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Mormonism LIVE: 120: Silencing Dissent – Mormon Style

Tonight RFM and Bill take a look at how both Top Church Leadership and local leaders extend pressure for dissenting voices to be silent. The episode will include individual stories along with the general instruction by top leaders to diminish dissenting voices and at times to altogether silence them.


Oaks “Its Wrong to Criticize Leaders” –

Oaks “Questions Are Honored, Opposition is Not” –

Ballard – “Women don’t talk too much” –

Bruce R McConkie – Echo what I Say or be Silent –


2 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 120: Silencing Dissent – Mormon Style”

  1. Gosh my husband and I can relate. We’ve always been faithful. He’s a “dissenter” who’s been silenced as well. Although he knows the scriptures inside and out along with a deep knowledge & understanding of the gospel, he’s been denied both a temple recommend and the opportunity to volunteer to speak in sacrament meeting.

    On the temple recommend issue, although we and God know he’s 100% “worthy” to attend the temple, he was denied a temple recommend because our stake presidency member didn’t like the way he answered the WoW question. He refrained from giving a yes or no answer, and instead gave a different one that aligns with his own moral compass. No— he doesn’t smoke or use tobacco, or drink alcohol or coffee—and he lives a healthy lifestyle—he simply doesn’t anymore believe the church has grounds to ask him what he does and doesn’t put into his body after they promoted the Covid shots the way they did, when it needed to be a very personal medical decision for each person. Mind you, although he had been given a pass by our bishop for answering this way, it stopped at the stake level to get his recommend renewed. The stake presidency member said he’d have to consult with the stake president then get back to him shortly. It was a pleasant conversation (although shocking for the stake presidency member) to have this voice of dissent from my faithful husband. A week or two went by, nothing. So my husband followed up with an email to the man who interviewed him—-crickets. Not a word. Stone cold silence. That was in October 2022. Still nothing and it’s now March 2023. Apparently temple recommends signed off by just the bishop expire after three months, so he’d have to start all over again and his answer hasn’t changed.

    It’s as if they didn’t know what to do with him, so they’ve done nothing. To deny someone a temple recommend over this is almost same level as excommunication without the formalities. I have a recommend but now for the first time in almost 30 years of marriage can’t attend with my husband.

    On the second matter of volunteering to speak in sacrament meeting and being denied the opportunity, he had been prompted by the spirit to write the talk. These things just wouldn’t leave his heart and mind. He knows the scriptures and principles of the gospel better than most. So he wrote up this amazing talk, right out of the scriptures, conference talks and quotes of the prophets. When he gave it to the bishopric member to review its contents, they read it and handed it right back to him. They said he couldn’t deliver this message in church because, “it would offend too many members in the ward…” What was the topic of the talk, you ask? The fallibility of the prophet! During 2020-2022, the theme “Follow the Prophet” was repeatedly taught over the pulpit and in lessons during second hour. The dogma of it spurred on the talk my husband wanted to give, but instead he was seen as a dissenter that needed to be silenced.

    This is all on top of him being “fired” years ago from teaching elders quorum because he actually dug into the meat of the lessons rather than the milk with surface stuff that most teachers do. He was told his lessons were making others uncomfortable. The only other calling he’s had since then was to run the technology for zoom church during Covid. Of course this calling meant he didn’t have to be in front of anyone to teach anything—-essentially a silent calling. After more than a year of that, he asked to be released and hasn’t been given a calling ever since. That’s fine, the Lord uses him in other ways to uplift and help others—just not through an official calling. We still attend almost weekly, but mostly skip the second hour because we simply don’t feel welcome in the ward we’ve been in for 20 years.

    So, there ya go! Thanks for letting me share these experiences.

  2. Bill’s mouth: I know what cacophony means………..

    Bill’s brain: If I admit when I don’t know something, people will think I’m not smart………

    Bill’s mouth: And that begs the question………..

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