Excommunication, like revenge, is best served cold. Mine was—cold and quick on a clear autumn day.
Excommunication! The word resonates like the bell of a gothic cathedral and seems as anachronistic as a rank of grinning gargoyles, as rebel monks, warrior popes, or heretics burning in a town square. It is a rite one might suppose had been relegated long ago to a footnote beyond the margins of modern life, a practice outdated as the related ritual of exorcism that serves the same end—the expulsion of the evil one.
On September 19, 1993, the evil one to be expelled was I. Yes I, who as a youth had hankered to be an apostle of Jesus, was on this day branded an apostate of the Church I had chosen and then served in my fashion for over 30 years. In that same month, five other Mormon writers, believers, and critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were also excommunicated in a leader-orchestrated purge that would leave us branded and stigmatized as the infamous Mormon "September Six."
This memoir is the story of how I came to be numbered among them.