<Previous      Next>

Question 27


What would happen to a Latter-day Saint who openly questioned the teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley?


One need not speculate since many examples abound of what happens to LDS members that question the teachings of LDS Church Pres. Hinckley. In a review of a new book on mormonism, _Mormon America: The Power and the Promise_, by Richard and Joan Ostling, John and Tania Lyon write in CT's Books & Culture magazine (Nov/Dec 1999) that, Because it is willing to address difficult issues, this book could not have been written by a Mormon who valued his or her status in the church.

When a religious community, such as the LDS one, cannot withstand or welcome such a candid examination of their faith (especially given the nonpolemical tone), then one ought to surmise that all is not well with it.

Those that openly contradict any LDS Church teaching are first given a "friendly" admonishment; then they are called and instructed in a sense to "cease and desist"; if that does not work then said member may be either disfellowshipped (membership privileges within the LDS Church are formally limited) or that person may be excommunicated, in which case they cease to be a member of the LDS Church. For that individual to once again become a member of the LDS Church, this person must do more, much more, to prove to LDS Church leaders that their beliefs are once again orthodox.

The irony in all of this is that beliefs that were once orthodox, such as the Adam/God Doctrine, Plural Marriage and the Exclusion of Blacks from the mormon priesthoods, are no longer. One day it is God's Truth, the next it is heresy. The mormon god(s) seem to always be changing their minds. -OR (non-LDS)

My son just completed his two-year mission for the Mormons. Because of him, I have studied Mormonism quite a bit. From all that I've read, excommunication is probably the only appropriate means of punishment. -HB (non-LDS)

I suspect that they would be excommunicated. Depending on the area in which they lived and the attitude of the local leadership, it might take a shorter or longer time, but the end result would be the same.

I think that there has been ample evidence of such already..such as the number of excommunications that took place in the fall of '93…various intellectuals who would not "toe the line " and refused to cover up valid historical research in order to preserve the image of the church. I believe at that time that Boyd Packer spoke out against these individuals encouraging them to restrain their publishing plans…after all it was their duty to only print that which would be faith-promoting and up- building.

No doubt the church would do it as quietly as possible ( they sure do not like negative publicity).. however the end result would be the same…excommunication.

Back somewhere in the early days of family home evening, a certain lesson included this sentiment.. that when the leaders of the church speak, the thinking has already been done. Members are not to think about it but only to do it. Certainly this would apply to the "prophet " of the LDS church today as well. Members are expected to obey..and not give it another thought. -H (non-LDS)

i believe if a mormon questioned any president they would get excommunicated if they pursued their question hard enough. i truly believe mormons are taught to believe what they are told without question.

look back at orson pratt. he questioned b young on a lot of things. he should have been then next president after young, but young saw to it that he was not. i have met many mormons and they all, as far as the missionaries go, tell me they are not allowed to read so-called anti mormon books.

if a mormon is only allowed to read certain things yet they say anti-mormon books contain lies and things of that nature, then how do they truly know if they are not allowed to do their own homework? read acts 17:11 and 1 thess 5:21.these verses teach to test all things, prove all things.

if mormonism is really the true church, then why is there so much fear of someone looking into the scriptures for themselves? i find it rather interesting that not one mormon has answered this question. why? is it because that might be questioning your faith and that is wrong? if someone told me they could show me error in the bible i would say prove it. yet i meet many mormons and when i want to show them what I consider to be proof the BOM is false they refuse to talk.

one mormon that wrote me at my invitation just quite writing one day without any reason. i suspect he was running from the truth. or his leaders said to stop. please write me for talks--if there really is nothing to run from. [email protected] -RB (non-LDS)