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. Lucile Crocket

    Writing articles and submitting them to article directory web sites should be project numero uno for you in an attempt to build valuable back links to your web site. Ithink that most of us would agree that traffic to your site is critical, as it determines the success or failure of your site. After all, what is the use in spending all your timeand resources building a web site to settle for second best when it comes to traffic? Writing 500 to 1000 wordarticles is where the real work in promoting your web site come in to play. ;

    Make sure you visit our own web blog too

    April 17, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  2. David

    too bad twede is trying to put a negative spin on his actions. Trying to sway someone contrary to the organizations teachings is almost by definition apostasy.

    March 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  3. Kaitlyn

    Poor guy! Mormons need to let go of people bashing their temples, and let people say what they want. A member expressing questionable views about the temple doesn't mean he's in apostasy, against the church, or eligible for disciplinary actions so long as he's expressing nothing more than his own HONEST beliefs. It's the church's fault on this one for causing a good man to fall away from the church. SHAMEFUL!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  4. John Masuo

    I wonder how much crstal meth is floating around the mormon church....Musician Elvin Bishop's daughter was murdered by a influential mormon who mormon followers called a chosen one.....who was a deep meth addict as well as other evils.....Not BS.....IT"S TRUE!!!!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And I'm sure you can provide citations from reputable news organizations, right ?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  5. John Masuo

    The morons have gotten their foothold mainly because of murder and deceit....with the massacre of THE WAGON TRAIN...full of weary travelers, the moron's leader had a group of morons dressed as Native Americans, kill all the males and some others and kidnapped the rest of the women and children, and blamed it all on the Indians.....That's where the Anti-Christ rose it's ugly evil head....Now they are trying to take over the country with money and a large crock of sh_t!

    November 2, 2012 at 2:17 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.