Claim #7: I call myself to act as Dehlin’s bishop

Rollo claims I take upon myself the mantle of Dehlin’s bishop by pointing out that he is not temple worthy save for tithing when he claims to be.

I draw my conclusion simply from Dehlin’s plain statements. Perhaps in syllogism form the issue will be more clear:

(A)   Major premise: Those who disbelieve in God and Jesus are not eligible for temple recommends.

(B)   Minor premise: Mary disbelieves in God and Jesus.

(C)   Conclusion: Mary is not eligible for a temple recommend.

The operation of simple logic is not the sole province of bishops or even Church members. Dehlin himself makes claims analogous to (A) and (B) above. The conclusion follows inexorably.

The thing about logic is that it essentially forces itself on our assent. If Rollo cannot appreciate it, then I simply have nothing to say to him.

Dehlin is the one who repeatedly offers his temple recommend status as evidence. He uses it to deflect criticism and to imply (or claim) that he has his leaders’ support. He brought the subject up, has an entire page of the Mormon Stories blog dedicated to describing his current Church status, and in the Larsen interview provides all the information necessary to construct our syllogism. If he does not wish such data considered, he should not offer it. It is ironic that Dehlin is allowed (in Rollo’s view) to make the argument, but no one is allowed to draw the transparently-obvious conclusion.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, incidentally, cautioned us about giving much credit to those who use public claims about their Church standing to persuade others:

To become a disciple of Jesus Christ we must continue in righteousness and in His word. When someone shares with enthusiasm his or her joy in now being an active member of the Church, the thought crosses my mind, “Wonderful, but for how long will you stay that way?” Incidentally, some years ago I was contacted by an insurance agent. When he started his sales approach with “I am an active member of the Church,” the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Who said so?”[1]

Dehlin sells his ideas and products with the same technique. Elder Ashton elsewhere said:

Thou shalt not wrongfully exploit others for personal advantage.

A person is poor when he drops or uses the name of an individual or an institution to promote or sell his questionable wares.[2]

But, I have marveled at the opportunistic hypocrisy as those who credit the temple with no reverence or importance at all have suddenly been outraged on its behalf by my supposed assault on its sanctity. And that assault has consisted only in pointing out what anyone can see, from Dehlin’s own words.

A)     Birds are not mammals

B)      Robins are birds

C)      Robins are not mammals

If this syllogism is true, then Dehlin’s claim to the Larsens to be temple worthy but for tithing simply cannot be. To claim otherwise is evidence of either deception or deep confusion. Logic does not play favorites.

I wonder why Rollo wants us to ignore it?


[1] Marvin J. Ashton, Be of Good Cheer (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 73–74; see also Marvin J. Ashton, “I Am An Adult Now,” April 1987 General Conference, http://lds.org/general-conference/1987/04/i-am-an-adult-now.

[2] Marvin J. Ashton, Ye Are My Friends (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982), 30–31.

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