Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

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stealthbishop
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Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:11 pm

That was the headline in the Salt Lake Tribune 10 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long.

I was a bishop going through a faith transition and a regular here on NOM 1.0 and I came to realize that the church was wrong on LGBTQ issues. At the time, it was in the aftermath of Prop 8 in California and I felt like I needed to do something. So I heard about a conference called Circling The Wagons and I contacted the people involved and said I wanted to be there and I wanted to share that I had been completely wrong about LGBTQ people and issues and marriage equality and I want to be an ally and repair the damage that had been done. Carol Lynn Pearson was there and speaking.

They had me conduct a session. They then asked me if I would participate in the interfaith meeting on the Sunday and I said yes. I shared my message. Went to a gathering of NOM and I was able to meet some of you on this board there which was fantastic and then I get shown that headline while at this NOM gathering. OMG. What a mess! My poor wife!

Long story short. The SLT writer was a sports writer and not a religion writer so they had to print a sort of retraction a bit because he oversold the headline and the story. The story is still there but they changed the headline and some of the wording of the story. The people at the conference released a transcript and a video of my talk so people could see that the story was blown out of proportion and so they changed it. Nevertheless the phone at the COB lit up that evening and the next day as this all played out. I came home and my Stake President (who was a friend of mine) was in shock but handled it in a chilled way. He was probably told to do that so that the attention on the issue would die down. They did not sack me then. But I was released about 4 months later after everything had settled down. And I WAS NOT put on the High Council like they do with lots of former bishops. I never had another leadership position again and I bet there is probably a file on me for the Strengthening Church Members Committee and an asterisk on my membership.

A website soon popped up after the SLT story came out called excommunicate (and my full name). This troll shared public information on the site of myself, my wife, our children, and our home address and my work address. He said that I should be a recipient of blood atonement and there were comments from others that they agreed. Super scary time where I went to the police and showed them all of this and made a report but the website soon was taken down and I had heard that this member had been excommunicated possibly because of that.

I have no regrets that I went and someone told me that I may have been the first LDS official (all be it local) to publicly share that he supported marriage equality and publicly used the terms transgender and queer in a supportive way and was supportive of "LGBTQ" individuals. Someone also told me that if Mitt Romney had not been running for President at the time, they would have probably have excommunicated me. But they put me out to pasture quietly. Who knows. But regardless, it was the right thing to do.

I remember being on NOM here in the aftermath and most everyone knew it was me but we all talked like it was someone else because I didn't want anyone to know. Now I don't care as much. But that was a crazy time for me and on here! I was SO grateful for my friends on here and the support I got.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

Red Ryder
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:14 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:11 pm
That was the headline in the Salt Lake Tribune 10 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long.

…snip…

I remember being on NOM here in the aftermath and most everyone knew it was me but we all talked like it was someone else because I didn't want anyone to know. Now I don't care as much. But that was a crazy time for me and on here! I was SO grateful for my friends on here and the support I got.
We love ya Stealth! Glad they didn’t kick you out publicly. But I wonder if that would have pushed you and the wife out sooner? Who knows…

I certainly developed a lot of my new thoughts and opinions around the church’s problematic stance around LGBTQ issues from your participation here during those years.

You were/are one of the good guys pushing for change from the inside. In the end, we all find ourselves on the outside looking back.

Glad to hear your wife has started to awake. It’s a rough road but she’s in your good hands and your family will find new meaning in a post Mormon world.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:22 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:14 pm
stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:11 pm
That was the headline in the Salt Lake Tribune 10 years ago. I can't believe it's been that long.

…snip…

I remember being on NOM here in the aftermath and most everyone knew it was me but we all talked like it was someone else because I didn't want anyone to know. Now I don't care as much. But that was a crazy time for me and on here! I was SO grateful for my friends on here and the support I got.
We love ya Stealth! Glad they didn’t kick you out publicly. But I wonder if that would have pushed you and the wife out sooner? Who knows…

I certainly developed a lot of my new thoughts and opinions around the church’s problematic stance around LGBTQ issues from your participation here during those years.

You were/are one of the good guys pushing for change from the inside. In the end, we all find ourselves on the outside looking back.

Glad to hear your wife has started to awake. It’s a rough road but she’s in your good hands and your family will find new meaning in a post Mormon world.
Thanks RR!

