I am usually not one to become involved in commentaries on issues that may or may not be plaguing the Church, and certainly the media brings to light areas that shows where as a Church and people we are not perfect. No one in the Church likes light being shown on areas that others outside of the Church may perceive as being "intolerant". The issue for Kelly and Dehlin is the willingness that we should have to allow for personal beliefs/opinions. The Prophet Joseph was always for allowing a man/woman to believe what they wanted and not be persecuted for it. The Prophet didn't like compulsion of beliefs as other religions (The Prophet referenced the Methodist in this case). The cause that these two fight for; if it be true then it will be preserved; if it be false then it will fade away. This we see in the B of M. As disciples of Christ (as we should be) we need to remember Mosiah 29:12; "leave judgments to the Lord", Alma 4: 8-13 referencing "pride of their eyes", "persecuting those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure", "great inequality among the people". We are not any different than those who belonged to the Church prior to the coming of the Lord in the B of M. It appears that history and behaviors of the Saints are repeating themselves. Kelly/Dehlin are just the tip of the iceberg of "the great sifting that will begin upon the Lords house."
I found this article quite illuminating and appreciate Maurine Proctor's efforts to present a fair and balanced picture of these unfortunate situations. I agree with the many commentors who have expressed their belief that parading this through the court of public opinion by taking this to the press exposes their true agenda. They're trying to get their way by throwing a very public tantrum. I am as appalled by this as I would be watching a young person throw a tantrum at a funeral. This charade brings to mind Paul's prophetic warning: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears." Ms. Kelly has shown that she can't endure the sound doctrine that "a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to . . . administer in the ordnances thereof." As for me and my family, we will follow the prophet. And one other thing (referring to numerous comments) -- church disciplinary councils haven't been called "courts" for many years.
While on our hourney here below, beneath temptations power, Through mists of darkness we must go, in peril every hour! Hold to the rod! The iron rod! Tis strong and bright and true! T'will safely guide us through.
Does anyone have links or proof of the Church's attempts to "cease and desist" prior to their Disciplinary Council summons? I believe that the Church has attempted to quell these situations before it came to this point. I just can't find any concrete evidence that I can show others that the Church did indeed reach out to these misguided souls.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:66-69)
Thank you for eloquently expressing the feelings of 99.9% of the women of the church. I fully expect that the situation will be a "flash in the pan" and will burn itself out, just as similar cases have in the past. I am so grateful that we have a Prophet and for my testimony that our General Authorities are called of God and led by Him. That knowledge has given me immeasurable peace.
Thank you for posting this. I don't know if anyone has captured my thoughts better. This matter should be kept private, not be left to the public/media to make judgements on. I am particularly concerned about those who have been saying that this situation has the church leadership "running scared". I think it is just sad. Sad that many are letting it weaken their faith
This reminds me of the flap about the ERA several years ago. It seems unnecessary and redundant. While I'm sorry Ms. Kelly feels her role in the church is limited, there are so many options for contributing good in the world. I wonder if she has taken this to the Lord in prayer? After all He makes the calls (literally).
