dande48 wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2019, 13:36
In the future, I hope the Church is a little more careful with what they declare as "revelation". Most members would do well, to do the same.
Best to call as much as possible "policy" and leave it at that. LIke the difference between an executive order by the POTUS and actual legislation passed by Congress. Executive Orders are the temporary decree of the president and can be easily rescinded and invoked, Laws are permanent, hard to change, and passed by Congress and the Senate. Executive orders are like policy, legislation is like revelation (I am not saying our politicians are inspired! Just drawing an analogy).
Years ago, when they revamped the Handbook of instructions, someone said it wasn't revelation, simply the current leadership's best understanding about how it should all work. THAT is a good example of church change.
I am also a bit tired of leaders playing the "the Lord wants you to take this calling" card. And using the revelation card as a way of getting people to believe or at least, not object. It might sound good in the moment, but it makes it really hard to make change when the new revelation turns out to produce unintended, undesirable results.
I like the creed of the Dunkers, a religious group that existed in the time of Ben Franklin. Franklin refers to how the Quakers would routinely paint themselves into a corner over uncategorical statements of what is "truth" or "revelation". In this case, decrying ward, and therefore, unable to support troops in the revolutionary war. Frankline believed the Dunkers had a better approach...
"These embarrassments that the Quakers suffered from having established and published it as one of their principles that no kind of war was lawful, and which, being once published, they could not afterwards, however they might change their minds, easily get rid of, reminds me of what I think a more prudent conduct in another sect among us, that of the Dunkers.
I was acquainted with one of its founders, Michael Welfare, soon after it appeared. He complained to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charged with abominable principles and practices, to which they were utter strangers. I told him this had always been the case with new sects, and that, to put a stop to such abuse, I imagined it might be well to publish the articles of their belief and the rules of their discipline.
He said that it had been proposed among them, but not agreed to, for this reason: "When we were first drawn together as a society," says he, "it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which we once esteemed truths, were errors; and that others, which we had esteemed errors, were real truth. From time to time He has been pleased to afford us farther light, and our principles have been improving, and our errors diminishing. Now, we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression, and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge; and we fear that, if we should once print our confession of faith, we should feel ourselves as if bound and confined by it, and perhaps be unwilling to receive farther improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving what we their elders and founders had done to be something sacred, never to be departed from."
This modesty in a sect is perhaps a singular instance in the history of mankind, every other sect supposing itself in possession of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong; like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, tho' in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them. To avoid this kind of embarrassment, the Quakers leave of late years been gradually declining the public service in the Assembly and in the magistracy, choosing rather quit their power than their principle."
I think as Mormons we might take a similar approach if we want to keep the phrase "the church is perfect but the people aren't" credible. The leaders are people, and they make the policies. Let's acknowledge they are imperfect and keep our testimonies intact in the process!!