Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yesterday

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of my baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I marked my gratitude by giving a talk in Boise, Idaho. On my way to the meeting, at 10:30 yesterday morning, President Hunt called to tell me I'd been excommunicated. He emailed me on Monday and asked if we would like to come to the stake center that night (with the children) to hear and discuss the outcome. I replied as follows:


"President Hunt,

For clarification, we weren't of the conviction that the children should be at the disciplinary counsel to hear the "outcome." We had already discussed that at length in our family beforehand. We all were prepared for any outcome. What we are absolutely certain of was that they should be allowed to see the process as it took place.

In our discussions with them we talked of the Spirit that attends a disciplinary council. We discussed the format and the procedure. We reviewed the scriptures and what they say about disciplinary councils. We were certain this would offer them an opportunity to hear from people who disagree with their father and hear how other people interpret the scriptures and how they relate to the history of the church. We were looking forward to the opportunity for them to see the scriptures used by me and then by the members of the high council testify of gospel truths. The Spirit witnessed to Stephanie this would be a faith promoting meeting for them to attend. The outcome was a non-issue.

In any event, again we would like to thank you for your service. We know this has been difficult and bear no resentment for you or anyone involved.  I am saddened, even ashamed that there wasn't an open process which allowed my children to have this important opportunity.  I've prized the underlying principles of the gospel which involve persuasion, knowledge, meekness and avoid control, compulsion and dominion.  I wanted my children to witness this glorious process in which men of good faith and belief come together to work through an important disagreement.  I had wanted them to behold the Spirit leading to unity. Inasmuch as the kids are scattered, (Kylee went back to school this morning at 4 a.m., Benjamin and Kalisa live hours away and can't return because of work commitments), we see no need to meet to discuss the outcome. Please send the letter announcing my excommunication so we can end this tragic ordeal.

I meant what I testified to last night.  - Denver"

The paperwork will arrive sometime later. It was certainly symmetrical to have the news given exactly on the 40th anniversary of the occasion. Almost like a sign, really.

I saw another sign yesterday. A dove was waiting for me on the lawn at work. She didn't stir as I walked by her. But she did take note of me (and I of her).

Boise was a wonderful experience. Beautiful day. Great occasion. Joyful day, and gave me an opportunity to talk about the faith I very much believe in and will continue to practice.

The next talk will be in Idaho Falls. There are stake presidents there "warning" people in the church to not listen to me. They are preaching fear.

Christ instructed us not to fear. (D&C 68: 6.) Fear is the motivation of hell itself. (Moses 1: 20.)  If you are fearful, then don't attend the talks. 

I rejoice in liberty, because freedom to believe in Christ is liberty itself. (2 Cor. 3: 17.)

I am grateful to the LDS Church for providing to me the instructions, ordinances and scriptures. I believe the faith which was restored through Joseph. That hasn't, indeed can't, be taken away from me.

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