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09 August 2017, 08:26 | Todd Saunders
LDS Church releases, excommunicates Elder James J. Hamula
Hamula, A BYU alumnus, was sustained to the Quorum of the Seventy on April 5, 2008.
Hamula also had served as a mission president, a stake president, a bishop, and a missionary in Munich, Germany.
The disciplinary council for a senior Church leader consists of members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "Though they are no longer a Church member, their local leader may offer continued counsel and guidance".
Efforts to reach Hamula at listed phone numbers weren't successful.
It is the first time in almost 30 years that the LDS Church has had to discipline a top leader through excommunication and sources told both The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News that the 59-year-old married father of six was not dismissed for "apostasy or disillusionment".
His excommunication had been the first in 46 years.
After disciplinary action by the Church's top leaders, James J. Hamula, who had been serving as a General Authority Seventy, was released and excommunicated on August 8.
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The Mormon church allowed the removed members to rejoin by getting baptized if they showed honest repentance, the Salt Lake Tribune said in its report.
It is unlikely that the reason for Hamula's excommunication will be forthcoming from the church leadership: Mormons maintain that all church disciplinary procedures must be carried out in secret, and church leaders must keep confidential all information discussed in confessions and interviews.
Excommunicated members can rejoin LDS through rebaptism, but only if they show honest repentance.
The LDS Church conducts disciplinary councils in confidence.
The report added that there were two other instances of excommunication of a high-ranking Mormon official.
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.
Elder Hamula received a bachelor of arts degree in political science and philosophy from Brigham Young University in 1981.
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