It was very interesting to me that after Kate moved to Utah she received her notice that called her into a disciplinary counsel in her old stake in Virginia. Why were her records being held there instead of moving with her? It just seemed odd to me. So I did some digging…
According to the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI 1 13.6 2010) Only the First Presidency can put a hold on records of a member of the church.
“Membership records include members’ names and addresses, as well as ordinance and other vital information. The ward should have a membership record for each member living within the ward boundaries. Membership records are to be kept in the ward in which the member lives. Exceptions, which should be few, require the consent of the bishops and stake presidents involved and the approval of the Office of the First Presidency. To request an exception, the stake president(s) sends a letter to the Office of the First Presidency for approval.”
Local leaders must have approval of the Office of the First Presidency. So was the Church Newsroom misleading everyone when they said “…In these rare cases, local leaders have the responsibility to clarify false teachings and prevent other members from being misled. Decisions are made by local leaders and not directed or coordinated by Church headquarters” OR were they just misinformed? Or did Kate’s Bishop and Stake President go rogue and not get the approval for the Office of the First Presidency?
I have a hard time believing that this Stake President would take on such a public figure as Kate Kelly without getting guidance from his leaders. Also in Kate’s case she already called a general authority, Donald L. Hallstrom about her moving her records. She was told that he couldn’t move her records, which means that the First Presidency approved of this action.
*It is important to note that the call to Donald L. Hallstrom was made after Kate Kelly was notified of her disciplinary counsel. You could see it as Church Headquarters going along with local leadership and approving to hold the records, BUT Kate Kelly’s “move restriction” was placed on her records before May 5th, way before she was informed that she would be disciplined.
Chapter 6, section 13, subsection 18: “If a member moves while Church disciplinary action or another serious concern is pending, the bishop, or the ward clerk with the bishop’s authorization, may contact Church headquarters or the assigned administrative office and ask for a move restriction on the membership record. A move restriction may also be requested in cases of welfare abuse.
A record that has a move restriction will not be moved to a new unit until the priesthood leader who requested the restriction authorizes it to be removed.”
That apparently only applies to membership records in general in the long term. For pending church discipline, any bishop or ward clerk can request a record be restricted from transfer out of the ward. IIRC, a record held longer than a few months will be questioned by HQ/the administrative office through the MLS software running on the ward’s computer.
Chapter 6, section 13, subsection 18, just a few pages after what you quoted: “If a member moves while Church disciplinary action or another serious concern is pending, the bishop, or the ward clerk with the bishop’s authorization, may contact Church headquarters or the assigned administrative office and ask for a move restriction on the membership record. A move restriction may also be requested in cases of welfare abuse.
A record that has a move restriction will not be moved to a new unit until the priesthood leader who requested the restriction authorizes it to be removed.”
I added that to the blog post.
Interesting. I wonder if part of the reason “The Church” is letting the local leaders take the flack for this is because the brethren didn’t all know this was going to happen–and they don’t agree on how it should be dealt with. Instead admitting that they have some major disagreements–they feel it preferable to just say this is a local issue? Perhaps more “threatening” to the church than anything John and Kate have said or done is the disagreement among the brethren about administrative/doctrinal issues.
Not necessarily. You missed another reference to member records in the section on discipline, which specifically addresses what to do if a member moves while discipline is pending. Essentially, it says that the two bishops confer and decide between themselves whether to transfer her record to the new ward or to keep it in the old while the discipline proceeding in conducted. No mention of the First Presidency, or any other authority in that decision.
I’m not saying that there wasn’t input from higher up in this particular case. I just think your thesis that the handbook proves that there was is wrong.
Do you have an older or newer version of CH1? In the 2010 edition of CH1,page 126 refers to tithing settlement, fast offerings, and missionary funds.
The 2010 Church Handbook 1 (most current as far as I know) contains the following relevant passages
(p. 119) 13.6.18 If a member moves while Church disciplinary action or another serious concern is pending, the Bishop, or the ward clerk with the Bishop’s authorization, may contact Church headquarters or the assigned administrative office and ask for a move restriction on the membership record. A move restriction may also be requested in cases of welfare abuse.
A record restriction will not be moved to a new unit until the priesthood leader who requested the restriction authorizes it to be removed.
(p. 54) 6.2.7 If a member who needs Church discipline moves to another ward before disciplinary action is taken, the bishops of both wards consult to determine where the action should be taken. They consider such matter as the accessibility of key witnesses and the need for continuing efforts to encourage repentance and restoration to full fellowship. IF the bishops determine that the bishop of the former ward should take the disciplinary action, he retains the membership record until the action is taken. Otherwise, he transfers the membership record and confidentially informs the person’s current bishop of the circumstances that warrant Church discipline.
So, it is clear that the Bishop put a move restriction on Kate. It is clear that he needed an authority higher than the Stake President….but not necessarily the First Presidency. Unless of course, your version of the Handbook is more recent than the one I have.
It is online: http://www.provocation.net/chi/chi99.htm#records1 it is between Page 126 and 127. This was from 99.
Ok. I see that. The 1999 edition of the CHurch Handbook of instructions is out of date. There have been at least two new editions since then:2006 and 2010. I do not know if there has been a new one since 2010. First Presidency approval is no longer required for a “move restriction” but approval is needed from a authority that is higher than the Stake President.
I have since updated the post to a more current version. I added a sentence from 2010. Other than that they read the same.
President Eyring stated in a CES fireside years back that when the 15 apostles meet to discuss important matter, there are more often than not vehement, differing opinions voiced, but no action is taken by that highest counsel until all 15 have come to an agreement. In all likelihood, if it has managed to reach their desks, they are not all in agreement as to how to address the excommunication proceedings for Kate and John. I would be surprised if does reach their desks unless Kate and John get excommunicated and choose to escalate a repeal that far up.
For my part, I am attempting to remain silent and see how this all falls out.
Bender, where pray tell is there outlined a procedure to appeal? I don’t think there is one.
I was thinking of D&C 102, specifically verses 24-32. Because the church is much larger, there may be more tiers of escalation before it comes to the 15 apostles, but the appeal process is canonized in that section. I will grant that this section may have be superseded in the passing years, but that section is what I’m basing my thoughts on.
I no longer have the handbook, but the Bishop is required to inform the person that she has the right to an appeal. The Stake President is under the same obligation. I don’t know how far the appeal goes, but it goes somewhere above the stake president, at least to the Area Authority.
I just found it at 6.10.10 in the 2010 version. An appeal from a council held by the Bishop goes to the SP and HC. An appeal from a council held by the SP goes to the FP. A person has 30 days to appeal.
I was already disappointed with the authorities of the church for allowing her bishop to wait until after Kate had moved to call a disciplinary council, and punishing her by demanding that she travel hundreds of miles at her own expense, leaving her family behind, or forego defending herself. But your research makes it apparent that the First Presidency is a direct part of this hardship being thrust at Kate. This is not the kind of example I would hope for from my ecclesiastical leaders.
There is a box you check to put a move restriction on the record.it’s as simple as that.the ward can do it, the stake our HQ can also do it.
Yep. And if a ward clerk attempts to check that box, there is only a text which asks if he has received permission from the bishop.
The world is progressing and unfortunately many of the details of the LDS church haven’t been able to keep up. There is a reason why 2 out of 3 members don’t attend church anymore. Ironically 2 of the people that were keeping members still in the church in the modern world are being kicked out because leaders don’t understand that they are helping.
It’s like the sick dog biting the Vet because he doesn’t understand he’s being helped.
The question I keep wondering is if either of them were so caught of guard by this and upset why wouldn’t they call their respective bishops or stake presidents to discuss it. If I received an email or letter stating I was going to have a disciplinary council and it blindsided me I would immediately call and try and figure out what was going on. I certainly wouldn’t call the New York Times and every major network and start setting up radio and TV interviews. Unless, of course, I wanted the media attention and to be a martyr for my cause more than I wanted to really resolve the issue. Interesting to think about anyways.
When the public eye has been on you, for good or ill and a powerful organization has turned its gaze upon you it would only be practical to seek other powerful allies to get the story out to protect yourself from any abuses. Calling the NY times, and such seems like a practical move rather than a plea for attention. It is incredibly hard to take on large organizations like the LDS church without the help of other powerful outlets, such as the media.
