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Ex-LDS official's case is dropped by court

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  • arlynn
    Sept. 26, 2009 6:38 p.m.

    I always felt a kinship to
    Brother Lee, I still do. It is my prayer that he
    repents & comes back into the Lord's church. His
    talk on "
    Beauty all around" at
    BYU Lamanite week was truly beautiful.

  • Hostiin Biligahna
    March 2, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    I served with George Lee as a missionary in the then Southwest Indian Mission. We were even companions for a short time. I always admired him for his enthusiasm, his very bright mind and his commitment. I was thrilled when he became a general authority and wrote to him to congratulate him. I sympathize with him for his difficulties and hope that he is well. I know how it is to make mistakes. I hope that someday all whom he might have offended will forgive him for it is a wonderful feeling for all involved. George- If you see this, know that I still regard you as a friend.
    Sincerely, Omer W. Whitman, Ph.D. (Retired psychologist)

  • Harold K.
    Oct. 13, 2008 5:52 p.m.

    I agree with cjp. Let the man alone. He was once a great man and leader. Look at positive things he had done prior to the problem. It always seem to amaze me that when a man is down we quickly move away. We focused only on the negatives. What Christ-like behavior we have displayed. For those who have lost our Christ-like principles we will all answer to Him at the last day and no one else just as Mr. Lee. There is no escaping it no matter how many time you attend Sunday services you still have to answer to Him. Enjoy your own personal and private apostasy on earth.

  • Dianne
    June 18, 2008 9:09 p.m.

    I am an ex-Mormon who was excommunicated at my request. It was not a result of any perceived sin. I simply did not believe the doctrine and requested that my name be removed. In those days (1985) the Mormon church would not just remove ones name. Instead, at my request, I was kicked out. I understand that it is a much easier process now, since someone sued the church over the name removing process. So "Don't call me sister! Surgery removed me from your pew."

  • Lamed
    March 24, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    Well perhaps the Lord had something to do with his massive stroke to keep in line after defying children's bodies. He has been lamed for a reason.

  • Naha
    March 24, 2008 10:46 p.m.

    Mr Lee was incapacitated by a massive stroke several years ago. His health problems are are both real and serious.

    Even so, he should have complied with his legal obligation to be listed on the sex offender registry. Having done that he is in full compliance with the law.

    Evidently the courts have determined he is minimal risk to reoffend and is "safe" enough to be in the community.

  • Anonymous
    March 24, 2008 6:11 p.m.

    I have NO pity for these kind of men. I DON'T CARE WHO THEY ARE!!! I do however, feel extremely sorry for the children robbed of their childhood innocents.

    Some of you people on this post have some very sick minds. I hope the authority's catch you BOW-WOWS too!

  • hey
    March 24, 2008 4:32 p.m.

    the dude use to take the pillow and put it in front of his daughter while he attempted to molest her underage friend!All this according to what came out in the media! Duh...I would say there were some shenanigans going through his portals...it isn't about race ..it is the ACT!! I had a daughter that age and i would have acted on him with out prejudice!

  • Homey don't play that
    March 24, 2008 4:04 p.m.

    To Rich, your so right , now you can pass go! As a native who is not a member , I can only say let the brother be, please! He was definitly touched by the spirits that be both from the church, his heritage, culture and troubled mind. We natives all pray for him from our ceremonies in the sweat and know that one day he will find enlightenment. We hate belittle or hate him not. He stood as a representative against Russel Means and Dennis Banks during the American Indian Movement at the time of Spencer Kimballs reign. He was recieved and respected then just as he is now. So many are quick to judge yet there are reasons beyond us as human beings that challenge each of us to heed what scriptures, beliefs, emotions call upon us to do toward other human beings. And that seems to be the challenge issued to us along our own journeys because we don't know exactly what will befall us , so we best pray for help!

  • Sex Offender Registry?
    March 24, 2008 3:52 p.m.

    *Cough, cough!* But I have a cold! *Cough* Don't you know that sick people never abuse children while they're feeling under the weather, officer? I'm harmless as a lamb. A sick lamb. Okay, I'll register.

  • Alex
    March 24, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    You would think that God would tell his "Prophet" that one of the leaders was abusing children. Maybe even a "whispering of the spirit?" Maybe God was playing golf on Kolob that day?

