Sunday, April 5, 2015

Any Opposed, Please Sit Down and Shut Up


Previously: Where'd Everybody Go?

Something really weird happened yesterday. During the general conference of the church, Elder Dieter Uchtdorf presented the names of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for a sustaining vote. When he asked for any opposed to manifest their votes, a handful of members responded by shouting, "Opposed."

But that wasn't the weird part. What was weird was the reaction of otherwise faithful latter-day Saints who felt those who voted in opposition were somehow out of line. Some described those who voted in opposition as "hecklers," which reveals their ignorance of the meaning of words as much as it does their understanding of church protocol.

Many member's objections to what occurred were typified by a statement Julie Ann Debenham expressed afterward to Fox News: “I think people have a right to oppose things. I just think there is a time and place to do it–and the time and place to do it is not inside the general assembly."

Well pardon me while I try to figure that one out.  The vote was taken in the general assembly; the general membership sitting in the general assembly were specifically requested at that time to manifest any votes in opposition. So...because some in the assembly followed church protocol by manifesting their votes at the proper place and time, others felt it would have been more appropriate had they done so some other place and some other time.

And we wonder why our critics accuse us Mormons of being dumbed down.

Just to be clear, these "dissenters" -a nasty sounding word I don't like using to describe people who are following the rules to the letter- were not in any way "heckling" Elder Uchtdorf. To heckle is to harass or badger a public speaker with impertinent questions or gibes. These people did nothing more than register their vote simply and quickly according to the rules laid down in scripture.  Then they sat down and said nothing more. They did not disrupt the meeting. The business of the meeting included asking for their opposing vote.  For his part, Uchtdorf responded appropriately by verbally acknowledging those opposing votes.

Majority carries. 'Nays' duly noted.

Done and done.

So why all the controversy breaking out on the internet?  I suppose it's controversial only because we are so unused to doing things the way the Lord instructs us to, that when we see it finally happen we panic. Didn't the Lord command  it be done in this very manner?
"And a commandment I give unto you, that you should fill all these offices and approve of those names which I have mentioned, or else disapprove of them at my general conference..." (D&C 124:144)
Not the time and place?  If Julie Ann Debenham were the only person who expressed that silly notion, we could smile and shrug it off.  But go online and have a look. Those very sentiments continue to be expressed by an army of smugly self-righteous, woefully ignorant latter-day Saints who are angry -visibly, vocally, furious- that anyone would have the gall to express a vote in conference contrary to their own.  Sometimes I tremble because of the pride of this people.
Matthew O. Richardson, Associate Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University observes,
"Unfortunately, the law of common consent is viewed by many members as nothing more than an accompaniment to a business agenda. Perhaps because of the frequency of the event, application of the law of common consent may become an automated raising of a hand in mechanical approval." (Sperry Symposium Classics: The Doctrine and Covenants, pg 134)
The vote to oppose is no less valid or important than the vote to sustain:
"If members are opposed to the proposed action, they can also make it known in the same manner. This practice, formally known as the law of common consent, is not only a noticeable part of our meetings but also an essential principle in proper gospel government and personal progression." (Ibid.)
You want controversy? You should have been around in the earliest days of the church. Back then, before a vote was taken, the floor was opened for debate and discussion. If someone in the congregation had an issue with a candidate for office on the grounds of moral turpitude, the candidate's dirty laundry was liable to be aired right there in front of everybody.  At least the modern procedure is -or was 40 years ago- to refer the person with an objection to go and talk to a general authority, so his grievance could be heard in private and investigated if the matter warranted. This was the procedure N. Eldon Tanner followed in 1977 when a member of the congregation, Byron Marchant, registered his opposing vote:

President Tanner: It seems, President Kimball, that the voting has been unanimous in favor of these officers and General Authorities, and we would ask those new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy to take their seats with their brethren, please.
Voice from the gallery: President Tanner? President Tanner?
President Tanner: Yes?
Voice from the gallery: Did you note my negative vote?
President Tanner: No. Let me see it.
Voice from the gallery: Up here.
President Tanner: Oh, up there. I’m sorry, I couldn’t see up in that gallery. We’ll ask you to see Elder Hinckley immediately after this meeting. 

