Silent Dawning -One thing I have learned from my faith transition is, no one can make you believe anything. You choose it. Whether you choose it before you have evidence or after is personal, but we all choose it. Yes a statement of this nature makes the idea of prophetic fallibility larger than before. However, we see it that way, because our view point has already begun to look for it. For the traditional practicing member it's not likely to change their view on prophetic revelation. They will take it at face value and move on. I would encourage us not to view traditional practicors as stupid or unintelligent if they don't see it the same way. All of us have areas of our lives where we don't analyze deeply. I don't spend hours wondering where the eggs I buy at the store come from, but I have friends that do, and are sincere in their concern. For me, I need the eggs, I look to see they are not cracked and in my budget. That's all the time I give it. I believe likewise with this Race and Priesthood statement.
Addressing Sheldon's question - The first thing I thought of when I read the old release - was Thoreau.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. When a man adheres blindly to thoughts or opinions he has vocalized in the past, purely for the sake of seeming true to his principles, Emerson argues that he violates his nature. A man must be willing, every day, to open his conciousness to his intuition, whether or not what it tells him is in conflict with prior conclusions he had come to.
Based on that idea, I think we do ourselves a disservice by bringing up someone else's past continually. I have just finished reading a great book called Have a little Faith
. In the book 2 religious leaders are presented. One of those leaders is a reformed drug user, convict, thief, and murdered. His congregation is filled with hard luck souls, down and out, homeless and despairing. One of his common sermons regards letting go of the past.
In the book of Acts, we read that Paul - after his conversion - people distrusted him because he used to persecute the church, but now he praised it. Is this the same guy? Can't be...It's amazing how folks can't see you, 'cause they want to keep you in the past. Some of our greatest problems in ministering to people is that they knew us back before we came to the Lord.
Through out scripture the story is the same. The Lamanites were the bad guys, even when they were good. The Samaritans, likewise were despised as a lesser people by God's chosen Jews. Peter and Paul took a lifetime to overcome their divide on Jews and Gentiles - even after Peter has a personal revelation from God telling him that God decides who is clean and unclean.
For me - I want to let go of the past. Not just forget it, but forgive it. Yes, I see them as fallible, but so are the rest of the leaders. So it doesn't bother me. What I can do, and what nudges me, is how can I use the lesson forward, how can I help heal once inflicted souls and spare future ones. That's my take away.
"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