Thursday, February 12, 2015

They did it

John Dehlin is a psychology student at Utah State University in Logan. He is just finishing up his doctorate by doing an internship in counseling. John was a successful programmer, faithful LDS member who as called to teach teenagers in an early morning class when he was living in Seattle and working for Microsoft. In order to be a better teacher, he began reading about church history. The discrepancies he found between what he had been taught and the reality that was were so far apart, he decided to do more reading. From this came a "faith crisis" for John.  He wanted to talk to people who knew more than he did in order to resolve his dilemma and could not find anyone. If other people thought the same way, they certainly were not talking about it.
In order to find answers to his questions, he began a podcast called Morrmon Stories about 10 years ago.
In this series, John went to all the people he could think of who had studied Mormonism, believers and non-believers, life long members, converts and non-Mormons. He asked questions and listened to their answers. John made these podcasts available to anyone who wanted to listen. People told their stories. What is it like to be a Mormon today? What obstacles do we face trying to live in the 21st century?
His local leaders talked to him on a regular basis, everything was fine, until last summer. Suddenly he and another questioner were publicly threatened with ex-communication. Kate Kelly was excommunicated in July. John was on Sunday. My heart is full. It's very sad that asking questions carries such dire consequences.
John and his wife Margi, at his trial.

If you are gay and want to remain a member of the Church, you must not have any serious relationship with another person of the same sex. Speaking as someone who has been alone for almost 20 years, that's a very lonely way to live. If you want to have a relationship, then you are out. Again, I believe we are all made in God's image, are his children, and he loves us all. We should do the same. I keep wondering, is there a place for ME in the church feeling the way I do about this issue? I am still trying to find out.