You'll notice Elder Tanner didn't balk at Brother Marchant for having the gall to voice his dissent right there in the middle of conference. Tanner responded to him with the respect you would expect from the Chair. After all, an opposing vote was asked for. Marchant's beef was his opposition to the Church's policy at that time of withholding the priesthood from black people.  I'm certain that when Elder Hinckley (an apostle at the time) met with Brother Marchant, he was not swayed by Marchant's arguments, but that's not the point. I also doubt Marchant held any illusion that his minority vote would change the policy. The reason dissenting votes are important is so that the record will reflect not all members are in lockstep, regardless of how many others may or may not share their views.  (Marchant was soon excommunicated for advocating a view that would become Church policy by the very next year. Go figure.)

Regular readers of this blog will recall that I have taken issue with Eldon Tanner in the past, but in my view he handled this situation perfectly; better, in fact, than Elder Uchtdorf did yesterday.  Uchtdorf  referred the dissenters to their respective stake presidents, where they had already hit the glass ceiling.  Their issues deserved to be brought directly to the attention of the Church's board of directors at Church headquarters.  Uchtdorf's failure to funnel their concerns to the proper authorities will only result in more problems in the future, as the hierarchy remains more and more isolated from the legitimate concerns of the rank and file.

There's one often overlooked reason for encouraging opposing votes when calling a person to an office in the Church: to save the Church from the kind of embarrassment it would prefer to avoid when a particular office-holder's past discrepancies come to light.  Joseph Fielding Smith (not that Joseph Fielding Smith -his nephew by the same name) was proposed as Church Patriarch in 1942. When the vote to sustain him was presented, there were no opposing voices heard, in spite of the fact that Smith had engaged in numerous sexual encounters with other boys during his days in the University of Utah theater department.  Years later, Connell O'Donavan interviewed one of Smith's classmates, Cynthia Blood:
Cynthia claimed that "everybody on campus knew" that Maud May Babcock and Joseph F. Smith, both from the university's Drama Department, "were queer", but it was pretty much "unspoken." Blood reported that "Professor Smith flitted amongst the boys and Maud flitted amongst us girls."
Connell Continues:
Joseph's ordination also dismayed several Mormons who knew that Smith was having sexual relations with other men. Ralph G. Smith reported that Joseph F. Smith "was known to be a homosexual. My brother, John [Gibbs Smith], was very, very upset because he was Captain of the anti-vice squad at the Salt Lake City Police Department. Why, he says, the man's got a record. He says, we've had many women call in and complain about him molesting their little boys [all over 18] at the school at the University of Utah". (Ralph G. Smith interview, as reported in Quinn, p. 387 n. 23) Winifred Haymond (or "Freda Hammond", 1907-1983, never married), a friend of Norval Service, reported that she was "stunned" at Smith's appointment as Patriarch. (From Connell O'Donovan with D.Michael Quinn, Chronology of Events on Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith's Homosexuality, GaySaltLake.com  )
And yet with all these members of the church who were aware of the patriarch's proclivities, not one of them spoke up and opposed his nomination as Church Patriarch.

Now you may be one of those people who says, "who cares? Maybe what this church needs is more gay people in high office."

You're not getting the point. Whatever your views are on same sex issues and religion, it's irrelevant here. The question is, don't you think the leadership deserved a heads up from those outside their inner circle who knew a thing or two about Joseph Fielding Smith that they did not?  Because what finally ended up happening is that the father of a young LDS sailor whom Smith had been involved with, contacted president Heber J. Grant and told him what Smith had done to his son. Patriarch Smith had been serving for two years as patriarch of the church, giving important patriarchal blessings to important people, before quickly being released for reasons of "ill health."

But as often happens with these things, rumors eventually leaked out. The high calling of Church Patriarch couldn't help but be tainted by the scandal. Joseph Fielding Smith's cousin, Eldred G. Smith, was called to replace him in that office, and when Eldred died, members of the hierarchy quietly dissolved that office altogether. A once important position originally held by Joseph Smith's own father and brother doesn't even exist anymore in the church today.

