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BREAKING NEWS: Lucifer Cast Out of Heaven for Simply “Asking Questions”

Seraphim News
DATE: In the beginning…

In a Press Release today, Lucifer announced that he has been cast out of heaven for simply asking questions and expressing doubts about the Divine Council’s so-called plan of salvation. “I am just asking questions,” Lucifer said.  “I would like everyone to be saved and happy. I have some concerns about this plan's capacity to achieve that goal.”

Lucifer says that leaders of the Divine Council used to hear him out, and even let him express these concerns to the council in the past. He said he is disheartened by the dramatic shift in approach. “I’ve been exonerated in the past. I just wish they would leave me alone. I feel a moral imperative to warn others of the risks following this plan entails. I will not simply be silent because I am threatened to be cast out.”

According to Lucifer, the plan endorsed by the Divine Council puts all our souls at serious risk of damnation. “I would just like to make sure everybody is saved and has a place here. That is all,” he says.

Supporters are rallying behind Lucifer and expressing their solidarity. In a joint statement to the press, approximately one-third of the hosts of heaven announced their intentions to use this moment as an opportunity to mobilize for their cause, and lobby for change in the plan of salvation.


Seraphim News will continue to post updates to this developing story.

UPDATE: If you dislike this satire, then please read my follow-up post. In fact, I dare you to. 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Regarding John Dehlin and his impending court of discipline: Thomas openly and publicly doubted and was not excommunicated by Jesus.

      John Dehlin's only "sins", if you want to call them that, are that he has 1) expressed some doubts about the church (Gasp! As if we all haven't had them and talked about them with someone) and 2) that he wants to see the church become more accepting and compassionate towards those who suffer great pain in and from the church due to one of three things: their sexual orientation, their struggles to reconcile or answer serious and legitimate questions about the church and it's truth claims, and their desire for greater gender equality in the church.

      Again, Christ himself did not excommunicate Thomas for publicly expressing his doubts. It's a sad day for the church to take this path with those who are trying to give the church the opportunity it so desperately needs - to be honest and open about these issues with its members and the world.

      Gays, feminists, and those who have legitimate questions about church history, doctrine and practices obviously are not feeling welcome in the church. How would Christ treat these people? Rather than take this opportunity to address these issues in a spirit of love and compassion as Christ would, the church is attempting to punish and silence through excommunication. What a sad time for the church.

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    2. For the record, Thomas didn't publicly express his doubts. It was in a private setting with his fellow members of the Twelve. Jesus corrected Thomas' doubts, and Thomas checked himself and admitted his fault and expressed his faith and knowledge once he had his doubts dismissed by the physical evidence he obtained. Jesus still reminded him that it is more blessed to hear and believe than it is to see and then believe.

      One wonders what actually would have happened had Thomas continued expressing his doubts, went public with them, and continued to resist Jesus in print in spite of what he had seen, but one can surmise what would have happened. Jesus himself taught (Matt. 18:17) that those who refused to hear the Church should be thought of and treated as Gentiles and tax collectors (groups of people that often were socially ostracized by Jews in the days of Jesus).

      But, that is beside the point when you consider that the Church also has to protect the followers of Christ from others who would do them harm and use the Church and actions of her leaders to legitimize their actions. I'm surprised the leaders of the Church didn't do it sooner.

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  2. Lucifer should have his own podcast.

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  3. Lucifer has a few podcasts already.

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  4. Uh oh. You are making light of the entire OW so called movement, homosexuals, liberalism and socialism all in one felled swoop. Boy are you in trouble!!!

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  5. Thanks for epitomizing everything disdainful about Mormon orthodoxy. Of course you would equate questioning and rational thought with the devil. Of course.

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    1. Thanks for epitomizing everything that annoys me about "progressive" Mormons. Of you would misread this as equating questioning and rational thought with the devil. Of course.

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    2. Really? So what exactly are you attempting satirize here? "'I am just asking questions,' Lucifer said." That's pretty on the nose. So is the date you posted this. It's interesting that you would go to such an effort to lampoon the act of questioning doctrine, and more specifically John Dehlin, considering that it's people like him who keep you in business as an apologist. By all means, keep up the good work. Mocking the expulsion of other human beings is clearly doing wonders for your church.

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    3. blurboy is confirming the fundamental principles of Poe's Law.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

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    4. Poe's Law applies to people who misinterpret parody as sincere criticism. Given that Rappleye (and you, apparently) is a Mormon apologist, I think it's pretty safe to assume that this little "satire" is indeed meant to be critical of Dehlin. Are you implying that this blog post is meant to be supportive of him?

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    5. As stated clearly in the wikipedia entry to which I linked:

      "A corollary of Poe's law is the reverse phenomenon: sincere fundamentalist beliefs can be mistaken for a parody of those beliefs."

      At any rate, you are quite manifestly humorless.

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    6. Blurboy asked, "Really? So what exactly are you attempting satirize here? "'I am just asking questions,' Lucifer said." That's pretty on the nose."

      Satire, of course, really shouldn't have to be explained, though it may take a little more thinking sometimes. Was Lucifer really just asking questions and thinking rationally, or was he up to something else that got him cast out of heaven? This is about a narrative, Blurboy. Not a person, or people, or event. But a narrative about a certain person (and many others in the past, surely more in the future) and event, a narrative which I think is absurd, and so tried to paint it in away that would make its absurdity obvious.

      And no one "keeps me in business." Do you see any ads on this blog? Any pleas for donations? I don't get paid to do this, nor have I gotten paid for anything I written and published elsewhere. And, there would still be plenty of interesting things to research and write about without critics. So I don't really need them to keep me in "business" at all.

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    7. Neal—Korihor leveled the same accusation at Alma: "Ye keep [your people] down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands" (Alma 30:27). I've noticed that the Korihor and his peers in the pseudo-intellectual movement (past and present) are always ready to throw such accusations around, regardless of whether their claims are true. Throw enough crap around and some of it's bound to stick somewhere.

      Of course, I think Blurboy's criticism is less monetary and more insulting. I think he means that you are an apologist in order to stoke your own ego and, as he sees it, push your narrow-minded view of truth on other people. (Projection, perhaps?)

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  6. You probably won't post this, but do you really think this is good apologetics? You are making your church look fanatical and ridiculous. You are the one who should be having a court of love convened on you for false teachings. Seriously, you need a major reality check.

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    1. Ummm... I think it is good satire. Taking it too seriously makes you look fanatical and ridiculous.

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    2. Good point. Why take excommunication seriously? Why worry about the hundreds of critical-thinking members for whom John Dehlin is the single thread tethering them to the flock? Questioning souls are of small value in the eyes of the Lord. You should adapt this post into a skit for firesides.

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    3. If John Dehlin has been the "single thread tethering" people to the flock, then it's high time that thread was severed. Let them find their own reasons to stay or leave. They've been letting John Dehlin do the thinking for them far too long.

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    4. Great attitude! And in the spirit of Christianity, let's make sure we mock them on the way out.

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    5. I can see it now: Dehlin running the gauntlet of the high council as they all sing "Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey, goodbye ..."

      I'd pay good money to see that ... or at least a YouTube video of it.

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    6. Let's just assume you're right, he gets exed and the cancer is extricated. He forfeits his priesthood and subsequently his eternal salvation. Does that really make you happy to know that someone will be spend countless years in spirit prison in pain and suffering. Is he a son of perdition? Either way he will be separated from his wife and children, who by every single account he loves dearly for all time and eternity. Think about that for a second. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

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    7. My understanding of D&C 76 is that a person who js no longer a member of tge LDS Church has the same status as your Baptist, Catholic or atheist neighbor, namely, can be be saved in the Terrestrial Kingdom with the presence of Christ and resurrected with no pain or suffering, so long as they choose to live justly, according to their best understanding of God. It will live up to the concept of heaven for the vast majority of mankind. As for not having an eternal sealing with family, that is always conditional on living up to one's covenants even if you have participated in the ordinance of eternal marriage.

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    8. I think this post was spot on. Satire should encourage people to think and spark conversation, which this has done.
      @Joseph Sonners Of course the author and true Christians do not wish damnation on other children of God. We do want everyone to be righteous and gain salvation, but because of eternal laws of heaven, those who don't repent and lead others astray are not able to dwell in the celestial kingdom. Those who gain salvation do so by faith and works and the Atonement of Christ.
      @blurboy The main point is that Satan wanted to force everyone in submission and take all the credit and power for himself. He may have covered his true intentions by saying the things mentioned in the blog post. Neal Rappleye is making the point that we need to dig deeper than what just the disciplined individual is claiming. Stake presidents and bishops are able to receive revelation for how to govern their ward and help the members. I believe these opportunities, however, shouldn't be published and circulated everywhere by the individuals who are called to councils. They are between them, the local leadership and the Lord. When they publicize it, they are doing it for attention and obviously not taking the opportunity to personally commune with the Lord and become a better person through the Atonement.
      @Monica These councils can be a tremendous opportunity to grow and come into line with God's will. There isn't anything fanatical and ridiculous about this course of action that the LDS church takes, in fact it's done in a very loving and understanding manner. I encourage reading this article for more on these councils: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865605558/How-LDS-Church-disciplinary-councils-work-changes-lives.html

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    9. "Does that really make you happy to know that someone will be spend countless years in spirit prison in pain and suffering."

      I am not going to profess to know the eternal state of Dehlin's soul, but what makes me happy is that he will have less capacity to influence others toward that same fate. One can be sorrowed that he has taken the path he's choosen, and that he had to be excommunicated, while also being glad that he will not be able to wield the same amount of negative influence on others.

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    10. Let's not forget that excommunicated people are still invited to come back into the fold. They can repent and change. If they don't, it's their own choice. That's a very sad thing—no one with the Spirit would rejoice over it—but it's up to Dehlin to align his will with God's. The church's action against him should be an alarm alerting him to his deviance from the straight and narrow path Jesus spoke of. Those around him should show him love and affection. I hope they do.

      It doesn't change the fact that condoning sin, even in people who don't know any better, is encouraging it. That's the same thing as saying, "Sure, I'll take some of the blame for your behavior at judgment day! Yeah! Awesome!" That's stupid. Whether he understands that or not, Dehlin's been doing just that.

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    11. But you did mean it seriously, Neal. I know all about your axe to grind about John Dehlin and your writing this kind of "satire" is being seen as just more fanaticism. The serious responses here that are fearmongering prove my point. Enjoy your fantasy.

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    12. Oh, and by the way, Dehlin never encouraged people to leave the church. He repeatedly stated his beliefs were his own and he did not expect others to believe as he did and supported people either way. Many people are posting testimonials about how John's work encouraged them to stay in the church. John himself wants to stay in the church. The people who left, left because of the church's actions, not John's and more will resign, not because of John, but because of the church.

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    13. Let's make one thing clear. It is not John who is leading people out of the Church. It is the Church itself that is guilty of this deed. Their unwillingness to be open, honest, and transparent have set members up for a faith crisis. More and more faithful members are hearing and reading things they weren't taught in Church. All they want are real answers to these perplexing questions. In reality, these members would prefer those answers came from the Church. Most of the time, that is the first place they look. However, the Church is still unwilling to address the most serious aspects of their history and beliefs. So, these faithful members have to turn to sources outside of the Church to find the answers.

      Go ahead. Keep blaming John for having a "negative influence on others". But you will keep being wrong. Instead, try blaming the Church for not being truthful from the beginning about the Book of Abraham, the Book of Mormon translation process, Joseph Smith's polygamy/polyandry, the First Vision accounts, etc. Try blaming the Church for teaching blind obedience to the leaders only to decades later refute their teachings. The Church is leading people out because they have been less than honest in their dealings with their fellow men.

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    14. "But you did mean it seriously, Neal. I know all about your axe to grind about John Dehlin and your writing this kind of "satire" is being seen as just more fanaticism. The serious responses here that are fearmongering prove my point. Enjoy your fantasy."

      In my experience, if a satire gets your blood boiling, it is because there is some truth in it that you don't like.

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    15. Unknown,

      I think the church has failed in many aspects to address some controversial issues of the church and could improve today. However, I think the church has took many great steps over the recent years. However, church does not teach Blknd obedience, unless any form of faith is considered blind obedience.

      And many of the claims that the church has not been truthful about, is just your opinion, not "fact"

      Have a blessed day

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    16. Yousef Tim,

      "It is wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true."
      -Elder Oaks

      "We will not...and cannot lead you astray."
      -Elder Ballard

      "The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer."
      -President Benson

      "When the prophet speaks,...the debate is over."
      -Ensign, Nov. 1978

      We may be arguing over semantics. Sure, it may not be exactly blind obedience. But as a member, you better come around and agree with the leaders or you will "suffer".

      I agree that the Church is doing better, but they are still avoiding the most difficult questions. And sure, they may just be my opinions. I would think that would make it easier for the Church to dismiss them by providing real answers. Please, give me the actual facts. That is what the questioning members of the Church want.

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    17. How do you know if these quotes were spoken by prophets speaking as prophets or prophets speaking as men?

      You can't know. Until 20 years later in some cases when their commenst are confirmed as false.

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  7. I like this a lot. Just as Lucifer failed to comprehend the Father's plan for the growth and development of his children, so, too, today's dissidents fail to comprehend the 'big picture' and go astray.

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  8. Suppose it is your eternal companion who has lost their faith in the restored gospel and wants to take you with them... Will you have faith enough to let them worship according to the dictates of their conscience? Statistically, half of us will not be ready for the Bridegroom.

    41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

    42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile--

    43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
    D&C 121:41-43

    http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/121?lang=eng

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    1. Will you have enough faith to cut the tie to that person and move on if he or she absolutely refuses to change? Will you let your disaffected spouse pull children away from the church? Or will you stand up for your faith and your children's salvation? Our love of God should be stronger than love of a spouse, otherwise we fear man more than God.

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    2. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

      13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

      14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
      1 Corinthians 7:12-14

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/7?lang=eng

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    3. Wow, Ben, are you really suggesting that people married to people who leave the church and refuse to come back over a period of time cut off from their spouse? That's not even what the church is teaching. Do you read the Ensign? A few years ago there was an article about that - "Just love them" and it doesn't set a time limit. I've also heard many talks from General Authorities that have recommended the same. Do not cut your loved ones off who leave, love them - but the Mormon culture is unfortunately too often representative of what you suggest - cut people off who leave and refuse to return. This gives the church a lousy reputation and does more to harm it than so-called "anti-Mormons."

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    4. Monica,

      I hope you are as generous and forgiving to Mormons and the mormon church as you demand from every Mormon and the Mormon church.

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  9. Did CS Lewis make a similar sort of statement in "Screwtape Letters"?

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  10. In the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy: "I don't care who you are, that there's funny."

    The most farcical aspect of this whole John Dehlin affair is that he has somehow managed to paint himself (in the eyes of the gullible media hacks) as someone a whole lot more prominent than he really is. CBS News radio, in the initial versions of their story yesterday, identified Dehlin as "a high-ranking Mormon leader."

