(Heart)Breaking News: Kate Kelly and John Dehlin

June 11, 2014

Faithful feminist humanitarian to be tried in absentia by an all-male church court after she moves to Kenya

The New York Times reports that both Kate Kelly and John Dehlin are being called for a disciplinary council.  While their aims and methods are vastly different, both are politically more liberal than the majority of church members, and both are proponents of women’s rights and acceptance of homosexuals.

From Robert D. Putnam’s book American Grace:  How Religion Divides and Unites Us about the political polarization in religion since the 1990s:

“During the 1990s Americans of all ages became increasingly uneasy about mixing religion and politics.  It is not surprising that younger Americans, still forming religious attachments, translated that uneasiness into a rejection of religion entirely.  This group of young people came of age when “religion” was identified publicly with the Religious Right, and exactly at the time when the leaders of that movement put homosexuality and gay marriage at the top of their agenda.  And yet this is the very generation in which the new tolerance of homosexuality has grown most rapidly. . . .

Instead the new nones* reported that “they became unaffiliated, at least in part, because they think of religious people as hypocritical, judgmental or insincere.  Large numbers also say they became unaffiliated because they think that religious organizations focus too much on rules and not enough on spirituality.  It is also unsurprising that the increasing opposition to religious influence in politics and government . . . is heavily concentrated among the new nones.”

John with his family at iconic Delicate Arch.

  • Are Kate and John cannon fodder for the left in the culture wars?
  • Will the church come to regret this move?
  • Is this local laity operating at their own discretion (despite the widely publicized support of local leaders for both John and Kate) or the church’s senior leadership taking action?
  • What will the consequences be to the church and to those who agree with John and Kate’s views generally?

Discuss.

* “nones” are those who claim belief in God, but do not officially affiliate with any one faith.  This is the fastest growing demographic in the American religious scene.

 

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119 Responses to (Heart)Breaking News: Kate Kelly and John Dehlin

  1. Brad on June 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

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  2. Benjamin on June 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Well that just sucks. I guess there is no tolerance for dissent in this church.

    I suspect this is a mix of local laity and pressure from above.

    “’you are not required to change your thinking or the questions you may have in your own mind,’ but that she must keep her questions private and resolve them by talking to her bishop.” — that kind of signals back to the Otterson letter. It’s a sad day for mormonism.

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  3. Jared on June 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I think this demonstrates that the church cannot tolerate people with a different opinion – who share it. It’s ok to be a free thinker as long as you don’t practice free speech. That’s not very sustainable. Why is the kingdom of god so scared?

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  4. hawkgrrrl on June 11, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    “That which we resist persists.” Carl Jung

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  5. Kullervo on June 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    The LDS Church is in no way, shape or form synonymous with the Kingdom of God, JAred.

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  6. Roger on June 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    I am trying to fathom why Joseph Fielding Smith and David O. McKay could countenance Professor Sterling McMurrin saying and writing what he did and maintaining his membership and the current leadership cannot abide Kelly and Dehlin.

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  7. Kristine A on June 11, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    I’m processing this whole thing. A few Dehlin podcasts really helped me navigate my faith transition and anchor my testimony in the Gospel . . . . feeling a little lost right now.

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  8. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    This is a sad day. God bless Kate and John.

    No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned…..

    …but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

    No wonder we haven’t had a revelation in 30 years when our leaders act contrary to D&C 121. Why do they continue to exercise unrighteous dominion? Is D&C 121 meaningless to them?

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  9. el oso on June 11, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    The biggest reason for why now, especially for Kate, is that she was specifically warned to not publicly protest conference and generally warned that opposing advocacy like her website is going across the line. Of course many others (Wheat & Tares has plenty) practice online advocacy, but this website is concerned with a broad range of issues and is not primarily for advocacy against church teachings.
    After April conference, the OW website is best viewed as advocacy directly against church teachings at least by many church members.

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  10. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Apparently the reasonable church leaders died with President McKay.

    There is a great story from pages 55-56 in “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” in which Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee were moving to excommunicate Sterling McMurrin for his unorthodox beliefs. When President David O. McKay heard about it, he phoned McMurrin and asked for a private meeting. In that meeting, McKay was never critical nor disapproving. He told McMurrin: “They cannot do this to you! They cannot put you on trial!” and that if they did, he (the President of the Church) would be McMurrin’s “first witness”.

    He also protect Juanita Brooks.

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  11. Nathan Whilk on June 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Did David O. McKay protect his niece Fawn McKay Brodie from excommunication?

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  12. C. Rider on June 11, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Kate Kelly is a media hound loving every minute of it! Let’s all have a group hug wearing purple.

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  13. Kristine A on June 11, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    “Come, Join With Us” . . . . . Just Kidding!

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  14. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I think McKay only intervened as president. As apostle, he didn’t try to over-rule other apostles, because they were on the same level, so I think that’s why he didn’t intervene with Brodie.

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  15. sad today on June 11, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    -unless you’re Mormon

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  16. ji on June 11, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I much appreciate the patience shown by the church in this matter. I trust the local stake and ward officers to deal with the matter seriously and honestly and with as much forbearance as possible.

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  17. howard on June 11, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Sad day for the church. I guess the time is quickly approaching to delivering my resignation letter.

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  18. howard on June 11, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    This could get very interesting given Kate’s occupation and the low cost of process she would bare by doing her own work. I wounder if she can find grounds. It might explain why OW’s arguments were grounded in secular arguments.

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  19. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Rumor has it that Rock Waterman got a letter too. Yes, of course these aren’t orchestrated from the higher ups…… It’s just a really strange coincidence.

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  20. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Note the Rockman said “I can confirm that this purge is coming from the top leadership because my bishop delivered the ultimatum to me which he said came from an area Seventy. I have not mentioned it until now because I have not yet heard from my Stake President. (Like John, I have never met my SP either.) I was given the option to stop blogging or resign, otherwise face excommunication.”

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  21. Quaking in my Boots on June 11, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Frankly, this scares the crap out of me. I’ve tried to be pretty careful to maintain anonymity in my blog comments, even changing my pseudonym regularly, but I wonder if it’s enough to protect me if the hammer really comes down on doubters. Does blogging and blog commenting count as publicly opposing the church? My questions and struggles are sincere, and honestly, I don’t know where I’ll end up in my faith, but I’d like to be able to work it out in my own time and on my own terms without being booted out or forced into silence out of fear.

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  22. Jared on June 11, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    I’m sorry for Kate and John. I hope they choose to stay in the church. It’s their choice.

    I’m also sorry that they persist in putting themselves in a position where they are called into a disciplinary council.

    Alma was faced with the same problems and was instructed by the Lord as follows.

    29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.
    30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.
    31 And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.
    32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward.
    33 And it came to pass when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that he might have them, and that he might judge the people of that church according to the commandments of God.
    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.

    Alma 26:29-36

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  23. howard on June 11, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    It won’t be as easy as destroying a printing press this time will it? Or a few reputations? Or shunning a few enemies? The internet will empower the marginalized through the power of words and the power of truth! The more progressive faithful are already carrying the new fact based memes into the chapel in talks to counter the old faith promoting folklore that acts like Ambien to the faithful. So, the church finally awakens from it’s deep slumber and enters many years late to a conversation that is already reshaping it as it circles the wagons in time honored Mountain Meadow fashion and twitters it’s attack; “We may be old farts but see…we’re not out of touch!” God’s anointed looking like elderly Keystone Cops as we duck and cover our little factories from the swing of their night sticks! John, Kate and Rock, you’ve been very bad boys and girl! You don’t keep your thoughts to yourself so from now on you’ll be called the June Three or something like that!

    Faceslap! It’s really kind of embarrassing drama, isn’t it?

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  24. Nathan Whilk on June 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    >14

    According to Dale Morgan, in 1945 just after the publication of _No Man Knows My
    History_, David O. McKay “initiated a resolution before the Twelve” calling for Fawn Brodie’s excommunication. According to Newell Bringhurst, “David O. McKay played a prominent role in the excommunication of his niece.”

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  25. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Interesting Nathan, I did not know that. I haven’t read Morgan–what book is that from? I’m also unfamiliar with the Bringhurst reference. Do you have that?

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  26. Casey on June 11, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    The glee with which some people who do not like Dehlin or especially OW are reacting to this discipline is unseemly and embarrassing. I support OW but I’ve been uncomfortable with things said by the likes of Waterman, Dehlin and even Denver Snuffer, but I’d never ever dream of cheerleading anyone’s exit from the church. The fact that so many self-professed faithful members are doing that makes me ashamed to call myself Mormon today.

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  27. whizzbang on June 11, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    Not at all surprised and I think it’ll be a good thing if excommunication is actually what happens, besides if they are such wonderful members they can always come back. I am surprised Tom Phillips isn’t on the list. I see Dehlin and Kelly as one trick pony’s. If they get the sack then hopefully they won’t pull a Grant Palmer and make up a bogus story about disbelieving GA’s.

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  28. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM

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  29. Nathan Whilk on June 11, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    See Bringhurst’s article (which also contains the Morgan quote) in Volume 57, Number 1, of the Utah Historical Quarterly . This issue is accessible free on line at

    http://utahhistory.sdlhost.com/#/item/000000031000878

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  30. howard on June 11, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Excommunication of activists is done mostly for ad hominem reasons, it officially discredits them among the unthinking faithful sheeple. I always found it surprising that the LDS church tells you when you’ve abandoned YOUR faith, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since they tell you everything else about living your life.

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  31. Jared on June 11, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    I think we’re going to see some GA leave the church. It is probably only a matter of time. That will be big news, especially if it is an apostle.

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  32. Sinclair on June 11, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    The church quietly amends GA conference talks, includes pithy inserts cautioning the readers that the published words of leaders are non-canonical, printed the damaging _Mormon Doctrine_ until four years ago, and STILL prints _The Miracle of Forgiveness_ yet finds the questions of the faithful untenable…?

    Heck, the church needs to look no further than it’s own central offices to find those who lead the membership astray and askew.

    And yet, this directive had to have come from the top, else what is the reason for Kate’s bishop and SP breaking protocol?

    It’s a signal to those who dare question or employ critical thinking in the evaluation of their faith. And, sadly, fodder for those who relish the opportunity to lash out at others who dare to claim the luxury of being human in a culture which shames such.

    We bear the name of Christ, a covenant we made at baptism, and how we respond to both John and Kate reflect the measure of his love we reflect to those in our midst. They do the same, as active, loving, faithful human beings.

    But I’m all for flipping some tables in the proverbial temple. Jesus didn’t take kindly to the gentry in his day and was a social revolutionist. I say it’s time the members turn the same tables…

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  33. howard on June 11, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    The letter said, “you are not required to change your thinking or the questions you may have in your own mind,” but that she must keep her questions private and resolve them by talking to her bishop.

    Keep you questions private? This will have a chilling effect on the marginalized just as they were beginning to feel some relief. It’s all just so Christlike isn’t it?

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  34. hawkgrrrl on June 11, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    ji: “Of course many others (Wheat & Tares has plenty) practice online advocacy, but this website is concerned with a broad range of issues and is not primarily for advocacy against church teachings.” Consider yourself on the witness list if we ever need one. However, thus far I’m inclined to agree with you that W&T is off the radar for whatever reason.

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  35. Mormon Heretic on June 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Nathan, I appreciate the link you provided. It surely provides a sharp contrast in McKay’s treatment of Brodie versus Juanita Brooks and Sterling McMurrin. A few things really struck me from the link you provided.

    McKay had apparently felt that the rebeUious act of his niece
    required more drastic action. Indeed, it appears that in the fall of
    1945, just after the publication of A^o Man Knows My History, he “initiated
    a resolution before the Twelve” calling for Fawn Brodie’s
    excommunication. “But the matter was tabled on the grounds that it
    would make a martyr out of her. “^^ However, by May 1946 such official
    reticence no longer remained, and Fawn McKay Brodie was formally
    excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
    Saints.

    as well as

    It appears that David O. McKay played a prominent role in the
    excommunication of his niece.^*^ In assessing the motives of her uncle,
    Brodie suggested that he “felt keenly the need for self-protection”^^
    and “of disassociating himself with me in the most dramatic possible
    fashion. He undoubtedly felt that he would be condemned if I were
    treated leniently. Moreover, he is unquestionably very angry about
    the book anyway, and he is not a man to take things lying down.”^^

    Maybe he learned from the Martyr accusation and didn’t follow that trap with McMurrin and Brooks?

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  36. howard on June 11, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    As a church we seem to be speeding toward irrelevance but as a construction company we’re still doing fine.

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  37. Geoff -Aus on June 12, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    Why would you think that Jared?

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  38. Hedgehog on June 12, 2014 at 1:45 AM

    And here I was hoping we’d got past the old soviet style paranoia…
    This is how we hasten the work? By hastening folk to the exit?

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  39. hellmut on June 12, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    Two weeks ago, I was contemplating whether Ordain Women was at an impasse and that its campaign might falter from a lack of viable options. The Mormon leadership has solved that problem.

    Their threat of excommunication is so aggressive and domineering, nobody could make a better case for Ordain Women.

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  40. ji on June 12, 2014 at 4:42 AM

    hawkgrrrl (no. 34) — I don’t understand your reference to me, or why I might be called as a witness.

    Casey (no. 26) — I haven’t seen any glee here such as you describe, and haven’t gone looking for it elsewhere. But I do regret seeing here and elsewhere what I can only call hostility towards the church. I admit that I look at the church differently than many others — for example, I don’t see it like a social, civic, or political club that I join and then help re-shape by my voice and voting — I have my own opinions on social, civic, and political matters, but I don’t care to ever impose them on fellow Saints within the church — rather, within the church, all I want to do is to worship and serve, and to uphold others with my confidence, faith, and prayer. I regret the current circumstances.

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  41. Joni on June 12, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    You know, I have a gut feeling Kelly and Dehlin won’t be the last. And I think the Church leadership is going to be surprised to find that, when it’s all over, it’s not going to have the effect that they desire.

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  42. IDIAT on June 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    I find it odd that most people want their participation in church disciplinary matters to be confidential, yet Kelly and Dehlin went straight to the press.

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  43. JonathanM on June 12, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    In years to come the Church will be proud to have members like Kelly and John, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to see it. A sad, unnecessary, mean-spirited and destructive act. I hope the church leaders responsible will one day repent of their actions, but I can’t see it happening.

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  44. Stephen R. Marsh on June 12, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    “Brodie suggested” that the fact that she had home teachers to the end of her life (her death came as a side effect of her smoking) was a result of the feelings of the members of the Church towards her …

    Isn’t that what you meant to say?

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  45. New Iconoclast on June 12, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Look – Elder Oaks’ recent talk is pretty clear, unless you’re really hopeful or desperate and stretching the meaning of the English language. So is Br. Otterson’s letter, which we can all pretty much agree had some very high-level review. Yet, the OW mission statement is equally clear, perhaps even more so. It doesn’t leave room for revelation, it doesn’t seek further guidance. The movement “believes women must be ordained”, is “committed to work for equality and the ordination of Mormon women”, and they state that they “intend to put [them]selves in the public eye and call attention to the need for the ordination of Mormon women.” That is not a humble, compromise-seeking position, and it places itself in direct opposition to the current position of Church leadership.

    Whether you believe that OW’s goal is just, or believe current Church leadership is inspired, or not, it’s difficult to say that this is simply petty persecution over an honest disagreement. It isn’t. It’s flat-out opposition. You simply can’t have it both ways.

    I don’t like this whole thing; I wish it weren’t happening; I wish there were some amicable way to settle it. But it doesn’t appear that there is. That said, let’s at least all suck it up and be willing to accept the consequences of our views and public positions.

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  46. Kristine A on June 12, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    NewIcon, It’s not as difficult for me to see the Kate Kelly action, I don’t think OW would be in this position if they hadn’t done their action in April after being asked not to. The thing with hers is the sneaky way it’s been done…..after she leaves her ward.

    For Dehlin, he hasn’t expressed questions or doubts aloud that a lot of members feel themselves. He has helped so so many stay in the church (including me) – what are we to feel about what the church is saying about his body of work and purpose? What does that say about us?

    The last thing the church needs is more fear and division, and my heart breaks that my vision for big tablemormonism will remain so. By all means let’s silence those struggling ….. Sigh.

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  47. MB on June 12, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    One question.
    If Kate Kelley is living in Utah right now I’d assume that her membership records are in a ward there. If that is the case, how can her church leaders in Virginia still have any stewardship responsibilities pertaining to her?

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  48. MB on June 12, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Misspelled. Kelly, not Kelley.

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  49. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Steve, I quoted Newell Bringhurst, so those words are his, not mine.

    MB, here’s some relevant comments from another blog:

    Just a technicality point of order (that someone should pass on to Kelly’s previous Bishop). The Bishop who sent (the currently) Sister Kelly a letter is not actually *her* Bishop, and as such he is not authorized to hold such a council by Church policy – obviously though he is ignoring that fact. The Handbook is very clear that one’s Bishop is determined by your geographic residence unless authorized otherwise by request. (And a Bishop is not one who can grant such authorization.) Her membership should be transferred to her Utah ward where she now lives. Her previous Bishop (and Stake President if he so chooses) are free to add a note to her records to pass along his (their) concerns to her new ward and stake.

    In general if disciplinary councils are held for people engaged in the repentance process they are “acts of love”, but the Handbook is very clear that in certain cases the actions are undertaken to protect the Church or the saints. In such cases they are acts of defense first, and love second.

    Someone else wrote:

    Actually, her bishop is the bishop of the ward in which her _records_ are held. He has stewardship over her until the records are transferred to another ward. And I believe that it is not unheard of for the church to freeze the records of a member in a specific ward so that they cannot be transferred. It makes sense to have the Bishop who knows her and has interacted with her over the last few years be involved with her council. And if the church has frozen the records in her ward, then the stewardship remains there too.

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  50. New Iconoclast on June 12, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Kristine, I agree with your issues about tone and timing. I’m not as familiar with John Dehlin and his work as I am with OW, so I can’t comment on what positions he may have publically advocated that would lead to this action. I can’t help but wonder if Kate Kelly knew where her course of action would lead, and is hoping for some kind of Birmingham Jail effect.

    Although I’m sure that the Church could technically “freeze” Sis. Kelly’s records in Virginia (per #49), as a former ward clerk, my goal was always to get the records transferred as quickly as we could figure out where the individual had gone. On the plus side, though, I can’t help but think she might get a fairer, more sympathetic hearing from her familiar bishop in VA than from some stranger in Utah, also. We can but pray for the right outcome at this point.

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  51. alice on June 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    #31 “I think we’re going to see some GA leave the church. It is probably only a matter of time. That will be big news, especially if it is an apostle.

    Why would you say that? I’d respect any one who had trouble with these ham handed and, in my opinion, unjust and unwise disciplinary threats but I certainly haven’t seen — ever — anything that would suggest a breach in the monolithic authority.

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  52. Hedgehog on June 12, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    ji (#40), I believe hawkgrrrl meant el oso (#9) and got you mixed up.

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  53. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    It is a sad day indeed for anyone having to face church discipline. All that we, as members, hold dear can be taken in an instance. Everyone here is entitled to an opinion, but the great majority know next to nothing about how any of this has played out. But, the fact that it is in the New York Times does say something. It’s no longer a private matter as it is intended to be and has riled up the Bloggernacle yet again.

    These are very high profile folks in our world, Most members would have no clue about them,.

    So is it an isolated incident or part of the 20 year cycle of the Wheat and the Tares? How many will go if they are ex’d?

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  54. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    I just read Kate’s “informal probation” letter, which sounds anything but informal. http://ordainwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2014-05-22-Informal-Probation-Letter-to-Kate-Kelly.pdf

    Here’s what Kate needed to do to get off of “informal probation.”

    In order to end this probation, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped and refrained from teachings that undermine the doctrine of priesthood, the church itself and its leaders, that you have taken down or done all you can to take down http://www.ordainwomen.org and disassociated yourself from Ordain Women. You must be truthful in your communications with others regarding matters that involve your priesthood leaders, including administration of Church discipline, and you must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and lead others away from the church.

    What was “informal” about that?

    It is important that you understand that you are not required to change your thinking or the questions you may have in your mind regarding the ordination of women, but you need to make it a private matter and work through this issue with your bishop or branch president.

    Two things strike me: (1) This is clearly censorship. (2) This is why people try to stay anonymous when disagreeing with church leaders. Anonymity provides the outlet to oppose the leaders’ decisions, without “openly” opposing them. It’s when you attach your real name to a comment that church leaders take a harder line.

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  55. Brian on June 12, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Laughable that the choice to resign or face a “court of love” was given. Please, Mr. Dehlin let us wash our hands of this. We want to make it easy for you. It has nothing to do with how we may look through this process. Honest.

    Beyond interesting that the second-anointed Tom Phillips has escaped this process. Is it due to the ridicule and scrutiny that ordinance would undergo in the public eye if that happened?

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  56. howard on June 12, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    I think there are three important arenas. The church can’t be looking good to the western world in this. What message does an all male council excommunicating a women for working to improve women’s place in the church send? The world consists of potential new converts. The bloggernacle acts as an incubator for new fact based memes and they have largely been argued, distilled and are now ready for consumption and replication with the potential to go viral. The chapel where the church still maintains substantial top down hierarchical control and mind control over a majority of members, these are not the droids you’re looking for, nothing to see here brothers and sisters, move along. But the the new fact based memes are on their way to the chapel in the form of the original RS minutes, OW’s 6 discussions, challenges to core truth claims (we don’t believe in creeds btw) etc, etc. and given a little time the church will never be the same to those who don’t hide their head in the sand of willful ignorance. The brethren (Packer et al) can crack down but in the end the truth will eventually emerge.

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  57. Nathan Whilk on June 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    >14

    One high-profile excommunication for apostasy during David O. McKay’s presidency was Annalee Skarin.

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  58. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Howard,

    “The church can’t be looking good to the western world in this.”

    Howard, how silly. The “western world” barely knows the Church exists, let alone anything about this stuff.

    The western world is much more concerned about the wealth preservation and growth of the very rich, among other things.

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  59. howard on June 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Jeff,
    Silly? I wasn’t suggesting this story would displace wealth preservation concerns, that’s your red herring. But it has been picked up by national and international media. If you were considering joining the church don’t you think you would be interested in reading and understanding this?

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  60. Creeper on June 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Probably what a lot of you people don’t understand about the disciplinary process is that if actions have been taken before a move then the records will stay in the ward where they were initiated until the matter is cleared up. She was disfellowshiped in Virginia and now the process has come to a disciplinary court which will take place in Virginia. Once that concludes her membership records will be transfered, or they won’t if she is excommunicated.

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  61. Brian on June 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Can others speak to what Creeper is talking about as far as the venue of discipline? If the church is concerned about the individual, I can’t imagine average Joe being asked to travel across the country for something that could be changed even though, granted it may be more difficult for the leaders. Certainly the omnipresent spirit is bicoastal.

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  62. mh on June 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    I wonder if she could attend via skype?

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  63. Jared on June 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    I assume nearly all of us agree with the principle of divorce. Some marriages need to be dissolved. This allows both parties to pursue their lives as they choose. Divorced isn’t without consequence, especially if children are involved.

    Excommunication from the church is similar in many ways.

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  64. New Iconoclast on June 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    MH says in #54, (1) This is clearly censorship. (2) This is why people try to stay anonymous when disagreeing with church leaders. Anonymity provides the outlet to oppose the leaders’ decisions, without “openly” opposing them.

    I have to disagree, at least in the technical sense, with (1). This is not censorship; both Sis. Kelly and Br. Dehlin are free to say whatever they wish. They are not, however, free to escape the consequences of their public statements. I’ll reiterate here that I’m not familiar with John Dehlin’s work. But OW has put itself fairly openly in opposition to the publically-stated policy of the Church, as I mentioned in #45. I don’t doubt Sister Kelly’s sincerity or her commitment to our shared faith, but in light of her very public statements, I don’t think we can be too surprised. She spoke, and the entirely predictable results are now occurring, just like Mormon gravity.

    I suppose it could be argued that the threat of action has a chilling effect on speech which is akin to censorship, and we’ve seen this in the Church before.

    In re. MH’s (2), yes, this, absolutely. I do admire Kate Kelly’s courage. I’ll say again, especially given her background and life’s work, I can’t help but wonder if she’s hoping for a Birmingham Jail event.

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  65. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    New Iconoclast, the funny thing is I know much more about Dehlin than Kelly. I can’t say I’m surprised about Dehlin. I still don’t think they should kick out John, but John’s case has more evidence of apostasy than Kate, IMO.

    The first definition of censorship according to Google:

    the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.

    The bishop clearly stated in his letter: “you need to make it a private matter and work through this issue with your bishop or branch president.”

    This is obviously “suppressing unacceptable parts.” They are trying to silence Kelly, and if she doesn’t want to be silenced, then she’s out. I don’t see how you can disagree that this isn’t censorship of a member. As a non-member, of course the church can’t censor her, but as a member, of course they are trying to censor her.

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  66. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Jared, You complain about us not quoting scriptures enough here, but you are silent when we have 2 posts in 5 days on the scriptures: Hagar, and Adam and Eve. Why is that? I would think you would be all over those to explain them to us with your obvious superior intellect in the scriptures.

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  67. grrrr.... on June 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    It just bugs me that they get picked on, and hate-mongerers and warlords like Glenn Beck and Cliven Bundy walk around unhindered in Mormon society. You could argue they also teach against mormon doctrine, in a very public manner.

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  68. howard on June 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    The reason for censorship and keeping your questions private is manufactured belief in the unbelievable is a very fragile belief that depends heavily on peer reinforcement to maintain it or it can easily be undone. If they don’t silence the doubters it could easily become an epidemic. Personally I think broadening required belief to something that allows both belief and reason is a better way to go but I think they like the growth numbers for fundamentalist churches and fear a CoC replay so we seem to be stuck with pledging our alliance to nonsense like the historicity of the BoM, etc.

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  69. IDIAT on June 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    MH – Informal probation is “informal” in the sense that it was issued as the result of an interview with KK as opposed to a full blown disciplinary council type of hearing. From the text of the letter, it appears her stake president met with her (together with another president – member of the stake presidency, maybe?) and after some discussion, the informal probation was issued. It’s what I would consider a shot across the bow, a rebuke and warning that her behavior is out of line. Then, if she persists, a formal disciplinary council may be held. I’m not quite clear whether KK is up for formal disciplinary action or not, as often the media does not accurately report things. Is she really up for formal discipline or is this just a reaction to the May 5 meeting, formalized in a May 22 letter, then published at OW on June 11? As for Dehlin, I’ve read what appears to be the letter from his Stake President. Again, many of the commenters should read the letter first before jumping to conclusions. In any event, we don’t know what the final outcomes of the disciplinary councils will be. They can range from no action, probation, disfellowshipment and excommunication. Even if the outcome is not desirable from the participant’s standpoint, he/she can appeal. Maybe by the time this all plays out we’ll have a decision from the USCT on whether state laws prohibiting SSM are constitutional.

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  70. PJ on June 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    From what I’ve seen two things will generate automatic excommunication:
    1. Public criticism of general authorities.
    2. Anything that will potentially divide membership (Cor 1:10)

    With Kelly it appears to be number 2. With John, could be number 1.

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  71. Jared on June 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    #66 MH-see #22 on this thread.

    I won’t add anything about the rest of your comment except–Superior no, well read, possible.

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  72. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    “I’m not quite clear whether KK is up for formal disciplinary action or not…”

    Quoting from the June 8 letter from her bishop, opening paragraph:

    The bishopric is considering formal disciplinary action on your behalf, including the possibility of disfellowshipment or excommunication, on the grounds of apostasy.

    As of now, the disciplinary council is scheduled for Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Vienna Ward Bishop’s Office at the Oakton Virginia Stake Center. Please let me know whether you will be attending in person

    As for Dehlin, I found this LACK of privacy interesting from the Stake President.

    If you desire to have your name removed from Church records, please inform me in writing no later than June 18, 2014. If I do not hear from you by that time, I will assume that you do not desire to avail yourself of this option, and I will proceed to schedule a disciplinary council.

    You should be aware that if you choose to have your name removed from Church records, I feel it is important to make an appropriate announcement to the adults in the stake that you have chosen this option.

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  73. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Jared, What did 22 have to do with Hagar or Adam and Eve? I’d personally love to hear your “well read” opinion.

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  74. Robby on June 12, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    “nones” are those who claim belief in God, but do not officially affiliate with any one faith.

    Kind of like Joseph Smith Jr. and Joseph Smith Sr.

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  75. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    The Mormon Newsroom claims:

    Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.

    “Actions to address a person’s membership and standing in their congregation are convened after lengthy periods of counseling and encouragement to reconsider behavior.

    Yet John received a letter from a stake president he has never met, and has never counseled with. Here’s the SL Trib interview with John and Kate.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogstribtalk/58056967-71/women-mormon-ordain-blogger.html.csp

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  76. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Nathan, I’m not familiar with the story of Annalee Skarin. Can you provide some details?

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  77. Benjamin on June 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    What makes “informal probation” informal is that it is not recorded on the membership record. It is a matter strictly between the bishop and the member. Formal probation, disfellowship, and excommunication all go on the membership record.

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  78. Nathan Whilk on June 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    >76

    She has a Wikipedia page, and there’s a Sunstone article referenced there. I can’t remember if there’s another place I’ve read about her.

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  79. Kristine A on June 12, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    well, I believe my tears have dried. I’ve read every bloggernacle article (except for those from the land of “blogs who shall not be named”) . . . and I’m done. What are the stages of grief again? denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance? Hopefully I’m near the end. Regardless of how much I agreed/disagreed with either of them, I feel I was a part of them and they a part of me – by my mere unorthodox stances and questions. Where to go from here? I’ve already received some censure from my bishop of some of my public comments in the last week. Do I go underground and anonymize myself? I never thought I would fear being myself on the internet… Decisions, decisions . . .

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  80. MRL on June 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Each person in the church is ultimately responsible for their own salvation (with Christ). Many people commenting on and reporting on this situation are somewhat ignorant of the reason why women are not ordained priesthood holders. How can so many (even feminist) women be totally fine with not being ordained priesthood holders? It’s because they know that they have their own influence and power and it is no less important than that of the duties of priesthood holders. Here is an excellent and very educated blog post about priesthood and women. This represents many women’s personal feelings on the issue. http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/2008/12/importance-of-birth.html
    As a faithful member, I take it upon myself to find out what exactly the church teaches and why. Where did the teaching originate from, etc… Members are not encouraged to question what is taught, but they are encouraged not to just follow blindly – to find their own confirmation of what is being preached. If someone does not agree with something that is preached, then they have the freedom to act accordingly, which will not be without its consequences.
    In this situation, we do not know all of the details and many people are making assumptions and judgments, which imo isn’t helpful at all, but detrimental. The connotation that “disciplinary counsel” has in the church and out is definitely misrepresented. The purpose is to assess the situation, and help the person get where they want to go. It is probably thought of as rather BIG because of the support system that the church has been to that person throughout the years and also, if excommunicated, it would take away that person’s ability to serve inside the church in a formal calling.
    Sometimes GA talks are amended, or clarified, because of something that they said in Conference in a way that was misinterpreted, or could be.
    The church is organized because it needs to be. There are many guidelines and resources, and if it was not organized it would not have as much as a positive impact on the world as it has right now. For someone to think that it’s the church’s loss to be loosing members that are only standing up for what they feel is right, is a misunderstood concept. If they were really concerned about numbers and money and resources, they would change what they say and teach about the controversial issues of today to fit where most people stood, which is a byproduct of the moral crisis that our country is facing due to sly and cunning propaganda, and anti-God agendas.
    While the church is concerned about image, they are primarily concerned about keeping the standards and teachings set out by the Savior and about the safety of the members spirits.
    They do not change what they teach and say about these issues because they are based on the teachings of Christ. They are, after all, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And ultimately, the individual is the one who loses or wins, regardless of the decision of the disciplinary counsel, not the church. The church is all about Christ. We believe that Christ is at the head and wants all his sheep in the fold, which does not consist of any wolves. If someone wishes, they may leave the fold at their own risk, but if they are preaching against the teachings that bring beauty, life, safety and peace, perhaps they should be somewhere else doing it. Even if they do feel like what they are doing will bring that, it is not in accordance with what the church believes. Truth is truth, though and Satan is very deceptive. He can make people think that lies are not lies but good truths. We are definitely in a time when it is extremely important to know the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow it with faith.
    We as human beings try our best but are still human and need help from God and our fellow men. I love the teachings of Christ that support this, like, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

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  81. Rigel Hawthorne on June 12, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I do admire Kate Kelly for her respectful approach toward urging inclusion, her eloquence as a leader, and her dogged determination to stay LDS. It seems, however, that when confronted by the media who are documenting her response to the news of a disciplinary council, her invocation of denial is a bit dishonest.

    Huff Post Religion attributes the following to her:

    “Kelly said she was shocked, dismayed and devastated to receive a letter Sunday from the bishop of her congregation in Virginia informing her that a disciplinary hearing had been set for June 22 to discuss the possibility of her ouster. ”

    Is it possible to be ‘shocked’ or ‘dismayed’ when you have already been subject to informal probation with a clear outline of what you need to do to avoid a disciplinary hearing and subsequently reject all elements of that outline? This characterization (if attributed correctly by Huff Post) sends the message that all of this was done in a “sneaky” way. If one moves to another ward in the midst of an ongoing informal probation that can either result in return to fellowship or disciplinary counsel, is it fair to accuse the priesthood leader of a sinister sense of timing in the issuing of a response that was months in the making?

    As I am not in her shoes, I will never know how even in spite of all that advanced warning the sense of shock, dismayal, and devastation hits. It just sounds strikingly cliché compared to others who have dealt with church discipline in the media. They always feign being taken unawares. Can you help me see this in any different light, brothers and sisters?

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  82. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Howard,

    “But it has been picked up by national and international media. …”

    Howard, this is the same media that publishes videos of cats jumping into swimming pools which will get way more hits than this story. it is only important to certain segments of even the Mormon population, not the “Western World”

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  83. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    MH,

    “As for Dehlin, I found this LACK of privacy interesting from the Stake President.”

    Who’s privacy? it wasn’t the SP who published the letter. It’s a pretty standard response when someone sends correspondence about not being contacted by anyone from the Church. Which apparently Dehlin has done, but failed to mention.

    Frankly, if the Church was so interested in going after John they had a million reasons before now to do it.

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  84. howard on June 12, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Jeff,
    I didn’t use the term “Western World” to make this sound like a BIG deal I used it to leave the non-developed world out because they tend toward a more traditional rather than egalitarian view. Yes indeed it is only important to certain segments primarily within the western world.

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  85. howard on June 12, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Sometimes GA talks are amended, or clarified… Yes indeed! See The Elder Poelman Affair

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  86. Mormon Heretic on June 12, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Jeff, we all know that the official church stance is that they do not make any responses to church discipline. So, even if John kept the letter quiet, the Stake President still promised to tell the adult members of the stake. That is inconsistent with the church’s avowed response to keep these things confidential.

    “John failed to mention…” Listen to the Trib interview in the link above. John mentioned it and gave more details.

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  87. hawkgrrrl on June 12, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    MRL: “How can so many (even feminist) women be totally fine with not being ordained priesthood holders? It’s because they know that they have their own influence and power and it is no less important than that of the duties of priesthood holders.” So ludicrous, the idea that motherhood = priesthood. I’m not seeking ordination because I don’t want more responsibility. Oddly, the church likewise wants women to be less invested than men. Fine by me. But as a person with a lot of leadership experience, I know that driving disengagement means your organization isn’t great. That’s fine. I’m not leading this one. It’s just pretty clear that leaders see women as fundamentally completely different from men in ways that we aren’t.

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  88. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    MH,

    “That is inconsistent with the church’s avowed response to keep these things confidential.”

    Not at all. For high profile folks, the Church will sometimes let various parties know that a certain action has been taken. In fact, in the past, excommunications were routinely announced to the adult members. They were even published in the Improvement Era.

    Having been in one of those announcements, I assume (and hope, if it become necessary) that it will be done as discretely as possible given John’s standing in the Bloggernacle.

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  89. howard on June 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    JD and KK video interview on Trib Talk Published on Jun 12, 2014 01:06PM

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  90. hawkgrrrl on June 12, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Buzzfeed declares the Mormon Moment is over: “The Mormon Moment ends in two ways. First, from a media perspective, excommunicating thought leaders like Kelly and Dehlin will mean getting rid of some of the people who have made Mormonism interesting. This means there’s simply less to report on.

    After Kelly and Dehlin revealed their pending punishments, Mormonism suddenly seems less cool and diverse. That may or may not matter to church leaders, but it’s certainly a shift from the type of public image the church had in 2012 at the height of the Mormon Moment.”

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  91. howard on June 12, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Collective Punishment???
    Kate’s parents were called in released from their callings and asked for their temple recommends.

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  92. mh on June 12, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    It will be interesting to seeif others with profiles in ordain women get the same treament as Kelly’s parents.

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  93. MRL on June 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    I don’t feel disengaged at all, but rather quite overly engaged as my children and church callings seem to keep me hopping like a bunny. As the priesthood and motherhood are not above or below one another, I do believe that, in a sense, they are equal.

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  94. MRL on June 12, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    I don’t feel disengaged at all, but rather I feel almost overly engaged as my church callings and my children keep me hopping. Since motherhood and priesthood are not considered above or below one another, I do believe that, in a sense, they are equal.

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  95. Jeff Spector on June 12, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    After listening to the video, I have a sense of impending martyrdom.

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  96. alice on June 12, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    #91 “Kate’s parents were called in released from their callings and asked for their temple recommends.

    How do you know this? Why was it done? Is it the same bishop? Was there some justification on their own parts or is this punitive because of Kate’s activities?

    The threat over Kate is chilling. If there isn’t abundant reason for interfering with her parents that would be beyond shattering.

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  97. howard on June 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    alice,
    Kate mentioned this during the video interview linked in #89.

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  98. howard on June 13, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    After taking a look around the bloggernacle for the last 24 hours I honestly think the brethren have miscalculated and made a very serious tactical error. The membership of the church has grown well beyond what the brethren can encircle their arms around and pretend to control, well beyond what they describe as the borders of the tent. Two thirds of those they proudly count as members live their lives outside beyond those boundaries and many within the chapels have serious doubts but remain active while in painful cognitive dissonance because of the social and cultural costs of leaving.

    Once upon a time the Nauvoo Expositor posed a serious threat and that threat was quickly destroyed. But how may virtual Nauvoo Expositors exist today with their own circulation already in place? Many! And many more! Reason has been bumped against the folklore the correlated church teaches with a straight face causing the TBM heads to nod in smiling agreement Sunday after Sunday and the outcome has been summarized and bumped against the new gentler, kinder and more honest apologetics and that outcome has been summarized and the summaries are now ready for publication and are being published as we speak. Take a tour around the bloggernace and using the excommunication story as an example look at how quickly and thoroughly this media can spring into action, they can put up the equivalent in words to a General Conference complete with video interviews and podcasts in a matter of a few hours! The church is no where near as nimble or prolific. The church is now surrounded by reason and in spite of their great media holdings outgunned as are it’s apologists! The church is now seriously threatened not by apostates but by it’s own lies and spin.

    Pay attention to the articles put up in the last 24 hrs. it appears the gloves are coming off. Truth is beginning to offset the spiritual sting of excommunication (the spirit doesn’t leave), but the the social and cultural costs still remain high but those costs are a large part of the motivation driving bloggernacle truth. The church would be wise to reverse course and ally with the the substantial media it has alienated and embrace a bigger more inclusive tent or it appears the Q12 survivors will soon be left with quite a mess.

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  99. Rich Brown on June 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    When I first started following this blog (and other LDS-related ones) I wondered why just about everybody used a pseudonym. Now it’s obvious why, and I’m sorry so many are cautious (fearful?) of expressing thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in an open forum. Yet I know the Spirit of Christ is active in your midst. Hang on for what could be a rough ride.

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  100. howard on June 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    KUTV interview: Dehlin suspectsLDS apostles behind his possible ouster

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  101. howard on June 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    ABC News: Two Mormons Threatened with Excommunication

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  102. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    MRL, motherhood and fatherhood are equal. A crack whore can become a mother by having sex with a drunk sperm donor, all done without any sort of priesthood. Church membership is no prerequisite to gaining priesthood or motherhood. Were you not aware of how babies are made?

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  103. Richard Redick on June 13, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    It really surprises me that in 184 years of existence, the LDS Church has not come up with a better manner to handle members with questions, with doubts, or members with ideas on how to improve the Church. One would think that a Church that has a goal of reaching every last honest-in-heart person out there (today, tomorrow, and forever), the LDS Church would be the most progressive and diverse of institutions.

    1) For starters: Disciplinary councils are inappropriate for those going through a faith crisis involving church history. At least questions of punishment and of severing ties must be completely off of the table. When one is raised on the Mormon folklore, and builds her/his life around the Church and its accompanying folklore, and, then, discovers that not all that is called history is factual, even though it is faithful…..Well, an intense, consuming case of mental/emotional/spiritual indigestion sets-in. A physician or a nurse is more needed than a jail cell, or a gallows.

    2) Let’s cut the whom God calls, God qualifies “mollifier.” I have had numerous bishops (and stake presidents) share with me that God did not prepare them for the unique challenges of their callings & congregations, either before their service of bishop, nor during. These same men did share with me experiences sacred to them when inspiration did come, but they also shared with me that there were times they needed special inspiration for situations that they were at a complete loss regarding, and none came. I don’t think we can perfect the saints unless/until we recognize that the Church is much larger than its leaders. Sometimes the inspiration that bishop will need may come from a member of the HP group leadership, or a member of the RS presidency, and not from some bit of inspiration that comes while kneeling beside his desk in prayer. And, sometimes the inspired bit of wisdom may come from a sister in his ward who attends about once a month, has especial experience with a matter the bishop is facing/dealing with. A ward and a stake is like a pot of stew. All the flavors have to meld. That chemistry is guided by the cook, but it happens whether the cook wants it to or not. When the ingredients are combined, and the heat applied for a time, the cook cannot tell the ingredients to not meld their flavors right now, because he forgot to add the onion, and carrots. if the cook gets distracted on a long phone call, and the stew burns, is the appropriate solution to remove all of the burned meat and dispose of it, and pronounce the stew “saved,” and serve it? No, if the pot of stew is ruined, it is ruined. It must all be tossed, or dad serves it anyway, and says, “Sorry kids. I screwed-up. I burned your dinner. Please forgive me. I will do better next time, etc” He does not blame those ingredients for not being obedient enough. As the leader, he admits to those he serves, “There has been a failure, and it is mine.” Just as dads can ruin a good pot of stew, bishops and stake presidents and Apostles can ruin the Church, despite what “qualification” they may have received from Deity.

    I pray they don’t. John Dehlin and Kate Kelly are the tip of a large ice berg. When that many members are “out of alignment” there is something wrong with the process prescribed by management. it is not individual rebelliousness. This is basic quality control measurement stuff. Geez!

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  104. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Interesting excert from Rational Faiths:

    According to the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI 1 page 126) Only the First Presidency can put a hold on records of a member of the church.

    “Membership records include members’ names and addresses, as well as ordinance and other vital information. The ward should have a membership record for each member living within the ward boundaries. Membership records are to be kept in the ward in which the member lives. Exceptions, which should be few, require the consent of the bishops and stake presidents involved and the approval of the Office of the First Presidency. ”

    Local leaders must have approval of the Office of the First Presidency. So was the Church Newsroom misleading everyone when they said “…In these rare cases, local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters” OR were they just misinformed? Or did Kate’s Bishop and Stake President go rogue and not get the approval for the Office of the First Presidency?

    I have a hard time believing that this Stake President would take on such a public figure as Kate Kelly without getting guidance from his leaders. Also in Kate’s case she already called a general authority, Donald L. Hallstrom about her moving her records. She was told that he couldn’t move her records, which means that the First Presidency approved of this action.

    See http://rationalfaiths.com/kate-kellys-membership-records-held/

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  105. Naismith on June 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Howard, this may come as a surprise, but I’m guessing that 99% of the folks in my ward have never heard of Kate Kelly.

    And no, those of us who understand the church’s actions (which began months ago in all cases, apparently) are not mindlessly all nodding because we are too stupid to figure out what is “really” going on. Any chance that we could tone down the polemic just a tad? Perhaps in the interest of setting a good example for all sides?

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  106. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    I must agree with Naismith. Most people in my ward have no idea who John Dehlin or Kate Kelly are (even if they have heard of Ordain Women.)

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  107. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Ziff’s post is pretty awesome.

    The Ninth Article of Faith can pretty much be blotted out of the canon. As of 1842, there may have been “great and important” things still to be revealed. As of 2014, they have all been revealed, and we have no need of addressing new questions or receiving new revelation.

    Jesus has been overruled. He said we should ask, seek, and knock. He was out of line. Asking is apostasy. The new rule is that your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him, so shut up!

    Our God is a Correlated God. We don’t even need to limit ourselves to looking to scripture or prophets’ statements now to see the will of God.

    See http://zelophehadsdaughters.com/2014/06/12/dont-ask-dont-seek-dont-knock/

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  108. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    According to Lori Burkman, Ordain Women is considered an apostate group by “the brethren.”

    On the evening of December 12th, 2013, my Bishop and his First Counselor came to my house and told me that they had set a date the following week for an official disciplinary council, the first step toward excommunication, for my advocating for the equality for women in the LDS church and supporting Ordain Women. I could attend the court if I wished, but if I chose not to they would hold it on my behalf in my absence. I had spoken privately with my bishop about these matters and concerns prior, but it was the fact that I wrote two blog posts about it on my personal blog (here and here) and shared it where people could see it that caused him to action. I don’t even have a profile with OW, but he said just advocating for them and publicly sharing feminist views were enough to warrant disciplinary attention. He also said that the Area Authority specifically named Ordain Women as an apostate group and that my advocating for them and agreement with their goals in and of itself was grounds for an official court. He confirmed to me time and time again that evening that his hands were tied, this was coming from above him, and that it had been previously concluded by the entire Bishopric that this was the appropriate action for me.

    See http://rationalfaiths.com/courted-out-of-mormonism/

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  109. Brian on June 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    MH-thanks for posting those things. Nice to have an unpaid research department.

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  110. Mormon Heretic on June 13, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Rock Waterman and Tim Malone commented on the SCMC’s role in recent events. Denver Snuffer also weighed in. See http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/whats-lds-panels-role-mormon-disciplinary-actions-11952.shtml

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  111. JordanianMormon on June 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    It is sad that any member of the church is excommunicated. I do not believe that these two individuals should receive any ill feelings from members of the church because of this.
    I don’t know anything about Kate or her statements, but I do know about John. Many people on this site have suggested that John attests he “loves the church” but has concerns so why excommunicate him? I will tell you….John actively counseled members that Joseph Smith was not a Prophet, that the Book of Mormon was just a story and that Prophets of the latter-days do not receive revelation. I know this for certain. He counseled my brother, his wife, their children and their closest friends of this. They have left the church on this counsel…
    Even Satan would say he loves God and the church to get people to go astray. Excommunication and disfellowshiping are tools to help people grow. Those who truly love God, will GROW closer to him. Those who don’t well GROW farther away.

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  112. hawkgrrrl on June 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    JordanianMormon: I do feel for your pain at the loss of a family member. My own sister left the church due to the Godmakers in the 1980s. John’s opinions are John’s alone. Just because he says something doesn’t mean that it is what led others to agree with him. Each of us has to draw our own conclusions and be responsible for the same. If we want to start that game of “who has led more people to leave the church,” obviously, church leaders themselves over time have a higher body count than any John Dehlin ever could because they are prominent galvanizing figures.

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  113. brjones on June 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    With god nothing is impossible…except countering the irresistible sophistries of John Dehlin. Lol.

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  114. […] move is going to convince a lot of people to leave the CoJCoL-dS, especially young women. One of the reasons people are leaving religion in general is the fact that organized religion is seen as hypocritical and […]

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  115. […] fear that current LDS leadership is repeating the errors of the past in trying to discipline Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, and Rock Waterman (although John has posted on Facebook that his stake president has asked to meet with him to […]

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  116. […] leaders sought. I fear that current LDS leadership is repeating the errors of the past in trying to discipline Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, and Rock Waterman (although John has posted on Facebook that his stake president has asked to meet with him to […]

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  117. New Iconoclast on June 16, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    MH, re. 108: Reading Lori Burkman’s post, she goes on to say that “the Brethren” apparently don’t consider OW an apostate group – “yet”. Seems that one anonymous Area Authority overstepped his limits and bumped a bishop.

    However, if Kate Kelly goes down, I have to think – based on very clear statements and criteria I’ve laid out before – that any open supporter of OW is fair game should area or local leaders decide to go for it.

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  118. Meg Stout on June 17, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    This comment thread was an interesting read. Howard surely does post a lot.

    Facts I think I garnered:

    Kate moved away from Vienna after May 5th. At any rate, I know she was still in the DC area in late April when I snapped a photo of Kate and Claudia Bushman with Kate’s phone.

    Kate’s records were frozen in Virginia, since the informal probation began in Virginia.

    Most of you don’t have the courage to post under your own names. I understand there can be fear. But I’m with John Hancock – if someone is going to come after me, I wouldn’t want them going after the wrong individual. Besides, people in hoods or wearing masks sometimes say or do things they wouldn’t do if their faces were known. And people with hidden faces can be vilified, the way Church members often vilify Cornelius Lott, knowing him only as the company captain who urged Mary Fielding Smith to remain in Winter Quarters (the fellow who got delayed wrangling storm-frightened horses on the final approach to Salt Lake Valley while Mary Fielding Smith and her animals plodded past, arriving first in the valley).

    No one else seems to obsess regarding John Dehlin’s frequent mis-use of the English language. Grammar, man. Grammar. Years ago I was corresponding with him, talking about helping him on the Mormon Stories podcasts. I think the shared files are still showing up in my dropbox… Who knows, perhaps if my husband and I had gotten involved in Mormon Stories, it might not have veered off to a place where John was disavowing his faith.

    I kind of hope Salt Lake is keeping a record of my electronic musings since the early 1990s. Heaven knows I don’t have a complete record.

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