And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Recent Events: Excommunications & Resignations

[Edited: A few no longer wanted theirs up so i removed them or felt it no longer represented their views correctly]

There have been a lot of recent events in the Church of Jesus Christ community. The NYTimes stated almost a year ago.
From California to Virginia and states in between, more than a dozen Mormons interviewed in the past week said they had recently been informed by their bishops that they faced excommunication or risked losing permission to enter a temple because of comments they had made online about their faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (NY Times, Critical Online Comments Put Church Status at Risk..., June 2014)
I was impressed to try to compile a short list of many of these proceedings. I know this is a sensitive matter for many, each side believing that they are in the "right."

Whether we agree or not I am sure we can learn from these stories on how we can have greater charity for our fellow brother and sisters.

This document has been compiled and the attached files have been stored into one file. You can download them below. I don't know how long the links will work. If you use/link to them please use your own links.

Excommunication List.pdf (This blog post in pdf form)

Excommunication List Files.Zip (All linked files in one location)

Criteria for Inclusion
Not part of the Ordain the Women Movement.
Not affiliated with the John Dehlin Movement.
Not part of the LGBT rights Movement.

Believes in the restoration given through Joseph
Believes in the Book of Mormon
Believes God still speaks to Man.

Attempted to only include stories related to ones "belief" not actions due to "sins."

I want to summarize some reasons to share these stories. 

1) You can have faith in the restoration through Joseph independent of the LDS Church.
2) No organization control's God's power.
3) You can have priesthood outside any organization.
4) You can be baptized as commanded but not join any "religion"
5) The Lord is once again moving his hand to redeem the House of Israel.
6) You can have a personal relationship with Heavenly Father and talk to him face to face.

I want to share the story below to introduce this.

Recent Excommunications:

Melvin Fish: 2010
Melvin was excommunicated for Priestcraft. He "obtain[ed] a PhD in counseling with the intent of helping people resolve emotional issues." Searching for better techniques centered on the Gospel where "Forgiveness of others is central." The technique included "practicing a technique of discovering and teaching unclean spirits to go to the light of Christ." Some religions call this casting out unclean spirits. "The belief that problems can be attributed to the influence of evil and unclean spirits is also essential." According to Tim Malone who interviewed him, this technique had great success where the people would typically no longer return for further help. This technique is why he was excommunicated.

Denver C Snuffer: September 8, 2013
In his letter Denver was asked to do 3 things to avoid excommunication.
1) To remove his book Passing the Heavenly Gift (PTHG) from publication.
2) Acknowledge to blog readers that PTHG contains content that needs to be withdrawn.
3) To cancel his planned speaking tour that the SP believes will promote PTHG.

Because Denver did not comply the leadership had to convene the disciplinary council. He stated "The issue raised in the notice I received from the stake president does not say the book is false, contains errors or makes mistakes in history. Rather, it "contains content which must be withdrawn."" Denver stated because it would violate his publishing contract he could not withdraw the book. He was "offered money to cease publication." Though he declined because, "offering money to help me violate agreements is not a satisfactory course of conduct." Also he said he stated because of PTHG "hundreds of readers whose faith was restored and whose activity in the church was renewed or resumed from reading Passing the Heavenly Gift." After the Stake President "received further "training," he asked me "what makes you think the church wants that kind of member?"" Later the Stake president clarified that statement "was not intended by him to mean they weren't welcome. Rather it was meant that their attitude, if it arose from Passing the Heavenly Gift, was an attitude that wasn't necessarily helpful." The book is considered to be a false history by the church. Denver believes its the most correct history written.

In his lecture series he wrote "I bear testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I bear testimony that our Lord lived and lives. I'm one of those who can say that I am a witness of that. I have seen His suffering. I have heard His voice. He doesn't intend that I be a solitary witness of Him, or Joseph be one. He intends for everyone of you to rise up and do as James bids you to do. If you lack wisdom, ask God. He gives to you, He gives to all of us liberally. He is real. It is His work to bring this stuff to pass. The only thing that we can do is to offer to be a servant. And I am confident that I am a poor one of those. But I am His servant. I serve Him however poorly, however offensively, however inadequately. He intends to call, in the plural, servants to fulfill what needs to be done in the last days. He does intend to bring again Zion. That will be his, and not a man's work." (40 Years in Mormonism talk, Lecture 4 on Covenants)

Disciplinary Council Letter & Appeal Letter: Appeal Letter
Decision of Council Letter: No Title

Brent Larsen: Feb 2, 2014
According to Brent Larsen he was excommunicated for stating on an online forum "I know there is a prophet on the earth again today, that it is Denver, and that he is the first I know of as of the death of Joseph. I know Denver is speaking the words given to him by my King." And also for believing that the marvelous work and wonder is a future event to be fulfilled. He appealed his decision and had an interview with an 70. The transcript is linked below.

Appeal Letter: pdf link
Interview with a 70 for Appeal: pdf link

Emily Prentice: March 30, 2014
She states "Joseph Smith was a true prophet. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel and yet I see this evil in the church and everyone else thinks it’s correct and normal. So I came home and was still lost." After reading the Second Comforter by Denver Snuffer, she went from the person who never shared her testimony of Christ to one who "was up every fast and testimony meeting." because of "His long-suffering and mercy towards me."

