Kate Kelly: Stand By, Not With

ConferenceIt’s been a few, raw days since we all heard the news about Kate Kelly. Since then some rather disturbing facts have come to light – things that her followers should find alarming. So here’s my question to those who are still hanging on to her cause: Will you still stand with Kate, even though she’s been excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? If your answer is yes, then I beg of you to reconsider what that decision means and how it might critically affect your own personal journey of faith – if that’s important to you. Is it? I hope you know that if you were to decide to not stand with Kate it would be perfectly okay for you to stand ‘by’ her; there’s a difference.

To stand with is to agree and desire to defend a person because you believe in them and their cause. For instance, I stand with Jesus Christ; His Prophet and the Church He organized through the Prophet of the Restoration, Joseph Smith Jr. I stand with them because I have a deep and abiding testimony that this work is true and that an inspired prophet of God leads it.

So if you’re determined to continue to stand with Kate Kelly, why? What has she done for you? And please don’t give her credit for teaching you a better understanding of the priesthood and how you fit in. What she advocates about LDS women and the priesthood is contrary to the doctrine of the Church. There is a quote from Elder Ballard that says “Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce” (M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers, October 1999).

Why would you stand with someone who has lost her birthright by choosing a mess of pottage, so to speak? If you’ve been prompted to study more about priesthood power and authority, it’s because God has taken opposition to His work and used it in His favor. He’s inspired you to seek revelation, not Kate Kelly. Remember, if it comes from God it is good… you know the rest. (Moroni 7:12)

So, a little opposition to your faith has caused you to flex your spiritual muscles and you’re now better educated, and thus your testimony of the priesthood has been increased. That’s great. But again, please don’t credit the works of an apostate, other than acknowledging that perhaps this situation may be similar to the way the Lord used the Lamanites to be a scourge to the Nephites. It caused them to remember Him. Isn’t He brilliant? (2 Nephi 5: 25) General ConferenceYou just have to know and trust that no unhallowed hand can stop the work of salvation from going forward. (Joseph Smith)

Let’s make sure that no matter what, we are choosing to be on the Lord’s side and standing with Him, always. No individual has a right to divide our loyalty, which belongs only to Jesus Christ.

But again, we don’t need to abandon Kate because we’ve decided to not stand with her any longer, because we can still stand by Kate (a much better alternative). To stand by a person is to commit to not letting them walk alone and to support them through their trials. This is a great show of loyalty. Therefore, I submit that for many who share a deep compassion for Kate Kelly during these trying times, whether we agree with what she is doing, how she is doing it, what she believes, or even think her an apostate to the Church, we can choose to stand by Kate.

We can stand by Kate to support her efforts to return to Christ and reclaim her membership in the Church. We can stand by Kate and encourage her to follow the counsel of inspired leaders who deeply care about her spiritual progress. We can stand by Kate and teach her by example to trust in the Lord, that His ways are higher than her ways. We can stand by Kate until we can once again, with the blessings of the Lord, stand with Kate as one in Christ – the intended purpose of LDS Church discipline.

As the mother of five raised children and a former seminary teacher, I learned to value the principle that the best teacher is an excellent student. Kelly had garnered a position of leadership/teacher to Mormon women who at times have felt marginalized in the Church for one reason or another (and not because they necessarily desire female ordination). I know this, because many have shared these thoughts with me. Unfortunately, what many of you were led to believe was okay (to publicly advocate for or align yourselves with) have been clearly determined to be acts of apostasy. And, depending on your circumstances, if you plan on continuing, you could potentially meet the same fate as Kate.

It is no longer advisable to consider Kate a leader among women of covenant. Sadly, she’s not. She is clearly misguided in how to petition the Lord and His Prophet. Her cause was never about asking faithful questions. Please don’t be fooled. She believes she knows better than a Prophet of God and has the answer about women and priesthood. Ordain Women advocates a relentless determination to force their will on the Lord’s Prophet. These acts place her and her followers in open rebellion to the Church, its leaders and therefore God.

Kate Kelly has publicly stated that she will continue Ordain Women and has no regrets as to how she has conducted herself up to this point – even when the Church has clearly stated that her actions are divisive. In fact, her most recent counsel to Mormon feminists who share her concerns about inequality in the Church and/or a desire for female ordination is this: Stay in the Church, but raise hell. Margaret Toscano Ordain WomenI don’t know about you, but that’s not a message that is inspired of God.

It might surprise some to know that Ms. Kelly has been mentored throughout the entire journey of organizing and carrying out the work of Ordain Women by a fairly well-known woman by the name of Margaret Toscano. Toscano used to be a member of the Church until she, too, was excommunicated for advocating for female priesthood ordination. Do you see a pattern here? Follow an apostate and you will very likely end up in the same place. Is that what you want? I hope not.

For many years I thought this temple recommend question odd, not understanding it’s importance, and so I just answered “no” and moved on: Do you support, affiliate, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? I now understand what this means in terms of apostates and guarding against personal apostasy. If we affiliate and sympathize with apostates or those whose beliefs are contrary to the teachings of the Church, it usually means that we won’t understand why they were excommunicated or disciplined. Rather, we would think their acts have been misjudged or misunderstood. It means we don’t “get it” and that’s a precarious place to be when it comes to being determined to keeping covenants. In the age of the Internet, with so many alternate voices even within our own Church membership, that temple question could very well become more relevant.

Do you feel Kate Kelly is misunderstood? Do you feel her priesthood leaders were wrong to excommunicate her? If you answered yes to either, or both, that’s probably a red flag and early warning sign. It should concern you that perhaps your faith in Jesus Christ is wavering and that you might be going down the same path. I don’t know. But what I do know is that if you sincerely care about making sure you keep your covenants with God, you may want to reconsider your associations with these groups and prayerfully be determined to realign your will with our Heavenly Father.

