Link to the face to face:
The links that follow are direct links to the time a question was asked. Since the meeting starts off with technical difficulties I don't know whether they'll come along and replace the video with a version that's edited down for time, If they do it will break the direct time linking. It'll have to do for now.
Edit: They did edit the video to take out the technical difficulty stuff in the beginning, messing up the time links. I've since fixed them.
Q: What can you tell us about the process that brought the prophets, seers, and revelators to declare this marvelous proclamation (on the restoration)?
Paraphrased answer: The Q15 got together and all contributed. It was the mind and will of JC, it's what he wants us to know.
Q: Harriet from Wyoming asked, "What advice do you have for when we feel uncomfortable with certain church teachings or policies? How can we continue to sustain our leaders when we may struggle with feelings of disagreement and confusion?
Paraphrased answer: Follow the prophet. Follow the prophet. Follow the prophet.
Here Rasband invokes some of ETB's thoughts on the 14 fundamentals of following the prophet, specifically to follow the current prophet.
Followup question (from me, this wasn't in the meeting): what if you were a saint in the 1850s, BY was prophet, and you disagreed with the teaching that people in interracial marriages should be put to death? BY is your current prophet. BY is clearly wrong. Is the 1850s answer similar, "Follow the prophet?" If it's okay for a saint in the 1850s to disagree with BY's teaching on interracial marriage, is it similarly okay to disagree with Nelson about some of his teachings today? Expecting that future prophets will eventually come around.
We might cite presentism and how we can't judge people in the past by today's standards, but that only goes to show that today's standards have improved in some ways. What are saints that get a little ahead of the curve to do while they wait for everyone else to catch up? I don't know whether there's an answer other than to wait patiently but I feel the main issue is how we (as a culture) have the tendency to rebuke people that disagree with the prophet. Not only are people called to wait patiently, they're also called to endure being defamed along the way.
IMO sometimes the prophet is wrong and it's a good thing to disagree.
There's a cute (I mean that, I find it kinda cute) quote in this section of the devotional:
Following the prophet is the most sure way of following the prophet.Rasband wrote:We wanted to firmly establish for all of you the importance of following God's living prophet on the Earth. That's the safest, most sure way to follow the Lord's mouthpiece on the Earth.
Q: Harry from California asks, "I have serious problems with the truth claims of the church and I'm considering removing my names [sic] from the records of the church. Can you give me a reason why I should stay?
Ask why I (Rasband) and so many others choose to stay? Think of it as why do I (me) choose to stay?
They then showed a video of someone that had suicidal ideations, he found the church which helped for a while, he continued to struggle with the ideations but had a spiritual experience, and gained a testimony. The young man from the video then testified during the meeting of how the church gave him everything.
I'm not sure whether that answers Harry's question. I find it easy to project myself into Harry, it's a question I ask myself from time to time. I do not deny, not even a little, that the church is an enormous blessing in the lives of other people. I realize this next question is self centered, but... is the church a blessing in my life?
Technically the question was, "Can you give me a reason why I should stay?" and to that I'd answer, "No." I don't think other people can give me a reason to stay. A reason that comes from someone else may last for a season, but for it to last I think we all need a personal reason that comes from within.
Harry mentioned truth claims. I think our focus on truth claims (as evidenced by the things we talk about in SM, SS, GC, devotionals, etc.) are at the heart of the issue. I've said this elsewhere, but as a culture it feels like we dedicate more energy propping up the church's truth claims than the energy that we spend teaching and learning good principles.
And what's worse... how do we treat the people that don't believe in the truth claims? Am I a better person for believing the BoM is historical? Am I a worse person for believing the BoM is not historical? I'd say that the historicity of the BoM is completely irrelevant to whether I'm a good or bad person, yet at church we use language that leads me to believe that we view a person as being deficient for not believing every single element of the restoration narrative... and I hear that language in SM all the way up to GC.
Ugh. I'm out of gas. I'll have to revisit this thread later to do the rest of the questions.