Excommunication In The Mormon Church
Kate Kelly, a feminist, civil rights activist and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, was recently notified that she might possibly be excommunicated, pending a trial in absentia. Ms. Kelly is being tried as an apostate, due to her vocal presence online and for begging the question- why can’t women have the same rights as men within the church? It is morally and ethically apprehensible to excommunicate a faithful and active member of the church, simply because the member is asking for growth, progress and equality. Excommunication is considered the highest punishment that the Church can impose on its members. It consists of “…cutting the person off from the Church, so that he is no longer a member. Every blessing of the gospel is thereby lost, and unless the person repents and gains his church status again, he cannot be saved in the Celestial Kingdom.” (McConkie, 1979). Cause for excommunication includes apostasy, rebellion, cruelty to wives and children (just a hint of sexism), immorality, and “all crimes involving moral turpitude”. (McConkie, 1979). The Mormon faith is known for several things- kindness, community, family, service, charity, sobriety, etc. But a closer look also shows blatant sexism, a history of racism, intolerance, antiquated world-views, corporate greed and an alarming amount of cognitive dissonance, avoidance issues and lasting psychological damage to its members. It is not uncommon for a closely tied family to be torn apart due to a member of the family being homosexual, or for leaving the church. For an organization that preaches that the family is one of the most important blessings in this life and a core foundational structure, it’s astonishing how easily they shun individuals who fail to meet their status quo. One might assume that because Kate Kelly is neither homosexual nor a drug and alcohol user that she would be safe to go about her business in and...
References: McConkie, B. R. (1979). Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company.
NBC News. (June 2014). Mormon Women 's Group Founder Kate Kelly Faces Excommunication. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mormon-womens-group-founder-faces-excommunication
Martin, G. R. (2000). A Clash of Kings. New York, NY: Spectra.
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