When excommunication became a possibility, I began looking for resources specific to those who have been through formal discipline. I found very little at first, which is one of the reasons I began writing. These Church resources are good, but we sometime desire to hear success stories from others.
While there is a desire to find something specific to our circumstances, the best resources to find answers and comfort include prayer, scripture study, regular Church attendance, and seeking to understand and apply the doctrine of Christ.
Below this article will be resources that I found helpful during my return to the covenant path.
My purpose is to be open about my life in a way to offer others hope in their return to Jesus Christ and to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by helping them find what works best for them on their return, whether they have chose to be inactive, they received formal discipline, or willingly left and wish to return.
We come to Christ by accepting Him as the only way to return to our Father in Heaven and trusting in His atoning sacrifice on our behalf. He set the conditions of accepting him and has given us his doctrine, the doctrine of Christ for us to accept, and live, in order for us to walk as disciples and strive to live as He lived. The doctrine of Christ is faith in Him, repentance from sin, making covenants and baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and showing the permanence of our conversion through enduring life, during the good days and the bad.
Most posts on this page, as I will be posting on other sites, will reflect my experience, and many of the resources that I have found and used to strengthen my testimony, build my resolve and further my commitment to accept Christ daily.
Resources for excommunicated members:
The Atonement – Selected Articles
What is Church Discipline?
Elder M. Russell Ballard “A Chance to Start Over: Church Disciplinary Councils and the Restoration of Blessings”
Marvin J. Ashton “While They Are Waiting”
Elder Theodore M. Burton “To Forgive is Divine”
Robert L. Simpson “Courts of Love”
The Principles and Purpose of Church Courts
Judges in Israel: Watching over the Church
True to the Faith: Church Disciplinary Councils
Guide to the Scriptures: Excommunication
Ensign Article – Returning to the Fold
Gordon B. Hinckley “Disciplinary Councils”
Nate Bagley: Why People Leave the Church and Never Come Back
Topical Guide: Excommunication
Index to the Triple Combination: Council, Disciplinary
Mosiah 26 – Church Discipline in Ancient Americas
Bruce C. Hafen – Disciplinary Procedures
Lesson: Doctrine and Covenants 102
Dale G. Renlund “The Priesthood and the Savior’s Atoning Power” reference to the Restoration of Blessings ordinance
These are all really good resources, which I found through this past 18 months. I found some only recently. They address a lot of questions concerning church discipline and restoration, but it is important to stress that one of the best things that anyone who is seeking to be restored is to learn, intimately, the doctrine of Christ, serve others, and pray for and recognize the promptings and visitation of the Holy Ghost, and learn to obey them.
Study the Book of Mormon daily and study the other Standard Works of the Church. Read or listen to general conference talks, such as “Whatsoever He Saith Unto You, Do It,” as often as possible. Be present at Church and, if encouraged, participate in the discussions. Stay close to your leaders and your family and friends. Don’t fade into the background and “cast not away therefore your confidence. (Hebrews 10:35)”