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smac97

Jeremy Runnells Excommunicated

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But I will make one more attempt, not particularly for you sake, but for those whom you may have influenced.

Matt 19 [28] And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye [the apostles] which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

He also explains that this power is not just for the future, but also part of the power and authority that He gave Peter here on earth
Matt 16  [19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Those keys, the binding and loosing on earth to effect what happens in heaven, were restored and conferred upon Joseph Smith.  This authority is found in those who are administrators of the kingdom of God in wards (bishops), stakes (the SP) as well as the church in general.  The SP has the power to loose that which was bound here on earth (the covenants, the membership in the church, etc) and that meeting was not to answer questions, but to be a judge in Israel.

I assume that you are unable to wrap your mind around this concept, but I have no interest in trying to explain it to you.

Edited by cdowis

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But I will make one more attempt, not particularly itor your sake, but particularly those whom you may have influenced.

Matt 19 [28] And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye [the apostles] which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

He also explains that this power is not just for the future, but also part of the power and authority that He gave Peter here on earth

Matt 16  [19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Those keys, the binding and loosing on earth to effect what happens in heaven, were restored and conferred upon Joseph Smith.  This authority is found in those who are administrators of the kingdom of God in wards (bishops), stakes (the SP) as well as the church in general.  The SP has the power to loose that which was bound here on earth (the covenants, the membership in the church, etc) and that meeting was not to answer questions, but to be a judge in Israel.I assume that you are unable to wrap your mind around this concept, but I have no interest in trying to explain it to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cdowis,  Matthew 19:28 /Luke 22:28-30 appears to come from the Q source.  Marks CommunIty appears to know nothing of this teaching.  The closest Is Mark 10:37-40 where James and John are specifically told that It Is not for Jesus to give.  

 

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Given that Mark is the earlier text, one would have to explain why Matthew changes Mark and makes Peter the centre.  Although he plays a prominent role in the early communities as a pillar (according to Paul).  It is James who is the leader in Jerusalem (again according to Paul who is a first hand witness) unlike the later gospel authors, and it is James in the Gospel of Thomas which many recognise as retaining a list of ancient sayings of Jesus much like Q. 

As you point out, the Q source saying of the apostles being 12 judges has to account for Judas being numbered among them.  The Q source also is referring to a future not present role (as you point out).  That's a future judgement role not a present one, and it isma leap totally unjustified in the text to pair it with the binding and loosing passages.  

 

Luke and Matthew's communities do show the beginnings of institutionalisation,  but the earliest source, Mark, does not include or show knowledge of any such teaching and that needs to be explained.

And that's without even beginning to introduce how problematic Paul is in terms of his attitude to the Jerusalem contingent which would have included Peter and James.

 

Like Mormon history, the history of chrisitanity is messy.

 

 

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Apologies for mistakes, my tab makes it difficult for me to edit.

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5 hours ago, Abulafia said:

Cdowis,  Matthew 19:28 /Luke 22:28-30 appears to come from the Q source.  Marks CommunIty appears to know nothing of this teaching.  The closest Is Mark 10:37-40 where James and John are specifically told that It Is not for Jesus to give.  

 

OK, so you are questioning  the inerrancy of the Bible.  "These verses do not actually belong in the Bible because blah blah blah."

But then, if I were speaking to a "Bible only" person, we would have to agree on accepting modern revelation, making this issue moot.  Sola Scriptora assumes the inerrancy of the Bible, otherwise there is absolutely no common ground for a discussion.

 

Edited by cdowis

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Cdowis.  Even as an active LDS I never once thought of the Hebrew Bible and NT as inerrant,  and I don't believe I was ever taught that through seminary and institute?  All texts have a history.  If I were to examine, however imperfectly,  the history of LDS canon and story from a historical critical perspective and then not do that for christian origins,  that would make me a hypocrite,  right?

Anyhow, the article of faith that states that *we believe in the bible as far as it is translated correctly* (or perhaps transmitted), leaves room for historical investigation and analysis.

Anyway, is that your way of refusing to address any of my points.   Is *blah, blah, blah* the best you can do?  

 

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And of course, the bible is what it is.   A collection of writings that came to be looked on as sacred over an extended period of time.  

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 2:50 PM, smac97 said:

From the CHI (Handbook 1, sec. 6.10.4

The presiding officer conducts the disciplinary council as follows:
...
3. If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below. If he denies the reported misconduct, present evidence of it or ask someone else to do so. This evidence may include the written or oral statements of witnesses, ... The member must be given an opportunity to question any witnesses who give evidence against him.

4. If the member desires to present evidence in his behalf, invite him to bring in witnesses one at a time, submit other relevant evidence, comment on the evidence, and make any other statements he desires.  Witnesses should be Church members unless the presiding officer has determined in advance that a nonmember witness will respect the purposes and procedures of a Church disciplinary council. Witnesses wait in a separate room until they give their evidence. The presiding officer asks them not to talk with each other about the matter either before or after they testify.

5. Ask questions of the member or witnesses in an orderly, polite manner, avoiding argument. Allow counselors in the bishopric or stake presidency to do the same. Questions are to be brief and limited to the essential facts of the case.

I am not sure how privilege comes into play in a disciplinary proceeding.  But clearly witnesses are allowed to attend under the above auspices.

I am not persuaded that Mr. Runnels had any witness testimony to present which fit into the above parameters.

Thanks,

-Smac

There were two really interesting things about the "disciplinary council in Jeremy's behalf."

First, the stake president required Jeremy and everyone else present to sign an agreement that the council would be conducted privately and confidentially and would not be recorded.  What was especially weird about this is that the stake president refused to give Jeremy a signed copy of the contract. Every time I've signed a contract, a copy of the signed contract was given to me so that I understood my rights and obligations and could defend myself as necessary.  The fact that Jeremy wasn't allowed to have a copy of the contract makes it seem that the confidentiality of the proceedings was meant to protect the church--not protect Jeremy. 

Second, it was weird that Jeremy wasn't given the opportunity to question the witness that testified against him.  The stake president gave a 15 minute monologue where essentially, he was his one and only witness against Jeremy.  According to what Smac quoted above, the defendant is allowed to cross-examine any witness that gives evidence against him--that would seem to include the stake president himself.  Jeremy tried to ask the stake president questions that were in fact quite relevant, such as, "President Ivans, can you please read the rest of the apostasy definition?  Like you read the definition, but there is more to it?"  The Stake President refused to answer that and all other questions Jeremy asked, limiting Jeremy's defense to "making a statement."

It would seem to me that in a secular realm governed by basic issues of fairness and search for the truth, not allowing the defense to cross-examine any witnesses would be enough to invalidate any court decision.  But of course in church disciplinary councils, the defense isn't allowed to have a transcript or recording of the proceeding, so if the court blatantly disregards its own rules, the defense has no evidence to present to the First Presidency in an appeal.

It does leave me curious.  How much leeway are stake presidents given to disregard the Handbook of Instructions when conducting disciplinary hearings?  Given that the defendant isn't permitted to have representation or a transcript of what happened, the stake president can do almost anything he wants.  In this case the point is mute because Jeremy resigned at the end.  But if he didn't, he would have a strong case to make that the proceedings were invalid because he wasn't given the opportunity to ask questions of the witness that presented evidence against him.  But I can't imagine somebody that was excommunicated successfully making that case--ever.

