if you do look and talk about it we’re going to remove you”. It is easy to cast stones without spending any time looking into the history and founders of the mormon church, but can you honestly claim you have walked his path and seen what he has seen? Are you free of sin that you may be his judge and cast the first stone? No, the answer is no because you are human and to err is human. You should spend some time looking at his Mormon Stories podcast before judging, you will find that in many cases, the church itself is requesting the reasons and statistics behind disaffected members.

      A lot of the people on the path to his ‘excommunication’ didn’t want to excommunicate him, he didn’t want to be excommunicated and loved the community, you really should do some research on the situation as he is tremendously justified in being angry about the entire process. If you posed a question to the church authority regarding a verifiable fact like “Why would Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon using a stone in a top hat?” or “Why was the Book of Mormon changed from a trinitarian view of God to the current view?” and then instead of giving you and answer they punished (or excommunicated) you, wouldn’t you be angry?

      The most important link you can ever go to is, that was a letter from a member written at the behest of a CES director.

      • Which was never answered by that CES director, btw, even though he asked the author to write it, he never bothered to answer his questions. And then the author was ex-communicated for telling the story and publishing the letter. If you want to hear the whole story, come to, I believe 16th Exmormon Foundation Conference Oct. 4-9th in SLC!

      • I have listened to countless hours of his Mormon Stories podcasts. While I admit that the Church’s history has not been transparent for decades and decades (they are sincerely trying now, there were apostles that didnt know some things) John should have been and should be now open that he intends to lead as many as he can out of the Church. This crap that he says all of his motives are nothing but love is just that, crap. I have no issues with him discussing the issues, but he needs to be honest about his intentions, which are not to help people stay. The Church was VERY patient with him and he was defiant to the rules he knew very well. I just with he was honest. I gagged a bit while I heard him talk about how innocent he is in this video.

        • I just wish the crap the church said wouldn’t be so divisive and deceptive. I just wish they were honest with their intentions, and open about the funds they get from their members. They sit there and say they are all about love, and their motives are all about love yet they use deceit, and show a complete and distinct lack of love toward the LGBT community, and their doctrine continues to treat women as less than men (see the temple.) John was very patient with the church and gave them every opportunity to finally be at the head of progress, rather than lacking at least 20 years behind. They are defiant to what is right and good to people, and I just wish the leaders would be honest. I gag a bit when I hear them spout hatred from one side of their mouths, and “love” from the other. You see how this can go in circles all day? The organization harms people, then convinces its members to blame the victims. What a horrible practice that lacks love and understanding.

          • I agree that there is serious problems, but when you say the church is lying give me some recent examples within the last 30 years and particularly the last ten.

            As far as deception that is in the eye of the beholder. What is it wrong for the church to hide Joseph’s seer stone for so long? I can think of a hundred reasons why not.

            The church is not beholden to anyone. It is not on trial and to make a habit constantly being cornered would be a distraction in the great efforts to preach the gospel, perfect the work and strengthen the members.

            Your speaking pretty loosely Dusty and it’s not very objective. I agree that humans and leaders in the church have lied before and I am especially thinking of local leaders, but if you have solid concrete proof where the apostles are lying to modern members bring it forth.

            Yes, I agree, they hide stuff from us a lot and they should, but where are they purposefully trying to deceive the members and as dar as tithing monies, are you serious? This gets really silly and this is coming from someone with very serious criticsims of the church. I can think of many reasons why the church should keep a lid on that.

            You engage in too much speculation! You act like the brethren are all bad without any good desires. Like they don’t want what is best for the members. Yes, there is serious issues, but by golly, they are not trying to hurt us.

            It sounds to me like you have a serious bone to pick and you are so driven that you have at least lost some of the capacity to be objective. Often they are in a tricky situation and are trying to the best they can.

            I’m not saying they know everything. They cannot build airplanes and skyscrapers. They are often short on understanding psychology and many of it’s members. They are not God, but influenced by Him.

            My problem is with local leaders and I believe some blind spots and stubbornness at the top contributes to it. I also do not believe the apostles are fully aware of it, as all had different experiences. They are kind of in a bubble.

            Like a zone leader who visits some missionaries, the missionaries often change there behavior. Make themselves look better or when the mission president is making a visit people clean up, straigten up there act.

            I’ve seen bad bishops do this very thing when the stake president comes to visit and the SP cannot see through the bishop. Especially when you have men as committed and strong as the apostles in their earlier years as bishops, etc, people automatically act better around someone like that and are even more inspired to do so.

            The apostles are praised wherever they go and see the very best side of local leaders. So all there life they see a reality that can be a little off, as mission presidents with missionaries, SP’s, GA’s and apostles and yes I know they get complaints are very familiar with the problems. I’m not denying that. What I am saying is there is blind spots and there is other factors I won’t mention.

            Just because there is faults in someone does not mean God cannot use someone. It’s in our limited understanding that we would think this. A homeless man can be inspired when he usually would not do so, to go up someone who just lost his wife and has nowhere to go, no money and is hungry and tell him of a meal being given around the corner.

            Yes, some things bother me and some things in the church are wrong, but that does not mean the ideals of the church are not true. In a fallen world, even in the church, there is going to be shortcomings. These men are not experts on how best to go about things. they are human.

          • The irony of you claiming somebody else isn’t objective is too rich. It’s like you didn’t even read what I wrote, or what I was responding to and see the point of it all is everything that was said can be flipped, reversed, and still maintain authenticity. It was about perspectives, come on man. I know you want to discredit me, but do it honestly.

            As far as showing lies, I’m sure you won’t like the source I link, but they source every one of them, and it is too long of a list for me to present and source for you. Not sure if linking websites is allowed here, so I will tell you how to find it. It’s from mormonthink, under the section lying. It is a fairly large and comprehensive list.

            There is also an article by Rock Waterman about tithing, showing Jeffrey R. Holland intentionally leaving out parts of a George Q Cannon talk that completely changes the law of tithing and how much should be given. If you google rock waterman tithing, it will be easy enough to find and read through. There are also the times back in the late 90’s when Faust was speaking about personal relationships with God in conference that contradicted Mcconkie, so the later written version in the Ensign was edited to change some things Faust said to be in line with what was said ~20 years prior. If you wish, I can also find all this for you and get you links if they are allowed.

            Your criticisms of the church are also about the equivalent of patting a kitten on the head gently for disobedience. You promote the belief of near infallible leadership, it’s just the lower level folk that mess up bad narrative that they want. Yeah, everywhere apostles go they are adored and fawned over… but that’s because they don’t step out of their comfort zones. They only go to places to speak in public where they will be around LDS people that practically worship them. And they are nearly worshipped based on their supposed mantle, not their actual works.

    • Please explain how leaving the LDS church makes you less credible? Does leaving the Jehovah’s witnesses make a person less credible about the Jehovah’s Whiteness religion? How about when a Catholic leaves the Catholic church, are they less credible about that religion? What if an individual stops driving a vehicle from a specific brand because they dislike certain things about that vehicle, does that make them less credible when somebody else asks the individual about their experience with that brand? It sounds to me like you are just perturbed that somebody would actually disagree with you after being a member, I don’t see any evidence of lost credibility with John Dehlin.

    • Perfect example of marginalizing someone you don”=’t agree with. Its as if you stand in authority as a better, smarter, more credible human because of your faith. How Christ like of you Dallin.

    • Mike, you clearly didn’t listen to the interview very closely. Yes, John did at one point appealed his excommunication, but that’s changed. If you listened carefully, you would have understand this. But Mormons like you hear what they only want to hear.

  2. Thank you John, for making me aware of criticisms of the LDS Church, Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham of which, any Latter-day Saint that reads from time-to-time are already well aware. These are sophomoric positions. Having been involved in the process of members losing fellowship or membership in the LDS Church and also, with members regaining fellowship and membership, I can personally attest that the process is not “barbaric”. It is a process of revelatory brilliance, helping people to increase personal disciplined in their discipleship. It is a process where leaders show far more regard and love toward the individual than you have shown towards the Church, that rightly you just can’t give up. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does have statues and commandments. Always has, always will. Sorry John, but until you learn to bend your will to Diety’s, you are going to be depressed, lonely and without fellowship in the Kingdom. It is my hope for you, that you will read the Book of Mormon, remembering that it was translated in 85 working days, dictated without a word change from Joseph’s mouth and each time you turn the page, please ask yourself if a mere young man (or any group of people) could have written such a book. Any person, honest in heart knows the answer to that question. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing ever offered to mankind.

    • I have been involved in the excommunication in a very personal way. It was shaming, invasive, and completely arbitrary. It was the worst experience of my life. Even after re-baptism it haunts me. It was a condescending, judgmental (not in the “good” way), and I felt like if I didn’t answer the questions to their satisfaction–based on their preconceived notions–I wasn’t trusted. Afterwards all the high council was all smiles and handshakes. Felt like the weirdest, most insincere funeral. Mine. No, If excommunication is really part of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”, it is NOT the greatest blessing ever offered to mankind. Human kindness, acceptance, and love are. I don’t consider myself a believer of much anymore, but I can honestly say that what the rest of the world considers “Christian” is hard to find in the halls of an LDS church. A couple pictures of Jesus just seems hollow in light of the barbaric way I experienced the church’s “court of love”.

