EdCC instructor won't be excommunicated

The Herald/February 26, 2003

Everett, WA -- An Edmonds Community College instructor who had faced excommunication for challenging Mormon teaching will not face disciplinary action, the instructor said Sunday night.

The decision by Matthew Latimer, president of the Lynnwood stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came in a meeting Sunday night between Latimer and instructor Tom Murphy, according to Murphy. Latimer could not be reached for comment late Sunday night.

"I'm very pleased with the results of the meeting," Murphy said. "These issues are best dealt with in an academic setting, not a closed-door disciplinary setting."

Murphy said Latimer told him he was ending the disciplinary proceedings in part to protect the church. "It isn't to the church's advantage to try to deal with it in this way," Murphy said.

In December, Latimer had postponed disciplinary action, but Sunday night's decision ends the possibility that such action would be revived, Murphy said.

"I can continue my research," he said. "I'll no longer feel the threat of my church membership being revoked based upon my scientific research."

In May, Murphy wrote an article for an anthology called "American Aprocrypha" that uses genetic data to challenge the Book of Mormon claim that American Indians are heathen descendants of ancient Israel.

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