It should go without saying that the Church can do whatever it wants, including maintaining its own borders.  And it's quite clear to me that given the way the Church is, Jeremy should be on the outside.  But the way this was handled seems really weird.  I'm glad I'm not subject to such proceedings.

Edited by Analytics

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del

Edited by cdowis

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7 hours ago, Abulafia said:

Cdowis.  Even as an active LDS I never once thought of the Hebrew Bible and NT as inerrant,

My conversation was with Rico.  My mistake that i responded to your post.  

If you want to argue that the Bible is unreliable, may I suggest that you start a  new thread.  I have zero interest in going down that rabbit hole.

Edited by cdowis

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Cdowis, I am questioning your reponse to Rico where, using Matthew, you attempted to justify the stake president's judgement upon Jeremy.  

You connected the binding and loosing passages (not contained in Mark from whom the author of  Matthew copies in this instance) with the Q source passages on the 12 judging the tribes of Israel at the time of regeneration (which Mark contradicts). 

Elsewhere the followers are specifically told *judge not that ye be not judged*  

Sure, you can use modern revelation for the actions of the SP, but it is more problematic to justify his actions by using the gospels. That's all.

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On 4/25/2016 at 10:51 AM, Analytics said:
Quote

From the CHI (Handbook 1, sec. 6.10.4

The presiding officer conducts the disciplinary council as follows:
...
3. If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below. If he denies the reported misconduct, present evidence of it or ask someone else to do so. This evidence may include the written or oral statements of witnesses, ... The member must be given an opportunity to question any witnesses who give evidence against him.

4. If the member desires to present evidence in his behalf, invite him to bring in witnesses one at a time, submit other relevant evidence, comment on the evidence, and make any other statements he desires.  Witnesses should be Church members unless the presiding officer has determined in advance that a nonmember witness will respect the purposes and procedures of a Church disciplinary council. Witnesses wait in a separate room until they give their evidence. The presiding officer asks them not to talk with each other about the matter either before or after they testify.

5. Ask questions of the member or witnesses in an orderly, polite manner, avoiding argument. Allow counselors in the bishopric or stake presidency to do the same. Questions are to be brief and limited to the essential facts of the case.

I am not sure how privilege comes into play in a disciplinary proceeding.  But clearly witnesses are allowed to attend under the above auspices.

I am not persuaded that Mr. Runnels had any witness testimony to present which fit into the above parameters.

Thanks,

-Smac

There were two really interesting things about the "disciplinary council in Jeremy's behalf."

First, the stake president required Jeremy and everyone else present to sign an agreement that the council would be conducted privately and confidentially and would not be recorded.  What was especially weird about this is that the stake president refused to give Jeremy a signed copy of the contract. Every time I've signed a contract, a copy of the signed contract was given to me so that I understood my rights and obligations and could defend myself as necessary.  The fact that Jeremy wasn't allowed to have a copy of the contract makes it seem that the confidentiality of the proceedings was meant to protect the church--not protect Jeremy. 

I'm not sure the Church has ever declared that it has zero interest in protecting its own interests when it comes to administering disciplinary proceedings.  A disciplinary council is, after all, a church meeting.  

As far as there being a written "contract," I suspect the SP had surmised that Mr. Runnells was planning some shenanigans, and so took what minimal steps are available to avoid said shenanigans.  It's not like the "contract" was going to be presented in a secular court.  I rather suspect that it was intended to memorialize an "on your honor" type of thing.  And we all know how much honor was subsequently demonstrated by Mr. Runnells.

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Second, it was weird that Jeremy wasn't given the opportunity to question the witness that testified against him. 

I don't think there was a witness that testified against him.  The only one who spoke prior to Mr. Runnells was the SP.  And the SP did not make any accusations against Mr. Runnells, because no accusations were necessary.  Take a look again at point #3 in my post above:

Quote

3. If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below. If he denies the reported misconduct, present evidence of it or ask someone else to do so. This evidence may include the written or oral statements of witnesses, ... The member must be given an opportunity to question any witnesses who give evidence against him.

The key point is here: "If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below."

Mr. Runnells has never denied writing the things that he wrote, and about publishing them to the world.  This is the "misconduct" of which he was charged.  The SP was therefore spot-on in following the procedures set forth in the CHI.  The misconduct having been admitted, there was not only no need for witnesses, the procedure called for in the CHI eliminates the calling of witnesses as an option.

I recognize that Mr. Runnells and his supporters really, really wanted to turn to the disciplinary council into a dog and pony show.  He essentially wanted to put the Church and its doctrines on trial.  But the SP, appropriately, did not allow that.

I have seen corollary shenanigans attempted in my experience in civil courts as an attorney.  A part of my work involves post-foreclosure evictions, which are very much an unpleasant, but necessary, part of the law.  A problem can arise when the person being evicted chooses that moment to contest the foreclosure that preceded the eviction action.  With some very limited exceptions, this is not allowed.  If a person in Utah wants to challenge a foreclosure proceeding (the entire process of which generally takes well over a year, starting with the cessation of mortgage payments and ending with an actual foreclosure sale), then he needs to challenge it before it's over (before the sale).  The courts in Utah have recognized that challenges to a foreclosure which are presented in a post-foreclosure eviction action are generally not really in good faith, as they are presented principally to frustrate the eviction process.  So although folks being evicted often try this tactic, the court almost always rules in favor of my client by finding - correctly - that issues relating to the foreclosure are not properly presented during a subsequent eviction action.

I think this is what Mr. Runnells has been trying to do.  There has been no question about what he has said (the CES letter, etc.) and how he has said it (published it to the world).  This is the "misconduct" of which he is charged.  He may want to claim that he has not done anything "wrong" or said anything "incorrect," but these are very subjective claims, particularly in a religious context.  So if a person, for example, denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he might ultimately be right (I take the divinity of Jesus Christ on faith, so I necessarily allow that others can disagree on that point), but not in the context of a disciplinary council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Our faith defines itself by belief in Christ.  So a person who denies that belief, and who attempts to persuade others to likewise deny that belief, is guilty of misconduct in the eyes of the Church.  The secular courts of the world don't care one way or the other.  Many societies wouldn't care one way or the other.  Shoot, in a secular context I don't care one way or the other what Mr. Runnells says.  To the contrary, I support his First Amendment rights to believe as he likes, and to speak as he likes.  But in the context of membership in the LDS Church, a community of believers, what Mr. Runnells has said and done matters.  A lot.  

What he has said and done is not in dispute.  

What he has said and done amounts to misconduct in the context of being a member of the LDS Church.

What he has said and done merited disciplinary action by those in authority.

Those in authority conducted the disciplinary council with decorum and reverence and honor, and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the CHI.  Mr. Runnells did not act honorably.

Quote

The stake president gave a 15 minute monologue where essentially, he was his one and only witness against Jeremy. 

He was not a "witness."  No witnesses were needed because the misconduct was not in dispute.

Quote

According to what Smac quoted above, the defendant is allowed to cross-examine any witness that gives evidence against him--that would seem to include the stake president himself. 

No, it would not.  The SP was not acting as a witness.

