I know more orthodox members like to say a couple of things regarding these progressive changes that irk me:
1) It's always been this way (hard for them to claim with some of the changes)
2) This change is because some members (not them!) find the "higher law" too hard (utterly ridiculous that barring families from their child's wedding is a higher law or that prohibiting the innocent children of gay couples from being baptized is a higher law).
3) The church is caving to progressives who are still not grateful, complaining even now!
The third thing is kind of true in my case, and I was trying to figure out why progressives are finding the changes troubling. I did a post on it here: https://wheatandtares.org/2019/05/08/th ... e-fallout/
Some of my conclusions relate to the problem of Sunk Cost. For many of us, we want progress, but we've been putting up with things for a long time.
And that brings up another big problem, disassociation from the organization, skepticism of whatever it's doing that doesn't feel right. We begin to rely more on our internal compass and to view the organization with a look of distrust. What else are they getting wrong?Sunk cost: “In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken.” (from Wikipedia)
It’s no wonder that church leaders would make decisions based on avoiding future costs rather than addressing the sacrifices that have already been made, the embarrassments and inconveniences suffered, the relationships harmed. Better to move forward. We can’t change the past, right? We can’t unfeel racism or sexism in temple practices. We can’t get back the hours of church meetings we’ve already attended. We can’t go back and undo the hurt feelings of converts’ families who had to wait outside of weddings. Water under the bridge. But it stings, like getting an expensive speeding ticket the day before the speed limit is raised.
Without any sort of acknowledgement or public statement of apology, those who sacrificed the most–or who feel those sacrifices most keenly–may be feeling a second type of pain: that their sacrifices were arbitrary and in vain. For some policy changes, the pain is more acute than others, particularly since some people were impacted more than others. The revised policy around gay parents was one, temple verbiage changes another, and this week’s announcement about no longer delaying temple sealings for civil married couples is another.
These feelings are exacerbated when the person has chosen the church over family members in the past, choosing to beat others up for their perceived lack of righteousness--now those individuals feel guilty and complicit in upholding something the church has just easily set aside.Once you conclude that the church’s institutional policies have caused you unnecessary pain with what feel like arbitrary man-made policies that are easily reversed, it’s not a long walk to putting all existing and future church policies on the table for reevaluation. For progressives who have long clamored for these changes either publicly or privately, this sense of vindication reduces the influence of church authority in personal decision making. That may be a good thing, perhaps long overdue, maybe inevitable for progressives in a conservative faith, or maybe it’s one of those new problems Kissinger talked about.
That last bit's not me, but I was surprised at how unhappy I felt about the sexism being (mostly / at least on the surface) dropped from the temple. I'm glad it's gone, but I have literally had to endure a lot because of the decades of its existence, and apparently I was right all along, even though I was called faithless and told I just didn't understand. No, I understood only too well. And I don't trust the organization, partly as a result.The lack of acknowledgement carries another pain point: personal regret at past actions for those who upheld those policies, who now see themselves as having behaved callously, chosen the institution over family, or felt smugly superior for following church counsel, souring relationships in the process.
“I regret it everyday. The exclusion and moral superiority I felt at that time, now disgusts me and makes me feel horrible. This change is fantastic, but IMO, too little to late.” Church member regretting following a now defunct policy.