Stacy, in a past calling I had to attend church disciplinary councils and was present 
for a disfellowship (not excommunication) procedure.  (To make up for it, I was lucky 
enough to attend several church disciplinary councils wherein the person was 
"re-communicated" I guess you'd call it.  Their temple blessings were restored to them 
pending an upcoming baptism, and I was invited by those members to their re-baptisms.)

I was told the disfellowship is very much like the excommunication, save for the fact 
it was on a ward level instead of a stake level.  The repentance procedure was, I 
assume, a tad "easier" than it would have been for someone excommunicated.  It's 
nothing like I expected.

First of all, we were taught that a disciplinary procedure such as disfellowship or 
excommunication was not just the problem of the person, it was the problem of the 
entire ward or stake.  Yet the person deserved and required complete confidentiality; 
no one who wasn't immediately involved (including victims and members of the 
disciplinary council) was to ever learn about this from anyone but the member 
him/herself.  (For this instance, I will agree with our enemies that there are times 
when we LDS do keep secrets.)

Every means possible was to be given to help the member return to full fellowship; it 
was always assumed that any punishment or trial for their sin(s) would be handled by 
the Holy Ghost.  (And believe me -- we saw some mighty big lessons being handed out by 
the Spirit.)  What we mortal agents were to do was love that person, protect their 
privacy, help those who were injured to recover, and to be available for counsel or 
other assistance as the person was receiving their lectures from the Spirit.  If 
you've never been lectured by the Spirit, consider yourself very lucky and relatively 
free of sin.

I've seen other churches, mainly Protestant ones, make a huge deal with lots of 
publicity when they excommunicate a member.  In the Church of Jesus Christ, the ONLY 
time I've seen a church discipline made public is when the person themselves made it 
public.  You'll get Church statements, when asked about criminals, that the criminals 
went through Church discipline but that civil punishment was the responsibility of 
civil authorities.  If anyone's heard of anything more than that, please correct me.  
(Now someone will find a quote from Brigham Young which says something like "I 
personally ex'd him then beat him with a deck of Pokemon cards.")


*jeep!
 ~~Chet
"If ya thinks ya is right, ya deserfs credit - even if ya is wrong." Gus Segar via 
Popeye

--- Stacy Smith <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

Hi.  Has anyone ever witnessed an actual excommunication of someone else by 
this or any other church?  It seems to me that most churches refuse to do 
it.  Why this bothers me I'm not sure, because I know that other churches 
don't have the authority to really matter but somehow it does.  I think it 
reflects the moral character of the times.  Are they generally public or 
private affairs?  By "public" I suppose I mean church-attended, of course.

Stacy.

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