Kate Kelly was not kicked out of Heaven

I’m careful to write about this subject.

Partly because it is regarding another human life and partly because it has to do with something that I consider sacred, personal, and private.

But it’s a topic we can’t dance around, ignore, or wish away. Even though for every Latter-day Saint right now we wish we could wish it away some way or another. We wish it could be different for everyone–and I know I’m speaking on behalf of every side to this argument.

Yesterday the decision was made. Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And my heart sunk.

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If you’ve been following my blog even in the slightest that last part might surprise you. I haven’t agreed with Ordain Women’s agenda or mission statement since the launch of their website in 2013 and Kate and I have very different ideas and theologies. BUT my heart still sank. Kate served a mission—dedicating 18 months of her life to the gospel and to those who need it. She married in the temple, making covenants with God that sealed their love forever. She most likely served in many callings, leading others with her natural knack for speaking, encouraging, and teaching. She’s intelligent and well-spoken. She was a member we needed. That’s something to be sad over.

But then my heart sank for something else. Something that hurt a little worse.

In the darkness of a cramped car as we drove back from a day trip I read by the light of my phone an interview with Kate shortly after her excommunication. And it stunned me. *You can read the whole interview here.*

“Essentially what they’ve done is, they’ve not only kicked me out of church, they’ve also kicked me out of Heaven,” Kate said in the interview. She continued on, “…I do not acknowledge that God recognizes the decision…I don’t think these men have control over that.”

These men. Kicked out of Heaven. God doesn’t recognize the decision.

Ouch.

My only question for Kate would be why she’s so saddened over leaving the church if it’s only full of men who have no authority from God, if decisions made in the church don’t really matter, and if temple covenants are nothing other than whispered, thoughtless words that carry no further than the ceiling?

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It was a punch to my gut—and maybe even to yours right now—that anyone would think that our church is made up of thoughtless men who kick people out of Heaven. That temple covenants don’t mean much because we’ll all just get there somehow.

It stunned me, because truth is–no one kicks anyone out of Heaven. No one has the authority to take you by the shoulders and steer you away from the pearly gates. You alone hold that power. You alone choose to walk in–or out– of Heaven.

Am I damning Kelly to a place other than Heaven? Absolutely not. I’m just restating what my religion–and the majority of other religions–believe, and that is that every individual dictates their own salvation. Your choices, your love for God and for the doctrine you follow, ultimately steer the course of your life and point you toward where you’ll stand when all is said and done and you see the Savior face to face.

These men Kate speaks of happen to be her brothers. Her friends. Her husband. Her counselors and teachers and prophets who spend time on their knees for her–and for all of us–to be comforted and to be faithful and to endure. These men love Kate. Just as the women in the church do. Just as the head of the church does–Jesus Christ himself. Their decision wasn’t a casual one. It wasn’t a meeting of egos that decided to kick a soul out of Heaven. It came after multiple conversations, dealings with Kate, prayers, tears shed from people of all sides of the debate, and genuine pleadings with the Lord. It came after letters that told Kate questions aren’t bad. Neither are opinions. It’s when questions turn to stumbling blocks and hindrances for others that it suddenly takes eyes off of Jesus Christ and eternity and puts eyes instead on worldly agendas, trending groups, and followings meant for personal gain.

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The “Church of Latter-day saints” Kate refers to in the interview is the Church of Jesus Christ–a church that is led by a Savior who should continue to be the only focus for its members–and for the world. In THAT church, the one with Christ within the name, our Savior teaches and counsels, edifies, encourages growth, and welcomes. It’s us alone that back away.

It’s us alone that has any kind of potential of kicking ourselves out or taking away promises we’ve made.

We, as a church, need to learn something from this event. We need to learn that the fight that really needs to be fought is the fight to win souls to Christ. No other agenda. No other reason to gain followers. No other reason to be involved. It’s to rise up as women and men in the gospel–together–to reach others and to stand for what’s not necessarily popular, but what is true. It’s to use our talents and our time and our enthusiasm to better the world, to heed God’s word, and to always succumb to humility before pride. It’s to practice our faith in our covenants and to remember the validity of the promises we make. It’s to remember that sometimes the good fight lies in what’s least popular in society.

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Elder Hales once said, “If you judge your actions and the standards of the Church on the basis of where the world is and where it’s going, you will find that you are not where you should be.”

While I hurt for the damage the heated debate has done to so many, I also hurt for Kate. And we should. Because simply put–there’s room here.

From the moment she commented on my blog months ago in response to my first opinion article I have had respect for her leadership skills, her zeal, her drive. I know for a fact that she’s someone who could lead in so many capacities that are offered in this gigantic church and someone who could easily lead others to Christ. I know for a fact she still has that chance.

A day will come, I hope, where she–and others in her shoes–will realize that there is no grand jury forcing members to leave. There is no group of meaningless, hard-hearted men who insist on forcing out the women. No. instead there are closed eyes and bent knees and clasped hands praying…praying…praying for a safe return from a thwarted course.

I am one of those praying.

 

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75 thoughts on “Kate Kelly was not kicked out of Heaven

  1. The question is will she take the path of Zeezrom, a lawyer who led people astray for personal gain but eventually repented and came back, or will she continue trying to wrest the scriptures (to her own detriment)?
    I sincerely hope it’s the former as her return through the Atonement would be a high profile repentance case the world could learn a thing or two from.

  2. Kayla, I see you put a lot of thought and feeling into this and I respect that sincerely. My only comment is that I don’t think you have ever been witness to a church disciplinary council. I have served on high councils in 4 different stakes, I have been on this councils more than a few times. Each different each leader different, some were bent knees, humble before the Lord earnestly looking to do His will, in others Men that think they know whats best and feel they need to be the enforcers of the church, not so much love more big stick. Leadership is what it is, sometimes good sometimes not. It is not as cut and dry as you might think, nor as clean and neat a process.

    • In this case, Kate Kelly’s church disciplinary council didn’t rush to judgement. They took an extra day to pray (and most likely fast) for the correct decision from the Lord. As I read the letter from her Bishop, I could feel his love for her in the sentences he wrote. He repeatedly spoke to her, over and over, and she refused to be guided by Priesthood Authority from the Lord. I could tell he had shed tears over having to excommunicate her. I pray for her to return to the Lord, that her blessings can be restored to her.

