How do the Mormons discipline their membership?

Church discipline is reserved for serious sin. It is occasionally meted out by the bishop, but more commonly by the stake high council. Church discipline always trying to guide the member through the steps of repentance.

Repentance may include a period disfellowshipment during which time members are expected to attend Sunday meetings, but they are not permitted to offer prayers or answer questions. They are not shunned. They can chat with their friends between meetings.

When they repent they are forgiven, if they choose not to repent and behavior continues it may lead to excommunication from the church, or having that persons name removed from the records of the church.

A person who has been excommunicated has all of the blessings of their baptism cancelled. A member who has been excommunicated can still repent and return to the church and be baptized again.

Sins which are serious enough to evoke a church disciplinary council are most often associated with breaking the law of chastity (having sexual relations with someone that they are not married to). Violations of the law of chastity include adultery, fornication, homosexuality and polygamy.

Church disciplinary councils are sometimes evoked when a member of the church is convicted of a felony.

One of the more unusual reasons for invoking a disciplinary council is to investigate apostasy. Usually, when a member looses his faith, he simply drifts away, but very occasionally he publishes his doubts and a council is convened and he may be excommunicated. These cases are very few, but they get more press than others.