LDS Church leaders release, excommunicate Elder James J. Hamula

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  • MaryJH Lehi, UT
    Aug. 23, 2017 1:54 a.m.

    My experience with excommunication was different. It was my husband's and knowing it was coming was a major reason why I chose divorce. It is not only the actions of the spouse but the fact the already suffering family members can simply take no more. Adding public embarrassment to the pile of problems makes it unbearable. A friend once warned me against letting a spouse know of her husband's adultery, even anonymously. She said the woman might already know and be choosing to stay in the marriage. But if she knew others knew, she might feel too humiliated to stay. So maybe the bishops or stake presidents should speak privately with the spouse and ask what effect this will have on them. And please, privately, not in front of the high council or bishopric. And what is said should remain strictly private, shared with no one. Even one other person knowing can tip you right out of a marriage.
    No one should feel required to stay in a marriage in order to shield someone from excommunication, but it really is a family affair and not just a personal one.
    Best wishes and prayers for our brother and his family.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    Aug. 15, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    God be with you through the days and years ahead. We welcome you always and desire your return immediately. "Friends at first are friends at last!"

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    Aug. 14, 2017 8:36 a.m.

    " Even the very Elect will be deceived" this should be a great lessen to all of us, to fortify our lives and make sure we are not flirting with evil, in our lives and the lives of of our children.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 12, 2017 12:57 p.m.

    If he is no longer in the position, fine then just make that public. If they are not going to say why he was excommunicated why mention excommunication at all?

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 11, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    I am seeing a few too many posts that appear to be glorifying excommunication, seemingly to the point of martyrdom. Let me be clear, excommunication is intended to invoke the humility and change of heart that only Godlike sorrow can accomplish as the result of a serious and significant sin. Brother Hamula has commenced a very long repentance journey as he seeks forgiveness from the Lord. Now doubt he will be surrounded by loving family, friends and priesthood leaders that will be by his side. God's grace is sufficient.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Aug. 10, 2017 8:01 p.m.

    Rebaptized,

    I'm sorry you had a less than ideal experience. Bishops are human and prone to forget as any of us might in their shoes. So personally, I offer a friendly suggestion. I wouldn't hold any hard feelings toward them. I only say that cause I believe you (and all of us really) will be blessed for looking at church leaders with the a loving and optimistic attitude.

    More probably could have been done. In truth, I'm sure all of us need to serve more than we do. There will always be someone that could have helped by any of us members. Perhaps you will be called as a bishop someday. If you are, I'm sure you'll not let people slip your attention and care. That in and of itself is great news and a reminder that with God, our weaknesses are turned into our strengths.

    If it's any comfort, consider this scripture:

    Isaiah 49:15
    Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

    With faith we can see that none of us are ever forgotten. By imperfect man? Yes. But by the one who matters most? Never! :)

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Aug. 10, 2017 4:11 p.m.

    The lesson I learn from this is, life is a trial and I should mind my own lot so the weeds will not dominate my beautiful garden. Excommunication is the most generous gift one who has fallen can have. We all fall but to certain degrees. Some needs repentance and others deserve excommunication. Excommunication gives a person an opportunity for a clean new start. It is not easy but many have overcome and returned and became stronger. After learning of my brother's serious (several) misdeeds, I encouraged him to go to his church leaders to have him excommunicated for what he had done. I also worked with him to return. What a relief and joyous event that was for all of us. I wish Brother Hamula the best.

  • Derynv South Africa, 00
    Aug. 10, 2017 11:19 a.m.

    This is sad news, and my prayers go out to the Hamula family and especially Bro Hamula. I have been through excommunication, and worked long and hard to get back to full fellowship. Even though I transgressed, I never lost my testimony. I'm sure Bro Hamula will be back in full fellowship soon. He needs our prayers, not our condemnation, and our support, not speculation.

  • Doris58 Calexico, CA
    Aug. 9, 2017 10:34 p.m.

    I don't remember hearing any of his talks, but I want to let him know that he is my brother and I love him. Dios bendiga a el y su familia y les de fortaleza para seguir adelante. Espero que algun dia asi como estoy viendo esta noticia, llegue a ver la noticia de que el se ha bautizado.

  • LordPillsbury Mcminnville, OR
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:17 p.m.

    As a member who has been through the process of excommunication, I want to express my heartfelt love for this man and his family. I also would like to express that his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ also love him. If they love him, how much more should we also.
    My excommunication was actually one of the most dramatic spiritual experiences I ever had. I know that sounds weird, but the spirit was so strong helping confess my wrong doings. Shame, sorrow, doubt, tears and a very very heavy heart brought my soul down under the weight of my sins. When all was said and done, a prayer, a hug, an embrace from those there, words of encouragement. I left that room and as I passed through the doorway, I literally felt the Holy Ghost stop at the doorway and pour out the back of me as if I left the light and entered a cold dark place. I stopped...turned around in amazement and exclaimed "the Holy Ghost just left me!"

    What was the hardest thing to overcome to come back to the church? Self forgiveness. I pray Bro. Hamilcar that you learn to forgive yourself, the Lord already has. You have confessed your sins before God and He now waits eagerly for your return. God bless!

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2017 8:49 p.m.

    It may be a good thing that may change his live. One reads many life stories of members who leave their church and find a better live. He is a fortunate man with resources and means to live a good prospers live. Religion can be a two way street coming and going with growth and happiness at both ends.

  • Ringz Australia, 00
    Aug. 9, 2017 6:43 p.m.

    Love and Prayers for the Hamula family

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 3:27 p.m.

    To Flyer in St. George...I was so touched by your words. Unless someone has gone through Excommunication from the LDS Church they will not and cannot understand the power of it's effect. It is not for anyone to judge - the Lord has judged and as this repentant person turns his life over to our Savior Jesus Christ in all areas there will be eventual peace, happiness and calmness. Our Faith is tested and as we have total commitment to our Savior Jesus Christ through this Excommunication we will be blessed and we have to ignore ignorant comments, etc. and just look to our Bishop, and our Savior for that strength we are in need of and not let anything outside affect us negatively. The day will be here for you to be rebaptized..it is nothing to be ashamed of - to the contrary..it is a day to be remembered and treasured. I speak from experience.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 3:24 p.m.

    This life is to endure to the end. The atonement of Jesus Christ was and is a miracle for all of God's children.

    Thank goodness for that healing care of our Father and Savior.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    Impartial said " This is nothing but a warning to keep the flock in line."

    Impartial would you be so kind as to provide proof to me of your statement. Do you know for a fact that "this is nothing but a warning to keep the flock in line"? I would sincerely appreciate that.

    Thank you

  • PAmama Lehighton, PA
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:57 p.m.

    None of us are perfect. That's why we had a loving Savior that made it possible for us to repent, through His atonement. I am going to pray for the family, but especially for him. I know he's a wonderful man and has a wonderful family.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    Jim was a law school classmate and is a friend. I love him and wish him Godspeed in his journey.

    I believe the reason for the Church announcement was clear and wise. Jim taught and counseled many in his role as a General Authority. The announcement from the Church was to assure the members that there was nothing amiss regarding what he taught. The basis of the Church disciplinary process was not related in any way to anything he taught or on any counsel he gave.

  • CMTM , 00
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:29 p.m.

    @Craig Clark.” In Matthew 18:15–17, Jesus teaches His disciples about excommunication. The Lord details a multi-step approach for responding to sinful offenses in the church.
    Go to the person privately, tell him how he has sinned against you, and be reconciled if he is willing. If the offending person repents, no more action is required.
    If he won’t listen, go back with two or three witnesses to have the conversation again, establishing the facts and the evidence.
    If he still refuses to listen and repent from his sinfulness, bring him before the full church body and make the case against him. If there is still no repentance, the church is to excommunicate the sinner. Jesus’ words are “let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17

  • shadowfx Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2017 2:22 p.m.

    I remember when Elder Lee was excommunicated when I was a missionary. We are ALL HUMAN and make mistakes. Learning from them is key and sometimes the repentance steps are painful.
    We look up to leaders, but remember, they too are human and are prone to sin and temptation. While most are shocked, pray for him and his family at this time as he can probably need and appreciate it.

  • MWillWA Port Orchard, WA
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:38 p.m.

    To those who are distressed that this was announced in public, I ask you to please remember the last time dissenters managed to announce some chuch news first...and with their own negative slant on the information. The effect was devastating, and no amount of explanation has fully cleared up the issue since. This isn't because people don't believe the truth as explained later...it's because the negative or hurt feelings caused by the original misstated announcement are hard to dismiss. Many people struggle to differentiate between strong feelings and truth, especially in a culture taught to listen to their feelings in order to hear from the Spirit.

    I think that allowing a non-church entity, but who has a church-positive identity, to announce the situation is the best case scenario. If they had not announced it, anti-church news sources would still have heard, and been more than willing to take control of how the info would be presented.

  • MrBallroom CA, 00
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:26 p.m.

    @2close2call: You say excommunication looks like a punishment, to which I say, my friend, you miss the point completely. Excommunication is a release from the responsibilities of membership until such time they can prove to their bishop, stake president, and most importantly, themselves, they are ready, able, and most importantly (key word here) themselves they're willing to keep the commandments and walk up to the commandments, responsibilities and obligations that Church membership entails.

    To those not of our faith, please keep in mind Mormonism isn't just a religion or an hour to kill on Sunday; it's a way of life where devotion to God and His Son Jesus Christ is central to who we are, and is best shown by the way the vast majority of us live our everyday lives...quietly, without fanfare, and without expectation of public reward.

    As I taught a stake president in the Midwest (for which he thanked me profusely), is that excommunicated members must be assigned hand-picked home teachers (preferably former bishops) and visiting teachers (preferably former Relief Society Presidents), whose greatest gifts are the ability to love unconditionally, and to keep their mouths shut.

  • philzwife Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:20 p.m.

    It is up to none of us to pass judgement on anyone. Elder Hamula is human and therefore subject to human error. No one is exempt from this. He has contributed much good in the past decade and we should just let him and his family work through this. The scriptures counsel;
    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I personally wish this man peace and the opportunity to move forward. Those of us who are members in the LDS church understand that it is love that creates growth in people not negativity and criticism.

  • Vaughn Hughes Sandpoint, ID
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    I'm sad that this had to be put out before the world. Why even mention what the excommunication was supposedly not for? How does that help anything? Were they expecting everyone to suppose that it was for one of these two, for some reason, despite there being over a dozen other normal reasons they excommunicate people? Listing two reasons that it is supposedly "not" for certainly increases the speculation that it was for adultery, abuse, fraud, or some other felony. It really doesn't seem respectful to him or his family, especially when this news is now circulating in papers not just across the US but the world now, too. It seems we as an LDS Church violated our own principle of supposedly not commenting on such proceedings.

    I am genuinely curious, however, how "disillusionment" is now considered grounds for excommunication. Even though he was explicitly not charged with it here in the Church statement, it was listed in the response as a possible reason for excommunication. This is first time I have seen or heard of this anywhere. Definition: "a feeling of disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be."

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 9, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Vaughn Hughes,
    " I'm sad that this had to be put out before the world. Why even mention what the excommunication was supposedly not for? "
    ____________________
    It's puzzling. It sounds like they want to eliminate cause for speculation that the Church suppresses dissent. Instead, it leaves the issue of offense wide open to wild speculation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    regardless this has got to be rough on his family -- no matter who you are or how accomplished or wealthy or well known you are you are always still human and with that comes human weakness as the prophet Nephi expresses in 2 Nephi 4: 17-19

    "my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities....I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me"...

    thankfully -- as we all sin and fall short... we still have a Savior to lift us and save us.

  • KateE75 Edmonton, 00
    Aug. 9, 2017 12:02 p.m.

    I have had 2 friends who were excommunicated from the Church, and later rebaptised. Both are wonderful people whom I feel very blessed to know. I pray that Brother Hamula will similarly find peace and comfort in the repentance process and that in due time, all the blessings of Church membership will be his again.

  • london_josh lincoln, CA
    Aug. 9, 2017 11:41 a.m.

    Mission President to my older sister and my brother-in-law (wife's side of the family), great man, I've met him many times and was always impressed with him.

    People are imperfect, they make mistakes, they need repentance.

    We all need repentance.

    Doesn't matter what personal debts we need forgiven, they need to be forgiven, so best wishes to this wonderful man as he progresses on his journey back to a loving God as I do.

    With the hope that none of us carry spiritual baggage that would weigh us down - lets not judge, just remember that we all are in need of help and this might be merciful help realized over time. He's a great man, was and I'm sure still is and might be even better after this.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 11:24 a.m.

    Thank you, fellow commenters for the outpouring of love and acceptance of Br. Hamula, and for your uplifting and often insightful comments. There are hidden gems among your words and it is a joy to be part of such a powerful spiritual community.

    It is deeply troubling that the same sentiments above, accompanied by quotes of particularly good comments, are considered off-topic or disruptive in any way.

  • neece Hyde Park, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    "The desired result is that the person will make whatever changes are necessary to return fully and completely to be able to receive the marvelous blessings of the church," he said.

    This is such a beautiful statement! Coming from someone who has been there... Excommunication doesn't have to be an "end-all". The "miracle of forgiveness" is a wonderful way to start again! The Atonement gives us all that ability to wash away sin and begin again.
    just remember what it says in Jacob 3

    "But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction."

    Can you imagine that the savior will stand by your side and plead your cause to the father. Just have a firm mind.

    My thoughts and prayers for the family.

  • CMTM , 00
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:53 a.m.

    RE: Fullypresent "It isn't anyone's business why he was excommunicated. He has a right to privacy as does his family. "

    Hopefully, any disciplinary action a church takes against a member is successful in bringing about godly sorrow and true repentance. When repentance occurs, the individual can be restored to fellowship.

    The man involved in the 1 Corinthians 5 passage repented, and Paul later encouraged the church to restore him to full fellowship with the church (2 Corinthians 2:5–8). Unfortunately, disciplinary action, even when done correctly and in love, is not always successful in bringing about restoration.
    Even when church discipline fails to bring about repentance, it is still needed to accomplish other good purposes such as maintaining a good testimony in the world.

  • gratefulmouse san angelo, tx
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:41 a.m.

    I'm sorry for him.....and his family....I will pray for him.....people are not perfect....and its why we have our saviors atonement....God bless him and his family..

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:32 a.m.

    The Church could have released him from his calling and let it go. No point in creating a situation that is abuzz with speculation. Excommunication is a remedy that strikes many as. . . . well. . . . unchristianlike.

  • starkat West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    @2close2call:

    "You may state that and many other LDS have stated that here, but honestly, I don't buy it. All it looks like to me, is a punishment."

    I believe LDS downplay this out of compassion, but yes: There is a reason it is called "Church discipline". From one angle, it definitely IS a punishment to be removed from the Church, as you lose a number of privileges that you enjoyed as a member in good standing. It's a result of wrongdoing according to the doctrine of the Church. It doesn't have to be wrongdoing according to the laws of the land, or popular moral opinion; just as with most other organizations of any kind, there are rules to abide as a member that may be particular to that organization, and if you can't abide them there are usually repercussions...and violation of certain rules, or an inability to follow rules in general, or even a strongly demonstrated desire to oppose that organization, may indeed merit your removal.

    In Elder Hamula's case, you are absolutely correct in your original statement, as many have attested - he is surely a wonderful human being. The most wonderful human beings on earth make mistakes, sometimes big ones. (cont'd)

  • showlowdoc Show Low, AZ
    Aug. 9, 2017 9:03 a.m.

    Yesterday after hearing this news, we as a family prayed for brother Hamula and his family, and will continue to do so. I think of the many, many years of service he and his family have dedicated to building the church. I have already ready so many stories of members who's lives have been touched and changed for the better. The profound lessons he taught in general conference of the atonement and the sacrament are truly inspirational to me and was a light to me during an especially difficult and dark time of my life.

    We pray for you brother Hamula and your wife and family. I hope you are feeling the power of so many people praying for you! Don't give up! As you already know, detractors and those who jeer have no real hope of real joy and would love to bring you down. Don't let them! We love you!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    There is purpose in what has been done. The Church stopped making announcements that a person in the Ward had a similar circumstance because of the effect it had on the innocent family. I wonder who will step forward to help him on the road back. It takes more than a Bishop and Stake President and members have to support the family. It is not the end, but a new beginning.

    The story is told of a young man who stole some sheep and at that time, he was branded with an "ST" on his forehead so all would know. He did everything in his power to support others and they supported him over the years. Years later the "ST" had faded but was still there. A visitor came to town and noticed the "ST" and asked his guide what it stood for. The guide who had no idea of the history but did know of the fellow's good works said, "I think it stands for Saint".

    I am sure that with the support of others, this will also be the same outcome for Brother Hamula and his family.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 7:54 a.m.

    I remember when Lee got ex'd. That hit me right betwixt the eyes. It was a sad day, and then the rest of the issues came to the front after.

    I prayers are with Brother Hamala and I wish him the best on his road back.

  • JkeithC Richland, WA
    Aug. 9, 2017 7:46 a.m.

    God be with you Elder Hamula. I have heard you speak and enjoyed your testimony. We will pray that you are able to take care of whatever needs to be taken care of and to return to membership in full Fellowship. We all have need to repent. You Are Not Alone.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Aug. 9, 2017 4:18 a.m.

    Detractors and critics of the LDS Church like to label us as self-righteous and judgemental.

    The majority of the comments here are the opposite.

    Like others, I am very touched by the great outpouring of sympathy and support for Bro. Hamula and his family both in these comments, and from members in general.

    If you read his Conference talks, you get an idea of how very painful this must be for them. Such great counsel.

    Please know dear Hamula family that we remember the great good Bro Hamula has done and taught-- and there are countless members of the Church who are praying for you and feeling for you.

    I've heard it said more than once that this mistake-- and suffering now of Bro Hamula and his family-- will not be in vain if it makes us all realize we are all 'a short trip' from the same. It's a wake-up call.

  • MollysMom Provo, UT
    Aug. 9, 2017 12:33 a.m.

    We ALL make mistakes, in many areas of our lives. I could never throw the first stone at this man or at anyone..I'm way too flawed myself. I am so sorry this has to be so public for him and for his family. It's hard enough when you make mistakes without having the information go viral all over the internet for everyone's consumption and speculation. God bless him.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Aug. 8, 2017 11:18 p.m.

    I'm impressed - in awe, really - by the outpouring of support for this excommunicated person in these posts. And like so many posts, I'm also not concerned to know details about his "transgression"

    But I do speculate that most posters here were less supportive of Bill Clinton in his moment of "transgression", and at the same time, willing to overlook bad behavior from the current administration - including mysogyny - because of certain stated values.

    I'm not speculating on Hamula's sins. I'm only speculating that we are highly selective, and thereby hypocritical, in what we condemn and what we forgive.

  • kiwi111 Auckland, New Zealand, 00
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:42 p.m.

    To those who have commented that the authorities may not have approved publication of this - it was released through Brother Hawkins, and is on lds.org for whoever wants to know. Imagine what the news critics would have said - and I'm sure they still,will - had this not been officially released to the world.

    I love this church and sustain our prophet and apostles and those leaders who sacrifice so much to serve us so faithfully in our communities throughout the world.

    We love you our 'Elder' Hamula and pray for you and your family.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 10:11 p.m.

    It isn't anyone's business why he was excommunicated. He has a right to privacy as does his family. I don't know why this article was even necessary. Looking from the outside in it seems he should have been quietly released, thanked for his service, and nothing said about him being excommunicated. Any leader in your Church could fall at any time for a variety of reasons. He and his family should be left alone and their privacy respected.

  • tlshaff henderson, NV
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:55 p.m.

    The best explanation I've heard regarding excommunication is comparing it to severing a contract. When you make covenants with God, breaking those covenants/sinning against those covenants places you under greater condemnation than if you committed the same sins but hadn't made the covenants. And the longer you sin and break covenants, the deeper the hole you're digging. That's why, under certain circumstances, individuals are released from their covenants (excommunicated) - it protects them from further condemnation and essentially releases them from their covenants until they're spiritually ready to make and uphold them again. A loose comparison would be entering into a legal contract...if one party breaks the contract, the other party could exact retribution by suing, placing a lien on property, etc. But imagine instead that the second party releases the first party from the contract. Far from being punishment, excommunication is a merciful act from Heavenly Father designed to limit condemnation and give the person time to work through their repentance.
    Elder Hamula and his family are in our prayers...I hope his journey brings him back home.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:48 p.m.

    Very sad day for this man. However, it can ALSO be a very happy day, too.

    Happy? Yes, for today he formally begins the road to repentance and complete forgiveness from the Lord. I hope and pray he will continue.

    As for Disciplinary Church Courts, I sat in on 4 or 5 of them as a High Councilor. Never once did I see, hear or feel anything but love and encouragement from other High Councilors or the Stake Presidency towards those who committed major transgressions. I also remember, vividly, that my Stake President would remind all of us counselors, before the member was brought in, that it was a very, very short walk from our chairs to the end of the table where the offending member would briefly sit. Meaning?...the road from righteousness to sin was a short one and easy to travel.

    Best wishes to this man, his family and all of us, too.

  • Bigtomk Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:40 p.m.

    Elder Hamula was my bishop and my stake president. I have nothing but love and admiration for him. He too will be required to use the atonement in his life no different then any other human being on this earth. I wish and his family the very best! We love you Jim!

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:39 p.m.

    My recommendation, while meaningless, would be that the LDS church went one further than saying that Hamula was not excommunicated for apostasy but also, actually stated he was not excommunicated for an illegal act. Otherwise, peoples imaginations go completely wild as to why he was actually excommunicated.

  • JMCoug SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:33 p.m.

    Jim Hamula and I were in law school at the same time from '81-'84. Chin up Jim. It'll all work out.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:30 p.m.

    @ Mueller.hebn - Logan, UT - Aug. 8, 2017 1:55 p.m. - "I personally feel an article like this was unnecessary. I'm seeing tons of bashing of this man on social media and it makes me sad that things that are none of our business and very personal are being shared publicly in this way. It's important to be informed on what excommunication is but it shouldn't be done at anyone's expense. I'm not sure the general authorities actually have approved this to be published. This should most definitely be removed."

    Totally agree that it is sad this man is being cowardly attacked in the media. However, the article quoted Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve that in some instances it is necessary, ie, the LEAST harmful course of action, to make public the fact that an excommunication occurred (note, though, that the specific issue was NOT made public, and, the Church also chose to publicly say this was NOT due to personal apostasy). If it is necessary to protect the innocent or to protect the good image/reputation of the Church then applicable information is released.

    Such is the case now.

    Have faith in those the Lord called.

  • Alane MASCOT, TN
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:23 p.m.

    I add my expression of support for this man and his family. Please, please hold fast and return to full fellowship again. You are needed, and loved by many.

  • Mel Anderson San Antonio, TX
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:21 p.m.

    My prayers are with him, his family and anyone else effected by this. This has got to be a heartbreaking day for so many people, but happily, this is not the end.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    Elder Hamula was the visiting General Authority several months ago for our devotional at the Los Angeles Temple. His talk was, for me, the highlight of the occasion - very informative and uplifting. Along with many others who have posted here, I also pray that, in time, the day will come when he can serve and lead once again.

  • Rebaptized Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:12 p.m.

    I wish the best for Brother Hamula. I was recently rebaptized after having been excommunicated over 5 years ago. My experience was not as positive as I was hoping it was going to be. At my Disciplinary Council (if was anything but a "Court of Love") I was assured that local leaders would be starting an interview process regularly with me and that I would be assigned home teachers. I was told that I wouldn't be alone during this process. During the first 4 years, I attended regularly, but only had about 4 meetings with the Bishop and 2 with the Stake President. No plan was ever formulated, no prayers offered, no blessing offered, no home teachers. The meetings were basically, "How are things going?" Of course, you can't go to another ward or stake. I was stuck and no one cared.

    Finally, a new bishop after 4 years who actually did what he was supposed to. He brought me in for meetings and set up a real plan. Finally, I was rebaptized. It was very discouraging for 4 years and I almost walked away, but I knew the Gospel was true.

    My experience is not unique. I've spoken to others. General Church leaders really need to speak to those who have been excommunicated.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 9:06 p.m.

    @AZJurist " Excommunication is not about punishment, it is about helping a person repent when his or her transgressions are serious."

    You may state that and many other LDS have stated that here, but honestly, I don't buy it. All it looks like to me, is a punishment.

  • MrBallroom CA, 00
    Aug. 8, 2017 8:35 p.m.

    A difficult day for Brother Hamula, his family and the Church as a whole yes; but Brother Hamula knows that 99%+ of the faithful will keep him and his family in their prayers.

    Those who know of the essential nature of repentance and of the power of Christ's forgiveness also know we won’t see the last of Brother Hamula. He has blessed the lives of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands over the years through his wisdom and counsel, and today's actions do not—nor should they—negate a life of faithful and devoted service in its totality.

    I believe he’ll be shepherded by his brethren in the General Authorities; and at the appropriate time, he'll be back in the Church, where he'll be welcomed with open arms by those who love him, and that after additional time, he'll be given another chance to serve, although not at the level he once served.

    As I said at a disciplinary council in which I once participated before the person was brought into the room, "Here but for the grace of God goes any one of us."

    May God and His beloved Son Jesus Son Jesus Christ bless the Hamula family and their family, especially at this difficult time. ***

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 7:47 p.m.

    Public Excommunication should be abolished. Excommunication should be between the member and the authorities- no one else needs to know. This is nothing but a warning to keep the flock in line. It is anything but Christlike.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 7:02 p.m.

    My heart swells reading the comments here.

    We build up the Lord's kingdom on Earth. As we do we make mistakes. It's so comforting just to see this much love expressed toward this man. Who among us has not made mistakes? Who hasn't made big ones? Who hasn't made so massive of ones they felt they could never be forgiven? And who can belong to this church and not feel the hope and love that just beams from the Savior?

    When we repent, He remembers our sins no more. If He wants to forget them, then so should we of ourselves and each other. Who knows, maybe he'll someday give yet another Conference address. The Savior governs His church, not us. So I trust this to be a good thing for the church, for this man, and for his family. Some of the best things are very hard to endure. But good things they still be.

    I read this scripture today (Helaman 5):

    "the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins." -- He doesn't intend to take us as we are, but to make us into who we need to be. This is just one form of correction to help shape us into our potential.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 8, 2017 6:59 p.m.

    I am impressed and happy to see all the outpouring of support and love for Elder Hamula. This is as it should be, and I also hope that he is on the path to return to full fellowship. I too extend my thanks to him for his service and prayers for him and his family, and all of us. We all need all the prayerful help we can acquire. We all need the Atonement, and we need each other.

  • Flyer St. George, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 6:15 p.m.

    As someone who is going through the repentance process myself, and having been excommunicated as well, the one thing that I have learned, is that we simply shouldn't judge. During this process, I've read many conference talks, read scripture after scripture, and it's abundantly clear to me, that we not only should not judge, but we are commanded not to. Not only this, but judging impacts our spiritual well being in a negative way, and with what judgement we render, we too will be held accountable for having judged.

    As I've gone down this road, I've had people judge me. And what's hard, is they simply don't understand the situation, or what the circumstances where behind my having been excommunicated. Although it was a small circle, there were handful of people who view/viewed me as a worthless individual. This contradicts everything the Atonement stands for, and contradicts the gospel as a whole. Thank goodness for the Atonement, and the hope it provides!

    The Atonement is real, and being forgiven is a sacred gift from The Savior. It is a process however, but it's a sacred process that should be between us and The Savior, and no one else.

  • AZJurist Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2017 5:46 p.m.

    @canis calidus - The church will not disclose his transgression; they will keep private matters private. The only purpose in announcing his excommunication is because he was a prominent leader in the church.

    @2close2call - It doesn't really matter if you uphold or recognize any action from an LDS disciplinary court because it has no bearing on you or anyone else other than Br. Hamula. The church court is not going to send him to jail, fine him, or otherwise punish him, so it doesn't matter if he can be tried in an "actual court of law." All the disciplinary court has authority to do is to remove Br. Hamula from the membership of the church, which is completely within their authority. But guess what? Just because they took away his membership, it doesn't mean he can no longer attend church. In fact the church leaders will encourage him to continue to attend church services weekly, and to meet with church leadership regularly as he goes through the repentance process, and hopefully within a year or two he will be rebaptized into the church. Excommunication is not about punishment, it is about helping a person repent when his or her transgressions are serious.

  • kla795 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 8, 2017 5:41 p.m.

    Tough situation to handle. Stories like this always leave everyone wondering what happened - and imaginations run wild. I'm going to give the church the benefit of the doubt that they didn't announce this to cause embarrassment and shame to Elder Hamula and his family, but since he was a high profile member, best to put it out in the open officially.

    To be clear, this is not an invitation to judge or disparage Elder Hamula. Don't be a part of juvenile behavior like that.

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Aug. 8, 2017 5:27 p.m.

    I feel nothing but compassion for Brother Hamula and his family. This news is such a painful reminder to me, as it should be to everyone, of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor. 10:12). In my different church positions, I have been a participant in several disciplinary councils. They are meetings in which profound love for the individual and reverential love for the Lord are the dominating influences. My heart goes out to Brother Hamula, his family, and to those who had to make this agonizing decision.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 5:23 p.m.

    Mueller
    If it were taken down the church and DN would be accused of a coverup. No good way to handle this.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Aug. 8, 2017 5:00 p.m.

    This IS the True Church of Jesus Christ. God be thanked for the Gift of His Son and the restoration of His church.

    For this General Authority, it WILL be a very thorny path back, but worth the effort if he chooses it.

    Peace of conscience will need to be earned. It will not come easy, but in time with effort will come.

    How hast thou fallen?

    Fellow Church Members: Stay in the Ship! There is safety in the 'Good Ship Zion'

  • canis calidus Sacramento, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:46 p.m.

    Excuse my ignorance. What was his transgression?

    I Jewish man spoke to his Rabi. "There are times I question my faith. There are times I question the Torah."

    The Rabi answered: "Questioning you faith and scriptures is necessary to find faith and truth."

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:22 p.m.

    As a non Mormon, I don't recognize, or uphold any result or action from an LDS disciplinary court, so as far as I am concerned, if James J. Hamula has done nothing wrong that could be legitimately tried in an actual court of law, he is a good decent man in my eyes. If that is the case, keep your head held high, Mr. Hamula!

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:19 p.m.

    I am reminded that all of us are susceptible to weaknesses and mistakes. As others have said, we must never let our guard down.

    I hope all the best for Bro. Hamula and his loved ones.

  • AZJurist Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:15 p.m.

    Mueller.hebn actually the church would expect this article to be published; that's why the church released a statement. As Elder Ballard has stated one of the purposes of excommunication is "to safeguard the Church’s purity, integrity, and good name." While you will never hear about most members of the church who are excommunicated, whenever there is a member in a prominent position (bishop, stake pres, general authority) the church leadership will generally announce it. If it is a bishop it would generally just be to the ward, however because he is a general authority it calls for a global announcement. This is to protect the church's good name towards those who may know the reasons for the excommunication or who may have been hurt by that person's actions.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:15 p.m.

    We all make mistakes. We all have the choice and opportunity to return. He was and is still a good man.

  • Mango1234 Hurricane, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    Elder Hamula spoke at our Stake Conference a few years ago, and his talk was brilliant, inspiring, and one of the best meetings I've been to. I took many notes and have committed many quotes to memory. He has blessed my life and the lives of my family. None of that changes with this. I choose to support he & his family through prayer & any other way possible.

    I hope that we will not only not be stone throwers, but that we will be stone catchers. It's not enough just to NOT throw stones. The only thing that matters is loving this man back....period.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:43 p.m.

    Verily, it came to pass.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:43 p.m.

    As President Hinckley said - do your best. We all need to do that. My heart feelings go out to him, his wife and children. I'm sure he will right the ship.

  • cougar engineer Alpine, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:35 p.m.

    All men are susceptable to temporary failure, even general authorities. It is always sad to see the public downfall of someone respected, even revered, but rather than depressing me, this reminds me that in the the brotherhood of the Gospel, all are subjects of the same God, subject to the same rules, and all have a path to exaltation through repentance, which may sometimes begin with excommunication. It is no longer important where he has been, but rather where he is headed.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:22 p.m.

    May the Lord bless you, Elder Hamula. Do not give up. You are a valuable lamb to the Lord. Be strong.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:19 p.m.

    I will add my sentiments that our best wishes and prayers for the attendance of the Holy Spirit will be with Elder Hamula and his family.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:19 p.m.

    This type of news is always sad and disappointing. But we must remember, no one is perfect even our General Authorities. We are here to be tested and unfortunately many of us fall....but that does not mean we cannot recover. I was excommunicated several years ago, I knew at the time what I was doing was not in according with the Lord but I allowed Satan to get into my heart. It's amazing to me the strength we give Satan when we choose to break the commandments. But fortunately, there is the Miracle of Forgiveness...I received that and was baptized once again. I treasure my membership in the only true Church on the face of the earth. Elder Hamula will come through this and will, through Faith and Repentance be an active member of the Church once more. I believe this because I am a full-fledged member of the Church now and have been for several years. It is the greatest blessing a person could receive is FORGIVENESS.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 8, 2017 3:06 p.m.

    Love to Brother Hamula and to his family. He is a wonderful man.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:58 p.m.

    Without knowing any of the details, some will be upset he was excommunicated and will beat their chests in protest. Others (and probably many -most of those former church members) will be glad he was and will point to it as if it is some kind of indictment of other church leaders or of the church itself. I don't want to be in either camp. The third camp will be those that I'm mostly (and gladly) seeing on this particular comment thread that understand human failure, the value of repentance and the atonement, and perhaps most importantly, the value of forgiveness.

  • terlds Ogden, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    I will be praying for him and his family.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:44 p.m.

    The best of luck to him and his family.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:40 p.m.

    @ Esquire

    I disagree with your comment that excommunication is not extremely rare. In my experience, excommunication only happens in very rare instances.

    Wishing all the best to those involved.

  • DonLayton Bend, OR
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:37 p.m.

    As sad as this is, it is also the beginning. I've seen many people go through the process to repent and return to full fellowship. I've also witnessed many who give up. My wish and hope is that everyone in his circle and accept him with open arms, with no judgement or malice. And I pray to God that all of those affected, including himself, will receive healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    Best wishes to Bro. Hamula. He needs our prayers and an outpouring of the Spirit.

    Such proceedings ARE very rare and ARE very difficult for all concerned. How he and his family handle this will no doubt be with class, dignity and spirituality.

    May those who seek to judge Bro. Hamula or his Church show equal class, dignity and spirituality.

  • _Moondogg_ Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:31 p.m.

    Excommunication can be painful and difficult, but can also serve as a very personal lesson of the power of the atonement. I'm hopeful that Brother Hamula's convictions were strong enough that he knows that and uses this experience to draw closer to the Savior.

    I wish him the best in his journey ahead and hope to see him back in full fellowship when the time is right.

  • hercules304 Mesa, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:21 p.m.

    I love this man and his family so very much. He was an amazing Mission President and helped change the course of my life forever. He has sacrificed so much of his life for the church and has been an a great example for hundreds if not thousands. I pray you all will stay your judgement and know we are all fallible creatures. In this time I wish him nothing but love and kindness. My prayers are with you brother and your family.

    Matthew 7:1-5

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:13 p.m.

    People need to give this man privacy and not engage in gossip and speculation.

    Suffice it to say, even General Authorities are human. I've seen and dealt with several who were quite human.

    I have differences with the disciplinary process and the philosophy. But my views carry no weight in this regard. I will say that the Church is a means to an end, an instrumentality to help us through the trials of life. Too many see the Church as the end, which corrodes its actual mission. In my view, excommunication should be extremely rare, but it's not.

    Best wishes to Bro. Hamula. Sincerely.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 2:04 p.m.

    Church is class act to not release details, others could come forward and give details, yet hopefully they will not. Nobody needs to know anything. Ether 2 or 3, in a person's prayer, says we are all, in a way, evil continually, because of the Fall.

  • ReadMineFirst Ft. Collins, CO
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:58 p.m.

    Now is the time for Brother Hamula to put into action the very things he has taught us...that is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. Remember President Eyring's great words of counsel..."there is a danger in the word someday, when what it means is not this day"? I know that the Atonement is in effect in all of our lives if we repent. I am grateful for the gift of repentance and have already started to pray for him and his family.

  • Mueller.hebn Logan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:55 p.m.

    I personally feel an article like this was unnecessary. I'm seeing tons of bashing of this man on social media and it makes me sad that things that are none of our business and very personal are being shared publicly in this way. It's important to be informed on what excommunication is but it shouldn't be done at anyone's expense. I'm not sure the general authorities actually have approved this to be published. This should most definitely be removed.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:41 p.m.

    There but for the Grace of God could go any of us.
    Never let your guard down.

  • Danderson Canada, 00
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:39 p.m.

    This man was my mission President. This is stunning to read..... he was a good man to serve under. My prayers and well wishes go with him.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:32 p.m.

    All this story does is make you wonder why. What did he do that was so terrible?

  • James B. Young SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:20 p.m.

    Most denominations are pretty good at holding their leadership accountable.

    The best to brother Hamula and is family.

    The article reports the cause were not "disillusionment or apostasy," so there is hope he will return the fold in the Lord's due time.

  • Democrat Provo, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    I have great respect for Church leaders in taking this difficult action. When the public doesn't know the details, it would be tempting for an organization to keep things quiet.

    I pray for Brother Hamula and his family.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:12 p.m.

    Neat to see people expressing concern for him and his family. Bless them.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    Rules are rules....whatever he did, I'm sure the church did not jump to a conclusion.
    I'm certain is was properly handled, and that's that.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:02 p.m.

    Just heartbreaking.

    Never let your guard down.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    Guessing there will be some interesting posts from this. I know I will not throw the first stone.

    Best to him and family.

  • HappyDad Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    Many wonderful people stumble at one point or another. My prayers are with him, his family, and all affected by this.

  • iluvnz Vernal, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    My prayers are with this man. We're all human, and we all are susceptible to the influence of the adversary. I pray for him and his family.

  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:45 p.m.

    I believe he can (and should) continue to sing in the ward choir, attend Sunday School, Sacrament, Priesthood, and conference meetings, index, research family history, subscribe and read the Des News, Ensign, LDS videos, Liahona, Friend, Era, Mormon Channel, BYUTV, read scriptures, tour Temple Square and Visitor's Centers, write cards and letters, pray, visit the needy, help the poor, imprisoned, write a daily journal, volunteer, donate to the Scouts, testify, share, seek after virtue, lovely, good report and praiseworthy standards, use time wisely.

  • IAlaw Council Bluffs, IA
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:41 p.m.

    My jaw dropped and my heart broke when I saw this headline. I hope and pray for the best for Elder Hamula as well as his family. They are good people, and I'm sure I can only imagine how hard this is for all of them.

  • antodav Tampa, FL
    Aug. 8, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    On the one hand, it's sad to hear about something like this happening (we can only speculate as to what caused it, and it would be inappropriate and disrespectful to do so). On the other hand, church leaders are fallible and weak human beings like the rest of us, and this demonstrates that. At least we, unlike other churches, hold our leaders accountable and don't allow them to drag the Church's name down with them. I hope he repents and is able to come back into good standing with the Lord again in due time.