Kelly is ‘devastated’ about excommunication decision, Ordain Women says

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Kate Kelly was holding a meeting with fellow board members of Ordain Women when she received the news that will change her life forever.

"She looked at the phone and said, ‘I got an email from my bishop,’ and the whole room went silent," said Suzette Smith, who was one of those board members in the room.

Kelly had just found out that she had been excommunicated.

"We just looked at her and she started reading and just sobbing, just broke down in her chair, and we all just felt it, this heaviness come over us,” Smith said.

Kelly founded Ordain Women in March 2013 as a way to strive for women's equality within the LDS Church. Since then she has been seeking conversations with her church leaders regarding the possibility of women being ordained as priests.

These actions ended up landing her before disciplinary council.

"Kate is devastated. The first person she called was her husband. Her eternal marriage and her eternal convenient have been annulled it's a devastating thing for any believing Mormon," said Hannah Wheelwright, of Ordain Women.

Janice Allred understands what Kelly is going through; she herself was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1995 for, according to her, challenging authoritarianism in the church.

"I know she is feeling devastated and there is a violence in a church court that most people don't understand," Allred said. "It causes people to judge you as unworthy, unfit for church membership."

Allred remains excommunicated, but has since returned to church services. She said in time Kelly will pray, and figure out what's best for her.

"It doesn't have to be forever you can decide not to go for a while and then come back later, family members can give advice but finally it has to be between you and God," Allred said.

68 comments

  • richard stannard

    Me Kelly needs to take a step back and may a spiritual vacation. If you grow up in it , it is hard to see the cult like structure there. This could be the best thing. Come to WA. We are a more inclusive people.

  • Finny Wiggen

    It is sad that Kate allowed herself to make choices that led to this inevitable result. Whenever we stand against the Church, we not only put ourselves at risk of excommunication, but we invite discord that can effect the lives of others around us. In Kate’s case, she has negatively affected the lives of every member of this Church. I doubt that there is a single member of this church, who has not faced persecution in one form or another, as a result of Kate Kelly’s activism.

    I am sorry that she did not see where her choices were leading earlier. How they were hurting all of us. I hope she has the humility to repent, and turn from her course now, rather than to further divide the church, or further bring retribution from outsiders down on us.

    It has been unfortunate to watch her self-destruct. It takes great humility to realize that you are wrong. Hope she possess that humility!!

    • Carrie

      Would you mind telling me, when did they start hiring for God’s position? Last time I checked it was against the Big 10 to judge. It sounds like you are the typical holier than thou Mormon that we have come to know. I don’t see how EVERY Mormon is being condemned because of her. What have you personally been persecuted for because of Kelly? We are ALL sinners. Doesn’t your church teach you should turn the other cheek and reach out to those who are in need?

      • Bob

        Carrie says “Last time I checked it was against the Big 10 to judge”. Then she talks about the “the typical holier than thou Mormons”. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black.

      • Finny Wiggen

        No question we are all sinners. I certainly am. But most of us dont actively organize against the church. as far as turning the other cheek, you are standing on the mistaken premise that excommunication is revenge, or somehow a bad thing. Excommunication is an act of love, and the first step towards repentance.

    • Tabitha

      I’m sorry but she didn’t stand against the church she stood against people. And decided to excommunicated her. Not God! Being on paper registered as Mormon or not doesn’t matter to God.

    • Pilgrims Progress

      Kelly’s choices did not, by any stretch, hurt everyone in the LDS church! It did, however, cause a lot of people to begin to understand just how authoritarian Mormonism is . It began this way under Joseph Smith and grew worse under Brigham Young. In spite of the modern trappings, little has changed. There is a real reason that even today, Mormonism is not accepted as equal to the Christian mainstream. I can only pray and hope that Kate, and others like her find the real Jesus and escape from the lie they have been taught as truth.

    • Lulu

      It seems like you need a dose of humility too, and to say excommunication is an “act of love” is the biggest load of hogwash I have heard today. Yep it sure seems loving to me.

