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John Dehlin Excommunicated for Severe Amnesia Problem

And now, ladies and gentlemen… if I could direct your full attention to the center ring of the “Dehlinite” circus, where John himself proudly announces via national media and public radio the results of his LDS Church disciplinary council:  Excommunicated for apostasy!

Duh.

And this, from his sidekick, Peggy Stack, of the Salt LakeTribune:





"The official charge against the founder of the "Mormon Stories" podcast was "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church," but the letter from Dehlin's North Logan LDS stake president, Bryan King, called it "apostasy" and cited evidence for the unanimous decision:

Margaret Blair Young: As Sisters in Zion

"God be with you till we meet again..."
Guest Post by Margaret Blair Young

My father is a linguist, and so I have spent all of my life exposed to different words and sounds. When other families went to Disneyland, we went to Guatemala.  Inevitably, I learned a couple of languages, and then incomprehensible sounds which could not possibly make sense suddenly did.  Then I could pick up a string of words, and finally the thought.  I revert to Spanish if my father, who can’t hear well, indicates that he didn’t understand me.  Some extra hearing comes to him when I use that language.

One of his last joys (his life is winding down, though he is still with us) is in helping me prepare to go to Africa.  

Dad traveled throughout the world during his eighty-four years.  His patriarchal blessing told him that he’d be “an ambassador for the Lord in many lands.”  And so he has been.  He is fluent in all fo the romance languages, Chinese, Finnish, Russian, and more dialects than you likely have never heard of.  I have seen him converse with native Mayans, native Chinese, native Russians, etc.  He does it in their language.  I remember so well the moment when our whole family was in Patzicia, Guatemala and Dad was speaking in sacrament meeting.  All of those present were fluent in the dialect, Cakchiquel, but only a few were truly fluent in Spanish.  Dad started in Spanish and then said, “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to speak in Cakchiquel.”

Ganel-Lyn Condie: LDS Women are Not Perfect But We Trust Our God

Guest Post by Ganel-Lyn Condie

Today, I read a public statement from someone that is no longer a member of the LDS church. She said this of current members of the church "only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.” THIS IS NOT MY TRUTH!

For evidence, I offer a book that I have worked on for over 3 years. I Can Do Hard Things with God, is an anthology of women that are SMART, articulate, VERY HIGHLY EDUCATED, dedicated, BRAVE, courageous THINKERS. The women profiled aren't perfect but we trust our God, we sustain a Prophet, we live our faith EVEN when things are HARD, very HARD. This book is a small sample of LDS women. I know that many, MANY non-Mormon readers have already bought the book. I pray those that are Mormon, Muslim, Jew and Catholic, and non-LDS everywhere will read these few personal stories and see that the belittling statements of a few do not represent the intelligence I see all around me in the lives of the members of the Mormon faith.

Is Mormonism declining in the 21st Century among educated Americans?

Guest Post: By Michael Terence Worley

Recently a number of people have claimed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is struggling.  A common recitation of the claim is that once members learn about certain facts about the faith, gain “thinking skills,” or learn about the Church’s positions on social-political issues they will leave.  For instance, a noted critic of Mormon teachings on women, Kate Kelly, said recently: “The Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. … [O]nly the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.”


This claim is frequently repeated in a variety of ways. But what do the statistics show? Are the more learned Latter-day Saints leaving the religion of their childhood while the less educated remain affiliated with the Latter-day Saint faith? By and large, not so. Let me explain.

The Pew Research Center has released a 2011 study stating in part:

“Mormons who have graduated from college display the highest levels of religious commitment (84%) followed by those with some college education (75%). Mormons with a high school education or less exhibit substantially lower levels of religious commitment (50% score high on the scale) than their more highly educated counterparts.”

This shows that whether or not the church is growing or shrinking as a whole, its shrinking isn’t coming from the most educated. In fact, it seems the more education one has, the more likely they are to be a faithful Latter-day Saint.  While some educated latter-day Saints some do leave, many conversations are taking place about how to help deal with such issues. More importantly, the data is showing many more educated Latter-day Saints stay than leave.

LDS Apostate Says Only Dummies Thrive in Mormonism

In a recent post by Kate Kelly, (excommunicated by the LDS Church for blatant apostasy) she feebly attempts to defend John Dehlin (who stands to also be excommunicated) by trying to offend faithful Mormons for keeping temple covenants, suggesting that the Church is losing control of its membership.

According to Kelly, “The Mormon faith has become a place that incentivizes the survival of the least fit. Since strict obedience is demanded and harshly enforced, only the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers, least likely to take a stand against abuse, and the least courageous people thrive in the Church today.”

Interpreted what she actually means to say is that, because the Mormon faith is a place where the faithful gather to make and keep sacred covenants with God, members considered in good standing (by choice) don’t use their time and talents to undermine and advocate contrary to the teachings and counsel of living prophets.

Rather, faithful Mormons boldly live their religion in the face of relentless accusations suggesting that to uphold the commandments of God is un-Christian, weak, and judgmental and will land them on the wrong side of history!

I’m not sure what Kelly hopes to gain by trying to insult the general membership of the Church, but I can assure you that most members will see it as just sad. And seeing as how similar ploys didn’t work for her, I seriously doubt that more public shaming of the Church (or us) will change anything about another’s Church discipline.

Kelly may have a law degree, which she feels makes her smarter and more qualified than many of us to… what? Oh yeah, to advocate publicly contrary to leaders of the Church – or God. But as for me, I much prefer to exercise willing obedience and use my God-given talents to stand for what I believe and with those whom the Lord has called to lead His Church.

And in the process, if I’m considered among “the least talented, least articulate, least nuanced thinkers... " I’ll continue to consider it a ‘badge of honor’ and count myself among the likes of many of you and those who have gone before us valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

You might also enjoy reading these other responses: 

Is Mormonism declining in the 21st Century among educated Americans? by Michael Terence Worley

LDS Women are Not Perfect But We Trust Our God by Ganel-Lyn Condie



LDS Leaders Announce Better Vision Toward LGBT in Unprecedented News Conference

In an unprecedented move today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced via social media a special News Conference only two hours before airing. The topic of concern: religious freedom and non-discrimination. They also requested the hashtag #Fairness4All be used in our communications about the conference. 

As you can imagine, that move certainly woke up Mormons online and had many of us standing at attention! And by the way, no changes in doctrine or Church teachings were made -- just sayin.

So, what went down during this urgent News Conference? This, from the Mormon Newsroom:


Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for legislation across the United States that protects vital religious freedoms.

At the same time, the Church said it would support legislation where it is being sought to provide protections in housing, employment and some other areas where LGBT people do not have protections, while ensuring that religious freedom was not compromised.

Competing interests between advocates of religious freedom and those seeking to build LGBT rights into law have led to legislative inaction or stalemates with increasing frequency across the United States. In a news conference that included three members of the governing Twelve Apostles and one woman leader of the Church, leaders called for a “fairness for all” approach that balances religious freedom protections with reasonable safeguards for LGBT people — specifically in areas of housing, employment and public transportation, which are not available in many parts of the country.

TLC Controversy Over SSA Mormons Featured on 'My Husband's Not Gay'

(Post update below.) By now, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming TLC special ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ that will feature male Mormons who experience same-sex attraction but choose to marry women – and are happy!

However, not everyone’s happy that they’re happy (particularly liberal champions of tolerance – only on their terms) and have launched a media campaign to have the show cancelled before it even airs. Here's the promo video if you haven't seen it:






Video Clip: My Husband's Not Gay





To be frank, I’ve been reading rumblings about this show for the last few weeks, before the backlash to try and shut it down ever began and have had mixed feelings about having this part of my Mormon faith exploited, which is what TLC is doing.

Best LDS Christmas Resources and First Presidency Message

The Mormon Newsroom posted a news release on behalf of The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) sharing their 2014 Christmas message:


As we celebrate this Christmas season, our thoughts turn to that sacred event long ago when the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World was born (see Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, . . . and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He promised: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).



We sincerely pray this Christmastime that the light and testimony of the Savior will come into our hearts, that our lives will reflect His life and attributes, and that people everywhere will accept the blessings of His mercy and grace that are made possible through His atoning sacrifice.
May each of us be blessed during this joyous time of the year, and may we acknowledge with gratitude our Heavenly Father’s incomparable gift to us—His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf




Other LDS Church Christmas resources to help you focus on the mission of Jesus Christ throughout this special season of joy and gladness!



