New movement forms in wake of Kelly’s excommunication

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SALT LAKE CITY -- An online movement has started in support of an LDS church member who was excommunicated on Monday.

The same day that Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, was kicked out of the church, a church member in Arizona demanded that he, too, be disciplined.

“The church is really just trying to squash dissent and silence these individuals,” said Micah Nickolaisen, co-founder of the website, Strangers in Zion.

Nickolaisen launched the site as a show of support for Kelly, who he believes has been wrongfully punished by the church.

“Now that Kate Kelly has been excommunicated, we think it is an act of solidarity and also as a way to show support for these individuals,” Nickolaisen said. “We are asking our local church leaders to hold us to the same standards as these individuals.”

With about 100 members signed on so far, Nickolaisen wants church leaders to give them a disciplinary council, the same as they did Kelly.

“This is basically is our way of sort of calling them on it and asking them to put their money where their mouth is,” Nickolaisen said. “Sure, you allow diversity and inclusion, as long as everyone agrees with you.”

Back in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, the same argument was being made amongst a group of Mormon women, congregating not in support of their church, but in defense of its former member.

“Mormon women will not be silenced,” said Kelly.

Before FOX13 learned of Nickolaisen’s website, we asked Kelly what she thinks about other LDS church members using her as an inspiration to fight their causes.

“I don’t think anyone should follow me,” Kelly said. “I think they should follow their heart. And that’s what I did. And that’s what got me in this place. But I feel confident that it was the right thing to do.”

Ordain Women is already planning what to do next in its efforts to get women into the priesthood, a movement Kelly believes is only growing.

“Mormon women will not be silenced. I think the church intended this to have a chilling effect. But it will have the opposite effect. Women are rising up. Women are speaking up. And women are joining us,” Kelly said.

43 comments

  • Barbara Kroeber

    This is very sad. This is not the opinion of the majority of Mormon women. We are not sheep blindly following our leaders, and being suppressed into submission and silence by domineering men. Unfortunately, this is the impression that this movement gives to all who are not members of our church and are listening to the murmurings of this dissenting group. Ordain Women is a movement that seeks to change church doctrine to conform to a politically correct worldly agenda that they feel is timely and appropriate. The movement assumes that women are gypped somehow by not “holding” the priesthood, which clearly indicates that they do not understand the priesthood. Most would not consider themselves militant, dissenting women, and until they latched onto this cause, I think they would even agree that they have never been oppressed by the men in the church, nor have they ever been silenced when asking questions, or discouraged from voicing their opinions about doctrine. Only now, in light of this cause, have they allowed themselves to see the unique doctrine of the church, which they formerly embraced and sustained, as being a barrier to their personal goals and ambitions. This is the very definition of apostasy; holding fast to a personal ideal which one would have incorporated into the whole church, even when such an ideal is not supported by the church leadership or membership.

    No one rejoices in the excommunication of Kate Kelly. But neither will the church risk the spiritual progression of the general membership, nor alter the doctrine established by modern revelation, to adapt to politically correct social pressures. I’m sure I speak for many when I wish the best to Kate and her supporters and pray that they will find peace in their decision to walk this section of their path alone. We will miss you, your spirit and contributions to thoughtful discussions. But no one, especially the leadership of this church, who so value your God-given agency to choose your own path, will force you to conform to doctrine that you no longer support.

    • Steve Lowther

      You are in good company, Barbara. One of the most common arguments against women’s suffrage, and likely statistically accurate, was that a majority of women didn’t really want the vote. Nevertheless, whether you approve or not, women are considered an adjunct to men especially in the temple ceremony. That is why you veil your faces, why all of your vows are to support men. Next time you take in a temple session, notice how with nearly every part of the temple ceremony, you are doing something that defers to the men.

      • Becca

        The issue at hand isn’t even the role of women in the Church. It is the role of the prophet in the church. Is he, in fact, the Lord’s mouthpiece on the earth today? If anyone believes that the Lord would allow the brethren to lead the church astray in this extremely public matter, then they really don’t believe in the very nature of the prophet and who he represents.

    • Jenn

      Will not adapt to politically correct social pressures….like they did in 1978 when all of a sudden they realized the civil rights movement wasn’t going to be revoked and suddenly God was saying it was okay for black male members to hold the priesthood? Wake up! If a church doesn’t change with the time, it doesn’t survive. Why in the world do you think we have so many revisions of the bible….

    • John

      But what I fear you are not seeing is that the wheat is leaving or being excommunicated. While the tares refuse to study the issues, read the history, and learn from the past.

      • Ann

        It seems you’re quite mistaken on the context of that quote…

        The wheat=faithful
        The tares= OW & now SIZ

  • Dug Bagley

    If you don’t believe the prophet is a man of God, then why would you want to be a member of the LDS church? If you do, that’s great. Follow his counsel. If you don’t, then why would you care? Go create your own church. That’s what everyone else does. It’s not a popularity contest. There is no “right side of history” when it comes to God’s will. It’s either His way or you’re wrong. It’s not something you vote on, but rather something you should pray about and seek inspiration on. If God tells you to leave, then leave, but the church would be foolish to let someone like Kelly stay and spread dissent. It’s not bad or wrong to question things. but it is to take power and authority onto yourself and take people with you. That’s called apostasy.

  • Ray

    It appears to me that some comments are uninformed on what the OW movement was asking for. They were asking the prophet to petition the Lord about an issue. That’s how we have the word of wisdom, baptism, blacks and the priesthood, the ban on polygamy.
    Gordon B. Hinkley suggested that it was this way because there was no agititation. She was just doing her duty to agitate.
    She was putting her testimony to the test. Very brave.

    • Finny Wiggen

      Correct, right up to the point where she got her answer. That answer being no.

      From that point on, she started organizing a movement against the church, teaching false doctrine in the form of discussions, standing against her priesthood leaders, and actively working to lead others away from the counsel of church leaders. What you call brave, most call foolish and cowardly.

      It has been sad to watch Mrs. Kelly’s slide towards apostasy. It is not however any different than the slide that many others have followed in the past. In the sense that she first refuses to be corrected, and is then unable to keep herself from becoming an active persecutor of the church.

      None of these actions take bravery. Leading a movement against your former church, that conforms to the popular view of the day, is what most would call weakness, not strength.

      that said, hopefully she will repent, and return.

      • Siarra

        Talk about a relation to the Zoramites… And just like the Rameumptum she uses the internet for her vain and repetitious prayers.

      • Steve

        Really? I wasn’t aware that President Monson had announced that he had prayed about this and received a “No” answer. Can you provide a link to the news article where he said this?

      • otterwithkids

        Steve, I wasn’t aware that President Monson needed to announce that he had prayed about this and received a “No” answer. Can you provide a link to anything besides your own opinion that says this?

      • Kelly Knight

        @Steve- From General Conference Priesthood Session, by Elder Oaks, a prophet, seer, and revelator: “The First Presidency and the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, who preside over the Church, are empowered to make many decisions affecting Church policies and procedures—matters such as the location of Church buildings and the ages for missionary service. But even though these presiding authorities hold and exercise all of the keys delegated to men in this dispensation, they are not free to alter the divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.”

        It is a divinely decreed pattern, and will not change. Should this answer not be enough? One who is truly interested in the Priesthood and how it pertains to men and women in the Church should read the whole article at https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/05/priesthood-session/the-keys-and-authority-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng.

  • chris smith

    lunacy…..what is so terrible about a person that aspires to be very active in thier church but simply because shes a woman shes denied your prophet is no man of god hes a sexist elitist that only fears that his good ol boy network of fellow male church leaders being infiltrated by a woman

    • Bob

      Is this some reference to Jesus CHRIS SMITH? Are you suggesting that He errored in selecting only men to be His apostles? Perhaps instead of Peter, James and John it should have been Peter, James and Kate.

  • Forest from the trees

    That’s exactly right, Chris. As soon as you opened your mouth, that’s all we heard. Lunacy.

  • Siarra

    My name is Siarra and I’m LDS. However, I do not agree with Kate at all. True Mormon women want nothing to do with her. I am so sick of her that it pains me to see her ruining our lives. If she wants to follow her heart then fine but leave us out of it. She wasn’t “punished;” she was told that she needed to leave our community because she wasn’t in harmony with our values. Nobody punished her. Talk about a stretch… Just like the notion that Mormon women are speaking up in support of OW. LDS WOMEN DO NOT WANT OW AROUND.

      • Siarra

        Mormon women don’t want OW around because we sustain the prophet. The two cannot coexist. Either you sustain the prophet as an apostle of God and you follow him… Or you don’t. You can’t sustain him AND follow OW. So as for you (one person who just wants to be rude) who called me ignorant? Not so much the appropriate word choice.
        I would love for women to have the priesthood. LOVE! But only if the prophet feels it’s right. And I will not accept the priesthood without the consent of my priesthood leaders. That doesn’t make me any less of a feminist. It makes me a follower of Christ. I don’t look down on the women of OW, I just don’t agree. Like you may not agree with me, but calling me ignorant is not something a follower of Christ would do.
        Have a nice night.

  • kristin schwiermann

    This is just Satan doing what he does best…..A mass crowd of people that Satan has a hold of! Sad!

  • Butters

    I’m SURE they just threw that website together after the fact. I’m SURE they didn’t have it ready to go.

    It would have been hilarious if they’d said, “Oh, don’t worry about it,” and left her grasping for reasons to demand attention.

  • Pedro

    The LDS population in Utah is unlike any other in the world. It is very close-minded, cultural, and ignorant. It feels like a social club and not a religion. Very close minded group of people. Of course this is a general opinion. Not all Utah LDS fall into this category.

  • Brandon

    Guys, getting angry e.g. “so sick of her ruining our lives” is sign of weak argument. I think you should really give what Kate is asking – what she is really asking – a listen. John is right, we’re losing those who are open to persuasion, kindness, and love unfeigned. She was very much punished. It’s called church discipline for a reason. It is a form of public shaming that in this case seeks to marginalize a legitimate and well-founded argument. The leaders are getting it wrong today, just like they did w/ the blacks. Unfortunately, most religions have this limitation. Why is it so easy to see the misogyny in fundamental muslim religion but not in our own? Perhaps we have motes in our eyes and we don’t want to know that our one true religion isn’t picture perfect. Ironic when the leaders tell us they make mistakes, eg. blacks and priesthood, we continue to say “there is no right side of history when it comes to god’s will”.
    religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/25/hey-religion-your-misogyny-is-showing

    • kirstenshoell

      It wasn’t supposed to be public. That’s the biggest issue. Excommunication is a very private thing and for those I personally know that have been excommunicated, they don’t want people to know. She is making it public on purpose to gain sympathy with man instead of God. If she was humble and thought she was doing what was right why is she lying to the media? (And yes she is lying about “not knowing” about the issues with local leaders until the council letter was received. She is lying about not wanting followers because she is going out of her way to bring others with her. I have been on their sight and tried understanding their side. They are lying and I feel Satan when I am there. They say they just want answers but they were given an answer from elder Oaks talk and the PR department to name a few. You really think president monsoon has time to personally talk to them? That’s what his apostles and PR department are for.

  • Sharon Cocanour

    She can never make this right, because she will be ever and eternally on the wrong side. So reminds me of the strident and misguided voices of LDS women (like Sonia Johnson) back in the pro-ERA days of the 1970’s.
    Now, as then, we hear the echoes of “lo here and lo there” both defending and denying.
    If God hasn’t said it’s so, Kate Kelly and a literal army of rabble can never make it so. In the meantime, what amazing divisiveness and contention burns within our ranks. And Satan laughs.

  • D Avery

    Kate Kelly wants to appeal her excommunication but yet Strangers in Zion wants everyone who follows Kate to join her in being excommunicated. Seems inconsistent. All I hear out of Ordain Women is the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. New doctrine comes from the President of the Church, not self-aggrandizing outside movements.

  • barbara

    What’s truly shocking is the number of people who believe that god would ever want a pedophile to be his mouth piece. Go ahead, justify it in whatever way makes you feel better, but Joseph Smith wedding and bedding a 14 year old girl is disgusting at best and criminal and THIS is the man you people praise.

    What a disgusting lot of child raping enablers you all are.

  • barbara

    How anyone could ever believe that god used a criminal, a con man and a pedophile as his mouthpiece, is already holding hands with Satan.

    Joe Smith wedding and bedding a 14 year old girl is disgusting and the fact every Mormon recites that he was a man of god, scares the living hell out of people who fight child molestation on a daily basis.

  • Bob

    It was people like Barbara who decided to crucify Jesus on a cross. Just like Barbara they didn’t recognize truth when they saw it.

  • Ann

    These people are absolutely repugnant.

    Would you like to know who won’t be silenced (as much as OW tries)? The FAITHFUL women of the church. WE do do not agree with Kate Kelly or her apostate group.

    The gall of these people trying to speak for me. THEY are attacking the women of the church. It’s not the men belittling us. It’s OW.

  • BRIAN

    These arguments are the growing pains of a young church, not yet 200 years old. The more narrowly we define “the other” is a sign of our tribalism, which many ascribe to their “faithfulness to God”. Each side is justified in their minds and have a valid basis for argument. My only thought is to attempt to see life from “the other’s” viewpoint. You may be surprised what you find.

  • Bob

    The decision to hold a disciplinary council originates with the appropriate LDS church leader (bishop of stake president) and not with the member. The member’s option is to request that his or her name be removed from the church records.

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