What next? How to move forward from the excommunication.

Moroni 10. 32So, here we are, post Kate Kelly excommunication.

What next?

There are many people who are hurting, questioning, wondering what to do. I had a friend express concern about where to take her questions now? She did not know what constitutes safe or legitimate questioning, and she fears for her family and friends who are aligned with Kate Kelly’s group. Those are reasonable concerns, however, I don’t think anyone needs to fear, because Sister Kelly was not excommunicated for asking a question, despite the media narrative, and her own protestations to that effect. And when you think about it, our Church was founded on the fact that Joseph Smith had a question and went to the Lord in prayer and asked his question. Asking questions is a good thing. Honestly, I don’t think I have studied the Gospel this much and so intensively in many years, because of all of the questions out there. It’s been good for all of us, I think. We just need to make sure that we don’t get so wrapped up in our questions that we lose sight of our end goal of returning to our Heavenly Father.

So, my message to everyone, especially those who are hurting today, is this:

Heavenly Father loves you. He understands your pain fully. His son, our Savior Jesus Christ, suffered for you, individually, so that he could succor you personally. In Alma 7: 11-12 it states:

“11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”

Do you believe that promise? And are you willing to take the Lord up on his offer to succor you personally? I hope you are, because he wants to. His burden is easy and is yoke is light – that’s a promise. Do that today, right now, you won’t regret it.

Perhaps, as well, if we stop defining ourselves with the terms of the world we would all feel better about where we stand in the Gospel and in the Church and in relationship to each other. No more feminists, left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal, cisnormal quasi boys and girls (honestly, I read that term on an LDS blog recently and I didn’t even know what it meant). We are children of our Heavenly Father and that is it. The only people we should be standing with is the Lord and with Jesus Christ.

Along with laying aside worldly terms and the labels we have given ourselves, is the need to remember our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement – every single day. We also need to show each other more patience and mercy in dealing with our individual issues. Before we hurl accusations at each other or say things we can’t take back, let’s give each other the room we all need to repent and to change our ways. People are hurting today. Have we all reached out to someone and offered our hand in comfort and friendship? Even if that person is “on the other side”? Let’s also stop assuming the worst about each other.

I consider myself a very typical LDS member, who follows the prophet and believes in the teachings of the Church. I did not find one drop of joy in the news of Sister Kelly’s excommunication. In fact, I had myself a little bit of an ugly cry about it. It’s been a big deal for everyone. And even though, I do think this is all for the best, I do not joy in the fact that this is where things are at. People are gloating in some corners, and that is absolutely not good, but for the most part, I don’t think people are rejoicing at this. They shouldn’t be, because we are Children of our Heavenly Father, and we have been given the commandment to love one another. So let’s strip away the labels and the world and do that.

The second chapter of Ephesians, in the New Testament, gives some good insight on how to do this. Verses 2 and 3 teach us who we are now,

“2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”

Verseses 4 – 6, show us what God has done for us:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Verses 7 and 10 talk about the power of GRACE and how that perfects us and changes us into the people our Heavenly Father wants us to be:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Finally in verses 19 and 20 we read,

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

So, are we willing to cast of the labels of the world, and to build our lives on the Gospel, and the teachings of the prophets and apostles? We have been invited in to be fellow citizens with Jesus Christ. Are we willing to take advantage of the GRACE that Christ offers us? Because it is there, he has already done the hard work, we have to choose to follow him and his path. Choose Jesus Christ and His path today.

From Ether 12: 27 we are taught and, again, invited:

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Weaknesses can come in all forms, and differently for each person. Are we willing to lay aside our pride, anger, frustrations, impatience, harsh feelings toward others, and misunderstandings with each other, so that the GRACE of the Lord can work on us, and thru us to strengthen us? Remember, Christ has already done the hard part, he wants to, and he can succor you individually and personally – and He will, if we let him. And we need to remember it is a process that might take months and sometimes even years. But if we are willing to accept this invitation, the Lord will be there with us, every step of the way.

Finally, from Moroni 10: 32:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

My parting thoughts echo what I’ve already written. If you are hurting, you are not alone, and people DO want to help, even people “on the other side”. Go to the Lord with your feelings, troubles and questions. Be willing to follow his path and do things the way He has outlined to find the answers you seek. I promise things will get better, even if it takes time. But you are not alone, none of us are. That’s a promise from our Heavenly Father. Be willing to help those that are struggling and hurting today as well. Let’s all step back and count to 100, and then come back and see if we can work on healing and helping each other together.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

26 thoughts on “What next? How to move forward from the excommunication.

