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  1. Dan, you are superhuman with what you’ve pulled off today–planned, recorded, edited, and put up 5 podcasts! This is a great benefit to many, including myself. Thanks, brother!

  2. Your effort to bring these five thought leaders directly into the conversation about threatening John Dehlin and Kate Kelly with excommunication is extraordinary, Dan. Thank you. I observed as the day unfolded that the series of interviews may have been somewhat therapeutic for you–you seemed to rebound by the time you were chatting with Maxine. I felt more upbeat by the time we got to Maxine as well. Thank you twice.

  3. I would be interested in hearing how Maxine sees herself as a feminist and how that feminism informs her interaction with the church. She spoke of herself as a feminist, and yet I feel that she has completely sacrificed that feminist voice in order to return to the church… She seems to have been ’emasculated’ (I admit the oddness of the word choice) or am I completely mistaken…?

    1. I know Maxine personally and have walked this path with her as she has returned to active status in the Church and I couldn’t disagree more. I had the pleasure of serving with her in a ward Young Women’s presidency and she has brought her awesome views to the girls with open arms on both the ward level and the girls. She has given the gift of helping these young women – the next generation – a voice.

      1. Thanks Melisa, it was such a rare blessing to have you as my neighbor and friend during my return to the Church, you helped me acclimate in ways no one else could, your being a feminist convert. It was such a gift to serve with you in YW, we miss you in our ward. Thanks for speaking up for the truth here.

        Dear Bitherwak — I’m not sure why people assume that I “sacrificed that feminist voice in order to return to the church” — that’s not true in the least. I’m still a feminist historian, theologian, and theorist, doing the same work I’ve done all along. Like I said in the podcast, I’m proud of the feminist work I’ve done and I stand by it. What has changed is the way I treat others.

    2. When I listened to Maxine’s address at the Boise Mormon Stories Conference several years ago then chatted with her afterwards it seemed clear to me that she very much still had the feminist fire about her.

  4. It was great to hear from such a balanced view. Maxine was articulate and expressed the pain of both sides well.

    I was intrigued by her belief that the decisions were not directly coordinated by someone(s) high up in the LDS hierarchy. Perhaps there have been some trainings stressing the need to enforce church discipline given at the stake level by area authorities rather than a direct command. I think we saw the coincidence accentuated by the fact that the “news” of the matter hit at the same time.

    I was in need of some balance, in the midst of such fiery rhetoric, and Maxine was more than up to the task.


  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you Dan and brilliant panelists for modeling a way to process this all more constructively. I have felt a pit in my stomach since hearing of the news, and these conversations have made a world of difference.

    I think what Maxine said about the church being at a critical point is true. I too have felt an uncomfortable sense that things were going to come to a head, and were getting out of control. May we all find a way to learn from this and grow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, even though my heart is so incredibly heavy right now.

  6. I’m sorry, but this podcast really stressed me out. Maxine is making all these apologies for the church at a time when the church is behaving super unfairly. It’s all well and good to call for kinder discourse and for relationship building (which I would agree with), but Maxine completely ignores the fact that THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP to be had with church leaders. Church leaders refused to dialogue with Kate Kelly, and now they’re cutting her off *in abstentia.* It’s wrong, it’s not okay, and it’s not at all Christlike.

    It seems to me that Kate Kelly has been more than willing from the very, very beginning to sit down and dialogue. Kate Kelly isn’t Maxine Hanks in 1993. She hasn’t been angry. She hasn’t been disrespectful. She’s been kind and assertive. The only thing she’s refused to do is stop saying her truth in public. For the most part I’ve been extremely impressed with the fairness and kindness of the tone of her discourse.

    So by all means, let’s call for improved conversation, but you can’t have a conversation with someone who won’t engage you. Period.

    1. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I remember a podcast–I think it was on Mormonstories with Kate Kelly, Maxine Hanks and others which devolved and degenerated in the comment section. I have seen other instances of what appears to me as extreme defensiveness on the part of some associated with Ordain Women. Prior to that Mormonstories podcast I had defended Kate Kelly and the Ordain Women movement but became disenchanted by the vitriol and lack of respect. I think continuing the visible protests at Temple Square isn’t effective. Made your point. Think of something different. On the other hand, I do find it discouraging and troubling that the leaders are totally unavailable to us living in the trenches–and I don’t think it is healthy for an organization to have such a high wall.

    2. Katie, thanks for your honesty. Yes, I knew some people would have a hard time with what I was trying to share, about the POV of leaders and PR, since it’s the opposite view/experience from that of dissenting members and their very real suffering.

      What I was trying to say is that ALL parties’ views and their experiences, stress, frustrations are real, thus need to be heard, understood, listened to. I may not agree with one side or the other at times, but they can’t be dismissed as unreal. They have to be dealt with in real ways, especially if they are wrong and unfair. Care and accuracy is vital, while exaggeration skews, distorts.

