Prophets rule the roost

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nibbler
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Prophets rule the roost

Post by nibbler » 31 Oct 2018, 06:29

Sorry for the thread title, I didn't know what else to call this thread but I wanted to put together some ideas that were floating around in to separate threads without thread jacking either thread. First the quotes:
dande48 wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 08:47
Here's the thing. The Church's STATED reason for the string of recent changes, I strongly believe, is VERY different from the actual reasons. Their stated reasons don't hold up to much scrutiny, but they are are much for easy for the more faithful members to accept. They are appealing to those members who actually loved and looked forward to the pagents. If the reason wasn't "revelation and families", but rather "finances, distancing ourselves from our distasteful history, increasing Church attendance, not recruiting enough members", etc, a lot of faithful members would be outraged.
dande48 wrote:
29 Oct 2018, 07:17
I know it does (or at least, we're told it does), BUT I have the feeling there is a strong obligation most of the Q12 have to "follow the prophet". With official declarations and changes in policy, it's usually signed on by the prophet, or the prophet and his two counselors. They are not a council of equals. If an apostle disagrees with the prophet (as has happened), it defaults to the prophet.

Just like with our sustaining vote, we can choose to vote against, but there's an expectation that any dissenting votes are the fault of the individual and not the leadership. We're expected to learn to accept the leader's decision, in spite of our reservations, and if we cannot do that, we get into trouble. It's the freedom of "getting to do what I tell you to do."
There was an interesting quote in an article from the Mormon Newsroom:

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/ ... l-ministry
I have seen him changing in the last ten months,” said Sister Nelson. “It is as though he's been unleashed. He's free to finally do what he came to earth to do. … And also, he's free to follow through with things he's been concerned about but could never do. Now that he's president of [the Church], he can do those things.
IMO it lends some credence to the idea that Nelson felt very strongly about the name of the church in 1990 but GBH stated openly that saying "Mormon" wasn't a big deal in the very next conference so Nelson sat, waited, and bided his time. It would also explain the recent revelations/changes that have come since Nelson became prophet. Things that Nelson has been meaning to do for some time but couldn't until he became prophet.
“He's not afraid to do something different,” said the prophet’s wife. “If we're really preparing the Church and the world for the Second Coming of the Savior, he is sincere about that. He doesn't want us spending money, time, energy on anything that isn't really focused on that. It's pretty stunning.”
Not necessary for second coming: pageants. ;)

I guess it makes sense. Isn't this how we teach presiding? People get an input but ultimately the person that presides gets the final say.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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dande48
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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by dande48 » 31 Oct 2018, 07:50

Favorite quote from the article:
“We're witnesses to a process of restoration,” said the prophet. “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. … Wait till next year. And then the next year. Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It's going to be exciting.”
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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by Curt Sunshine » 31 Oct 2018, 07:52

What I take away from this is:

1) Yep - about the leadership paradigm.

2) If his focus is on the Savior, I am happy about that - even if I have a few big issues with some things and some little issues with other things. Overall, I really like what I have seen of the general direction he is trying to take the Church. If future changes continue the same General movement, I will be okay with it.

3) Sis. Nelson has never been a shrinking violet, but Inwould prefer she keep her mouth shut about what she said. I feel bad about that reaction, truly, but I just have an adverse reaction to her. I am trying to change that and be more charitable, but, right now, it is what it is. It goes back to her "not even once" crusade, which I abhorred.

4) If Elder Uchtdorf survives to become President, I won't mind the system. Just saying. :D
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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.

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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by nibbler » 31 Oct 2018, 08:06

I don't buy into this line of thinking but it does make one wonder, how does god take care of the church?

Does god inspire the current leader of the church or does god play whack-a-mole until the person with the right inspiration is last man standing?

