Monthly Archives: March 2015

LDS Can Now Openly Support Gay Marriage

Flip Flops

Last week the LDS church announced it will no longer punish people for supporting gay marriage.  This, despite the brethren saying that such a practice goes against church doctrine and constitutes a crime against nature.  Of course, the church is suggesting that they are merely reaffirming their long held stance of allowing members to publicly oppose church doctrines.

“An LDS apostle reaffirmed recently that Mormons who support gay marriage are not in danger of losing their temple privileges or church memberships — even though the Utah-based faith opposes the practice.  In an interview Friday (March 13) with KUTV in Salt Lake City, Elder D. Todd Christofferson said that individuals in the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be in trouble only for “supporting organizations that promote opposition or positions in opposition to the church’s.”  (Salt Lake Tribune, Peggy Stack)

So apparently a church member can now safely go online (or has always been able to) and while identifying as Mormon can state his or her belief in any practice that goes against any and all doctrines of the gospel, as long as they do not support an organization that feels the same way they do.

Christofferson continues:

“Our approach in all of this, as (Mormon founder) Joseph Smith said, is persuasion. You can’t use the priesthood and the authority of the church to dictate. You can’t compel, you can’t coerce. It has to be persuasion, gentleness and love unfeigned, as the words in the scripture.”

Any person openly “opposing” the church’s teachings, no matter who the individual is, the church will not compel him, coerce him, nor take away his recommend or his membership.

In theory this means one can openly argue that the church should practice polygamy.  He can take to the airwaves, write books, and make persuasive and intelligent arguments.  He can share his feelings in church and everywhere he goes.  He can blog about his love of the doctrine and openly tweet of its carnal and health benefits.

Without any retaliation or fear of discipline, one can now argue for re-instituting the ban on blacks receiving the Priesthood.

I suppose one can now argue openly in favor of abortion, murder, Jihad, pornography, slavery, fornication and stealing, all as a Mormon in good standing.

When a person shares these views on say… CNN, and the world becomes outraged, the church will stand by him or her and will tell the world that it upholds this member’s right to be in favor of such issues.  We will not condemn such speech as the church recently has done in its essays on priesthood.  But rather we will lovingly disagree and refer to such scoundrels with love unfeigned. actually defines apostasy as:

“a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.”

It is interesting to me that the church does not seem to want to call at least those in favor of gay marriage, “apostates,” despite their clear departure from what we have been told are the true doctrines and principles of our religion.

Is this the same generous standard being applied to those:

1)  who are wanting and openly asking the church to be more transparent?

2)  who openly disagree about the way the church is spending tithing?

3)  who think it’s a bad idea to run the church so much like a corporation?

4)  who think that the words “prophet, seer, and revelator” should not be used casually and only apply to those who have done as the scriptures teach — i.e. stood in the presence of God and who have been ordained by Him?

5)  who believe that men are fallible and that even the very elect can be deceived by leaders in the church and the precepts of men?

Elder Christofferson does make one disclaimer:

“We have individual members in the church with a variety of different opinions, beliefs and positions on these issues and other issues,” Christofferson said. ” … In our view, it doesn’t really become a problem unless someone is out attacking the church and its leaders — if that’s a deliberate and persistent effort and trying to get others to follow them, trying to draw others away, trying to pull people, if you will, out of the church or away from its teachings and doctrines.”

So, in other words, “We want church members to think they are allowed to say whatever they want so that the world will think we are just so amazingly open minded, BUT the second their comments question the church’s leaders or when their arguments begin to actually persuade people, then all the gentleness and kindness and persuasion will go out the window.”

As Rock Waterman astutely reminded us recently, Denver Snuffer was right:

In LDS Mormonism there is really only one doctrine left. Everything else is subordinate and changeable. But this single demand is paramount. If you disbelieve this position, then LDS Mormonism has no place for you. The doctrine:

We follow a man whom we call a prophet.

If you disbelieve this, and think you ought to follow Christ first, and the church’s “prophet” is secondary, then you are insubordinate and a threat. Believing Christ comes first opens the possibility that Christ could tell you the “prophet” is mistaken. That is intolerable.

Anonymous Feedback Strongly Encouraged


I’m intrigued that the church relies so heavily on surveys.  I first became aware of this while serving as a bishop.  I find it ironic that the surveys are usually anonymous.  I assume this is to both ensure the protection and the privacy of the individuals participating as well as to encourage a completely honest response.

I say “ironic” only because there have been some who have criticized me for providing my feedback to the church on this blog, anonymously.

Some have been very critical of my anonymity, calling it cowardice, despite my best efforts to be helpful and honest and although I have no desire to hurt anyone’s faith in Christ or in the Gospel and its restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith.  Meanwhile, “ironically,” the church has encouraged such feedback in its surveys.