      There is always a relationship, of some kind, with two sides, whether or not they are communicating well. Leaders communicate in a variety of ways, and John and Kate communicate in a variety of ways. Yet, when dissenters and leaders clash, it can be an impossible situation, where communication fails, and common ground disappears.

      Many of the requirements in the letters to John and Kate are totally unrealistic — that they should take down their web sites and renounce their public views. While all of us can improve our communication, temper ourselves in ways that are more sensitive or professional or effective, none of us should ever silence ourselves, our truth, our convictions in the public sphere of ideas, which is where they belong.

      This is why I cited the difference between secular and sacred spaces — it’s reasonable to ask OW to refrain from bringing public dissent about doctrine into church spaces (TS and wards). But it’s unreasonable to ask OW to cease their public discussion or dissent, since the public, secular sphere is where discussion and debate belongs. Likewise, ecclesiastical relationships and meetings are private, sacred space; so its unfortunate that John and Kate don’t have the privacy they and their leaders deserve.

      My prayers are with Kate and John, and their leaders, that they will find some way to discuss and resolve this conflict in a fair and reasonable way.

      1. I see what you’re saying Maxine, and I apologize for the impatient tone in my own words above. It’s been a really difficult few days emotionally, as I’m sure you’re experiencing as well. I apologize for taking some of difficult emotions out on you.

        I agree with you on the distinction between public and sacred spaces and even though I participated in the second action on Temple Square, I did so with some reservations and mixed feelings around that very issue. I don’t think that’s an excommunicable offense by any stretch of the imagination, but I can understand why people would be troubled by it.

        What I have been saying from the very beginning is that the fundamental problem is the lack of a true bottom-up feedback mechanism in the church. This creates a situation where the only way to get the leadership’s attention is through the press. I think that’s profoundly unhealthy, but the brunt of the blame has got to fall on the institution, which has not evolved adequate ways to facilitate conversation and relationship between membership and leadership in a diverse, global, 21st-Century church. Gone are the days when you could walk down to the Red Brick Store and ask Joseph a question.

        For Kate’s part, literally ALL of this could have been avoided if the church had chosen peace over power struggles and said, “Sisters, we hear you–why don’t you come talk to us for a couple of hours and let us know what you’re feeling?” They sit down, take notes, leave a card with a phone number–the sisters feel heard, become more willing to work with the leadership, the leadership, I don’t know, *does its Christian duty* to actual minister to the flock, and everyone wins.

        It’s not that hard and it’s absolutely should have been what happened from the very start. If leadership is feeling unheard and misunderstood, and Ordain Women is, Jesus *requires* that we sit down together and talk it out (Matt 18). If one side is unwilling to do that, there is truly no hope for reconciliation. And that is such a tragedy, because the gospel is about reconciliation.

        That’s not your fault, Maxine, and I appreciate that you are trying to build bridges and sow peace. But it’s this “we won’t even talk to you” attitude that is my core frustration and why this whole situation is SO disappointing to me.

        1. Hello! 🙂 I am new to this blog and just wanted to say that this particular exchange had me so impressed with the way you guys conduct yourselves around these kinds of hair-trigger issues and differences of opinion. You are so utterly civilised… I participate in a non-religious, ostensibly family-orientated forum about somewhat less personal matters, where the conduct of people towards each other frequently shocks me to the core, not to mention their attitudes… and those people frequently freeze me, and friends of mine, out or turn on us when we actually express our discomfort with those things, or a different opinion.

          And that is mild on the Richter scale with some of the completely vitriolic abuse and trolling so common in wider cyberspace, the distilled hatred in comments following news articles or opinion pieces, the witch hunting in some of the so-called journalism around people accused of various crimes who just might actually be innocent, or have rather complicated back stories to the crime… my husband and I have been boycotting TV news broadcasts for a year now because of the constant negativity and because we feel that exposing ourselves to that stuff makes us emotionally less able to brighten our own little sphere of actual influence where we can perhaps make a difference.

          So to read your dialogue above is just such a breath of fresh air compared to how it ordinarily goes. “Good on you” as we say in Australia, this sort of thing really helps restore a little faith in the human species for me. Thanks to all of you who care how you come across, and who care for the humans who might have different opinions than your own. You’re shining stars in a dark sky.

  7. Thank you for the great work you have done on these. I really liked this one as it made me take a step back and attempt to look at the individuals at Church HQ in a more charitable light. Her insights on the Mormon psyche needing these two individuals to help our community navigate our challenges gives me a lot to ponder about. I am way grateful for your work Dan.

