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

Return to article »

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

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

There are approved ways to seek change in the Church, and unapproved ways.

If I perceive a flaw in the Church I can:
1. Talk about it with my Bishop.
2. Talk about it with my Stake President. (Generally will be referred back to the Bishop unless the perceived flaw is in my Bishop)
3. Write to my Area Authority Seventy, or to an Apostle, to the President, or some other General Authority. (Such questions may get referred back to your Bishop or Stake President)
4. After discussion with the appropriate leader I will be given counsel. I can agree or not with the counsel given.

If however, I choose to go public with something, and publicly criticize the Church, or its leadership, and if I promote teachings that are contrary to the Church and will not cease public promotion of them, then the Church has no choice but to separate my teachings from the Church.

This is an excellent statement from the Church.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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."

Along with Kelly's parents in a different state (Utah as opposed to Virginia) getting their temple recommends taken away a week before Kelly got her disciplinary hearing letter?

"This is a religion that encourages questions and asking God directly for answers."

The problem is what happens when people get anything other than a specific "right" answer? There are quite a large number of people who think anyone who tried Moroni's promise and didn't get an affirmative answer wasn't sincere or some other negative opinion of those individuals.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

If I remember my church history correctly, a 14 year old boy in the early 1800's went beyond just asking questions. A whole religion was born and converts were recruited.

Salt Lake, UT

This sounds reasonable until you think about how this would sound if any other organization said the same thing. Please feel free to question but keep in mind that we are never wrong and don't get in our way. If it turns out that we were actually wrong, we will let you know 50 years later.


atl134, your concern doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

If you get another answer, if Moroni's promise doesn't work for you, then go enjoy the religion God directs you to. That won't bother me, or any other member of the LDS Church in the least. I have long been an advocate that you should believe in the religion you attend. If you believe in another religion, please, go worship there.

If however you believe, with me, that Christ does guide this Church, that the leadership is inspired, and that the President/Prophet of the Church holds the keys of the Priesthood and uses, and conferrs them, in accordance with Christ's will, then you will understand that it really doesn't matter how many others "want the Church to change", the Church changes when Christ directs it to change, and we, Christ's sheep, hear his voice and follow. Could Christ direct him to change? Sure, but until that happens, public demonstrations will be foolishness, and will result in excommunication.

Alex 1
Tucson, AZ

Kings Court,

Yes, a religion was born and converts were recruited when a 14-year-old boy went beyond asking questions. Then again, Joseph Smith also didn't try to gut the Methodist Church to fit his liking either. So if these people are confident they have the moral authority and divine direction, and that the LDS Church is out of line, then they are free to start there own church. The LDS Church sure won't stop you. However, if they are going to remain within the church, know that the leadership of the church has no obligation to let itself get manipulated.

Centerville, UT

I have been involved in church discipline, both as a recipient of it, and as a ward clerk who sat in on a few Bishop's Councils. This week marks the 20th anniversary of my excommunication from the Church. I was re-baptized 13 years ago, and had my Priesthood and Temple blessings restored 12 years ago. Church discipline was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I had made solemn covenants in the Temple, and I was violating them (Law of Chastity). Like many members involved in serious sin, I didn't realize that I needed to be excommunicated so that I would repent. If I wouldn't have been, I would probably not have repented still to this day. There are a couple of things not being mentioned much in the media. First of all, if you read Kate Kelly's letter that she posted on line, her Bishop said he could work with her on a possible time change for her council. 2nd-any decision may be appealed to the First Presidency (D & C 102). 3rd- These people made covenants that they are now violating.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

Let's try this again, since so many are not being honest in their description of these events...

No one is being punished for asking questions, whether they be hard or easy. My word, the whole reason we have the restoration of the Gospel is because Joseph Smith asked questions. Yes, most of those being very hard questions.

Secondly, they are not being punished. (Not yet anyway.) They are being called into a council to answer questions on whether or not they, by their actions, are advocating for and/or leading others in the church astray.

1. You can question all you want!

2. You cannot go around teaching others in the church that your view is correct and the leaders of the church are wrong.

If you are doing the first you are fine. If you are doing the second, you will be given an opportunity to explain, and if determined you are leading others astray, an opportunity to repent. Should you not repent, then you will be asked to leave.

It isn't rocket science. After reading the above, those who are still advocating that these two are receiving punishment for the first, are intentionally being deceitful.

Socal Coug
San Diego, CA

Well said.
The bottom line is when it comes down to EARNESTLY pondering, praying, and asking about something, with an unbiased desire to receive an answer...that takes a great amount of humility.
Contrast that with those referenced.
Night and day.