  • K

    She didn’t make the wrong choice it’s just a matter of fact that people are closed minded. I applaud her on her ability to take a stand, but no man is paying the price for this woman’s decision the only consequence I could see is people reading this article that aren’t from Utah just thing of Mormons more ignorant than they already thought.

  • Connie

    Kelly didn’t do anything wrong. She did what she believed in. She won’t think this now because she was raised in the LDS church but now she can go out and explore and find the truth.. A relationship with God is not about church or religion. It is who we are inside. Going to church is not getting us to heaven. She has nothing to repent for.. She owes the LDS church nothing. She just needs to open up her bible and she will see the truth. God calls us whether we are male or female, black or white. One is no better then the other. She didn’t bring anybody down. If people think that then they need to check themselves. She will be in my prayers that is for sure.
    . .

    • Steve Wetzel

      How do you figure she didn’t do anything wrong? Just because you believe in something – doesn’t make it right. If I sincerely believe that blacks should slaves does that make it right? Of course not. Think about what you are saying Connie.

      • Tabitha

        Look at what you are saying. What your words are implying. Yes just because you believe in something doesn’t make it right, but doesn’t make it wrong either, where would we be if people never stood up for what they believed, probably still British, or having slaves in our homes,or women can’t vote, or children sound to be sold off to the highest bidder. Just because you may think she did something wrong doesn’t mean she did.

    • Tammylynn75

      I agree with you Connie. You speak the truth. I will pray for Kate in hopes that she finds her own truth. She did nothing wrong

    • iKayak

      Who says that those of us raised in the Church haven’t found the truth on our own? We read the Bible AND the Book of Mormon. I have attended Catholic mass, gone to other Christian meetings and met with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have asked God myself through study and prayer if the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints is true. This is what we are all encouraged to do. Some people accept it and live the Gospel their whole lives, despite making human errors. Other do not believe and go astray. But we are not brain washed. We are told to ask for ourselves. The only way you can get that answer is from the Holy Ghost.

  • ivan

    Humans have no authority to excommunicated anyone. Only God can pass judgement. Luckily the bible is now in every language. There is no need for a middle man if you can read. Be a good person, and treat others right and it won’t matter if you never stepped into a church. No amount of sundays in church can cleanse an evil persons soul if they don’t change their ways.

  • Rory Siwik

    What happened to “question with boldness” that is talked about by Mormon leadership? If they and the position they decide is questioned, the questioner is kicked out? What happened to all those people that questions how black people were not given priesthood? were they excommunicated for questioning the “wisdom” (SCOFF) of that decision?
    Clearly mormon leadership is thin skinned and can not tolerate the specter of ridicule.

    • Finny Wiggen

      Come on Rory!! You are smart enough to see the difference! This individual actively organized against the Church. Questioning is absolutely encouraged. It is at the very heart of our faith to question. This clearly is not about questioning. It is about a woman who began with a question, didn’t like the answer, and then took it upon herself to actively organize and campaign to force a change in the gospel.

      Questioning is about finding truth. not about enforcing our will on others.

      • Pilgrims Progress

        You are badly mistaken in believing that the Mormon Church (or any single organized church) has the exclusive power to pronounce judgment that claims to affect her eternal destiny. All of us will stand before God and He alone can determine where we spend eternity. It is presumptuous for any group of men to claim they have this power. They may have the right to kick her out of the organization, but eternal life is a gift of God’s grace, paid for on the cross. I hope tha Kate recognizes this and then NO man can take her salvation away!

      • Finny Wiggen

        strange. I didn’t make that claim. You seem to have a pet agenda you want to discuss… That said, Is it your contention that the Lord is not capable, or allowed to organize a church, bearing his truth, name, and authority? If this is indeed your claim, then it begs the question of which one of us is presumptuous?

  • Andrew

    What a bunch of bullying cowards inhabit and skulk around Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake. 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 prophets and apostles, should hang their collective heads in shame.
    They are running a multi billion 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 they continue to support such a morally corrupt organisation, with such cowards and social gangsters at the head. They should all be examining their consciences and asking themselves how they 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 different groups of people they wish to stigmitise.
    Shame, shame, shame on the pharisees, liars and hypocrites on temple square and all the brainwashed masses who support and finance them.

  • Forest from the trees

    Brainwashed!! Are you kidding me, Andrew? Honestly, you lost me as soon as you started spewing venom with your bullying cowards at church headquarters. Obviously light still stirs up darkness otherwise you wouldv’e been sleeping at 3 in the morning. Now I could sit here and pick your comment founded in idiocy apart until there wasn’t much left, but what would be the point? My only parting comment is this. If the 15 fraudulent prophets running their billion dollar scam are so concerned and desperate to protect their revenue streams, then don’t you think they would have caved in to Kate Kelly’s demands in order to keep one more person lining their pockets with more tithing? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. All they’re concerned with is lining their pockets with more money so what do they do? They excommunicate one of their tithing paying members. Go troll somewhere else, Andrew.

    • Mike Hunt

      They kicked her out because they do not want people questioning the cult like ways of the LDS. One person could cause more people to question it and soon waves would be quitting. They silenced her by kicking her out, now no one in the LDS church will listen to her, because you are a bunch of exclusive hateful people…

  • whyimconservative

    I’m tired of reading articles that claim she was excommunicated for asking questions. she has been asking questions for a year and there were no repurcussions. only after she started her six discussions,going into people’s houses and ” teaching” them things contrary to the doctrine of the lds church, recruiting people to agree with her interpretation of how the church should be run, that she received any kind of discipline. Not a single article on her excommunication has even mentioned the six discussions she launched.

  • Lisa Partin Stephens

    There is a lot of back and forth here, but no one is referencing the Bible, the Living Word of God. So read this, please:
    1 Timothy 2:11-12
    11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.…

    • Mike Hunt

      If you want to follow a 2000 year old story book, then we should still have slaves too… Evolve and move on from that hate spread story book…

  • Pedro

    Why shouldn’t women have the priesthood? Until recently women did not pray at general conference (That Changed). I don’t think it is reasonable for women to have to rely on their priesthood holder for major decisions when that priesthood holder could very well be living a secret immoral life.

  • Suzanne

    She should be celebrating. Why would she even want to belong to such a judgmental, oppressive organization such as the Mormon Church? The very fact that she was “excommunicated” speaks volumes. Maybe all of the so-called leaders of the Mormon Church should step back and ask themselves, “what would Jesus do”. Pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t “excommunicate” someone. I thought God was supposed to be about love, forgiveness, tolerance, kindness, compassion, etc., etc., I guess that’s not the case when you question or go against the teachings of the Mormon Church. The most hypocritical, sexist organization I know. Ms. Kelly should just say “good riddance” and move on.

  • chris smith

    I am not mormon nor am i religious, and im also a man but where exactly in the bible or the book of mormon than a woman is incapable of leading a congregation in worship??? bottom line is the lds church is run by a close circle of sexist men who view women as a whole good for nothing more than being housekeepers and brood mares taught to have many children so the church has future members to collect thier 10% from i find the lds churches stance on women disgusting and i find any woman that pledges alliegance to an organization that treats them like second class citizens silly you ladies need to find husbands and faith that embraces you as the equal human beings that you all are

  • iKayak

    I am sorry but if she is in fact devastated why did she refuse to attend her own counsel and held a protect that she called a vigil instead and held a meeting with the organization that she established to get her in this position in the first place while the decision was made? Also, this is a very personal process that she has made a public mockery to try to bring shame to the Church. Her actions do not express devastation and humility but pride and antagonism. I hope that she is able to truly humble herself and apply the Atonement to continue the repentance process. She asked a question, the answer was no, it is time to follow the Lord not protest His eternal doctrine.

    • Mike Hunt

      Repent? For what? Equal rights? You people really are brainwashed by that “doctrine” cult on bro…

  • Lulu

    I bet God lets Kate into the celestial kingdom long before he will let Brigham Young in, after all she never committed adultery on her spouse by marrying 50 plus men, nor did she marry other women’s husbands as Brigham Young married other mens wives, She was never involved with the Mountain Meadows Massacre either. Nor was she involved in racism, yep I bet she’s got a much better chance than “Brother Brigham” has.

  • Lulu

    Ikayak ~ Attend her own counsel? Held thousands of miles away? Perfectly timed for after she had moved from the area, the church could have easily arranged it so she could have had church court where she lived, but no, THEY chose to do it in a underhanded way. Try to bring shame to the church ? Why should it bring shame to them if they have nothing to be ashamed of ? I know the women in the church are basically told to sit down and shut up/ always defer to the “priesthood” , Maybe Kate was just fed up being treated as a 2nd class citizen. Lets face it, the women are always told “no” in the church. I hope church members and the leadership truly humble themselves and begin to repent too.

    • ralph

      i agree Mike. Southpark is stupid. i dont see why anyone would want to be a part of it. and by the way. your name is waaaayyy old. think of something that is clever less than 40 years ago……

  • Trish Ramirez

    Ms. Kelly will perhaps have her eyes opened by the recent decision and be better able to come to terms with exactly what kind of organization this church actually is. Clearly, the are more concerned about PR and saving face and PUNISHING a highly spiritual member than counseling her and keeping her among their ranks. Blindly following is more important than ensuring their members have the tools they need to reach their full spiritual potential. If this church cared about your soul and they truly believed that membership in their organization is the only way humans can reach the highest kingdoms in the afterlife, they would TRUST in the personal relationships that their members have with god and rather than try to stifle them, they would embrace any difference that helped their flock on their spiritual journey. Indeed, the representatives of this religion, guided by their own need to do damage control and keep their congregants in line, have gotten between their faithful and god for their own petty reasons. What if Joseph Smith had allowed himself to be swayed by the opinion of the majority? Think about this, female church members and the supporters of females, ask yourself if your questioning of doctrine comes from a place of rebellion or a place of faith. If your opinions come from a true place of faith, don’t back down. What if Jesus had backed down? Trust in that small voice that whispers to you rather than accepting the petty opinions of men in earthly positions of power.

    Good luck on your journey, and remember that it’s not always easy to be among the first people striving for a change.

    • ralph

      so based on your logic. if i think its ok to just go in somebody’s home a take something then its ok? my god says it is. men should not have the right to tell me otherwise. yeah, absurd. any organization has rules that govern it. in this case its a church that believes God has given them revelation concerning their “rules” Kellys views go against that. so, really she is going against “god” according to this church’s’ beliefs. they have every right to act according to their policy/laws/whatever you wanna call it. people do NOT need to belong to a church to believe in god and have faith etc. they DO have to believe in and live according to certain rules/laws to be a member of a specific church. so really the question is whether or not she believes that the LDS faith is the true church or not. if it is, then she should live by its laws- all of its laws. otherwise get out, the rules are not up for negotiation. ask yourself- do i believe in every principle of this religion? yes=stay no=leave it’s really that simple but then their cause would not get any pub now would it?????

      • TRISH RAMIREZ WANTS TO BE ANALLY PENETRATED BY ERIC ANDERSON (CARTMAN)...

        I want to put my thing inside a baby!!!!!!

  • Lulu

    Well women have got a clear message today ,God and his supposed prophets do not have any love or compassion for women in the church, they are there to obey and pop out babies…nothing else.

  • It's a Good Day

    I don’t understand why she would be “devastated” that she was excommunicated when she was warned that her actions would lead to being excommunicated. All choices have consequences whether good or bad. She was informed and she made her choice. I think she likes having this attention and being put in the spotlight. But she could be putting her talents to better use.

    • Happy homemaker!

      I find it interesting the criticism. If she truely understood things she wouldn’t care…. When is the last time we seen a bunch of men complaining they can’t have babies! There is just certain things in life that are the way they are! Men are able to do things we are not and vise versa!!! She shouldn’t be surprised by that people are excommunicated for all kinds of things. If she is upset let her find a religion that meets her needs. There is judgement in all things just like laws/rules etc. sometimes we don’t get to pick those things in life but we have to follow them! Or face the consequences! Quit giving her publicity!

  • kim arbuckle

    She asked for the Doctrine of the church be changed. The answer was no. She would have been given the same ” no answer” In many other faiths. She is free to choose which religion she feels is best for her relationship with God. To be a member of any religion you typically align yourself with its doctrine.

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