There are cultists who claim that the Church might sever a person from the Church but could not affect his eternal status or take from him the Holy Ghost or his priesthood or temple blessings. This is but wishful thinking, for the Lord has pledged to acknowledge the acts of his servants, and his Church is his kingdom. And when the person is excommunicated by the bishopric, the high council, or the higher councils, it is as though the Lord had personally with his own voice pronounced the penalty.
That this kind of authority, reaching in its effects from this life into the future phases of eternity, was to be a feature of the Church of Jesus Christ is clearly shown by the Savior’s words:
‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’
(Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 331)