Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

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mom3
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by mom3 » 04 Dec 2017, 20:48

I might agree with you, but "Bednar"
I read something the other day, where he is more of a follower than a leader. Give him a list of tasks or things to do and he follows. He is rather introverted. Family centric. In the long run we may see shifts in him as different leaders step in.
"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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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 04 Dec 2017, 21:20

Gerald wrote:
03 Dec 2017, 17:23
I read enough blogs and listen to enough podcasts from the liberal side of the Mormon spectrum to know that what many people look for, focus on, and hope for is change! Change in doctrines, change in policy, change in leadership, change in so many things that will make the Mormon faith (from their perspective) a closer approximation of Christ's gospel, or make it more inclusive, more universal, more all encompassing. These are laudable goals in many ways but I have come to the conclusion that such dramatic changes will not occur...at least not quickly. To make the kinds of changes that more liberal Mormons find palatable would almost assuredly alienate a large percentage of the more hardline membership. The LDS leadership has only to look at their "sister" church, the Community of Christ for an example of what occurs when you "liberalize."

I was listening to a podcast by a historian from the Community of Christ ...The training had the effect of encouraging the leadership to "loosen up" on some of the more dogmatic doctrines they had. This, in turn, helped the RLDS Church establish a foundation for giving women the priesthood back in the 80's. Such changes can be considered good on the one hand but had significant consequences: a large percentage of their membership left as a result...I have to believe that the LDS Church leadership are aware of these events and recognize the inherent danger in being less literal and more nuanced. Such changes would threaten the very existence of the Church and, at the least, would create a significant exodus of members for whom the stability and structure of the Church are the very things that keep them in it. I just don't think they will make big changes for that reason....it's just too risky.

I am happy to have someone else fill in details or even correct anything I have wrong regarding the history of the Community of Christ (my memory is a bit sketchy) but I just don't see big changes coming down any time soon. That doesn't mean that change shouldn't be advocated where viewed necessary but such advocates probably ought to steel themselves for an inevitable disappointment. Too many members of the Church like the Church just the way it is...Feel free to disagree!
Personally I don't think the RLDS/Community of Christ is a very good example of what to expect if any major changes are made because it seems like they never had nearly the same number of followers and momentum as the LDS Church to begin with. For example, it looks like they never had anything like the Mormon corridor with so many followers concentrated in so many cities and towns where they are not an insignificant minority but in many cases the predominant religion in the area. All you have to do is look at the fact that the LDS Church already abandoned the practice of polygamy (in this life) and the racial priesthood ban to see that it is clearly possible for them to make at least some major changes and actually have the majority of members largely take it in stride rather than be alienated by it. In fact, if they hadn't made these changes I think the Church would already be much smaller and less influential now than it currently is.

I don't really expect the leaders to make radical changes any time soon but trying to cater to what the members want and what will make the majority happy or even what will be best for the Church's survival is not something that I think Church leaders really focus on that much. Personally I think the main reason they don't make major changes is simply because they feel like it is not really their place to change the doctrines and established LDS traditions in most cases and the way the leaders are selected precisely based on their strong loyalty to the Church and its teachings above all else. However, one problem with the status quo is that it looks like it simply isn't going to produce the type of results they were used to seeing in past decades anyway due to smaller families on average now, the impact of the internet, homophobia/sexism becoming increasingly unpopular, etc. It will be interesting to watch how the next few decades play out for the Church. Personally I expect a slow decline as more and more baby boomers die off and a significant number of active members continue to leave without nearly enough younger members and converts to replace them from one generation to the next.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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SamBee
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by SamBee » 05 Dec 2017, 04:55

mom3 wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 20:48
I might agree with you, but "Bednar"
I read something the other day, where he is more of a follower than a leader. Give him a list of tasks or things to do and he follows. He is rather introverted. Family centric. In the long run we may see shifts in him as different leaders step in.
That is my impression. He was probably brought in as a bit of a yesman.

Boyd K. Packer was a bit more forward in putting his points across.

Unfortunately, they suffer from the usual problem of a bureaucracy - no one really wants to stick their neck out in case it either threatens their position or upsets the status quo.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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nibbler
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by nibbler » 05 Dec 2017, 05:14

mom3 wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 20:48
I might agree with you, but "Bednar"
I read something the other day, where he is more of a follower than a leader. Give him a list of tasks or things to do and he follows. He is rather introverted. Family centric. In the long run we may see shifts in him as different leaders step in.
Who will he follow when he's running the show?

