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The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 05:42
by SilentDawning
Years ago I read "The Coming of the Lord" by Gerald Lund about the events prior to, during and after the Second Coming.

The book was replete with examples of how the Lord would first purge the church before wreaking havoc on the world and its inhabitants in the latter days shortly before His coming.

Do you think the changes lately seem not to be on the Church Purge model? I don't. They've made it EASIER to be a Mormon. Two hour church, a kinder, gentler home teaching program, reversing the November policy, more inclusiveness for women, and a few years ago, a gentler approach to church discipline that favors disfellowshipment over excommunication. I am sure we can list other changes that make it easier to be a Mormon.

So what does this say about the second coming? I recognize that no one knows the time, but to me, it says its a lot further away than most would believe. I would expect a purge would occur with stiffer rules that are harder to live to the less committed fall away, leaving only the chosen...

Thoughts?

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 06:10
by grobert93
I remember reading the history of Joseph Smith and how he had convinced his followers that the second coming would be in their lifetime. There were patriarchal blessings given saying early saints would witness Christ's descent. My dad told me that he received the "you are the chosen generation" speech as a youth and how "the second coming is around the corner" so everyone would behave and help the church grow. I received the exact same lectures as a youth, and I'm seeing it repeated to the youth NOW, ten years later.

I think the church will always tell their next of kin that they are the chosen generation for their generation, but also that the second coming is "at nigh" to keep us on our toes. I think it will come when we are not expecting it, likely without any major reveal. I have not pondered this much, but I wouldn't be surprised if Christ came down and quietly setup his kingdom. As members, we have been taught to expect trumpets and Christ to show up in Missouri or SLC or some place the Mormon Church owns property at. I would laugh (at us) if He chose to start out in someplace where poor people reside or where the gospel in spirit is followed.

I consider these "relaxing" changes to be creating more pressure. Back then we had exact rules and guidelines as to how church should function, but now many of these rules are "you figure it out" or "follow the spirit" which in practice shouldn't be bad, but because we are a membership that naturally judges and criticizes each other, I'm not surprised if we continue to argue about how ministering should be performed, just as we still have issues with deciding what the word of wisdom means or how to honor the sabbath.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 10:42
by Rumin8
I can't remember the last time there was an actual discussion in any of my classes about the 2nd coming. It seems so de-emphasized that it's actually something I haven't thought about in my deconstruction process of the past few years. I'm actually stunned by this. Maybe my head is in the sand.

I wonder, do we actually still believe this will happen? I guess we do, but for it being part of our new (full) name of the church, we sure don't talk about "Latter Day Saints" very much. I remember as a kid being paranoid that if I didn't repent right away, and Christ came tomorrow, I'd be "toast." I haven't had a thought like that in a long time.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 12:27
by SilentDawning
But do you think these changes have made it easier, or harder to be a member in good standing? I know grobert indicated above it's harder because there is more room for us to figure out what to do -- we aren't told anymore to do X, Y, and Z. Personally, I think the issues on which we've been given more freedom are peripheral frankly. They are positive changes, and in my view, make it easier to be a Mormon and aren't really challenges to membership or commitment. For example, we were always expected to study the gospel, so cutting out church for one hour and putting the onus on us to study for an hour isn't really much challenge or indicative of a purge.

Expecting us to give 20% of our annual income to the church, now that's a challenge.

Interested in others' perspectives on this.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 12:55
by dande48
SilentDawning wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 05:42
So what does this say about the second coming? I recognize that no one knows the time, but to me, it says its a lot further away than most would believe. I would expect a purge would occur with stiffer rules that are harder to live to the less committed fall away, leaving only the chosen...
I believe that any spiritualist who claims to be able to predict future events, is terrible at it. But I also believe they are fantastic at making others think they were right all along.

As for the changes, they've definitely made things easier. Asking extreme sacrifices and displays of commitment only work in smaller, isolated groups. The Church of Brigham Young would not survive in our day. The Church of Joseph Smith barely survived its own time, and only through forced isolation. Currently, most churches have eased up on their member's burdens. The easier a church makes it, the more members are attracted to it. If they make things too difficult, members will leave for someplace else. The downside is... this leads to less committed members.

