Comments about ‘How LDS Church disciplinary councils work, change lives’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, June 20 2014 7:20 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
John Kateel
Salt Lake City, UT

Wow! Living in Salt Lake City and not being Mormon ever is the best thing in world. I thank the Lord everyday that I am not subject to that arcane pressure to keep up appearances.

Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

Re: John Kateel

Interesting comments! Could you be more specific about " arcane pressure to keep up appearances." Thank you!

City, Ut

Thank you for this article. I really appreciate the perspective of these people who have been involved personally with disciplinary councils.

I know of two.

It was inspiring to see the change in a man's life following excommunication, & his eventual return. The joy it brought his family to have him want to change & want to come back to them fully was just the most wonderful thing.

The second was when many stake members were all waiting in the area near the Stake President's office, waiting for Temple Recommend interviews to begin. One of the Stake Presidency emerged from the High Council office & asked us to all step into a room. He came in with us and closed the door & said they had been conducting a disciplinary council--& to preserve the person's privacy and anonymity, they were asking all persons in the building to remain sequestered until the subject of the council left the property. It was standing room only in that room, with many people I didn't know. But there was a feeling of respect that the Presidency was so carefully protecting the person's identity & privacy.

Thank you again for a very enlightening article.

Saratoga Springs, UT

Disciplinary councils are one of the great evidences that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. The miracles that occur there remind us all of how loved we are by the Lord and how much he wants us to return to Him. Christlike love prevails in these councils, as anyone who has ever served on one knows.

Harrison Bergeron
Holladay , UT

"I thank the Lord everyday that I am not..."

For the Lord this must be like one of us getting a note everyday from a wayward child: "Thankful not to be with you and happy I'm not coming back."


Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

Kudo's to the DN for printing this article! Because of the LDS church's strict and total adhearance to confidentiality, respect and fellowship, very little is known about Church disciplinary councils, the only way they become public is if it is discussed by the individual for who the council was held!

In the past fourty years I have sat in and participated in many councils, it could be twenty or thirty, I never found it necessary to keep count. I cannot recall a minute of rancor or animosity during any of these procedings, as others have stated only love, concern and compassion prevail!

Chris from Rose Park
Hartford, CT

I too was uplifted by hearing of these personal accounts. I have been around many local church leaders and have witnessed how loving they are to those in their stewardship.


Amen, amen, amen to this article!

Dietrich, ID

@ Red Corvette these men are called of God, do you know more than Christ? He only does what is in the best interest of his children, For the sake of the transgressor sometimes church discipline is necessary, It is righteous judgment by those called to administer what is best for God's children. Christ gave his servants the right to sit on council over people's membership.

American Fork, UT

The offer of 'highway' in 'my way or highway

Los Angeles, CA

Sorry, nothing uplifting here! It is one thing to discipline somebody for cheating on his wife. It is quite another to excommunicate someone for fighting against banning blacks from the priesthood and temple as what happened to Byron Marchant many years ago!

Like unto Job
Ogden, UT

as a young adult i had positive experience also which stregthened me spiritually. This is The Lord Jesus Christs Church, I felt love, no personal judgement and great concern.

John Kateel
Salt Lake City, UT

So what would draw a non Mormon like myself to to the beautiful city of Salt Lake? In a nutshell, the fascinating anthropology of a most peculiar sect of people. I was fascinated by Utah after reading Mark Twain's " Roughing It" back in 1998. Much of the idiosyncracies that he chronicled back in 1872 still exist today! In this day and age I can read the local paper owned by a church that publishes church minutae such as internal disciplinary procedures as if it were actual news! Can you imagine if the Deseret News were owned by the Hare Krishnas and Krishna Consciousness stuff was intertwined with the hard news? It is just so bizarre. My folks are from India. The disciplinary procedures described in this article seem congruent with the procedures that rural village tribal leaders in Bihar would use to maintain rigid caste discipline. No marrying lower caste girls, no questioning the caste system, etc. Like Mormons, they are the kindest and sweetest people, these rural agrarian villagers. Bless their hearts. It just seems like, once you are trapped in this system their is no escape except to disown your family and move to Calcutta or LA.

Wilf 55

I have sat in disciplinary councils. The principles may be good, but the decision to hold a council and the way the proceeding is steered sometimes depend too much on the personality, experience, and personal feelings of the key leader. I have seen exactly the same cases handled in very different ways. Besides the examples given in the article, there are also many examples of sad outcomes.

Moreover, in high profile cases which are not dealing with "immorality" but with viewpoints and strategies, such as with John Dehlin and Kate Kelly, too many people, emotions, and potential consequences are involved to handle these cases appropriately at this time. If love is the guiding principle, it would be good to consider such high profile cases in the larger perspective, for the good of the whole church. We need de-escalation, time to let rumors and emotions subside, and more dialogue. Perhaps then, "pure love" can help us all.

Clarifying Facts
Lehi, UT

I believe there are certainly many "disciplinary councils" where the Spirit is there, and the process blesses the lives of those involved. It does not follow, however, that all disciplinary councils are acting as God would. When someone knows that something is amiss in their life, and they know that they have done something wrong, and they're searching for healing, then a disciplinary council will be full of loving men trying to help someone "come to themselves." It's an entirely different story when someone truly feels like they're doing what's right, but the council is there to tell them they're doing what's wrong, and then the council disciplines them for not agreeing, telling them that once they've humbled themselves, they'll be back in the good graces of God. In such a situation, the Church is telling someone that they know better than a person's own conscience, and they're not respecting a person's ability to learn to trust their own promptings, which is vital. That is not going to be a very uplifting experience.

Syracuse, UT

@ red corvette,

You have to read the whole scripture, you cannot just pick out a couple of words. Read and know what is going on and then comprehend the why it was said.

Left Field
Longmont, Colorado

This article gives you a nice glimpse into the world of church discipline, but do realize that it is more of a PR piece than a news story that meets the full rigor of journalistic standards. For example, you only hear from members approaching the disciplinary council who are throwing themselves on the mercy of the court. That's fine for what it is, and I do think the article accurately describes their feelings about church discipline, but what about those who are called to a disciplinary council under different circumstances? Many, for a variety of reasons, are not happy about the "invitation" to attend a church discipline council or they feel that the process failed them somehow. Why are not their perspectives brought in to flesh out the full spectrum of experience and emotions that church discipline entails? Lacking that, this article more properly belongs in a church magazine rather than a newspaper...even a church owned one.

middletown, NJ

I have participated in about half a dozen disciplinary councils and after each one I am so very impressed by the love and concern that is expressed for those involved. I really think it is a misnomer to call them disciplinary councils. There has never been anything but the utmost respect and desire to help those that want to return to be numbered among the Lord's flock in the councils that I hasve participated in. I'm sorry that some who have commented here don't understand how they work and as a result have made negative comments. You are entitled to beleive what you will, I beleive we fought a war to give you that right, as wrong as you may be.


I'm grateful for the emphasis on prayer and receiving divine inspiration as an integral part of the process. Surely we don't know as much as Christ and need His input in these matters.

Sandy, UT

I am beginning to feel the LDS church eaders are trying to hard to protect their decisions and actions by explaininng everything to everyone. I am not sure that as a non-mormon it is of any importance to me or any other non-mormon.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments