Disciplinary Councils

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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SamBee
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Disciplinary Councils

Post by SamBee » 04 Oct 2017, 15:40

In my new calling I am going to have to sit in on church courts. Not sure how I am going to handle this. Some people deserve to be excommunicated, others less so.

Any advice?

(Admin Note): Sheldon is right in his comment below, but it goes beyond me disliking the term. I changed the title of this post, because the term "Court of Love" is used almost exclusively now in a mocking, dismissive, derisive way. I know Sam didn't intend that usage, but most people reading it will automatically read it that way. They are disciplinary councils / courts, so I changed the title to reflect that. I hope you understand, Sam.)
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Sheldon
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by Sheldon » 04 Oct 2017, 15:52

If you are a counselor, then you’ll get to ask questions, and the Bishop “should” ask you for your opinion. Just be honest, tell it like you see it. Ask good questions. Also, remind the bishop during deliberations that it is better to error on the side of compassion than the other way. It will go much better for him (The Bishop) at the judgment bar!

If you are ward clerk, then you just take notes and generally don’t say anything, although I’ve seen Bishops that ask the clerk also his opinion.

(BTW, Ray does not like the name “Court of Love”!)

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SamBee
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by SamBee » 05 Oct 2017, 03:03

I don't know the official name for them. I've never been near one. I don't look forward to being in one. (Terminology has never been my thing in the church!)

I spoke to a previous holder of the calling who said he had attended twenty! Wow! Bit shocked it was so high.

If someone's ex'd for sexual harassment/molestation or stealing money, fair enough... not looking forward to youngsters who've slipped up, gays etc.

Does anyone ever get let off or acquitted?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by LookingHard » 05 Oct 2017, 06:52

Yes. I think there are options for excommunication, disfellowshiping, probation, and no action.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciplin ... e_outcomes

It is a shame that members would have to go to wikipedia to get information about their own church.

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dande48
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by dande48 » 05 Oct 2017, 10:55

I think the purpose of the court is to
1. Verify the act on trial
2. Determine "spiritual standing" in conjunction with the sin comitted
3. Interpret the letter of the law.

For example, there are plenty of people who get falsely accused of sexual harassment, assault, etc. There is also a big difference (in the Church) between someone endowed who comitted adultry (having made higher convenants), and someone who was only baptized.

For a third example, I have a friend who's mother comitted adultry. After being caught, she to the bishop, and with free-flowing tears confessed and "repented" of her sins. My friend's dad felt he was betrayed, and could no longer trust her. He divorced her, and married another member outside the temple. The Bishop in turn had the father disfellowshipped for "adultry" for divorcing his wife and marrying another, because his ex-wife had fully repented, which invalidated his reason for divorcing her in the first place. As the scriptures state, if you put away your wife for any reason but adultry, you've comitted adultry yourself... and his wife's slate had been wiped clean by the Church.

Sam, you're going to have a blast. Your stake is lucky to have you on council.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Oct 2017, 12:44

For the record, in case anyone reading this thread doesn't know, the Bishop in dande48's comment was not following church policy when he initiated formal disciplinary action against the husband who divorced and remarried. The LDS Church does NOT demand or encourage that action.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Oct 2017, 12:48

They are "councils" for a reason. (Not "courts" as I originally corrected it. I was rushing and made an important mistake.) They are supposed to be groups that really do consider both sides and multiple options and influence, collectively, the final decision.

There is not supposed to be any pre-determined course of action, but, when the situation is understood clearly and includes a confession, the presiding authorities often go into the councils with a response in mind.

However, I have seen more cases than people might imagine where the presiding authority came into the council with one course of action in mind and changed their mind as a result of the council.

In councils at the Stake level, where negative consequences are being considered, half of the council participates initially by acting kind of as supporters of one side, while the other half participate initially as acting kind of as supporters of the other side (even if the only "sides" are disciplinary action vs. no such action).

I have had callings on four occasions that put me on disciplinary councils - and I have been asked to participate other times when someone who naturally would participate was unable to attend. I have been involved in some painful councils. I have been involved in some wonderful, deeply spiritual councils. I have been involved in some cut-and-dried councils, where the outcome was obvious to everyone. I have been involved in some difficult, complicated councils where people on the councils disagreed, individually, about what should be done. You might or might not experience all of those situations, but they all happen.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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dande48
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by dande48 » 05 Oct 2017, 14:27

For the record, in case anyone reading this thread doesn't know, the Bishop in dande48's comment was not following church policy when he initiated formal disciplinary action against the husband who divorced and remarried. The LDS Church does NOT demand or encourage that action.
The SP enforced it. According to the SP, he's still disfellowshipped until he divorces his current wife and remarries his ex. It's been that way for the past 7 years or so; he wasn't allowed to baptize or bless his own children, take the sacrament, or serve in the Church. I really think he should just move, but on the local level the SP's word is law. You can elevate it, but 99% of the time it'll just get redirected to the local level. Somehow, the man still stays active in Church.

I do think they circumvented the courts in his instance, but it is one of the biggest reasons why we should have and use the council.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by SamBee » 05 Oct 2017, 16:41

What percentage of the accused turn up to their own hearings would you say?

I'm glad to hear some people end up getting let off, this at least allays any "kangaroo court" fears I have. We have a former bishop here who was subjected to terrible false accusations by a couple of members who have since left. So unfair! He is a lovely man and largely inactive and practically atheist as a consequence of this. (I got to know him a bit by playing soccer with him.)

Any such case is sad - whether false or true. Some do need to be dealt with.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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nibbler
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Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Disciplinary Councils

Post by nibbler » 05 Oct 2017, 16:56

dande48, that story sounds insane. There must be more to it?

Regardless, I've got to hope that it would take an AA less than 2 seconds to see how wrong that is.

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