Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

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DarkJedi
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Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Apr 2019, 12:04

A nice article I enjoyed on Deseret News today. It was on the landing page, it has since been moved to the opinion section.
In the past few days, I have had a number of conversations with friends who feel joy and relief that the original policy has been changed but who are confused by the expressions of pain and anger they are hearing from many of those who felt personally impacted by the policy over the past three and a half years.

I have encouraged my friends to listen to the experiences of those who feel hurt: individuals whose personal moral compass would not allow them to continue church activity while the policy was in place, those who were excommunicated for apostasy, those whose children were impacted, those who have a family member who felt excluded from their church community and for whom that may have been one of many causes resulting in suicide.
I am grateful that removing the earlier policy reflects, to me, a continued wrestling by church leaders with the many unanswered questions affecting our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer brothers and sisters. I also feel that this change reflects a unity of the prayers by members of the body of Christ and his prophets for greater light and knowledge, and that all of our hearts will be prepared for what he may choose to reveal in his own time.

I believe that, especially as we celebrate Holy Week and in our desire to follow Jesus Christ, we must do more to love as he loves. In John 8:2-11, we read the teaching of Jesus in the experience of the woman caught in adultery. As you recall, her accusers intended to stone her according to the law until they were challenged by Christ that only those who themselves were without sin should carry out such punishment. Gradually, the accusers slipped away until only Jesus and the woman remained. He had saved her life. In his comforting yet exacting words to her, he indicated that he did not condemn her and invited her to forsake sin going forward.
In this Holy Week, with renewed hope, as leaders and members of the church we can make a special effort to reach out proactively, with love and compassion, to those who have felt injured by the previous policy. Our joy at Easter this year can be sweeter and deeper than ever before.
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... amily.html

The comments section is a bit interesting too - clearly the Old Guard still resists.
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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mom3
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by mom3 » 17 Apr 2019, 12:30

Someday I hope Tom Christofferson receives the wholeness he bravely gave up. If we made Saints in this church - he would be my suggestion.
"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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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by hawkgrrrl » 17 Apr 2019, 13:35

mom3 wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 12:30
Someday I hope Tom Christofferson receives the wholeness he bravely gave up. If we made Saints in this church - he would be my suggestion.
+1

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Apr 2019, 13:51

Saint Tom - I love that thought.

Saint Jane - Saint Darius - Saint Lavinia - We have plenty of people worthy of the title.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by DarkJedi » 17 Apr 2019, 14:55

I forgot to mention earlier that I also sent the article to the entire stake council. ;)
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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Roy
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by Roy » 18 Apr 2019, 15:33

Wonderful article! thanks for sharing. Some of the comments are disheartening.

I have to believe that the views expressed by some of the more strident old guard members are not representative of our current church leadership - otherwise the POX would never have been reversed.
Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness, and all the views and all the thoughts of the past.... It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord said the gospel should go to the gentiles. We forget all the statements that limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the gentiles. - Bruce R. McConkie
Our church presents itself as being a restoration of the same church as was had in all dispensations of time back to Adam.
Our church presents itself as receiving new instruction that overrides and supersedes everything past (including our scriptural canon).
There is tension and paradox here, but also progress.
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Apr 2019, 08:39

DarkJedi wrote:
17 Apr 2019, 12:04
A nice article I enjoyed on Deseret News today. It was on the landing page, it has since been moved to the opinion section.
I am grateful that removing the earlier policy reflects, to me, a continued wrestling by church leaders with the many unanswered questions affecting our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer brothers and sisters. I also feel that this change reflects a unity of the prayers by members of the body of Christ and his prophets for greater light and knowledge, and that all of our hearts will be prepared for what he may choose to reveal in his own time.
See this is what gets me. We are expected to do all kinds of things because everything is inspired. Yet there are "unanswered questions" about people who are not main stream sexually oriented our religion can't answer. If this life is the time to prepare to meet God, and there are so many people that are not straight, shouldn't we have an answer to these basic questions? I'm not claiming we need answers to every single mystery, but heck, sexual orientation, particularly when say, a man sees an attractive man, he has a "involuntary physiological reaction"?

And we can't answer that, or even if we can, we can't craft a policy that doesn't end in suicide, ostracization, cruel handling of such people??