Suffering from depression she was eventually told, "Yes! Praise [the Lord] every day and the depression will never return.” She said it was because "I knew that Denver Snuffer was a true messenger sent from Father I was able to be presented at the veil having been true and faithful in all things and desiring further light and knowledge from the Lord Himself.  I finally received the Holy Ghost! The comparison is huge! I read the scriptures for 18 years and didn't understand them, but line upon line I am understanding them now." After meeting with Stake president they asked about her last testimony "over the pulpit [which] I said that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and Nephi was a prophet and that they both cared about my salvation. So I was asked by these two men why I didn’t say anything about Thomas Monson. I replied "well because he is not a prophet, he is the president of the church, but not a prophet." She was excommunicated for not believing Thomas Monson is a prophet.

Will Carter: April 9, 2014
According to Will the Stake President had excommunicated him "without having read any of my words beforehand." He also writes "When it was over, I didn't even know what doctrinal points the council found me to be in disagreement with with the Church, so confusing were the proceedings!" Organized in a way to "prevent any effectual rebuttal." Though Will than goes on talking about how the Stake president started to reference his blog for 2 hours, showing he had read some items. He was asked to not respond the entire 2 hours though he attempted to as no one would remember the words. He states, "When the time came for me to “officially” respond, one member of the council said “I don’t want to be taught!”" Another gave him “five minutes” walking out when he took longer.

He states "It didn't seem to matter what I said. My words were regarded as disingenuous, nuanced or contrived, as if I didn't really mean it when I said "I support and sustain the Brethren", or "I recognize the leaders of the Church as 'prophets, seers, or revelators'", or "I believe the LDS Church to be the vehicle God is using to do His work today." Will states "Building and perpetuating an organization is not my focus. Coming unto Christ is."

Eight months later he received a notice "As a result [of some recent actions], you are no longer welcome to come onto any property owned or controlled by the Church, wherever located." In a earlier post he makes a confession that could have caused such an event. I linked to the post "Feelings and Inclinations" for more information. The reasons are unclear.

Will has shared his experience with seeing Jesus Christ in his post "My Testimony."

Letter of Appeal: "Exhaling" (pdf mirror)
Letter Outlawed From LDS Property: "Exiled into Egypt" (pdf mirror)

Adrian & Tausha Larsen: October 12, 2014(Not related to Brent Larsen)
Both Brother and Sister Larsen were excommunicated together as Adrian writes "My wife and I were tried together as one soul." though " halfway through the council, [the Stake president] did ask if I wanted to leave the room and let my wife sit alone to be tried for her membership."

He was excommunicated "based on the contents of this blog." When he first met with his Stake president, he was asked to resign. Adrian states after the "lengthy periods of counseling and encouragement to reconsider behavior" which lasted "three meetings, spanning about 4 hours total, over the course of a month, in which the scriptures were not opened." It "consisted of the Stake President giving me an ultimatum to either:

1) Take down my blog, give up my temple recommend and my calling, and retain my membership (if I kept my mouth shut); or
2) Voluntarily resign from the church; or
3) Face excommunication."

He also states " The only "scripture" [the stake president] was interested in referencing was the handbook." Because he did not take the blog down he "therefore [was] acting in deliberate, public opposition to a church leader." As far as Adrian can tell, the wife who had no blog, or words to recant but was "excommunicated for supporting me." The contents of the blog is linked below.

Brian Beckle: October 12, 2014
Brian states in a letter, "On Saturday October 4th at 10AM, after nearly two years of intensive study, prayer and nearly constant reflection and meditation I submitted to the Voice of the Lord urging me to make a solemn covenant with Him" and was "rebaptized." He stated "I have witnessed an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit upon myself and my entire family " since that event.

The disciplinary council was held "against a charge that in the handbook is in seriousness next to murder and child abuse." According to Brian he "was excommunicated for "conduct and teachings contrary to the laws and order of the Church (that's church with a capital "C"...)." In the council the SP noted "unauthorized ordinances" (re-baptism and sacrament) and "false teachings, particularly within the home" as reasons for [his] discipline."

Sister Beckle was not excommunicated due to her council being under the bishop, not the stake president and was "recently taken off probation." Her beliefs and actions were identical to Brian Beckle.

Letter to Stake President: pdf link
Source: Brian Beckle

Angel Cicero: October 26, 2014
Angel is from Spain who's blog is in Spanish. The translated version is also linked. In his council he was told "Now you will feel lonely and abandoned, without being able to enjoy the Spirit." Although "I had been feeling the presence of the Lord next to me throughout the disciplinary council." The spirit told him "That is not true, neither the Spirit nor I will abandon you." He was excommunicated for sharing "abominations [performed by the church] that the Lord has commanded me to share include:
  • Change, modification, or suspension of eternal ordinances of the Gospel and of the Priesthood.
  • Priestcraft.
  • Misrepresentation of the doctrine of Christ, and the Gospel of Christ.
  • Unjust dominion, control and compulsion on others on the basis of a supposed authority.
  • Misrepresentation of the word of God, by calling the evil good, and good evil.
  • Limiting fundamental blessings of the Gospel.
  • Abominable use of tithes and offerings of the saints.
After the meeting he went to pray, with uplifted hands, with "full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation (JS-H 1:29)" and states "I asked the Lord for a manifestation, suddenly, in the sky above me, through the only little hole through which I could see the wonders of His heavenly creation, I saw a shooting star, as I had never seen before...Spirit whispered that I had done God's will in relationship to what I have expressed in this article, but also chastised me for not having fasted." The council told him he was excommunicated because he did not sustain "Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator, and follow[ed] the teachings of Denver Snuffer."

