Tom Phillips is a former stake president in England and has been the managing editor of MormonThink, a website many refer to as anti-Mormon. After he was released as stake president, Tom received the Second Anointing, also known as Calling and Election Made Sure, or the Second Endowment. While this ordinance was somewhat common in the early church, it was removed from practice for a time, and then reinstated. Details of this ordinance and how often it has been performed is clouded in secrecy.
Following a crisis of faith, Tom has published his experience of the secret ordinance on his website, along with a four-hour Mormon Stories podcast (or 102-page PDF transcript). More recently, he filed a lawsuit against the Church (colloquially known online as the “October Surprise”, despite some delays in timing) asking for repayment of tithing he and others contributed. The lawsuit alleged that the collection of tithes was fraudulently obtained because Tom feels that many faith claims are false. Notably, Phillips summonsed President Monson to be deposed on the stand in court. Eventually, the lawsuit was thrown out and dismissed.
MormonThink notes that “Tom took over as the managing editor of MormonThink and continued until March 2014. The last two managing editors resigned from the church after the LDS leadership called them to church courts for writing about church history and doctrine, as well as being involved with the MormonThink website.”
Many have wondered if Tom has been excommunicated, resigned, or neither. In light of the recent excommunications of Kate Kelly and Denver Snuffer, if Tom is still a member of record, it seems like a double standard because he surely meets any definition of apostasy. Some have wondered if he hasn’t been excommunicated, is it because of (1) the Second Anointing, or (2) his recent lawsuit. What do you think?