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Given that a large proportion of excommunicated members rarely come back to church or take a very long time if they ever do (based solely on anecdotal evidence), is the practice of excommunication a good thing?

7 thoughts on “Excommunication

  1. I know of 2 people from our old ward in Regina that were excommunicated. One worked his butt off and came back . He was re-baptized a couple of years later. The other person never did come back. They were excommunicated for the exact same thing. I know others who had done the same thing but were not excommunicated but rather disfellowshipped or put on probabtion by the same Bishop. Why do they choose one form of discipline over another when the “crime” is the same? I don’t know.

    Obviously God wanted the excommuncication to happen at some of those times. Saying it is not a good practice is like telling Him no I won’t do it just in case this member doesn’t come back. I think because it doesn’t become general knowledge either, members that aren’t privvy to the information aren’t there for the much needed support to work their way back.

  2. Given that a large proportion of excommunicated members eventually come back to church even though take a very long time to do so (based solely on anecdotal evidence), and given that most excommunicable offenses are of a nature that requires a somewhat lengthy process of life change, is the practice of excommunication inappropriate?

  3. In answer to Kim’s question, yes, I think it is appropriate. However, that is only my feeling about things, therefore I will not expound.


  4. The bottom line is repentance. Does excommunication lead to repentance? Would not excommunicating lead to repentance?

  5. Eric: Amen. That’s one of the two main purposes of excommunication. The other is to keep those who are actively seeking to destroy the Church and its members from within, from doing so. At least placing them on the outside gives fair warning to those they are trying to take with them down the road of apostasy.

  6. Excommunication is too much of a temptation for leaders to exclude people that disagree with them. Particularly, the excommunication of historians and other scholars is problematic.

    If one takes Mormon theology at its face value then researchers who are threatened with excommunication find themselves in a situation where salvation is unobtainable regardless of what they do.

    If the scholars get excommunicated for their research then they lose access to the necessary sacraments. If they submit to authorities and deny their research then they are denouncing their best efforts of determining the facts. That amounts to a lie. Lying is a sin, which results in damnation.

    Creating a situation where neither repentance nor salvation are possible is a much greater sacrilege than anything that any historian could possibly say.

  7. Having sat through disciplinary councils, I can honestly say that the result of the council was dicated by the spirit. There is no set “punishment” for a certain action (except for taking the Lord’s Funds and being convicted of a felony). Each case is taken separately based on its own merits. This like past history of transgression and the attitude of the person seeking (or avoiding repentance) are also considered. Further, the position the offendee was serving in is also relevant.

    In the councils which I was associated with, excommunication was never lightly considered, and when it was it was considered in terms of “what is the best way to assure proper repentance”. Some sins can only be washed away in the waters of rebaptism.

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