Case Study

Our Thoughts On The Monson Fraud Case

Our Thoughts On The Monson Fraud Case

As already mentioned, this is a pivotal moment. Which way will the scales be made to tip? Towards glasnost, reason, real charity and inclusiveness, perhaps heralding future co-operation and progress? Or back into the dark ages of further dogma-driven myopia?

Is Dissent Tantamount To Apostasy

Why are Steve Bloor and I supportive of Tom Phillips’ private criminal action against LDS Church President, Thomas Spencer Monson?

2009-2014: An Odyssey Without Answers in a Changing Church

The first time I attended an LDS church meeting was on 10 th October 1971. I was 18 years old, and had been contacted on the doorstep five days previously by two young American elders, who were only a year or two older than me. They told me I would really enjoy their church meetings, and so, wearing jeans and a colourful shirt, I was escorted by them early on that Sunday morning to two meetings which they explained were called Priesthood and Sunday School. The local Branch President, in whose home I had been taught earlier that week, kindly provided the 10-mile lift for us to and from the meetings.

The meeting place was some rented rooms in a terraced Georgian house at Green Park, Bath. The congregation consisted of about 30 people, including four American missionary elders and three investigators. Half of the total congregation consisted of children or youth, and there were just four resident priesthood holders, the most senior of them, the founder member of the Bath Branch, having been a member for about 15 years. I was welcomed warmly.

During Priesthood time, the elders taught me a missionary discussion in a side room. That was followed by a special lesson for the investigators taught from a manual by the Branch President. I recall that lesson clearly. It was about the voluntary nature of priesthood service, and how a bishop, (translated for me as a branch president), might, in the course of his duties, receive a distress call from a member of his congregation at any hour of the day, and would respond to it. Apparently all service in the church was unpaid from top to bottom. It was a wonderful system emulating the service given by Jesus and his disciples. There was a clearly defined hierarchy, and they were all there to help me. If I had a question about something to do with the church I should take it first to my home teacher who would be assigned as soon as I was baptised. If he could not answer it, I could ask the branch president. If the question was too difficult for him to answer, then it could be referred to the stake president. Finally, if the stake president could not answer, there were apostles, and of course the prophet, who could ask the Lord on my behalf, and the answer would be provided. That sounded beautiful. The fount of all wisdom was at my disposal, and it felt very comforting.

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Now I mention this early episode in my association with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by way of an explanation. My name was recently identified with a summons served upon Thomas Spencer Monson, and some have questioned how I came to be involved in any capacity with this private criminal action brought against the Mormon President by Tom Phillips. I have had many adjectives applied to me since this became public, ranging from ‘unspeakable’ to ‘heroic’. It might even be said that my name has been had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds and tongues. Well, perhaps not exactly all of them yet, but sometimes it feels a little bit that way.