In all honesty, I would have written about this a few weeks ago (when it was a hot topic) if I had only launched my website before then. But I had (and still continue to have) pretty strong feelings about the reaction to Kate Kelly’s ex-communication from the Mormon church. The reaction that I found the most puzzling was from true believing Mormon (TBM) bloggers trying to defend the LDS church’s decision to ex-communicate Kelly. Mostly what I saw was a lot of lawyerly maneuvering and logical knots…some of which might be defensible if this excommunication was an isolated incident.
As I see it, the move to ex-communicate Kelly was part of a much larger pattern where the LDS church disciplines any member who draws significant attention to ideas or information that is not faith-promoting about the LDS church or it’s history. It’s part of a general trend where the history of the mormon church is sanitized to hide anything that might cause people to question the truth claims of the church. This trend has caused scientists that published research with evidence that refutes core church beliefs (for example geneticist Simon Southerton), church historians/educators that published historical accounts that didn’t show the early church leaders in the best light (such as Grant Palmer) and others such as the famous September Six to be very publicly excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the church. Perhaps the best parallel I’ve seen to Kelly’s excommunication though is the 1977 excommunication of Byron Marchant, who was excommunicated for announcing a demonstration against the church’s policy for not giving the priesthood to black people.
I wonder, when Gordon B. Hinckley told the Associated Press in 2005 that “…we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues” if he was being sincere? The actions to silence dissent and cover up the true history are not consistent with that statement. From my perspective, it’s evidence that at the very highest levels, the church leaders know that the LDS Religion is a gigantic scam.