Woman in prayer If you have questions that you find difficult to ask in Church settings, then please consider taking them straight to the Lord and then heading into the scriptures. This is the approach that prophets and apostles model and counsel us to do, and it is what our Heavenly Father and the Savior want us to do. The temple is an excellent place to receive revelation. Take your questions to the temple, and accompany these questions by much prayer and fasting. The Lord will speak to you and tell you what will help you better understand. I’ve had this experience many times. He may even give you the answer you seek. At the very least, He will speak peace to your heart and give you His Grace that will enable you to bear your burdens with gladness.

We will never find the answers to our deepest questions in a blog post, on Facebook, or in an online forum—and especially not among those who hold contrary feelings toward the Church or its doctrine. So, if those are some of the places you’ve been looking for answers, or support, perhaps you might want to reconsider your strategy and turn directly to the Lord. Trust Him completely. He is your Eternal Father and cares infinitely about your well-being and eternal happiness.

Each of us can carve out a space for ourselves within our individual wards or branches. We do this by taking a humble approach and realizing that most people are in need of others to help them feel comfortable. Our divine differences can be celebrated. We don’t need to find people who think and feel exactly as we do in order to find community among our sisters in the gospel. The gospel makes us one.

If you’ve been away for a while, come back! If you’re thinking of leaving, please don’t! If you’re hurting, the Atonement can heal your heart. If you feel some cultural things in the Church could benefit from some changes, there is still a place for you. Give your fellow Church members a second chance to help you know that you are valued, loved and wanted. There is no ideal, perfect “cookie cutter” Mormon woman. The only idea that we need to desire more than anything else is to keep our covenants with God. You belong and we will stand with you. And together, we will stand for—and with—Jesus Christ.

“Let not any voices of discontent disturb you. Let not the critics worry you. As Alma declared long ago, “Trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments.” “As surely as this is the work of the Lord, there will be opposition. There will be those, perhaps not a few, who with the sophistry of beguiling words and clever design will spread doubt and seek to undermine the foundation on which this cause is established. They will have their brief day in the sun. They may have for a brief season the plaudits of the doubters and the skeptics and the critics. But they will fade and be forgotten as have their kind in the past. Meanwhile, we shall go forward, regardless of their criticism, aware of but undeterred by their statements and actions. Said the Lord even before the Church was organized: ““Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”” Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, God Is at the Helm, April 1994.

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About Kathryn Skaggs

Latter-day Saint Women Stand, Founder. Kathryn's online work includes blogging at 'Latter-day Saint Woman' sharing personal thoughts about her faith, traditional marriage, family and some current events. She is a pioneer in using social media to "noise abroad" the gospel of Jesus Christ. She particularly enjoys gathering like-minded members to join her in standing for truth and righteousness. Kathryn has been married to her eternal companion, Bob, for 40 years and together they have raised five children. Currently, they are enjoying their 13 grandchildren.

57 thoughts on “Kate Kelly: Stand By, Not With

  1. Laurie White

    I love this on so many levels. It is so important that we understand that we can love someone without loving their actions. In our efforts to be supportive, we sometimes are enablers. I see this with parents and children all the time. I stand with Christ and His Church–His doctrine–but I support any effort by Kate Kelly to come home to Christ’s church. I pray that those who have followed her will come back to the fold. They are needed and loved.

  2. Delirious

    Kathryn, this post is magnificent. I hope that people will not let their anger, or pride, or whatever it is they feel keep them from listening to what you have said. We don’t want this to be a war among sisters. We want to stand up for truth and righteousness, but we don’t want to lose any of our sisters along the way.

    One thing I read that really saddened me was that Kate said something about how even though she has been excommunicated, she is still a Mormon in her heart. When I read that, I struck me how much she has lost in this process. No matter what she feels in her heart, she is not a member of the church now, and all of the blessings that were sealed upon her have been taken away. She is not sealed to her children or husband. She does not have the gift of the Holy Ghost. I don’t think that full truth has hit her yet. She seems to be in denial. And I want to cry for her. Often throughout this turmoil I have thought about the war in heaven. I have thought about how we probably had to convince some of our spirit brothers and sisters to not follow the plan of Satan. And I think about how sad it must have been for us to see 1/3 of our brothers and sisters choose the wrong path. And in the process, they lost any future blessings. We are in a similar situation today. It is such a dangerous time, and I fear that many will be lost in the process. We came all this way from the pre-existence, and made it this far, just to have them decieved and lured away from the path.
    Some have been angry at me for speaking against the Ordain Women movement. I had this conversation on a popular blog months before this all really came to a head. I was branded as a horrible person for daring to speak out. And today, I read many articles that insinuate that I am being “divisive” for speaking out about this subject. But in my opinion, the divisiveness occurred when Kate Kelly formed her group and began to recruit. When I think about the souls that are in jeopardy because of her cunning, I not only want to speak out, but I want to shout out! My voice is raised to try to warn and help those who have been deceived. Some of their followers said to me, “Don’t you think women can think for themselves?” Yes, I do. But I also think that some aren’t strong spiritually and can easily be deceived.
    The war in heaven hasn’t ended. This is just one more assault by the adversary. And I feel sad for these casualties of war.

    1. Kim Johnson

      This is incredible. I appreciate your thoughts and your beautiful words. Yours is also magnificent. Thank you for posting this.

  3. Debs

    I love how you have put this across and appealed lovingly yet firmly. I’ve allowed my own testimony to be shaken time and again and I wonder if it would have been easier to leave the church or if I were married to a Priesthood holder, but one thing I’ve learned is to value the order that the Lord has things happen. I read all the stories from Ms Kelly, the angry retaliations, other Lds members responses and my heart aches for her, having such a gap in her testimony is obviously damaging, I just hope and pray that the Lord can get through to her and the followers before it gets any tougher.

