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hondo

the september six

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But it is still an excommunicatable offense to publish something as comforting as gaining a relationship with Heavenly Mother as well as Heavenly Father.

All is well in Zion.

Yup. Reduce an issue to something so simplistic it is unrecognizable....throw in snide, sneering, disdainful comments about everything and everyone until the thread devolves into nothing but you and your venting. Now let me guess...who did that on ZLMB to the point that several LDS posters left the board?

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The opposing viewpoint in a church disciplinary council is always a no-win proposition. The verdict is predetermined; the outcome predecided.

And yet Palmer is still a member.

Funny how that happens.

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The opposing viewpoint in a church disciplinary council is always a no-win proposition. The verdict is predetermined; the outcome predecided.

And yet Palmer is still a member.

Funny how that happens.

Would Palmer still be a member, had he allowed the church to dictate the circumstances of his disciplinary council, USU? Or did the publicity pressure the church into a reduced sentence? Perhaps had the Sept Six brought in the press, their sentences might have been less also. Another lesson learned.

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Perhaps the reason why some people choose to not attend a disciplinary council called about them is because they feel, as you state, it's not "theirs". If it's not theirs, it becomes a one-sided kangaroo court with no justice.

Your conclusion (one-sided kangaroo court) does not follow. Just because the process is not chosen by the accused does not mean it is not fair. For (simple) example, all the time in Court the accused is a foreigner (in these parts, mostly Mexican) who cannot (legally) be a part of choosing our laws or procedures; nevertheless they are afforded every right required under our system in order to adjudicate their guilt or innocence (in criminal matters) or in order to get a fair shake (in civil matters).

By "Court" I assume you mean our legal system. Are you equating a church disciplinary council on the same level as our legal system? I'm not sure that's to your advantage. In the legal system, the accused is tried by a jury of his peers. Do you think the accused in a church disciplinary council view the High Council as their peers? In the legal system, the proceedings are open to the public. Not so in a church disciplinary council. In the legal system, the accused has their own counsel, and approves the court-appointed counsel, and can fire their counsel and hire another one, if they don't feel they are being adequately represented. Not so, in a church disciplinary council. The comparison between the legal system and the church's disciplinary system is not favorable to the church.

Where are you coming from? Certainly not from the perspective of most who have been through such councils, in my experience.

Joseph Smith didn't come from the perspective of most people, when he prayed in the grove either. Rightness is not based on popularity.

The first answer to "why" is, simply: integrity; The accused has taken upon himself/herself certain covenants and possibly has now violated those covenants.

There is no "possibly" in a church court. The decision has been made, the verdict reached, prior to the disciplinary council. All that's left is the sentencing. And since the covenants are made with God, it seems only logical that God would be the one to determine if they've been broken or not. Unless you think the covenants have been made with the church? That's a completely different thread.

Another answer, which I see played out often, is: faith. Rarely do the accused have such a lack of faith in the "system" as you seem to inject with your inquiry.

"Rarely"? It's difficult to know how rarely anything happens, since the procedure is closed to the public.

Speaking specifically of the Sept Six, and what you've read about them or heard them speak, do you think they lack faith in the system? Since at least one of them refused to attend his disciplinary council, how do you think he feels about having faith in the system? What about the others? Do you think they had faith in the system? Or were they bewildered by the system? Appalled by the system? Felt crushed by the system?

And no, NONE of S6 had their "eternal salvation taken away."

I suppose that depends on if they believe the church has the authority to take it away... or not. If none had their eternal salvation taken away, what exactly was taken away? Their church membership? Then you don't feel that eternal salvation is based on being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

They can all repent - and one has returned to the Church.

Yes, and 5 have not returned. Perhaps because they don't think they did anything heinous enough to have been deprived of their church membership in the first place.

With or without a Church disciplinary counsel, sin keeps us out of the Kingdom of God (here and in eternity).

As I said, we are all in apostacy. All have come short of the kingdom of God. So how can any of us decide who is excluded from God's presence, based on apostacy?

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As I said, we are all in apostacy. All have come short of the kingdom of God. So how can any of us decide who is excluded from God's presence, based on apostacy?

We will be sure to let the Brethren know of your decision regarding what the church should do. :P

Sneer on.....it is a fast one-way ticket off the board.

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Blink writes:

In the legal system, the accused is tried by a jury of his peers. Do you think the accused in a church disciplinary council view the High Council as their peers?
In he upcoming Michael Jackson case, the jury is going to consist largely of people who were too stupid to find a way to avoid jury duty.

Why do you think that the September Six wouldn't have viewed the High Council as their peers? Does being a scholar somehow elevate one above the rest of the membership of the church?

