Why would the church of Jesus Christ excommunicate any of its members?

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Recent events in the past month have brought up some old feelings in the public opinion on Mormonism. Two high profile figures, Kate Kelly (the Ordain Women movement) and John Dehlin (Mormon stories website) are having church discipline administered to them and it’s making headlines. Since the so-called September Six there has not been such a high profile example of church discipline.

I read an article on Buzzfeed that declared the Mormon moment was now officially over. The article talks about how the church was having great successes in the PR department, finally showing how progressive and diverse we are. But now? “excommunicating thought leaders like Kelly and Dehlin will mean getting rid of some of the people who have made Mormonism interesting…Mormonism suddenly seems less cool and diverse…Both Kelly and Delhin told BuzzFeed Wednesday that the actions against them seem designed to send a message that questioning will not be tolerated by the church. ”

This all assumes, of course, that the objective of the church is to become popular in the eyes of the world. Why else would the church be trying so hard if we weren’t trying to fit in as a respectable world religion? The only problem is that no one at the head of the church has ever said that this is our goal. Not a prophet, not a scripture, not Jesus Christ. In fact, here’s what has been said:

“If you judge your actions and the standards of the Church on the basis of where the world is and where it’s going, you will find that you are not where you should be.” Elder Robert D Hales, April 2011

“The effect of God’s commandments and laws is not changed to accommodate popular behavior or desires.” Elder Dallin H Oaks, October 2009

“Unfortunately, messengers of divinely mandated commandments are often no more popular today than they were anciently, …As [the prophet Abinadi] said to King Noah: “Because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. … Because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad” or, we might add, provincial, patriarchal, bigoted, unkind, narrow, outmoded, and elderly.” Elder Jeffrey R Holland, April 2014

In other words, we aren’t trying to be popular to the world, we are trying to help the Savior in His work to save the world. So why do we expend so many resources in the PR department? Well that’s simple, so we can help people come unto Christ by dispelling some of the false ideas they may have about members of His church. We are not interested, however, in portraying the false idea that sin is justified or that we accept the premises of the world that are out of harmony with the doctrine restored through prophets of God.

Which brings us to the topic at hand. What did Kate Kelly do that was worthy of Church discipline? (I’m not acquainted enough with John Dehlin to comment on his circumstance. I’m sure you could google him. The same principles might apply.) First of all I whole heartedly reject the notion being perpetuated by the media and on social networks that this means no one can ever ask questions. As a naturally inquisitive guy, I ask a lot of questions, especially along the lines Kelly has been proposing. In fact I’m at least grateful to her movement for helping me do that. We are commanded in the scriptures “to ask and he shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” So I couldn’t disagree more with this accusation that the church disciplines question askers. I dare say there isn’t an organization on Earth that is set up to invite the asking of questions as the restored church does.

So then what was it that got Kate Kelly disciplined? (The real answer is “I don’t know” since her local church leaders will keep confidences and we will only hear Kelly’s side of the story if we hear it all.) But there are a couple of scriptural principles that apply:

4 Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his [the prophets] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
5 For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
6 For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.
D&C 21:4-6

35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
D&C 88:35

28 Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall ye not receive into my church, for him I will not receive at the last day.
29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.
32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward.
Mosiah 26:28-32

To summarize:

1. We are to accept the words of the prophets as if from God, and if we do the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.
2. Those who seek to become a law unto themselves cannot be sanctified by God’s law.
3. When a person refuses to follow prophetic counsel, the Lord authorizes His leaders to blot their names off the records of the church.

There is a difference between honestly asking questions and questioning the answers already being given. And many people are even allowed to remain in full membership when they do that. In my opinion, once the ordain women movement organized, they began to be a law unto themselves. Once they marched, they demonstrated they were at odds with prophets, (especially the second time when they were asked specifically not to), and when they started producing discussions, they were beginning a new religious organization. They are free to do all these things, of course, but not as members of this church. Any organization has the right to defend its borders, and when another organization seeks to come in and change fundamental things, especially when this organization arises from within, it has a right to declare that organization is not a part of them.

Those sympathetic to the ordain woman movement have a decision to make now. Many more questions are now being raised, and that’s ok. Ask questions, seek answers, and even question those answers if you want to. But if you start your own church within the church, don’t be surprised when the Lord doesn’t allow you dual citizenship.

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112 thoughts on “Why would the church of Jesus Christ excommunicate any of its members?

  1. I agree that by the church’s current policies and current doctrine and commandments and statements made by the current church leaders, Kate very well should not have been surprised by discipline (coming from someone who is friends with a lot of people who’ve been summoned to courts of love, I’m really surprised it took so long in the first place).
    John Dehlin is a more interesting case and more troublesome in my opinion for those who care to know WHY this is causing a stir. His blog simply is a place to talk about some of the major historical issues of the church (and yes these are real ones that are backed by church historians) – book of Abraham papyri’s modern translation conflicting with the pearl of great price text, Joseph smith’s money-digging days and using that rock to produce the Book of Mormon (see lds.org’s recent essay regarding the translation), and the polygamy with teenage house maids and polyandry with other men’s wives… Etc etc. The things the church had been hiding from and not discussing for a long time are troublesome for many more thanks to the internet. Then Richard Bushman was able to publish his book about Joseph Smith, the church put out the essays in December being open about the rock in the hat translation and a few other issues… But it doesn’t change the fact that those issues still cause mountains of doubt. As many silly two sentence explanations the church gives, it’s not going to fix the fact that they are largely unknown and many even deny these problems exist. From my experience, these issues are the number one reason people leave the church (myself included).
    Those issues have been carefully avoided by the church for so long until recently. This is where John Dehlin becomes apart of the picture for those with these issues. He is being asked to take down his blog/podcasts that seeks to addresses these issues and tries to help people with those same issues/questions/doubts find a way to STAY in the church. He wants to stay a member even though he doesn’t believe it all (thanks to the historical records being much more widely available than pre-internet days) because being a Mormon is more than religion to most of us. You have the fun and social aspect of the church, the good things the church teaches even if you don’t believe in Joseph Smith, and if your family are members, they will be devastated if you leave. You WILL be judged. Heck, as we are leaving, we are being told that we must be miserable and asked how badly we are struggling. You lose friends if you leave the church over issues. Many try to find a middle ground and John’s blog is there for people like that.

    So, there are a few big questions raised for many who are really acquainted with these situations. Can you really have serious doubts or disbelief in core doctrine and still continue to be a member with full privileges in the church? And also, what is so bad about discussing these issues and trying to help people stay even though they don’t believe? These issues are no longer a secret (to many) so I really fail to see why even attempting to get rid of John is necessary at all. Kate’s discipline, I entirely understand. It’s John’s that raises many many more questions.

    1. I think the main issue with Brother Dehlin’s excommunication was the fact that he claimed to no longer believe in the main tenets of the church (a statement issued publicly), and asked by email to no longer be considered a member of his ward, as well as have his name removed from home teaching lists. In the church, belief is an important part of membership – it is part of the baptismal interview questions and faith is, as I’m sure you know, the first principle of the gospel. If someone expresses that they no longer believe in most of the church’s “truth claims”, and asks to have their name removed from their ward records, I think it only makes sense that a disciplinary council would be convened. With all the press coverage this is getting, you have to really look to find this letter from Brother Dehlin’s Stake President, detailing exactly why a disciplinary council was called. I’m sorry for the judgment and ostracism you have encountered, but I do hope this might help clarify the issues surrounding Brother Dehlin’s discipline. http://www.scribd.com/doc/229280355/Stake-president-letter-to-John-Dehlin

      1. Kelsey, I hope that the reasons you articulate are not the reason John is facing a disciplinary council, because if it is simply a question of his own faith or lack thereof, then a good portion of the church would have to be excommunicated. Many people go through periods of doubt and question and even outright disbelief but don’t leave because they are trying and hoping, if expressing your doubts is grounds for excommunication…then what is the point of faith and trials and everything else related?

    2. It’s all about power, control, and money. You can see how the world works with those things. Follow those and it will answer the questions.

      Power: Mormon church wants power over the individual. The whole is greater than its parts. People don’t matter. Building their image and power is all they care about.

      Control: We can go on for days about how Mormonism controls the individual. In this situation, they cannot have Kate direct the dialogue. It has to come from them. She boxed them in a corner. If they say they will ordain women, then she is showing them up. They can’t have that. They have to show that they are in control so that their sheep will follow them. Mess with their control and they mess with you.

      Money: If you lead people away, with their tithing, there is a problem. Any organization that hides its finances and lies about it, is corrupt. Plain and simple. Where does the money go? Who does it benefit? I’m a member, but I don’t get any help from them building a mall, buying apartments in Philly, or land in Florida. Someone benefits from that. It’s not me. So to be clear, if you hurt their finances, they will hurt you.

      1. You obviously don’t listen to conference where the tithing funds are accounted for. And the benefits are being able to go to the temple, church and many others. Would you rather belong to a church who gives the funds to a few leaders to make them rich? That’s what turns off a lot of people looking for religion. Tithing is for what the Lord has intended, not man.

      2. This is I’m sure well intended, but a seemingly uneducated statement.

        Regardless of time or status of the church, these actions would have been taken against these people. And quite the contrary from what you have said, these actions will most likely hurt the church if they were worried about money, power, and control. If the church was worried about these things then they would most definitely try and change their laws to suit other beliefs as to attract a more broad range of people from all different beliefs.

        The church believes in happiness and changing what I thought was right to follow what the church teaches (to follow Christ). I would challenge you to try it and see if it doesn’t bring more happiness in your life. The proof is in the pudding.

        And when it come to the tough questions I do think that older members of the church can be a little closed minded about discussing things and being open to them. I personally love the fact that these things are being talked about. It only has helped me see more clearly.

      3. Good grief has got it all wrong. The Mormon church is not about control, never has been. Ordain women is not asking questions they are pushing their agenda. The LDS church is the Lord’s church and we need to follow His teachings not the worls’s teachings.

      4. You are very confused. Every point you made contradictory to absolute facts, not only consideration.

        First, your statement on power: Entirely false. If “Building their image and power is all they care about,” they would have whole heartedly accepted Kate’s movement. What movement is more well looked on in our day and age than women’s equality? They would also be performing gay marriages in temples, the next big movement. Ironically, many Mormon’s would be happy if the church DID agree with what you put here, because of this. But if those things are to be put in with the other things you pointed out, then I am glad the church does not agree with you.

        Second, your statement on control: A reference to my above comment. Kate isn’t a member because she is being controlled by the church, obviously, as she very vocally argues her points. And no other member is a member because they are controlled, they do it because they have found truth and a testimony and stick with it. I’m sure this is true with Kate as well. They obviously let her speak up and do what she wanted as a member as long as they were able to. If she really doesn’t believe in the church then why isn’t she going to the reformed church, where women “DO” have the priesthood (at least in their beliefs)?

        Third, your statement on money: In most church’s, donations go to member leaders, and the church itself. The LDS church does not run it’s tithes this way. All church leaders are not paid at all for their service as church leaders. The leaders don’t get compensation in monetary gain, so there can be no money lust in the members or leaders. In addition, all of the expenditures of the church are recorded and organized and announced to all members and the world in general conference meetings. If you claim the church is all about money, then you must explain what people in the church are concerned with money and what this gain will do for them personally. As none of this money is paid to members for service, logic dictates that the only use for this money is what has been openly announced it is spent on, and for service of the people in need around the world, (which you can find many references to online).

        I appreciate your desire to share truth, but feel an obligation to speak up and tell you where you are wrong in your facts. I also hope this will shed some light on your concerns with the church with some of those ideas clarified.

        Please think about the facts and about what you said. Who exactly is gaining power, control, and money in a church without paid leaders and no modern agreeable recognition?

    3. Have you read the letter from John’s Stake President to him? I think that sheds a little light on the situation. I’m one who appreciates diverse voices in the church and I have friends who follow John’s blog so I’m not unsympathetic to the dismay that might arise regarding the discipline proceedings he’s involved in. However, the letter that has been made public explains that John had written to his Bishop and asked not to be contacted by the church anymore. In reply, his Stake President wrote a letter asking, for clarification, whether this meant he was removing himself from the records and, if so, a disciplinary counsel would need to be held. John’s progressed over the last few years in his approach. At one time, he advocated the idea that one could have deep-rooted questions and still stay comfortably within the church. I listened to a recent radio interview he did about 6 months ago where he expressed that he no longer advocated that idea, that he was at a difficult cross-roads with regards to whether he and his family would remain in the church, and that it simply is not easy to continue to question so adamantly and stay a fully participating member of the church. It seems like he may have been in the process of making the personal decision to leave the church and that that was a factor in his leaders determining to convene a counsel. There are also indications that his local leaders were concerned about public statements he made about not believing central doctrines. I don’t know this, of course, but it seems like the concern was that, since he has such a public following, all of these types of statements have the effect of leading others away from the church. Many following his path might, like him, at first feel like it’s a way to stay but then come to the same conclusion he came to that, in fact, his questions ultimately are driving him away from the church, especially once they see him coming to that conclusion. It seems reasonable that local leaders might feel that needs addressed.

      1. As I understand it, the Stake President offers John the opportunity to talk before any action is taken and that, in light of John’s public expression of disbelief/unbelief, even if John reconsidered and didn’t want his name removed from the church, a disciplinary council would be held ( for him to account for the public declarations–which influence others in a detrimental way ). The Stake President’s letter seems very caring, offering John the options to manage his way out of the church or his way to stay in the church.

    4. SilencedMormon,
      When I have doubts, I always take it back to the Book of Mormon. That book stands alone! I don’t care who translated it or how, it could be from a Bic Mac wrapper as someone commented below. It is the word of GOD. Things in the church may look weird or wrong or Joseph Smith may have married a young house maid. I really don’t care. He translated the Book of Mormon and it is true. It is true every time I open it and read its pages. Even if I don’t know for sure that the LDS Church is the only true church or they do some things I don’t agree with or find weird, I stand by the church who teaches from the BOM. I stand by the Church who has given me my saving ordinances. I stand by the church who perceives the Gospel of Jesus Christ as close to how I perceive it. I stand by the church who so far has MANY wonderful fruits. So far it is the best shot I’ve found!

      1. Melissa K…..I couldn’t have said it better. I think those who are making all the noise, are the ones who are having trouble with their testimonies. I joined this church for the way it is now, not for the way a few want to make it. Those who are stirring up trouble need to stop looking at the way the world wants things done and also stop letting themselves be influenced by that. The world would love to destroy our church and others as well……we know where that comes from..

      2. Agree! I couldn’t have sad it better. If the BOM is true which I believe, none of these surrounding issues matter.

      3. Amen to you! This is not the first time something like this has happened, and it won’t be the last. Christ is my rock and my foundation is assured every time I pray, and read the BOM.
        I thought the only problem in both cases, was that it took so long for these actions to be taken. I hope they both find what they think our church is missing, and if not repent and come back.

      4. Nice…perfect…most things are not perfect…most people are not perfect…but the BoM is the guide to achieving perfection…eventually.

    5. Silenced Mormon. In reference to all the “historical” events you have suggested the “church has been hiding” is not true though. Look at Mormon Apologetic websites like http://www.fairmormon.org/ Who have dozens of articles explaining and exposing the “that’s what he said she said he said Joseph Smith did” or discusses the possible understandable reasoning for the mind of the Lord on matters, or in regards to the Papyri of how anciently papyri was commonly re-ruses for funeral papyri thus actually providing a degree of validation for Joseph’s claims and so on and so on. The church has programs in BYU that investigates claims and subject matters thoroughly.There is NOTHING any anti-LDS claim has said that has not been discussed in LDS circles and when I discuss these with Bishops, Stake Presidents, etc.. I have always gotten answers. Although, most members receive spiritual knowledge by spiritual means (1 Cor. 2:9-14) and that is enough for them to go off of so then why waste time in historical misunderstandings/disputes. I personally just find them entertaining and fascinating.

    6. I have to disagree that John’s blog is middle ground. It is the tone of the blog that is the problem. If he simply stated the facts, and asked the questions that would be one thing. However, he is very negative and accusatory in the way he states things. I have been dealing with anti-mormon things for a very long time. There are answers for everything, and also, there is proof that is never covered by the anti-mormons that has come out that THEY hide, and keep spouting the same old stuff knowing that it is hard to find some of these things, and that people will just believe them and leave the church.

    7. To your question.. OBVIOUSLY you can have doubts, questions, concerns… which is why the church provides gospel principles, meetings with missionaries or bishops free of charge without concern for time or other obligations, because church members are willing to meet with anyone who has serious question pretty much around the clock. Where your question misleads is acting like that is all those folks were doing. They were ACTIVELY leading people away from core doctrine and yet trying to profess that they want to stay in the church with all it’s privileges. It doesn’t work this way. Not in any company, religion, or group. You can’t join the P.T.A. and then say the that you are going to follow their bylaws except you think you should personally get a portion of the donations and then cry foul when you are kicked out… These aren’t innocent questions they are trying to actively lead away it’s members. I question ALL OF THE TIME. So then I pray and ask the one who governs all. These people are just as Alma the younger before his mighty transformation. They are trying to get personal fame and destroy those who disagree with them. Good thing he saw the light, hopefully they will as well. If you want to remain a member of the church but have questions about Joseph Smith you are invited to continually pray about it and gain your own testimony. However if you never reach that place leave quietly trying to ruin other people’s lives and beliefs along the way is shallow, selfish and childish.

  2. Laman and Lemuel actually became wolves. Not because they had questions but because they used their questions as a tool to destroy other sheep, which is what wolves do. They questioned but they did not ask, they rallied others to get what they wanted, they tried to lead the Shepherd and tried several different methods to do it. They became prideful. The scriptures are clear. They wanted to be the leaders. They were wolves in “sheep’s clothing” something that we are warned of in our day. A sheep is a follower, a part of the flock. A wolf in “sheep’s clothing”, or false prophet in “sheep’s clothing” is someone who is a follower or seems to be a follower but draws up followers themselves and stops following. In my personal opinion you can tell whether an individual is a wolf or a sheep by what they do when they are corrected. A sheep will turn to their shepherd, wolves will use it as an opportunity to destroy or to rally. (Alma 5:60, Matt 7:15, 3 Nephi 14-15)

    1. Good grief, they will all say you are incorrect, just like Melissa. However, if really given a choice, then why required to pay tithing as an absolute requirement of temple attendance? Per their own doctrine, without temple no exaltation. No tithing no temple no exaltation. Is tithing really a choice for me as a member, or am I required to pay it as part of doctrine of church to be able to reach the celestial kingdom?

    2. Perhaps put in some research before posting? Members of the LDS church don’t do those things simply because we are told to. We do those things because we WANT to, because we know they are the right things to do. We always have our agency to choose.

    3. Hey Mike, I am amazed that you know what I am feeling and how and why I make the choices that I make. I feel blessed and am privileged to pay tithing. I have always had more than enough. It is just a sacrifice of something physical that gives me SO much more. I am absolutely NOT forced to pay tithing. There are plenty of members who do not.

    4. This is utter nonsense! It is not my experience to have been told what to do, what to think, how to dress, how to act, whom to marry, etc. etc. I don’t know what Mormon Church you’re talking about, but its certainly not the LDS.

    5. Good grief, the only shepard I am following is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God the Eternal Father. We have been given commandments and it is our choice to follow them or not. Our lives mirror the decisions we make. We all have to face the consequences of our decisions, good or bad. Those who choose to keep the laws given by God will be blessed while here on Earth and in Heaven. If you do not believe these things then I pray that you will find Christ somehow and come to know for yourself that these things are true.

    6. i’m sorry, but you couldn’t be more wrong. as members of the church, we are taught correct principles and then we are free to CHOOSE for ourselves. nobody tells me what to think, say, wear, eat, how to vote, how to speak, how to express love to my spouse, etc, etc. NOBODY! you are demonstrating and helping to perpetuate one of the biggest misconceptions of mormonism known to man. i CHOOSE to act the way i act, speak the way i speak, dress the way i dress, do the things i do, because i know what will bring me peace and happiness. i CHOOSE to obey gospel principles because i have been blessed for obedience and i have faith that i will continue to be blessed for CHOOSING the right.
      ms kelly CHOSE to ignore gospel principles…she CHOSE to not attend her disciplinary council…she CHOSE to publicly denounce her faith. nobody made her do those things. i believe she just enjoys the attention and unfortunately, she may have traded her 15 minutes of fame for her eternal salvation.

    7. good grief,

      What is the difference between your claim of what we do and being a follower of Jesus Christ? A sheep with him as your shepherd? How many beliefs and ideals has Christ Himself taught that the world will disagree with you on? That you have to hold to rather than “making your own decision” in order to follow Him? And isn’t following Him your own choice?

      When has anything the Lord asked of his children, in Biblical times even, not seemed strange to the world? When has it not been condemned and criticized and seen as peculiar or weak?

      And when has it not been the right decision to follow those guidelines anyway?

  3. Did the Prophet ever answer the question? I haven’t heard of any revelation on women holding the priesthood being announced for sustaining. So, how could they not like the answer they got, when they never got an answer? Just wondering?

    1. Most recently, Elder Oaks’ talk in the Priesthood session of general conference addressed the issue of Priesthood very clearly.

    2. Elder Dallin Oaks addressed this issue in the Priesthood session of General Conference in April. You can read or listen @ lds.org

    3. The only way any change will occur is by a unanimous consensus. So there MAY be some/many who are on board, and a few holdouts. We’ll never know, as those discussions are privy to the men who hold it.

  4. I have to disagree with your assessment that the LDS Church does not care about how the world perceives it. You should look into how much tithing money is given to google to manipulate SEO Keywords to give the perception of the LDS church’s acceptance into mainstream christianity. Followed by the “I’m a Mormon Campaign” – If you think a multi billion dollar marketing campaign isn’t desperate for the worlds “acceptance” than I don’t know what is!

    1. You act like tithing money is used in a bad way in the church.. So having a lay-ministry and using the money to spread the word of God is a misuse? We are Christian:
      Christian –
      1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
      2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
      3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades.
      4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
      5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.

      So yes, we are Christian. Does the church doctrine comply with TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY.. No. But by definition, we are Christian. If you say “no” to that after a clear definition of words then that is just sad.

    1. That is the exact line i have issue with. I believe there is room for both, but part of the problem is answers are assumed have already been given. In the case of Ordain Women, the goal was to encourage church leaders to ask God about the ordination of the priesthood. Though they crossed the line from encouraging to demanding, which is where I believe their downfall lies.

      It’s ok to ask questions about already given answers. It was believed that the answer to race and the priesthood had already been given, when in fact it was quite appropriate, and good, to ask.

      Our religion teaches us to ask. It’s where persuasion and long-suffering become rebellion and demands that we fall short.

  5. Hi. First, context is insanely important for the scriptures you quoted, especially D&C 21. You see, D&C 21 is referring to Joseph Smith Jr. — the person. It is not referring to his office. God is vouching for “him” not his office.
    Second, no answer has been given. The Church’s PR rep, in a radio interview, said that there is no Church doctrine that says women cannot hold the Priesthood.
    Third, their “march” wasn’t anything more than a gathering. They sat around. No authority was sent to meet them, answer their questions, etc. it wasn’t a protest, just a gathering of faithful women and supporters.

    You’ve had 4K people read your post and you’ve mislead them. You’ve accused Kate of sin and no sin had been committed. You wrested the scriptures to fit your view. My friend, you are in need of repentance. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”.

    1. If you find Kate Kelly on FB and read her posts, you’ll find her phrase, “stare down the patriarchy”, alludes to a bit more than a “gathering of faithful women and supporters”.

      1. Feel free to provide the link to that comment or the entire quote in context. Burden of proof falls upon the person making the claim (aka, you).

    2. Also, plenty of answers have been given. Multiple talks in Conference, past and present, contain answers to the question of women holding the priesthood, Elder Oaks recent talk in particular. There are also obvious answers in The Proclamation on the Family, The Gospel Principles Manual, and several other church published works. You don’t really have to go very far to start getting answers about this. If you are willing and faithful you can give service in the temple which, to me at least, leaves no room at all for misunderstanding the way that the priesthood works in the lives of men and women.

      The “trick” is applying your own full measure of faith when you get the answers. You have to want a truthful answer and not just a convenient one.

      1. Next time you do an endowment session, listen to the specific wording regarding the role that women will play to their husbands. And remember that the male version of that role holds the priesthood… Then wait for your mind to be blown.

    3. Thanks for commenting Jaxon. I’m interested to know why you feel DC 21 cannot be about the office but only about the man? The reason I feel it’s about both is because of the context of this section. It’s a revelation given the day the church was organized. Verse 1 explains that Joseph is to be a seer, prophet, a translator etc… and then gives the instruction to the church I quote. Today we sustain the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as “prophets, seers, and revelators” which is the same language as the revelation, a clear indication to me that this revelation applies to both. If you have scripture that shows I wrested this one I’d love to know about it.

      You’re right about the fact that I need repentance. Ask my wife.

  6. The Church excommunicates members for three reasons: 1) to protect the Church, 2) to protect other members, or 3) to protect the member him/herself.

    The first one should be obvious. This could include everything from stealing money to slandering the Church publically. The second is similar. A house divided cannot stand. Persuading other members to join groups and advocate causes in opposition to the leaders of the Church and the doctrine threatens other people’s faith. The third one is interesting. In most cases, excommunication is the result of adultery from endowed members. The covenants made in the temple are sacred and serious. If a person is committing great enough sin, they are better off spiritually to do so without being under the covenant. But even the baptismal covenant comes with serious obligations, one of which is sustaining the Church leaders. If you are unwilling to do that, you should not be in the covenant.

    Keep in mind, though, the violations must be severe. If I unrepentantly drink a cup of coffee, I’m not getting excommunicated. If I am struggling with questions and doubt the leadership, I’m not getting excommunicated. If I am publically denouncing Church leaders (or their decisions), persuading others to not sustain the prophet, and telling people our doctrine is wrong, I may get brought before a council. However, these things are not black and white and the disciplinary councils follow the Spirit. We are NOT in the habit of removing members.

    From my own perspective, I’d say Miss Kelly’s situation falls under all three reasons. And the way she has used this as a springboard to promote herself and her “cause” at the expense of the Church she claims to love, gives some indication, I think, at her motives.

    The quick answer I give to people who ask about this: “Yeah, how insane is it that a church would not want someone there who preaches against the leaders and persuades others to do the same? Are we out of line or what?”

    1. Joel, I appreciate especially your inclusion of the 3rd reason. I have had several conversations with friends in, never in, and formerly in the church. As the daughter of a member who was excommunicated and, after more than a decade out of the church, re-baptised, I was privy to wonderful conversations concerning excommunication. My father had come to see his excommunication as the act of a loving church family who, after asking if he intended to return to living a life following God’s commandments (and hearing him state “No”), decided a release from the promises he had made at baptism was the kindest thing they could offer him. To deny him that and allow him to continue to break sacred promises with his Creator would have been cruel.

      We had missionaries, home teachers and visiting teachers in our home. The rest of the family continued to go to church. We were never shunned, left out, made to feel anything other than how we had always felt.

      I will always be grateful to my dad for helping me understand this concept. I will also be grateful to the ward members whose wonderful and accepting example showed me how to treat any and all of God’s children, regaradless of membership.

  7. We do not take lightly this whole issue. But majority of LDS women accept many responsibilities and are charged with very difficult responsibility already. Why would any woman want more??? Not me…the men are given Priesthood because they NEED it. And I do hold the Priesthood! In my arms, prayers, and thoughts every day. He is my husband, my other half. I would not want it any other way.

    1. Why do I need the priesthood? Didn’t Christ (and many other prophets) say that miracles are wrought by faith? If you and I have faith, don’t we have all that we need?

      Priesthood blessings are done by faith. A mother prayer for her sick child in the middle of the night is done by faith. What is the difference? Neither of us “need” the priesthood to call upon God’s power to bless humankind.

      1. You do not understand the Priesthood then. Faith is required for all mankind but the Priesthood is the Authority to act in God’s name here on the earth. That is why men must be worthy to use the priesthood because without it, they do not have the authority to use it. Faith is a part of the priesthood but without the priesthood, the windows of heaven close and you can have all the faith you want but that will not be what opens the blessings of heaven on the world. Look back to when the apostles of the bible were killed, that priesthood was gone and the heavens were closed. The priesthood was restored back through Joseph Smith. Why would such a claim be withheld against all of its criticism if it was not even remotely important??

      2. FYI the priesthood is a portion of the power of Christ. Yes, faith is involved; but I don’t know why you are trying to make it sound like the Savior doesn’t want men to have it. He has given it to all of his disciples who are male; I fail to see how so called Christians can find this so controversial. Funny how going back to reading the scriptures and praying daily really does solve our problems.

    2. You don’t think it is slightly offensive to men to claim they possess the priesthood because they need it? As if they enter this world with some sort of spiritual lacking compared to women and therefore need the power of God and it’s responsibility to be whole. And while you have no desire this power and authority, which I do not want for myself either, that is not the point. The point is there are women who do not understand the distinction, and are asking questions they would like answered. These are our sisters in every sense of the word– it is not right to simply brush off their concerns simply because we do not feel the same.

      1. I hold the priesthood and I don’t know any man who finds it offensive at all at the claim that we men possess the priesthood because we need it. If we were even offended by it why would any of us men even hold it? Why is it that us men can only focus on one thing at a time while women can focus on multiple things at a time? Why is it that women can give birth and men cant? Why is it men have more muscle mass than women? Why is it that women are more nurturing than men? Its because we are different physically, mentally, and spiritually. To comment on your statement “The point is there are women who do not understand the distinction, and are asking questions they would like answered..” The answers to those questions have already been answered in General Conference and other places. I have even heard the answer to those questions spoken in my own Stake Conference. Its okay to ask questions, and they have been answered, no ones concerns are being brushed off about it.

      2. Ryan, I’m not sure you understood michaelachamberlainhamberlain’s comment. I’d suggest she is on the right track that the comment about women don’t get the priesthood because they are born more spiritual and men do because they are less so is a bit condescending to women and should be offensive to men. This trite phrase that gets bandied about is a contributor to the whole Ordain Women problem. It’s been part of the American culture for some time to willingly vilify men and build up women – whether from chivalry, machismo, feminism propaganda etc (don’t believe me – look how many TV fathers or dads are shown as complete imbeciles dependent upon their wives for everything). The comment I always hear is “if you want something done in the Church, assign it to the women.” It’s really a crock of BS, but it is pop culture. I’m sorry, but I find the skill sets, follow through, etc of men and women more dependent upon many things beyond gender.
        The real answer as to why the Priesthood is given to men is because God set it up that way. Why? We really don’t know and the Lord hasn’t given us the answer. The assumption that no one ever thought differently or thought to ask or that the Lord would do it if only we’d ask and we haven’t asked is the hubris of the Ordain Women group. They are just as sexist as the people they are going after – it’s just that they want their turn. Personally, my feeling is that anyone aspiring to a leadership position in the Priesthood is not worthy of it nor would I prefer them in my chain of authority.

      3. Personally, I’m getting tired of women demanding to validated by men in some way. This whole world seems to have this idea that if we are not allowed to do something a man does, we are some how devalued. For example, women demanding not to be excluded from Men’s Clubs. This is kind of a simple example, but it illustrates my point. Are you really validated as a woman because they let you smoke at the cigar bar? Why do women feel that they have to be given something to show the world they are just as important? Isn’t it time women stopped asking for validation, and just go out and prove themselves? After all, that’s what men do.

        Most of the women in the Church don’t want the priesthood. Why? Because we are happy with our roles as women. We don’t feel less loved or less empowered. Most of us think our role as women is pretty awesome and that it is proof that God loves us not the other way around. Why are these feelings somehow considered a sin by someone like Kate Kelly? It’s none of her business what I want, or what I believe. And if I want to give 10% of my income to build temples, and churches and to help the poor and starving all over the world, that is between me and God. And if I don’t believe it will help me in anyway to sit at the cigar bar and drink whiskey, just because
        that’s what some men do, I have that right.

        If you believe that God somehow made a mistake when he gave men and women different roles, then you are essentially slapping God in the face. You are saying you don’t believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that the only way you will believe is if the Church starts doing what you want. I also believe men have a right to go to a place when they are not “stared down” by women.

        I believe Jesus Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind in Gethsemane, both women and men alike. I believe in his mission and his teachings. I believe in the Prophet of God. If you really listen to what he says and what he encourages us to do, you will find no compelling, no forcing. You will find someone who is teaching us to do some pretty good things. Things like being grateful, connecting with our forefathers through family history research, and in being honest, and compassionate. What is wrong with that? These are universal truths we all believe in.

  8. The church –more to the point– your church keeps two sets of books. It has a polished and popular image that has been desperately trying to show how ‘normal’ Mormons are. Once one is in, however, one is told that Mormons are supposed to be a peculiar people and shun the world. Which one is it?

    1. Greggorywood, The term ‘peculiar’ is not used to mean ‘strange’ as you seem to suggest. Peculiar means different, as in “in the world but not of it.” We live IN the world (we associate freely with everyone without isolating ourselves) but NOT OF the world (we do our best to behave according to the teachings of Christ, versus just doing whatever our impulses tell us to). The PR campaign of the church, in my opinion, is to combat the long-standing misconceptions that Mormons are weird, cultish or isolationists. I’m amazed at all the misconceptions I’ve heard about my own religion. Regardless of who or what cause may have perpetuated these misconceptions, they are innaccurate. The PR campaign shows that every-day people are Mormons and none of them have horns.

    2. I think you will find that people will join the church regardless of its PR campaign simply because of the testimony they gain of it’s truth. The PR helps inform people of what our church is like to those who live it instead of as it is seen from people who do not take the time to get to know us, but it is not how people are converted and gain such a strong conviction. Maybe you should take the time to find out for yourself, you might be surprised:)

  9. The LDS religion is organized in the same manner in which Christ organized his church when he was alive on the earth. Women were loved, respected and honored. They were not given the priesthood, but were helpmeets to those who held the Pristhood. Who are we to question and try to change the way of Savior and his organization of the Gospel?

      1. Not everyone who witnessed the resurrected Savior held the office of Apostle. 500 people witnessed Him after His death. They weren’t all apostles.

    1. How about Titus 1:5: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
      Or maybe Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
      Or maybe Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
      Or maybe Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
      It seems to me that King Lemuel seemed to think pretty highly of his mother in Proverbs 31. And Ephesians 5 was pretty to me.
      GoodGrief, it’s pretty obvious you are trolling by the comments you’ve made. I wouldn’t normally feed trolls, but I thought this one worthy of some insight. I’m not sure why you’d care, because you obviously have some issues with the Church. It sure seems odd that if you hate it that much you’d put that much time into it.

  10. A true scriptural historian will understand that “the” Church has become corrupt many times in past dispensations. Why do active LDS members feel as though that will never happen again? I’m sure the Zoramites were 100% convinced that as they spouted from atop their rameumptom inside of the temple that they were the “only true and living” church in the land. I’ve been a member my whole life and I served a mission several years ago. Now I question every day if I’m not following a fallen church. I’ve prayed about it hard too. It’s just really hard when I’m told that my 10% goes to the building of the kingdom and the church just built 2 billion dollar shopping mall across from the temple. Who paid for that and how does that help God save souls?

    1. The mall was NOT built from tithing funds. They addressed this a long time ago. They may have used interest from investing tithing funds or from other investments, but they have solemnly declared what tithing funds are specifically used for. 😉 I’m super impressed that you are praying hard about whether or not you should remain a member of the church. My entire family left a long time ago, everyone except me. Occasionally I have doubts that creep into my mind and I’ve learned to do two things to keep my testimony strong. #1 = Stick to the Basics: Search, Ponder, and Pray, humbly and with real intent. #2 = Follow the prophet and Keep the Commandments while you are disenchanted, hurting, or unsure about your testimony. As I have used those two basic rules, eventually I feel the Spirit during a hymn at church, I receive some kind of miracle in my life thanks to a member of the church, or I hear a lesson that answers my question, addresses my concerns, or simply gives me peace about what was troubling me without any clarity or answers. It’s as if the Lord is saying “press forward, feasting upon the word and you shall have eternal life” 2 Nephi 31:20. The fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ have given me so much joy, light, and peace that I will never go astray, so long as the Spirit keeps testifying to my soul to stay and I remain humble and teachable enough to listen… 😉

    2. City Creek Center is a Property Reserve, Inc project. It is a Commercial Real Estate development company owned by the Corporation of the President. It has it’s own investments and generates profits for further investment. The Church states that no tithing dollars went into the project. I guess it’s up to you to decide if they are truthful or lying. If you think they are lying, well then it seems as if you’ve answered your own question.

    3. I don’t know that I can answer all of your concerns, but I think the shopping mall deserves attention. Part of the reason the church decided to embark on this project was to keep the area around the temple clean and vibrant. Economic health can help keep the environment around the temple a place where one can feel closer to God. Also, the church reported that no tithing funds were used in the creation of the mall. It was subsidized by the church’s real estate division, which means tithing wasn’t a part of the equation. You can find all of this information, as well as links, on wikipedia of all places.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Creek_Center#History

      I wasn’t on the committee or anything, and I don’t know all of the history behind it, but it seems like there were legitimate reasons for building it, as well as non-tithing funds to do so. Hopefully that helps.

      Kyle

    4. Serious Sam, From what you say, it seems that you have read anti-LDS accounts, and have not looked very deeply into any of the apologetics. Here are some things that may help you in your search. Book of Abraham…. Did you know that there were at least 3 and probably 4 scrolls that Joseph Smith was working with, and we only have 1? A small one at that? The largest roll was 17 feet long. His mother described it. Said they had laid it out, and it was the full length of the house. This scroll is missing…this scroll is most likely the one that the book of Abraham was translated from. Did you know that there have been more writings found on papyrus that are stories about Abraham? Stories that are very similar to what JS traslated? Here is a link telling about it. It also shows that the Hieroglyphics were correctly translated by him as well. http://home.comcast.net/~michael.rhodes/JosephSmithHypocephalus.pdf Anti’s can say whatever anti-mormon stuff they want, there is always an answer. Because this Church is true. I have studied it all. I have read it all. I have found answers. All things in LDS history are going to be biased. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, there will be bias. What it comes down to is what you CHOOSE to believe. if people have chosen to believe the church isn’t true. They will look to things that support that belief. I have chosen to believe it is true. I went down the path of looking at all the other stuff, and the difference between many who leave and me is that I kept praying, I searched on all sides, I looked into everything I could find on BOTH sides. I found the inconsistencies in the anti-mormon claims. I found the things that had answers, and kept looking for answers. I even looked into other churches considering attending somewhere else to keep my family worshiping together. I would go to another church if that was what was true. If that was what God wanted for me. He led me to the Gospels. To studying the words of Christ. No other church is so well aligned with the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. You read His words. Our leaders teach according to His words. I decided to stay with the Church even though I hadn’t found all of my answers yet. Then within about 3 months, the answers fell in my lap. The Lord has blessed me greatly. I turned my will completely over to Him. I told Him I only wanted to do what HE wanted for me for the rest of my life. I have since had spiritual experiences that have brought about in me the change of heart that Alma speaks of. Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ are what this Church is about, even if the people they have to work through are imperfect.

      The statement that the Church used tithing money to pay for projects such as this, IS NOT TRUE. It is sacred and set aside for the purposes the church say it is used for. The money used to build this mall is from money of the corporate side. And yes the corporate side is separate. If the church has built this to help to have more money for things, precisely because there IS need for it, and they will NOT use tithing money to fund other things. Maybe if we all gave more generously in our tithes and offerings, the church wouldn’t have to go to these lengths. Think of all the disasters everywhere. The church sends literally tons of stuff to help.
      Think of all the people who are losing jobs in the church….the church pays their rent, house payments, feeds and clothes them. Think of all the temple being built. All the church houses being built, all to very high standards. All beautiful for the people and for God. Think of all the materials the church supplies for the buildings. For the money that is shelled out to cover many expenses. For all the many buildings and temples all over the world. For church advertising, for printing the manuals and BOM’s.
      The anti’ have been yelling for a long time that our tithing money is being used for this or that. Just because they say it is doesn’t mean it is true. Like I said…the fact that the church HAS a corporate side shows that they have found other ways to make the money that is needed for the church to accomplish the many things on it’s plate, other than tithing money.The first thing I have found is that you cannot believe everything an anti says just because they say it. Here is what I have found for an answer where this concern is, from prayer and listening to the promptings of the spirit. It was interesting, I was led to this scripture twice, and I didn’t know why. Didn’t even understand it actually. Then all this came out about the Salt City Creek and I understood why. Here is the scripture:
      Luke 16: 1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
      2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
      3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
      4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
      5 So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
      6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
      7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
      8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
      9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
      10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
      11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
      I couldn’t understand why the scripture was speaking of being friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness?!?! Why would we even WANT to be received of them if we failed? Why would we want to be faithful in unrighteous mammon? Since seeing what people are saying about the church, and thinking about how Joseph Smith…a child of light was not wise in this thing, I can see how the leaders later were led to do differently, maybe they were led to this very scripture. Telling them that they had to be friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness that they would be able to be wise stewards over the unrighteousness Mammon. We have to live in the world. The church has to deal with Mammon in order to continue on in what has to be done. Joseph Smith tried to do other wise, and the church was bankrupt. Things had to be done in a way to keep the church afloat. I still feel like things are inspired. The Church has to do somethings with Mammon. But the teaching to the people are still pure.
      The Church works good and is “Faithful in the unrighteousness Mammon”. They are showing that they can be trusted even as they work in the Mammon of the world. Therefore they are still trusted to the good riches.
      As far as people complaining about the advertising at Salt Creek, and having things there that are not up to church standards….we are not of the world , nevertheless, we are in the world. The Church has put it’s foot down and posted signs that people not smoke…etc in the areas around temple square. What a stink arose from the non-LDS community over this. The church built a commercial building to help raise funds. It is not their place to police this building that non-members are frequenting and make it all LDS standards. This picture was done by whatever advertising company was hired to cover this establishment. It was not made by “The Church”
      The building is rented out to whomever wants to rent a space and have a business. Including businesses that are not up to church standards. It is part of being in the world and dealing in Mammon with the world, even though we are not of these things.

    5. Hi serioussam, thanks for your comment. If you’d like, here are some scriptures for your consideration as to how this dispensation is unique, particularly when it comes to a falling away (in that this is the only dispensation that will not end in an apostasy, but rather, will end with the second coming).

      Dan 2: 44-45
      DC 13
      JSH 1:36-41 (and the quoted scriptures)
      Ephesians 1:10
      DC 128:18

      I hope this is helpful.

  11. I somewhat agree with this article, but am not sure what these folks did to deserve excommunication, which is a very extreme action. The article does not make that clear. I would like to add a couple of thoughts though. First, they can’t really excommunicate anybody. Only God can excommunicate someone and he won’t do that, because he loves everyone. Go ahead and practice your religion even when you are not sanctioned.
    On the other hand, when I could no longer live with what the Catholic Church taught, I left. Who am I to change a religion that is thousands of years old? They set the standard for their own religion.. If I am not happy with what they preach, I can leave. I am spiritual now, but have no real organized religion. I go to different churches if I crave companionship during my worship. I will never go back to the Catholic Church until priests are allowed to marry and pedophilia among priests is addressed. Just my two cents.

    1. I can’t comment on the reason for their excommunication because the Church leadership will keep it confidential. They can’t comment on it, so we will only ever hear one side of the story. Any reason given by someone outside the situation (such as myself) could only be speculation.

  12. Thanks for the post. Its a lot like what I felt. Not because I’m a man but because of how God have revealed the truth in the Scriptures. If people disagree after counseling then they are free to start their own religion instead of trying to start a reformation.

  13. In response to Kalin’s accusation, I quote J. Jonah Jameson, “It is not. I resent that. Slander is spoken. In print, it’s libel.”

  14. I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, and proud to be! I love my leaders and support their decisions,I do my best to follow their teachings even though I may fall short sometimes since I am human. I have faith that I was sent to this earth to prove my worth to live with my heavenly father and his son Jesus Christ again.I am extremely grateful for thecommandments and guidelines given that help me stay on a path that will lead me back to them. I’m grateful that I can pray and receive answers, and I am grateful that I also have access to counsel given to receive answers I may not be able to find on my own. I don’t profess to know everything about my church, but I love that I continually receive knowledge about it, and can learn more about it whenever I want.I love the most the feeling I get when questioning the church’s truthfulness and for me it’s been a loud yes every time! I love most everyone I meet no matter race, religion or sex they are and I was taught that in the church! I was also taught just because I love someone doesn’t mean I agree or support the way they live. My best friend other than my wonderful husband is not lds and I love her to death or religions and standards are different but that doesn’t make us hate each other for it. I wish there was more understanding in the world but we are given adversity and trials for a reason. Reading condemning articles about the church doesn’t break or learn my faith in it, it just makes me sad to know so many people are so against each other because they choose to live differently. I’m not perfect but will I ever be, but I’m going to try to be like Christ as often as I can because I choose to and for me that’s choosing to belong to the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints!

  15. I think Sister Beck clearly defined the role of and LDS woman in her 2007 General Conference talk. A few of the best quotes are:

    “Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home.”

    “Mothers who know desire to bear children. ”

    “President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children”

    “Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.”

    “Mothers who know do less.”

    https://www.lds.org/general…/2007/10/mothers-who-know…

    Clearly women would not want or need to have a voice in the church or real leadership when there is dishwashing to be done.

    And if a women does not desire children, too bad. Have them anyway.

    1. You need to quote the whole talk Julia Ann not just the parts taken out of context twisted to make your point. You can’t pull this off here, because we are very well aware of what she said. Some of us feel being a mother is real leadership. By the way, I don’t have children, but I support everything Sister Beck said.

    2. Your link isn’t working.

      Come on, having read that talk, you had to have known that someone was going to refute the meaning of the quotes you were giving.

      First and foremost the talk is entitled Mothers Who Know, referring to the mothers of the stripling warriors. These young men were as righteous and good as they were because of their mothers, because the ‘knew’; they had faith, and they taught their children. Mothers are on the receiving end of some serious flak, that they are taking it easy by being in the home with their children, are not helping the cause of women in the world by taking on such an old fashioned role. Likewise, women who work outside the home receive similar grief. Either way, we as women are following our hearts, doing the best we can for ourselves and our families.

      “Mothers who know desire to bear children. ”– (it continues)… Whereas in many cultures in the world children are ‘becoming less valued,’ in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.”

      “President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children” (it continues)…’in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.'”

      “Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.” This is from the section ‘Mothers who know are nurtures’. “This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness. To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow.” This talk speaks of nurturing home and children (homemaking) because the title is ‘Mothers’ Who Know, that doesn’t mean it is limited to the home. I find great joy in helping others. I’m feeling down? Go serve someone. It strengthens you and the people you are nurturing. “Cultivate, care for, make grow” can easily apply to a business or a job.

      “Mothers who know do less.” (it continues) “They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. …These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all.” Less distraction. Live on less. Consume less.

      You inferred ‘And if a women does not desire children, too bad. Have them anyway.’ While Sis. Beck actually said “…Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity,…”

      Please don’t take portions of what someone said and limit the meaning.

  16. I don’t think people ever understand how selfish they really are. Churches and prophets and even Christ exist because we wanted them. Sure, it was God’s idea, but we were the ones who set it forward. Everything we have is to make our time on earth just a little bit easier. What these people don’t understand is that the Church isn’t in existence to do everything for you. We have our guidelines and suggestions, and if you repeatedly ignore, disobey or dissent from those, you do not reserve the right to have that organizations tag beside your name.

    See, I personally believe that the legal drinking age is too high. At 18, we can vote, we can live on our own, we are responsible for ourselves, and we can die ‘for’ our country. But we can’t have alcohol. I don’t see why I can’t, considering I do all those other things. Now, I organize protests in public places, go on the media, state my case and try to get it changed. I don’t get the recognition I think I deserve, so I continue to push the limits, and do things that I am expressly prohibited by law (say, organizing a protest in a state liquor store with a group of 18-21 year-olds). Am I going to be mad if I am arrested, or some other legal action is taken against me? Of course! This is something that makes sense to me, and I’m not being tolerated by the government.

    But thats just it. Thats the Government. Its a governing body. Now the church is not a governing body. It is an organized system of spiritual guides, professors and counselors. If I don’t like what they have to say or their suggestions, I can leave. But if I truly believe what they are saying is right, I won’t. If I recognize them as counselor’s and guides with no influence or power over my apparent salvation, I will decide what is best for my relationship between myself and my God.

    This is all just an attempt to draw people to the same school of thought, believing that the whole church should be of the same mind and heart. In reality, that was never intended to happen. That was the plan of the Devil, to take away any variance, diversity or dissenting opinions. We all have different paths we need to take. On some people, it is inherently expected for them to take on more responsibilities than others, and they will be accounted for that. For other people, that is not deemed necessary. To think that one is more privileged because more is expected of them is absurd. What is more absurd is expecting your opinion to sway another’s persons decisions.

    You can think and say what you will about all this, but it does not matter to me. What other people believe, say and do is beyond my control. I can take it to heart and do what I will with it, or I can leave it.

  17. Oh brother. These comments are ridiculous. Those saying that we’re brainwashed little sheep and don’t understand our own religion fail.
    We believe in Christ and follow Him. That’s what every detail coves down to. The end.
    The question about “no tithing = no salvation” can be answered simply. Those worthy to enter the temple follow ALL of the commandments as best they can. Tithing is one of the best indicators/evidences of faith and trust in Him. If you’re not paying a full tithe, you probably have deeper questions or issues than just the money.
    I’m a Mormon. I’m not ashamed, I do not practice blind obedience, I’m not brainwashed, and I’m certainly not forced to do anything. Agency is a fundamental and eternal element. If we were forced to do anything, God would cease to be God.
    To those claiming to have “chosen the path of Christ” but are condemning the Church, I ask, “is that something Christ would do?”
    Debates like these always just make me roll my eyes. They’re so hypocritical and just downright rude, disrespectful, and most often caused by a misunderstanding of our fundamental doctrine. If you don’t know, find out from actual sources. Don’t just get fired up, made stuff up, and criticize our beliefs and way of life. When we use our agency to follow Christ, we find true and lasting happiness that can’t be found anywhere else. Our will it’s the ONLY thing that is ours alone, thus the only thing we can give to Him. After all He’s given and done for me, I gladly give in return the only thing He asks of me. It’s only difficult because we live in a fallen and very corrupt world, and we were all born with naturally selfish instincts. That’s why our Heavenly Father gave His Son; so we have a means by which to return to and become like Them.
    Now, all of you nay-sayers or there will read my comment, find fault (perceived or not) somewhere, and just come back with some sort of argument you think has merit (whether it has anything to do with what I’ve said or not), or just rude and harsh words. That’s what happens every time anyone tries to defend the Church. While it’s annoying and oftentimes hurtful, it’s a testimony builder in the end. “The wicked take the truth to be hard,” and I know the only true Church and its members will receive persecution until Christ comes again. So go ahead, tear me down, but I know the truth and I won’t be persuaded otherwise. It has been confirmed to me time and time again and in so many ways. I’ve received blessings that couldn’t have come from anyone but God Himself. These blessings have come from my obedience to His words through His prophets, or from His love alone (I often don’t deserve the blessings I am given). The Church is made up of perfect truth, run by imperfect people just doing their best.
    I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church on the earth today. Many contain truths, but the Church contains all truth, and all truth belongs to it. Its doctrine never has and never will change for any reason. Its principles and policies are governed by God Himself. I love Him, and He loves me with a love deeper than I can comprehend. His teachings are the ONLY way to achieve real happiness. That can’t change. The Church is the same Church that Christ lead in His day.
    So, after this much-longer-than-I-intended reply, I say, “good grief” to the arguing. Truly faithful members of His Church won’t be persuaded by any harsh things said. You’re just wasting your time, sorry. Go find a hobby or something else to be passionate about. Better yet, I’m going to be cliche and suggest that we all just work together to better or world instead of bickering; “can’t we all Jay get along?” 😉

    P.S. I wrote this on my phone. Pardon random misspellings and such. We ask know auto-correct enjoys playing games.

  18. Julia,

    There is record of Joseph marrying some other women, but not sleeping with them, except for one very obscure record where someone claimed he saw Joseph with another women. Consider how many false accusations were made about Joseph in his lifetime and this accusation is very likely false as well. It’s easy for lies and rumors to spread even in this day and age, let alone over a hundred years ago. Everything else you said has been refuted and rehashed over and over again. The arguments are nothing new and there are reasonable rebuttals against everything you stated.

  19. Interestingly, no one is up in arms about other religions doing the same thing. The catholic church also does not ordain women and have excommunicated supporters of this notion. There are also next to no female Jewish rabbis in Orthodox Judaism. I have never heard a reason “why” these other religions won’t ordain women, yet people continue faithfully in their religion. The LDS church should not have to justify its decisions or lack of answers to the world, just like many other religions are not either. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8 -9. http://world.time.com/2013/09/25/pope-francis-excommunicates-priest-who-supports-womens-ordination-and-gays/

  20. Yes it is slander: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

    I encourage you to do more honest research such as what is found at http://www.fairmormon.org/

    Lets look at your claims here.. And in fact, I will provide you the links to FAIR articles, as it is better to research yourself then to have me do the hard work for you…

    Here is a thorough investigation to ALL of the claims about Joseph and Polygamy “http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy”

    Here is responses to ALL claims against the Book of Abraham
    “http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Abraham”

    How about the Race Card you are playing
    “http://en.fairmormon.org/Blacks_and_the_priesthood”

    As for Kolob that is not even worth my time disusing because there was never much revelation regarding the matter.. Mostly because it doesn’t matter. But it sounds like you are trying to attempt to make an argument from something we know little to nothing about, in which case I am not interested. In the grand portrait of all religious beliefs how is a short tidbit about there being a star known as ‘Kolob” close to the throne of God something that is automatically a falsehood? Sounds like it could be true if you are willing to believe in God, the stories of the Bible, a heaven, a hell, astronomy, etc.. Unless you are just grasping at straws to SLANDER someone then you would bring this up I guess…

    I have my own answers to each of those; however, I again feel it better for you to complete your research on your own and find REAL UNDERSTANDING.

    I personally created and took part in anti-LDS website forums, contacted and spoke personally with creators of anti-LDS websites like Mormoninfo.org, and have served a two year mission where I spent 24/7 365 x2 making myself available and participating in controversial subjects. Your lack of understanding of events in church history, or the Book of Abraham, or polygamy does not have any bearing on the FACTS and COMPLETE STORY or even a FULL review of things we do not have all information about but relies on faith (which you HAVE to agree anything religious leans on).

    The LDS faith has answers for all of your claims and is the Church of Christ restored in our day, preparatory for the second coming of Christ. Slandering the prophet with propaganda doesn’t change it.

    You may want to try finding truth by a different approach as well, as your research has apparently failed you… Read 1 Cor. 2:9-14 and do as it suggests and find out spiritual truths through spiritual means. It’s foolproof..That’s if you can do so honestly and with good intent.

  21. Julia ann, your statements are absolutely incorrect and slanderous. Your statements show that your total lack of looking into ALL aspects and sources of Church history. From what you say, it seems that you have only read anti-LDS accounts, and have not looked very deeply into any of the apologetics. Did you know that there were at least 3 and probably 4 scrolls that Joseph Smith was working with, and we only have 1? A small one at that? The largest roll was 17 feet long. His mother described it. Said they had laid it out, and it was the full length of the house. This scroll is missing…this scroll is most likely the one that the book of Abraham was translated from. Did you know that there have been more writings found on papyrus that are stories about Abraham? Stories that are very similar to what JS traslated? Here is a link telling about it. It also shows that the Hieroglyphics were correctly translated by him as well. http://home.comcast.net/~michael.rhodes/JosephSmithHypocephalus.pdf The statement you made that JS slept with people’s wives while they were on their missions is absolutely false. There is no proof of that whatsoever. There is only hearsay by people who were JS haters. If you have PROOF of that, and not just some anti-mormon statement that it happened, provide a link. That is just a beginning. You can say whatever anti-mormon stuff you want, there is always an answer. Because this Church is true. I have studied it all. I have read it all. I have found answers. All things in LDS history are going to be biased. It doesn’t matter which side you are on, there will be bias. What it comes down to is what you CHOOSE to believe. You have chosen to believe the church isn’t true. You will look to things that support your belief. I have chosen to believe it is true. I went down the path of looking at all the other stuff, and the difference between us is that I kept praying, I searched on all sides, I looked into everything I could find on BOTH sides. I found the inconsistencies in the anti-mormon claims. I found the things that had answers, and kept looking for answers. I even looked into other churches considering attending somewhere else to keep my family worshiping together. I would go to another church if that was what was true. If that was what God wanted for me. He led me to the Gospels. To studying the words of Christ. No other church is so well aligned with the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. You read His words. Our leaders teach according to His words. I decided to stay with the Church even though I hadn’t found all of my answers yet. Then within about 3 months, the answers fell in my lap. The Lord has blessed me greatly. I turned my will completely over to Him. I told Him I only wanted to do what HE wanted for me for the rest of my life. I have since had spiritual experiences that have brought about in me the change of heart that Alma speaks of. Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ are what this Church is about, even if the people they have to work through are imperfect.

  22. “I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity: That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” Joseph Smith

  23. This is very well written… thank you! I’ve had a hard time putting my thoughts into words and this will be perfect to share with my friends, both LDS and non-LDS, that don’t understand this situation.

  24. Right. Makes sense.

    Outspoken feminists who want to see change in the church they love don’t deserve to keep their temple blessings, but convicted mass murderers like John D. Lee do. I’m so glad the church has made that clear by allowing her to be excommunicated.

    And before I get cries of “but John D. Lee was excommunicated!”: his temple blessings were reinstated in the 1960s at the request of his family.

  25. I don’t know what took so long to have Kate excommunicated. She claims that she never spoke against the church or its leaders, yet she set up protests and recruited others to go against church teachings and goes running to the media to try to paint herself as a martyr and the church as the evil patriarchal institution. Like a little child trying anything to get her way, she won’t take no for an answer.

    She also claims that the disciplinary counsel is not actually done out of love, stating, “That’s classic language of an abusive relationship, where a person abusing and hurting you says that they’re doing it out of love.” I hope that Kate’s misguided followers take note. Myself as well as most women in the church DO NOT want her or any other other of the ordain women speaking for us. The church has no problems with members questioning things, but if you question things you need to accept the answer and at this time the answer is no. Deal with it already.

    This all boils down to faith. These women do not have enough faith in the leaders of the church to lead the church in the way that the Lord has dictated. The prophet is God’s mouthpiece on earth. As Elder Ballard stated, “When all is said and done, each of us has the privilege of choosing whether or not we will believe that God is our Father, that Jesus is the Christ, and that They have a plan designed to help us return home to Them. This, of course, requires faith, which is why faith is the first principle of the gospel. Our testimonies and our peace of mind and our well-being begin with the willingness to believe that our Father in Heaven does indeed know best.”

  26. If people really understood church courts they would now that they are conducted with great concern and love for the transgressor. There is always a discussion about what needs to be done to regain membership in the church. I know of many members who were re-baptized after excommunication and have stated how thankful they were for this cleansing process.
    Anyone who thinks that women do not have a voice in the church has never met a Mormon woman. Mormon women are some of the most confident, outspoken and competent women I have ever met.

  27. If you read the entire bible you would find that your statement is very false indeed. Heavenly father has changed from the laws of Mosses, to the laws of Jesus that were introduced through him and the atonement. Furthermore the second commandment of Jesus Christ is to love each other as we love him, would you tell Jesus “it’s time to stop”?
    It’s time for you and many others to really look at yourselves, are you following the commandments, all the commandments?? Would your father kick you out and stop loving you if you misbehaved?

  28. I disagree with what you said about this being popular opinion or “of the world.” Have you noticed how the world treats women? We are still living in a fallen world and still under the ten commandments, not the higher law. We have a patriarchal church, and our church exists in a patriarchal society, as were the societies in the Bible and BoM. What is wrong with pointing out how a system damages women? We understand our church to be ever evolving and gaining revelation. If we are to ever build Zion, it will be through changes in ourselves, in our church, and in our culture.

  29. Is it officially over? If they close down their non profit organization and stop accepting money, and stop traveling around to gain more support, then it is possibly over. It was a sad point to me that it was a major topic among the youth at EFY. The seed has been planted in the minds of our youth. I personally have nothing to thank them for because the topic of the priesthood is one I Have always pondered with great reverence, but I sincerely pray for them. I also pray for the damage that is so widely spread to include our sweet daughters and sons. I did not rejoice at their excommunication but as I patiently endured this attack on the church, I was glad that the distinction was made that this is (not was) an apostate organization for which I did not in any way sympathize with. That doesn’t make me better than or less than, more or less Christlike, it’s just where I firmly stand. They did not represent me in any way. Prayers… Peace on earth… Good will.

  30. John is basically an atheist preaching atheism INSIDE the church. He is causing those whose faith is weak and fragile to lose their faith through his cunning use of words and logic. He is basically a wolf in sheep’s clothing inside the flock and the church is trying to take off his sheep’s costume by making it harder for him to fool people into trusting him by saying that he is a member in good standing. A lot of it with him might have to do with money. In journalism, if “It bleeds, it leads”, in other words, a writer has to make things more sensational, more tabloid and find and seek out the most sensational negative to make people read his work. It might be a case of true atheism being used to make money inside a church pretending to be a Mormon in good standing to make more money and confuse people more.

  31. I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian, who moved to Idaho from the Midwest some years ago, and I have been following the Kate Kelly and John Dehlin situations. I do not agree with your assertion that there is a difference between asking questions and questioning the answers. While I have made several good LDS friends and generally have a friendly disposition towards the LDS Church, one thing about the LDS Church that I find disturbing is the intolerance for doubt.

    If I were to question the LDS leadership about the Great Apostasy and how the Orthodox Church allegedly squandered her Apostolic Succession after the death of the Apostle St John the Theologian despite the continuous existence of ancient Orthodox Christian communities all through the Middle East (or now in exile from their homelands thanks to the godless Freemason infidel George W. Bush’s worthless imperial wars!); would this be asking questions or questioning the answer? Or, if I asked why the LDS Church thinks that the Church has continued need for a Prophet, when Acts records no new Prophet being elected- thus requiring the election of two Apostles after St Peter took over the role of Prophet, but rather Acts records only one Apostle being appointed to succeed Judas who hanged himself for love of gain, would I be asking a question or questioning the answer?

    You may well consider my to be merely asking questions (or being some random wise-guy) since I am not LDS. If I were a member of the LDS Church, and priesthood holder, would you still consider me to be asking questions, or would you consider me to be questioning the answers?

    In my Church as is also the Catholic Church, people are free to express doubts and even disagreements with the Church in their full gory detail to the priests (equivalent to bishops in the LDS Church) or to monks without fear of disciplinary action from the Orthodox/Catholic Church. If people just cannot accept a particular Catholic/Orthodox dogma at a given time in their life (what you would call questioning the answer), the priest will not disfellowship and certainly would not excommunicate that person; the priest will work harder to research that particular topic and reason with that person. Even what Kate Kelly did (an action I disagree with for the record), no Orthodox or Catholic bishop or archbishop would have excommunicated her for that. If faced with a demonstration calling for women to be ordained priests in the Orthodox or the Catholic Church, Patriarch Bartholomew or Pope Francis would have greeted the ladies and dialogued with them, and helped them understand the reasons why the Church does what she does. I can guarantee you that Kate Kelly’s Orthodox or Catholic counterpart would not have been excommunicated.

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