Church “courts” held on the ward or stake level to decide appropriate “punishments” for serious sins. “A council can reach one of four decisions:
- no action,
- formal probation,
- excommunication” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, Sept. 1990, pp. 15,16).
In the recent past, members desiring to leave the church had to go before such a council. This no longer holds true in most cases.