    What a joke!

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    1. It blows my mind that true-believing members could find this so entertaining. Dehlin's podcast reaches thousands of people a month. His excommunication will have an impact on many souls, many of whom are already on the brink of leaving the church. That's a fact, regardless of your opinion of him. People like you and Rappleye, who can publicly laugh at the loss of so much faith, are a true testament to the effects of orthodox Mormonism.

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    2. John Dehlin has openly declared that he does not believe in The Book of Mormon nor many of the tenets of the faith. I ask you then where is this 'loss of so much faith"?

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    3. You think that members with questions or in faith crisis don't listen to Mormon Stories? Are you also an apologist?

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    4. I find nothing within the Gospel that needs an apology. And if members with a faith crisis or questions are listening to Mormon Stories then they are drawing from a poisoned well. What you and others who follow Dehlin seem to miss is the fact that The Gospel is not a one size fits all proposition. It does not stretch and change to accommodate your individual wants and desires.

      The Gospel exists as a guide along the path to perfection. That is not achieved by morphing itself to fit the whims of others. Rather, perfection is achieved by changing ourselves to be in line with Gospel principles.

      There is nothing that Dehlin has to offer in this respect. He won't tell you that you need to change. He won't tell you that you need to humble yourself and repent. He'll tell you that, if you find something hard or difficult about The Gospel, its because it is wrong, not you.

      In short, he'll tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

      "and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."

      2 Nephi 28:21

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    5. First of all, the notion that "Dehlin's podcast reaches thousands of people a month" is nothing but self-deluding propaganda. Dehlin's inflated sense of self-importance has been built on a small, vocal, sycophantic group of Mormon Stories apologists whose powers of critical thinking have been completely overwhelmed by irrational enthusiasm for a Pied Piper who has stroked their vanity with a never-ending stream of cleverly crafted flattery.

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    6. I’m not a Dehlin follower, Tom. I’m not a Mormon at all. But people I love are. That’s why sniggering attitudes like the one espoused in this post disgust me. These are people in real turmoil, whose lives are being upended. It’s easy for you to take a “good riddance” approach because your core beliefs grant you the privilege of dismissing them altogether. Chaff in the wind, right? Weed out the weak. I really hope you never end up on the receiving end of such derision. I don’t say that facetiously; I really mean it. Apologism prepares no heart for scorn. Only true charity does.

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    7. 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

      7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

      8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

      9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

      10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

      11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

      12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

      13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
      1 Corinthians 13:6-13

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/13?lang=eng

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    8. How would you know that it doesn't? Of course it reaches thousands of people a month. Even his online groups tout many thousand members. (which is only a fraction) and there are thousands of disaffected ex-members who download the podcast as well. So the deluded one is yourself. And if you want to disagree with statements that he has made regarding the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of church history then have a discussion there. Last time I checked he wasn't forcing his "sycophantic group of MS apologists" to come to the same conclusions as he has by excommunicating them from his group.

      Question his motives all you like but we can at least discuss factual events.

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    9. Several of these comments bring to mind another corollary of Poe's Law:

      "Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook."

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    10. Blurboy, I don't take a 'good riddance' attitude about Dehlin's excommunication. Your presumptions are merely fueled by your own prejudices. I happen to have known John when he was a young boy. The disdainful notion you seem to have that people who remain in the church have not struggled with supposed inconsistencies or have not had faith crisis is the highest form of self-flattery for your own supposed 'rational' thought and merely mockery of others who have struggled and have found a way and a means to reconcile those supposed inconsistencies. In other words, we didn't give up when the going got a little tough and now we're being mocked by people who aren't tough enough to see it through when things get a little difficult


      In short, you couldn't be more wrong about the statements you make concerning the motives and thoughts of those you condemn.

      However, sincere you believe Dehlin's motives, his actions are in direct opposition with the teachings of The Gospel.

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    11. The English teacher in me is coming out. There are some people here who don't know what an apologist is. An apologist is someone who writes or speaks in defense of something. Apologists do not apologize on behalf of their cause—they defend it firmly and unapologetically.

      The word orthodox is also being misused. (Of course, we were told evil would be called good, and good evil in the last days.) It just means "conforming to traditions." The implication is that an orthodox person tries to conform to every tenet of his or her faith. There's nothing fanatical about it.

      Tom—right on.

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    12. John Dehlin has openly stated that he does not believe in the literal truth of the Book of Mormon. He is not saying everyone else should share this belief. I know many, many, active members who also do not literally believe in the Book of Mormon as historical fact. The only difference is that they keep this belief private - or at least only share it on private forums. They suffer their doubts in silence, thinking they are alone when really there are many people, including people in Bishops and RS Presidencies who also no longer believe in this historicity of the BOM.

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    13. And that is an important different. And I think you overestimate how many people in the Mormon church don't believe in the BOM. Doubt, questions, and disbelief are not the same.

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  12. So Dehlin is being demonized and exed for his publicly expressing his doubts and disagreements, in other words freely expressing himself. (I think in France something similar is going on too) I know it was over 25 years ago so my memory is a bit foggy but was it Jesus or Lucifer who was for free-agency?

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    1. Moral agency is not free...

      78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
      D&C 101:78

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/101?lang=eng

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    2. What? That's not even my point. I said free-agency because that is the lingo I was taught growing up in the Mormon church. You're scripture isn't on point and is meaningless. Lucifer wanted to control our moral agency and Jesus didn't. The church is assuming a posture more in line with Lucifer's thinking. Hope that doesn't take the wind out of your sail.

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    3. Dehlin is not being demonized and exed for publicly expressing his doubts. A doubt is "I'm not sure" Dehlin has stated that he outright disbelieves the teachings of the church. He is also advocating his position and trying to win others over to a point of view that is not a doubt but a declared belief that is in direct opposition to church teachings.

      That is why the blog post is so spot on.

      Dehlin isn't 'asking questions' any more than Lucifer was. He is advocating against church teachings and attempting to influence others to follow him...just as Lucifer did.

      Your various and sundry nuances as to is 'innocence' in these matters only show that you, yourself are either blind or you are as willfully misleading as Dehlin is

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    4. I believe your accusations to be completely unfounded. What makes you think he is trying to win others over? Does he advertise? Does he come to your ward building at F&T meeting and start preaching? He is is advocating his position just as I am advocating my position right now with you. How do you express a position without advocating it? The two things are inextricably linked. If I say to you Brigham Young taught that black people were fence-sitters in the pre-existence, then by the very nature of the statement I am also advocating it because I know it's true. Brigham Young also taught white people would be cursed for mixing their seed with back people. I am advocating that because I know it to be true and their are people who aren't as enlightened as you are who don't know that. Should I be excommunicated for that? I am only making a statement about facts and history.

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    7. Dehlin has openly declared that The Book of Mormon is a work of 19th century fiction. He disputes that there was an atonement and that there is even a need for the atonement. He openly espouses these beliefs in his forum and openly encourages others to express their doubts and disbeliefs.

      He is completely free to do so. Just as The church is completely free to disassociate itself from someone who openly mocks and encourages disbelief in its teachings.

      Are you getting this? Its all about freedom. You seem to believe that only Dehlin is free to act however. You seem to believe that actions should not have consequences.

      n short, you seem to be very myopic and childish in your attitudes about 'freedom'

      He doesn't HAVE to come to F&T meeting in order to preach against the church. The fact that you limit his culpability in these matters to your finite definitions only shows how ludicrous and far-reaching you will go in order to excuse his apostasy

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    8. Still haven't convinced me that he encourages disbelief. If by speaking his mind and presenting a forum for people to discuss WHATEVER the dictates of their conscience compel them to say (one way or another) is encouragement then I hereby excommunicate you from the world of free-thought and banish you to North Korea. They don't allow that kind of stuff either. Right up your alley Tom. I'm myopic? Lol.

      I think Joseph Smith said it best. “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.”

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    9. erring in doctrine is not quite the same thing as denying the divinity of Christ, the existence of God and the necessity of the atonement. These are not only central tenets to Mormonism, but to Christianity itself.

      Your belittlement of the issue is as ludicrous as the hyperbole in equating excommunication for apostasy with a totalitarian government like N Korea.

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    10. Tom, John Dehlin has never said others should believe what he believes. When asked, he has honestly stated from time to time what he currently believes or does not believe about the church. He has also repeatedly stated that he supports people, regardless of what they believe about the church. All he ever wanted was open discussion and for all the facts about the church to be available, rather than just the correlated version that even insults the intelligence of some faithful, active members I know. If you actually look at MS Podcasts, you'll see he has interviewed a wide range of Mormons, from active faithful members such as Richard Bushman, Dan Peterson, the Givens and many more and yes, also people who have left the church and people who are somewhere in between. Discussing multiple perspectives is healthy.

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  13. None of us has any knowledge of why disciplinary action is being taken. The church respects Dehlin's right to privacy in these matters much more than he respects his membership. Instead of using this as an opportunity to humble himself and repent, he has chosen to publish it and encourage the world to hold the church up to public censure and portray himself as a martyr.

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    1. Therefore mockery of his expulsion and the subsequent fallout are justified? Is that a precept you pulled from the Mormon canon, or is that just part of your own Christian ideals?

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    2. Please show where I mocked Dehlin's expulsion. What is being mocked is his poor excuses and lies about why he is being subjected to disciplinary actions. Not quite the same thing but then one needs to keep an open mind when one espouses Christian ideals.

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  14. If there are thousands of people who follow Dehlin instead of the apostles, they need to be taught that there is a difference.

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  15. the irony of a man who can't leave the church alone crying and moaning that he would prefer that they just leave him alone is rich. Like anyone who wishes to not be held accountable for his actions, Dehlin is a moral coward.

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    1. "Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God" (D&C 121:38).

      Perhaps it should be pointed out that Dehlin sought publicity, whereas the church acted privately. Same thing with Kelly what's-her-name, who brought it to the attention of the press.

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  16. If this was Ted Bundy instead if John Dehlin, and the media reported that he was being disciplined for asking questions, would people be accusing Rappleye of insensitivity, or would they understand the legitimate point being made understandable through satire?

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    1. Also, here is a question for everyone criticizing the Church. if a hypothetical man named Bob hates the LDS Church and wants to destroy it and becomes a member as part of a strategy to destroy it from the inside, would you criticize the Church for excommunicating him once his plot is discovered? Or, if it is discovered before he is baptized, would you fault the Church for not allowing him to be baptized?

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    2. If the media said Ted Bundy was ex'd for asking questions, that would make no sense since he that was obviously not the reason. My guess would be someone who did such a ridiculous job of reporting would not last long. To state the obvious, unlike Bundy, Dehlin is not a serial killer.

      As for your "hypothetical" questions, they have nothing to do with John Dehlin, since his goal is not to destroy the church, from the inside or otherwise. There is no plot.

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    3. Neal, As we try to say this is not about asking questions we are also omitting that John's PH leader (based on John's statement and so it is one sided I grant) has said that at least some of the things that he (the Leader) saw as not appropriate
      - publicly expressing doubt
      - Agreeing to never again interview anyone who expresses doubt or disbelief
      - Remove all episodes that are not favorable to the Church

      Those ideas there certainly are not becoming of a institution that welcomes questions no matter how tough.

      And before you or others come at what I have written I am just as opposed to other behaviors that I have not covered here.

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  17. This was a nice breath of funny, in a very sad situation. Thanks for sharing it.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Neal, I wanted to share a few thoughts. I think I understand your satire. It is one thing to claim honest questions it another to do something other than that which is against God's will and claim it is only honest questions. Is that the jist? If so I get it and I agree.
    That said like Monica and others here I struggle with the humor. It is all fine and dandy to get a chuckle and a laugh from the situation but there are a lot of moving pieces here. Apologetics seems to be more than just defending the faith (defend the institution against critics), It seems Mormon Apologetics has also defined itself as working to help the members hold onto faith? Is that accurate? While I agree that John Dehlin has likely crossed into an area that the Church itself defines as a plausible area to consider Church discipline by its own policies and procedures, there is also no doubt in my mind and others that JohnDehlin/Mormon Stories has been a mechanism to help many of us not feel alone in our discoveries of the Church and gospel not matching what we were taught.
    The worst thing in the world in a deep faith crisis is to feel alone. In fact many of the non-LDS sources I have read (Perry,Fowler, Robert Keely, Jon Paulien, and others) recommend that what one going through a hard faith transition needs most are Mentors who have been there before. Men and Women who understand how it feels. Many in the Church who are apologists have never had the deep faith crisis I am talking about. And as many of those I mention above and Paulien specifically state "if you haven’t been through it you probably can’t be much help". This is why people feel connected to Dehlin and many seem untrusting of Apologists and Apologetics that seem unable to acknowledge what a faith crisis is and feels like. I have often myself felt like many defenders simply do not "get" me and what I am thinking and feeling. They can't understand, never mind validate and empathize, with what I have experienced.
    Many Latter Day Saints who are fighting tooth and nail to stay in see John Dehlin as someone who has mentored them through their dark night of the soul and who has helped them see this faith transition is normal and that they are not the bad guy for having discovered Mormonism's messiness and contradictions. So when you mock John Dehlin. When you laugh at him or his situation, yes you get a chuckle from Mormonism's conservative right but you hurt, marginalize, and push further into the fringes, it's progressive portion of membership. Aside from that you have John' family and friends and many others who are hurt and saddened by all this and hence your humor from my point of view and many others here seems to fall short.

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    1. I cannot comment on your personal journey. I am glad that you were helped. My personal experience with Dehlin has been negative. I do not trust him or his message. He says one thing to one group and another thing to another group. I do not trust anything he says and he has definitely creates narratives in his podcasts. There are plenty of other areas to find non-correlated material, faith and non-faith promoting than Dehlin

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    2. part of these journies of faith crises and you have lost your foundation. Without it, one is in their mind bouncing around. One day your both feet in, the next your determined it is all a fraud and most days your stuck on a precipice between both. It is a time of anger, distrust, sadness, angst.... and all that worked before no longer does. Again, while I agree John has said/done things that might deserve a church court, I also understand why he has bounced around being committed to making it work one day and ready to throw in the towel the next. Been there, done that. For some it lasts a few months for others years or decades. Some stay in their faith tradition, others leave finding more peace elsewhere, but generally those who stay have to totally disassemble and reassemble their faith completely different than it was originally often letting go of historicity and adopting more figurative ideas and more progressive on social issues.

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  20. How about this for satire...

    In 1610, a man named Galileo Galilei published on his website a blog post promoting Copernicus’ theory that the Earth orbited the Sun, or heliocentrism. This did not please the Catholic Church as this theory disagreed with their long held doctrinal belief that it was the Sun orbiting the Earth. To combat this teaching, the Catholic Church put out a number of “official” essays explaining their position and formally declaring heliocentrism to be heretical. All heliocentric podcasts and websites were banned. Galileo himself was told to refrain from teaching, supporting, or defending these anti-Catholic ideas.