I've learned a lot since then. I was pretty brash and naive. I had many more adventures after they released me as bishop including going to my state capital to lobby for marriage equality and then getting my TR taken away for congratulating the first gay couple in Utah who got married. Then getting it back and then shortly after, turning it in due to the 2015 POX. It's been quite the wild ride. But the church is going to do what they are going to do. I've basically checked out. They reject LGBTQ individuals at their own peril and I know for a fact that it is a big reason why many families are leaving.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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Hagoth
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Hagoth » Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:59 pm

Holy cow, I had forgotten all about that! Thanks for the refresher, Bishop. And happy 10th anniversary!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Mormorrisey » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:39 am

I didn't discover NOM 1.0 until late in 2014, I think it was. Maybe even later - all the more reason to feel a bit sad that my posts from those early years are gone. So this is before my time here, that would have been very interesting to see the discussions surrounding this.

Do you feel comfortable, stealth, in posting a link to the article here? I would understand if you didn't, but I would love to read the write up if you felt inclined to post it.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:40 am

Mormorrisey wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:39 am
I didn't discover NOM 1.0 until late in 2014, I think it was. Maybe even later - all the more reason to feel a bit sad that my posts from those early years are gone. So this is before my time here, that would have been very interesting to see the discussions surrounding this.

Do you feel comfortable, stealth, in posting a link to the article here? I would understand if you didn't, but I would love to read the write up if you felt inclined to post it.

Here you go:

https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php? ... ype=CMSID

Like I said, this is not the original article that I saw at the NOM gathering but still captures the essence. They had to change to headline and parts of the story. And years later a did get an apology from a SLT reporter (not the sports writer that wrote the original story) that they had "botched" the story.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:41 am

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:59 pm
Holy cow, I had forgotten all about that! Thanks for the refresher, Bishop. And happy 10th anniversary!
Thanks Hagoth! Much appreciated!
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Mormorrisey » Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:58 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:40 am
Mormorrisey wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:39 am
I didn't discover NOM 1.0 until late in 2014, I think it was. Maybe even later - all the more reason to feel a bit sad that my posts from those early years are gone. So this is before my time here, that would have been very interesting to see the discussions surrounding this.

Do you feel comfortable, stealth, in posting a link to the article here? I would understand if you didn't, but I would love to read the write up if you felt inclined to post it.

Here you go:

https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php? ... ype=CMSID

Like I said, this is not the original article that I saw at the NOM gathering but still captures the essence. They had to change to headline and parts of the story. And years later a did get an apology from a SLT reporter (not the sports writer that wrote the original story) that they had "botched" the story.
Thanks a bunch for posting that. Very, very, interesting. And I actually think the higher ups handled this in a rather effective and efficient fashion - instead of making you a public example, they just quietly released you soon afterward. That's fairly competent PR work, and they are not known for competent PR work. Interesting.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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alas
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by alas » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:21 pm

Yeah, I remember that night. Wow, was it really ten years ago.

For a kind of different perspective, I talked my husband into going to that meeting of NOMs. He was reluctant, but o assured him other spouses were going, and he finally agreed to go with the promise that he could tell me at any point that he wanted to leave and I would leave with him.

But he LIKED the NOMs. He saw how we loved each other, even when we had never met face to face before. He was impressed with the honesty, and that we were not the stereotype apostate who leaves the church to sin. Nor we angry, church hating …..drunks? I am not sure what exactly he did expect, but he found good people that he really liked. And that was when he became really alright with me leaving the church and with my participating on NOM. On the way home, after staying the full meeting, he said he wished the people at church were half as friendly, accepting, genuine, and honest.

So, thanks you all for being the good people you are.

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MoPag
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by MoPag » Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:38 pm

Wow Stealth! I had no idea!! I didn't join NOM until 2016.

You are so amazing!!
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:43 am

Mormorrisey wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:58 am
stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:40 am
Mormorrisey wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:39 am
I didn't discover NOM 1.0 until late in 2014, I think it was. Maybe even later - all the more reason to feel a bit sad that my posts from those early years are gone. So this is before my time here, that would have been very interesting to see the discussions surrounding this.