You talk about the church like it is some powerful organization that is trying to wrongfully terminate Kelly. That is just not the case. This is a church; which, at the end of the day, has every right to decide who can be a member in good standing and who cannot. If Kelly is in opposition to the will of the lord, which we believe to be delivered through the brethren, then the church has every right and reason to discipline her. That is not “abuse” it is called consequence. As much as God and His apostles love us, without receiving consequences for our actions there is no way to grow. Kate Kelly should just be humble enough and teachable enough to learn and grow from this experience. NOBODY wants to silence her or her concerns, but we all need to understand that there are appropriate ways to seek answers and help with our concerns. I think most would agree that protesting your own church’s meetings and turning to traditionally unfriendly media for support don’t fall under the appropriate category. You would think for someone who claims to have so much faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints she would never want to shine a negative light on the church.
Very well stated!
Can I tell you how disenfranchising it is to realize Kate Kelly is being “administered” to according to a set of instructions in a handbook to which she cannot have legal access, simply because she is not a man in a position of authority? As a woman, it’s very disheartening to know my eternal salvation is administered according to a set of rules I will never be able to see and read.
@ Melynda The handbook is accessible to all as far as I know. I am a woman and I have it (handbook 2 :administering the church 2010 version) it might even be online I haven’t looked though.
Church Handbook 1 is not available to all.
I think this is more for allowing people in a ward, such as the mentally ill woman who has a support group in my parents ward, but lives outside of the boundaries. You are stating your theory as it must be fact, but in reality, she’s living TEMPORARILY in Utah before she moves to Kenya, so odds are, she hasn’t asked for her records to be transferred yet as she hasn’t moved to her permanent ward yet.
Her records were put “on hold” before she even moved.
I may have missed something, but my understanding is that at the May 5th meeting with her Stake President she received informal probation, a temporary state, and told that it would escalate if she did not cease certain actions. She did not cease and, as she was told to expect if she did not cease, she received notice of a disciplinary council.
She moved out of her ward May 22 and will be moving to a permanent residence mid July. Does she have a semi permanent residence in the interim? Apparently her former bishop and stake president do not know what it is since it was necessary to contact her via email.
In the world of Skype, she can be there and speak in her own behalf as easily as I can have a job interview in another state or an area coordinating council can be trained by members of the 12. If she chooses not to do so, it is a choice she is making. Just as she chose to continue actions which she was told would trigger an escalation beyond informal probation.
I have followed this case fairly closely since I became aware of it. Ms Kelly expresses shock at her excommunication, acting as though she never saw it coming.
I don’t believe it.
She was warned, and told to cease her activities in regards to pushing for the ordination of women,or face discipline. Obviously, she refused to do so.
Before the last general priesthood conference, she was told that women would not be allowed to attend, and to not create a gathering of Ordain Women at the conference. She did so, anyway.
It was actions on her part like the above mentioned, that got her in trouble, as she had previously been warned would happen.
The church gave her every chance, in my opinion, to comply with the rules. She chose not to, and now has paid the price of her refusal. I feel sad that she chose that course of action, but I have no sympathy for her and the situation she deliberately placed herself in.
Ms Kelly has stated in a recent blog: “Let me be perfectly clear: what happened to me was wrong. It was abusive. It was unfair. It was unacceptable.”
To Ms Kelly, I would say, you brought it upon yourself.
The church did the right thing.
I’ve listened to the entire 3 interviews.
I’m left to wonder, why Kate would want to be a part of such an organization.
The foundation of the Church is based upon control and misrepresenting the facts so that people are kept in line.
There was a comment Neil made about “if there’s a place in heaven for the likes of Joseph Smith for his transgressions, then there ought to be room for the rest of us.”
George Bernard Shaw said “Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
The Church has a dogma that is pretty solid and they haven’t had any new ideas since the Church was organized. The concept of women holding the priesthood given the lack of Priesthood in some areas may be a natural consequence to let women participate in some of the rituals under the direction of the Priesthood. without actually giving it to them. I recall a few quotes… “Pioneers get their wagons burnt.” William Golding said, “I think women are foolish in thinking they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.” Marriage of gays in the temples, and dogs sleeping with cats will be the next progressive issues.