fbpx
31.8 F
Spokane
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeCommentaryAskAsk A Mormon: What happens to someone after they're excommunicated?

Ask A Mormon: What happens to someone after they’re excommunicated?

Date:

Related stories

From the Wilderness into New Life: Everyone Can Participate in Lent

Lent thus offers a cluster of possibilities: fasting — or at least giving up something for Lent; repenting; joining Jesus in a wilderness experience; and experiencing the lengthening of days. Can everyone take part?

Black History Month for White People: Racism Is Our Problem

FāVS columnist Sarah Henn Hayward explores how racism in America is a White problem and what White Americans can do about it this Black History month.

Ask a Baha’i: Would a Christian need to pray to Bahá’u’lláh, not Jesus, if converting to the Baha’i faith?

If I followed the teaching of Baha’i would I need to change my lifelong relationship with Jesus? I wonder how can I, as a lifelong Christian, focus my prayers from Jesus to Bahá’u’lláh?

Muslims Calling for Peace in Gaza Have Been Answered with Rampant Islamophobia

Islamophobia, in other words, does not operate in a vacuum. It creates repercussions far beyond the Muslim community. It’s time our leaders took action. 

Nex Benedict Is Another Matthew Shepard 

On Feb. 7, Nex Benedict, a non-binary Owasso, Oklahoma, teen, was beaten to death in a girl’s restroom at Owasso High School by three older female students. So far, there is no sign the girls responsible have been arrested or even interviewed by police. 

Do you have a question about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Submit it online or fill out the form below.

What happens to someone after they’re excommunicated from the LDS church?

There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who have been excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Some excommunicated members eventually rejoin the Church (such as Maxine Hanks, one of the September Six). Some continue attending their local LDS ward faithfully but never get re-baptized (for example, Lavina Fielding Anderson, another of the September Six). Some disassociate themselves with the Church and find another faith home. Some turn away from organized religion entirely. Some even have their excommunication reversed posthumously, as was the case with Helmuth Huebner after World War II. Some accept the decision calmly as an expected outcome of their actions. Some are devastated by what they view as an act of spiritual violence or unrighteous dominion. Others go on to live happy and fulfilled lives outside of the Church.

There is an appeals process that some excommunicated members, such as the recently excommunicated Kate Kelly, choose to use. The details of the appeals process are found in the portion of the Church Handbook of Instructions that is only available to those in certain leadership positions, but it’s my understanding that the decision of a disciplinary council can be appealed to the next level of church leadership. If the disciplinary council was convened by a bishop (the leader of a local congregation called a ward), it can be appealed to the stake president (who supervises several congregations). A decision made by a stake president is appealed to the First Presidency, the governing council of the Church consisting of the President and his two counselors.

As far as the Church is concerned, those who are excommunicated are no longer members and their names are removed from the membership roll. They cannot wear the temple garments that are markers and reminders of temple covenants. The Church will not accept tithing or other donations from them. While they may attend Sunday worship services, they may not offer public prayers, participate in the sacrament (a weekly ordinance, similar to communion, which includes partaking of bread and water in remembrance of Jesus), or give talks (like short sermons) during Sunday meetings as members do.

Ideally, those who are excommunicated are surrounded by supportive friends, family, ward members, and Church leaders who continue to love and associate with them, regardless of their membership status. Unfortunately, sometimes excommunicated members of the Church are ostracized or shunned by those who used to sit next to them on the pews. Love and sincere friendship should be the guiding principles when interacting with anyone going through a difficult experience and excommunication should be no different.

Emily Geddes
Emily Geddes
Emily H. Geddes was born to two physicists and grew up as a Navy brat. Born-and-raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she holds a bachelor's degree in theatre from Brigham Young University, and earned an MBA from Eastern Washington University.

Ad

spot_img
spot_img
spot_img

1 COMMENT

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
gest
gest
5 years ago

I was kinda surprised to hear onced excommunicated ones baptism is no longer in affect. ( I can’t find any dates on this board) far as I know this web site no longer in business. And, maybe not approved by the church.

spot_img
1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x