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Top Mormon leaders repeat ‘only men’ qualify for priesthood

A joint statement identifies ‘‘special concern’’ for those who ‘‘distance themselves’’ from church doctrine.

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For the more "insistent of today’s feminist advocates," Mauss said, "the ultimate decision-making power in the offices of the priesthood is precisely the main issue."

On the other hand, he said, knowing that "simply asking questions does not constitute apostasy will be reassuring to many church members, especially those who have been raising questions of their own recently, whether or not in sympathy with the OW movement."

At a glance

Blogger faces Sunday meeting about his status

Cache County resident John Dehlin, who created a popular website and podcast series called “Mormon Stories,” will meet with his regional LDS lay leader Sunday to discuss the researcher/blogger’s status in the LDS Church.

Dehlin previously had been told in a letter from North Logan LDS Stake President Bryan C. King that the two needed to talk by June 18 or the Mormon leader would have to launch a church disciplinary hearing to consider some kind of sanction.

Later, King postponed the date of their meeting to June 29 and expressed a “desire for de-escalation,” said Dehlin, who describes himself as a churchgoer with serious doubts about LDS history and teachings.

Dehlin and his wife will meet with King and one of his counselors at 11 a.m. at an LDS chapel.

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Dan Wotherspoon, host of the "Mormon Matters" podcast, is not so sure the leaders’ statement is all that comforting to other questioning Latter-day Saints.

The statement "lacks a sense of compassion and feel for the very real levels of pain and uncertainty that are currently being felt among wonderful, faithful Latter-day Saints who have been open-heartedly and with great hope and a sense of spiritual call engaging vital questions," Wotherspoon said in an email. "I don’t know if its intent is to discourage Ordain Women and the discussions of the Bloggernacle [Internet community] from continuing their important work. If so, I hope they will reconsider."

The "Mormon Matters" host also worries that the leaders’ final paragraph may suggest that any "counsel" given by a local LDS leader is more like a "command," making anyone an apostate who doesn’t agree.

"The wording is ambiguous enough that without further clarification," Wotherspoon said, "I fear many leaders may feel emboldened to believe that their ideas — regardless of how studied they are or are not, and whether they were specifically arrived at through a revelatory process — are God’s full will now and forever."

It could even lead to more disciplinary actions against members, he said, "something I do not think the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve intend."



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