LDS Church disciplinary council for John Dehlin of ‘Mormon Stories’ concludes, no decision Sunday

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORTH LOGAN, Utah -- A North Logan man faces possible excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

John Dehlin entered his disciplinary council hearing around 6 p.m Sunday. While he was inside, hundreds of people waited outside while lighting candles and singing in support. As of about 9:20 p.m., LDS Church Stake President Bryan King, the local LDS Church congregation leader presiding over the hearing, said he has decided to pray and wait a day or two before making a decision regarding John Dehlin.

"Our goal has always been to encourage an open discussion, to provide support to those who are suffering," said Dehlin as he entered the church prior to the hearing.

Dehlin is facing excommunication for a number of reasons, including his public support of same-sex marriage, the LGBT community and the Ordain Women movement, as well as his decade long podcast, Mormon Stories, in which these types of controversial issues are discussed.

"He is a great support for those of us that have questions about the church, who don't like the way they treated gays and women and equality issues," said supporter Zan Burningham.

"I don't think of myself as a victim here, I knew when I bought that first microphone and recorded that first episode that this was probable if not a likely outcome," Dehlin said.

Some people say, in many ways, Dehlin is taking the fall for thousands of supporters who feel the same way, but don't have the courage to publicize it.

"I know in a lot of ways it feels like for me the church isn't just rejecting John Dehlin, the church is rejecting me too," said supporter Micah Nickolaisen.

"I feel that it's really important that we don't stop people from speaking what they believe and what their truth is, it's important to me that my girls know that when people are being silenced we aren't quiet," said supporter Mary Danzig.

Before the disciplinary hearing, the LDS Church did address the supporters, and delivered a statement.

"We welcome you here on church property, we appreciate your orderliness and respect," said James Jenkins, Spokesperson for North Logan Utah Stake of the LDS Church. "We request that you respect the sacredness of this property and these proceedings."

There is no timetable for these types of hearings. Kate Kelly's excommunication hearing took two days.

41 comments

  • David Whittington

    I predict Dehlin WON’T be kicked out of ‘The Church’. It is time ‘The Church’ welcomes free speech and also welcomes the LGBT community instead of abusing the LGBT community.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      If you thumb your nose at any organization sooner or later they will invite you to leave. Get over your abuse complex David, this isn’t about you or your lifestyle.

    • red

      Abuse? Really? What planet are you from where the LDS church abuses people? Playing the victim isn’t working for you. I support John, he’s the only victim I see in all of this.

    • Julie

      There were only about 50 people at the protest (or “vigil”) but the Dehlinites keep saying there are more … first there were 200 reported (false) and now they are trying to get people believe there were 500 there. I hope they also show that ridiculous video of him kind of laughing about his being excommunicated and blowing kisses and waving to his “fans” while the high council were chatting.

      • Cynthia Ozeki

        The virtual vigil was for people who couldn’t attend the real one in Logan. While some of those waiting outside the stake center may have also signed, most of the participants live far away from John, but appreciate his work. Nobody is claiming 500 people were there.

      • Cam Torres

        Julie, If you want to talk about exaggerations why don’t we start with these:
        – BoM not translated with Urim & Thumim. Instead translated with a rock and a hat.
        -Book of Abraham not translated from papyri. Totally made up & acknowledged by the church in its LDS.org essays.
        -Joseph Smith being shown in all media with his loving Emma and not with his 14 year old brides whom he married under threat that he and they would be destroyed by an Angel with a flaming sword.
        Or perhaps you don’t read the “essays” that your own is putting out to stem the massive wave of people leaving the LDS cult.

      • love the man

        The count was 250, I was there. Also, it was very respectful and in every sense a “vigil”, not a protest.

  • bob

    How many of you 500 candle-lighters believe that Jesus is personally the head of the LDS Church and speaks to his Prophet?

    Because if you don’t believe that you’re not really a Mormon, and therefore do not have a dog in the fight.

    I don’t have a dog in the fight. But at least I admit it. “Tolerance” goes both ways. You don’t have to like the LDS Church, but if you’re tolerant you DO have to leave it alone and mind your own business.

    But liberals are not tolerant. They are obsessed with conformity.

  • i am a latter day saint some people call us mormons

    The Church has always welcomed free speech, why would you think they didn’t, they welcomed those who were on the lawn to be there, and with all the statements from the church have ever made both recently and since the church was brought back, about how to treat other people including the LGBT community, you have to many good reasons to think the church has always welcomed the LGBT people and everyone else for that matter.

    it’s not about abuse and you know that. we as latter day saints believe that the LGBT people would be happier if they didn’t indulge in there temptation (we can also respect those who don’t share our beliefs) we believe that people like John Dehlin know that, and even if he didn’t have a testimony about it in order to be a member he needs to have a testimony about many things but among them Jesus heavenly father, and the prophet being true. he either needs to pray and ask for understanding about the subject or at least have the faith that the lord knows what he’s doing or at least stop encouraging others to indulge in the very temptation that the lord and his prophet and apostles encourage us not to.

    either that or he needs to be discharged from the promise he maid to believe the words of heavenly father and the prophet.

    by the way if he or anyone else ever gets excommunicated then the encouragement of the lord and the prophet is the same, to love him anyway and treat him with all the love and respect as ever, any member of the church that doesn’t treat him or any other person, LGBT or not. with anything but real love and respect than that person is not obeying the lord or his church.

