Mormon blogger, facing excommunication, resigns from church

SALT LAKE CITY — Rather than wait for possible excommunication, Mormon blogger David Twede has resigned his membership in the … Continued

SALT LAKE CITY — Rather than wait for possible excommunication, Mormon blogger David Twede has resigned his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Twede — who was accused of apostasy for writing critical online essays about Mormon history, temple worship and contemporary issues — took the action during an “open mic session” Friday (Oct. 19) at the Exmormon Foundation’s annual conference in Salt Lake City.

“While I’ve been in serious doubt about the veracity of LDS claims for some time, I had become so disillusioned with how my situation was handled,” Twede wrote Monday in an email, “that I just wanted to be free.”

Twede is managing editor of MormonThink.com, where most of his critical pieces, including ones about GOP presidential nominee and fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, have appeared.

On Sept. 16, Mormon officials in Orlando, Fla., summoned him to a church disciplinary council for “apostasy,” which they attributed to his writings.

The Florida blogger initially said the threatened church action was due to his Romney remarks. Later, Twede told The Salt Lake Tribune his church leaders never brought up the candidate in their exchange with him. The next day, Twede returned to “a feeling in (his) gut” that his Romney comments had triggered the now-delayed disciplinary council.

By the end of September, the disciplinary council had been postponed indefinitely.

The LDS church declined to comment on Twede’s situation, spokesman Scott Trotter said, but added that “church leaders are always saddened when an individual, whether through his or her actions or personal choices, decides to leave the church.”

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  • psmithphd

    In my experience I have, as a member of the Church, always been able to raise questions and concerns about issues I do not understand or feel uncomfortable about. So much depends on the way one raises questions and who one chooses to talk with. I am sure that Twede could have found several people, good members of the Church, who would have been willing to listen to his concerns and help him find answers that satisfied him. I am sorry he did not choose that route. I am open to talking with him any time he would wish.

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.

  • Tornogal

    Dr. Smith,

    Okay, please try this. This week in priesthood meeting, ask any of these questions and see what kind of reaction you get:

    1) Is it true Joseph Smith “married” multiple women whose husbands he had dispatched on missions just weeks before, and that he told them to keep the marriage secret? And is it true he denied practicing polygamy while he was practicing it?

    2) Is it true that egyptologists have completely discredited the “plates” in the Book of Abraham as missing by a mile what Joseph Smith said they meant? And why hasn’t a SINGLE non-LDS scholar said the Book of Abraham or the Book of Mormon are what they purport to be?

    3) Why is it we church members can’t see a financial report from the church?

    4) Why is it that not one single artifact has been found to validate the enormous cities described in the Book of Mormon, and why hasn’t a single artifact been found on Hill Cummorah despite an epic battle being fought there?

    5) Why is it the LDS temple handshakes and oaths are strikingly similar to those Smith received from the Freemasons just weeks before he “revealed” ours?

    6) Why did Joseph Smith tell ten different versions of the first vision, and why wasn’t it taught in the church for fully 22 years after it supposedly happened?

    7) Why does the Book of Mormon contain errors appearing in only the King James version, the version that Joseph Smith had in his home?

    8) Why did the eleven witnesses admit later that they had “seen” the golden plates with only their “spiritual eyes”?

    I am guessing there ARE several people who would listen to him. But I am also guessing the only answers they could offer are those on FAIR or FARMS.

  • Oui_Frere

    Tornugal – There are answers to all of these questions, but you have repeatedly ignored or brushed them aside. Here’s a brief run down:

    1) Is it true Joseph Smith “married” multiple women whose husbands he had dispatched on missions just weeks before, and that he told them to keep the marriage secret?

    RESPONSE: Nope.

    And is it true he denied practicing polygamy while he was practicing it?

    RESPONSE: Yes.

    2) Is it true that egyptologists have completely discredited the “plates” in the Book of Abraham as missing by a mile what Joseph Smith said they meant?

    RESPONSE: No. First of all, they were not plates – they were papyri. Second, only about 10-12% of the original papyri have been recovered.

    And why hasn’t a SINGLE non-LDS scholar said the Book of Abraham or the Book of Mormon are what they purport to be?

    RESPONSE: Think for a second: if they believed them to be true (even though neither can be proven or disproven by scientifc means), wouldn’t they then become Mormon? By the same rationale, I could ask why hasn’t a single non-Christian scholar said that the gospel of Matthew is what it says it is when it says that Jesus was resurrected?

    3) Why is it we church members can’t see a financial report from the church?

    RESPONSE: This isn’t terribly unique to a private organization. I could think of a number of reasons, but I’m not sure why this is supposed to be so damning.

    4) Why is it that not one single artifact has been found to validate the enormous cities described in the Book of Mormon, and why hasn’t a single artifact been found on Hill Cummorah despite an epic battle being fought there?

    RESPONSE: Plenty of large cities with artifacts have been found. And you are clearly not familiar with the relationship between the HIll Cumorah in New York and the Cumorah in the Book of Mormon (hint: they may not be the same).

    5) Why is it the LDS temple handshakes and oaths are strikingly similar to those Smith received from the Freemasons just weeks before he “revealed” ours?

    RESPONSE: Again, I could speculate with a number of reasons. Smith also used another set of symbols, the English language, to teach religious principles.

    6) Why did Joseph Smith tell ten different versions of the first vision, and why wasn’t it taught in the church for fully 22 years after it supposedly happened?

    RESPONSE: JS wrote or dictated at least four accounts, and a several others come from journals or recollections of others who heard him teach it. Each emphasizes different detail, but are clearly describing the same event. As an attorney, this is quite common in eye-witness testimony across multiple hearings. And the first part of your question clearly answers the second part (how is there several accounts of his vision if he wasn’t teaching it to anyone?).