Mormon blogger John Dehlin excommunicated from LDS Church

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Controversial blogger John Dehlin  is no longer a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints after an excommunication hearing held on Sunday. 

Dehlin said that three family members and two friends spoke on his behalf before a council of 15 church leaders, but the evidence against him was damning. 

"It's hard for me to imagine an outcome other than excommunication," he admitted following the proceedings. 

On Tuesday, Dehlin was found guilty of apostasy because of his "categorical statements opposing the doctrines of the church, and their wide dissemination via your Internet presence, which has led others away from the church," according to North Logan stake president Bryan King.

The Utah man's blog serves as a forum for Mormons questioning their faith to talk to like-minded individuals. Dehlin also became an ordained minister in another faith, and has openly supported same-sex marriage.

Dehlin, 45, faced numerous disciplinary actions over the years, but refused to give up the controversial activities.

"My wife, Margi, and I are proud to stand in support of both free expression and gender/marriage equality within Mormonism," Dehlin said in a statement following the church's decision. 

"While we are saddened that the LDS Church has chosen to excommunicate me for publicly supporting these values, we support the church's right to make this decision."

The Church denied that Dehlin was ousted because of his support for gay marriage and female priests in the LDS Church.

Instead, King's letter took issue with Dehlin's "statements that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham are fraudulent and works of fiction," and "teachings disputing the nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ," according to the Salt Lake Tribune.