In the legal system, the proceedings are open to the public. Not so in a church disciplinary council.
Not always the case. How much of the preliminary discussion in the Kobe Bryant case was closed? If it was open, then why the big to do over the documents which were accidentally leaked? I have to wonder, if the September Six were all excommunicated for adultery (and, lest anyone make the suggestion, I am not in the least suggesting that they were), would we really want to have an open hearing? Why is it, that despite the fact that the doors are closed on these actions, does all of the information come from the accused and not the accuser?
The comparison between the legal system and the church's disciplinary system is not favorable to the church.
I am not so sure of this as you seem to be. The church seems to have the best interests of the accused in mind.
There is no "possibly" in a church court. The decision has been made, the verdict reached, prior to the disciplinary council. All that's left is the sentencing. And since the covenants are made with God, it seems only logical that God would be the one to determine if they've been broken or not. Unless you think the covenants have been made with the church? That's a completely different thread.
This is, of course, simply your opinion of the process. Ever been through one before as the accused?

I know of very few instances where the decision is predetermined (and they do exist). You seem to be trying to make your difficulty with certain issues and paint them as being the most significant or the most representative of the process - when in fact, our ability to label them as the September Six indicates just how rare such action really is within the church.

Speaking specifically of the Sept Six, and what you've read about them or heard them speak, do you think they lack faith in the system? Since at least one of them refused to attend his disciplinary council, how do you think he feels about having faith in the system? What about the others? Do you think they had faith in the system? Or were they bewildered by the system? Appalled by the system? Felt crushed by the system?
But what about the one who went through the process of re-admission into the church? Certainly he is evidence that he has faith in the process.
Yes, and 5 have not returned. Perhaps because they don't think they did anything heinous enough to have been deprived of their church membership in the first place.
But more likely because they no longer view church membership as being of enough value to go through the process to return.

I foundin interesting - in your comments about Palmer and a "lesson learned". You cannot be so naieve as to recognize the fact that many of the church's critics were hoping to see him excommunicated and viewed that end as being the best outcome of the events. How many of them were angered by the fact that he was merely disfellowshipped? At what point is the church correct in not allowing itself to be manipulated (which obviously was what was happening in the case of Murphy for example). Do you approve of such manipulation of the church?

Ben

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One quick additional comment - you wrote:

As I said, we are all in apostacy. All have come short of the kingdom of God. So how can any of us decide who is excluded from God's presence, based on apostacy?
The church doesn't make any such decision. After all, being a member is no guarantee of any kind of glory. However, the church is responsible for excluding those from the church whom it feels are harming others in their spiritual well-being. If that decision later turns out to have been wrong, God will make amends.

Ben

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Hondo:

How about...What went RIGHT with them as the beginning point.

the church seems so threatened by the ideas of others....that it cuts off any possible feedback, any possible ways for the members to communicate meaningfully TO the church. This is partially a problem of numbers. It would be difficult to listen to all. However, thoughtful input into decisions could be helpful in determining what the future will be, a 'feedback loop'. It would demonstrate to the members that they care, are not arrogant.

Organizations without a fedback loop are in trouble.

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Guest johnny_cat
the church seems so threadened by the ideas of others....that it cuts off any possible feedback, any possible ways for the members to communicate meaningfully TO the church. This is partially a problem of numbers. It would be difficult to listen to all. However, thoughtful, input into decisions could be helpful in determining what the future will be, a 'feedback loop'.

"Threatened" is not quite the right word. With the numbers of members, it is certainly an issue as to which feedback you respond to. When I was on my mission, we had a middle-aged man with a ponytail who came in once a month to the office to report how his lottery ticket business was going. He said his name was "James Bond" and that he was a "special agent" who worked for the church. Periodically, he would bring in typewritten manifestos that he wanted us to send to Salt Lake. Usually they were discussions of his business mingled with snippets of the D&C. Once, his monthly report was about how the church should get involved with his plan to invade Peru. Another time he felt the church should send a hit squad to Bolivia to take out the bishop who would not give him a copy of the keys to the chapel.

Obviously, that's an extreme case, but then I'm not sure people fixated on praying to Heavenly Mother or advocating a "Christa" can provide helpful feedback, either. Believe it or not, most decisions in the church are made in response to local issues that are communicated through priesthood channels from local leaders. Generally, one would refer to that as feedback.

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It is curious that one person on this thread thought that a Church Court is not comparable to jury trial because he cannot consider the Stake High Council to be his peers.

Do you know who those High Council members are?

They are not a panel of professional pastors or of lifelong Catholic priests. They are your neighbors, who have real jobs in the real world. And after serving for a couple of years, they will be back being sunday school teachers and ward clerks, or whatever. I cannot imagine a better definition of peers.

Beowulf

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By "Court" I assume you mean our legal system. Are you equating a church disciplinary council on the same level as our legal system? I'm not sure that's to your advantage...

I was not equating the two systems, just pointing out the illogic of your conclusion and using the American legal system as an example of said illogic. As for "peers" - do you understand how the LDS Church works? The entire structure, below General Authority level, is staffed by the lay people taking turns; a man can be bishop one year and scout master the next and nursury leader the year after that. Hence, the members of the bishopric or high council are likely very much "peers" - although not in the same sense as in the American justice system (but again, that example is given here for contrast). Also generally, again in my experience, the accused is welcome to have any witnesses she or he desires - or even to have someone sit with him or her, if desired.

Joseph Smith didn't come from the perspective of most people, when he prayed in the grove either. Rightness is not based on popularity.

Agreed! But that is not the point. There is a 150+ - year history and record and practice of Church disciplinary councils; this is not a big mystery. Whether or not the process is righteous is not based on popularity, as you say, but in this case it is based upon revelation.

There is no "possibly" in a church court. The decision has been made, the verdict reached, prior to the disciplinary council. All that's left is the sentencing. And since the covenants are made with God, it seems only logical that God would be the one to determine if they've been broken or not.

This is absolute nonsense; the "verdict" is not preknown (although I suspect in some cases it is). The purpose of the council is truly to determine whether or not the Spirit confirms the allegations, or if there is another side (or sides) that neutralize the allegations. Or, to put it more correctly, the purposes of the council is to determine the will of the Lord in the matter.

Rarely"? It's difficult to know how rarely anything happens, since the procedure is closed to the public.

Again, nonsense. There are plenty of people who have been through the process and can tell you what happens. Even from my youth onward I've had many lessons in priesthood, sunday school and other venues about what happens in disciplinary councils (mostly very public meetings; the commentators were people who had been through the process, from the various perspectives - both as clergy and as "the accused"). So no, I don't think it's accurate to say that it is difficult to know how rarely anything happens.

I suppose that depends on if they believe the church has the authority to take it away... or not. If none had their eternal salvation taken away, what exactly was taken away? Their church membership? Then you don't feel that eternal salvation is based on being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's Kingdom on earth, and that in order for a person to be exalted that person must accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, become a member of His Church, and follow His chosen leaders. The S6 made choices which led them out of the Church; make no mistake about it - they (at least 5 of them) knew they were on the edge, were warned many times, and decided to defy. The Church appropriately told them "hey, you don't like our rules, you can play elsewhere." But the Church did not say, "and you're not welcome back" - rather, the opposite is true; they would be welcomed with open arms if they choose to return.

As I said, we are all in apostacy. All have come short of the kingdom of God. So how can any of us decide who is excluded from God's presence, based on apostacy?

We are all sinners, yes, but I don't believe that equates to us all being in apostacy. God has chosen servants consistently throughout time from among His imperfect children. As to how - well, that's where the Holy Spirit comes in; man cannot be perfect, but there is nothing a man cannot do when teamed up with God.

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Blink writes:
In the legal system, the accused is tried by a jury of his peers. Do you think the accused in a church disciplinary council view the High Council as their peers?
In he upcoming Michael Jackson case, the jury is going to consist largely of people who were too stupid to find a way to avoid jury duty.

Did you have a reason for bringing up MJ, Ben? Because I don't see what MJ has to do with the Sept Six. Could you explain please?

Why do you think that the September Six wouldn't have viewed the High Council as their peers? Does being a scholar somehow elevate one above the rest of the membership of the church?

#1 reason: there were no women on the panel of peers.

In the legal system, the proceedings are open to the public. Not so in a church disciplinary council.
Not always the case. How much of the preliminary discussion in the Kobe Bryant case was closed? If it was open, then why the big to do over the documents which were accidentally leaked? I have to wonder, if the September Six were all excommunicated for adultery (and, lest anyone make the suggestion, I am not in the least suggesting that they were), would we really want to have an open hearing? Why is it, that despite the fact that the doors are closed on these actions, does all of the information come from the accused and not the accuser?

The openness of the procedure should be decided by the accused, not the accuser. The church makes the decision for the accused, and overrides the wishes of the accused, if they want to make the procedure public.

The comparison between the legal system and the church's disciplinary system is not favorable to the church.
I am not so sure of this as you seem to be. The church seems to have the best interests of the accused in mind.

Says who? The church? I wonder if the S6 would agree with you?

There is no "possibly" in a church court. The decision has been made, the verdict reached, prior to the disciplinary council. All that's left is the sentencing. And since the covenants are made with God, it seems only logical that God would be the one to determine if they've been broken or not. Unless you think the covenants have been made with the church? That's a completely different thread.
This is, of course, simply your opinion of the process. Ever been through one before as the accused?

Again, I will not discuss personal questions. This thread is about the Sept Six. Let's keep the comments in line with that.

I know of very few instances where the decision is predetermined (and they do exist). You seem to be trying to make your difficulty with certain issues and paint them as being the most significant or the most representative of the process - when in fact, our ability to label them as the September Six indicates just how rare such action really is within the church.

Since this thread is about the Sept Six, I have no problem addressing the issue as it pertains to them and them alone. They documented their difficulties with the process. You marginalize their thoughts as insignificant or not representative of the process. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. They are entitled to theirs.

Speaking specifically of the Sept Six, and what you've read about them or heard them speak, do you think they lack faith in the system? Since at least one of them refused to attend his disciplinary council, how do you think he feels about having faith in the system? What about the others? Do you think they had faith in the system? Or were they bewildered by the system? Appalled by the system? Felt crushed by the system?
But what about the one who went through the process of re-admission into the church? Certainly he is evidence that he has faith in the process.

Yes, indeed. One. And only one. To me, that is significant. Had the discipline been less severe, would the others' eternal salvation still be intact?

Yes, and 5 have not returned. Perhaps because they don't think they did anything heinous enough to have been deprived of their church membership in the first place.
But more likely because they no longer view church membership as being of enough value to go through the process to return.

You could be right, of course. Or you could wrong. Or God could restore their blessings, after they die, because they were unjustly removed in the first place.

I foundin interesting - in your comments about Palmer and a "lesson learned". You cannot be so naieve as to recognize the fact that many of the church's critics were hoping to see him excommunicated and viewed that end as being the best outcome of the events. How many of them were angered by the fact that he was merely disfellowshipped?

Does it matter what critics think about the individual's situation? I think it does not. The individual involved is the only one to whom it matters.

Mr Palmer allowed the press to tell his story. The lesson learned has nothing to do with critics, and everything to do with positive PR for the church. Is the message then: Invite the press, open the doors, and the church will back down? Mr Palmer published a book (not just a paper, not just a speech) that questions the historicity of the Book of Mormon, which is bedrock doctrine for the church. He then invited the press to comment when he was called to a church disciplinary council. The church blinked, and did not excommunicate him, but allows his eternal salvation to remain intact. That is a far cry from the experience of the Sept Six, who did not have the press involved. Lesson learned: invite the press.

At what point is the church correct in not allowing itself to be manipulated (which obviously was what was happening in the case of Murphy for example). Do you approve of such manipulation of the church?

Why do you see that as manipulating the church? Can God be manipulated? Or is that an earthly thing? If the church allowed the proceedings to be open to the public, there would be no manipulation possible, so your question would be moot.

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The opposing viewpoint in a church disciplinary council is always a no-win proposition. The verdict is predetermined; the outcome predecided.

And yet Palmer is still a member.

Funny how that happens.

Would Palmer still be a member, had he allowed the church to dictate the circumstances of his disciplinary council, USU? Or did the publicity pressure the church into a reduced sentence? Perhaps had the Sept Six brought in the press, their sentences might have been less also. Another lesson learned.

Perhaps had the Sept Six brought in the press, their sentences might have been less also. Another lesson learned.

You must not have been around at the time or you would not claim this.

At the time of his being called to attend the High Council Court that excommunicated him, one of the S6 (and a personal friend of mine) wrote a letter to the editor in which he opined that, given that ETB was then (as was alleged by his grandson) non compus mentus, the only body which had the jurisdiction to try his case was the whole body of Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the Church.

He supported this conclusion by numerous citations to various sections of the D&C. He, accordingly, refused to attend and advised the others not to attend.

This was all quite well known at the time. I repeat: The reason they refused to attend is that they did not believe the authority to conduct the High Council/Bishops Courts was present on earth at the time, except in a form which they sought to impose upon the Church.

Thus, your point, while interesting, is not quite borne out by the facts. Indeed, the opposite point is made: if you flaunt your defiance publically, you are more likely to be excommunicated; if, however, you cooperate and don't make the argument a public one, you are likelier to be spared excommunication.

IOW: Palmer blinked and was saved; the S5 didn't and were not.

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Yes, indeed. One. And only one. To me, that is significant. Had the discipline been less severe, would the others' eternal salvation still be intact?

And what about the eternal salvation of any Latter-day Saints unfortunate enough to have read the material published by some of these folks, who took said material to heart and subsequently left the Church? Some of them posting as critics of the Church on this and other message boards, what do you say to them Serenity? And some of them adulating the September Six enough to be converted and publish their own "illuminating" tome, such as Palmer for example, resulting in more Saints leaving the fold.

Like it or not their published material has resulted and continues to result in Saints leaving the fold, most abandoning Christianity altogether and that saddens me greatly. Funny how whenever you carry the banner of the September Six, trumpeting their "rights" et cetera you never mention those Saints hurt because of what they wrote and trumpet to this day. Poor, poor September Six; and who gives a flip about those who lost their faith because of them eh?

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Do you know who those High Council members are?

They are High Priests. Different quorum, different gender from the rest of the membership. Sitting on the High Council alone places them outside the peer group of most members of the church.

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By "Court" I assume you mean our legal system. Are you equating a church disciplinary council on the same level as our legal system? I'm not sure that's to your advantage...

I was not equating the two systems, just pointing out the illogic of your conclusion and using the American legal system as an example of said illogic.

It would be more pertinent if you used the church's discipline system as your example, since that is the system we're discussing. The legal system is a completely different set of rules. I'm not sure I understand your point, when you use the legal system.

As for "peers" - do you understand how the LDS Church works?  The entire structure, below General Authority level, is staffed by the lay people taking turns; a man can be bishop one year and scout master the next and nursury leader the year after that.  Hence, the members of the bishopric or high council are likely very much "peers" - although not in the same sense as in the American justice system (but again, that example is given here for contrast).

I've been a member nearly all my life, so I have a fair understanding of how the church works. And I consider the High Council to not be my peers, in any sense of the word. They are my leaders, not my peers.

Also generally, again in my experience, the accused is welcome to have any witnesses she or he desires - or even to have someone sit with him or her, if desired.

Then why the angst on the part of the church at opening up the proceedings to the public?

Joseph Smith didn't come from the perspective of most people, when he prayed in the grove either. Rightness is not based on popularity.

Agreed! But that is not the point. There is a 150+ - year history and record and practice of Church disciplinary councils; this is not a big mystery. Whether or not the process is righteous is not based on popularity, as you say, but in this case it is based upon revelation.

That which has been received by revelation can also be changed by revelation.

There is no "possibly" in a church court. The decision has been made, the verdict reached, prior to the disciplinary council. All that's left is the sentencing. And since the covenants are made with God, it seems only logical that God would be the one to determine if they've been broken or not.

This is absolute nonsense; the "verdict" is not preknown (although I suspect in some cases it is). The purpose of the council is truly to determine whether or not the Spirit confirms the allegations, or if there is another side (or sides) that neutralize the allegations. Or, to put it more correctly, the purposes of the council is to determine the will of the Lord in the matter.

An excommunication for murder is a slamdunk, once the person is convicted in a court of law. An excommunication for apostacy is subjective, especially apostacy surrounding a doctrine as incomplete as the concept of Heavenly Mother. Once the allegations are made, the verdict is done. And we all know that knowing the will of the Lord is subjective, and thus subject to being wrong.

Rarely"? It's difficult to know how rarely anything happens, since the procedure is closed to the public.

Again, nonsense. There are plenty of people who have been through the process and can tell you what happens. Even from my youth onward I've had many lessons in priesthood, sunday school and other venues about what happens in disciplinary councils (mostly very public meetings; the commentators were people who had been through the process, from the various perspectives - both as clergy and as "the accused"). So no, I don't think it's accurate to say that it is difficult to know how rarely anything happens.

Until the process is open, the experiences are anecdotal. And since we're only talking about the Sept Six, I'm not sure how helpful anecdotal information would be.

I suppose that depends on if they believe the church has the authority to take it away... or not. If none had their eternal salvation taken away, what exactly was taken away? Their church membership? Then you don't feel that eternal salvation is based on being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

I believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's Kingdom on earth, and that in order for a person to be exalted that person must accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, become a member of His Church, and follow His chosen leaders.

So you're comfortable making the decision to strip another member of their membership, and therefore of their eternal salvation? I'm not.

The S6 made choices which led them out of the Church; make no mistake about it - they (at least 5 of them) knew they were on the edge, were warned many times, and decided to defy.

From what I've read, it wasn't quite like that, but that also is subject to interpretation.

The Church appropriately told them "hey, you don't like our rules, you can play elsewhere."  But the Church did not say, "and you're not welcome back" - rather, the opposite is true; they would be welcomed with open arms if they choose to return.

How much better had their eternal salvation not been taken from them on the whim of the men in charge. If their eternal salvation really needed to be taken from them, I suspect God could make that happen, at the Judgment Bar.

As I said, we are all in apostacy. All have come short of the kingdom of God. So how can any of us decide who is excluded from God's presence, based on apostacy?

We are all sinners, yes, but I don't believe that equates to us all being in apostacy.

It was Pres Benson who said that.

God has chosen servants consistently throughout time from among His imperfect children.  As to how - well, that's where the Holy Spirit comes in; man cannot be perfect, but there is nothing a man cannot do when teamed up with God.

Indeed God has. And men have consistently screwed things up, made poor decisions, managed to stub their toes repeatedly. How sad that we have never learned from their mistakes.

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IOW: Palmer blinked and was saved; the S5 didn't and were not.

How do you know Bro Palmer blinked? The proceeding was closed.

How do you know the Sept 5 (or 6) didn't? The proceeding was closed.

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Yes, indeed. One. And only one. To me, that is significant. Had the discipline been less severe, would the others' eternal salvation still be intact?

And what about the eternal salvation of any Latter-day Saints unfortunate enough to have read the material published by some of these folks, who took said material to heart and subsequently left the Church? Some of them posting as critics of the Church on this and other message boards, what do you say to them Serenity? And some of them adulating the September Six enough to be converted and publish their own "illuminating" tome, such as Palmer for example, resulting in more Saints leaving the fold.

Like it or not their published material has resulted and continues to result in Saints leaving the fold, most abandoning Christianity altogether and that saddens me greatly. Funny how whenever you carry the banner of the September Six, trumpeting their "rights" et cetera you never mention those Saints hurt because of what they wrote and trumpet to this day. Poor, poor September Six; and who gives a flip about those who lost their faith because of them eh?

Do you commiserate with parents whose children join the LDS church? Or are you one who only commiserates with parents whose children lose faith in the LDS church and go elsewhere?