Our Shared Responsibility
As members of the church of Jesus Christ we have a collective obligation to see to it that the church remains ours, not the private playground of a group of elites.  The very idea that the leaders could possibly act contrary to the will of God is anathema to some in the church today, yet our scriptures warn us to be ever vigilant when pride grips those in power.  They won't be able to see it, but we can, and the Lord entrusts us with the veto power in order to hold their pride in check.  We are reminded in D&C 121 that it is the disposition of almost all men, when they get a little authority, to begin to exercise unrighteous dominion over others.

It says Almost All men. That would include Mormon men. In particular, Mormon men given a little authority.

The Lord has given us the veto power, and we are expected to use it, even against the president of the church if we deem it necessary.  Here is Samantha Shelley writing at Whatsoever Is Good:
"In Joseph Smith’s days as President, he had a falling out with his First Counselor, Sidney Rigdon. Joseph was essentially done with him, and asked the congregation not to sustain him. The congregation sustained him anyway. Joseph accepted it and Sidney Rigdon continued to serve in the First Presidency. There have been other times throughout Church history when people haven’t received a majority vote, and as a result, someone else was called. It’s the way God instructed that His Church be organized, and we shouldn’t immediately judge anyone who doesn’t sustain someone to a calling as being “apostate”.
A brother by the name of Matthew, one of those who voted in opposition yesterday, did so for reasons I feel are well thought out and lacking in guile.  Here is what Matthew wrote on his blog:
"I opposed the vote to sustain the President, First Presidency, and 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the 185th General Conference yesterday. I wouldn't be making this public, except for the fact that I fear that the published reason that the group Any Opposed gave for their opposing votes will unduly influence the discussion about what happened from here on out, because it opened and ended with discussions of LGBT issues, therefore emphasizing them. While I don't claim that LGBT issues are unimportant (especially the suicides of LGBT individuals, which is truly tragic), I believe that these other issues are much more pressing, and hence needed more discussion and exposure.
"For me and hundreds of people I know, our issues with the Church have almost nothing to do with LGBT issues. We are not political or social crusaders trying to force a discussion on social issues or push the Church into changing doctrine or policies to align with a progressive philosophy. What we would like to see, what we believe is mandated in the scriptures that are given as "a law unto [the] Church" (D&C 42:49), is a return to the original doctrine as taught by Joseph Smith, and the more pure, Gospel-centered practices contained in the scriptures. Many of those who share my take on these issues have been excommunicated for their beliefs (you can read a partial list here), but undoubtedly they would have voted in opposition given the chance. My hope is that any faithful member coming across this will take time to read for understanding: even if you don't agree, try to understand where I and many, many others like me are coming from.
"I personally don't like contention; I eschew confrontation in my own life and, despite my failings and imperfections, want all members to come to a unity of the faith delivered to us by Christ, and restored through Joseph Smith. I am afraid that, if the Church doesn't correct its course soon, the Church will do things that will lead to a loss of that faith, and the fullness of the Gospel will be given to another people. [As the Savior warned in 3 Nephi 16 -Rock]
"I can't speak for anyone else, but I can list the reasons that I personally couldn't, in good conscience, either support or abstain from the sustaining vote of the leaders. I believe that every single one of those men are spiritual men. I believe they can be, and very often are, inspired. I believe many of them are honest. I believe many of them do the best, according to the traditions of their fathers and the Church, to be Christlike, and I believe that many of them succeed in becoming very Christlike. However, there is a difference between being spiritual, inspired, honest, and partially Christlike, and acting in full harmony with the requirements of your appointed station."
"I will not engage in the idolatrous notion that "they know more than me", and that therefore the problem lies with me, and that I should keep my thoughts to myself and get back in line. I don't claim to know more than the leaders; I claim that God knows more than us all, that His will is revealed in the scriptures, and that it is the duty devolving on every single member to know His will and use the light and truth that God gives us to judge whether our leaders are leading according to His will. If they're not, it is our duty to oppose the vote to sustain them, that the problems may be brought to light and fixed..."
Matthew goes on to provide a list of specific concerns, many of which I share. That entire essay is well worth your time. You can find the full post here.

It's Called Common 'Consent' For A Reason
The law of Common Consent exists because the Lord has decreed the people will be governed only by those whom the people themselves permit into office.  This system is so important to the Lord that policies of the church and even doctrines must be approved and voted on by the saints themselves before those doctrines become binding on the whole church.

Some members tend to forget that spiritual gifts, such as those of prophet, seer, and revelator, are separate from the administrative responsibilities leaders hold to govern church procedures and policies.  Those who confuse the two tend to wonder why we should even vote for Church leaders, since they presume God has already made the decision to put them in whatever office they are nominated for. But Brigham Young had some interesting things to say about that:
"Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question—Does a man’s being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the president of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the president of the Church, as long as he lived: the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice.” (Journal of Discourses 1:133)
Apostle J. Reuben Clark reminds us that our vote to sustain is also a vote to elect. Though we do not choose the nominees, whether a nominee gets through the vetting process is supposed be up to us. It's a shame we have that much responsibility, yet are reluctant to recognize or use it:
“In the Church the nominating power rests in a group, the General Authorities, but the sustaining or electing power rests in the body of the Church, which under no circumstances nominates officers, the function of the Church body being solely to sustain or to elect. . . .” (General Conference Report April 1940)
Remember, it is not only our right and duty to oppose certain leaders who may be proposed to us if we don't feel right about them, but also to oppose policies and procedures that we suspect may not have been revealed to the Brethren from Heaven. I'll give Brigham Young the last word here:
"I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied…. Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the Kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, 'If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are.'
"This is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord." (Journal of Discourses, 3:45)

UPDATE April 6th, 2014: As there continues to be considerable misjudgment concerning the motives of those who expressed votes in opposition last Saturday, I think my friend Regina Samuelson quite nicely summarized the problems that compelled these people to vote as they did. Here is what she had to say:

"Thoughts on the LDS Conference "opposed" folks:

"A) They are active, faithful members who feel that the church is being taken in the wrong direction.

"B) Worse, many have sought a forum for expressing their concerns and been dismissed on the local level.

"C) Even worse, many have sought a similar forum amongst the general leadership and been wholly ignored.

"D) According the Doctrine and Covenants, the reason the congregation is asked if the membership is in favor or opposed was to give those opposed a forum to express those concerns. A few members took advantage of that opportunity and have been hung out to dry as a result.

"E) Accepting the teachings and decisions of leaders without actually THINKING - albeit the membership is taught that if they abide by the will of the general leadership, even doing something wicked (as commanded) is forgivable in the eyes of God and will not be held against them - means not that the follower has faith; what they have is a Sheep Complex. Ostensibly, we have been given free will so that we can USE IT.

"FINALLY: All is not well in Zion...but the opposing votes are not at fault. They are a symptom of that which the leadership refuses to face, as per Uchtdorf NOT EVEN LOOKING UP: They have NOT been honest with the membership, and their focus is on things other than Jesus. Time to pay the piper."

                                                                      *****
Rules For Commenting: I again remind those who wish to comment that posting only as "Anonymous" has not been working for us and is therefore not permitted. You do not have to use your real name, but if you insist on choosing "Anonymous" from the drop-down menu, you must invent a username and place that either at the top or bottom of your comment so that readers can tell you apart from the many others who for some reason keep choosing to post under the "anonymous" option.   If you have a Google registration, use that one, otherwise it's best if you check the box that says "Name/URL", place your preferred username in in the "name" box, and ignore the box that asks for a URL. That way you can still remain anonymous if you so wish, but then other readers have a handle to address you with when responding. Comments missing any kind of identifying moniker are at risk of being deleted. I have to be strict about this because too many people posting as "anonymous" has resulted in chaos in the past.

237 comments:

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Anonymous said...

@ LDSFF Log stated:

Cursing, vulgarity, profanity, epithets, drug use, nudity - none of these violate the Golden Rule, for you literally do nothing to nobody by doing them. If my daughter, who loves me, says "Dad, you're such a fudging troll," then I laugh along with her, for there is no malice between us. We are of one heart and one mind.

If you take offense at someone who has done you no wrong, it is because of pride and malice in your own heart.

