Local LDS members react to excommunication of fellow Mormon

PHOENIX - Controversy is following the LDS church after one of their own was excommunicated Monday.

Kate Kelly founded a group that promoted women in the priesthood. Some of her followers in the Valley had mixed reactions to the decision.

Jessica Steed is a proud Mormon living in the Valley. She’s been in the church her whole life. She believes the response from the church was out of fear.

"At the level that she's at, with the way that the church has handled this, I’m not surprised that they went through with it," she comments.

Kelly founded the large women's group called Ordain Women.

Kelly has been a member of the LDS church since birth and she had been vocal about issues of equality in the church.

Other women who belong to the church feel similarly.

Steed says, "I was really proud of her for stating so publicly what we had thought quietly inside for years."

Steed herself founded a group called LDS WAVE promoting women's roles in the church.

She says, "I'm Mormon by my blood and my identity but I also believe in women's equality.”

Excommunication is rare within the church. So Monday’s decision sends a strong message, but some don't think it's the right one.

"There's got to be space for honest strong-believing questions…with people of faith," Steed adds.

Church leaders have argued that promoting women to priesthood is against one of the tenets of the faith.

And Steed says that makes sense "But Ordain Women isn’t saying that everybody needs to believe that women should have the priesthood. They're asking our church leaders to pray and petition God."

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