Keith Henderson: November 2, 2014
In his letter to the leaders he wrote "The Church has, in my opinion, moved itself so far from the original idea of the Restoration, and the pure Doctrine of Christ, as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as to be almost un-recognizable to me." The explanations can be seen in his letter linked below. In his appeal he "felt to have the right to be tried as pertaining to the instructions in the scriptures, and not by the instructions of men mingled with scripture as contained in the semi-secret Church Handbook of Instructions." Keith also bore testimony of Denver Snuffer, a man excommunicated for apostasy for writing Passing the Heavenly gift, at his last talk.

After his excommunication, Tim Malone (who wrote about Keiths appeal) says he shared the appeal because "it illustrates a point of disorder in the church – that of announcing excommunications from the pulpit. I thought that practice stopped years ago."

Letter of Appeal: pdf link
Testimony At Denvers Last Talk (page 40): pdf link

Ken Jensen: January 11, 2015
The church told him that he was doing things “unbecoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” His wife disagreed saying "we have the scriptures to guide us and to live by…which is exactly what we had been doing—but he has some other secret book (handbook) which he is using to judge us and rule by." The Stake President said he was "bound by what the handbook says." Ken told the council, having believed the message delivered by Denver Snuffer, Denver's "excommunication put me suddenly and immediately into the camp from being a completely faithful and “temple-worthy” member of the church to being unworthy of a temple recommend." Ken sent a letter to the first presidency to make sure it wasn't a mistake, receiving a stamped letter back "from Pres Monson’s secretary that the 1st Presidency had “personally” and “carefully” and “prayerfully” reviewed the matter surrounding “Brother Snuffer.”" Coming April conference Ken would not sustain the 15. In final remarks of the council Michelle, the wife, said of Ken, "“If anything,  Ken has been a better person, a more loving husband and father, and improved in most ways in the last year because of what you are saying is unbecoming a member." The Stake President ended the council saying there is “a living prophet on the earth today…..even, Thomas S Monson.” 

Letter to First Presidency: pdf  link
Letter from First Presidency: pdf link
Source: "Ken Jensen" (pdf mirror)

Duztin & Sarah Sorensen: Februrary 8th 2015
Duztin was excommunicated for one reason: "he doesn't blindly follow a man that is called a prophet". According to Brother Sorensen a year ago (November) a member of their ward went to the Bishop with concerns over a conversation where they stated they did not believe in "Follow the Prophet" and that they wouldn't be teaching that to their children. The Bishop took away their Temple recommends.

According to Brother Sorensen, the Stake President told the bishops in "other wards [to] warn members against us during tithing settlement meetings" and overtime the members begun to "shun them." Than in January the stake presidency dropped off the letter to be excommunicated.

The wife was excommunicated on March 8, 2015 for the same reasons.

Disciplinary Council Letter: pdf link
Source: Sarah Sorensen

Jon & Kari Durfee: March 6, 2015
This story really needs to be read in its entirety. The links are sorted in order of events, oldest to newest.

Jon Durfee, his wife, and his children are all being tried for excommunication. Jon stated "I don't mean that I just "really really believe" kind of know, what I mean is, I KNOW Joseph is Gods prophet because I too have done as James directs and asked God, and I have had my own first vision experience revealed to me. I know God lives because I have seen Him."

He stated what Mormonism should be, "I speak with God and His angels and so should you. We all should. This is what Mormonism is, or at least it should be." Reasons for bishops call was 1) meeting in groups every Tuesday to discuss gospel. He states he meets with only friends and family whenever they want to discuss the gospel. 2) For partaking the sacrament at home. 3) For reading the writings of Denver Snuffer. He could not withdraw stopping the sacrament because "I am currently in the middle of a 40-day sacrament fast, partaking of the sacrament every day for 40 days." He said "I don't believe anyone should just run out there and start doing ordinances. I discourage that. I prayed and fasted for months trying to know if I should bless and partake of the sacrament. The Lord kept encouraging me to proceed. I refused to do so until God told me He gave me authority and Power to perform the ordinance by His own voice out of Heaven to me."

Jon states "The Lord asked me, "are you going to obey men or Me?"" He states "I will give whatever The Lord requires, even if you cast people like me away, if I have to choose then I choose The Lord... If Joseph were here today I'm not even sure he would be welcome. Look, you think I'm crazy and hearing voices and talking with God and seeing angels, but isn't that what Joseph did too?"

Jon states "You see, the fruit is the test. How do you know the truth of things unless there is a test?" "The Lord told me to test the fruits of doing them according to Alma 32. (See Alma 32) And what's the test of Alma 32? It's to plant the seed or to do something, and then watch it to see if it grows, or expands the soul, and whatsoever expands the soul is good. ... I can tell you from first hand experience that my soul has expanded."

