Changes and more changes

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
Gerald
Posts: 446
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 04:57

Changes and more changes

Post by Gerald » 06 Jan 2019, 05:31

It's certainly been a year of change.

1. Combining of elders quorum and high priests quorums (essentially eliminating the high priest office except in particular situations)
2. Converting home teaching to ministering (still a bit confused about that one)
3. Two hour church meetings and its accompanying home study program (and suddenly informal study groups are A-OK)
4. Essentially eliminating the role of Boy Scouts in the LDS Church programs (okay with that one)
5. Advancement policy in Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women (makes sense)
6. The admonition to no longer refer to ourselves as "Mormons" (and refer to our selves in a rather unwieldy manner).
7. Significant changes to the temple ordinances (that should increase temple attendance for a while)

I probably missed one in there. I know in my ward these changes are greeted with profound testimonies about continuing revelation and signs of the guidance of God in his Church. I also know that many people have found these changes inspiring and relieving in many different ways (particularly the change in temple ordinances). I would not detract from anyone's pleasure or celebration regarding these changes but....

I personally have greeted each change with mild interest or mild dismay (I'm really not a fan of the two hour church idea but maybe I'll change my mind when I experience it). All these changes seem cosmetic to me. Sensible and practical changes yes but, in some ways, superficial (except maybe the changes to the endowment which could be signaling some deeper doctrinal adjustments to come). The basic doctrines of the gospel remain essentially untouched (whether that's good or bad depends on who you are). I suppose I would like to see these changes viewed and discussed as what they are: needed adjustments to church procedures. When members describe these as revelatory, it would seem to trivialize the whole idea of revelation (Is God really offended when the world calls us "Mormons"?)

These are not the aspects of the gospel that resonate with me. The idea of an atonement for our sins and our burdens, of improving ourselves and our relationships with others, of seeking a greater spiritual dimension to our lives, the acknowledgement that all human beings have value, etc. These are the doctrines or ideas that I would like to see focused on...not the Boy Scout program.

If I had courage, this is the kind of testimony I would bear in Church today...but since I'm too cowardly :oops: , I guess I'll just bear it here....In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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---

User avatar
mom3
Posts: 4077
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by mom3 » 06 Jan 2019, 10:40

The basic doctrines of the gospel remain essentially untouched (whether that's good or bad depends on who you are).
My RS President said essentially the same thing. Now her point of view was more of a "don't panic, none of the doctrines have changed (that was before the temple changes.)
When members describe these as revelatory, it would seem to trivialize the whole idea of revelation (Is God really offended when the world calls us "Mormons"?)
I am with you on this. Last Open Mic Sunday a bunch of ward members were waxing on about the revelatory nature of it. How we are chosen, God trusts us, etc. I had to leave and get a long drink of water.
(Is God really offended when the world calls us "Mormons"?)
Don't even get me started on this one. I started a thread somewhere on here about that. Really?? Starving children in Ghana or the use of "Mormon". I am going with starving children in Ghana are more offensive to God.

If I had courage, this is the kind of testimony I would bear in Church today...but since I'm too cowardly :oops: , I guess I'll just bear it here.
Thank you for bearing it here. You are not being cowardly, you are being respectful. Also, I find I can share my feelings drop by drop and it helps. Happy Sabbath
"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

User avatar
nibbler
Posts: 4475
Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by nibbler » 06 Jan 2019, 14:10

Similar to Wilford Woodruff's, "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray." maybe framing the changes as revelation is the only way for some members to accept them.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

Bear
Posts: 177
Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 08:04

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by Bear » 06 Jan 2019, 14:14

Heard lots of praise at SM today. Lots of testifying that this truly is gods church and that this new 2 hour block plus the teachings at home, is divinely inspired.
It really annoys me. If I had suggested the exact same things a year to early, people would think I was weird.
I view this as purely cosmetic and has NOTHING to do with revelation. I'm sure the leaders prayed about it and felt good etc but I just don't get it.

Feels like (on a much smaller scale) when the blacks got the priesthood. If I had advocated for it a year to soon, I could have been exed. Now a year later, it is divinely inspired.

I don't know. Every time something changes in church, I see it being blown out of proportions and continuing a disingenuous narrative. Or the changes come so slowly (but deliberately) so no one will notice. It's very dishonest to me.

That being said, I was really happy to be home earlier today. Didn't have to bring lunch for the kids!:)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Roy
Posts: 6187
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by Roy » 06 Jan 2019, 14:20

From the FPM on the recent changes to the endowment:
Over these many centuries, details associated with temple work have been adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, communication, and record-keeping. Prophets have taught that there will be no end to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to His servants.
This to me looks like no revelation is being claimed for the "adjustments" (with some wiggle room in the "as directed by the Lord to His servants" clause should the claim of revelation need to be retroactively applied at some future date.)
Kinda blowing my mind right now that temple ordinances can be changed without revelation.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by dande48 » 06 Jan 2019, 20:24

IMHO, they are being smart and calling it "revelation". It used to annoy me how liberally the word "revelation" is used in the Church, but it's one of the cornerstones of the Church I've come to accept. Though I don't believe in it, you can't have the Church without it.

