LDS church excommunicates ‘Ordain Women’ co-founder Kate Kelly

SALT LAKE CITY – A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disciplinary council has excommunicated Kate Kelly, co-founder of “Ordain Women,” according to OrdainWomen.org.

The blog states Kelly’s former ecclesiastical leader in Virginia, Bishop Mark Harrison, told her by email she has been excommunicated.

According to the post, an all-male panel of judges has convicted of “apostasy,” and has decided to excommunicate her, the most serious punishment the church court can hand down.

Bishop Harrison explained in the email her excommunication and the conditions in order for her to be re-baptized in the future.

“. . . our determination is that you be excommunicated for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church. This means that you may not wear temple garments or contribute tithes and offerings. You may not take the sacrament, hold a Church calling, give a talk in Church, offer a public prayer in behalf of the class or congregation in a Church meeting, or vote in the sustaining of Church officers. These conditions almost always last at least one year. If you show true repentance and satisfy the conditions imposed below while you are no longer a member, you may be readmitted by baptism and confirmation.

“In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood. You must be truthful in your communications with others regarding matters that involve your priesthood leaders, including the administration of Church discipline, and you must stop trying to gain a following for yourself or your cause and taking actions that could lead others away from the Church.”

OrdainWomen.org posted Kelly’s response to being excommunicated.

“The decision to force me outside my congregation and community is exceptionally painful,” Kelly said. “Today is a tragic day for my family and me as we process the many ways this will impact us, both in this life and in the eternities. I love the gospel and the courage of its people. Don’t leave. Stay, and make things better.”

MORE: Read more from OrdainWomen.org

The council began discussing the matter Sunday at 5 p.m. MT.

It was during that same time that hundreds of Kelly’s supporters gathered at City Creek Park in downtown Salt Lake City.

“I think this demonstrates that this just isn’t happening to one person, this just isn’t happening to me, but it feels like the entire Mormon feminist community is put on trial,” Kelly said.

The disciplinary council took place in Kelly’s former congregation and home in Oakton Virginia.

According to a LDS Church statement released Sunday night: “Bishop Harrison emailed Sister Kelly a few minutes ago and let her know that he and the council have given intense and prayerful consideration regarding her membership status. He has made a thorough review of her response and other materials, and wishes to prayerfully consider the matter overnight. He will notify her of a decision, probably tomorrow.”

According to Kelly, more than 1,000 letters were sent to the council in support of her. She is optimistic that the council will take the time to read each and every one.

Kelly helped found the group “Ordain Women” and has been active in advocating for changes to what she calls gender inequality within the LDS Church; Kelly was made aware of a disciplinary council regarding her actions scheduled by the LDS Church and says she faces the possibility of excommunication.

More than 50 cities in 17 countries held vigils for Kelly on Sunday. Following the Salt Lake City vigil, the crowd, consisting of men, women and children, followed Kelly across North Temple and assembled outside the LDS Church Offices.

One by one, supporters spoke about why they will not be silent regarding gender equality in the church.

“My daughters have begun asking the same questions Kate Kelly has and I believe they deserve answers,” Elizabeth Moore said.

Following the march, the LDS Church gave a prepared statement on camera.

“In the church we want all to feel welcome, safe, valued, and there is room for questions but how we ask is as important as what we ask, we shouldn’t try to dictate to God what is right in this church,” LDS Church Spokeswoman Ally Isom said.

Kelly said she will continue to be a driving force in Ordain Women and women’s equality in general and no matter what the final disciplinary council outcome, she knows exactly who she is and what she stands for.

“I don’t feel like Mormonism is something that washes off,” she said. “I will always be Mormon and that identity is something they cannot take away from me.”

Bonnnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president for LDS Church, released the following video on her Facebook page in the wake of Kelly’s excommunication.

Oscarson says in part:

All of us as sisters in the gospel have the responsibility and privilege to support and nourish one another. We have all committed to be disciples of Jesus Christ and this discipleship should be at the heart of all that we do. Each of us is in a different place in our spiritual journey. Some may struggle with testimony. Some have questions or wrestle with the pressures and trials of life. Those who are struggling for whatever reason should be able to find within our sisterhood a spirit of warmth, inclusion, and love.

Occasionally, some of our brothers and sisters may find themselves away from the fold because of personal choices. Without condoning those choices it is important to remember the Savior’s message of leaving the ninety and nine safely in the fold and reaching out with love, with kindness and with compassion to the one. We can demonstrate that compassion by ensuring that our communications with one another are respectful and kind.

142 comments

  • Chris

    The Church of Jesus Crist of Latterday Saints is the true Church of the Lord. Thruout it’s history the Church has made changes as commanded by the Lord. Faith is living, breathing, trusting in something you cannot see, hear, feel or touch. I do not need the Lord to come to my house for me to know he exists or that the Church is true. If you dont like it or believe in the church find another and Pray to the lord in what ever manner you wish, this is your free agency given to you by the lord. I will stand to protect anyones freedom of Religion as long as they respects anothers. This lady knew what she was doing and did so of her own free will. Now she paid the price and she knows what to do to fix her mistake. Her Choice, her life. I was told a long time ago never get into a battle of witts with an unarmed person and many people should heed this.

    • Dustin Belnap

      So you think it took the Lord until 1978 to realize black people could have the priesthood? Let alone all the lying about the doctrine of polygamy and the reasoning. GET REAL

      • Patrick

        It took the Lord until the time of Moses to decide to lead the Israelites to Egypt. Being God, He didn’t “realize” anything, He acted on His timetable.

      • Dustin Belnap

        so the time table was right for joseph smith to marry women who were already married or girls that were 14 years old huh

      • Cartman

        She gets younger every time I hear that story. You’ll have her whittled down to 5 before long. (At which point he’d be in a tie with Muhammad.)

      • Tarona

        So Dustin, Do you think it took the Lord nearly 4,000 years to fulfill the law of Moses? How come? Looks like He does have a time table for everything.

    • Bob

      I asked questions too and was ultimately looked down upon so I left the church, and have since realized what a phony religion the lds cult is.

      • Bob

        Bob writes: “I asked questions too and was ultimately looked down upon so I left the church”. Translation: Bob had issues with $exual orientation and left the LDS Church over morality issues.

    • Destiy

      God never changes His stance on anything. He is forever constant, I think its really funny that the “true church” only changes their stance when the public’s view changes for example letting African Americans hold the priesthood,. So apparently before this “revelation” God was racist. Please people read your Bible, it contradicts the Book of Mormon so much. You don’t have to serve in a temple or make sure to pay an exact 10% tithe or go on a mission and most importantly you don’t need a man between you and God. When Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn in half which means the only person we need between us and God is Jesus. He paid it all and there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation all you have to do is trust in Him.

      • trollololol

        Read the old testament before you post. Obviously you never have! Ignorant hippies, gotta love em…

      • Joe

        If God is as you describe, set in stone like an Idol who hears not sees not speaks not, he sure changes his mind and stance a lot on how he’s going to get rid of Israel?!

        Amos 7
        1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.
        2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
        3 The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord.
        4 ¶Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
        5 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
        6 The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God.
        7 ¶Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
        8 And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
        9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

      • Uncurly.com DIY Brazilian Keratin

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. Joseph Smith ordained blacks from the start. ‘God being a racist’ had nothing to do with the blacks and the priesthood issue. Tithing, missions, temple service unnecessary? Says you! And there absolutely is a need for the ordinances administered in the temple. The power of godliness made manifest through them is real.

      • Suzanne

        Well said Destiy. The Mormon Church is the most oppressive, sexist organization I know. But wait…..maybe they’ll have another revelation from God. Stay tuned for more BS!

      • James

        What do u think Christianity is ? Jesus is infront of god. Islam is the only faith that truley believes in one god no partners or equals no need for someone to save u in front of god, god can simple save anyone he wills, with every man being accountable for there own actions… The bible contradicts itself. & which one are u talking about ? ?? The Quran is the only book in its orginal form. I’ve spent many years studying Christianity, Judaism, & Islam. Christianity where it’s at these days is so far from the truth & everything Jesus taught ! NOT PAUL!

    • Maria

      “The Church of Jesus Crist of Latterday Saints is the true Church of the Lord. Thruout it’s history the Church has made changes as commanded by the Lord” LDS is a made up religion started in upstate NY 200 years ago by a charasmatic guy who was a decent liar. Christianity is a belief. A truth that hasnt changed over 2,000 years. Christianity loves everyone and excludes no one. Religion is what starts wars.

    • Suzanne

      The LDS Church is the true church of the Lord? Really? And you know this to be fact? Or perhaps it is what you’ve been brainwashed to believe. I would suggest it is NOT the true faith of the Lord because Jesus would not turn his back on anyone. You should take your own advice and never engage in a battle of wits unarmed. Your arrogance is unbelievable!

  • JR

    I wonder if black males would have been excommunicated for voicing their opinion in wanting to receive the priesthood prior to 1978?

    • J Teague

      This church has no problem changing with the times in the past, as you mention. She should stay out of this looney bin and let them complain to each other about who has the coolest version of a fairy tale.

    • otterwithkids

      I’m sure they wouldn’t have been, JR, just like white males who couldn’t hold the priesthood wouldn’t have been, just like black males who could hold the priesthood wouldn’t have been, and just like Kate Kelly hasn’t been.

    • Bob

      That’s the whole point. You can express your desire for something which may not have been allowed. Any black male could have, and many did, express their desire to one day hold the Priesthood. She could have and did tell her Bishop she wanted to have the Priesthood. What you can’t do is actively go out and preach and recruit people to go against the Church doctrine and lead others astray. If she doesn’t like the answer, by all means, go start your own church by your own beliefs.

    • k8

      Cliffs note version: The mormon church has a very ugly history with racism and sexism. Originally Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon church allowed for the blacks and every worthy person to have the priesthood. There a few known blacks who were ordained to have the priesthood and there are written records. Likewise the women organized a society now known as the relief society today and Joseph saw that it was good and wanted to organize the women as a society unto the order the priesthood and ordained a few women also. This is also shown in a few written down records. Patriarchal tradition and racism influenced following leaders esp the second leader of the church Brigham Young among many others. Brigham Young taught racist doctrine; and blacks were not to have the priesthood those who had been ordained were supposedly not to “use” it and women slowly over time lost their power and influence. their organization was taken over by the men and eventually as it is today where final decisions are made by men. As for the Blacks and the priesthood, people began to oppose it esp. people not of the faith the Blacks even formed their own “ward”/ congregation called the genesis ward(which was a bold move and surprisingly not shut down bc they had one apostle on their side) where they ran/ lead things themselves and not by white men. Eventually outside politics/ protests helped change the policy but the church claims it was finally revealed to them that God said it is time for the ban to be lifted. And boom Blacks got the priesthood. Meanwhile the church continued to fight against the ERA…

    • James

      Ya they probably would have haha… U know what would be funny, & will most likely happen knowing the church’s history. Girls will one day receive priesthood & then Kate got excomunicated for nothing.

    • frgough

      They already tried that in Communist Russia, Communist China, Communist North Korea, Communist Viet Nam. Resulting death toll: 100 million plus.

  • RaeJena Lsmb Allred

    What did she expect. I was excommunicate in the 70’s. I Was re baptized 13 years later. Those 13 years were the was the lonlest years of my life. Everyone was very nice to me during that time, my family was super. Even members of the church remained friends to me. No one treated me any different, especialy the leaders of the church. But It was what I had given up for what I thought was a better life. The day I could put my garments back on I found the friend and self contenment that I was looking for for 13 yearslooking for. I wish you the best.

  • Andrew

    What a bunch of bullying cowards inhabit and skulk around temple square. These celestial conmen who masquerade as religious leaders are certainly showing their true bigoted colours.
    Can you just imagine Jesus and any of his apostles refusing to face sincere people and hiding behind their brainwashed subordinates?
    The Mormon church is a spiritually dead religion and is proving to be an example of how a frightened controlling cult operates in all of its shameful glory.
    Each of the fraudulent 15 high priests, should hang their collective heads in shame.
    They are running a multi million dollar business and are desperate to protect their revenue streams, no matter how ludicrous they appear to the outside world.
    And as for the poor deluded membership, how in all conscience, can you continue to support such a morally corrupt organisation, with such cowards and social gangsters at the head. You should all be examining your consciences and asking yourselves how you have the arrogance to judge decent law abiding people in this shameful manner.
    Blacks, LGBT, women?
    The Mormon church, to maintain its power, has to bully and take a big stick to someone, and be the cause of misery and division between groups of people.
    Shame, shame, shame on the pharisees, liars and hypocrites on temple square and all the brainwashed masses who support and finance them.

    • Mark

      This is so exciting! here is someone who obviously hasn’t read the bible, knows practically nothing about the Church and is making unsubstantiated allegations and name calling; YOU are most likely a non-member… so, ask yourself who is the real life “coward”, “liar” and “hypocrite”? This is an ecclesiastical issue regarding Church doctrine and a Church Member ….not a social club. By the way…no person is being “bullied” only being ask not to be a member anymore……so, go preach your venom somewhere else.

      • James

        Your not a very nice human. Are all Mormons that rude ? What good is your religion doing for you if you can respect people & there opinions without being a jerk.

    • Dean Ellis

      How may of the twelve that Messiah called were women? That is the standard we all should follow.

      • Tapir Rider (@TapirRider)

        “How may of the twelve that Messiah called were women? That is the standard we all should follow.”
        None of those twelve were Black, either. Standards based on personal opinion and interpretation that deny equality for everyone need to be challenged.

      • Ken Dahl

        Two that I’m aware of. Not to mention a number of female prophetesses in the Old Testament. Your point?

    • Daniel Hayward

      How many of the tribes of Israel were allowed to hold the priesthood……Was the Lord prejudiced against all except the tribe of Levi? Men may argue but the Lord decides through His prophets..

    • Trish Ramirez

      How is it trolling to provide public-interest stories that their viewers care about? For an ex-mo you surely get offended when they broadcast news that paints the church in a negative light…

      • Cartman

        Offended? LOL! I’m offended by the IRS scandal, and the way Iraq is being handed over to terrorists, and the $17 Trillion Federal debt, and half the country on food stamps, etc, etc, etc.