I like it when they apologize or recant bad policies on mainstream issues. But it also solidifies the path that I'm on. To thine own heart by true.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by dande48 » 19 Apr 2019, 21:36

SilentDawning wrote:
19 Apr 2019, 08:39
See this is what gets me. We are expected to do all kinds of things because everything is inspired. Yet there are "unanswered questions" about people who are not main stream sexually oriented our religion can't answer. If this life is the time to prepare to meet God, and there are so many people that are not straight, shouldn't we have an answer to these basic questions? I'm not claiming we need answers to every single mystery, but heck, sexual orientation, particularly when say, a man sees an attractive man, he has a "involuntary physiological reaction"?
The thing is, the Church teaches it is all inspired/revelation when it is recieved. In hindsight, after "new revelation" is recieved, the former revelations get redefined to "personal opinion" or "our best judgement at the time". It's the way revelation works with all religions who profess revelation, not just ours. I suspect it happens with "personal revelation" all the time too. As we recieve new "revelations", we redefine our past, in order to keep things congruent.

In fairness, societies' views on sexual orientation have shifted drastically, even in the past century. There are a lot of factors at play. Science is complicated. The vast majority of opinions are formed with very little knowledge. If you'd like to put it this way, God can only work with what He has to work with. He's not going to be able to give a revelation which goes against prior held beliefs. Though personally, I believe God is who we make Him to be. If there is a God, I suspect his views are wildly different from any society's in any age, including our own. Maybe God doesn't talk, because we wouldn't like what He has to say?
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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SilentDawning
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by SilentDawning » 23 Apr 2019, 07:12

dande48 wrote:
19 Apr 2019, 21:36
SilentDawning wrote:
19 Apr 2019, 08:39
See this is what gets me. We are expected to do all kinds of things because everything is inspired. Yet there are "unanswered questions" about people who are not mainstream sexually oriented our religion can't answer. If this life is the time to prepare to meet God, and there are so many people that are not straight, shouldn't we have an answer to these basic questions? I'm not claiming we need answers to every single mystery, but heck, sexual orientation, particularly when say, a man sees an attractive man, he has an "involuntary physiological reaction"?
The thing is, the Church teaches it is all inspired/revelation when it is received. In hindsight, after "new revelation" is recieved, the former revelations get redefined to "personal opinion" or "our best judgment at the time".
Then in my view, it's all opinion. For me, it means to take very seriously the advice to get personal confirmation of all revelations that affect you. In other words, don't relinquish your judgment or you run the risk of getting the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I'm exaggerating, but that is how I see it.

Throughout time, people have always tried to claim that God told them to tell others this, or that God installed the King, or other direct lines to God. I get it. And the prophet may have moments when he receives direct guidance like this -- I don't deny it. However, I think it's rare. And based on some of the terrible decisions some prophets have made, God certainly gives them enough latitude to make mistakes. Therefore, it's tough to separate opinion, policy, doctrine and pure revelation from each other. You have to rely on yourself to make those judgments.

When Brian Johnson advised me that "the sooner I get on my own clock, the happier I'll be", that was a game changer for me. No longer did I feel I HAD to do something simply because someone claimed it was inspiration or revelation or that God wanted me to do it (as when callings are extended) etcetera.

Picture Braveheart -- FREEDOM!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- 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."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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dande48
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Re: Tom Christofferson on the policy change and Easter

Post by dande48 » 23 Apr 2019, 15:14

SilentDawning wrote:
23 Apr 2019, 07:12
Then in my view, it's all opinion. For me, it means to take very seriously the advice to get personal confirmation of all revelations that affect you.
This reminded me of a joke I heard a while back:
Confirmation Bias (n): The study of how other people think.
Ironically, the first thought most people have after reading this is, "Haha, that's exactly how other people think of confirmation bias!" :lol: :problem:

As for "getting your own personal confirmation" goes, that feels to me like saying "Allow me to get my equally uninformed opinion on your opinion."That's one of the issues I have with the "gospel", is that it causes people to cement themselves into what they feel as "revelation", rather than think things through, come to a conclusion, and reserve the right to change your mind later. In fairness Christofferson has come as close as anyone (that I know of), to expressly declaring something wasn't revelation when they honestly thought it was.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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