  8. Wow. I’ve really respected Maxine, but this is so good. I get the sense that Maxine really understands religion, deeply, “cloud upon the sanctuary” type of understanding. So impressed. Thanks, Dan.

  9. Great interviews. Maxine was a nice wrap up. I really appreciated her perspective on how not to overreact by seeing beyond positions and titles to the human behind them. I think this is something both sides can benefit from. However, she mentioned a lot about how her actions were so private as opposed to John and. Kate’s very public actions. The implication as I interpret it is that her questioning/activism was less harmful/ serious? . I suppose from a strictly factual perspective that is true. However, given that the internet did not exist in Maxine’s time like it does today and given that church leaders encouraged internet use to talk and discuss the gospel, John and Kate’s activism, I believe, was a natural progression of their culture and circumstances. In other words, to paint John and Kate as calculated activists is over exaggerated . Perhaps Maxine would have been more “public” given the same tools and vice versa John and Kate would have seemed more private without the internet and church encouragement to use it. From a larger perspective, I wholeheartedly appreciate Maxine’s idea that conflict coming to a head is part of the process of progression and can be healthy. I do sincerely pray for all directly involved in this situation. In the short term, this is a terribly difficult and personal reality.

    1. Jenny, these are good points. I should clarify, I was talking about public activism, action, pushback, vs. articles, books, speeches. They are different in scope or style. I don’t mean that one is less critical, since writings can be very critical or confrontive. I was talking about a difference of approach.

      I was fairly public, assertive, and critical in 1990-95, in speeches, articles, and media. But I wasn’t doing activism, actions. And I wasn’t advocating that women receive men’s offices. I was advocating reclamation of women’s own precedent of authority in Mormon tradition.

      We actually did have the internet in 1993 😉 and we were processing all that happened on chat lists, like Mormon-L and ELWC. We were just learning about web pages. But their were no blogs.

  10. Dan,

    Yeoman’s work there, amigo. On a day when there is a lot of pain, your work was a pleasant balm of healing. Or in more modern terms it was “take two of these and call me in the morning.” All the best, brother.

  11. Dan, This was much needed (all 5 parts). I don’t know how you had the strength to pull it off when it was difficult for me to even get out of bed yesterday.

  12. Dan this series was amazing! Thank you for bringing your wisdom and beauty together with theses 5 wonderful voices. As always Mormon Matters helps me keep perspective at a difficult time.

    All I can say is thank you.

  13. Absolutely wonderful series Dan! Appreciating all the individuals who you spoke with. Your efforts created for me the “in-between “ conversation. And thank you Maxine. Being able to pull back, reflect, and see many other possibilities always gives me breathing room.

    Again, outstanding work Dan!!

  14. Personally, I think we have a long way to go enlarging the imagination and vision of the majority of LDS women in terms of the role of women in the church–as evidenced by the large majority who are perfectly satisfied with the status quo. It has troubled me that nearly all the important decision-making roles are held by men. I think women should have a seat at the table at all levels in the church, and the church organization would be better for it. Closer to home, I can also imagine what a special experience it would be to be part of the circle in a baby blessing or being able to administer to those I visit teach.

    Thanks Dan, for all the skillful work you do and for all your guests-like Maxine who take the time to share with us.

  15. I appreciated this podcast with Maxine Hanks and the balanced view it provided. Both the church and the OW Movement made mistakes over the last year. It is sad that neither side has been willing to take steps to de-escalate.

    The altering of church policy/doctrine to ordain women is a major change to the current status quo. In any large organization, fundamental change is slow to occur. While I support the ordination of women in the church, I have been uncomfortable with many of the strategies and tactics of the Ordain Women Organization.

    The majority of women in the church do not support the ordination of women either because they are either fundamentally against it or they are uneasy expressing support. I wish that the OW movement would have moved more slowly, co-existed with the church for a much longer period of time to allow the concept of equality and ordination to become more widely known, discussed and acceptable. Over time the number of public supporters could have grown from 500 to 10,000 or more.

    In the last year several small but notable changes resulted from this movement, broadcast of priesthood session, women praying in conference, and even greater photo representation of female leaders etc. These sorts of changes could have continued to the benefit of all until more significant changes could be made.

    If Kate Kelly is excommunicated, I fear that those small changes will stop. It will also become even more difficult to gain a larger following going forward as many women and men will dismiss the ordination discussion altogether as anti-Mormon. My hope would be for Kate Kelly to de-escalate and try to find a middle way.

  16. Thank you, Maxine, for bringing some reality to these five podcasts, instead of emotion.

    Thank you, Dan, for an awesome podcast. Maxine has the maturity, experience and vision needed for Mormon feminism. I am not a fan of Kate Kelly and OW, in fact I strongly dislike their methods. I am hoping that the current situation will cause them to rethink their approach.