  • CaptainK
    March 24, 2008 2:39 p.m.

    As it is a matter of public record, I will attempt to write what I remember reading about in the Deseret News several years ago, concerning George Lee's crime. Hopefully this will clear up confusion about it.
    Lee was in a trusted position over a young girl, approximately 12 years old. This girl was his daughter's best friend, and a daughter of friends who had moved from the state. She was staying with the Lee family for a time, visiting her best friend, and her trusted general authority father (Lee). Lee began to have "feelings" for the girl. During a camping trip, Lee took a hike. When he came back, he told the young, and very impressionable girl that he had prayed to God, and received revelation that the girl was to be given to him somehow. He subsequently sexually assaulted the girl. The "attempted" part of his conviction was more than likely the result of a plea. "Elder" Lee thought he knew more than the Brethren, and look where he ultimately ended up.

  • Come on folks!
    March 24, 2008 1:47 p.m.

    Look here people! Quit feeling sorry for the perpetrator. Y'all sound like perhaps you are perpetrators as well. Just because a guy is a GA in the L D S church doesn't mean you go around feeling sorry for his heinous crime. Feel sorry for the victims you idiots!

  • Jake
    March 24, 2008 1:40 p.m.

    To in the interest of clarity: You have a good spirit about you and I hope you seriously reconsider your situation and come back to full activity in the Church. You'll be glad you did.



    As for George P. Lee, his General Conference talks were some of the best talks I've ever heard. How sad, how very sad, that he ended up doing what he did. He's definitely a different man than what he used to be.

  • socalmon
    March 24, 2008 12:13 a.m.

    Whether George P. Lee was involved in this type of sexual crime, or that, (and in this case, the especially horrible case of child molestation), it involved a very unrighteous type of power over another person.
    Instead of a scripture quote, maybe we can throw out a quote from the former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, "power is the ultimate aphrodesiac." Members of the Church are not exempt, whether American Indian, Scandanavian, Welsh, Hispanic, or whatever.
    I believe very strongly that the demons got the best of George P. Lee, and then he rationalized his way into apostasy, like several others in Church history.
    I am positive that the Lamanite people will have more great leaders to replace him and to lift the banner of light to a great and noble lineage. I will also continue to pray for George P. Lee.

  • Anonymous
    March 23, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    LDS people are so easily duped into believing in the greatness and righteousness of one of their leaders.

    But then they as easily and as quickly abandon one of their own who falls from grace - because they don't believe in Jesus' grace!

    This case of Brother Lee reveals the true spirit of the LDS people: harsh, unforgiving, judgmental, and elitist. Compare that with the Pharisees of Jesus' day!

  • Robert
    March 23, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    Th HMMMM, it is a plastic society more than half the people are in the same boat as you are, if you like the jello and testimony travel logs, hang around there really isn't much there that will hurt you, on the other hand if you make changes that may be an opportunity for a growth experience, there are a lot of good people, churchs and other associations out there.

  • cjp
    March 23, 2008 12:34 p.m.

    It's been 15+ years --- why can't we just leave him alone ????

  • Make it a felony
    March 23, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    Failure to register as a sex offender, is only a class A misdemeanor?

    It should be a felony with mandatory jail time.

    Then maybe we would have a better sex offender registry in this state and nation.

  • Anonymous
    March 23, 2008 8:51 a.m.

    I love this comment from HMMMM.

    "I'm just curious, I've been questioning things in the church for sometime and I may be losing my testimony. I'm still in good standing and I hold callings and keep my views to myself. I still know there is a lot of good in the church and it's not my job to tell others if I no longer believe it's true. I don't want to leave at this point, should I be excommunicated in your opinion?"

    PLEASE REMEMBER, it is likely not the church you are questioning, but rather men/women within the church trying to explain & teach things of God, things which most men/women do not fully understand themselves!
    There is trueth found within the teachings every religion, as well as falsehoods, some mis-guided teachings.
    Those that truely understand the ways of God are few. Even fewer are those that can articulate and teach and explain those things in a way that others will understand.

  • David
    March 23, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    John B,

    If you have sex with your wife when she says "not tonight," it is rape. No means no.

  • So Sad
    March 23, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    So sad that his life has taken this downward spiral. Hope he can pull it together.

