After Mormon excommunication, Kate Kelly hurting but ‘joyful’

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Published: July 10, 2014 06:32PM
Updated: July 9, 2014 09:48AM
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Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly speaks about her excommunication from the LDS Church in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. On Saturday, the church's top leaders issued a rare joint statement reaffirming that priesthod offices are reserved for men.

It’s been two weeks since her local Mormon leaders excommunicated Kate Kelly from the LDS Church. So what has the Ordain Women founder been up to since then?

Well, besides a series of media interviews, Kelly says she’s been “focusing on positive self-care.”

“I have made it a point to spend time with family, go on many bike rides, and surround myself with true and stalwart friends,” she writes in a blog posted Tuesday on the Ordain Women website. “Amid the sadness and pain I have experienced, I’ve been reminding myself of the beauty and magic of life, and all that is wonderful on this Earth. There is so much to be joyful and hopeful about.”

Despite her upbeat outlook, Kelly, who has been pushing for female ordination to the all-male LDS priesthood, leaves no doubt that she still is hurting and offended.

“Let me be perfectly clear: What happened to me was wrong. It was abusive. It was unfair. It was unacceptable,” she writes. “But my reaction is mine to choose. I choose to move forward with grace in the face of brutality, unkindness and the sometimes hideous reaction of human beings to someone else’s tragedy.”

Her blog goes on to clarify several points. She insists, for instance, that she hoped to keep her disciplinary action private and blames her LDS leaders for forcing the issue into the headlines.

“On May 6, I received an email from my stake [regional] president,” she explains, “ ... that said, ‘because you have carried your campaign for ordination far beyond the boundaries of our stake, and have previously told the media and the public that you are a member in good standing, it may be necessary at some point in the future to correct the public record regarding your standing in the church.’ ”

That remark, Kelly says, forced her hand. “I felt I only had control of how the information about me was conveyed, and the power to tell my story myself, not whether or not it would be made public.”

Excommunicated for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church,” Kelly notes she is appealing that decision to her stake president and, if she loses at that level, to the faith’s governing First Presidency.

“Regardless of the outcome of my appeal, my heart will go on beating and I will move forward, confident that I did the right thing,” she writes. “I spoke the truth, with love. I acted with integrity.”

Kelly says she is encouraging Mormons who, like herself, “see problems with gender inequality” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to stick with the faith and, if at all possible, work for change from within.

“I do not know what the future holds for me,” she concludes, “but can assure you of one thing going forward: Firm as the mountains around us, Ordain Women will carry on!”