At what point is each individual responsible for their own salvation? Are we saved because of Joseph Smith or any other prophet, or are we saved because of Jesus Christ? I support the idea that we are saved because of Jesus Christ. Each individual is responsible for their personal relationship with God, and if they lose faith, they alone bear the burden of that responsibility. No one forces anyone to believe and no one forces anyone to lose faith; no one forces anyone to open a specific book, read a specific magazine, think a specific line of thought. Any individual's loss of faith is not the responsibility of an outsider, but is theirs alone (and there are some who rejoice, based on their contention that the faith was misplaced anyway). Those who blame Bro Palmer or anyone else for their loss of faith are blaming the messenger and in the process, missing another opportunity to exercise personal responsibility.

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It would be more pertinent if you used the church's discipline system as your example, since that is the system we're discussing. The legal system is a completely different set of rules. I'm not sure I understand your point, when you use the legal system.

This is wholly ridiculous. That's like saying the Savior shouldn't have used examples like "shepherd" and "sheep" since people are wholly unlike sheep. Your illogic (which you fail to address) still stands: just because Church disciplinary councils are closed to the public does not imply or logically lead to the assertion that they are therefore akin to kangaroo courts.

I've been a member nearly all my life, so I have a fair understanding of how the church works. And I consider the High Council to not be my peers, in any sense of the word. They are my leaders, not my peers.

This is a non sequitur; you fail to mention whether you've been observant (i.e., membership does not equal peership, true; but if you were active you would better understand the peer claim; now if you also claim activity and still claim non-peership "in any sense of the word," that is, of course, up to you, but I would assert that in that case your characterization of "peer" is not consistent with conventional definitions).

Then why the angst on the part of the church at opening up the proceedings to the public?

Because, simply, it is not the revealed will of the Lord. It is that simple. His ways are not man's ways. Besides, there is enough that is open to the public and the scrutiny is enough; why add to it? BTW, you keep droning on about "this is only about the S6" - so the openness or closedness of the system is an answered question and moot for this discussion, if you stick to that mantra.

So you're comfortable making the decision to strip another member of their membership, and therefore of their eternal salvation? I'm not.

We apparently don't follow each other here. The Church leadership has authority to excommunicate (etc.), but not make the determination concerning eternal rewards or punishments; that is wholly beyond the scope of earthly Church leadership. Perhaps you and I can agree: Christ is our Advocate and our Judge, ultimately. So, again, your logic doesn't follow (or, your linking Church action with eternal consequences is not valid). The connection you impose makes some sense if you suppose that progression between now and Final Judgment is not possible; but such is not the doctrine of the Church.

That which has been received by revelation can also be changed by revelation.

Agreed. But it has relevance where? In this discussion?

An excommunication for murder is a slamdunk, once the person is convicted in a court of law. An excommunication for apostacy is subjective, especially apostacy surrounding a doctrine as incomplete as the concept of Heavenly Mother. Once the allegations are made, the verdict is done. And we all know that knowing the will of the Lord is subjective, and thus subject to being wrong.

None of these conclusions is absolute. The subjectability statement is true, but that's exactly why 1) the Lord has directed for there to be others in on the decision-making process; and 2) the Holy Spirit is requisite in the process. What you apparently lack is, simply put, faith.

Until the process is open, the experiences are anecdotal. And since we're only talking about the Sept Six, I'm not sure how helpful anecdotal information would be.

Oh come on! The Church actions of the S6 were not in a vacuum. Of the many many people who have been through the process (of Church disciplinary action) surely if the process were so abusive many, many would have cried out, cried fowl, gone to the press, etc. Rather, there are many many who return to the Church (including my father and several others I personally know, both as a lay person and as a leader).

From what I've read, it wasn't quite like that, but that also is subject to interpretation.

I heard 5 of the 6 speak about the process (and, more importantly, I heard some of them speak (and/or read their writings) for quite a while prior to their September fates. They were in the habit of calling the Church and the Brethren to repentance. It is not as "subjective" a call as you may think. Their writings and tapes of their lectures are available (some for free, online, at the Sunstone website). You can check things out for yourself.

It was Pres Benson who said that.

It took me a while, but I did find the quote; it has a context, and your invocation of President Benson's words are not appliccable here. Nice try.

So what, really, is your beef here? You want open Church disciplinary courts? Do you truly think that there would be a more just system if they were open? Do you have evidence that open courts are more just than the LDS system? Also, consider this: the Church, according to our own doctrine, has no power over life and limb (etc.) - only over membership. Hence, the stakes are not that high (unless you wrongly assume that the Church has power over eternal consequences).

I think we must agree to disagree on these issues.

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IOW:  Palmer blinked and was saved; the S5 didn't and were not.

How do you know Bro Palmer blinked? The proceeding was closed.

How do you know the Sept 5 (or 6) didn't? The proceeding was closed.

1. Palmer himself told TV crews that (at least part of) the price of not being excommunicated was keeping quiet after his hearing. I guess you missed the news stories last month.

2. This: "How do you know the Sept 5 (or 6) didn't [blink]?" is absurd. The S5 didn't attend and played the whole thing out in the press. Pay attention.

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USU, the next time you sit through a church disciplinary council, perhaps you could give a first-hand account. Until then, I'm just left with supposition and whatever family experiences I have access to.
The opposing viewpoint in a church disciplinary council is always a no-win proposition. The verdict is predetermined; the outcome predecided.

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I've been a member nearly all my life, so I have a fair understanding of how the church works. And I consider the High Council to not be my peers, in any sense of the word. They are my leaders, not my peers.

Simply because you have a twisted view of church leadership to the extent that as soon as someone becomes a leader, they somehow morph into a different species, doesn't mean that's the reality of the situation.

I wonder if your husband was made a High Counselor if you would suddenly see him as something different, someone not your peer.

In my experience, there is little different in the relationship that occurs between men called to that position and others besides a more conscious awareness of how important their relationships with others are. And a renewed commitment to serve them. LDS leaders generally do buy into the "last shall be first" and the "leader as servant" theme that Christ and others have taught so strongly in the scriptures.

Maybe you need to work on your perception of your role in the church. If you placed as much value in the rank and file as the vast majority of church leadership does (most in my experience see themselves as still just rank and file, even up to the Stake Presidents, who btw in my experience make great nursery leaders), I doubt this thread would be quite so long.

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Why do you think that the September Six wouldn't have viewed the High Council as their peers? Does being a scholar somehow elevate one above the rest of the membership of the church?

#1 reason: there were no women on the panel of peers. .

Do you see all men as not your peers? The neighbour next door? The mailman? The guy in the car next to you? Your husband?

Must throw a wrench in relationships big time.

Do you have a chart at home outlining who belongs in what category to keep this all straight?

Let's take this to the logical outcome. Unless someone has a similar background, he or she is not your peer.

All female juries for female defendants. All male, etc. Wait, however. If the guy has a higher income than another, they aren't peers. So let's make that rich juries for rich defendants and poor juries for poor ones. All black juries for all black defendants, all white for the same. Society completely compartamentalized. Interesting idea. I believe it's called segregation.

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They are High Priests. Different quorum, different gender from the rest of the membership. Sitting on the High Council alone places them outside the peer group of most members of the church.

High Priests are a different gender than the rest of the membership?

Yup...it is Serenity/Harmony/WAzing all right. Never one shred of evidence, documentation or rational thinking...any stupid, vacuous and trivial accusation will do. This thread will go on for pages. That is the point. One of her ZLMB gang accidently gave up the plan for trolling a message board in the chatroom when we were there: "Just keep asking questions." You will always find this group doing the same thing...repetitive accusations interspersed with rapid fire "questions". I hope that you are the last of the board trashers from ZLMB, Serenity...you will not have anymore success here than your predecessors. ZLMB is all yours now. Enjoy. :P

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It would be more pertinent if you used the church's discipline system as your example, since that is the system we're discussing. The legal system is a completely different set of rules. I'm not sure I understand your point, when you use the legal system.

This is wholly ridiculous. That's like saying the Savior shouldn't have used examples like "shepherd" and "sheep" since people are wholly unlike sheep. Your illogic (which you fail to address) still stands: just because Church disciplinary councils are closed to the public does not imply or logically lead to the assertion that they are therefore akin to kangaroo courts.

I think I've used that same line of reasoning before, St (that people aren't sheep), so I'm not sure how your example fits here, since I never said the criminal justice systme and the church disciplinary system were at all alike.

Why would I address my supposed illogic? You're the one saying I'm illogical; perhaps you could show how?

Why do you think church disciplinary councils are closed? The church is the accuser in those councils; they have nothing to lose by opening them up to the public, if the accused wants them open. The decision about whether a council is open or closed should rest with the accused, not with the accuser.

I've been a member nearly all my life, so I have a fair understanding of how the church works. And I consider the High Council to not be my peers, in any sense of the word. They are my leaders, not my peers.

This is a non sequitur; you fail to mention whether you've been observant (i.e., membership does not equal peership, true; but if you were active you would better understand the peer claim; now if you also claim activity and still claim non-peership "in any sense of the word," that is, of course, up to you, but I would assert that in that case your characterization of "peer" is not consistent with conventional definitions).

My church leaders are not my church peers, since I am not a church leader. They may be my neighbors, my friends, my family, but my church leaders are not my peers in a church disciplinary council. Just as a law enforcement officer or attorney or judge is not my peer in a court of law, a High Councilman is not my peer in a church disciplinary council.

Then why the angst on the part of the church at opening up the proceedings to the public?

Because, simply, it is not the revealed will of the Lord. It is that simple. His ways are not man's ways. Besides, there is enough that is open to the public and the scrutiny is enough; why add to it? BTW, you keep droning on about "this is only about the S6" - so the openness or closedness of the system is an answered question and moot for this discussion, if you stick to that mantra.

The closed-ness of the procedure was one of the issues with at least some of the Sept Six. The closed-ness of the procedure was certainly an issue with Murphy and Palmer, since they both went to great lengths to open the proceedings as much as they could, and discussed the issue with the press.

That which has been revealed can be changed; we've all seen those sorts of changes over and over again. Making the change to give the accused the option of opening the procedure to the public is not without precedence.

So you're comfortable making the decision to strip another member of their membership, and therefore of their eternal salvation? I'm not.

We apparently don't follow each other here. The Church leadership has authority to excommunicate (etc.), but not make the determination concerning eternal rewards or punishments; that is wholly beyond the scope of earthly Church leadership. Perhaps you and I can agree: Christ is our Advocate and our Judge, ultimately. So, again, your logic doesn't follow (or, your linking Church action with eternal consequences is not valid). The connection you impose makes some sense if you suppose that progression between now and Final Judgment is not possible; but such is not the doctrine of the Church.

Then you feel that the church does not have the authority to determine eternal consequences for its members? That an endowed member can have his/her membership revoked and his/her endowment cancelled without suffering eternal consequences? I'm not sure the church leaders would agree with you.

If there is no connection between church membership and eternal consequences, then you're right: I have no complaint. I thought there was a connection. If there is no connection, then I have no complaint. It's only when the church uses a subjective justification for concrete consequences that I have a problem with it. Revoking eternal blessings because of something as cut and dried as a murder is well within church guidelines, IMO. Revoking those eternal blessings for something as subjective as apostacy is not.

That which has been received by revelation can also be changed by revelation.

Agreed. But it has relevance where? In this discussion?

The relevance to this discussion: supposedly the procedure for church disciplinary councils was given by revelation; revelation continues; that which has been revealed in the past can be changed by current revelation. Our church leaders could change this process, if they wanted to.

An excommunication for murder is a slamdunk, once the person is convicted in a court of law. An excommunication for apostacy is subjective, especially apostacy surrounding a doctrine as incomplete as the concept of Heavenly Mother. Once the allegations are made, the verdict is done. And we all know that knowing the will of the Lord is subjective, and thus subject to being wrong.

None of these conclusions is absolute. The subjectability statement is true, but that's exactly why 1) the Lord has directed for there to be others in on the decision-making process; and 2) the Holy Spirit is requisite in the process. What you apparently lack is, simply put, faith.

I lack faith? You're right; I lack faith in the men that sit on those councils. Those men have been wrong before, because all men have been wrong before. God does not sit on those councils, St. Only men sit on those councils. And you are correct: I lack faith in men.

Until the process is open, the experiences are anecdotal. And since we're only talking about the Sept Six, I'm not sure how helpful anecdotal information would be.

Oh come on! The Church actions of the S6 were not in a vacuum. Of the many many people who have been through the process (of Church disciplinary action) surely if the process were so abusive many, many would have cried out, cried fowl, gone to the press, etc. Rather, there are many many who return to the Church (including my father and several others I personally know, both as a lay person and as a leader).

How do you know how many is many? How do you put a price on the consequences to the individual, when those men are wrong? Is 10% too high? Is one is too many? I offer no personal anecdotes because they would have as minimal effect on you as yours have on me: none. But since you don't seem to think that the church has any effect on a member's eternal salvation, that even one that is harmed probably doesn't mean much to you anyway, so we aren't going to be discussing this too much longer.

From what I've read, it wasn't quite like that, but that also is subject to interpretation.

I heard 5 of the 6 speak about the process (and, more importantly, I heard some of them speak (and/or read their writings) for quite a while prior to their September fates. They were in the habit of calling the Church and the Brethren to repentance. It is not as "subjective" a call as you may think. Their writings and tapes of their lectures are available (some for free, online, at the Sunstone website). You can check things out for yourself.

So you feel qualified to judge their hearts, because you heard them speak? I'm of a different persuation: I don't feel qualified to judge anyone's heart, even the people I'm closest to.

We have numerous times in the scriptures where people cried out publically to God, for relief from their persecutions, for justice for their wrongs. Their leaders sometimes heard their cries, sometimes they didn't. What makes you so certain this is not a similiar example? Remember: our leaders have been wrong before.

It was Pres Benson who said that.

It took me a while, but I did find the quote; it has a context, and your invocation of President Benson's words are not appliccable here. Nice try.

It indeed does have a context. And the context is that the church, from the top to the bottom, is in apostacy and has been for quite some time. Remember, this is a prophet of the Lord who said this. How can a church in apostacy that is more concerned with silencing vocal members than in correcting the reason for the underlying apostacy be trusted to get everything right? Better to err on the side of caution and tend to the more important apostacy first. Unless you're saying the Sept Six were somehow responsible for the church's apostacy? I doubt that.

So what, really, is your beef here?  You want open Church disciplinary courts?  Do you truly think that there would be a more just system if they were open?  Do you have evidence that open courts are more just than the LDS system?

You're the lawyer, St. Do you think the open-to-the-public justice system of our form of government is more just than a closed secretive procedure? Do you think justice is served by secrecy? All I'm saying is the accused should be the one to determine if the procedure is open, not the accuser.

Also, consider this: the Church, according to our own doctrine, has no power over life and limb (etc.) - only over membership.  Hence, the stakes are not that high (unless you wrongly assume that the Church has power over eternal consequences).

I'm sure that's a comfort to those who have been wronged by this procedure.

I think we must agree to disagree on these issues.

I am comfortable with that. Thank you for the cordial tone of your posts.

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