Lyndon Lamborn was excommunicated from the Mormon church for doubting some of its claims, but on Sunday his stake president backed away from a plan to publicly announce his ouster.
Stake President R. James Molina wouldn’t tell the Tribune why he refrained from making the announcement at the eight wards under his leadership.
Molina had told the Tribune last week that he intended to have bishops publicly announce the discipline taken against Lamborn, a fourth-generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a warning that he may spread blasphemy about the church.
Lamborn, 49, had gone before a disciplinary council of male elders on Aug. 19 where excommunication was ordered. Molina, president of the Mesa Arizona Salt River Stake, wrote to Lamborn in a letter dated Sept. 2, stating that “because of the nature of your excommunication and your involvement with the people of this area, an announcement will be delivered to the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and Relief Society in each of the wards in our stake ... Sept. 23, 2007, that you have been excommunicated for apostasy.”
Excommunication allows him to be at church events, but not have membership privileges, wear temple garments or tithe.
Such a public announcement about an excommunication in the church is extremely rare, Mormon leaders confirmed.
It’s not clear whether Molina’s announcement was withheld as a result of the publicity the issue has garnered or whether he intends to do it at a later date.
Lamborn said Thursday he went to the Thunder Mountain Ward meeting Sunday expecting the announcement, then asked Molina why nothing happened. Lamborn said the stake president told him “I haven’t made a final decision.”
Molina said Thursday that the Lamborn issue “is a private matter, so I don’t have anything to say to you guys on it.”