Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

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DoubtingTom
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DoubtingTom » 20 Jun 2017, 08:09

nibbler wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 10:07

If we're going to set precedent for turning the mic off by how well a testimony adheres to this definition we might as well turn F&T meeting into a 70 minute moment of silence for Jesus.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

So true! I remember once in F&T meeting an old high priest got up to bear testimony of how grateful he was his first wife passed away so he could be sealed again to another woman because he KNEW that you had to be sealed to more than one woman to enter the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. It was so uncomfortable in there, and he went on for 10 minutes or so, was never shut down, and there also were no clarifying remarks afterwards.

I agree with the feelings some of you have expressed about this feeling staged because of the taping. I see it differently - I think there were recordings because people knew she was going to get up and wanted to record this momentous moment in her life. Nothing she said was particularly controversial. They just wanted to record this moment for her. If she had been allowed to finish it wouldn't have gotten nearly as much attention and she was only a few sentences away from finishing. I think because she was asked to step down and it happened to be recorded it has garnered so much more attention. But what she actually said just expressed her personal hope and belief that God loves her for who she is and that she hopes she can find happiness someday. To shut that down is so spiritually damaging to her!

DoubtingTom
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DoubtingTom » 20 Jun 2017, 08:09

I don't know if this has been shared here or not, but I found this article to bring up an excellent point:

https://bycommonconsent.com/2015/11/12/ ... s-of-zion/

Particularly this quote:
If this policy and our anti-gay views (again, calling things what they are) are somehow cemented as doctrine, in time we will be labeled a hate group, and no amount of Mormon bloggers and commenters and online missionaries and ad campaigns will sway that opinion. It will be our brand identity. Within 10 years we’ll be seen as a fringe group. In 20 years we’ll be a bigoted, extremist anachronism.
In my opinion, there needs to be a major shift in culture in the church's approach to this issue. And it needs to come from the top because otherwise it will never take hold amongst the general membership who will always follow the lead of the brethren.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Jun 2017, 09:48

I think she made a mistake making statements that are against the doctrines of the church in that F&T meeting context. I don't fault her opinion, I feel for her plight as a gay member of the church. I would want her to feel accepted in my Ward and would support her in her membership. So my disagreement is not a disaffirmation of her position or her sexuality.

But I think we all know that you have to be "culturally sensitive" no matter where you go. If I stood up and indicated that I think tithing is an overaggressive church policy. If I said in F&T meeting that the church is so wealthy they are afraid to open the books, that they expect members to give 10% yet refuse to help them at times. Or when they impose the 10% across-the-board factor for tithing -- that bothers me as it gives no regard for personal circumstances. That tithing is one sided and seems like the temporal church is no different than any other business trying to extract money from me.

I can't say all that against tithing even though I might believe that. I know that it is disrespectful to the current culture, and simply too much against the grain. And what would it accomplish?

This particular situation is controversial because of the sensitivity of same sex attraction, and our desire to support people who have it.

But I do think she was using Sacrament meeting as a place to grandstand, with inviting a lot of other people who might be antagonistic to the church (ex-Mormons? I am not sure if they are antagonistic or not, but it makes me wonder as I have encountered many that are adversarial). In that sense she was out of line. Also, the recording of the testimony was out of line, as that's not allowed by anyone.

There is a place for everything, and I think the place she made these comments was not correct. The place for statements like that would be among friends, families, in conversation with others, and maybe to the press even (at great personal risk), but not in Fast and Testimony meeting. She could do it forums like these, and on personal blogs, but runs the risk of some form of censure from church authorities...that is the risk each person has to judge for themselves.

The fact that she is a youth also makes this even more sensitive. Youth are still not fully formed mentally, and often lack judgment and experience. And leaders can't treat them as they would adults.

I am glad I was not the one presiding over the meeting, as how to respond to this would be very difficult.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 20 Jun 2017, 12:32, edited 1 time in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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mom3
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by mom3 » 20 Jun 2017, 11:09

According to Reddit ex/mormon thread the ward itself was outraged by the conduct of the leaders on the stand. Ward members since the event have been reaching out to Salt Lake, and Area Reps asking that the men involved be released. The family members of those leaders have had to close up their social media because the backlash has been so bad.

I can't confirm the legitimacy of the poster's comments, but I can't imagine an ex-mo, post-mo, looking for any good in all of this, which leads me to think some kind of member push back is happening.

As for the BCC quote - I agree. It took ages (and it still resonates in halls) that we are racial bigots.

My upshot on this is "A little child shall lead them."
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

ydeve
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by ydeve » 20 Jun 2017, 11:34

SilentDawning wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 09:48
I think she made a mistake making statements that are against the doctrines of the church in that F&T meeting context. I don't fault her opinion, I feel for her plight as a gay member of the church. I would want her to feel accepted in my Ward and would support her in her membership. So my disagreement is not a disaffirmation of her position or her sexuality.
What this says to me, and this is not new insight, is that there is no place for self-respecting LGBT people in the lds church. We can live a full, happy life, or we can be members of good standing in the lds church. The two are mutually exclusive. The doctrine of the church *is* that our deepest need for companionship is evil. To teach otherwise is apostasy.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by hawkgrrrl » 20 Jun 2017, 11:38

According to Reddit ex/mormon thread the ward itself was outraged by the conduct of the leaders on the stand. Ward members since the event have been reaching out to Salt Lake, and Area Reps asking that the men involved be released.
Wow - I hadn't seen that. I don't think anyone in the COB would agree with this, but it's important they know what a disconnect there is.

As to the BCC quote, I think it may be so, and the problems we face are the direct byproduct of being a gerontocracy. The world is changing quickly. If you want an example, watch Season 1 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and you'll see that what was progressive back then is now utterly backwards. The detectives and DAs are still fretting over whether "date rape" is a real thing or not, but in the current season, they have to portray "affirmative consent" as the standard to avoid a rape charge (in one episode, a guy uses hypnosis to manipulate & record a victim's affirmative consent to prevent himself being charged with rape). This is a lot of change in about 20 years.

Another big change is with regard to homosexuality. In early episodes, most gay people were not out--many lived double lives or were afraid of being targeted, and the detectives considered it understandable that they would want to hide their identity. That's completely changed now. No more "don't ask, don't tell," but instead mainstream acceptance.

Our aging leaders and members are struggling to keep up. (And plenty are not struggling to do so, instead retrenching and ignoring and calling "progress" and acceptance bad). Clinging to the status quo is a human trait of the elderly since the dawn of time. Which some of them remember personally.

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mom3
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by mom3 » 20 Jun 2017, 11:45

Hawkgrrl -

Here is the lead in -
I had an interesting conversation with someone VERY close to Savanna's Stake Presidency
There has been quite an uprising in that stake, with members calling for and demanding the release of the entire stake presidency. The members are not happy with what went down and want all three men gone. Also, the presidency as well as their wives had to deactivate all of their social media accounts due to all the attention. They are also getting contacted by media outlets from across the country.
Nothing earth shattering, but I figured this group would be interested.
Edit: when I first heard this, I asked for clarification on exactly who was calling for the presidency to be released. I've never heard of a revolt by faithful members before. I'm sure it's happened before, but what makes this different is that the presidency was technically in line with the official stance of the top leadership. So this means the general church membership is revolting against an official church position, in a roundabout sort of way. Interesting to me anyways.
Edit #2: I'm not sure how many members of the Stake want the presidency released. Maybe it's just a handful of very vocal members? Either way, it's cool that TBM'S are feeling empowered enough to speak up.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

DoubtingTom
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DoubtingTom » 20 Jun 2017, 12:14

mom3 wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 11:45
I've never heard of a revolt by faithful members before. I'm sure it's happened before, but what makes this different is that the presidency was technically in line with the official stance of the top leadership. So this means the general church membership is revolting against an official church position, in a roundabout sort of way. Interesting to me anyways.
What I'm wondering is if one could feel that maybe the stake presidency was actually not in line with the official stance of the top leadership. Consider this quote from mormonandgay.com:
If you decide to share your experiences of feeling same-sex attraction or to openly identify as gay, you should be supported and treated with kindness and respect, both at home and in church.
Some could interpret this in a way that would allow for someone to share their feelings in a F&T meeting. As long as those feelings were their personal feelings and experience and not trying to speak for the Church. I think Savannah was in line with that - she spoke her truth and her feelings. She didn't criticize or try to speak for the Church.

The fact that she was shut down could be seen as going against the direction encouraged by the Church's mormonandgay website. Just sayin'...

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SilentDawning
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by SilentDawning » 20 Jun 2017, 12:35

ydeve wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 11:34
SilentDawning wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 09:48
I think she made a mistake making statements that are against the doctrines of the church in that F&T meeting context. I don't fault her opinion, I feel for her plight as a gay member of the church. I would want her to feel accepted in my Ward and would support her in her membership. So my disagreement is not a disaffirmation of her position or her sexuality.
What this says to me, and this is not new insight, is that there is no place for self-respecting LGBT people in the lds church. We can live a full, happy life, or we can be members of good standing in the lds church. The two are mutually exclusive. The doctrine of the church *is* that our deepest need for companionship is evil. To teach otherwise is apostasy.
Although I don't agree there is no place for such people, I think we have to acknowledge that a person with same sex attraction is not going to experience the fulfillment of a full marital or committed relationship while still being a member in good standing. You can't conclude otherwise. Until they are allowed to marry and be in good standing, at least civilly, then you are right, the church's policies are not inclusive of people with same sex attraction. That is not new news. This is a reality that every person with same sex attraction must face. It's too bad really, as I would like to think the church is a place where you can achieve happiness regardless of who you are. In this case, it doesn't deliver.

If you were presiding over the meeting in which this happened, how would you have responded?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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DarkJedi
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Re: Of Testimonies and Twelve Year Olds

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Jun 2017, 13:02

SilentDawning wrote:
20 Jun 2017, 12:35
If you were presiding over the meeting in which this happened, how would you have responded?
I am not answering for ydeve, this is my own answer. I think it's a good question. For background, I have been in two bishoprics and have been in the position of being on the stand when what was being said from the pulpit was way off base doctrinally. I have squirmed in my seat more than once. FWIW I sometimes enjoy watching people squirm in their seats, and it was in fact mentioned that some people squirmed when my SPC gave the talk I mentioned earlier int he thread. We have also had a discussion about what we should do in such situations in our high council - the stake president's counsel was that if something needed correcting either we or the bishop should do so as kindly and calmly as possible and refer back to the Gospel of Christ.

I would have let her finish. I have watched the video more than once and of course read the few sentences she had remaining. I think what the man (I'm presuming he is the bishop or counselor) said after she was cut off was fine, but I don't know that I would have felt the need to say anything. If in fact she had not been cut off none of us would likely know about it and it wouldn't be news (it is on the CNN landing page today).

That said, this is Monday morning quarterbacking and we actually never know what we will do in a situation until we're actually in that situation.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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