Simon Southerton's Court of Love

A Court of Love sounds kinda trippy, doesn’t it? The truth is, there is nothing lovely about the kind of court Simon Southerton is facing. Simon is the author of Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church. Bet you guessed by the title that the Mormons don’t really “love” Simon at all. Kinda like me. Even worse, Simon’s book is nonfiction, and pretty much debunks the whole “Native Americans are Lamanites” theory that runs the Book of Mormon. Simon wrote the book to try to force Church officials to abandon their racist teachings and beliefs. In a nutshell, he is saying the whole “curse” thing is pretty much a figment of Joseph Smith’s imagination. It wasn’t even that original. Come on, remember the whole curse of Cain in the Bible? You remember the one. It allowed white people to treat black people like cattle–or worse. The Lamanite curse isn’t much different. Both basically say the darker skin equates to an evil lifestyle. Mormons take it even one step further, however, by teaching that we each CHOSE our lives in the pre-existence. If you don’t like how things turned out, you only have yourself to blame.

According to LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, some of those who fought on God’s side “were more valiant than others- Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the Negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel.. The present status of the Negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence” (Mormon Doctrine, op. 527, 1966 ed.)

Phew boy. Do you suppose Gladys Knight knows about these teachings? At any rate, this is just one of the MANY racist teachings that are mostly hidden by today’s mainstream Church. They are good at attempting to whitewash history. My least favorite General Authority Boyd Packer is one of the worst for this.

“There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful.”

Hard to believe that this purveyor of Christianity is talking about the TRUTH!

Back to Simon’s Court of Love. This court will determine whether or not Simon gets to stay Mormon. It’s really Mormonspeak for “You-pissed-us-off-by-writing-about-the-seedy-side-of-Mormonism-so-we’re-kicking-your-ass-out-but-we’re-going-to-pretend-it’s-because-you-sinned.”

Since you will be hearing all sides of this story, including the one the Mormons want you to believe, versus the truth, I thought I’d give Simon some space on this blog to tell HIS version of what has and is going to happen.

He’s very upfront, and I applaud his candor.

Some of you may hear reports about my upcoming disciplinary council.I just thought I would clarify a few things that were a little incorrect in the story I saw.

My wife and I left the church 7 years ago in 1998. We separated in 2003 for a period of almost 2 years. Several months after we separated I met a woman and we were close friends for about a year. She was in the process of leaving the church, lives interstate, and was separated from her husband (now divorced). The relationship ended and about 6 months later my wife and I got back together. We have been together for about 9 months and things are going well.

I am proud to be an apostate and deliberately never requested that my name be removed from the records. There are only two ways that my name can be removed. I could request it myself or they must hold a church court. They can’t take my name off the records without my knowledge. I wrote Losing a Lost Tribe because I want to pressure the church to change its teachings and doctrines that are racist and wrong. Native Americans and Polynesians are not descended from Israelites and they are not the descendants of the imaginary cursed Lamanite race. I was looking forward to a court because it would give me an opportunity to admit to the charge of apostasy and defend my integrity.

Like many church leaders in Australia, my Stake President is aware that I have publicly challenged the teachings of the church for several years. Rather than hold a court on the charge of apostasy, he chose to take the sleazy route. He arranged for church leaders in another state to meet with my friend and to get a signed confession that she had had a relationship with me. She admitted she had before she knew what they were up to, and then refused to sign anything. Several weeks ago the Stake President and bishop met with me and my wife. I wasn’t interested in talking about the adultery charge and we spent most of the time discussing my difficulties with the Book of Mormon. It was a very pleasant discussion and both seemed very
sincere. Two weeks later I received a letter from the Stake President inviting me to a disciplinary council to answer adultery charges. He made no mention of my apostasy in the letter.

I deserve to be excommunicated. I fully expect to be excommunicated. But I am disappointed that the Stake President has engaged in official backbiting and snooping in order to avoid discussion of the more difficult issues related to Polynesian and Native American ancestry. I suspect he would probably prefer his high council didn’t hear about this.

As a bishop I never snooped into the lives of inactive members to look for opportunities to discipline and the bishops I have known didn’t do this either. If they did they would be holding courts all the time. We have not attended church in 7 years and have not had a single home teaching visit during that time. Now I am back with my wife they choose to haul me into a church court to punish me for alleged sexual sins. My wife is looking forward to attending the court and letting them know how she feels about the course of action they have taken. Should be interesting!



About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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