Ordain Women: Founder faces excommunication from LDS Church

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Founder of Ordain Women, a group that advocates for women’s ordination to the Mormon priesthood, will be brought before a disciplinary committee, the group says.

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have scheduled a disciplinary trial to rule on a charge of ‘apostasy’ against Kate Kelly on June 22.

Apostasy is defined by the Church as “when individuals or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel.”

"I'm devastated and heartbroken that the Church I love has chosen to cast me aside. Matthew 7:7 says ‘ask and ye shall receive’ . . . it does not say ‘ask and ye shall receive punishment’. I am in pain for myself, my family and the thousands of faithful women like me who have sincere questions,” said Kelly.

Ordain Women encourages supporters to submit a letter describing how the group has improved their relationships with the Church or strengthened their testimonies.

Representatives from Ordain Women say they will deliver these letters to the Church Office Building.

“We are deeply disturbed by the decision to conduct an abusive disciplinary trial for the simple act of a woman asking questions about women’s roles in the Church. We believe in the blessings of the Ninth Article of Faith and the promise of continuing revelation from heaven. At every turn, our actions have been respectful and dignified and aimed at communicating with our leaders. As a spokesperson and a private individual, Kate Kelly has never waivered in her testimony of the gospel and is in no way guilty of apostasy,” said Debra Jenson, an Ordain Women spokesperson.

The group is planning to hold a candlelight vigil on Sunday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m. outside the Church Office Building at 100 South State Street in Salt Lake City.

The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints issued the following statement Wednesday in response to questions regarding Church discipline:

"The Church is a family made up of millions of individuals with diverse backgrounds and opinions. There is room for questions and we welcome sincere conversations. We hope those seeking answers will find them and happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Sometimes members’ actions contradict Church doctrine and lead others astray. While uncommon, some members in effect choose to take themselves out of the Church by actively teaching and publicly attempting to change doctrine to comply with their personal beliefs. This saddens leaders and fellow members. In these rare cases, local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters.

"Actions to address a person’s membership and standing in their congregation are convened after lengthy periods of counseling and encouragement to reconsider behavior. Ultimately, the door is always open for people to return to the Church."

For more information on Church discipline visit mormonnewsroom.org.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center