30 years ago today - Aug 31, 1993
Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, Mormon Women's Forum president, receives a letter from Bishop Virgil Merrill stating that a disciplinary council for apostasy is scheduled. Whitesides has regularly spoken on women and priesthood, Mother in Heaven, and other feminist issues. When she asks her bishop who her accusers are she is informed that there were none but her own words from public addresses, of which he had transcripts and cassette recordings. To prepare her defense, she asks which of her statements would be used; she was told that she knew what she said. Merrill had been contacted repeatedly by a general authority concerning Whitesides and had been sent materials, such as copies of news reports about her. When he receives a full transcript of a television interview Whitesides had given, with yellow highlighted passages, he immediately sets a date for the disciplinary council. 150 friends hold a vigil on the lawn during the disciplinary council. Whitesides is disfellowshipped and reports that Merrill had said that the support of so many friends had an impact on him. The day after the Whitesides's disciplinary council LDS historian D. Michael Quinn receives a letter from his stake president notifying him of his disciplinary council on the charges of "apostasy and conduct unbecoming a member."