Bishop told him, "get in alignment with the current [church] doctrine...we don't go by what is in the scriptures, we go by what is in the current doctrine of the church...this isn't about your worthiness to hold a recommend [which the bishop said he was worthy]. It's about you doing things that are not in line with the current church doctrine." As to losing priesthood Jon stated "As to my priesthood, D&C 121 says, 'the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected to the Powers of Heaven.' As recent as right before this meeting The Lord told me, 'your connection to Heaven will not be affected in this meeting'" therefore the bishop could not take that away.

Jon received a text message from the stake president that was meant for the bishop, showing that the stake president has been communicating and seeking council with those in higher leadership positions. The text said "I did get some guidance from Salt Lake about children...I will be visiting with Elder Greer and Elder Corbridge this week. Until then , other than having to address the removal letter from the (name withheld), let's just stand still." Jon thoughts were (on blog not written to bishop) "I thought these excommunications were only from the local stakes and were local matters!? Are the leaders in Salt Lake lying to the public on this policy?" He is referring to the recent PR release that all excommunications are handled locally. He wrote to the leader  "Thanks for letting me know you are receiving instruction from above in direct violation of church public and official policy. This is a local matter and you do have the right "equal in authority to the twelve." You can choose, but it looks as though you've abdicated your responsibility. Apparently this isn't your choice though, as it appears to be in the hands of the 70's. I wonder who may be instructing them?" Finally Jon said to him "But when you seek to control, compel or dominate me, by using church discipline as a weapon to get me "in line with current doctrine," or deny me access to God by denying my right to do ordinances, then amen to your authority as it pertains to my private devotions and reaching out to God."

Recent Resignations

Jed & Elizabeth Jenson: May, 2014

"We were led by the Lord in the events that led up to our resignation and the events that followed. In the April 2014 General Conference I felt strongly that I should oppose sustaining the leaders because of the commandments of men they preached for doctrine and their insistence on member loyalty and adherence to leaders who entered not in themselves, and prevented others from entering into the presence of the Lord. It was a powerful moment and seemed that heaven took notice of my vote. Also in April, while teaching Gospel Doctrine, I met with my bishop who had received several comments from senior class members (many current and former auxiliary leaders) regarding the content of my lessons. In early May the Lord informed me one Sunday morning that this would be my last lesson. I ended it by stating that we should all become prophets like Moses espoused. The former Stake President in the audience said that he has never found the Church president to be out of line with Christ and that we all should just follow the prophet. The Lord told me that the message I was to deliver there through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost had been fully rejected. We met with our bishop to tell him we were resigning our membership. He sent in our letter without complaint. A couple months later the Lord urged me repeatedly to invite ward members to our home to study scriptures. I put the invite out on FB and in a FB message. I hoped it would build bridges and keep friendships and associations alive. The day of the planned study session, the Stake President had a letter read in all the auxillaries in our former ward that he had authored. It stated their love for our family but wanted to make it clear to the ward members that we had given up our eternal exaltation and were now apostates. It warned ward members to be careful of attending any activity in our home. As a result of this, almost everyone in the ward cut off contact with us. After Church that day, we received one long and nasty message from a ward member and former friend who railed against us, stating we were following Satan, starting our own Church, and had lost the gift of the Holy Ghost and could only receive darkness from this point forward.

We have not felt any loss of the spirit, gift of the Holy Ghost, or blessing from heaven since our resignation from the membership list. We have continued to bless and administer the sacrament in our home and perform baptisms and re-baptisms after my husband felt he had received power from heaven to continue using his priesthood. I have continued to receive dreams, visions, and communication from heaven and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

Source: Elizabeth Jenson

Frederick Volcansek: May, 2014
Frederick said "I explained carefully that our definition of faith today more closely resembles belief, and that when one has faith, one should expect to see the fruits of it in the form of conversing with angels and seeing various miracles, as well as receiving revelations and dreams, etc... " The first councilor rejected this doctrine, though new members seemed to understand it better than him. The councilor said "I taught nothing wrong, that I stuck to the scriptures, and that I didn't even offer personal interpretation. He also complemented me for being a great teacher. But, he said the material was too much. He said we only teach what the brethren teach and nothing more... the material is too much for church." He taught a missionary about the Second Comforter as taught by Joseph who became the highest baptizing missionary because he would teach converts that they too could "know the savior in this life." Mission president outlawed all teachings about the second comforter sending an email out to the mission.

He was bishop and was surprised released, the members were shocked and felt it should not have happened. The Stake Presidency kept trying to meet with him to find a reason to excommunicate him for teaching from the scriptures. He said instead of meeting the last few times he was led to resign.

Source: His Story

Mary Mahan Rogers: May 19, 2014
Mary "became aware there is far more to the true gospel than what I was learning at my meetings each Sunday. I learned that we can, and in fact should, receive the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh as the Second Comforter, and receive from His own mouth the promise of eternal life." She stated "Many truths are uncomfortable. It is a great error to believe the purpose of the Holy Ghost is only to make us feel good. The Holy Ghost is a REVELATOR. How we feel about that revelation is another matter altogether. It has no other purpose than to impart truth."

"I voted in opposition [in ward conference], and my vote was noted by angels from Heaven. This vote of consent by the majority of church members occurred at the same conference where the anti-Christ idea that we do not need to know our Lord was preached over the pulpit by one of the highest leaders in the church. The Heavens are paying attention. What we do matters. When we reject the Lord’s messenger, EVEN IF HE COMES FROM OUTSIDE THE HIERARCHY, the consequences are real. There is ample scriptural precedent for the Lord to send a messenger not recognized by the hierarchy."