    • i have family and friends whom have gone through church disciplinary actions. yes it is a tough sad time. kate sadly is focused on a track heading to her own and others destruction unless she turns her heart around. she is angry and has a tunnel vision view. those family and friends whom went through this had to make a choice-return with humble heart seeking a happier life or to go with the world and continue in a fog. some chose to seek to return to the gospel sadly some chose to continue with the world and i have seen their unhappiness continue with living ‘of the world’. so hopefully kate and husband and those whom followed her in this direction have a change of heart. i have a friend caught up in this group and she is angry with the church.
      i cannot imagine what it is like to sit on these panels. must be heart wrenching

  3. The thing is, Kate is a friend of mine, and you have misrepresented what she believes. She does NOT believe that priesthood holders have no real authority. She DOES believe that she has essentially been cut off from celestial glory for nothing more than publishing her ideas.

    • I think your friendship might be fogging up an unbiased view of her. Did you read the interview? Did you see how she didn’t mention Christ. I think she knows the name of her church. And I think the following statement shows her respect of the Priesthood.
      “I do not acknowledge that God recognizes the decision…I don’t think these men have control over that.”

      She carefully chose these words. Don’t let your friendship with her blind you. And the author was very respectful and tactful in her article. Because Kate went public that makes her subject to any praise and criticism that comes with her 15 minutes of fame. Just like being a celebrity.

      I hope you see the clear message her words show.

    • If she truly believed that her priesthood holders had real authority why did she not follow their counsel when they approached her numerous times? Because I feel that each of our bishops, stake presidents, area authorities, and general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are called of a God. She taught and led many people away from what has been declared by modern revelation.

    • She has done more than just “publish her ideas”. She has done more than mere questioning. She has created a following of women (and men) that believe that women must hold the Priesthood, something that neither God nor Christ have taught anywhere in the scriptures. She has furthermore taken that belief and created a pseudo-doctrine to preach to other members of the Church. The group that she founded has created “discussions” (remarkably simliar to that of the LDS church format) that include “proclamations”, use scripture, mostly out of context, to “teach” it’s doctrine.

      She has repeatedly demanded that the Brethren of the Church pray about the issue, as if they and all former prophets hadn’t. A very overt answer to the issue was given by Elder Oaks in the 2014 Priesthood session of April’s General Conference, which the sisters were allowed to watch via internet and BYU TV. Other GC talks also touched on the issue. The answer given is the same it has been, that God has gifted the priesthood to all worthy men of the Church.

      What Kate Kelly has done is create her own church with it’s own teachings and it’s own way of spreading those teachings. This church actively seeks others to join it’s cause in demanding that woman be given the priesthood.

      If you have your temple recommend, this question is always asked in the recommend interview: “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”

      Essentially everyone who actively affiliates, agrees with, supports, and participates with Ordain Woman cannot worthily answer “no” to this question, since Ordain Women’s teachings are contrary and are oppose Church doctrine.

      It is okay to have questions about gospel topics, seek guidance and truth through sincere study and prayer, But what Kate Kelly has done is far beyond this.

      Satan works in subtle and devious ways. He is the master of deception He attempts to lead astray us all the time. Even some of the strongest of brothers and sisters have been and will be deceived. All of those persons that follow Kate Kelly’s doctrine have been deceived.

      We all hope that Sister Kelly and all the other followers of the Ordain Women church will realize the deception that has befallen them and are being, lead astray, and that she and they come back to to the fullness of the Gospel.

    • I am sure she is a nice lady. She is well dressed and groomed. Her speaking abilities are great and she probably has a way of making others feel good about themselves and feel good when in her presence. That doesn’t make what she is doing ‘good’ for her or others.
      Her quote of being kicked out of heaven by the men on the council is a perfect example of blaming others for personal mistakes. She is the only one keeping herself out of heaven. How and why she gives this power to others confuses me. She claims to be strong and independent, curious and seeking, yet she blames others for answering a question in which she desires a self-directing answer to.
      And, maybe she has been ‘cut off from celestial glory for nothing more than publishing her ideas’. Because, SHE chose to behave the way she did and publish her ideas that are CONTRARY to Christ’s church….anyone not believing in Christ and trusting in HIS ways will be cut off…and until judgment day only Christ will be able to atone for her sins.

  4. Furthermore, it really isn’t up to you to publicly speculate on her thoughts/opinions/feelings on this matter because it IS private. You may have the right to do so, but it doesn’t make it proper.

    • Andy, do you know what a Blog is?? it is a personal opion!! if one does not like it one does not need to respond, or one can nicely respond..

    • She made it public. If she hadn’t continually gone to the press to broadcast, no one, would have known. I agree with you, it is a private matter, which she chose to make public. For good or for ill, she sparked the conversation herself.

    • This matter is the furthest thing from private. Kate Kelly has made sure everything has been made public… which leads to public speculation. Her choosing to do this in the way she did this, essentially gave permission for others to comment on the goings on. If it were a private matter, she should have kept it private.

      These things didn’t just happen to her, she made conscious decisions that lead to these consequences. Her failure to take responsibility for her own actions speaks volumes about her…

      Your being her personal friend doesn’t change the fact that what she has done, & is continuing to do is repugnant. You are blinded by friendship.

      • This was not an issue that affects only Kate Kelly. This affects all women in and outside of the church. The culture of sexism within the church is detrimental to all women. The inequality that Kate Kelly and all of her supporter have experienced is the problem of all members, not just Kate Kelly, and it’s not something that’s going to be changed by one person quietly contemplating to themselves. If someone is being discriminated against, it is not that person’s problem that the rest of the world looks unfavorably on the discrimination. Say everything you want about men and women having “different but equal” roles (which is distressingly similar to the “separate but equal” mantra of racist practices), denying power and authority to class of people based purely on their gender is discrimination. Kate Kelly made her concerns public because they were not adequately being addressed when she brought them up in private. Also, she has been nothing but respectful and deferential in referencing the dealings she had with the church. She has never given the names of anyone who has told her to stop her activities, she has never advocated for anything but respectful dialogue, and she has never expressed any sort of hate or bitterness towards the church. Contrast this with John Dehlin, who has expressly stated that the Prophet does not receive revelation from God, and who was summoned for a disciplinary council one day from Kate Kelly’s summons and yet was not excommunicated. Why? Because he has at every turn gone to the media and publicized the names of anyone in the church who chastises him and any action or censorship the church takes against him. He actively seeks to bring negative aspects of the church to light, yet he is allowed to retain membership. Kate Kelly did not use the same tactics, and the church refused to allow her records to be transferred to her current ward, insisted she fly across the country back to her old ward for her disciplinary counsel, and excommunicated her when she didn’t attend. Kate Kelly has never said that she doesn’t believe the Prophet is God’s representative on Earth, or that any of the church’s teachings are false. The church is playing politics. Kate Kelly’s greatest weakness with the church may have been that she was too respectful and too unwilling to fight dirty. The church has made it clear that they will not allow people to work to end negative cultural aspects of the church unless those people stir up as much indignation and fear of reprisal as possible. The church may have gotten rid of Kate Kelly, but in doing so it did more damage to its image in revealing its shameful politics than Kate Kelly ever did in her protests.

      • To Ann Tudor and Chane ….

        There is such a lot of animosity and bitterness you seem to have for this whole situation and the church in general, and it jumps off your page in a very noticeable way. I am so sorry you feel the way you do, yet I suppose nothing any of us may say to try and sway you to another line of thinking will be beneficial at this point. In your anger you appear to be “beyond feeling” about anything positive this church may have to offer. It seems you left long ago – it is evident in some of the terms and words you use….

        You refer to a “fetus” rather than a “baby”, a term that clearly shows how you value motherhood.

        You refer to the “current power structure of the church”, a term that indicates a real lack of faith in the Savior’s ability to make a plan for His church, not to mention the dis-belief you have that the church may be led by righteous men who are implementing the will of God and His Son.

        You refer to the “negative cultural aspects of the church”, a term that indicates you feel the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be man made, influenced by the people who are in it, rather than by Diety.

        You refer to “shameful politics”, a term that indicates you believe the very core doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can be changed at will to fit the whims of it’s leaders for some personal or unrighteous gain.

        You refer to “discrimination” in the church over and over, as if the “rules” of society should apply to the rules of religion (God) as well, and want to assert that there are more women in the church who either feel discriminated against or are not intelligent enough to know they are being discriminated against, when in fact there are more women who do not see it that way, than do.

        So, in light of my observations, whether it makes any difference to you or not, I will offer it anyway, in case it makes a difference to someone else who may read this.

        Yes, Women ARE 100% dependent on the men in this church to receive any blessings of the priesthood, or any ordinances related to it. SO ARE MEN, 100% dependent on other men for the same blessings and ordinances, and in turn, 100% dependent on women to receive the highest priesthood blessings and ordinances. Most of the women in the church understand this and are 100% OK with it, because we know this structure comes from God, and we are willing to trust in Him that it is His will, and we have faith enough to submit to His will.

        I personally see it as a symbol of the relationship we all should have with our Savior. We are each 100% dependent on Him for our eternal salvation, and in turn, He is 100% dependent on us to accept that and turn to Him, otherwise His atoning sacrifice will have been for naught. If me accepting the fact that I am 100% dependent on men for the blessings of the priesthood, I am demonstrating my willingness to submit to God’s will, which will in turn make me a candidate for partaking in “ALL the blessings my Father hath”, then I’m OK with it. It’s a little like proving to your boss you are willing to do the menial things in order to get the promotion. It’s not so much politics as it is a demonstration of faith that I believe God will give me what He says He’ll give me. I’ll do my part, then he’ll do His. When you seek to see things from an eternal perspective, rather than the earthly perspective – the things you can only see in the here and now – you become somehow more at peace and content with your lot. He is my Heavenly parent. I’ll trust He has my best interest at heart, and I won’t waste energy trying to fight against that. Otherwise, I may get end up being “grounded”.

        About motherhood vs. the priesthood: Most women in the church embrace their motherhood, or potential for eternal motherhood than complain about it as if it were a stumbling block to something that appears greener on the other side of the fence. In a selfish kind of way, I secretly feel a little superior (for lack of a better word) to my husband that I was chosen for motherhood, and he only gets the priesthood. I wouldn’t trade places with him in a million years – or in a whole eternity – to give up what I have for what he doesn’t have. It’s all about perspective and seeing your glass 1/2 full. It’s also about feeling good about your self and your contribution to the whole. I am choosing to be positive. I refuse to see the negative in this debate over women not “getting” the priesthood.

        I pray that you can find some peace. I think that will only come once you choose to abandon your negativity toward the church and just accept that it is what it is…. a privately run organization, based on the belief that it is God’s church and every part of it is structured by Him. You can believe and accept it’s teachings or not. You don’t have to ascribe to it, you also don’t need to seek to change it, or fight with such venom against it. It isn’t going to change – in fact – it will continue to roll forward exactly the way God wants it to.

        I am truly sorry you are so unhappy. God bless.

      • Kathy-Your response perfectly demonstrates why it is so very difficult for women in the church to have their concerns taken seriously. You countered or addressed almost none of my original argument, instead making accusations that I was just bitter and frustrated and talking about things that have nothing to do with the very real concerns I brought up. What else would you call it but “politics” when a woman who says she believes the Prophet is called of God and the Book of Mormon is true is excommunicated for a “protest” (and let’s be clear, Kate Kelly’s “protest” was to have women peacefully line up and ask to enter the Priesthood session, then stand off to one side and pray, it was groups not affiliated with her in any way that had the picket signs at conference) and asking the First Presidency to ask God a question about church practice (because until you show me a scripture or reference to ANY general authority saying that the First Presidency have actually gotten together asked God about this specific issue, like they did with black men and the priesthood, denying women the priesthood is practice NOT doctrine), yet a man who says that there is not living Prophet and the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction is allowed to retain membership in the church. Which one of these people has actually committed apostasy?