      • Carl my heart is with you my friend , your sincere honest words ,
        If I remember correctly the true nature of Christianity is supposed to mirror the behaviour of the saviour , did the saviour not forgive the prostitute being stoned imediatlyyyyyyy and tell her to go sin no more? Did he say he who is without sin cast the first stone ? Did he not tell the thief on the cross beside him that he will be with him in paradise ? And why ? Simply because he knew Christ was a good man and he recognised his goodness ,
        The Lds excommunication process is a battlefield of cannons casting I incompassionate stones in all directions , and that my friend is not an exaduration

      • Carl my experience mirrors yours. I felt the same emotions before, during, and after. I got re-baptized also. Why? It wasn’t because I believed in the Church. Family reasons like most people I’m willing to bet. The process is NOT loving or a blessing. The “Church” is really only worried about the “Church” not the real welfare of the individual.

    • It sounds like you were the excommunicator rather than the excommunicatee from your experience. Question, if you are the one excommunicating somebody (or on the panel), how can you know what that person is going through when you haven’t been excommunicated yourself?

    • If we follow that logic, as to how a young man or group of men could have written such a book, I guess we need to consider the Koran, the Talmud, the Tao-te-ching, the Upanishads, the Vedas, the Tripitakas, the Bhagavad Gita, to mention just a few.

  3. Great interview. As a life-long resident of Salt Lake I found this very interesting. John is well spoken and clear about his experiences as he summarizes his concerns and what must have been a very difficult journey for him.

  4. Yes, no excommunication. No name calling, guilt or shaming. Sorry but the LDS Church does NOT hold the keys to my access to heaven and they do NOT stand in your way of communicating with god. Most Mormons are arrogant, dusmissive, pious and TOTALLY unchristlike

  5. To those who would criticize John, you should hope and pray you never find yourself at odds with the Church. That you never have a loved one end their life because the severe ostracism makes death more appealing. Isolation is cruel and inhumane. Let’s face the fact: Disfellowshipping, Excommunication, Shunning, is used to control people and silence legitimate criticism. I am with John, it’s a barbaric practice.

    • So, you think people who are apostate and reject their covenants should just be left alone to live a pretend life implying that they still believe?

      • Why not? Unless they strike fear in your core belief system and your faith is so weak you have to protect it by shunning them. Yeah, why not leave them alone? Ignore them into extinction… don’t socially and publicly brutalize them with shunning and ostracism.

  6. Some odd an curious words here, “he has no clue”, “just another bitter anti-Mormon”, “less credibility”. John is an outspoken advocate of real truth, a source of help and comfort for some seriously hurting people. And he has walked the walk, so he most certainly has a clue when he talks the talk. John’s work, his mission, has been of great help to me personally, as well as many members of my family, and countless people around the world. Good job, John…praise to the man!

  7. Great questions and fantastic responses in this interview! Concise and to the point. The Mormon Church lost a great member when it cast out John Dehlin.

  8. Negative comments will be coming from current members of the church because they don’t understand their own doctrine OR the struggle people have gone through that don’t fit the Utah Mormon mold.

  9. True HaroldTheCat. But, John Dehlin should pray to whatever God he worships now and thank him/her/it that they cut him loose.

  10. The words barbaric and despicable are much better suited to describe ISIS beheadings or something similar. Excommunication or disfellowship isn’t “barbaric” or “despicable” at all. This is hyperbole so John can feel better about himself. Excommunication is a protection for the church and for the member himself. Every organization, from religion down to the local Kiwanis club, have rules and standards and most reserve the right to disinvite, expel, disbar, oust, remove, deport, evict, excommunicate, etc those members who 1) seriously, and usually serially, violate the tenets of the organization and then 2) show no or little remorse or penchant for change. Members that have been excommunicated from the LDS church are immediately invited…encouraged to continue attending Sunday church meetings and other church social events and to work their way back to membership. Over the years, I have personally known a significant number of people that have been excommunicated or disfellowshipped and I can tell you that they have been treated like gold by other members and neighbors and the overwhelming majority of those people would tell you the same. If John is angry, bitter, (and I think he is), it is because he has made that choice. Time, with perspective, will hopefully help change that.

    • Mike, this seems just a little standard an answer for me. It sounds like talking points and the “ideal” of what church disciplinary is supposed to be. Before you think I’m irrational go look at my other post. I know the church is true, but there is serious problems in the some of the mentality which effects many members on some level and in some aspects of the system.

      The Lord does not control every single thought and word from an apostle and he certainly does not from bishops or local leaders. We used to emphasize more than we do now, “go to your loving bishop,” that has greatly faded out as more understanding has come to light. We pump leaders up so much that when many see serious flaws (a leader who is so dull and a jerk) it can deeply pain them.

      Nothing bothers me more than to see narrow minded stubborn members of the church who just have this knee jerk reaction to defend all things, with out stepping back and objectively examining the issue at hand. Not even anti-Mormons do. Mormons need to be humble and realize that they may, even if innocently, sometimes contributing to pain and even deep trauma and that includes some local leaders and believe me, I have known some terrible ones.

      If we annoy have an honest conversation and are only shut down by narrow minded claims “on the road to apostasy,” then how can we as a people improve, if we really are the true covenant people of God and disciples of Jesus Christ.

      Mormons preach the “ideal” an awfully lot, but the ideals are often no where to be found in far flung wards in New York, Texas, Northern Cali and even in Utah. I’m all for church disciplinary and I believe John who on some things I sympathize with, is being intellectually dishonest and not genuine and there is some darkness, contention, whatever you want to call it in him. Anyone who acts like there is nothing but light and perfection is not being objective.

      I can’t entirely say if I have a problem with a Johns excommunication. I surely support the end result, but whether the leaders acted better than him and for better motives and with love I cannot say because I was not there. In Jeremy’s case the stake president acted like an idiot. It was not Christlike! It was not wise! It was not humble! Perhaps church leaders could realize these individuals are suffering, whether it be sin or loss of testimony or both (I believe sin is a very huge factor). Did it do any good to treat Jeremy Runnles like that, even if Jeremy was playing a stupid game? Especially if your going to excommunicate someone (and supported his being excommunicated also) that more than anything, should be done with the utmost love and patience. Some leaders do not get this!

      What about Mountain Meadows Massacre? Are we to just defend everything leaders do? Are they not capable of mistakes? Look at the war in heaven, a great deal was over freedom and not being forced and controlled. So while the Lord may try to influence, he is not controlling everything a leader does. And if some leaders would do what they did at Mountain Meadows, imagine what else leaders at the local level will do if they can keep it under the radar.

      I’m sorry, not all is well in Zion and the brethren at the least, somewhat know this, but cannot speak on it publicly. People have sacrificed there time, money, gave there children to missions and went on missions themselves to later be excommunicated (I know one who had disorders and the local leaders did not take that into account) and they loved the church and the members and the leaders completely shunned them. One I know pissed a leader off and that played a part.

      So I hope LDS can let love in and be open minded. We need to treat people better! We need to follow Jesus Christlike, not just go to church, the temple, and not commit serious sin. Millions of other people do the same. Mormons need to FOLLOW JESUS!

    • Oh, and the “gift of discernment,” we don’t mention that as much as we used to, because we took it way, way, way too far. It is an exception and an ideal and a possibility for leaders to have that, but most are nowhere near worthy or Christlike to be able to have that. We need to be more realistic.

    • I’m not necessarily saying you are stubborn, because I don’t know you and perhaps you are a good guy and thoughtful, but your post reminded of people I have known over long periods of time and I felt the need to say something. People would respect this church so much more if they saw we more reasonable, fair, objective and willing to see the faults within, not just the faults of the anti’s or the sinful culture we live in, which active LDS too often internalize more than they do the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • I would also add, church discipline is the least of my concerns about problems within the church. Most people who are shunned, or suffer at the hands of members/leaders, etc, do not go through the disciplinary process. Also, a lot is not discussed because people are afraid to do so.

  11. Pete – You win THE most ignorant and ironic statement ever.

    Mike – Please do explain to us how he isn’t credible? I’ll wait.

    Mark Bowman – Sophomoric? REALLY?? So church historians and SCHOLARS are sophomoric? Nice try buddy. Do some actual studying and investigation then you can run your mouth. Bet you’d be pretty silent.

  12. Lets look at the facts. John was excommunicated for TALKING about stuff (Good or bad it doesn’t matter). Apparently “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me,”doesn’t mesh well with God and ‘his church.’ If God is willing to cut off his relationship with one of his children because something his child said was offensive, then mortal parents are better parents than God is. Think about it, how many parents get walked over with criticism from their children, yet still associate with their kids regardless? Meanwhile, if somebody says something about God or his 3-4th run at a business model, God talks to that child again, and then sends him to hell. There is something wrong with this type of love.

  13. I stated that John now has less credibility because now as an outsider looking in and slinging arrows and rocks at the church, he immediately is no different than the other anti-mormons who leave the church but then can never leave it alone. Who are the great, well known anti-mormons out there who’s following and so-called sphere of influence has increased or even stayed the same once they have left the church either voluntarily or because they are excommunicated? No one worth mentioning. As a member, John had more influence and I’m guessing a higher readership than he does now, hence my credibility comment.

    • Oh. Okay Mike, now we understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately in this situation, you are just, you know…wrong. I’ll wager John would take back in an instant anything he has ever said about the church that was untrue, half-truth, or wrong. Is the truth, your “arrows” and “rocks” accidentally piercing the heart of the wicked?


    • Readership and popularity have nothing to do with credibility. Galileo had no credibility in his life either. He was marginalized until Isaac Newton proved beyond all doubt that the Church was wrong about the solar system.

  14. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with Mormons. I think if I was Catholic, Muslim, etc, I’d have bad experiences with some of them. So every faith has it’s issues and I don’t see why we can’t talk about.

    The Mormons seem generally better in many respects, but in some areas they are worse, or at least some. There is problems in the mentality and the system, but there is things I believe more precious than what you’ll find anywhere else.

