30 years ago today - Aug 23, 1991.

Two weeks after the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, "the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles" issues a statement expressing concern about "recent symposia . . . that result in ridiculing sacred things or injuring The Church . . . detracting from its mission, or jeopardizing the well-being of its members." Lowell Bennion, a Sunstone participant, comments, "We are asked to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds. It is a poor religion that can't stand the test of thinking."

Salt Lake City resident Christian Fonnesbeck, who wrote a letter to the First Presidency saying he was "puzzled" by the statement, is called in by his bishop, acting on instructions of his stake president, Herbert Klopfer, and relieved of his church calling as a Blazer-B instructor. He is told the action is taken on instruction of "high church officials." (He has since been put in charge of scheduling the building.) Kim Clark writes a letter to the editor, published in the Salt Lake Tribune, commenting on the statement. His stake president calls him in and tells him that he is "undertaking an investigation that could result in disfellowshipment or excommunication."

At October general conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer refers explicitly to the joint statement and comments on "the dangers of participating in symposia which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone. . . . There is safety in learning doctrines in gatherings which are sponsored by proper authority." Apostle Marvin J. Ashton says, "Some of us may be inclined to study the word with the idea in mind that we must add much where the Lord has said little! Those who would `add upon' could well be guided by the anchor question of, do my writings, comments, or observations build faith and strengthen testimonies?" Elder Charles Didier of the First Quorum of the Seventy instructs Saints to build testimony "by asking your Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Do not turn to public discussions and forums."

[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]

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