|Nadine Hansen, Kate Kelly and other from Ordain Women on their way to Temple Square in April 2014. (Credit: SLTrib.com)|
When Ordain Women protested the October 2013 General Conference, that was one thing. When they did again in April, it was clear they weren't just asking the question. They were demanding change. Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a very specific talk on Priesthood in April. Seems like an answer to the question, but I know there were many women bothered by it. ("We're an appendage?")
There are basics that the Church should recognize, should re-evalutate. It's the difference between the culture and the doctrine, and I think this is going to keep coming up. For example, how often does Pres. Monson meet with the General Relief Society President? Don't really know. But we do know that the Relief Society was never consulted when it came to the Sunday School plans to study a prophet each year, nor were they consulted when The Family: A Proclamation to the World came out. (See the Greg Prince interview with Chieko Okazaki).
Now I've never known public shaming get the Church to change its doctrine, or even policy. And when you see how Ordain Women had created their own discussions to try to convert others to their cause, well, what did Kelly think would happen?
When I read the letter from her bishop where they excommunicated her, he makes it clear that he and the stake president had talked to her about OW and tried to dissuade her. But there's some conflict as far as the timeline goes between what Kelly says and what her bishop says. She did say that she told her bishop in December that she was moving in May.
Now when she moved, why didn't he just write a letter expressing his concerns to her new bishop and just wash his hands of it? She wasn't in his congregation anymore. Holding her records and putting her on probation right after she moved reeks of passive-aggressive behavior. Instead of letting her new leader deal with it, he escalated it by holding a court for her now that she was a couple thousand miles away.
I listened to the first 20 minutes of her interview on Feminist Mormon Housewives podcast which she gave a few days ago. She called the bishop's actions cowardly and un-Christlike, among other things. She called it an abusive process. If anyone in the disciplinary council listened to it, that would have sealed her fate. (But why? Egos?)
To give more information on this matter, here's a brief from Nadine Hansen submitted to the stake president and bishop on why Kelly should not be excommunicated. Here's Kelly's own argument. And here is the bishop's full response on Kelly's excommunication and what she'd need to do to return to the Church.
It comes down to access. As someone pointed out to me, how can women ask their questions? It's not like Emma Smith's day where she could just go to Joseph and say "All this tobacco spit is gross in the Church; can you inquire of the Lord what we can do about it?" You can't ask the First Presidency or the Apostles questions. How cool would it be to have Pres. Monson give a General Conference talk where he just answered members' questions? "These are some questions I've been asked, and I inquired of the Lord, and here is what His will is on these matters." Joseph Smith used to do it all the time.
1. Why aren't sections regularly added to the Doctrine & Covenants? Revelations seemed to slow down after Joseph Smith, and all we've had in the past 130 years is Section 138 and Official Declarations 1 & 2. Is there no revelation received by Heber J. Grant or Gordon B. Hinckley or most of the other prophets worthy of being included?
2. How often does Pres. Monson actually meet with Christ?
3. Will we ever get more information on Heavenly Mother? It's a widely accepted concept that seems to have originated from a song lyric by Eliza R. Snow.
Anyway, this is national news. I'm guessing this gets appealed to the First Presidency, one way or the other.