Secular courts have a similar concept.  It's called "summary judgment."  When a lawsuit is filed, often the parties will eventually agree on what actually precipitated the suit.  These are called the "material facts."  If there is no dispute about the "material facts" of the case, then there is no need for a trial, and hence no trial is held, and the judge instead renders a decision based on the material facts established in a "motion for summary judgment" filed by one party or the other (sometimes they each file such a motion).  No witnesses are called.  No evidence is presented (other than the evidence presented in the summary judgment motion(s) to establish the material facts and to establish there there is no genuine dispute about them).  The judge summarizes the facts which are not in dispute (not unlike what the SP did), and then applies the law and, if judgment is appropriate, renders a judgment.

I think that's what happened here.  The SP was not a witness making an accusation against Mr. Runnells.  Most of the SP's remarks pertained to summarizing what Mr. Runnells had publicly said (emphases added):

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Ivins: As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God and He is the head of the church restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, that he did see God the father and His son Jesus Christ. That he brought forth the Book of Mormon, by the power of God and has been led by continuous prophets since then to continuing revelation. As part of your public, open, deliberate opposition to the church, you have published an 84 page document on a public internet site, expressing public opposition to core church doctrine, which you claim has been downloaded and shared over 100,000 times. This document is being translated into multiple languages. You are soliciting donations for its ongoing distribution and development. You have done multiple on-line recorded interviews broadcasting your views in opposition of church doctrine and its leaders. There’s indication from your public website and also in on-line public forums that you are openly and deliberately in public opposition to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are doing this by deliberately and openly mocking and ridiculing God as a ... schizophrenic, thank you, page 70 of your online document, sorry these things are hard to read. You expressed ridicule and mocked the latter day scriptures, their origin, and the prophet Joseph Smith. Page 81 of your on-line document. More specifically, here are some of your quotes and teachings: page 69 of your online document, you state your disbelief and opposition to the scriptures ... The problem with this is that the crazy God of the Old Testament was Jehovah. ... I’m asked to not only believe in a part time racist god and a part time polygamist god, but a part time ... Ivins: schizophrenic one as well.” ... “I’m supposed to go to the drawing board now and believe in a god who is not only schizophrenic racist but who is inconsistent as well

...

Ivins: Okay. On page 42, “Why would I want my kids singing ‘follow the prophet’ with its ridiculous 183 year old track record? What credibility do the brethren have? Why would I want them following the prophet when the prophet is just a man of his time, ... To me, that’s absolute insanity that my life, my precious time, my money, my heart, and my mind on an organization that has so many serious problematic challenges to it’s foundational truth claims. ... “I no longer believe in the church, I mean I’m not a Christian. I really don’t relate to the whole Christian stuff, ... I don’t care about the LDS church anymore. Its foundational truth claims are demonstrably false

...

Ivins: We’re on part three. You state, “The church is fake and not real. No, it, the church is not really good, it’s fake. It’s not real.” ...

The SP is not acting as a witness here.  He is presenting the evidence that is not in dispute.  A witness would only be called to establish facts that are in dispute.  That did not happen here.

Quote

Jeremy tried to ask the stake president questions that were in fact quite relevant, such as, "President Ivans, can you please read the rest of the apostasy definition?  Like you read the definition, but there is more to it?"  The Stake President refused to answer that and all other questions Jeremy asked, limiting Jeremy's defense to "making a statement."

Yep.  That was an entirely appropriate thing to do.  A disciplinary council is not a platform for Mr. Runnells to attack the Church and its doctrines, or to espouse his current state of non-belief.  He is generally at liberty to say and act as he likes, but he was not at liberty to commandeer a meeting of the Church to act in ways that are out of harmony with Church doctrines and beliefs.

Again, I have seen corollary shenanigans in the civil court system.  The "Sovereign Citizens" movement has been butting heads with the U.S. legal system for many years now.  I had a run-in with one fellow a few years ago.  This fellow, Michael B., sued my client to stop it from foreclosing on him.  His legal argument was that the loan he had used to buy his house was not a real loan because it was a "credit loan" and not a transaction involving currency backed by gold bullion stored at Fort Knox (I kid you not).  The trial court refused to let the dispute go to trial, and instead granted my client's motion to dismiss.  Michael filed an appeal, and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling.  Simply put, neither the trial court nor the appellate court was willing to let Michael waste everyone's time and money arguing about a legal theory that was utterly without merit.  Put another way, the courts did not allow themselves to be commandeered by Michael as a platform for him to espouse his views, which views were indisputably out of harmony with the laws of the land.

Similarly, the SP quoted above acted appropriately in not letting Mr. Runnells commandeer the disciplinary council for use as a platform for him to espouse his views and acts, which views and acts were indisputably out of harmony with the laws of the Church.

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It would seem to me that in a secular realm governed by basic issues of fairness and search for the truth, not allowing the defense to cross-examine any witnesses would be enough to invalidate any court decision. 

With respect, may I suggest that you get out more.  While the U.S. legal system is flawed in some ways, I think it's one of the best around.  It is "governed by basic issues of fairness and search for truth."  But when the "truth" is not hidden or in dispute, it makes no sense to require litigants to spend time, money and effort so that John Q. Yahoo can have 15 minutes of fame on a soapbox (forgive the mixed metaphor).

Similarly, the Church's disciplinary councils are sacred meetings.  Their purpose should not be subverted by those in open rebellion against the Church who are looking for their 15 minutes of fame on a soapbox (as, I think it is hard to dispute, Mr. Runnells tried to do).

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But of course in church disciplinary councils, the defense isn't allowed to have a transcript or recording of the proceeding, so if the court blatantly disregards its own rules, the defense has no evidence to present to the First Presidency in an appeal.

First, as I understand it, no "transcript" is kept.  The clerk takes notes of the proceedings.

Second, the disciplinary council did not disregard the "rules," blatantly or otherwise.  The procedures in the CHI were apparently followed.

Third, the SP's remarks were, I think, recorded by the clerk for the very purpose of creating a record of the proceedings.  

Fourth, the "evidence" of Mr. Runnells' statements and conduct is not in dispute.

Fifth, your concern is entirely moot since Mr. Runnells resigned, and hence waived any right to an appeal to the First Presidency.

Quote

It does leave me curious.  How much leeway are stake presidents given to disregard the Handbook of Instructions when conducting disciplinary hearings?  Given that the defendant isn't permitted to have representation or a transcript of what happened, the stake president can do almost anything he wants. 

Well, no.  An SP is probably afforded some latitude, but not nearly as much as you apparently think.  And if the SP deviates from the CHI is some material respect, a person can certainly present that deviation on appeal.

But again, there was no deviation from the CHI by the SP, material or otherwise.

And again, the concern is moot since Mr. Runnells resigned, and hence waived any right to an appeal.

Quote

In this case the point is mute because Jeremy resigned at the end.  But if he didn't, he would have a strong case to make that the proceedings were invalid because he wasn't given the opportunity to ask questions of the witness that presented evidence against him. 

First, I agree that the point is moot (I assume that's what you meant by "mute").

Second, I don't think he would have "a strong case" at all.  No witness presented evidence because no witnesses were required.  No witnesses were required because the alleged misconduct was not disputed by Mr. Runnells.  The CHI not only allows the SP to skip the calling of witnesses in such circumstances, it requires the SP to so skip.

