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June 24th, 2014
10:45 AM ET

Mormon feminist excommunicated for apostasy

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Kate Kelly, a lifelong Mormon who’s spearheaded a fight for equal opportunities for women in her church, was convicted of apostasy Monday and excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The verdict, decided by a panel of male judges who convened Sunday, came to her by way of an e-mail sent by her former LDS Church bishop in Virginia, Mark Harrison. Kelly described the verdict as “exceptionally painful.”

“Today is a tragic day for my family and me as we process the many ways this will impact us, both in this life and in the eternities,” she said on Ordain Women’s site Monday.

“I love the gospel and the courage of its people. Don’t leave. Stay, and make things better.”

No harsher punishment exists for a Latter-day Saint.

Kelly was excommunicated “for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church,” Harrison wrote.

“In order to be considered for readmission to the Church, you will need to demonstrate over a period of time that you have stopped teachings and actions that undermine the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine of the priesthood," he said.

"The difficulty, Sister Kelly, is not that you say you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood," Harrison continued. "The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others."

What got Kelly, a human-rights attorney who now lives in Utah, in trouble was the 2013 launching of Ordain Women, a movement pushing for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Through social media, a website and public protests, the group has gathered steam – and put Kelly in hot water.

In May, Kelly was put on probation for her activities. She was also asked to take her website down. She refused, and letters of support, many of which can still be found on the site today, poured in.

By early June, Kelly knew she would face a disciplinary council. At the time, she wrote about the threat of excommunication in her church, calling it “akin to spiritual death.”

“The life-saving ordinances you have participated in like baptism, confirmation, and temple sealing are moot,” she wrote. “In effect, you are being forcibly evicted from your forever family.”

Mormons believe family members, in good church standing, are bound for eternity.

By being excommunicated, Kelly can no longer wear her temple garments or enter LDS Church temples. She cannot tithe or give offerings.

She cannot take the sacrament (known in many Christian churches as Communion), receive a calling to serve the church or give talks in the church. She is banned from offering prayers in church meetings and cannot vote for church officers.

Kelly, however, vowed, to keep fighting.

“I will not stop speaking out publicly on the issue of gender inequality in the church,” she wrote Sunday in a letter to the disciplinary council. “I cannot repent of telling the truth, speaking what is in my heart and asking questions that burn in my soul.”

The LDS Church, which doesn’t employ professional clergy and instead calls members to serve in volunteer leadership positions, is patriarchal in nature.

From the combined post of president and prophet to other ecclesiastical leaders, it’s a male-dominated world. Only men can enter the priesthood, which grants a person the authority to, for example, perform baptisms and offer sacramental blessings.

"The pattern of ordaining men to the priesthood was established by Christ in His Church, and is followed in His restored Church today," LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins wrote in a statement to CNN late Monday night. 

"The worth of a human soul is not defined by a set of duties or responsibilities," Hawkins said. "In God’s plan for His children, both women and men have the same access to the guidance of His spirit, to revelation, faith and repentance, to grace and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, and are received equally as they approach Him in prayer."

But the all-male priesthood practice doesn’t match what the LDS Church teaches, Kelly and her organization argue.

“The fundamental tenets of Mormonism support gender equality: God is male and female, father and mother, and all of us can progress to be like them someday. Priesthood, we are taught, is essential to this process,” the group's website reads.

“Ordain Women believes women must be ordained in order for our faith to reflect the equity and expansiveness of these teachings.”

The mission statement then seizes on language about equality that was crafted by the LDS Church itself in 2012.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. The Book of Mormon states, "black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God" (2Nepi 26:33). This is the Church’s official teaching.

The intention, going back to the LDS Church founder, was to treat women equally, activist and author Joanna Brooks explained in a late-night Monday e-mail to CNN.

"Joseph Smith told Mormon women he'd make them a 'kingdom of priests.'  There is plenty of theological and historical evidence that Smith viewed participation in LDS temple rites as conveying a form of priesthood on men and women alike," wrote Brooks, author of  "The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith."

"But after his death, and especially in the 20th century, this view started receding, along with other exercises of spiritual authority and leadership by Mormon women," she said. "In the 1930s, one LDS leader introduced the idea that priesthood and motherhood should be viewed as parallel."

When the church issued the 1995 "Proclamation of the Family," which highlights family and gender responsibilities, the idea was "nearly canonized," Brooks said.

Kelly, who counts men among her supporters, certainly isn’t the first to fight this fight. Plenty of other Latter-day Saints members have led this charge before her.

Feminists were among six prominent Mormon scholars punished, some with excommunication, in an LDS Church crackdown in September 1993. Other women have simply walked away.

But Kelly, who submitted a letter of defense to the disciplinary panel, appears to have been a faithful church member – even as she’s asked questions.

Instead of flying cross-country to her disciplinary council, Kelly attended an Ordain Women organized vigil in Salt Lake City. It was one of dozens held across the country and the globe.

She described in the letter her commitment to the gospel from a young age, her excitement about her baptism at age 8 and her pride about being different while growing up in Oregon.  She served as a missionary in Barcelona, Spain, and in 2006 was married in the LDS Church’s Salt Lake Temple.

To punish her, Kelly added in the letter, would also be a punishment of “anyone with a question in their heart who wants to ask that question vocally, openly and publicly.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • gender issues • Mormonism • Women

soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. rightnow333

    Hi tornogal,

    We who believe in God believe that HE runs the church, not people. Her disciplinary council was her bishop and counselors. Men and women have different responsibilities. In all manuals, it says they are equal in the eyes of the Lord. But for some reason, women can have children. Men can't. Men can't be Primary Presidents or Relief Society Presidents, either. It doesn't make either one better or worse. And any random man could not have recruited a bunch of people and the media to pressure the church to change its doctrine either. Only Kelly was excommunicated. The followers were not.

    June 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Word choice is important, otherwise your entre post sounds arrogant. Try replacing 'We' with 'I'.

      As for your other post.
      You're simply being intellectually dishonest when you deny the vast amounts of evidence-backed with peer-reviewed evidence.
      Darwin has little to do with this and obviously you know nothing about that great man. Evolution is what is supported and you'd be hard pressed to find an accurate study proving it wrong (outside of creationist bull).
      We can show where the bible is wrong on numerous accounts...not the least is the creation story or the flood.
      I would suggest you educate yourself outside of your bible...start by watching COSMOS...it'll help that closed mind of yours open up.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • rightnow333

      I am certainly not a champion of words. But I did not intend to make it sound like that was a trade off. It just seemed nicer than saying most of the time you can see a person and instantly tell if they are a man or woman. It isn't about being better. It is just a fact that men and women are different. That was my point.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      you know in my ancestors society the act of giving birth was so divine that it gave women the right to rule over our every day life. men were subservient. and are nation was prosperous until Rome invaded even though we had the best warriors in the ancient world we were out down bey superior tactics and technology. but the woman or our society keep the war against Rome going for 1000 years then another 1000 when England took over the assault, their valiant struggle did not end until Christendom put are woman to the subservient side of the coin, and the dark ages followed, my point is your right men and woman cannot do the same things men destroy, women create.

      but these ancient ideals are Nealy done away. Of with 40% of all married couples women are the primary bread winier.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html?_r=0

      know more then ever the gender divide is becoming blurred. gender for me is about as different as a persons hair color, and i know this view is on a rise.

      my point is.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O7jmmSYI9U&w=640&h=360]

      June 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
    • tornogal

      So you are acknowledging, then, that women never sit on a disciplinary council, whether it is convened to consider a man's or a woman's misdeeds, right?

      And you are acknowledging that in all cases, only men are allowed to be bishops and stake presidents, right?

      And you are acknowledging that although women can preside over a Relief Society or a Primary auxiliary in a ward, both of those organization leaders report to a male in that unit's bishopric, right?

      But you are offering as a balancing factor that women may be mothers? Doesn't that grossly minimize the significance of fathers? Because men are invariably the fathers of children for whom women are mothers, and those men are permitted to hold all those other roles too, right?

      June 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • rightnow333

        Hi again, tornogal,

        Kate Kelly has the right to see what she wants out of the church. I personally don't know why men can't have babies. I don't know if that is any kind of balance, either. I do acknowledge that bishops can only be men. If that is offensive to some people, I am not in charge. But I also do not believe that the prophet is in charge of that. So complaining to him does the same as complaining to me. That is honestly what I believe. Even complaining to the prophet won't get you excommunicated. It was teaching everyone to rise up and sway church doctrine. She even created discussion manuals to convince members to rise up.

        I hope you don't see me as an enemy. I just don't see anyone explaining the other side of the story. I admit, I am upset at the things her discussions say and I am upset with what she said to the media because it is not true. Look at what she says excommunication is vs. what the actual letter from the bishop (that she posted). Look at the quotes and scriptures in her discussion manuals and compare them to LDS.org. They don't say what she claims they say.
        This bishop cannot defend himself because he is trying to keep Kate's privacy. But she posted enough of what he said to help his case. It's just that nobody actually researches the scriptures and the quotes to see what she is actually claiming.
        I know it would be better to not let it offend me. But it has to some degree. I don't want to actually disparage her, but she goes so far to disparage men.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There is no evidence any deity runs anything. Joe Smith made it all up from nothing. He was utterly ignorant, and told so many lies it's unbelievable. Google "The Lost Book of Abraham". His hieroglyphics have been proven LIES, as well as many of of his claims. His wife hated him for playing around with HER friends. Mormons changed their schtick about Blacks, ONLY when culture changed. 50 years from now, when these old fools are all stone cold dead, this too will, (too late) change. What are you gonna name your planet 333 ?

      June 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Thank you for clarifying the irrational biases of your religion. While I don't have it in me to respect a misogynist cult created by a known con-man, I do think that mormonism does a great job of illustrating how people are culturally indoctrinated into even the most ridiculous beliefs.

      June 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  2. flightfromfrostmtn

    lol....they did this lady a favor with that excommunication.....If she wants back in all she has to do is become a CEO of a promising/successful company and they will come crawling to her.......

    June 24, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  3. r8rbhawk

    I know CNN is the best place to come and see anti-religion diatribes and the comments section did not disappoint. Women play a key role in the LDS church, they are not oppressed. Women are active participants in LDS church services and functions and help make decisions for their wards and stakes, and they also serve missions. Kate Kelly wins here; she gets to be a martyr and the church she pretends to love gets a black eye. Expect the other high profile apostate John Dehlin to be excommunicated in the next few weeks, if not, Kate wins again as it would appear male and female apostates are not treated equally.

    June 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      Can they fill all the same roles men can fill or are they denied some roles because of their gender?

      June 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      • r8rbhawk

        men and women fulfill different roles in the LDS church, all of which are equally important.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The old separate but equal canard. Can a woman hold the highest office in the LDS church? If not, then then women are not equal.

          One cannot expect women to share an equal role in a religion created by a con man who got "messages from god" every time he saw another pretty young thing he wanted to marry.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          What is the rationale for denying them certain roles?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      So they ARE equal then ? The question is not "key roles" Miss Women Belong in the Kitchen and play Important Roles as Mother.". Are you like 85 ?

      June 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  4. primatica

    What? I thought religion was so peaceful and unifying?

    June 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  5. randyshirts

    "The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other Church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others." – Kate Kelly's bishop

    Doesn't this describe what Mormons do to the rest of the world on a much larger scale? They are out there at our doorsteps, on our TVs, and on our facebook feeds constantly trying to persuade us to their point of view. But when one of their own church members shows up at the leadership's own doorstep they get the axe. A little hypocritical don't you think.

    June 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That's a good observation.

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is nothing if not the poster child for proselytizing. Their whole modus operandi is missionary. (I'll stipulate that as individuals, once their mission is completed Mormons do settle down a bit.)

      As an organization, they apparently can't take their own medicine.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It means the old men perceive her as a threat, which they should.

      June 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
  6. joeyauslander

    not brushing it off, but WHO CARES what the church thinks. if you are a true believer, and it is ion your heart, then just keep "leading" as you are and you may begin another splinter. sure the church wont allow this or that, and the government may not recognize a legitimacy, but then again, look at jediism. every movement starts somewhere.

    June 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
  7. greengestalt

    That is a false faith, but not the only one by far...

    When Jesus was murdered by the Jews he said "It is finished!" – and an earthquake rocked the temple and sundered it. The sacred veil was ripped, the Holy of Holies laid bare for all to see. That from that day forward no people, no religion be sacred, that no man could stand between Man and God.

    It's not just Judiasm, but all religion that should have ended that day. At least all religion that is anything other than a guide, certainly all authority they claim. The ultimate decision is up to only God and only man one at a time can work his destiny. "This is between you and me. Come back to me, you have only your pain to lose."

    June 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  8. thenonconformer

    Mormons are Morons anyway. not real Christians

    June 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • Reality

      They are no more moronic than other Christians et al. See below for a summary:

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      ADDED DETAILS WERE PREVIOUSLY PRESENTED.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      June 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        you know i don't really talk to you on this but..

        Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

        revering animals and the like is possible, life its self is sacred and should be treasured, we all only live a one and only life so revering aspects their of is not illogical. cast systems are not inherent in Hinduism, Hindu teaches all life is equal, cast are a government issue.

        • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

        being a Buddha is about reaching a for of enlightenment gaining some worldly knowledge, if your smart enough you can be a Buddha to, also Manny Buddhas were atheistic i cannot recall with Buddha it was but one said "do not believe know." the revered teacher taught against blindly following a belief in gods and the supernatural, instead hold the natural sacred.

        • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

        i do know reincarnation exist but not until enlightenment, i believe its a physics law.law of conservation of energy. states that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form.

        oh and the multiverse is a vast place whose to say the Trans dimensional beings (Deamons) do not exist, history says they do and science says they might, maintain skepticism duche.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • Reality

          Added details as requested:

          Only for the those interested in a religious update:

          1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

          “New Torah For Modern Minds

          Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
          prob•a•bly

          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

          2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

          The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

          earlychristianwritings.com/

          For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

          Current RCC problems:

          Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

          2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

          Current problems:
          Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

          3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

          This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

          And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

          Current crises:

          The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

          4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

          The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

          Current problems:

          The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

          5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

          "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

          Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

          Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

          Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

          June 25, 2014 at 12:15 am |
      • jhg45

        why you continue to parrot this pathetic attempt at discrediting every religion is beyond me since you do not seem to have an original thought of your own. I will respond to one statement you repeat, "there was no Gabriel"? since he is an Angel how could you or anyone else possibly know ?

        June 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • Reality

           AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

          Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

          "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

          Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

          Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around) and of course the jinn.

          Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

          The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.
          Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

          Some added references to "tink-erbells".

          newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

          "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
          Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

          "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

          And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

          "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

          "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

          "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

          For added information see the review at:

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
          "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

          For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

          June 25, 2014 at 12:11 am |
        • jhg45

          in other words, you have no idea.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • Reality

          The facts speak for themselves. Belief in angels in the 21st century is a cause for concern for anyone's concept of reality.

          June 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
      • thenonconformer

        when you face Jesus Christ at your death you can tell him all these lies to no avail before you go to Hell forever

        June 25, 2014 at 7:44 am |
        • Reality

          You die. You decompose and then are recycled as part of continuous process of human life that is until about three billion years from now when the expanding Sun consumes your atoms and molecules turning you into stardust from which you came.

          June 25, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • jhg45

          you finally got one right! to the dust you will return and there is no hell fire to burn people in, keep up the good work.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  9. awanderingscot

    i am not a Mormon, but i've been to a couple of their services, have you? I never observed any misogyny and the women are treated with the utmost respect from what i observed. have you personally ever seen the abuse of Mormon women Akira?

    June 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  10. Reality

    Mormonism will slowly fade from society as will contemporary Christianity and Islam because of the obvious problems with the founders of these religions especially their angelic/satanic hallucinations and related prophecies. "Pretty and ugly wingie thingies" simply do/did not exist.

    June 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
  11. bayousara

    This woman will find many better doors open to her. She will learn that much of the teachings of LDS are ridiculous, manipulative, and in some cases, immoral and unethical. She can now learn to think for herself more fully, as she has been doing over time that might have led her to this point. She has LOST NOTHING!!!!

    June 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • rightnow333

      She has been very dishonest about what happened, about what excommunication is, what she has done, and even purposely misquoted people and scripture. If you don't believe me try comparing these quotes from her site to what is on LDS.org. My point is every pamphlet and website that is anti-LDS does this. She was no different. Thus, excommunicated.

      Here is a great example: her discussions have a game called Patriarch Bingo which is setup to make people angry. If despite your mother having input, your father made all important decisions, cover the space. That would make the church look bad if that were taught. It is not. The Proclamation on the Family specifically says the husband and wife are equal partners. You can google that, but make sure you don't get a fraudulent copy. Another space says your brothers were sent to college, but you were sent as well, just in case. Again, these things have nothing to do with the church. It might surprise you that most of what people say about the LDS church is false. There are some differences people don't agree with. But most people that actually know the church and just disagree don't tend to think it is so insane.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • tornogal

        Rightnow333,

        How ironic that you would post "The reason 90% of the entire membership does not agree with Kate Kelly is because she paints the Priesthood as a power that man have over women. That is not true in any sense."

        Really?

        How many females are you aware who sit as "judges in Zion" over members? Wasn't Kate Kelly just excommunicated by a council made up entirely of males? Are the estimated thousands of Mormon excommunications each year rendered by councils made entirely of men?

        June 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Wrong. We know it's completely insane.
        "But most people that actually know the church and just disagree don't tend to think it is so insane."
        Prove it.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
      • tallulah131

        What is glaringly obvious is that the LDS cult was invented by a known con man. Like Saul of Tarsus before him, Joseph Smith discovered that the ultimate con game is religion.

        June 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • rightnow333

          I am not sure why such hatred. What did Joseph Smith gain? He was not wealthy. In the middle of a winter night, he was yanked out of bed to be tarred and feathered in front of his children. One of his children wound up with a fever afterwards and died. Several times he was taken away in front of his children at gun point. He spent a long time in prison because people disagreed with what he taught. He was shot and killed. The church members were chased out of their land and had to move out west. There must be a reason the church is growing so quickly. And people are so happy to be members. I am just not sure what people are being conned out of? Beer?

          June 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    Someone should remind this woman that if she bears herself as haughtily as sh's doing, The Lord will treat jer like He did the daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18 and take away all her jewelery,fine clothes, makeup, and mirrors. He'll make her bald and rotten smelling before killing all of the men she cares about.

    As I Timothy 2:11-14 reminds us, "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

    The prominent Protestant theologian Calvin described women as
    "... more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."
    A good Christian woman should be silent, submissive, subservient and filled with shame for the curse her gender forced on humanity.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
    • pattysboi

      Judge not, lest YE be judged, doc.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • readerpan

      Eve was led astray by a supernatural being; Adam was led astray by a woman. Some men just can't forgive Eve for Adam's gullibility.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
  13. Jeebusss

    Lol, if this doesn't wake her up to what a bat-s**t crazy religion Mormonism is, then nothing will. Oh well honey, they showed their true colors what now?

    June 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • archtopopotamus

      All religions are bat-s**t crazy; they're just older.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
  14. dkinabq

    Women are NOT equal in the mormon church. A man can get married and be seal for time and eternity multiple times in a mormon temple. Not so for a woman. If a woman is married in the temple and her husband dies and she remarries, any children she has with the second husband can only be sealed to the first husband. I know it's confusing but mormons believe they will be practicing polygamy in the after life. I man will have multiple wives, and a woman will only have one husband.

    If Kate Kelly wants religion in her life, I hope she investigates other religions and/or churches.

    The mormon church denies women the priesthood because all of Jesus' apostles were men. I believe they were all Jewish which would disqualifies most mormon men, plus how many were 12 years old?

    June 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
  15. drgreenstreak

    Best thing that ever happened to her. She'll see this soon.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  16. snowr14

    Mark my words.. one day when it becomes mainstream that feminist/LGBT rights are just as important and equal to other civil rights, one mormon dude with "divine connection" with god will come out and say "god came to his dreams and told him those rights are just as important and the church will CHANGE its UNCHANGEABLE doctrine of truth"

    June 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
  17. Ben

    "No harsher punishment exists for a Latter-day Saint." Oh, they don't have Destroying Angels any more? Well, that's progress. It's very modern and enlightened of any church to disband its internal heretic murder patrol. An important step toward mainstream viability.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • readerpan

      They refuse to believe that happened.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
  18. headlessthompsongunner

    Treating 50% of your potential followers as second class citizens is... Yeah, you got it!

    Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb dumb

    June 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • rightnow333

      That would be dumb if it were true. The reason 90% of the entire membership does not agree with Kate Kelly is because she paints the Priesthood as a power that man have over women. That is not true in any sense. Her website also misquotes people and scriptures and bends full quotes to try to make them apply in situations that clearly do not fit. Most LDS members including women believe she is just anti-LDS. Many people who decide to turn on the church actually stay active to keep their credibility. The ones who become famous try to get news stations to carry the stories. See now why she was excommunicated? It wasn't for asking questions or even disagreeing. And the church along with many members can see this is not about women, but rather about fighting the church in general. If you think people don't do that, read many of the comments you'll find under any story about the LDS church. Detractors make it their mission to seek out every story and attack.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
      • readerpan

        The reason 90% don't agree with Kate Kelly is that they are brainwashed sheep.

        June 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • rightnow333

          That is an easy statement to make about any organization. LDS people are very involved in science as well. It isn't about people walking you through your day like a communist. If you follow science alone, aren't they telling you what to eat? How to exercise and sleep? Do you take their word for it on Darwinism? Things have adapted, but has anything ever evolved into a new animal? Be fair with this. Anything anyone follows requires faith that they are being told correctly.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Not THAT old tripe. There is not ONE mayor academic inti'tution that does not teach Evolution. And that NEVER includes one animal directly turning into another.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
      • rightnow333

        Don't get mad. You are a troll on this story anyway. 🙂
        You came in here to disparage beliefs, but you sound just like everyone else who defends their beliefs. Is it weird to feel your beliefs have been reduced to something silly?
        Just remember when you do that to others. They think of you, the way you think of me now.
        Don't take it personally. I am not your enemy. I just want you to think about it. Respect goes a long way, my friend. Peace.

        June 24, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
  19. leokretz

    Religions are cults for emotionally needy people. She should get a life in the real world.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
  20. neverbeenhappieratheist

    "Kelly was excommunicated “for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church,” Harrison wrote.

    No, she was kicked out for being a woman. If she had been a man and wanted to be a priest she would be welcomed with open arms. What total nonsense, but then again, just about everything that came from Joseph Smith was.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Mormonism was invented by a man who pretended that god told him it was okay to have another wife any time a pretty young thing caught his eye. It logically follows that women will always be treated as second-class citizens within that religion.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • snowr14

        it is an offshoot of chriistianity. 'nuff said.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • mlbuckproductions

      Right, because that makes sense! Woman and Men in the LDS church are not discriminated against.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.