We're doing what we need to, to survive. But as a side note: Did you know we are the richest religious organization on earth?

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 13:13
by nibbler
SilentDawning wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 05:42
I would expect a purge would occur with stiffer rules that are harder to live to the less committed fall away, leaving only the chosen...
I don't like the concept of a purge in that context, more on that later, but perhaps looking at it from the opposite angle can provide some insight.

You said you didn't like six hour church, so I made church five hours.
You said you didn't like five hour church, so I made church four hours.
You said you didn't like four hour church, so I made church three hours.
You said you didn't like three hour church, so I made church two hours.
You said you didn't like two hour church, so I made church one hour.
Now you won't even do one hour church.

In other words, church is becoming easier and easier. If people can't stomach things when they are easy they have effectively been purged.

But like I said, I don't particularly like the concept of purging people. A god that heaps burdens on people to test their love and loyalty. I wouldn't know whether to be sad or relieved to be purged from such a god.

Maybe it requires belief in the traditional interpretation of the second coming, which I don't have, so take this with a tablespoon of salt, but there are many scriptures that are what I'll call "hedge your bets prophecies."

In the last days many elect will fall. Sure, eventually there's going to be people that will leave a religion. It's a given. But this idea seeds the thought that the people that leave must have had something wrong with them. It works on adherents in a few ways; it creates fear of leaving, no one wants to "fall away," and it rewards the people that stick it out by stroking their egos.

So it's a hedge your bet prophecy. See? I told you people would leave and there they go. Just like I said.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 14:12
by SilentDawning
dande48 wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 12:55
The easier a church makes it, the more members are attracted to it. If they make things too difficult, members will leave for someplace else. The downside is... this leads to less committed members.
Narrow is the gate to eternal life, and few there be that find it, broad is the way.......that is what the statement above reminds me of...
We're doing what we need to, to survive. But as a side note: Did you know we are the richest religious organization on earth?
Wouldn't surprise me. The fact that tithing is tied to being a member in good standing and temple attendance, and attendance at weddings, endowments and youth baptisms, as well as tough talks on it in conference, ward meetings -- all this has an impact. Add to the fact we've got hardened business people at the helm in many areas, and a ton of investments in real estate, and stocks -- all this makes for a wealthy church. Add to that, the fact that our humanitarian donations to outside organizations is one half of churches of a similar size in America (According to Mormon America), we have some pretty good coffers under us...

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 18:04
by hawkgrrrl
Dande48:
"did you know we are the richest religious organization on earth?"
Maybe if you only consider liquid assets. Have you not been to the Vatican? They are literally sitting on a stockpile of priceless artwork and statuary, to the point that a bunch of it is gathering dust in closets.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 19:31
by dande48
hawkgrrrl wrote:
05 Apr 2019, 18:04
Maybe if you only consider liquid assets. Have you not been to the Vatican? They are literally sitting on a stockpile of priceless artwork and statuary, to the point that a bunch of it is gathering dust in closets.
Accounting for land assets, temples, business, etc, we're sitting on ~$35Billion, and bring in an estimated $7 Billion a year. The Catholic Church's property and wealth is estimated only around $30 Billion. Tithing for Catholics is "pay if you can" and pretty open ended. They also spend a LOT more than we do; paying their preachers for one thing; There have been more than a few recent years when they're at a net loss. We only pay our GAs and Q15, and the rest is heavily tied up in business investments. Even building maintenance is kept at a minimum, with unpaid volunteers serving as janitors, tax exemptions, and only opening for a few hours a week.

Though in fairness, they all try to keep their true wealth a closely guarded secret. But even a rough ~$5Billion estimatd difference is still a LOT of wealth.

Re: The Church Purge of the Latter Days

Posted: 05 Apr 2019, 20:04
by hawkgrrrl
Fascinating! All the more reason that the dinky little mass produced Christus statue was an odd gift to give to the Pope on their visit.