Interesting discussion. I personally have been through "the Repentance Process" which includes appearing before the previously mention councils. In my lifetime I've done this twice, (I'm obviously a slow learner). I was never "kicked-out" or asked to leave the Church, in fact I was encouraged to attend even though I wasn't a "member". Most of the time I was welcomed even though I was an excommunicated, (very few even knew it). I was simply (and still am) restricted from participating in and receiving many privileges available only to Church members in good standing. The sad thing about that is that many members just take for granted and don't think twice about what they have or are able to do that I cannot. I worked diligently to regain my membership back into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and even though I was rebaptized 7-years ago however I am still waiting for approval to regain my Temple Blessings and be able to once again hold the Priesthood. This has been so difficult especially when it seems like every Priesthood lesson happens to be about, "Being Worthy of and Being Better Priesthood Holders (such as in Home Teaching) The Importance of Temples, Eternal Families, etc." All of these are important and worthy lessons that need to be taught, but to sit there week after week often with tears flowing down my cheeks is almost more than I can stand. I look forward to the time that I can again hold the Priesthood of God.Which brings me to summarize? the point of my reply. If someone truly believes that this is, (as it's name implies) The Church of Jesus Christ. That the Savior himself leads and guides the work being done in His Church and that he has personal knowledge of and has chosen the Ecclesiastical leaders to act in His behalf to operate it under His direction, "THEN WHO AM I TO FIGHT AGAINST IT?" I'm not saying that I always like or even agree with their decisions, in fact much of this 7-year delay was self-imposed because I didn't like or agree with their decisions. However, ultimately I finally had to realize this, "I'm supposed to learn to be Obedient to my Priesthood Leaders council." I may never understand certain aspects of it or the reasoning for some of it, in fact I may even respectfully disagree with it if it were up to me! But the bottom-line and what my self-discovery has led me to is this, "I Love The Lord, This is His Church Upon the Earth Today, He has Chosen certain Men (not women, for now), who are responsible and accountable to Him to lead His Church, I am either Obedient to whatever they instruct me to do or I can go do something else, because I have the Freedom and Agency to do as I please, thanks to Heavenly Fathers Plan."
Really well written article. You said everything I was thinking. My husband being a Bishop for 8 years and High Councilman for almost as many, agree this should not be a public matter. I have no problem with men holding The Priesthhod which comes down from Jesus Christ. I have plenty of responsibility as my role of being a woman. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us all be aware of how Satan uses our weaknesses and ways of the world to further his work on this earth.
beautifully written thank you.
For some reason I have followed all the comments on this article. I guess it
Sorry, I just posted a lsetter about casting the first stone, but want to add one thing - If Kelly and Devlin truly believe this is the Lord's church, and that as such, teaches His doctrine, then who are they to assume to tell the Lord how to run it, and if they don't believe it is His church, then why do they want to belong to it anyway? They are perfectly welcome to find a church that lets them do as they wish - there are plenty of those out there. The scripture says that there will be those who will "heap unto themselves teachers, having itching ears." It is obvious that these two individuals have one purpose, and that is to destroy the church because it won't conform to their whims. I am sad for them for what they are losing - eternal life and the multitude of blessings they could have had. They are indeed under the power of Satan.
I must assume you are speaking of other members of the Church and not Priesthood Officers who conduct these disciplinary councils. If the Church did not excommunicate those who conduct tmselves in apostate ways, and let them remain as "active members", can you not imagine the chaos we would have in the Church? The Lord's house ( church) is a house of order, and faithful members will align themselves with the Lord's teachings because they know He knows how to bring us back to Him and enable us to be happy in His kingdom. As the scripture in the Book of Mormon says, (paraphrasing because I am writing in the middle of the night and don't want to search it out now) the wicked would be happier in hell than to stand before the Lord, having a perfect knowledge of their sins. He has ordained the Bishops and Stake Presidents to be judges in Israel, and to officiate in Church courts. It is not for us to decide how they should be conducted and what their decisions should be, they act according to the personal revelation they receive after much prayer and consideration for the individual involved. I trust them to use their own answers to each issue with apostasy. But I do feel also that members should not "cast the first stone" and gossip about the excommunicated or otherwise disciplined member, nor shun them, but should continue to reach out with love in all interactions.
Tom Johnson there are references to women being priestesses in the old testament. And working in the temple. It did make one think... There are so many things that have been lost and we still do not have everything restored to us, just everything we need for salvation. I have no problem with women not having the preisthood right now, but I do wonder if they had a form of it at one time. Just like all men didn't have the priesthood at one time. And just like higher and lower commandments were given at different times. To everything there is a season. I liked the references to not casting the first stone. People should be free to question things. But it should be done more privately in my opinion. Turn to God first instead of man.
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." I am a Mormon and I know lots of Mormons quite well. Without fail most Mormons and people in general commit major sins. I imagine most of the people commenting here struggle with porn or some kind of immorality or substance abuse or other addiction or the abuse of others. Most people have major doubts at some time. We are all fallen and human and it does not become us to cast stones at each other especially when we have beams in our eyes. We are all sinners and should worry about how to become better people not point fingers at others.
