Presentation: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty in the Mormon Community
Moderator: Kaimipono Wenger, JD, assistant professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School, San Diego.
Kristine Haglund, editor, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Bridget Jack Jeffries, MA candidate, history of Christianity in America, Trinity Divinity School.
John Dehlin, PhD, clinical/counseling psychology, Utah State University, funder of Mormon Stories podcast, StayLDS.com
Abstract: The work of political economist Albert Hirschman suggests a nuanced approach to public dissatisfaction with an organization. Dissatisfied members of an organization, business, or nation have a variety of choices available, including both exit (simply leaving) and voice (discussing their dissatisfaction). As Hirschman notes, greater loyalty to the organization can correspond to greater use of voice. Contradicting traditional Mormon views, dissent may actually indicate greater loyalty to the organization than does silent acquiescence. Panelists will discuss loyalty, voice, exit, and dissent from a variety of angles, ultimately suggesting that the LDS understanding of public disagreement may be underdeveloped, and sketching ways in which legitimate dissent could take on a broader role in the LDS community.