The context

On Tuesday November 30, 2021 dice1899 posted another part of her rebuttal to the CES Letter (part 44, section A). Shortly after, user WooperSlim commented on the post, noting (among many other things) that

D&C 27 didn’t originally include the mention of Peter, James, and John, which is in Jeremy’s next point that you’ll go over next week.

dice1899 responded in some depth to WooperSlim’s long comment, but didn’t mention anything about their point about D&C 27. I had gone to the comments to make this very point, and I felt like it was very salient to her post. I decided to restate the point along with a helpful resource (which is derived 100% from lds published resources in their complete context).

The catalytic comment

On Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 18:26:51 MST, I commented (moderator removed):

D&C 27 didn’t originally include the mention of Peter, James, and John, which is in Jeremy’s next point that you’ll go over next week.

/u/dice1899, not sure if you noticed this or not, but you might consider editing your post to accurately reflect that. I’m sure you are aware of how to find these resources, but for anyone else the original Book of Commandments is on the JSP website. [And someone made a handy comparison of the original Book of Commandments from the JSP website with the D&C on in this google doc, which makes the comparison much easier, I think]

dice1899 responded to my comment:

There wasn’t enough room to go into the details, but it’ll be the main focus next week.

I didn’t rebut her point (this isn’t a missed detail, it is a clear inaccuracy), because I am careful to never engage oppositionally on the lds site and a re-emphasis of my point could be taken as oppositional or antagonistic, regardless of its accuracy.

The ban

Shortly after, I was messaged that I had been permanently banned from the lds subreddit:

You have been permanently banned from participating in r/lds. You can still view and subscribe to r/lds, but you won’t be able to post or comment.

If you have a question regarding your ban, you can contact the moderator team for r/lds by replying to this message.

Reminder from the Reddit staff: If you use another account to circumvent this subreddit ban, that will be considered a violation of the Content Policy and can result in your account being suspended from the site as a whole.

My appeal

I responded to the ban by messaging the mods of the site:

[start of message]

It’s no loss to me to be banned from this sub, but I have only ever posted here to help correct obvious mis-information or help with positive information, and I have done so in honest and courteous ways.

The sidebar states:

This is the reddit community for faithful discussion concerning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons or Latter-day Saints. All are invited to faithfully participate, contribute, and ask questions provided they are respectful of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, and are not involved in undermining the faith elsewhere.

respectful of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs

I easily qualify for limited participation in this sub based on the fact that I am generally “respectful of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs”. As a matter of personal integrity, I obviously will not say that I respect beliefs which are demonstrably false or which cause obvious harm to people, but as a matter of respect to the ground-rules of the sub I would not raise those subset of issues on the sub, so that subset seems beside the point.

are not involved in undermining the faith elsewhere

I occasionally post and/or comment on the mormon or exmormon subs, but my actions can scarcely be described as “undermining the faith.” Here is the substance of my last ten comments, for instance:

  1. The top teachings in the BoM that have influenced me
  2. A notice on your sub pointing strictly to content from the Joseph Smith Papers project and (the catalyst for my being banned, I take it)
  3. Particular passages in the BoM that a think are true or inspiring
  4. A defense of a heavily down-voted Latter-day Saint comment where they argued that the manuals are only boring if you make it boring
  5. A comment on exmormon where I pointed to two articles from BoM Central to demonstrate to the poster that LDS scholars had already considered their idea (I also link to my compilation of BoM parallels to 1800s thought, but much of the list is from BYU scholars like Nicholas Frederick, Bushman, Royal Skousen, etc. Regardless, the obvious parallels to the milieu of early 1800s is a simple statement of fact, but I am easily able to distinguish statements of fact from the models we use to explain those facts. As I stated in that comment, the most direct inference is that the BoM reflects an early 1800s understanding, but again, that’s merely a statement of how I see inference between facts and models)
  6. confirmation of the idea that the Patridge Sisters were unaware of the others’ sealing (another simple statement of fact)
  7. tail end of long conversation with StAnselmsProof (“‘For example, don’t you think it’s just as likely that a person going through a faith crisis has memories of spiritual experiences which their mind later diminished to fit some natural explanation as they try make their prior religious experience fit with a new worldview?’ Yes, I would expect it to work both ways and that both are equally likely. I can’t think of any reasons why we should preference one over the other.”)
  8. midsection of long conversation with StAnselmsProof (“… To be clear, I’m not trying to argue that the naturalistic perspective is a better explanation for the First Vision (viewed in isolation) than that he was actually visited by heavenly beings, but the naturalists do need some way to interpret such claims, even if the explanation is still lacking in a great many ways …”)
  9. comforting someone whose LDS family says it appears to them their countenance has changed (“Probably a projection of how they see you. When I see former members living their best life, their countenances tend to be radiating all kinds of love, wisdom, humility, and self-confidence. That’s what I see when I look into the faces of most exmos.”)
  10. A link to a video where I discuss the genesis and development of my faith transition (my story is told in a very respectful way, I think)

None of those comments are antagonistic, several of them are very positive in favor of LDS believes, values, or individuals, and the rest are relatively neutral-ish.

I’ve also had courteous dialog with dice1899, and they surmised about me:

While I wouldn’t put myself in the same league as Royal Skousen or Brian Hales (I’m an amateur all the way), I will gladly attest that we’ve had a few good, respectful conversations and I don’t think you’re an anti-Mormon at all. …

Other information that may be of use

I also helped co-found a religious dialog group at BYU dedicated to building relationships between Latter-day Saints and former members, which means I’ve spent the last few years in productive, charitable dialog with an associate chair of the College of Religious Education and the Dean of the Department of Ancient Scripture, among other BYU professors and religion professors.

I am proud of the content I have produced and stand by the posts and comments I have made on reddit for the past 7 years. You will find that I am extremely careful to get the facts right on any issue, I am always open to different models of interpretation, and I try to be generous, courteous, and charitable in all of my interactions.

Anyway, thanks for considering, and if I am re-instated, I would appreciate being white-listed (is that a thing?) so that I’m not banned by mistake in the future. If you decide that the ban should persist, then all the best to you in your sub and future spiritual and personal endeavors.

[end of message]


Roughly 5 months later (as of 2022-03-19):

  1. The comment above mine, by user WooperSlim, , still stands on the subreddit.
  2. The moderators of the lds subreddit never responded to my message.
  3. I am still banned from the lds subreddit.
  4. The statement from dice1899’s original post,

    And D&C 27:12, given in September, 1830, specifically says that Peter, James, and John were sent by the Lord and ordained and confirmed them to be apostles

    is still present unedited in her original post and remains misleading (since the original revelation makes no mention of Peter, James, and John as a simple comparison with resources published by the LDS Church will reveal).

2022-08-23 update

One of the moderators, dice1899, responded to a comment where I mentioned that I had been banned for posting LDS resources in response to her post and she clarified:

For what it’s worth, that’s not why you were banned. You were banned for your post history of criticizing the church, which is off-limits in our sub. It’s fine in latterdaysaints as long as you’re polite there, but it’s not okay in the lds sub.

I will note that at the time I was banned the sidebar read:

All are invited to faithfully participate, contribute, and ask questions provided they are respectful of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, and are not involved in undermining the faith elsewhere.

I made an argument to the mods (above) that I was not “undermining the faith” elsewhere.

I do not know when it was changed, but as of 2022-08-23, the lds subreddit sidebar now states (in bold):

All Reddit activity of participants should reflect a genuine attempt to promote faithfulness in the LDS church. If this is not one of your core values, please have enough integrity to withhold participation in this sub (this includes downvotes).