Mormon blogger faces probe over comments on temple, not on Romney

September 27, 2012

A Mormon blogger who has written critical web essays about Mormon history, temple worship and contemporary issues—including essays about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney—is facing church discipline for “apostasy.”

Initially, the Florida blogger, David Twede, managing editor of MormonThink, told news media on September 21 that the threatened church action was due to his comments about Romney. Later that day, he denied that any political criticism was the cause.

Twede told the Salt Lake Tribune that his church leaders never brought up Romney, a Mormon, in their exchange with him. Though not supporting the Republican nominee, Twede apologized to Romney, saying, “I didn’t mean for [the story] to go this way.”

Indeed, plenty of Mormons across the country are critical of Romney—in public and often—but none have been threatened with any church sanction.

“It is patently false for someone to suggest they face church discipline for having questions or for expressing a political view,” Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a statement. “The church is an advocate of individual choice. It is a core tenet of our faith.”

Purdy also said that “church discipline becomes necessary only in those rare occasions when an individual’s actions cannot be ignored while they claim to be in good standing with the church.”

There is one topic that LDS leaders insist should be off-limits: details about temple worship. Describing it in general, academic terms is largely acceptable, but publicly describing specific sacred ceremonies is seen as deeply offensive.

MormonThink did have an entire section discussing LDS temple ceremonies and their connection to Masonic rites, with links to photos and text of LDS temple rituals. Twede told the Daily Beast, an online site, that he “revealed things about the temple, and secrecy, and other things that they just don’t want anyone to talk about.”

Purdy declined to comment on blogger Twede’s particular situation. —Salt Lake Tribune