What it means to a Mormon to be excommunicated

Published June 23, 2014 4:56 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kate Kelly may feel like a Mormon, may believe like a Mormon, but she no longer is one.

Her excommunication Monday means that she is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Her baptism — in her case at age 8 — is voided, and her temple sealing for eternity to her husband is suspended, explains the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. She cannot wear her temple garments (a symbolic white underclothing donned by faithful Mormons who have participated in LDS temple rites), take the sacrament (communion), pay tithing, hold a church calling, speak from the pulpit, offer a prayer at services or vote in the sustaining of Mormon leaders.

Excommunicants can attend church meetings and, in fact, are encouraged to do so.

Kelly and others ousted from the faith can again become Mormons in good standing, but the path takes time and behavioral changes.

"Excommunicants may later qualify for rebaptism after lengthy and full repentance," the Encyclopedia of Mormonism says, "and still later may apply for formal restoration of their original priesthood and temple blessings."

Kelly's bishop told her that process "almost always" takes at least a year.



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