  4. Megan D.

    I love this article! I feel that right now, the world is getting more and more confused and the lines are becoming more and more gray. It is so comforting to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will always remain the same, no matter where in the world you are. I am truly saddened by Kate Kelly’s excommunication and the fact that she was led astray. I cannot imagine having such amazing blessings taken away! I am so much more grateful for the blessings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.

    1. Jerry Wind

      As the confusion in the world grows it becomes more and more important for us to study the scriptures and to understand the covenants, doctrines and principles of the church. In doing so it makes the grays become more black and white and brings us closer to God and more willing to accept the word of his chosen leaders.

  5. Rod Barnes

    Wonderful article, well written. Read it to my wife as she drove home after dinner. Degree, too, loved it. Thank you.

  6. Rebecca Anderson

    I hope that many of OW followers see this. Thank you for bearing witness of the truth. The first that I realized Kate Kelly was not sincere in her testimony was when she led others to the priesthood meeting after being asked not to do it. Not long after that, one of their ‘meetings’ was to include Margaret Toscano, and I knew that something was really wrong. Associating with someone who is not repentant after 20 plus years? It was scary. I am not surprised that Kate was excommunicated, but was surprised and so saddened by her unrepentant comments, even saying that the work of OW would continue. It is astonishing to me. Sickening. I have prayed for her, and thought about her more times than I care to, but could not get the situation out of my mind. I had to stop reading from her site, and fill my mind with good things instead. I have felt relief and have been so grateful for the sweetness and peace that I feel from among other things, Mormon Women Stand.

    1. Robert

      I had not heard of the Ordain Women movement referred to as OW. But I have seen those two letters used a lot in the scriptures. I don’t really think this is a serious meaning, however, it is sort of curious that when the Lord puts those two letters together, repeatedly… HE does it as WO… Food for thought!

  7. sarah

    I love that you (or rather, President Hinckley) quoted D&C 6:36. It’s my very favorite scripture, and it’s what was running through my head the entire time I was reading. I was actually going to post it here, until I reached the end and saw that you beat me to it. Thank you for that.

  8. Dennis Dunn

    Well thought out & articulated. I forwarded it to my 4 daughters, three daughter in laws, granddaughters old enough to understand, & read it to my wife.

  9. Gaynor

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I am a convert to the church, born and raised in South Africa, where I was baptized. I now live in the USA. My first thoughts about Kate Kelly when all this started, I felt very angry, thinking to myself, she just doesn’t get it. My thoughts on the subject now are a little different. This could be any one of us and we are told over and over to read the scriptures, to pray for guidance. My heart goes out to her, more along the pity line, we should always be aware of what can happen and how much is at stake. I find Kate Kelly to be very selfish and thinking only of herself. I think this is a good lesson for all of us to be careful who we pick as friends and what we read, we as women in the church have been given so much and not to realize it is a shame. Kate Kelly really doesn’t get it and may never get it. We are given choices and it is up to us to choose our destiny.

  10. Mindy

    Oh my gosh how can I ever express how much I love this!! This is everything that has been in my heart but I have not been able to articulate. I am printing this and keeping to read to my kids. This is so truly inspired. Thank you!!!

    1. Mindy

      Im confused Jessica, in all sincerity are you accusing the writer of being judgmental? And the rest of us for feeling the way she does?

        1. Marivene

          Jessica, when that person represents herself and the Ordain Women organization to be “faithful Mormon women” when in fact, many are either ex Mormons or inactive members, it does become our place to point out that discrepancy. I am not judging Kate Kelly but I am pointing out that she is not what she claims to be: a faithful active Mormon woman, and she has not been for some time.
          The Church asked her not to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere on Temple Square during General Conference, but she did it anyway. The discussions on the OW site do contain false doctrine, and by encouraging their use, OW is teaching false doctrine. These actions fit the definition of apostasy, and the actions of Sister Kelly’s bishop should not have been a surprise. If she truly was “shocked” then perhaps her excommunication can be a wake up call, to let her begin anew on the path to salvation.

    2. Rebecca Anderson

      Jessica, please read this article. Also, if you read the title of Kathryn’s article, it is about standing BY Kate, and not WITH. We make judgements everyday, and must so that we can make proper decisions, and then ‘stand as witnesses’. Comments about Kate, whether by Kathryn or others, have focused on Kate’s behavior, before and after her excommunication . Eternal judgment is up to our Father, thankfully.


      1. Jessica

        Great article. I’ve used this when teaching gospel doctrine. How about instead of using a person to judge by, we take this as systems based approach and find the middle ground to bridge build.

        The main argument I hear from LDS members who celebrate the recent apostasy excommunications (yes plural) is that we should be willing to follow the Lord – His will, not thine or mine, be done. I think that comeback misses the point because I sincerely think we are all in this religious community trying to do exactly that. This is not about how we follow the Lord. This is about how we follow the men who have access to priesthood authority in our church who represent the Lord to the best of their abilities. So do we sustain them through the principle of obedience? Or do we sustain them through the principle of engagement? I think as a culture we tend to value obedience more than other principles – but I think a balance between the two I mention here would be beneficial to all. Otherwise, one gives up all personal authority to another mortal being – and that is not a healthy way to develop spiritually in one’s life. It’s not even doctrinally supported. So let’s please stop assuming that when we differ in our engagement with church leaders – that somehow this means we are not willing to serve or sacrifice for our Lord and Redeemer.

        1. Rebecca Anderson

          hmm. Well, I am thinking that the question or statement you made about judging is not exactly what I understood you to mean. You seemed to have a different perspective.
          That said, my previous comments were specific to the article and comments I have read concerning that.
          I do not know of those who have ‘celebrated’ the excommunication. Perhaps you do. I only know that for myself it has been very emotional to read about it, and what Kate’s followers were doing before she heard the decision. (last Sunday evening) Her own pattern of behavior afterward was arrogant and the words of someone lost. It was horrible to hear her say the things she did. At the same time, my heart was so sad for her and her family.
          You mentioned about those that ‘give up personal authority’–not sure of your intent there- for ‘ another mortal’. Isn’t that what OW followers are doing, and at great spiritual expense?

          perhaps this is something that can be discussed on MWS. This venue exists within a spiritual context.
          I hope that we sustain our leaders through faith. Obedience is a worthy topic of discussion. It is, after all, ‘better than sacrifice.’

        2. Carri

          Differing with church leaders is not the issue here. Kate Kelly was not under church sanction because she disagreed but how she disagreed.

          This is from OW’s mission statement:
          “…Ordain Women believes women MUST be ordained in order for our faith to reflect the equity and expansiveness of these teachings…We are committed to work for equality and the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood….As a group we intend to put ourselves in the public eye and call attention to the NEED for the ordination of Mormon women to the priesthood. We sincerely ask our leaders to take this matter to the Lord in prayer.”

          Kelly finishes her statement with a very polite semblance of respect to “our leaders”, but her language throughout shows her commitment to her cause and her intention achieve her goal come hell or high waters. That is hardly the spirit of a woman waiting upon The Lord.

          And the hubris involved with the assumption that over the last 40+ years of the women’s liberation movement the prophets have never once taken this question to The Lord until Kate Kelly asked them to do so.

          The premise of the movement is that somewhere along the line, women were deprived of the ability to wield the PH by the errant leaders of the church. Kelly takes it as her mission to fix that. The only problem is, she is ignorant of God pattern and order. Throughout the scriptures, when a leader needs to be corrected, The Lord calls upon those with the keys and responsibility to do so; Paul with Peter, Nathan with David, Jethro with Moses, and Abinadi with Noah. In fact there is no account in the scriptures of God ever sending a general member of a congregation to correct His anointed. But Kelly felt she was the exception.

          If there really has been errors that has left the church out of God’s will concerning women and the PH, there are 15 prophet seers and revelators He would go to in order to correct that problem before He would go to Kate. If all 15 of those men were in rebellion of God’s will, He would still have hundreds of members of the Quorums of the 70 He could pick from who hold with and authority to receive such a revelation. That is God’s order and pattern.

          Insisting SHE had the authority to correct God’s anointed was Kelly’s sin, not disagreeing.

  11. richard

    Well put. One thing I still don’t understand. One thing I still don’t understand about her basic premise and web site name. Last I checked, the Priesthood is “conferred” upon a person. One is not “ordained” to the Priesthood. One is “ordained” into an office of the Priesthood which has been “conferred”.

  12. Holly

    Am I really the only person who read this and felt threatened? Everyone keeps saying its OK to ask questions, but when anyone does they’re immediately labeled an apostolate and backs turned on them. If you’re lucky enough to get an answer to your question it will be very vague and end with why your question was brought about in the first place by misguided information. I felt like this article was saying “get back in line or you’ll be next!” Followed by how evil social media is but by the way don’t forget to read her blog! I’ve read many intelligent articles on this subject, but this wasn’t one of them…

    1. Melinda L. Brown

      Holly, I’m not sure if you read the article and understood it. Where is the “threat”? Sister Skaggs was clear as could be. I’m certain when I take offense at something it’s because I have my defenses up. When I study and pray, I’m usually calm and open to being taught. There was no threat in her words. There is love, patience, devotion to our Father and honesty.

    2. Jelaire

      Holly, I know there’s been a lot of confusion lately about Sister Kelly’s reasons for excommunication. I think that’s in part why the Church released the statement saying that questions cannot cause someone to get excommunicated. But actions can. Publicly preaching false doctrine, and encouraging others to follow you is action, not a thought.

      You said that whenever anyone does just ask questions, that they’re immediately labeled an apostate. What instance were you referring to when the Church has viewed mere questions as apostasy?

    3. joellegibson

      I’ve never felt threatened for asking sincere questions, the Sunday School class I attend is filled with recent converts and investigators and it is the best because people freely ask what’s on their mind, I love it!! I feel like the church is a lot different in Ontario, Canada than in Utah or other Mormon populated areas though. I’ve never heard of anyone labelled apostate before for asking questions. That said I’m sad to say I did feel a harshness & some harsh judging in this article as well, which makes me a little sad as a follower of the Mormon Women Stand Facebook page. It seems a little too radical for me, which I’m not about. I agree that there have been many other articles on the subject that aren’t so aggressive towards one Sister of the church. As a fellow blogger I understand that everyone can express their opinion. I just think we need to remember that we are merely human, make mistakes, and let’s not try to justify judging others, as we are in no position to do so. I prefer the happy, uplifting articles!!

      1. Angela Fallentine

        Hi Joelle,

        Thanks for your comments! I love seeing your interactions on the MWS Facebook Page, you’re a great part of the community 🙂 I would love to know what you deem to be “radical” on the page, as every single post we do is careful to be exactly in line with the doctrine and quotes only from approved LDS material. We do not allow for name calling, meanness or mocking of anyone,, it is so important to us to keep the tone and spirit in the discussions as we stand together with the Church. It is so important that we stand with the doctrine and I have always seen you do so and appreciate your voice so much! There are some false and dangerous philosophies that some of the members of the church in the blogging community espouse and in which some members are getting sucked into, sometimes under the guise of saying if we don’t agree, we’re judgmental. MWS tries to sift through that with truth and pure doctrine. I know our morals and doctrine may appear “radical”to those not of our faith but when we hear the term “radical” from within the church for those who stand by the doctrine and quote the words of apostles and prophets, there is reason for concern, right?

        Another thing that is specific to this post regarding a member of the church who was excommunicated for apostasy is the difference between righteous and final judgments. Elder Oaks gave a great talk on the importance of members absolutely having to make judgments on issues and groups against the doctrine of the church (including Ordain Women). We have to in order to protect ourselves, our families and in order to keep the doctrine pure within the church. Elder Oaks said there are final judgments and intermediary ones, of which average members need to acknowledge as part of discerning between correct and false doctrine. I think many times in the article Kathryn said we’re not judging her as a person–that is the Savior’s role and her judge in Israel–her Bishop who holds the keys to stand on behalf of the Savior.

        Would love to hear your thoughts, thank you so much for expressing them. We need a place where we can do this, with the spirit of loyalty to the Church 🙂

        1. joellegibson

          Okay so… radical may not have been the best word to use! I should have said extreme instead. I’m not disagreeing with any of the doctrine she’s stated. I do recognize and appreciate the LDS material that is used and give Kathryn kudos for finding fitting scriptures, talks etc. I always get lost or can’t remember where to find certain things I want to quote to help prove a point! However, things like:
          “If we affiliate and sympathize with apostates or those whose beliefs are contrary to the teachings of the Church, it usually means that we won’t understand why they were excommunicated or disciplined.”
          This sounds a lot like we shouldn’t “affiliate” with anyone who doesn’t believe what we do. Being someone’s friend can be considered affiliating, so should we not be Kate Kelly’s friend? And if I’m her friend, is the blogger suggesting that I’m likely to not understand why she’s disciplined? Perhaps! But it’s a bold claim to make, and not one I like to see on a blog that is supposed to join Mormon Women together!

          Also, you shouldn’t call someone an apostate, even if it’s true. It could not sound any more judgmental. When you call them an apostate, you’re labeling them. You’re labeling them with a bad word that sounds akin to “criminal”. Just simply say “If we affiliate and sympathize with Kate Kelly or people…” Kate Kelly is a child of God. Let’s not try to dehumanize her by calling her an apostate, even if it’s true. That to me, comes off as way too harsh.

          Also this part:
          “Do you feel Kate Kelly is misunderstood? Do you feel her priesthood leaders were wrong to excommunicate her? If you answered yes to either, or both, that’s probably a red flag and early warning sign. It should concern you that perhaps your faith in Jesus Christ is wavering and that you might be going down the same path.”

          To me, this is an extreme statement that suggests people should doubt their current faith in Christ and this church if they answer yes to these questions, when perhaps they just misunderstand! I get that she’s trying be extremely bold to provoke some deep reflection, but that comes at a cost – potentially offending readers. It’s not the blogger’s role to call the world to repentance for sympathizing with Kate Kelly. It’s simply our role to share our testimonies of what we believe to be true, without putting other people down in the process.

          I don’t think Kaythrn was trying to come off as judgmental, and I know that it can be hard to properly express your feelings over the internet. But I feel that if we are using a blog or Facebook Group to express our love of the gospel we need to really make sure we are doing our best to not come off as extreme or judgmental. Also, I know that you can never make everyone happy and for every one who likes a post there are just as many who dislike it! BUT as a follower of MWS I just didn’t care for this one and again it didn’t bring the spirit as much as other posts had! 🙂 (I added the smiley face so you know I’m not angry or anything, just sharing my response!!)

  13. Laurel Lee

    I appreciate your comments here. Loved the comparison between standing “with” and “by”. I was interested in Kate’s recent comment that there was no room for negotiation with her stand. Also, I had the opportunity to witness first hand the damaging of property, contention and threatening stance Kate and her followers exhibited during Conference last April on Temple Square. Those who have made covenants in the temple do not act in this manner without violating those covenants. I am deeply saddened for Kate and those who choose to follow her. I, too, have issues with some of the cultural gender biases that are still remaining in some church settings. But, I am old enough to have seen many abolished, and am certain others will be in the future. What I am sure of, is that Thomas Monson is Christ’s prophet today, and I will stand with him and the other prophets and seers that lead this church. Many things have yet to be revealed in Christ’s church, and in that principle I have faith.

    1. launa

      Great article! Absolutely agree that there are still cultural biases wherever you go. When I had a stake calling I watched my stake president many times express dismay and frustration over those priesthood leaders who did NOT grasp the way the LDS church is to be run. How ward council is to be run. How women are to be listened to and counseled with on almost everything. Imagine how frustrated the general authorities feel at our humanness?
      Our Heavenly Father loves his daughters equally as he loves his sons- I testify to that. His sons are not perfect — many still have to get rid of those male chauvinist tendencies they were raised with. (Many passed on from their mothers!!) It has gotten so much better though! Storming the priesthood conference was stupidity imho. Her group lost all credibility when they did that. The church leadership is more than willing to discuss things with folks–but demonstrating?? That won’t get you anywhere. Again imho.

      1. melissa rhodes

        Right on! If you do not want chavaunist men raise them right when they are boys! I am trying to teach my four boys that women and men are equal just in different ways. They must have respect for themselves and women. It is too bad that some do not get that at home.

  14. Melinda L. Brown

    Sister Skaggs, well done! I agree with each word you wrote. It is not judging but using our discernment. If we know who our God is, we don’t have to struggle with a choice of who we’ll support. Always Father and our Savior; always. Thank you for this edifying writing.

