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Dear Gramps,

What happens when someone wants to join to church who has been excommuicated? I was excomnuicated about 25 years ago. I had gone inactive. Wanted i guess to see if anyone cared if i went or not. A letter was left for me saying i was excommunicated.

Jonathan

Dear Jonathan,

Normally a person is not excommunicated for going inactive, in fact no action is taken unless the person who has gone inactive requests that his or her name be removed from the records of the Church.  If a disciplinary council was held, you should have been notified of it and any charges that might have been brought.  You should also have been given the opportunity to attend the council.

The great news is that you are more than welcome to return regardless of what has happened in the past.  The First Presidency of the Church stated:   “We are aware of some who are inactive, of others who have become critical and are prone to find fault, and of those who have been disfellowshipped or excommunicated because of serious transgressions.

“To all such we reach out in love. We are anxious to forgive. …

“We encourage Church members to forgive those who may have wronged them. To those who have ceased activity and to those who have become critical, we say, ‘Come back. Come back and feast at the table of the Lord, and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.’ ” (Church News, 22 Dec. 1985, p. 3.)

If you will visit with your local Bishop he will be able to determine the status of  your membership.  If you have in fact been excommunicated, as you indicate, he can outline the steps you need to take to be rebaptized.  If you have not been excommunicated, he will also be able to help you return to full activity.  The important thing is that you can “come back”.

Gramps

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