SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Kate Kelly, who has led the effort to ordain women to the Mormon priesthood, has appealed her excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In a letter dated July 23, 2014, excommunicated Mormon Kate Kelly appealed her sentence to Scott Wheatley, the president of her former stake in Virginia.

In a letter dated July 23, 2014, excommunicated Mormon Kate Kelly appealed her sentence to Scott Wheatley, the president of her former stake in Virginia. Creative Commons image by Maralise Petersen

The appeal includes a letter of support from Kelly’s husband, Neil Ransom. He contends the way leaders excommunicated his wife without disciplining him is proof of sexism in the church.

Kelly sent her appeal dated July 23 to Scott Wheatley, the president of her former stake in Virginia. It’s posted to the Ordain Women website.

“I have done nothing wrong,” Kelly writes. “I ask you, President Wheatley, to do the right thing and reinstate me to full membership in the Church.”

In her argument, Kelly contends her lay leaders never asked her about women holding the priesthood — a point the leaders disputed in the letter excommunicating her.

According to the appeal, Wheatley conducted only a “pro forma” counseling session during two meetings with Kelly. Wheatley failed to ask her important questions, it said, including whether she has a testimony of Jesus Christ and if she feels excluded from leadership opportunities.

She contends the disciplinary hearing held in absentia in Virginia was unfair, and that attending by video was not an option. Kelly said she did not trust the link would be secure and that church leaders would not edit a recording.

Kelly moved to Utah from Virginia in May. On June 23, LDS lay leaders in Virginia excommunicated her for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church.”

Kelly can still attend church, but excommunication means she cannot hold church leadership positions, give tithes or offerings or wear temple garments.
In his letter supporting his wife, Ransom says he has been an integral part of Ordain Women — maintaining the website and speaking to reporters about the group. No action has been taken against him.

(Nate Carlisle writes for The Salt Lake Tribune.)

YS END CARLISLE

25 Comments

  1. So she wants to be a part of an organization that she doesn’t trust and won’t accept their beliefs?

    She has an ulterior motive and obviously should not be let back in.

    • Right. She was mistaken in her belief that the church of her upbringing and family would ever respect a woman as a spiritual equal to man.

      That was foolish. Nobody should expect a church like the LDS to be so humane and well intentioned.

    • brion leverich

      She thinks women should have the priesthood. She wants to return to the church:

      1. There’s always a chance something could be edited. After all the six “first” visions we’re edited into one.

      2. She accepts that women had previously been ordained (without the priesthood keys) into the priesthood. That’s a single belief(singular)/fact that she holds.

      Why the animosity?

    • It is not at all an ulterior motive or wrong to work for rights that will correct what one sees as the faults of any organization. That is the basic striving toward good that religion is supposed to be all about–and in a totally separate way, politics should pursue the same goal.

  2. Religions are the greatest advertising hoax (deception) perpetrated on mankind. Of the hundred’s of religions in the world, they are not necessarily bad, they do produce works of art, music, charities and fellowship in their social clubs, but they do prey on the emotions of people. They take advantage of ignorance, hope, use convincing orators, and most of all the desire to trust and believe in a supreme being by faith that has been passed down throughout the centuries in most religions. Religion is Psychological Warfare with thousands of tricks designed to convince people to merely accept an ideology without questioning it. Is there a God or Gods, nobody really knows for sure, but something had to create everything. And where did everything come from including God? Why Kate wants back in is only a question Kate can answer.

      • The Atheist and actor, Max Von Sydow
        performed brilliantly as Jesus Christ in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”
        and as “The Exorcist” only 7 years later.

        He certainly has been in a position to know about religion.
        He has read untold amounts of religious texts, not only the ones he had to perform and it is a small miracle (in a way) that thousands of thankful letters from Priests, Christians and other religious people have done nothing to persuade him that Jesus was anything more than a moral teacher – and a very imperfect one at that.

        Christians should try to comprehend this:
        The people who know the Bible best are the ones who are leaving religion.

        The Bible, The Quran and other ancient self-annointed holy scribblings full of ridiculous claims are the source of untold misery in the world.

    • I agree that many crafty and evil men have used religion as a tool to manipulate and control people. When I have watched Televangelists it scares me that these people can play on people’s emotions and beliefs so effectively. Having said this, the same can b said about politics, and 2 a lesser degree philosophy, and a host of other endeavors, beliefs, and institutions. Therefore, IMHO, I dont think it is wise to categorically reject, or ridicule all religions. I dont believe any mature sensible person would advocate doing away with all forms of government. There r approximately 195 nations on the UN charter, yet no one can honestly claim that any one of them is without corruption.
      As far as not questioning or investigating their religion, speaking for myself (and millions of others, just in my denomination) many hours of thought , prayer, and study has been invested to gain “a more sure knowledge” of God’s existence. I spent 2 years studying my denomination, others, and other religions. Since the beginning of my spiritual journey I have asked,, pondered, and prayed about numerous questions. In fact, in 20 + years of serious study, there r only a handful of questions my faith has not answered 2 my satisfaction. I have gained knowledge of unestimable worth (if only 2 me). Ive learned: who i truly am, where i came from, why i am here, what im supposed to b doing while here, and where I am going. If anyone knows of a logical, internally consistent, and reasonable alternative theology or belief system, I would certainly like to hear from u (jebheadrick@ymail.com). Far from hurting or destroying my faith, my rigorous study strenthened and informed my faith (Einstein:” science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”). To give some context, I was working on my PhD in chemistry, and since have taught at both the college and high school levels. I am an ardent and avowed scientist. The argument that devout theists must b ignorant and uneducated is a myth!
      I would also politely disagree with the statement that no one can ‘know’ that God exists. I know and have a testimony that God does exist, as many others do. Have I seen or heard God in person? No, but I dont need to, I have felt His spirit and His love. Ive seen the wisdom in the scriptures, and the wisdom of living accordingly. Will this satisfy atheists and / or materialists? Most likely, no. And that is as it should b – our relationship with God is just that, our personal relationship with God and not with or through someone else. If God’s existence could b proven or disproven, then there would b no faith, and therefore little reason for this life.
      Many people forget that through the eons of time of written history, with all the courious, intelligent, and wise people who have existed, with all the miraculous tools of science and technology, not one single person has been able 2 disprove God’s existence in a rigorous, logical, and materialistic manner!!!!

  3. I’m thinking kate was of the generation where everyone received a trophy in thr end. Sorry kate…but you aren’t super duper special like daddy told you.

    • Lies: Oh yes, Kate is just as “super-duper” as everyone else. Isn’t that what’s meant by caring for your neighbor? Add honesty to that famed list of virtues. Only then will true caring and justice undergird all that we proclaim, both in religion and in some of the politics proclaimed in this country.

  4. Neil Ransom’s reasoning is flawed. He was not excommunicated because he was not the one who openly and in the public press advocated for women being ordained to the priesthood. It was not him who openly criticized his local and general church leaders (well now he has). His only sin at the time was supporting someone who did these things. When things like this come up the church usually only excommunicates the ring leaders of such movements. It is not something they enjoy doing at all. By the way why don’t Kate and Neil have the same last names?

  5. Anyone who suffers such treatment by any church should look for a religious home that is more compatible. Religion has always been so full of faults, the human effect, but why would anyone want to be part of a group with which they are in such basic disagreement? A group that treats them so disrespectfully?

    • nobody important

      “I’ve done nothing wrong”

      Except maybe organizing a public protest against the church I claim to love, and lying to the media about it afterward…
      And badmouthing that church in dozens of interviews, and falsifying what is actually taught in the LDS church…
      And perhaps organizing a second protest, and this time was actually illegal…
      And lying about the events leading to my disciplinary council…
      And maybe calling my former bishop, with whom I claimed to have a positive relationship, an “unchristian, coward” based on events I would later admit were made up…

      See? nothing wrong!

      • LYING ALWAYS, SOONER OR LATER, GETS A PERSON IN TROUBLE – BE LIKE ANIMALS, THEY NEVER LIE.
        HAVING LIVED WITH MORMONS FOR YEARS AND DATED MANY GIRLS, LIVED IN A BISHOP’S HOME, I’VE FOUND THEM TO BE VERY SECRETIVE ABOUT THEIR RELIGION. THE HIGHER UP THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, THE MORE SECRETIVE IT BECOMES.

        • Mormonism: the most secretive organization in the world that will send volunteers to your doorstep to tell you all about it!

          (you could add that they publish all their scriptures and teaching manuals freely online, they welcome visitors into their churches, they run public advertizing campaigns, etc….)

  6. I guess Martin Luther did the same thing. Loyalty is a strange characteristic for US as people; we want things to be like we perceive they should be and be cherished at the same time – then when the organization bites us we claim loyalty and snivel! Oh well here’s to Protesting! I mean Protestants.

  7. “She contends the disciplinary hearing held in absentia in Virginia was unfair”

    She refused to meet with them after they repeatedly tried to get her to and she went so far as to leave the state. For being a so called activist, she sure lacks the courage of her own convictions to show up and defend them. She is trying now to stretch her 15 into 16 after her pony show was over and the press moved on leaving her alone with her finger up her tush. Even her ‘supporters’ yawned and moved on. She has also said she is suffering deliterious effects on herself and from family members so she wants t rejoin. Don’t hold your breath.

  8. I agree with her husband; he should be excommunicated as well. They obviously aren’t true believers. If they were they would have an understanding that the power of the priesthood flows from our Father in Heaven, not the earthly church leaders. Simply stated their fight is with our Heavenly Father. Good luck with THAT you unbelievers!

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