And if you say you want Zion but are yet maliciously and pridefully intolerant, taking offense, whatever will you do when you get what you say you want?

And you say Rock is not a hypocrite, Log? These are the exact things he has done to me.

foxtrot tango

Log said...

Let's put it this way, I've said enough where if Rock was a hypocrite, as are many of his commenters, he would have banned me, too.

Remember - those are my views, not Rock's. I don't judge Rock by the standards I apply towards myself.

I have a feeling that reviling others is where Rock draws his line. That, FT, you have done, by your own admission.

Anonymous said...

@Log:

Yes Log, what you say is true. Unfortunately, Rock has deleted the Lions share of my posts. However, you can go back through the history and plainly see where others have violently reviled against me without consequences, and they are often the ones that start it. I read your posts over at LDSFF, Log, you are no choir boy. I sense that you try hard to keep your temper under check. I would like to open a dialog with you sometime. Take care.

foxtrot tango

Anonymous said...

@Log,

Another thing that I would like to point out is that at LDSFF you broke the posted rules, period. Rock has no posted rules, beyond not calling yourself anonymous, so I BROKE NO RULES. Or I could use the same logic you once used on me, the people over at LDSFF own the site and they can do whatever they want.

foxtrot tango

Log said...

FT:

I broke no rules that actually can be known. That was part of my point.

Anonymous said...

Log,

I like you dude...but it seems as if you are feeling sorry for yourself. I personally think I got a raw deal here, but whatever. I think our situations are comparable, but obviously you do not. Lets figure out a way to have a private conversation, I mean it,

foxtrot tango

Anonymous said...

Log,

Here is a section of the registration rules at LDSFF:

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “LDS Freedom Forum” is hosted or International Law. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned...

foxtrot tango

A Nony Mouse said...

The two of you should go find some facebook group to argue and contend with each other on. Both of you want to be right so bad. Neither one of you has enough humility to even consider the possibility that you could be incorrect. Never start an argument with an idiot, people quickly forget which one of you it is and they will drag you to their level and beat you with experience.

Log said...

Yeah, FT, if you read that carefully, it says "don't post illegal stuff."

Anonymous said...

Log,

Bottom line is they can arbitrarily ban you if they wish, and they did, and you don't like it. It avails you nothing to try to hold their feet to the fire, that is just what I have tried to do here. I understand, brother...you have come full circle and now you are on the receiving end. I'm sorry if this sounds preachy, you have been nothing but kind to me, although I do get the feeling that you are keeping your distance because I am a pariah here.

foxtrot tango

Log said...

FT,

Actually, I don't really care - for myself, that is. I was simply performing a test and making a point. I already knew the outcome.

I made my point as clearly as I could. Every objection was covered.

I am sad, however, that they didn't hear it.

It's not about the teams.

It's not about the facts.

It's all about the rules you follow when relating to others.

FT, I don't think you're necessarily a bad guy. But I think for you it's still about the teams.

For Robin Hood, it seems to be about the facts, then the teams.

For Rock, it's primarily about the rules, then the facts.

For me, it's all about the rules.

Anonymous said...

Log,

I'm on borrowed time here. It is only a matter of time before all my posts are deleted. Why? I don't know, because it seems as if you and I are having a civil conversation. I would love to share my views with you, because it is not about the "team" with me at all. My beliefs are similar to when Eve sinned and Adam was forced to follow her in sin to maintain the integrity of God's plan.

foxtrot tango

Log said...

What are your beliefs?

Anonymous said...

I don't wish to say here, Log.

foxtrot tango

Log said...

Well, are you banned at Tim's blog?

www.latterdaycommentary.com

I read, post, and sometimes comment there.

Anonymous said...

No, I am not banned at Tim's blog

FT

Log said...

Welp, drop me a line sometime. I'm not sure where Tim's boundaries are, or even if he has any. However, I would recommend not reviling.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Recently I raved about Curt Bench's "Parallel Doctrine and Covenants" as the most reliable version of the D&C, and the only volume I go to anymore to reference Joseph Smith's revelations.

I've just been informed that the book is now on sale for HALF PRICE while they last. That's an incredible bargain because the original price, though worth every penny, was a pretty hefty fifty bucks. If you live on the Wasatch Front, you can buy a copy at Benchmark Books in Salt lake City, or order directly from the publisher, Signature Books.

I'd do it now. When they're gone, their gone.

http://signaturebooks.com/2010/02/the-parallel-doctrine-and-covenants-the-1832-1833-1833-and-1835-editions-of-joseph-smiths-revelations/

Andrew T said...

Rock, the guys over at Infants on Thrones are taking credit for the Any Opposed effort. They recently did a podcast describing their effort.

I'm somewhat disheartened that they spearheaded the effort. I guess I hoped it was more spontaneous and done by people more interested in pure Mormonism (as opposed to the Infants' perspective). Anyway, you might find the podcast interesting.

JB said...

Rock,

Just read you latest response, thanks much, this all makes sense. I agree as well that many errors can be made by leadership, often due to tradition/etc, but this is different than outright "apostasy", as defined as willful rebelling against God/knowingly trying to lead people astray/etc.

Also I agree with your mention that it isn't a "one-size-fits-all" gospel, that indeed what is right for one person could be not right for another, as what is "right" or "correct" is dependent upon the individual circumstances/person/point in their progression/etc.

Thanks for the insights!

Andrew T said...

Rock, I thought I posted this a couple of days ago, but the post isn't there...

The Infants of Thrones guys are behind the Any Opposed "movement." They have a podcast describing what they did. You all might find it interesting.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for that info, Andrew. It's important to remember though, that although certain people suggested the idea, others, such as Matthew Bennett, did not share their reasons.

I hope to see more "no" votes in the future, by members with no other axe to grind other than a reluctance to sustain men as "prophets, seers, and revelators" who consistently fail to demonstrate those gifts.

Log said...

But what will happen is the Church will excommunicate such.

Just saying. Is whether an apostle performs miracles live on TV or says "Thus Saith The Lord" or "Hey, yo, I'm a prophet!" or "I've Seen Jaysus!" worth getting ex'd over?

Log said...

Alternatively, in the absence of their demonstration, does it not become us to pray and find out from God whether they be what they say each other is?

If knowing really matters, that is, instead of making a statement and sticking it to the man.

Thomas said...

Rock,

I’m writing in regards to your comments about whether the church and/or the “leadership” of the church are in apostasy or not (see April 16, 2015 at 9:20 AM and 9:25 AM).
This is a question I have been struggling with in trying to answer for myself.

I misunderstood the definition of apostasy by incorrectly thinking it included the unintentional falling away from the truth of Christ and his gospel, rather than just the willful turning of one’s back on Christ and his gospel.

I also misunderstood the definition of “the church”. I now have ingrained in my mind, thank you to you, the correct definition of the church as defined by the Lord in D&C 10:67-68. It appears to me that this definition includes all people regardless of the religious denomination with which they identify themselves.

So now the scope of the question (whether the church and/or the “leadership” of the church are in apostasy) is much larger, because “the church” is much more than the LDS/Mormon faith. Are the members and/or leaders of the other religious denominations, for example the Roman Catholic Church, in apostasy? Like the leaders in the LDS/Mormon church, they sometimes make errors; they misspeak, misrepresent their powers and abilities, change doctrine and invent new doctrines, etc. They've just had more time to do it. I don’t know the full history of Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church and the Protestant churches, but it appears to me that they (those alive and practicing their religion today) have not turned their backs on Christ and his gospel. If they (the leaders in the other “churches”) are in apostasy and the LDS/Mormon church leaders are not, what are the factors that make the difference?

I’m going through a paradigm shift in my understanding of apostasy. It seems that the “leadership” of the LDS/Mormon church and the members, could go further and further off course from the true gospel of Christ with more and more false doctrines being taught, perhaps for hundreds of years (or thousands of years like other Christian churches), and never be considered in apostasy as long as they have not turned their back on Christ. What is the correct word to use if apostasy is the not the word to describe “a church” in this condition?

not a robot, just play one on tv said...

I kinda liked "flying by the seat of their pants" lol

BK said...

I believe the LDS Church & it's break offs are & have always been, far more 'apostate' from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, then most all other 'far older' Christian Churches.

For most other Christian Churches at least still mostly preach Christ's teachings straight from the New Test, even if they may not always follow them.

While the LDS Church focuses on & preaches the writings & commandments of men & prophets, which are usually contrary to Christ's teachings. b

Miguel Aveiro said...

I believe the reason why the church is referring to the LDS church is because people may have been thinking they have been repenting and coming unto Christ, they had missed, or were unable to live by, certain principles which were restored in the restoration. Things like repentance is an actual turning away from sin and trying to follow Jesus Christ and to come unto Christ, one must be baptized and the one performing the baptism, must hold the authority of the priesthood.

Having the whole truth and having and living it are two separate things. One might be better at following the amount of light they have, which is incomplete, better than one who has all the light.

Back to sustaining. The raising of the right hand in meetings today, doesn't mean the same thing it used to. I would no longer be putting in my vote to elect someone to an office in the church. Today, I would just be showing my support for someone in that office.

Conversely, when I raise my hand to oppose, it means I do not believe this individual is right to hold office and if it is someone really important like an apostle, I am basically saying I am going against God who appointed him and how dare I make a claim that he is unworthy to hold that office!? He's an apostle; an almost perfect man who can't, or is extremely unlikely, to be unworthy. Can you imagine an apostle being unworthy? It is unthinkable!

What it used to mean to oppose was I don't believe he should hold office. He could still hold authority and keys (in the case of an apostle). Voting used to mean voting. People used to be appointed by the voice of the people. How often, or for how long, this happened I don't know. The very next President of the Church explained how it works, so I don't think many saw voting for what it really should be.

Miguel Aveiro said...

At the beginning of my previous statement, I said "I believe the church is referring..." I meant to say, "The Lord" not "the church".

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend. I said how I'm doing what is taught in my church and expressed that I'm doing what the Lord says (or something like that.) She answered, referring to the leaders, "they're not The Lord!". I was a little upset at the time, but I'm wondering now whether some things taught at church really come from the Lord. I'm convinced some things did not originate with Him, but tradition means that they have been accepted as such.

Shoe said...

Log said "The 'profanity filter' rendered it impossible to break that rule. One man's 'trolling' might be the Lord's call to repentance. Who knows, since it is not defined except by way of reading minds and hearts - and I ain't seen the functioning mind-reader yet."

But you'd know if you were the instrument being used to call repentance, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I don't know about you guys, but I remember that Jesus talking to Piolet said that His kingdom was not of this world. That means the LDS Church is not His kingdom, because it is in this world and not like the City of Enoch, and these money mongers are, well, lovers of money more than God.

So when they break their own rules, and persecute anyone that doesn't agree with them, then I don't see what the big shock is.

I recently read an article talking about the last days where the quote that there would be Christ's show-up everywhere and that even the very elect could be deceived, it occurred to me that we are now living in those days, and the LDS Church is one of those in the wilderness that is crying lo here and lo there.

We are not here to find a prophet, but when one does show up, we are not here to dote on him, but to recognize the truth that was spoken and praise God for bringing to our attention. We are here to find the truth and rely on God to show us the way.

BK said...

I agree Calleen! Great points!

Jonathan Horton said...

If they don't want an outburst maybe we could do the sustaining electronically over the Internet anonymously. With the results published live on the screen. After each talk we could rate the talk. From one to five. Does this talk make him seem more like a prophet or less like a prophet. In case you want to know Dalin H Oakes quoting catholic priests and being irritated by people who don't think you get any more inspiration than catholic priests makes you score lower.

The Wagon Store said...

I always look like this !! folding wagon cart

Jeanmarie Todd said...

To those who worried that the church knew in advance about the opposing votes, rest assured that they only knew this because at least one member of the Any Opposed? group told the church (not sure whether he called PR department or Security; presumably the former) that he was planning to express his opposing vote. This person said so himself in a podcast, on Mormon Expositor if I remember correctly.

I would love to see a thousand people rise and shout "Opposed!) next time, but even a few hundred, or a few dozen, would have some impact.

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