Thursday, June 12, 2014

Influential LDS Members Face Excommunication

by Brig Bagley

John Dehlin, creator of "Mormon Stories", and Kate Kelly founder of "Ordain Women", are both facing church discipline for what is claimed to be "apostasy". Within 1 day of each other, both received letters from their local leaders demanding that both cease the activist activities they are heading and repent, or face church council and possibly excommunication. 

Dehlin is currently working on a PhD in Psychology at USU. He is involved with understanding and helping others understand difficult issues within the church. One of his biggest areas is LGBT people within the church. He seeks out stories that best represent the different populations in the LDS church that struggle with various teachings, policies, and doctrine. He has stated that he has "serious doubts" in or "no longer believes many of the fundamental LDS church truth claims." He wishes, however, to remain in the church with his family and continue to fight the hard battles that exist between the church and its members.

Kelly is a D.C. Lawyer in Virginia. She created the group "Ordain Women" to protest and stand for equality for women in the LDS church, ultimately asking for women to be given the same equal priesthood roles, responsibilities, and opportunities as men. She organized a group of women to one-by-one ask ushers at the LDS general priesthood session to be allowed into the meeting. Each woman was in turn rejected for entry. Many women also carried cards of names of women that could not join the protest in order to participate in proxy. Kelly is scheduled for discipline on June 22, after which she will be out of town with her husband in Kenya. A vigil is to be held for her at the Church Office Building on that day. She sees excommunication as essentially "spiritual death", but she will not give up her cause.

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