  1. Your post is an example of heartfelt pondering and I appreciate it. I am one of those who welcomed a definitive resolution. As Meg pointed out in the post prior to this, it is our duty to follow the current leadership. After his excommunication for continuing to take polygamous wives after the Manifesto, John W. Taylor refused to lend his name or support to others who wanted to use his prestige as a former apostle and son of a prophet and president of the Church. He was charismatic and handsome and known for moving and sometimes prophetic sermons. There was potential for real damage if he had sought a following. Instead he died in relative poverty and obscurity. I honor him for the choice he made even though it meant that his several widows and their children were subjected to scorn and hardship. Many have profited either financially or socially by taking their personal disagreements with Church leadership to the public forum. I have noticed an interesting trend among comments to the story posted on Yahoo. Setting aside virulent comments from those who have a history of hating Mormons, as well as evident comments from faithful members of the Church, the majority of comments say something like this “I am not (will never be) a Mormon, but this woman should not expect to change her church. There are plenty of other churches that would let her be a leader.” Some extend a welcome to the Lutherans or Presbyterians, and some suggest she go all the way and become an atheist. In any case most support the rights of a religion to set doctrine and suggest that those who disagree with that doctrine should join another church or start their own. ‘All things work together for good’ is a phrase found in several scriptures. I believe this current social media crisis will ultimately be of benefit to ‘those who love the Lord.’

  2. Powerful stuff, Joyce. Reminds me of what Bro. Brad Wilcox talked about in his BYU Devotional address called “His Grace is Sufficient”. That talk was what helped me to finally understand Grace and how to access it in my life and my life is completely different today. I think a lot of suffering could be soothed if more people truly understood Grace and how to access it in their lives. God, in His infinite mercy and love, wants us to be truly happy and has provided the way. We just have to be humble enough to ‘look’.

  3. Aaron, that is one of my favorite talks by Brad Wilcox.

    Thanks Pat, I love your comments.

    Thanks Geoff, as well.

  4. Kate’s comments this week make it sound like she won’t come back until women are ordained in the Church, though I hope that time will result in her heart being healed and a desire to come back. I can only hope that when she is ready, she’ll be living in a ward and stake that has enough members willing to welcome her with open arms and not hold her previous actions against her. It’ll be a challenge for some to forgive.

  5. Nah, most of us are real softies when it comes to the penitent. Most of us know how easy it is to follow pride and how wonderful it is to accept Grace. If there are some who retain resentment, there is a job of repentance that just fits them.

  6. When I was an eight year-old boy and freshly baptized, I felt that it was my responsibility to defend my religion to the point of fighting others who made fun of it and/or my beliefs. I don’t know how this happened but I can tell you that it took decades before I realized that the Savior can take care of Himself and His Church and my (unholy) efforts were not necessary for the success of the Church. Even today it is often my first inclination to take umbrage when I see or think I see efforts both internal and external that cast the shadow of disparagement, disbelief and even apostasy against the Church.

    So there is indeed a job of repentance that just fits me but childhood beliefs and understandings can be very hard to break once those patterns are set early in our mortal development.

  7. Thank you, Joyce. I’m glad that although some of us have been frustrated with some of the things KK said, or the manner in which she approached the issue, that most don’t rejoice or feel the need to gloat after the excommunication decision.
    I again echo rameumptom’s words that the church will be lesser without her, but the decision needed to be made.
    For Kate Kelly, and perhaps many who sympathize(d) with her, the road back will probably be difficult, but that road is still always there. I noticed a number of the scriptures and talks Joyce mentioned talk heavily about humility. I especially love Ether 12:27 about being humble so that weak things can become strong. This can be difficult for all of us, but I feel that may be particularly difficult to do in such a public sphere right now. I don’t know if Kate Kelly originally orchestrated this “movement” to have so much attention and support, or whether it began to take on a life of it’s own as it got bigger. Regardless, I feel for her position right now. She has followers and publicity, which will make it very difficult to back down from her positions. I pray as this dies down, as things always do, that Kate and others who sympathize, will be able to feel their Heavenly Father’s love for them and His and many of our desire to have them back in the fold.

  8. I think it is wonderful how many of us can stand strongly for the Church, but also grieve for the loss of one of our own. I’ve noted elsewhere that Kate’s excommunication is kind of like excommunicating Oliver Cowdery. While necessary, no one really wanted to do it. And in his return, he showed no umbrage towards those who found him guilty of apostasy. He only stated that he knew the door by which to return, and was ready to reenter that door.

  9. RE: Herb Ruth
    ” I don’t know how this happened but I can tell you that it took decades before I realized that the Savior can take care of Himself and His Church and my (unholy) efforts were not necessary for the success of the Church.”

    Thank you for this.

