Simple question Chuck – why excommunication? This was asked to me by a close friend (not a member of the Church) and thought it might be wise to share it with others as the media and apostates usually do not reveal the full story. c/ork (all of what follows are my thoughts and in no way indicate the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – to wit I’ve no authority to answer for the Church – thus only my reply to the question asked hoping to provide some clarification.)
My reply: For those who are not familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – we have what we call excommunication for those members who’ve transgressed either a Commandment, Statute or Law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This member can come willingly (and most do) or be brought before a Church Council (usually their local Bishop or Branch President or their Stake President) – to reconcile their lives with the teaching to which they’ve testified to and covenanted to live and obey. There can be several outcomes based on severity of the situation – one can be exonerated, dis-fellowshipped or excommunicated. To be dis-fellowshipped will be with the conditions set by the presiding council and the standards of the Church. Excommunication is different in that one is removed from any covenants they’ve made – lose any Priesthood they may have had – and otherwise be as if they were no longer a member. All excommunication is done for the best of the person involved – with love and counsel so that someday they can return if they desire. However, in some cases where one openly opposes the Church and knowingly rejects the Holy Ghost – then their excommunication can be final and they’ll have to rectify their lives after their mortality is over.
In the case of this sister she made her choices willingly – (it’s always amazing those who leave the Church can never leave it alone). Excommunication means she can do what is necessary to be re-baptized – however, this will never be conveyed by the media and maybe not even by her. It is neither final but gives a person the ability to repent for whatever caused their excommunication – mostly it is sexual transgressions – however in this case she acted in direct conflict with what she had testified to as being true. There are many like-minded who leave the Church all of the time for their moment in the media – and then fade away. (A review of the present case: A feminist U.S. Mormon who was excommunicated after advocating for the ordination of women said on Friday her appeal against the ejection from her faith was denied by a panel of male Church leaders. Kate Kelly, founder of the website Ordain Women, was excommunicated in June after Church leaders deemed her actions and public statements to have violated the "laws and order" of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and amounted to apostasy.)
Sadly, there are many churches she could join and have her wish but not in Father’s Church. On the other-side we’ve the longest lasting women’s organization – run by the women of the Church than any other church in America called the Relief Society – and we’ve various Women Presidencies in the Church – Young Woman – Primary and the Relief Society. They’re called auxiliaries – and travel throughout the world in their service. The only difference between the Sisters and the Brothers is that the brothers are responsible for the administrative and presiding in regular meetings. Going to the homes of the sick (or hospitals) and giving blessings at any time of day or night. The Sisters are responsible for the inside of the home and family – while the Brothers are responsible for the family and that which is outside of the home.
Home Teaching is a Priesthood calling and Visiting Teaching is a Relief Society calling. The Home Teaching is a visit to the whole family – while Visiting Teaching is just to the Sister in the various families.
Sisters and Priesthood both can serve missions.
So what she was asking for is both unneeded (never has been within the Savior’s Church during any dispensation) and against Revealed doctrines to a Prophet of God.
Indeed – the man without the woman – and the woman without the man cannot progress to the highest degree of Glory (spoken by Paul) in the Celestial Kingdom. i.e. the Temple Sealing.
Back to the question of excommunication – in her case she most likely demanded it by her refusal to accept the counsel provided to her – and her rebellion against the Savior and his Church. However, without the blessing of excommunication there is no other way when one has transgressed the ‘law’ of the Gospel (Commandments, Statutes, Laws) we’ve all covenanted to obey and sustain. Thus someone in transgression could not gain the full forgiveness (predicated upon their knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) without excommunication. Therefore it is a blessing rather than a penalty – she just chose to make it a media event (which from what I’ve read was her goal from the beginning).
I’ve known many who’ve been excommunicated – and then when having followed the recommendations given to them have been re-baptized with a clean slate between themselves and Father. Thus a great Blessing to them and their families.
Having gone astray the path
losing the road to Zion fully
seeking a way to return home
knowing all would be lost
eternity without my family
being left in eternal torment
thus getting up the courage
asking for a Church Council
pleading my indiscretions
before the Lord’s anointed
leaving nothing hidden away
accepting the repentance way
thus you inquire my friends
there is no other way to go
to become clean from my sins
knowing eventually to come back
being baptized once more
to become clean and pure
forgiven by the Father
therefore is this blessing
Copyright © 2014 – cji