Loyal and Not So Loyal LDS Dissent

Not too long ago, a comment notified me that a participant in a recent thread had been threatened with ecclesiastical reprisals for comments on RD critical of the LDS church made under their real name.

I immediately contacted the person through Facebook (we’re Facebook friends; if you like what I post here, feel free to send me a Facebook friend request) and asked how dire things were. Told that the bishop had been persuaded to back off, I left the matter alone.

I don’t want to quote or link to the comment because I don’t want to call further attention to this person’s situation, but I was grateful for the heads up (thanks, Jim!) and want to address a few general questions posed in the note to me, because they’re good ones: are members regularly threatened with reprisals (losing their temple recommend, for instance, or being released from church callings) if word gets back to the leadership that they’ve said something critical? Are there ways to encourage Mormons (ex- or otherwise) to discuss not merely doubt, dissent and criticism, but reprisals taken against members for expressing such things? How do we create/find safe spaces for Mormons to discuss doubts and disagreements with the church?


Holly Welker [@hollywelker] has an MFA in nonfiction writing and PhD in literature from the University of Iowa. Her poetry and prose have appeared in publication ranging from Seventeen to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought to Bitch to the New York Times. Born and raised in southern Arizona, she currently lives in northern Utah.

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