I like how the letter says a disciplinary council was held on your
"behalf" as if it was a nice thing being done for your benefit.
She knew exactly how this would end. So did we. So did all church leaders.
Goodbye Kelly, we wish you the best in overcoming your struggles.
That is a letter full of love and respect for a valued sister in the gospel.
Just my humble opinion. His admonition to continue to pray, attend church and
read the scriptures bodes well for Sister Kelley if she will just do so. No
hint of condemnation or persecution. Very impressed with the letter and its
intent. Now will Sister Kelley humbly accept the counsel of inspired church
I can't believe her membership was stripped from her via an email. Whether
you agree with the decision or not, that is disrespectful to her and what
membership in the church stands for.
The Bishop and other leaders sound very understanding and according to the
letter reached out to Mrs. Kelly in an attempt to help her mend her ways and
return to full fellowship.
@Kings CourtIt was done for her benefit. Who wants to be a member
of a church that doesn't agree with something that is (apparently) a
cornerstone of her life? Now she doesn't have to renounce her membership.
Rad33, they wanted to reschedule with her. This would have been decided in
person had she gone to her own disciplinary council. Sounds to me that is the
main reason they told her by email. She didn't even care enough to show up
to her own council.
Kings court, have you been in a disciplinary council? I know leaders take it
very seriously and have to show love towards person and protect the doctrine of
the church. She didn't even care enough to show up to her own council.
@Brave Sir Robin"Now she doesn't have to renounce her
membership."If she wanted to leave she would've just done
rad3,She was invited to the disciplinary council meeting. They
offered to reschedule the meeting if she was willing to go. They even offered
to video-conference the meeting so she could present her views. In summary,
they bent over backwards for her and in the end they were left with emails and
letters because she refused the options that were offered.Again,
this manifests concern on the part of the disciplinary council. I see nothing
in this decision to criticize.
rad3:What part of "I wish you had taken advantage of my offer to
arrange a secure video link where we could have talked face to face or my offer
to reschedule the council to a date when you could have attended in person"
makes you think this could have been done in any other way? BTW, it
was sent via email and certified mail.
@rad3Mrs. Kelley declined to attend the invitation to speak with her
in person. Which is more disrespectful?
@Alt134If she truly cared about her membership or the outcome of the
council, she would have re-scheduled or agreed to a video conference. She had
plenty of options, yet she still chose to spurn her bishop.
I'm glad the local bishop put some of those things in the letter, probably
knowing that the letter would be publicly released. Getting his perspective on
the matter is important because it sheds light on how disingenuous KK and the OW
movement have been. I've gone to their website and they certainly are
selective in what they post (both in terms of scripture, quotes of general
authorities, and even this excommunication letter received by KK). There are
several half-truths and misquotes on their website. I've tried submitting
a respectful profile as to why I believe we should not ordain women, but they
have not posted it after repeated requests.I hope other members can
see how damaging KK's and OW's agenda has been, and how it has not
strengthened faith but destroyed it. They have done damage by slandering the
church leadership and, in carefully crafted words, discounted the role of our
dear prophet and the Quorum of the 12. I also hope that the church leadership
can continue a respectful dialogue as to how we can utilize the talents and
insights of our sisters more fully. They are needed and wanted. We love them.
So basically she was excommunicated for preaching false doctrine and trying to
draw others after her. She was, in a word, excommunicated for Priestcraft,
(setting herself up as a light to the world) rather than getting the
Priesthood.Tis truly a sad state of affairs. The letter was sent by
email and also certified mail, and it certainly sounds like the Bishop tried to
be very fair towards her. She was just on a path that led to apostasy, and
@Blue AZ CougarThanks for such a great comment. I very much agree.
As much as these proceedings may be couched in language of love, the power
beneath is plain. The fact is that in a disciplinary council for
"apostasy," the court has the power to take away something the other
person values -- and uses it as leverage to compel the other person to obey.
Maybe this was necessary. But let's not pretend this is
something other than what it is. The apostolic Church wanted Sister Kelly to
stop doing something. It could not persuade her, so it compelled her.
I am sad for Ms. Kelly. I support the bishopric and their decision. I believe
they approach this with the greatest of care and prayer. I hope that Ms. Kelly
will find her way.
Sadly, Sister Kelly, said that she loves the gospel but seems to me that she
doesn't understand the gospel. Because of that she has mistaken the
doctrine of the church. I think at this time she should refer to Elder
Bednar's talk "Bear up Their Burdens with Ease." In this talk he
mentions that sometimes the load will help you to move forward. I wish the best
for her and I will keep her in my prayers hoping she can find her way to the
truth and repent of her actions.
Proud Duck:I often see your posts and generally agree with you -
maybe it's something in our water. However, I completely disagree with
todayt's post.This action doesn't operate to
"compel" her to do anything. KK stated categorically that she will not
be compelled to stop her OW activities. While she can't do things that come
with the privileges and responsibilities of membership, her compulsion has been
her choice. The Church can't compel us to do anything. Each of
us is in total control of our relationship with the Lord and His Church. The
bishopric couldn't persuade her so they revoked her membership for conduct
in opposition to the Church. Let's not pretend it's something it
isn't. I've closely watched this develop over the last
year. My biggest concern has been that KK continues to state that she did
nothing other than ask questions (I watched her say this in an interview on KUTV
last week). The OW site, her statements, and her actions at General Conference
prove otherwise. Honesty with ourselves is the foundation for
honesty with others.
To shaq34 and others saying similar things ("...they wanted to reschedule
with her. This would have been decided in person had she gone to her own
disciplinary council...She didn't even care enough to show up to her own
council.")...oh, yes, how kind of them...yes, bending over backwards to
accommodate her. Sure...that's why they waited until she had left her
longtime ward/stake/stake and is temporarily visiting with family over 1,500
miles away before soon leaving the country (for professional reasons) before
they summoned her to their "court of love." I don't think accusing
her of simply "refusing" to scrounge up the money to fly back to where
she just came from is a fair assessment. And I have no idea why she didn't
do it via Skype...but, then, neither do any of you. I personally would be ticked
off with their (in)convenient timing and the fact that *they* didn't *care*
enough about me or the situation to do this personally with me in the same room
while I was still living there. Either deal with me in person or leave me to my
next bishop/stake president.
Any organization of purpose and responsibility has both right and duty to
maintain the integrity of its core principles and to limit its membership to
those who will at the least not contend, and for the better, enthusiastically
support. For, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." In
differentiating between core principle and "differences of
administration," Thomas Jefferson suggested: "In matters of principle,
firm as a rock. In matters of taste, bend like the willow." In
hanging their helmet on the peg of ordaining women, the Sister(s) Kelly have
effectively worked to establish their own little church, apparently concluding
that for them, the Lord has left the mother organization. With others, it will
be hers to learn that "The dog barks while the caravan passes on."
Still, as Isaiah observes, "His hand is outstretched still..." There is
a standing, kindly invitation to return. As sad as disciplinary councils are, a
happy day is better defined by a sweet "reinstatement council,"
something yet to hope and pray for. A nice thing in our territory
is an increased emphasis on "Ward Council" meetings where participation
of the sisters can be recognized as a major contribution and driving force for
good in the ward. Thanks "Elder Ballard" for that encouragement.
Didn't even bother showing up to her own disciplinary hearing. She's
not coming back. She obviously doesn't care. Even the mere act of
publicizing something like this shows she doesn't take it seriously.
I am surprised to see so many people say that Kate Kelly hasn't done
anything to lead people away from the church, and then admit that they
themselves are considering leaving the Church. This is all a result of her
actions, and by saying that you are leaving, you are showing how correct the
Church has been on their stance. I'm sorry to see so many of my
brothers and sisters hurting. But I am also incredibly grateful that pure
doctrine has been upheld and false doctrine and false teachers have been
disciplined to prevent further apostasy (hopefully).
@dasha!"*they* didn't *care* enough about me or the situation to
do this personally with me in the same room while I was still living
there."-------------And yet OW had fund raisers to send people
to Utah to protest. And nobody, including Kate herself, couldn't come up
with the money to attend her own disciplinary council? Had she attended in
person, it would have demonstrated that maybe she indeed was sincere in keeping
her membership intact. But if finding funds to send people to protest against
the Church is more important than one's own membership, then I remain
skeptical that Kate really wanted to attend.Kate is a very
successful lawyer, and must be very intelligent. It is my opinion that she has
coordinated this all along. She is too intelligent to not understand that public
protests and agitation against the Church is not inline with being a member in
good standing. She must have known that all this would lead to excommunication.
Personally, I believe she has been expecting this. Someone of her intelligence
has to. I hope she finds happiness and eventually makes her way back to the
After providing information to the New York Times, Sister Kelly wrote a
disturbing letter to her bishopric. It did not have a greeting or address them
by title and yet stated "As you sit in council regarding my eternal fate
tomorrow..." She also declared that "I will not take down the website
ordainwomen.org. I will not stop speaking out publicly on the issue of gender
inequality in the church. These things President Wheatley instructed me to do, I
cannot do in good conscience."Either Sister Kelly believes that
these issues are more important than her eternal fate or that these men that she
stated "sit in council regarding my eternal fate" do not.Ironically, she asks the council to "allow me to continue to worship in
peace" which means noisily advocating her position to the determent of
others who disagree with her position that would like to worship in peace.
@TheProudDuckMaybe I am splitting hairs but Sister Kelly's bishop did
not compel her to do anything. He did offer a tradeoff that was possibly
painful. As a former resident of Southern California, I hope that you are
a proud Mighty Duck not an OU duck. Oh well, what does it matter. The sand is
warm and the water, cool.
The LDS church has every right to excommunicate her. It is their church. The
set the rules of membership.Actions have outcomes. That
said, people are also free to judge the LDS church for doing so.Ain't America great!
From my varied experiences with disciplinary councils, I can comparatively say
that this private notification letter was totally unexceptional - standard in
content, approach and nature. And given that the individual had been on an
informal probation already, it's totally standard practice that a further
action was conducted by him since that had not been resolved.
Her position, to me, doesn't make any sense. If you truly believe in LDS
doctrine, then you believe such things as who gets the priesthood are revealed
by God to prophets. It's not a democracy and there can't, by
definition, be a grassroots movement to make any non-cosmetic changes, and
certainly not to a policy as important as who can have the priesthood. If
that's the case, I truly don't understand what her point is.If she in fact doesn't really believe the LDS church is God's
church, then why would she care so much about possessing what would then be --
again, by definition -- a made-up claim to phony priesthood authority? Could it
be that she really loves most aspects of the faith but doesn't actually
believe its core doctrines, and thus is treating it as a nice organization with
flaws she's trying to fix? I honestly don't get it.
RE: Vanceone So basically she was excommunicated for preaching false doctrine
and trying to draw others after her. i.e.., Sarah Marinda Bates Pratt was
the first wife of LDS Apostle and polygamist Orson Pratt and later a critic of
Mormon polygamy. She was a founder of the Anti-Polygamy Society in Salt Lake she
was excommunicated on 4 October 1874.Ann Eliza Young was one of Brigham
Young's fifty-five wives and later a critic of polygamy. She was
excommunicated from the LDS church in 1874. Then,"In 1890, President
Woodruff’s Declaration to the Church and to the people of the U.S.
referred to as The Manifesto."
This letter was a private communication between a bishop and a former ward
member. Publishing it for public display had one primary motive - to illicit
outrage and further the misguided cause that brought about the Disciplinary
Council in the first place.
I'm very glad the letter was released by Sister Kelly, it provides
background information that has been missing from the conversation. (I use the
term "Sister Kelly" because all are children of God and therefore
spiritual siblings.)I'm very sad the excommunication happened.
I think it could have been avoided if Sister Kelly and her local Church leaders
had spent more time 1) studying the history of women anointing and giving
blessings in the first 100 years of the Church's history (even to the point
of being set apart as healers in the temples), and 2) talking about why those
practices were discontinued. The practices were not discontinued because the
authority and right to do so was not present, but because the Church leaders
found it would be "far better" to rely on the Elders for such things.
Such reasoning does not preclude women being ordained, but it does suggest the
need for a revelation recognizing the situation/circumstances have changed and
that the membership would be better served by a joint priesthood.One
other point of clarification: There were several offers made to Sister Kelly to
cover her travel and lodging expenses - she declined those offers.
Let's not forget Bishop Harrison in all of this. As the Bishop, he puts in
long hours and sacrifices time with his family serviing his Ward. On top of
that, he has this and the media circus that is involved to deal with!His letter is a perfect example of loving correction - exactly what Jesus did
so often in the New Testament.Bishop Harrison, thank you for your
service and dedication to the Lord and your Ward!!!
Despite what OW want us to believe, this is not about asking hard questions. It
is about two things:1) Making a public spectacle and media event
around what otherwise would be private and personal, and 2) How they
responded to the answers they received to their "hard questions."
As members of the church, we know what will happen when we do not heed to
council. This was done, numerous times. She knew what the results would be. For
people commenting that it was sad that this was done via email and that she
wasn't even at this meeting. She was given many opportunities and they
offered to change dates. She was not fully truthful about things she was saying
publicly about the church. Also, she had a lawyer friend draw up a letter, as
well as submitted letters of support to this meeting. So it is a was obvious she
did not want and had no intentions of wanting to go to this meeting. I pray she
finds happiness. I know fighting for something can't be all that happy. It
has to be/take, frustration, anger, and bitterness and it is in my opinion,
towards The Lord. Because this is His church. She is rebelling against her
Father. She was a member, she knew what the consequences of her actions would
be. And she didn't even show in person to defend her cause.
If what she says is true, that her Church membership is important to her, Sister
Kelly can appeal the decision to the stake president and simply pledge to cease
and desist her activities.When I saw that she calls herself an
international human rights lawyer, it became apparent that she has started to
see things from a worldly perspective. She seems to have forgotten those ever
so applicable words from D & C 89 "In consequence of evils and designs
which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days..."
While we think in terms of the Word of Wisdom that phrase can be used to
measure most of what the world believes to be important in these latter days.
I thank Kate Kelly for making the full text of the letter available for public
perusal. It serves the interest of public knowledge on both the details of her
particular case and more generally how Church leaders explain their actions.
Anyone can read the notification letter and come to their own conclusions on
what to make of it all.
I am surprised the DN put this letter on the website. I don't understand
the rationale, given these things are to remain private. The fact that one side
made them public or "everyone else" is doing it, would not seem to be a
valid reason. When we think of all the things DN will not but on here, this one
The excommunication doesn't concern me terribly. The Church needs to
maintain boundaries, and I think it can reasonably say one has been crossed when
you form a formal group to enlist the aid of outsiders to put pressure on the
Church. What troubles me is are so many of the comments, whose
theme is that mere disobedience of ecclesiastical leaders is grounds for
excommunication. By that standard, the Apostle Paul should have been
excommunicated for disobedience to Peter (who had it coming). Almost ye persuade me to be a Protestant. (Except those guys have baggage of
their own.) To have a disciple's heart is one thing. Servility is
another. Prophets are only prophets when they are acting as such.
To analogize, if the LDS Church ever did something as horrendous as the
Presbyterian Church, USA just did -- voting to boycott certain companies doing
business with Israel, based in part on a church-issued document using language
originating with the venomous anti-Semite David Duke, I would have no choice but
to oppose it, loudly and publicly, let the consequence follow.
Proud Duck: She didn't just show disobedience to her leaders. She
basically ignored everything they counselled her on. When asked not to do
something and what the answer would be she went against that. When informed of
the fact she was having a disciplinary council she went to the media. When she
received this letter by email she again went before the media. All the facts
spell out complete and total contempt for everything the priesthood stands for.
Everything has been her own choice and she is being excommunicated for those
choices. She went out and proselyted to get others to enter into her
organization. She is no different than any of the apostates in the early Church
and the ones mentioned in the Bible and Book of Mormon. In each of those cases
the individual either repented or their names were blotted out. This has
happened here by men called of God to be common judges in the House of Israel.
In other parts of this case the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has
remained above board with Ms. Kelly. It is now in her hands as is her eternal
If Ms Kelly is genuinely seeking to have her questions answered she must be
prepared to listen and accept the answers when they are given.It is clear
that the only answer she was prepared to accept was the one she has already
determined herself.Sadly it is not Ms Kelly's place to receive
revelation for the Church, nor to dictate to the governing councils of the
Church.No man (or woman) taketh this honour unto themselves except he that
is called of Gaod as was Aaron.There is only one person on the earth who
possesses and is authorised to exercise all priesthood keys - including to whom
priesthood is extended. Sorry, Ms Kelly but that person is not you.Finally, you are lucky that what happened to you is a far better result than
what happened to Korah who similarly made demands for authority he was not
entitled to and stirred up others to support him.
This issue has raised some attention internationally, and as a UK citizen I was
surprised to see the decision letter published. This appears to have been at the
request of Ordain Women, would the other party to the private correspondence
i.e. the ward bishop, have been asked his view about its publication?
As someone who know Kate (both in Provo and DC), I think she had good intentions
and was able to get her message across about the desire for Women to hold the
priesthood. I think the first attempt to enter priesthood session showed that.
However, it appears that she loved the idea of a church where women hold the
priesthood more than the LDS church which does not. Sorry to say, but this would
have to be the truth considering she doesn't plan to change her stance.
Honestly, if she wants to hold an authority like the priesthood, I believe the
Unitarian Church has a very nice prophetess who is also Lesbian. Their beliefs
are not very doctrinally set (barely read the bible), but they do include
everyone and you can walk in on Sunday in shorts and a tanktop.
It is odd how a person can profess to value and want a position of supposed
authority, and yet refuse to acknowledge or accept it's authority
concerning her and her ideas.She obsessed over ask and ye shall receive,
while totally rejecting live by the words of the prophets. Sorry, but it's
Gods plan, God's church, if you don't accept that, then you are
putting your own views over God's. She could have remained a member
forever if she had kept praying about it on her own, the problem was, she
actively lobbied others to her cause, publicly trying to get popular opinion to
sway the leaders of the church, as if God would accede to the demands if the
mob.That's the problem. You can't expect God to do a deal with
you, just because you make noise.
"She didn't just show disobedience to her leaders. She basically
ignored everything they counselled her on."Which is to say, she
disobeyed them.Counsel is counsel and orders are orders. If you
ignore "counsel" -- the recommendations of someone like your lawyer or
therapist -- you act at your own peril, and if the counsel turns out to have
been good, you may be worse off for it. But counselors don't punish you
for ignoring them. If you are punished for "ignoring
counsel," then it's not really counsel. It's an order.You are saying that it's proper to excommunicate someone for disobeying
"...as if God would accede to the demands if the mob."God
doesn't accede to mobs. The federal government, maybe, but mobs, no.
I read with interest the letter,however I felt uncomfortable doing so. I find
it sad - not just the excumunication of Sis. Kelly - but sad that something so
private and so sacred to those directly involved needed to be publically
published - even by the Deseret News itself. I felt guilty reading it. To me
it was akin to reading the patriarchal blessing of another individual. However,
since some of the local media have distorted the story and the facts of the
story, I can understand the church - through Deseret News seeing the necessity
of publishing the letter - which had all ready been released by Sis. Kelly - to
uphold the integrity of the church. Yes, it is obvious that the bishop
carefully worded the letter knowing it would most likely be publically released.
We are all God's children, he does not discriminate, Ms Kelley was
practicing "freedom of speech", irregardless God loves her and all of
Wow - this letter gives Kelly every opportunity to stop her recruitment efforts
and teaching others her "Six Discussions" as well as bring down her web
site. I thought it was interesting that she was excommunicated NOT for having
views which didn't align with Church teachings but instead she was
excommunicated for her active recruitment efforts. For those who blast the
church for not allowing members another point of view - you are wrong. You are
allowed your own point of view you just can't actively recruit others to
that point of view because that crosses the line into destroying the Church as a
whole. So Kelly was being dishonest when she indicated publically that she just
wanted to be heard - she not only wanted to be heard she wanted others to hear
her and follow her and she sought them out and advertised which is a horse of a
different color altogether. In politics you create change by getting a following
for your cause but not so with the Church of Jesus Christ...not today and not
during the time of Jesus. In the end the door was left open for her...
at the end of the day the Church will move on with or without Kate Kelly it is
her choice. Years will pass and like Sonia Johnson of years past Kelly will
either become more bitter OR perhaps she will reverse course and see the big
picture and repent....and return. Let's hope for the latter. The Prophet
Joseph Smith once said that even many of the elect of the church will be
deceived and fight against the church. The elect have been leaving since the
days of Thomas Marsh and others only to return years later humbled and broken
having suffered the loss of the Spirit for their actions. The church - like the
Savior - ALWAYS extends a hand to help us return if we humble ourselves as a
As an nonmember, it seems rather obvious to me that Ms Kelly has a personal
agenda in all of this and no real interest in changing doctrine. If she had a
true love of the church and desire to hold the priesthood which she has
professed, especially when there are photographers and crowds around, this great
desire to hold the priesthood would have ignited a chord of respect in her when
she received the letter regarding the disciplinary meeting or when the bishop
tried unsuccesfully to meet with her. That lack of respect of the office shows
she has no real regards for the office and only the attention the movement
brings her. Besides how could you be a good priesthood leader when you show
such disregard for one of the most serious tasks they have to perform? Might I
suggest a move to Nigeria where she might be ablt to use her experience as a
human rights attorney to help the kidnapped children rather than seeking glory
for herself as the person who toppled LDS doctrine on women and the priesthood.
The LDS leadership seem to teach that THEY are the law the church is to live by.
But the D&C says the revelations in IT are the law the church is to live
by. The LDS leadership fight any attempt of members to claim the right to
legitimately have a controversy over them and their decisions. But D&C
107:81-84 gives instructions on how to have a special Bishop's trial over
the President of the church, or one of his counselors-- saying this special
trial will be the end of controversy over the matter. JST Mark 9:40-48 unfolds
the mystery of one of Christ's parables: Every member of the body of Christ
must accept the responsibility to "stand or fall" for themselves and not
for another. This means if a brother, a leader or even the Prophet fail they
must not fall with them. Kelly should not seek to make decisions for the church
leadership. She was not called to do that. But she can seek to claim the right
of legitimate dissent based on the scriptures I quoted.