April 2018 General Men's Session

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SilentDawning
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by SilentDawning » 01 Apr 2018, 04:30

I hate to say it, but even if they fixed the items on the list that are in my doghouse, I probably wouldn't go back to the way I was. Being here on STayLDS helps me stay involved, and I have hopes of my own Road to Damascus experience. But once broken the bubble is hard to reconstruct again.

I agree with Curtis that we should probably be more appreciative of the changes they do make, even if in the context of arrogance, unapologetic attitudes, as well as many other cultural problems. I notice that when they do make positive changes, there is a tendency to give backhanded complements or to be cynical about it. Point taken.
"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."

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DarkJedi
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Apr 2018, 04:45

Minyan Man wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 20:29
This isn't a criticism, I'm really trying to understand the need for this change.
If combining the Elders & HPs is good on the Ward (rank & file) level, why isn't it good on a Leadership level?
Bishopric, Stake Presidency, High Council & General Authority. And why do we need the office of a Seventy?

On the surface, it would be less confusing if all Melchizedek members were Elders.
Just asking.
This is just my opinion, no inside info or revelation here.

Essentially the HPG and EQ do the same thing anyway. They each met together for Sunday lessons, each had home teaching routes, each leader attended the same meetings (WC, PEC, etc.). The only real difference was HPs were supposed to be more responsible for family history/temple stuff. From that point of view it streamlines things and allows more flexibility. And you can have the best people from both groups in leadership and home teaching. It's less of a competition (yes, I have seen the quorums compete and even in my own HPG I have caught an occasional undercurrent of "being better" than the elders). And it's also 3 less callings for good men in the ward, freeing them up for other callings (like YM, SS, or mission leader).

Remember when seventies were in stakes/wards and that change was made? The whole office of seventy was changed. In the old days they were more in charge of missionary work in the stakes. Although I don't recall the hoopla they've made with this change then (there wasn't a whole priesthood meeting dedicated to it, and I don't recall as much "thus saith the Lord rhetoric"). The current role of the Seventy is to do the work that the apostles can't do because the church is so large. It's a real share the burden situation IMO.
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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dande48
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by dande48 » 01 Apr 2018, 08:18

SilentDawning wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 20:05
Good point. I am happy for the change. I often wonder if, given the experiences that led some of us here, if they:

a) cancelled home teaching
b) did away with tithing
c) gave women the priesthood
d) did away with conscripted service
e) became transparent with the finances
f) gave gays full fellowship...
g) apologized for past mistakes
h) admitted certain doctrinal mainstays were actually just opinion and mistaken

would that change our willingness to be involved, to feel proud of the church again, etcetera?
My question is, how much could you change, and still have it be the same Church? Or even a religion at all?

As for h, they do this already. I just happens many decades after the fact. Humanoids living on the sun and moon? Not sense Joseph Fielding Smith. Blood atonement? Not since 1889. And take a look at EVERYTHING in the bible that gets dismissed as "personal opinion". The trouble is, the Church has to appear to answer the unanswerable, and to appear as the sole unchanging, consistant force in this fickle universe or else lose all its power.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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Roy
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by Roy » 01 Apr 2018, 11:54

dande48 wrote:
01 Apr 2018, 08:18
The trouble is, the Church has to appear to answer the unanswerable, and to appear as the sole unchanging, consistant force in this fickle universe or else lose all its power.
I believe that the church membership needs to move towards a paradigm of a limited prophet and continuing restoration in order to deal with the current counter evidence.

If the "restoration" is a process and the church is learning line upon line and precept upon precept than we need not be shackled to the foibles of yesteryear. Maybe God helped JS start the church AND JS got a bunch of things wrong BUT God allowed it because God is not in the business of micro managing everything. Besides, God know that he would have hundreds of years to straighten the kinks out of the church.

This is in contrast to a perfectly formed church being restored to it's original state - just like it was for Adam, Abraham, Jeremiah, and Jesus. That view locks us into replicating the church of antiquity.

This continuing restorations concept dovetails with a "limited prophet". If and when the church is ready, God may make his will known through the church president. However, that is a fairly uncommon occurrence and in the mean time the church leaders administer the church through a combination of experience, business practices, genuine personal concern and effort, and inspiration.

This too allows us to not be stuck on the pronouncements of past leaders as though the things they said then had to be "gospel truth" forevermore.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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mom3
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by mom3 » 01 Apr 2018, 13:31

If you had asked your SP a few weeks ago why the HP were separate form the Elders, you would have gotten all kind of justification using D&C and the BofM. He would have told you about the different roles each play, and why they need to be separate. Fast forward to today, and it's all out the window.
About 15 years ago, the Stake Relief Society Presidency tried to get ward Relief Societies in our Stake to have one Sunday meeting separated like HP and EQP. They felt that both groups of women needed a Sunday meeting for their specific times of life. It could be the same lesson just geared more to where they were at. It got shot down like an atomic bomb. So harsh was the SP response, that the women left in tears.

Ironically that SP never got a Mission President call or any upward calling.
"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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SamBee
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by SamBee » 01 Apr 2018, 15:30

Beefster wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 17:28
Combining high priests and elder's quorum. That's a good move.
If I could make head or tail of the detail.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by LookingHard » 02 Apr 2018, 04:00

Roy wrote:
01 Apr 2018, 11:54
I believe that the church membership needs to move towards a paradigm of a limited prophet and continuing restoration in order to deal with the current counter evidence.

If the "restoration" is a process and the church is learning line upon line and precept upon precept than we need not be shackled to the foibles of yesteryear. Maybe God helped JS start the church AND JS got a bunch of things wrong BUT God allowed it because God is not in the business of micro managing everything. Besides, God know that he would have hundreds of years to straighten the kinks out of the church.

This is in contrast to a perfectly formed church being restored to it's original state - just like it was for Adam, Abraham, Jeremiah, and Jesus. That view locks us into replicating the church of antiquity.

This continuing restorations concept dovetails with a "limited prophet". If and when the church is ready, God may make his will known through the church president. However, that is a fairly uncommon occurrence and in the mean time the church leaders administer the church through a combination of experience, business practices, genuine personal concern and effort, and inspiration.

This too allows us to not be stuck on the pronouncements of past leaders as though the things they said then had to be "gospel truth" forevermore.
I am glad you can make this adjustment, but I just have to say for me this sounds like a different church.

AmyJ
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by AmyJ » 02 Apr 2018, 06:50

SilentDawning wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 20:05
I often wonder if, given the experiences that led some of us here, if they:

a) cancelled home teaching
b) did away with tithing
c) gave women the priesthood
d) did away with conscripted service
e) became transparent with the finances
f) gave gays full fellowship...
g) apologized for past mistakes
h) admitted certain doctrinal mainstays were actually just opinion and mistaken
a) Ministering --> I am happy and hopeful for the change.
b) I have been musing about tithing/giving away physical resources for others --> I think that the checklist mentality (an accompanying acrimony/confusing) have reduced meaning for this principle. However, the church theoretically needs funds to supplement the resources/time already accrued.
c) I don't want the priesthood. I think that men have a distance from their spouses and children that is important and essential. I want cultural recognition that women can bless their children as well using their own innate authority as women. I want to be able to hold my children/grandchildren as they are given a name and a blessing in a way that is supporting the priesthood holder giving the blessing. I want to be able to request a blessing from a sister if I am dealing with a female rite of passage (childbirth for example).
d) I see progress as it becomes easier for non-missionary people to not be judged for that, and the calling of local level missionaries to assist with things.
e) I think this would be a good thing, but I am not a financial person so I don't know for sure.
f - h) Yes, all these would be good things in my mind - but I understand about not moving the organization too fast.
Beefster wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 21:41
If they did all this, it would make me willing to stay, if only for a little while longer. Though for point d, I think it's beneficial for leaders to be taken from the unambitious, which is sort of a side benefit of conscripted service. Those who aspire to positions of authority are often the worst choices for leaders.

Though I would add a few items to your list
i) Eliminate the requirement to live the WoW to have a TR
j) Fix garments to actually be practical/comfortable for women. Men could use a few upgrades too, but it's not as much of an issue.
k) Stop shaming young people about modesty and sexuality. There are healthier ways to promote waiting until marriage.
l) Show more willingness to address the elephant in the room when people bring up controversial topics such as worthiness interviews and historical issues. And hold leaders accountable when they do horrible things instead of covering it up.
m) Use bishop's storehouses as soup kitchens and build homeless shelters. You can still promote self-reliance in homeless shelters by giving them the resources and skills they need to get out of poverty (but the gospel alone will never magically make them rich). You can even use the mall to fund it. I don't care. Just show that you care about the poor instead of merely paying lip service to the idea.
n) Stop making such a big deal out of sharing the gospel and reduce the pressure to go on a mission. If the message of the church isn't good enough for people to want to share it on their own terms, there is something wrong.
o) Drop Sunday School and shave 10 minutes off SM. SM and PH/RS are enough. 2 hours of church is plenty.

For me, it's starting to become an issue of doing too little too late.
i) eliminating the WoW only works if they increase their social services support to work with those who take their newfound freedom too far.
j) Absolutely - but also giving passing nod to those times of the month that biologically are not compatible with garments. Right now it's "whatever you think is best" while not admitting that monthly cycles are an issue for garments. It is the elephant in the room that I would like to see people acknowledge that it exists,
k) Absolutely.
m) I think that "Just Serve" is a nod in that direction - but I agree a lot more could be done.
SilentDawning wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 20:05
Would that change our willingness to be involved, to feel proud of the church again, etcetera?
I think some of those changes would be helpful. I am already more interested in re-engaging because of the ministering effort. BUT, my biggest hang-ups are in my own head (more or less literally). Until I can resolve the cognitive disconnect between my perception and God (and what that means regarding commandments, authority, and the church organization), and until I am thoroughly convinced that there is "room in the tent" for me, these changes only go so far. I am blessed that people in our branch invite me into their lives, and want to be involved in our lives. This makes me hopeful that there is room for me personally.

The other source of disconnect for me is the "Unity/One-Size-Fits-All" vs "Individual (Needs/Perspectives/Commandments for)". At what point does the need for unity/for administering everything the same overtake the needs of the individuals who can't be administered to in the same way?

EXAMPLE:
My husband takes a controlled substance daily. This medicine has shown to be addictive in general, and addictive for him. We went through a horrible series of withdrawal symptoms 1 day when we were short his medicine. We are wise about managing his medicine. He knows what he needs to do to manage the side effects, and we work together to ensure he has the medicine when he needs it. He follows the prescription guidelines and follows up with his doctor every 3 months. 20 years ago he would have faced extreme social judgement at church. Now, we don't know if he faces social judgement at church - those who know seem to approve of his choices, or recognize his freedom to make independent choices (plus, I am not great at reading non-verbal language, so would miss it and my husband does not always get things because of social anxiety and who he is). But no matter how you look at it, this medication does not fit in the One-Size-Fits-All category (because not everyone needs to take this medication, and most people probably shouldn't - but he should, he really should and does).
I understand that a can of worms is unleashed whenever people are allowed/expected to make their own choices vs following the flock and having everything the same in black and white terms. However, I am reminded of several of the talks in General Conference that seem to say "the prophet will lead, BUT he is a better leader as YOU seek personal revelation/inspiration in governing your life. [Maybe that was just my take on it because that is what I would look for] "

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SilentDawning
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Apr 2018, 08:44

Minyan Man wrote:
31 Mar 2018, 20:29
This isn't a criticism, I'm really trying to understand the need for this change.
If combining the Elders & HPs is good on the Ward (rank & file) level, why isn't it good on a Leadership level?
Bishopric, Stake Presidency, High Council & General Authority. And why do we need the office of a Seventy?

On the surface, it would be less confusing if all Melchizedek members were Elders.
Just asking.
I see a big need for change. For me, it's driven by the decades long failure of the HT and VT programs to meet the needs of members. This has probably hurt activity rates, although I have no data to support that. At a minimum, it's made being an active member a drudgerous task at which you can never feel successful.

People are often stretched in the church -- in this case, we have freed up 3 or 4 positions in the name of efficiency -- no more HP quorum leadership. It can all be handled by a single presidency. This means other programs can be strengthened that are always crying for committed people,.

I hope our church replicates this looking at failed programs and making adjustments in the future. Too often, they create programs that are ineffective, impractical, drudgerous, and then simply beat up on the members for not engaging with the program. As a quality guru said, 80% of the problems are systemic and not with the individuals doing the work. So if you see all the leaders are frustrated trying to get the members to engage with a program in spite of really hard trying/training/communicating/measuring/controlling over a period of years, is it perhaps a problem with the program rather than the people? Particularly when these are good people who are active in the church and generally have their hearts in the right place?

Get the message!!!!!!! And then act on it. And do it quickly.

I like how they squeezed this out for conference, even though training videos are not ready, etcetera. There was actual movement and a feeling of urgency when I read the FAQ's -- something I appreciate given the slow, drudgerous, plodding unresponsive organizational policies I've seen over the last 30 years.
"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

Roy
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Re: April 2018 General Men's Session

Post by Roy » 02 Apr 2018, 11:15

AmyJ wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 06:50
c) I don't want the priesthood. I think that men have a distance from their spouses and children that is important and essential. I want cultural recognition that women can bless their children as well using their own innate authority as women. I want to be able to hold my children/grandchildren as they are given a name and a blessing in a way that is supporting the priesthood holder giving the blessing. I want to be able to request a blessing from a sister if I am dealing with a female rite of passage (childbirth for example).
I love this!

I suppose what I want is cultural recognition of fatherhood. I love father's blessings, Giving a name and a blessing, baptizing my children, dedication of family graves, perhaps being a temple escort (for endowment) or witness to a temple sealing. I love that those aspects of fatherhood are given social and ritual significance in our tribe. We have twisted it all up with priesthood authority and responsibility but the cultural recognition of fatherhood is there to a degree not common in the broader society.

I would love for more opportunities for social, cultural, and ritual recognition for women and mothers. Many women I have spoken to would be fearful that any steps in this direction would be usurping authority from the priesthood. I feel many women would love what you are suggesting but would be afraid to ask for it.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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