How to Be a Mormon in Good Standing: Keep Your Mouth Shut

Dirty laundry In 2012 I received a distraught phone call from a local church leader. He was concerned about my first few blog posts at KiwiMormon. “You are airing our dirty laundry,” he complained. “We don’t do that.” He’s right. Good Mormons don’t air the church’s dirty laundry. This habit of keeping our mouths shut goes right back to the church’s early Utah years when federal spies would descend on Salt Lake City and try and get Mormons to rat... Read more

Thomas B. Marsh: A Tale of Being Offended or an Act of Integrity?

Guest Post by Ganeshji Cherian.  Wellington New Zealand Belonging is a big part of our validation as people. Our groupings give us a sense of security. They may even be the foundation of our economic and emotional wellbeing. Part of belonging to a group is believing that the association is valuable, so when people leave, it can be difficult for those that stay, to reconcile their departure. President Uchtdorf in his October 2013 conference address tried to encourage some understanding... Read more

Mormon McDonald’s: An Allegory

For a lot of people, McDonald’s is enough. They could eat McDonald’s all their lives and be completely satisfied. You’ve grown up on McDonald’s  and for a time you enjoyed it. You might even be grateful for it because McDonald’s came along and freely gave you burgers and fries when you were starving. But these days you are curious and thoughtful about the quality of the food.   You ask if there are any other types of food on the menu?  ... Read more

The Arrogance of False Expertise on Church Disaffection

These days the LDS Church is trotting out expert after expert on why people leave the church.   From my own local pulpits I’ve heard the following solutions for dealing with people’s potential disaffection:  You need to try harder, read your scriptures more, pray more and you’ll feel the spirit and all of these bad feelings will dissipate  Treat your relationship like a marriage and concentrate on the good things about the church  Have more faith Stay off the internet and avoid... Read more

Indigenous People are More Than their Dance

The LDS church recently released an inspirational short reminding us that it’s not enough for us to slavishly follow rules or instructions, but that we need to feel into the reasons for our doing what we do. On the surface it  makes a lovely point. However,  the story was set in the context of a boy learning to the hear the rhythm of the music that accompanies a Navajo hoop dance. The LDS Church has a pattern of appropriating cultural... Read more

Dear Mormon Patriarchy

    Dear Mormon Patriarchy, I hereby and absolutely revoke any consents taken or presumed that entitled you to the exercise of authority or dominion over me. I do not consent to your presiding over me. You may not summon me, compel me or interrogate me without my informed consent. Furthermore, I do not agree to your expectation of my obedience or my unquestioning loyalty to you. That being said, I will sustain you. I am absolutely in favour of... Read more

The Ugly Cost of Making Temples Pretty

Over the years the LDS Church has used the labour and money of poor, brown folk to build temples and schools around the world.  A couple of generations later it is shutting these same people out from the communities they created to make the Church property environs look beautiful. Here’s a case in point: Temple View is the village that grew up around the New Zealand Temple and Church College of New Zealand. In 2009 the College was closed and... Read more

Me and The Book of Mormon: It’s Complicated

My mother insisted I read The Book of Mormon before my baptism.  It was a slow grind, but every morning I would jump into bed with her and snuggle up against her soft, warm body,  and we’d make our way through eight verses at a time until it was done.  Thinking about it now still arouses feelings of comfort and safety. I was less active for half of my adolescence, and when I went back to church at 16, I turned... Read more

When There’s No Turning Back

By Gina Colvin & Thomas McConkie Preface by Gina:  I think I’ve been in what some might call ‘faith crisis’ for at least 10 or more years. I don’t think its unusual for anyone pursuing a religious life to  wonder at the incongruities between history, doctrine, policy and scripture. When I was a Young Women’s President and then a Relief Society President it hit me how rigidly the patriarchy held itself in a defensive posture against change, particularly changes suggested... Read more

The Spiritual Dangers of Religious Elitism and Secrecy

It turns out that the General Authorities of the LDS Church are remunerated in six figures.  By all accounts, in 2014, the base pay was $120,000.  The reason we know this is the publication of a leaked letter notifying someone in the First Quorum of a pay increase.   It’s important to note that this kind of information isn’t made public because the LDS Church is not financially transparent except in countries where it’s a legal requirement. I’ve tried to get... Read more