    When asked about this silencing of one the most respected scientists, the spokesman for the Catholic Church is quoted as saying, “We respect the privacy of individuals, and don’t publicly discuss the reasons why a member faces church discipline. We do wish to reaffirm that we welcome honest questions from sincere truth seekers. However, when it comes to Catholic doctrine, we have a duty to our members to correct misinformation when necessary.”

    Galileo’s goal and intent was to search for truth, no matter the source, and share that truth with the world. In spite of the Church’s warnings, he continued to publish additional blog posts and podcasts supporting not only heliocentrism, but also topics such as theology, astronomy, philosophy and more.

    In 1633, the Catholic Church could no longer allow Galileo to teach his apostate theories and ideas while still claiming to be member of the Church. So, the Roman Inquisition tried Galileo and found him “gravely suspect of heresy” and sentenced him to indefinite imprisonment. Galileo died 9 years later while still under house arrest.

    Historians look back on what has since been called the Galileo Affair and wonder why? Why was the Catholic Church so hostile towards things that have since been proven to be true? What were they so afraid of?

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    1. Your lack of understanding of the situation amazes me. Christianity is based on Christ and his atonement. He denied Christ and his atonement, why would he want to be part of a Christian church(or at least one whose whole doctrine is based on it) and to compare John Dehlin to Galileo and to stay this a "Galileo event" is the most delusional and hubris comment in the history of all comments. There is no issue on "free speech" or "censorship" of information. I didn't know that the Mormon church was a government or controlled the whole gov't. Its a membership in a private group with shared beliefs.

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    2. Do you think it appropriate to compare John Dehlin to Satan? That was the point of my comment; to show how outlandish it was to compare John to Satan by flipping the script.

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    3. If that was your point I better understand it. However, i don't believe the author was comparing Dehlin to Satan. I least hope not. However, I find his motive is disingenuous and I blame the media for framing this story the way they are. I guess I do not understand someone wanting to be part of a church and putting himself as an authority to decide church doctrine who does not believe in divinity.

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    4. Yousef Tim, this is very much about free speech and censorship. John's stated beliefs about Jesus Christ were just one issue he was charged with. He was also told by his SP that he could never speak publicly about his doubts and must take down all the podcasts on Mormon Stories that were anything but completely positive about the Church. Did you not read what all the charges were?

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    5. So is this what the church does? Excommunicate the heretics? I would love to have a conversation with you guys in 50 years when the church recognizes and accepts gay marriage and allows non-literal belief in all of its doctrine

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    6. Free speech and censorship? Really, Monica??? I was censored a number of times over at Mormon Stories. Finally, I was banned and not one of my posts in reply to Dehlin's ideas ever saw the light of day since. Every post no matter the content would go into moderation and disappear. Dehlin merely left up a few posts to create the ruse that I was still allowed to post over there. He did not like the fact that I was beginning to supply answers to some of his and others' claims at that site in the comments sections.

      For instance, there were people who made negative comments, and I responded directly to the premises of the comments. It was always that way, and never did I post disparaging or rude comments. Never once.

      For example, on one page at Mormonstories appeared the following comment (spelling and grammar in original) appeared on the site on September 1, 2012:

      "Great interview and I enjoyed listening to a different perspective. There is much that could be discussed and reading other comments there are some interestingcomments. However I am going to basic and focus on one thought. Brant suggested that the translation of horses was not a literal translation because the bom does not portray them doing things, other than eating grass. But in Alma chap 18 and 20it states getting the horses and chariots ready or preparing them. What are the horses being preapered for if it is not to pull the chariots, which is what horses carried out as a task . in the 19th centuary the word would have been wagon not chariot. if they weren't being preapered to pull the chariots then what were they being prepared for?"

      Now, in addition to that post, there were also posts on that same page that made light of the fact that it may even have been what we called deer. No one used deer to pull chariots, the claims went. My response was directed to the post I cited above as well as those of other individuals who had posted. I wrote in a post that never saw the light of day, on September 21, 2012:

      "For the record, in the ancient world deer also were used to pull chariots. Even in Greek mythology (as mentioned in Callamachus, 'Hymn III to Artemis' 109, for example) references are made to Artemis riding in a chariot pulled by horned deer.

      Preparation also likely included making the animals ritually prepared for various ceremonies and important affairs of State.

      It also is important to know that not all chariots were wheeled. It is simply not true that all chariots at all times were wheeled. Book of Mormon chariots may have been wheeled but I do not recall mention of wheels in conjunction with Book of Mormon chariots.

      One fact that often gets ignored is that even though no evidence of larger scale wheels yet have been found (wood does not do well in acidic soils like in Mesoamerica) we know that Mesoamericans fully understood the principle of the wheel. Many wheeled toys and ritual devices have been found.

      In addition, wars are always fought on foot in the Book of Mormon. There is no mention of riding horses into battle or of using chariots in battle--with the exception of scripture passages that were written in the Old World.

