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John Dehlin of ‘Mormon Stories’ says he faces apostasy charge, excommunication from LDS Church

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will reportedly move forward with a disciplinary hearing that could result in disfellowshipment or excommunication for an LDS Church member who has been publicly critical of some of the LDS Church’s positions on social issues.

LDS Church leaders in Logan have scheduled a disciplinary hearing for January 25 for John Dehlin, who has become well-known for his “Mormon Stories” podcasts.

Dehlin has said he was told he would face either, “disfellowshipment (i.e., official censure) or excommunication (i.e., termination of my membership)” at the meeting.

Dehlin has created several podcasts that are critical of the LDS Church’s position on issues like ordination of women to the LDS Church’s priesthood and same-sex marriage, and he has expressed public support for positions contrary to those held by LDS Church leadership. He has also expressed doubts regarding elements of LDS theology and called for greater transparency regarding the LDS Church’s finances.

Dehlin stated in a news release: “While my family and I would prefer to be left alone by LDS church leadership at this time, I would much rather face excommunication than disavow my moral convictions. In the coming weeks, months, and years ahead, it is my intent to provide increased support to Mormons who are transitioning away from orthodoxy.”

The full statement from Dehlin, which includes a breakdown of the issues that he has presented that the LDS Church considers to be apostasy, is available here.

Another high-profile disciplinary hearing was held last year for Ordain Women co-founder Kate Kelly. That hearing resulted in her excommunication, click here for details.

20 comments

  • DearJohnDehlin

    https://dearjohndehlin.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/john-dehlin-and-parable-of-the-unjust-steward/
    John Dehlin has been working on building his base outside of the church for a while, and it is unsurprising that the church ultimately noticed. How often does one have to tell others their spiritual experiences are only emotion, their scirptures are fan fiction, and their leaders are don’t speak for God before they decide it might be time to invite you to leave?

  • ANOTHERBOB

    John Dehlin’s wish to “be left alone by LDS church leadership” will be granted. He is free to believe anything he wants but when he goes public with beliefs contrary to the LDS Church he can’t expect to maintain his membership.

  • Stuart McDonald

    The Mormon Church will continue to move along without Mr. Dehlin, and 20 years from now he and his family will be the only ones who will suffer the consequences of his actions.

  • Nathan2B

    I would suggest people read a Book called Kingdom of the Cults By Dr. Walter Martin http://www.waltermartin.com/cults.html
    It seems like more and more the Mormon Church doesn’t like people asking questions, or Questioning what they believe. This is truly sad state of affairs, I think the leadership of the church should be able to take a Little Criticism, Or be able to respond to members queries and questions with out threatening Excommunication Or Censure. For someone that is outside the fold of the Mormon Church, I find it rather odd that the Church seems to kick everybody out that won’t or can’t Blindly follow and Questions Policies, that are out dated and Antiquated. Free thought and Free will are part of being human, When I was in College we were taught to be Free Thinkers and to ask questions for that which we didn’t understand or want clarification on. It seems as if the Church was Blind Devotion and nobody to ask why things are the way they are.

    • Stuart McDonald

      Members of the LDS Church are encouraged to ask questions, and aren’t expected to blindly follow their leaders. When they apostatize and go public with their disagrements however they certainly can’t expect to maintain their membership.

      • Chris

        I don’t know of any religion that suffers its members to speak out against it. Disagreement with policy is understandable from time to time, but once you go public you enter the realm of apostacy.

    • Alma Allred

      Nathan, over 20 years ago, when list servers were popular, I issued a challenge on an evangelical site for people who were promoting “Dr” Walter Martin’s book Kingdom of the Cults. I suggested that they could pick any page at random that included commentary by Martin (rather than quotes from other sources) and I would demonstrate a factual error. Many responded; and they were all dismayed to learn how utterly useless his book was in portraying Mormonism. His “Maze of Mormonism” was equally vacuous. I still recommend both of those books to Mormons who are interested in being entertained.

  • Stuart McDonald

    NATHAN2B – There isn’t a reason in the world why Mr. Dehlin can’t go to the New York Times in his attempt to put the LDS Church to shame and ridicule. I’m guessing that the LDS Church would view that as a sign of apostasy.

    • spencer smith

      yes im sure it would, and what is the problem with that? the church is a club. if you don’t like the club, get out. if I get a gym membership already knowing the gyms guidelines and equipment and then start to constantly complain about them not getting a swimming pool or something, should I expect that they get one? they can rightly say this gym doesn’t have a swimming pool im sorry and it probably wont get one. so john dehlin can get another gym membership.

  • spencer smith

    you can ask whatever questions you want. that isn’t what john dehlin is doing. how can the church feel like they can keep a member who is potentially leading other members out of it? when john was baptised he would have been asked whether he believed that the current prophet was a prophet of God. if he said yes, then he can follow and sustain the prophet. if you decide to not do that and publicly argue against church doctrine going against what you committed to, then sorry you will be asked to leave. I don’t feel sorry for this guy. the church isn’t man made. if he wants women to have the priesthood and for it to be ok for people to act on homosexuality then he can pray to God and ask God to change His mind.

  • BOB

    You’ll get your 15 minutes of fame Mr. Dehlin and then the world will move on a forget about you. You, on the other hand, will have a hollow victory that will not satisfy you or bring you happiness.

  • JK

    That is one courageous and spiritual man. I hope he keeps his courage and desire to change the wrongs he sees in life.

    • BOB

      After Sunday, January 25th, Mr. Dehlin will be free to continue his fight to change the LDS Church from his posistion as an excommunicated member. Meantime his former church will continue to move on without him.

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