9/17 Nelson Devotional

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9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by felixfabulous » 17 Sep 2019, 15:04

Not sure if anyone heard Pres. Nelson's BYU Devotional Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbfU8Trdu9I. Ummm . . . I guess I liked that he said everyone could know the truth for themselves and urged people to get their own witness of whether what he said was true.

This talked begged so many questions for me. The November 2015 Policy was downplayed from a revelation (which he said it was) to a policy aimed at solving a problem (the problem solving was mandated from the Lord as divine law). The reversal was part of the continued effort to work on the problem. The problem solving changed but the mandate did not. But if the whole point of the talk was that divine law doesn't change and that our Church leaders are the source of truth, doesn't this example contradict either or both? Either God changed his mind (divine law changes) or the leaders got it wrong and had to change course. Also, there are so many examples of what was taught as divine law changing (priesthood ban, oral sex ban, birth control ban, etc.).

My read of Gen Z is that most have a good nose for spin and I would guess this is going to cause more doubts than it will fix, but people like me may not be the intended audience. I would have responded so much better to a message that was real and vulnerable. I wish he would have said:

"We get revelation like you do, we do our best and are sincere, but sometimes we get it wrong. We got it wrong with the November 2015 and it hurt people and we are sorry. We are going to try to do better and ask for your forgiveness and prayers. Ultimately, it is your job to pray about what we say and get a witness for yourselves. Some of you felt like you got answers on the 2015 Policy. We are listening the great questions you are asking and are excited to keep progressing as a Church. You are the future of the Church and you are the Church."

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by nibbler » 17 Sep 2019, 16:01

It was... disheartening.

A very high level view of the five truths discussed:

1) We are children of god. We are a chosen generation reserved for the climatic battle taking place between good and evil today. Speculation that in the preexistence we all promised to defend the gospel during "this world's tumultuous winding up scenes." This feels manipulative. "You promised to defend the gospel but..."

2) Truth is truth. Truth isn't relative. Truth can't be altered by the opinions of men. God decides what is truth, not peers, not google, and "certainly not those that are disaffected from the church."

3) God loves us with a perfect love. "There is a strong connection between god's love and his laws." Here Nelson revisits the well worn roads of Mormonism's teaching that blessings are dependent on our obedience.

4) God appoints prophets and apostles to communicate his love and his laws. This is where the devotional derails and reveals what I believe to be the point of the devotional. I'll slow down here:

a) "Our commission as apostles is to teach nothing but truth. That commission does not give us the authority to modify divine law. For example, lets consider the definition of marriage..."

b) "Requirements to enter the temple have not changed." Uh... <raises hand> hawkgrrrl has a post about the history of the temple recommend over time.

c) The POX was to defuse tensions that could arise between LGBT parents and their children. The intent was to avoid pitting children against parents and vice versa.

This implies much more than what was satated directly. If a LGBT+ parent is pitted against a child that wants to join the church, wouldn't that mean that the expectation of all church members is to be "pitted against" LGBT+? Christofferson said it was okay for members to support gay marriage. Is it okay for members to embrace gay marriage or is the expectation that members would be "pitted against" such things?

d) Nelson makes it sound like big, bad, old meanie god laid down his law/truth, it hurt people, but Nelson interceded on behalf of all of us and pled with god to show us some mercy. tommy_lee_jones_newspaper.jpg

e) "We care deeply about every child of god regardless of age, personal circumstances, gender, sexual orientation, or other unique challenges." Age, personal circumstances, gender, and sexual orientation are only "challenges" because we make them challenges for each other.

5) The spirit testifies of truth. Ask to seek a confirmation from the spirit that the things Nelson has said are true and from god.

Nelson gives a blessing that people will be able to discern between the laws of god and the "conflicting voices of the world." This too feels very manipulative to me. There's a clear implication of what is true and what is false, only one outcome that the spirit will testify to, namely what Nelson has said during the devotional.
It’s strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.
― Connie Willis , Doomsday Book

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by Katzpur » 17 Sep 2019, 17:33

nibbler wrote:
17 Sep 2019, 16:01
It was... disheartening.
Yeah. It hurts. I like President Nelson, but there are just some things he says that bother me a lot.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by Arrakeen » 17 Sep 2019, 18:05

I really did not like the devotional. It seemed to me like saying the church is true because the church leaders say so and the world is always wrong. I didn't like how it seemed dismissive of concerns, especially those "disaffected from the church". I feel like those who trust the church leadership got nothing but confirmation of their views, and those like me remained unconvinced. So I'm not really sure what the message was supposed to accomplish.