I have heard several people question recently where in the LDS doctrine does it say that women can't be ordained to the priesthood. There are no scriptures from any of the standard works of the Church that teach the ordination of women to the priesthood. In the New Testament Jesus called twelve men to be his leaders in his work and
Kate Kelly publicizing something as private and solemn as her disciplinary action notice makes crystal clear her arrogance (opp.: humility) and her contempt for the church.I once read an interview in which she implied that there are no legitimate grounds even for separate men's and women's meetings. It appears that to her, any organizational distinctions between men and women are suspect and sexist. Equal is not equal if it's not
identical.She's decided a priori that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ share her views on ordination and that sadly, the darned Brethren are blind. If they don't move to ordain women, either they 1) haven't sought the Lord or 2) are out of tune with his answer (unlike her). Pure arrogance. So she hammers away publicly, trying to force them into compliance and harming the missionary effort in the process.After fours years of struggle, I learned that Satan is actively trying to make girls and women offended at the Priesthood being conferred upon males only. It's one of the tests of our day. There was a time when I angrily shared Kate Kelly's views but when I realized where it was coming from and took care of my feelings with forgiveness, a tremendous burden was lifted and I am now delighted to belong to a church that recognizes and celebrates the natural differences between men and women and their roles.What I call "ordinance creep" sometimes happens--the tendency turn spiritual practices into Priesthood ordinances to be performed by Priesthood holders when they're not, such as asking a blessing on the food. This can make women feel marginalized because there's something exciting about being engaged with the Lord in bold, creative prayer with the hope of affecting certain specific outcomes. Nobody wants to be excluded from that on the basis of gender, nor should they.I was widowed at a young age and many times had occasion to pray fervently for the health or needs of my children--and the occasional dog. I found that 'The prayer of faith availeth much', and I received according to my needs. Nearly always my prayer included the words, "I have faith in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood and by that faith I ask..." And it worked. Yet there were other times when I was inspired to seek the ordinance of a Priesthood Blessing. Because I could do so without taking offense about 'oppression,' as I'd formerly done, I received beyond measure.
Excellent article, though sad. I've read all the comments also and feel more informed - not that it was any of my business. :). I was barely aware of this going on. I suppose we should expect modern Korihors, like a previous poster said. And with modern press and the internet the new Korihors can make it my business - or push my face in it. Again, thank you.
It is apparent that local church leaders have been extremely patient and loathe to discipline these misguided souls. Each knew or should have known that disciplinary action might eventually result. If they are actually sincere in their concerns, each should have made his and her issues a subject of personal prayer. That is the teaching of the Church that they now claim to love. Standing in line to get a ticket to Priesthood session is a publicity stunt; anyone can attend the meeting on line. Publishing a blog which encourages disaffection from the doctrines of the Church is not an act of loyalty but is rather an attempt to sow disaffection and doubt. What do these souls expect to be the Church's reaction? If the truth be known, each should be relieved that they finally have achieved the outcome that they sought in the first place.
I greatly appreciate your article that clarifies the situation. This is the church that Jesus Christ has founded with his doctrine and no changes will be made by any man. This is kind of like listening to two-yr. olds crying and complaining about why they can't do things their way instead of the way set forth by a loving mature parent.
Thank you, Sister Proctor; you hit the nail on the head! The shifting of responsibility for these two individuals will enure to their detriment. Clearly, Dehlin's letter from his Stake President indicates that he no longer wants to be associated with the church which, from his blogs, is revelatory. How could this even be considered as the fault of the Church? The Lord clearly warns of those who bear false witness against His anointed.
The picture you have painted of John Dehlin is incomplete and and one-sided. You write the following:
This whole thing makes me think of Korihor in the Book of Mormon. It has also been prophesied that in the last days there will be a sifting and that even the very elect will be deceived. Well, this is the last days and many of the very elect are being deceived. Sad. I have been a part of over 100 bishops and high council courts and I can assure you there is no vindictiveness involved. Only a desire to help those who have sinned get back into sinque with what is true and correct. The two things that are paramount in church courts are love and inspiration. A bishop is ordained and hold the keys to be a common judge in Israel, and will receive revelation to accomplish the will of the Lord. I am afraid we will see much more of this sort of thing before the great and terrible day of the Lord. I pray for His return daily. Then, and only then will the problems of the world be solved.
