Disciplinary Council (Updated!)

January 15, 2015

Mormon-Stories-Logo-LargeJanuary 15, 2015
North Logan, UT
Phone: 435 227-5776
Email: johndehlin@gmail.com

Mormon Podcaster and Scholar John Dehlin Threatened with Excommunication

Summary: As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormon church), I have been summoned by my LDS Stake President, Dr. Bryan King, to appear before a disciplinary council to be held on January 25, 2015 at the North Logan Utah Stake Center, located 2750 North 800 East, North Logan, Utah beginning at 6 p.m. The charge is apostasy, and I have been informed that the likely outcome of the disciplinary council will be either disfellowshipment (i.e., official censure) or excommunication (i.e., termination of my membership). The main items specifically mentioned to me by President Bryan King and Bishop Brian Hunt as contributing to my alleged apostasy include:

While my family and I would prefer to be left alone by LDS church leadership at this time, I would much rather face excommunication than disavow my moral convictions. In the coming weeks, months, and years ahead, it is my intent to provide increased support to Mormons who are transitioning away from orthodoxy.

Bio: John Dehlin is the founder of Mormon Stories Podcast (http://mormonstories.org). He is a former employee of Bain & Company, Microsoft Corporation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Utah State University’s Department of Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology. John’s research interests involve the nexus of religion and mental health, and his research has been accepted for publication in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals including the Journal of Counseling Psychology, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Behavior Modification, the Journal of Homosexuality, the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, and Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. John’s work has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and Nightline, as well as in the New York Times.

For the full press release, including some of the main correspondence between John Dehlin and Dr. Bryan King,  click here (UPDATED!.

53 Responses to Disciplinary Council (Updated!)

  1. David Macfarlane
    January 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    It looks as though this chapter of your life is coming to a close, John. It seems clear the church will excommunicate you. Importantly, it has always appeared to me that you and your family are making this trip together, which is tremendously important. I’m proud to support your efforts both financially and ideologically, and I hope your upcoming transition is as painless as it can be. Best of luck.

  2. Will Roberts
    January 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Sorry it has come to this John. Best of luck to you whatever the outcome. If I can send a letter of support or anything else, please let me know.

  3. The Pangwitch
    January 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    No Mention of the Second Anointing?

    Me thinks that is their true target no?

    From a PR perspective, the LDS leaders better hope this doesn’t become framed as “John Dehlin excommunicated for exposing the 2nd anointing.” Which would cause members to say.. “what is the second anointing?”

  4. Amy
    January 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm


    They may excommunicate you, but they will never silence you. Your voice will continued to be heard and your positive influence felt among many. I stand with you John!

  5. January 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    The church needs to back off on Ex-ing people. Give people more agency.

    • Burt
      January 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Agreed, Donald. God gave people agency. For the church to attempt to coerce its membership into orthodoxy surely will win few friends–either here on earth or in heaven.

  6. January 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I can only speak for myself of course, but my guess is, thousands of us will be standing with you. If the church is too small for you, it is too small for me…a woman who has found a lifeline in the Mormon Stories Podcasts.

    • Joe_Sm
      January 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I would have to agree with Collette.

      Many of us have journeyed down a difficult path. When we learn that the LDS Church is not what it claims to be, we have to decide if it is a good or worthwhile organization. I lean towards the “not worthwhile” camp. But I have held out hope that the LDS Church (the organization) will change.

      When Kate was Ex’d, I was close to giving up hope. But I hung in there.

      At this point, whether they dis-fellowship or excommunicate you, John… it probably doesn’t matter. I think it finally time to be done with the Mormon Church.

      @John D

      I wish nothing but the best for your family and you during this challenging time.

  7. Latterday Skeptic
    January 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Unfortunately, some things are just eventually inevitable. *sigh* I suppose it best to see it through. Thank you for being courageous enough through all of these years to highlight your journey in public for all of us who were too afraid to do so in the shadows. As long as the church remains afraid of open inquiry, it will forever rightly be cast as a cultish entity that only seeks for its own survival, rather than being an institution strong enough (and true enough) to withstand dissenting or alternate opinions. You’ve made and will continue to make a new era in Mormonism, where freedom of expression and inquiry will take the place of entrenchment, authortarianism and stubborn traditionalism. May a much kinder God, rather than those who claim to represent Him, bless you and your family.

  8. Diane
    January 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I sure this is a hard day for you, John. You have done a great job of helping the good members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints see the the truth behind so much deception and for that I’m so very grateful. This past year has been such a hard one for me as I try to work through what I feel is such a betrayal from our church leaders. I’m trying to figure all this out in my mind and listen to what my heart is telling me too and It is a brutal journey many of us are on together. Please don’t forget that you have many by your side to support you at this difficult time. Keep fighting until all the amazing members of our church have the opportunity to see the history for what it really is. I still believe in Jesus and want to share this scripture with you : John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

  9. Holly
    January 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Regardless of the outcome, I am sorry that you are you family are going through this process. In my experience it is not a court of love (and not fun). Thanks for all you have done.

