Excommunication is a violent act

chopping block

Excommunication is a violent act!

I first heard this statement from John Dehlin on a Mormon Stories podcast.  I dismissed it as an emotional exaggeration.

Then it was my turn.  As the excommunication tribunal approached, I was not thinking, “This is going to be violent.”  My immediate interest was figuring out how to use the church court to as a vehicle to bring more awareness to the plight of Mormon children.

Now I know better.  Post excommunication, if you choose to continue associating with the Mormon community, it messes with your head.  The frequency and duration of the trauma is  gradually subsiding.  Sometimes it comes rushing back, if only for a moment.  Today, was one of those moments.

My wife went to church this morning.  A former member of our congregation was visiting.  She is a fine person.  Our families have been friends for years.   Due to her husband’s church status, she hobnobs with the elite leadership of the LDS Church.  Of course, my wife was happy to see her.  They chit-chatted about what the kids and grand-kids were doing.  My name was never bought up.

Here’s the violent part.  As my wife shared the encounter with me, I thought, “This old friend believes that at the end of mortality , my wife will be given to another man!!!  That she will be a polygamous wife for eternity.  Relegated to the unenviable status of the 2nd, or the 3rd or the 100th wife.  Never to have any association with her excommunicated apostate husband ever again.   Behind the polite smile, my friend believes that my children will be provided another father.  My grandchildren will be given to another grandfather.  Their beloved dad and granddad ripped forever from their presence.”

I don’t believe any of that crap.  It’s idiotic made-up doctrine.  Conjured up to justify the aspirations of a few men to have sex with as many women as their loins desired.

My TBM* friends claim that they believe what the prophets have taught.  They KNOW that the Mormon Church is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth.  They KNOW that the prophets and apostles speak with and for God.  If they KNOW all that, then they must believe that my wife, children and grandchildren will be torn from my side and given to a worthy and righteous man.  Perhaps to the very husband of our friend in high places whose conversation brought all these thoughts to mind.

Excommunication is a violent act!

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23 thoughts on “Excommunication is a violent act

  1. A few years ago my brother expressed to me his own fears about this. If he didn’t measure up his wife would be given to another. What if she doesn’t measure up and he does? Ooh baby! All joking aside, he was truly terrified of this possibility.
    He is in the heart of the church in Utah where he lives among the wealthiest of saints—they do contemplate this stuff. He also mentioned he thought Joseph Smith was only trying to replicate what behaviors he saw beyond the veil—wife stealing for the righteous. The church is a messed up mind-f#ck Sam, and the doctrine of love is all about fear and controlling your eternal sex life in the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Church “deleted” whom it dislikes, when its profits get hurt. In contrast, it does not delete any sexual abusers or spouse/children batterers, when those abusers do not hurt its profits.
    It does not only delete, but also ask the deleted’s family to choose between it and the deleted.

    (Please, Sam, ask your wife, for me, if she felt the above implied message from it and its leaders (not its members, because it is up to individual members to follow or not). I just want to double-check if this phenomenon is common in the corners of different cultures. Thank you!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, it IS a violent act. A terrible, ugly act. And for those who believe the bulls–t, my grandpa would say, “They are in for a RUDE awakening!” I’m reading a book on the terrible things that happened to women in the church in the 70s and 80s over ratification of the ERA. Many Mormon women were excommunicated. And, like you, Sonia Johnson was the scapegoat. The Mormon church has done SO many ugly things, yet De-Nile still remains a very big river.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I find it astonishing when people make the statement, “She will be given to another.” What if she doesn’t want to be given to another????? The words “free-agency” in the Mormon church are a lie and a farce!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for this, Sam Young. I admire you so much, more than just about anyone. Yes, excommunication is a violent act. I was not excommunicated; I resigned. I’ve never regretted resigning. I agree with everything you say here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois, I began my 80th year this month. I too, resigned from the church in 1991 when I was 51. And I’ve NEVER regretted it. Yet here I still am, both appalled and intrigued with the ugliness in the church since its beginning. Once the Internet came out, the truth began to come out. And SO much has been and is being revealed! I feel like my Mormon ancestors, who were some of the first members of the church, and who knew Joseph, men and women who went through all the trials and tribulations, including polygamy, are cheering me on!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey, Sam:
    You’re right, you know: “It’s idiotic made-up doctrine.” This phrase keeps running through my mind this weekend as I read more and more of the discussions about things TSCC does and how it affects people: “The truth is made up and the lies don’t matter.” It’s helping. Thank you for visibly and vocally persisting. You’re saving lives and souls.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One of the burs under my saddle, so to speak, for a lot of years was the doctrine that making it to the highest level of the celestial kingdom was something we achieved as a couple. My ex husband slept through every hour of church each week, gave no effort to his callings or assignments, would not participate in family activities or in any aspect of our home, while I worked my ass off trying to be the perfect Mormon wife, mother, and member of the church. He diminished me to being his sex slave, maid, and caretaker, and while this was all going on was given the office of high priest. So many times I found myself thinking, I’m either going to make it to the highest celestial kingdom based on my efforts and he’s going to ride on my work, or I’m going to be held to a lower kingdom by this lazy idiot. Neither scenario was acceptable to me, and it caused me to start questioning everything that the church was teaching, from the power of discernment of our priesthood leaders, to the disconnect of needing a savior but being expected to gain worthiness through our works, the way Mormons treat people in general (all the judgment, superiority, etc). It all completely fell apart for me, and the more I read about the actual beginnings of the church vs what is taught on Sundays, I can’t believe I ever fell for the BS.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. It sure is!

    But you don’t need excommunication to inflict violence. I’ve not been excommunicated. I’ve not resigned. But I have stopped attending. I have been outspoken about legitimate issues with the church.

    That was enough to visit the same violence upon me as upon you and other excommunicated folk. I’ll give the church one thing: when it comes to spiritual violence, they don’t discriminate.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This is all such a crock. You have missed the the most important part of the Gospel. It is all based on faithfulness . The Celestial Kingdom is going to be open to those who remain faithful and believe in its principles. It will be be open to those of us who are valiant in and live a Christlike life. I don’t plan on being in the Celestial kingdom because I have not lived a life that deems me worthy. The fullness of the Gospel is still here and available to me. Even if I had ever been excommunicated, this Violent’ Church welcomes me back thru the same repentance as the Savior died for. This is a very bitter bunch who write the comments here. I wish you all could take your negative energy and use it for a positive one. I lived during the time of Sonia Johnson and the ERA.. she was excommunicated for saying negative thing about the leadership of the Church. She did the same thing that Sam did. Either you are faithful or you aren’t. Either you believe in the restored Gospel or you don’t. I knew many sisters who were for the ERA and spoke up for it. They weren’t excommunicated. They never went on national media and bad mouthed the Church leadership.
    Those who are excommunicated are given the opportunity to repent and return. If you are so worried about your family eternal or otherwise, there are ways to handle your “crisis of Faith” that you or anyone could do. You chose the route you took. I could be living a better life. I chose the life I live. My belief is that the Celestial Kingdom is not going to be nearly as full as we think. I believe that after we go thru judgement day, we will know why we are sent elsewhere and will be comfortable being among those who are like we are. We will still have the opportunity to be as good as we can be . We will not feel that we were cheated out of the Celestial Kingdom because we will know we didn’t belong there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A crock? Ok. I shared my vulnerable feelings. You criticize me for having them. I criticize a harmful and dangerous policy that ONLY exists in the Mormon church. The leaders respond by kicking me out. What are they afraid of?

      Christ openly criticized the leadership. They put him to death. I openly criticized a mere policy. According to Spencer W. Kimball, they inflicted something worse than death on me. Those are the very words of a prophet.

      I’m not concerned about my family in the eternities. Only a petty vengeful god would punish me for working to protect children. My wife and every one of my children believe in a Jesus who will reward me for trying to follow his gospel They all feel that the stake president and the church were wrong.

      I chose the route I took? Absolutely. I tried every avenue I could think of. They were all dead ends. The final route I took yielded results. Parents started taking action to protect their children. Not because of the apostles. Because of the awareness raised by the route I took. It’s time for the apostles to stand up and protect children by putting in place strong safety procedures. This year I will continue to put as much heat as I can on the church. They have nothing left in their stupid arsenal to threaten me with.

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  10. Deep empathy, and sympathy sending to you; I know the feelings. I chose to avoid the excommunication, but the violence of the whole “resigning” process was still there. Love to you, good grandpa and dad that you are! That is the real measure. Right here, right now, you are the best grandpa and dad that anyone could ever have, and the “eternity”, like you say, is made up.

    Like

  11. A violent act like the sexual abuse you have documented with over a thousand examples. Done by those misrepresenting their authority to abuse one they hope to control. You have a more complete understanding now having experienced a similar abuse. A very empathetic man forced to have even more empathy for the abused by joining their ranks.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So true Sam. The abnormal perspective of the excommunicated member who still believes, is one of ‘guilt’ and ‘shame’ that he or she has spoilt an eternal sealing, but the truth is, the teaching is hideous and cruel (and of course utterly false)

    Liked by 1 person

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