Another Mormon excommunication, 25 years after the ‘September Six’

Religion News Service | 9/18/2018 | Staff
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On Sunday, former Mormon bishop Sam Young of Texas announced his excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Young has actively and publicly campaigned for an end to the Mormon policy of allowing bishops to ask youth sexually explicit questions in worthiness interviews (see here). He read aloud his disciplinary letter in front of a crowd gathered at the Salt Lake Temple.

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What’s on my mind today is how history repeats itself: specifically, what happened in the Mormon world exactly 25 years ago. I’m talking about the disfellowshipment or excommunication of the “September Six”—a half-dozen high-profile LDS disciplinary councils that were tried in Utah during a two-week period from September 14 to September 26, 1993.

Their cases were all different, but certain themes emerged: these various individuals had, in one way or another, all poked the bear of the institutional LDS Church. Most were feminists, and some were activists as well as writers and historians.

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Their published criticisms proved too much for the Church, resulting in the wave of disciplinary actions. If the Church was hoping that the mini-purge would make the disciplined individuals’ voices disappear, however, that strategy backfired as the excommunications began receiving national media attention.

That’s where I first heard about them, in the pages of the New York Times. I was a divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary at the time, and I tried to make it a practice to read the Sunday paper regularly (which was in paper newsprint then, back in the day).

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I had a particular interest in the Times’s September 19, 1993 story about the unfolding LDS excommunication saga, as I was scheduled to be baptized as a Mormon myself the following week.

The excommunications’ effect on me was chilling. Here I was, a feminist who was training to be a historian, about to commit myself...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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