Mormon writer says he faces excommunication


ORLANDO, Fla.–The Orlando-based editor of, a website that challenges the church’s teachings, said he faces excommunication because of his writings, including some critical of Republican presidential nominee and fellow Mormon Mitt Romney.

David Twede, 47, has been summoned to the disciplinary council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Orlando on Sept. 30 and could face “disfellowshipment or excommunication,” according to a letter he posted on his blog.

The letter, signed by Allan Pratt, the church’s regional leader in Central Florida, stated that Twede was “reported to have been in apostasy,” an offense in which a member attempts to lead followers away from the church and its teachings. The letter invites Twede to present witnesses and evidence in his defense.


LDS don’t put up with open heretics like us Catholics do. When someone openly teaches against their church teachings they get rid of them until they repent. When Catholics openly teach against the teachings of our Church we do nothing including keeping them in the role of pastors. IMHO, They have it right, we have it wrong.

Good for the Mormons!

I’ve been following this story …

It’s not surprising.

But it seems the LDS church is saying, not to fast, other options are available

Except for the fact that their belief will not save them, ours will.



The disciplinary council tends not to consist of particularly sophisticated theological minds. However, if this person proves to be reasonably humble and not arrogant or alienating–he has reasonable hope that his attitude will speak wonders for him. The disciplinary council can do anything from taking no action, to suspending him from holding ward/chapel/stake offices, to disfellowshipping to excommunication. The last is the most-serious and involves complete expunging of all ties to the Church. The door remains open to restoration even in the most serious of cases–but excommunication tends to be reserved for those who are clearly already unrepentant and not open to returning to the fold. Lesser penalties are for those who at least hold out some hope they will make an effort to return. It tends to be rare, especially if the person is making their case public like this: openly announcing these things tends to show the person more interested in embarrassing the LDS Church than in being restored.

If the LDS Church is embarrased by their own history, and views him seeking to embarrass the institution, that it isn’t his fault. He has made it clear that is not his intent.

“Heresy” in Mormonism? That’s kind of a funny idea. :slight_smile: That would mean they need first to have a sense of orthodoxy.

Twede isn’t preaching against LDS church teachings. He only portrays LDS church history, as it is, not as the LDS church would like it portrayed. It would be more along the lines of pointing out the less than savory points of Catholic history, and the Catholic Church excommunicating you because it “embarrasses” the Church.

He has violated what Martha Beck called, “the eleventh commandment”: Thou shalt not commit publicity. He was fine, as long as he was an obscure webisite/blog that no one read. When his actions became more in-person, public, an active Mormon from a Mormon forum sent his writings to leaders in Salt Lake City. Silencing its critics is the constant goal of the Mormon Church. It cannot abide criticism, in any form, most of all from its own members.

Twede had made a few posts pointing out the oathes that Mitt Romney has made in a Mormon temple. When he started posting politically, about Mitt Romney, along the lines of, really, do you want a man who had made these sort of oathes as your president?..he got noticed. You can’t publicly disclose Mormonisms secrets, while still a Mormon, and hope to remain a Mormon.

I thought the article was a very honest look at the Mormon faith. IMHO, he has some serious reservations. He is missing where knowledge of the truth is… Some interesting comments, several among many:

God gave us a brain and expects us to use it. We’re expected to use every means at our disposal to seek the truth and to live our lives in a desirable way. “The Glory of God is intelligence” is something we hear at church all the time.

We would ask God to explain the following:

-Why doesn’t Joseph Smith’s translation of the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham and the Egyptian papyri match what Egyptologists say they mean?
-Why does the Book of Mormon mention so many things that did not exist in the Americas when the BOM took place such as horses, elephants, wheat, barley, silk, steel, etc.?
-Why were we told the Book of Mormon was translated from gold plates that were never used, when Joseph put his face in a hat and looked at a common stone he found while digging a well?
-Why did Joseph marry 11 men’s wives while they were still married to their husbands?

The lists of questions would go on for several pages.* If God does indeed exist, and he’s the fair judge that we all believe him to be, then how could He condemn anyone for not believing a story fraught with so many problems?

Here’s kind of a top 10 list of concerns. He lists 26 in total and says there are “many more.”

If the LDS Church is true, then we would expect the following things to have happened in this way. We don’t necessarily mean that these things would absolutely have been required for a restoration of the gospel to happen, but rather since we’ve been taught certain things about the church happened in a certain way, then the list we’ve developed is in the context of what we were taught in church.

  1. Joseph would have told the same version of the First Vision throughout his life.* He would have gotten the details correct surrounding the most important, spectacular moment anyone could ever have in this life.
  2. Joseph’s five brothers (and probably the rest of the household) that were sleeping in his room (including some that shared his bed) on September 21, 1823 would have been awakened by the presence of Moroni.* They would have testified of his visit as well.
  3. If the angel did indeed take back the gold plates and the urim and thummim from Joseph when Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages, he would have returned the urim & thummim to Joseph when he returned the gold plates to him, instead of having Joseph finish the translation using a common stone he found while digging a well.
  4. Joseph would likely have actually used the gold plates in the translation process, instead of putting an ordinary stone in a hat without even looking at the plates.
  5. When the 116 pages were lost, Joseph would have simply retranslated the ‘stolen’ pages.* If the pages were really stolen by evil men bent on foiling Joseph, the pages would have resurfaced in some form - either as a ransom attempt or foiled attempt to discredit Joseph.* The stolen pages wouldn’t have simply been destroyed by men who went to such trouble to obtain them.
  6. The translation of the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham would match what Egyptologists say they mean.* The rediscovered papyri would also support the Book of Abraham as well.
  7. The Book of Mormon would not mention things that did not exist in the Americas during Book of Mormon times such as horses, elephants, cattle, goats, wheat, barley, silk, steel, etc.* It would probably mention things that did exist such as corn, yams, beans, squash, llamas, sloths, jaguars, and monkeys.
  8. The BOM would be supported by archeological and linguistic evidence.* Perhaps not so much evidence that we still wouldn’t need faith, but something to show that the ancient Jews could have been in America.
  9. There would be some remains of two large battles at the Hill Cumorah where over two million people fought and died.
  10. DNA evidence would support that the American Indians and South American peoples descended from Israel.

I have read some of his comments and a copy of the letter sent to him by his bishop and ward leader.

I find it very bizarre.

Twede mentioned the problem with secrecy, the issue of Romney’s oaths as a Mormon high priest, and questioned whether a president Romney would follow the Constitution or his prophet’s dictates.

Very viable questions, and very much like those asked John F. Kennedy when he was running.

I should add he noted Kennedy was open and answered the questions.

Twede isn’t being charged with heresy, but apostasy. I don’t know how they defined it, but that is what he said in a blog I read.

I see some here like the LDS method of secrecy and forbidding any discussion or criticism.

I cannot believe anyone would wish for that type of system.

As for not many being excommunicated, I guess that would depend on your Mormon population. I know about a dozen people who have been given the boot from the Mormon church.

Some are openly gay, which is instant expulsion, some were people who were found wanting in other areas.

But, it does happen quite a bit more often than I would think it should.



My college football watching caused me to error. The article did not state the quote on my previous post, it was on the authors website of which he is editor,, left column In the “Conclusions” link. Apologize for any confusion. :ouch:

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