Salt Lake City, UT—The church announced this morning that the disciplinary action recently called for against Jeremy Runnells would “not be confined to the privacy of a stake office” but would instead be carried out over social media.
According to a statement from the church, “we appreciate Brother Runnells’ efforts to speak to a large LDS audience” clarifying that, since statements from his stake president will still protect Brother Runnells’ privacy and will be held confidential, doing the council on Facebook “will give social media a complete look at all of one side.”
Offering a thorough view of one side seems to be Brother Runnells forte, so clearly the church is taking a wise step in having all of his arguments presented with no additional context or qualifying information.
When asked if members like Patrick Q Mason, Fiona and Terryl Givens, Randell Bowen, FairMormon, or others might be available for the social media disciplinary council, the church said that “well, if all of those people, their time, efforts, and expertise don’t seem to matter to Runnells, then that makes it pretty clear that they are all worthless.” The church added that since Runnells insists that his stake president answer his questions, and since his stake president must be an expert in all of those areas, and since that stake president does not have a job, family, or other personal matters, and since said stake president does not have other stake members with any physical, spiritual, emotional, or intellectual needs, then it is that stake president’s job to answer Runnells’ questions to Runnells’ satisfaction without, of course, that leader commenting on social media about any of his efforts.
The church also expressed gratitude for those “brave, pioneer saints” who paved the way for people like Brother Runnells’ to have his say in the “Facebook courts of truth.” The church specifically thanked saints like John Dehlin for his efforts, including posting online the transcript of his confidential disciplinary council. Besides Dehlin, the church thanked Kate Kelly for “bravely keeping everyone up to date on every element of her side of her case” in addition to posting on Facebook the names and work contact information for her stake presidency. The church added that “though some of that information may have later been deleted or modified, Kate was sure to keep people in a fairly constant state of agitation and surely helped some contact her stake leadership and their families, all of which must have been a blessing for everyone involved!”
In addition to expressing this gratitude, the church noted thankfully that Runnells, Dehlin, Kelly, and others had so effectively used social media to “really shake up those complacent Mormons who naively believe that making and keeping covenants, loving and serving others, and sincerely trying to live by Christ’s invitation to follow Him are NOT enough, and that all members should be overwhelmingly troubled by all social injustice, inequality, and doctrinal and historical ambiguities so that those things eclipse all other considerations and priorities.”
Finally, the church expressed appreciation for the love and cultural sensitivity shown by the above mentioned saints who treat the church like “God’s big family.” “What those saints have done,” concluded the statement, is important, “since we all know that using individual power as a bludgeon to embarrass and shame is only part of the way we show love in families. The other part is posting pictures of it on Instagram or starting a foundation to celebrate it.”