Comments about ‘LDS Church responds to concerns over member questions’

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Published: Friday, June 20 2014 1:00 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014 4:57 p.m. MDT

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AT
Elk River, MN

So, this is a nice statement, but the people being excommunicated, in some cases, are saying that their local leaders were directed to do so by SLC. There's enough evidence counter to the statement in this article to reasonably question whether the LDS Church representative is being truthful.

Some people being ex'd, aren't trying to "change" the Church; they're pointing out flaws.

It's an interesting atmosphere in the Church right now. I'm actually thinking, "So, when I hit "Submit", my initials and location will be posted. There aren't too many ATs in Elk River, MN. Wonder if this will put me on some watch list somewhere? Chilling."

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

A crystal clear statement. As usual, spot on effort from the Church and its Public Affairs office. Interesting, too, same spokesperson who very eloquently explained, exhorted and warned the very people drawing this attention to this process regarding the road they were headed down.

EJM
Herriman, UT

I'm not a member but this makes sense to me. Sounds reasonable. So tell me what the problem is then?

RichardB
Murray, UT

Things might be better if they followed Jesus's example in the pre-existence. Teach them the truth, and give them their free agency to decide.

Remember, it was the devil that wanted to force people to do things his way.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"First, there is no effort to tell local leaders to keep members from blogging or discussing questions online. "

The fact that this must be clarified is scary to begin with.

"When it goes so far as creating organized groups, staging public events to further a cause or creating literature for members to share in their local congregations, the Church has to protect the integrity of its doctrine as well as other members from being misled."

Is the "integrity of its doctrine" that fragile? Are LDS church members that easily "misled" that they need to be sheltered from unapproved information?

The LDS church leadership is much too controlling and protective of it's flock for my taste.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

The members that are being excommunicated. We don't know all of the reasons. We have what the excommunicated person is telling us, but, not the reasoning or inspiration or how the leaders came to the conclusion that they should be excommunicated.

For all we know there could be other sins, but, as people tend to do; they quickly lash out and pick an argument that the public and newspapers would love to rally behind.

My experience has been, most people in these situations are already done with the church, but, feel they need to cause as much pain and grief as possible while playing the victim. Of course they're not going to say that....

With that said, how can you claim to know the church is true and sustain the leaders, when you spend your spare time attacking them? Instead of asking for a dialogue with the church, they take it to the court of public opinion, where it's just that. An opinion.

Thesame thing along the lines of Mormons building bridges. Just the fact that they leave sacrament to support, shows where their heart is. Why not invite them to church instead and build that bridge?

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

What a wonderful, well-stated, pronouncement from the Church this is. It is simple, straight forward, and is based on sound principle. The integrity of Church doctrine, procedures, and discussions are addressed here. But more than anything, the Church has a responsibility to protect its members from influences and processes that are not consistent with the preservation of core testimony of its members that are founded on faith, obedience, humility, prayer, and service. Dissension and loss of testimony doesn't come from asking questions. It comes from insistence upon answers being as we want them to be. Imagine if none of us allowed ourselves to be taught by the Spirit. I emphasize 'taught'. The word means that we are willing to have the answers come from God, even if they are different than what we want them to be. I place myself in God's hands. And I remember this, "Whether it be by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, the prophets, it is the same". As for me and my house, we will follow the prophet, and no blessing will be denied us at the last day.

TOO
Sanpete, UT

This statement is perfect.

If I was part of a "club"--or even at my employment--and I was starting to organize groups to try and change the key parts of the company, I would most likely not be welcome there and my boss would fire me. It's not the job of these women to tell the leaders what to do.
If she truly believes that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, then she should very well know where inspiration must come from for the leaders. Hint Sister: It's NOT you. It's not you.

If she truly believes that this is the true church, then she should very well know that she does not receive revelation for the leaders of the church. She doesn't even receive it for her local Relief Society President. There's a point where curiosity and questioning turn into apostasy, and she is there.

raybies
Layton, UT

She did an hour long interview on NPR Radio West with Doug Fabrizio this last week. Doug attempted multiple times to get her to respond directly to allegations made by two bloggers who are up for church disciplinary action who made their experience public and are attempting to suggest that there's a conspiracy to crack down on bloggers, because their local leaders appear to have requested disciplinary action around the same time...

I thought she did a decent job of explaining the positions of the LDS faith. It's a tough position to be in, especially when she tries to respect the local leaders and the membership no matter where they come from, in what is intended to be a private and spiritual process.

Doug's a good interviewer, but you could tell he wanted to stir up a bit more controversy than she was willing to give him. It's worth a listen, imo.

Herby
Hurricane, UT

Richard B-- It was also the Devil whom was cast out along with a 1/3 of the host. Was that a Christlike thing to do?

Orson
Woods Cross, UT

The pic caption is wrong; it does not show temple square, but the Church Office Building plaza.