        When I spoke of discrimination, it was not just of women not having the priesthood. It’s everything that goes along with it. Women can’t hold any position of leadership that doesn’t have to deal with presiding over other women or children, meaning their input into church teaching material and the very structure of the church is extremely limited. Women’s domain is the house and family, yet men are the “head of the household”, so women aren’t really in charge there either. Women who have committed some sort of sexual sin are stigmatized far more often than men who commit the exact same sin. Women are told that they are responsible for keeping men’s thoughts pure by dressing modestly, thereby absolving men of personal responsibility and allowing other women to blame victims of sexual harassment or even assault for “dressing provocatively” (if men, the only sex allowed to hold the power of the priesthood, don’t even have the self-control to keep their demeaning words and behaviors to themselves when they find a woman dressed attractively, they have absolutely NO place running an organization as large as the Church). Smart, ambitious women are told to spend thousands of dollars getting a college education, only to be told they’re not following the word of God if they want to get married, have kids, AND pursue a career. I am NOT saying that I look down on a woman who decides that being a stay-at-home-mom is the right choice for her. That is an individual decision, and every woman should feel free to make that decision without fear of reprisal. Working mothers do face a stigma in the church, though, and that is frustrating and hurtful to those women, who receive far less support from their fellow sisters than stay-at-home moms do. I’m not saying this happens everywhere. I am saying it happens enough in enough places that it’s a cultural problem within the church that needs to be addressed. Far too often women who feel like they’re being negatively treated are greeted with almost the exact response that you gave: “I’m sorry you’re so bitter and negative. This church is too perfect for anything really bad like that to happen. Maybe try praying.” This completely undermines the concerns and experiences of the women bringing up the discrimination, blames them for the negative treatment they’ve received, and assumes that the members of the church are infallible. That is an idea that goes directly against Church doctrine. No one is infallible. And again, you argue that the Church could never do anything that would negatively affect a large number of people because it’s under the direction of God. This presumes that the leaders of the Church are adhering to every single instruction and will of God. A quick look at Church history shows this cannot possibly be the case, because the Church is administered by PEOPLE and PEOPLE ARE INFALLIBLE. Prophets have issued conflicting messages to members over the years. Going back to my original example, the Church taught for many decades that black people are less worthy individuals. Now, either God was telling Prophets something that wasn’t true or the leaders thought they knew what God wanted and were using their earthly experiences to influence their instruction. I don’t think that makes them evil or illegitimate as Church leaders, or anything other than humans with human experiences and human prejudices. Now, instead of using that rather dark period in Church history as a learning opportunity, now a group of people come forward (and it’s in the thousands) and say they feel discriminated against and marginalized within the current patriarchal structure of the Church. The response from members and leaders? Stop whining, stop publicizing your experiences of sexism, or we will excommunicate you.” That is not an act of love. These women are not protesting because they think the Church is wrong or worthless. I am not angry because I think there is no value to the Church. They are protesting and I am angry because there is so very much love and goodness and righteousness within the Church, but that light is being darkened by sexism. I am angry because I’ve watched myself and other women come forward and share our experiences of being belittled, ignored, demeaned, and sometimes even physically hurt by men in the Church, and we are told that we’re being “too sensitive” or we’re “looking to be offended” or “you were asking for it” or “stop making stuff up.” I am angry because women who say that they feel they are treated unequally, whether it’s that they can’t have the Priesthood or men within the church habitually do not take them seriously or treat them as fragile little flowers that can’t handle anything of importance, they’re called a feminist and are instantly dismissed as a troublemaker. I am happy that you feel like you have not been treated unfairly. I have no qualms about you not wanting the Priesthood. Your experiences, though, are yours lone, and it is wrong for you to assume that all women share your experiences. I am told I see trouble because I am looking for it. More often than not, the people that tell me so are blind to trouble because they refuse to see it when it stands before them. They are the ones that do the most harm.

        I would like to also take this moment to point out that I did not disparaged motherhood or indicate my feelings on the value of it at any point in my previous comment. I used a scientifically correct term for an unborn baby. If you have an inability to understand scientific terminology or are too offended by science to allow science terms to be used in a debate, that’s your problem, not mine. Also, you failed to explain how equating motherhood to Priesthood was not inaccurate, as there are some women that are physically barred from ever bearing children. If you saw that the very thing that makes women great is that they can bear children, what you are also saying is that a woman who cannot do so is somehow less of a woman. That is a cruel message indeed for women without the means to give birth.

      • Ann Tudor – I’ll clarify one thing – and then I’ll stop. I teach science. I am not at all offended by the term “fetus”. Thank you – I am educated enough to know it is a “scientific” term. It is also a political term used by abortionists and politicians – in debates – to further their agendas, for women to choose to wipe motherhood out of their lives and not feel guilty about making such a “choice”. It is a term used to soften or de-sensitize women to the fact that they are not killing an un-born baby, just getting rid of this “bunch of cells” until I “choose” to be ready for the responsibility of motherhood, if, when and ever. An abortionist or politician would never use the term “baby”. It would make abortion too distasteful.

        Then, you accused me of giving a “cruel message” to childless mothers, saying they are less than “women”. You failed to see that I used the term “potential for eternal Motherhood”. Every righteous woman, whether she has the blessing of motherhood in this life or not, does indeed have the potential to be a mother in the next. Think of all the billions of aborted babies who came to earth to get their bodies, only to have their little lives snuffed out before they could take their first breath. While I don’t pretend to think I have all the answers, I like to think those little unwanted babies – even abused and murdered children – will still have the opportunity during the millennium to breathe, live, love, learn and grow to adulthood on this earth. They will need earthly parents then – who better than the faithful, albeit “childless” mothers and fathers who really would have wanted them? I think if we have patience and faith, all things will come full circle, and wonderful things, beyond our imagination will happen in the future (who knows; maybe even women in the priesthood?). My heart aches for the childless mothers of this earth. According to abortion stats, I think one day – they may have more babies than they’ll know what to do with! Heavenly Father’s plan is perfect and allows for wonderful lemonade to come from just…. lemons! 😉

  5. kayla,
    as always, this is beautifully said. my heart hurts, too. this should never have become a matter of “them” against ‘us”.

  6. I really like your post. I’ve struggled with understanding the Ordain Women group because I don’t understand how you can believe a church is run by God and yet think that protests will change that church. I’ve read the mission statement of Ordain Women and from what I understand of that statement, they felt that this was something they were concerned about and wanted the prophets and apostles to pray about. I think if they would have stuck with their mission statement and sought changes through revelation to the prophet and God’s timing that this whole process could have been so much better.

  7. Thank you. I have followed your blog for many reasons and many months. You are an amazing eloquent writer. I have agreed with every point and every blog. My husband and I have been lucky to share your blog in family discussions and family home evening. A very impact full lesson was about music and the wording that can be so foul and insensitive. You however in this topi with Kate Kelly has been very sensitive. We have to be so careful. I discovered the meaning of judging from the LDS online dictionary judgment is important use of our agency and requires great care, especially when we make judgments about other people. All judgments must be guided by righteous standards. Only God, who knows each individual’s heart, can make final judgments of individuals.

    I pray that we can just all get along.

  8. Beautifully written. While I disagree with the ordain women movement, I too was saddened when I learned of her excommunication. My heart ached for her, for those who had to make the difficult decision and and for our Savior. I too pray for her and for all of God’s children that we will each seek Him and apply the atonement in our lives. I know that God lives, that he loves us, and that it is only through Him that we can gain eternal life and happiness.

  9. Yes Kayla – you do a fantastic job of calming the stormy waters and articulating what many of us are feeling. I hope others who have doubts or criticisms of the church or the outcome of Kate Kelley’s plight will read your view with sincere intent and find peace that the church is still true, even after all the smoke has cleared.

  10. One point that I haven’t seen brought up in all of this is that excommunication is, in it’s fulness, an act of compassion. Everyone sees the negative light of being “kicked out” , but we fail to see the heart of this process. We are a covenant making people. Beginning with baptism, Covenants are the core of our religion and actually become a huge part of who we are and what we do. Those covenants govern our choices and actions. Those covenants keep us rooted on a path we believe brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and the happiness and sucess He intended for His children. We are responsible for keeping our end of those covenants. Excommunication absolves one of the responsibilities and accountability we believe are associated with those covenants. It puts them back at square one. The path they chose from there is solely up to them. They still have just as much opportunity for ‘reaching heaven’ as anyone. It’s basically what any loving parent teaching a child responsibility for their actions would do. On occasion my children have lost opportunities to, say, go to the pool to swim, if they have not met th
    e expectation of cleaning their room they will sit out of the pool or not go. Does this mean they will never ever again go swimming? No, it means that they have to take a second chance. Or if their behavior towards another has been less than
    desirable while at the pool they have to sit out of the pool for a time until they are ready to correct their behavior and try again. The child still has the agency to choose how they react to it or how long to delay in embarking on course correction to get that second chance. It is the same with excommunication, every man woman in child is expected (in our core beliefs) to humble themselves before God and seek to do His will if we stray from that due to our pride or thinking our education or ideas are elevated above His because His are outdated to current trends then just as a loving parent He says in a way ‘ok, I can see you
    aren’t in a place right now mentally or spiritually to see the error of your ways so lets give you a do over’ a second chance. Thanks to the Atonement we believe ALL are entitled to as many chances or do overs as we may need. In our core beliefs the Atonement is available to ALL, our religion does not at it’s core believe that one is either saved or damned. We believe that Christ is the advocate to everyone and salvation is individual and in degrees.

  11. I did not think this post came across as judging at all. I thought it was sensitive and thoughtful. And Andy, really? It’s not her place to publicly speculate? That’s the most oxy moron statement I’ve ever heard. This case is all about being public. It’s really not Kate Kelly’s place to publicly speculate why the church doesn’t change their doctrine to ordain women but that’s what she chose to do. She opened those gates wide open by going public. So to say someone who doesn’t know her doesn’t have the right to publicly speculate about her thoughts feelings etc is a little absurd. This is a blog. It’s not CNN or the New York Times. People are going to have opinions about it and do have the right to express that. Kate Kelly can’t have it both ways. And from what I’ve gathered about her I really don’t think she would expect that. She is about equality and women’s rights. I hardly think she would think it okay to silence a woman’s opinions about anything.

  12. Thank you for this. I just recently found out that Kate was a RM. As a RM myself it broke my heart. She spent 18 months of her life sharing this wonderful gospel with others. I wish she remembered what she taught all those people on her mission. That it is our decisions that determines or destiny. Like you said no one is kicking her out of heaven, she is making her own decisions. And like you I hope she comes back one day.

  13. Wonderful post. You said everything that many of us are thinking – it is sad to lose a member this way, but it was ultimately her decision. Its sad that she is misunderstanding it all, but we hope she will come to understand it. It’s almost more sad that she is continuously turning to the media but won’t turn to the Church to plead her case, or to work out this issue. But in any case, we still love and respect her and pray for her to come back.

  14. The reprocusions of her excommunication as defined by the LDS church are “She will be unable to inherit the Celestial Kingdom and will for eternity be denied any progression henceforth.” Hmmm…. If not kicked out of heaven, that’s still one hefty price to pay decided by a “man on earth” and not God himself.

    • Ashley excommunication is the first step of a repentance process. If she shows true repentance and humbles herself before her Father in Heaven she will be re-baptized. She will have her temple blessings back. She made a big public noise and started a movement essentially rebelling against the doctrine of the church. Any of us can question any doctrine. Pray and study it. Hold it in our hearts even discuss with leaders, friends and family. But to start a movement and spend a good chunk of time lobbying to have your will pressed upon the church, trying to influence others to join your rebellion. That’s a little bit different. She refused to renounce her rebellion. She knew the stakes. She chose to gamble that they wouldn’t follow through. But she is not kicked out of any thing permanently by this action. It’s up to her. Between her and Heavenly Father. She can changer her heart, live up to the covenants she made in the Temple and when she’s re-baptized all will be taken care of by the Atonement. It’s the beauty of it all. Believe me I know. I have been down that path. For other reasons, but the process, and principals are the same.

    • Ashley, what you have stated about excommunication is true, and will “stick” as long as Sister Kelly does not repent. While it is unfortunate that this had to happen, had she really been the “faithful believing member”, as she so claimed, she would have recognized her actions were not conforming to the truths she “supposedly ” held so dear. It seems to me that she is now “playing the martyr card”, by saying she has been kicked out of heaven. If she truly believed the Gospel is true, she would not have insisted the women should be entitled to the Priesthood, especially in the very public, demonstrative way she did. Involving the media like she has, is offensive to me… she dragged the secular into what should have been a spiritual matter. She chose her behavior, and now she has to accept responsibility for her actions. We all have freedom to choose how we behave, but we are not free from the consequences of those choices. I hope she will choose to return to the truth.

    • Ashley,
      What ever you took that statement from I believe you took it out of context. Excommunication is the first step in the repentance process. I have been through it. She can be re-baptized and have all her temple blessing restored. Its up to her. She will need to council with her local Priesthood authority. She will have to humble herself and seek guidance from Her Father in Heaven and earthly family. It wont be easy. A change of heart is what it will take. If she can’t do that. If she feels that somehow she knows better than the Lord. That her point of view should be considered above the insperation of the Prophet and the 12 Apostles.. She’s gonna have problems getting humble enough. The ball is in her court.

    • Ashley, what you said is true if she doesn’t repent and come back into the Lord’s true church. She will have all of her blessings restored to her upon repentance and coming back. This excommunication was not just decided by a “man on earth.” It was decided by a council who held the Priesthood of God, and was in direct communication with the Lord. Her Bishop obviously loves her, and has prayed for her. He gave her many chances to stop leading people astray. He even delayed the council’s decision long enough to give council members time to fast and pray to God himself in her behalf. If Kate Kelly will use this as the opportunity it is, she will turn it around. The decision is Kate Kelly’s to make. Her salvation and blessings are dependent upon her decision. I am praying for her.

  15. I’m sorry but regardless of anything. I believe God himself has the authority over any man. He is the only one who can decide where you to. And I believe He does it based upon the intent of your heart, whom only He can know. No man can ever know that. Even at the highest level of any church. We are men and not perfect, even with divination there are things being a man that we cannot interpret. Regardless of temple reccomend or not.

  16. Kayla,
    I really LIKE your writing… especially the recent post about “misfits.”
    This Kate Kelly post is so unbelievably sad to me for 3 reasons.
    1) My Bible says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”- Gal.
    2) I am NOT a feminist… see 20 reasons why I love men: http://helpinghurtkids.com/2014/06/21/20-reasons-why-i-love-men
    3) My ordination was handed to me because those above me, saw and affirmed my life…”you are doing the work of Christ, here is a piece of paper making it official.” I did not fight, scream, or “protest” for it; I cannot even remember, if I had to ask… I do not go by “reverend,” I prefer “Mrs.” But, I must say, it is incredibly life affirming to have someone whom you respect, and who is spiritually over you, say, “yes.”

  17. Kayla,
    Are you paid to by the More Good Foundation or any other organization in some way affiliated with the LDS church to write this blog? Just curious.

    My take on Kate Kelly based on my own observations is that the God she believes in would not “kick her out of heaven” for advocating a cause she feels is honorable and just. Obviously she does not agree with her Bishop’s decision. Why is that such a bad thing? It is time we stop honoring blind obedience and group think mentality. Leaders of the church have proven themselves to not be infallible time and time again.

    • @Kyle, does anyone get “paid” to blog positive puff pieces for the church on outside sites? I didn’t realize that was a thing. The church has one goal, prepare people for eternity and this world for the Millennium. We are that stone stated by Daniel that is rolling forth to fill the whole earth. There is no need to jump off the stone for questions. Everyone who stays has them and they will all be answered by the Millennium. Sustaining fallible leaders shows empathy and humility, and sustaining in general is a type for how you sustain the ultimate leader, Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t need heretical activists, it needs spiritual endurance runners who can offer their talents while the Lord gets time enough to reveal the answers they are looking for. I hope that we don’t need to have any more excommunications over this. Critical thinkers are still needed in the church.

  18. I love your blog… and your words … always so full of encouragement and love. You bring hope and sunshine into my life and into the life of so many others. Thank you for all of your thoughtful, caring and loving words.

  19. I just wanted to thank-you. I don’t know why this story has held my heart in so much torment. I don’t know her, why does it bother me so. If I were a writer (and not a scientist) I would have written these things. My heart aches for her and for those who have removed their focus from what truly matters – Jesus Christ. I pray for her and I was uplifted by your message. Just wanted to let you know.

  20. I think that writing your own opinion piece out of an interview that you had with Ms. Kelly is both distasteful and highly unprofessional.

    • I think you leaving a negative comment on a truly compassionate piece is distasteful. Did you even read the article? Out of all the blogs I’ve read since KK’s excommunication I feel this was by far the most respectful and Christ-like. About how the author wants KK to come back and is worried for her soul.

      When KK put her agenda out in the public she became subject to public opinion. I really enjoyed the article and will continue reading. Kayla is really a superb writer. Keep writing girl!

  21. I read a story about KK where she has always struggled with gender roles and the church and acted for change. Starting ow, organizing a board, and demonstrating was a why to promote the changes that she has always wanted. I feel sorry that she is now excommunicated, but I truly feel she chose this for herself by being a self described heretic who had demanded action. She can always come back but she has to distance herself from ow and she has already said that she won’t do that. I don’t see the role of the heretic in the same light as is described by other writers in the Bloggernacle. I don’t think the Lord needs heretics to question the status quo in order to make change. He has a perfectly good system in place to Institute change.
    I agree with the OP, the church will miss the talents of KK, but we are tools for the Lord’s hands and the tool doesn’t tell the Hand how it should be used. Good luck KK, I hope to hear that you are back soon, and I hope that other ow supporters/participants don’t have to learn about the limits of hereticism as you have done. E Uchtdorf says you can keep your doubts and questions, and still stay, so maybe being on the ow board and demonstrating took it too far.

    • Does anyone know exactly who started the OW movement? Was it Kelley herself, or is she just the current, most outspoken leader? What did Sonia Johnson call her movement? Just curious.

      My thought is, if she is the founder and chief, it will be really hard to let go of her “baby”, especially if she feels she is abandoning the flock she built up. Not saying she shouldn’t – she absolutely should! But it will take a giant lot of pride to swallow to get her where she needs to be for re-baptism if she is CEO of her movement.

  22. Thank you, Kayla. Very beautifully said. You have a heart full of love and compassion and understanding. So glad to have a testimony firm in the gospel and for my relationship with the Savior. This is his church and we are truly blessed.

    Sandy Elcock

    Sent from my iPad

  23. I was excommunicated a few years ago and was deserving of the action. I never felt more loved then by the men on that Council. My reason for replying however, is to say that despite moving from the state where I was excommunicated to another state where I was rebaptized and eventually had my blessings restored, the only people who ever knew outside the two councils, were the people I told. Her apparent lack of personal responsibility will likely hold her back a long time. Hopefully not forever.

  24. this is america. we have freedom of thought and speech. any religion that tells us we cannot tell others about our thoughts, well, it would not seem to have place in America. these freedoms were hard won. lives were lost. everyday, there are lds men and women serving in our military protecting these concepts for other countries, yet in the state of utah, people willingly becoming a collective. I think there was a star trek episode about a collective called the borg “submit, submit, resistance is futile”.

    • Trish, you have missed the point. We are free to have our own thoughts and opinions and ask all the questions we want. Believe it or not, we are also encouraged to share and discuss out loud. However, like most organizations, if you recruit others to your movement and lead people away, you are asked to leave. I am sad for Kate Kelly. I hope that she finds her way back.

      She is also free at this point to create her own church. One that is based upon her beliefs. What she is not free to do is to remain a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and attempt to exert, force, blackmail or otherwise teach and persuade other members to her views. As the name of the church indicates, we believe that He leads and guides the church. Not Kate Kelly or anyone else, including the leaders of the church, who are only stewards of His church.

    • @trish, the free speech argument feels like a ploy here. As an inalienable right, it can’t be forceably taken away by anyone be they political, social, or religious authority. That doesn’t mean in practice there aren’t still limitations. In our country, there are limits to threats you can make to killing the President or spreading libel/slander. Socially you can’t use certain racially charged words or you might be scrutinized and ostracized by friends and family. Not to mention the contracts and social affiliations we enter into willingly also limit our speech by the expectations that go with them. Jobs may fire you if your words reflect badly on them, or your spouse may put you on the couch if you are publicly explicit about your sex life together. Every single one of these is a form of restricting free speech, that have nothing to do with doing forceably restricting the protection guaranteed in the Constitution. In reality, if the church couldn’t excommunicate someone for incompatible ideologies and words, wouldn’t the church’s free speech be hindered? Our leaders and our organization wouldn’t be able to take a stand on anything and would start to look like every other popular organization that just fit in with the mold of social acceptance. People and affiliates are allowed to have expectations of their friends and members, especially when the expectations are explicitly communicated like in the baptismal covenant and reaffirmed weekly as teachings and lessons. We should allow them to exercise the obligations of these agreements without dropping the free speech bomb in the issue. No one’s free speech was violated here.

  25. Thank you Kayla, I appreciate very much your thoughts and feelings on this subject, my personal feeling is that you have been inspired to write the things in this article. I believe it is so important that we don’t make our own judgments about Kate Kelly or anyone else that is going through a difficult time. We have a great responsibility to love those around us know matter what their religion is. If we ask ourselves “what would the Savior do”, and do exactly that, we would be loving, forgiving, and caring of all those we know and meet. I along with you are praying for those who are struggling, that their questions will be answered, their hearts softened and they will receive the understanding that they seek. We have one job here and that is to love, never to judge.

  26. Kayla, this was a very well written blog that stated the real issues. Thank you for making the thoughtful caring desire to give the real story, and back story.

  27. From what I’m reading, in comments and text, if she’s not agreeing to this relationship and the way it was set-up before she came along, just leave. I don’t understand any reason to try and change someone else’s view. Just leave if you don’t agree with them.

  28. We talked about this topic in Sunday school. My Sunday school teacher is friend of Kate Kelly. She said that women do not need the priesthood, men and women both have some sort of power of God. The men have the priesthood and then women have the power to create life. The world around us has made that seem like pregnancy is a burden, something that you shouldn’t want. But the truth is, is that it is an AMAZING thing!

    • I am not arguing for woman being ordained to the priesthood and believe me I am not interested in starting an argument, I just wanted to point out that creating life requires both women and men, so I have never understood the above explanation of why women are not ordained to the priesthood. Being a mother of 5, I know firsthand what an amazingly spiritual experience motherhood is. However, motherhood is comparable to fatherhood, not the priesthood. You do not need to be ordained to the priesthood to be a father or a mother. Again, I am not trying to start an argument, I genuinely do not understand this explanation and comparison.

      • There are a few things that come to mind, mostly that people are trying to come up with an analogy that works for them when as far as I know the actual reason has not been revealed. However, in the interests of making this analogy work, consider this: Men take part in creating life, but the act of bringing that life to term is uniquely the woman’s. Each gender has their own role to play. In the priesthood it is very similar. Men are called to preside and serve and fulfill their callings through the priesthood they are given. Women fulfill their own callings through the priesthood power they are given. In both cases each gender has its own unique role to fill.
        I think the analogy breaks down when people try to separate the rolls (i.e. The women get this so it’s only fair that the men get that). Remember 1 Corinthians 11:11, “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord”. We’re not going to get anywhere alone and both men and women have been promised ALL that the Father has. I can’t think of anything more equal than eternity.

      • Do fathers carry life in their bodies for nine months? Do fathers sacrifice themselves to pain for those nine months? Do fathers go through the physical anguish and possible death to give birth to those children, and give those spirits bodies?

        No. That ultimate power lies with women alone.

      • Motherhood is still not equivalent to the priesthood. Any boy aged 12 and over can have the priesthood just by being a faithful member of the LDS church, regardless of physical ability or marital status. A faithful LDS woman has to get married by a man to a man in order to become a mother. Even a woman outside of the LDS church is going to need a man to be involved in some way in order to bear children. In addition, not all women are physically capable of carrying a fetus to term, and some women who are may not be in a position to have children of their own, whether due to financial restrictions, inability to find a husband, etc. Pretty much any man can have the power and authority of the priesthood if he lives a worthy life. In the current structure of the church, a woman could live just as worthy a life and still be denied the priesthood and motherhood. How exactly is the argument that “Men have the priesthood but women can have children so it’s all equal” given that scenario? Obviously a woman who can’t give birth could still adopt, but that’s also an option available to a man, so it isn’t applicable as a power or right solely given to women. The current power structure of the church makes women 100% dependent on men to receive any blessings from the priesthood and the essential ordinances that go with it (baptism, laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost, sealing, etc). How exactly does that make them equal to men?

    • Fantastic article. Once again your knack for words and your gift of the Spirit have eloquently spoken for what is truth and right.

  29. “Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes.

    “Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.

    “The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence. Along with all races and peoples he is receiving here what he merits as a result of the long pre-mortal probation in the presence of the Lord. The principle is the same as will apply when all men are judged according to their mortal works and are awarded varying statuses in the life hereafter.”

