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Disfellowship - How It Works


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#1 StrawberryFields

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:48 PM

I have looked on LDS.Org and I am un able to find all of the answers to my questions with this. 1. Reasons for disfellowship 2. What is taken away from the disfellowshipped person 3. What part does the bishop play in getting the blessings restored? 4. What is the duration of time... can it go into years???
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#2 Maureen

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 03:43 PM

Not sure if this is what you're looking for:

A Chance to Start Over: Church Disciplinary Councils and the Restoration of Blessings
By Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve
(Ensign, Sep 1990, 12)


http://www.lds.org/p...u..._&hideNav=1

M.
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#3 Palerider

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:18 PM

I have looked on LDS.Org and I am un able to find all of the answers to my questions with this.

1. Reasons for disfellowship

2. What is taken away from the disfellowshipped person

3. What part does the bishop play in getting the blessings restored?

4. What is the duration of time... can it go into years???
[/b]

I can shed some light into this.....if a person is called into a Disciplinary Council there it will be decided by the members of that council if the person will be disfellowshipped or excommunicated. What is taken away wil be not being able to partake of the Sacrament and what ever else is outlinned by the Bishop or Stake President depending on the one who is holding the Council. If I had a member who was needing Church Discipline I always called my Stake Pres and let him know. He would then ask if the member has been thru the Temple and if they were a Mel Priesthood Holder he may want to hold the Council or tell me that I could hold it but had to let him know the outcome of the Council. When disfellowshipped it goes on a persons church record. There is no time limit its up to the member and whether the meet the guidelines that are given from the council. Alot of times I would put the person on a Bishops probation. I would tell them I wanted them to do this or that and if they didn't do what was outlined I would make the guidelines a bit more strict. Also followed with, if we don't get this resolved we will have to hold a Church Council. By the way...yes...it can go into years.
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#4 StrawberryFields

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:38 PM

Thanks Pale that really helped. :D
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#5 Maureen

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:11 AM

I am curious about when a member is disfellowshipped if other church leaders are notified, like Sunday School teachers. My friend's sister was disfellowshipped for a period of time and during a Sunday School lesson was asked to pray and she, a little embarrassingly, told the teacher she couldn't. To avoid such situations are other leaders told of a member's church status, as a heads up? M. :hmmm:
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#6 BenRaines

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:30 AM

Maureen, It is not made general public knowledge. Quorum leaders and Relief Society President are aware. That is why it is best to ask privately before a class begins for opening and closing prayer or make it volunteer. I don't think a teacher should ask someone specifically from the front of the room to give a prayer. You never know how they are feeling or their status. Ben Raines
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#7 Gwen

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:05 AM

I am curious about when a member is disfellowshipped if other church leaders are notified, like Sunday School teachers. My friend's sister was disfellowshipped for a period of time and during a Sunday School lesson was asked to pray and she, a little embarrassingly, told the teacher she couldn't. To avoid such situations are other leaders told of a member's church status, as a heads up?

M. :hmmm:
[/b]



preferably the class is conducted in which the person asking others to pray and such takes care of that privately before hand so the person declines to the one and not in front of everyone. although that rarely happens. however, just cause someone declines to pray does not mean they have been disfellowshipped. sometimes our branch pres will, while doing the conducting, choose someone (not done ahead of time), which is not normaly a problem seeing as he knows who should be able to or not. one particular sunday i was very depressed and was not feeling worthy of much, i was fasting and had decided that i would not be partaking of the sacrament. he stood up and after announcing the song and such anounced that i would give the opening prayer. i did not feel worthy to do this and honesty did not know if i could make it though without breaking down. i just wispered to my husband that i couldn't and asked if he would. so when it came time he simply went up as though he had been the one announced. in turn i've also done that for others, it was announced before the song and the sis next to me (the one asked) got this look on her face, so i asked durring the song if she would like me to do it for her. she said yes, and we made the change. i've never had anyone question me or to my knowledge gossip as to why i did not say the prayer or why i did it instead of someone else. i never asked this sis why she didn't want to. honestly i was a bit surprised that the branch pres didn't talk to me after church when hubby did it instead of me. lol i've always seen such situations handled very respectfully.

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#8 Maureen

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:32 AM

....however, just cause someone declines to pray does not mean they have been disfellowshipped....[/b]


I understand that a member may turn down a request to pray, but in this particular incident the member was under some disciplinary situation where she made it clear she was not allowed. But it's good to know that those kind of situations are rare and just a honest mistake by a teacher. Thanks for the replies.

M.
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#9 the_jason

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 10:53 AM

Basically, a person who is disfellowshipped is counseled to not participate in outward expressions, such as public prayers, partaking of the sacrament, home teaching, missionary exchanges, etc. This does not, however, limit a person from personal prayer, scripture study, fasting, and other personal expressions. In response to who is made aware of it, it's usually limited to members of the ward council. If every single teacher is told about it, sooner or later the whole ward knows. The fewer people who know the better. Disfellowshipment is a personal matter between the member, their priesthood leaders, and the Lord. I was disfellowshipped for about a year. Never once during that year did I ask my stake president how much longer I'd be disfellowshipped. You can't put a timeline on repentance. If you appear anxious, chances are you haven't fully repented and aren't willing to accept whatever decision is made. Nobody is going to forget about you. Just be patient and allow your priesthood leaders to receive the necessary inspiration.
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#10 Sugarbay

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:51 PM

Thank you for sharing that with us, the_jason. That had to be a very difficult time for you. Repentence is a great thing. It is wonderful to know that we can repent and be forgiven.
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#11 Palerider

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:46 PM

I am going to throw a ringer in here.......just because you are disfellowshipped doesn't always mean you cannot offer a prayer in a class...alot of times yes that will be the case....but not always....every case is different.
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Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them....Ronald Reagan

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#12 a-train

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:05 PM

Remember that there is no power, no act, nor function of the LORD's Church that is NOT designed to draw men closer to Christ. Even disfellowshipping and excommunication are designed to bring us to God.

When a person is disfellowshipped, they are still a member and still hold the covenants they have made through the various ordinances they have partaken of. This is different from excommunication wherein they no-longer possess nor are bound by any of the covenants they have previously made.

Although the disfellowshipped member retains their covenants which came through the ordinances of the Gospel and still possesses the associated responsibilities, they DO NOT have the blessings of obedience to those covenants; such blessings are withheld. They cannot participate in any additional ordinances until they have been reinstated.

What purpose does this serve? And, how can this bring a man CLOSER to the LORD? When a person is baptized, partakes of the sacrament, administers in the Priesthood, attends the temple, or is involved in any sacred ordinance of the Gospel, they are making or renewing covenants and increasing both their spiritual capacity and the accompanying duties or obligations associated therewith. A person taking upon themselves these obligations through such ordinances who is NOT meeting the accompanying requirements stands in a far worse position than those who have not had the ordinances at all.

It is through the LORD's mercy that a person who is struggling to keep their covenants will not be enabled to "[drink] damnation to himself" (1 cor. 11:27-29) by unworthily engaging in ordinances such as the Lord's Supper, Temple Ordinances, and all others. "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." (2 Peter 2:21)

To disfellowship a member of the Church is to keep a repentant person from making any further mistakes with regard to the ordinances of the LORD until it is certain they have overcome any addiction or other problem that arising again could destroy them.

To excommunicate a person is to remove all ordinances and covenants from them so that they will not stand as a starkly unrighteous covenant-breaker at the judgement. Still, the LORD knowing their hearts, they will be accountable for what knowledge they possessed and betrayed.

Although the righteous desire for the disfellowshipped member to again participate in ordinances can be increased as they are absent from such, this is not the main purpose of the discipline, but only a attribute of it. An unrepentant member will in such absence sink into a state of denial and a lack of interest for these ordinances. With the fleeing desire will also go their rememberance of gospel principles and the workings of the Spirit. "From him shall be taken away even that he hath." (Matt. 13:12)

I hope this puts some light on the subject.

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#13 dotdotetc

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:49 AM

What is the difference between being disfellowshiped and receiving an informal probabtion with the same consequences as a disfellowship? I am confused as to whether its the same thing or not. Does the Bishop have to tell you specifically that you have been disfellowshiped, or is it an assumed thing?

#14 VisionOfLehi

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:52 AM

When is it that you're not allowed to hold a calling?

And now, O man, remember, and perish not.


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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:15 PM

TheJason, I too am happy you are not disfellowshipped anymore. My personal opinion is that a person can be anxious to come back. I was inactive for years, and when I came back I was definately ready to get to work. Although I have never been disfellowshipped, I dont think there is anything wrong with being anxious to come back. In fact, my bishop complimented me on my willingness to serve. My problem was that SLC lost my records. I wanted to start home teaching, and everything else but I couldnt until they found them. I was so anxious, that I even considered moving to another ward. But it never came to that. A prayer by my bishop, who took a day off work to travel to SLC, which resulted in finding my records. I was promptly issued a call as emergency coordinator and I am in debt to my Bishop. Its important to show respect for authority - always. The other time when I has a problem was when I was on my mission to Australia. About a year into it, I started having real problems with my knee. The diagnosis from the docters was that I had to have an operation. The mission president wasnt sure what to do. So I prayed about it, and I got my answer that I needed to return to the states and have my operation and then finish my mission. The problem is that the Mission Pres decided that wasnt the best thing for me, after I got my answer. So, Long story short, a GA came to interview me, Elder Sontag. I was on a plane out of Australia the next day. I had my operation, then went to South Dakota mssion - even found a family to baptize and completed my mission honorably. The main thing is to get inspiration from H.F. and follow that. When you do, you will always be right - no matter how anxious you are!

#16 mountainrider

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:21 PM

nobody has listed reasons for disfellowship.I am curious as I have never seen this discussed. How about: 1. Reasons for bishop's probation 2. Reasons for disfellowship 3. Reasons for excommunication I know that some sins could cross lines between all three, but generally speaking. For example, committing adultery would usually fall under the excommunication category, but I have heard of temple recommend holders that committed adultery and were only disfellowshipped. I assume sins like pornography, adultery, abuse, committing felonies etc fall somewhere in those 3, but I am not sure where.
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#17 dotdotetc

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:38 PM

And in addition to that if someone can also explain the difference between each that would be GREATLY appreciated!

#18 hordak

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:06 PM

nobody has listed reasons for disfellowship.I am curious as I have never seen this discussed. How about:

1. Reasons for bishop's probation
2. Reasons for disfellowship
3. Reasons for excommunication

I know that some sins could cross lines between all three, but generally speaking. For example, committing adultery would usually fall under the excommunication category, but I have heard of temple recommend holders that committed adultery and were only disfellowshipped. I assume sins like pornography, adultery, abuse, committing felonies etc fall somewhere in those 3, but I am not sure where.


I think it depends on the Bishop. I have personnely seen a Melkezedek holding, temple married father disfellowshiped for Adultery while a 19 year old Priest who had been inactive for years was excommunicated for living with a female.The fact that the females father was a bishop and he thought the Priest was leading his daughter down the wrong path might have had something to do with it IMO. They got married and have a family but now neither of them have any interest in returning to the church due to the heavy handed tactics and conflict of interest. Sad

#19 Doctor Steuss

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:19 PM

nobody has listed reasons for disfellowship.[...]


It depends on you and your bishop (and G-d, if He's involved at all). One Bishop might decide you need to be disfellowshiped due to a given “sin,” while another may not even ask you to stop taking the sacrament for that same “sin.”
"You don't have to be religious to have a soul; everybody has one. You don't have to be religious to perfect your soul; I have found saintliness in avowed atheists." -Rabbi Harold Kushner
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#20 pam

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 02:03 PM

TheJason,

I too am happy you are not disfellowshipped anymore. My personal opinion is that a person can be anxious to come back. I was inactive for years, and when I came back I was definately ready to get to work. Although I have never been disfellowshipped, I dont think there is anything wrong with being anxious to come back. In fact, my bishop complimented me on my willingness to serve. My problem was that SLC lost my records. I wanted to start home teaching, and everything else but I couldnt until they found them. I was so anxious, that I even considered moving to another ward. But it never came to that. A prayer by my bishop, who took a day off work to travel to SLC, which resulted in finding my records. I was promptly issued a call as emergency coordinator and I am in debt to my Bishop.

Its important to show respect for authority - always.

The other time when I has a problem was when I was on my mission to Australia. About a year into it, I started having real problems with my knee. The diagnosis from the docters was that I had to have an operation. The mission president wasnt sure what to do. So I prayed about it, and I got my answer that I needed to return to the states and have my operation and then finish my mission. The problem is that the Mission Pres decided that wasnt the best thing for me, after I got my answer. So, Long story short, a GA came to interview me, Elder Sontag. I was on a plane out of Australia the next day. I had my operation, then went to South Dakota mssion - even found a family to baptize and completed my mission honorably.

The main thing is to get inspiration from H.F. and follow that. When you do, you will always be right - no matter how anxious you are!


Word don't think Jason will see that since his post was in April of 2007 and he is no longer a member of this site. :eek:




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