February 19, 2018

Mormon church excommunicates member of general authority

10 August 2017, 02:22 | Rufus Hill

LDS Church excommunicates general authority

LDS Church releases, excommunicates Elder James J. Hamula

The announcement Tuesday of James Hamula's excommunication from the LDS church while serving as a General Authority was particularly noteworthy because of how rarely it occurs.

Hamula became a member the General Authority Seventy in 2008.

It is the first time in almost 30 years that the LDS Church has had to discipline a top leader through excommunication and sources told both The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News that the 59-year-old married father of six was not dismissed for "apostasy or disillusionment".

Other reasons listed for excommunicating leaders in the church handbook include adultery, burglary, embezzlement, spousal abuse and "homosexual relations", according to The Washington Post.

'All church discipline is carried out in complete confidence, ' according to an article on the church's official Mormon Newsroom website. "Rebaptism is necessary in such cases".

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) excommunicated General Authority James J. Hamula Tuesday, the first excommunication of a high official in more than 28 years. Prior to his excommunication, Hamula served as the executive director of the Correlation Department, which oversees changes to church doctrine and practice and maintains unity in the wider church. He received his bachelor's degree in political science and philosophy in 1981 from church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Hamula practiced law from 1985 until 2008. They are the parents of six children.

Addressing Mormons worldwide during one of the faith's twice-yearly general conferences in October 2014, Hamula talked about communion and Christ's atonement. "Those who have lost their LDS Church membership may continue to attend public Church meetings, though they are restricted in their participation in the same way as someone who has been disfellowshipped", the LDS Church explained.

Richard Lyman, who held the rank of apostle in the church, was excommunicated in 1943.

"My heart is with Elder Hamula and his family because it's just so humiliating to not only have all the allegations but speculations spread across the world about what may or may not be the cause of the excommunication", Mormon Stories podcast host John Dehlin told FOX 13.

Any serious moral transgression from a General Authority results in a disciplinary council, which can then lead to excommunication. "It leaves the door open for a potential rebaptism and restoration of blessings", Riess wrote in a column for Religion News Service.

"I put my trust in this person".

"Some things are private and deserve to remain private: loss of faith, for example. What happened to betray that trust?"

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