Skip to comments.Mormons need to understand excommunication
Posted on 02/23/2010 10:37:24 AM PST by Colofornian
PROVO, Utah -- Mormons need to lose their fear of talking about excommunication, says a student at the 12th Annual Religious Education Student Symposium.
Presenting his paper "Excommunication and 'He Who Must Not Be Named,'" Feb. 19 at Brigham Young University, Benjamin Tengelsen said excommunication is comparable to talking openly about Voldemort in the popular Harry Potter series.
"Noboby talks about him except Harry, who isn't afraid to say his name out loud," Tengelsen said. "We need to be like that. We need to lose our fear and be unafraid to talk about it."
As long as the subject of excommunication is a taboo topic, fear and misinformation hurt those involved, he said.
Tengelsen outlined the three purposes of church discipline or excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: to save the soul of the transgressor, to protect the innocent and to maintain the integrity, purity and good name of the church.
"To be excommunicated doesn't mean they are kicked out," he said. "They are still welcome at church meetings and activities with limited participation."
Tengelsen said there are symbolic lessons in the process, reminders that the Lord looks at the heart of the transgressor and remembers the sin no more once the sinner has truly repented.
Also, as people all do at the final judgment, there is an advocate for the one standing before the court.
"I like to think we'll have people rooting for us (at the final judgment)," Tengelsen said. "We know Christ will be pleading for us."
Tengelsen explained that in stake disciplinary hearings half of the high council is appointed to speak in behalf of the accused and that person is welcome to bring his or her own witnesses. The person judged also has the right to appeal the decision of the local council.
He said the rules are set up to be flexible and laid down so that the age, maturity, degree of repentance and public profile as well as the affected family of the individual whose membership is in question can be taken into account.
Tengelsen also pointed out that after someone who has been excommunicated is baptized again into the church, membership records only show the original baptism and ordination dates.
"It's an example of the promise we have that when we repent, God really does forget it," he said.
Is Tengelson representing the "traditional" Mormon view on this??? No!!! According to Lds "prophet" Spencer W. Kimball, does the Mormon god ONLY look @ the heart? Does Kimball say that repentance and then at least trying to abandon sin is enough? (No!) Besides what he says on p. 176 in his book The Miracle of Forgiveness, on this exact topic he even goes so far to elevate the idea of "Trying is NOT sufficient" by giving it a sub-title in chapter 12 (p. 164).
In this book Kimball says if Mormons "repent" of a sin -- but then re-commit that same sin...guess what? Well, that person never really repented of that sin in the first place! Imagine all the LDS "young people" who have "repented" of the sin of lust. But then they lust again. (Well, the LDS "prophet" said that then they never really repented of it to begin with -- they're all back to ground zero).
It's like imagining a spiritual game of Shoots & Ladders where most of the contestants always wind up back @ the bottom. Why? 'Cause it's a "game" based entirely upon the ability of somebody to self-will and self-repent once & for all from every single sin out there. Sins of commission. Sins of omission. All thousands of the types of sins out there. Catalogued 1 by 1.
Now that's depressing!
From the article: ...remembers the sin no more once the sinner has truly repented.
Ah, the Mormon "catch-22" -- defining what "truly repented" means!!!
To unravel this mystery, why, we need to unpack Lds "prophet" Kimball's writings in his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness:
"...it is not REAL repentance until one has abandoned the error of his way and started on a new path." (p. 163)
"Old sins return...Many people either do not know this or they conveniently forget it...Would this mean that the person who has returned to the sins he has professedly abandoned must start the process of repentance again from the beginning? that one cannot return to sin and then start repentance from where he left off?" (pp. 169-170)
"Discontinuance of sin MUST be PERMANENT." (p. 176)
So, let's put Kimball altogether: Unless the repentance has led a permanent abandonment of the sin -- and not simply an attempt at it (pp 163-164, 176), he implies on p. 170 that the person "must start the process of repentance again from the beginning."
Obviously Scripture tells us in the book of Acts that our repentance is to be of such a nature that it bears fruit befit of that repentance. Also, we could probably all agree that the literal meaning of "repentance" is to do a "u-turn." So, fruit covers the external dimension -- and the Greek word for "repentance" covers the inward -- the mind -- a change of mind.
The problems are how Kimball handled his "shoots and ladder" approach to what is or what isn't "real" repentance -- plus his totally subjective almost burning-in-the-bosom approach to knowing if you've been forgiven or not. The latter part is downright dangerous and could further reinforce ideas undergirding depression and even attempted suicide.