  10. Can someone please explain to me how,
    1) I
    2) “the Church”
    3) or God
    Are worse off because a puerile, tantrum throwing apostate has finally had the church take sanction of her behavior?

    I personally agree with CS Lewis, who said essentially that Satan, and his minions, cannot extend Hell into heaven, no matter how much they want to. Why are there folks here hoping that the church will be worse off without apostates like Kate Kelly around? Seriously don’t get it.

    I do agree with wanting/hoping that she’ll repent. An infinite God (which I happen to believe in) just doesn’t need Kate Kelly. She on the other hand, truly needs Him.

  11. Hi h_nu,

    He loves her, that’s all. He loves all of us.

    He won’t permit unclean individuals to return, which is why Christ volunteered to be our mediator. But They really do want her to return.

    They don’t want her to return so much that they’ll overturn everything for her alone. Because while They love her, They also love everyone else.

    The Son of the Morning already tried to play that card, claiming that he and his followers should be more important than all else, that because they had concerns the entire plan should change to accommodate them. So though God loved them as much as He loves us, in the face of that opposition (and active attempts to get others to defect) He made a choice to allow them to be cut off.

    He discards no one. But He/They will not corrupt the nature of salvation. As we are promised, ultimately every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He/They are God, and that Their plan was the required plan to effect salvation. The three options we will have are:

    Repent and Rejoice

    Fear and Tremble, unwilling to Forgive Ourselves

    Rage and Reject, preferring to rule in hell than obey in heaven

    I just really do think there will be many more in the “Repent and Rejoice” category than folks typically think.

  12. H_nu, we’re worse off because an innocent soul who had the true gospel handed to her on a silver platter and who, we suppose, was brought up in the nurture of the Lord, somehow was enticed or duped into becoming a tantrum-throwing apostate who needed to be sanctioned. (Your words, not mine.)

    Like the Apostle Paul, Korihor, Alma Jr., and Zeezrom (if i got the characters right), KK is going to have a humiliating and excruciatingly painful “realization moment”.

  13. I’m not sure which thread to post this on, but here goes. JD has finally put his stances/beliefs in a text in a recent post on Mormon Stories ( as opposed to having them buried in audio-only podcasts).

    I see another train wreck coming. I assume JD has accumulated a lot more followers/accolytes than KK due to the fact he has been at it longer.

    As I’ve probably stated elsewhere, I don’t accept at face value his claim that he has helped more people stay in the church than leave. Or, maybe he hasn’t made that exact statement at all, and has merely stated that he helped _some_ people stay, and left unspoken the relationship of that number to the number who have left because of his efforts.

    My deduction/conclusion is that he has merely kept them around long enough so they can all leave together if the church doesnt bend to his desires.

    My opinion of him was mainly formed years ago when i viewed a PPT he did of Brigham Young and the priesthood ban. His attitude/tone of voice, and his non-defense of the church strongly implied he was a non-believer even back then.

    IMO, this recent post is going to force the hand of his local leaders, and we will see round two of this drama shortly.

  14. Hi Bookslinger…
    Do we have the same definition of innocent soul? My understanding of Mormonism is that anyone who has reached the age of accountability has sinned, as is therefore no longer innocent. As far as I am aware, Kate Kelly is older than 8 years old, and despite her actions, is not developmentally challenged enough to be considered spiritually incapacitated. At some point in her life, she has sinned and is no longer innocent. While she was under the covenant of Grace she was forgiven (which is not the same as innocent), but only inasmuch as she was truly united (heart mind will) with Christ by covenant. When she broke that covenant, the atonement stopped applying to her. The church has officially recognized (what had already happened), so really, let’s stop calling her an “innocent” “victim.”

    Her parents must have brought her up with the incorrect emphasis, because it looks like they’re following the same path right out of the church.

    I’m not going to feel bad because God has been consistent with His previous words. I’m glad that God is still reliable. I personally feel bad that Kate hasn’t repented, but the church isn’t the worse off for not having her in it, at least, not as bad off as she is without the church, and I hope that’s where we (as supposedly faithful saints) keep that emphasis.

  15. The term ‘innocent soul’ perplexed me as well. Little children are not held accountable for their actions, but as the grandmother of nearly thirty assorted children, all of whom were or are being taught correct principles, I can attest that those under the age of eight often display behavior that would get them in trouble as adults such as theft, lying, and assault with teeth and nails. I don’t believe that Kate’s parents are accountable for her errors, but for their own folly in involving themselves in her mistaken crusade.

  16. Nu and pat, youre not taking the big perspective i am. Youre comparing the exed kk with the kk of one year ago. I’m comparing the current kk with the 8 year old or even the 21 year old kk who went on a mission and testified of the restoration.

    Somewhere between age 8 and a year ago, she was seduced/duped by progressivism, and it was likely sealed upon h er in law school. It was progressivism that put her in “thought prison”.

    I’m not defending or excusing or diminishing her adult decision to turn against church leaders. But i solemnly affirm that her seduction or brainwashing by, and wholesale acceptance of, leftism/progressivism/political correctness preceeded turning against the church and leaders, and was a prerequisite. You can discern that by reading her statements and the ow material and see how it is near 100% based on pc/leftism.

    If you dont see the connection between what she is doing and leftism/pc/etc, then you dont sufficiently understand what we’re up against.

    Knowing the enemy is essential for a defense.

  17. I personally believe that only stupid people get brainwashed. Smart people see through it, and reject it, whichever side it comes from…

    While I completely agree with you about the evils of liberalism, (please see my track record which leads some conservatives hear to censor my anti-liberal comments) KK was not an innocent victim. She chose this outcome the moment she let her own reason climb above God’s righteousness.

    As CS Lewis wrote, “There’s only 2 types of persons in this world.. Those who say to God ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, “thy will be done.’ KK has rejected everything. While I hope she will eventually learn to say to God, “Thy will be done”, I will not hold my breath, nor feign undue sadness. The church isn’t less without her, any more than God isn’t less without her. Infinity – 1 apostate is still infinity. Infinite happiness comes from being in the gospel covenant, and I just firmly reject that our eternal happiness is in any way spoiled by her antics.

  18. “If you dont see the connection between what she is doing and leftism/pc/etc, then you dont sufficiently understand what we’re up against.”

    Bookslinger is totally correct. And I agree with his analysis.

  19. I believe God weeps for every one of His children who choose not to accept His wonderful gift with a sorrow deeper than any of us can possibly imagine with our limited understanding of the consequences of doing so. Is He lessened by our poor choices? No. But He certainly is pained by them as only a parent can begin to understand.

  20. H-nu, i testify to you that both the leaders and the rank and file of pc-ism are rife with highly intelligent people, all the way up the percentile ladder.

    Righteous does not equate in any way to intelligence.

    There are super geniuses in every religion and in all forms of paganism, agnosticism and atheism. there are super geniuses in every political movement.

    Intelligence is no barrier to being brainwashed or seduced or duped.

    Apparently, I’m still unable to make my point clearer. but Let me try again… I agree with you that we are no worse or better off comparing today versus 1, 2, 3 or 12 months ago. I’m looking at a bigger chunk of time. I’m not excusing KK. i’m not saying she didnt need to be exed. (I thought it was going to be disfellowshipment, but I assume her bishop and council followed the Lord’s will.)

    But something happened between the point when she was a true believer ( at least believed enough to go to byu and go on a mission) and the point she decided to openly defy the Brethren. Comparing those two points, likely years apart, then the church is worse off.

    That change was accompanied by her agency. She turned around, or turned aside. However, that doesnt happen in a vacuum. Something has to tempt us. An alternative has to be presented. That alternative, in this case, was pc-ism. PC the heart of feminists and political leftists. It is seductive because it uses fair words like equality and justice (note that she is a social justice lawyer).

    Please, please, go read Thought Prison by Prof Dr Charlton.

  21. Another point that is closely tied in as to how we should view KK and JD.

    While their public words and actions are legitimately subject in turn to analysis and public comment, we are not to judge -them- or presume to know the contents of their heart. That is left to the Great Judge, and the duly appointed Judges in Israel. This is true in regard to any sin; apostasy or any other.

    We may judge/analyze the -act-, and say such-and-such is apostasy, according to authoritative definitions. We may say such-and-such an act subjects one to the possibility of being exec or disfellowshipped, according to the church’s handbook of instructions. but I do not believe we have the right to say someone -should- be exed or disfellowshipped.

    Without knowing the heart, we don’t know the -degree- that they intentionally sinned, and we dont know all the circumstances, mitigating or aggravating, that the Lord has taken or will take into account when he judges.

    One example: cases where people guilty of fornication only suffer informal probation, while others get exed.

    Because of her age, KK doesnt really have that much experience in the church as an adult. She’s only in her 20’s. Heck, she hasnt even been a legal adult all that long. She’s still operating under the influence of the fervor of youth.

    Wait until you’re in your 50’s, and people under 30 will all seem like children to you. Those 18 year old missionaries now look like babies to me.

    I’m really serious about that political seduction thing. When the entire academic environment kindergarten through post grad, and the entire media exposure of youth, colllege kids, and young adults is pc, its easy to see how they absorb it as “normal” and can be convinced of it.

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