Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paul H. Dunn vs. John Dehlin

Paul H. Dunn's Story Telling...

John Dehlin was recently excommunicated for telling the truth.  For more than 20 years Paul H. Dunn served as a General Authority in the LDS church and lied hundreds of times.  He was given a slap on the wrist for his actions.......

Growing up in 1970's and 80's Mormonism I heard Paul H. Dunn speak many times.  He was a dynamic story teller and told stories that amazed and inspired us.  He told detailed stories about battles he had fought in World War II and I especially loved his stories about baseball. 

He often spoke in General Conference as well as going around the country speaking to Stake Conferences and other special conferences.  He also sold thousands of books and recordings of his talks.  

In the late 1980's the Arizona Republic Newspaper did an expose on his life and talks and showed that he had greatly exaggerated his stories and made up many of them entirely.

On October 23, 1991 he released the following statement:
"I have been accused of various activities unbecoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I confess that I have not always been accurate in my public talks and writings. Furthermore, I have indulged in other activities inconsistent with the high and sacred office which I have held.
"For all of these I feel a deep sense of remorse, and ask forgiveness of any whom I may have offended.
"My brethren of the General Authorities, over a long period of time, have conducted in-depth investigations of the charges made against me. They have weighed the evidence. They have censured me and placed a heavy penalty upon me.
"I accept their censure and the imposed penalty, and pledge to conduct my life in such a way as to merit their confidence and full fellowship.
"In making these acknowledgements, I plead for the understanding of my brethren and sisters throughout the Church and give assurance of my determination so to live as to bring added respect to the cause I deeply love, and honor to the Lord who is my Redeemer.
                                          "Sincerely, Paul H. Dunn"

He was made a General Authority Emeritus after that information came out. He died in 1998.

The reason that this is problematic for the church is that for 23 years Dunn served as a General Authority and spoke at General Conferences.  There is no evidence that any of the Prophets that he served under realized that he was lying.  Shouldn't they have received inspiration or revelation that he was telling falsehoods?  
Also problematic is that he was not excommunicated from the church for deceiving the members.  He was not even released from the Quorum of the 70 but was given "emeritus" status, the same as faithful men who are aging. 

Conversely, John Dehlin has been excommunicated for telling truths to the members of the church.  But because he is bringing up controversial and difficult issues and doing them so publicly the church has chosen to handle his removing him from the church and take away his priesthood and temple blessings.  

Mormon Stories
FairMormon on Dunn
The Mormon Curtain
Dunn in the Name of God
Dunn Obituary in the Ensign
Dunn at

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