  10. Lawrence Kennedy
    January 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    So many people take bullying seriously when it’s person on person, this is no different, the LDS is bullying Dehlin to shut his site down and force him to be still, Keep up your work and ignore them, you will survive without them.

  11. Michelle Smith
    January 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Frankly, I would hope that ANYONE threatened with a disciplinary council simply not attend. Do not dignify the process of humiliation with your presence. You’ve already said and done everything you need to, so let them do what they will do without your sitting there as a target for their self-righteous damnation.

    • Jeff
      January 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      I agree. The best part of a very despicable process would be to refuse playing the game.

  12. Carla M.
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Wishing you and your family all the best. Both the church and the Mormon Stories Podcast have played good and important roles in my life. This news makes me sad, on so many levels.

  13. Todd gillies
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    John, my heart goes out to you and your family. I have recently been drawn to your podcast and it has helped me tremendously with my faith crisis which began two years ago after I was left alone from a cheating spouse. There were no real support groups for divored singles and as I felt more and more ignored and left alone in my circumstances, my ex wife who moved to a new ward was embraced and fellowshipped with no disciplinary action taken on her behalf. I felt abandoned by the church and was searching for answers. Your podcast has been a true godsend in my life. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. You are a true disciple and I consider you a true friend.
    No matter how the church treats you and your family you have done great thing for others and I know your life is blessed.
    God bless you
    Todd Gillies

  14. Darlene
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of the difficulty that you and your family are dealing with now. Even thought you know in your heart that what you are standing for is right, it hurts to see people/leaders of an organization you’ve lived in since birth has decided you cannot remain with it.(I’m ahead of things, I know) For myself, I put too much energy into the church, more than I should have; but it was my life.
    You are here to do great things, and you will help people/members even more now. You won’t be ousted by God, that’s for sure.
    I support you and your family as hundred’s of others do and will. Follow your heart and believe in yourself!!
    There has to be a falling away before things can be restored, and that is and will be happening. In time, I believe that the church’s..”You can’t be a member anymore”, will fall on deaf ears to the masses. They will loose their clout.
    Prayers to you and yours. You’re the valiant one.
    Most sincerely and with warmth,
    Darlene Nicholes

  15. Thomas Allen
    January 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family, John. You have done a tremendous service for members of the church like me. Thank you.

  16. Jay
    January 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm


    A admire that you have been willing to pursue the truth at all costs. That is integrity. That is a high standard. That is the challenging approach to life. The easy way is to simply do as your told and follow the rules without serious questioning.

    If the mormon church decides to excommunicate you, it will send the message that seeking the truth and talking about your journey is not acceptable unless you arrive at the answers the mormon church has provided.

    What kind of a quest for truth is it if you are required to arrive at preset answers?

  17. Shelama Leesen
    January 15, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    John, as you already know and will soon experience yourself, it can be suprisingly easy and liberating to live a more authentic, fulfilled and happy & joyous life without the “blessings” of being a member of the Mormon church.

    Many in the bubble of Mormon intellectualism and apologetic will celebrate your removal but, sadly, they and the church will continue to lose ground to honest, intelligent thought and inquiry. It’s unfortunate that they wrongly see you as a problem and not a symptom.

    Look forward both to more podcasts helping honest Mormons in transition, and to your continuing good and important work regarding same-sex marriage and LGBT issues, etc.

  18. JJ
    January 15, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks, John, for your transparency. I observe that being a change agent is rarely pleasant. Forcing the dialogue forward and open with honest conviction is a gift to all humanity.

  19. kinglamoni
    January 15, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    God bless you John!

  20. James
    January 15, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    You have and will continue to have my support regardless of your official standing as a member. And you will continue to have a much needed influence on so many lives as you continue. Carry on!

  21. Tawnya
    January 15, 2015 at 2:57 pm


    We are sending much love and support to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you for all of the lifesaving work that you do!

  22. Lovelife
    January 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    you’ve helped me so much during this mind boggling difficult time of questioning and shock. You still continue to help so many of us. I personally believe that Jesus is behind you and Jesus spoke against pharisees who kick people out of churches. I am so sorry that this has come to this. I pray for your family!

  23. Nelson Rancine
    January 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Good riddance. It’s a simple plan, follow the Lord…or do not. You chose not.

  24. Ben
    January 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you for being a brave voice for so many of us who desperately need to hear the truth burning inside of us to be spoken aloud. Thank you for not letting your spirit of love and spiritual encouragement be silenced by the power plays of this world. Thank you, God bless, and love and strength to you and your family.

  25. No thank you
    January 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I was raised to revile state fascism, only recently realizing I was raised to incline to spiritual fascists. I’ll have none of that anymore. What you’re doing is forcing them to make that public. Well done.

  26. Alex Beam is my Co-Pilot
    January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    You have helped so many, including me. All you have done will not be in vain. Rest well at night knowing that thousands of people owe their sanity and lack of depression to all the good work you have done.

    The church was going to show their true colors sooner or later. No amount of tennis playing with Jeffrey Holland can fix this…You are the best! I look forward to the 21st recording.

  27. Dave
    January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I am not a mormon supporter but you can’t back a disgusting practice and expect to still be able to justify a connection to God. Any religion that embraces homosexuality is not associated with God. Because God detests the practice.

  28. Paul Belfiglio
    January 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I think it’s so sad that in our supposedly more enlightened era things like ‘excommunication’ still exist, or especially went it’s for something like ‘apostasy’, which is a term you can drive an eighteen wheeler through. Maybe the powers that be more accurately mean ‘open apostasy’, i.e., “Think whatever you want, but just keep your mouth shut and fingers off the keyboard; that way we can maintain a membership “under my [our] power” by way of fear and threat for social, familial, and personal wellbeing, as well as post life, ‘Al di là’ spiritual damnation.”

    Yeah, ‘fake it until you make it’ is the order for the day, and the Socratic principle of ‘following the evidence wherever it may lead’ be damned, and most certainly what Apostle Hugh B. Brown said, “Tolerance and truth demand that all be heard and that competing ideas be tested against each other so that the best, which might not always be our own, can prevail. Knowledge is the most complete and dependable when all points of view are heard.”.

    Aw, Fuhgeddaboutit; I’m too old anyway. That’s why I wrote (and it may be of some help to you, as well):

    Let what’s gone or ought’a go, go;
    There’s better to come what you come to outgrow;
    Know what’s important, though—
    To reap, to sow,
    To keep, forgo,
    Then detach, relax, let go the woe.
    You’ll own more than you’ll ever owe
    Commanding your own vessel whether sail, drift, motor, row;
    Charting your own course throughout life’s ebb and flow;
    Treasuring your own cargo in the soul’s hold below.
    Let what’s gone or ought’a go, go;
    There’s better, always better to come what you come to outgrow.

  29. Helen Sweany
    January 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    When the 18 “judge not that ye be not judged” judges show up, can you show up with your own 18 too? Would be nice

  30. sarah
    January 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Ex communication doesnt show the love of God. It shows the lack of, the only commandment we are given in the new testament is to love God and eachother. Love covers a multitude of sins . Love is kind, patient, not easily angered, holds no grudges, this is what the Bible says. Jesus loved the prostitutes, the thief, the poor, the sinner. God loves you John! Praise his holy name! Talk about a new beginning! I will lift you and your family up in prayer.

  31. jon
    January 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    On a side note. The *Tom Phillips and the Second Anointing* podcasts didn’t upload correctly, or you changed your mind? I’ve listened to them before and they were really good, so I thought I would give them a second listen.

    Hope you get your desired outcome. I know that being disciplined by the church could undermine the podcast, but hopefully it will continue to have its reach. Nothing worse then having a bunch of men acting as philosopher kings of our lives, especially if you believe you only get to live one and then are gone forever. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to make my life decisions on my terms and not on terms that are based on what other people desire.

  32. Guy C
    January 15, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    JD… Best wishes to you and your family during this time!!!

  33. January 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Someone needs to take John’s bishop aside and explain how the Internet works. This is like a parent threatening to throw their child out of their house, and sever all contact, if they don’t take down the Slayer band poster they hung up in their room. John is a guy with a blog, a message board, and a YouTube channel, just like half the rest of the Internet.

  34. Carol
    January 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    In October 2013, Dallin Oaks quoted Thomas Monson from a 1986 Conference Talk. This is what Dallin said: ““Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”

    John, your courage has the smile of God’s approval, according to the leaders of the LDS Church. You are standing up for your beliefs, and behind you are thousands of people ready to back you up.

  35. Darcey
    January 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I am deeply saddened for you and your family to hear of this news. There is nothing that can be said to ease this disappointment that you have not already expressed to the many individuals you’ve touched helped for the better. It is unfortunate that in alienating you and your community the church is possibly alienating its own from a strong and united group of individuals who are well positioned to help the church and its members through what are sure to be very tumultuous times ahead. The church’s vitality and future generations will be faced with challenges that likely will not be overcome without the support of individuals who are now thriving within communities like that of “Mormon Stories”. Thank you for all you’ve done and sacrificed to pave the path.

    May God’s Light Shine Upon You (whatever or whoever she/he/it is).

  36. Scotty
    January 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm


    I would resign my membership rather than humiliate myself in front of their stupid kangaroo court. You don’t need explain to them your reasons or intentions. These self-rightous assholds already have their minds made up and nothing you say to them will matter.

    Sorry you and your family are going through this. Hang in there!

  37. Maranee Parry
    January 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Sending love and support out to you and your family. Mormon Stories has been an intregal component of my healing process after leaving the church. Thank you for all you do and will continue to do.

  38. JR
    January 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hey John, I’m not sorry for you & your loss, I’m sorry for the church & its loss! This has been a long journey, and I’ve been along for the ride since sometime in 2007. I’ve been able to listen to most podcasts and appreciate all you’ve done. It was mentioned above to not show up to the court. I say show up and give em hell! Gods speed brother…..let me know when you’re ready to go have that beer.

    • Jay
      January 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      You might want to keep January 25th around 8:00 p.m. open.

  39. Michael Tracy
    January 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Getting out of the cult was the best thing that ever happened to me. My entire life changed for the better. It was like getting out of prison. I hope you find the same joy and success that came to me. All good things! Mike

  40. Eric
    January 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Nothing original has emanated from Brian King’s mouth. His letters read like they could have written by any one of hundreds of stake presidents. Does he even have a mind of his own?

    Certainly he has not personally dug into and investigated any of the problematic issues in any detail. That is obvious. How embarrassing for him and what a sad day this is indeed.

  41. Lilli
    January 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm


    I pray you will have the peace, comfort and joy from the Spirit knowing you are standing for what’s right, despite that the Church continues to cast out ‘the righteous & those who stand for truth & right’ from among them.

    This discipline will just make the Church look worse and awaken far more people to it’s real agenda, then if they had let you remain a member. Let them reveal themselves.

    But I would not allow them to abuse you further by giving them the satisfaction of your attendance or even a response to their summons.

    I would do what Christ did and answer them nothing, and not support their abusive charade and pretense of authority. They will feel the wrongness of their unrighteous acts far more if you make them do this without your attendance or response, who knows, you may even wake up an Alma among them. You have already said your peace, to them and on this blog and they have rejected it. Silence will make them face themselves.

    • Fred
      January 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Lilli, Can you please explain how the church is “abusing” John. Is it really fair to go that far?
      John has a right at anytime to terminate his relationship with the church. If he did so, we wouldn’t accuse him of abusing the church. Shouldn’t the church also be able to terminate their relationship with John without being called abusive?

  42. Burt
    January 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    It’s a pity the church managers choose to continue the practice of excommunicating heretics in a manner counter to revelation in the D&C. It doesn’t bode well for the excommnuicators (D&C 121:37) and fails the proclaimed purpose of the church to bring souls to Christ. As this is a power play being played out in the age of internet communication do keep those press releases coming.


  43. Fred
    January 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    John, I wish you well. I have enjoyed your pod cast’s and found them enlightening.
    However, I must say, I’m surprised that the church hasn’t excommunicated you sooner. While in some ways your work throws a lifeline to some members I believe it also harms the church and the testimony of other members. They shouldn’t have to keep you as a member and having read of your most recent feeling towards the basic teachings of the church I can’t imagine that you would mind being excommunicated.
    I hope you and your family look back ten years from now and find that this was the right path to go down. Best wishes.

  44. Sue
    January 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I echo how much I have needed a arm to lean on this past year. Questions were asked and as I sought answers, they were not the answers I anticipated. I finally ran into mormon stories (that must be the problem.) Even my bishop before I heard about mormon stories, going into his office because of my questions and seeking answers, said that he felt mormon stories was hurting members more than helping. I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I see how much mormon stories is helping members because the rabbit hole only leads to more questions. Eventually you need support and that is how I found mormon stories. I needed to know I was not alone. It is lonely still at times to be an apostate among my family and my friends. I love my new view and enlightened way of living. There is no going back once you see the trauma from fundamentalist damage to ones life. Healing is what I want now. Thanks!!!

  45. articulett
    January 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Remember– their powers are just pretend.
    (but the shunning aspects still hurt.)

  46. karrie
    January 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm


    I want you to know that you kept me in the Church. I will be forever grateful to you. Your work on Why Mormons Leave was tremendously helpful, as was your discussion of whether the church is historically true. Hey, I’m a recent convert. I’m intelligent, I can read all the anti-mormon literature. There is no “proof” of the BOM. It’s all about faith. Your discussions convinced me to stay, not to leave. All of this concern about you influencing members to leave is nonsense. Hang in there.

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