After an exhausting six-hour disciplinary hearing Sunday, Mormon leaders temporarily suspended Grant H. Palmer's membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Palmer, a longtime Mormon educator, was asked to defend himself on charges of apostasy stemming from his 2002 book, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, which challenged traditional beliefs about the church's history.
The all-male priesthood leaders in his Willow Creek Sandy LDS stake could have excommunicated the 64-year-old author, but chose instead a lesser punishment - to "disfellowship" him - which means he may not enter the temple, serve in a church position, give a talk, partake of the weekly sacrament or offer a public prayer. This typically lasts about a year, but the length will be determined by his LDS stake president, Keith Adams, who may also spell out more conditions of the suspension in a letter sometime later this week. Palmer has the right to appeal the decision to higher church authorities.
Both Palmer and his ecclesiastical leaders left without speaking to reporters waiting outside the LDS stake center after the closed-door hearing, which began at 7 a.m. and ended about 1 p.m. LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills also declined to comment on the hearing or the punishment.