Third, I am often amused at how critics of the Church rail against us for being "legalistic," and then turn around and get all legalistic in defense of people like Jeremy Runnells, Kate Kelly and Denver Snuffer.

Quote

But I can't imagine somebody that was excommunicated successfully making that case--ever.

It should go without saying that the Church can do whatever it wants, including maintaining its own borders.  And it's quite clear to me that given the way the Church is, Jeremy should be on the outside.  But the way this was handled seems really weird.  I'm glad I'm not subject to such proceedings.

I'm glad that the Church does not let people in open rebellion subvert its meetings so that they can use them to advance their efforts against the Church.

Also, I'm curious about your assessment of Mr. Runnells.  Apparently he agreed to not record the proceedings, and he did so anyway.  Is that correct?  Do you agree with what he did?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I'm not sure the Church has ever declared that it has zero interest in protecting its own interests when it comes to administering disciplinary proceedings.  A disciplinary council is, after all, a church meeting.  

As far as there being a written "contract," I suspect the SP had surmised that Mr. Runnells was planning some shenanigans, and so took what minimal steps are available to avoid said shenanigans.  It's not like the "contract" was going to be presented in a secular court.  I rather suspect that it was intended to memorialize an "on your honor" type of thing.  And we all know how much honor was subsequently demonstrated by Mr. Runnells.

I don't think there was a witness that testified against him.  The only one who spoke prior to Mr. Runnells was the SP.  And the SP did not make any accusations against Mr. Runnells, because no accusations were necessary.  Take a look again at point #3 in my post above:

The key point is here: "If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below."

Mr. Runnells has never denied writing the things that he wrote, and about publishing them to the world.  This is the "misconduct" of which he was charged.  The SP was therefore spot-on in following the procedures set forth in the CHI.  The misconduct having been admitted, there was not only no need for witnesses, the procedure called for in the CHI eliminates the calling of witnesses as an option.

I recognize that Mr. Runnells and his supporters really, really wanted to turn to the disciplinary council into a dog and pony show.  He essentially wanted to put the Church and its doctrines on trial.  But the SP, appropriately, did not allow that.

I have seen corollary shenanigans attempted in my experience in civil courts as an attorney.  A part of my work involves post-foreclosure evictions, which are very much an unpleasant, but necessary, part of the law.  A problem can arise when the person being evicted chooses that moment to contest the foreclosure that preceded the eviction action.  With some very limited exceptions, this is not allowed.  If a person in Utah wants to challenge a foreclosure proceeding (the entire process of which generally takes well over a year, starting with the cessation of mortgage payments and ending with an actual foreclosure sale), then he needs to challenge it before it's over (before the sale).  The courts in Utah have recognized that challenges to a foreclosure which are presented in a post-foreclosure eviction action are generally not really in good faith, as they are presented principally to frustrate the eviction process.  So although folks being evicted often try this tactic, the court almost always rules in favor of my client by finding - correctly - that issues relating to the foreclosure are not properly presented during a subsequent eviction action.

I think this is what Mr. Runnells has been trying to do.  There has been no question about what he has said (the CES letter, etc.) and how he has said it (published it to the world).  This is the "misconduct" of which he is charged.  He may want to claim that he has not done anything "wrong" or said anything "incorrect," but these are very subjective claims, particularly in a religious context.  So if a person, for example, denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he might ultimately be right (I take the divinity of Jesus Christ on faith, so I necessarily allow that others can disagree on that point), but not in the context of a disciplinary council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Our faith defines itself by belief in Christ.  So a person who denies that belief, and who attempts to persuade others to likewise deny that belief, is guilty of misconduct in the eyes of the Church.  The secular courts of the world don't care one way or the other.  Many societies wouldn't care one way or the other.  Shoot, in a secular context I don't care one way or the other what Mr. Runnells says.  To the contrary, I support his First Amendment rights to believe as he likes, and to speak as he likes.  But in the context of membership in the LDS Church, a community of believers, what Mr. Runnells has said and done matters.  A lot.  

What he has said and done is not in dispute.  

What he has said and done amounts to misconduct in the context of being a member of the LDS Church.

What he has said and done merited disciplinary action by those in authority.

Those in authority conducted the disciplinary council with decorum and reverence and honor, and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the CHI.  Mr. Runnells did not act honorably.

He was not a "witness."  No witnesses were needed because the misconduct was not in dispute.

No, it would not.  The SP was not acting as a witness.

Secular courts have a similar concept.  It's called "summary judgment."  When a lawsuit is filed, often the parties will eventually agree on what actually precipitated the suit.  These are called the "material facts."  If there is no dispute about the "material facts" of the case, then there is no need for a trial, and hence no trial is held, and the judge instead renders a decision based on the material facts established in a "motion for summary judgment" filed by one party or the other (sometimes they each file such a motion).  No witnesses are called.  No evidence is presented (other than the evidence presented in the summary judgment motion(s) to establish the material facts and to establish there there is no genuine dispute about them).  The judge summarizes the facts which are not in dispute (not unlike what the SP did), and then applies the law and, if judgment is appropriate, renders a judgment.

I think that's what happened here.  The SP was not a witness making an accusation against Mr. Runnells.  Most of the SP's remarks pertained to summarizing what Mr. Runnells had publicly said (emphases added):

The SP is not acting as a witness here.  He is presenting the evidence that is not in dispute.  A witness would only be called to establish facts that are in dispute.  That did not happen here.

Yep.  That was an entirely appropriate thing to do.  A disciplinary council is not a platform for Mr. Runnells to attack the Church and its doctrines, or to espouse his current state of non-belief.  He is generally at liberty to say and act as he likes, but he was not at liberty to commandeer a meeting of the Church to act in ways that are out of harmony with Church doctrines and beliefs.

Again, I have seen corollary shenanigans in the civil court system.  The "Sovereign Citizens" movement has been butting heads with the U.S. legal system for many years now.  I had a run-in with one fellow a few years ago.  This fellow, Michael B., sued my client to stop it from foreclosing on him.  His legal argument was that the loan he had used to buy his house was not a real loan because it was a "credit loan" and not a transaction involving currency backed by gold bullion stored at Fort Knox (I kid you not).  The trial court refused to let the dispute go to trial, and instead granted my client's motion to dismiss.  Michael filed an appeal, and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling.  Simply put, neither the trial court nor the appellate court was willing to let Michael waste everyone's time and money arguing about a legal theory that was utterly without merit.  Put another way, the courts did not allow themselves to be commandeered by Michael as a platform for him to espouse his views, which views were indisputably out of harmony with the laws of the land.

Similarly, the SP quoted above acted appropriately in not letting Mr. Runnells commandeer the disciplinary council for use as a platform for him to espouse his views and acts, which views and acts were indisputably out of harmony with the laws of the Church.

With respect, may I suggest that you get out more.  While the U.S. legal system is flawed in some ways, I think it's one of the best around.  It is "governed by basic issues of fairness and search for truth."  But when the "truth" is not hidden or in dispute, it makes no sense to require litigants to spend time, money and effort so that John Q. Yahoo can have 15 minutes of fame on a soapbox (forgive the mixed metaphor).

Similarly, the Church's disciplinary councils are sacred meetings.  Their purpose should not be subverted by those in open rebellion against the Church who are looking for their 15 minutes of fame on a soapbox (as, I think it is hard to dispute, Mr. Runnells tried to do).

First, as I understand it, no "transcript" is kept.  The clerk takes notes of the proceedings.

Second, the disciplinary council did not disregard the "rules," blatantly or otherwise.  The procedures in the CHI were apparently followed.

Third, the SP's remarks were, I think, recorded by the clerk for the very purpose of creating a record of the proceedings.  

Fourth, the "evidence" of Mr. Runnells' statements and conduct is not in dispute.

Fifth, your concern is entirely moot since Mr. Runnells resigned, and hence waived any right to an appeal to the First Presidency.

Well, no.  An SP is probably afforded some latitude, but not nearly as much as you apparently think.  And if the SP deviates from the CHI is some material respect, a person can certainly present that deviation on appeal.

But again, there was no deviation from the CHI by the SP, material or otherwise.

And again, the concern is moot since Mr. Runnells resigned, and hence waived any right to an appeal.

First, I agree that the point is moot (I assume that's what you meant by "mute").

Second, I don't think he would have "a strong case" at all.  No witness presented evidence because no witnesses were required.  No witnesses were required because the alleged misconduct was not disputed by Mr. Runnells.  The CHI not only allows the SP to skip the calling of witnesses in such circumstances, it requires the SP to so skip.

Third, I am often amused at how critics of the Church rail against us for being "legalistic," and then turn around and get all legalistic in defense of people like Jeremy Runnells, Kate Kelly and Denver Snuffer.

I'm glad that the Church does not let people in open rebellion subvert its meetings so that they can use them to advance their efforts against the Church.

Also, I'm curious about your assessment of Mr. Runnells.  Apparently he agreed to not record the proceedings, and he did so anyway.  Is that correct?  Do you agree with what he did?

Thanks,

-Smac

I'm USU78.  I've been an attorney since 1984.  I endorse this message in toto.

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I'm not sure the Church has ever declared that it has zero interest in protecting its own interests when it comes to administering disciplinary proceedings.  A disciplinary council is, after all, a church meeting.  

As far as there being a written "contract," I suspect the SP had surmised that Mr. Runnells was planning some shenanigans, and so took what minimal steps are available to avoid said shenanigans.  It's not like the "contract" was going to be presented in a secular court.  I rather suspect that it was intended to memorialize an "on your honor" type of thing.  

Touché.

 

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I don't think there was a witness that testified against him.  The only one who spoke prior to Mr. Runnells was the SP.  And the SP did not make any accusations against Mr. Runnells, because no accusations were necessary.  Take a look again at point #3 in my post above:

The key point is here: "If the member admits to the misconduct, proceed to number 5 below."

Mr. Runnells has never denied writing the things that he wrote, and about publishing them to the world.  This is the "misconduct" of which he was charged.  The SP was therefore spot-on in following the procedures set forth in the CHI.  The misconduct having been admitted, there was not only no need for witnesses, the procedure called for in the CHI eliminates the calling of witnesses as an option.

If you are right and Jeremy admitted to apostasy--the specific misconduct in question--then the stake president should have proceeded to #5.  #5, as you recall, does not say, "Give the member 45 minutes to make a statement, during which you refuse to answer any questions."  Rather, it says to allow the counselors to ask the member brief, respectful, and pertinent questions.  So even if Jeremy did admit to the misconduct, President Ivans still wasn't following the Handbook.

But Jeremy never admitted to the alleged misconduct.  In his written communication with President Ivans leading up to the council, President Ivans accused him of being guilty of apostasy, and Jeremy denied it, and made a specific written defense based upon the definition of apostasy in the Handbook of Instructions.  It was in that context that President Ivans called the council.  In the official summons, Ivans said "You may call witnesses whose testimony is relevant to the issues I have set out above.  However, any such witnesses must be identified to me in writing by name, ward, and stake, at least three days in advance.....it will take about 15 minutes for the evidence in support of the above issues to be presented to the council.  You will be afforded three times that, or 45 minutes, to give your response."

Clearly, President Ivans understood Jeremy did not admit to the alleged misconduct.  With hindsight, it appears President Ivans refused to answer Jeremy's questions because he didn't send President Ivans official notification via certified mail that he would call President Ivans himself as a witness.  But that doesn't change the fact that President Ivans acted as his own witness and Jeremy wasn't given the right to ask the witness questions.

 

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A disciplinary council is not a platform for Mr. Runnells to attack the Church and its doctrines, or to espouse his current state of non-belief.

Then why did President Ivans give Jeremy a platform and 45 minutes to "make a statement" about anything that Jeremy wanted?

 

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Also, I'm curious about your assessment of Mr. Runnells.  Apparently he agreed to not record the proceedings, and he did so anyway.  Is that correct?  Do you agree with what he did?

I have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, I certainly wouldn't have recorded the meeting immediately after promising not to.  But on the other hand, the sympathy I have for whistleblowers in general extends to Jeremy.

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On 4/26/2016 at 11:57 AM, Analytics said:

If you are right and Jeremy admitted to apostasy--the specific misconduct in question--then the stake president should have proceeded to #5. 

That's not quite right.  It should go like this: "If I am right and Jeremy admitted to writing and doing the things the SP referenced, then the stake president should have proceeded to #5."

I think we need to differentiate something here.  What Jeremy has said and done would have required witnesses if what Jeremy has said and done were in dispute.  But what he has said and done is not in dispute, right?  If so, then we proceed to the next point, which is whether what Jeremy has admittedly said and done meets the definition of "apostasy" or otherwise merits discipline according to the doctrines and practices of the LDS Church.

You seem to think these inquiries are one and the same.  They aren't.  We see similar circumstances in secular courts all the time.  Secular courts are only interested in pursuing a factual inquiry when the facts of the case are in dispute.  Otherwise, factual inquiries are expensive and time-consuming and a waste of the resources of the court and the parties.  So if and when the underlying conduct of the defendant is not in dispute, then the court does not bother with pursuing a factual inquiry, and instead proceeds to apply the law to determine whether or not the defendant's conduct created liability for the defendant.

I was in a hearing in Bountiful a few months ago.  The defendant, Russ, kept arguing that my client's conduct constituted a breach of federal and state statutes pertaining to residential mortgage lenders.  The judge asked him to explain the factual circumstances underlying his claim.  Russ explained that my client, The Bank, had failed to comply with Statute Q.  The judge asked what The Bank did that violated Statute Q, and Russ said that The Bank had failed to re-publish the notice of the foreclosure sale when it was postponed.  The judge responded that The Bank was not required to re-publish.  Russ disagreed, so the court walked him through the statute.  Russ still disagreed.  The judge then said "Let's move on to the next claim."  And so it went.  With each claim presented by Russ against The Bank, the court explained that what Russ was claiming was a violation of a statute was not a violation.  And the end of it all the judge found in favor of my client.  Russ was angry.  Very angry.  As in Smac-waited-in-the-hallway-with-the-armed-sheriff's-deputies-until-they-confirmed-that-Russ-had-driven-out-of-the-courthouse-parking-lot angry.