  15. Savili Su'a

    Thank you for the inspirational message on this site. Ever since this OW and Ms. Kelly’s argument came about, I’ve read so many comments on those defending the church as well as those, including members that are actually standing for Ms. Kelly’s cause. The sad thing that I’ve come to realized after reading so many of these comments from different websites, including media coverage, is the fact how Ms. Kelly and those who stand and defend OW’s argument have forgotten (or perhaps don’t believe in this process anymore) to take these questions straight to the source, of whom the church belongs; our Heavenly Father, through sincere praying, fasting, studying the scriptures on a daily basis, patiently waiting for answers by being in tune with the Holy Ghost at all times, and all these through living by the gospel’s principles and covenants righteously as taught to us by the scriptures, words of the prophets and leaders, and preparing ourselves by living worthy of all our covenants and being humble. In following these steps as we’ve been taught in the gospel, and having faith that our Heavenly Father answers all prayers, and anything that we ask for, the answers will eventually be revealed to us in the “Lord’s own due time,” not ours. Our Heavenly Father will determined the right time for each and every one of us when we’re ready and worthy to receive these answers. One cannot hurried the process, nor the Lord would allowed us to be left hanging confused, and unsure of all these questions pertaining His kingdom. Article 9 does remind us that “….the Lord will reveal many and important things pertaining His kingdom..” especially in this last dispensation. However, Ms. Kelly and OW’s approach contradicts this spiritual and moral belief and teaching that I’ve personally taken and had been abundantly blessed with in so many levels over the years. I was born and raised in the church. My father was a devout and strict man when it comes to living by the rules on a daily basis but it didn’t stop me from making mistakes and wrong choices (and still is), but eventually, thanks to non-relenting and consistent parents, my own personal conversion of the truthfulness of gospel occurred during my late teen years. I served a mission, and I may be wrong but I thought I read that Ms. Kelly is also a returned missionary. If this is true, it boggles the mind that she is now engaged in an argument that goes against everything that she represented and taught during her mission. I feel sad for Ms. Kelly and everyone else that are standing for her cause and those who are defending her argument and still say they are devout Mormons. It is not for me to say that I am proclaiming myself more righteous than Ms. Kelly, the OW, those who stand with and defending her, or anyone else for that matter but like the message reflected on this wonderful article, if we’re not careful, an inch crack of a doubting window or door in one’s heart is more than enough for the adversary to enter. In my opinion, Ms. Kelly and OW is treating this matter the way a political issue is being handled. I saw a media coverage of one woman holding up thousands of signatures gathered from Ms. Kelly’s supporters petitioning the wrongful excommunication of Ms. Kelly, and that they are still demanding answers from the prophet. Her father, husband, and her supporters media coverage of everyone walking up one by one and throwing a piece of paper on the ground while declaring something… This is not a political issue, and the church is not the government; If it were, I would’ve been right there beside Ms. Kelly, encouraging her on because I’m an activist by nature, but this is not a political issue and the idea of having more media exposure will boost the morale of her group and supporters because she will undoubtedly gain more supporters and sympathizers for her cause this way, especially with all the negative public opinion the church has been bombarded with on other issues such as same sex marriages. However, I supposed Ms. Kelly, being a successful attorney is very sure of herself and the secular educational accolades she’s accomplished to take the prophet, and the first presidency all the way to the supreme court. I am saddened for Ms. Kelly and everyone else standing with her, and hope they will humble yourselves and pray for forgiveness for this act of apostasy you’ve brought upon yourselves. We are cautioned by the scriptures and the teaching of the prophets and leaders not to pride ourselves with the secular knowledge we acquire, but more apt to humble ourselves and listen to the soft whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Without repentance with a sincere and contrite heart, we will forever be beneficiaries of the buffering prideful inclinations of the adversary in our hearts. An example of such is the fact that regardless of the process taken by Ms. Kelly’s bishop in regards to counseling before excommunication, and the many counsel by the apostles during the general conferences explaining the role of the priesthood in the church and why men only holds the priesthood, and the special role women have in regards to their male counterparts holding the priesthood; different responsibilities but blessings are the same, and the fact that if Ms. Kelly, OW, and her supporters were members of the church all these years, how can they possibly think that the approach that they’ve taken in getting answers to their questions is going to get positive results? Especially when she organized herself a group, started teaching contrary to the teaching of the gospel, and recruiting members? Is this the way we’ve been taught to resolve our spiritual questions and misunderstandings on gospel principles and teachings? Organize ourselves groups, stand in line with media coverage petitioning tickets to attend general conference priesthood meetings? Giving media press releases, and so forth? Ms. Kelly and her supporters already know the answers to these questions, HOWEVER, they’ve insisted that it’s about time the church recognized the woman’s right to hold the priesthood because the church has excluded women from important internal church affairs too long, and women should have a voice in these proceedings. does this sound familiar? it is now a constitutional right and vote? what happened to patience, obedient, and faith that when it is time, the Lord will reveal His will to His living prophet? Ms. Kelly and the OW has now completed their transformation from a spiritual gathering to political activists? they’ve quoted a few lines from scriptural references, a few passages from the teachings of the prophets and leaders of past and present to justify, rationalize, and sensationalized their cause nationwide and globally. If Ms. Kelly and her followers are somehow hinting that just because the prophet is called of God, including the apostles, and all the leaders of the church, don’t make them perfect and incapable of mistakes, I testify to you that all people make mistakes. Yes, even the prophet and our leaders, BUT, point out one ancient, and/or latter day saint prophet, apostle, leader, man, woman, that was and or is perfect?!!! YES, EVEN MOSES, WHO PARTED THE RED SEA MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES. WHAT ABOUT NOAH? PAUL? KING DAVID? JOSEPH SMITH, AND SO ON, AND ON? The Lord is mindful of our mortal weaknesses, but yet, He’s also made it very clear that “…..he only reveals His will to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7), and for all the faithful and righteous of His children to”….ask, and he shall receive. Knock, and the door will be opened unto you.” Apostasy occurs when one has conscientiously and willingly made the choice to ignore the standard and fundamental teachings of the gospel, relied on the prideful buffering of Satan that have stirred their hearts against the counsel and advise of the Lord’s chosen leaders. Even if one does not agree with the decisions, including myself on several occasions, but relying on deep-rooted faith and humility, and the unwavering belief that this is God’s church, and if He knows that His prophet on earth and the 12 apostles have somewhat strayed from the way His gospel should be led here on earth and that He disagree with the leaders decision of excommunicating Ms. Kelly, or anyone else past/present, I TESTIFY TO YOU ALL MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, HE WILL MAKE IT KNOWN IN HIS OWN WAY, AND ONLY GOD WILL JUDGE OUR LEADERS AND THEIR DECISIONS, AS WELL AS ALL OF US; NOT MS. KELLY, OW, HER DEFENDERS, MYSELF, OR ANYONE ELSE. THAT BEING SAID, I KNOW IT IS THE RIGHT DECISION. I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON IS HIS CHOSEN PROPHET HERE ON EARTH, AND THE CHURCH IS PERFECT AND CONTAINS THE TRUTH OF ALL THINGS AND OUR SALVATION, BUT MANKIND IS NOT. PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES AND UNFORTUNATELY IMPACT OTHERS TO DOUBT THE CHURCH AND MAKE IT HARD FOR THEM TO ACCEPT ITS MESSAGE. AFTER EVERYTHING IS SAID AND DISCUSSED ABOUT MS. KELLY, OW, HER SUPPORTERS, AND ALL MEMBERS WORLDWIDE, WE HAVE BEEN ASSURED THAT THE LORD WILL NEVER LET UNRIGHTEOUS LEADERS LEAD HIS KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH, OR LEAD HIS CHILDREN ASTRAY. LET US ALL REFLECT BACK FROM THE TIME OF ADAM AND EVE, UP TO DATE. HAS HE EVER FORSAKEN HIS CHILDREN SINCE THE BEGINNING? THE ANSWER IS NO! HOWEVER, YOU AND I WILL HAVE TO DO OUR PART AND LIVE BY HIS TEACHINGS, OBEDIENT TO HIS PROPHETS/LEADERS, KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, BE HUMBLE AND GRATEFUL, AND STRIVE TO ENDURE TO THE END!!! THE CHOICE IS NOW UP TO ALL OF US; STAND FOR MS. KELLY AND HER SUPPORTERS, OR STAND BY HER AND HAVE A COMPASSIONATE HEART AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES SHE IS NOW FACED WITH!!! SOMETIMES, BLIND FAITH AND BEING OBEDIENT TO OUR LEADERS EVEN IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND OR DISAGREE, BUT DO IT ANYWAY JUST BECAUSE DEEP IN YOUR HEARTS WE KNOW WE WILL BE BLESSED FOR DOING SO, NOT ONLY THE ANSWERS WILL EVENTUALLY BE REVEALED TO US IN PERSONAL REVELATIONS, OR SO MANY OTHER WAYS, BUT WILL ALSO BRING US GREAT BLESSINGS, SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING, AND INNER PEACE!! P.S. FOR THOSE WHO ARE STANDING WITH MS. KELLY, OW, HER SUPPORTERS AND DEFENDERS – AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, WE ALL KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT WE CAN ASK QUESTIONS, BUT PLEASE STOP MAKING HER A VICTIM FOR HER CURRENT UNFORTUNATE SITUATION, AND MAKING THE LEADERS’ DECISION “THE WRATH” THAT WILL BECOME OF ANYONE THAT DARES ASK QUESTIONS. DON’T YOU THINK IF IT WAS UP TO THE PROPHET AND IF IT WAS HIS CHURCH HE WOULD’VE MADE ACCOMMODATIONS TO NOT EXCOMMUNICATE MS. KELLY? THE PROPHET HAS TO ANSWER TO A HIGHER POWER, AND HE KNOWS THIS, AND EVERY DEVOUT MORMON KNOWS THIS, OR THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD WILL BE UPON HIM. WE FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT WE ALL HAVE THE FREE AGENCY TO BE OBEDIENT TO OUR LEADERS AND OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S COMMANDMANTS, OR WE CAN WALK AWAY AND LIVE OUR OWN LIVES OUTSIDE OF GOSPEL TEACHINGS! PRESSURE IS THE CONSCIENCE TRYING TO TELL YOU TO STOP, PONDER, PRAY, FAST, AND THINK IT OUT VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU ACT. HOWEVER, IF YOUR ACTIONS INCLUDE TEACHING BELIEFS CONTRARY FROM THE GOSPELS’, RECRUITING AND CAUSING OTHERS TO FOLLOW AND FALL AWAY FROM A CHANCE OF SPIRITUAL AND ETERNAL SALVATION, YOU ARE NOW NOT ONLY FIGHTING AGAINST OUR CHOSEN LEADERS HERE ON EARTH, BUT ALSO FIGHTING AGAINST GOD HIMSELF!!