      • Anonymous

        You really should learn the definition of “hateful.” Your ignorance, intolerance and overall hypocrisy are showing.

      • i am a latter day saint some people call us mormons

        i don’t specialize in grammar, my only goal here is to tell you how it really is and then let you do whatever you decide to do rather it’s, follow reality or continue to confuse your self.

    • FreeToSpeak

      The Mormon church has always welcomed free speech of members but only within the confines of their belief. Most of my family have been LDS for generations. I was for much of my life, so I don’t speak in ignorance. I walked away 40 years ago, not in anger, but because I, too, question their ability to stifle while saying they believe in free speech. My family, while not initially supportive, have accepted me for who I am. I have raised wonderful, productive and thoughtful children. I have found a belief system that is personal and special to me, that allows me to think and question. I respect Mr. Dehlin’s right to question. It is clear he is torn, and I am so very sorry for him. However, I disagree that there are only a few dissenters. I would venture there are thousands who have not yet found their voice. But these types of brave individuals who dare to speak, will provide support and love for those individuals who dare to question.

      • i am a latter day saint some people call us mormons

        i can respect all of what you said. i believe you when you say you didn’t leave in anger. i appreciate your unbiased statements, but i bet you don’t object to your statement “The Mormon church has always welcomed free speech of members but only within the confines of their belief” because you understood that all of the members who are doing the best job they know how, discourage talk about destructive things that they believe will bring that person grief, just like a parent would discourage there child. even if you don’t feel the subject may be destructive id bet you can respect that those members are helping those people in the best way they know how. just how id imagine your family tried to discourage you from focusing on your concerns but eventually ended up loving you anyway, i say that because i have friends who sound a lot like you and there families discouraged them from focusing on the concerns too much then after my friend made the choice to do other things the family still loves them anyway.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        How does that apply to John Dehlin? While it is true that he and his family stopped attending church last year he has not given up his membership.

    • Tim

      Joseph Smith attended the various meetings of the religious sects of his surroundings but never joined to any of them. So he wouldn’t have been held to any standards of membership just as you wouldn’t until being baptized a member.

  • Forest from the trees

    Another day, another axe to grind for opponents of restored Church. Geez, it must be tiring for ya’ll. Getting all stirred up and hating the Church because it won’t conform to your liking. Ya’ll are pathetic.

  • CNM

    What’s with the candles…? Since when did Mormons do candle-light vigils…? There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s sure not a Mormon custom. Who are these people waiting outside, so concerned about the outcome…?

  • Ben

    Free Speech? What the heck does free speech have to do with it. Dehlin can continue to speak against church policies to his hearts content no matter what the verdict. But he shouldn’t continue to be part of any private organization while contradiction all of it’s principles and values.

  • Mpg

    This is stupid! The church has been founded on the principles of their beliefs if you don’t agree with them then go to a church that suites your beliefs. Why are people trying to make them change their
    Beliefs.. Then it would no longer be the same church. We all have freedom of speech and religion.. Stop trying to make the LDS church change what it believes in go find your own religion!

  • Matt

    It’s one thing to have personal opinions regarding everything under the sun but your rights end where mine begin. The same holds true for the LDS Church. If one is determined to be moving in a direction that is in opposition to the church then the church has a ‘right’ to excommunicate that individual. Freedom of speech is all well and good but none of us can scream ‘Fire’ in a theater and not have some consequence for our actions. There are other churches that Dehlin can join and say and do whatever he wants to. No one should be offended if Dehlin is excommunicated they just need to understand that if one agrees to the ‘terms of agreement’ in any organization, including the Lord’s church, then they need to also abide by those terms if they desire to remain in that organization. Pretty simple actually. If one does not like the position the LDS Church has taken on a matter then disagree and move on. Just don’t mandate your 15-minutes of fame in so doing.

  • Mungagungadin

    My worry is the President King only delayed so that he could avoid accountability to people who stood there in the flesh, and that President King is really committed and always was to excising honesty and light from our Mormon culture, as brought by John Dehlin.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      MUNGAGUNGADIN – When Mr. Dehlin decided to publicize a private disciplinary court President King did the smart thing and took the wind of of his sails. Mr. Dehlin was looking for attention, got his 15 minutes of fame, but in time will be forgotten by all but the few with an axe to grind.

  • Todd G.

    I was there. There were hundreds.

    And the reporter from Fox13 was being such a jerk, and that’s putting it nicely because I can’t swear here. He was interrupting and talking over people who were trying to talk to John, walking right into the shots of other photographers, and he couldn’t even pronounce “Dehlin” correctly. Fox, send someone else next time. He was a joke.

  • bob

    How ironic that liberals complain about Mormons and their “conformity.”

    You MUST buy into every details of what liberals are selling or be labeled “abusive”, “hateful”, “homophobic”, “misogynist”, “racist”, or any one of a thousand others pejoratives they throw at anyone who ventures to disagree with them.

  • Sue

    i am very politically conservative and my view on LGBT issues are not liberal. I believe these groups have become a political force in order to change legislation to champion their views and to normalize their lifestyles. I understand and empathize with their positions and feel that legalities they are requesting are valid. However, I also believe that they should respect churches and their rights to teach what they want. I was an active Mormon for 30 years but am no longer as I discovered many of the same things that John did so I no longer participate but have no ax to grind against the church. For my own integrity I can’t follow and be loyal to a church that I believe is based on fraudulent scriptures and “prophets” This isn’t about liberalism, it is about truth.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.