Ask A Latter-day Saint: Re-joining the Church after Ex-Communication


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By Jeff Borders

If Someone is excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can they rejoin?

Thanks for your question. The Short answer is yes. For the longer answer, I need to explain a little about Church councils. Through the process of Church councils, local leaders, like the Bishop and Stake President, strive to help guide members through the repentance process.  The purpose of these councils is not to punish people, but to help members of the faith connect with Jesus Christ and access the power of his atoning sacrifice in their lives.

It is important to remember that excommunication, or loss of Church membership because of these councils is rare. Church leaders are always desirous to help members repent and move forward on the covenant path if and when possible. However, there are times and certain circumstances when excommunication is an inevitable course of action.

Excommunication is not intended to be the end result for the member. After a member is excommunicated, local Church leaders continue to work with the individual if they are willing and desirous to do so.  The ultimate goal is to eventually return to full fellowship.

When the member has taken corrective actions to align their lives with God, thoroughly repented of their transgressions, and applied the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the can be rebaptized into full fellowship.

While many in the outside world might view this “discipline” as harsh and judgmental, most if not all of the leaders I know, go into these councils in a spirit of fasting and prayer, in hopes to help individuals stay in the Church and move forward. Our whole goal as leaders is to help people find connection to Jesus Christ and feels his grace, and the cleansing power of his atoning sacrifice.

I really hope this answers your question.

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