I agree, when I went to John Dehlin's presentation, I was up hauled at his attempt to try to use science as grounds to change church policy that is not his to change.
Both have been asked to cease and desist, and they have multiplied their efforts instead. It is sad, but they know very well what they are doing. They are not in good standing and they do not deserve the audience of members in good standing.
I humbly and truly believe that such circumstances can be and will be correctly and rightfully administered by inspired church's local leaders.
Where is the doctrine stated that women can't have the priesthood?
As Moroni stated: "there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity." This is God's Church. As members of this Church, we have covenanted to obey His commandments. The commandments given through the Prophets require an established system to remove those whose choices require a separation - for the benefit of the Church, as well as for the individual involved. Those individuals who advocate false doctrine are entitled to the opportunity to be separated from the Church which they believe brings bitterness into their lives. These two individuals stand separate in their individual circumstances. They will be judged by the councils separately. If there is to be mourning, we should mourn for the sins of this world. Our reliance should be upon He Who is Mighty to Save. May the Atonement of Jesus Christ have application in the lives of all involved. I pray for the welfare of my brothers and sisters, including those who have been entrusted by the Lord to sit in judgment.
...assuming yours is an honest question below
The fact that these letters showed up in the press tells me everything I need to know. I had no real opinion about either of these two until now. By sending these letters to the press they have demonstrated that their purpose is the harm the Church, and that is all. Everything else they have said is now suspect, because they have pulled off their masks and revealed their true countenances. They'll get their 15 minutes, but only people who are looking for an excuse to leave the Church already will listen to them now.I do wonder about all these people who claim never to have heard about Church history. I've heard and discussed everything about polygamy, Mtn. Meadows Massacre, the Danites, etc, in Gospel Doctrine, despite the fact that I barely attended it for 15 years (I'm allergic to most Church buildings because of the sisal). How do people manage to stay so ignorant? I don't buy; in most cases I reckon they're looking for an excuse to do something they're ashamed of, and pretend outrage over their self-inflicted ignorance is the key.
Fantastic article! Thanks for setting the record straight in a clear and practical voice.
Very well written and very clear. Thank you! This is something I have been thinking about for the last couple of weeks. I have also added my own comments on my personal blog at: https://www.ethanrwilkinson.com/2014/06/17/growing-apostasy-within-the-church-and-the-world-part-1/
Thank you for an excellent article bringing out the more complete facts in the current situation. Sadly, too many individuals, both in and out of the Church, are prone to make erroneous judgements based upon limited knowledge of the facts. I, myself, have also participated in and conducted a number of disciplinary councils and always found them to be "courts of love" where the greatest concerns of everyone involved are to determine the complete facts and to help the individual to make whatever changes are necessary to truly be in full faith in the Church.
Great article, it clarifies what I was thinking and feeling, but having difficulty saying. I hope others read this, especially Kelly and Dehlin. Thank you for your contribution, understanding, and knowledge of doctrine.
People are saying that these two have been "singled out" for disciplinary action. The fact of the matter is, church members appear before disciplinary councils all the time. We only hear about it when the person being disciplined decides to add to their fifteen minutes of fame by announcing it. And we don't know yet if Kelly and Dehlin will be excommunicated. But it wouldn't surprise me. You don't tell God what He should do with His church.
Thank you, Sister Proctor, for articulating how truly faithful Latter-day Saints think about the actions of two disaffected (former?) Church members and the media biases surrounding their stories. I can confirm your description of how priesthood usually handle disciplinary courts, with complete confidentiality, sensitivity and love for the troubled member who is the focus of the counsel. My husband has been a branch president and bishop twice.
