"Many Mormons, I suspect, feel a bit shaken when something they’ve
held as irrefutable is suddenly adjusted by the powers that be.""Adjusted by the powers that be" is a perfect description.The "powers that be" certainly professed many things that future
"powers that be" looked back and called it the opinion of a fallible
man.The LDS are prolific note takers. They record everything. Past
leaders made countless statements that were certainly meant to be accepted as
"truth".And as hindsight is 20/20, and as our scientific
knowledge grows, or as societal norms change, adjustments to "truth"
were required.And you are worried about what constitutes a sandal?
Mr. Johnston is always interesting. Always thought provoking.Thank
"a Brigham Young University professor say that he felt members of the church
would be surprised at how few “bedrock, unchangeable absolutes”
there really are in the church"When the Quorum of the Twelve and
the First Presidency say that, then maybe it can be taken as truth?Perhaps the problem Jerry is writing about is created by a lack of clarity
about who is and who is not authorized to speak the "absolute" truths of
Mormonism.That's not a problem we atheists ever have to worry
These thoughts are right on, and it IS difficult to separate truth from culture
at times. I am grateful for living prophets who help us sort through these
things and make clear the difference.
White shirts only?High skirt lines are OK, but showing even slight
cleavage isn't?Who makes up these "standards"?
Would have been nice to see some examples of each? This article really tells us
I appreciate the focus in many congregations outside the US on core topics e.g.
faith, charity, sacrifice, repentance, etc. The things that really focus on the
behavioral traits that make us better, more loving people and bring us closer to
God are the ones that matter most and are really timeless. I feel that often
where we have larger LDS populations, we tend to lose focus on these things and
detour off on the "cultural" truths mentioned here.I find
actually in going back to old Conference talks in the last 50 years that there
is not a lot of change in what the General Authorities are talking about.
Missionary work is as important now as it was in the days of Pres. Kimball.
Elder Ashton talked about how we should treat one another in ways that are
especially relevant today (see "Bashing"). The idea that one
political view i.e. American Conservatism or Liberalism is aligned with LDS
principles is another of example of a regional standard. God is not of one US
political party and there are members in other lands who are surprised by the
zeal of some of us in the Mountain West.
This article seemed seemed generic, pointless, and incomplete. There are a
number of things members do or believe in the church that are based on tradition
rather than doctrine often don't know the difference. I had hoped this
article might have discussed some of these in a thoughtful way. Instead, the
author just made a few light comments touching on the idea and then the article
Is it possible that as science continues to expand our thinking - that even
"Bedrock Principles" will change? From evolution to gay rights, science
is "adjusting" the bedrock.
I think the comments and article are excellent. The author is clearly
insightful regarding the topic and it leads me to ponder many things. I just wonder why the LDS Church has not been so malleable with regards to gay
marriage, to abortion, and to other things. You say that your
standards are malleable and adjustable, and yet you will not allow gays and
lesbians any more privilege than to join in your services. That does not
reflect well on your faith. You say this, and yet the faith demands
a strict compliance to following the commands of a president. They may be
helpful requests that lead to better living, but that is not my point here. My
point is they are not bendable. That does not reflect well. The
reason people see members of your faith are weird, thick, and closed-minded is
because you are unwilling to expand your viewpoint beyond your own doctrines and
anything that conforms to it.
Nice and timely piece- as discussion continues about activity rates and other
such things it can be insightful to consider what really matters- my stake has
been having the denim and electronic devices wars- in a series of letters we
have been told that wearing denim and sandals to church and using electronic
devices is inappropriate along with a few other things- then the inevitable
judging begins- Oh look they are wearing denim- oh look they have their iPad
out- yet half the kids are not in church on any given Sunday, drugs are a
problem, divorce, financial failure and on and on we go but we will judge over
the type of cloth you are wearing (not length or fit just type)- seems like we
miss the mark but that is just one persons opinion however it does seem more
acute here along the Wasatch Front than anywhere I have been
@morpunkt "high skirt lines" Not sure what you mean by that
"standard" because I have never heard of it. Can you clarify? My
understanding is that high skirt lines are not OK, they must be at least knee
length (or a tad longer). BTW, the white shirt standard came about from Pres.
David O. McKay. He's the one who "made it up."Yes, I
agree that the article would have served us better if there were some examples.
That's why we have comments like that of "Brother Benjamin
Franklin." You see, there are some points of doctrine that are mot
malleable, like abortion and gay marriage. They are not malleable because they
are, in fact, doctrine. We are considered to be "weird, thick, and
closed-minded?" Well, how about God, then? He is not malleable with his
doctrines such as "Thou shalt not murder," and "Thou shalt not
commit adultery."I hate to break this to you members along the
Wasatch Front, but did you know that Jello doesn't have to be green? Jello,
being highly malleable, can be any color you like. Yes, yes, I know...earth
shattering. Sorry. :)
Re: "Is it possible that as science continues to expand our thinking - that
even "Bedrock Principles" will change?"Uh, no.
That's what makes them bedrock principles.
Vague examples, and no real thought put into this article. Since there are so
few 'concrete' doctrines does that mean we should expect homosexuals
be allowed to proudly function in the church soon? Women to hold and officiate
in priesthood offices such as bishop and elders quorum president is right around
the corner? Maybe all we need to do is protest and we'll see the church
'change with the times' like everyone is saying. This article is way
too misleading and suggestive. DN should screen these better. We don't need
Re: "I just wonder why the LDS Church has not been so malleable with regards
to gay marriage, to abortion, and to other things."Probably
because of those pesky bedrock issues of decency, sin, obeying God, and
esteeming His commandments above the blather of the short-sighted mockers in the
"great and spacious building."
Examples:Coke. Decaffeinated Coffee. Length of Shorts. What is
actually an "R" rated movie. Two Piece Bathing Suits. Missionary
Farewells. Glen Beck. Being a member of the GOP. Being a law and order
type vs being and ACLU type. Medical Marijuana (honest use - not an excuse).
Jello. What constitutes a LDS Funeral (really you have to serve funeral
potatoes?). Wearing a cross. Turning down a calling. Viewing
someone that smokes as a bad person (no matter how good they might otherwise
be.) Not becoming an Eagle Scout equals failure. If you don't work on
a farm. If you don't like to be called "Brother" or
"Sister." Not being active in Ward Social Activities - even if you
are spiritually active and attend all other meetings. Being a
church leaders is what counts - if you do not move up in callings you must not
be as important. White Shirts (seriously we ask people in other
countries to change formal regional dress to wear our IBM based White Shirt and
Ties and then judge them if they don't). Part two coming...
To Brother Benjamin Franklin:"You say your standards are
malleable and adjustable, yet you will not allow gays and lesbians any more
privilege than to join in your services. That does not reflect well on your
faith. You say this, and yet the faith demands a strict compliance
to following the commands of a president. They may be helpful requests that lead
to better living, but that is not my point here. My point is they are not
bendable."You miss the point completely Bro. B. God's
doctrinal laws have NEVER changed. He is the same yesterday, today and
tomorrow. Gays and Lesbians can go to the temple if they act not on their
preference...same as a single heterosexual has to practice restraint. God does
not bend His commandments to fit your idea of right and wrong. He knows more
than you, and that is why there are prophets...always have been. If the whole
world became gay, how many children do you see down the road? The whole point
of life/existence is to have children, gain experience, and return to live with
God. You don't have to like our doctrine...do something else.
And the point of this rambling is what? The implication here is that everything
in the church, including its doctrine is in flux and subject to change.
"regional standards?" where did that term come from? How about going a
bit deeper and uncover why some members feel it's appropriate to disrespect
the church, the temple, the holy places by the way they dress? and this would
apply in west Africa as well as in Bountiful, Utah. It isn't about shoes,
it's about modesty, and respecting sacred places.
Part Two...Every nit picky idea that a talk, prayer or blessing must
be given as it was seen on TV during general conference. Table clothes for any
lesson taught by a woman. Using the term "Great and Spacious
Building" for everything that happens outside of Utah. In fact Utah itself.
The idea by too many that big money equals spiritual success. A
misunderstanding of the term forgiveness. The idea that we too often think that
we are neither the adulterous woman at the well or the stone casters but just
bystanders that are in agreement with Christ. Think again - we are both.Bedrock Principles:Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Through
him we are saved. His teaching of love, compassion and kindness are essential
to being happy. Those thing which lead to Christ are of God. Those things
which don't are not. And No those things which lead to Christ or away
from him are NOT always the same for everyone. And yes I am a
California Mormon so I am guessing that since I don't actually live in
"Zion" but in the "mission field" you can ignore my post.
To the Scientist: Only the President of the Church has authority to
say what is doctrine and what is not. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the
Twelve work together to clarify principles and doctrines, but only the President
of the Church can say if thats righ or not.
usually it is the seminary or institute teachers that preach the regional
standards. You can't imagine how many times I had to correct stuff my kids
were told by seminary teachers.
About 10+ years ago here in Portland, Oregon, a letter was sent to Portland
Stake Presidents from "one of the brethren" admonishing men to only wear
white shirts to church and to have clean shaven faces.Our Stake
President chose to read it to the Stake and instruct each Bishop to read it in
Priesthood opening exercises. I was the ward mission leader and we actually had
investigators there in the meeting not dressed in white shirts when it was
read.There were some men in our ward whose spouses and children had
never seen their faces without beards or mustaches. Some complied, some
didn't, a few left the church over it. The stake president didn't tie
"worthiness" to hold office or get temple recommend to it.Funny thing is, when we got a new Stake President, he had been living in a
neighboring stake when this letter came out. His Stake President chose to not
read it. When we asked him about the letter, he had never heard of it.Also, we never could get a handle on who exactly this letter came from. It
was definitely not from the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve.
@bw00dsjello...mmmmmbut let's be careful - - the
discussion of rainbow jello might get divisive
@Tilka"You can't imagine how many times I had to correct
stuff my kids were told by seminary teachers."You have 200
words...let's hear a few
How about love and acceptance no matter what?Too many kids are excluded
because they aren't wearing a white shirt. Where is the logic and true
religion in that sort of behavior and thinking?
Bro. Benjamin,I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a
church and what experience you are hoping to have. I personally like the idea
that while God loves me, He wants to help me become better and lose the things
that keep me from reaching my potential. If I thought He would just let me do
whatever I wanted, there really wouldn't be much point for me in going to
Church. There has to be something to strive towards while at the same time
offering us the love and belief that we can improve.As for BYU
Joe's list, that seems to resonate as the kind of things someone in
California might obsess with but someone in Ukraine or China could care less
I suppose maybe it is because I didn't grow up LDS but there are few things
I have taken as fundamental truths. One that has annoyed me is that somewhere
along the line as a child or young man my husband was taught that men wear white
shirts and black pants to church. That isn't a rule! I wear pants to church
to cover up a medical condition that is simply awkward to be stared at for or
answer questions about. Instead I find people stare at me for wearing pants as
if I'm doing something wrong. As soon as someone can find me the rule about
how women aren't allowed to wear pants (and I suppose while we're at
it probably aren't allowed out of the kitchen either if we're making
up stupid rules) I'll wear dresses again. Worrying about "rules"
for what to wear to church is silly, we don't go to look at what people are
wearing or to be seen. We go for the message.
BYU Joe, you forgot no earrings for men, only one earring per ear for women,
people with tattoos should be avoided. Invite the new neighbor to Relief
Society then if she won't go, ignore her for the rest of her life.
Don't spend money to go to a sporting event on a Sunday but it's okay
for the LDS player to earn his living on Sunday.
I have long submitted that there is the "Doctrine" of the Church and the
"Culture" of the church. And those who have a testimony of the Doctrine
can move around the world and not be offended or upset that cultural differences
mean the gospel principles are practiced differently. Some examples are
glaringly different... for example, in Hawaii I saw young polynesian men wearing
a suru... a "skirt". Wearing their cultural traditional dress
didn't take away the priesthood with which they blessed the sacrament. Unfortuneately, we find people within the church with testimonies based
on cultural items, and they get bent out of shape or question leaders who decide
to make girls camp a 3 day camp instead of a 5 day camp, or heaven forbid...
elminate the pinewood derby.Testimonies of doctine keep us on solid
Regional leadership of the church are often left to decide how they should best
implement the "written in stone" council from the twelve and first
presidency. Often, that gets "sideways". Area Seventy and stake
presidents do their best, but in the end, its the "doctrine" that should
be the bedrock of meetings and discussion. Spending too much time with incorrect
behaviors, is like treating the symptoms of the cause.Personally,I believe its
the doctrine...faith, baptism, repentance, charity,that should be at the core of
church discussion. The rest will follow and we should all NOT judge each other.
@bribri86 LDS mythology holds that Joseph Smith re-translated the Bible to
re-insert those things that were removed. He missed a couple or insertions and
obfuscations. 1 Corr 14: 34-35 (Women should not speak in church) appears to
have been added after the fact from a marginal note, not the words of Paul.
Romans 16:7 ("Salute Andronicus and Junius, my kinsmen, and my fellow
prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before
me.") Junius is much more likely to be correctly translated as Junia, likely
a female Apostle. In this case, the anti-female bias was just preserved by the
church's leaders. Female Bishops and Elders Quorum Presidents - Why not,
there was once a female Apostle.
Great article, I couldn't agree more.I LOVE the LDS
Church![I loathe the cultural Utah Mormons.]
@BYU Joe"And yes I am a California Mormon so I am guessing that
since I don't actually live in "Zion" but in the "mission
field" you can ignore my post."Well, this life-long Utah
Mormon agrees with the list that you included. I had forgotten many of them.
How do you know if someone is an atheist? Don't worry, they'll tell
I was at BYU re-education this week.Even with the recent posting on
the LDS church website'On Wednesday (Aug. 29, 2012), "the
church does not prohibit the use of caffeine” and that the faith’s
health-code reference to “hot drinks” “does not go beyond (tea
and coffee).”I STILL only found "de-caffeinated" Coke
and Diet Coke in the Cougar Café.[I LOL even harder to find
Barq's Root Beer being sold there, which DOES have caffeine in it.]BTW - the same rules apply to even something as serious as abortion.The Church is politically "neutral" about it.But
encourages it's members against.And is not even 100% against it, even
allowing FOR it under certain circumstances.Cultural YES.Doctrinal, absolutely NOT.
I think there are a few cultural quirks that come out where there are a lot of
mormons that would not exist elsewhere.
You'll find if you read the label that the Barq's root beer sold at
BYU (and in much of the area) is caffeine free. The first time I bought one for
the purpose of a pick-me-up and found out it had no caffeine I felt robbed.
Some people know all the words of a song but never get the passion or the
emotion of it.
BYU Joe, very well said...your level of understanding can only come from having
experienced many of these judgements. Having grown up in "Zion" I know
what you're talking about, unfortunately it took me years to actually learn
Adalaide, my convert wife wears pants to church whenever she feels like it, and
it's perfectly fine. She looks nice and respectful. I couldn't care
less if she is in a skirt or pants, she is there, and that is what should
Yes, I too was looking for those examples of what are regional preferences and
was a little disappointed when the article ended without them. But, upon a
little reflection I can see that the point of the article was not to tell us,
but to invite us to discover what our own personal preferences might be. The
scriptures and the general handbook of instructions are the places to find the
bedrock (book 2 of the general handbook is available on line). If it cannot be
found in there then it is probably a personal or regional preference.I
have spent time with several general authorities and I can tell you that they,
like the rest of us, have personal preferences, however, they will also be the
first to tell you that what they are about to suggest is a personal
preference.I was outside the Newport Beach temple and was a little stunned
to see a brother wearing a suru (looks like a skirt) as he went into the temple,
I got over it when I recognized that this was probably entirely appropriate in
his native land.
Some of our very good Utah friends have recently found a non-denominational
church. They excitedly shared their fervor for this, as they explained
some specifics to us.Their "clergy are so loving and
accepting".They explained that there are "no rules for how they must
dress when they attend the services"."All people are welcome, no
matter their race, economic status, lifestyle". "The message is very
basic explaining what Jesus asked his followers to do with their lives".We were told it is a place they "so look forward to attending each
Sunday". "No one judges us. They just love us, no matter what!"
Okay, okay. Wake up and smell the decaf. There is no bedrock, which becomes
no-rock whenever the current prophet deems it so. Why I railed on the Pope to
my Catholic friends (from '51-86') is now an embarrassment. They were
right all along: We have a man/prophet/leader-centered church also.Journal of Discourses: Historical. The First Vision: Which version?
Prison time for polygamists: Still living with those affects in my family
today.Temple rituals: Which era?Book of Mormon most correct book:
Which edition?"No black man will ever hold the priesthood", BY:
Which century?John D. Lee: Adopted son, personal friend of BY, until
1877...Let BYU Joe write an article for DN. It will be more
It’s human nature to seek corroboration for one’s personal views in
the belief system he or she was brought up in. So why should it be surprising
that there are big differences between what any given Church teaches and what
its individual members think it teaches?
"Not long ago, I heard a Brigham Young University professor say that he felt
members of the church would be surprised at how few 'bedrock, unchangeable
absolutes' there really are in the church. A great many teachings, he said,
are adjustable. And those teachings change to help the church mold itself to new
eras and new groups."----------------For some
reason, passages about "line upon line" and milk vs. meat come to mind.
It's your heritage, your religion. Own it and go with the flow. I did for
40 years, until I was challenged to compare my shifting foundation to the solid
Biblical one. I will say that my grandparents' generation had
a more solid commitment to their leaders than current members with whom I speak.
They were, however, quite upset about the reversal of The Principal, their
surety to the celestial kingdom via the bedrock of plural/celestial marriage.
But since no prophetic discourse dealt with the effects of the 1890 reversal,
they chalked it up to a very testing God, (who also liked to test Abraham in the
desert with human sacrifice.)When I became a born-again believer, my
sweet grandmother sent me articles and testimonies of "the One True
Church". She curiously never answered all my questions about the changes to
the BoM, the temple endowment, the priesthood proscription, JS' Biblical
rewrites, the revelation reversals, etc.The title of the article
answers its own question. The only bedrock is your current prophet. Mormonism
Had to chime in here about a gripe I have along these lines. My stake
presidency apparently believes that the presence of facial hair is an absolute
blockage to having the spirit. For any stake callings, they have asked each
brother that has been wearing a beard, etc. to shave it as a pre-condition for
accepting the calling. They acknowledge that this is not a Handbook thing, but
they want everyone to "emulate the Brethren." This is a prime example
of their cultural/world view gone crazy. I have never had facial hair (other
than after a few days of camping before I come home), so I am not bothered by
this for personal reasons. I just think the stake presidency is way out of line
on this. If someone is worthy to hold the calling, proceed. Equating the
presence/lack of facial hair with spiritual strength or weakness is very
misguided. Why can't we just get to the basics in church and stop with
this (and other similar) insanity?
there is really only ONE bedrock principle that church members need concern
themselves with and that is a persoanl testamony and spiritual relationship with
Jesus Christ. If you do one thing in your life ...and one thing only...then
becoming a true deciple of Jesus Christ would be it. Everything else pales in
comparison. It doesn't matter the clothes you ware or callings you hold or
the even the service you render. What matters most is your relationship with
Christ. If you are a deciple of Jesus Christ then all the atttributes of Moroni
7 regarding charity will follow and as Paul taught unless you have charity you
patriot - the "service you render" is extremely important. In order to
be like our Savior, we need to love our neighbor as our self. In order to Love,
you need to serve.
The most difficult thing for a seminary teacher is which "truth" to
teach. The historic, founding bedrock principles- or the current,
revised/reversed bedrocks.The second most difficult subject is which
version of history to present:* The persecuted saints and new leader- or
the illegal destruction of a printing press. * The 'Piutes did
it' and the Iron County Militia backed 'em up- or John D., Col. Dane,
and Bishop Klingensmith got over-zealous from all those firey SLC Tab
sermons.Yup, it's a tough calling. I only subbed for a few
weeks for a pregnant friend, but could never adequately answer a pesky student
about how many wives JS lived with. He had taken friends to the Visitor's
Center short bio of the Prophet and his signature legislation of D&C 132
never came up in the video. Started me researching...That was
several revelations ago. Man-made can be man-changed. Embrace your beliefs.
I agree that he really doesn't say much here. I do agree, however, that
there are a lot of the church "doctrines" or "principles" that
are really just traditions.. I would've liked a few more examples.
Bedrock denotes foundation. The leaders of the Church have been clear on truths
vs untruths. Just follow the the teaching of the Prophet, God and His Son and
everything else will sort itself out. Godspeed!
Thanks for the article. We have a large and active former-LDS population in our
churches here. We actively witness and proselytise to our Mormon friends and
neighbors. We give each other the heads up on LDS current events and articles
that are helpful in teaching other evangelicals to understand current Church
teachings. We reach out to them, as they reach out to us and our families in
sharing our faith.Although this article was not deep or substantive,
it reveals the essence of modern Mormon thought. Nobody really knows what is
true and full Mormonism, unless they are up on all GConference talks and most
recent updates. It is confusing for the non-LDS, but formers understand the
'modern prophet-leads us' concept. Catholics and Greek Orthodox can
fathom it, but Sola Scriptura Protestants cannot get over the changes and
reversals. It is too fluid for them, but once they "get it", they start
watching GC and reading articles.We give out as many Books of Mormon
as our LDS neighbors, but that does not answer the doctrinal changes. Please
have more articles in the future.
I think that many of the writers must live in wards or stakes that are upper
income and have time to worry about some of these spiritual issues like sandals,
denim, nylons, white shirts etc. our wards and stakes are large in territory
and have section 8 housing, food stamps, goodwill vouchers, no fathers and or
mothers in the home, mental health group homes etc so were are happily at the
level of clean clothes whether denim or not, whether white or not, whether
closed toes or not.I understand the article and due to my old age I
have seen many "doctrines" turn out to be cultural beliefs but I would
need more words than allowed to detail them.
Go Utes,"....My stake presidency apparently believes that the
presence of facial hair is an absolute blockage to having the spirit...."______________________________A stake president is an ordinary
person whose disposition for nitpicking can reflect his own prejudice. But in an
authority-centered Church that admonishes members to “follow the
brethren”, show humility, and learn obedience, such situations breed
personal resentment that simmers and sometimes erupts in conflict. It can lead
to local Church authority taking disciplinary action, not so much for having
facial hair but for not respecting Priesthood authority. Hearts are broken but
it’s the ‘offending’ member who must then show repentance,
after which "an increase in love" can be shown to him.Disciplinary actions for disobedience go back to the days of Joseph Smith who
had no tolerance for challenges to his authority, and yes, the conflicts often
were personal in nature. The LDS Church is still growing up. As long as it
treats its members like children, it will have difficulty in becoming a religion
@BYUJoeOut-of-Utah Mormon here - attended BYU, didn't notice a
difference between Utah Mormons and other Mormons. Except the California Mormons
that always said everyithing they hated in life was because of the Utah Mormons.
So I'd say it's more a California Mormon problem than a Utah Mormon
problem.@ Everyone else - The best thing you can do is hold true to you
and your testimony and ignore everyone else. If someone thinks you
shouldn't wear pants why does it bother you? Is is shaking your testimony?
Did someone actually say something to you or are you just worried about it
yourself? Simmer people.
I have a better title for this. Many LDS just go with the flow, and are often
shocked to learn the truth contained in the scriptures is not the same as the
"faith promoting rumors" that often get around.To "LDS
Liberal" oh the irony. I thought liberals loved everybody and accepted
everybody. Why do you "loathe the cultural Utah Mormons"? That
doesn't seem very Christlike.As for you caffine complaint. You
and others who are love it so should think beyond the recreational use of
caffiene. There are people who have serious caffiene addiction problems.
Addiction to chemical substances goes against LDS teachings. You should read
"The Energy Drink Epidemic" in the Ensign.
BYU Joe says "And yes I am a California Mormon so I am guessing that since I
don't actually live in 'Zion' but in the 'mission
field' you can ignore my post.'Why the needlessly
defensive conclusion? Up until that point I was right with you. Did the popular
Utah Mormons pick on you while you were at BYU?As a Utah Mormon
married to a Missouri Mormon, I kinda sorta get where you're coming from,
but it's nonsense. My wife has always had this thing with "Utah
Mormons" thinking they're extra-special, more righteous, etc. Thing is,
I remember being on my mission in Texas and thinking how the California Mormons
frequently seemed keen to "out-cool" us Utah Mormons. It was probably
not really true, same as your implication that Utah Mormons believe they're
somehow better than "mission field" Mormons.But you have to
admit, release time for seminary is a nice bonus for living in Utah. No 5AM
alarms for this guy, unlike my poor non-Zion resident kids.
Love love love this article! Thank you for writing and sharing it! I live in
New Zealand and I am Samoan so I completely understand what you saying,
especially about sandals/Jandals lol. It got me thinking about a lot of other
"church traditions" that as a Young'un, I had grown up believing to
be doctrine and absolute. I'm an adult now and I know better. It is an
interesting journey to teach others, especially those of our brothers and
sisters from more indigenous cultures, the difference as well. Thank you for
writing this, it was an entertaining start to my day! I'm teaching in RS
this first Sunday coming up - I think I've just found a direction for my
lesson to go in :-)
@ no fit in SG - St.George, Utah - "Some of our very good Utah friends have
recently found a non-denominational church. They excitedly shared their fervor
for this, as they explained some specifics to us. Their "clergy are so
loving and accepting".They explained that there are "no rules for how
they must dress when they attend the services"."All people are
welcome, no matter their race, economic status, lifestyle". "The message
is very basic explaining what Jesus asked his followers to do with their
lives".We were told it is a place they "so look forward to
attending each Sunday". "No one judges us. They just love us, no matter
what!""Sounds to me like just about every LDS ward I've
ever visited in my entire life. Wards in Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, South Korea,
England, and, yes, even Utah. Yes, Utah!LDS members are human, and
as such, they are imperfect. Many, MANY anti-LDS posters want to talk
incessantly about 'bad' Mormons. To them, you'd think we are all
nothing but selfish, pushy idiots.Believe what you want.I know better.
Thanks for this thoughtful post/article. I could add all sorts of examples, but
won't. Well, maybe one thought... ascribing doctrine to political
ideologies is dangerous and ultimately divisive, especially among members of the
church.Suffice it to say that we all need to sort out what's
doctrine and what's cultural tradition. Then be ready to be surprised when
the prophet speaks.
I think it is terribly sad that so MANY commentors on virtually every Deseret
News article about the LDS church turn it into a "bash the Mormons"
event.One poster above claims that no Latter-day Saint understands
what Mormonism is.What a shame, because the claim is so patently
false.'Mormonism' is Christianity lived to the fullest.
It is all Christian-based truth that has been revealed to mankind thus far.It is 'love your neighbor' and 'turn the other
cheek'.It is 'be patient' and 'serve your fellow
man'.It is 'family'. It is 'believe in God and
in His Son, Jesus Christ'.It is knowing that God requires
obedience but yet understanding that obedience alone will not save anyone from
physical death or spiritual sorrow. It is knowing that ONLY Jesus Christ can,
and will, do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.I have a friend
who left the LDS faith because he claimed Mormons do not "teach the Jesus of
the Bible".Rubbish.His problem is that he's
been inactive for over 20+ years and has forgotten virtually everthing we
believe and will no longer read the Book of Mormon to see for himself.
@SoCornyHow do you know someone is a mormon? When you move into a
neighborhood they'll bring you cookies, if you don't agree to go to
church with them they never speak to you again.
It is interesting how some former members who have left the Church are still
railing against it. I have never heard or seen people of other faiths who become
Latter-Day Saints demean their past religious affiliation, They live their new
lives with joy and with no animosity to the past
Are we heading in the direction of an Orthodox vs. Reformed LDS Church?It
was quite liberating for me when the Brethren retracted the concept that the
Family Proclamation is revelation.Then Elder Christofferson narrowed the
definition of revelation (using an example from J Reuben Clark that was
apocryphal from HIS father about something Brigham Young might have said) to
rare pronouncements by the Prophet.Such adjustments by the Brethren make
rationalization that much easier.
An acquaintance told me recently about a Stake Pres. who admonished the women in
the Stake for wearing "open-toed" shoes and not wearying pantyhose. The acquaintance's response was "we will be asked to do even
harder things in the last days." Power corrupts.All I can
say is, power can have a corrupting influence, no matter what level one is in
the church. What I would like to know is, when a leader makes bad
judgement calls what recourse is there? There seems to be a "glass
ceiling" whereby the average church member has no power. The Church appears
to be "top-down" and zero "bottom-up."
Having just returned from an adult institute class here in town, I can say that
the scriptures and the words of modern-day prophets ARE the bedrock of the
I appreciate what's been said about political affiliation.As a
conservative Mormon from Utah, one of the best and smartest people I know holds
liberal political views. He is currently serving as a mission president.While I disagree with him politically, I believe his heart is in the
right place and I certainly don't think God loves him any less because he
views are different from mine.I think there is room for more
understanding and love from both sides of the isle in politics, especially among
members of the church.
So what are those few "bedrock" doctrines that can't change? And
why then have the bretheren not clarified this? The word of wisdom has changed,
so is that not a "bedrock" doctrine? So has polygamy, blacks and the
priesthood, and many others. So that leaves us with what as actual
"bedrock" doctrine? The seagulls story is nice, but so are
the three nephite tales, cain as bigfoot tales, john the revelator tales, and
other tales of mormon folklore. Most likely they aren't true but are just
that - folklore. I would caution anybody who even partially bases their
testimony on these flimsy stories - they aren't true.
With so much confusion over what is foundational, absolute "truth" and
what is not, it makes me wonder to what are Mormons referring when they say
"I know the Church is true"?What exactly is the Holy Ghost
"witnessing" about being "true"?I guess the
professional Public Relations firm the Church hired can come out with an
official statement on that matter?
LasvegaspamYou say that the scriptures and the modern-day prophets
words are the bedrock, but what if modern day prophets words contradict previous
prophets words in the scriptures??? The contradictions do exist.
What about the chain e-mails that get passed around wards and end up in talks?
Does anybody think to fact-check them before repeating or forward them? Most of
the time they are entirely or substantially false. It takes 2 seconds to
fact-check using snopes. Among the things my kids have been taught
by teachers in seminary or other church classes:"Great
calamities will befall CA if Prop 8 doesn't pass." (oh, really? now
you are a prophetess? thanks for injecting anxiety over something my child has
no control over)"There are no missionaries serving in San
Some great comments here. It's interesting that some of the "Utah
cultural" issues make their way out. For example in WA the young men in the
ward have to wear a suit to officiate in the sacrament service. I was just in
UT for my sons farewell and did not see that take place. The color
of the shirt, or the wearing of a suit does not determine the faithfulness of
the young man, nor does it take away the spirit of the ordinance. Just my
May it please the moderators: I understand that there is a
difference between bedrock principles and cultural norms. But it seems to this
apostate that it has become a bit too easy to chalk any and all mistakes, lies,
and inconsistencies up to misunderstanding on part of the membership.
What is meant when we say the church is true?That really is an
interesting question. There are many things I hold as truth:-My reliance and faith in Jesus Christ as my only pathway back to the
Father.-Covenants are a necessary part of my eternal salvation.-The Priesthood is a necessary component to the covenant making process
with God.-The priesthood is rightfully held and exercised within the
LDS church today.-That the Lord guides the LDS church through this
priesthood organization.So... When I say that I know the church is
true, It is based on those beliefs.Do I hold the church up as
flawless? Do I wait with baited breath to jump through every hoop a Bishop or
Stake President or any other leader chooses to throw at me? No. I
have had to learn to be forgiven of my own shortcomings. I have come to expect
this. BUT.....I also had to learn to forgive leaders
and the very church itself for their shortcomings. It has been
liberating. I feel that my involvement with the church has facilitated a
wonderful spiritual journey that has been very fulfilling!
Brahmabull,"....The word of wisdom has changed, so is that not a
"bedrock" doctrine? So has polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, and many
others. So that leaves us with what as actual "bedrock"
doctrine?"______________________________I cite two
essential components that define Mormonism and distinguish it from the rest of
Christianity. First is its conviction that it is the restored church and
restored gospel of Jesus. Second is its belief in the prophetic calling of
Joseph Smith. If you can’t accept some form of both of those claims,
there’s not much point in being a Mormon other than honoring tradition or
family legacy.The changes in church practices that have occurred may
affect Church doctrine over time. Mormonism is what we these days call a work in
What I get from this is that their are cultural and regional aspects which come
in to play. We all live according to the same commandments and covenants.Even some missionaries in Polynesia are directed to dress more like the
natives. People have different holidays which they celebrate; and as long as
alcohol or immorality isn't involved, there is no problem. The
religious leaders in the Savior's time tried to pin everyone down to an
exact specification of even how many steps a person could walk. Such rules had
nothing to do with doctrine and yet, we are all inclined to, in addition to
learning line by line -- adding line upon line of rules and regulations with the
excuse that they are preventing mis deeds. "I teach correct principals and
let them govern themselves" was Joseph Smith's explanation of why most
Mormon settlements seemed to run so smoothly.
The person from Bakersfield, CA (with multiple screen names) said:"It's your heritage, your religion. Own it and go with the flow. I
did for 40 years, until I was challenged to compare my shifting foundation to
the solid Biblical one."Which "solid Biblical one" did
you compare it to?The Pentatuch?The Torah?The Complete
Old Testament?The New Testament?The individual books of the New
Testment before they were put together as the New Testament?The Complete
Old and New Testament? (Hebrew or Greek?)The King James Version?The
New English Translation?Etc, etc, etc.And was that comparison
done with a Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.
understanding?Because depending upon which you used, would determine
the understanding you received. Is it your opinion that with all these versions
and interpretations of the Bible your current religious belief is still a
"solid Biblical one"?
@JoeBlow "Many Mormons, I suspect, feel a bit shaken when
something they’ve held as irrefutable is suddenly adjusted by the powers
that be.Adjusted by the powers that be is a perfect description.The powers that be certainly professed many things that future powers
that be looked back and called it the opinion of a fallible man.The
LDS are prolific note takers. They record everything. Past leaders made
countless statements that were certainly meant to be accepted as
"truth".And as hindsight is 20/20, and as our scientific
knowledge grows, or as societal norms change, adjustments to truth were
required." What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I
excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall
not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the
voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1:38)
@BYU Joe, You're right, you don't live in Zion so I guess
I'll take your advice and ignore your post.
@Tad,With all due respect brother, you are misinterpreting that
passage. Yes woman were apostles in the sense of the requirements found in Acts
(in fact Mary Magdalen would have been the 1st apostle) but they did not fill
the position of one of the 12 called with Priesthood authority. As one studies
the New Testament, it becomes clear that woman had a large role in the church
but never do we see them in hierarchical, ecclesiastical roles.
I am not going to be taken in by the well meaning but incorrect claims posted
here by people affiliated with the Church. They need to listen
carefully to people from outside the faith.
@ Truthseeker - SLO, CA - "An acquaintance told me recently about a Stake
Pres. who admonished the women in the Stake for wearing "open-toed"
shoes and not wearying pantyhose."I doubt VERY much that this is
true.Come on, this isn't 1922.Is it
'plausible'?Nope.Once again, an
UNsubstantiated rumor that makes LDS leaders look like fools.
A good friend, an active member of his singles ward, was told by his stake
president to shave his beard. Given that, I wouldn't be surprised by a
stake president who gave instructions about panty hose and open-toed shoes.
Being a stake president doesn't mean you can't say stupid things or
believe--and pass on--stupid beliefs. They're just people, after all.
re:DanMaloyThe person who told me is a very well respected leader in
our Stake. I'm sure there's a lot more
"interesting" stories out there. Believe it or not, LDS
leaders can come in all shapes/sizes with varying degrees of judgement just like
the real world.
I would have to disagree with your seminary teacher friend. I have had many
religious discussions lately those not of our faith. Those discussions have
reminded me just how many "core" doctrines there are in the gospel.
Just try answering some of their questions without teaching some of those "
core" doctrines. But my biggest concern is that too many people
in the church today believe that the gospel is more flexible than it really is.
The trend is to adopt worldly thought and beliefs. While wearing flip flops to
church might not cause someone to stray from the path, jumping on the
"politically correct" band wagon might. There needs to be a distinction
between non-doctrinal topics, such as what kind of shoes we should wear, and
core doctrine confusion such as the trend to push for women to be given the
priesthood. But even though teachings such as having only one ear
piercing may not seem like core doctrine, we show our level of obedience and
faith by how we react to such counsel when it is given. Is your purpose to
encourage people to ignore these kinds of council?
Building a solid testimony on true and trustworthy doctrine of the Church is a
worthy and necessary goal for every member. Thankfully, we can receive
conviction with the help of the Holy Ghost, but that will require study and
seeking for your lifetime. You will always be increasing doctrinal surety if you
read the standard works, listen to conference, and work to align your life to
that of Jesus Christ. I consider such effort to be the most important thing to
do to show your sincerity before God. The doctrine is for everyone in the world
who desires to believe. Joseph set the pattern with turning to prayer with
earnest seeking. As you do these things you can develop judgement as to what is
merely custom or passing fashion. Jerry was not attempting to say all there is
to say, but giving you something to prompt your own inquiry in this important
endeavor. We are never alone when we seek our Father's desire in our life!
@The Scientist "When the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency say
that, then maybe it can be taken as truth?"I believe in line
upon line and precept upon precept. Hearing truth is not the same as
understanding truth. Things that are taught are interpreted prematurely or
without complete understanding all the time. Just like science.
Living in absolutes leads to the dark side - Obi One; Jedi MasterThe
Book of Mormon warns of those that have "stiff-necks". We should look at
things from many points of views with a neck that can turn.
