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Sunday, July 22, 2012

LDS Excommunication

An article published in a Massachusetts paper erroneous associates Romney with the excommunication of a woman in his congregation when he served as bishop (lay pastor). Some facts are correct: for example, the stake comparative to a Catholic diocese in some ways, being about 10 wards (congregations) together. The stake president presides over those wards in his stake, but much Church activity happens on the local, or ward, level, which is presided over by the bishop of each ward. The story in question involves a woman who declared herself finished with the Church, followed by the newly called Bishop Romney inviting her to her own excommunication trial.

Here's what you need to understand about LDS excommunication that is missing in the article. Bishop Romney would not have issued the orders for an excommunication trial. That can only happen on the stake level, and he was not the stake president at that time. Also, in the absence of the article indicating the reason the stake sought an excommunication trial for this woman we don't know why this trial would have happened. Usually it is for serious sins such as broken covenants (promises to God) made in holy temples. But I have no idea what happened in this case because no reason was given. Thirdly, this woman says she told the LDS Church she was finished and wanted to be removed from off of Church records, but she apparently didn't meet with her bishop (before Mitt Romney) to sign the form to make that happen. Yes, there is a procedure for leaving the LDS Church, which is probably one reason why the rolls have more members listed than attend each LDS ward across the world.

There is something else you should understand about excommunication if you're going to be laying charges at Romney's door about it. First, excommunication is a repentance tool. An excommunicated member can have all Church ordinances reinstated following a period of complete repentance.

All of this context was missing in the article mentioned. The author does Romney a great disservice by opening with a detailed negative story involving Romney rather than making numerous possible detailed positive stories involving Romney from the same time period. I dare say that the liberal media has no intention of giving credit to him where credit is due since he is a Republican nominee rather than a Democrat one. I still caution anyone taken in by anti-Romney anti-Mormon information that you do not have the full picture, and who among us can accurately say our lives our blameless?

1 comment:

  1. You need to check your sources about Church Disciplinary Councils. Bishops can and do initiate Disciplinary proceedings which may result in a variety of disciplinary actions including excommunication and referral to the Stake President and High Council. Good article otherwise.

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