    Never heard of a general authority running around telling people his calling and election has been made sure.

    Just because we who are active in the Church does not mean we are yes people. I have tried and proved the truth of the Gospel. When the Spirit tells you it is true that is something which you do not forget. You may not act on it, but you do not forget it.

    Open dissension among the leaders will tear an organization apart quicker than any critcism from the outside. Elder Lee was given many chances to change his position and chose not to do it.

    How silly and immature of the outsider to criticize how an organization runs its affairs.

    jph1223 is correct on what was happening with him.

  • David
    March 23, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    This really is not a church topic, it's a criminal topic. Not only was a crime committed, but a SECOND crime...that of not registering as an offender a class A misdemeanor that was dropped. The topic of the church only came up because of the status Lee once held within the church. It seems that many cannot seem to wrap their heads around the fact that one can appear religious and inspiring while also harboring vulgar thoughts and desires, sometimes acting out upon those. While many of you are quick to forgive, please google "attempted child sex abuse." Then ask yourself how quickly you would forgive if you or your child were the victim. The necessity of sites like: child-abuse-effect dot is interesting read to put perspective into the conversation.

    I am happily-exLDS, but I still vaguely recall something about millstones and children.

  • Anonymous
    March 22, 2008 10:52 p.m.

    I can not believe what i just read. Are you kinding anyone who has or even considering taking advantage of a young one should not be considerd a religous individual, get over the talks, thats what they do to the young is manipulate them, please he should be incacerated where he can not hurt or dream of other young people. Who cares were he was in the church quoreem of the seventy or whatever wake up. Would you trust your kids with him, not. He should be castrated and locked up forget his medical issues that's crap. I bet there is more

  • John b
    March 22, 2008 6:43 p.m.

    I forgive brother lee and have have 389 more times to forgive him . to the rest of you you all want to be right but some of you are wrong and no man can say who just as no one can say when or from where or when Christ will come we just want to be ready when he does so rember forgive 70x7 also to get on the regestrey (sorry about the spelling) all you have to do is try to have sex with your wife after she tells you not tonight that is rape

  • Rick
    March 22, 2008 6:03 p.m.

    I have clear recollections of Lee before and after his legal and church problems. He was truly a great man. It was sad then and still is today. We each fall short, in our own ways, because of our rationalizations. He is not the first or last to make wrong choices and needs our prayers.
    In response to an earlier post, I agree and have long hoped for Larry Echohawk to be called as a GA. I knew him personally in Pocatello and the people of Idaho made a serious error in not supporting him in higher elective office.

  • CHUCKBLUE
    March 22, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    When will you people understand that there is not a one true church? It is all political and corporation like. Feel sorry for those in trouble with the law for various reasons. I do not feel sorry for the so called pharisees of Utah. I say it again, watching from your fruits, no medical insurance for the poor, no strong labor laws, etc. etc. there is not true church. Christ is the only way, true and light and life of this world. He will not call from Salt Lake City. That is a truth.

  • Re:Re Hmmmmm
    March 22, 2008 1:47 p.m.

    I'm just curious, I've been questioning things in the church for sometime and I may be losing my testimony. I'm still in good standing and I hold callings and keep my views to myself. I still know there is a lot of good in the church and it's not my job to tell others if I no longer believe it's true. I don't want to leave at this point, should I be excommunicated in your opinion?

  • concerned in midvale
    March 22, 2008 1:18 p.m.

    So carl: all of thoes illegal immigrants (child preditors) that have driven our numbers in the countrys sex crimes to the top,that the church has convinced our state to be lax in the laws for, so that it can get a few more members and some more money, are not liberal democratics. They will be republicans like the rest of you who blindly follow.

  • Frederick of Logan
    March 22, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    To "As an inactive member!" Please accept my sincere apology!

  • lewis
    March 22, 2008 11:54 a.m.

    While Brother Lee was general authority and mission authority I served as branch president on the Navajo Reservation. Brother Lee was guest guest speaker during out branch conference. Normally 10-15 people came, but during the conference 300 people came to hear him speak. He spoke first in Navajo and then in English. He gave a great talk. I am thankful that he came and spent time with us. I appreciate the fact that he dedicated our business while he served in the area. If he ever comes through this area again I would be proud if he would stop and have dinner with us. I would love to see him again.

