[My darling husband has finally read this post, and I am updating it based on some of his comments. One of his suggested edits was the title, which used to read "A Mormon Princess Defects." Though he mostly liked this post, there were a few areas where he felt I had written in a manner that invited misunderstanding. I have also invited Christine's daughter, Emily, to send me her edit of how she believes this post should have read, given my opinion but her knowledge of the hearts of Christine and Malcolm. This post will remain my work, and Emily's edit, if she submits it, will be a separate post.]
If you are familiar with me and Millennial Star, you know that we are always sorry when someone decides to constructively desert their faith in Mormonism. Some of my colleagues express this sorrow by attacking.
I express this sorrow by performing analysis, as I did with the discussions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) posted by those supporting/requesting/demanding female ordination.
I don’t typically listen to John Dehlin’s podcasts, but I have been wondering what was happening with him, in the wake of the recent excommunication of Kate Kelly. And so I browsed to his Facebook page and looked at the chatter going on over there.
This is how I came to listen to John Dehlin’s recent four-part podcast covering roughly six hours of conversation with Christine Jeppson Clark. Christine is a long-time friend of John’s, and her father is the now-deceased general authority, Malcolm Jeppson.
There are four points of interest here for me, as Christine describes her father’s involvement in coordinating discipline for individuals suspected of apostasy and her path out of the Church:
- An expanded view of how Church discipline is both local and yet under supervision.
- The importance of schema in interpreting our past and our present.
- The danger of living in fear and isolation, taught incorrect “truths.”
- How blessed I have been, by contrast.
I see Christine’s decision to depart from the faith of her childhood as a natural consequence of various factors, but I don’t take her actions as a legitimate critique of the Mormon faith. T to paraphrase Baruch Spinoza:
“What Christine says about Mormonism tells us more about Christine than about Mormonism”. Continue reading