Or the Old El Paso approach, por qué no los dos?
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
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dande48
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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by dande48 » 31 Oct 2018, 08:24

nibbler wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 08:06
Does god inspire the current leader of the church or does god play whack-a-mole until the person with the right inspiration is last man standing?
I believe the current Church doctrine, is that God has everything planned so that the exact right person becomes prophet at just the right time. Personally, I believe which old guy left standing is largely left up to luck. I mean, does God really protect the health and mental capabilities of those he calls as prophet?
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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AmyJ
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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by AmyJ » 31 Oct 2018, 09:47

nibbler wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 08:06
I don't buy into this line of thinking but it does make one wonder, how does god take care of the church?
That presupposes that God gets involved in the daily operations of the church - as an administration unit and/or as a gospel-centered community.
a) That is what we are taught.
b) God's nature is to directly intervene at specific times governed by specific rules/protocols on God's side.
c) Also assumes that voice of God is clearly discernable from other voices - including the divine inner voice of the leaders themselves.
nibbler wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 08:06
Does god inspire the current leader of the church or does god play whack-a-mole until the person with the right inspiration is last man standing?

Or the Old El Paso approach, por qué no los dos?
I think some leaders are inspired some of the time. I also think that God can provide inspiration in specific ways for specific people in leadership - and that that person/those people may be the "last ones standing" as referenced above.

I also think that some concerns fall into the "green shirt" vs "blue shirt" situation - the outcome of the choice does not really matter so much as the fact that the die was cast, the choice was made.

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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by Heber13 » 31 Oct 2018, 09:57

dande48 wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 08:24
nibbler wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 08:06
Does god inspire the current leader of the church or does god play whack-a-mole until the person with the right inspiration is last man standing?
I believe the current Church doctrine, is that God has everything planned so that the exact right person becomes prophet at just the right time. Personally, I believe which old guy left standing is largely left up to luck. I mean, does God really protect the health and mental capabilities of those he calls as prophet?
I tend to agree with dande, but also realize many people, even traditional believers, have different places they stand on how literal they think that is. Many accept that any of the Q15 would be just as good as any other, so it doesn't really matter the method or who dies or stays on...whether that is God's hand or God allowing it to go the natural course...either way it is going to be OK with them.

I will say that one thing people like about faith in church is that God is involved in these things, and they like to believe the prophets are fore-ordained to their calling at their time. Heck...we even tell youth they were held back until certain times when they should come to earth for specific circumstances.

There is no way to know if any of that is right or not...but people like to have the faith in these feel-good stories and so that faith can work.

Faith in leaders helps many people feel better about their life, gives some sense of certainty that life is not all random and depressing. Church and the teachings of prophets can provide that.

I'm not sure how successful missionaries would be if the message was...
- We have some pretty good people leading us that do some nice things sometimes. They try
- They aren't really prophets called by god, just ones that stuck around in the organization long enough to be last man standing. But they are experienced because of it.
- Church is like anything else in life, some good and some bad...we just try to do our best with random things in life.

...No...people going to church want more than that. They want something place faith in that helps them feel better about their lives. They WANT prophets to be inspired, special, fore-ordained, and God involved in the process.
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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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by DoubtingTom » 31 Oct 2018, 10:33

I don’t believe in God right now, or at least not in an interventionist one that speaks to prophets. Therefore, from my perspective this all makes perfect sense. President Nelson truly believes he is inspired and that the thoughts he has are directly from God. The problem is, from my perspective, he is archaic. Presidents Hinckley and Monson seemed to understand the need to make the church more mainstream and palatable to the general public. President Nelson believes literally and is working from a place of sincerity, but ultimately one of archaity.

If God truly guides the church, why this flurry of changes now? Why not tell his other prophets if these things are so important? Sure, you could argue that it wasn’t supposed to happen until now. But from a non-believing perspective, this just looks likes a typical changing of the guard of an institution run by men, with an accompanying flurry of changes from someone who has been wanting to make changes for a while. I think the evidence supports this conclusion and makes a lot of sense to me.

Some of these changes are great (yay 2 hour block!), while others just look like personal preferences of Nelson, rather than revelation from God. But he calls them all revelation. This is problematic for those who are willing to think critically and not blindly accept everything that comes out of his mouth as God-breathed, especially when it grates against someone’s personal conscience (Nov 2015 policy).

