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Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication
The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, where the church is headquartered.
September 24th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – A Mormon blogger in Florida typed his way into national headlines when he recently went public about facing possible disciplinary action from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David Twede, who says he’s a fifth-generation Mormon, is the managing editor of MormonThink.com, an online publication that invites debate and open discussion about the LDS Church.

Late last week, The Daily Beast reported that after writing articles critical of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Twede, 47, said he was called into church offices in Orlando, Florida, where he was “interrogated” and given “cease and desist” orders.

At the end of this meeting, Twede says on his personal blog that he was handed a letter, which he has posted online. The letter, which spells his name incorrectly, requests that he appear before a disciplinary council on September 30. It states that he is being considered for disciplinary action “including the possibility of disfellowshipment or excommunication, because you are reported to have been in apostasy.”

Twede admits that what’s driving this prospective spiritual slap-down seems to be a matter of debate. Was it Twede’s criticism of Romney or something else?

The church's actions around Twede, who recently returned to the church after a long hiatus, has nothing to do with his politics, LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement:

"It is patently false for someone to suggest they face Church discipline for having questions or for expressing a political view.  The Church is an advocate of individual choice.  It is a core tenet of our faith.  Church discipline becomes necessary only in those rare occasions when an individual’s actions cannot be ignored while they claim to be in good standing with the Church. Every organization, whether religious or secular, must be able to define where its boundaries begin and end."

The New York Times reported that it was Twede's public admission that he was trying to sway the beliefs of others at church that got him into trouble. The Salt Lake Tribune said it was his sharing of details about sacred LDS temple ceremonies – disclosures that faithful Mormons find offensive – that raised concerns.

The LDS Church is staying mum.

“While some may want to make their version of an issue public, the Church will not discuss the private lives of individuals,” Purdy said in his statement. “These matters are handled by local Church leaders and are done in an attitude of love and caring.  There are a number of possible outcomes to a Church disciplinary proceeding, only one of which is excommunication, which would be the most severe and least common result.”

Twede, who says he works in science and technology but wouldn't get more specific, hopes it doesn’t come to that.

He said he decided to become involved with the church after a five-year hiatus to get a better perspective.

“I cannot effectively address the concerns of members of my church if I am not there with them seeing what they see and hearing what they hear,” Twede wrote in an e-mail. “I believe if the LDS church officials do discipline me for my speech, it will show that the leaders in Salt Lake City run a cultist organization that is unable to withstand the scrutiny of a website that advocates honest and open discussion of its troubling history and present actions.”

The timing of his renewed interest is suspicious to some, including to Scott Gordon, president of the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, an organization that defends the LDS Church from detractors. He says Twede only began going back to church a couple of weeks ago after he assumed the managing editor role at MormonThink.

“He went to church for the purpose of being able to say he’s an active member in order to market his site better,” Gordon said.

But Twede said his identity hinges on being able to call himself a Mormon.

“I don't want to lose connection with my family culture that's existed with us for five generations,” he said by e-mail.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (863 Responses)
  1. AWSOME!

    another page of the blog's resident Down Syndrome Comedian herbie talking to his other gimmicks.............
    It never gets old!
    Hilarious!
    Really!

    September 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      Are you babbling about yourself awesome?

      September 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      Quit stealing my name. Not funn!

      September 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  2. NookieMonster

    @MormonMike,
    have you ever had a science class?watch PBS or Discovery? been to school? You actually believe that Cr%P?
    what year is this? your hilarious!

    September 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Careful questioning Moron Mike, someone might call you a bigot, or something.. Laughs.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  3. JW33

    I was raised as a Mormon, and my family ties go back the the Mormon's trek across country to Utah with Brigham Young. In my adult years I came to see that what they believed in was not what I believe in. I cannot in all honesty agree with all of their teachings, but other religions also have their faults. Each individual person in this country has the right to believe in whatever religion they choose, without fear of being ridiculed, or chastened for those beliefs. I will vote my conscience come election day, and my religious ties will not conflict with my voting rights or affiliations. Remember, everyone has the right to think, worship, and vote as they please without influences from religious zealots or religions they disagree with.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  4. Bob, NY

    From the smears and spin in some of these comments...it is understandable that the LDS members do not wish to share their views with everyone. If you wish to prove yourself worthy, the LDS would include you into their church and share their "secrets" with you too. You can always argue your point, quit, or be excommunicated if that is what you choose.
    I do not follow any particular faith, but ignorance and hatred proves there is evil...if there is a over, there must be an under!

    September 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      IF not, I'm sure they will be happy to baptize me after I'm dead.. right?

      September 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • barlow23

      yes college, you are doomed to be a mormon no matter what. why wait until death?

      September 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  5. Schapkj

    I was excommunicated from the Mormon church about 30 years ago because I married in another church. I haven't gone to Hell, yet. The excommunication didn't bother me because I don't believe all the crap Mormon's expect members to believe. Excommunication only works if you believe it works.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • barlow23

      You cannot be excommunicated for marrying in another church. That is a lie. You were excommunicated for something else, but not for that.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Justin

      You sir are full of cr#p. You did not get excommunicated because of that. Please be truthful.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  6. Mormon Mike

    All you motherfukers are gonna pay! You are all ball-lickers! I'm gonna fuk your mothers while you watch and cry like little whiney bi.tches. I'm gonna make you eat my sh.it, then sh.it out my sh.it and then eat your sh.it that’s made up of my sh.it that I made you eat!

    September 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Said as only a true, subverted mormon can say...see how angry they really are underneath their shiny happy faces on TV commercials?

      September 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • KLARGAR

      a little angry cousin you curse like a drunken sailor is that s your problem bunky, you wake up in the morning and the garbage just falls out of your mouth is thats whats bothering you brother, well cheer up god hates and i guess you are just gonna have to deal with it cousin and take a walk in the sun.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      I did not post that. Some loser keeps stealing my name. Not funny.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  7. Niknak

    This dude found out the hard way that religions don't practice any of the love bull they preach when someone dares to try and question them.
    Try it sometime. Nothing unhinges a fundie more then when you question his fairy tale.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      You hit it right on the head, and if you give them fundies a chance, that's just what they will do, HIT YOU ON THE HEAD!

      September 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  8. Dances with Mormons

    "I am Wind In His Hair! I am Wind In His Hair! Do you see that I am not afraid of you!? Do you see!?"

    Wind in His Hair, being a worshipper of false idols, confronts Satan after being slain by the Pawnee.

    Thinking quickly, the chief of the tribe decides to, "smoke a while".

    It was at this point that Joseph Smith arrived with a "White Man's" hat and some magic golden plates! He was immediately wounded by an arrow of course and the Medicine Man was summoned to the teepee.

    Many moons passed while Joseph Smith recovered from his injuries, during which time he spaketh the Mormon Gospel to Chief Ten Bears and a great friendship was forged between them.

    At length, it was time for Joseph Smith to head westward. As he waved goodbye to his new Lakota Indian friends, a voice could be heard on the wind….

    "Joseph Smith! ... Joseph Smith! ... I am Wind In His Hair! ... Do you see that I am your friend!? ... Can you see that you will always be my friend!? Can you turn down the heat?"

    September 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Uh..........

      Next time you think something's funny, and want to post it,
      Please don't.
      PLEASE.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Rank Cheese

      Hilarious! Some people just don't get it.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      Mormons have a sense of humor. This is really clever. LOL!!

      September 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  9. Mormon Mike

    As you can see, we are all taught, in the Mormon Church, to attack (ruthlessly) anyone that doesn't believe the way we do. We put people down, call them bitter, etc. We're told it detracts from the insults to the church, but I think it makes us small and petty...kinda like my small little guy in my pants. Now THAT makes me feel bad!

    September 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      Very funny...NOT lol

      September 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      But, isn't that the way ALL religions are taught to deal with those who disagree with them? Ask any Christian, if you disagree with them, and they will resort to name calling, anger, and ad hom attacks nearly 100 percent of the time.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • barlow23

      Yes college, just like liberals...so liberals must be christians.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  10. Baxter

    The story is in the news because the blog posted information about how the church tries to manipulate politics while claiming to be a christian church. Twede posted articles that were negative about Romney and now he is being excommunicated by a relative of Mr. Romney.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Also, isn't it true that it is illegal for and church to try and openly affect a political race? Something to do with tax status.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  11. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    Isn't this the way that cults deal with those who dissent? Threats and coercion, is not uncommon in any religious sect.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • barlow23

      or the democratic party

      September 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  12. Eric M

    It seems pretty clear that Twede returned to the church in order to claim "insider" status and lend his commentary some additional credibility. If he's revealing inappropriate details about Mormon religious rituals, the church is within their right to expel him. Based on the quoted passes in this story, Twede doesn't appear to be interested in open discussion of the church and ending stereotypes, but rather to bash the church that he was forced into by family, left by choice, and now is so quick to disparage as a cult.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yep. Stupid church and stupid believer. Be GLAD that the cult doesn't want you as a member, wear their excommunication as a badge of honor, and move on with your life.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • kls817

      agreed. I'm not a mormon but it seems this article suggests that the Mormon church is discriminatory without actually providing any read evidence. It only briefly mentions the possibility that the blogger was providing details of sacred cermonies. If this is true, then that is grounds for expulsion from the church.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • forgetaboutatleast

      i think you are missing the point. if the mormons have secret rituals, then they are a cult. and a cult should be exposed if it intends to suppress 'inappropriate' details.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • God hates Religion

      Does that include the secret ritual of pantomiming slitting your own throat? The act of slitting ones throat as a way of never divulging that the Mormon holds their relationship to the church and God above all things, including Romney, he would put the chuch before the inhabitants of the US? Is that the secrets that must not be divulged or you might get ex-communicated? The church resembles the Masons in rituals.