The problem with Russ was that he presumed, incorrectly, that he, not the judge, got to decide not only what the facts of the case were, but also what legal conclusions could be drawn from those facts.  Russ was wrong on just a few of the facts, but he was massivelyincontrovertibly wrong on both A) the proper legal conclusions to be drawn on those facts, and B) who it was in the litigation that was tasked with reaching those proper legal conclusions.  His anger was real.  It was palpable.  But it was also based on ignorance, self-interest, arrogance, and unreasoned hostility.  It was therefore misplaced and irrational.

I think we have seen a similar series of events with Mr. Runnells.  He has apparently presumed that he, not his SP, got to decide not only what the facts of the case were, but also what legal conclusions could be drawn from those facts.  Mr. Runnells and his SP were apparently on the same sheet of music in terms of the "facts."  There was no dispute about what Mr. Runnells had said and done that precipitated the disciplinary council.

But Mr. Runnells was massivelyincontrovertibly wrong on both A) the proper conclusions to be drawn on those facts, and B) who it was in the council that was tasked with reaching those proper conclusions.  Whether or not Mr. Runnells' conduct merited discipline was a decision to be made by the stake president acting in council.  That's it.  End of story.  His anger is real.  It is palpable.  But it is also based on ignorance, self-interest, arrogance, and unreasoned hostility.  It is therefore misplaced and irrational.

The stake president was not the accuser.  The stake president was not a party to the dispute.  The stake president was acting as a judge in Israel.  The SP appears to have had various communications with Mr. Runnells, during which the provenance of Mr. Runnells' writings and conduct was both apparent and not in dispute.  Mr. Runnells did not dispute, and therefore admitted, the misconduct alleged against him.  The SP's role was to then determine whether that misconduct merited discipline.  Receiving evidence such as witness testimony would not have been appropriate.  Skipping to step #5 was appropriate.  That's that the SP did.

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#5, as you recall, does not say, "Give the member 45 minutes to make a statement, during which you refuse to answer any questions." 

So you are faulting the SP for letting Mr. Runnells speak?  Really?

I think Mr. Runnells wanted to have his say.  I think the SP knew this, and more or less was willing to accommodate that as long as Mr. Runnells did not disrupt the decorum of the disciplinary council.  So the SP gave him a chance to speak.  There is nothing unusual in this.  I have participated in dozens of disciplinary councils, and the person under discipline is pretty much always given an opportunity to address the council.

And this, according to you, is a bad thing?  A violation of the CHI?  Really?

I should note here also that perhaps the SP wanted to give Mr. Runnells an opportunity to attempt to persuade the council that his writings and conduct did not constitute apostasy or other misconduct.  I think it would be nigh-unto-impossible to make such an argument in good faith and with a straight face, but I credit the SP for giving him the opportunity anyway.  And yet you . . . fault the SP for this.  Weird.

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Rather, it says to allow the counselors to ask the member brief, respectful, and pertinent questions. 

Yep.  Of course, the council never got to that part because of Mr. Runnells' grandstanding.  That is, he resigned and walked out of the room, thus eliminating the opportunity for council members to ask questions.

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So even if Jeremy did admit to the misconduct, President Ivans still wasn't following the Handbook.

Malarky.  The SP adhered to the Handbook in all material respects.

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But Jeremy never admitted to the alleged misconduct.  

Yes, he did.  The alleged misconduct was that he was writing and saying and doing things X, Y and Z.  He has never denied doing things X, Y and Z.

You are suggesting that he never admitted that X, Y and Z amounted to apostasy or other conduct meriting discipline.  But here's the thing: Whether things X, Y and Z amount to apostasy was a determination to be made by the council, not by Mr. Runnells.

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In his written communication with President Ivans leading up to the council, President Ivans accused him of being guilty of apostasy, and Jeremy denied it, and made a specific written defense based upon the definition of apostasy in the Handbook of Instructions. 

I don't think any of us are in a position to declare what was or was not communicated between the SP and Mr. Runnells.  However, I think we are in a position to conclude that Mr. Runnells never disputed - and therefore admitted - that he wrote and did the things referenced by the SP.

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It was in that context that President Ivans called the council.  In the official summons, Ivans said "You may call witnesses whose testimony is relevant to the issues I have set out above.  However, any such witnesses must be identified to me in writing by name, ward, and stake, at least three days in advance.....it will take about 15 minutes for the evidence in support of the above issues to be presented to the council.  You will be afforded three times that, or 45 minutes, to give your response."

Clearly, President Ivans understood Jeremy did not admit to the alleged misconduct.  

With respect, I disagree.  I think the SP understood that A) Mr. Runnells did admit to writing and doing things X, Y and Z, but B) that Mr. Runnells may dispute that things X, Y and Z constitute apostasy or other misconduct meriting discipline.  As to the former point, this left the SP, acting in council, with the responsibility of determining the latter point.  Again: Whether things X, Y and Z amount to apostasy was a determination to be made by the council, not by Mr. Runnells.

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With hindsight, it appears President Ivans refused to answer Jeremy's questions because he didn't send President Ivans official notification via certified mail that he would call President Ivans himself as a witness. 

With respect, I disagree.  I think the SP offered to answer Mr. Runnells' questions in a more appropriate time (prior to the council) and place (in private, without publicity) and manner (in writing), an offer with Mr. Runnells rejected.  I also think that the SP refused to answer Mr. Runnells' questions during the council because he (the SP) was not inclined to let Mr. Runnells turn the council into a farcical dog and pony show.  The SP would not have been an appropriate witness because A) no witnesses were necessary where Mr. Runnells admitted to the alleged conduct, and B) the SP was apparently not a percipient witness and did not have any relevant, probative "evidence" to provide to the council.

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But that doesn't change the fact that President Ivans acted as his own witness

This is simply incorrect.  The SP did not act as a witness, let alone "as his own witness."  The SP was not a party to the dispute.  The SP's role was as a judge in Israel.  The SP reciting Mr. Runnells' conduct for the record did not transmute the SP into a fact witness in the council.

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and Jeremy wasn't given the right to ask the witness questions.

Correct.  Mr. Runnells did not have a right to ask questions of witnesses.  No witnesses were called because no witnesses were necessary because Mr. Runnells admitted to the conduct alleged against him.

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Then why did President Ivans give Jeremy a platform and 45 minutes to "make a statement" about anything that Jeremy wanted?

Again, I suspect that Mr. Runnells wanted to have his say.  I think the SP knew this, and more or less was willing to accommodate that as long as Mr. Runnells did not disrupt the decorum of the disciplinary council.  So the SP gave him a chance to speak.  There is nothing unusual in this.

And it's rather bizarre that you are taking exception to the SP letting Mr. Runnells speak.  Or perhaps not.  Perhaps I've neglected the truism that Mormons are darned if they do, they're darned if they don't, they're darned no matter what they do.  If the SP had not let Mr. Runnells speak at the council, I strongly suspect you would have faulted him for that.  And here you are, faulting the SP for letting him speak because . . . well, I don't know.  I don't understand this kind of thinking.

I cannot help but note the weirdness of your complaint against the SP.  You are suggesting that he violated the procedures set forth in the Handbook by letting Mr. Runnells speak.  You are faulting him for doing this.  I dispute this suggestion, but even if it is true, the SP violated the Handbook procedures in a way favorable to Mr. Runnells by letting him speak.  And yet you are faulting him for that.  Doesn't that strike you as a bit . . . odd?

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Also, I'm curious about your assessment of Mr. Runnells.  Apparently he agreed to not record the proceedings, and he did so anyway.  Is that correct?  Do you agree with what he did?

I have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, I certainly wouldn't have recorded the meeting immediately after promising not to.  But on the other hand, the sympathy I have for whistleblowers in general extends to Jeremy.

So the only way he could be a whistleblower was for him to break his word?  Really?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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While the judicial procedures followed by the courts of the land are interesting, what should interest the Christian more is how the teachings and life of the Lord Jesus are relevant to the discussions of the OP. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."(Matthew 4:4).  The LDS church claims to be the Church of Jesus Christ.  It is not a secular organization.  Therefore, it should be reasonable to expect that much of the meat of the discussions should revolve around the Lord's teachings, and not the details of secular courts.

Having said that, let me share a speech given by the late Judge Harry Fogle of St. Petersberg, FL about the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin Council.  

http://www.jurisdictionary.com/TheTrial.pdf

Judge Fogle examines this (mis)trial from the perspective, not of the theologian, but someone who was a practicing lawyer.  I will not quote the speech here, but instead just ask anyone interested to read those parts about witnesses, confession, blasphemy, and the death penalty with regards to the ancient Jewish Law.  The Trial of Jesus ranks as one of the most unjust in history, and should always be in the minds of Christians everywhere when holding anyone to be tried, especially in church courts.

Another episode in the New Testament that I think is relevant in this thread is the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 8:2-11).  Adultery is a crime punishable by death under the Law of Moses (John 8:5, Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22).  The Pharisees, in their desire to trap Jesus with questions on Jewish Law, brought a woman whom they accuse as having been caught "in the very act" of adultery (v.4). The Lord Jesus rebuts them.  The story as we all know ends with the Pharisees' cunning plan being frustrated.

However, the most important question is asked by Jesus to the accused: "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?" (8:10)

Here, we must pause for some deep thought.  The Law of Moses requires two or more witnesses to convict of a crime worthy of capital punishment:  "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." (Deuteronomy 19:15).

And it is not written testimony of witnesses, but their ORAL testimony that's required.  The witnesses must appear before a Judge to be heard and examined.  There is no such thing as secret witnesses.

Now the Lord Jesus himself is Yahweh, the very same God who gave the Law to Moses (John 1:1-3; 8:58). He knows the penalty for adultery is death, and he knows the woman is guilty of it.  But the same Law he gave also requires witnesses, and those witnesses who accused her have all abandoned their failed cause.  Without witnesses, the Law cannot convict.  Therefore, if the Lord Jesus himself who gave the Law will not execute the death penalty against her without witnesses, although he knows she deserved it, why should any man say witnesses are not needed?

That is why the final statement by the Lord is: "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."  Without witnesses, the Lord will not condemn.

Those who say that dispensing witnesses, or that witnesses are not needed, are confusing the teachings of the Lord with other man-made doctrines, laws made by error-prone human beings, and their own faulty opinions.  They are doing grave harm by misleading others.  This is not the way of the Lord.

 

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11 hours ago, smac97 said:

That's not quite right.  It should go like this: "If I am right and Jeremy admitted to writing and doing the things the SP referenced, then the stake president should have proceeded to #5."

I think we need to differentiate something here.  What Jeremy has said and done would have required witnesses if what Jeremy has said and done were in dispute.  But what he has said and done is not in dispute, right?  If so, then we proceed to the next point, which is whether what Jeremy has admittedly said and done meets the definition of "apostasy" or otherwise merits discipline according to the doctrines and practices of the LDS Church.

You seem to think these inquiries are one and the same.  They aren't.  We see similar circumstances in secular courts all the time.  Secular courts are only interested in pursuing a factual inquiry when the facts of the case are in dispute.  Otherwise, factual inquiries are expensive and time-consuming and a waste of the resources of the court and the parties.  So if and when the underlying conduct of the defendant is not in dispute, then the court does not bother with pursuing a factual inquiry, and instead proceeds to apply the law to determine whether or not the defendant's conduct created liability for the defendant.

I was in a hearing in Bountiful a few months ago.  The defendant, Russ, kept arguing that my client's conduct constituted a breach of federal and state statutes pertaining to residential mortgage lenders.  The judge asked him to explain the factual circumstances underlying his claim.  Russ explained that my client, The Bank, had failed to comply with Statute Q.  The judge asked what The Bank did that violated Statute Q, and Russ said that The Bank had failed to re-publish the notice of the foreclosure sale when it was postponed.  The judge responded that The Bank was not required to re-publish.  Russ disagreed, so the court walked him through the statute.  Russ still disagreed.  The judge then said "Let's move on to the next claim."  And so it went.  With each claim presented by Russ against The Bank, the court explained that what Russ was claiming was a violation of a statute was not a violation.  And the end of it all the judge found in favor of my client.  Russ was angry.  Very angry.  As in Smac-waited-in-the-hallway-with-the-armed-sheriff's-deputies-until-they-confirmed-that-Russ-had-driven-out-of-the-courthouse-parking-lot angry.

Great story and adverb. I enjoy hearing these stories about your cases.

Even if both parties did agree to the facts of the case and agreed to a summary judgment, both parties would be given the opportunity to argue their respective positions on how the law should be interpreted and applied, right?  That is all Jeremy was trying to do.  Jeremy's first question was for President Ivans to read the full definition of apostasy.  His reason for doing so was clear--he wanted to compare his actions to the definition of apostasy so that he could argue that his actions didn't constitute apostasy.  I suppose that if this were in the civil arena, the lawyer would simply quote the passage to the judge and argue his case, rather than call a witness and have the witness read the passage.  But given the fact that this rule of procedure was never explained to Jeremy and that he was forbidden from having legal representation, you can forgive him for the blunder. 

However, your analogy doesn't change the fact that Jeremy never admitted to misconduct, nor does it change the fact that President Ivans told Jeremy in the official notification of the council, "you may call witnesses."  President Ivans never made a motion for summary judgment, never asked Jeremy if he agreed to or denied the facts of the case, never let him respond to the motion for a summary judgment, and never said that one would be made. 

Furthermore, your "summary judgment" analogy isn't really analogous.  The Handbook says, "If the member admits to misconduct," not, "if the member agrees with the facts of the case." A better analogy would be that admitting to misconduct is like pleading guilty, and number 5 is like the sentencing part of the trial.

 

11 hours ago, smac97 said:

The problem with Russ was that he presumed, incorrectly, that he, not the judge, got to decide not only what the facts of the case were, but also what legal conclusions could be drawn from those facts.

Don't be ridiculous.  Jeremy wanted to make his case for how the rules should be interpreted and applied to the matter at hand.  Lawyers are allowed to argue their cases without being accused of usurping the judge's authority, are they not? 

 

11 hours ago, smac97 said:

I cannot help but note the weirdness of your complaint against the SP.  You are suggesting that he violated the procedures set forth in the Handbook by letting Mr. Runnells speak.  You are faulting him for doing this.  I dispute this suggestion, but even if it is true, the SP violated the Handbook procedures in a way favorable to Mr. Runnells by letting him speak.  And yet you are faulting him for that.  Doesn't that strike you as a bit . . . odd?

I don't fault the Stake President for giving Jeremy 45 minutes to say what he wanted to say.  I just note that like almost everything else that was and was not said, this detail was not consistent with your theory that Jeremy admitted to misconduct and therefore the proceedings were to proceed to number 5.

 

11 hours ago, smac97 said:

So the only way he could be a whistleblower was for him to break his word?  Really?

I never said nor implied that.

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2 hours ago, Rico said:

Now the Lord Jesus himself is Yahweh, the very same God who gave the Law to Moses (John 1:1-3; 8:58). He knows the penalty for adultery is death, and he knows the woman is guilty of it.  But the same Law he gave also requires witnesses, and those witnesses who accused her have all abandoned their failed cause.  Without witnesses, the Law cannot convict.  Therefore, if the Lord Jesus himself who gave the Law will not execute the death penalty against her without witnesses, although he knows she deserved it, why should any man say witnesses are not needed?

Don't you think that Jesus by saying:  "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." already had the required witnesses?   Those scribes and Pharisees had captured the poor woman and forced her in front of Jesus and made outright statements in public accusing her of adultery.  They presented themselves as witnesses and made their statements.  Jesus seems to have accepted the witness statements and indicated His willingness for the penalty to be carried out.  With the caveat that those who have NOT committed adultery be the first to cast stones.

I am not sure why Jesus stooped down to write on the ground.  Did He actually write down the required procedures mandated by the Mosaic Law for conducting a trial?  Did the accusers make a mockery of the process?  Did they see Jesus' writings and saw that He knew the Law better than they did?  Were they a bunch of Jeremy Runnels?

2 hours ago, Rico said:

That is why the final statement by the Lord is: "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."  Without witnesses, the Lord will not condemn.

Or maybe the Lord knew the circumstances of her entire life.  Maybe she was a victim through no fault of her own.  Maybe she had been forced into a life of prostitution by wicked men.  Jesus had authority to ACT on His own and rendered MERCY to the poor lady.

3 hours ago, Rico said:

Those who say that dispensing witnesses, or that witnesses are not needed, are confusing the teachings of the Lord with other man-made doctrines, laws made by error-prone human beings, and their own faulty opinions.  They are doing grave harm by misleading others.  This is not the way of the Lord.

Smac97 has made a very cogent description of the legal process in civil courts and also the procedures for church disciplinary hearings.  You appear to not have comprehension of the points he has made.

The purpose of DC was to give Jeremy Runnels a formal process to consider the charge of apostasy.  My understanding is he could admit to the charge or try to clarify his statements.  He did NOT need witnesses.  He was his OWN witness.  His writings, his speeches, his activist agenda were reviewed.  He did not appear to deny any of it.   The DC is NOT the place for agitation and argument.  His only desire was to stage a propaganda event to try to embarrass the church.  The objective of DC was met, the Church needed to "disassociate" the teachings of Jeremy Runnels and to remove him from "good standing" in the membership.

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On 4/17/2016 at 9:54 PM, Russell C McGregor said:

Maybe it was misreported.

But if it's reported correctly, it sounds like he sees himself as his own ultimate authority.

Which isn't unlikely, given what else I've seen from him.

But who, having read his laundry list of recycled anti-Mormon talking points, is going to swallow the claim that it  "represents Runnells' sincere attempt to obtain answers to legitimate questions and doubts through proper church leadership channels?"

 

Maybe it wouldn't be "recycled anti-Mormon talking points" if LDS authorities addressed them. A question remains legitimate until it is met with an equally legitimate answer. If you want valid questions to be asked, get into a valid church.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Quinton R Ford said:

Maybe it wouldn't be "recycled anti-Mormon talking points" if LDS authorities addressed them. A question remains legitimate until it is met with an equally legitimate answer. If you want valid questions to be asked, get into a valid church.

The person who wrote that old (more than three years ago) message no longer posts here, so don’t expect him to reply to you. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Quinton R Ford said:

Maybe it wouldn't be "recycled anti-Mormon talking points" if LDS authorities addressed them. A question remains legitimate until it is met with an equally legitimate answer. If you want valid questions to be asked, get into a valid church.

Hey, Jeremy, before you go trolling old posts about yourself (because no one cares about you anymore), remember that you have been fully exposed and excoriated for the dishonest way the CES Letter frames alleged issues.  If you haven't seen it, go watch the recent FairMormon Conference in 2019 in which Scott Gordon completely exposes you (reminds us) for the fraud that you are.

Further, I was always so curious how someone can demand answers to "sincere" questions, and then appoint an editorial board to expound on the "sincere" questions that are dishonestly represented as having been asked by a CES director and never answered.

If you want the greatest anachronism of all, it's the content of the CES Letter itself--written AFTER it was purportedly posed to CES.  Dishonest and poorly crafted from top to bottom.

A question only deserves an answer if the question is legitimate.  Not so with the CES Letter.

Edited by PacMan
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12 minutes ago, PacMan said:

Hey, Jeremy, before you go trolling old posts about yourself (because no one cares about you anymore), remember that you have been fully exposed and excoriated for the dishonest way the CES Letter frames alleged issues.  If you haven't seen it, go watch the recent FairMormon Conference in 2019 in which Scott Gordon completely exposes you (reminds us) for the fraud that you are.

Further, I was always so curious how someone can demand answers to "sincere" questions, and then appoint an editorial board to expound on the "sincere" questions that are dishonestly represented as having been asked by a CES director and never answered.

If you want the greatest anachronism of all, it's the content of the CES Letter itself--written AFTER it was purportedly posed to CES.  Dishonest and poorly crafted from top to bottom.

Classic.  Don't address the content, just go after the messenger.  

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Quinton R Ford said:

Maybe it wouldn't be "recycled anti-Mormon talking points" if LDS authorities addressed them.

I don't buy this.  I think our critics will be recycling their grievances until the end of days.  2 Timothy 3:7 comes to mind: "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Yep.

By way of evidence, I point to the Church's Gospel Topics essays, which are routinely ignored by our critics, and which address many "anti-Mormon talking points" that continue to be "recycled."

Quote

A question remains legitimate until it is met with an equally legitimate answer.

I don't buy this, either.  A question posed in bad faith is not "legitimate."  And a person asking questions in bad faith is not situated to be the arbiter of whether answers to those questions are "legitimate."

The real issue, I think, is not that you have not received answers, but that you have, and you just don't like them, or else cannot meaningfully respond to them.

Quote

If you want valid questions to be asked, get into a valid church.

I do not know what this means.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Classic.  Don't address the content, just go after the messenger.  

Well, they don't really have much else, IMO.  This has been addressed many times here before, but there is not much that Runnells got wrong regarding the substance of his facts (other than minor nit picking from what I've seen).  One can certainly attack and disagree with his conclusions and his method or motives.  But most avoid discussing the actual substance of the letter.

One can also not dispute how effective this letter has been at causing members to have issues and even leave the church after reading it and then doing more research on their own.  It's been sad to see....

I have read that Scott Gordon choked up and got emotional at the Fair conference as he talked about how effective this letter has been as an "anti-Mormon" proselyting tool.  He talked about how many people have left and that families have broken up or been very hurt because of it.  

I would love to hear his presentation and see if he really has found some significant errors in the letter because I have not seen any as of yet (other than minor mistakes and many of those are now corrected from what I understand).  

 

Edited by ALarson
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