Mormons Face Excommunication for Following Religious Teachings
I have chosen to write about an article written by journalist Amanda Holpuch from The Guardian as I believe it is an especially interesting perspective on the Mormon religion. Mormon teachings traditionally emphasize the importance of reducing human suffering and standing up for individual beliefs. However, a group of Mormon people claim that they are being unfairly judged for doing just that.
The group supports freedom of individual choice on controversial issues such as same-sex marriage and open communication. Utah resident John Dehlin is a 5th generation Mormon and is strong in his beliefs, but he also supports LGBT peoples. He has been called to a disciplinary hearing due to some comments he has made about the Church. In his opinion, all he is trying to do is alleviate suffering. It was interesting to see his opinion on how he is only following the Mormon teachings and wants to alleviate suffering for fellow human beings. He started an online podcast to talk about some of his issues with the Mormon Church and in the process he found many other Mormons who were having similar thoughts. This article also mentions feminist Mormon people who use the Internet as a forum to speak about their true beliefs but are forced to use an alias in order to maintain their relationship with the Church.
I can only imagine the distress and pain that an individual goes through when excommunicated from their religion, especially if they believe they were only following the Church’s teachings and had done nothing wrong. This pain would not be dissimilar to the pain people go though when removed from other new religions with the horrible ‘de-programming’ techniques that Dr. Hexham discussed in our classes. I can empathize with Mr. Dehlin and agree that he was acting in accordance with his beliefs. However, I can also see the perspective of the Mormon Church and their belief that he is violating other principles of the church. I enjoyed reading this article and learning more about Mormon teachings. It is interesting to look at the Mormon religion as a new religion as I had never thought of it in this way before.