    I’ve read an awfully lot of scholars work on the Book Of Abraham and been objective in my studies. John I sympathize with and wish him well, but he talks as though these claims are absolute facts.

    Book Of Abraham was not translated from the scrolls they found. The ones they were drawn from were probably destroyed in the Chicago fire. SO I am not sure how John has much credibility when he clearly lacks an objective approach on that and other points.

    Also, do I really need to everything Moses or Noah or Abraham or Jesus Christ did in order to come to believe in them? If they really are from God the Father, does He and should He satisfy every single human there is on the millions of questions we might have and do everything in perfect accord with the thinking of every human?

    I don’t know, is it just me or does this seem extremely narrow minded and non-serious? He acts like everyone needs to know if Joseph Smith picked his often so they can determine his character. Either Jospeh was a prophet or he was not and if he was, then God will bless people who are sincere and willing, to know the truth? Otherwise why send prophets?

    If God would confirm the truth of Jospeh Smith’s claims and he is nothing more than an instrument in God’s hands, then coming to a knowledge of divine truth is ultimately a spiritual matter, though the honest intellectual or other triggers can lead up to that.

    So Jospeh had more than one wife. Who cares? Solomon, David, Abraham and Biblical prophets did too. If God the Father and the resurrected Christ appeared to him, angels, etc and he translated an ancient record, who cares? Sure, you may be curious and may want to understand it in the best way you can, but if he is a prophet does it really matter that some things were outside practice of mainstream America at the time?

    Do we even know why he did it or why was “sealed” to some other mens wives? I mean seriously. are you that foolish to think someone long engaged in a fraud, previously in many court proceedings, hounded from state to state, the temporal and spiritual salvation of many Mormons on his shoulders, the media and politicians at times gunning for him, defectors left and right going back to Kirtland, would then just take other prominent and god mens wives? Are you serious?

    I studied the church history and read an awful lot anti-Mormon as well and the non revelatory evidence alone that Joseph Smith was a prophet is simply overwhelimg. With respect to John, I wonder what his answer is to the fact Joseph got so much right in the Book Of Mormon and Book Of Abraham, like Nahom in Saudi Arabia. The list is very, very, very long. The fact the Egyptology is not very old and is still developing and that they have been proving wrong time and again, as somehow someway, the boy Joseph proves far ahead of them.

    What does he think about Joseph’s parents and siblings (such as Hyrum) who knew he was an honest and sane boy and followed him through hell to the very end? Or the 3 witnesses who never denied there testimonies and all bore testimony as the were dying.

    I submit John has issues, which does not make all his claims invalid, but a pessimistic and contentious spirit has a hold of him. Yes, I agree, “humans” in the church make mistakes. We don’t always act in the wisest or Christike way. I believe some things need to come to light, but John is not doing it the right way. He literally believes the church is a fraud when it is not. How can the church tolerate that influence among members who are so many different levers?

    As far as excommunication, you say it “barbaric” and torturous, but yet you are glad. Well, sometimes what hurts is what is best, right? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known some pathetic Mormon leaders and they don’t always do whats right and make excuses, though hold us to a higher standard (certain ones), but in no way means the church is not rue. Just because some zone leader, elders quorum president or bishop mistreated you, doesn’t mean God is not trying to work with everyone in ways far beyond our comprehension.

    I’m sure some disciplinary proceedings have not been in accord with Christlike principles, which by the way, includes justice (in a loving and fair way), but how John could possibly think the church should not have the option to do this is beyond me. In fact, many humble people have joyously proclaimed it was what turned them around.

    Why did John and Kate fight there proceedings so hard and then both later claim they are glad they are separated or am I misunderstanding? Is pride, contention, doubt, negativity, rationalization, intellectual dishonesty and denial at play here? Both of you have fought the church John and tried to change it in fundamental ways, i.e., gay marriage acceptance.

    I do agree that Mormons need to be more accepting and look at there own faults, including in the collective mentality and system-there is serious faults, but to change a doctrine like traditional marriage for so many reasons many have already heard, is plain wrong.

    Sincerely, Aaron

  15. Mike – So all of his knowledge and life inside for over 30 years has no merit? Come on. And he’s not an anti mormon. What does that even mean? So because people are upset they’ve been lied to that makes them anti? When they can actually prove it? That’s not anti, it’s called the truth. When you give your all to something and it turns around and kicks you out when you speak up, that would make anyone upset. Truth never fears questions and investigation. Cover ups sure do though. Think about that one long and hard.

  16. Mike – So his 30+ years in the church have no merit? He is not an anti Mormon. What does that even mean anyway? When someone can present facts that prove the falsehood of claims from the religion that demands everything from you, you’re going to be upset. It’s called the truth. And truth never fears investigation. Cover ups do. Why can we not talk about all the problems? There’s a big reason. Think about that one long and hard.

  17. He has allowed himself to fall away from the church. We are taught that we must continue to strive to follow the teachings of our church. Are all our members perfect? No, that is a goal that we all strive to attain in this mortal life. Only Jesus Christ was perfect. Only someone with that distinction could pay the price that needed to be paid for us. And as far as the things that we do as church members, we do them because we want to. By keeping the covenants that we made when we joined we can gain a greater share of the blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us.

    • Honestly, what have you ever done in your life that would require a man to die for? The very idea that we are born in such a way that requires human sacrifice is appalling. Not just a sacrifice though, a sacrifice that we are then indebted to whether we wish to pay for our own “sins” or not, and if we choose the path of love and say “Hey, I can’t allow you to pay for these things for me.” The answer is basically “Too late, I already did. Now you’re damned.” Utter madness. And the people of the LDS church are far, far better than the doctrines deserve. The people try so much, and give so much of themselves. They deserve better than the deceit. Better than getting all the problems blamed on them with this idea that the people aren’t perfect, but the gospel is. Deserve better than for women to be treated as some form of divine currency. And those that separate themselves from this madness deserve to be treated better than the insults, and misunderstandings tossed at them by those that still believe.

    • Perhaps John Dehlin learned “how” to think and form his own conclusions, rather than “what” to think — the difference between indoctrination and education.

  18. The Prophet Joseph Smith made the following statement to a man who wondered why those who had left the Church often fought so fiercely against it: “Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant”

    • Joseph Smith said a lot of things that weren’t/aren’t true (remember his public lies about his polyandrous marriages? Or the Kinderhook plates?) Funny that. Why does the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints fight so hard against former members? Fight so hard to demean and discredit them, much like Scientologists do to their SP’s? Though I suspect you would agree with these “suppressive persons” about their former church with even just the slightest bit of study and research. Seems like they are constantly (pretty much every general conference, or BYU education conference) trying to paint former members and secularists as bitter, offended, unable to be happy, mislead by Satan, servants of evil, you know, kind of like you are insinuating. Wonder why they just can’t leave former members alone…

      • Not to mention for many that leave, enlisting to serve a God for all time at the ripe old age of 8, having been indoctrinated through primary since birth and having the same child like desire to please your parents, and the adults around you doesn’t seem like a very binding contract when it comes to the notion of informed consent.

    • Why does it have to be black and white? Why can’t i just choose the good i see for my self no matter the religion or belief system. I don’t need to be tied down by black and white thinking.

    • Wow. This Joseph Smith quote is a powerful reminder of the manipulate control tactics that roped me in for too long and, when I saw them for what they were, eventually drove me away. What a powerful reminder of the extent to which one charismatic person can so easily lead others into their trap. Just a couple of fear-producing sentences and a hyper-active imagination and people are still quoting it 200 years later.

  19. I’ve experienced Ex-communication first hand. I was baptized and re-joined 10 years later. I do find joy and happiness living the gospel and giving my children a form of direction in life and teaching them something outside of themselves. Teaching them about the savior and that we existed before we were born.
    That said, I DO NOT beleive in excommunication. It has NO place in our father in heavens church. Heavenly Father nor Jesus Christ would do excommunicate so why should “we” in acting as his “judges”. Probation is fine…why have excommunication? I beleive the act of excommunication is a SLAP in the face of the Atonement.

    • If it’s done the wrong way (and it often is) then it has no place, but just because discipline may not feel good does not mean the church should not have that option and sometimes people are so sinful, the only thing that can help them is such an operation. Or sometimes people just need to be separated from the church.

      Keep mind Heavenly Father had 1/3 cast out of heaven who are reserved for a place worse (at least in sense of time and not that we know how long) than hell. Also, everyone will be brought back into His presence and many will not be allowed to go back and live with Him.

      So before you think you have God all figured and that the church should not ave this as an option, I’d examine this very carefully. In defense of the church, there is no more merciful after life doctrine among the Abrahamic faiths. Hell for those who left earth has an end. Everyone will receive there bodies again, but in resurrected, immortal and perfect glory. Everyone will go to a level of heaven.

  20. It’s worthless having a conversation with people who cherry pick things and twist things without any mature objectiveness. You star things as if they are facts or if somehow a prophet not knowing everything means he’s not a prophet.

    Jospeh did not lie about the Kinderhook plates. He seems to have had some early speculation and none of this is very concrete, which is strange some supposedly brilliant individuals draw sharp conclusions. Boy would I hate you guys on a jury in which I am innocent, but in which there appears some vague circumstantial evidence. If you recall, unlike other things (BOA for one) Joseph backed off the Kinderhook plates.

    • Irony. Cherry picking without mature objectiveness is precisely what you have done, and are doing. Pick one tiny part of what I posted, and ignore the meat of it which is a flip side of what is said about former mormons. I also wholeheartedly disagree that having a conversation is ever worthless, there is always an opportunity for learning and understanding regardless of the level of disagreement.

