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LDS no longer use term "Excommunicated"


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I don't keep on the LDS (Mormons) faith so I was surprised to read the term "excommunicated" is no longer used starting in January 2020. That only puts me 4 years behind.

 

An article from TV station 2KUTV reported in part: 

"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."

 

To read more here is the link to the story: https://kutv.com/news/local/after-changes-to-handbook-terminology-lds-church-members-can-no-longer-be-excommunicated

 

With this change do you see a change ahead? We already just announce that "so and so" is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses in a brief statement when needed. Do you think the terms "Disfellowship, Disfellowshipped and Disfellowshipping" could be removed from our terminology?


Edited by DancesWithWife

grammar in headline changed

"I thought he'd live forever He seemed so big and strong
But the minutes fly and the years roll by For a father and his son"...

"And I miss him... the Old man"

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  • DancesWithWife changed the title to LDS no longer use term "Excommunicated"
15 minutes ago, DancesWithWife said:

I don't keep on the LDS (Mormons) faith so I was surprised to read the term "excommunicated" is no longer used starting in January 2020. That only puts me 4 years behind.

 

Interesting, it is still used on their website....

 

Go Homepage > Libraries > Scriptures > Study Helps > Guide to the Scriptures > Excommunication

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/excommunication?lang=eng

 

But it does appear to have been removed from their handbook (ie day-to-day usage?)

 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/why-some-words-and-phrases-are-no-longer-used-in-the-church-s-general-handbook

 

It states that "the language... was adjusted to have a more ministerial tone and be more precise and clear. Terminology that had a legalistic tone was removed."

 

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53 minutes ago, DancesWithWife said:

With this change do you see a change ahead? We already just announce that "so and so" is no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses in a brief statement when needed. Do you think the terms "Disfellowship, Disfellowshipped and Disfellowshipping...

Why should we care about nonJW wording?


Edited by Dages
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8 minutes ago, Dages said:

Why should we care about nonJW wording?

Times change. Service time reporting has changed. Views of beards has changed. There are many negative connotations of the use of that word that the world can twist. Disfellowshipping started in 1952. For many years an announcement was made at the Kingdom Hall that "so and so" has been disfellowshipped for conduct unbecoming a Christian. That was eliminated. Now it is "No longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses". 

 

From the beliefs clarified May 2023 Watchtower-https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2023404

1952: The need for disfellowshipping is emphasized

1956: The sanctity of marriage is clarified

1972: Congregation oversight is assigned to a theocratically appointed body of elders

1973: The use of tobacco is understood to be a serious wrongdoing

1976: Instruction is given as to the types of employment that are acceptable for Christians

2000: The use of blood fractions is discussed in detail

2006, 2012: The seriousness of viewing abhorrent forms of pornography is clearly emphasized

 

All I am saying is that the times change, along with our belief, language and our NWTR 2013. I am just wondering if the word "disfellowshipped" will be used less and less.

 

 

 

"I thought he'd live forever He seemed so big and strong
But the minutes fly and the years roll by For a father and his son"...

"And I miss him... the Old man"

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8 hours ago, Dages said:

Why should we care about nonJW wording?

 

Yes, very true, but people give meanings to words. Consider the 'non-rapture, rapture.'

 

Watchtower 15 July 2015, page 18, paragraph 15:  “Your Deliverance Is Getting Near”!

"While we do not use the term “rapture” here because of its wrong connotation, the remaining faithful anointed will be gathered together in an instant of time."

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2015523#h=25

 

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Judicial action to remove an unrepentant wrongdoer, and identify an individual to other members of the congregation, would need to have some kind or identifying mark.  Since this action is designed to bring a person back to Jehovah, of possible, their lack of association is a key identifier to them and others. Our 'marking' procedure is a first level of concern that hopefully brings someone into a better attitude toward the brothers and sisters, it has served as a gentle judicial reminder.

 

some will remember we used to have a 'probation' provision, that introduced limitations to individuals, whilst trying to help restore them.

 

When the DF step is taken, much more careful consideration has been given than was the case decades ago, and the scales are balanced toward forgiveness than judgement. Forgive and restore where possible, disfellowship where necessary and unavoidable

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8 hours ago, Dages said:

Yeah but our decisions aren't following fake christians choices

Many Christian groups whether real or fake, expel members and use the term "disfellowship". There has been progression throughout Jehovah's organization. From no longer celebrating Christmas, birthdays, the use of the cross just to state a few changes. The word disfellowship is not found in the Scriptures and yet many groups including non-Christian disfellowship members. If you look up the word "disfellowship" on wol.jw.org it takes you to Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1. It then says "See EXPELLING."

"I thought he'd live forever He seemed so big and strong
But the minutes fly and the years roll by For a father and his son"...

"And I miss him... the Old man"

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2 hours ago, DancesWithWife said:

Many Christian groups whether real or fake, expel members and use the term "disfellowship". There has been progression throughout Jehovah's organization. From no longer celebrating Christmas, birthdays, the use of the cross just to state a few changes. The word disfellowship is not found in the Scriptures and yet many groups including non-Christian disfellowship members. If you look up the word "disfellowship" on wol.jw.org it takes you to Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1. It then says "See EXPELLING."

The words governing body don’t appear in the scriptures either. Just because a word doesn’t appear in the scriptures doesn’t mean we can’t use that word if the practice behind the word is scriptural 😊

The Hebrew word cushi or kushi is an affectionate term generally used in the Bible to refer to a dark-skinned person of African descent.

 

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2 minutes ago, Cushi said:

The words governing body don’t appear in the scriptures either

There are many spiritual terms that are not found in the Scriptures. Take for instance the word rendezvous. We used to have service rendezvous but the term has changed from the worlds perspective. Here is an announcement from the January 1970 Kingdom Ministry:

"The Memorial will be held Sunday, March 22, after 6 p.m., local standard time. Each congregation may make its own arrangements for the Watchtower study, possibly on the book study night at the rendezvous or on Saturday at the Kingdom Hall. All day Sunday can be devoted to field service, followed by the Memorial after 6 p.m. The circuit servant may give the Memorial talk if the congregation he will be visiting requests it."

 

When is the last time you heard this term used? So, while words can be used and applied scripturally, there is a need to update from time to time. 

"I thought he'd live forever He seemed so big and strong
But the minutes fly and the years roll by For a father and his son"...

"And I miss him... the Old man"

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We have a practice over here in the UK called 'sending to Coventry'. , this phrase originates from a 17th. century English Civil War punishment, when the city of Coventry was a parliamentary stronghold. The king's soldiers were so hated that Royalist prisoners were sent to Coventry, where it was felt they would be ignored. This is the term used for those who are often going against their union rules or directly opposing certain practices. Those 'sent to Coventry' are ignored by colleagues, sometimes denied access to local shops. Working Men's clubs have a similar feature in their Rules of Admission. 

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After reading the article it seems the LDS Church is not changing its policy, just using a different term. "Excommunicated" is an old word no one uses anymore except in church legalese, so they are replacing it with "cancelling membership".

 

Not being a native English speaker I am not aware of all the connotations of words. Is "disfellowshipping" a term nobody uses anymore? Does it have an old-fashioned flavor? If that's the case, it wouldn't be a big surprise if the Slave replaces it with a new word. But if it's a current and widely understood term, probably there is no reason to change it.

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On 2/12/2024 at 1:16 PM, DancesWithWife said:

There are many spiritual terms that are not found in the Scriptures. Take for instance the word rendezvous. We used to have service rendezvous but the term has changed from the worlds perspective. Here is an announcement from the January 1970 Kingdom Ministry:

"The Memorial will be held Sunday, March 22, after 6 p.m., local standard time. Each congregation may make its own arrangements for the Watchtower study, possibly on the book study night at the rendezvous or on Saturday at the Kingdom Hall. All day Sunday can be devoted to field service, followed by the Memorial after 6 p.m. The circuit servant may give the Memorial talk if the congregation he will be visiting requests it."

 

When is the last time you heard this term used? So, while words can be used and applied scripturally, there is a need to update from time to time. 

I get what you’re saying. I’ve heard of the rendezvous thing from older ones in the truth. That was an understandable change. But many people still use the word fellowship, and disfellowship being the opposite is still fitting in my opinion. But if they did change it, it would be interesting to see what it gets changed to 😊

The Hebrew word cushi or kushi is an affectionate term generally used in the Bible to refer to a dark-skinned person of African descent.

 

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