Dear 100 Hour Board,
Can somebody who has been disfellowshipped serve as a bishop after his period of disfellowship? What about being employed by BYU?
-asking for my husband
Someone who has been disfellowshipped can serve as a bishop after their period of disfellowshipment. Even someone who has been excommunicated can technically be called as a bishop if they've been re-baptized and had their blessings restored. As for working at BYU, their site simply states that their LDS employees should be temple worthy. I take that to mean that if you're a member in good standing everything else should be water under the bridge.
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, man can be completely clean from sins. Remember, D&C 58:42 says, "he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." Further, remember that callings are issued under inspiration from the Lord; when the stake president is seeking a new bishop, his goal is to know whom the Lord desires. Since the Lord remembers the repenter's sins no more, the Lord's judgment about worthiness to serve in a calling will be based upon current worthiness, not past transgressions.
Genuine Article and Yellow are correct—there's no official policy prohibiting disfellowshipped or re-baptized members from serving as bishops. However, any formal discipline does make future opportunities to serve in "higher" callings much more unlikely. When members are formally disciplined, their Church records are occasionally annotated to indicate that. Although these annotations do not prohibit future service, they do raise red flags. (For the record, these annotations are only deleted with First Presidency approval.)
I talked to my mission president about this last night. He said that situations where previously disfellowshipped members serve as bishops or branch presidents are much more common in places where the Church is growing or priesthood leadership is hard to come by. There is nothing in any handbook prohibiting them from serving in places where the Church is strong, but he's made that observation in his years serving in Church leadership.