  17. Dan and Maxine – I have posted this article elsewhere. I thought that it might be of help to some here too. I love your latest cluster of podcasts Dan. Maxine really is the best to finish with. Great insights!

    I just wrote a piece of non-scholarly poorly-written material from my non-formally educated mind. But it reflects some thoughts that I hope are useful.

    Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


    Social Activism

    Recently local leaders of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints have taken a position to try two individual members, John Dehlin of Mormon Stories fame and Kate Kelly of Ordain Women, for their membership in the church. It is local leaders that conduct Disciplinary Councils in the church. My purpose in sharing this is to share my feelings and experience with membership in the church, activism and the cost for both.

    First of all let me say how very saddened I am to hear about anyone being tried for their membership in the church. I have sat in on disciplinary councils and believe me, I’d rather be doing almost anything else. Some have joyful outcomes but most, when membership is taken away, leaves a very dark hole in one’s spirit. This said, there is still the great hope that that individual will use the experience to make adjustments in their lives and come back into full fellowship or be found without need for further action by their local leaders. A recent example of coming back into full fellowship is a brother that is in my “Gospel Essentials” Sunday School class who had been excommunicated for some time and lost his family while spending some time in prison. He was able to come back into full fellowship. I attended his new marriage to a wonderful lady with plans to get a temple sealing within a year. What joy it was to see the repentance process work for him while attending their wedding. He now knows and has great joy in the promise that he will soon receive all of the blessings this life has to offer and if he stays faithful to the end he will receive all of Heavenly Father’s blessings in the next life as well. Repentance truly is a beautiful process that can work for anyone humble enough to try and do it.

    When an individual joins the LDS church and becomes a member either by growing up in the church or through the miracle of conversion (I consider myself a convert even though I grew up in the church. Others might have had a different experience.) they take on responsibilities by covenant. One responsibility is to follow the Priesthood leadership. Members can disagree with their leadership as long as they do not organize and try to draw others members away because of those disagreements. When an individual or organization draws away from Priesthood leadership, they stand in rebellion and can be challenged for their membership. There would be no real organization in the church if just anyone could lead the membership of the church in whatever direction someone might feel inclined to. What would be the need for Prophets or Presidents? Heaven is a top-down organization with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost at the head. In the church we have the Godhead’s living representatives to lead the church. We as members are to follow as the Holy Ghost directs us. I also recognize that the leadership is human and are trying to work out their own salvation as all members of the church are. They make mistakes upon occasion as Pres. Uchtdorf pointed out in the October 2013 General Conference title, “Come, Join With Us”:

    “And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.
    I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes.”

    Nonetheless, they are those God has chosen. They did not choose to be the leaders. No one that I know in the church if they really knew what a general authority’s life is like would choose to live the life of a general authority. I believe it to be very similar to sitting in on a daily disciplinary council only with a magnifying glass on your every move. They have great joy and great sadness not to mention giving worldly pursuits up to serve God and the human family 24-7. They take their responsibilities very seriously.

    Social Activism and the church.

    I remember when my wife and I lived in Tucson, AZ. It was not long before moving there that the church went into the current 3-hour block program for meetings. The counsel from the brethren was that now Fathers would have to shoulder more of the responsibility for taking care of young children during meetings and that we might even see babies in Priesthood Meeting. We had a new baby at this time. There was a new calling implemented to help parents during church meetings called a Nursery Leader. My wife and I were called as the very first Nursery Leaders in our ward. So what does this have to do with activism. I noticed when I would take our infant son to Priesthood meeting that occasionally I would need to change a diaper. Unfortunately there was nowhere in the restroom or anywhere else in the church other than the women’s bathroom or the floor to change him on. In order to solve the problem I petitioned the brethren that in order to accommodate fathers and so that men could better perform their new duties at church that it might be a good idea to have changing tables in the men’s lavatory. Not long after, we had a changing table in the men’s lavatory and it caught on church wide. Evidently others felt the same way.

    What would have happened do you think if I had organized a group of mostly Priesthood holders and some women and sent a petition off to the brethren in SLC stating that the church has misled me in my new calling as the Nursery Leader and as a father because they did not have the foresight to have changing tables in the men’s lavatory and I was not going to participate in my new calling or have home teachers or visiting teachers come to my home until the problem is solved? I might even have said, “Why would you mislead my family into thinking that I could possibly perform this calling without changing tables in the first place? If you want to see examples of this problem, take a look at my sons diaper blowout in church during Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class. See the other members gagging next to me. I had no where to go and they are all sympathetic to the cause. By the way I have some 3,000 signatures of fathers and some women that agree with me and it is growing and I have started a blog “Mormons Against Men Changing Baby Diapers in Church without Changing Tables”, and have a Facebook/YouTube following graphically showing the problem. Take this issue to the Lord, the council, or whoever makes these decisions. Until then I am not sure of my testimony, of the truthfulness of anything church related especially the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, Christ as my Savior or Christianity as a whole but more especially you as leaders of the church. I look forward to your reply!