My 2 cents...
Last edited by DoubtingTom on 31 Oct 2018, 11:02, edited 1 time in total.

AmyJ
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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by AmyJ » 31 Oct 2018, 10:59

Heber13 wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 09:57
There is no way to know if any of that is right or not...but people like to have the faith in these feel-good stories and so that faith can work.

Faith in leaders helps many people feel better about their life, gives some sense of certainty that life is not all random and depressing. Church and the teachings of prophets can provide that.
Agreed. But whenever you are talking about what people want because of their faith or because of their leaders, you start into the path of cognitive dissonance.

For some, clinging to the words of the leaders gives greater feelings of peace and comfort and minimizes the dissonance.
For others, following their own internal compass gives them greater feelings of peace and comfort and minimizes the dissonance.
It isn't even a binary person issue - sometimes an individual will feel the greatest amount of happiness when they follow the counsel of some leaders while following their internal compass on other issues.

In the lesson I taught on Sunday, one of the group discussion points was regarding "ministering to others we come in contact with" (more or less - there was fancier wording involved). I deliberately provided a counter point in a quote from Chieko Okazaki on how we need to evaluate the resources we have available and take that into account when serving. There were some head-bobs during and after the quote by Elder Gong - But Sister Okazaki's quote sparked supportive elaborative comments from the group. I don't know what caused the difference - was it because these sisters needed to hear her quote, whether it was because Sister Okazaki's quote was for sisters by a sister, or diverse reasons I cannot fathom - I don't know.
Heber13 wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 09:57
I'm not sure how successful missionaries would be if the message was...
- We have some pretty good people leading us that do some nice things sometimes. They try
- They aren't really prophets called by god, just ones that stuck around in the organization long enough to be last man standing. But they are experienced because of it.
- Church is like anything else in life, some good and some bad...we just try to do our best with random things in life.

...No...people going to church want more than that. They want something place faith in that helps them feel better about their lives. They WANT prophets to be inspired, special, fore-ordained, and God involved in the process.
Well yes - those types of comments would decrease the number of people joining the church.

I guess for me, in my faith path - circumstances combined to grant me the opportunity to "come unto myself" and realize that the foundational principles I had placed my faith in (notably that I knew how to receive answers from God) were not accurate, and that I could choose to build a better faith foundation and/or wallow in anger/depression that the world wasn't the way I thought it was. I think I have done some of both.

It is hard to redefine my paradigm that prophets may not be specifically inspired, that all of us are humans doing our very best in a variety of (sometimes mundane) ways. The bigger challenge I had was being that God exists - let alone the degree of involvement in the processes. And to be honest, I am probably more accurately a polytheistic deist - because I believe THEY exist, but that they may not be as involved in running my part of the universe as I first believed/was taught.

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Re: Prophets rule the roost

Post by nibbler » 31 Oct 2018, 11:00

Heber13 wrote:
31 Oct 2018, 09:57
Faith in leaders helps many people feel better about their life, gives some sense of certainty that life is not all random and depressing. Church and the teachings of prophets can provide that.

I'm not sure how successful missionaries would be if the message was...
- We have some pretty good people leading us that do some nice things sometimes. They try
- They aren't really prophets called by god, just ones that stuck around in the organization long enough to be last man standing. But they are experienced because of it.
- Church is like anything else in life, some good and some bad...we just try to do our best with random things in life.

...No...people going to church want more than that. They want something place faith in that helps them feel better about their lives. They WANT prophets to be inspired, special, fore-ordained, and God involved in the process.
I agree but I wonder whether we can create a space for the people that need a prophet that relays the exact will of god while also providing space for people that need a prophet that's got a lot of experience and leads us to do some nice things sometimes.

If people expressing uncertainty (or certainty in something else) go unchallenged does it erode the environment of certainty that some people need, or can both camps have their needs met?

It certainly feels like the culture uses the miraculous stick to ward off people that see the more mundane. This article has a few quotes that provide a more mundane view of things, which could create some space for some people... or we could go right back to only catering to the needs of a subset.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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