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Dehlin Excommunicated

As expected, John Dehlin has been excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

The official charge against the founder of the “Mormon Stories” podcast was “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church,” but the letter from Dehlin’s North Logan LDS stake president, Bryan King, called it “apostasy” and cited evidence for the unanimous decision:

• Dehlin’s teachings disputing the nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ.

• His statements that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham are fraudulent and works of fiction.

• His statements and teachings that reject The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as being “the true church with power and authority from God.”

King further notes that the Cache Valley-based podcaster has “spread these teachings widely via the Internet to hundreds of people in the past,” and that Dehlin has said he plans to “continue to do so.”

The action was not taken because Dehlin had doubts about the church or its history, the LDS leader wrote, but “because of your categorical statements opposing the doctrines of the church, and their wide dissemination via your Internet presence, which has led others away from the church.”

Dehlin is free to criticize the church and to share his opinions, King wrote, but not “as a member in good standing.”

Thoughts? Please, comment below.

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Reformed Reporter and commented:
    No room for doubts.

  2. Plenty of room for doubts. Less room for those who have already lost their faith and stand ready to welcome others to the lost-faith-fold.

  3. It seems appropriate. I think excommunication is appropriate when someone is teaching that the church isn’t true and the church is wrong and making money from these teachings and gaining a following based on teaching against the church.
    It is true that Dehlin has made many attempts to reach out to the church and it seems he has tried to make some concessions (for instance, even though he became a minister of another church he resigned). Obviously to his local leaders that wasn’t quite enough. Bottom line he still makes money from an increasing number of followers to whom he teaches that the church is false and the church leaders are wrong. This is problematic in many ways.
    Let’s remember that excommunicated people are like other nonmembers. They are welcome to come to church and participate in much of church life. They can still be a member of the community.

    • I will assume that you have never been excommunicated, or had someone close to you who was. If you had, you would know that this statement is not true.

      “Let’s remember that excommunicated people are like other nonmembers. They are welcome to come to church and participate in much of church life. ”

      Even rebaptized members are not treated the same way as other baptized members who were not previously excommunicated. Certainly their family members are not treated the same, and while the official policy is not to comment publicly, Mormon gossip makes that worse than if the church was just clear about what did or did not lead to an excommunication.

  4. jks,

    excommunicated members are not in the same boat as nonmembers. Nonmembers can pray, teach, receive assignments, comment in sunday school, and even take the sacrament without objection. Not excommunicated members. Nonmembers can also be baptized fairly quickly if they want; excommunicated members have to wait at least a year, and have hurdles to cross that are in excess of nonmembers.

    I’m not saying this situation is wrong, just that it is.

  5. Not too familiar with johns work but did he ever say the Book of Mormon is a fraudulent? Sources?

  6. Clark Goble says:

    Read the transcript at the NYTs. Dehlin was pretty dishonest about recording it in my opinion. The Stake President was far from the most articulate although he tried to limit what he was discussing. Clearly Dehlin, knowing the tape was rolling, was trying to move it where Dehlin wanted. I didn’t really have strong feelings, but that transcript sure rubbed me the wrong way. What little sympathy for Dehlin I had kind of evaporated reading it.

    Surely Dehlin knows the difference between publicly advocating a position and merely expressing doubts on Facebook. He shows he knows the distinction on the RadioWest interview. (Around minute 39) He appear to think it’s inappropriate for that to matter, but I guess I don’t see that.

    In any case, when you think the whole church is wrong, deceptive, dishonest and hurtful and teach people that it’s more a question of when, not if, you’re getting disfellowshipped or excommunicated.

    Way back *years* ago when I interviewed him he said his aim was to keep people in the church. I just have a very, very hard time believing that’s still his aim.

    http://www.millennialstar.org/m-interviews-john-dehlin/

    • “I didn’t really have strong feelings, but that transcript sure rubbed me the wrong way. What little sympathy for Dehlin I had kind of evaporated reading it.”

      Same here.

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