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.
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
" 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.
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?
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.
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 49:15Can 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! :)
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Love and Prayers for the Hamula family
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.
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.
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
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
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.
@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
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.
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.
@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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
"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.
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
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
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.
@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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Jim Hamula and I were in law school at the same time from '81-'84.
Chin up Jim. It'll all work out.
@ 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
@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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
MuellerIf it were taken down the church and DN would be accused of a
coverup. No good way to handle this.
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
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."
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,
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.
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
We all make mistakes. We all have the choice and opportunity to return. He was
and is still a good man.
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.
Verily, it came to pass.
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
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.
May the Lord bless you, Elder Hamula. Do not give up. You are a valuable lamb
to the Lord. Be strong.
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.
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
Love to Brother Hamula and to his family. He is a wonderful man.
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.
I will be praying for him and his family.
The best of luck to him and his family.
@ EsquireI 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
There but for the Grace of God could go any of us.Never let your guard
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.
All this story does is make you wonder why. What did he do that was so terrible?
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.
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
Neat to see people expressing concern for him and his family. Bless them.
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.
Just heartbreaking. Never let your guard down.
Guessing there will be some interesting posts from this. I know I will not
throw the first stone.Best to him and family.
Many wonderful people stumble at one point or another. My prayers are with him,
his family, and all affected by this.
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.
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.
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.
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.