Honestly, I've been having a really hard time as a BYU student going through a faith crisis and this was definitely not the message I needed to hear. The devotional was one more thing that makes me feel like I just don't belong anymore.

I also didn't like his part about how things always work because they are divine laws. What about those of us who find that covenants, prayer, missions, etc don't work for us? Even with his heart surgery example, there may be underlying laws that don't change, but not every heart surgery is successful. It doesn't always work. There are random factors that change things. And humans are often wrong about what those laws are. I feel very marginalized whenever I hear that the gospel always works for everyone.

As for the definition of marriage, well maybe God's definition of marriage hasn't changed, but what is that definition exactly? It's pretty clear the modern church's definition of marriage is quite different from, say, Brigham Young's.

Overall, I feel like the message was tailored for the regular believers, not for people like me. It makes sense, focusing on the majority audience, but it negatively affects people like me on the margins.

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by HazyShadeofFall » 17 Sep 2019, 18:56

I can't say I'm greatly disappointed only because I didn't have high hopes for the devotional to begin with. Near the beginning Nelson uses the Kimball quote, "If men are really humble, they will realize that they discover, but do not create, truth," but the actual message was almost completely devoid of humility. There were plenty of opportunities for it. But saying prophets ALWAYS teach the truth? Or that what he believes are divine laws will ALWAYS work, even when people find it doesn't? There was opportunity for humility in his explanation for the November 15 policy. I can try to believe that it came from a place of love and concern. And I can believe that they were grieved when they saw how it affected people. He seemed so close to saying that they realized the policy was misguided, but he backed away before getting there. Their "supplication to the Lord continued" until they "felt directed to adjust the policy." It COULD mean that they received better understanding, realized their mistake, and sought to make it right, but as nibbler said, it sounded more like he thought the original policy was from God but he was able to ask God to water it down for us.

When it comes down to it, his invitation to the devotional said he thinks about issues that concern young adults today, but he seems completely blind to the concern for humility and authenticity.

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by mom3 » 17 Sep 2019, 19:52

My answer today:

Make a pan of Count Chocula Marshmallow mash.

Each it with your fingers until you feel sick.

Bike in the pouring rain for 40 minutes.

Listen to Lauren Daigle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIaT8Jl2zpI

That's all I got.
"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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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by Curt Sunshine » 17 Sep 2019, 20:55

Exactly what Katzpur said, word-for-word.
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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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by DarkJedi » 18 Sep 2019, 05:37

Disheartening is a good word for it, but like Hazy said I didn't have high expectations to begin with and therefore got what I expected.

I do appreciate that he used LGBT and the words gay and lesbian and did not use "same sex attraction." I think that's a step forward on the part of a major church leader.

I think the most disheartening part for me was that it seemed every time he said something I liked, he immediately qualified with something I didn't necessarily agree with. [The following are not actual quotes - not what he said, but what I heard] "We are all literal sons and daughters of God!" :thumbup: "You are a chosen generation." :thumbdown: "Seek truth and to know for yourself." :thumbup: "Those who have left the church don't know the truth." :thumbdown: "God loves us all unconditionally." :thumbup: "You really only get God's love if you keep all the commandments." :thumbdown: [You get the idea.] I don't believe this is the message the generation(s) he was speaking to needs to hear or wants. In my text messaging with one of my children who was present I used the word platitudes, and I think that's mostly what it was. Millennials and Gen. Z (or Gen. X for that matter) are not great consumers of platitudes in my experience.

The one other thought that occurred to me while listening was something Nibbler already pointed out. When Pres. Nelson was talking about their commission as apostles, my thought was it was my belief he was to "speak nothing but repentance unto this generation." I'll stop now before I become overly critical of something that really wasn't directed at me anyway.

Like Katzpur and Curt
I like President Nelson, but there are just some things he says that bother me a lot.
On a more positive note, he didn't let Wendy speak. :clap:
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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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by Katzpur » 18 Sep 2019, 13:00

DarkJedi wrote:
18 Sep 2019, 05:37
On a more positive note, he didn't let Wendy speak. :clap:
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

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Re: 9/17 Nelson Devotional

Post by Gerald » 19 Sep 2019, 04:16

I was watching the devotional in real time and it seemed like a standard talk until President Nelson got to the discussion of the November policy. It got my attention and by the time he was done I said to myself, "Oh boy! There are going to be some mad people out there."

However, Pres Nelson wasn't speaking to that particular group (I'm not sure anything he said would change some minds). He was speaking to the faithful (many of whom won't even know what he's talking about...they just haven't tracked that particular issue) or the somewhat wavering (who are aware of the issue, still faithful but troubled). I suppose time will tell what the ultimate impact will be.

But hey, at least it wasn't boring!
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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