      September 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  13. pipesofpan

    Want to know mor about what this bizzar group is all about? Go to Banned Mormon caroon on youtube. You learn this stuff when you join.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  14. BobInIrvine

    "The Church is an advocate of individual choice. It is a core tenet of our faith."

    Yet this church spent millions in California to pass a ban on gay marriage, and is against abortion. So much for individual choice, unless it's a choice to follow dogma.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • barlow23

      Yes, just like the catholic church

      September 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      Gay marriage is a crime against nature and should NOT be a choice. Disgusting pervs.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • pastmorm

      And yet barlow...we're not talking about the Catholic Church in this article are we?

      September 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      I've been through the Mormon Evergreen program so sometimes the electroshock affects me badly. I do admit that I'm a gay man, but I'm very ashamed of it! I'm glad that the Mormon church shelters haters like me, because I'll get married and have more gay children since it's been proven to be genetic.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • BobInIrvine

      @MormonMike
      See, this is why religion is a poison to societies. Your OPINION subverts others' choices. And if there is indeed one God, why so many interpretations as to her form and demands on us. The bottom line: you cannot determine what can and can't be a choice for someone else, when that choice doesn't affect you or harm another.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Mormon Mike, YOU sir have every right to feel the way you do about gays; however, just because you have the right to be an A S S, does not mean you should be spreading your A S S all over the net.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      thecollegeadmissionsguru

      The only A.S.S I see on this blog is you lol.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @ Moron Mike, I am NOT the one hating on gays and calling a segment of our population gross and disguisting.. that honor belongs to you.. oh, and MAN what a snappy comeback..

      September 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • kls817

      hey bob and guru. Your own bigory has overtaken your intelligence. Mormon Mike is being sarcastic and you are so blinded by your own bigtory that you don't recongize he is just casting himself as a bigot. No, real mormons aren't like that, but sometimes anti-establisment left-wingers are.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @KLS.. bite me... thank you.. and YES I am a religious BIGOT of the first order. All religions are useless and MOST believe in Child Abuse.. Anyone who believes that there is a good god who sends his own creations to hell, for no other reason than to torture them without any chance of a end to that torture, is no god of mine. So, if you want to call me a Lefty, I am.. WAY left.. nearly as far left as you are Right.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • God hates Religion

      Individual choice, as long as it follows the Church, then yes a choice, follow the church and you get to stay, don't follow and you are out, out, out, that is the choice.

      September 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  15. Dorion

    Cult!

    September 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • barlow23

      Bigot!

      September 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      It is not a cult for crying out loud. Just because we are enlightened does not make us into cult people. You are so lost.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @ Mormon Mike, it's a Cult, pure and simple, just as ALL religions are nothing short of CULTS... so much for who is lost.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  16. barlow23

    Magic underwear jokes aside, Romney and Ryan have already come clean about the only Mormon secret anyone wants to hear. They regularly share the double penetration dildo handed down from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be with him.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Mormon Mike

      @barlow23

      You are a sad little man to make fun of the LDS church that way. You don't even know what you are saying. Mormons are not gross like that.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  17. Mormon Mike

    Why can't people accept that the world just isn't exactly want you want it to be. The Book of Mormon is true and your petty jealousy is not going to change that. It is about time we had a president representing the true faith of Jesus.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Roscoe Chait

      You have clearly stated the reason why our forefathers wanted separation of church and state... or in this case, separation of cult and state.

      September 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Craboo

      Lol, yeah its true. To bad you lost your golden scrolls, oh wait someone floated down from the sky and took them:)

      September 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      The Book of Mormon was written by an illiterate man, who was nothing but a con-man and needed something that would get him out of trouble and a way to make a buck or two. Come on man, gold plates that float off into space and were ONLY seen by ONE man... REALLY???? All religions are nothing more than based on Myth, but yours is based on so little MORE.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  18. Kristen

    How is one man dissenting from one church news???? Oh wait, just another attempt for CNN to smear the Mormon faith.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  19. Trent

    I don't get it; if this guy doesn't believe in Mormonism then why would he want to be a part of it? Isn't insincerity worse than possibly-misguided belief anyway? You'd think he would be glad they want him to leave, and it seems like it's justified if he's posing and using his claim to be "a real Mormon" as misleading marketing for his ideas.

    I bet this story wouldn't even be in the news if Mormon Romney wasn't running for president. No wonder cnn's ratings are tanking.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  20. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Expect nothing better from church, dungeon of hindism, illegality, freedom of truth absolute, NO, but hindu gentile ism, criminal slavery of hindu sanatan Prophets, racist fortune telling goons, preaching hinduism, racism under shadow of hinduism, absurdity called religion.

    September 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • KLARGAR

      Your back like syphilis no body likes you and you make no dammed sense, what drugs are you on or for that matter off, tell your Psych nurse to increase the dose on your antiPsychotics.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.