Bottom line: How do Mormons know if they have "truly repented"??? Mormons are stuck in the catch-22 of Mormon repentance: The LDS "prophet" tells you to repent of sin. You repent of a sin. You make spiritual progress. You commit the same sin. The LDS "prophet" says, "Well, then, you NEVER really repented to begin with. Go back to ground zero." The Mormon returns there. Climbs upwards again. And the shoots-and-ladder minefield tags the person again upon the same sin cropping up.
Rules & regs, eh? (Is that what any church is all about?)
Indeed, the LDS are the "rules oriented" ones: The purity and perfection we seek is unattainable without this subjection of unworthy, ungodlike urges and the corresponding encouragement of their opposites. We certainly cannot expect the rules to be easier for us than for the Son of God... (Lds "prophet" Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 28)
Just look @ all the "rule extensions" Lds have imposed upon their followers in order to make it to the highest degree of afterlife:
(1) You have to be obedient to all the commandments & ordinances of the Mormon god
(2) You have to tithe -- what Lds reference as the "Law of consecration"
(3) You have to obey the "Word of Wisdom" -- not drink coffee, etc.
(4) You have to get married -- sorry, no never-married single people allowed
(5) You have to have as many children as possible
(6) You have to perform temple work for the dead
(7) You have to perform endowments essential for this highest degree of salvation
(8) You have to be a member of the right church (Lds)
(9) You have to receive & perform the rites and ordinances established by that church
(10)You have to have Joseph Smith's consent to enter into your highest afterlife
That is 19th-20th-21st century legalism!
More examples of legalism? Look, for example, at this mainstream Lds church curricula book, Gospel Principles, and how forgiveness is NOT tied to Jesus' cross...rather, it's tied to whether or not YOU live the commandments. The Mormon church says the primary impetus for God's forgiveness isn't based upon His grace & mercy, but rather upon living the person's commandments (legalism):
"To make our repentance complete we MUST ALWAYS keep the commandments of the Lord (see D&C 1:32). A person is not fully repentant who does not pay this tithes or does not keep the Sabbath day holy or refuses to obey the Word of Wisdom. He is not repentant if he does not sustain the authorities of the Church and does not love the Lord or his fellowmen. A man who fails to have his family prayers and who is unkind to his family and others is surely not repentant...President [Spencer W.] Kimball said...spend the balance of your lives trying to live the commandments of the Lord SO he can EVENTUALLY pardon you and cleanse you." (Lds church, Gospel Principles, p. 120-122, citing Lds "prophet" Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 200)
The clear teaching here is that you MUST FIRST EARN forgiveness by ALWAYS living/keeping the commandments -- and THEN God might "eventually" forgive. How foreign to the true gospel -- where God forgives you NOT on the basis of your obedience level, but due to His own graciousness and mercy revealed in the Person of His Son dying on the cross for our sin.
We weren't perfectly obedient; He was.
We weren't capable of that; He was.
We weren't "pardon-worthy" nor will become it; His mercy trumps that.
We can't claim cleansing merit; His grace is merit-free -- a gift -- or it ain't grace at all!
Doesn’t sound like a Christian religion to me.
Ah, the big difference between relating to "religion" vs. relating to "Christ": WHO are we baptized into?
If you're part of mere "religion" you're baptized into a church. If you're a true part of Jesus Christ's family, you're baptized into HIM!!!
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3)
Come out of relating to "religion" -- and be baptized into Christ Himself!
Exactly. (See post #4)
And yet God will never leave us nor forsake us...
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Just because unGodly men shun us and cut us off from their company, does not effect God...
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38, 39
“To be excommunicated doesn’t mean they are kicked out,” he said. “They are still welcome at church meetings and activities with limited participation.”
So...like many other words, “excommunicated” doesn’t mean to mormons what it means to well, everyone else?
“Rules & regs, eh? (Is that what any church is all about?)”
I can think of ten of them off the top of my head that my church seems to find important for some reason.
But it's their religion and warrants the same respect you expect for yours.
"If we, as a people, had attempted to practice this principle without revelation, it is likely that we should have been led into grievous sins, and the condemnation of God would have rested upon us; but the Church waited until the proper time came, and then the people practiced it according to the mind and will of God, making a sacrifice of their own feelings in so doing..." [He goes on inventing justification of polygamy:] "... It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest-lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome...was a monogamic nation and the numerous evils attending that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her."
