Excerpt: (but go read the whole thing)
Mormon doctrines are powerful and beautiful and have given great meaning to my life for more than 30 years. I’m sure they will always continue to inform not only my future work as a filmmaker, but also my private spiritual journey. But it does not appear that it will be my honor to make some of these films that the LDS community so desperately needs.
As many of you know, I am no longer a practicing member of the church. The private answers to the questions I have asked in my prayers, and in my films, have led me on an unexpected journey, a spiritual path which may ultimately prove incompatible with Mormon orthodoxy. This understanding has brought me some of the most profound surprises and also the deepest sadness of my life. It is very hard for me to say goodbye to something that I love.
Who knows? Maybe, like Oliver Cowdery (to whom I’ve always felt an uncommon kinship), my travels will someday lead back to Mormonism and to this effort. Such an end would be beautiful and, in a strange way, an answer to my prayers. But I don’t know.
1. Saddened. Dutcher is a talented man, and I could spend days praising Brigham City and God’s Army. Many of his comments about the mediocrity of Mormon arts were often spot on.
Luckily, he’s going off graciously, with no overt explicit attacks on the church as a whole.
2. However, that said, despite Dutcher’s insistence he’s being humble, I detect too much hubris in his implicit claim to have more mature spiritual insight than the rest of us orthodox types.
It’s clear Dutcher has put his art before the church. And in the end, as Neal A. Maxwell said:
If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.
I wish him luck, and hope his comparison to Cowdery proves true – that he will eventually return to the fold. We’re poorer without him. But, at the same time, I think he’ll be poorer without us as well, even if he won’t realize it.