    With Love,


    This is activism. It is how some great social changes have come about in the world. Most of which were or are great causes. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S.A. is a great example. The difference is that the church is not a worldly government institution. If you are a believing member then you know what you signed up for by covenant. You know that it is run and operated by God who can remove anyone leading the church at any time. Not only that, but you have either had revelation from God to that effect or believe in those that have. Here is a couple of examples of how change in the church comes.
    1- Declaration 2 in the D&C came about after years of persecution from outside and inside the church. But it was not this pressure that brought about the change. For three years prior to Declaration 2, the opponents of the church had calmed. The brethren addressed publicly the issues and within the church their position was put forward and virtually none expected things to change. A calm had come. After those tumultuous years the prophet goes to the Heavenly Father and pleads the case. The result was Declaration 2.
    2- It was the same with Declaration 1. For four years prior to Declaration 1 the brethren had quit openly preaching or advocating plural marriage and was counseling the church not to enter into any more. Not all listened, but this was the Brethren’s church wide counsel. Virtually none at the conference when Declaration 1 came expected it. I know that there is more to both of these stories, but it is the pattern.

    Public opinion and being swayed by activism is not how the church operates. Just ask Sonia Johnson the Feminist who fell on the sword for women’s rights during the ERA amendment movement while threatening to have a true Mormon Fast to the death until the church changed its position on the ERA amendment. She was excommunicated and went from a Covenant Daughter of Zion, Wife and Mother to what I consider to be the end result of true Feminism. Interestingly to me is that she comes from the same Ward or Stake that Kate Kelly has her membership in. Not all Feminists are women or lesbians, but to the point of how they perceive relationships ultimately is:

    “During this time Johnson also declared herself a lesbian and began a relationship with a woman. After ending that relationship, she wrote in The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room that even relationships between female couples are a dangerous patriarchal trap, because two is the ideal number for inequality, for sadism, for the reproduction of patriarchy”, and that relationships are “slave Ships” (a concept from which she derived the title of the book).
    “Nearly four years after I began my rebellion against relation/sex/slave Ships,” she wrote, “experience and my Wise Old Woman are telling me that sex as we know it is a patriarchal construct and has no rightful, natural place in our lives, no authentic function or ways. Synonymous with hierarchy/control, sex is engineered as part of the siege against our wholeness and power.”


    There is always a high price to pay for activism. I think often times, especially when it comes to the church and opposition to the church’s positions on social issues that it becomes a very selfish endeavor for the activist. The”cause” becomes their god.

    A very wise person once said, “you become what you worship.” I’ll let you decide what it means to worship. but for many, it is what they spend most of their time doing. There is no greater cause than to serve God with all of one’s heart, might, mind and strength and we as church members have a vehicle (the church) that our Heavenly Father has set up to serve within. Grant it that the church is operated by us all too human people. The church members’s and God’s objective is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all of God’s children upon obedience. This is the cause. We are to be obedient to our God and his leaders.

    I recently heard about a situation where a self-proclaimed Mormon Feminist woman dressed in pants wanted to go to the temple with her husband (the handbook of instruction allows people to come in with whatever they are dressed in). She was just off work and did not have time or perhaps the inclination to change into anything else. She knew the temple matron (a friend of her family) that met her at the door and when the matron asked “What gives with the pants?” this person challenged the matron questioning the issue of wearing pants making a scene while embarrassing the matron and her unfortunate husband. All of the temple patrons around them heard the fuss. As an activist her first allegiance was to her feminist cause. She didn’t care at the time about hurting the matron, her husband or others that may have been there wanting and searching for or needing a spiritual experience. All that mattered was the cause. Not allowed to wear pants, well I’ll show them and use this opportunity to show the whole world that I have been wronged and my cause is just no matter who it hurts in the process. Later blogging about the whole ordeal to all like-minded or leaning members, non-members and sympathizers about the whole ordeal. This situation seems rather selfish to me.

    Another like situation is the women standing in line wanting to go to Priesthood Meeting on temple square after they have been told that they will not be admitted. Activists are often times very selfish and self serving for their cause. By definition they are very focused. They are at WAR! So the more media the more attention to their cause the better. Matters not who it is hurting. After all there are always casualties when you are at war.

