The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints excommunicates high-ranking official

SALT LAKE CITY (KSTU) -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints confirmed Tuesday it had excommunicated a member of its Quorum of the Seventy.

In a statement, the LDS Church confirmed the excommunication of James Hamula following "disciplinary action."

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

"This morning James J. Hamula was released as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following Church disciplinary action by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles," the church said in a statement.

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Hamula has served as a general authority in the LDS Church's Quorum of the Seventy since 2008. Previously, he was a member of the faith's Pacific Area Presidency, headquartered in New Zealand.

The LDS Church conducts disciplinary councils in confidence. In remarks in 1990 in a church magazine, Elder M. Russell Ballard explained why the faith conducts them:

"Members sometimes ask why Church disciplinary councils are held. The purpose is threefold: to save the soul of the transgressor, to protect the innocent, and to safeguard the Church's purity, integrity, and good name," he wrote.

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