How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

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

Post by SilentDawning » 31 May 2019, 22:34

The prophet initiates it....
"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

grobert93
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by grobert93 » 01 Jun 2019, 05:22

BJE wrote:
31 May 2019, 22:28
SilentDawning wrote:
31 May 2019, 12:14
If I were a prophet, and I didn't have an actual visitation commanding me to write a revelation (or a compelling vision), I would be reluctant to publish anything.

First, it's weird in current society for a prophet to say they had a revelation and put it into scripture. We're already marginalized enough. it's way easier to believe in old revelation than new revelation when given formally like this.

Second, I'd feel this great responsibility to make sure what I eventually end for publication was internally consistent with the scriptures as a whole.

Third, I'd be concerned about unintended consequences of people going off the deep end with the scripture by taking parts literally, or justifying bad things with it. We already see the FLDS church and what they have done with some of our scripture.

Those are just a few reasons I wouldn't do it -- and I wonder how current prophets would be influenced by such practical concerns.
The prophet doesn’t just decide to add revelations to our scriptures. Here is the process by which revelations are added to our standard works of scripture as outlined on lds.org

In the Church, canon refers to the authoritative collection of sacred books of scripture, known as the standard works, formally adopted and accepted by the Church and considered binding upon members in matters of faith and doctrine.
The process is illustrated by the action taken in the April 1976 general conference under the direction of President N. Eldon Tanner, in which two revelations were added to the Pearl of Great Price. Conducting the business of the conference, President Tanner said:
“President Kimball has asked me to read a very important resolution for your sustaining vote.
“‘At a meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve held in the Salt Lake Temple on March 25, 1976, approval was given to add to the Pearl of Great Price the following two revelations:
“‘First, a vision of the celestial kingdom given to Joseph Smith … ; and second, a vision given to President Joseph F. Smith … showing the visit of the Lord Jesus Christ in the spirit world. …’
“It is proposed that we sustain and approve this action and adopt these revelations as part of the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“All those in favor manifest it. Those opposed, if any, by the same sign” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 29; or Ensign, May 1976, 19). In 1979 these two revelations were moved to the Doctrine and Covenants and became sections 137 and 138.
If this lengthy, spiritually uplifting process is the case consistently, then it just seems odd to me and I'm sure many others, why the Lord would influence so many leaders to produce, support and promote multiple variations of "Mormon" in advertising and media for years (conference talks spoken at the pulpit, proud to be a mormon campaigns that were used in temple visitor centers around the world, meet the mormons being created and promoted as a faith building movie...), just to have the whole experience wadded into the trash and "new" revelation come forth that the entire experience was a "win for Satan" and that "we need to be better" from another prophet. The misuse of lose wording is something that bothers myself. I am fine if our prophet is uncomfortable with nicknames we have used since Joseph Smith's time (when JS and GBH themselves said mormon meant more good), but to denounce us as members for accepting a previously supported-by-the-church campaign seems low. Telling us Satan wins when we promote a church-produced youtube series, movie and talk from a previous prophet is a hard cry to suggest that modern revelation triumphs older. What if after Nelson, the next prophet says "The Lord is pleased with our efforts to get rid of mormon. Because we passed the test, He now wants us to promote Mormon again. I encourage you to share these new church materials with mormon in them. Don't let satan stop you from sharing them!" What if we are to not let satan stop us from promoting mormon. People will argue it's what the lord wants. I would say well. the Lord sure does seem wishy washy.

Anyway, this is just one example where the modern prophet dismisses responsibility and seems to shift the "blame" on the members for "following" previous revelation given from previous prophets. Which challenges their credibility.

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

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Jun 2019, 09:14

Blame in this particular case? Honestly, I don't see blame in any of this - toward previous leaders or members. I simply see a changed policy.

Sure, it can be interpreted as the former practice being wrong, but that is radically different than blame.

I get confusion and skepticism when things like this change, but I try to be careful not to read more into changes than is meant to be there. Changing something doesn't have to equate with throwing people under the bus. Often, it just is change.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by SilentDawning » 01 Jun 2019, 12:45

Curt Sunshine wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:14
Blame in this particular case? Honestly, I don't see blame in any of this - toward previous leaders or members. I simply see a changed policy.

Sure, it can be interpreted as the former practice being wrong, but that is radically different than blame.

I get confusion and skepticism when things like this change, but I try to be careful not to read more into changes than is meant to be there. Changing something doesn't have to equate with throwing people under the bus. Often, it just is change.
Curt -- I get your interpretation. I think the problem is for people like me who, as young adults, believed everything so wholeheartedly and literally -- as taught in my Wards and by the missionaries. The leaders are heralded as having seen Christ. They talk with him, they have special insight and we are somehow more blessed in our access to the divine will as a result. The culture prescribes obedience, and the idea of conscientious questioning is rarely ever raised -- in fact, it's often discouraged and met with censure from the average member.

So, when bedrock policies often described as doctrine changes, it makes you wonder. Refer to Hawkgrrl's post on "It's all on the table now" post for a more comprehensive explanation.

Finally, many policies made a lot of people suffer for decades. To suddenly reverse them is welcoming, but there is a period of anger when you realize all that sacrifice wasn't necessary after all.

I still hope the day never comes when faithful Mormons who made so many sacrifices find it wasn't necessary.

Imagine the anger people will feel if, after death, they realize multiple religions bring people to God on many different paths -- all of which are valid. Or that we really do have time after this life is over to pursue and possibly attain full salvation. Or that sacrifices we made in miserable marriages for that shot at Godhead weren't necessary.

For simple changes, like a new hymn book, there are few consequences or sacrifices made, but for large changes that make past sacrifices seem unnecessary, it can be a deep wound.
"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

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

Post by nibbler » 01 Jun 2019, 19:36

'The Correct Name of the Church' talk was rough.

Part of the challenge is what a speaker intended to say, what a speaker actually says, and what the listener hears are all distinct and different things.

I don't know about blame, but Nelson didn't mince words, it was a rebuke. Tossing in a simple, "Even leaders of the church have been careless in the direction they have provided in the past." would have helped to soften the edge but a rebuke is a rebuke. When people get rebuked they feel guilt. When people feel guilt they feel like they're to blame.
SilentDawning wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 12:45
I think the problem is for people like me who, as young adults, believed everything so wholeheartedly and literally -- as taught in my Wards and by the missionaries.
This. The very next Sunday you had That One Guy™ going around policing everyone for saying Mormon.

Now, I can interpret the talk as being strictly limited to when referring to the official name of the church, but lots of people took it a step further. Mormon became a bad word to many overnight.

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

Post by BJE » 01 Jun 2019, 20:53

President Nelson, then Elder Nelson, first spoke about the correct name of the church at the April 1990 general conference. He essentially said the same thing then as now. I remember it causing a stir back then but I think it was quickly forgotten. Then in October 1990 General Conference then Elder Hinkley while praising Elder Nelson’s April talk went on to say that it was pretty much impossible to get people to use the correct name of the church therefore we should add luster to the name Mormon. He went on to say want a great man Mormon was and how The Book of Mormon bears his name and that you couldn’t find a better nick name for the church.

After this President Hinkley and President Monson lead the church through a period of unprecedented use of the name Mormon. Including Mormon messages, Mormon.org, I’m a Mormon, Mormonandgay.lds.org, Mormon Helping Hands and probably others.

Fast forward twenty eight and a half years after his April 1990 address President Nelson finally has the authority to change church policy and end any and all use of Mormon and LDS in the church including the 171 year old Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Makes me wonder if theses changes will stick when he no longer here.

This whole Mormon thing started with The Book of Mormon so maybe they should change that name too.

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

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Jun 2019, 07:53

BJE wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 20:53
President Nelson, then Elder Nelson, first spoke about the correct name of the church at the April 1990 general conference. He essentially said the same thing then as now. I remember it causing a stir back then but I think it was quickly forgotten. Then in October 1990 General Conference then Elder Hinkley while praising Elder Nelson’s April talk went on to say that it was pretty much impossible to get people to use the correct name of the church therefore we should add luster to the name Mormon. He went on to say want a great man Mormon was and how The Book of Mormon bears his name and that you couldn’t find a better nick name for the church.

After this President Hinkley and President Monson lead the church through a period of unprecedented use of the name Mormon. Including Mormon messages, Mormon.org, I’m a Mormon, Mormonandgay.lds.org, Mormon Helping Hands and probably others.

Fast forward twenty eight and a half years after his April 1990 address President Nelson finally has the authority to change church policy and end any and all use of Mormon and LDS in the church including the 171 year old Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Makes me wonder if theses changes will stick when he no longer here.

This whole Mormon thing started with The Book of Mormon so maybe they should change that name too.
I never liked being called a Mormon. First, it reminds me of the Morlocks in the HG Wells Science fiction book, and they were evil creatures that lived underground, coming up to steal children and humans. Second, it's a weird name that only emphasizes the fact we are considered weird by others. Third, it doesn't say anything about our role as Christians -- to fight the myth promulgated by angry traditional Christians who seek to marginalize it.

But the alternative -- members of the COJCOLDS isn't much better because it's WAY TOO LONG. Whoever dreamed up the name didn't have a marketing background. I wish we could call ourselves Latter-Day Christians, as that rolls off the tongue and fits better than saying I am a member of the COJCOLDS. That's 6 words if you exclude the "of" words. 8 words if you include them.

Just way too many words!!

I also think this whole moniker issue RMN started is an indicator that what passes for revelation is merely a matter of personal opinion in many cases. And again, one can't let it ruin one's life or influence you to do things that harm you personally. In this case, calling myself a member of the COJCOLDS is a mere inconvenience. But other policies, recently reversed, have probably caused irreparable damage to people. All because of someone's opinion, and not bona fide direction from God. Have radar for that stuff!!! And then do what is best for your inner peace and family well-being in the long-run.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 02 Jun 2019, 07:56, edited 1 time in total.
"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

grobert93
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by grobert93 » 02 Jun 2019, 07:56

nibbler wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 19:36
'The Correct Name of the Church' talk was rough.

Part of the challenge is what a speaker intended to say, what a speaker actually says, and what the listener hears are all distinct and different things.

I don't know about blame, but Nelson didn't mince words, it was a rebuke. Tossing in a simple, "Even leaders of the church have been careless in the direction they have provided in the past." would have helped to soften the edge but a rebuke is a rebuke. When people get rebuked they feel guilt. When people feel guilt they feel like they're to blame.
SilentDawning wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 12:45
I think the problem is for people like me who, as young adults, believed everything so wholeheartedly and literally -- as taught in my Wards and by the missionaries.
This. The very next Sunday you had That One Guy™ going around policing everyone for saying Mormon.

Now, I can interpret the talk as being strictly limited to when referring to the official name of the church, but lots of people took it a step further. Mormon became a bad word to many overnight.
He addressed the issue with the tone that as members, it was our own agency/fault that we used mormon so much and now satan is victorious and God is displeased. Now, i dont expect a public apology directly addressing the previous PR stunts of mormonism that the church itself used sacred tithing money to create. But i also find it toxic and dismissal that he seemed to direct his concern toward us as members for "using it too much". His little jab of "satan is victorious" just angers me as a grumpy old man itching for drama. Did he imply that satan was in control of the meet the mormon and im a mormon PR work from the church? If so, then what else is satan taking over? WIll we as members get blamed for things we don't know about and cannot control? This is where my mind wanders as i hear talks from Nelson like this one.

And That One Guy is the other reason why things like this really irritate me. Hinckley gave his infamous talk about too many earrings and im sure the Molly Police was quick to judge, criticize and socially separate from members in their wards and stakes who didn't "faithfully" follow the "commandment/counsel". Likewise, i still say mormon when i would naturally do so. I've been corrected before, but i just remind them that if the Lord is this worried about me saying Mormon in context on occasion, then He should investigate some other internal church and external third world issues that are also currently at play.

This is why what the prophet says can often challenge their credibility. They have literal mind power over thousands of active faithful believing members who will never questions a word from their mouths, and will do anything to "defend the truth", even if it means becoming the local "@#$".
BJE wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 20:53
President Nelson, then Elder Nelson, first spoke about the correct name of the church at the April 1990 general conference. He essentially said the same thing then as now. I remember it causing a stir back then but I think it was quickly forgotten. Then in October 1990 General Conference then Elder Hinkley while praising Elder Nelson’s April talk went on to say that it was pretty much impossible to get people to use the correct name of the church therefore we should add luster to the name Mormon. He went on to say want a great man Mormon was and how The Book of Mormon bears his name and that you couldn’t find a better nick name for the church.

After this President Hinkley and President Monson lead the church through a period of unprecedented use of the name Mormon. Including Mormon messages, Mormon.org, I’m a Mormon, Mormonandgay.lds.org, Mormon Helping Hands and probably others.

Fast forward twenty eight and a half years after his April 1990 address President Nelson finally has the authority to change church policy and end any and all use of Mormon and LDS in the church including the 171 year old Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Makes me wonder if theses changes will stick when he no longer here.

This whole Mormon thing started with The Book of Mormon so maybe they should change that name too.
And if these changes are reversed or modified when he is gone, will Satan continue to be victorious, or is Satan no longer relevant because new prophet = previous prophecies are no longer valid/active/doctrine? This is where the credibility is challenged. If the prophet is called of god and if God directs his church then either these are his humorous trials for us to endure through or imperfect opinions are sneaking into these leadership decisions. Either way, it makes it tough for me to put my whole self into having faith and following the leadership of someone who is inconsistent.


In other news, i have "derailed" a thread and do apologize. i guess i found one of the things that for me challenges the credibility of the church.

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

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Jun 2019, 08:07

I think this name thing is a perfect subject for revelation to be canonized. Everyone started calling us Mormons because the name "member of the COJCOLDS" was too long or if memory serves, the names of members was never specified (correct me if wrong, maybe it said we are called saints, but even that isn't complete).

If I were RMN, I'd consider using his prophetic power to pray to God asking for approval to release a revelation giving us a short, Christ-centered name and canonizing it through a revelation in the D&C. It's easy to justify a name change,update, or even new name, given all the technology and need for concise brevity in modern times. Times have changed since when JS put forward the name of the church with the advent of the internet.

Or leave the name of the church alone, and fill the void about how members are called with his own name, like Latter-Day Christians. Sure that'll tick off the rest of the Christian world, but that's fine with me since they misrepresent us constantly to marginalize us anyway. When the rest of thd Christian worlds says "they aren't Christians", people will say, "how do you explain the fact they are called Latter-Day Christians" and then the naysayers will have some explaining to do.

Plus a Latter-Day Christian is unique, includes Christ and is short enough. It also alludes to the name of the church.

Can I be prophet for a day? Pretty please?
"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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Heber13
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Re: How much can the church change yet still remain credible?

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2019, 11:07

nibbler wrote:
30 May 2019, 07:12
I know the thread went in an entirely different direction, but every time I see the topic title I can't help but think:

How much can the church remain the same yet still remain credible?
This is a good thread. Good discussion. I think Nibbler nailed it... The church would not survive if it never changed. Reading Bushman's RSR...the church today is so drastically different, I think we believe and Pres Nelson recently reminded us, that the restoration is a process not an event.

But members want certainty and surety and want things to be simple. God restored priesthood. Priesthood received revelation. Word of Wisdom. Was given by way of commandment. And because of that we want it straight forward and simple that WOW is never changing and always God's will for everyone forever. And we prooftext the scriptures and our beliefs.

But we would loose credibility if we did not remain open to ongoing revelation. Even if that new revelation contradicts (seemingly) prior revelation.

We believe in the restoration. We believe in ongoing scripture and revelation. We have our prophet.

It requires faith to walk the line of accepting change without wanting too much change, and reconciling our desired change with organizational change and the timing of it.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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