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Elder James J. Hamula - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

09 August 2017, 08:26 | Melissa Porter

Elder James J. Hamula - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

James J. Hamula excommunicated

Elder Hamula has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Germany Munich Mission, bishop, Young Men president, stake president, president of the Washington D.C. South Mission (1994-1997), and Area Seventy (2000-2008). While LDS clarified that Hamula wasn't excommunicated for "disillusionment or apostasy", it did not announce specifically why it removed him, Deseret News, owned by the LDS, reported Tuesday.

But on Tuesday, the church was thrown into the limelight after it announced that it had excommunicated one of its high-ranking officials in the first such disciplinary incident in nearly three decades.

Excommunicated members can rejoin LDS through rebaptism, but only if they show honest repentance.

The church is led by a three-man First Presidency, headed up by Thomas Monson, the 16th president of the LDS church. He served as Assistant Executive Director of the Church History Department from 2014 to 2016, and most recently as Executive Director of the Correlation Department.

The last General Authority Seventy leader who was excommunicated was George P. Lee, 28 years ago, according to Deseret News. He is married with six children, according to a church profile.

The LDS Church did not state a reason for the excommunication.

Addressing Mormons worldwide during one of the faith's twice-yearly general conferences in October 2014, Hamula talked about communion and Christ's atonement.

In order to keep all the information they receive in confessions and interviews confidential, church leaders will not discuss the proceedings of a disciplinary council. The publication's content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church. Although the removal and excommunication of Church leadership is rare, the Church holds the most senior leaders to the same standards of conduct - if not more so - as all other members of the Church. Lee claimed that he was thrown out due to an argument about the role of Native Americans in the church, but in 1994, he was convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a child, which reportedly took place in 1989.

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