Do you feel comfortable, stealth, in posting a link to the article here? I would understand if you didn't, but I would love to read the write up if you felt inclined to post it.

Here you go:

https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php? ... ype=CMSID

Like I said, this is not the original article that I saw at the NOM gathering but still captures the essence. They had to change to headline and parts of the story. And years later a did get an apology from a SLT reporter (not the sports writer that wrote the original story) that they had "botched" the story.
Thanks a bunch for posting that. Very, very, interesting. And I actually think the higher ups handled this in a rather effective and efficient fashion - instead of making you a public example, they just quietly released you soon afterward. That's fairly competent PR work, and they are not known for competent PR work. Interesting.
I think you're exactly right. The first thing my SP said to me is that I was "not going to get censured" and when my wife asked months later if I was being released because of what I did the SP said "no" and "all callings and releases are done by revelation". They snuffed out the fire with good PR and they didn't martyr me.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:46 am

alas wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:21 pm
Yeah, I remember that night. Wow, was it really ten years ago.

For a kind of different perspective, I talked my husband into going to that meeting of NOMs. He was reluctant, but o assured him other spouses were going, and he finally agreed to go with the promise that he could tell me at any point that he wanted to leave and I would leave with him.

But he LIKED the NOMs. He saw how we loved each other, even when we had never met face to face before. He was impressed with the honesty, and that we were not the stereotype apostate who leaves the church to sin. Nor we angry, church hating …..drunks? I am not sure what exactly he did expect, but he found good people that he really liked. And that was when he became really alright with me leaving the church and with my participating on NOM. On the way home, after staying the full meeting, he said he wished the people at church were half as friendly, accepting, genuine, and honest.

So, thanks you all for being the good people you are.
Super interesting. It was great to meet you and the other NOMs and I'm glad that the gathering actually helped you and your husband.

I was having a great time until someone showed me the headline on their phone! :lol:
Last edited by stealthbishop on Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by stealthbishop » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:49 am

MoPag wrote:
Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:38 pm
Wow Stealth! I had no idea!! I didn't join NOM until 2016.

You are so amazing!!
Thanks. Much appreciated. Unlike former bishop Richard Ostler, I spent all my "capital" in one shot and went all in. He's much wiser and more disciplined in the use of his capital. He's definitely "playing the long game".
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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Not Buying It
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:20 am

Good on ya Stealth. That took a lot of courage. I respect that tremendously.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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alas
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by alas » Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:10 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:46 am
alas wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:21 pm
Yeah, I remember that night. Wow, was it really ten years ago.

For a kind of different perspective, I talked my husband into going to that meeting of NOMs. He was reluctant, but o assured him other spouses were going, and he finally agreed to go with the promise that he could tell me at any point that he wanted to leave and I would leave with him.

But he LIKED the NOMs. He saw how we loved each other, even when we had never met face to face before. He was impressed with the honesty, and that we were not the stereotype apostate who leaves the church to sin. Nor we angry, church hating …..drunks? I am not sure what exactly he did expect, but he found good people that he really liked. And that was when he became really alright with me leaving the church and with my participating on NOM. On the way home, after staying the full meeting, he said he wished the people at church were half as friendly, accepting, genuine, and honest.

So, thanks you all for being the good people you are.
Super interesting. It was great to meet you and the other NOMs and I'm glad that the gathering actually helped you and your husband.

I was having a great time until someone showed me the headline on their phone! :lol:
Yeah, the whole get together kind of went into panic mode. I was across the room, and knew something had happened. Then John Delhin walked in with his entourage and confirmed there was something to panic about. I went home that night thinking you would be excommunicated and wondering if it had been worth it

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Corsair
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by Corsair » Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:09 pm

That's an amazing story, Stealth. It's a painful balance of zealots trying to start and angry mob on one side and leaders on the other side that just wish the whole thing would disappear. But it has you caught right in the middle. We are glad that the incident did die down and you remain happy and healthy with us.

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deacon blues
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Re: Mormon Bishop Accuses LDS Church Of Atrocities

Post by deacon blues » Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:28 pm

What great stories Stealth and Alas. That's about the time my shelf broke and I thought I was the only NOM/Post Mormon in SLC. I didn't find NOM for another year or two. I'm so glad I did. I learned so much from Stealth, Alas, and all the others on NOM 1.0.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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