Layton, UT

Seems kinda hypocritical to suggest there's no spiritual peril in public messaging, or that it has no influence on anyone. If that were the case no one would bother to post a single response here, regardless of your perspective on the issue.

Lake Worth, FL

The big question I have is "When is the Church going to do something about Harry Reid?" He is constantly going in the opposite direction of the Church, but he is still a member in good standing with the Church. He is all for abortion, full women’s rights, drug use and uses his position in the government to promote his views that are in opposition to the Church. If the Church is going to excommunicate people or has them to terminate their membership in the church for expressing their opinions on the internet, then the Church needs to take a harder look at Harry Reid!!!!!!!!!!

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....What causes concern for Church leaders is when personal motivations drive those conversations beyond discussion, and a person or group begins recruiting others to insist on changes in Church doctrines or structure...."

I think it’s fair for me to mention the Church role in California’s Proposition 8. That was a case of Church leadership using the pulpit to mobilize membership into a proactive force on one specific side of a California ballot referendum. I see no reason why individual Church members should not be able to likewise organize and consort on behalf of or in opposition to an issue.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Clint2" how do you know that the Church hasn't done something about Harry Reid? For all we know, he has been disfellowshipped or ex-communicated.

Also, as has been stated quite clearly before. You don't get ex-communicated for expressing an opinion. You get ex-communicated when you rally others to join you in publically petitioning the LDS church to change its doctrine.

While I don't agree with Harry Reid, when has he gone so far as to petition the LDS church to change its doctrine?

salt lake, UT

The church clearly stated that there is nothing wrong with asking questions. Asking is not the problem. The problem comes when you dont like the answer and you try to FORCE changes and cause a big stink when things don't go the way YOU want!

Salt Lake City, UT

"If you get another answer, if Moroni's promise doesn't work for you, then go enjoy the religion God directs you to. That won't bother me, or any other member of the LDS Church in the least. "

I was using it as an example. But what if someone gets a different answer on some piece of church doctrine while believing the rest, like Ordain Women? You tell them to question, they question, and then they get derided and threatened when they get a different answer on one thing. So much for questioning...

Far East USA, SC

"The big question I have is "When is the Church going to do something about Harry Reid?" "

Wow. That is scary.

If "the church" starts doing "something about Harry Reid", it would be time to insure that we do not elect members of the LDS church to government positions.

Harry Reid, like every other elected official were elected to represent their constituents. Not their church.

Hays, KS

This statement seems less an answer to member questions and more a responce to member demands. Questions do arise (I have personally experienced a few in my life) that cannot be answered by the scriptures because they are questions about Church policy, and local leaders are just as confused as you are about such questions. In these kinds of cases (i.e. actual legitimate questions and not demands that doctrine change), a method of asking questions would be nice just because there's no other way to know to what to do. Want some examples? If a family is baptised just before the parents divrce (and thus they are never sealed in the temple), and the mother remarries in the temple (but does not include the child in her sealing), how can that child be sealed to her parents? Further, if a worthy member's poor health restricts the wearing of many kinds of clothes (including garments and Temple clothes), can they be Endowed? If not, can they even be Sealed? If not, can they ensure these ordinances will be done after their death? Should said person enter the Temple at all? These are legitimate questions.

Alex 1
Tucson, AZ

Remember that in matters of church discipline, the priesthood leader must keep matters confidential, while the member who is being tried has no such obligation. So if a member who is being tried goes public with criticism, accusations, or complaints against the church or church leader while disciplinary proceedings are going on, you should know that you are not getting the whole story, and in most cases, not even part of it. In my view, making accusations against the church when the church leaders are not at liberty to respond is a special kind of cowardice. Nine out of ten times, I question the integrity of the accuser. One of the many reasons that trust in the leadership of the church is important, is that prevents liars and apostates from getting the upper hand and avails confidentiality to the repentant sinner.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

The statement doesn't really address much but it's really all the church can say. My question after reading the NY Times article and now this is if the statements made in the Times are accurate how would the church defend that? If people are really being called in because of statements they have made on Facebook or Twitter I think it would be pretty hard for the church to justify monitoring regular members social media.

I would like to know how people would feel about this if it turns out to be accurate.


First, NO ONE HAS BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED. Good grief they have only been warned.

Second, while Kate's actions aren't right and her cause is off. There are millions of women in the Church who do agree (with men as well) that the Church is too slow on non-doctrinal issues. Like women holding more responsibilities in the Church and speaking in all sessions of conference, GAs representing the mix of the Church and a few other basics that have NOTHING to do with doctrine.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments