Comments about ‘Ordain Women releases LDS bishop's letter giving reasons for Kelly's excommunication’

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Published: Monday, June 23 2014 3:40 p.m. MDT

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Orange County, CA

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.

Provo, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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."

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Arlington, va

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).

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

"*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 Church.

Waco, TX

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.

Waco, TX

Maybe 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.

Far East USA, SC

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!

Plano, TX

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.

St Louis, MO

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.

layton, UT

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."

Medical Lake, Washington

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.

John S. Harvey
Sandy, UT

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!!!

Hyde Park, UT

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."

Bend, OR

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.

CA. reader
Rocklin, CA

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

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