If You Are Celebrating Kate Kelly’s Excommunication, At Least Consider These Two Thoughts…

"Repentance of Peter" by Carl Bloch

“Repentance of Peter” by Carl Bloch

Let me start with a little transparency:

1. I love The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and believe this is Christ’s church.

2. Kate Kelly’s situation really isn’t any of my business. I mean, I’ll defend the Church and I don’t see things the same as the Ordain Women movement, but as far as Kate Kelly, the individual, goes, I don’t have an opinion about her recent excommunication. I’m not the decision maker in that situation and so, though I haven’t agreed with her tactics and public choices, I just don’t think it is a very fair–or kind–thing for me to do to decide if she should be in or out of the church. That is between the Lord, the bishop, and the individual.

3. I really do believe that any church, especially the Savior’s, has a right (and sometimes a duty) to excommunicate members. I trust the process that is involved. And I believe that church discipline, mixed with a humble heart and loving friends and family, can prove to be an immeasurable blessing to all involved.

Ok, with all of that said, there is something that has been eating at me. I know it shouldn’t. I certainly have other things to occupy my time, but I’ve been bothered a little by two thoughts that have been expressed online, repeatedly, regarding Kate Kelly’s excommunication. Both sentiments are provided here, word-for-word. I’ve seen them on blogs, Facebook posts, and comment sections on online news sites. Neither of these are from people I know. Here they are:

“Good! She got what she deserved!!”

and…

“Good! I’m glad she’s out!”

I’m as shallow and mean-spirited as the next person…I know that. And I’ll address that at the end of this post. But here a just a couple thoughts regarding these two sentiments.

“Good! She got what she deserved!!”

Think about this for a second. What if you actually got what you deserved? The blessings I enjoy come in and through the Savior and His mercy…not because I’ve earned anything. Can I qualify for certain blessings? I suppose, but that is only because God is very kind, more kind than He is required to be. I know that every blessing comes “by obedience to that law upon which [the blessing] is predicated” (D&C 130-21), but if that were the only way blessings came, I would be stuck. Bad. Because I’m a sinner, and not that good at qualifying for blessings. If I got what only what I really, really I deserved, I don’t think I’d like that. And if you only received the blessings you deserved, I don’t think you’d like it, either.

I believe that Kate Kelly’s choices up until last week may have qualified her to be excommunicated from the Church. But if you and I spend too much time determining what someone else deserves, we may get what we deserve… We should be shouting, “Thank goodness I don’t only get what I deserve!”

“Good! I’m glad she’s out!”

From one perspective, Kate Kelly’s excommunication is good. She has a chance at a fresh start. The church has the right to protect itself. Maybe this stanches some harm to both parties. We’ll see.

But I can’t think of anywhere where the Savior celebrates the excommunication of any of His disciples. He celebrates the cessation of sin or apostasy or rebellion. He celebrates the repentance of His people, for sure. But if there is “great joy” over one soul that repents (D&C 18:13), the opposite must be true for one soul that chooses not to in this situation or that. Why would any other disciple of Christ feel cause to celebrate the loss of a member of Christ’s Church?

I’m not glad Kate Kelly is out. I wish she were in. And one day she may well be back in. Back with us. That would be cause to celebrate… “Good! She’s back in!”

Conclusion

Let me also end with some transparency. I have probably said or thought these two thoughts at some point as well. I’m often frustrated by those who seem to, from my perspective, slow down the progress of the church and the spread of the gospel. I lose my temper, my cool, and my ability to even approach a Christ-like attitude…and I lose those things all the time. I lose perspective regularly and don’t see things the way Christ does. And for that very reason, I’m going to try–really try–to be less unkind when someone else seems to be doing the same thing…

Be Encouraging…

BJM

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One thought on “If You Are Celebrating Kate Kelly’s Excommunication, At Least Consider These Two Thoughts…

  1. robinobishop

    I celebrate the severing, not out of retribution but in the reality that she is no longer in violation of her sacred covenants. Just as with the process of her ongoing discussions with leadership, she now has a clean slate and can choose to respond to promptings. The best of the us survive this stuff.

    Reply

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