Why go to a "Membership Council?"

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deacon blues
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Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by deacon blues » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:22 am

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer face church "disciplinary councils," and will not be "disfellowshipped" or "excommunicated" because of new terminology.

Instead, after changes to the world-wide church's handbook of instructions for the organization's leaders, members with their membership in question will be called to "Church membership councils," according to the information published at the Church's newsroom website. It says:

As before, these councils are an expression of love, hope and concern, designed to help Latter-day Saints through their repentance process.
Instead of being "disfellowshipped," members are given "formal membership restrictions." Excommunication, or being removed from the organization, is labeled a "withdrawal of membership." The action is the most serious spiritual action the organization can take against a person. It removes their membership and renders ordinances they have participated in -- such as baptism or temple ceremonies -- void. The process of regaining membership is also outlined.

The handbook was released Wednesday as a digital-only guide — with some exceptions — that is accessible online and will be updated "regularly," according to its introduction.

Netasha Helfer's membership was "withdrawn" by her leaders. I'm confused. As I've watched the process I've wondered, "What do the new labels for Church Courts mean?" and "What is advanced by poking the the Church/Hornet's Nest with actions or writings that cause the "Strengthening the Members Committee" or individual Stake presidents to convene these courts?"
The rebranding is probably some kind of effort by the Church to de-escalate and/or de-emphasize the publicity surrounding these events. It certainly hasn't clarified anything- at least for me.
God is Love. God is Truth

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jfro18
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by jfro18 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:25 am

Yeah this is 100% about how to avoid bad PR for excommunicating someone, but the problem is that the effects are the same with a different word.

I'm not sure what they think they're going to accomplish here because the rest of the world doesn't give a flying #$% about the church's terminology, and whatever coverage Natasha gets will not look much different than when the church called it excommunication.

I'd go to a council if I was ever called just because they'd have to listen to me for an hour, but otherwise yeah... who cares... they have no power over me so why give them the satisfaction.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:58 am

I read through her excommunication letter and the last page outlines what “membership withdrawal” looks like.

It says she can’t pay tithing. Is that new? In previous letters I’ve seen it suggested you could still pay tithing. Just no garments, TR, callings or participation in church.

Ok, so I just googled a few letters. Apparently that has been in there for awhile. Sam & Kate’s letters both day no tithes.

I must have been thinking of older ones that said it was ok to still pay.

To answer your post Deacon, I think there are valid reasons to attend a council if your belief system is still in tact. Some go because they believe and are repentant. Some go for publicity. I’m assuming many don’t go.

Personally at this point in my life I wouldn’t bother attending any type of meeting. But I’m not a public dissenter with an agenda so don’t anticipate any type of disciplinary action unless they start to come after half assed Mormon discussion board posters.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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nibbler
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by nibbler » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:20 am

Add it to the pile of things that were relabeled but otherwise remained the exact same.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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alas
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by alas » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:22 pm

nibbler wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:20 am
Add it to the pile of things that were relabeled but otherwise remained the exact same.
Should we start calling Nelson a prophet, seer, and relabeler?

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Palerider
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Palerider » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:42 pm

alas wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:22 pm
nibbler wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:20 am
Add it to the pile of things that were relabeled but otherwise remained the exact same.
Should we start calling Nelson a prophet, seer, and relabeler?
Procedure steering regulator?
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Palerider
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Palerider » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:50 pm

What's that saying, "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet"?

I think in the case of the church "A turd by any other name would still stink the same." :oops:
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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2bizE
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by 2bizE » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:26 pm

So, instead of paying tithing to a near trillion dollar corporation, Natasha can support charities that really need the funding? What were the downsides of membership withdrawal?
~2bizE

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wtfluff
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by wtfluff » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:50 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:22 am
I'm confused. As I've watched the process I've wondered, "What do the new labels for Church Courts mean?"
Palerider wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:50 pm
What's that saying, "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet"?
I'm gonna go with: An excommunication by any other name would smell... The Same.

Honestly all we have here is a bunch of tired old coots attempting to maintain the "purity" of their club. A club that is absolutely irrelevant when you take a step back and look at the entirety of humanity. As has been mentioned: Changing names and re-branding changes nothing, and proves the irrelevance.

I hope Natasha can realize how irrelevant the old-coot's club is, put the coots and their club in her rear-view mirror and realize how much better off she is not trying to live up to rules invented by a frontier sex cult that morphed in the the absolute steaming pile that the club is today.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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moksha
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by moksha » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:13 pm

alas wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:22 pm
Should we start calling Nelson a prophet, seer, and relabeler?
Yes.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Not Buying It
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:01 am

While the relabeling is pretty disingenuous, the biggest lie in the whole statement is this one right here:
As before, these councils are an expression of love, hope and concern, designed to help Latter-day Saints through their repentance process.
Even as a true blue believer I always regarded the term "Court of Love" cynically. Church courts have never, ever, ever been anything but a control mechanism to keep the members in line and remind them who is boss. It is an expression of cruelty, oppression, and disrespect for the personal lives of members, controlled completely by men and administered completely without input or feedback of any kind from women.