If he continues to follow when he's running the show he'll probably follow tradition, which doesn't make me think "change."
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Dec 2017, 06:07

I agree that Bednar doesn't seem to be a "thinker" and there are rank and file members who understand things better than he does, and I also believe he is little more than a parrot. He's not alone in being a parrot. I think my concern is what others are expressing - there's a high likelihood of him ascending to big chair and it's hard to tell what that might be like considering his apparent conservative/literal leanings. I have seen others change when they get the "mantle" though and it may be possible with him. The other thing we can hope for is that changes come before that time, although I don't see Nelson or Oaks as big changers.
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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Mr. Sneelock
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by Mr. Sneelock » 05 Dec 2017, 08:41

I'm too young to know this, but was there a problem with people leaving the church in 1978 after the priesthood policy was changed? All the personal experiences I have ever heard have been positive, like a feeling of rejoicing and confirmation that the change was coming from God. (Of course I don't know who would speak up in a Sunday school class and say they wished the change hadn't been made)
. . . beauty for ashes . . .

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mom3
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by mom3 » 05 Dec 2017, 10:26

Mr. Sneelock
I'm too young to know this, but was there a problem with people leaving the church in 1978 after the priesthood policy was changed?
I was really young, too, but I remember it enough and my parents have talked about it quite a bit. I think the opposite happened. The ban had dragged on too long. People were leaving or not participating because the ban had been in place far longer than even the Civil Rights movement. Which leaves us only the story of relief and support. The others were gone long before. With some of the other issues we have now the issue is reversed.
"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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DarkJedi
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Dec 2017, 10:39

mom3 wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 10:26
Mr. Sneelock
I'm too young to know this, but was there a problem with people leaving the church in 1978 after the priesthood policy was changed?
I was really young, too, but I remember it enough and my parents have talked about it quite a bit. I think the opposite happened. The ban had dragged on too long. People were leaving or not participating because the ban had been in place far longer than even the Civil Rights movement. Which leaves us only the story of relief and support. The others were gone long before. With some of the other issues we have now the issue is reversed.
It was 3 years before I joined the church and I didn't know about it before. However, being that it was recent enough in history then I agree with Mom3 - it seems to have had the opposite effect and people came rather than left. There is a member of my ward who still tells the story from time to time that he "knew the church church was true" prior to the lifting but would not join because of the ban. He joined the church almost immediately afterwards. I don't recall anyone talking about people leaving because of lifting the ban, but that's not to say it didn't happen, especially in places where racism might be more prevalent. My own ward is very white and so is our town, but I love when I visit other wards and see racial and ethnic diversity.
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."

My Introduction

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mom3
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by mom3 » 05 Dec 2017, 10:43

Who will he follow when he's running the show?
Who says he will make it that far? It's a long time from now. Plenty of men never made it to chair. Even people next in line. I am more focused on the Nelson/Oaks option ahead.

My other concern lies not with the whom is running the show chair wise, but how the chair info gets disseminated to us or through us.

Soapbox Time

Our version, as a people, of follow the prophet is sketchy. We follow messages we want to hear or we want our congregations to hear. Not the chair guys.

My number one example is the 4th Mission of the Church. My Bishop always panics when I am in the room and someone mentions the 3 Fold Mission of the Church because he knows what's going to happen. I always demand that we add the 4th Mission.

President Monson - top chair guy adds a beautiful 4th Mission and it barely blips our religious radar screen. The Mission of the Church is barely a buzz quote anyway. But no one really took the ball and ran with the "Care for the Poor and Needy." We didn't get inundated with Primary Songs written about it. Entire Ensigns dedicated to it. Or a plethora of supporting articles and talks about it.

He is the top guy. There was room for change. Better yet there was a change. But NO we just let it float away.

Even without the 4th Mission issue, I never see Pres. Monson talks on the 3rd hour and Sacrament Rehash rotation. Come to think of it, I rarely get an Uchtdorf.

For my part I keep trying to nudge change where I want to see it. When I run out of steam. Perhaps it will be time to move on.
"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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SamBee
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Re: Why the Church cannot change...at least not too much

Post by SamBee » 05 Dec 2017, 11:35

Mr. Sneelock wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 08:41
I'm too young to know this, but was there a problem with people leaving the church in 1978 after the priesthood policy was changed? All the personal experiences I have ever heard have been positive, like a feeling of rejoicing and confirmation that the change was coming from God. (Of course I don't know who would speak up in a Sunday school class and say they wished the change hadn't been made)
Some people did. I'd imagine it was an issue in South Africa, where the vast majority of members were white and there was still racial segregation until the mid nineties.

I've heard it happened in the USA too in the Deep South.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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