  • Spektator
    March 22, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    I agree and I wish King Benjamin would have stayed around and not moved to Nepal.

  • Spektator
    March 22, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    Pride is a terrible thing. Having watched the whole George P. Lee episode transpire, I fear that pride and ego was an issue on both sides of this situation. Sometimes, when one lives in a multi million dollar penthouse or on a lake in Sandy, you can easily loose the perspective of how a spiritual leader is supposed to conduct themselves. King Benjamin and the twelve disciples understood it and the kingdom of God flourished. Having read Lee's letters, he did have some legitimate points. Did he do what he was accused of? Did his accuser get a payoff for testifying? Only God can judge.

  • DCnTN
    March 22, 2008 7:15 a.m.

    I have a son who has OCD. He manifests it in saying the same thing over and over. As a teen he used to come to church week after week and talk about how fat all the girls in the ward were. Some people couldn't see he was obviously troubled. Many were angry at me, and asked me, "Can't you control him?"

    For my son's sake I didn't want to announce to the world that he'd been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

    It always amazed me that some intelligent and educated people could only see his behaviour in terms of morality, and had no clue that he had a dysfunctional brain. Ironic thing is that his troubles were clear as day to some blue collar high school dropouts. I finally realized that the kind and compassionate were the ones most likely to see the true picture.

    I don't know Elder Lee, never met him, but I'll reserve judgement on both his issues with the church and with the law. I prefer to give Lee, LDS leadership and law enforcement the benefit of the doubt.

  • Debz
    March 22, 2008 3:54 a.m.

    So many here seem to have completely missed what the article is actually about, and it is nothing to do with being forgiven for apostasy from the church. The crux of the matter is: George P. Lee is a sex offender who was charged with, and admitted to, touching the breast of a 12 year old girl in 1994. Naturally, she was traumatised as there was more to the case than what was reported in this article. He can now be found on the Utah Sex Offenders Registry. The background to this case can be found in the archives of several Utah newspapers.

  • Answers
    March 21, 2008 7:43 p.m.

    To Anonymous at 11:09AM: You should pick another forum. Try finding someone who did not sin, who left the church and you have your point. You have chosen the wrong forum when you say "self righteous Mormons" are just trying to attack someone for leaving the church by justifying that they were a sinner, if in fact he is a sinner, loses your argument.

    To In the interest of Clarity: I understand your message and feel for your "complicated" dilemna. However, Joseph Smith and many many leaders since made it clear that by not going forward one is in some state of apostacy. By not going forward one is going backward. There is no resting in limbo. No treading water. No running in place. Hopefully you can find a way to be actively engaged in the church and the gospel instead of sliding away. You are probably not lost. Get involved,there are people who need you!

  • lovesaltlake
    March 21, 2008 5:56 p.m.

    I think it is very sad that Mr. Lee was not able to overcome his problems. It is especially sad because he was native american and as such was really breaking ground for all non-white people in the leadership ranks of the LDS church.
    I am sad for the girl that was permanently scared for life by his alleged abuse or attempted abuse.
    I'm sad for all native americans who had placed so much trust and faith in Mr. Lee. We don't live in a perfect world and people are free to make mistakes. I hope that Mr. Lee has found some peace in his life and that he has been able to get the help he needs to overcome his issues.

  • In the interest of Clarity
    March 21, 2008 5:26 p.m.

    I don't know what George Lee did/did not do or why he left/was excommunicated from the LDS Church. My comment is for "Frederick of Logan". I think you may have confused "Inactive Member" with someone else. He or She was AGREEING with the decisions/actions of the LDS Church leaders. He or She said nothing of "know[ing] more about the Church than the leaders." You may want to read over the comments again and re-issue yours to the correct recipient. I think it's important to distinguish between 'inactive' and 'apostate'. I know a little about this as I am one (inactive) but certainly not the other. I do not "know the Church is wrong." On the contrary, I have a deep and enduring testimony of many doctrines and principles, a hope that I may gain a testimony of others and a knowledge that I, alone, am responsible to account for my beliefs and behaviors before the Father and Son. Inactivity, at least in my case, is not an indication that one hates or condemns the Church, believes it untrue or disagrees with the leaders at any level. It's complicated, but it's not 'apostacy'. Please understand the difference.