        I’m just not a fan of hate, which is why I dislike you so much. You talk like every Nazi, circa 1935.

        Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I’m required to hate religion. That’s what Evangelical Atheists do. Because they’re a RELIGION.

        Mormons can believe what they want to believe. I’ll never understand the need to tell members of a religion that their religion needs to change. Start your own religion. It’s a free country. (Sort of.)

        I don’t know why you’re so filled with hate, but you should really get over it. You’re not going to convince anyone.

  • Guy

    Dear Kate, God Bless You. You now know how Martin Luther felt in 1521 when he was excommunicated. However, look at what has flourished in the past from such events. It is my hope and prayer that similar developments and benefits will come from your courage, honesty, and faith. Have heart and keep the faith that God is guiding you. Dry the tears and keep going. Submitted in love and service. (anonymous)

  • Trish Ramirez

    This is a church with a long and storied history of changing practice and doctrine based upon social and governmental pressure, such as changes made which allowed African Americans to hold the priesthood (which coincided with the Civil Rights movement and government and social pressure, while the church will claim divine revelation) and the cessation of the practice of the Principle of Plural marriage, which shockingly coincided with Utah’s bid for statehood (and which was lied about for decades while church presidency continued to perform polygamous marriage ceremonies and ship church members out of the country to colonies in Mexico and Canada to skirt the rules).

    This is a church that changes and caves and loves good PR. They are hoping that this excommunication will result in scaring members away from this kind of talk and things going back to normal, but I believe they are underestimating the will of the women in their church and this is the far from the last they are going to hear about this subject.

  • Dean Ellis

    I’m not a mormon nor do I agree with them. I don’t agree with any denomination, including non-denominational churches. Not one of them is actually obeying the bible. However, Yahushuah set the example and He called zero women to lead nor were they ever allowed into G-d’s priesthood. Furthermore, they never will be. Women have a grand calling and they should stick to that, let the men lead as YHWH designed it.

  • John

    LOL SHOCKING! Derp…… Can we please not report on this person and give her the attention she craves. Done and Done! Bu bye.

  • Cartman

    Someone name ONE religion that wouldn’t boot a member out for actively and publicly preaching against their most basic doctrines.

    I’ve asked this several times. No takers.

  • Ron

    It’s quite shocking she is surprised. That almost tells you how delusional she is. This show how detached she is from reality. Repent girl and you can return.

  • Tammylynn75

    Look this girl has been with the church I guess her whole life. I don’t understand why she even talks about the subject of women being ordained. She should already know by now that women will never be equal to men in the Mormon religion. So why bother?

  • Giveme a break

    An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • V

    Quit giving this lady and group attention. Once a man can conceive, carry and birth a child let’s talk about this again but until then STOP!!!!!! Oh and birthing is my right but heck let’s get a man to take this on and sand toe to toe with our savior for equality. Men have their rights and women have theirs, which are pretty equal in the church. But seriously STOP!!!! This is no longer news it’s flat out irritating ….wait never has been news!

  • katezmusing

    She isn’t “trying to dictate ‘to God’,” but to a bunch of staid, rich, old, entrenched, white MEN, who don’t want their comfortable apple cart overturned. Sorry V, but it very much is news and needs to be spread far and wide!!! I’ll start.

  • Kristin Allen

    Absolutely ridiculous that women want to change the priesthood. They deserve to be excommunicated. I would never want to receive a blessing from a woman. It wouldn’t be the same.

  • Bob

    In the pre-existence Satan rebelled against God and drew away 1/3rd of his fellow spirits. Today Kate Kelly seeks to do the same. She will enjoy some success and will draw some of the weak away with her. Meantime the LDS Church will continue to grow worldwide.

  • missy

    The Mormons faith is a not true. I think Kate Kelly is an awesome person. The thing is the Lds church is fake and has fake promise. The Lds church should read more of the Bible and only the Bible. If u have to work for your salvation , then God died in vain. The truth is that God the Father and God the Son are in the Same. God died for our sins. All our sins got washed away. Why God did that for us. We don’t need temples to be saved . If U Accept God as your Savior , you are saved. We are all sinners. We just talk to God and say , God I know I sinned, and he knows and he will forgive u. Kate Kelly u do your thing. And I wouldn’t appeal their desion. U are a strong and smarter than that.

    • Bob

      No, the LDS Church does not permit child molesters to be Bishops. Sorry honey but your hatred and bigotry is unfounded.

  • Mcfly

    Don’t women understand that holding the priesthood means more meetings and then more meetings on top of that, and an extra temple recommend question about attending all their priesthood meetings. Why would they want to be burdened with that? There has to be a better way to feel equal than neglecting your family because you’re in meetings all the time.

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