Letter of Resignation: pdf link
Letter of Beliefs: pdf link

Tami Allman Harris: June 11, 2014
She states "I do not believe that the church today is anywhere close to what Joseph Smith had set up in the beginning of the restoration." "We as his people, should continually be working on seeing Christ, hearing Christ, communing with Christ and if we haven’t, then that is what we should be pursuing. THAT is what eternal life is, to know Him, to see him, to commune with him in THIS life." She mentions the brethren believe they have the "authority to give another of their choosing this second anointing... I feel it a little blasphemous. God is no respector of persons,He giveth to ALL men liberally." Has concern over having to "'pay' for our salvation" though she believes in the principle of tithing, is a full tithe payer, does not believe it should be required to receive eternal ordinances. There is no longer transparency. She quoted 2 Nephi 26:25, saying "Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price." She believes the church was a stepping stone and "There was a purpose, but now the purpose is done." Finally she states "I want to serve him and him alone."

Letter of Resignation: pdf link

Tim Malone: September 14, 2014
He resigned because "It was the honorable thing to do. It saved sixteen men many hours of time away from their families." being faced with a disciplinary hearing. Tim believes that the current LDS Church and its culture promote the mantra to “follow the prophet” to strictly and absolutely to the point of impeding the agency of individual members. He states "The LDS Church was divinely instituted but is not now what the Lord will use to establish Zion. Zion was never intended to be established by a large institution. Zion is to be established in small groups where there are no poor among them." He also said "I owe so much to the LDS Church." In response to those who said it was due to the writings of Denver Snuffer he stated "So am I now a follower of Denver Snuffer? No. I never was and never will be. I barely know the man. I know his writings and have been edified by them, but I am a disciple of Jesus Christ." though it seems the writings of Denver Snuffer had a major role in his decisions to resign.

Vaughn & Sara Schutz: October 11, 2014
They were asked by the Lord to write the post "A message to family and friends...." They sent it to their bishop, told by the Lord it would be their "last sacrifice," met with the bishop who said others may but he wouldn't excommunicate them. He was surprised that other people were being excommunicated for many of their beliefs. They decided to Resign because the Lord did "not need or want us to be members anymore." The story can be read here along with the blog posts below.

Their beliefs consists of believing the "temple endowment ceremony’s purpose is to show us how to return to the actual presence," how doctrines have changed since Joseph, that "”if Joseph Smith was a Prophet, then it is all true.” is a false notion (parts can be false while other parts can be true), and that "The Lord is offering again a chance for Zion" today to those living if they will accept it.

Events Leading to Resignation: "The Story"
Letter of Resignation: pdf link
Church Letter of Resignation: pdf link

Amanda Renee Schutz Clayton: Oct. 11th, 2014
She was never asked to leave the church. The Lord showed her the different reasons why she was staying included being fearful of man, what others would think, including her family. The Lord told her to learn to trust in Him instead of let fear drive her. "Even if my life was destroyed by the anticipated “broken hearts;” I would give it up for what the Lord said was best." "He never said I HAD to leave. He never took away my agency or forced me"

Source: "Her Story"

Jules Allred: November 28, 2014
She resigned because "this was my official declaration that I no longer desired to serve an institution or man." She stated "Two and a half years ago, the Lord told me: “The time will come, that your membership in the church will be lost if you stand for truth and righteousness”". She said it was her decision to resign as the Lord said it wouldn't affect her standing with God. Also "decided that my son doesn’t need to see me “prove” to him that I am “right” as I suppose; he needs to see me stand for the things I believe to be true, and live the things that I KNOW are true." The reasons given is that "I will no longer raise my hand and submit an “oath-like indication” to any institution of man – especially one that compels such an oath through unrighteous dominion, and at the threat of removing exaltation from individuals; essentially ensuring their spiritual death if they do not submit to such an oath."

In another post she mentions how God made her calling and election made sure, the promise of eternal life along with "experience speaking with the tongue of angels, and prophecy, and revelation, and visions, and visitations by heavenly beings, being taught by angels, and have been blessed with spiritual experiences that I've only read about in the scriptures." As quoted here (pdf mirror).

Letter of Dissent: "My dissent Blog Post", direct link (pdf mirror)
Bishop Exit Letter: "Exit Letter" (pdf mirror)
Source: "Resignation" (pdf mirror),

Sean Isaac & Sister May:  December 12, 2014
Resigned to avoid pending discipline. Sean was re-baptized as he states "I already knew re-baptism was His will. This was a formality set out in the Grand Councils of Heaven before this world was ever created. I promised God in that Council that I would do this. I have kept my promise." After being baptized by one having authority he felt the Holy Ghost "rest upon me." He states "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepted my re-baptism as an act of treason." They told him to either resign or face disciplinary action which would lead to excommunication. The Spirit told him and his wife to resign. He states "I would have remained a grateful member of the LDS Church for the rest of my life, had I not been given this ultimatum. We have not joined another church. We have not left the Gospel of Christ, nor have we left His doctrine, nor have we left Him, nor will we ever! It is exactly the opposite. We are working to preserve the Restoration as given by Joseph Smith."