Video:"The Nativity"





Gospel Topic: Christmas
“When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning."
"Use [these] resources to enrich your Christmas celebrations and help you to focus on the Savior this season."









The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) have created a wonderful collection of LDS Bible videos depicting the Life of Jesus Christ. The particular videos I'm sharing here, today, beautifully portray the Christmas Story as recorded in sacred scripture. Each one of these New Testament Bible videos carefully follow the actual text from the King James version; maintaining the integrity of the inspired account as originally recorded.



Church News: 

Light of Christ Illuminates First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

“All of us have experienced an influence that made us want to be kind, to help someone in need,” said President Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency. “All of us have felt an increased desire to stay far from evil. And we each have felt a desire to be less prideful, boastful, or critical—to be more like the Savior.”

"His remarks were part of the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center. The spirit of Christmas was celebrated through word and song at the annual event, which drew tens of thousands to downtown Salt Lake City—while many more enjoyed the program on television or via the Internet."


Watch, Read, Listen or Download: 2014 Christmas Devotional

"For a more Christ-centered Christmas for you and your loved ones, head to LDS.org for a wealth of Christmas resources that will help you keep the focus on Jesus Christ and His birth."















Mormon.org: Christmas #ShareTheGift



"This Christmas season, we invite you to join millions of people and #ShareTheGift of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ."


Discover, Embrace, and Share the Gift

"Can a gift given 2,000 years ago still matter today? The answer is a heartfeltyes. As we internalize the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow His perfect example, we can become more like Him and experience lasting peace and joy—this Christmas season and always."


Christmas Video -- He is the Gift -- #ShareTheGift




World Record Nativity Video to #ShareTheGift 

Over A Thousand People Came Together To Break a Record And Bring This Moving Christmas Hymn To Life






Infographic: Mormons Tell the Story of Christmas Nativity


Mormons, as Christians, celebrate Christmas in memorial of the birth of Jesus Christ, whom we recognize as the literal Son of God, and Savior of the world. In this beautiful Christmas infographic the story of "The Nativity" is depicted.







These are truly wonderful Christmas resources provided by the LDS Church, many of which can easily be shared with other Christians. Take the time to click on each of the links provided above, where you will find help for Church, Family Home Evening and other Christmas lessons and activities that you need to prepare for during the holiday season and want to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ.

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

See also: 


Photos: LDS.org

Natural Marriage: Humanum A New Affirmation

Humanum New Affirmation Marriage

Why do weddings still move us? We do not become emotional when business partners strike a deal. We shed no tears at a friendly handshake. We feel no such joy to hear of “casual” mating.

A wedding is different. Here stand a man and woman, entering together into a new life.

And yet it is more than this. They are about to enter the generations. Their union proclaims life: their parents and grandparents still live within them. Humankind lives within them. The cultures and creeds of the world live within them. They are there—in the blood. Those bearing witness know this truth. They too have been born from a union of man and woman.

Personal Thoughts On President Eyring's Marriage Address at Vatican

An Apostle of  Jesus Christ from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) just spoke to a global audience of faith leaders, by invitation of Pope Francis – at the Vatican!

I hope you take the opportunity to sit down and watch/listen to President Henry B. Eyring’s inspired address delivered during the Vatican marriage summit on the complementarity of man and woman to witness the truth of natural marriage and the family as God has ordained and to present personal evidence. (See also The Divine Institution of Marriage.)

What he spoke and how he spoke it, for me, is among the most inspired teaching I have ever experienced on the necessity of defending marriage, only between a man and a woman. I truly felt God was with him as he delivered his speech, which included an extensive recitation of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

His delivery touched me deeply -- so humble. For some reason, I had this image in my mind that he would be standing before a large body and give a powerful and moving address in defense of the family – shake the earth! I’ve been to the Vatican. The outside court is astoundingly large. I guess I pictured him out there – I don’t know.

Anyway, rather he was sitting down and reading his address, methodically, with sincere feeling – nothing showy about it – at all. He wept. He witnessed. His character emanated through his inspired words.