    This is a direct quote from a talk given by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1958. The church fervently wishes to ignore its previous attitude on black people. I think it’s possible to believe in the church before 1978 and still think that the GA was not right on its stance on black men holding the priesthood and black women not being able to enter the temple. It took social upheaval for members to realize their prejudices were denying the power and blessings of of the priesthood to an entire class of people based solely on their race. Kate Kelly believes the same thing is happening with women. Close-minded men and sexist traditions are hurting women. If Bruce R. McConkie was in fact in direct communication with God regarding his talk in 1958, then God clearly changed his mind about black people. If, however, Bruce R. McConkie was simply acting on the traditions that had been around since Brigham Young and the institutionalized racism that most of American society had embraced, it is clear that God’s plan was not to take the priesthood away from black people. It was people that were not willing to share God’s love with all. Apostles and prophets are men and are infallible. It took massive social upheaval for the church to recognize that the racist policy put them on the wrong side of history and God’s plan for all people, be they black or white. How does anyone know that Kate Kelly is not on the right side here, since the GA have refused to convene to ask God about women and the priesthood? Elder Oaks did not say that the Apostles and First Presidency got together and asked God. He said that’s the way things are and that’s the way things will stay. it is astounding to me how many members would rather cling to tradition than ask the leaders of the church to check and make sure half of the world is not being unfairly discriminated against. That is the real tragedy of the Kate Kelly story. My heart aches for her and all women in the church who now feel like their concerns regarding institutionalized sexism within church hierarchy and church culture have been marginalized.

    • @Ann Tudor, KK is allowed to have whatever opinions she wants. She can talk about them, she can pray over them, she can discuss them online to her heart’s content. The letter she received from her bishop explaining her excommunication said all of this. The problem comes when KK teaches her opinions as truth and starts proselytizing. As for the other gentleman who hasn’t been excommunicated, each bishop or stake president is responsible for revelation and acting when needed to excommunicate. You can’t compare the two situations.
      KK was told flatly that we don’t have an explanation for why women don’t have the priesthood, only that the prophets have said that the Lord directed it to be this way. Elder Oaks said in his last conference address that the leaders don’t have the ability to change doctrine, only the Lord does. KK has always been an activist for inequality in the church. She thought she received her own revelation on this and took a gamble and it blew up in her face. No one knows if women will ever receive the priesthood. The doctrine isn’t clear on that matter. We have to wait on the Lord. Who knows, maybe He will reveal more information as to why women aren’t to be ordained.

  30. http://www.zionsbest.com/face.html
    The link above is to an talk given by Elder Boyd K. Packer. In it he quotes from a letter from a female member. The text of the letter seems to indicate that the woman is in an abusive marriage, but that her leaders are counseling her to return to her husband. Elder Packard cautions against becoming advocates for people like that, and says that the woman who wrote the letter should avoid feminism. When the male leaders of her church counsel her to stay in an abusive relationship, where exactly should she be turning to for comfort and also actually helpful advise on how to get out of the relationship? This is a talk given by an Apostle. When abused women are treated thus, is it any wonder that Kate Kelly is dissatisfied with the state of gender equality in the church? How many angry, hurt, marginalized, and even battered women have to come forward before the church recognizes that the policy of advocating “different but equal roles” is fostering a culture that is as helpful to women as the philosophy of “separate but equal” was to creating racial equality?

    • @Ann Tudor, KK is allowed to have whatever opinions she wants. She can talk about them, she can pray over them, she can discuss them online to her heart’s content. The letter she received from her bishop explaining her excommunication said all of this. The problem comes when KK teaches her opinions as truth and starts proselytizing. As for the other gentleman who hasn’t been excommunicated, each bishop or stake president is responsible for revelation and acting when needed to excommunicate. You can’t compare the two situations.
      KK was told flatly that we don’t have an explanation for why women don’t have the priesthood, only that the prophets have said that the Lord directed it to be this way. Elder Oaks said in his last conference address that the leaders don’t have the ability to change doctrine, only the Lord does. KK has always been an activist for inequality in the church. She thought she received her own revelation on this and took a gamble and it blew up in her face. No one knows if women will ever receive the priesthood. The doctrine isn’t clear on that matter. We have to wait on the Lord. Who knows, maybe He will reveal more information as to why women aren’t to be ordained.

  31. BULL BULL BULL BULL BULL BULL BULL

    ” You alone hold that power. You alone choose to walk in–or out– of Heaven.”

    Then why do we need priesthood?

    • Rather, why do we need the restoration? ordinances? the temple? you know basically the Church?

      Because the church thinks they have the power and authority (aka permission) from God to allow people in and out of heaven.

      • Chane – your’s is a whole other debate – two things that set the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints apart from many others – one that missionaries have to defend to other Christians around the world, time and again.

        “Grace vs. Works”
        In our church, we believe the earth has been provided for us as a sort of “proving” ground, to see if we will follow God’s commands, thus earning a spot back in heaven or not. Yes, we whole heartedly believe in Christ’s grace, and that if we DO OUR BEST, but ultimately fall short, THEN his grace kicks in and He will allow us to live with Him again. What good does it do to claim to love God, and then don’t work to show that through our actions, or even act contrarily to showing we love him? They work together – it is not one or the other. So, we do need “the priesthood, restoration, ordinances, the temple, you know basically the Church” as part of the “works” we need to “get in to heaven”.

        “Free Agency”
        Because we have freedom to choose and act, we need some kind of guidance or help while on earth to show us the way, or to modify our behavior to be in line with what God wants. Consequently, there are watchmen on the tower (Prophets, Apostles, Stake Pres. & Bishops) who’s vision exceeds our own. They bring cohesiveness within the church and with it’s members, so that when people exercise their free agency in a way that may be detrimental to others, there is a way to protect the innocent, or minimize the damage that may jeopardize the eternal safety of others. You may choose to accept and comply, or reject and refuse. Still your choice – you are still in control. But if you choose not to comply with the standards of the church and the covenants you make, you will no longer be counted among it’s faithful members. (Incidentally, none of our church leaders ask for or seek out these positions. Just like the rest of us, they choose to accept or reject the calling and all the calling may demand – including “judging” those who need to be disciplined.) It’s what we believe – you can believe it or not – you too, have your free agency.

        PS: In Catholicism, a priest can declare an unbaptized baby will be in “purgatory” (definately not heaven) and also believe a Priest can forgive sins by one simply confessing them, and can offer absolution as well. How is that different from what we believe about our church leaders with regard to excommunications and re-baptisms?

      • @Chane – Jesus himself sought out the ordinances of the gospel and established prophets and apostles to lead His church. The ordinances are necessary for entry into God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom has rules barring entry. We are told to be perfect and perfection is that standard to live there. The atonement and ordinances prepare us for that, but humans are changeable, corruptible, and fallible. There are so many versions of the bible, the gospel, and variation to Christianity that how are we supposed to know if one is more right than the other? Hence the need for witnesses who are duly authorized to speak in the name of God and the Holy Ghost to ratify the truth when we hear or read it. Your comments bashing all religion are lost on the readers of this blog.

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