Well, I'm glad you cited the Cannon family -- the key family behind the history of the Lds Church-owned newspaper, The Deseret News. So, here -- you can add the following "gem" to your collection of George Q. Cannon polygamy quotes:
At a stake conference over 100 years ago, mainstream LDS leader George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency said: The people of the world do not believe in breeding, but we do. So the people of the world will die out and we will fill the whole earth. I admit those raising children by plural wives are not complying with man-made laws, but in the sight of God they are not sinning, as there is no sin in it. (George Q. Cannon, Sanpete Stake conference, Sept., 1899. Smoot Investigation, Vol. 1, p. 9.) [BTW, Cannon said this NINE years AFTER the manifesto slowing down polygamy...and fLDS still cite this LDS source!!]
So, Lds tell us. Was this member of the "First Presidency" wrong in saying that polygamy is "not sinning, as there is no sin in it". If that's the case, on what grounds do Lds First Presidencies now ex-communicate anybody?
And remember, Cannon said that in 1899...so you can't run away from this quote as some sort of "pre-Manifesto" comment.
Choice? Lds Mormons -- either your 1899 First Presidency was a false general authority in pretending to speak for God, OR your 2010 First Presidency is false. Both of them CANNOT be right. Polygamy can't both be NOT a sin and an excommunicable disease worthy of church booting.
So, which First Presidency is/was in error? (Stop lurking on Q like this & come out of the closet)
I love that comment!
I have had mormons tell me that "We are baptized 'in the name of Jesus Christ', not into the Capital-C-Church...one reason I usually post "baptized and confirmed as a member".
Just happy to see someone come out of the closet, LOL.
|The Official Scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
© 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
No; it does not.
THEY do NOT 'respect' ANY religion other than their own.
I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the otherThis is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, Never mind, all is wellI am well enough off. I then said to my mother,
Joseph Smith continues: "for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible" (from Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith-History 1:12). "What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.270).Questions put to Joseph Smith: "'Do you believe the Bible?' [Smith:]'If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do'. When asked 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons'? [Smith replied] 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119).Brigham Young stated this repeatedly: "When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness" (Journal of Discourses 5:73); "The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God" (Journal of Discourses 8:171); "With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" (Journal of Discourses 8:199); "And who is there that acknowledges [God's] hand? ...You may wander east, west, north, and south, and you cannot find it in any church or government on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.24); "Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity" (Journal of Discourses 10:230).Orson Pratt proclaimed: "Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent" (The Seer, p. 255).Pratt also said: "This great apostasy commenced about the close of the first century of the Christian era, and it has been waxing worse and worse from then until now" (Journal of Discourses, vol.18, p.44) and: "But as there has been no Christian Church on the earth for a great many centuries past, until the present century, the people have lost sight of the pattern that God has given according to which the Christian Church should be established, and they have denominated a great variety of people Christian Churches, because they profess to be ...But there has been a long apostasy, during which the nations have been cursed with apostate churches in great abundance" (Journal of Discourses, 18:172).President John Taylor stated: "Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167); "Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom." (Journal of Discourses, 10:127).James Talmage said: "A self-suggesting interpretation of history indicates that there has been a great departure from the way of salvation as laid down by the Savior, a universal apostasy from the Church of Christ". (A Study of the Articles of Faith, p.182).President Joseph Fielding Smith said: "Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as it had been the case in former dispensations, and the people were left in spiritual darkness." (Doctrines of Salvation, p.266). "For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the place of salvation ...Joseph Smith declared that in the year 1820 the Lord revealed to him that all the 'Christian' churches were in error, teaching for commandments the doctrines of men" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p.282).More recent statements by apostle Bruce McConkie are also very clear: "Apostasy was universal...And this darkness still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol 3, p.265); "Thus the signs of the times include the prevailing apostate darkness in the sects of Christendom and in the religious world in general" (The Millennial Messiah, p.403); "a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom" (Mormon Doctrine, p.132); "virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit" (Mormon Doctrine, p.269); "Gnosticism is one of the great pagan philosophies which antedated Christ and the Christian Era and which was later commingled with pure Christianity to form the apostate religion that has prevailed in the world since the early days of that era." (Mormon Doctrine, p.316).President George Q. Cannon said: "After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon" (Gospel Truth, p.324).President Wilford Woodruff stated: "the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p.196).
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