      It would be horrible if evidence was vague and circumstantial, but evidence of Joseph Smith being a liar is pretty abundant and concrete. Even from his own mouth (He lied to the public about having more than one wife, while having many, many in secret. Behind his “one wife’s” back.) No claim was made that he needed to know everything, the only claim made is his honesty being in question. And when you claim to have translation powers, and translate some false object (the kinderhook plates) you are doing more than just speculating. Just because you back off on a lie, doesn’t mean you didn’t tell that lie to begin with.


        It’s nowhere near as clear cut as you guys make everything seem, including the kinder hook plates. I’m impressed by the fact Joseph lost complete interest in the kinder hook plates and did not translate them.

        So again, people cherry pick issues they think are easy to use against the church. Beind his “one wife’s” back. The premise is that God did not have a purpose, did not command Joseph and that somehow a wife who is hostile to it at times should be fully informed.

        Just keep in mind, that same wife continued to believe to the very end that Joseph translated the BOM.

        God commanded and Joseph obeyed. It is that simple. How do you not consider that not a possibility? If this was Gods work you would expect some of the things to not make sense. I mean we are dinky little ants, while Gods created endless galaxies beyond comprehension. This seems like a given to any rational person.

        Now look at Jospeh life. Look at his family, the witnesses, the people, from the very start. This wash’t just another religious fanatic or prideful fool seeking for gain. The story is simply beyond belief.

        • “The story is simply beyond belief.” Honestly sums it all up. It is beyond belief because when you examine the evidence without your confirmation bias you will find you’ve been sold a story. Try to use sources a bit less biased and ridiculous with their explanations, or non explanations that rarely ever address the heart of any matter and basically come down to “Well we can provide at least some doubt if you are willing to accept A, B, and C here” like fairmormon constantly does.

          You are asking me to accept the premise that there is a creator God with no evidence that confirms that, fine. For the sake of argument let’s just grant that premise. Now you are asking me to believe this God is the source of all good, morality, and is a benevolent being (basic tenets of what we are taught in church, correct?) Then you ask me to believe that this God needed his chosen prophet to have many, many marginalized and distraught women to have sex with behind his first wife’s back? This God in fact commanded it, because Emma’s feelings, and divine destiny were far less important than Joseph’s sexual exploits in this life. To the extent he sends an angel with a sword to threaten Joseph, thus completely interfering with free agency (another divine decree of the highest order.) It seems like a given to any rational person that all the contradictions and paradoxes we are asked to believe in just do not add up to even the most basic concept of reason, and these are just a few. And yes, a wife that disagrees with their husband sleeping with other women should ABSOLUTELY be fully informed. We should absolutely have fully informed consent before we accept anything. Something the church doesn’t seem to get. That is the first, and most basic building block of honesty and truth.

          Lastly, I just want to reiterate your last statement. Please, please, please look at Joseph’s life. Look at his family, the “witnesses” and their sketchy at best story, the people, all of it from the very start. Look at all of it, honestly. Look at how this all began, not just your church approved narrative that calls everything not fully supportive of it “anti.” It wasn’t a religious fanatic, or prideful fool looking for gain. It was an intelligent, charismatic, driven, and determined man seeking for gain.

          • Also, you seem to be saying it was ok that Joseph Smith lied about things (particularly to Emma,) and that in fact he was justified and it was moral. Are you putting the lies on God, rather than Joseph? You can’t really refute his lies, so you defend them? I don’t get how this makes anything better, or ok.

          • It’s not worth talking about with someone like you. You are not open to the possibilities. You state things like they are fact, like you were there and in Joseoh’s mind. You act like God could not have commanded him.

            I suppose you feel the same about God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac or the very Creator of this earth who literally could not die unless He chose, would allow Himself to be beaten, tortured and crucified, for the sins of dinky man.

            As far as there being no evidence of there being a God, says who? You? Scientist who tend to deal strictly with physical evidence. Just looking at the solar system, the galaxies, the endless universe and contemplating everything, it absolutely overwhelming that there is intelligent design. To me to believe otherwise is to be blind.

            It’s just all a coincidence right? Don’t worry about answering, because I’m the last person you could ever instill doubt in and that includes in the church. And if you think I’m not fair or objective, notice I’ve criticized the church and it’s members very strongly.

            Joseph Smith did not make this all up. It pure silliness to think so. The BOM, the BOA, the church, temples, pre-mortal, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. He was persecuted all the way through and you guys just think he was reckless and lustful, marrying 30 40 woman knowing some of it would get out, knowing the persecutions of the past, Liberty Jail, Kirtland, dragging his parents, siblings, etc, etc, etc, through absolute hell and then just be that CRAZY and RECKLESS. It is pure silliness!!!!

            Joseph Smith was absolutely a prophet of Almighty God!!! The BOM is true!!! The BOA is true! Sure the members are not perfect and sometimes idiots. We don’t always interpret things correctly and do not always understand everything, but that does not mean God is over this church, IN HIS OWN WAY, in harmony with His laws, purposes, etc. One of those purposes is not to force and take away free agency, something many leaders could understand better-only by love unfeigned.

          • Do you not have any self awareness to see the very things you accuse me of you are guilty of yourself? And I am open to any possibility. I think it is worth talking about things with you. You could change my mind. I could be wrong about everything. But it will take more than feelings, emotions, and testimony. It will take actual evidence, not inference. I guess that is where we differ. Your mind can’t be changed about things, and you aren’t open to the possibility of being wrong. I am. I’ll leave you be if you truly see no value in discourse or discussion and that is your wish, and thank you for your time and responses.

            (And yes, I do think the same nonsense of a man willing to kill his own son after hearing the voices in his head. And then getting into the beauty and wonder of the cosmos is a whole huge discussion on its own. I’m open to the idea of a supreme intellect, but none of the things you state are evidence or proof. Just inferences made within your reference frame of God must exist first, as that is an unchangeable “fact” in your mind therefor you allow no other possibilities, though they are endless.)

          • Dusty, I’m not necessarily trying to convince you of anything. What I’m referring to when I say it’s not worth having too much of a detailed conversation with certain people (thats what I meant) is very simple.

            How can you do that (have an objective conversation) when the things they say are nowhere anywhere close to factual, but yet they they act as though they are. The kinder hook plates are the perfect example.

            I mean seriously and respectfully, I’d hate someone like that to serve on a jury in which I was on trial and innocent. It is very common for things to appear one way when they are not. Strong circumstantial evidence has convicted men to years later finding out they were innocent.

            I’m sorry, but there is NO smoking gun on Joseph Smith!!! Absolutely none, and I’m not gonna respond to all the typical accusations and sound good talking points against him. That refers to you or anyone who just wants to throw things out there.

            Actually, most the anti-Mormon claims when carefully examined make Joseph look even better, when you consider everything. BOA is one very powerful example, in which he has been ahead of the so-called Egyptologist-a still developing field. Believe me, Joseph got all kinds of things right in that book and more evidence has come forth.

            Look, I don’t think your a dumb guy and your perfectly capable of figuring a great deal of this out on your own. I am willing to have a conversation (preferably not by typing), but when I see a pattern of using stuff like the Kinderhook Plates, Joseph’s polygamy, being sealed to other mens wives and hiding it from his wife (whom at times he tried to prepare her for) as proof that Joseph Smith was making the entire thing up from teenage years in New York and dragging everyone through hell for years, in all sincerity and respect, I think that is so irrational it is just utter silliness. And I don’t say that lightly.

            People who met Joseph were impressed in one way or the other. He was not just some weird religious nut wanting to hide in the mountains. He even ran for the presidency of the United States as I AM SURE you already know.

            So people can try to portray him as a liar, a fraud, a scoundrel, an adulterer, a very lustful man, but the evidence does not bare that out and yes, I know an awfully lot and frankly, I do NOT think it is important for the members to know every little detail. Neither do I think the Lord thinks so. It has nothing to do with whether he was a prophet or not or the salvational doctrines. NOTHING! I simply could care less that Joseph was sealed to Orson Hyde’s wife and others, other than I am curious and love church history and trying to get inside is head.

            I will say, there is something to be said that the church which continued it’s practice prospered and Joseph’s children and the church they lead did not. There are many reasons why this is the case and I am confident, God had many purposes for the practice, including using it as a sifter.

            I think my thoughts are perfectly rational. There is a Supreme Creator. He has all perfect attributes because he is all powerful and perfect. He is not miserable and full of hate. His love is of a kind we cannot fathom. His wisdom and His justice is beyond our ability to understand.

            All of this is perfectly logical to me. If you were powerful, intelligent and knowledgable enough to create endless galaxies, surely you would acquire joy, security, peace, please and all wise and good things for yourself, including a happiness we cannot fathom.

            Because is perfect He is a Father, not just some source, or being up there ruling over us. He has principles and ways. Marriage and gender are part of His ways and plan. He stands for something! It’s not kaos, misery, hate, sin (and if there be any dispute over sin, lets name a couple we’d all agree on on the logical basis there is a God). Brutal rape! Abuse of children and babies. Going out of your way to hate good people.

            So if logic leads us to there being a God, His interest in us and desire for us to be better rather bad (the sins above) then logic can also lead us to conclude that some behavior is not acceptable to God and that there is consequences, fitted to each child and need and that everything that goes around, will surely come around.

            I believe Adam and Eve fell from their perfect state. As a result they were cut off from the Father and from thereon Jesus Christ or Jehovah who was foreordained to be such, acted as the mediator. Thus the Bible’s letting us know Adam’s sons offered sacrifice-a practice instituted by God as a similitude of Jesus Christ’s eventual atonement and it’s ABSOLUTE necessity.

            God is far more holy than the mind of man can comprehend or believe-is that irrational? I think not. His ways are holy and righteous. Our bodies are sacred and gifts beyond comprehension and someday we will have perfect bodies. To me it makes perfect sense.

            We all lived before we came here. We debated and we leaned or took sides. We knew because of the eternal principle and law freedom, that “inalienable right” (free agency) it would be risky. Many had to be scared at times (probably a factor in Satan being able to lead 1/3) but we also shouted with joy, because we knew how fair God was, how brilliant and all knowing. We knew He cared and felt His divine love.

            I’m sure we even had some idea of hell, etc, etc, and the trials of this life. Besides, who would want to be forced, loose there individuality, prove themselves and grow.? We all loved freedom in some sense and it’s fullest exercise in mortality (temptation and opposition) would provide necessary experience and opportunity.

            It was in that setting that the atonement of Jesus Christ was presented and even relied upon there. Death is not something that happens in Gods more perfected realms. Our bodies were key! So that is one reason a Redeemer was needed, to overcome death, which was brought into the world through Adams transgression and Satan’s prodding.

            If we could glimpse heaven and just how majestic and holy God is and His ways and all the beings in those realms, we would be utterly astonished how gross and shocking some of our sins are. We would be utterly shocked. So we need a Savior in this fallen state. It also says something about the character of God to be willing to do so, of which much can be said. It is FAR more unbelievable than the Joseph Smith story.

            So I think I’m being rational. There is a God. He loves us and knows what He is doing. Joseph Smith was a true prophet. You wonder why such a response and I point to people on this board using the KinderHook plates, Joseph hiding something very sensitive and painful from his wife as proof Joseph was not a prophet. That is why I respond in such a manner.

            As far there being a God I believe a person can put there bias aside and think solely logically and objectively. You have seen me very heavily criticize the church and it’s members on this thread. I am not one in denial! I am perfectly capable of carefully examine something even if it goes against me and on the universe being proof of intelligent design I do not even think there is an argument, regardless of what some narrow minded scientist says.

            Just using logic and math. If the Sun was a little hotter we would die. If it was a little cooler we would die. If it was a little farther or closer we would die. There is literally billions of little and big things it takes for us to be existing here and still existing here. You can’t just chalk it up to “gravity.” The earth is massive compared to a rock or a mountain and yet the near precision of the rotations day after day and year after year without it just going off course is evidence of a supreme creator. All the “order” in the solar system, the galaxy and the endless galaxies is proof of intelligent design.

            Forget bias! Just follow proof and open your eyes. This was not some huge coincidence. The human body and spirit is part of that divine engineering. The circulatory system. The neurological system. The respiratory system. The skeletal system. The sense. The mind, the feelings, the skins which automatically heals itself. Lets not forget the esxual organs which so perfectly fit, from elasticity, growing (the male) liquids which just happen to produce, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc and the stunning miraculous reproductive system which goes hand in hand with it. Bables on the moms breast which just happens to miraculously release mild for the baby.

            We could go on and on and on and on about the body, the mind, the spirit and emotions alone. The eyeball and the optic nerves which sends signals to the brain. Think of what little we can which goes into the eyeball alone. The iris which miraculously opens and closes ( in part to protect and help vision) with light and adds beauty to the eye. The lens. The cornea. The many eye muscles and little veins and little nerves. The vitrous humor (gel) inside the eye. Everything has to be close to perfect. The retina and the macula and all the microscopic cones and rods which control acute and central vision. 1/3 of the brain is oriented towards eyesight.

            In all sincerity and with respect, it is utter silliness to think a higher power that is intelligent beyond comprehension did not created all this. The human heart, etc, etc, etc, etc. We could go on forever! DNA, Genes, etc, etc.

            Do you really believe that is not likely at this point in your thinking, but yet you believe dinky humans are capable of creating computers, the internet, cell phones where you can talk to your buddy from Utah to where he is driving in Japan, yet there is no supreme being?

            3000 years ago most people would have laughed if you told them one day there would be thousands of manmade airplanes that would fly all across the sky at the same time. Or a nuclear bomb, missiles, tanks, submarines, etc. All modern living, which ironically, exploded after 1820 and the founding of the US. But just because they could not logically see it does not make it untrue.

            It is not irrational for me to bear witness of Joseph Smith’s divine calling. You can point to polygamy, different scribes for the BOM, the priesthood being restored and the timing, the fact Joseph didn’t seem to know everything and was learning as he went, which by the way, that is precisely what I would expect. It took the kid and then later young man years to begin to understand the first vision from different points of view.

            The apostasy of the Christian world being one and the trinity, which by the way, is another thing the Bible, secular history of early Christians further confirms that the young man Joseph was spot on. And to anyone who may read this, don’t give me all this hocus locus about several accounts of the first vision. All of which I have read. I would have absolutely expected that!

            To me it is not rational. It is not rational to twist somebodies religion just because you are driven to do so for whatever reasons. I include John Dehlin in that.

            If you really want proof so bad and your motives are good and sincere than I’d suggest pray sincerely and show God you are sincere and not just the type He knows will pray, get impatient and then turn around and fight the church (fight it in some way, to which I’d question the sincerity of anyone who does that). You may say you have and He may have tried to give you some kind of answer that you were ready for.

            Gods not some dumb genie. He answers according to foreknowledge and infinite wisdom and I am confident thousands of factors go into Gods decisions to what level to reward someone, whether to answer them or how or when. Some He knows will just turn against it and would cause them even more misery.

            I assure you He does answer prayers and there is absolutely nothing in all this world that makes that irrational. When examining everything (which we won’t do here, it far more logical than I can say that He would do so, but don’t take my word for it. Seek Him who made you with all sincerity and a desire to do that which He tells you, IN THE WAY HE WANTS TO TELL YOU!!

            I have problems with many of the people, but that does not mean Jesus is not the Christ and is not working and influencing this church as much as He can. There is faults I wish were being addressed more, but you have to realize, these people in many respects are just as fallen as the rest of this world. Everyone has weakness, faults and blind spots, even those much more greatly influence by divine light.

            Point is, if you really are open to dialogue and coming to the truth, don’t let your mind play tricks on you and let things get in your way. I’d take these kind of things as if your very soul depended on it. The difference it could make in your life is more than you think, now and later.

          • I have looked at all of it and I see it completely differently than you. You say “sketchy” as if the Smiths were bad people. Look, everyone has faults and the Smiths lived in the middle of nowhere outside the village and elsewhere and SURELY, you’d expect SOME natural human weaknesses would you not? It’s not like these were bad people.

            It is literally impossible if you didn’t find weaknesses and perhaps a few quirks. The Smiths according to all the data were good people. Lucy or Jospeh Jr. did not help Jospeh commit the greatest fraud and fairy tail of all time. The book is from God and to examine the evidence and still continue to deny it’s likelihood (without a spiritual witness) is really telling and that includes about John Dehlin.

            This is in your head and the head of others. They are infected with doubt and in many cases more. The evidence alone and the logic, bares out Joseph was a prophet of God. You say in part it’s because he was charismatic he was able to pull this off? Is that what I hear?

            Jospeh, according to logic and endless journals and accounts (Josiah Quincy being a very credible and prominent one) was very likable, but it was not the charisma of a “player.” It was different. He was not as exciting a speaker as Sidney Rigdon in many respects. Where he was likable and what was the key was the goodness and pure honesty that he oozed and the spiritual power that seemed to rest upon.

            I’m sorry, but your very convinced about this and you have no basis for it, other than your doubt and wanting to point to things that you do not understand, plates, polygamy, sealing of Orson’s wife and others, etc, etc. You guys have no smoking gun! This is your doubts and those doubts are a power stronger than you think.

            There is absolutely nothing sketchy with the Lucy, Jospeh Sr. Hyrum, Martin, Oliver, Whitmer, etc. Nothing! Oliver was excommunicated and he was the main scribe, there for most the restoration visitations, yet if Oliver the teacher was involved in the biggest scam of all time, he surely did not throw Jospeh overboard as any vengul accomplice would have and he bore very strong testimony to the very end, as did Martin (who mortgaged half his farm for this unschooled farm boy) and Whitmer.

            Oliver a teacher. Martin a very respected citizen and farmer who held prominent positions in that area. It even ruined his marriage, yet he did not look back. The Whitmers were not sketchy. What was it about Joseph? They knew he was telling the truth and they experienced there own revelations.

            There is NOTHING sketchy! I’m sorry, it is silliness to me! It is actually to the contrary. They followed this boy/young man through more than you comprehend. You in all respect are in utter, utter, denial.

          • Well that was an awful lot to read through. I’ll start where you left off, and apologize in advance. You just mentioned far too many things for me to cover in a forum post (if there is any point in particular you would like me to address, or would like to address further yourself, let me know, and I will gladly do so), and I do not wish to bore you or other readers so I’ll try to be concise. Clearly you are passionate about this, but to be honest and blunt reading your thoughts (while appreciated) just fill me with sorrow with how sure you are about it all, and how sure you are about your claims of being objective while then going on to show that you clearly are not.

            “You in all respect are in utter, utter, denial.” I think you are projecting. Much of what you do seems like projecting, and insecurity under the mask of complete confidence in the narrative you hope to be true, and spin. Over, and over you claim to be objective, and not irrational, yet if you could just take two steps back and calmly, rationally read what you have responded with you would see the folly in your presentation, and the complete irrationality and lack of objectivity of it all.

            You also seem very fond of preempting insults by claiming to be doing so in respect. I am sorry, there is nothing respectful about insults, or your assumptions about people you know nothing of. You don’t know me. You don’t know the honest intent I have prayed with. You don’t know the complete lack of any feeling of spirit while doing things the LDS way for decades, the way Moroni outlines, and the complete desire I had because I so badly wanted it all to be true. But, my personal story ultimately doesn’t matter. It’s just an anecdote. Everybody has their own different story, and path. The real evidence we can test, and see does matter though. Joseph made testable claims. Made outright lies that are well documented. Occam’s Razor may not be an absolute rule in logic and society, but it is a good guideline to start with especially when there is a wealth of supernatural, or extraordinary claims (like there are with Joseph Smith.) You are too willing to accept his claims, or even defend the faulty ones under the comforting blanket of believing God was on his side, and your side and therefor the moral right must be.

            You make many, many unfalsifiable and unsubstantiated claims, particularly about the existence of God. Probability and improbability are not proof of some divine design. When you take into account the vastness of the known universe you start to see just how many possible planets, and places there could be life evolved/evolving on… though, to be fair we don’t have the means to make direct observation of this yet, so for now it would all be speculation and educated guesswork (while respectable, is still not proof.) And I’d rather not fall into the same trap that you make of presenting what we do/don’t know as absolute proof of something.

            I would just urge you to be careful when dealing with people that do not believe in something you believe in. You fall into sharing testimony as proof, and evidence, and anything contrary to your personal hopes and desires are complete silliness. This shows a lack of empathy, and a lack of desire for understanding the other walks of life people come across. It also shows a lack of understanding of the natural laws of the universe that through the effort of brilliant men and women we have come to understand a lot about. If you want to claim that it is a God that created those natural laws, fine, but that still gets you back to nowhere since we still don’t have any proof, or any evidence to link those things. Just your hopes, and desires presented as absolute facts… the very thing you earlier accused me of. Thank you for your testimony, but as I said. It will take more than that.

          • I never said you are not sincere in your prayers if you read what I say carefully. I was making a point, that there could be many reasons why God would not answer someone, or perhaps He gives an answer so subtle one could barely recognize and to not even having to do with what they asked for.

            The point clearly was when your dealing with God there are many possibilities and when your dealing with humans you “never” their true character or everything they ae going to do in the future. Only God does and that is perfectly rational.

            As far as improbability and probability in the context of how many people would think of it, I do not believe in looking what we can there is any of that at play. It is simply a mathematical impossibility there is no intelligent design when looking at everything. Just all chalked up to a “big bang,” gravity, etc. That is not a brilliant argument and I’m not saying you are making it, but it’s one that you might possibly fall on.

            As far as insulting, I think your nitpicking.You must be referring to my calling certain thinking silly, such as using Jospeh’s wives and his understandable hiding it at times as proof he was not a prophet. Or the Kinderhook plates.

            Also, in all seriousness, I’m not masking anything. The fact I am willing to admit serious faults shows I am not insecure about my faith. I’m not projecting anything. That again is your speculation.

            Give me the proof Joseph was lying! Show me where and how he made this all up in early years. Was it Lucy and Joseph Sr. helping him to deceive everyone and they coaxed Marting into lying and loosing so much and so MANY others through hell?

            This was not some Ellen White who had some vague visions and wrote some supposed inspired writings. This was not some Charles Taft who founded the Jehova’s Witness. This was not even a Muhammad who took 30 years to assemble the Quran and even longer for it to be assembled and even included 3 verses in the early version (an early version we do not have access to). And Islam’s founder was older.

            People followed Smith through hell. The Knights, Whitmers, Sidney and many Campbellites, Martinn, his good parents, siblings (think Hyrum) Olver who came back, and thousands of other people.

            You can say I’m insulting. You can throw everything you want at the church, but your not being fair Dusty. Joseph just mislead everyone from early youth on right? Through think and thin, great and strong men. I’m sorry, but I am not the one who is not being fair.

            What about the chaiasmus in the BOM and getting Nahom right? What about the fact people said ancients did not write on plates, but only used scrolls and now discoveries have been made many did use plates just like golden plates. What about that people said no ancient Americans knew any form of Egyptian and yet that too they have been proven wrong about. Joseph just got lucky on this and thousands of other things.

            I have every right to speak up when you on here trying to unfairly tear the church down as a fraud. You say the members and me are are being deceived, but I assure you, you Dusty are being influenced and brainwashed to believe things that are not true and you do not even seem open to that possibility. HMMMM, I wonder why.

            You like to use these tactics nit pick and claim the worst of motives to the church, to me, etc, as if there is some reason behind it. You then say I am doing what I accuse you of, but there is a difference, I am telling the truth-you are speaking very loosely when you claim that Joseph Smith Jr. was a false prophet of God and use things a good jury would would not use as some smoking gun.

            While it does not appear to me he was a false prophet and even is clear he was an amazing man, it does does appear to your perception Joseph was the greatest con. I assure you things are not always as they appear and if you look at Johns and Jeremy Runnles sloppy claims carefully, Joseph comes out looking pretty good, as you begin to see a pattern of intellectual dishonesty and denial. BOA, BOM, Kinderhook plates and hundreds of other things, first vision accounts, etc.

            Once you really get a good grip on it you see John and others are stuck in a negative rut.

          • It’s not like it’s a probability of 60% or 85%. That is how most would think when thinking of probability or improbability. All you have to do is open your eyes and see the glory of God all around you. Probability is out the window! The proof is there!!!!!!! Not even the most brilliant humans could mathematically organize something as complex as the universe and all the sciences it takes to pul it off. It is IMPOSSIBLE that chance had ANYTHING to do with it.

      • I meant to say Muhammed included 3 verses that were admitted were from Satan and I could go on and on and on and on about Joseph and how far superior he was to Muhammed and other founders of Christian denominations whose stories in complete candor are nothing compared to Joseph’s. Joseph saw endless visions, revelations, angels, Moses, Elijah, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc and brought forth the BOM at such a young age and in such a short time. Let alone the doctrines he restored, pre-mortal, eternal progression, etc, etc, etc, etc, BOM, etc, etc, etc and his place in Gods plan and the lead up to the 2nd coming.

        Let alone when you study the Bible and come to discover how shockingly in harmony it is with the Mormon Church when Catjolicism and Protestantism is not. The Great Apostasy, The Godhead, the work for the dead, hell having an end, different kingdoms of glory, a modern restoration which will be perched in all the world before the 2nd coming.

        Isaiah 29 which just happens to talk about a people brought down to the ground, to speak from the DUST and a book to come forth. Eziekal talks about the Stick of JOSEPH. Well how ironic the one who translated stick of Joseph had the same name as his father. Not Joseph Sr, but Joseph of old. An angel to come in the last days and preach the gospel. SO many, many scriptures that point to all this in Bible alone.

        Anyways, believe what you want, think I’m insecure. Whatever, but I assure you, as many faults as the people have, there is one thing I know and will always know, the church is true! I don’t even have the least degree of uncertainty or insecurity about it as you “speculate.”

        • More projection. More insecurities underneath your mask. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks. -Hamlet” comes to mind. Your certainty of it all shows your lack of objectivity and rationality. You claim I am brainwashed, mislead, and have some motives to tear down the church, yet I’m the one willing to admit the possibility of mistakes where as you aren’t You are certain. Absolutely positive, so positive that it seems there is no room for faith anymore. You have an absolute knowledge. I’m willing to look at the bad things the legacy of polygamy has left on the world, and in other LDS faith branches (FLDS) and how harmful it is to those women and children. Fair? I’m not being fair? My compassion is with those people forced into that situation. My compassion is with the Mormon people who constantly give money to a corporation that uses them for free labor. The people may not be perfect, but they sure are a lot better than the doctrines and dictates they are given from the top.

          I think it best we not get into scientific theory’s and mathematics (improbability, no matter how small does not equal impossibility) you show a clear hostility and complete lack of understanding behind them, and the evidence that supports them in favor of filling in the gaps of human knowledge with “It must be God, and not just any God, but the one I was taught to believe in.” That just isn’t getting either of us anywhere, and quite frankly it is too frustrating to watch you completely misrepresent the other side of things you claim to be objective about.

          You do have every right to speak up. I support that fully even though I am in complete disagreement with you. I’m not trying to silence you, I don’t know where that even came from. I am not even trying to stop you from insulting me. I say go for it, insult away. Insults can sometimes even be funny, and I enjoy a good bit of comedy. I was only saying let’s not pretend they are respectful.

          “Give me some proof Joseph was lying!” Ok, I have mentioned it several times. Here is the direct quote from him: “…What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers.” (History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411) Joseph Smith made this statement preaching from the stand to the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo on Sunday May 26, 1844. At the time he had secretly taken over 25 plural wives.

          That’s just one quote. One instance. Not even getting into stuff we haven’t mentioned previously, because I am sure you will deny it and proclaim how awesome and amazing Joseph is, and how sure you are of it. I’m sure you’ll deny the pain of the women throughout the years that were subjugated into this practice out of fear for their belief in their own souls, or the souls of their families. It’s a legacy that exists even today. The difference between Warren Jeffs and Joseph Smith? Jeffs was caught, Smith was killed. Times have changed, they are less brutal and lawless in the western world.

          You mentioned people being willing to follow him through Hell. Many of these people directly benefited from this arrangement. It provided their livelihood in a time where hard work was required for basic living. It gave them some financial support and security to survive. Honestly, I don’t blame them. I don’t even blame them for believing, and wanting that hope to be in their lives if it helped them cope. I don’t blame people today for believing. Comforting fables are still fables though. But the number of followers, or how devout their followers are does not mean they are following a cause that is full of truth. Or a man that is benevolent. Every war ever fought in the history of mankind has had people following a bad cause through the Hell that is killing others, and watching those around you die. People to this day still follow the teachings of Muhammed to the point they are willing to kill themselves in order to kill others. Should I take that level of devotion as “proof” of the truth of Islam?