    In John Dehlin’s case, he was born in the church, I am not that familiar with Kate Kelly, but I would assume she was too. John is now an activist for LGTB issues, Feminism and feels like he was lied to about church history. Most of the history issues have been around since the inception of the church and the inception of it’s detractors. I have listened to all but a handful of his podcasts, over 500 hours, and followed his supposed faith or lack-of-faith journey. Kelly is a feminist dedicated to women receiving the Priesthood among other feminist issues. They both have organized, draw members away from the church and draw members away from church leadership in the name of their cause. It would appear that there is not much care for what the cost is for their cause which is typical of worldly social activists. They look for opportunities to fall on the sword. They would love to be Martin Luther King, Jr., Gahndi or Rosa Parks so they can put an exclamation mark to their activism no matter the cost to their Church, their family, other members of the church or their friends. Their cause has become their religion and their god.

    There is a god of this world. Sonia Johnson reflects what that god looks like. He does not want eternal relationships. This god wants men and women to be single. This god wants to de-emphasize organization and traditional families in particular. This god hates the church and wants to destroy it.

    I would hope that all who read this will consider the consequences of activism against the church. The adversaries of the church are just waiting with open arms for your support. Will you fall into this trap or stay true and faithful to the covenants that you have made, not to man, but to your God?

    Father in Heaven is God. He is anthropomorphic with a body, parts and passions. He is a family God who is all loving and cares for all of his children. He wants us to become like Him. The church is his Kingdom here on Earth with his Priesthood and Saving Ordinances which will ultimately bless all of his children. God’s church, which is God’s Kingdom here on Earth, is preparing a place for the return of our elder brother and savior Jesus Christ.

    So look in the mirror today. If I am becoming what I worship, what am I reflecting and what do I worship? You might be surprised at what you find.

    1. Uh, I don’t know exactly how you came to “what you consider to be the end result of true Feminism”…but having been what I consider to be a true feminist basically all my life, also a longtime wife, mother, temple-recommend holding church member…I have to say that your view in no way resembles my beliefs, my direction, my philosophy, my convictions, nor any of my life goals as they pertain to my feminist ideals. In fact, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t have the faintest idea either. My loving relationships are basically my life. Just needed to clarify that.

      1. Susan – Sorry for the confusion. Congratulation on your loving relationships. It would be great if LDS Feminism was the norm and the end result. It would be great if Feminism as a whole recognized the distinct roles of men and women as co-equal partners and our view of God as a dual being meaning a Male and Female joined. Neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man. With that said, Sonia Johnson views any relationship of two as an unequal patriarchal construct:

        “After ending that relationship, she wrote in The Ship that Sailed Into the Living Room that even relationships between female couples are a dangerous patriarchal trap, because two is the ideal number for inequality, for sadism, for the reproduction of patriarchy”, and that relationships are “slave Ships” (a concept from which she derived the title of the book).

        This is the end result of worldly Feminism as I view it. A very Satanic construct in my mind.

        1. Joel, I have to disagree. I probably thought that way after my divorce 11 years ago, but then realized that the inequality only happens in unrighteousness union with an unbalanced couple. Having been in a righteous union with a man that truly helps me balance myself, there is no strife, no inequality. We govern our family together. It takes a strong feminist to be able to know when to set her ego aside and a loving man to know when to do the same.

    2. Long post…
      “They both have organized, draw members away from the church and draw members away from church leadership in the name of their cause. It would appear that there is not much care for what the cost is for their cause which is typical of worldly social activists. They look for opportunities to fall on the sword. They would love to be Martin Luther King, Jr., Gahndi or Rosa Parks so they can put an exclamation mark to their activism no matter the cost to their Church, their family, other members of the church or their friends. Their cause has become their religion and their god.”
      I do not know WHAT YOU HEARD in 500(!!!) of John’s episodes… but you did not LISTEN TO JOHN in them. Did you think all the historical episodes were social activism, too?
      Do you think that reality has a liberal bias?
      When Emma asked Joseph to find a solution to the tobacco stains, did he cave to her for bringing forth the Word of Wisdom?
      When Brigham Young talked about polygamy as the Everlasting Covenant was he deceived by the Devil?
      Do you think that Kimball was a sellout for letting the Negro get the priesthood?
      Do you think that the Church made a mistake for letting a woman (in 2013 !) pray in General Conference?
      Do you think that Uchdorf is a hippie for welcoming diversity into the Church?
      Do you find Holland a traitor for telling John that the Church needs people like him?
      Do you doubt that women will hold the priesthood within the next 50 years?
      If you are that scared of Continuous Revelation than maybe you you should question your own membership?!

      1. Chris –

        In the 500+ hours of podcasts I found a lot of good, but a lot of really unjustified criticism of the church and church leaders. This is apostasy in the highest degree. when I hear John repeatedly say he does not believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world (now he back-tracks saying that he doesn’t know), that the Book of Mormon is fiction, that he does not follow the leaders of the church, etc. etc. and openingly advocates against the leaders of the church, this is apostasy. When he laughs with, sympathizes with and entertains the enemies of the church, this is apostasy.

