…and if you don’t know he was excommunicated and for what, the Deseret News isn’t going to tell you. The only thing they’ll give up is that he “[...] served as a general authority for nearly 14 years” — as if he went emeritus or something (although the divorce is certainly fishy).

The Salt Lake Tribune is more forthcoming, naturally; so, I thought this could serve as counterpoint to the notorious SL Tribune bias post from a while back. At any rate, perhaps this passage from the Tribune article best sums up the situation:

“George P. Lee is one of the truly tragic figures in modern Mormon history,” Armand Mauss, an LDS sociologist in Irvine, Calif., said Thursday. He was “both created and destroyed” by changing Mormon teachings and policies regarding native peoples.

Anyway, I’m going to deliberately copy the entirety of the (short) DN article below so that, if/when it gets updated, no one’s going to tell me that I didn’t read carefully enough.

But what I really want to know is shouldn’t we have stopped using his middle initial when he ceased to be a general authority?


George P. Lee, the first American Indian to serve as a general authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Wednesday at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo. He was 67 years old.

Lee was born on the Navajo Reservation in Towoac, Colo. He attended school in New Mexico and Utah, where he graduated from Orem High in 1962. After an LDS mission to the Southwest Indian Mission, he received a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from BYU and a master’s degree in educational administration from Utah State University. Lee was the first American Indian to earn a doctorate from BYU.

President Spencer W. Kimball ordained Lee to the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1975. Lee subsequently served as a general authority for nearly 14 years.

He married Katherine Hettich in 1967 and they had seven children together before divorcing in 1996. He is survived by five sons, two daughters and two siblings.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the LDS Washington Buena Vista Stake Center in Washington, Washington County.

— Jamshid Ghazi Askar