  16. Virginia

    It is always amazing to me that if we do not give in to the world, we are all wrong, prejudiced, and single minded. My ‘single-mind’ looks to our Lord and He has called President Monson to be our prophet. When President Monson tells me there is to be a change, I will gladly follow wholeheartedly!! I am sad Sister Kelly is no longer part of the church but I see their reasons. It’s always impressed me (in a sad way) how many times in the scriptures it shows how one person has their ‘opinion’ and how many people follow…..there will be few left when Christ comes if we do not follow His chosen prophet!!

    1. htspringer

      There is one simple reason why Kate Kelly and her ilk apostasize… it is personal pride and rebellion. I see this as nothing less than an attempt to infiltrate secularism into the Gospel. Kate Kelly thinks that she is inspired and that President Monson is not. She’s not different than any other garden-variety apostate that has been surfacing since 1830. Her motives are self-aggrandizement and the coveting of power. Her movement will undoubtedly fail. She is basking in the attention right now, but it will be very short-lived.

  17. Delirious

    Well, Kate Kelly is perfectly free to preach her beliefs. She can shout them from the house tops. But she can’t remain a member if she does. To fight against the church, to teach false doctrine, these are acts of apostasy. It’s really all her choice. If she really values membership in the church, she will stop trying to recruit women of the church. If she really values her membership, she will humble herself and recognize the seriousness of her acts. I don’t see her doing either of those things. If it were me, I would do whatever it took to regain my membership. But she continues on the path that she was asked not to follow. Don’t ever insinuate that she is the victim here. She was given the choice to obey, or face excommunication. She made her choice. My prayer is that some day she will make a course correction and come back in to the fold. I believe that she, like those who follow her, have been seduced by the thinking of the world, and do not understand the things of God. I pray for her, and I pray for all those who have let go of the iron rod to follow her.

  18. Lesley

    So very well said. I wrote my master’s thesis on the history of polygamy and other problems with Church history and reached the same conclusions. “Revelations” are dictated by nothing more than public opinion. If any of you sanctimonious sheep want to disagree with me, I would love a debate.

    1. Jelaire

      Lesley, While I’m not interested in starting a debate, I think you bring up a good point: about why the Holy Ghost is so important. I can see how just looking at facts or research, you’d come to different conclusions than one who receives their answers from God (the only one who has access to all truth).

      Sometimes I think it’s Heavenly Father’s way of testing our faith. Like he’s saying, “Let’s see how willing you are to trust in a Prophet when such-and-such issue looks ridiculous in the world’s eyes.” It’s like he may purposely make us look like such a “peculiar people,” that the only way you might still believe is if you had that confirmation from the Holy Ghost that the Church was true. That way, we have no “mortal” walls to lean against; only spiritual ones.

  19. Amy

    In my experience, unconditional love is unconditional. It does not matter whether you stand “with” or “by” them. I have asked questions. I have prayed about them. My answer has been to leave the church. My problem with Mormonism is that when someone prays and receives an answer contrary to church beliefs others assume that it is wrong. How can revelation work if all it tells us is what we already know? I’m tired of all the judging and self righteousness. What would happen if we started trying to see things from other people’s perspectives?

    1. Jelaire

      Amy, when you said that, “My problem with Mormonism is that when someone prays and receives an answer contrary to church beliefs others assume that it is wrong.”
      What about if someone felt like they received an answer that adultery is OK? Since adultery is against revealed truth, both views can’t be correct. It is either wrong, or it’s not. There is only one “correct” truth. That’s why I think many Latter-day Saints don’t buy into that “amoral” line of thinking. Because once you believe that all truth is relative, then there can’t be eternal laws/truth.

  20. Jelaire

    You said, that the author has “reinforced the threat to many active members, that they’re welcome in the church as long as they think like you.”
    There has been much misunderstanding about what gets someone into disciplinary councils: thoughts vs. actions. Sister Kelly’s repeated public actions resulted in this outcome. May I ask what reason you have to believe it was her thoughts alone (without her actions) that brought about her Church discipline?

  21. michelle rhodes

    What a wonderful post. So well written and is full of nothing but love! I am amazed at how some have reacted to this post, and while I have read those post a few thoughts have repeated in my mind over and over again. Every day we are required to make righteous judgments through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. And there is nothing, I mean nothing, wrong with following those prompting! It helps to protect us spiritually.
    I have asked questions about church doctrine from bishops all the way to general authorities and have NOT ONCE felt threatened or that I had to keep my opinion to myself. You have to be humble and willing to accept any answer that the Lord gives, because it is HIS church and HE will run it the way HE sees fit.
    For those who have “prayed” and received answers contrary what the prophets have said I ask, “who did you pray to?”.
    And lastly we have all heard that the truth cuts like a knife to the wicked. When any of use feel “offended” by something that the church has said we need to take a step back and look at why we are really offended. Anytime that has happened to me offense has never been on the side of the church. I have been looking to be offended or the doctrine has not fit into what I feel it should be. The fault has always been on my side.
    I use to be a supporter of something the church has a very strong stance against and is current in the news as it is going before the supreme court for the state of Utah. I have asked lots of questions about it to leaders and felt that I knew better. It wasn’t until I held my first child in my arms for the first time that I was humble enough to receive the answer the Lord has been trying to give me. A lot of things clicked and my understanding of covenants I had made deepened.

  22. David H

    Thank you for this informative and thoughtful article. I appreciate you pointing out who Kate Kelley’s associates are and how they might have led her down the path she has taken. I wish this information were better known.

    For example, I followed your link to Margaret Toscano’s page on the OW website. This sentence really made me pause and think: “The Church cannot fulfill its divine mission until it ordains women and includes them in all the priesthood quorums of the Church.”

    Isn’t the mission of the church to save people like me and my family by bringing us to Christ? If the ordinances we have received are valid and accepted of Him, how is the Church failing in its divine mission? Really, Margaret’s statement looks like a call to stop the work of salvation until it starts getting done her way.

    And what about this: “I am at odds with the Church’s stand on gender issues and gay marriage.”

    How many other OW leaders are against the Church’s stand on marriage? Inquiring minds would like to know exactly where they want to take us once they get their way on the Priesthood issue. I don’t feel like they have laid out their agenda forthrightly.

  23. htspringer

    Anyone who advocates that women should be ordained to the priesthood has no concept of the doctrine of the family, nor of the priesthood. I find Kate Kelly’s arrogance to be unbelievable. She has simply embraced the putrid stench of feminism and is now attempting to pollute the doctrine of the church with her secular worldview.

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  25. Tom Boyce

    An excellent and well considered approach to what is a sensitive and painful subject for many. Judgement is required of us every day. We have to judge what is good and what is bad. Otherwise, why did Eve have to partake of that fruit? We must always judge whether or not someone is an example of what to do or what not to do. Condemnation, however, is not up to us. None of us knows how Kate Kelly will spend the rest of her life nor how Christ will judge her. It isn’t for us to decide her place in the hereafter. It is, however, for us to decide and judge whether or not she is a good example to us or not

  26. Linda Flint

    AMEN and AMEN…thank you for a place for us “normal members” to be able to express the thoughts and testimonies of our hearts and minds! Our Father surely approves and rejoices to see our day when his daughters (and sons) are “standing up” and being counted! I feel nothing but love for our Heavenly Parents and all of us children who are striving to understand and grow in knowledge and testimony to these complex/simple Truths!

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