Sunday, June 15, 2014

Some Thoughts on Excommunication

No one should ever rejoice in another's excommunication. No one. It is not okay to find joy or relief in someone's exit from the Church and the covenants they've made. We should always pray for hearts to be softened and corrections to be made, but never for excommunication. If you are Mormon and you have felt relief/excitement/gratitude for the events of this past week, or have seen friends behave this way, then please, please, please, recognize it is wrong. Willingness to celebrate excommunication or desires to push for someone's church disciplinary council is indicative of viewing the Church as a social unit, rather than a Gospel of Truth, led by a living prophet. And how hypocritical is that? "He/She doesn't respect the authority of the priesthood and the order of divine revelation, so I want priesthood leaders to punish him/her!" Duh, people. Duh. Remove the mote from thine eye.

Christ would never find happiness in someone's abandonment to covenants. He weeps over it. He suffered for it. He suffered for them. He still loves them, and so should we. Charity suffereth long.

Also, it's important to note that excommunication in The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints is not a shunning. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to clear this up with some people not of my faith. I assured them that excommunicated members are still welcome to come to Church services, and many are re-baptized. I even mentioned recent fellow-shipping efforts I made with former members of my congregation -- and how polite and welcomed those conversations were. Everyone is given the opportunity to repent, and excommunication is just such an opportunity. It is not a shunning.

And that's about all I have to say. I do have a lot more thoughts, but they are more specific to the recent current events at hand, and I don't really want to get into that.

For further, more enlightening reading on the point I'm trying to make, go here and here.

Happy Sabbath


Anonymous said...

Spot on sister. Great post.

Charles and Carolyn said...

Good point. Sometimes I get frustrated with people that give the church so much negative popularity or that act like they aren't doing anything wrong and the church wrongs them in every way. The only way people knew about her excommunication is because she told people. Sometimes I feel like she gloats in the attention. But I agree that it isn't something to be happy about. It is very sad. I give a talk tomorrow in sacrament about judging. That would be a good example.

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