          “What about the fact people said ancients did not write on plates, but only used scrolls and now discoveries have been made many did use plates just like golden plates. What about that people said no ancient Americans knew any form of Egyptian and yet that too they have been proven wrong about.” Citations needed. Preferably from neutral sources, and not those with confirmation bias heavily influencing their conclusions. Why is circumstantial evidence ok for you to use as proof anyway? You claim I can’t use anything circumstantial for your imaginary jury/conviction metaphor, yet all you provide is circumstantial or flimsy “evidence” as your smoking gun of being absolutely certain you are right, and God is on your side. You are so certain I am guided by a force of evil, and you by a force of good that you are shutting down many opportunities for honest discussion, then you throw out internet buzzword phrases calling me, and others “intellectually dishonest” when it would appear you do not know what that even means. Honestly, I don’t think you know what evidence is, or what proof really is. You fill in so many gaps with emotions, feelings, and what you personally desire to be true that it’s like you are walking through life with your eyes closed proclaiming to the masses about how much better you see than them.

        • Also, people like Ellen White, and Muhammed have far more in common with Joseph Smith than you are willing to admit. The origins of their holy writings are very similar. Their special encounters with “Satan” as well. Not to mention their divine revelatory powers, and special status to their followers, and the devotion they are shown. Devotion that throws reason out the window in favor of emotion.

  21. Once a person has been caught in a lie the burden of proof lies with them for anything they try to sell you. They do not get the benefit of the doubt. Joseph Smith lied to his wife Emma about women he married. Oliver Coudery confronted Joseph about his relationship with Fannie Alger before any “revelation” was given concerning polygamy. John Taylor preached in Europe to new Mormon converts that polygamy was just a rumor (while he had at least 5 wives). Joseph betrayed the trust of men who he sent on missions and married at least 9 of these men’s wives without their husbands knowledge or consent. These things are facts- found in the LDS’ own historical documents. He was a liar. He deceived devoted men and women who trusted and revered him. He justified these lies by stating that the members were not worthy to receive higher truths. That’s convenient and quite an eyebrow raiser. The burden of proof is on him.
    Prove your work.
    Show me the city of Zarahemla, a senine, a horse skeleton from 5-600 BC, the “real” papyrus translated correctly, or 1 sword buried at Cumorah- and I will seek re-baptism tomorrow. These items do not exist. You are good people who want to believe the best in him for your own reasons. I have complete confidence and peace in my decision to leave the LDS church 7 years ago. I hope we all find peace wherever we are and in whatever we believe.

  22. You are all missing a very important point. Religion is without a doubt, man made, you all know that. Some religions work quite well, they support their communities, they help when they can, but don’t forget, a religion is what YOU make it. I know, I know, Joseph had a sword hanging over his head, he said, unless he was screwing some of these young girls, people have used better excuses than that one, but it worked, so move on. I am a baptized Catholic, baptized Mormon, and a Lutheran at birth. These folks are all the same, very kind caring people, relax, for Mormons, that’s an impossibility, but for the rest of you, sit back have a coke, a sprite or whatever makes you happy, and enjoy life. Excommunication?? Really?? Who gives a shit.

    • Yes. I agree that it’s all very probably man made. However, your “who gives a shit” seems a little callous. Those of us who were “born in the covenant” and taught this crap from the moment we were born were presented an all-or-nothing picture of the world. Yes, when we finally leave the small, dark, hole of a life we’ve been living and can see the sun for the first time it all seems a little silly. But when we’re in it–attacked from all sides from some of the best, most manipulate forms of human control–it is a painful event to have people disqualify us from all our hopes and dreams. If religion wasn’t designed to make humans feel this it wouldn’t be so effective. So even though John D. probably doesn’t believe the “church is true” story, he can see how excommunication, by design, is meant to hurt and shame. It really tears people apart.

  23. I don’t know why excommunication is barbaric. The issue at hand is how can a church have doctrine if they can’t relate that doctrine and defend it by restricting how it is taught. If he doesn’t believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet or the book of Mormon is real fine, there are plenty of Mormons who both question that who come or don’t come anymore. But if you decide to question those doctrines in church and encourage others to not have faith in the doctrine, you are detracting from both the teachings and the faith. Why would we trust you around our kids and vulnerable members of you are going full their minds with doubt? John’s mind doesn’t just have questions, he believes differently. He wants to change what is taught. He doesn’t get to decide what is taught in this church and if he believes so differently, why does he want to still be a part of the church? I don’t understand his position.

    • I agree. I am confused about him wanting to get back into the church. I, for one, am very happy about leaving and will never look back. However, excommunication is a hateful, archaic practice and needs to be omitted from any religion that claims to help people and love Christ. In my opinion.

  24. I get that people lose their faith, and will either go inactive or really anti and fight the church, but I don’t get John basically espousing many anti doctrinal beliefs and still wanting to be a member. If a church is distinguished by its particular set of core beliefs, and you don’t agree with them, why try to stay? If you stay and fight for changing most of those core beliefs, aren’t you just changing it into a different church? There’s plenty of churches which don’t believe in the book of Mormon.

  25. Try to understand for a moment that a religion is not merely a group of people with beliefs, but claims to be lead by God, and its leaders claim to be receiving instructions from God. Governments and societies are malleable by protests, marches, blogs, or whatever your activist method of choice is. But when you try to use these tactics to change a religion, the religion sees you as opposing their beliefs, which come from God. They therefore get to choose whether or not they wish to voluntarily associate with you and have you as a representative member or the group. Since John openly opposed and criticized the Church and refused to stop when asked, I agree wholeheartedly with his excommunication and anyone like him.

  26. Plus excommunication in no way keeps John from attending his or any other mormon ward. He can go to classes, activities, etc. He can associate with the members in 95% of what we do as Mormons, but he doesn’t, because of his baptismal status. That’s on him, not his excommunication. If he is going to be critical of 90% of the teachings that are unique to mormonism, and is going to shine a spotlight on his reasoning against those beliefs, then I question his motive for maintaining his membership. It’s like a person who is shooting holes in a ship, asked to stop multiple times, then forced to tread water and complains that he is being ostracized while he waives his gun around saying please let me back in.

  27. I hope this adds clarity. While I know man is frail in thought and action in this world ….collectively man has common sense. When 99% of the world does NOT believe or subscribe to the Mormon religion, and members who look behind the curtain of secrecy and obfuscation are falling away in droves… says something loud and clear that is not covered in all this discussion. I know, and I know anyone else who cares (and yes dares if you are Mormon)…. would read and learn what Dr. Dehlin is bringing to light then be informed and make your own decision about this church. I have been a member for 64 yrs. while not active this is all news to me because it is behind a curtain like the Wizard of OZ from its members! John is a good and educated man in this field. Don’t be so ignorant as to dismiss his thought, research and interviews. Please go to also very enlightening. Note .org not .com.

  28. Frank—– members are falling away in droves if you care to get educated. I think 50% of the members are confused and afraid to discuss issues within their own families. Mine is an example. Dr. Dehlin has lived and breathed the culture and obfuscation. Please don’t talk…. learn what is in his interviews and information then pop off. Maybe you, like so many others in this church are afraid to learn what you believe is not the whole story. 99% of all man does not go for the story if they get educated on the religion. God did not make this planet for the one percent. Do you know the secret handshake and your secret name to get into heaven???? Did you drink coffee and not tell your bishop to go in the temple for salvation. Just wondering.

  29. I think the church is going this way anyway. I just recently served on a high council….as such, I would have been a part of excommunications, from a stake level, if there had been any. In the 4.5 years I was there, I saw zero excommunications in our stake. Doubt this is an anomoly, but I can’t say, because I don’t see what happens in other stakes.

    Look here it is: If you feel like the church helps your family and teaches the correct doctrine, be patient…it is run by imperfect human beings…as is every other institution on this planet. If the church is becoming more Christlike in it’s evolution, and it’s teachings help you and your family come closer to Christ….what is the big problem? Live your life, study the doctrine of the gospel to become better, and let the larger forces work to evolve and improve the church, which appears to me to be happening in small and large ways.

    If the church does nothing for you, don’t waste your time berating it on social websites, just go find something that does…..

    • When i left the church I thought I would “leave it alone”. I didn’t want to be wasting my time, as you say, with it anymore. For the most part, my day-to-day life is less involved in the church or religion than ever before. I have found many things that “do something for me”. Please understand, however, that when you live in Utah, leave the church, have many family members and friends still in it you feel all the implications of it–often–and it helps to have kind, thoughtful discussions about the new reality you are facing. John Dehlin has helped many of us feel supported and validated in ways that are hard to find in my small-town-Utah neck of the woods. He’s not trying to berate. Just be a voice of friendship and common sense for many of my ilk.

    • Thomas, the church is true! I have no doubt, but there is very, very, serious faults, some of which you indicate. It needs to be discussed and LDS should not be so ashamed, overly concerned with image, etc. They gain far more respect by being genuine and trying to understand it, rather than soley wanting to share there views. LDS people have very unusual defense impulses they take consciously or subconsciously take too far.

      If LDS people really did understand how serious some things are they would be more concerned about fixing as much as possible. I’ve been close friends with bishops, high councilman, stake presidents and others, including associations with GA’s and I can tell you, the faults are far more serious than LDS people see. They love to point the finger at the in actives and sinners and have all these irrational defense mechanisms, but they should really look inward!!!

    • And if you think I’m irrational, go look at my other comments. I was for John Dehlin being excommunicated. I don’t know if it happen the right way, (true justice, mercy, love, sincere prayer, motives, etc. It appears Jeremy Runnles excommunication was not Christlike at all.) as I was not there, but I am perfectly fair. Frankly I expect FAR more out of Mormons than I do anyone else and most don’t seem to understand just how special and glorious the restoration is. I at least expect more out of them in the sense that so many of them to often are worse than many of the people in the world. Some LDS scream for justice, justice, justice and I am wondering where is the pure of Christ.

  30. If you don’t care then it doesn’t matter.

    I wouldn’t know if I got exed unless someone sends me a letter, in which case my reaction would be “hmm”, at most, and I’d forget about it.

    If I was told there was a “court” coming up I wouldn’t respond. I wouldn’t so much as put pen to paper, because to do so suggests that I think it matters, in which case I should really go to church.

    If you’re a believing Mormon then you believe that Christ runs the Church directly through the Prophet. If you don’t believe that then you have no dog in the fight, so why would you be an “activist”? It makes no logical sense.

    Some people just need the attention I suppose. I’ve never understood the “support groups”, etc. I’ve never felt the need. I simply stopped going. Problem solved. I don’t need to read Atheist literature, or attend their Atheist services, or “support groups” or whatever. That’s just another religion.

    If you want to quit, just stop going. People in the Church are genuinely concerned for you. Take it as a compliment. It doesn’t bother me at all.

    • All good points. I feel similarly to you in most ways. (Other than Atheist literature and atheism being another religion. But this is a convo for another day.) Even though I wouldn’t give the church one more minute of power or dignify its court-proceedings with any sort of reply, I’m glad there are people who are a little less apathetic than us. Those people have helped me in my journey into freedom. John is a good guy. i don’t think he’s just looking for attention. And support groups (even though I’ve used them less than most) can also lend validity to a very strange and hurtful process.

    • I don’t know you, but on this comment you have proven to be more objective (far) than many of those I’d classify as truly anti-Mormon and even more objective than many active LDS people and I am one. This is what I respect more than anything, people who can be mature, respectful and objective. I am far more critical of active LDS than I am Mormons, because I don’t really care about the anti’s and don’t think they are anywhere near the problem of some of the faults of some active Mormons.

  31. While I have no love generally for the LDS Church I do have to agree with several posters in regards to the excommunication process being called “barbaric”. It’s not barbaric. The stuff ISIS is doing is barbaric.

    “Despicable” is a descriptive word I can live with.

  32. Oh what a tangled web we weave ….when we deceive! I want to leave the church alone but it has screwed with my life and I see others going to LDS church and indoctrinating children and uneducated (foreigners). I feel I have to speak up. When someone is deceiving others do you not want to help the uneducated or deceived? Once you are indoctrinated it is very hard to psychologically change …..bad bad deal perpetrated on innocence. God does not need a secret handshake or pseudo name to get into heaven. Member are not given the real history ….not even close….they are deceived.

    • Lol sorry to say hal, but you’ve deceived yourself. You want to justify the actions you find pleasant but which are contrary to the laws of God. That’s not guilt resulting from indoctrination; that’s denial. Scroll up and reread Mickey’s input. What he said is (not recommended lol, but it is…) true. Are you outraged about the years of tithing you paid or something (if of course you even paid =/)? If you’re outraged at the good principles the church gives to every family member individually you’re fighting for the wrong cause. You should probably protest against rated r movies and porn or something. The indoctrination you speak of creates law abiding and generous citizens…. I really don’t understand what you’re fighting for =/.

      I wish you could upvote comments in here. Somebody nominate Mickey for pro/anti mormon spokesman lol.

      • Remember …indoctrinated believers that 99.9% if the world (Gods children) of all time don’t see it like you (a chosen ONE). About 50% of the Mormons are inactive….8o% of the active are not worthy except by rational they have a feeling they are special and have special priesthood or powers. The remaing very very small percent are yet to learn what is behind the curtain (omission of very important information) and a learning of what they don’t know or won’t accept. Remember God does not need a secret handshake and special rename … is going to know it is you when he goes to the secret vault with you church attendance….he will be confused with all the names wrong etc. Smell the coffee just don’t drink any or you can’t go to the temple and your family and friends will never ever ….ever see you again or vice-a versa. Remember don’t drink the coffee or when your bishop asks, you will have to lie (like many many of my friends do) or loose your temple recommend and you and your family and dog and special feeling will NEVER be together. Seems logical to me NOT!

  33. In my opinion, the excommunication process is terrible and needs to change. It doesnt promote repentance but promotes shame and exclusion.

    I know because I went through the process after confessing serious sins commuted while deep in an addiction. I wanted to repent and change. Instead I was told it would be better to start over.

    During the process it felt like being questioned by the inquisition except the brothers prefixed their questions with ” i love you brother”. I was like a circus freak. I have never felt darkness more strong than that proceeding. How was that helpful change?

    Getting approved for rebaptizism was worse with a far higher bar than any convert. Impossible questions.” Prove to us that you will never sin again”. I got up, told them off and walked out. My amazing bishop chased me down, rescued me. told me I could drop as many fbombs as I needed. He took the stake presidency and high council to task. He got a new meeting set up and I refused to answer any questions except about my relationship to Christ.

    I would never reccomend anyone to go in front of a disciplinary council.

    The process needs to be centered around how can we help you improve your life.. It should not be a judgement.

    I don’t believing Christ himself would run Church discipline that way.

    I’ve.had my blessings restored for 2 yrs and I’ve taken a much healthier, spiritual, and forgiving approach to church membership. It works for me. I love my congregation and ward leaders. But screw the discipline process.

  34. Is there not reason to believe that excommunication is a consequence from ones own actions? We are either on the Lord’s errand or we are on our own.

    • Doug….. rejection of the church is not a consequence it is a blessing. You can move on with your life and find a real relationship with God and not a cult. Once you break the indoctrination ….Gods blessing is that you realize your common sense and enjoy this world he created without feeling the shackles of the many many false religions. God and Jesus saves not Joseph Smith and obfuscation of the truth. This might get your foot in the doors of heaven started. Please review ….it is one special mans story. Just start your journey here …..

  35. Let me first and foremost identify myself as an LDS bishop outside of Utah. John Dehlin is not the problem, only a messenger. Many of the posts here continue to focus on the old rhetoric that lack of faith or being offended, or sinning is what is leading people away from the church. While that does happen from time to time, I can assure you as a bishop in the trenches, this is not the case, in the majority of case it’s the doctrine. Dehlin does not do what he does because he secretly believes and can’t let it go. While I do believe Dehlin’s motives are in transition, to discount him as bitter or anti is off the mark. I have loved being brought up in the church, like Dehlin it has shaped me for the better, and it will always be a part of me. Its now hard wired. But the fact is that the history is at a minimum difficult when looked at objectively. The LDS church is facing a huge shift over this, attempting to balance transparency with possible mass exodus. I completely empathize with those who have issues with doctrine. Who do you talk too, your family, your bishop? Honest skepticism has no platform in the LDS church, and families suffer because of it. I’m doing what I can from my current position to keep families together, and we can learn a lot from John Dehlin and Mormon Stories in general on these sensitive issues. So John, keep up the work for all those who don’t fit the mold, as we know the support continues to be needed, and will continue to be needed in greater degree in the future.

  36. To Aaron:

    The fact of the matter is this. If one thing is wrong in the church then the whole thing has to be wrong. We don’t make this claim. The church does. If Joseph Smith was a prophet of God then he would have had every one of his prophecies come true. There are many that didn’t and many that he made in the middle of the prelude to the civil war or the times where the outcome was not hard to figure out. He took other men’s wives, committed adultery, was a pedophile, drank liquor and beer, illegally retained a firearm within Carthage jail. He wanted to overthrow the United States government, “translated” the Book of Mormon from a rock in a hat, changed his Angel Moroni story over five times, manipulated millions of people, claimed to have the authority and keys to heaven as a way to bend people’s wills and actions. Many many other things he did which were dishonest, illegal, and vile all able to be found within the history of the church, and public records from his time alive. The church uses the same tactics and methods as a means to control it’s members, and secure it’s financial interests. It continually gets involved in state and political matters and wastes millions of dollars doing so which is also illegal. It won’t be transparent and disclose it’s financial holdings and tithes and offerings. The church ruins families, lives, and communities all in the name of Joseph Smith. It’s teachings are dishonest and manipulative.

    I was a member from birth until after my mission. I was a witness and a tool of this vile organization and for that I’ll always have to wonder how my actions ruined the lives of others. I went door to door teaching (arguing) with people who believed in Jesus and who also did not. And for what? Bottom line is membership and money. And I didn’t get one red cent for it. I had to pay my way to do it.

    If excommunication and disfellowship actions are good and just I leave you with this verse from the New Testament in which Jesus summed up (in my opinion) as the way to treat sinners and those who have made mistakes. Luke 7:48. Whether the gospel of Christ can be proven or not, whether science has a leg up or not, I tend to put my faith in the actions and words of Jesus who claims to be the Savior of the world.

    John Dehlin was burned and his actions and experiences are his own. But to the many individuals that wish to cast stones and slander people from their glass houses I say this…In good time we will all find out what is beyond (or not) this life. Each person and individual has to make their own choices with the information they have and can find and live with those choices. That is the beautiful and ugly truth. I hope for heaven. I hope for something. This life is too awful and short to be it. But if it is, then it is so and what can I do to change that? I will let people live their lives and believe what they want and I won’t judge or try to change what they believe because it is between them and whatever lies beyond this world.


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