I was informed on June 8 that there will be a disciplinary council held in absentia by my former bishopric on June 22 to try me for “apostasy.” I have moved away from the Washington, DC area, and after I left my former Stake President sent me a letter outlining what he called “informal probation” after meeting with me one time, while I was packing to move. The trial will be held in my former ward and I am not able to return.
I was open and honest with my bishop from the day we launched ordainwomen.org on March 17, 2013. I communicated with him each and every time Ordain Women did an action and asked that he come to me if he had any questions. While I was living in his ward, he never once personally called me in to meet with him. Nor did he email or call me with any questions regarding Ordain Women. Three weeks after I had moved out of his ward, he sent me this letter. Convening a council in my absence, after I have moved, is both cowardly and unchristlike.
Excommunication in our church is akin to spiritual death. The life-saving ordinances you have participated in like baptism, confirmation, and temple sealing are moot. In effect, you are being forcibly evicted from your forever family.
Given the gravity of the situation, I feel like being invited to a council of this sort is akin to being invited to my own funeral. Reading stories like this one in the New York Times are like reading my own obituary.
When all is said and done, and the deep mourning process for me and for thousands of Mormon women has passed, I feel confident that the joy I have experienced for participating in Ordain Women will vastly outweigh my sorrows.
I am proud of what we have done together. We told the truth.
I am inspired by the courageous Mormon women and men who have sacrificed so much to advocate for gender equality. We took a stand and will continue to do so.
I am strengthened by the Spirit and by what we have accomplished. We made a difference and have hope for better things in the future.
The Ordain Women movement will continue to grow and to ask important and sincere questions.