        His self-proclaimed activism on LGBT/Women in the Priesthood issues is in direct opposition to church leadership. Or maybe you missed the part where the church is supporting the amendment to Utah’s constitution against same sex marriages. HIs activism for somehow broadening the stakes of the tent allowing non-believers who act out their non-belief publicly to remain members. Yes this is the activism that I talk about.

        No I do not believe that women will receive the Priesthood within the next 50-years. There is no need…. other than some people that feel they need this worldly construct to be happy in this life and that it somehow makes women equal. Temple goers of the church are all promised to become Priests and Priestesses to the most High God so I don’t see the argument. Temple worthy members are equal as joint heirs with Jesus Christ in the Celestial Kingdom if we stay true and faithful. This is something I think John and Kate put in jeopardy by their rebellion along with all that follow them.

        Liberal bias is not reality in this case. The nature of the beast is activism.

        For all of the historical questions, I say bring them out and put them on the table. I have no problem with it. I do have a problem when John sides with and sympathizes with and promotes enemies of the church. This is not just interviewing, but advocating for them.

        Revelation comes when it is needed to continue building the God’s Kingdom here on earth no more, no less. Personally I am glad we do not have tobacco stains in our chapels.

        Polygamy is still an Everlasting Covenant as any marriage sealed in the temple to those that stay true and faithful. Ask Dahlin Oaks…

        I was almost in tears when all worthy males became eligible for the Priesthood. I was not put-out because people of African descent did not have the Priesthood and did not petition and question the brethren abut it. The Priesthood gives no one privilege. It simply creates a bigger burden in this life and really tests those that have it. Evidently their is something in a Priesthood holders eternal scheme that Heavenly Father seems to think they need to prove before leaving this life. Personally I prefer being in Primary and guess what. If I stay true and faithful I would receive all that Heavenly has and be a joint heir with Jesus Christ. This is the misunderstanding about the Priesthood. It has no privilege and does not elevate over any baptized temple going member of the church. Women that want that do not understand the purpose of the Priesthood. They and others do not need to experience it in this life or they would have it. The rest of us evidently have some growing to do in the eyes of the Lord.

        No mistake with women praying. Love to here women pray.

        You misunderstand Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk if somehow you think he was inviting people to be in the church but activists against the church. There is always room for repentant believers of all kinds.

        My guess is that Elder Holland loves John and was inviting him to stay. But I am positive he supports the disciplinary council. He was inviting John to help within the guidelines of the church and bring all of his talents with him to the table which John has many to offer.

        I love and look forward to continuous revelation in the church. I have a real problem with it coming for the church from John or Kate or anyone else other than our Prophet.

        I hope this helps.

        1. I’ve got to say I agree with Chris here. I think given what John Dehlin has communicated about his experiences on a personal, faith and institutional level, he is about as measured and fair as a human being, and a Christian for that matter, can be expected to be. Although I care about conducting myself in a civilised manner, I doubt I’d have quite the stores of patience and forbearance with which he has consistently comported himself.

          Institutions like to talk about how they are “hurt” by reductions in memberships, and by someone not accepting their official views hook, line and sinker. Well, the mind is like a parachute – it works so much better when it is open – and critical thinking (as opposed to criticising for the heck of it or, on the other side of the extreme, blind acceptance of authority, dogma, opinions, etc) is absolutely essential for a person to navigate through life in a meaningful way. People are *harmed* when others try to suppress this in them. This “don’t rock the boat, you’ll hurt me” thing seems like a form of emotional blackmail to me, to suppress growth and personal truth in others. I don’t see how that is healthy.

          Christ sat with, befriended and cared for prostitutes, tax collectors, the marginalised and looked down upon, and he challenged the established authorities, and the religious elite hated him for all that (but having lived in this world for over 40 years and seen how it operates, to think that he did that, that he was concerned for justice, kindness and mercy, and for setting a few things straight, no matter what the personal cost to him was going to be, gives me the most hope of anything I’ve ever come across).

          So has anything really changed, except the names of the religious organisations who act in this way, while, like their erstwhile counterparts, fancying themselves as God’s own mouthpiece? The supreme irony is that now organisations are doing that in the name of Christ, and there’s quite a few of them.

