Arrington's 9 Points

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hawkgrrrl
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Arrington's 9 Points

Post by hawkgrrrl » 02 Feb 2018, 14:08

I am reading Greg Prince's biography of Leonard Arrington, and I found this diary entry he did at age 75 (in 1992) with 9 things he didn't like about the church, so I did a blog post on them. Here they are. Really interesting stuff:
1. The imposition of one pattern for everybody rather than suggesting two or three patterns and letting local wards or stakes or districts follow the one most convenient for them. Examples, the three hour meeting schedule on Sundays.

2. Appointing the highest tithe payers to positions of leadership rather than the most capable or worthy. In choosing stake leaders, the General Authority comes with a list of the 15 or 20 highest tithe payers and starts down the list to choose a stake president and high council.

3. The maintenance of a disloyalty file on liberals, including articles they’ve written with questionable statements, newspaper clippings. These are used against the person without him or her knowing what is in the file and having a chance to deny or explain it. The supposition is that liberals are out to destroy or embarrass the church, a supposition entirely false.

4. The insistence on unanimity among the Twelve, which means that the most obstinate member, the one holding out against the rest, wins.

5. The insistence on choosing a new president from the senior member of the Twelve. This means we’ll always have a president far beyond his energetic, creative period of life. We should retire persons from the Twelve at age 75 and never choose anyone over that age to be president of the Church.

6. The First Presidency and Twelve should call a person in to talk with him/her before putting that person on the blacklist, not to be cited, his/her books not to be sold in Church bookstores, not to be allowed to speak in Church, etc.

7. The Church should allow historians to present “human” material in biographies of presidents and General Authorities.

8. We should allow women to be associates to the Twelve and sit in on their meetings. The Relief Society president should sit in on bishopric meetings. Mothers should be allowed to stand in the circle to bless their babies, confirm newly baptized persons as members of the Church, just as they now can open and close meetings with prayer.

9. The manuals used in adult Sunday School, Priesthood, and Relief Society classes are absolutely hopeless. Using the same gospel doctrine manual every fourth year; the same with Priesthood manuals. Hopeless. Why can’t they assign a skilled and experienced writer to do a new manual every year?
One of these is either not true or no longer true (#2), one is pretty specifically an issue with some of the authors he worked with in the CHL (#6), and one has had some improvement since then (#7). Still, on the whole, it's a pretty good list from where I'm sitting.

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mom3
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Re: Arrington's 9 Points

Post by mom3 » 02 Feb 2018, 14:53

I read this post yesterday. I love it.

I hope someone at the top reads the book.
"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

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dande48
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Re: Arrington's 9 Points

Post by dande48 » 02 Feb 2018, 21:29

Thanks for sharing, Hawkgrrl. I'll have to read Arrington's bio. He seemed like a swell guy, from what I've heard.
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mom3
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Re: Arrington's 9 Points

Post by mom3 » 02 Feb 2018, 23:41

Two things tickled my brain when I read your post.

#1 - 1992 wasn't that long ago - yet he had covered ages in the church. That idea alone gave me extra ponder on his list. What did he see from his chair?

#2 - Was this list (or other's like it) more the reason for his unceremonious release and less his unearthing of history? Maybe the book answers it. Hmm.
"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

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nibbler
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Re: Arrington's 9 Points

Post by nibbler » 03 Feb 2018, 17:31

#1) It sounds like he's talking about church units but I'd extend this down to the individual level as well. At least I know that in the past I got caught up in losing my own personality as I slowly started feeling pressure to become something I was not. This probably started during the mission.

#3) How would they use this file against the average liberal member? By never making them bishop? That's about the extent of what I could imagine them doing, but is that really a punishment? ;)

#5) I think this is a big problem in the modern church. The process for calling a new prophet doesn't even require any revelation whatsoever, it's an automatic. Again we rely on things that have been revealed to people in the past (the policy saying most tenure wins) at the expense of seeking revelation today (asking god who the next prophet should be and listening).

#8) Yes.

#9) Wow. He made this comment before we moved to the current SS manuals... that we've been using for the last 20 years. He said that before the Teachings of the Presidents manuals were a thing. :crazy: And now it's just reading general conference talks. We're getting worse with time.
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Re: Arrington's 9 Points

Post by gospeltangents » 04 Feb 2018, 18:28

This is on my (long) list of books to read. It sounds very interesting!
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