JesusYesterday, the New York Times reported that at least a dozen Mormons are facing church discipline, primarily for their vocal support of women’s ordination or same-sex marriage.

Not all of these Latter-day Saints face possible excommunication, as do John Dehlin and Kate Kelly; some, such as Kate’s parents, have had their temple recommends removed because of their support for her ideas.

Given the current climate, it seems prudent to explore what Jesus might have done, particularly since the LDS Church teaches that “in gospel learning, as in all things, Jesus Christ is our perfect example.”

So I searched the scriptures and prepared this exhaustive list of all the people Jesus excommunicated from full church fellowship, along with the specific reasons for those disciplinary actions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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196 Comments

          • Which person?
            Generally speaking, people are disciplined for breaking covenants they’ve made and are unwilling to repent. It’s sad that some are perpetuating the lie that “asking questions” is wrong. It’s certainly not.

          • I obviously don’t know all the details of why her local leaders are disciplining her, but perhaps it could have something to do with the following
            (1) She staged a public protest against the church during a religious service, and lied to the media about it afterwards in order to gain support.
            (2) She staged a second public protest against the church during a religious service, and this time it was illegal.
            (3) She received answers to the questions she asked, likely in far more detail than she anticipated. She rejected those answers outright, and on her own website, encouraged people to defy the LDS church statements in favor of her own. Recently the group has been discussing how to more efficiently convince others to essentially reject the LDS church’s statements and doctrines on this matter.
            (4) She even lied to the media about her own disciplinary hearings.
            (5) Perhaps the biggest lie of all, spread by both her and her supporters, is that the LDS church is discouraging or disciplining people for “asking questions” or “seeking revelation.”

            If you want details on any of these things, feel free to ask.

        • No, asking questions is not sin.
          But it *is* sin to reject those who God gave keys to preside in His Church.
          It *is* sin to instigate demonstrations against those called by God (even if you lie – another sin – and claim it is not a demonstration).
          It *is* sin to inspire the people of the LORD to contention about points of doctrine.
          It *is* sin, if one does not change the heart, if one is called to repentance.
          It *is* sin to organize groups whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of God.
          It *is* sin to pray to Mother in Heaven, if God has not commanded this.

          • @RENE,

            So it isn’t a sin to ask a question.
            It is just a sin to come up with the incorrect answer!

            Got it!

            Religion is poison on the brain.

          • @Max,
            he who can read and does it has a big advantage. From the bishop’s letter giving the reasons for Kelly’s excommunication:

            “The difficulty … is not that .. you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood. The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others. You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in full fellowship in the church.”

            So, no, “coming up with the incorrect answer” is not a sin (and to be honest, I have no idea if her answer is right or wrong, and I couldn’t care less. The LORD in His own time will reveal it to us), but it is a sin to not be willing “to do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them”. It is a sin to think that you have a right and the ability to bully the LORD or the LORD’s anointed.

          • @Rene,

            “Sin” = an imaginary word for an imaginary crime in an imaginary realm.

            ‘Sin’ isn’t real. And until you can demonstrate that sins are real I remain skeptical of all of your claims.

          • Sophistry. As long as you cannot prove that there is no god, I remain skeptical of all of your claims.

            See, two can be arrogant and unreasonable ;-).

          • Sophistry. As long as you cannot prove that there is no god, I remain skeptical of all of your claims.

            See, two can be arrogant and unreasonable ;-).

            But to be a bit more reasonable: Why, if you reject the concept of sin, did you bring up the topic of Mormon understanding of sin in this very case in the first place?

            But probably I misunderstood you. I believed that probably you were a reasonable fellow interested in how other people saw the world, even if you utterly reject that worldview. I thought that your diatribe was perhaps fired by lack of knowledge.

            Now, to me it seems this is not the case and you just needed a place to vent your superiority. Sorry for mistaking you for someone you are not.

          • SanAntonioRob

            The error of this argument has been pointed out on every blog or comment I have seen that uses that interpretation.

            Phoebe is called a servant of the Church – only some newer versions of the Bible use the word deacon. And even those ones point out in the footnotes that the root meaning is servant.

            Junia is “of note among” or “esteemed by” the apostles, depending on which translation you go by. I have not seen a translation that states she is an apostle.

        • martha golden

          Me and I’m a woman. I just don’t follow the male dominant false religion called Mormonism. However, if you were to go to my Christian church you would see many holy women laying on hands, praying and healing people.

          • Go inside a Mormon temple and you will see women doing the same similar thing. Ror a different purpose, however, but nevertheless with ‘priesthood’ or ‘priestess hood’ authority.

          • This diatribe sounds familiar of a CARMite heretic by the username of Golden Contact. But I’m sure that’s not you.

          • Martha Golden, if you are not Mormon and believe Mormonism to be false, what is your qualification for *judging* Mormons? Why do you even bother to post here? Or are you just looking for converts for your own brand of Christianity? If you are looking for converts, I hop eyou make some. It is better that people join *your* church, than that they reject Christ the LORD and become atheists.

    • To us (the leaders, the crowd, the judges), Jesus’s commandment was about is looking at ourselves first before condemning. “He without sin, throw the first stone.” He only is sinless and only He has the right to say “go and sin no more”. Because He sees our motes and beams much more clearly and fairly than our equally as fallen companions.

      • Which makes it all the more ironic that the same Mormons who want to give church leaders the benefit of the doubt for freakin’ everything jump on Ordain Women and Mormon Stories like dogpiling bullies at recess, and make accusations that not only contradict what KK / JD have actually said but also contradict each other and their own church’s teachings.

        The first and great commandment seems to have been changed to “Thou shalt not make The Brethren look bad.”

          • Since when were they speaking “evil” of the Lord’s anointed?
            For that matter, since when di the Lord “anoint” them?
            Oh yeah, It all started with that tricky little Joe Smith.

            Joe: Guess what!
            Martin: What?
            Joe: I’m a prophet!
            Martin: Really? How do I know you’re a prophet?
            Joe: Well….um….God told me, yeah, that’s what happened!

          • “The LORD’S ANNOINTED?”

            What a wonderful stinky flower of nonsense.
            And how does one determine who is walking around with this so called ‘blessing’ if it be such?

            And what are the rest of us to do with him other than have him arrested for being a hater of mankind?

    • Jesus didn’t start a Church. Jesus gave us to supreme laws. Love God with all your heart, might, mind and strength; and love your neighbor as thyself. He had men and women following him and teaching the message of love and acceptance. Today we would call it a movement to change ourselves and allow others to do the same.
      When people formed churches, people meeting together to support each other, that’s when the trouble started.

      • Matthew 16:18 “…upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Really, Jesus didn’t start a church? He didn’t give the priesthood authority to the 12 Apostles to lead the church via revelation from Him after his Resurrection?

        • @Really: This is an open discussion for Bible scholars. Many think that Jesus did not start a church, some think he did.

          I myself agree with the first: Like Moses, he ordained 12 elders, one for each tribe, and he ordained seventy others (what later became the sanhedrin). So in fact, he built a new kahal, a new gathering of the people of God. And that’s what a Church is.

          Those who oppose this view tend to say that the church founding was later done by His apostles, a byproduct of the excommunication of Christians from the Synagogue, and that the verses we now read as churchfounding proof were written after the founding of the Church, to validate the origin.

  1. So…it’s certainly not my place to say whether or not–or how–someone should be disciplined. That’s under the stewardship of local leaders. However, if you’re LDS and believe the Book of Mormon to be scripture, it does record many instances where people are formally disciplined for various things, so there is actually ample scriptural precedent for discipline. Mosiah 26:

    34 And it came to pass that Alma went and judged those that had been taken in iniquity, according to the word of the Lord.

    35 And whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them, them he did number among the people of the church;

    36 And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out.

    37 And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the church; and they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the church, walking circumspectly before God, receiving many, and baptizing many.

    38 And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the church of God.

    39 And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.

      • In the Bible, Jesus did pass judgment and make distinctions that are similar to excommunication or lesser church discipline. He would not speak to King Herod. He denounced many Pharisees and other leaders. He rebuked Peter and referred to him as briefly following Satan. He did chastise the adulterous woman. Saving her from execution does not exclude excommunication or lesser discipline.

        Jesus also cast out money changers from the temple and made other distinctions.

        • It’s important to note that the story of the woman taken in adultery, i.e. “pericope adulterae”, is not in the earliest surviving Greek manuscripts (as well as excluded from several 3rd and 4th century manuscripts) and was added at a date later than the authorship of John’s Gospel (~90s AD) by some scribe.

          Splitting hairs I know, but TMYK

        • So what, we’re supposed to assume that if the Bible doesn’t explicitly say Jesus did not excommunicate someone then he may well have done so?

          To excommunicate isn’t to shun or denounce, it’s to cast out from the body of believers. Jesus didn’t do that to freakin’ Judas Iscariot, the night before the dood had him murdered, when he supposedly knew it was coming. Who do you think he did cast out from among his disciples?

          • Raymond Takashi Swenson

            Jesus did announce to his apostles that one of them was going to betray him, and he identified Judas to John. Judas did not stick around. Instead, Christ used his remaining time with the faithfuol apostles to teach them wonderful truths about their relationship to Jesus and to God the Father, excluding Judas. Knowing what Judas would do to him, Christ surely knew what Judas would do to himself.

      • Actually Jesus taught his apostles that if they and His doctrine were rejected that they should wipe their hands and feet of the sins of those people. That is actually much harsher than excommunication.

        Similar to Christ requiring that all sinners (men, women and children) be killed and demanding his prophet to do so when His command was not followed (Christ in the OT)

      • RIDICULOUS!

        ETERNAL Condemnation
        is EXCOMMUNICATION.

        Jesus EXCOMMUNICATES everyone who goes against the program.

        Jesus says “eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” (John 6:53-54)(Mark 16:16).

        Don’t play games by saying Jesus forgives. This is a deliberate dishonesty.
        JESUS is the ULTIMATE EXCOMMUNICATOR.

        • Jesus’ understanding of “Hell,” as well as that of most of the other people of his time, was very, very different from the modern fundamentalist evangelical understanding thereof. And since the Bible is (either seemingly or explicitly) self-contradictory in many places, I think it’s kind of ridiculous to fault someone for not believing an interpretation of some of Jesus’ words that’s completely at odds with everything else that he taught.

          • @Jewelfox,

            You said, “Jesus’ understanding of Hell..was very, very different from the modern fundamentalist”

            How do you know?
            What source to you have that I do not have?

            “I come not to bring peace but division” – Jesus.
            The world needs peace, not Jesus.

          • @atheist max

            You take alot of quotes completely out of context. Do more research.
            And also does being atheist make you inherently despise the head of all other churches or do you dwell on Jesus and not criticize Muhammad or Buddha? Your ignorance and pent-up aggression is clearly keeping you from being open to peace in your life. One definition of Hell, which is commonly used in the bible, is to be without God.

          • @Bagginses,

            I was a Christian for 44 years. I even taught some Bible study as a believer. I know the Bible. And it is important to know that it isn’t ‘revelation’ but is instead a bunch of nonsense causing havoc in the world today.

            “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

            EVERY INTERPRETATION OF LUKE 19
            SAYS THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS

            Catholic Christ Notes – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS:
            http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=42&c=19

            Christian BIBLE GATEWAY – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS:
            http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Controversy-Jerusalem

            Evangelist BIBLE STUDY TOOLS – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
            http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/luke/luke-19.html

            Catholic MATTHEW HENRY’S COMPLETE COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
            http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?book=lu&chapter=019

            Evangelical CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
            http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2009/06/09/what-does-the-parable-of-the-minas-mean/

            CATHOLIC BIBLE HUB – THE NOBLEMAN IS JESUS
            http://biblehub.com/commentaries/luke/19-27.htm

            THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERPRETATION
            IS THE ONE PROMINENT
            CHRISTIANS GAVE IT

            Adolph Hitler:
            OUR Lord Jesus is A Soldier for God

            “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”
            -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922

            ANY defense of this disgraceful, immoral
            and inhuman JESUS is 2000 years too late.

            “I have come to bring fire to the earth” – Jesus.

            Indeed, you have.

          • @Bagginses,

            There is no context – no safe or enlightened way to apply Jesus’ preachings.

            They are all immoral.

            “[always] Forgive your enemies” – this is nonsense. You just freed all the pedophiles from prison.

            “Love thy neighbor” or you will “be condemned” – nonsense and totally unfair. My neighbor may be a psychopath who has threatened to destroy my family if I contact him. One cannot love such a person and retain one’s dignity or one’s respect for the word ‘love’. So I must be condemned? A disgraceful philosophy.

            “Do as the Samaritan” – But this contradicts ‘love thy neighbor’. The Samaritan did not ‘love’ his neighbor he only took care of his neighbor and tried to help. That is just decent and civilized behavior. But to add ‘or you will be condemned’ if you don’t do it is immoral – Jesus, therefore makes his injunctions immoral by always adding that adjunct.

            “Execute them” – Jesus unleashes the pandora’s box of evil on the world with that one. Somehow, when a ‘god’ tells you to do it, you will be more inclined to find inner peace while carrying out its injunctions?

            “Love that which you are to Fear” – Stockholm syndrome. The primary feature of Sadomasochism.
            Shame on Jesus. This is a disgrace.
            Shame on Christians who preach this Jesus nonsense.

          • That’s what can be expected from the Reformed camp: excommunications everywhere.

      • Excommunicated members are encouraged to come back. In fact, many continue to attend and their excommunication isn’t known by others until their re-baptism.

        • How generous.

          I truly hope they can manage to do so before they die. Otherwise it seems that they’ll have their eternal families taken away from them because they told stories and asked questions that made powerful people uncomfortable, which is pretty much what Jesus spent all of his time doing.

          • Nice try, but nope. Please stop perpetuating the lie that people get excommunicated “because they told stories and asked questions”. You and I both know that isn’t true.

  2. Isn’t it important to say that he expelled the money changers, let many of his disciples leave him forever over a “hard saying” about the sacrament in John 6, turned away someone who wouldn’t miss his father’s funeral, told the parable of the feast where those who reject the invitation once are thrown into outer darkness, told Peter he had *no part* with him if he wouldn’t let Jesus wash his feet, or said that he *never knew* even those who prophesied in his name and did many great works if they didn’t do his father’s will?

    Are you sure that Jesus would be on your side, Jana? And are you sure you understand his will better than Pres. Monson?

        • It’s the decisions of the church Kate is calling into question here. The local leaders are the ones left with the stuardship to provide counsel and/or go through a disciplinary council with members. Let’s not confuse conflicts with church doctrine with the men who are responsible to calls actions of members to question in regards to their abilities to worthily participate. Let’s also not forget none of what’s going on should be foreign to or a surprise to Kate and others who are unfortunately at odds with church doctrine.

          • Asking the Mormon church leaders to ask God a question is completely at odds with its doctrine? From everything I know about it, “asking God / his prophets a question” is how Mormonism works, not a punishable offence.

            And what about John Dehlin? Yeah, he said publicly that he questions your church’s truth claims. So? Didn’t Uchtdorf say your church is totes okay with its own members doubting it? How can he say that in public and then “local church leaders” turn around and ex Dehlin for saying he’s one of the people Uchtdorf talked about?

            Or are they exing him for the same, real reason they’re throwing Kate Kelly out — because telling the stories of anyone who has been hurt by the LDS church makes it look bad, and is therefore not allowed?

  3. Having a witness of both Christ and His church. I will fill in where she left off:

    1. Excommunications commanded by Jesus as Jehovah:

    –The unrepentant: Mosiah Chapter 26, Alma 1:24
    –The mighty men of Teman: Obadiah 1:10
    –The Jews of the City of Jerusalem and surrounding area in the time of Jeremiah: Jeremiah 7:15
    –Those who defile holy things: Leviticus 22:3
    –Uncircumcised males: Genesis 17:14
    –Those who eat leaven bread during Passover: Exodus 12:15,19
    –Those who made oil or perfume like that used for the Lord: Exodus 30:33,38
    –Sabbath Violators: Exodus 31:14
    –those who sacrificed their children: Leviticus 20:3
    ——-There are many, many more.

    2. Excommunications Jesus as Jesus:

    –The Transgressor: Mark 9:42-JST
    –The offending iniquitous: Mathew 13:23 JST
    –The unrepentant: 3 Nephi 18:31

    3. Excommunications Jesus as Director of the Restored Gospel:

    –Those who rejected his law: D & C 41:5
    –Adulterers: 42:75

    4. Every Excommunication performed by a called, set apart, key holder, acting under the direction of God’s Holy Spirit: D & C 1:38, 107:72-84, 134:10

    • It seems like Jana’s posts show a familiar pattern. She posts something that reflects both a lack of testimony and a complete ignorance of scripture, and multiple people correct her. Meanwhile, a few sycophants make her feel better about herself.

      • I see the same pattern, but I interpret it a little differently. Jana writes a post that shows she’s not a fundamentalist Mormon. All the fundamentalist Mormons who believe there’s no other real type of Mormon come by and complain.

          • Maybe it’s not the meaning you’re most familiar with, but it’s not just the polygamists who are fundamentalists. It’s also the McConkie-ite scriptural literalist types.

          • Ziff,
            Would President Uchtdorf be a Mormon fundamentalist according to your definition? all the Apostles and general authorities?

        • I would argue that your definition of “fundamentalist Mormon” would be more suited to the title of “modern correlated Mormon.”

          Rock Waterman would be classified as a variation of fundamentalist Mormon. David Whitmer could, as well.

      • Apollo, your interpretation of Jana’s writings is pretty far off the mark.

        She doesn’t need me or anyone to “defend” her, so I won’t try. But I will say that I find your attacks on her to be far from Christlike.

    • HELL = ETERNAL EXCOMMUNICATION.

      Jesus is the biggest excommunicator of them all.
      “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” (John 6:53-54)(Mark 16:16).

      “Do what I say or I will shoot you” is not free will.
      Nor is it moral.
      Jesus is a Mafia Shakedown!

    • The Easter Bunny

      How can you be a witness, when you should be excommunicated yourself?

      After all, you walk on the Sabbath, and you eat bread during the Passover.

      • Just for the record, it was the Pharisees who added the ridiculous rules, i.e. walking on the Sabbath, to what Jehovah really taught. However your aligning yourself with the Pharisees only serves to prove the type of persons OW attracts.

        The real point is that Jehovah approves of excommunication when required and under His guidance.

        • the type of persons OW attracts

          Yes, they certainly do draw the ire of cruel, hateful legalists, who would be cheering on the public humiliation of Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith if they had been born in this century.

    • Great point FWJ.
      The Jesus of the New Testament was just a big phony with all of that love and forgiveness BS.
      In addition to all of the excommunicating that Jesus (Jehovah) apparently did, he was also a mass murdering, misogynistic, narcissistic, slavery justifying, plague sending, psychopathic A-hole.
      Nice God you’ve got there. Congratulations!

      • Enemies to truth and those who want to be god as opposed to serve him have always sought to justify their self deification by trashing God. Their rationale: I will label God as….”:fill in the blank….” then I can assend to his power and be god. That was the truly original sin, and it is reflected today in the servants of the original sinner. This post indicates as others, that the OW movement is supported by the self-deified, because at the heart…… that is truly what they seek also.

    • The JST is not an authoritative or authentic “correction”. The standard for the Bible is determined by what is actually recorded in the ancient manuscripts. Pointing to the JST is deficient for valid argument.

      • Wrong. The JST is both authoritative and authentic, as confirmed by the Holy Spirit. The Bible has many versions, different numbers of books, missing books and writings and multiple translations, all of which differ. Additionally there are NO original manuscripts, just copies of copies. Thus the only way to discern what the Bible truly teaches, and what was intended by the original writers, is by revelation from God. That being the case, the same spirit which reveals and verifies the truths of the Holy Writ, can confirm the truth of the JST, which was given by revelation and provided with the intend to make what we have more accurate.

        • Wrong. Your attempt to employ a textually critical method to scripture to validate the authenticity of the JST fails completely. Your pseudo-Ehrman rhetoric, falsely employed as it is, further demonstrates your inadequacy in determining authentic transmission. You are correct in that all we have is copies of copies but the JST does not correct historical or theological implications from the earliest of manuscripts. Asserting such disenfranchises the writings of antiquity. However, if you are going to question the correctness and accuracy of scripture then you must objectively (via science, history, anthropology, etc) determine if any of scripture actually happened.

          As an example to your method, there is the JST-Matthew. If the author of the Gospel of Matthew were able to read and report to us on the JST and invalidate the revisions by JS, my question would be whether or not you’d believe the original author. If you reject the original author’s testimony concerning his gospel in favor of the JST, then you would be in deeper flaw.

          • Your own words indicate the real issue which is flawed reliance upon the arm of the flesh. There is no such thing as purely human based objectivity. All humans are biased, all are flawed, and without the aid of heaven they will apply science, history , anthropology, etc. to privately interpret or misinterpret scripture to meet their own needs. That is why thousands of faith groups understand the Bible to say different things.

            The only cure is revelation by God. Thus to answer your question, if Matthew came to us and read the God inspired corrections done by Joseph Smith, there would be NO inconsistencies. Matthew would not invalidate them, but he would be grateful that God had assisted in clarifying the record. Both Matthew and Joseph Smith were inspired by God, and the original intent of their writings, as with all that God does, would be in harmony.

          • Your attempt to nullify reality is astounding. The scriptures as they exist from antiquity are as they should be. The JST, like the New World Translation, is a mere reinterpretation and not a clarification.

            Per your comments concerning the author of Matthew, you make a highly uneducated and biased assumption about his opinion. Not you, the LDS church, nor anyone else has the authority to speak on behalf of his post mortem opinion. Your claim is rather arrogant and not conducive to the conversation on scriptural authenticity.

          • While you are free to formulate an opinion with regard to holy writ, it remains nothing more than your opinion. That opinion is clearly formulated on flesh based methodology, and so is subject to error. I know you would like to believe what you post, but believing it, like saying it, does not make it so. The real arrogance comes in assuming your opinion reflects truth, when it is in fact based on a flawed methodology, contrary to truth, and contradicts God’s declarations. God is the only reliable source for determining the truth on these matters. He will reveal that my assertions are correct and yours are in error. Sincere truth seekers would do well to seek the truth from God, rather then relying on any flesh backed assertions. In all searches for truth one should prefer to God over Google and revelation over research.

          • Do you wish to be the pot or the kettle? Extensive research based on validated evidence from antiquity is superior to later assertions that have no basis in reality or history. If history offends your theological presuppositions, implications and assertions then there is a problem on your part. A testimony of Joseph Smith does nothing to validate reality. I’m not anti-Mormon. I used to be and have family that is. However, historical evidence must be considered first and later assertions afterward. You say God but have absolutely zero evidence to back up your claim. Again, testimony of JS or the LDS church is NOT a valid argument. It is subjective bias with a severe acuteness to sticking one’s head in the sand or proposing a “Nuh-uh” argument. Anti-Mormons have been using this same tactic against LDS scholars such as Bill Hamblin, Daniel C. Peterson and Daniel O. McClellan for years now. It would do you well not to make the same mistakes as anti-Mormons.

          • “Extensive research and validated evidence” are human constructs, and since all humans are flawed they are not reliable. All history is revisionist, and is inferior. If you want to base your beliefs in flawed revisionist history, interpreted by flawed human analysis, and declare it to be reality that is fine, but in doing so you will miss the absolute truth. Only God can overcome the human bias, and reveal absolute truths, and as the only power that can overcome bias, He is also the only source of reality. Humans who want to be God as opposed to following him, will rely on the arm of the flesh in order to create their private reality because it pleases them, but such realities are in fact subjective, and self serving. Revelation from God is the better methodology and the only credible evidence when one sincerely seeks truth as opposed to inventing his private truth. Just because humanists, for selfish reasons, want to limit evidence to the flesh based, does not mean there are not other evidences. Flesh based reliance is the truly subjective methodology.

            The fact is in all of my online and other debates with anti-Mormons, they have without fail, been flesh reliant, using the same flawed, human based, evidence that you propose, and denying the Holy Spirit or the validity of revelation. I have yet to encounter and Anti-Mormon who relied upon revelation from God as their support. Instead, they are, like you, avid purveyors of revisionist history, and flawed science, so long as it suits their purpose.

          • “Revelation” does not supersede actual history. Asserting that history is revised because it contradicts revelation is tantamount to sticking one’s head in the sand. This methodology, if one wishes to even dignify it as such, actually undermines the amazing apologetic work of FAIR Mormon and many LDS scholars.

            YOU say revelation from God as a regurgitated position based on “prophetic witness” but that isn’t realistic in the slightest. Mormon apologetics, thankfully, is based in solid reason, logic and heavy research. The Mormon apologists, unfortunately, have people like you who undermine the work of defending and promulgating the message of the Restoration and God’s Kingdom. They have have to constantly fix the damage people like you do to the conversation which sets them back. You, and people like you, are anathema to the preservation and perseverance of the LDS holy message.

          • Since humans cannot provide “actual history” only their flawed interpretation of it, then revelation does supersede that flesh based concept. Flesh reliance is flawed no matter who employs it. Since human reason is always subject to bias, then using it to prove the truth of God and Mormonism, is just as flawed as using to prove they are not true.

            Mormon apologist who rely upon the arm of the flesh cannot reach or convince person like you or any other flesh reliant souls on earth, because you are both using the same flawed methodology of flesh reliance, and so the best you can ever come up with is a draw, your flawed human interpretation of data, against their flawed human interpretation of data. I realize that makes those like you comfortable, because you can then be your own god, and not worry about your carefully constructed belief system being challenged. However revelation from God which supersedes anything humans can offer, destroys the self-deified, and the flesh based foundation upon which they based their elevation to being their own source of truth.

            It is ridiculous to claim a message to be holy if your support for the veracity of that message is the decidedly unholy methodology , condemned by God, of flesh reliance. The only way a message can be Holy, is if it comes from God and is verified as holy and pure by Him.

  4. Apollo makes a good point, although I wouldn’t have phrased it quite as forcefully. I guess I’m just skeptical that bloggers like Jana have enough of a grasp of or commitment to gospel doctrine to be calling out the rest of us. Jesus Christ’s gospel has always been the gospel of repentance; not the gospel of affirmation or the gospel of speaking one’s individual truth or the gospel of progressive liberal values. I don’t think any of those ideas are necessarily bad, but when they become your primary lens–to the point that you’re critiquing the gospel of Jesus Christ through them–then that’s a problem.

    Discipleship necessitates making the gospel your primary lens, which is something that has always challenged a number of popular cultural perspectives. It challenges conservatives as well as liberals. It challenged Pharisees and Sadducees, It challenged Nephites and Lamanites. And it challenges contemporary American values. We’re all products of our culture, and we can’t say we know which aspects of our culture are aligned with God’s will and which aren’t. We don’t always perceive how those influence us to interpret scripture. Which is why it’s important and useful–if you’re Mormon–to look to those who are set apart as prophets, seers, and revelators for guidance.

    • Which is why Ordain Women was petitioning the Mormon prophets, seers, and revelators to ask God if they could be ordained. And behold, they were silent, but there was a ton of crap flung in OW’s direction from the LDS church’s Newsroom, PR department, and general membership, in lieu of any revelation.

      If only Jesus and Joseph Smith had just shut up, instead of asking impertinent questions of the learned church fathers of their ages. Then maybe this wouldn’t be an issue.

      • It is disingenuous to claim that OW is solely interested in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve seeking the will of the Father on this matter. Sister Kelly has already proclaimed that nothing less than priesthood ordination will suffice. Her position has been expressed in non-negotiable terms.

  5. The questions have been answered through thousands of years of priesthood authority. It began with Adam and since the dawn of time men and women have had equal, but different gifts given them.Some just don’t like the answers to their questions and continue to beat the drum of injustice louder and louder. I for one am ready to change the channel!

    • You mentioned elsewhere that you agreed that Jana’s writing follows a pattern that “reflects both a lack of testimony and a complete ignorance of scripture.” Can you clarify?

  6. Jesus wouldn’t excommunicate them. He would tell them “Go and sin no more,” and then He would take them to His mall to pick up something at Swarovski, or to His game preserve to go bag a pheasant or two.

  7. Just to be clear, if you don’t see a clear example of Christ doing something particular in the scriptures, then you argue that his church shouldn’t be doing it now?

  8. Jana, normally you’re better than this. Just how many people did Joseph Smith excommunicate before 1830, when the Church was founded? Before you can excommunicate someone, you need a church to excommunicate them from.

  9. List of people baptised by jesus:——————————————————————————–none.

    Baptism is so exclusionary it must be an outdated ritual too. I mean really…if your not baptised your not a member of the church. That sure is driving a wedge between all non-members and members. What an innefective missionary requirement that members be baptised. Jesus would have never settled for the requirement of baptism if he knew how much that that limits church growth.

  10. The Easter Bunny

    The temple recommend is the church’s club. They make everything dependent on the recommend, and the recommend is dependent on obedience and payment of money.

  11. as with any church, you question beliefs, you get kicked out or let back in after you repent. as a latter day saint myself, the thing that really bothers me is everthing that comes out of salt lake city people think that every mormon believes that stuff. there are a load of other mormon sects that never followed brigham young or his crap. the adam-g-d doctorine was made up by brigham. we can become g-ds and have our own planet with plural wives was made up by brigham to back up his polygamy. a lot of teachings of joseph smith were made up by brigham and he said joseph said those things. there were people who followed james j. strang, alpheus cutler, and sidney rigdon rather than brigham young. but mormon critics don’t tell you that, they keep on making you think all mormons followed brigham young to utah and all became polygamists which is not true depending on the sect.

    • Mike, questioning one’s beliefs is not grounds for disciplinary action in the LDS church. What is at issue is the degree to which the questioning member is using their influence to encourage others to join them in their questioning.

  12. Number of times in the Bible Jesus preached baptism for the dead, eternal marriage, and exclusion from the temple (needing a temple recommend to entire a temple):

    also 0.

  13. Christ called out Judas as being someone who would betray Him, and told him to go and do whatever he was going to do, dismissing him from the rest of the Last Supper and events leading up to the crucifixion that the other Apostles were with Him during.

    Christ taught quite a bit about deception by those using His name, Matthew 7:21-22 and said He would respond saying, “I never knew you; depart from Me…”

    What of teachings during Christ’s life and immediately following Christ by His Apostles:
    Matt. 5:30 – “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” The church was often referred to by Christ as the Body of Christ. If not excommunication, what would you prescribe in place of the words “cut off” or “cast off”?

    Perhaps most pertinent to the discussion at hand might be the words of Paul to the Romans during a time of confusion and great division throughout as various teachings were being taught among the churches after Christ’s ascension. Romans 16: 17-19
    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

    While Kate Kelly believes in her cause quite strongly, it is in opposition to the doctrine being taught in the LDS church. She has become organized and is continuing her growth in organizing others in opposition to LDS doctrine. Her cause, today, wouldn’t be the first time the church had to make a decision on individuals or groups with respect to their membership due to religious/doctrinal differences. Emma Smith – wife of Joseph Smith, Jr. herself – found herself outside of the church when revelation dictated Brigham Young, not her son, was next in line to preside over the church.

  14. On February 7, 2014, we wrote the Mormon Open Letter addressed to Thomas S. Monson. The church had already started publishing essays in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org. These essays introduced and attempted to explain some of the troubling historical events and doctrinal issues (e.g. translation of the Book of Mormon, Blacks and the Priesthood, multiple versions of the First Vision, etc) that have troubled so many of us.

    We wanted to create a forum where both former and active Latter-day Saints could ask the church for still more transparency. In our letter, we applauded church leaders for the publication of the essays and asked the church to become even more candid and forthcoming in several key areas. We expressed our concern over the impact of the church’s negative rhetoric when discussing those who have questions about doctrine and history. We were also disturbed by the harm the church’s profound lack of transparency and openness inflicted on individuals, families, and relationships.

    Our concerns have only increased since then!

    We are currently seeing numerous people called in and threatened with discipline ranging from being released from callings, having their temple recommends taken away, or even excommunication. Some of these stories have become very public. Many remain private, as the culture surrounding this situation is often laden with guilt and shame. The message is being sent that if you publicly discuss, blog, or write about your doubts and concerns, you are contradicting and disobeying church leaders and doctrine.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bequeaths to us a legacy of thoughtful engagement with the world. It is precisely because they recognize and value that legacy that so many Latter-day Saints, active or otherwise, now insist on participating in difficult but necessary conversations about problems in the church.

    People of great integrity and honesty are being told to shut their mouths, to acquiesce, to accept the status quo—not merely as the way things are, but as the way God wants them. They are being told that it’s not acceptable to discuss aspects of the church that cause pain, harm, and confusion. It’s not acceptable to ask for more transparency and historically accurate information. It’s not acceptable to question current religious policies even when accurate historical information demonstrates the legitimacy of the questions and concerns.

    The world is watching. How the church deals with this crisis will greatly affect future conversations in and about the church. Greater repression and intolerance will harm, not help, missionary efforts and the ability of Latter-day Saints to work with others outside the church.

    We, the authors of the Mormon Open Letter, reach out again to ask people to read what we’ve written. To consider whether this is something they can support. To consider whether it’s not only right but crucial to publicly ask the church for actions that we feel will make the church, individuals and families healthier. Our hope is the church will take proactive steps demonstrating openness and compassion, in order to mend the rift that is widening.

    We also ask for the support of those (many of whom are in the news for being brought into church councils) who have engaged for years in these difficult but necessary conversations not merely about the church’s past, but about its future. We request that as members discuss the current climate in the church, they also discuss this letter. Please share it with the media. In forums where these topics come up, please link to the MormonOpenLetter. There is power in numbers and in raising our voices together. Please join us in our respectful request that the church help both members and non-members understand the church, its history, its mission, and its course for the future.

    Please sign. Please join us, along with more than 3,400 other people—including hundreds of bishops, stake presidents, Elders quorum presidents, Relief Society presidents, Young Women’s and Young Men’s presidents Primary presidents, teachers from every auxiliary in the church, and thousands of returned missionaries—who have already signed, with love and hope for all that we might move toward greater shared understanding and compassion.

    http://www.mormonopenletter.com/

    Melanie Dawn Hall, Nathan Hesson, Melisa Oviatt Hesson, Matthew Hildebrand, Steve Holbrook, D William Johnson, Alison Udall and Holly Welker

    • This reminds me of the Children of Israel who were constantly chiding their God chosen and inspired leader, Moses, demanding of him the desires of the flesh. Whether it is quail, water, or a self-serving, flesh based, demand for what one perceives is more “openness”. The song remains the same!

      Unimpressed by the titles of those who have signed. Many Apostles joined in false affidavits and accusations against the prophet Joseph Smith for being what they wanted to see as a fallen prophet. They were also wrong.

    • Alison – the point of excommunication isn’t to tell someone to “shut up”, rather an official recognition from the church that the doctrine being taught (namely that in order for women to receive their full potential in the gospel they “must” be granted ordination to the priesthood) is far enough separated from the gospel principles that it requires a separation of sorts. Scriptures warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing… How are these calls for “equality” and empathy not examples of what the Savior warned against? The gospel teaches there are gender specific roles in the church and that a man can no more realize his full potential of temple blessings in this life without a woman than a woman can without a man. Priesthood ordination itself does not grant a man more blessings in the gospel, rather it places on him responsibilities to serve and bless his family and others around him. Certainly, a woman could do just as good (if not better, as Kate argues), but that isn’t the doctrine of the church.

      Kate, along with many woman and men who refuse to accept the answer from their local leaders and from the pulpits of our tabernacles during conference as apostles they sustained as they discussed roles in the gospel, are putting their own pride and personal interests ahead of the church. This church is complete voluntary, and each of you made varying levels of commitments through covenants of baptism and through the temple. Failing to keep those covenants to any degree could result in the loss of privileges in participating in certain religious rites (not to be confused with “rights”). Issues with the Word of Wisdom, adultry/pornography, breaking gov’t laws, and ,yes, believing in, supporting, and teaching doctrine contrary to the gospel are all a few examples of reasons a Temple recommend might be taken back. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Every year for quite some time, now every other year, these women are asked questions that determine their personal worthiness to maintain a recommend to the temple.

      Undoubtedly, the “churches” as it were after Christ was crucified struggled to understand the difference between opinion and revelation as they were left to lead each other and rely on their abilities to understand and feel the Holy Ghost. This is well documented as Paul wrote letter after letter to and traveled to all the churches correcting doctrinal issues. Dear women. You have strong feelings about this desire to have the Priesthood for yourselves. There is a great appeal in our days as society argues equality is sameness, and this goes against the majority of the religious world that recognizes a power and divinity in roles Heavenly Father made specific to gender. But ask yourselves, is this how revelation is brought about? Perhaps the laws in this land are brought about through methods of great debate and division. Perhaps the Bible as we know it was a culmination of men voting and deciding what was beneficial to Rome. But, the Lord heads this church. That’s part of your testimony. So, when a church leader you sustained invites you to a disciplinary council or the general church leadership invites you to not press entry to meetings for the priesthood body you don’t belong to, is doubling down on your position and venting to the national media and accusing this process of what’s intended to be an eye opening experience in the process of repentance a sign of humility? When the answer is no, and you believe the answer given from those you sustained to be your church leaders is wrong and you still need to work towards their convincing, are you being humble?

      I’ve never sinned so grievously that a disciplinary council was required, but I have sat in front of Bishop as things I convinced myself over time “weren’t so bad” were deserving of a loss of my temple recommend, delayed my ability to bless my son, and left me unable to partake of the sacrament for some time. It was painful, yet I had to shake of that natural man – just as much as Kate and many others need to shake of the natural woman, as they might correct me – and accept that I had slowly taken a path that separated myself from blessings Heavenly Father wanted me to have and was still willing to bless (and has since blessed) me with.

      We could all make excuses. Smoking doesn’t really hurt anyone. Doctors say wine is good for the body. I need the money for my family, so I can’t pay tithing this paycheck/month/year/decade… Women in the church must have the priesthood in order to truly be equal. These all seem logical as ever as we convince ourselves, but they are still not correct.

      I will tell you I hardly believe the priesthood makes me more blessed or unique and special than my wife. Without each other, we couldn’t recognize the full potential and blessings of the gospel.

      The church isn’t as ever evolving as Kate Kelly and others purport it to be. Organizational things might change. It might follow one of the Articles of Faith and put an end to the practice of plural marriage when our nation’s laws abolish it. It might have given blacks the priesthood, then abstained from giving priesthood and temple privileges for some time to blacks, only to restore later in our church history. It might have certain keys opened up to more priesthood offices in order to further the Lord’s work as 15 men and even a few Quorums of Seventies can’t quite be everywhere to facilitate every ordination and setting apart that used be reserved for Apostles or Seventies.

      This isn’t an issue about not being heard. Your prayers are being heard. Your petitions to your local church leaders are being heard. And they are being heard in Salt Lake City. Kate Kelly and those closest to her and following her just aren’t satisfied with the answer.

  15. The kingdom of god is not a democracy. It requires humility. Humility is a lesson not learned in a democracy because the democratic process always becomes a numbers game vying for majority control.

    • Yes, Ron, it is not a democracy but is a theocracy, or a rule over all mankind by a heavenly government. Gratefully, God’s kingdom will put an end to all human governments (Daniel 2:44) and bring great blessings to all nations through the rule of God’s son, Jesus, its King (Isaiah 11:1-10).

      • You idea of a millennial theocracy is ridiculous. “theocracy” does not preclude democracy. you seem to thing theocracy = righteous dictatorship. You think everyone is just going to “bow the knee” to this millennial alien being just because he descends from heaven? You really WANT a space being to come and destroy the “wicked” (aka, those who do not agree with him) and create a totalitarian government? Thats not the Jesus I worship. Thats not the Jesus I interpret from the Book of Mormon. I dont see “Jesus putting an end to human governments” (heaven forbid!) But I see jesus slowly teaching/helping all governments to get along— and thus becoming a government of God which still preserves agency.

  16. I have sat in front of Bishop as things I convinced myself over time “weren’t so bad” were deserving of a loss of my temple recommend, delayed my ability to bless my son, and left me unable to partake of the sacrament for some time.

    Oh, do tell us all about your nasty little sins!

    Was one of them galling self-righteousness?

  17. Kurt Johanson

    Jana – when I was a young man (@14) I remember one Saturday morning, after my Dad resigned as a High Priest in the MC, two men came over and “banished him to hell.” Geesh…. Kinda harsh

  18. I personally see both sides of this issue. Especially because I don’t think any of us know enough or have the authority to stand in judgment on anyone involved–the church leaders or the accused. But unfortunately that doesn’t seem to stop most of the people making comments.

    I have to say the attitude displayed in so many of these posts (on both sides of the question) is really disheartening and kind of makes me sick inside.

    Everyone is spending so much time trying to prove how right they are. It’s not about being right. It’s never about being right. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ve learned that. It’s about love. That’s what this world needs. Not more people determined to show how right they are and how wrong others are.

  19. The OW movement are determined to make all aspects of their mission and now the plight of Kelly public and they have been adept at using media to do this. Most reporters are secular progressives and see religion in general, and a church like ours in particular, as odd and exhibit a strong propensity to report sensitive matters in a manner calculated to do as much damage to the church as possible. The church is trapped in an invidious position. It can only report on the vague generalities of Disciplinary Counsel procedures and not any details on any specific case whereas the OW can say what they like on the matter and the church can never defend its position with any specificity due to maintaining confidentiality of the process. This is manifest in the reporting of the DC being held in VA when Kelly is said to have made UT her more recent home. On the surface it looks inappropriate to force the DC to occur in her old ward and yet the details as to why this is so cannot be revealed by the church. There may well be an excellent and plausible explanation that reasonable people would see as being appropriate but all that will be reported is the church’s seemingly capricious and underhanded tactics.

    OW by their own admission paid the airfares of “women of color” to come from overseas to SLC for the protest at General Conference. This revelation was embarrassing enough for a friend I know who travelled from overseas to exclaim on her Facebook page that she came under her own steam. If they can spend $1,000’s bringing people to enhance the look of the protest for maximum media effect, they can surely pay the $300-$400 for a return ticket from SLC to Washington DC for Kelly to appear in person.

    The situation with John Dehlin seems to be more clear cut despite the recent deferment of the DC. Whereas Kelly professes faith and loyalty to the church, Dehlin does not. He has made public his lack of belief in the key tenets of the faith and indeed his blog recently hosted a series by prominent anti-Mormon Sandra Tanner about her recently deceased husband. The Tanners have written dozens of books (and have been the inspiration for dozens more) with the stated intention of rebutting the core claims of the church with the express purpose of helping people leave the church. If a person has the church’s best interests at heart they don’t allow their blogs to be a platform for anti-Mormons hiding under the euphemistic catch all excuse of “dialog”. Dehlin publicly rejects the church’s teachings on gender, homosexuality and its stand for traditional marriage. It is doubtful that he would recant any of these core beliefs and accept church teachings. When he is so high profile in his opposition to the church and its teachings, it comes as no surprise to learn that his membership is on the line.

    The people I know prominent in the OW movement all share a left wing world view. They reject the church’s view on homosexuality and gay marriage as well as supporting the core tenet of OW, that of woman having the priesthood (or to be more carefully nuanced about this – that the prophet needs to ask God if women can be ordained and since the brethren’s most recent pronouncements are in favor of the status quo, they don’t’ like and won’t accept the answer no). They went further and produced 6 discussion documents replete with scriptures interpreted to support their position and yet even their citations are factually incorrect (stating that Romans 16 points to a woman deacon and a woman apostle when it says no such thing). Kate Kelly urged her supporters on a You Tube clip to use the “Discussions” to spread the word in their families, communities and WARDS. It is THIS incitation that has led to the DC being convened. It’s one thing to hold an opposing view – its another to hold public protests inviting maximum media scrutiny to embarrass the church and actively proselytize your contrary position inside the church expecting the church to react like a legislature and treating the issue as if its a political issue and they are activist lobbyists to get a law changed. The Lord’s church has never run like that and its not about to start now.

    OW and their supporters warn of the seeming huge fallout for the church should they proceed to excommunicate Kelly and Dehlin. For sure the impact will be greater than the ERA actions taken in the 70’s, the D Michael Quinn purge in the 80’s and then the September 6 in the 90’s due to the impact of social media. But even if thousands leave the church (unlikely) and the mainstream media crucifies the church for its actions, it would pale into insignificance compared to the dramas the church faced in the 19th century. Half of the original Quorum of the 12 left the church with a good number apostatizing and fighting the church. Almost half the church in Kirtland left over the collapse of the Kirtland Building Society and through most of the latter part of the 19th century and even the first decade or so of the 20th century, the church faced frequent and constant vicious vilification in the mainstream press across America over polygamy and other matters. The church continued to grow and thrive through all that far more debilitating opposition and the church will continue to thrive and grow even if 1000’s leave in sympathy with Kelly and Dehlin.

    • Of course, a big reason the church continued to grow and thrive was that they abandoned polygamy. And reversed the ban on blacks having the priesthood. Without those changes the growth would not have happened. So to me the lesson is that sometimes change is necessary for growth. Does that mean changing policy on women having the priesthood and homosexuality? Only time will tell.

  20. “I killed my son for your personal benefit
    I tortured him terribly and he bled to death
    i was careful to pierce his side and rip his flesh
    just for your benefit – because I wanted to save humanity and this
    was the only way. I could not think of a less harmful way
    so my son had to die terribly.
    He was in complete agony.

    So now I can save you
    but if you don’t believe me
    I’ll punish you with much worse things than
    what I did to my son.
    i’ll torture you forever and ever and ever and ever.

    You won’t catch any breaks with me.
    the punishment is unending because you
    didn’t believe my story of how
    I killed my son. It is amazing how stubborn some people are.
    But I created you and I’ll crush you

    for not
    believing
    what ….

    your priest told you!

  21. A Brother Who Sins.*
    15 “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
    16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
    17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
    18 Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    -Matthew 18:15-18

  22. Jana is intentionally leading the conversation and leaving out pertinent doctrine (Christ, as Jehovah, commanding church excommunications in multiple instances) and historical precedent (Joseph Smith performing excommunications). The real issue that should be being discussed right now is what are viable grounds for excommunication. Insinuations that Christ doesn’t excommunicate misleads the conversation, introducing confusion and serves Satan’s ends.

    Shame on you, Jana.

  23. Jesus excommunicated himself. If I recall, he was dragged to his own religious court and found guilty of heresy for publicly stating things that were contrary to the established religion at the time, the Pharisees. If I remember the NT, the Pharisees wanted strict observance to rituals and rigid obedience to the law, noted for their self-righteousness, pride, and very narrow emphasis on certain parts of scripture most convenient to them. It was his choice.

    • Derek, Jesus proved faithful to his Heavenly Father, Almighty God, to his death and provided the legal ransom sacrifice of his perfect body for all imperfect mankind. Jesus was rewarded for his obedience to God. The Scribes and Pharisees, religious leaders of his day, however, totally rejected Jesus as the Messiah or as the son of God. They taught burdensome traditions as the law instead of the truths that Jesus taught the people. They declared that they had no King but Caesar. It is sad that the majority of the Jewish nation still rejects him.

  24. I wonder why everyone is so upset about these possible excommunications. Kate and John clearly don’t want to be members of the church. Kate asked the questions that she had the right to ask and got an answer. It was no. From that point on she had the right to accept that answer privately or fight against it publicly. She chose to fight against it publicly. She would not have been excommunicated for privately having doubts, even if she had them for the rest of her life.. it’s her determination to publicly fight against foundational doctrine despite a clear answer from local, regional and even church wide leadership that has her facing discipline. She mad the decision that always ends up (if continued) in excommunication…….to take others down with you through fighting true doctrine and teaching false doctrine to others (women holding the priesthood). Her request isn’t just to understand, her reques is for change. She is posing as a questioning member but she isn’t questioning, she knows that the answer is no, she just refuses to accept that and demands change. She knows it won’t change because she has been through the temple. She knows the teachings about priesthood. She knew it wouldn’t change but she decided to take others along with her on her way out of fellowship in the church. She decided to fight against the doctrine. That is the only sin she is being exed for (as far as I know). Honestly, if she (& John) really believe the stuff they say about the church then being exed shouldn’t be that big of a deal for them. Clearly they do t believe it is true. They don’t believe in the revelation that the priesthood is only for men, they don’t believe they the leadership in the church is inspires and has authority. Those are integral parts to believing in gods church. Being a member of gods church is a PRIVELEGE not a right. If she doesn’t want to accept the doctrine she doesn’t have to. She (and John & other members) just can’t lead an aggressive public campaign against the church and enjoy full fellowship in it. She can still lead a happy, free, safe and full life outside of the church. There are many WONDERFUL, good, kind, spiritual people that are not members or exed members. Perhaps if they are no longer a member it will help them to clarify how they feels. Either they will fight harder against the church making it a mission to bring it down or they will miss the blessings that once were theirs before their public descent and seek to make amends. Either way, I think that ex communication is a viable option in these cases. It’s not a punishment. They aren’t being shackles and put in dungeons. They aren’t loosing citizenship in their country. They are simply being released from fellowship in the church that they claim wrongs and limits them and women worldwide. Given their absolute disagreement with so much fundamental doctrine they should be relieved. They should feel free to join other churches that do allow the priesthood to women and be happy there. If however they aren’t relieved and feeling freed, they should ask themselves why and seek to align themselves privately with gods church once again. I hope they do come back into full fellowship one day but not until they actually BELIEVE in the doctrine that lays at it’s foundation. Today , they clearly do not.

    • “it’s her determination to publicly fight against foundational doctrine”

      Where is this foundational doctrine you speak of that says women can’t have the priesthood? Cite the verse.

      This is a much bigger problem than a single individual. Although most women in Mormonism feel there is equality, there are some that feel women are not equal to men. They should be allowed to express how they feel openly. They should also be allowed to seek out others that feel the same way. Not to try to convince other people, but to seek out support from others that feel the same.

      This is emblematic of a systemic problem from the failure of the leadership to allow people to address their concerns in any meaningful way to where they feel like their concerns are being heard. The only outlet for them is the internet, and it is a pretty big microphone.

      Even if 99% of women feel there is equality, what would Jesus do? Would he say that 99 sheep out of 100 isn’t bad and chastise, demonize, and trash talk the one?

      • Derek
        Cite a single time in scriptural history where the Lord or His servants ordained women to the Priesthood. Yes Rebecca and Ruth were described as prophetesses in the Old Testament but nowhere in scripture is there evidence of their ordination to the Priesthood. OW claim Romans 16 proves a woman was a deacon and another an apostle and yet a simple reading of the KJV text reveals this to be nothing more than tortuous spin and a disingenuous interpretation.

        There is room for improvement in the way some men in the church treat women. Lets have that discussion but OW have embarked on a campaign to lobby for a change of doctrine via grassroots lobbying as if the church was a legislature. When you produce glossy literature that openly touts for a change in doctrine and you use You Tube to encourage your supporters to proselyte in its favor, it come as no surprise when the leaders find themselves facing possible action on their membership.

        • Correct. No ordination is necessary to be a prophetess… or a prophet, for that matter.

          The OW movement doesn’t seem to realize that for men to receive exaltation they must receive the Priesthood, while women are not under the same requirement. This is evidenced by the fact that the priesthood is given to deceased men (by proxy) in the temples, but not to deceased women. The difference is not because men and women are not equal and when a deceased man receives the priesthood by proxy in the temple he is not then paraded around to show how much better he is than women. OW can yearn for equality while not seeing that equality already exists. (Of course, we still need to do away with instances of men unrighteously exercising the priesthood, or at least attempting to; I’m not saying there’s not a problem in that regard.)

          OW seems to also forget President McKay’s statement of motherhood being the highest and holiest calling one can receive.

  25. The whole premise of this piece is fraught with faulty logic. I’m not saying that I support the recent inquisition, but if God and Jesus restored the Church, and God and Jesus are at the head of that Church (the LDS Church), and God and Jesus guide the leaders and authorities of that Church, then a list of all the people excommunicated by Jesus would be the same as a list of all people excommunicated by the LDS Church.

    The LDS Church is a hybridization of scripture AND modern revelation; citing scripture as the exclusive source of Christ’s teachings in an LDS context is ignorant and amateurish. This might work in a Christian faith that uses only scripture as precedent, but the LDS Church is not such a faith.

    • Ryan,

      To address your point about the precedent set regarding how modern revelation comes about, I think the OW is in line with precisely that. They are not demanding the priesthood for themselves. They are asking the leaders to pray to receive revelation about the ordination of women and give women more leadership responsibilities. I don’t see how asking leaders to pray about something is an excommunicatable offense.

      There are many examples. Emma asked Joseph about tobacco and we got the word of wisdom. Hugh B. Brown’s memoirs talks about how lifting the ban of blacks from the priesthood was not an instant revelation, but was hotly debated among apostles for decades before enough people were convinced. Gordon B. Hinckley talked about how revelation is a reactionary thing, and how only after problems arise do they then go God to pray about how to proceed.

      “Q:As the prophet, tell us how that works. How do you receive divine revelation? What does it feel like? A: [Gordon B. Hinckley] Let me say first that we have a great body of revelation, the vast majority of which came from the prophet Joseph Smith. We don’t need much revelation. We need to pay more attention to the revelation we’ve already received. Now, if a problem should arise on which we don’t have an answer, we pray about it, we may fast about it, and it comes. Quietly. Usually no voice of any kind, but just a perception in the mind. I liken it to Elijah’s experience. When he sought the Lord, there was a great wind, and the Lord was not in the wind. And there was an earthquake, and the Lord was not in the earthquake. And a fire, and the Lord was not in the fire. But in a still, small voice. Now that’s the way it works.” – Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday Interview, April 13, 1997

      The OW movement is in lock step with how revelation has always occurred in the LDS context. Agitation, inquiry, revelation. It is also consistent with how personal revelation is described in D&C about how you must first study it out in your mind, then inquire, then receive revelation.

      • Derek,
        You might want to read what’s on the OW website before you further misrepresent their positions.

        They stopped asking questions long ago (after getting answers they didn’t like)

        • Brian, went to their website. Read their mission statement.

          ” As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood. We sincerely ask our leaders to take this matter to the Lord in prayer.”

          Sounds like my assertion stands.

          • Derek
            The brethren’s comments since the widespread publicity of OW in favor of the status quo is the answer and its no but OW won’t accept the answer and have taken their opposition to the answer to the media in an attempt to use public opinion to try and change the church’s mind.

            Also their 6 Discussion go far further than the “ask the Lord if we can have the Priesthood” mantra you describe – it casts the church leaders as out of touch misogynists with a primer called Feminism 101 and presents the talking points and scriptural interpretations of the progressive feminist left in the church as some enlightened alternative to the stodgy church they portray.

          • Derek
            keep reading!
            I’ve added my own emphasis to quotes from their website.

            “Ordain Women believes WOMEN MUST BE ORDAINED in order for our faith to reflect the equity and expansiveness of these [LDS Church] teachings.” (Emphasis Added)

            “Ordain Women asserts that PRIESTHOOD MUST BE RE-ENVISIONED as a power that transcends gender and is exercised by both men and women for the benefit of all.”

            “As much as possible, encourage the Mormon community to coalesce around the goal of women’s ordination. Help them see that ANYTHING LESS is INSUFFICIENT to address the gender inequality in the Church.”

            It’s obvious that this isn’t some sincere questioning, because they’ve declared that any answer that doesn’t fit with theirs is unacceptable. Incidentally, this is the answer that they got, likely in far more detail and thoroughness than they anticipated. Not only are they rejecting the answers outright, try’re encouraging others to do likewise

  26. It is easy to assume that the world we live in now with the progression in regards to the female species is the same as the world in which Jesus Christ walked. It should be noted that 1. Christ never rejected someone from following him nor did he hold them out I front of the congregation as a sinner (remember the first stone?)
    2. Christ was a radical. Constantly questioned the authority. He made waves. He was from a mystical tribe of Jews.
    3. He taught the women. This was not
    done at the time. In fact it was a sin. Please remember that women were determined to actually have a soul in 1852.
    4. We pretend to think that it was easy for the Savior to teach his disciples. It is easy to think that this man who taught in stories was full of ego and power. He was not full of himself. Like most of these posts here. He wasn’t self righteous. He was love. He didn’t teach in fear or hell dreams. He taught love. It is not for anyone to say who is a sinner, and what sin is. In my experience faith and spirituality is the most personal of things. Let’s remember that what I see and feel is not what you see and feel.
    These excommunications are wrong plain and simple. They are wrong because we allow someone else’s perception to threaten us.

    • “He taught love. It is not for anyone to say who is a sinner, and what sin is.” I guess love means not pointing out sin?

      “These excommunications are wrong plain and simple.” As far as I know they haven’t occurred yet and may never occur.

      “3. He taught the women. This was not
      done at the time.” Yes, and it’s done all the time in His Restored Church.

      “2. Christ was a radical. Constantly questioned the authority. He made waves. He was from a mystical tribe of Jews.” Of course. And he was pretty much rejected from the established organization he was born into and started his own organization with a specific structure and the apostles that he called were to see that we all came into a unity of the faith. That means pointing out when false doctrines are taught.

      “In my experience faith and spirituality is the most personal of things.” This is a VERY important point and is exactly why the Church doesn’t care all that much if Kate feels personally women need the priesthood to become equal to the men. But Kate has made it far beyond a personal thing by this point. Not sure we can tell the Church to let it remain personal to Kate if Kate has made it the opposite of personal.

  27. Since we know that Jesus is also Jehovah, might we be able to include references from the Old Testament? And, since Peter was the “Rock,” might we not consider references outside of the Gospels?

    • Jehovah is the Most High over all the earth (Psalms 83:18), and Jesus is in second position, as his son and the first-born of all creation (Colossians 1:15; 1 Corinthians 11:3). Jesus also said that that the Father was greater than he was (John 14:28). They are both separate persons and are not equal to each other.

      • And God, the Father gave His Son His own name (Phil 2:9). Hence, in LDS discourse since 1915, “Jehovah” is a name used for Christ, while “Elohim” is a name used for the Father.

        • Yes, Rene, God exalted Jesus, his son, to a superior position and gave him a name that is above all others EXCEPT for his own, Jehovah, who is God Almighty, as brought out in Phillipians 2:9. In other words, Jesus is superior to all the angels and mankind, but Jehovah God is the universal sovereign of the universe. As brought out at Psalms 90:2, Jehovah is God from everlasting to everlasting. He had no start and has no end, but Jesus had a START as Jehovah’s “first-born creation” according to Colossians previously cited, and Jesus will have no end.

          It is also interesting to note that upon the end of Jesus’ millenial rule over mankind on earth from God’s heavenly Kingdom, Jesus will give back rulership and all authority given him back to Jehovah, so that Jehovah God, the highest person in the universe, may be ALL things to everyone (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

          In addition, 1 Corinthuans 11:3 brings out that the “head of the Christ is God.” Jesus is still in subjection to Jehovah, his Father, as an earthly son is subjection to his father.

          We should therefore exercise faith in Jesus, the son of God and become a follower of his teachings in the Bible; but we must love Jehovah God with our whole soul, mind, heart and strength (Matthew 22:37), and give only him our whole-souled worship.

  28. I’m confused. I read the article and many pages of comments before I began to think the author might be a member of the church. Can someone fill me in please? Because this is a great anti-mormon blog, if that’s what you’re going for. If on the other hand this is a members blog, wow, just wow!

  29. humans tend to always break away from the trut. whether it’s those who disobeyed God and worship the Golden Calf to those who in James chapter 6 verse 66 who were actually in the presence of Jesus and witnessed his miracles and then walked away from his teachings because they were quote a hard saying this also applies to those today tend to believe that homosexuality an ordination of women is more important than following Jesus teachings, they too are walking away and telling God he got it all wrong, and they know what is best.

  30. There is a very simple answer to all of this: Religion = Man-made. Any God/Higher Power/All Knowing Creator couldn’t possibly come up with such nonsense! Organized Religion is so obviously Man-made it’s very difficult to wrap ones mind around how any intelligent person could possibly believe any of it? I honestly don’t mean to offend or be disrespectful. I just cannot conceive of how or why people believe they must perform rituals, ordinances, secret knocks or handshakes, (the list is endless) to attain Gods love & acceptance? Religion has caused more death, pain & destruction than anything else! How could something that is supposedly from an Enlightened Being inspire so much evil & hatred? Only man is capable of such anguish & hypocrisy. Harm none, have compassion & love…..that’s it! It doesn’t have to be so complicated.

  31. Are you sure we talk about the same Jesus Christ?

    Are you talking about the one who said that the sheep would be on one side, and the goats on the other, and that the King will send the goats into eternal fire?

    Are you talking about the Christ who beat the money changers away from the temple?

    Are we talking about Him who is the LORD who revealed Himself to Moses and all the prophets, both in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the D&C?

    Are we talking about Him who told us that we should pluck out our eye and cut off our hand, if they lead us to sin?

    Are we talking about Him who said, “go and SIN NO MORE”, not “go and whore around, everything is fine””?

    Are we talking abou the Christ who said all the following:

    “Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God; But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

    “But the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world. ”

    “For it must needs be that they be organized according to my laws; if otherwise, they will be cut off.”

    “Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off.”

    “And thus cometh the end of the wicked, according to the prophecy of Moses, saying: They shall be cut off from among the people; but the end of the earth is not yet, but by and by.”

    “Behold, I, the Lord, command; and he that will not obey shall be cut off in mine own due time, after I have commanded and the commandment is broken. ”

    “And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.”

    “And upon them that hearken not to the voice of the Lord shall be fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Moses, that they should be cut off from among the people.”

    “Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.”

    “And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; ”

    ” I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off ”

    ” And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.”

    Jana, I’m sorry, but currently it feels a lot like you didn’t listen when Elder Holland, an apostle of the LORD, talked about this very issue, the cost and benefit of discipleship.

    It seems, that John Dehlin may claim to not believe in Christ, not believe His prophets, reject being part of His church in all but name (=rejects to come to church, rejects home teachers and visiting teachers), and that’s fine, he needs to have a place in the church Kelly and Co want, while the representatives of the LORD have to close their mouths and hang their heads in shame, because they are too stupid for those “truly enlightened people” who try to change the church they do not believe in any more.

    Sorry, Jana. From how I see it, what Dehlin wants is not the Church of Jesus Christ, but the Church of John Dehlin. You decide whom you want to worship, the atheist idea of John, or the God Kelly runs after (she started praying to Mother in Heaven – now you show me where Christ did THAT or sanctioned it), but I and my house, we will follow Christ.

  32. Jana,

    Jesus never had a church while he was living on the earth. The closest he ever got was ordaining followers to go preach. He never organized a church structure, and never had reason to excommunicate anyone.

    You’ll note however, that once a church was established by Peter – we get the story of Ananias and Sapphira.

    Perhaps you would prefer it if the LDS Church took a page out of God’s book and simply smote apostates dead on the spot?

  33. Phearless Phemme

    Way to miss the whole point, people. Whether Jesus called his following a “church” is inconsequential. The point is that He never excluded anyone from spreading or receiving His loving message, unlike so many churches do. And isn’t the point of Christianity to be Christ-like? WWJD and all that jazz?

    Leave it to humans to turn everything into a power trip. Organized religion represents everything Jesus rallied against.

  34. Whether Jesus excommunicated anyone isn’t really the right question to ask (since there wasn’t really a church established during his lifetime, more of a following). The right question is whether or not the leaders of the existing church would have excommunicated him. And the answer is that they did (in a very extreme way). Jesus didn’t excommunicate anyone–he’s the one who got excommunicated. He wasn’t the establishment–he was anti the establishment and teaching things the establishment didn’t want to hear. So they got rid of him.

  35. This is a moot point. Jesus made it clear over and over that His was the Gospel, not the Church. When asked if the should stone a woman, He answered, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He understood that He didn’t have the authority to do it. The first stone was a large and heavy stone that a priest that had been purified would help place on the person’s chest. Christ had keys, but not those keys at that time. So how could He excommunicate someone? If he kicked anyone out of his order, we just don’t know about it.

  36. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Jana, as a member of the LDS Church, I assume you believe in the Book of Mormon and its narrative of the resurrected Christ coming to teach the Nephites. In 3 Nephi chapter 18, verses 26-32, Christ instructed the twelve men he had selected to lead his church there that they had to be ready to remove the membership of some people who were breaking their covenants with God. Thus in verse 31: “But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.” Jesus delegated the responsibility to conduct excommunication to his senior disciples, and instructed them to do it when a member refused to repent.

    In Doctrine & Covenants Section 134, verse 10, the Latter-day Saints explained to their fellow Americans that: “We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.”

    Detailed direction about the responsibility of bishoprics and stake high councils to determine whether a member should lose his membership in the Church was presented in D&C 102 and 107. Similar direction from God about the need to police the boundary line of Church membership is recorded in the earlier parts of the Book of Mormon, e.g. Alma 1:24, 6:3, etc.

    Given this explicit direction from Christ and from God to the members of his Church both anciently and in the Restored Gospel, it is frankly disingenuous to claim that the mere fact that Jesus is not recorded as personally conducting a church court that excommunicated someone, somehow means the Church should not excommunicate anyone, ever, under any circumstances. To the extent you appear to be making this argument, I am greatly disappointed in you, since I am confident you understand that the sanction of withdrawing membership is the only instrument a voluntary religious society has to protect its doctrinal integrity.

    We don’t allow polygamists to retain their membership, or child molesters, or con men who use their church membership to defraud. Surely you would agree that excommunication is appropriate in those cases, even though Jesus did not personally excommunicate anyone during his mortal life.

    Similarly, as D&C 134 says, the Church has no obligation to let people preach false doctrines within the Church, which also harms the members. They can go off on their own and say whatever they want to, but they will not do it using the status of church membership to give themselves credibility.

  37. Raymond Takashi Swenson

    If the premise of Jana’s argument is that ONLY those things which Jesus did, as recorded in the New Testament, can be done in his church, then, since Jesus never wrote an epistle, or a Gospel, or an Apocalypse, how can any of those things done by his apostles and disciples be valid?

    While we can infer that Jesus built things out of wood and maybe stone, during his years before he entered the minstry about age 30, he is nowhere depicted as actually doing so, so we have no precedent for the construction of buildings to house meetings of his church.

    On the other hand, Jesus was surely circumcised; if he had not been, his enemies among the Jewish leaders would have denounced him as a Gentile. Yet by revelation to Peter, Christ explicitly iinstructed Peter that circumcision was not a requirement to be a member of his church.

    There is no record that Christ ever tilled the ground as a farmer, even though he used farming many times in teaching his parables, so are his disciples supposed to avoid farming?

    Jesus is recorded as riding an ass during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but he never rode a horse, or in a chariot or any vehicle. He never rode in an auto, a steam train, or an airplane.

    Jesus never attended a university, nor got even an honorary degree, nor tenure. He was never paid to teach, never looked through a telescope, never performed a mathematical calculation. He never wove cloth, he never painted a picture. He never played a musical instrument. He never herded real sheep, or goats, or cows. He never traveled more than a few hundred miles from his birthplace. He never damced. There is no record in the Bible that he married.

    So many things that Jesus never did, even in the context of his disciples and his church. Did he say that we are only allowed to do the things that he is recorded doing? If we were to do something lacking in Jesus precedential action, would we be unauthorized? Would he classify us as acting improperly, in effect say that WE need to be excommunicated for departing from his example?

    Jana, your whole argument is illogical, and even self-contradictory.

  38. Jana,
    I get your point here. However several places in LDS scriptures speak about the concept of excommunication, which is sometimes referred to as having one’s name being blotted out. Additionally, taking your concept to its logical conclusion would imply that no one ever be excommunicated, including a man who heinously abused or even murdered a spouse or child.

    • John 8:7

      So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

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