Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am NOT the enemy

Today, the Mormon church announced that it will be holding excommunication counsels against the two most prominent voices in the moderate movements within the Mormon church, that of Kate Kelly and John Dehlin. there are others, but they haven't gone public, so to respect their privacy, I'll not be naming them.

I am both happy and sad about these announcements. I am happy because these inevitable excommunications will bring to light the rigid and arrogant views of the Mormon leaders, how impossible it is to affect change within an organization I could no longer be a part of because of these reasons. I am also sad
because it will also mean it will be harder to bring the Mormon church into a more moderate stance.

I do not view the leaders of the church as infallible, as this should be obvious by their ability to change doctrine with every whim of pressure that is put on the church. I am confused by those within the church who continue to view the church as error-free.

I am very concerned for the LGBT community within the church and the women who view the church as god's church and yet are conflicted within themselves because they personally desire equality, a voice, choice, to feel heard. They are losing the opportunity to have access to these. I am sorry for those who desire to attend church without guilt or derision.

I remember how difficult it was for me to leave, how conflicted I was, how confused I was, how utterly hopeless I felt. I had hopes that many others would feel they could stay and find some sort of middle ground and now that hope is lost.

The leaders within the Mormon church have so convincingly told the members that we, the ones who have somehow found a way out that we are the enemy, that our family and friends will not look to us as a way to find a way out of their conflict, their confusion, their hopelessness.

"I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine."

-- Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. rev. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 5:340.

We are not the enemy, but there is no way for us to convince our loved ones of that. What I find ironic, is that an organization that is worth billions of dollars is afraid of people like me. Why? Why would they be so afraid of a few people who write blogs and host podcasts? Why are they so afraid that they must threaten excommunication? That is what the Mormons should be asking.

I am not the enemy, Mormons, your own dogma is.

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