LDS Church’s Official Statement on Church Discipline


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has posted an official statement about questions regarding discipline and excommunication:

Sometimes members’ actions contradict Church doctrine and lead others astray. While uncommon, some members in effect choose to take themselves out of the Church by actively teaching and publicly attempting to change doctrine to comply with their personal beliefs. This saddens leaders and fellow members. In these rare cases, local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.”

Read the whole statement here.

9 thoughts on “LDS Church’s Official Statement on Church Discipline

  1. In the NY Times article says, “Disciplinary actions are typically initiated by local bishops and church authorities, but Ms. Kelly and Mr. Dehlin were notified of the action against them on two consecutive days, leading them to suspect that the move was coordinated by officials in church headquarters in Salt Lake City.”

    However, the article also says the letter from his stake president “cited an Internet posting in which Mr. Dehlin wrote that he no longer believes many fundamental ‘truth claims’ the church makes.” That post was made on Monday, April 7, two days after Kate Kelly’s action on Temple Square on Saturday, April 5. Kelly and Dehlin were also coordinated enough to know about one another’s letters apparently.

  2. I don’t think KK and Dehlin were surprised at all. They got warning paid no attention and show no fruits of repentance.

  3. Although I thought my full time child care days were over, a family emergency has put me in charge of two lovely children 4 and 2.5. The other day the four year old climbed on a subway railing right where it passed over the tracks below and when reprimanded she claimed she bears no responsibility for the action since ‘my body made me do it.’ That evening she scaled a hallway cabinet and stood 40 inches off the floor asking for help in getting down. Once again her excuse was that her body made her do it. She was put in time out to consider her actions.
    Even at four she is held responsible for actions that could harm her or others. Where do those who fiercely resent any form of discipline get their training? Being a member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t always easy. The rewards are great, but largely intangible. Any ‘punishment’ is also of a non-material kind, unless you count that excommunicates don’t have their tithing accepted as such, as I understand. In my crotchety opinion, time outs, whatever they are called in disciplinary language, are very useful.

  4. Bloggernacl-ites are in an uproar. They keep threatening to leave the Church. All I can ask is, with the disdain they have for the leadership, why haven’t they already?

  5. Was reviewing some language on disciplinary actions last night, and noted under announcing a decision, that one of the grounds was when a member “ridiculed” leadership. I don’t remember that being a specific ground for church discipline, though I guess you could consider it under some vague, catch all language. I have seen posts by many who claim to be active, faithful members that out right ridicule, scorn and treat leaders with disdain and disrespect. If one really has those feelings for a leader, whether it be a bishop, stake president, or general authority, then one ought to stand up and publicly say so, and then stand ready to accept whatever follows. Kelly and Dehlin may be martyrs for the 2,500 odd people who cruise the bloggernacle, but the rest of the members won’t lose any sleep over any of this.

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