  • Rich
    March 21, 2008 5:17 p.m.

    Nobody is perfect -- not George Lee, not Paul H. Dunn, not President Benson, not President Hinckley, not President Monson and especially not a single commentator in deseretnews.com. Yet you cannot publicly disclaim church doctrine and expect to remain a member in good standing. Regardless of Lee's potential and callings, he obviously made some serious mistakes. I hope to see him on the other side as a repentant and forgiven soul, ready for the challenges of the next life. For that matter, I hope to find myself there.

  • John - to DLA
    March 21, 2008 5:16 p.m.

    It really bugs me when people try to do away with the sex offender registry because "I knew someone who slapped a girl's but and was placed on it and it ruined his life". Of course this is bunk. Those who get on the registry were CONVICTED of serious sex crimes. By the way, most of the crimes that appear on the registry were plea-bargained down - their actual crimes were worse than those listed.

  • Mrs. Jones
    March 21, 2008 2:17 p.m.

    To "Inactive Member": I completely agree with your comments. It is the right of the church to release any person of authority that has fallen out of line in representing it appropriately. I don't know exactly why the decision was made, or what discussions happened behind closed doors, but obviously Church leaders felt that George P. Lee was not behaving in a way that was fitting for his position.
    If a person gets fired in thier job, they may disagree with the reasons, but it does not take away the fact that the employer has the right to make that decision. Likewise, the Church has the right to make sure thier leaders are accurately reprenting it's beliefs and doctrines.
    To "Dev": Scripture does not say 'don't ever judge' it says to 'judge righteously'. If he was sexually molesting children (and I dont know if he was) it is appropriate to say "That is NOT ok" and deal with the issue. That scripture does not mean we shouldnt judge, it means that we need to make sure we are not being hypcrites when we DO judge. Read full context of scripture.

  • Mike R.
    March 21, 2008 12:49 p.m.

    A good contrast is two photos. His "Official" General Authority photo, and his photo after his excommunication. The first shows light and spirit. The second shows shadow and gloom. The difference between having the Holy Ghost before, and not having it after.

    I would hope that someday he gets back into the Church.

  • Elder Lee
    March 21, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    I think it's cool that his Calling and Election was made sure.

    He was a trailblazer for the lord, and it seems to have mentally been too much.

    Calling and Election might have been the perfect thing for his eternal salvation.

  • Judy
    March 21, 2008 11:42 a.m.

    I will be so glad when Jesus returns!

  • Frederick of Logan
    March 21, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    To "As an inactive member I like to think I love all people but there are those who I find difficult to love and those are the people who believe they know more about the Church than the leaders. You are one of those. I have met a few who vehemently express that they know that the Church is wrong just because they don't believe some things about its teachings and you will never find the truth as long as you are inactive. I love you my brother. Come back to activity and feel the Spirit once again.

  • Anonymous
    March 21, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    They dropped the charges because they have no case.

    Self-righteous Mormons are just trying to attack George Lee because he left the Church. The only way they can justify in their own minds that a General Authority would leave the Church is if he was a sinner. They cannot tolerate the possibility that someone left the Church because they learned that the Church is not true!

  • Los Angeles
    March 21, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    Sexual abuse acusations are now what being called a communist was back in the day. I think we need to be a little more forgiving, understanding and compasionate towards one another. Lets be a lot less judgmental people.

  • DLA
    March 21, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    I don't know anything about George P. Lee. My concern is his sexual offense is not clear. I looked him up in the registry and it said it was "Attempted" sexual abuse of a child. What did he attempt to do? Also he has one account and is not a repeat offender. I was sexually abused as a child no one attempted to commit sexual abuse I was actually made to do sexual acts. I want to know who the real abusers are. We have to be careful when looking at these files. One man had sex with his girlfriend and because he was over eighteen and she wasn't he is a registered sex offender the girl's father was angry but the father thought the law went overboard. This young man had ambitions that he can no longer attain because of this registry. There is also a story of two twelve year old boys who are registered sex offenders for slapping a girl on the buttocks. Their lives are also ruined. I know what sexual abuse is and this is not sexual abuse. Give me the facts and I want proof.

  • Costanza
    March 21, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    I'm a little confused when people talk about what "happened" to Lee. What happened is that he chose to try and have sex with a child and he is now paying the civil penalties.