My feedback has been considered by some, even in my own family, to be apostate.  Yet, the church asks questions as one can see above welcoming very critical feedback of the leadership of the church.

“How well do General Authorities understand the concerns of the following types of members?” 

Is this not a solicitation to provide honest feedback?  Furthermore the church provides the very wording to respond that the Brethren are doing “VERY POORLY” if applicable.

How honest is it for the Brethren to solicit such information in surveys, WANTING HONEST FEEDBACK, if only to excommunicate those who actually provide the same type of honest feedback in a forum such as a blog or book?

It appears the Brethren want to have it both ways:  They want to survey the church and its leaders to see how we really feel about hot topic issues such as the Temple Endowment, garments, gays, women and the priesthood, apostasy, etc., BUT they then want to be able to cater to or punish the “respondents” depending on whether or not they represent the majority or fall in line with their own views.

If 750/1000 members, for example, feel like the Temple Endowment needs to be changed, the Brethren will be grateful for the feedback and will appear spiritually informed to 75% of the church when they make the changes.

But, if you write a letter to the Brethren, with your real name on it, saying you are saddened by the changes to the ordinances, you will be dealt with by Priesthood leaders for having the audacity to question their decisions.  What happened to wanting honest feedback?

When 50/1000 members want to see more transparency from the church, the Brethren will be grateful for the data that supports their continuation of secrecy and will seek to find and punish those who openly provide their feedback in opposition to their position and to the position of the alleged majority.  Of course, this is not a question you will likely see in a survey.  As Damon Smith points out, the church does not often ask questions it does not want an honest answer to.

One thing is certain though — speaking out about one’s concerns, when you are not on the right side of the survey responses, is equated to Apostasy.

With at least one exception — It does help your cause if you pay a lot of tithing and/or are a famous and well-liked Mormon.

I was tempted recently to do a short post on John Dehlin.  I was going to entitle the post:

“What’s the Difference Between John Dehlin and Steve Young?”

The answer?  About 40 Million Dollars, an ESPN Contract, and a Few Superbowl Rings.

Most people know that Dehlin was excommunicated mostly because he supports gay marriage.  Young, a high dollar account for the church, actually gave $50,000 to oppose Prop 8 in California in 2008.  He also does firesides with his wife Barbara where they talk of soliciting members to oppose Prop 8 during church meetings.  Seems like a double standard to me.

Nonetheless, I take heart to know there is a precedent for providing honest and anonymous feedback.  I’m grateful the church says it wants it.  Many bishops and leaders I know DO fear the consequences if they share their true feelings.  So being able to do so anonymously for now, with the church’s encouragement, gives me some hope.

The “Meet The Mormons” Success

dnews LDSRedCross.cit.2079

This week the LDS church presented a check for $1.8M to the American Red Cross, an organization that supports Planned Parenthood and abortion.  In what is being celebrated as a huge success by church leaders, Meet the Mormons has now profited an amount that nearly covers the salary of the CEO of the American Red Cross for the next 24 months!

“We are absolutely thrilled that this production was received so well,” said Bishop Stevenson.

So well!?  Why so well?  Because “All is well!”  All is always well in the new PR church.  Every success and every failure presented with the same positive spin.

$1.8 million dollars.  That’s a large amount of money for most of us.  But, let’s be honest, is that it?  Let’s be more honest, it’s all money that came from members of the church who listened to the call of a prophet.


Holland Meet Mormons

15 million strong and all we made was $1.8M?  With all the Family Night tailgate parties at movie theaters and all we made was $1.8M?  Do the math!  Did we really achieve the goal?

“The goal of that movie was to bring a greater understanding of who we really are and to let people know how the gospel of Jesus Christ has influenced lives in positive ways,” said Stevenson.

I call BS.  No pun intended Bishop Stevenson.  I say an “apostle” a “prophet, seer, and revelator” “strongly encouraged” the entire church to go watch an informercial, to “buy up movie theaters” and the end result was a meager Mormon turn-out that now contributes a measly $1.8M to a corrupt and worldly organization.

Is this really something we should be bragging about on the front page of


Right below an ever so important message as “You’ll Never Go Wrong by Following the Prophet.” ?


Is anyone else concerned out there of the direction the church?  Is it so wrong to be concerned?  Is it “apostate” to be so concerned?  I would simply ask the church to be as “honest” in their accounting for other “profits” and “losses” of the entire $35B church corporation.  It seems content in boasting what it gives to the “poor” (Matthew 6:3), but refuses to account for how it spends the widows’ mite.