Cast Out

    Even if you know someone has violated the commandment, ye shall not cast him out from among you (3 Nephi 8:9). Instead, the Lord places on His disciples the burden of making intercession for him, praying unto the Father in [Christ’s] name for such a man. For the Lord reminds us that, if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in [His] name then the man’s repentance will take care of his failure. Notice the burden on His disciples. What does it mean to minister unto him who has transgressed? What does it mean to pray for him unto the Father? This again testifies of how serious the Lord is about how kind and patient His followers are with others. “How long are you to bear with the offender, hoping for his repentance? When do you decide that he is determined to repent not? What does it mean, after you have determined the man will not repent that he shall not be numbered among my people? Now, even if you think you have a basis for deciding all this against the man, nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship. Did you see that? We are not to forbid even the man who is intent upon destroying the Lord’s people from our places of worship. What selfless behavior is this? Enduring persecution! It is as if the Lord expects His followers to bless those who curse them, to do good to them who despitefully use them. Why such patience? Because ye know not but what they will return and repent and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them, and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. If there is a chance for repentance, the Lord wants us to bear with, succor and uplift the non-repentant soul who drinks damnation.”1

    The question then arises about “what a fellowship should do when a predator or threatening individual comes among them. Apparently some people think that you must allow anyone to participate, no matter how argumentative or threatening they behave. The adulterous and predatory almost always cannot be reformed, and must be excluded. They will victimize and destroy. We are commanded to cast out those who steal, love and make a lie, commit adultery and refuse to repent. We have been instructed: You shall not kill; he that kills shall die. You shall not steal, and he that steals and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall not lie; he that lies and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall love your wife with all your heart and shall cleave unto her and none else, and he that looks upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit, and if he repent not he shall be cast out. You shall not commit adultery, and he that commits adultery and repents not shall be cast out; and he that commits adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsakes and does it no more, you shall forgive him; but if he does it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. You shall not speak evil of your neighbor or do him any harm. You know my laws, they are given in my scriptures. He that sins and repents not shall be cast out. If you love me, you shall serve me and keep all my commandments (T&C 26:6, emphasis added). This is still binding. If your fellowship includes those who ought to be ‘cast out’ you have the obligation to do so rather than encouraging evil by tolerating it. Be patient, but be firm. If a person refuses to repent and forsake sins, end fellowship with them and invite penitent others who are interested in practicing obedience and love. Christ’s gospel is not impractical. It is designed to give those who seek righteousness to be able to achieve it. Tolerance and compassion are needed. But tolerance and compassion do not include acceptance of sin. Particularly the sins listed in the above revelation. One should not go out of his or her way to uncover the sins of others. But if they wear their sins openly, you have an obligation to ‘cast them out’”(“Predators,” March 6, 2019, blog post).

    1 “3 Nephi 18:31–32,” Nov. 16, 2010, blog post.