The hope of disciplinary proceedings is to offer an objective true perspective to a struggling member, to restore that person
For the life of me I can not imagine why anyone would give up their church membership for such a cause. The responsibilities that come with priesthood callings are nothing to covet. The blessings are given and shared by all. Think about what you are asking for.
Fabulous article, Maurine!
Thanks for bringing such a clear perspective to a controversial issue. In today's world, dominated by "spin", it's refreshing to read fact-based and grounded commentary. Why is it so difficult to see the hypocracy in the arguments of these individuals? One can either believe the doctrines of this Church, and participate therein, or they may affiliate with a different, or no, church that better aligns with their beliefs. Why would one seek to change the tenents of a Church any more than one would seek to change the style of a certain genre of music? This church, and it's beliefs, are not forced on anyone. All are free to embrace or reject.
Good article, Maurine. It is time somebody set the record straight about this media circus. I have followed the activities of Kate Kelly and John Dehlin for the last two years and they both deserve some type of Church discipline. They masquerade as Church members, but their actions are those of apostates who teach false doctrines and lead others to support them.
Thank you for this very clear and well written article about the current issues surrounding Kate Kelly and John Dehlin. It was telling how quickly both parties sought the press and told victim stories about their membership status. Gratefully the current buzz will be short lived.
President Hinckley said it very clearly a few years back.
We do not have "the loyal opposition"
I have the choice of accepting the Gospel and the Church as it is declared and administrated or leaving
After complaining about poor journalism, the author uses as a source an anonymous commenter on daily beast with the screen name Agnosticmormon (who thinks John should be excommunicated for alleged agnostic beliefs) here is the quote: "One writer, commenting on The Daily Beast article said that the press is eating up this martyr narrative and then notes,
I've been part of many disciplinary councils and can unequivocally say that they are only conducted when all other options have been eliminated, and only then with great love and concern for the individual. The question that the media ought to be asking is, "If you consider yourself such a member in good standing, how is your record for home teaching or visiting teaching, do you have a calling in the church and how well are you performing it, how often do you attend the temple, do you pay your tithing, do you study the scriptures daily, do you have daily personal and family prayer, and so forth?" My experience is that usually those who are "pushing against the boundary" rarely fit this mold of humble, dedicated saints.
Where and when was the chuch doctrine revelation given that only men are to have the priesthood? I truly would like to read up on it.
Just as the media is far from representing this in an un-biased manner, I can
Thank you for this article. I have been dismayed over how Ms. Kelly and Mr. Dehlin have forced their portrayal, and that is as victims, when in actuality , they have become arrogant and unrepentant.
The paragraph that begins " The public is not free to make judgements on whether. . . . ." simply dosnt make sense. Surely it should read" The public IS free to make judgements on whether . . . but the church is ALSO free to make that judgement."
"Scott Wheatley, her LDS stake president in Vienna, Va." identified to the news by Kelly and DehlinWhen Kelly refused to give up Ordain Women, take down its website, and stop discussing female ordination to the faith
My thoughts precisely. There isn't a single word in this article I can disagree with.
Like your husband likewise I sat on these councils as a counselor in the Bishopric, Ward Clerk and a Stake Clerk assigned to record the events.I read an article that was published which was sourced from Kate Kelly not the church. She made cloaked inferences which are inappropriate.The issue is "women in the priesthood" a demand that women be ordained. It won't happen.The discipline will go forward and the church will deal with it regardless of the opposition from the dissenters and apostates. Only if there is credible evidence will they be excommunicated. It transpired with Pres. Kimball with the women advocating the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment.Judging by what THEY have raised themselves in the media, likely they will. "open opposition"."The stone cut out of the mountains without hands will roll forth..."No amount of posturing and politics will save what should appropriately being done not being done. It is a court of love to rehabilitate at the roots, and will be administered justly.This sort of ranting however subtle and finessed will not end or stop the process only add to the evidence to their detriment.
Thank you for the excellent article. The right way is to hold fast to the iron and all the Church's teachings.
As Albert Einstein said: "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."By disciplining Brother Dehlin and Sister Kelly the Church verify their concerns as real problems.
