Freedom for all, except people who disagree with me

This guest post is by Nicola Ward Petty, a convert from Catholicism, a returned missionary and a former Stake Relief Society President.  Nicola and her husband Mark are the parents of two sons and the grandparents of one grandson.  They live in Christchurch, New Zealand.   At the recent General conference, Elder Robert Hales gave a talk called, “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom”. As a Kiwi Mormon like Gina, I live in New Zealand, and have observed that religious freedom... Read more

Gloriavale and the Mormons: What New Zealand’s latest religious drama has to teach us

Nestled against the Western range of the Southern Alps in New Zealand is a Christian commune known as Gloriavale. It has always attracted attention largely due to its inauspicious beginnings surrounding the aberrant sexual ideologies espoused and at one time practiced by the central figure Neville Cooper who was jailed in 1994 for 10 counts of sexual assault.   After being paroled Cooper set about reestablishing his community in Haupiri.  Cooper adopted a new name ‘Hopeful Christian’ and regularized, managed and... Read more

Mormon Internet Trolls, Cyberbullies and Doxing

I’ve been in the blogging game for three years now.  I’m used to trolls and comment preachers who call me to repentance for my wickedly evil ways, blah blah blah.  I don’t really mind if they name themselves, even though the use of ad hominem is irksome I somewhat respect the fact that they stand by their comments – with an authentic identity.  Some are simply rude  and I tend to block them.  But most of us who are vocal with our... Read more

Uncritical Lovers: Mormonism’s problem children

A friend recently shared an observation with me about lovers and critics of the church.  Hers was a reflection on a commencement speech at Cornell by John W. Gardner in 1968.  Gardner mused astutely: Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.   Following the ‘Any Opposed’ action at General Conference this weekend wherein five members exercised their right to oppose  a sustaining vote of the First presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, Mark Atuaia, BYU Cougars coach tweeted the... Read more

Dear President; Dear Bishop

Dear President, Dear Bishop   It has come to my attention that there are some members in your Stake who have been openly expressing their concerns, their doubts, and their critiques of the church. One of them even has a blog and has shared their posts with other members in their ward.  I understand you have received a number of complaints from concerned members who are worried about the effect these so-called discontents are having on the testimony of faithful... Read more

Monogamous Mormon Threatened for Rejection of Polygamy

On the 2nd February  Kirk van Allen wrote a critique of Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  In his analysis he concluded that as far as he could see polygamy was morally wrong.  For this assertion he recently reported that he has been asked by his church leaders to revise the blog removing all suggestion that he does not personally agree with the official position that polygamy was inspired.   In other words it appears that this monogamous Mormon man is... Read more

Digesting the Dehlin Drama: Thoughts in the wake

I’ve spent the last couple of days percolating the latest excommunication drama, waiting for the heavy weight of it on my heart to lighten somewhat.  It hasn’t.  It was sadly inevitable that John was excommunicated.  Not because John did anything different to what he usually does – tell all, scrap it out to the last, and do it with characteristic noise.    My heart is heavy because there are no winners in religious warfare. Between the triumphant and the embittered there is... Read more

On tuning into another LGBT drama in ‘Murica

30 Minutes ago the Mormon Newsroom concluded a rare press conference.   Let me be clear, for senior leaders in the church to front up to the media outside of General Conference wherein they make an announcement  to an international audience is a pretty big deal.  So even though it occurred as the sun was just coming up in Aotearoa/New Zealand, I tuned in. The subject was religious freedom, and in a nutshell  the purpose was to reaffirm the church’s right to oppose... Read more

How loving the church can get you hated by the church

On the 10th of January 2014 a group of commissioners from the Hamilton District Council released their report after hearing an application from the LDS church to demolish buildings on  the recently closed  Church College of New Zealand. It had been a heart breaking affair particularly for the Temple View Heritage Society who opposed the church’s application to destroy what was for them a much loved site and community centre ‘built for eternity’ by parents and grandparents (including my own). Over the... Read more

The 15 Ailments of the LDS Church (With a hat tip to Pope Francis)

While Mormons are asked to, required to, strong-armed into ‘sustaining’, not questioning, obeying etc. every male above their own station (including it would seem the invisible worker bees in Church Administration), in the Vatican Pope Francis recently delivered a stinging rebuke to those who govern, administer and manage the Catholic Church. And everyone but the Roman Curia is doing a slow clap.   Pope Francis publicly catalogued 15 ailments of the Catholic church administration and the high level officials who... Read more