96: Mormon Bullying

Heather, Clay, Tom and Mithryn explore the question, “Is there a culture of bullying in the Mormon church?”


Links and References:
Mithryn’s BlogDaniel C. Peterson: Another Day, Another Paid Bully

Bullying definitions:
Stop Bullying

LDS talks on bullying:
Your Sacred Duty
Your Holy Places
Loving Others and Living with Differences
Spiritual Whirlwinds
Protect the Children

References for bullying in history:

History of the Church, 2:23; spelling, punctuation, and grammar modernized; paragraph divisions altered; from “The Elders of the Church in Kirtland, to Their Brethren Abroad,” Jan. 22, 1834, published in Evening and Morning Star, Apr. 1834, p. 152

History of the Church, 3:385; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on July 2, 1839, in Montrose, Iowa; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards

History of the Church, 3:385; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on July 2, 1839, in Montrose, Iowa; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards

Brigham Young, in Historian’s Office, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1844–46, vol. 1, p. 16, Church Archives.

Journal of Discourses 11:262

Daniel Tyler, in “Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 15, 1892, pp. 491–92.

Packer – The Mantle is Far, Far Greater than the Intellect

Thomas B. Marsh slandering
More March slandering
Symonds Ryder slandering

Modern Examples of Bullying:
Ballard – Stay in the Boat and Hold On!
Robbins – Which Way do you Face?
Oaks – The Parable of the Sower (pickle suckers)
Cook – The Lord is my Light
Perry – Why Marriage and Family Matter


  1. darth_bill

    I haven’t listened yet, but bullying played a big part of getting my wife out of the church. My son was bullied his entire time, until age 12 when my wife just couldn’t let him be abused like that anymore. She received very little support when she complained and when I escalated it up, I didn’t get any either.

    Reply May 06, 2015 @ 09:09:25
  2. jeanikins

    Examples of bullying behavior:
    1.Could not have access to grandchildren due to my leaving the church.

    2.Was not invited to granddaughter’s wedding (it was not in the temple).

    3. Believing family members did not attend a memorial service that I held for my mother whose funeral was in UK. “It will be awkward.”

    4. Was threatened by a nephew with physical removal IF I attended his sister’s wedding to which I was invited – (not in the temple)

    5. TBM sister wondered in an email if I had committed a sin for which I felt I could not be forgiven and that was why I left the church – she was unwilling to listen to any other reason.

    6. “It makes me sad that you have lost your faith” statements are passive aggressive bullying. Why should someone else’s sadness be my problem also?

    I could go on…

    Reply May 06, 2015 @ 11:57:06
  3. Aaron

    It’s all perspective of course. I’m only 10 minutes in but wanted to point out that as the commenter discussed the Hobbit bookclub and the person showing up only to antagonize as an example of bullying, I immediately thought of the whole Anyone Opposed thing.

    I imagine everyone here will shoot that down as apples and oranges, maybe saying the church holds the power so the 9 people showing up only to antagonize couldn’t possibly be bullies or whatever… but it’s on point example of bullying in my eyes.

    Back to listening now…

    Reply May 06, 2015 @ 23:40:38
    • Aaron

      OK, finished.

      Totally agree about the Brigham Young/Thomas Marsh stuff. Brigham comes off as grade A a-hole in all that. Pure bullying by any definition.

      Also, fair discussion about what the church’s alternative to “bullying” (which I generally disagree is happening, but will go with it) is when it comes to responding to critics. Ad-hominem attacks a la FARMS at it’s worst should be criticized. GA’s doing their best to defend the BoM against critics is far from bullying. But good discussion.

      I personally feel – using the definition of bullying that was presented in this podcast – like Clay was bullied into agreeing with the others about correct usage of the term bullying. He’d disagree, but quickly move to the middle when called out on it. A better way to put it is probably group-think.

      Bully is a harsh word to use and the definition has become very broad. I feel like it’s a term that gets thrown around as soon as someone is losing a debate and/or fight. The church uses it loosely in it’s PR (although I’m not going to find examples of it) and Mormon Expositor uses it loosely in its podcast

      Despite disagreeing, I enjoyed the podcast/discussion. Thank you to the panel for putting the time in.


      Reply May 07, 2015 @ 00:56:20
  4. JT


    Is there a Mormon Expositor contact e-mail?

    Reply May 17, 2015 @ 19:00:55
    • Heather

      Most people contact us on Facebook. Can you reach me there? If not, can I email you at the address you list when you comment? (It shows up on the backside of the website.)

      Reply May 17, 2015 @ 22:55:56
      • JT

        Thanks Heather. I’m not on Facebook, so that e-mail fine. Cheers.

        Reply May 18, 2015 @ 06:47:35

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