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Jeremy Runnells, author of Letter to a CES Director faces possible excommunication for apostasy at a formal disciplinary council - 02/09/2016
In April 2013, Jeremy Runnells (a lifelong member of the LDS Church) was asked by a Church Education System (CES) Director what some of Jeremy's questions and concerns about the Church were. Jeremy wrote a lengthy letter to him, now referred to as Letter to a CES Director. Nearly three years later, he is being asked to appear at a formal disciplinary council to be held
14 February 2016 20 March 2016 in which he faces charges of apostasy and could well be excommunicated (although, as stated on his website: "I still do not know what the charges are or why any disciplinary action is needed or necessary."). John Dehlin (of MormonStories Podcast and recent excommunicant) interviewed him February 10. (Periscope webcast of the interview.) We will keep you updated with the outcome. More information is found on Jeremy's site here.
Apostasy is an increasingly difficult thing to pin down in the LDS CHurch. It has typically referred to those people who are in opposition to the Church, it's leaders and it's doctrine. In the case of Mr. Runnells, he has only sought greater understanding of the historical narrative of the LDS Church. His letter was asking for help in understanding why the Church's narrative differs so much from verifiable, historical reality. Apparently, since his understanding, although based on an accurate reading of the historical record, is not the same as the Church's erroneous narrative, this puts him in opposition with the Church and its leaders, and therefore he is in a state of apostasy.
Some of the past managing editors of MormonThink have been accused of apostasy for the same reason and have faced disciplinary councils (not so affectionately labeled as a "court of love"). Based on their experiences, and others, it can be said that the disciplinary council is effective at shutting down dissent with those who have a stake in the Church, typically because of family members who are still involved and the stress and trauma such councils can have on the family. In such cases, the one charged with apostasy often gives in to the demands of the accuser, such as removing content, ceasing publications, etc.
Added to our book section, is a book not yet out that discusses little known financial aspects of the LDS Church. We have been looking forward to reading this book ever since we first heard about it when Business Week and Time published articles on the finances of the Mormon Church. You can pre-order the book on Amazon.
The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power
MormonThink response to Mother in Heaven essay - 12/4/15
On 10/23/15 the Church released an essay called Mother in Heaven. A MormonThink editor responds to the essay.
Read Mother in Heaven - MormonThink response
The Church also at the same time released an essay called Joseph Smith's Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women. A MormonThink editor responds to that essay as well.
Read Joseph Smith's Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women - MormonThink response
KUTV: LDS church to exclude children of same-sex couples from membership - 11/6/15
(KUTV) In a major policy announcement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies or baptized.
The decision, which was released Thursday, takes effect immediately, LDS church spokesman Eric Hawkins told 2News.
"A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing," the policy reads.
Read full article
NBC: Mormon Church Bars Children of Same-Sex Couples From Baptism, Blessings
News 3: Whistle-blower says truth behind LDS policy needed release
RELATED: LDS Church adds same-sex marriage to definition of apostasy
Grant Palmer debate on Seer Stone use now on youtube - 10/30/15
Former CES director Grant Palmer was interviewed Oct. 19th at the University of Utah. Jason Wallace interviewed Grant and a LDS instructor from the U of U Institute of Religion (Alma Allred) on the Implications of Joseph Smith's use of his stone for producing the BOM, the earliest (18 ) sections of the D&C, and treasure seeking between 1822-1827) that he reportedly used this stone for.
Youtube video of debate
Ballard's talk on lipstick for women and the invention of the computer - 10/29/15
SALT LAKE CITY - Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke Tuesday morning at the ninth World Congress of Families being held in Salt Lake City. Several thousand participants have gathered at the Grand America Hotel for the four-day meeting, which features 185 speakers comprised of scholars, researchers and religious leaders.
However, the Church doesn't say the embarrassing thing Elder Ballard said regarding how women should wear lipstick to attract a man, how the apostles caused it to rain in Ethiopia and how the computer was invented in order to serve the Church's genealogical needs.
See MormonThink Glossary - Elder Ballard
Also, Mormon Disclosures Blog
Youtube video: Joseph Smith's Seer Stone Revealed - Dan Vogel - 10/23/15
In this video, Vogel discusses how Joseph Smith got possession of this stone, how he used it, and how it came into the possession of the LDS Church.
Dan does an excellent job explaining what the seer stone is and how Joseph used it as a prop to convince his followers that he could translate ancient documents with it as well as to receive revelation.
WithoutEnd.org Article: History vs Heritage: Maybe We Should Stop Saying That We've Been Lied to by the Church - 10/22/15
There is a lot of discussion by disaffected, former, or faith-transitioning Latter-day Saints on social media about the presumably deceptive practices that the LDS Church has historically been engaged in to intentionally cover up the unsavory parts of its past that don't jibe well with the overly-simplistic narrative taught in Sunday School, Primary, Seminary, and Institute.
Read full article
The Mormon History Conspiracy - 9/16/15
A popular LDS-themed blog site called Rational Faiths has published a very interesting article called The Mormon History Conspiracy. It discusses the current efforts of the LDS Church to be more transparent about its history.
The Mormon History Conspiracy
Joseph the Seer? - youtube video - 8/18/15
With all the publicity by the LDS Church surrounding the recent publication of photos of the actual seer stone Joseph Smith used, here is a refreshing, interesting and informative discussion with independent Mormon historians, including Dan Vogel, examining the recent disclosure of pictures of seer-stone used by Joseph Smith in translating the Book of Mormon.
Joseph the Seer?
For other stories and for older stories, see What's new? and Latest News on Mormonism