John Dehlin is the outspoken founder of Mormon Stories, an online
discussion forum and podcast about The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. He could share the fate of feminist activist Kate
Kelly, who was excommunicated last week.
Dehlin, whose forum includes debate on LDS history, doctrine,
culture and practice, was asked to resign from the church by June 18
or face a disciplinary hearing, sometimes called a church court.
After the news became public and his supporters called for clemency,
Dehlin was asked to meet his regional church leader on Sunday in
Logan, Utah. He said it appeared the church wanted to "de-escalate"
"No news today," Dehlin said in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon.
"I will post if/when there is something to report. So grateful for
the outpouring of love and support."
Dehlin's forum and podcast have also discussed the role of gay
Mormons and the difficulties of struggling with questions of faith.
Thousands of people listen to the broadcasts and contribute to
online debates every month.
Efforts to reach Dehlin were unsuccessful, and it was not
immediately clear how soon a decision might be made in his case.
Church disciplinary action is most common when leaders believe a
person's actions or statements conflict with LDS teachings and
threaten the faith. The outcomes can include probation,
disfellowship, excommunication or no action.
Last week, church leaders in Virginia excommunicated Kelly, who
founded a group calling for gender equality and women's ordination
in the church.
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Church leaders say her actions amounted to apostasy. Kelly plans to
appeal the decision.
In a rare statement, the church's most senior leaders - the First
Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles - said on Saturday that
members are free to question and "earnestly seek greater
But they said advocating positions that ran counter to LDS
leadership, or cultivating a following, amount to apostasy. The
"blessings" of LDS priesthood are bestowed on both genders, they
said, while "priesthood offices are reserved only for men."
Kelly's group, Ordain Women, said the statement was "an improvement
in transparency," but denied the group acted against the church,
taught false doctrine or committed apostasy.
(Reporting by Jennifer Dobner; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra
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