I’m seen the accusation all over LDS blogs and from people on Facebook that the church is lying in its statement yesterday that decisions regarding discipline “are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.”
They point to the fact that Brother Dehlin and Sister Kelly were summoned to disciplinary councils nearly simultaneously as evidence that church headquarters is in fact coordinating the discipline and therefore lying when they say otherwise.
But it isn’t a lie at all.
Even if the local leaders were subjunctively
encouraged by church headquarters to call these members to repentance and told that if they refuse to repent that the local authority may call a disciplinary council, the outcome of the disciplinary council is decided solely by the local authorities. Based upon the discussion and the witnesses and evidence and testimony of the individual, the council may decide to only disfellowship and not excommunicate. They may decide not to do anything. Whatever they judge is best for the individual and the other members and the church.
Also note that the individuals have only been summoned to councils, not disciplined yet. And we only know that they have been summoned because they went to the media about it. Their response to the summons will likely play a role in the decision by local leaders. But the decision will be made by the local leaders.
So saying that the decision is made locally is accurate.
Make sure you check out the link that was included at the end of the church’s statement yesterday with details about disciplinary councils: