Comments about ‘LDS Church responds to concerns over member questions’

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Published: Friday, June 20 2014 1:00 p.m. MDT

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El Paso, TX

This is nothing. This answers noting. For members who have real questions about the church's past and foundation, this is simply the same beating around the bush I get from every member I speak with. The difference between doctrinal truth and fact make this statement meaningless. The questions are about facts about church history, not how to get answers from prayers. If the foundation is corrupt, it will all come down. If it is not corrupt, it will remain. Let's be open about our doubts to let the foundation be exposed. We will all benefit from open honest discussion. This may seem hard or scary to some, it is what is necessary for the truth to come out. The world and reality in general are much more complex than we often give credit. Because there is no easy explanation, burying ones head in the sand is only perpetuating problems. It is not solving them. If you are not aware of the claims, you should make yourself aware. Your faith needs to be tested by this, because it would be worthless if it cannot withstand this information.

Frozen Fractals
Salt Lake City, UT

I do wonder if the recent statements from the church about race and the priesthood (renouncing the explanations for the ban taught by previous leaders) and statements along the lines of LDS leaders being capable of being wrong (like in Elder Uchtdorf's conference talk last year) has opened the door more to this line of doubt... what else might be wrong? If we know that church leaders have taught things in the past that are incorrect then what might be considered wrong down the road that is taught now? Hindsight is 20/20 (actually some people are bad with history, maybe more like 20/40) but foresight is more difficult. Are members supposed to be forward thinking in trying to figure out which things might be considered incorrect later, or should they stick to what is currently taught and risk being wrong later like those who believed incorrect things about race/priesthood? Not sure there's an easy answer but it means that what might seem like a clear statement (Elder Oaks' priesthood talk) perhaps these days is more vulnerable to the thoughts of "okay...but what if he's wrong?".

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

It’s no great mystery why a member facing disciplinary action would feel intimidated by a proceeding initiated by a local church leader who wants it kept behind closed doors.

Blue AZ Cougar
Chandler, AZ

Fair enough, let's have an open discussion about it. To kick things off, here are some relevant passages of scripture, etc. that I think are pertinent to the discussion:

a) Hebrews 5:1-4
b) Article of Faith #5
c) D&C 20:38-67
d) D&C 84:30-34
e) D&C 107:40, 99
f) Official Declaration #2 (it should be remembered that this revelation removed the church practice of preventing blacks from receiving the priesthood, and does not overturn a previous revelation stating that blacks should not have the priesthood. Therefore, this was not a change in church doctrine but is a change in church policy/administration)
g) The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2014 General Conference
h) Handbook 2: Administering the Church, Section 2.1 (this is available through the LDS website, just type 'Priesthood Keys' in the search bar and it will come up)

I honestly want to know what you think of those things and how they correlate with the Ordain Women movement. Please respond and let's keep it civil.

San Jose, CA

My answer to you about same sex marriage would be we should be grateful then that we have modern day revelation, that we have a prophet, God's mouth piece on earth today to confront the things that we are encountering in our day, if there is indeed no scriptural precedence. But this would require us to believe and trust in the prophet, which I haven't seen from many of the naysayers. Some commenters above cry out that this is similar to Joseph Smith's time and that the church is acting like those other churches. I can see one big difference here though. Those churches were NOT led by Jesus Christ. Those churches were not HIS church. If you believe that this is HIS church, then we need to have faith in his living prophet and apostles.
The Bible does teach us that homosexuality is indeed a sin. Lev. 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." The prophets and apostles have not stayed silent on this matter. There were several talks last conference that made that very clear. I suggest listening to them again.

Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

SlackTime, please understand that there are many faithful Mormons who believe that Christ has spoken--but that the Prophet is not listening.

Newport Beach, CA

Whether it's gay supremacists trying to get people fired for having the wrong opinions on redefining marriage, the IRS trying to suppress anti-tax groups, or churches disciplining their critics, I have a basic presumption that when somebody's argument consists of "shut up," he doesn't have much of an argument.

There is no reasonable possibility that an LDS member will be "misled" by a lay member as to what the official doctrine of the Church is. The Church can make that perfectly clear (when it wants to). What we have here is an institution that believes the best response to a critical argument is not a better argument, but to shut the critic up.

I have more confidence that truth will prevail than to think we need those tactics.

UT Brit
London, England

The church has some skeletons in its closet regarding its history. Some things are not taught about in Sunday school or any other lesson in the church. What happens when someone stumbles upon some of the more questionable facts of church history but gets no answers from their leaders. Sorry but "pray harder" solution is not a meaningful way to help people.
The church needs to be open and honest and teach the correct history of the church, what you get in the lesson manuals is not the full picture.

Newport Beach, CA

I have no brief for the issue of whether women ought to be ordained. I don't find any explicit divine decree that they shouldn't (apart from the passages in 1st Corinthians that says they shouldn't even talk at all in church, which we're already ignoring), but on the other hand, there is a custom and practice established.

But I do very much oppose the idea that public criticism of Church leaders is never righteous. I am persuaded that the Church would not have abandoned its blasphemous policies regarding priesthood restrictions on people of African descent if Church members had not "withstood [them] to the face, for they were to be blamed." Sometimes necessary changes come through the operation of regular ecclesiastical processes. Sometimes those processes perpetuate the problem. God sends us not only prophets, but "scribes and wise men." Sometimes the former need the latter as much as the other way around.

If the Church's judgments concerning priesthood eligibility are sound, they will endure, no matter how many people criticize them. If they are not, they will fail -- and those responsible, if they suppress their critics, will have compounded one error with another.

Bountiful, UT

Personally, I'm not concerned about excommunication, but I am concerned about losing my temple recommend simply because I support marriage equality. (I'm pretty much a TBM otherwise.) I have a gay son and believe he should have the same privileges and rights that others have. I've expressed this idea to local leadership and have been chastised, and also cautioned that my temple recommend may be revoked. I love the Gospel, but I also love my son and support him completely. I find all of this quite troubling.

orem, ut

To-Laura Bilington

"SlackTime, please understand that there are many faithful Mormons who believe that Christ has spoken--but that the Prophet is not listening."

I think you have your answer. If you believe that the Prophet is not listening to God, then this is no longer his church, and therefore it makes sense for you to leave. Period. If you believe that he still listens, then stay. Its not rocket science. You either believe he is the mouthpiece or you don't. I don't see why this is a hard thing to understand.

However, if you go down that path, and your pride prevented you from seeing he is the true mouthpiece of the Lord, then you bring the wrath of God upon yourself.

I hope you and others who are confused, or believe that the Prophet is no longer listening to God find what you are after and find peace. That being said, the church will not change doctrine on the whim of the members, rather it will change its teachings WHEN and IF God directs the Brethren to do so. Not because society thinks it is cool.

Northern, CO

@Laura Bilington - That is a line of thinking that, taken to it's logical end, leads to a disbelief in the Church. There are countless examples of people in the scriptures that thought they new better than the prophets - what happened to them?
@Liberaustrian - Having an honest discussion is fine - giving ultimatums ("I will not stop until they change church doctrine") is not fine.
Everyone - have faith, the Lord will see things through. I will follow the words of the prophets. Are they infallible? No, but they have never led me do break God's commandments.

Ft Thomas, KY

As for me and my house, we will follow the prophet.
I think we all need to step back and realize that this statement was made by someone named Jessica Moody. I have never heard of her before and I have never sustained her as a prophet seer and revelator.
I am going to listen closely to President Monson's talks in the October General Conference and follow his direction on this matter.

Barbara Anne
Los Angeles, CA

I thought the article was great and right on the money! What worries me with all the comments, criticisms, and back biting is that there is such an atmosphere of great contention. I don't believe in the way OW is going about things. There very name tells us so much. We have learned over and over and over again in the scriptures that when we have this much contention, it certainly is not from the Lord. We have a prophet who leads and guides this church and we all need to get a testimony of him. He is not always going to say things or ask us to do things that are easy and we may at times disagree with him but we are never to follow him with blind faith. Rather, we are told to get on our knees and get a testimony of what we are being asked to do for ourselves. Satan must be laughing up a storm at all this contention. Now there is something to think about.


People can discuss whatever they want, but they shouldn't think there are no consequences. There are consequences for everything, and the Internet is a public forum where people can and will judge you.

Of course people are claiming that their disciplinary councils or excommunications are being directed from Church headquarters. They want to play the victim for the media and insist on being portrayed as persecuted. In reality they are the persecutors and the Church is defending itself, just as it always has done. The Church's doctrinal integrity is solid, built on the firm foundation that is Christ. The integrity of the members though, and their testimonies, is not so solid—and the Church must defend them against those lying in wait to decieve. It controls no one. It simply holds them accountable and does not allow them to abuse their membership to advance nefarious goals.

Columbus, OH

"Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone." ~ Elder Neal A. Maxwell, 1996.

Leesburg, VA

>>You tell them to question, they question, and then they get derided and threatened when they get a different answer on one thing.

We believe that the Lord isn't going to give you a different answer "on one thing." The Lord doesn't instigate doctrinal changes by revealing differing answers to random members -- that's a recipe for anarchy.

If the Lord wants to change the doctrine, he will reveal it to the prophet. The prophet will explain the change to the Quorum of the Twelve, who will fast and pray to receive their own spiritual witness that the change is inspired. Once the First Presidency and the Twelve are unanimous, the change will be announced in General Conference or through a special Letter from the First Presidency that all local leaders will read from the pulpit. All members can then fast and pray to receive their own witness that it's the right course.

There is an organized, orderly process by which these things are done that allows members to have confidence that any doctrinal changes are inspired. Random members organizing Temple Square protests isn't it.

David Robertson
Lubbock, TX

Ok, let's look at this situation. Some people want things different. We are not making them happy. How big of a percentage of the membership are they? Should we discard all the doctrine that the church is built on to make a few people happy? Should we prostitute the whole church for the sake of a small unhappy few that aren't getting their way? Should we take the church down the same path that the leaders of our country have hijacked the USA down? If we do... we will end up like all the rest of the religions that Joseph Smith looked at and tried to decide which was "the right one". We will just be another apostasy upon the planet. This church was set up and run by the Savior of all mankind. You either believe that or you don't. If you believe this church is wrong, start your own. I know the shepherd left the 99 to find the one,,, but in this case the 1 wants to lead the 99 astray.

Hillsboro, OR

Don't ask serious questions about doctrine. If you do, you sincerely run the substantial risk of excommunication. Been there, had that happen.

Woodland Hills, UT

@Laura Billington
Christ has spoken, you may be the one not listening. I suggest that you read and re read the last general conference talks cover to cover, and then do it again. After all they are the teachings for our time. It would be very helpful for you.

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