          I’m not LDS, or any particular denomination. I am just fascinated and inspired by the life of Christ and I believe I’ve had some really incredible personal experiences of God (that objectively might have been personal delusions, I can’t prove that one way or another). I also read Martin Luther King’s “Strength to Love” in one breathless sitting as a teenager, shortly after my conversion experience. I wonder who he was accused by his detractors of attempting to imitate – did they ask him if he fancied he was Gandhi, or Jesus Christ himself? That’s such a dirty kind of thing to say, in my view, and it seems to completely dismiss the possibility that a person is plugged into God in a meaningful and personal way, whether or not they themselves necessarily see it, and is doing what his or her conscience demands in the presence of injustice or a presumed entitlement, regardless of the mud that will be slung at them for it, not to mention accusations of being “unchristian” etc.

          It’s always so much easier to be wise in hindsight, or to pay lip service to social justice movements of the past while making it really difficult for others in real time to help the people who are really suffering in this world: The outcast, the marginalised, the people who are being taken advantage of or whose lives are unnecessarily restricted from reaching for their full potential by realities others impose on them.

          A key thing for me here is that if mere conversation, dialogue, open discussion, and unrestricted information is contributing to the leaving of churches and organisations, then would people rather lobotomise the people who are going to fit them into their own little constructed boxes, or perhaps think about enlarging the space which they let others, God included, occupy?

          If you love someone, set them free. If they return, maybe you’ve done something right. People shouldn’t expect others to conform to their own idealised patterns, but allow others freedom of conscience and to live and think genuinely and authentically. It doesn’t have to be “us and them” according to some narrow definition that turns people into opposing football teams, or mere gingerbread men all cut from exactly the same mould.

          Nature is full of diversity. And here’s a thought: Maybe God actually likes it that way. Not that I know, I only have a hunch, and I think that’s the best any of us can do, regardless of what some proclaim. But I do know, in a scientific sense, that diversity is part of what allows an ecosystem to function. Monocultures don’t work.

  18. Super well said Maxine. Your take is by far the most important and most ‘correct’ of all the reactions out there on this matter. Also your level of honesty and self reflection on your own circumstances is powerfully mature and beautiful.

  19. At 30:45 Maxine says that one of the problems might be that secular concerns enter wards and other sacred spaces. Interestingly Ally Isom, senior manager of the PR Department said this morning on KUER that ward meetings such as Relief Society are safe spaces for these kinds of discussions.

    I’m not surprised that Maxine things of it in terms of a divide between sacred and profane space, but I don’t think that’s what’s really going on.

    1. Seneca, we all know what is really going on, its just that everybody is too scared to talk about it. It’s not about spaces and it’s not about whether or not it’s “safe” to talk about this stuff at church. It’s all about the Brethren or rather, not talking about the Brethren. The only thing being kept sacred and safe is the authority of the leadership of the church.

      Nobody is allowed to talk about the real root of the problem but everybody is free to roll around in the leaves.

      1. SSYSD: That last sentence is so hilarious, and such a great analogy. We need rolling on the floor laughing emoticons around here. Thank you! 🙂

  20. Pingback: Thoughts on Ordain Women « Sacred Quotidian

  21. Great interview. Maxine echos one of the more important GC talks I’ve heard recently–Elder Criag Zwick, Sat afternoon Apr 2014.

  22. I thought all of the interviews were wonderful, and each helped me in different ways. One thing that I’m wondered about, Maxine, is whether you had to disavow what you were doing before you were excommunicated before you were allowed to be re-baptized. From what you said in a comment response, it sounds like you are doing the same things now that you always did. The reason I ask is that I think this would be the one thing that would be required of Kate in order to be allowed back in, yet I doubt she could agree to that.

  23. Wow, this podcast was an utter disappointment. I’d never listened to or read Maxine Hanks before but (incorrectly) assumed that like the September 6, she had a serious critique of the church. Unless she has (as it appears from this feed that others have suggested)indeed sacrificed her feminist views in order to come back to the church, she probably didn’t have a serious critique to begin with.

    Her point that these two periods (the 1990s and 2010s)were “completely different” especially in terms of the content of demands is absurd. Paul Toscano, Margaret Toscano, Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, and D. Michael Quinn, for instance, were making as powerful or even more powerful critiques of the church than Kate Kelly.

    Unfortunately, Dan, I have to call you out a little bit as well. You appear to push back (politely, of course, because you are always polite) proportionate to an interviewee’s hostility to the church. And you are accommodating in proportion to how accommodating an interviewee is to the church. Of course, you want analysis and some alternative voices but you seem uncomfortable with serious critique. Which marks Mormon Matters as only marginally useful to formulating critiques of truly horrible things that happen as common practice in the church.

    P.S. I am so sick and tired of hearing about “tone”–this idea that content be darned if you can’t say it in the proper tone. An absurd idea which Ms. Hanks appears to back. Shall we then discount Abinidi’s or Samuel’s (the Lamanite) awesome truth spoken to power because of tone?! One of them did more than stand politely in line to get into Zarahemla. He got up on a wall and shouted!!

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