  • Ron K
    March 21, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    I loved Elder Lee's general conference talks. They were very warm and kind hearted and I felt the spirit at that time when he spoke. I'm heart broken at what has happened to him. I wish him and his family the best! Hopefully he can recover from his health problems and the other serious problems in his life!

  • Shocked
    March 21, 2008 9:07 a.m.

    Why is it that everything comes down to race, be it Native American, African American, Hispanic or White man. Does it really matter in this day and age? Who is small minded enough in today's society that the color of one's skin is really a factor? I am so tired of every crime being classed to the color of your skin. Grow up people, we are Americans here act like it. The days of racial slurs are done, in many cities the minority is not the majority. We are no longer African American, Hispanic American, Scandanavian American blah blah blah, we are Americans period.

  • Conejo
    March 21, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    I love how urban legends turn into scripture. The funny thing is people who have never read the scriptures usually claim to know the most about them. In reality they heard something from someone who listened to someone once who said it. I don't know how many times I have heard people say something is in scripture and when I ask them where they can't show it to me.

  • ed
    March 21, 2008 6:42 a.m.

    Elder George P. Lee was a tremendous individual in the Church in the late seventies. I feel sorry for him and hope that he is able to repent and return to the fold.

  • am
    March 21, 2008 5:40 a.m.

    Re: Scripture fulfillment

    A Lamanite will rise up in church leadership? Where does it say that? What scriptures are you reading?

  • Phillip C. Smith
    March 21, 2008 3:03 a.m.

    I believe we should feel sorry and be forgiving for what happened to George P. Lee. He is a child of God like the rest of us. He is loved.

    I hope that sometime he can do as we must all do, and that is humble ourselves before God, repent of our sins and seek forgiveness.

    I love this Church that encourages me to learn all I can. I have never received any criticism, in fact have been encouraged to explore and seek answers. The late Elder Neal A. Maxwell, one of my heroes, told me years ago that I could bring up any issue I wanted to discuss with him. Of course, it is important to discuss issues and raise questions in a respectful way, and be willing to admit that we may be wrong in our views. What is important is not who is right but what is right.

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.

  • dev
    March 20, 2008 10:04 p.m.

    I think we should all adhere to Judge not ye be not judged. Whatever your religion or choices in life when you are critical of others look in the mirror are you perfect? Be the best you can be and strive to lift others up not put them down. When you see others faults it most likely you are hiding bigger ones yourself. Whatever happened to Brother Lee only he has to account for it before the lord. I would say we should just pray for his welfare.

  • Scripture fulfillment
    March 20, 2008 5:52 p.m.

    George fulfills two scriptures. Scriptures say in the latter days a lamanite will rise up in church leadership, but also in the latter days some of the elect will be deceived and fall away. The world is large and there are many lamanites that have risen in church leadership. George would preach about not being proud. George didn't live by what he preached. George promoted navajo elders into leadership positions in the Arizona Holbrook Navajo Mission. I would estimate that over 90% of the navajo missionaries in that mission went inactive after their missions. Repentance is a beautiful thing. It is to bad that George wouldn't humble himself and repent and return to the church.

  • My former mission president
    March 20, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    I was so excited when I received my mission call to serve under George Lee. He was a spiritual giant in the beginning. George's problems start way before his excommunication. At a conference in Crystal NM, George wanted to share something with us. He told us that he had received his calling and election made sure. He said he wanted to share that with us so we would know that it was obtainable. But here is the clincher, he said if we ever told any one what he said he would deny it.
    I thought wow! If a missionary would have ever questioned it, he or she would have been sent home with a one way ticket. George later sealed my wife and I in the SLC temple. I loved George very much.
    At the Lamanite Generation 20th year Reunion George spoke. He ranted and raved like an evangelist. I said to my wife what was that all about. Then a week before he was excommunicated he spoke at my stake conference in Pleasant Grove. He ranted and raved about his calling in life like an evangelist. There was no spirit to the man, his spiritual countanance was gone. Sad!

  • Was Lee arrogant or mentally ill
    March 20, 2008 4:39 p.m.

    Hmmmm (4:42 p.m.), "Question authority and you get ousted, no questions asked. Apostasy sometimes means thinking for yourself."

    It's interesting how people claim that those who have been excommunicated from a Church or fired from a job were "thinking for themselves" and were only "questioning authority."

