All are Welcome in Affirmation
February 10, 2015
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that John Dehlin, Founder of Mormon Stories, has been excommunicated for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church” and “apostasy” and cited the following 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.”
The article also reports that the letter from his Stake President mentioned his “spread[ing] these teachings widely via the Internet to hundreds of people in the past,” and his plans to “continue to do so” and “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.” According to the article, the Stake President’s letter and the LDS Church’s press statement, John was apparently, not “officially” disciplined for his research and support of LGBTQ Mormons or his views supporting gay marriage.
John Dehlin presented his LGBT Mormon research at Affirmation’s Annual International Conference in 2012 and received our Ally Award. This research has been a blessing to LGBT Mormons, their families and friends in helping better explain the complexities of being LGBT and Mormon. We mourn with him and those touched by his excommunication. We express our love for him and gratitude for all the work he has done and will continue to do on behalf of LGBTQ individuals.
Church discipline is complicated and strikes deep. It is administered by leaders who feel they are seeking the Spirit of revelation in making difficult decisions about how to uphold what they see as core principles of the Church and how to nurture the faith of all its members, including those who are being disciplined.
We recognize that some members of the Church and Affirmation have had negative experiences with church discipline. They report that it has caused them to feel marginalization and ostracism from their faith community and families.
We support, love, and pray for those LGBTQ/SSA Mormons, their families, and friends who continue to seek to live meaningful and faithful lives within the Church as well as all those whose paths of dignity and conscience lead them to part with the LDS Church.
Affirmation recognizes all as beloved children of God. We provide a loving, inclusive community for all LGBTQ/SSA people, and those who love them, regardless of how they identify in their sexual orientation, gender identity, or faith. All are welcome in Affirmation.
Salt Lake Tribune Article: http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/2163720-155/mormon-critic-john-dehlin-is-excommunicated
LDS Church’s Press Statement: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-responds-to-john-dehlins-public-comments
Stake President’s Letter: http://www.deseretnews.com/media/pdf/1484938.pdf
John Dehlin’s presentation at 2012 Affirmation Conference:
John Dehlin receiving Affirmation’s 2012 Ally Award: