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. kabelme

    I feel sorry for people who profess to believe in an organization, yet use all their energies to change it into something they actually want. Just leave and go to some church that you will feel comfortable with. Or go to none at all.

    Also, CNN is making this issue way larger than it really is. A couple protests here and there is absolutely nothing. Waste of my time as well.

    June 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
  2. Dyslexic doG

    Oh Kate. The fact that you believe Joseph Smith's con is more an indication of your gullibility than it is of the con's veracity.

    June 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      It does seem a bit like "Hey! Our organization is wrong and treats women and girls as second class citizens with few rights, so I want to get in on that and become a Female Mormon priest!..."

      June 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
  3. blessed137

    She just needs to walk out. I dont know if she will because it seems like from the article she still shares the mormon faith. I dont see the mormon church giving women a foothold in the priesthood. Ive shared faith with some mormon girls who came to my house. I did a study of the mormon religion. They are very solid on men ruling. Then again, according to people who have left the mormons, they have changed the beliefs, prophecies from God several times. Never know.

    June 25, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Their prophets tend to have very conveniently timed "divine revelations".
      The two big ones in the mainstream church were the abandonment of polygamy and the inclusion of dark skinned people to the priesthood.
      In the case of polygamy, the LDS only got rid of it after they'd been denied statehood several times over for continuing to practice what the US gov't labelled "the twin relics of barbarism" – slavery and polygamy.
      By 1890 and the 5th failed application, a – "Divine Revelation" comes to Mormon prophet Willford Woodruff in which he states that "my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriages forbidden by the law of the land."
      By 1896, their application for statehood was approved.

      Their change regarding racial inclusion also came at a financially and politically convenient time.
      Prior to 1978, the LDS' expansion into foreign territories was limited to lily white places like Alberta, England and Switzerland.
      The exact time they opened their 1st Temple in a country primarily populated by people carrying the mark of Cain (melanin), they backed off their previously virulent racism.
      In the LDS hierarchy, only the Prophet and his Quorum of 12 get salaries – Temples are run by volunteers. It can be awfully hard to find people willing to work for free if the majority of your volunteer pool is immediately disqualified for being dark skinned and thus spiritually inferior.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:06 am |
      • kevinite

        Of course that could go in line with Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8 as well as with the song from The Byrds about "To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven".

        June 25, 2014 at 10:02 am |
    • awanderingscot


      June 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • igaftr

        prove it. where does it say this?

        In your words scot.

        June 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • otoh2


        1. The AUTOMATIC word filter flags certain word fragments. Hint: we can't type r.ape without breaking the word up or using html (see more hints in my post below on this page)

        2. Do you know what "censure" means?

        June 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          not when i copy and paste a comment exactly as one that did go through.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          and yes i know about the word filter

          June 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • otoh2

          The html does not stay put when you copy/paste.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  4. lordssword

    But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. – 1 Corinthians 11:3, NKJV – of course this epistle was written to the Corinthian church and as such only applies to Christians.

    June 25, 2014 at 8:46 am |
    • lordssword

      Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. – 1 Timothy 2:11, NKJV – God ordained men to be the spiritual leaders, not women.

      June 25, 2014 at 8:49 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        The rest of that Timothy passage:
        "For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

        So women need to shut up in church because in Genesis, the 1st man's rib clone took a talking snake's advice about eating magic fruit.
        If that's not sound justification for misogyny, I don't know what is!

        June 25, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • awanderingscot

          she wanted to exalt herself above God and thought having the knowledge better than obeying God. she believed the evil one instead of her creator.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Science Works

          Scot you better get on your high hoa-rse more often as the JW's were at my door this morning....

          A world Government ? Way Too funny.

          Showed him the Cosmos clip from CNN really funny stuff to watch his reaction scot..

          June 25, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • lordssword

        the Lord is wise and He is righteous in all His decrees.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • igaftr

          "I imagine the Lord is wise and He is righteous in all His decrees"

          Fixed it for you.

          June 25, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • lordssword

      Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. – Colossians 3:20 sound advise from God's word.

      June 25, 2014 at 9:20 am |
      • observer


        June 25, 2014 at 9:29 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Slavery, rape, child abuse are also pleasing to your god...do you follow those rules also? Quoting the bible is a sign of a weak minded person!

        June 25, 2014 at 9:32 am |
        • awanderingscot

          where is this stated in scripture? you have proof of this?

          June 25, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          TOT: Yes, I understand you have never actually read the bible but that stuff is in there and since the book is apparently your imaginary friends words, then your imaginary must be pleased with these things.
          Slavery: However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

          Rape: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT) If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

          Child Abuse: Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

          Now tell me again how your god is not pleased by those things when apparently it spoke those words?

          June 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

          and exactly where does this state it is pleasing to God?

          June 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Whoever spares the rod (discipline, not physical) hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          TOT: Is the bible the word of our god or not? If it is, as most Christians like to claim, then those words must then be the words of your god, otherwise the bible is not the word of your god. How hard is that to comprehend? You can't claim it is then claim it isn't when it suits your delusions...it either is or it isn't!

          June 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. – same as room and board and a small stipend. how else would someone without land make a living. God had given the Israelites all the land. you very obviously haven't studied scripture.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • observer


          "Whoever spares the rod (discipline, not physical) hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them."

          Wow. So HITTING a defenseless child with a ROD is not PHYSICAL?

          Get serious. Please try to use some LOGIC in future responses.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • observer


          Yes. God is BARBARIC enough to support the SELLING of 6-year-old girls to complete strangers for their USE as slaves. HORRENDOUS and HEARTLESS.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no, you are very wrong. i believe the bible in it's entirety. for many so-called "Christians" it's a salad bar to pick and choose from what they like and discard the rest which leads to self-righteousness and hypocrisy. those are the ones who loved the loaves and fishes Christ gave them, but have no stomach for all of His teachings and commands.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • jbhollen

          That's scary. Glad you don't live next door toe.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • observer


          "and exactly where does this state it is pleasing to God?"

          If he wasn't pleased with this punishment, he wouldn't command it.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          "6-year-old girls" – prove it. where does it say this?

          June 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • observer


          Your lack of LOGIC is amazing.

          A daughter can be ANY age. God never gave a rip how old they were when you could SELL them to strangers.

          June 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Child Abuse: Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. – where does the word "hitting" appear in this statement ?

          June 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • observer


          WOW! If you "spare the rod", you don't use it. Obviously, the Bible INSISTS on hitting helpless children with "the rod".

          June 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • observer


        lol. "Sound advice" that includes beating helpless children.

        June 25, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • awanderingscot

          can you prove this? where does it say this in scripture?

          June 25, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • observer


          You don't appear to have read much of the Bible,

          Proverbs 23:13-14 “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.”

          June 25, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. – Psalms 23:4 – rod=comfort

          June 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. – Proverbs 14:3 rod=mouth

          June 25, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. – Proverbs 22:15 – rod=correction

          June 25, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • observer


          Good,. You have finally looked at a Bible and see that it does command BEATING HELPLESS CHILDREN with rods.

          Fortunately, man is becoming intelligent enough to recognize this BRUTALITY in the Bible and we have laws protecting children against such BARBARIC actions.

          Beating children is frequently a response from parents lacking the skills to find other ways to enforce discipline on small children.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          TOT: So you're a child abuser? I don't care how you twist it, using a rod is to invoke physical punishment and there is zero reason for that ever to be done.
          Please tell us no-one has ever been stupid enough to have children with you, I'd hate to see innocent children be harmed at your hand or voice.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          do either of you two morons know what it meant to have the sheep pass under the rod? hint: it wasn't about beating them. you're both totally clueless.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • observer


          "do either of you two morons"

          I thought maybe you had grown up and cut out the HYPOCRISY and LYING, but you haven't.

          Would Jesus say the things that a HYPOCRITE like you says? Of course not.

          Keep up the job you do making Christians look SO STUPID.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          LOL .. i knew it was only a matter of time before your favorite words came out, for which you are clueless as to their meaning. HYPOCRISY, HYPOCRITE, and LYING (as if in caps they might actually stick) no, it's hypocrites like you whose twisted and sick interpretation of scripture tries to blaspheme God.

          June 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          problem is you haven't read and meditated on scripture enough to know what is meant literally and what is meant spiritually.

          June 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • observer


          Yep. You are a world-class HYPOCRITE by claiming to follow Jesus's message of love and yet engage in mindless juvenile name-calling that he didn't do.

          You are a consistent LIAR by slandering people and calling them liars when it is you who is LYING.

          Grow up. Get a much better education. You are really embarrassing Christians.

          June 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • observer


          "problem is you haven't read and meditated on scripture"

          lol. You are the one who is so CLUELESS about the Bible that you keep asking me where the Bible says something. Just like today when you had no idea about the Bible commanding people to beat helpless children. OOOOOOOPS again.

          June 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no Akira i would not assume you do beat children. it is the sick and twisted minds of hypocrites and liars like Observer and Truth who if indeed are representative of atheists in general make children of God shudder with revulsion. sick and twisted minds who claim to know the mind of Christ

          June 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • emergingclarity

        advise – (verb) offer suggestions about the best course of action to someone.

        advice – (noun) guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative.

        Please use the right terminology when you're giving advice.

        June 30, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  5. saggyroy

    My favorite part of the story is when the church put her on probation. Can it get anymore ridiculous?

    June 25, 2014 at 5:39 am |
    • tallulah131

      It would be better if it was double secret probation.

      June 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • kottmyer

        LOL. Which shows how nutty these cults are. All of them.

        I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke who said that all organized religions were crafted by Satan to keep us away from God.

        June 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Drew

    Religion needs a lot of lobbyists, each one focussing on his/her own agenda.
    The Bible says that each man should look for his or her own interests and not on what God wants them to do.
    Feminists also should lobby for a "she god". All's fair when feminists rule.

    June 25, 2014 at 5:34 am |
  7. Reality


    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."

    June 25, 2014 at 12:20 am |
    • jbhollen

      And that each righteous couple will rule a planet when they die. Mormons and Scientologists are pretty much interchangeable. You just can't make this stuff up.

      June 25, 2014 at 1:07 am |
  8. jbhollen

    What unadulterated bullpucky. Making an argument to the LDS church for gender equality is like peti_tioning Kim Jong-Un for LBGT rights. The LDS church besides being based on absolute fantasy matched only by scientology (and followed closely by christianity and Islam) is ruled by old white men who only begrudgingly gave up polygamy and blood atonement.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
  9. No Wake Zone

    If you haven't seen "The Book of Mormon", do yourself a favor when it comes to your town. Hilarious.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
  10. No Wake Zone

    I just see a bunch of idiots complaining about a bunch of other idiots.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
  11. realbuckyball


    Here is Mormon "royalty" and her experience of this cult, and why a family member of Brigham Young says to get the hell out of this cult.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • rightnow333

      You may find someone whose ancestors ran a wheat mill who do not like wheat. You may find someone whose ancestor was a prophet who doesn't like religion. I instead recommend you go to the source and form your own opinion:


      June 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        I know all I need to about this cult.
        It is essentially non-Christian. All Christian communities were formed by GROUPS, not individuals.
        The question of making the judgement about whether or not a group stands inside or outside the Judeo-Christian tradition is about whether they accept this or that, or believe this or that, as it is about the PROCESS involved. Judeo-Christianities DEVELOPED from a long and complex culturally based process, always associated with communities of worshipers, which were the ultimate arbiter, (by inclusion or not into their liturgical celebrations), of the texts which they accepted as the authentic experience of that community, (and those that were found wanting were considered "heretical" or simply not used in the celebrations), (thus were left out, eventually, from their canon)), and NEVER from one guy who found some *oh so conveniently, (when asked to produce them "I can't find them") gold tablets* in his back yard. The problem with the group in question of this article, is that it was conco'ckted by one uneducated man, and not an organic evolution from a community. The PROCESS is flawed, and in no way even remotely resembles the way any other mainline version of Christianity was formed, and thus has to be judged to be "unbiblical" and "unchristian" in a simply historical context. For one man, in his cultural (and educational) vacuum, to stand up and make up things and declare them as authentic is not consistent with the known and accepted Judeo-Christian community's validation process, and it's one of the reasons he got so far off the mark. He seemed to be unaware of this actual process, even though some of the centers of biblical form and literary criticism, (especially in Austria-Germany (ie Tubingen University)) HAD begun to be aware of the historical, (archeologically validated) processes, (and eventually at Harvard and Yale and Princeton, and I'm sure other places I don't know about), by the time Smith was doing his thing.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • kevinite

          So, you are saying that Jesus was a community? Are you saying that Martin Luther was a community? That John Wesley was a community? That Henry VII was a community? That Mary Baker Eddy was a community? That for the thousands of christian sects out there every single one of them had to be established as communities? That in order for a neighbor down the street who wants to start a church of of his or her own can't because it has to be community beforehand to start a christian church otherwise it is not a christian church?

          June 25, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • kevinite

          Correction: Henry VIII (second verse same as the first)

          June 25, 2014 at 2:57 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Don't be an idiot. Luther did not invent Prostestantism. He may have spear-headed a movement, but it's roots were long and deep, around him, and dissatisfaction with Rome and his ideas did not originate with him, entirely. And that's not even what I'm talking about. The EARLY Christian communities did not pop out of the heads of ONE man, (especially Jebus". It developed in communities over Centuries. There was no example of Mormonism or "mormon" movement in general with the general (very peculiar) characteristics that Smith cooked up except for him. You totally missed the point, as usual.

          You also clearly know nothing about the history of England and the Consti.tutions of Clarendon, (which Becket promised to sign, but lied about to get back into England). The split from Rome and dissatisfaction in England with Rome FAR pre-dated Henry the VIII. Try learning some REAL English history.

          Read the proceedings of the councils, as communities invented every element of it.
          Christianity did not pop, full blown from the head of Jebus. It DEVELOPED over many centuries.

          June 25, 2014 at 5:48 am |
        • realbuckyball

          And BTW, what became Christianity did not originate with Jesus. For centuries, the first Christians were JEWS. It developed organically, (as now PROVEN by the Dead Sea Scrolls), from Jewish Apocalypticism. Jesus was a Jewish apocalyptic, as was Paul. Apparently you know nothing about that period either. Even the "love your neighbor as yourself" fits in general with the Jewish Rabbis of the time trying to simplify the complicated elements of the law. He was not even unique in that regard.

          June 25, 2014 at 5:54 am |
        • kevinite


          I didn't say that Martin Luther started the protestant movement, but that doesn't mean that the Luthern Church itself came about because of Martin Luther. Also, just because there was rife in England with Catholicism, there was no actual Church of England until Henry VIII didn't get his way in getting his divorce from Katherine of Aragon. Although roots of Christianity were in Judiaism that doesn't mean that Jesus still had to set up his church (i.e. Matthew 16; 18 – 19 and Ephesians 2: 19 – 20).

          You still didn't state anything in regards to John Wesley or Mary Baker Eddy, and you still didn't address the issue of if someone wanted to start up their own christian church, so why would have to have a community established beforehand in order for that church to be a christian church? If you want to go by the whole roots in other beliefs argument one could also argue that protestantism paved the way for such movements as the second great awakening in which Joseph Smith was caught up in.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          What about Mary Baker Eddy?
          The woman was a charlatan and her followers are guano insane for believing her tripe.
          Go ahead and pray for health if you're sick – but you should still see a doctor.
          "Christian Science" indeed.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • realbuckyball

          I don't have to state anything about anything. "Rife in England" makes no sense, BTW.
          The POINT is that there was no general community authenticated anything about Jospeh Smith. NOTHING about his new cult flowed organically from a community. Nothing. Nowhere. The only thing Mormonism "flowed from'" was the strange US 19th Century fascination with (the newly discovered) Egyptology, and it's finds.
          Angicanism (and YOU DID attempt to use it as a counter example, and YOU FAILED) "flowed" organically from pre-existing Christianity, and except for the break from Roman authority, in large part remained the same. Did they start saying humans each got their own planet, or start wearing magic underwear, or baptizing the dead ? No. Same with the organic changes in German Prostestanism. NONE of these examples are analogous to the mind-boggling stupidity of what Smith claimed, and cooked up.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • kevinite

          Well Doc,

          The point made with Mary Baker Eddy, was that you don't have to already have an in place community in order to start up a christian church since the term "christian church" means different things to different people.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • kevinite


          Although Latter-Day-Saint doctrine differs in a number of aspects to other christian denominations there are also other aspects in which one christian denomination differ from the other thousands of other denominations in Christianity. Who are you or who are the scholars you referred to, whoever they may be, to make the call on what is considered to be "Christian" or not.

          June 25, 2014 at 9:43 am |
      • saggyroy

        All religions can be defined as cultures that are based on mythology.

        June 25, 2014 at 5:41 am |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    There is, of course, nothing eternal waiting for Mormons.

    June 24, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      Sure there is. Eternal sleep.

      June 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
  13. No Wake Zone

    I don't understand. They did her a huge favor and she is complaining.

    June 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
    • rightnow333

      There are many people who have left the church a while ago, but stay active so they have credibility. It is unlikely she would have made the news if she had already left the church. I am not saying that to be unkind, I have just seen Mormon Spy websites and seen hers as well. They are very similar. You don't see that kind of thing on official church websites of any Christian religion that I know of.

      June 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        Mormon Spy websites. lol

        June 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
  14. tallulah131

    If you are getting rid of videos, please get rid of this one. It serves no purpose and is probably not even posted by a living person.

    June 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
  15. sealchan

    Maybe it takes people like Kate Kelly, who fight for truth within a community that is not ready to accept that truth, to make change. Her predecessors...Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, Jesus...

    June 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • sealchan

      I can see in her story that she truly is on a spiritual path, embodying truth to those who should, but fail, to acknowledge it.

      June 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
      • rightnow333

        I might believe she was sincere if she were not dishonest about the whole thing. Look at her website. Look at what she says the church told her vs. the letter they sent her which she posted. Look what she says excommunication means vs. what the letter tells her it means. Compare quotes she claims church members made with LDS.org and see if they are saying what she says they are. Why does she say they never spoke to her about any of this? She really shouldn't have posted the letter from her bishop if she was going to make these claims. The letter she posted speaks of several occasions where they met in person to talk about these things. Then she went to the media to make this a big deal because the general membership is not behind her. Also, note that anti-LDS people are flocking to support her. But then they say this has nothing to do with why they hate the church.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • jayalv

          This is probably the only useful comment on this thread so far. Why is no one missing the glaring issue here – that she is deliberately misrepresenting facts, and that such misrepresentation is verifiable by publicly available information?

          Do we routinely accept the story of people who you can see are not telling the full truth? Or just when their story conveniently agrees with our worldviews?

          I have no problem with Kate Kelly asking questions or publicly disagreeing. I have a huge problem with her lying about what happened.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          As an atheist I can say that it is amusing to watch the bickering among the religious. The fight during the 2012 election was hilarious as it was debated whether Mormons are even Christian let alone mysogynistic. The facts show that all religion including Mormonism is steeped in useless tradition which has a very pallpable patriarchal slant. You can debate whether your Emperors invisible clothes sheer or satin all you want, the rest of us are just laughing at you standing there arguing over air... though air has more weight than your sad faith.

          June 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • sealchan

          I admit I didn't examine the story beyond this article. Probably won't so I am satisfied to be corrected here.

          June 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Yes, the persistent posting of this YouTube link is tiresome. It serves no purpose.

    June 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
  17. realbuckyball

    See Mrs Betty Bowers "Less is Mormon" – Youtube

    June 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      shes my wife

      June 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
  18. rightnow333

    For some reason, CNN only posts about 3 of 5 of my comments. So I have to try again a second time before it posts. I am looking back for responses I sent to people, but they aren't there. I am at a point where I can no longer keep up. I may have to return another time to discuss.

    June 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
    • otoh2

      You have probably run up against the automatic word filter.

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN Belief Blog/WordPress automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic, coa.rse, etc.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      ni-gra…as in deni-grate
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      June 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • Science Works

        another three letter phrase that hung me up is if-l – it was trying to get if-lscience.com to post – come on word press ?

        June 24, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • believerfred


          June 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • believerfred


          June 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Science Works


          June 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Science Works

          combiine it with if-lscience.com and it wont post fred – just tried it fred .

          June 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • believerfred

          Could be the ".com" not the iflscience

          June 25, 2014 at 1:42 am |
        • believerfred

          I quit......but I will proclaim that I remain agnostic about the existence of Moderator.

          June 25, 2014 at 1:45 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey fred you quit what ?


          remember fred take out the dash.

          June 25, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • believerfred

          Interesting site. Seems like that 3.4 billion year old fossil is no fossil at all, not to mention the dating was off by 600 million years. What to believe, God or man, God or man .......

          June 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey fred at least your visiting a science site – science correcting dates fred ? (geologist debating who has the oldest f767ing stone fred)?

          I Love f767ing Science is interesting site fred.- agree on something.and boo- on that other thing you mentioned.

          Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies – According to Their Poo


          Also fred you should look into this book it is new for toddlers might help – Grandmother Fish ?


          Hope that helps fred BUT i doubt it.

          June 26, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • believerfred

          Science Works
          Take another look at that Grandma Fish book and tell me who would want to indoctrinate children into godlessness and why. The goal of Stalin, Mao and the rest who believe in state control is elimination of free will. You should know that most church kids when the leave college do not attend church. This is freedom to choose. When a child is indoctrinated with Dawkins god there is only the state to look up to. This is the goal and to your comfort it will at some point be accomplished.
          Why do the likes of Stalin find belief in God so threatening that they would kill millions? Why in the U.S. do the capitalistic power centers drive materialism? It is simply about control of others for power and wealth as nothing has changed in the past 10,000 years. Yes, some used religion to grab the power and wealth as well but religion is not God nor are the ways of most religions the way of God.
          There is a strength in the belief in God (real or imagined matters not) that allows us to never be dependent upon the state or corporate powers. That freedom can never be taken away once you have been exposed to the power of God. You be become a non church type or agnostic in many regards but you never loose that sense that there is more than the state and something more than materialism to life. That is a taste of freedom.
          Go ahead and indoctrinate children into but brace yourself when there is no belief that will stand up against what man is without love of state or love of money (material things). Gods truth is not complicated at all and you will love one or the other, I just prefer we could choose our own destiny.

          June 27, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey fred Come on fred that red hor-ny thing hiding under your bed ?

          Adam and Eve's cover up – nu-dity (the se-x thingy)?

          A fig leaf is a leaf of the fig tree. The term is widely used figuratively to convey the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or distasteful with something of innocuous appearance, a metaphorical reference to the Biblical Book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nudity after eating the fruit from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some paintings and statues have the genitals of their subjects covered by a representation of an actual fig leaf or similar object, either as part of the work or added afterwards for perceived modesty


          June 27, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • believerfred

          Science Works
          Correct the truth of God is all about regardless of our opinion of God or the Bible.....even in the leaf.
          Adam and Eve, real or figurative, saw themselves as God saw them so there was nothing to cover up. They were transparent (real) with only the knowledge that was best for them and in unity with God. They however desired what was not good for them and part of the knowledge of good and evil was a vision of mankind outside of the presence of God. They covered up their shame (not sexual in nature) which was the evil within that encompasses many things they were sheltered from. Perhaps you think we do not fall short of some ideal yet this symbolism was clear. Sex is a desire common to most so it is this desire which is easy to use for purpose to example of inability to control desire once embraced. Pride is perhaps the worst because it causes great pain in others and destroys the preferred quality of humble loving existence. It is the root of elevating self above other, power and materialism.
          The fig leaf could not cover it up as they knew they were naked. God asked them "who told you that you were naked"? When you still have the image of God in you there is the awareness of what is good. They tried to cover up what was not good and that was told to them by the red guy under your bed and mine. People feel bad about themselves because that inner voice keeps telling them they are naked but take note God puts cloths on them while the red guy strips you naked.
          It is real this game is played out every day in every life. It comes from a place where grandma fish never swam.

          June 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey fred – Editor's Choice from CNN
          with a little commentary -Your saddle is not from Wal-Mart is it ?

          A million years Fred ?


          July 1, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It's Jebus. Him no likey your posts.

      June 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      Fuck um i say fuck them right in the ass,

      what makes a fucken curse word any ways is just so platypusying rediculus. god damn freedom hating assen apes, those titlickes need to just get rid of the filter all together. its fucken easier to blatantly curse your balls off, then it is to say the word consti.tution.

      June 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
  19. realbuckyball

    Why waste your life beating your head against the brick wall of a cult.
    She needs to get a life.

    June 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
  20. thesamyaza

    Mormon feminist; is that kinda like Jumbo shrimp,

    just sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    June 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And the LDS church is trying very hard to keep it that way.

      June 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
      • otoh2

        Well, you never know; someday, if they lose enough women and their money, one of their "Prophets" might have a "revelation" and it'll all be good...

        June 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          it still sounds oxymoronic to me, like bombing for peace.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
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About this blog

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.