Ah, "cultural mormonism".Having lived outside of Utah for
all but one of my 52 years, I indeed have seen that "Happy Valley
Mormonism" is a culture, one that has been exported, to varying degrees.Here in Dallas, we have an eclectic LDS mix - Texas native 1st and
2nd-generation converts, Utah LDS transplants and non-Utah LDS transplants. So
we see various LDS cultures.Is it forbidden to let a service
technician in the home if the Dad is not present?Do you HAVE to have 8
pass the sacrament if there are only 100 in attendance in August because 1/2 the
congregation are on their annual pilgrimage to (mecca) "Zion"?Does
the Bishopric HAVE to keep their suits on in church when it's 105 degrees
outside and the AC fails?Luckily we have an accepting, loving ward
with a variety of cultures, races, backgrounds.I was once asked to
speak to the 11-yr-old boys at a Priesthood Preview. I thought the
Bishop's head would explode when I started out, "Do you have to wear a
white shirt? NO."But I diffused with, "Now let me tell you why
you might WANT to"....
Fred in Okla City, c'mon out to 'Oklahoma West' and we'll
answer your questions. You might wanna 'peer into a hat' though; your
crystal ball has too many bodies in one person. Very similar to JS's
misunderstanding that modalism is the definition of the Biblical Triune God,
'all stuffed into one large person'... Families share
computers, not screen names; evangelical Protestants share Gospel doctrines, not
their traditions; Born-Again believers share the new spiritual birth, but not
necessarily the same ecclesia. Visit any Bible Belt preacher who honors a
literal, innerant Word of God for verification. FYI: The Pentateuch
(Latin, Five Books) is the Torah (Heb, Law: Genesis-Deuteronomy).The New
reveals the Old Testament fulfilled. Choose either to examine, but only both
together will be God's complete Word.And all NT books point to Christ
and His Bride. That is the millenia-long bedrock of Biblical Christianity.A hard sell, but Biblical followers are called to defend God's pure
Word, in gentleness and love (Peter, Timothy, Jude). That is not an attack or
bash, but a reasoned defense per the Apostle Paul.
LDS Liberal,I'm throwing in the towel after two pages of comments, so
I don't know if someone has already addressed your "concern." Just
because something isn't against the Word of Wisdom doesn't mean that
it isn't reasonable to want to avoid it (i.e. added caffeine) as part of an
everyday beverage. FYI, Barq's Root Beer is available with and without
caffeine. There is so much sugar and flavoring in soda pop that the caffeine
does nothing with respect to the flavor of any of these beverages. That is why
several brands of root beer and orange pop are produced both ways, without any
label difference beyond the fine-print list of ingredients.Try not to be
quite so smug. It tends to give liberals a bad name.
@ Truthseeker - SLO, CA - re:DanMaloy "The person who told me is a very well
respected leader in our Stake. I'm sure there's a lot more
"interesting" stories out there. Believe it or not, LDS leaders can
come in all shapes/sizes with varying degrees of judgement just like the real
world."Have you ever heard of the 'telephone game'?You stand in a circle and one person whispers something into the
person's ear next to them. That person in turns whispers what they THINK
they heard into the next person's ear and so on around the circle until the
last person says out loud to the group what they heard from the second to last
person.Invariably, what the last person says out loud to the group
makes the first person bust out laughing.Why?Because
what the first person ACTUALLY said to the second person was NOTHING at all like
what got passed to the last person.Get my point?Again, I
say what was (supposedly) said about open toed shoes and pantyhose most likely
did NOT happen at all or was greatly misunderstood.Possible?
Filo Doughboy,“....Biblical followers are called to defend
God's pure Word, in gentleness and love (Peter, Timothy, Jude). That is not
an attack or bash, but a reasoned defense per the Apostle Paul."______________________________Is that the same Paul who after
seeing the light on the road to Damascus took the fury he once heaped on
followers of Jesus and redirected it against Jewish law? It seems the need to
bash was the one thing about Paul that went unaltered by his great epiphany.
Mormons and fundamentalists seem to share a mutual selectivity in interpreting
Paul. Some might even call that common ground.
re:DanMalloyI took it upon myself to do an internet search.From Meridian Magazine, "The Proclamation on the Pantyhose"
8/31/2011:"I recently met a lady from the mainland when we were both
doing presentations at BYU-Hawaii. Talk turned to life in the islands, and she
asked me how I enjoyed living in paradise. Among other things, I mentioned that
one of the first things I had done when I moved here was ditch all my pantyhose,
a welcome change. In response she told me that in her stake in Utah the stake
president had made a request that all sisters from then on wear pantyhose to
their Sunday meetings. I asked her how that dictum had been accepted.""most likely did not happen"Because you weren't
there to witness it? I understand you are incredulous. Hard to
believe. The person who told me said she was told it by a friend who lived in
the stake where it happened. She told me how her friend came to the decision of
whether to conform or resist the policy.
No, Craig Clark. Not even close to the former zealot Saul,/Shaul, the
"unsaved" non-spiritually-birthed "Pharisee of Pharisees", tribe
of Benjamin executioner. That Torah/law self-appointed Taliban mercenary was
tracking infidels, if you will, into Syria. And that aspect of his dogma was
not scriptural; it was man-made tradition. As Jesus often said, "You have
heard, but it is written..."That Paul had a radical encounter
with the risen Jesus Christ. "Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder
against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest and asked letters
from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the
Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem." (Acts
9:1-2)You really need to read all his letters to see his total
transformation. But a caveat is in order:Beware reading God's
Word, lest you are touched by His Spirit and powerfully transformed into one of
His followers. That is what happened to many of us who were bent on defending
our beliefs and took that dangerous foray into the Word of God, "living and
Can anybody answer if the word of wisdom is a core doctrine? If so why has it
changed since the time it was revealed? What about the temple ceremony? it has
changed too. Please clarify.
@brahmabull, Assuming you are asking sincerely...to answer your
question, no the word of wisdom is in no way a core doctrine. Parts of the
temple ceremony are absolutely doctrine and other parts are cosmetic to
encapsulate the core doctrines that are present. In many ways there are very few
"doctrines": these would include the atonement, the priesthood, the plan
of salvation... They don't change. Principles attached to core doctrines
are universally applicable and therefore from time to time adapted for greater
application. The word of wisdom and parts if the temple ceremony would fall
under this later category.
This back and forth about the pantyhose is exactly what this article is about.
