Room For All In This Church

We face a difficult and pivotal moment in Mormonism as LDS leaders and church members wrestle more openly with complicated aspects of our faith, its doctrine, and its history—often in spaces afforded by the Internet. In light of possible disciplinary action against prominent voices among us, we the undersigned Mormon bloggers and podcasters affirm the value of the conversations that take place in the LDS “Bloggernacle” and express our hopes for greater understanding and compassion from all of us involved in current tensions.

 

May we all remember, as scripture teaches, the intricate intertwining of mercy and justice. May we all follow the admonition to seek understanding before judgment, even as we address matters that can be difficult to talk about.

 

Scripture and tradition teach us that excommunication is one way of maintaining the boundaries of a religious community. But we believe that excommunication is not the best way to address conflict over doctrine, policy, or tradition. We ask our leaders to consider other ways of maintaining boundaries, strengthening Church members, and encouraging them to grow spiritually within Mormonism’s large and embracing community without the fear and despair the threat of excommunication sows not only in those threatened but in their families, friends, and those who share similar concerns about LDS Church doctrine or history—even those who do so silently. We are deeply encouraged by the recent news about the prospect of de-escalation in at least one of the current cases and pray for positive steps towards reconciliation.

 

The issues in Mormon doctrine, history, and practice highlighted by those facing church discipline are much larger than any one individual. It is not only unavoidable that these issues will continue to be discussed; such discussion is good for the health of our religious community and faithful to the truth-seeking spirit of the Latter-day Saint Restoration. As bloggers, podcasters, and passionate contributors to good, healthy online discussion, we affirm our commitment to continue speaking openly and publicly, and encouraging others to do so as well. We will continue to use online spaces to grow in knowledge and faith, to attempt to present and see many sides of each issue, and to reach out to those expressing pain, heartache, and loneliness. It is our experience that these conversations can bear good fruit as Latter-day Saints mourn with those who mourn and reflect on, deepen, and renew their faith.

 

We are grateful for our membership in this Church and for the unique opportunities the Internet has provided us to share our Mormon experiences, questions, and hopes. We pray that a spirit of clemency will guide the words and actions of everyone—especially those who bear the heavy responsibility of ecclesiastical discipline of Church members—and that the words of President Uchtdorf will hold sway: “Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”

 

Signed:

 

Dan Wotherspoon, Mormon Matters podcast

Jana Riess, Flunking Sainthood blog (Religion News Service)

Natasha Helfer Parker, The Mormon Therapist blog

Paul Barker, Rational Faiths blog and podcast

Michael Barker, Rational Faiths blog and podcast

Mark Crego, A Thoughtful Faith Support Group (Facebook)

Lisa Butterworth, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Joanna Brooks, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Gina Colvin, KiwiMormon blog

Lindsay Park, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Jared Anderson, Mormon Sunday School podcast

Daniel Parkinson, No More Strangers blog

Bill McGee, Sunstone

Mary Ellen Robertson, Sunstone

Stephen Carter, Sunstone

Michael Stevens, Sunstone

Chelsea Shields Strayer, LDS WAVE

Tresa Edmunds, LDS WAVE

Chelsea Robarge Fife, Mormon Feminist Cooperative

Cami Ashby, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Kalani Tonga Tukaufu, Feminist Mormon Housewives

David Landrith, Mormon Mentality

Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, Mormon Matters podcast

Jerilyn Hassell Pool, Rational Faiths blog

Spencer Lake, Clean Cut blog

Brittany Morin-Mezzadri, TheLadyMo blog

Katie Langston, Feminist Mormon Housewives blog

Hannah Wheelwright, Young Mormon Feminists blog

Erin Moore, Young Mormon Feminists blog

Kimberly Lewis, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Nikki Hunter, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Nancy Ross, Nickel on the ‘Nacle blog

Mark Brown, The Mormon Hub (Facebook)

Alicia Jones, LDS Left (Facebook)

Elise Villescaz, LDS Left (Facebook)

Emily Summerhays, Feminist Mormon Housewives

Mindy Farmer, The Inquisitive Mom blog

Jeff Krey, A Thoughtful Faith Support Group (Facebook)

Lori Burkman, Rational Faiths blog

Laura Compton, Mormons for Marriage

Alison Moore Smith, Mormon Momma blog

Heather Olsen Beal, Doves and Serpents blog

Brent Beal, Doves and Serpents blog

Ed Snow, Doves and Serpents blog

Erin Hill, Doves and Serpents blog

Meghan Raynes, Exponent blog

Aimee Hickman, Exponent blog

Rachel Hunt, Exponent blog

Liz Johnson, Exponent blog

Libby Potter Boss, Exponent blog

Heather Moore-Farley, Exponent blog

April Young Bennett, Exponent blog

Deborah Farmer Kris, Exponent blog

Jessica Oberan Steed, Exponent blog

Carolyn Kline, Exponent blog

April Carlson, Exponent blog

Sariah Anne Kell, Exponent blog

Chelsea Sue, Exponent blog

Emily Clyde Curtis, Exponent blog

Emily Updegraff, Exponent blog

Dayna Patterson, Doves and Serpents blog

Cheryl Bruno, Worlds Without End blog

Katie Evans, Zelophehad’s Daughters blog

Kristy Benton, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Lori LeVar Pierce, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Rebecca Reid Linford, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Paula Goodfellow, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Cheryl McGuire, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Kay Gaisford, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Lorlalie Pallotta, All Are Alike Unto God blog

Wendy Reynolds, All Are Alike Unto God blog


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