Rob Corbray: December 18, 2014
He stated "I covenanted to build Zion, and instead the institution is seeking to further the cause of Babylon by investing in shopping centers with retractable roofs. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet, and they have edited his scripture and changed his ordinances. They justify torture and pre-emptive war when the Book of Mormon forbids Both. The institution has removed itself from the Restoration, and I will no longer be a part of that betrayal."

Source: Rob Corbray

Steven Retz: January 2015
He felt the Lord ask him to resign. He came across the writings of Rock Waterman and realized that the church has continuously changed its doctrines. He still believes in the restoration through Joseph and the Book of Mormon but feels the Lord leading him to serve elsewhere.

Letter of Resignation: pdf link

Bret Naylor: February 22nd, 2015
Bret wrote a fictional story of John the Baptists encounter in the ancient Jewish church. I won't ruin the account by summarizing it so I post it for others to read. He had first sent a contingency resignation letter to the bishop asking him if he could remain a member with those beliefs. "His Stake President told him that a disciplinary council would need to be held due to public posts made on facebook."

A Story: "Vignette"
Source: Bret Naylor

Tyson Hunt: March 2 2015

I (I'm the blog writer) want to add my witness that I also have retained my priesthood, my connection with God, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Gifts of the Spirit, and all ordinances that were performed inside the LDS Church. I was first ordained there and retain that ordination by man today. I've written most of my thoughts in the Conclusion area and my beliefs in the letters but I will add a few things.

Moroni saw our day, he testified of us, the book testifies AGAINST us. It is the final opportunity for the Gentiles to repent. He meant what he said when he wrote "your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted", "ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy." Religion always follows the same pattern; man speaks with God which is called restoration, then other men come after and try to worship according to His latest visit which is called apostasy.

The Lord has set his hand again a second time to redeem those who are willing to receive Him.  Religion is intended to be between “you” and God, deeply personal and individually redemptive. Christ is as accessible to all as He was to Moses on the mount. And what was Moses' ambition? It was to bring everyone up on the mount to likewise see God (See D&C 84:23-25) but they preferred another man to speak for them or today believe only one should speak for him.  We must accept the gift that was offered through Joseph but we also have to take the burden of finding out what was really given by Joseph or later altered, changed, or taught to come from him that did not.

Source: "Letter of Beliefs"

Nancy Jones Genys
The following is what she wrote. "We were brought in under false pretense. It was just for a "talk." We hadn't had a visit since tithing settlement and we had no talks of doctrinal differences prior. We were caught unaware. This "talk" was a bishop's disciplinary counsel. They took our recommends, released us from callings, put us on probation and gave us 2 weeks to comply with the brethren and current doctrine. We told them we wouldn't comply in two weeks or ever unless the church allowed us to do ordinances properly [sacrament at home]. So, the stake presidency called us in for a "talk" (again, no previous conversations about any of this). This time we didn't believe them. It was the full stake presidency and another "informal court." We were told there was NO wiggle room. Either comply OR face a full court. We begged both groups of men to let us be - we would go inactive if they desired. We told them we would move... just leave us alone. They said they would hunt us down. They would NOT allow us to further offend them by using their priesthood without their permission. They said God wouldn't give it to us. I was specifically told that I was to disregard the visions I have had, the knowledge given and the instructions from the Lord (even though it is in alignment with what Joseph Smith taught [though I didn't know he taught this because I had never been taught it]). I was told that if I were supposed to know this stuff, the prophet would have told me. We prayed about it and were told to resign."

"The visions the Lord gave me were in alignment with what Joseph Smith taught. I didn't know at the time they were because we are not taught this in today's church. It was years later that I discovered the early saints were taught these same things. I testify that the Lord will teach you if you turn to Him. I testify that angels do minister to the children of men. My husband and I both resigned because of the threat of excommunication and after praying about what to do, were told by the Lord to resign. From start to finish it was 10 days. We had a bishop's court, a Stake Presidency court followed by resignation. We have felt the love of our Lord and Savior through all of this. What is our great sin? The ordinances. It all comes down to the fact that we are seeking the power of Godliness, and it comes through the ordinances. We are seeking to have Christ take up His abode with us. We believe that the Book of Mormon is the guide book on how to see angels, Christ and have your calling and election made sure. We said we would choose to live the gospel according to the scriptures as we covenanted. That was not okay. It is only okay to follow the handbook. The more I learn, the more I am grateful that the restoration Joseph started has begun anew. I have hope that maybe, just maybe, my husband and I can rise up and help our family truly be sealed to each other."

Source: Nancy Genys

Jolene Childers
The following is what she wrote. "There was a witch hunt going on here in Gilbert, AZ and I knew I was about to be named. So I felt inspired to just go in and let them know that I wasn't in line with the brethern and voluntarily give up my recommend. (Others in our circle were told that they had two weeks to get in line with the brethern by no longer partaking of the sacrament in our homes or performing and being baptized outside the church with the permission of those with the proper keys) When I went into my Bishop he was actually very nice, but wanted to convince me that I had been decieved. A couple weeks later I met with him and my Stake President. They tried to convince me once again that I had been deceived. I told them that they could not know that, since they were not present when I received my witness. A witness that I would never deny! They asked me what my intentions were and I said that I understood that I was not in line with the brethern and that I would not deny Christ and trust in the arm of flesh. If that meant that they would need to excommunicate me, well then I prefer to just to resign. So I gave them my letter of resignation. They warned me that I was breaking my covenants and that I would lose the blessings of the temple. I told them that I had not broken any of my covenants that I had made with God and that I felt closer to the Lord than ever. I reminded them that what goes on in the temple is only symbolic and is an invitation. I told them I was sure that God would not deny anyone those blessings if they were truly seeking him and living in accordance with his commandments."

