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Why were the ‘September Six’ censured by the LDS Church and where are they now?

Two rejoined the faith, one tried to do so, two have moved on, and one died a believer.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The sun rises on the Salt Lake Temple in 2019, before it underwent a massive renovation. This month marks the 30th anniversary of the "September Six" disciplined by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

D. Michael Quinn

(The Salt Lake Tribune) Though excommunicated, D. Michael Quinn, shown in 2013 and who died in 2021, remained a believer in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Quinn was excommunicated for articles he published about controversial episodes in Mormon history, particularly post-Manifesto polygamy, which is now acknowledged by the church. The accomplished, Yale-trained historian taught at Brigham Young University and wrote highly acclaimed volumes on Mormon polygamy, church wealth and the faith’s governing hierarchy. He died in 2021.

“I believe the LDS Church today, though deeply flawed, is still God’s true church run by the damned human race,” he once remarked. “There is no limit to my Mormonism. It’s like St. Peter’s Basilica, embracing all truth with open arms.”

Lynne Kanavel Whitesides

(Paul Fraughton | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, shown in 2003, says "being disfellowshipped was one of the best things that ever happened to me."

Whitesides, who was disfellowshipped for comments she made on television about how the church treated women, has been a professional life coach for 23 years. She organizes trips to Peru twice a year, as she continues her “mystical journey.

“Being disfellowshipped was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” she has said. “It opened up a world of spirituality I didn’t even know was possible.”

Lavina Fielding Anderson

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lavina Fielding Anderson, shown in 2019, still attends her Latter-day Saint congregation. She was denied rebaptism into the faith.

Anderson, who was excommunicated for publishing a list of attacks on intellectuals by church leaders, is president of Editing Inc. and attends the same Latter-day Saint congregation she did in 1993.

She sought rebaptism, but the governing First Presidency rejected her request in 2019.

“I was not surprised or angry about the outcome,” Anderson said. “I have kept my covenants, remained close to the church and have felt that what I have done is accepted by the Lord. If there is unfinished business, it’s the First Presidency’s, not mine.”

Paul Toscano

(Paul Fraughton | The Salt Lake Tribune) Paul Toscano, shown in 2003, saw his wife excommunicated as well.

Toscano, who worked as a consumer bankruptcy lawyer, was excommunicated for critical comments he made about Latter-day Saint apostles in public. He describes himself as an “essayist, novelist, uncredentialed and uncredited theologian, contrarian, gadfly, animist, irritant, worry wart, retiring lawyer, and deteriorating septuagenarian.”

“My wife, Margaret Toscano, who was targeted first, was eventually excommunicated on Nov. 30, 2000,” he has said. “Our children are all adults and disaffected from the church. We don’t go to church but worry about it. ... I’m a Christian with doubts.”

Maxine Hanks

(Justin Hackworth) Maxine Hanks was rebaptized into the faith in February 2012.

Hanks, a feminist theologian who lectures and writes on religious studies, was excommunicated for editing “Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism.”

Hanks was rebaptized in 2012.

“After my excommunication, I undertook a personal spiritual path exploring other faiths and ministries, to find deeper answers about myself and women’s priesthood,” she has explained. “I felt spiritually led back to the LDS Church as a necessary part of that journey to completion and wholeness. I found membership to be even more rewarding than I had expected.”

Avraham Gileadi

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Avraham Gileadi, shown in 2011, maintains he was wrongfully excommunicated. He was rebaptized.

Gileadi, a Hebrew scholar who was excommunicated for some of his writings about Isaiah, has kept the lowest profile. He was rebaptized in 1996 and continues to write and lecture about the biblical text for a Latter-day Saint audience.

“In my case — not a single charge was true or supported by evidence — and all mention of it was expunged from the church’s records,” he has said. “I’m fully active in the church and gospel and have continued to publish books.”

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