We cannot expect the average apostle, 79 year old Utahan man, and the average member, 34 year old non-American woman, to have the same life changing experiences or to strive for the same life expectations!
How can the average apostle, a 12 year old boy in 1947, be able to relate to how a 12 year old girl experience gender inequality, today, within the LDS Church. Or why her 17 year old, gay, brother contemplates suicide?Brother John Dehlin and Sister Kate Kelly are voices for people who identify as Mormons.
Please, do not excommunicate Apostle Uchtdorf for wanting us ALL to fit within a Big-Tent-Church.
How sad for the individuals to claim membership yet defy all that the Chirch stands for in their Actions. Usually Deepseated secret sins will invite evil actions.such as we see In their.Expressions of love for the Church through .forked tongue narratives. Shame what a burden they must bear to be so adverse.
thanks for a well researched and clearly presented article.
It is sad to see people who doesn't take the time to understand the Church real position about these issues and prefers to hear only one side of the story. Like any other institution, the Church has the right to set her standars following the recieved direction and to define who is following these standars. If a person acts contrary to these then this person knows that a consequence will follow. If I don't like the rules of some place then I am free to establish a place of my own with my own set of rules, but I can't be in two differents points at the same time. These two people have heard again and again the warnings, but they decided to act contrary to the counsel they were given. There are ways to express our disagreement correctly, but they choose not to follow any one of them. I hope they can open their eyes to see where they are now, and learn to follow the True Light.
I am willing to allow women to be ordained to the priesthood - when the Lord reveals that this is to be. After all it would mean I could sit back and relax and let the more anxious do my work wouldn't it? But until that happens I am very willing to do as the Lord has asked me. I am an ordained Elder so I have responsibilities that come with that. Service, teaching the Gospel, assisting my wife and being assisted by her in the raising of children and the exercise of the authority and power of the priesthood. She already shares the power I have - and does so as an equal. Part of that power is to love those have different opinions but not to use the media to show that love. I do not show the love by being a media 'darling'. It is sad that these two children of God have decided to use the media to seek something that is not part of the gospel at this time. I am not sad that they might excommunicated because that is an action of love. It allows them to repent without digging a larger hole by their actions. God loves them and is sorry to see them acting this way. If they had been part of the Israelites saved out of Egypt, they would have been put to death by the Lord (Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers) for going against His wishes. I pray they see the light and repent before it is too late.
In my experience, such events generally are a smoke screen. The offending member/former member is hiding a much greater defect in their character, leading to spiritual blindness......"And ere he is aware, he is left to kick against the pricks and fight against God."Not a smart position to be in.
John claims that he is merely trying to keep people in the Church despite their doubts, but a person seeking to keep people in the Church despite their doubts would not be actively spreading reasons to doubt, as John Dehlin is doing.I've known John for over two decades, since we attended BYU together. I've always thought he was a good person, and still do, but the fact is that he has adamantly and openly rejected the fundamental truth claims of the Church. If you don't believe in the truth of the Church, then there is no justification for staying.I'm not sure what John's true aims are. Part of me thinks he wants to be a martyr. Part of me thinks he wants to be a celebrity. Part of me thinks he wants to build a movement of liberals inside the Church to use and direct it for their own purposes. None of me really thinks his aim is to shore up the faith of disbelievers.One thing is for certain: as an ex-Mormon, John will have less influence than he would as a an active (but pretend) Mormon. Doubting Mormons are less likely to listen to an apostate than to an "active Mormon" who shares their doubts, and John is perfectly aware of that.
Apostates always play the role of martyr. It's a little game of theirs. No one should be surprised by the media either, they are viscerally anti Mormon, especially the SLT, which has less journalistic ability than the National Enquirer. These two clowns will be lionized like the "September seven" but in the end, this will blow over for most people. All that needs to be remembered is that they were apostates, they refused to repent, and they got their deserved punishment. Apostasy is a choice, not something one accidentally stumbled into. Maybe all the other apostates in the pews will do the intellectually honest thing and resign their membership.
Maurine, Thank you your ever-clear voice on these troubling issues.
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