I appreciate this comment. Peggy Stack seems to be making the disciplinary councils for Kelly/Dehlin her personal cause before the SLT goes bankrupt and she is out of a job.

U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT

There is a difference between having questions about doctrine and life's questions vs having an agenda and leading a crusade to further your own desires. Excommunication is for the unrepentant. Some of these individuals know exactly what they are doing, while pretending to be victims. It's called being dishonest, which is one of their major problems.

raybies
Layton, UT

AT: There is no conspiracy to hunt down bloggers. Two prominent bloggers who have media attention were informed by local leaders independently about disciplinary action. The timing is circumstantial. These cases are entirely up to local leadership. Local leaders have authority to convene church court for members under their stewardship.

Imagine the injustice should General Authorites be required to intervene everytime a member of sufficient fame was disciplined. Now that would be unfair.

That it happened to coincide is circumstantial. The church has and will continue to enable its local leadership jurisdiction when it comes to matters of apostasy, serious sin, or whatever, no matter how "public" the case becomes. And it isn't the church that publicizes these things.

Members of the LDS faith understand the difference between honest inquiry and advocating apostate ideaology that runs counter to the doctrines of the restored gospel.

Excommunication is not a foregone conclusion for disciplinary counsel. They have choices in the matter and the disciplinary counsel is still undecided, so suggesting excommunication attempts to sensationalize matters.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Instead of asking for a dialogue with the church, they take it to the court of public opinion, where it's just that. An opinion."

But Ted, You speak of opinion being just an opinion. But how many times have we heard that, at times, church leaders merely express their opinions?

Church members would rely on the validity of their utterances only to find that they were clearly wrong. And when that happens, it is classified as merely the opinion of a fallible man.

I am quite sure that the leaders are very wise men with very good intentions and good advice. As was my grandfather. With him, I never had any doubts as to the source of his council.

The LDS are forced to accept the past council when it survives the test of time and dismiss it when it doesn't.

Until church leaders are willing to label their words as either personal opinion or Gods words, then this confusion will always exist.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

>>Is the "integrity of its doctrine" that fragile? Are LDS church members that easily "misled" that they need to be sheltered from unapproved information?

No, it's not so fragile, but not all Church members are at the same level of doctrinal understanding. New converts, for example, who have yet to develop a deep knowledge of the doctrine could become confused as to what the doctrine is if the Church fails to discipline members who are openly fighting against Church teachings. History shows that apostasy must be checked or it becomes increasingly destructive to individuals and the organization.

That said, anyone who is excommunicated is perfectly free to continue speaking their minds about church doctrine. They just won't be free to represent themselves as members whose teachings line up with official doctrine.

>>...but the people being excommunicated, in some cases, are saying that their local leaders were directed to do so by SLC.

Honest question: what evidence have they produced of such direction from Church headquarters? I haven't seen any beyond their own unproven claims.

MercyNLovelie
USA, CA

AT

I seriously question anyone who claims to be receiving discipline via SLC just for being vocal about flaws. Half the membership would be gone. This is a religion that encourages questions and asking God directly for answers.

On the other hand, I do know that SLC directs local leaders on occasion. Those cases involve serious crimes such as child abuse, for example. I know from personal experience - SLC handled a case when I was a child and reported to law enforcement. They took every consideration and respected my privacy and dignity. Of all the things I have questioned, the church's policies on church discipline is not one of them.

Left Field
Longmont, Colorado

I can comprehend someone disagreeing with church doctrine, but not lobbying to try to change it. Either buy into it or walk away from it—"it" being both the doctrine and the church. A church built on the premise of modern-day revelation cannot be expected to modify its dogma based on group discussion. That said, lately we've been seeing a blurring of the line between doctrine and opinion in the church in some areas—shifting attitudes and church commentary regarding the priesthood ban come to mind—where some folks understandably come away feeling like the court of public opinion did have some influence on church leadership positions. Now, the church's position is that it wasn't bowing to public pressure that caused the change, but greater divine light being shed on the matter. I get that, but those who might not see it that way are mistakenly encouraged to lobby for change in public forums as they have.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Don't rock the boat. You can't want change, you'll just be told about it if an when it happens.

technonerd7
orem, ut

AT,

"Some people being ex'd, aren't trying to "change" the Church; they're pointing out flaws."

That is a contradictory comment. If you are "pointing out the flaws" of an organization, you are telling them how to change to make it better.

As a member of the LDS church I often have questions, and I will look online, and I will ponder things. However, my core testimony is strong enough to bring me back to having faith that the leaders of the church are leading the church where it needs to go, and if something needs to change, they will get the inspiration to do so.

As a member I would caution others that look online, there are many truths online, but there are many half truths and lies online as well.

ForTruth
Taylorsville, UT

Herby....

That is the most ridiculous statement I've read. Lucifer (Satan/Devil) was cast out of heaven along with a third part because of rebellion. It was their choice. We all have the gift of agency, and our choices determine our progression. We have the choice to live God's commandments, but not the consequences that come from disobedience.

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