But I am all in favor of being smart. I appreciate their openness to recognizing what isn't working, and make changes. Things will be bumpy, there will be plenty of trial and error, and going "back to the drawing board". It's a much better system than going with whatever pops into your head and doubling down, which is what I've historically felt certain past revelations have been (no offense).

You're right, the core of the Church will always stay the same: God calls prophets, who He directs through revelation to lead His people. That's not going to change. But this:
Gerald wrote:
06 Jan 2019, 05:31
The idea of an atonement for our sins and our burdens, of improving ourselves and our relationships with others, of seeking a greater spiritual dimension to our lives, the acknowledgement that all human beings have value, etc. These are the doctrines or ideas that I would like to see focused on...
These gets talked about a LOT in Church. I'd say way more than any of the other "changes". If there's no system-altering revelations on these areas, it's either because there's hardly anything new to be said. The policy changes are meant to help us incorperate those doctrines better, or at least that's their intent. A lot of the bigger issues, such as the poverty in Africa, are so complex and systemic... it's not so much a matter of willingness to help, so much as how complex and systemic those issues are. Simply throwing money at an issue can cause a LOT of problems. Inducing social reform, can likewise lead to devistation if done incorrectly. It's a delicate situation with no easy solutions.

Sure, God "could" give revelation to fix all our socio-economic ills. But for some reason, He doesn't. Maybe it's because we wouldn't accept it. Maybe he wants us to figure it out. Maybe he knows that with the imperfections of men, we'd botch it up. Maybe its because He knows we wouldn't be willing to pay the price to make it happen. Maybe the GAs are much wiser than to lay claim to a "revelation" which could end in such disaster.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

User avatar
Gerald
Posts: 446
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 04:57

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by Gerald » 07 Jan 2019, 05:53

Sure, God "could" give revelation to fix all our socio-economic ills. But for some reason, He doesn't. Maybe it's because we wouldn't accept it. Maybe he wants us to figure it out. Maybe he knows that with the imperfections of men, we'd botch it up. Maybe its because He knows we wouldn't be willing to pay the price to make it happen. Maybe the GAs are much wiser than to lay claim to a "revelation" which could end in such disaster.
I totally agree. In fact, this nicely sums up my thoughts about revelation.

Just to be clear, my beef was with the members waxing long and enthusiastic about the changes being revelation. I don't think any of the recent changes have been presented that way by the general authorities. (Though I think they have implied that God supports the changes) Maybe the focus on the name of the Church comes close but I don't recall President Nelson referring to it as revelation but rather a needed change (again, whether you agree or disagree is a different story).
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---

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 7271
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Jan 2019, 07:56

Gerald wrote:
07 Jan 2019, 05:53
Sure, God "could" give revelation to fix all our socio-economic ills. But for some reason, He doesn't. Maybe it's because we wouldn't accept it. Maybe he wants us to figure it out. Maybe he knows that with the imperfections of men, we'd botch it up. Maybe its because He knows we wouldn't be willing to pay the price to make it happen. Maybe the GAs are much wiser than to lay claim to a "revelation" which could end in such disaster.
I totally agree. In fact, this nicely sums up my thoughts about revelation.

Just to be clear, my beef was with the members waxing long and enthusiastic about the changes being revelation. I don't think any of the recent changes have been presented that way by the general authorities. (Though I think they have implied that God supports the changes) Maybe the focus on the name of the Church comes close but I don't recall President Nelson referring to it as revelation but rather a needed change (again, whether you agree or disagree is a different story).
I think there is some inference of revelation coming from the top. From Elder Cook's address introducing the two hour block and new curriculum (emphasis added):
I testify to you that in the deliberations of the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the temple, and after our beloved prophet petitioned the Lord for revelation to move forward with these adjustments, a powerful confirmation was received by all. Russell M. Nelson is our living President and prophet. The announcements made today will result in profound blessings for those who enthusiastically embrace the adjustments and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We will become closer to our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom I am a sure witness.
I'm not saying I agree it's revelation but this is what it is.
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

mfree6464
Posts: 45
Joined: 23 Feb 2016, 17:07

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by mfree6464 » 07 Jan 2019, 09:00

When speaking of all the recent church changes in his December 2018 Ensign article, Jeffrey R Holand said the following:
As our ninth article of faith declares, “We believe all that God has revealed”—that’s often the easy part. It takes a special kind of faith to “believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom,” and then to be ready to accept them, whatever they are.

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Changes and more changes

Post by dande48 » 07 Jan 2019, 09:20

DarkJedi wrote:
07 Jan 2019, 07:56
I think there is some inference of revelation coming from the top. From Elder Cook's address introducing the two hour block and new curriculum (emphasis added):
I testify to you that in the deliberations of the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the temple, and after our beloved prophet petitioned the Lord for revelation to move forward with these adjustments, a powerful confirmation was received by all. Russell M. Nelson is our living President and prophet. The announcements made today will result in profound blessings for those who enthusiastically embrace the adjustments and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We will become closer to our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom I am a sure witness.
I'm not saying I agree it's revelation but this is what it is.
Relating this back to a few other recent topics, this does sound another instance where they could later say, "Well, technically we never said the new changes were revelation... you just assumed, through our selective wording." :angel:

"Ends and means", I guess. If people assume it was revelation, the new policies do carry more weight and less questioning.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Post Reply