Grant Palmer

SANDY — Disfellowshipment is the lot of Grant H. Palmer, author of a controversial book about origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The outcome was disfellowshipment, and I'll be finding out more what the conditions are for coming back in," Palmer said Sunday after a six-hour meeting of a church disciplinary council that considered the matter. Asked what any probationary aspects are, he said, "It just depends on the conditions."

Disfellowshipment is not as harsh as excommunication, the loss of church membership.

According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, a disfellowshipped person remains a member of the church but may not enter its temples, hold church callings, exercise the priesthood, partake of the sacrament or participate openly in public meetings.

Palmer, a resident of Sandy, told the Deseret Morning News of the action Sunday following the meeting. The session, closed to the media, was held at the Willow Creek LDS Stake Center, 2350 E. Creek Road, Sandy.

Church spokesman Dale Bills said last week that the church considers disciplinary matters confidential and declined further comment. The no-comment position was reiterated Sunday at the stake center.

Palmer is author of the 2002 volume "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins," published by Signature Books. The publisher's Web site lists Palmer as a "three-time director of LDS Institutes of Religion in California and Utah, a former instructor at the Church College of New Zealand, and an LDS seminary teacher at two Utah locations. He has been active in the Mormon History Association and on the board of directors of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association."

The book calls into question details of some key events chronicled by LDS Church founder Joseph Smith. But Palmer told the newspaper previously that he is not out to attack the church and, while he regarded himself as heretical concerning some of the church's teaching, he does not view himself as an apostate.

He was employed by the church for 34 years before his retirement, according to the earlier report.

A small group of media representatives staked out the stake center starting around 7 a.m. until the meeting was over about 1 p.m. At that point, a man emerged from the center and told the media that the session was over. Palmer was interviewed by telephone a few minutes later.

Asked why the meeting continued so long, he responded, "It's just the way it goes."

He said he found the session fair.

"I thought the court was fair, and I'm pleased with the outcome," Palmer added. "I think it's in my best interest not to say more."