Podcaster John Dehlin is Excommunicated from the LDS Church
Officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have excommunicated Mormon critic and podcaster John Dehlin. Dehlin’s local Church leaders notified him of their decision in a letter.
In his podcast Mormon Stories, John Dehlin has asked difficult questions about LDS Church doctrine and history. He has stood up for the rights of gay Mormons and supported women pursuing inclusion in the Church’s all male priesthood. Last month, Dehlin’s North Logan Stake President Bryan King charged him with Apostasy and ordered him to appear at a disciplinary council hearing. That took place on Sunday and Dehlin received a letter on Monday informing him that he was excommunicated. Speaking on KUER’s RadioWest, Dehlin said that he will continue to identify himself as Mormon.
“I feel like Mormonism is my heritage, it’s my culture, it’s my tribe, it’s my identity. I don’t believe that my Mormonism can be taken from me by a process like this,” said Dehlin.
According to Dehlin, the Church’s apostasy charge was rooted his unwillingness to censor his podcast, his public expression of doubt regarding some LDS teachings and his advocacy for LGBT Mormons and ordination of women. Dehlin said on RadioWest that church leaders shouldn’t expect other critics to be silenced by his excommunication.
“I had a very visible podcast that tens of thousands of people have listened to. I still have that podcast and I believe that what the Church is trying to do, they think that if they cut sort of any initiative or energy off at the head, they’ll leave everybody else and hope that everybody feels scared and intimidated enough to now back down,” said Dehlin.
LDS officials said in a statement that Dehlin’s excommunication is not designed to be an end, but the beginning of the road back to full fellowship in the Church. Dehlin says he will continue to produce his podcast.
Dehlin's full conversation with RadioWest's Doug Fabrizio can be heard here.