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Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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Did Mormons boot writer? Church isn’t saying and he doesn’t know

Denver C. Snuffer Jr. says he has no idea what happened at the LDS Church disciplinary hearing Sunday convened to consider excommunicating him for apostasy.

Snuffer, author of a controversial book alleging the Utah-based faith bears little resemblance to the church founded by Joseph Smith in 1830, arrived for the hearing with his wife and children by his side.

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He wanted his family to know that the charges had nothing to do with immoral conduct, Snuffer said Monday.

Before Sunday’s hearing, Snuffer had informed Truman Hunt, the Sandy LDS stake president who had called the hearing, that he would be bringing his family with him, the writer said. When Hunt failed to respond, Snuffer presumed it would be OK.

But when the group arrived, according to Snuffer, Hunt said only his wife could enter. It became a stalemate: Snuffer would not attend the hearing without his family, and Hunt would not allow the young people, ranging in age from the 30s down to 12, to observe the proceedings.

After about an hour of discussing the matter in the hallway, Snuffer and his family left.

The writer, a lawyer and father of nine, says he has not heard anything more from his LDS leaders.

And the church isn’t saying anything publicly.

"Because of the personal nature of church disciplinary matters and to respect the privacy of those involved, we don’t provide information about the proceedings," LDS Church spokeswoman Ruth Todd wrote in an email. "Church discipline is administered by local leaders who are familiar with the individual and his or her circumstances."

In his book, "Passing the Heavenly Gift," Snuffer concludes that every Mormon prophet since Smith has yielded to social, political and legal pressures to accommodate mainstream U.S. society.

Hunt, in turn, warned the author in a letter that the "book’s thesis is in direct conflict with church doctrine."

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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