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Is a Mormon disciplinary council really called a "court of love?"
The term "court of love" was used in a general conference talk by Elder Robert L. Simpson in 1972.  At that time, disciplinary councils were referred to as "priesthood courts." The purpose of these courts was not to convict someone of a crime, but rather to help the person on the road to repentance and bring them back into full fellowship in the Church. Elder Simpson noted:
Priesthood courts of the Church are not courts of retribution. They are courts of love. Oh, that members of the Church could understand this fact.
The phrase "court of love" has become a favorite phrase of ex-Mormon critics as a way to mockingly describe any Church disciplinary council. The term is rarely used among active Latter-day Saints. The term has even made it into popular media: One example is a reference made by a character in an HBO series to a pending disciplinary proceeding that she (quite seriously) referred to as a "love court."
- [note] Robert L. Simpson, "Courts of Love," Ensign (Jul 1972), 48. off-site
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