    Churches and other private organizations have the right to freedom of association which means that they have the right to excommunicate their members just like a company has the right to fire one of its employees.

    Allow me to use an analogy. You belong to a chess club and one of your members is bad-mouthing chess (saying this or that rule is lame and chess should conform to checker rules) at every tournamet or meeting and urging members to play checkers instead of chess since checkers is better than chess.

    What do you do as the President of the Chess Club. Do you think he is a "thinking for himself" and only "questioning authority" or do you see him as a "wolve in sheep's clothing" who can pretend to be interested in chess when his real motive is to advance his own thinking.

    Mental disorder or arrogance? I don't know and don't care.

  • anotherlee
    March 20, 2008 3:30 p.m.

    I was excited when Native American George P. Lee was made a General Authority. I always looked forward to hearing him speak, but I don't remember having the chance very many times. I was dismayed when everything fell about and hoped other Native Americans would step up. Many have all over the Americas, including one that I had a chance to listen to the other day, Larry Echohawk. He has held to the Iron Rod and is an example to us all. He's a leader, a lawyer, a family man and a great example for his people and all members of the church. I first met him when he was on the BYU football team and have watched him in his career and service ever since!
    Maybe, like Sidney Rigdon, George Lee will still find his way out of the filthy waters.

  • re:Carl
    March 20, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    I thank you carl very much because with out people like you I might have succumbed and joined the church then ended up like George.The only true solution I will miss out on is playing against and taking you to school in church ball , that's all as you know everything but display none of it.

  • JackL
    March 20, 2008 11:20 a.m.

    It is incredibly interesting to read such thoughts from folks who don't have a clue (myself included).

    President or Elder George P. Lee was an amazing man, extremely well educated and accomplished in every sense of the word.

    What he did or did not do really doesn't matter, he gave his all to the Church and is now a broken man, and very sick trying to live the remainder of his life the best he can.

    We live in a world or an LDS culture where we are very quick to judge and point fingers and say unkind things about another, I think its a NOT a wonder that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are questioned about being true followers of Christ or Christians.

    I am saddened.

  • As an inactive member
    March 20, 2008 10:43 a.m.

    I have been inactive for a long time and believe little of the early claims made by the Church. But I completely support the Church or any organization in their right to release someone in a position of top leadership who cannot publically support the organization's direction. Behind closed doors disagreement/debate is healthy and I understand it regularly occurs among top LDS leadership. But to publically criticize as a top leader is not ok. Unless it is your role in the organization to be a public voice of criticism it is not ok to do so and still remain a leader of that organization. I am on the board of an international organization and fully understand that once the discussion has taken place and consensus has been reached - part of my role is to fully support that position or direction - particularly in public.

  • Carl
    March 20, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    I think the church was kind by not disclosing the terms of his disciplinary council. They respect his privacy. Happy Boy's criticisms of the church were only his seeking to cover up his own weaknesses. They pulled the string, he was out and then the abuse issues were known. He is invited to repent--as we all are, but to our knowledge, has made no attempt to restore his membership. If he is a molester of kids, he may want to keep saying that he was excommunicated for apostacy. That seems a lot better than child-abuse. And he fits in with the liberal democrats a lot better too!

  • YAZ YAZZIE
    March 20, 2008 7:06 a.m.

    Let it go guys he's sick...now as for a few more of you ..I would worry about your souls in how you deal with Native people both in spirit and in deed. Some places have huge amounts of natives but it appears there never will be a leader such as Lee rise to the top because they don't fit the local criterion of what is deemed spiritually necessary. This man gave his all...it broke him but then there is always the blame it on the adversary. I saw him speak also with Paul H. Dunn who could thrill people with his lies from the pulpit and I noticed the gathering of people was much, much larger for brother Dunn than Lee so it pointed out to me , somewhat of a division. But I worry about me and mine , we're fortunate we are doing fine. I feel the love of many brothers in the ward as some have survived by the good grace of god , and it is these special ones who I really have to hand it to as they are just totally changed in their approach to not just members but their fellow man.Bless everyone!

  • Res Ipsa Loquitur
    March 20, 2008 6:45 a.m.

    For the uncritically acclaimed...