Source: Jolene Childers

Other Events

Daniel Rogers
Daniel felt he was obligated to post a website with his testimony of Jesus Christ (linked as "My Testimony"). After sending the website the bishop released him from his calling. "The bishop stated that my testimony put me next to the 15" because he testified of his encounter of being brought into the presence of the God the Father and His Son and that each of us can receive those things. Eventually after further discussion, and the expiration of his recommend the bishop accepted that Daniel should have a recommend and allowed him to keep up his site. Part of that agreement was, though he was obligated to keep it up for 2 years, to temporary take down the site during the 3 hour block of Church.

In Daniels testimony he wrote "If you seek and accept His messengers to prepare the way, He will come suddenly to His temple and reveal to you His glorious body of burnings. He is talkative. He wants to know you more than you want to know Him. I know this because I have experienced this as a man speaks to another. Jesus Christ is the Second Comforter. He literally came to me and has comforted me. This is not a full statement of my witness. I share my testimony so that you may know that Christ lives and His work is to save imperfect people. I hope that this testimony will allow you to exercise faith enough to lay hold on these blessings." He ends with "Christ is the only one worthy of belief. Believe in Him. Seek after Him. He has promised that He will come to you. Please do not be satisfied with anything less than His literal presence...Christ has a work to do that no earthly man or program can provide. There is no servant at the gate. There is no substitute for conversing with the Lord through the veil."

Source: "Daniels Story", "My Testimony" (pdf mirror)

Jen Kindrick
She stated "I shared personal testimony about the importance of NOT making oaths to humans, outside of ordinances [in reference to Nelsons talk on sustaining]...To indicate that I recognize his counsel as "binding" upon me means that somehow I know the future, and can predict that whatever he says, I will follow.  I won't do it, because I can't predict the future.  If we fall back to sustaining, pre-October 2014, then we have another discussion at hand.  But we don't.  And we know – at least I do – that this new phraseology will be regurgitated over and over again in conferences to come."

She lost her recommend "Not because I don't have a testimony of God, the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, or of the Holy Ghost. Not because I don't have a testimony of the restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Not because I don't keep the law of chastity. Not because I don't keep my covenants. Not because I don't go to church every week. Not because I have a Word of Wisdom problem (although I do struggle with eating too much meat and sugar, and have lots of questions about why we don't use wine in our holy sacraments.) Not because I have a problem with any egregious sins. Not because I struggle to wear the garment.  I have no problem with it. Not because I beat or abuse my spouse or children, although surely there is a better way to raise them properly. I do not have a current recommend to attend the temple because I refuse to raise my arm to make an oath-like indication that I recognize the "prophet's" calling to be legitimate and binding upon me."

Source: "My Last Temple Recommend Interview" (pdf mirror)

J.J. Dewey: 1979
"Do the authorities today exercise authority over the disciples of Christ? Most people in the Church would say no, but they are not aware of the facts." JJ Dewey wrote an unpublished "article showing from the scriptures that there is progression from one kingdom to another after death." [If your not familiar with this it has been suggested by past presidents. See these quotes here.] Shared it with his nephew, who passed it around his ward. Nephew called saying "“They’re going to try me for my membership" in three days, asked JJ Dewey to be a witness, at the council the leaders were "aided by the advice of a general authority to the stake president that the “brethren” wanted to see an excommunication." They excommunicated him and JJ Dewey joked "to Curtis [the nephew] that he probably would have received better treatment and leniency if he had raped the Bishop’s wife."

Church headquarters received the results and started the process for JJ Dewey who said, "I was a full tithe payer, had seven church jobs, a temple recommend, attended all my meetings and was guilty of no sin outside of a few cuss words now and then." His own bishop "didn't want a trial for me but advised me that one was going to be held by the High Council." His beliefs that got him executed included"(1) One does not have to be a general authority to receive revelation on the mysteries of God. (2) The President of the Church is not infallible (3) There are inspired writings and people outside of the Church." Following they "announced the results of my trial to all of the wards" over the pulpit.

Source: "Infallible Authority, Chapter Seven" (pdf mirror)


These accounts show that many are experiencing the gifts of heaven. They are conversing with angels, being brought into the presence of God, receiving the Holy Ghost, being baptized again by those with authority, and many other marvelous things. They show that that priesthood is only controlled by God. That the gift Holy Ghost is only controlled by God and can be manifested outside a "religious organization." Despite a history that has been, buried, altered, changed, forgotten, or turned into fables, there is a truth hidden within that is worth knowing, worth finding out about, that is eternally true.