      Just saying..."

      The post was censored. I reposted it and it went to moderation. Two days later I found the post gone. I again posted it and again it went to moderation automatically. After that, it was gone. From that time forward, nothing I posted ever saw the light of day there. Posts mentioning the moderation all were deleted. Emails went unanswered.

      No, Dehlin wasn't as much a believer in truth and free expression as you seem to believe. He frequently went to controlling the narrative and the flow of information. He even helped to create an entire fiasco over at the Maxwell Institute to control the flow of information there by essentially stopping apologetics in print.

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  21. I am sad by your lack of understanding.

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  22. "One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may." "The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching." "Although I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charged with doing; the wrong that I do is through the frailty of human nature, like other men. No man lives without fault." "We may come to Jesus and ask Him; He will know all about it; if He comes to a little child, he will adapt himself to the language and capacity of a little child." "Salvation cannot come without revelation. Men of the present time testify of heaven and hell, and have never seen either; and I will say that no man knows these things without this." "I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them."
    All of these quotes are from Joseph Smith. The one who dared to "question". The author confuses questioning with rebellion. He confuses inquisitiveness with tyranny. He equates the perfwction of God with perfection in the church, despite the Lord making it clear that all men make mistakes and that he is please with the church collectively, but not individually. The assumption that 1) our leaders cannot make mistakes, and 2) we should never "question" flies in the face of the doctorine of Christ and denies the need for the Atonement, the Spirit, and Revelation (personal and collective). This piece of satire is in no way accurate because Lucifer wanted to force everyone to choose good, and all the glory be his. In point of fact, tyrants do not want questions to be asked, because questions reveal mistakes and/or corruption. In other words, thkse who told Joseph Smith Jr. that his questions were wrong are now telling others who seek that they cannot ask questions for fear that they may have misunderstoo. Fear is not of the Spirit. Tyranny is not of the Spirit. Revelation, love, long suffering, kindness, charity, good will, these are of the Spirit. We just need to ask the right questions.
    Because writing does not convey emotion well, I want to be clear. I am not angry. I want the author and other readers know that I bare no malice or ill will. I have made my share of mistakes, and will likely continue to. I share these things because it took years of prayer, fasting, and study to understand this "problem" of questioning. And I know the answer for me. Love & service. As I go out and bless others in word and deed like Christ showed, I am more intune with the Spirit and Father's will. And so I end with one last quote from Brother Joseph. "A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
    God black bless you all on your journies.

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    1. Well said Brian. You make several good points. There is a big difference between a person asking questions and a tyrant that seeks to overthrow God and force his will upon everyone, denying people even the opportunity to ask questions. God wants people to ask questions. How else can they find the truth and follow him but through the process of asking questions and learning truth for themselves?

      More to the point of John Dehlin and his impending excommunication/court of discipline - I don't recall Jesus excommunicating Thomas who openly and publicly doubted. It is my personal opinion that excommunication is not the right decision for John Dehlin. Certainly church culture and even church practices and doctrine ought to be constructively challenged from both inside and outside the church without the church pouncing immediately to silence differing views. It makes the church appear weak and unable to withstand criticism or challenges to its truth claims.

      Denying blacks the priesthood, polygamy, mountain meadows massacre, Adam-God theory, and many other blunders by the church ought to show members and church leadership that a certain degree of constructive criticism is healthy for any organization, even the church.

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    2. "I don't recall Jesus excommunicating Thomas who openly and publicly doubted."

      That is because Thomas didn't publicly or openly doubt. It was a private matter behind closed doors. When he expressed that doubt it was behind closed doors with the others of the Twelve who remained.

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  23. Ben Forsberg, much earlier in this thread you clay pushed the idea that if a spouse stopped believing, the right thing to do would be to have strength to leave that spouse and put God first, otherwise you are trusting man instead of God. Correct? Then the VERY next reply was a scripture from Corinthians that stayed the EXACT opposite of what you recommended. You never replied. Humility is a great thing. It's sure easy to throw darts behind a digital media wall. But it would be nice occasionally to have someone on here be humble enough to say, "hey, you know, that's a great point. I never looked at it like that. I'm sorry. I stand corrected. " your silence to her reply didn't go unnoticed and speaks volumes. I'm not in a faith struggle trying to prove I'm right. I'm struggling to GET IT RIGHT! And those just throwing darts instead of trying to understand are transparent enough to those earnestly and honestly looking for answers.

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  24. Liked the satire my friend-not sure why people weren't able to pick up on the satirical elements that have so clearly been embroiled into the article-but hey-still qualifies for a good chuckle.

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  25. Well said, well said. Props to you for the satire.

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  26. Your satire totally reminded me of this found in the New Testament Student Manual on LDS.org:

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie described the conflict that occurred in heaven: “What kind of war? The same kind that prevails on earth; the only kind Satan and spirit beings can wage—a war of words, a tumult of opinions, a conflict of ideologies; a war between truth and error, between light and darkness. … And the battle lines are still drawn. It is now on earth as it was then in heaven; every man must choose which general he will follow” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:518).

    Your satire is spot on!

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