And you know what this tells us? The Church recognizes Church courts are a problem, but can't bring themselves to let go of one of their favorite control mechanisms. So they do a little rebranding and hope it will fool people.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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moksha
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by moksha » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:17 am

I could be wrong about this, but I thought at some point in the past the Church had formulated guidelines to protect the rights of those undergoing the destructive procedure of excommunication. Now it feels like Juliann Reynolds explaining how BYU can do anything it wants, "because it's private". No need to make this horrendous occasion seem solemn, fair, and caring because the decision had been made before the court even convened.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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alas
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by alas » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:45 am

If they want to relabel, why not go for something more accurate and just as medieval, oh, like witch hunts.

And speaking of medieval, (or is it medi-evil?) all other churches have stopped the practice, even the Catholic Church which was infamous for excommunicating heretics. And most Christian denominations if they don’t like a member, they drop his/her membership, but they don’t pretend to void his/her baptism. No, what the Mormon church is doing is NOT membership withdrawal, it is excommunication. They are trying to make it sound like any other Christian denomination who only counts as members, those who show up and sit in the pews and want to claim membership. They do not void the baptism of any who leave. The Mormon church, with its exclusive claim of proper authority, still wants the power to void the baptism of those who leave membership. That is the difference between excommunication and membership withdrawal, is voiding the Christian baptism. And what the Mormon church is doing is still excommunication, not name removal. They just want the press to think they are nicer than they are.

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Stig
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Stig » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:08 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:01 am
And you know what this tells us? The Church recognizes Church courts are a problem, but can't bring themselves to let go of one of their favorite control mechanisms. So they do a little rebranding and hope it will fool people.
Does it tell us that the church actually recognizes the courts are a problem, or that the the church has an image problem because of the courts. Very different things, IMO.
“Some say he’s wanted by the CIA and that he sleeps upside down like a Bat. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

“Some say that he lives in a tree, and that his sweat can be used to clean precious metals. All we know is he’s called the Stig.”

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jfro18
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by jfro18 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:09 am

alas wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:45 am
They just want the press to think they are nicer than they are.
That's really all you need to know about many of the changes the church has made in recent years.

Blashyrkh
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Blashyrkh » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:23 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:58 am
I read through her excommunication letter and the last page outlines what “membership withdrawal” looks like.

It says she can’t pay tithing. Is that new? In previous letters I’ve seen it suggested you could still pay tithing. Just no garments, TR, callings or participation in church.



And "membership withdrawal is supposed to be a bad thing? How do I get on their radar as a public dissenter?

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moksha
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by moksha » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:48 pm

alas wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:45 am
They just want the press to think they are nicer than they are.
"It's not us who are to blame, it was those Mormons! We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not those other guys."
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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deacon blues
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by deacon blues » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:35 am

moksha wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:13 pm
alas wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:22 pm
Should we start calling Nelson a prophet, seer, and relabeler?
Yes.
This is certainly the next label the Church should correct. ;) :lol:
I want Alas to speak at my funeral. :D :lol:
God is Love. God is Truth

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alas
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by alas » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:57 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:35 am
moksha wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:13 pm
alas wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:22 pm
Should we start calling Nelson a prophet, seer, and relabeler?
Yes.
This is certainly the next label the Church should correct. ;) :lol:
I want Alas to speak at my funeral. :D :lol:
Hey, the very best thing about this pandemic, is that with ten or so people who have died that normally I would have to attend the funeral for, all the funerals have been limited to immediate family or under 50. I don’t like funerals, and although I have been the major person planning 3 of them, I get out of speaking. See, if I make assignments, then I assign somebody else and I don’t have to do it. My husband and I are both opting out of letting them even have one for us. They can do an Irish wake, or have a party, but no funeral.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Why go to a "Membership Council?"

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:52 am

Stig wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:08 am
Not Buying It wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:01 am
And you know what this tells us? The Church recognizes Church courts are a problem, but can't bring themselves to let go of one of their favorite control mechanisms. So they do a little rebranding and hope it will fool people.
Does it tell us that the church actually recognizes the courts are a problem, or that the the church has an image problem because of the courts. Very different things, IMO.
Well, that's a good point. It means they realize the optics are horrible - as for the courts themselves, they have always loved them as a control mechanism.

But as to the original question - why go? To tape it surreptitiously. Clearly the Church fears this, which is why someone needs to do it. No one should ever walk into a Court of Love without intending to tape it secretly. Both because the Church fears it, and because once they get you behind closed doors without a record of what happens the gloves come off, and you have no evidence of anything they said or did. For Pete's sake, if you are ever in one, record it for your own protection.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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