Like the Israelites who were in bondage for years before Moses led them out, could we not be in the same situation? A spiritual bondage? Do we allow authority to rule and reign over us? Many believe we allow this in our very governments. Yet what of our own very religions? Do we bow to it and stand up for it when it enters a room? Do we allow it (authority) to dictate what we, as sovereign beings, can do in our own homes, what we can say and even think? Do we cower if threatened with having a piece of paper taken away because of this supposed authority? Do we allow authority to dictate and interpret our standing before our God? If we allow these things we have given the only thing we own, our agency, over to that "authority," a man or woman, arm of flesh. This will condemn us before our God. If you don't believe this I invite you to open your own scriptures. Look up things like praise (i.e. Mosiah 2:20), fetters, chains of hell, unrighteous dominion, control, and compulsion for starters.

Institutional religions claim to be Gods, but there are two churches only. The ordinances are not meant to create an environment where men can "practice unrighteous" dominion over the souls of men. We are meant to be free. To worship how, what, or where we please. To partake of the sacrament in our own homes. To worship as a family if we desire or in a fellowship. To independently govern ourselves and dedicate ourselves unto God to do His bidding without some other coming "in the way" proclaiming salvation is through and by him because only he can speak to God for you. Christ is the servant at the gate and He employeth no servant there.

You can believe in the restoration given through Joseph Smith, in the Book of Mormon, that God speaks with man. As we recognize there are many problems that have arisen from "changes" that were unsanctioned by God in the early Restoration that others attribute to God instead of man, we can also begin to see Gods hand in what was given. As we begin to separate the traditions of men mingled with scripture from the truth we can begin to accept the gift that God offered through Joseph Smith, to be Zion.

Finally the Lord is acting today. He is giving us a chance to repent and turn unto Him. Do not look at religions as a heavenly pattern for they are not set upon His laws and His ways. They had their purpose but the Lord intends to establish Zion. Look Up. The signs in the heavens abound! You can know Jesus Christ personally. You don't need another to proclaim His name to you for in Zion "they shall all know me." (Jeremiah 32:34, Hebrews 8:11) Though we must heed the message's He sends through His servants. So I ask, Know Ye the Lord? He is real and waiting for you to "come unto me, that ye might feel and see" (3 Nephi 18:25) but to do so requires sacrifice. It requires you to heed that voice within, the Holy Ghost, bidding you to humble yourself before your God and offer up a broken heart and contrite spirit. You must offer up the "first fruits" of repentance if you have not. The gifts of the Spirit are increasing in the earth, but wickedness will increase also. Righteousness does not increase by adding more to the "numbers" but by the quality of the individual.

Call upon Him. Cry unto Him. Offer up your heart to Him. As it says in Helamen 5:41-42 "You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you. And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed."

This is not a complete list. I know there are many that didn't want their names public or others that are still in the process of their own proceedings. I do not plan on gathering any more names or accounts at this time. I only wished to testify of each of our abilities to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He Lives!

*You are free to use anything here without consent or linking back. For if the words are of man, they deserve to be cast aside and treated as dross, but if they are Gods, than no man owns them.


  1. This is an amazing list of people who love the Lord. I need to clarify that the visions the Lord gave me were in alignment with what Joseph Smith taught. I didn't know at the time they were because we are not taught this in today's church. It was years later that I discovered the early saints were taught these same things. I testify that the Lord will teach you if you turn to Him. I testify that angels do minister to the children of men. My husband and I both resigned because of the threat of excommunication and after praying about what to do, were told by the Lord to resign. From start to finish it was 10 days. We had a bishop's court, a Stake Presidency court followed by resignation. We have felt the love of our Lord and Savior through all of this. What is our great sin? The ordinances. It all comes down to the fact that we are seeking the power of Godliness, and it comes through the ordinances. We are seeking to have Christ take up His abode with us. We believe that the Book of Mormon is the guide book on how to see angels, Christ and have your calling and election made sure. We said we would choose to live the gospel according to the scriptures as we covenanted. That was not okay. It is only okay to follow the handbook. The more I learn, the more I am grateful that the restoration Joseph started has begun anew. I have hope that maybe, just maybe, my husband and I can rise up and help our family truly be sealed to each other.

  2. Beautiful. Thank you for your hard work in documenting these experiences. As important events continue to occur, the Lord will be pleased that we keep a complete record of His work.

  3. While the purpose of this post may seem to be to document recent excommunications and resignations, I found the testimonies contained within to be incredibly faith promoting and edifying. Thank you for compiling these!

  4. “We invite those who oppose any of the proposals to contact their Stake Presidents." President Uchtdorf, April 2015 General Conference Vote

    This is actually my story.

    --December 2014 - Attended ward conference, sat in the very back, quietly raised my hand in dissent on the first three choices for vote. (Top 3 Prophets, Seers, & Revelators (PSRs), Top 15 PSRs & All gen authorities)
    --January 2015 - Stake president called me in to ask why I voted in dissent. I expressed my concerns, questions and dissatisfaction with current leadership.
    --March 2015 - Sat before a disciplinary council for three hours where we discussed my "testimony" or lack thereof of the PSRs. Excommunicated that night.
    --March 2015 - Two weeks later received a letter from the stake president officially notifying me of the council's decision to excommunicate me for apostasy. The final sentence in the letter invited me to re-gain a testimony of the PSRs, then I might be re-admitted into the church.

    So when I hear people apposing, agreeing with my vote which led to being exed, I get electrified that my brothers and sisters are stepping up. I no longer have the right to express my vote in LDS conferences. But many of you do. I hope you vote wisely.