Nobody expects the excommunication of Natasha Helfer!
No, I have to admit, I was actually surprised when I heard that the CoJCoL-dS excommunicated Natasha Helfer. And then I was immediately surprised that I was surprised. She fits the triple-criteria-set that is a guaranteed path to excommunication:
- She has a large following,
- She publicly corrects the wrong statements of church leaders in a sincere attempt to help the church improve,
- She actually cares whether she’s a member or not.
If you are a member of the CoJCoL-dS and you check these three boxes, you’ll be receiving your disciplinary love letter sooner or later.
In Natasha’s case, she read the charges against her in this short video she posted to YouTube:
I think the key points that annoyed the CoJCoL-dS were that she was telling people to stop shaming teens (and others) for masturbating and that you may object to porn on the basis of your values, but it’s not an addiction.
It’s actually kind of funny to me that they’re so attached to treating porn as an addiction. You would think that merely saying “it’s a sin” and/or “God doesn’t like it” would be sufficient for a church.
But my experience is that believing Mormons like to have external corroboration to demonstrate that living an LDS lifestyle isn’t just righteous — it’s objectively better and healthier than any other life choices. So Mormonism helpfully taught you porn is a sin because it’s addictive, therefore inherently bad. Too bad for them the data won’t cooperate on this point.
Then there was this quote from the SLTrib article that I know I shouldn’t think is funny:
“I’ve felt for decades that excommunication or removal of members was unnecessary except in criminal or abusive situations,” [supporter Jody England Hansen] said.
“Anything that is done because of differences is spiritual violence.”
Membership removal, Hansen added, “goes against what the gospel of Christ is — and against what the church I love is about.”
Famous last words. Tick tock, tick tock.
But seriously, if you love the church, I hope for your sake that you don’t have too many followers that you’re broadcasting this sort of statements to…
Yes, another one bites the dust. And Jody better watch her p’s and q’s when writing in the mainstream press! The LDS fascination with porn/masturbation/sex in general has always mystified me! Check out these gals, for example: https://motherswhoknow.org
Re: “Mothers Who Know” — Wow!!!
Can you imagine the mortification of some 14-year-old kid if his mother went and joined a support group because she was so upset to learn he looked at porn and masturbated…?
Unless that group is teaching moms to learn some boundaries, I can’t imagine it will do anything but hurt people and their relationships.
Here is a petition to Russel M. Nelson to reverse the excommunication! Creative thinking
I think the petition is a cool idea, but I have to admit that I don’t have very high expectations for it. Ordain Women once delivered hundreds of postcards from members to the church authorities, and the church wouldn’t take them.
My guess is that the leaders and spokespeople of the CoJCoL-dS won’t even acknowledge this petition. At best the newsroom will make a generic statement that they don’t interfere in church discipline, which is a local matter. (Not true and not true, but that doesn’t matter.)