Mormonism and Church discipline

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Mormonism and Church discipline

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responds to these questions

"Church Disciplinary Councils," Gospel Topics (

Bishops and branch presidents and stake, mission, and district presidents have a responsibility to help members overcome transgression through repentance. The most serious transgressions, such as serious violations of civil law, spouse abuse, child abuse, adultery, fornication, rape, and incest, often require formal Church discipline. Formal Church discipline may include restriction of Church membership privileges or loss of Church membership.

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  • Purpose of Church discipline
    Brief Summary: What is the purpose of Church discipline? (Click here for full article)
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  • "Court of Love"
    Brief Summary: Some often refer to a Church disciplinary council as a "Court of Love." Where did this term originate and what does it mean? (Click here for full article)
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  • Publicizing excommunication
    Brief Summary: Why does the Church not publicize the reasons for excommunication? (Click here for full article)
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  • Strengthening Church Members Committee
    Brief Summary: The Strengthening Church Members Committee has been described as a "clipping service" which kept track of public statements by Church members who openly criticized the Church in the media. Although a "clipping service" probably made sense back in 1985, in the internet-rich world of 2013 it seems somewhat anachronistic. Critics of the Church have accused the committee of spying on members in order to move forward with Church discipline. (Click here for full article)
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  • Does the Church excommunicate scholars who publish historical information?
    Brief Summary: Some claim that the Church excommunicates or disfellowships scholars who publish historical information that is embarrassing to Church leaders. It is often claimed, despite the fact that these disciplinary actions are carried out by local leaders, that they are in reality instigated by general authorities. It is also claimed that the Church is silencing honest people for telling the truth. (Click here for full article)
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  • Excommunication of Sonia Johnson
    Brief Summary: Why did church leaders oppose the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the United States? (Click here for full article)
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  • Excommunication of D. Michael Quinn
    Brief Summary: Quinn claims that his excommunication was the direct result of his historical research on the origins of Mormonism. He refused to attend his own disciplinary council, telling his stake president that it was "a process which was designed to punish me for being the messenger of unwanted historical evidence and to intimidate me from further work in Mormon history." (Click here for full article)
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Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims

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