Friday, June 13, 2014

The Missionary Position: The Trial of Kate Kelly and John Dehlin

Earlier this week, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article that informed the general public that Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly and Mormon Stories founder John Dehlin have received letters indicating that there will be a church court hearing to determine whether or not they will maintain their membership. Both have been charged with apostasy, which is an excommunicatable offense.

Apostasy, as defined by Elder Bruce R. McConkie is his classic book Mormon Doctrine is "Forsaking of true principles" (MD, pg. 43) So the question is this: What true principles have these two people forsaken? In the case of Mr. Dehlin, he doesn't believe in anything; his blog states that he does not believe in any of the foundational teachings of Mormonism, so he is not really a Mormon anyway. Rather, he is an opportunist and a propagandist who is milking the Saints by saying he is being objective. He has the spirit of Nehor and Korihor written all over him, and he should be avoided like the plague. He says he stays in the Church because he likes what it stands for (except LBGT rights), but I am firmly convinced there is no room for "Cultural Mormons" in the Church. They are dead weight and poison.

In the case of Mrs. Kelly, I see nothing in her or her actions that say she is in anyway an apostate. She is active in the church, believes in the foundational teachings, and is really not advocating anything really new. She has not abandoned any principle, and seems to be a nice lady. I firmly disagree with her organization, but she has not broken any covenants or violated any laws. I think she should be able to remain in full fellowship.

The real problem here is this: Is it wrong to openly disagree with a church leader or a church postion? The answer is no. The Prophet Joseph Smith said "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" (Words of Joseph Smith)

In the early days of the Church, it was not uncommon for one apostle to openly disagree with another. In the 1960's and 1970's, President Hugh. B. Brown openly called for the renunciation of the Negro Doctrine, and he stood alone. It is the right of the Saints to openly believe and think what they want, as long as they are not leading to anthers damnation or their own.

Some will say that these people have crossed a line by starting organizations. I would agree that the organization is silly, and should be treated with contempt. But the church has had repeated opportunity to dismantle it, and gave it new life by pandering to it in conference addresses and in the temple videos. Sadly, there is not a man of the stature of Elder Bruce R. McConkie in the current leadership of the Church, who would have openly gone against Ordain Women to the point that there would be no room for doubt.

In the case of these two people, we should note that they are not in the same boat, One is a believer, one is not. One is advocating for change, one is just running his mouth. However, they are not apostates (in the case of Dehlin, that would be impossible since there is no God). The brethren should remember what the Prophet taught, and let these two alone. Their work will come to naught anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I learned a lot more about Kate Kelly from this post than most other things I've read. I think she is more fairly represented here.

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