Details of the October 2010 Exmormon Foundation Conference are now available. Just click on the following link:
I will be presenting on the Saturday morning. For those planning to attend, I look forward to seeing you there. The weekend promises to be full of variety and worthwhile information. More importantly, we will be able to mix and meet with hundreds of people who, like us, have discovered and had to face and deal with the devastating truth behind Mormonism. We are not alone in our struggle to come to terms with the truth or in our travels along the road to recovery.
June saw the publication of a book of poetry by my friend Vernon Moyse. Vernon (who, like me, also lives in England), was a Mormon for many years and although gay, he faithfully remained celibate, in line with Mormon theology. Vernon was baptised in 1992 and was excommunicated in March 2010 when he entered a civil partnership with his companion of forty years. He committed no moral sin nor did he violate any commandment or other Mormon mandate that would have required discipline. He simply entered an entirely celibate and perfectly legal arrangement which enabled better management of taxes, pensions and inheritances for both Vernon and his partner. It also added the comfort of companionship plus the safety and security of living with a companion during their now latter years and declining health. (I wouldn’t want to suffer a heart attack or some such when completely alone).
Vernon’s latest (fifth) book of poetry is entitled ‘The Mormon Gay’ and it recounts in poetic form his recent trials and tribulations which led to his exit from the Church. He also includes poems written earlier; expressing his initial euphoria upon discovering what he then perceived as the truth within Mormonism; to give overall perspective to his journey. Here is an ex Mormon who did absolutely nothing wrong, legally, morally or theologically. His relationship always remained celibate in accordance with Mormon theology which determines it is only acting upon such feelings or impulses that is sinful or actionable. Vernon’s only ‘transgression’ was to formally enter a perfectly legal civil partnership which is not a marriage. The arrangement is little different to that of two missionaries cohabiting during their mission. An appeal to the First Presidency to overturn the disciplinary council decision was withdrawn by Vernon before it was considered, when he concluded that the Church could not be true and decided to publish his poems which surrounded the case. The book is available worldwide from Lulu.com (including a download version) and will appear on Amazon et al in a few weeks time.
Later update: Irrespective of Vernon withdrawing his appeal to the First Presidency, it seems that the local Stake President did not forward the request and the First Presidency did review and uphold the decision to excommunicate Vernon. It seems that the Mormon First Presidency is not willing to abide by its own 12th Article of Faith: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” Vernon obeyed the law. He used appropriate legislation to enable better tax and pension as well as inheritance advantages. A civil partnership is not a marriage and he did not violate a single Church law or rule that should have called his membership into question. Vernon remained celibate. Thus the First Presidency confirmed their prejudiced and bias by excommunicating someone solely on the basis of them availing themselves of something perfectly legal and which in and of itself does not violate any known Church rule. Clearly members now have to be obedient to rules they have no idea even exist.