Monday, October 22, 2012

Dissident MormonThink Webmaster David Twede Resigns From The LDS Church

On October 22nd, 2012, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that David Twede, the editor of the MormonThink website, has decided to formally resign from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He announced the decision during an open mic session last week at the Exmormon Foundation’s annual conference at the DoubleTree Suites in Salt Lake City (archives of 2012 conference not yet available). Twede was under fire from local LDS leadership because of the anti-Mormon content of his website; the local leadership proposed a disciplinary council before indefinitely postponing it.

In an e-mail to the Tribune, Twede wrote "While I’ve been in serious doubt about the veracity of LDS claims for some time, I had become so disillusioned with how my situation was handled". The full text of his resignation letter to his stake president appears on the MormonThink website, and it reveals a person who is not only suffused in personal arrogance, but is also in deep denial about his motives, definitions, and actions.

-- Twede complains about the Church characterizing MormonThink as “anti-Mormon, anti-Joseph Smith and anti-LDS Leadership”, but that the Church has not said it was untrue. Well, one need only look at the links in the upper left hand corner, which include "Book of Mormon Problems", "Could Joseph Smith Have Written The BOM", and "Lying For The Lord" to conclude that it is anti-Mormon in character. No rebuttal by the Church is necessary.

-- Twede writes "MT links to hundreds of LDS and Church-friendly sites. It acknowledges many good teachings of the Church, and encourages people to discover and retain all the good 'truths' that came into their lives through the Church. It is not MT’s purpose to encourage people to leave the Church". So what if he links to Church-friendly sites; that means nothing. I link to anti-Mormon sites, but it's obvious from my commentary that I defend the Church. Linking to Church-friendly sites is just a ploy to cover his ass. And the critical tone of his website belies his contention that he's not encouraging people to leave the Church; perhaps he's confusing his site with John Dehlin's Mormon Stories. Dehlin expressly states that he doesn't encourage people to leave the Church by default; he merely leads his audience where they want to go individually.

-- Towards the end of his letter, Twede claims that "an omnipotent, loving God will know my mind and my heart, and He will know that the doubts I have are real, well-founded and sincere. In the end, Heavenly Father will not fault me for following my conscience and maintaining my integrity". That may be true, but the Father will also correct his misconceptions, and hold him accountable for them. I don't think he'll be judged a son of perdition, but celestial glory would seem to be out of the question for him at this point.

David Twede has simply decided that he knows more about the Church than the sixteen presidents who have served as prophets, seers, and revelators. He has decided that it's more important to have a testimony of the history of the Church than to have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel message. He demands perfection from an imperfect institution populated by imperfect people, even though he is incapable of perfection himself. He vaingloriously compares himself to Galileo. In his mind, the least little inconsistency ruins the whole message.

The LDS Church declined to comment on Twede’s situation, but spokesman Scott Trotter added that "church leaders are always saddened when an individual, whether through his or her actions or personal choices, decides to leave the church. A welcoming hand of fellowship is always extended to those who wish to return at anytime." And Twede does indeed have time to re-evaluate his attitudes and actions, decide he was too hasty, and return to membership and full fellowship. Only the Father knows how much time Twede has been allotted for his mortal probation. It's too bad that Twede decided to leave, but considering his doubts, it may be the best course of action for him at this time rather than hang around and make everyone miserable.

But even though he closed the door behind him when he left, we have NOT locked it. He can come back when he gets his head straight.

No comments: