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Church ExCommunication

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I've heard a few things in regards to excommunication -- A little background before I ask the question.

 

My mother is an inactive member of the church and my father is not a member of the church. By my own choice, I left on a mission (therefore endowed etc...)I served honorably and loved my mission. I think about it everyday. 

 

The thing is, even before my mission, I without a doubt in my mind believed in God -- but had the upmost time with Jesus Christ and his resurrection. I've also had a hard time rapping my mind around the church and their associating with the Theory of Evolution. My father is in full support and loves the church. He has nothing poor to say about it -- but he introduced me to the idea of evolution when I was young and he said the Church does agree with it -- mainly because BYU teaches Anthropology at their Universities. But, during my mission (we had daily access to the internet) -- I did research and found high ranking Quorom members basically bastardizing the entire process. I did more study into their Anthropology program and they speak nill of Evolution (hardly mentioned or talked about). As I said, I served an honorable mission and was even placed into an Assistant position by the end -- but I never brought my question to my mission president and his view on evolution. I decided to go to my YSA bishop when I got back and his answer is 'Its just a theory'. Now, the issue I have here is not with the bishops answer -- he is just one man who I know cannot speak for the entire church, but from my in depth research -- the church DOES NOT support evolution. This is not my question though.

 

The first three months I prayed, went to the temple, church, etc -- everything I wanted to do and what I knew to do -- but no answer. I since then decided to distance myself from the Church. I let my Temple recommend expire and started drinking. I did not start drinking till the recommend expired. I did that for a few months -- still when to church alone but I did not let myself take the sacrament because I know of its importance -- But the last two months, I've been to church now twice. I went from consecutively going every Sunday to twice in two months. I also started sleeping with my girlfriend (who is not a member) -- and plan to move in with her. 

 

I do not feel like I have an anger or malice towards the church -- I have moved away from the core tenants and teachings of the church. I am worried about excommunication though -- Someone from my ward went to my bishop and blew the situation out of the water (told him I'm planning on leaving the church, girlfriend is trying to get pregnant, and other ridiculous things -- all untrue) My bishop obviously now wants to meet with me. I tried to be respectful from staying out of the temple, not taking the sacrament, and abusing those sacred things -- but could I still face excommunication? I do not feel like I have a relationship or solid testimony of Christ or the Holy Spirit. 

 

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Ok, I think I'm misunderstanding you-- you quit going to church over evolution?  If evolution is your big issue, we can talk about it (the Church has no official position one way or the other on the issue).  If it's not your issue, did you want to talk abut whatever your issue is?  ("Issue" is a horrible word here, but I can't think of a better one right now, sorry).

 

As to excommunication, the short answer is: no.

 

The long answer is: the Church is not in the habit of banishing those whom are trying to walk in God's steps.  Rather, we seek to help people make the right choices and rejoice in Goodness.  My guess is that your bishop is guessing something's going on in your world (quit going to church, rumored move-in with girlfriend, etc), and wants to ask you if there's anything he can do to help you.  A possible way he could help would be to help you rebuild your testimony of God.

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I don't think anyone has ever been thrown out of the church for either drinking, or believing something about evolution vs. creationism.

 

I appreciate the importance you place on not abusing sacred things.  God bless you as you sort through this phase in your life.

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I don't know what BYU's anthropology department teaches, but its biology department certainly does teach evolution.  They even have a handout they give to more doctrinally conservative statements, basically including statements from various GA's saying "it's possible", "the Church has no position", et cetera.  Personally, my only problem with evolution is when evolutionists insist that there is no room in the process for any kind of Divine, guiding intelligence that could have influenced the way things played out in some way.

 

If I were, during a period of inactivity, fornicating regularly and had since stopped and tried to come back into activity--I would expect there to be some kind of repentance process which could theoretically include excommunication; though I would be pretty surprised to see a bishop/stake president take things quite that far--more likely I'd be asked not to participate in priesthood ordinances, not take the sacrament, and not attend the temple until I had figured some things out.  (Remember, too, that because you hold the Melchizedek Priesthood your bishop doesn't have the authority to unilaterally excommunicate you--he'd have to get the Stake President to agree, after a hearing before the stake high council.)

 

Now, if I were fornicating regularly and had no intention to stop; and those facts were common knowledge--I would not at all be surprised to have my bishop ask me to come in and discuss whether I really want to stay a Mormon at all; and perhaps to refer the matter up to the SP for further discussion.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Ok, I think I'm misunderstanding you-- you quit going to church over evolution?  If evolution is your big issue, we can talk about it (the Church has no official position one way or the other on the issue).  If it's not your issue, did you want to talk abut whatever your issue is?  ("Issue" is a horrible word here, but I can't think of a better one right now, sorry).

 

As to excommunication, the short answer is: no.

Um, Actually, I think you missed the part about him sleeping with and moving in with his girlfriend.  Evolution has nothing to do with that part.

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Um, Actually, I think you missed the part about him sleeping with and moving in with his girlfriend.  Evolution has nothing to do with that part.

The answer is still no, not  not right away at least

Edited by omegaseamaster75

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As a side note, at the present moment I am at work (obviously not focusing) and developing some data about the evolution of plants.  

 

Your comment will be referred to your bishopric for further review.  Thank you for contributing. 

 

:satan:

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The "no" answers are wrong. A Melchizedek Priesthood holder who has abandoned his temple covenants through adultery is most certainly subject to excommunication. Whether that actually happens or not is at the discretion of the stake president, and it may seem an unlikely outcome. But possible? Oh, yes.

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No one here can tell you if you would be excommunicated. Is it possible ..... Reading over what you said .... Yes it's possible. That's why you need to tell your Bishop what you shared with us. As a Mel Priesthood holder and Temple rec holder you did make some covenants. Hope all goes well for you. Being a Mel Priesthood holder your Bishop will then speak with your Stake President and he will decide whomwhatnwhere and when. The Stake president is a council is held will tell the Bishop if he will take care of it or he will tell the Bishop to handle it.

Edited by Palerider

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I also started sleeping with my girlfriend (who is not a member) -- and plan to move in with her. 

 

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Ah yes - I did miss that part.  I suppose some sacred things you're trying to not abuse, and other sacred things you're off abusing a whole bunch.

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Vort

That is not adultery.  Fornication, lack of chastity, yes, but adultery, as I undertand it is only involved when he, or his girlfriend is married to someone else.

dc

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Vort

That is not adultery.  Fornication, lack of chastity, yes, but adultery, as I undertand it is only involved when he, or his girlfriend is married to someone else.

dc

 

Adultery, generally speaking, is covenant-breaking. Israel was called "adulterous", and we are warned against a sign-seeking "wicked and adulterous generation" that spurns its covenants. So a married person having sex with someone other than his/her spouse is committing adultery because s/he is violating his/her covenants, as is anyone who has made those temple covenants.

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Just for clarification---- you believe/believed in God, but struggled with belief in Jesus Christ and the resurrection? How or why would you serve a mission for a religion with which you struggle to believe the central theme which is Jesus Christ?

Just curious.....

 

Reading your post it would seem that you struggle to believe much of anything you taught and claimed to believe, so, why worry about excommunication? And without a doubt, you could be excommunicated.

Edited by bytor2112

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Here is the cold hard truth:

 

You made temple covenants.  The law of chastity does not differentiate between married or single people.  You served a mission.  You taught people the law of chastity.  Your covenants are binding, recommend or not.  You have clearly and unmistakably broken those covenants and mocked that which is most holy.  This isn't sin like having a coffee, not paying tithing, or even watching some porn.  It is serious, grievous sin.  Excommunication is a very real possibility.

 

My brother, with all that being said, fear not and repent.  Call your Bishop.  Don't give a darn about what other people might think or what they might say.  If they think less of you because of this then they have committed the greater sin, not you!  Expect your friends and other members to be helpful, kind, and nothing but supportive.  If they are not, then ignore them.

  

 

 

 

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  Isaiah 1:18
 

Do you want that relationship and testimony of Christ and the Holy Ghost?  Jesus Christ is right next to you with his arms outstretched.  Swallow your pride and call your Bishop right now.  I mean right now.  I don't care if it's 3 am where you're at.  This can't wait.  The sooner repentance is started the sooner you will begin to heal.  It will be humbling, painful, and difficult, but your bishop, stake president, and most importantly, your elder brother Jesus Christ will help you and comfort you.

 

If you choose to be willing and obedient, then great things await.  As you progress through repentance, remember to forgive yourself!!  Move ahead and don't dwell on the past.  If you exercise humble faith you can still achieve the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom.  From Paul to the Philippians:

 

this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Get this behind you.  So you slipped up.  Everyone does in all different ways.  Take the Lord's outstretched hand, get up off the ground, dust yourself off, smile, and move on.  Put this in your past.  Call your Bishop.

 

If you do not have a desire to change (repent), then there is nothing anyone can do for you.  Nothing.

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Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Your post baffles me?
 
If you don't believe in the tenants of the Church, why on earth should you care if you're excommunicated?? 
 
If the Church is true---give up the booze, quit fornicating, repent, make amends and return to activity.
If the Church isn't true---why worry about excommunication? What difference does it make?

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Frankly speaking, I think you are confusing the cure with the illness.  

 

Breaking the law of chastity is what you should really be worried about, not excommunication.  You do realize that if you have been to the temple and then break the law of chastity by fornicating and fail to repent before you die, you will wind up in the telestial kingdom?  (Yes, that comes straight out of a church class manual on the law of chastity- maybe Gospel Principles?)

 

Repentance is the only way back.  If your stake president determines you must be excommunicated, that is the only way back to the celestial kingdom.  You are far better off eternally if you talk with the stake president, get excommunicated, and start repenting than if you just ignore the problem and let it fester and get worse.

 

Whether or not you still have a testimony in the church, you will have to someday face the consequences for your actions.  I would think about that long and hard before moving in with your girlfriend.  

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Meeting with Bishop tomorrow at 9:30am

Why am I worried about being excommunicated? This church has provided so much -- I do hope that what they teach is true but I feel like I am confused right now.

My Bishop is a very aggressive guy. I just don't know. I'll keep y'all posted. Grateful for your responses.

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I still don't get it.

 

You say you are worried that you are going to be excommunicated but you continue to make, deliberate conscious choices (such as planning on moving in with your girlfriend) to break your covenants and ignore the teachings of the gospel.  Your actions -again, deliberate and conscious choices - would indicate that your membership in the church isn't actually important to you.  At least, nor more important than having sex.

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I've heard a few things in regards to excommunication -- A little background before I ask the question.

My mother is an inactive member of the church and my father is not a member of the church. By my own choice, I left on a mission (therefore endowed etc...)I served honorably and loved my mission. I think about it everyday.

The thing is, even before my mission, I without a doubt in my mind believed in God -- but had the upmost time with Jesus Christ and his resurrection. I've also had a hard time rapping my mind around the church and their associating with the Theory of Evolution. My father is in full support and loves the church. He has nothing poor to say about it -- but he introduced me to the idea of evolution when I was young and he said the Church does agree with it -- mainly because BYU teaches Anthropology at their Universities. But, during my mission (we had daily access to the internet) -- I did research and found high ranking Quorom members basically bastardizing the entire process. I did more study into their Anthropology program and they speak nill of Evolution (hardly mentioned or talked about). As I said, I served an honorable mission and was even placed into an Assistant position by the end -- but I never brought my question to my mission president and his view on evolution. I decided to go to my YSA bishop when I got back and his answer is 'Its just a theory'. Now, the issue I have here is not with the bishops answer -- he is just one man who I know cannot speak for the entire church, but from my in depth research -- the church DOES NOT support evolution. This is not my question though.

The first three months I prayed, went to the temple, church, etc -- everything I wanted to do and what I knew to do -- but no answer. I since then decided to distance myself from the Church. I let my Temple recommend expire and started drinking. I did not start drinking till the recommend expired. I did that for a few months -- still when to church alone but I did not let myself take the sacrament because I know of its importance -- But the last two months, I've been to church now twice. I went from consecutively going every Sunday to twice in two months. I also started sleeping with my girlfriend (who is not a member) -- and plan to move in with her.

I do not feel like I have an anger or malice towards the church -- I have moved away from the core tenants and teachings of the church. I am worried about excommunication though -- Someone from my ward went to my bishop and blew the situation out of the water (told him I'm planning on leaving the church, girlfriend is trying to get pregnant, and other ridiculous things -- all untrue) My bishop obviously now wants to meet with me. I tried to be respectful from staying out of the temple, not taking the sacrament, and abusing those sacred things -- but could I still face excommunication? I do not feel like I have a relationship or solid testimony of Christ or the Holy Spirit.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

meet the bishop, if for nothing else to squash the false things....

excummunication is generally reserved for those who are seeking to destroy church, or for major sins ( things like murder or adultery)... And often will depend on if the person is repentant or not.

My advice? Get married, or break up- in relation to sinning. On a spiritual level you need to get in touch with God and find out where you need to stay or go. Thats hard to accomplish if youre living in sin.

As for evolution it does not matter much. The church has no stance on it so you will find people all the way up to the top that support it and also those who dont.

Edited by Blackmarch

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If you are excommunicated, it will be because the HC determined that it was in your best interests to do so.   You have made temple covenants which you are not living, and drinking (using mood altering substances that deprive you of your agency) and having sex will not help you work out your doubts.    The official church position is that it has no position on evolution, except that Adam and Eve are the first humans.  

 

And you can resign rather than be excommunicated, but I cannot tell you that would be in your best interests either.   Repenting (which likely requires giving up your girlfriends or marrying her since it is really difficult to quit being intimate with someone you still care about and have regular contact with).

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And you can resign rather than be excommunicated, but I cannot tell you that would be in your best interests either.

 

From what I've read, I understand that church leaders are not supposed to accept resignations from members when disciplinary matters are involved, but there is some disagreement about whether this violates the Freedom of Religion (in the US). I'm inclined to think that it doesn't because (i) F or R supposedly applies to government only and (ii) it restricts nobody's freedom because a resigning member could easily say: "I have resigned and am no longer a member - if the Church wishes to pretend that I'm still a member and go through a private charade of excommunicating me, then what's that to me?" However this would only apply to people resigning with no intention of going back.

Edited by Jamie123

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I'd have to look it up, but I think the case law (and Church practice) is just the opposite--resignations are effective immediately and the entity must accept it on receipt and stop any pending proceedings; the most they can do is note that proceedings were pending in case the ex-member seeks readmission at a later time. IIRC our courts see it primarily as a freedom of association issue, not a religious freedom issue.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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SO the church doesn't have a stand on evolution??

 

Origin of Man, issued by the First Presidency:

 

"It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declared that Adam was “the first man of all men” (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father.

True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man."

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