    It is completely disingenuous to claim that free thinking leads to excommunication. On the contrary, they are the preached conclusions which are contrary to the position of the church that are condemned...an outright, 'I know better' arrogance that is obviously, yet curiously hypocritical. Free thinking is no more synonymous with sectarianisms then it is with hardened obstinacy. But, to each his own.

  • No
    March 20, 2008 5:40 a.m.

    It was after Pres. Kimball passed. He loved Pres. Kimball for his devotion to Native Americans.

  • jph1223
    March 20, 2008 5:17 a.m.

    Secret: George P. Lee was upset because he felt that Pres. Benson was not paying enough deferrence toward the Lamanites, not Pres. Kimball, who died in 1985. Unfortunately, most of the comments here show a lack of knowledge concerning the excommunication of Lee. Near the end of his tenure he had to be supervised by another GA because of the things he was saying in Stake Conferences. He did write letters accusing the GAs of putting their standing and wealth above the interests of the members. After reading the letters, and hearing his comments (and once hearing him speak in person) I felt he had lost the spirit of his calling. They were right to excommunicate him for apostasy for the things he was teaching. I don't think the First Pres. and Twelve knew he was groping children when Lee was exed. That came out about two years later. To put this guy in the free thinker category is very generous, but people should get all of the facts before making a statement like that.

  • Naha Yazzie
    March 20, 2008 4:40 a.m.

    @ Secret
    When George was excommunicated in 1989 President Kimball had been dead for some time (1984 I think)

    @ et al
    It seems there was more than criminal sexual behavior. Far more; the apostasy label is correct.

    Such speculations my friends.

  • David
    March 20, 2008 4:38 a.m.

    I have a copy of the letter that he wrote to the President of the Church. Lee thought that a native American should be head of the Church. He accused the 12 Apostles of great pride, blah, blah, blah. The man was once a pilar of integrity...I really hope that he's reformed his personal life. I'm very sorry to hear he's been sick. He must also be very lonely, having lost everything he had.

  • Secret
    March 19, 2008 11:22 p.m.

    What was the secret that came out? I thought he thought Pres Kimball was not treating Native Americans appropriately. Was there more?

  • For Hmmmm
    March 19, 2008 8:21 p.m.

    What a totally stupid comment! Obviously, there were a number of issues when he was excommunicated that weren't made public. Criticizing the Church over this article just shows you have an ax to grind. And, by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with agreeing with those who have religious authority over us. It's called CHOICE. So unless you have some direct link to divine knowledge, what makes you so much smarter than the rest of us?

  • to bad so sad,
    March 19, 2008 6:42 p.m.

    he knew better, he knoew what he was doing was very wrong. he was only thinking of himself
    but,the advissory is all around us..
    we hope that he is working on commin back into the
    fold...may love and blessings be all around his loved ones...

  • RonRook
    March 19, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    What? is right. I remember this. I even read his book. What a sad ending for someone with so much potential. The church did everything for him, took him off the rez, gave him an education until he got his PhD, everything.. You should read his book about his life. Remarkable! It's too bad how it's ended so far.

  • What?
    March 19, 2008 5:29 p.m.

    His excommunication was not so much about questioning authority as it was about his being a seriously sick and wrong he was, and his position of leadership. After his "secret" came out, the main way for him to rationalize his actions was to attempt to discredit his former beliefs. But it was his actions that did him in, not questions.

  • Re: Hmmmm
    March 19, 2008 5:28 p.m.

    I don't think we know that he was ousted for questioning authority, but apparently there was a falling out over serious matters. No one should be a member of an organization with which one disagrees with its basic principles (and isn't going to change them), whether one is ousted or chooses to leave.

  • Re: HMMMM
    March 19, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    So, "thinking for yourself" entitles one to sexually abuse children?

  • Wondering
    March 19, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    Is it necessary to publish this? Surely the editorial staff at Deseret News can find better news to report. If this man has severe health problems, he is not a danger to society. Wondering ... Would you pulish this article if the person were a member of your family?

  • T
    March 19, 2008 5:05 p.m.

    Hmmm! At least he now registered, no matter who he is, and how sick he is. Protect our children any way we legally can.

  • Hmmmm
    March 19, 2008 4:42 p.m.

    Question authority and you get ousted, no questions asked. Apostasy sometimes means thinking for yourself.