How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 24 May 2019, 18:51

I would say unequivocally that they do act better than most organizations, especially when size is considered. I personally think there still is a lot of good change that can occur, but, ethically and in measurable ways, I think they generally do act with good intent - at a higher level than most other large organizations, including churches.
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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Gerald
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Gerald » 25 May 2019, 04:36

Interesting that these changes have brought more stress to you. I say that because for me, one less hour of structured social church is a good thing. That's one less hour for bishops, clerks, leaders and so on to be fulfilling a stressful calling that usually requires spending time away from family. Ministering is what home teaching should have been, IMO. We seemed to need a set of rules and regulations in order to serve others. I believe HT was meant to be a way to make sure our brothers and sisters were doing ok, not to force read through a first presidency message and twist it to be relevant to our family's situation. It's learning to rely on the spirit more and our leader's programs less. IMO ministering is closer to what and how Jesus taught and lived. When i hear people (not just you) still bring up how they are still unable to understand ministering, i tell them that ministering is less of a program with check marks and more of an act of love and service to members of the church.
I don't disagree with anything stated here. Just saying that the changes, all be they positive, can be stressful for some. That reminds me that not long after they changed the policy regarding missionaries contacting parents more regularly, an older member in the quorum who obviously resented the change, stated that kids these days are too entitled and soft (I guess it was "grumpy" day for him).
I would say unequivocally that they do act better than most organizations, especially when size is considered. I personally think there still is a lot of good change that can occur, but, ethically and in measurable ways, I think they generally do act with good intent - at a higher level than most other large organizations, including churches.
I agree. Even when I disagree with certain actions, I feel that the decision-makers in the Church, by and large, are doing their best. They just do it imperfectly.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

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SilentDawning
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by SilentDawning » 25 May 2019, 10:25

Although not on topic, don't' know where to say it...but it keeps coming back to my brain that in my current state of mind, I don't want to ever let any organization or entity have the same level of control I gave to the church in the first three decades of adulthood. They govern better than other churches, as far as I know (do I know?) -- but in the end, they are imperfect, and policies can ruin family relationships and sap other critical resources unnecessarily without any accountability when/if they turn out to be wrong.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.
"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

Minyan Man
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Minyan Man » 25 May 2019, 14:32

For me, if the church came out & declared that Joseph Smith was a fallen Prophet, it would no long be credible with the
rank & file. Other examples come to mind:
- Paid Ministry (even if it made sense)
- Open temple ceremonies to the general member without need for recommends. (No more mystery.)
- Anything that makes the church look like a Protestant or Catholic church.
- Robes, candles & crucifix.

Then again, I have missed the point of this discussion.

BJE
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by BJE » 25 May 2019, 18:17

For me the gospel topic essay Race and the Priesthood really got me thinking. If something that was preached from the pulpit as doctrine for more than a hundred years can suddenly be called opinions of men based on the culture of the day and not doctrine, what taught now as doctrine will in the future be called opinions of men based on the culture of the day?

The children of gay parents policy was “revelation” when it came out a few years ago. Now the reversal of the policy is “revelation”.

Mistakes are never made and the church doesn’t apologize.

To quote an article from the Salt Lake Tribune in regards to a statement from Dallin H Oaks;

"I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them," Oaks said in an interview Tuesday. "We sometimes look back on issues and say, 'Maybe that was counterproductive for what we wish to achieve,' but we look forward and not backward."
The church doesn't "seek apologies," he said, "and we don't give them."

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SilentDawning
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by SilentDawning » 25 May 2019, 22:52

BJE wrote:
25 May 2019, 18:17
For me the gospel topic essay Race and the Priesthood really got me thinking. If something that was preached from the pulpit as doctrine for more than a hundred years can suddenly be called opinions of men based on the culture of the day and not doctrine, what taught now as doctrine will in the future be called opinions of men based on the culture of the day?

The children of gay parents policy was “revelation” when it came out a few years ago. Now the reversal of the policy is “revelation”.

Mistakes are never made and the church doesn’t apologize.

To quote an article from the Salt Lake Tribune in regards to a statement from Dallin H Oaks;

"I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them," Oaks said in an interview Tuesday. "We sometimes look back on issues and say, 'Maybe that was counterproductive for what we wish to achieve,' but we look forward and not backward."
The church doesn't "seek apologies," he said, "and we don't give them."
You just summarized my thoughts on this exactly. The Race and the Prieshood essay was a turning point for me, for exactly the reasons you point out above.

And the fact that "we don't apologize" is a kick in the gut for me. Righteous people, and organizations, apologize. To do otherwise, and to simply state this as DHO did, is downright arrogant. Granted, I realize that as a temporal organization with lots of money, if you apologize it could land you in court with a liability claim. And with the way the church has hurt so many people over the years, the losses coule be staggering. I get that, but to openly state it like DHO does, or to not apologize even in situations where there is no risk of a lawsuit -- that's just wrong and unChristlike.

I thought the gospel topic essay referred above was also pretty weasley when they said "we don't know where this came from". Really? Will we know where current policies/doctrine/practices came from in years hence? To me, this was a pretty shallow way to deal with the problem, to obfuscate. Particularly when everyone knows this came out under Brigham Young.

By the way, how would it look if, in a church disciplinary council, I did something I shouldn't have, and part of making restitution was to apologize to the person I wronged? And I replied "I don't apologize or ask for apologies either". I'd be dead in the water. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, particularly when the risks are low for a temporal claim against the church.

Another concern I have is the difference between forgiveness and trust. For forgiveness, no apology is necessary on the part of the wrong-doer. Sure, apologies help speed the forgiveness process, but I guess they aren't required for forgiveness given the New Testament. But for restoration of trust? Apologies and restitution are critical.

So my question -- if the church is one that never apologizes, how can I trust its leaders on future issues if they feel no obligation to admit mistakes, apologize and thus help restore trust lost?
Last edited by SilentDawning on 25 May 2019, 23:45, edited 1 time in total.
"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

BJE
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Joined: 24 May 2019, 13:02

Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by BJE » 25 May 2019, 23:38

To apologize admits a wrongdoing. So I guess no apologies means no wrongdoing.

What if I were to tell my bishop that some of the things I have done (sins I have committed) have been counterproductive to what I want to accomplish but I look foreword not backwards?

Roy
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Roy » 26 May 2019, 14:07

BJE wrote:
25 May 2019, 23:38
To apologize admits a wrongdoing. So I guess no apologies means no wrongdoing.
In the context of this thread... to apologize means wrongdoing. The church can change and people can come to all sorts of explanations as to why. "That was what was right for the time." "The people were not ready for the higher law." "The process of restoration is still ongoing." I have even heard that say that the church was more blunt about gospel truths before but now has to soft peddle them because of our politically correct atmosphere. Were the church to apologize - that would deflate all those arguments. It would mean the church had been wrong … and some people cannot really handle the implications of that.
"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

Curt Sunshine
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 May 2019, 19:13

There also is the view that someone can't apologize for someone else. The only thing the new someone can do is change what the old someone did.

I don't accept that view fully, but I understand and can't condemn it.
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.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

BJE
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Joined: 24 May 2019, 13:02

Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by BJE » 26 May 2019, 21:14

Curt Sunshine wrote:
26 May 2019, 19:13
There also is the view that someone can't apologize for someone else. The only thing the new someone can do is change what the old someone did.

I don't accept that view fully, but I understand and can't condemn it.
While I believe it’s true that you can’t apologize for someone else, I also believe leaders of an organization can apologize on behalf of the organization for past mistakes the organization has made.

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