Each year on October 31 between the hours of 12:00AM-11:59PM in their local timezone, active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as disaffected members and other supporters post a copy of the most current 95 LDS Theses across the internet in blogs, articles, emails, discussion boards, and other forms of online media.
Others post links to this website, and/or excerpts from the theses via social media and Twitter. Still others tape paper copies of the 95 LDS Theses onto the doors of their local LDS church buildings. In all cases the intention is to expose and protest the church’s refusal to address its covered-up history as well as it’s scripturally incongruent and often harmful behavior. It is our hope that through this public protest the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will reflect, reform, and become a better place for ourselves, our Mormon friends, and our Mormon family members.
The project is organized by Mormon Reformation, a protest movement which aims to follow protestant reformer Martin Luther, who in 1517 posted a list of Ninety-Five Theses for consideration, discussion, and possible action on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. Within two weeks, printed copies were distributed by the press throughout Germany, exposing the corruption of the Catholic Church, and starting what came to be known as the Protestant Reformation. Now, modern protesters claim, it is time for a new, Mormon Reformation.
Why Does Mormon Reformation Feel a Protest Is Necessary?
The protest is intended to be a peaceful, non-confrontational, and anonymous way to achieve the following two objectives:
1) Educating the membership of the church on controversial, revised, and hidden aspects of church doctrine, history, fundamental claims, and practices.
2) Influencing church leaders to officially address topics, behaviors and institutional issues that they have dodged, dismissed, and covered up for too long.
Some Key Issues
In particular, the 95 LDS Theses addresses the church’s whitewashing and suppression of documented Mormon History, such as:
- Joseph Smith illegally marrying at least 33 women, some of whom were as young as 14 years old. Some of Joseph’s marriages were secured by promising salvation or threatening damnation.
- Joseph Smith married at least 11 women who were already married to other men. In some cases, Joseph married the wives of men whom he had sent away on missions. Second LDS Church President Brigham Young also married other men’s wives.
- Boyd K. Packer and other church leaders have openly advocated obscuring and editing history by teaching that “some things that are true are not very useful.”
- The LDS Church stifles honest scholarship of Mormonism, going as far as excommunicating people who find and publish history that contradicts the Church’s narrative.
- The LDS Church’s refusal to disclose its finances, even to its tithe-paying members, despite former President Hinckley telling a reporter in 2002 that, “[financial] information belongs to those who made the contribution.”
Whatever your personal desires for the LDS Church . . .
“To make this event successful, we are enlisting the help of a wide variety of people,” explains group spokesman Fred W. Anson. The group of protesters consists mainly of progressive, temple recommend-carrying members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as less active members, some members who have left the church, and still others who have never been members but have Mormon friends and family members who are concerned about the modern Mormon Church.
There are now well over 1,000 discussion forums, podcasts, and blogs which vary in focus and style from gently discussing pertinent issues to openly satirizing covered-up Mormon beliefs, and the modern church’s inauthenticity, as well as it’s institutionalized behavioral, information, thought, and emotional control.
In January, 2012, a Reuters article announced a statement by church historian and recorder Marlin K. Jensen’s that the church has never experienced such a profound loss of its membership since the Kirtland, Ohio, banking scandal in 1837.
According to Mr. Anson, “Some people wish for nothing short of the complete destruction of the church. For them, our efforts don’t go far enough. Others just want to tweak a thing or two about the church. Whatever your personal desires for the church, we hope that we can count on your support to achieve the above two objectives by sharing these 95 LDS Theses through this annual event.”
About Mormon Reformation
Mormon Reformation is a group of active and disaffected Mormons – as well as their non Latter-day Saint friends and family members – who seek to create change within the church by petitioning LDS leadership to openly address its covered-up history, dishonest claims, and harmful behavior. The movement has grown out of and coalesced from previous Reformation Day efforts in 2011, 2012, 2013 as well as a non-Reformation Day event on February 16&17, 2013.