Sometimes local leaders can go a little far in their ideas about what is
appropriate by recommending things beyond what the Church asks. Whether someone
chooses to adhere to those and whether that means they are or are not sustaining
their local leaders should be a personal matter between them and God. We should
not judge this person if we feel the leader is correct/incorrect. As for
bedrock principles - the word of wisdom is not an eternal principle but is
"sent greeting; not by commandmen...Given for a principle with promise
adapted to the capacity of the weak..." It is proclaimed in the very
scripture itself that it is adaptable.The Temple ceremonies have changed
over the years but the changes within have not affected the bedrock principles
of the Church.
It's crystal clear that many people don't understand the difference
between policy, opinion, and doctrine.White shirts are not and have
never been doctrine. There is logic and commonsense to asking them to wear white
shirts. Pantyhose wearing is not doctrine. Never has been, never
will be. It's some misguided soul thinking he has received revelation on
the matter when he hasn't.Facial hair is not doctrine. Never has
been, never will be. Same as above.I find it interesting that LDS
folks don't really know the differences. Those who have left the church and
those who aren't members won't understand them. Keeping
the commandments, prayer, tithing, the Resurrection, the Atonement are all core
doctrines. Just as the New Testament supplanted the Old Testament so new
revelation supplants older revelations. The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the earth.
That's what I refer to when I say the church is true.California
is NOT the "mission field" and is just a quirky as any other place. Good
try though!I KNOW it! I LOVE it! I LIVE it! Everyone should!
Spider RicoIf the word of wisdom isn't a core doctrine then it
shouldn't be required to enter the temple. And if the temple ceremonies
have changed, but the doctrine around them haven't changed then why did
they change them? It seems to me if Joseph Smith wrote them down just as god
revealed them to him then there would be no reason to change them. Doesn't
@CharlesThat you KNOW the church is true is still only your opinion.
It only means it is true in your mind, not actually factually true. Remember,
fact Vs. opinion.
I like Jerry Johnston's columns a lot. I thought this was a good one, but I
would be interested in perhaps a future article could go a little deeper into
this subject with a few more examples. I've personally never heard anything
about sandals not being appropriate foot wear in church. At any rate, I
appreciated this article and would like to know more in a future article.
For those that miss understood my comment about the "Mission Field" - I
was not calling it that - I was point in out that people in Utah often call
every place not in Utah the "Mission Field" - Which I find goofy.I was pointing out that too often people in the Great State of Utah
think that it is Zion. I love the state and hate the idea that people come
there because they like it and then immediately want to change it - but it is
not zion and not all things done in UT translate beyond its borders. Hence the
idea of regional or cultural difference.
@Brahmabull,Your comment only illustrates what was recently posted. There
are misunderstandings as to what a core doctrine is and what isn't. You
apparently misunderstand the concept of obedience to commandments, of which the
Word of Wisdom is one. Obedience is required to enter the temple, and those who
cannot obey cannot stand the requirements and covenants of the temple. Temple
ceremonies have changed, that is true, but the changes do not involve changing
the ordinances, only the manner and time of delivery. If I remember correctly,
you have made it clear that you are not a member, so it really shouldn't
matter to you if that is the case. It all boils down to this: if this is the
Lord's Church, then you aren't going to change it. If it isn't,
what is done or taught doesn't matter. Elder Hallstrom said it best when he
separated the testimony of the Gospel, and the testimony of the Church. We
attend church to strengthen our testimony of the Gospel.
I couldn't have put it better Jack
@silverprospector:How arrogant can you be? I'm sure you
didn't realize it but you just arrogantly told me what I know or don't
know. Can you explain how you can tell me what I know of don't know?
Exactly, it's impossible for you to tell me what I know or don't
know.When I say I know something, I know it. No need to apologize
but you might want to be careful in telling others what they do or don't
know. @BYU Joe: I'm not sure you know what the definition of
Zion actually is. You might want to do some homework and understand that Zion
can be anywhere. As for the rest of your diatribe, it's actually people
like you who project your bias on those who live in Utah and make claims that
people in Utah never make. Utah definitely has it's own LDS
culture and it is by ward, stake and city in the state. But so does California,
Idaho, AZ and every other place that has members. I think you have some
self-reflection to do before you insult an entire state again.
@CharlesI wasn't trying to offend you. I was stating that even
though you say you know the church is true, it is still your opinion. I make no
apologies for that statement as I am trying to illustrate something. I have
heard many catholics say they KNOW their church is true as well. I have heard
many people from other faiths claims the same thing. So can they all be true?
Are all the other people wrong about their knowledge that their religion is true
while you are right? It is an opinion. Nobody KNOWS, they may believe very
strongly, but they can't all know because then all religions would have to
be true because they all claim to know. Know and belive aren't
interchangeable. And as much as you know it is true, I know it isn't true.
How does that work?
Brahmabull "Can anybody answer if the word of wisdom is a core doctrine? If
so why has it changed since the time it was revealed? What about the temple
ceremony? it has changed too. Please clarify."It's not as
hard as you think.The Word of Wisdom is scripture. I believe
interpreting was supposed to be up to the individual. However, cultural bias
seeped in and the people demanded a strict line to judge others...what about
caffeine? what about ice tea? what if I drink my soup? Finally the Church drew a
line and put it into the Church Handbook; no coffee, no black tea. The Saints
dumbed their own law. Something to be learned here about the danger of cultural
bias.As for the temple ceremony; I think most is instruction led by
the current prophet. I hope to see a time when we as a people will be ready for
a 15 minute or less session. Change is inevitable and does not shake my faith.
Silverprospector -- "KNOW" may perhaps be a term subject to semantics.
So let me be clear in saying of my use of the word "KNOW" that it is
different from saying "I believe" or "in my opinion." In terms
of the LDS "Church" there is a mixture of the three, as well as
regional, cultural and current things which I don't believe or which are in
my opinion unnecessary, wrong or just goofy. Actually the same applies to
secular education as mankind learns and changes paradigms every terrestrial
orbit of the sun.Speaking of that giant flaming orb, I KNOW it
doesn't move relatively speaking and that it "rises" every morning
and "sets" every night, whether we see it or it is obscured by clouds or
eclipse or I never go outside, because the earth is spinning. I also KNOW that
God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, and that,
though evolving and in many ways imperfect, the LDS church is in the fact His
church, THE CHURCH. I also KNOW there are more good people outside that church
than in it -- in other faiths and no faith at all.
Silverprospector -- Just to clarify, this isn't an opinion; it is an
observation of fact that I know. You're wrong when you state that
"nobody knows."But you are correct in saying that there are
people that say they know something that isn't so. These are opinions and,
in cases of genuine expressions, delusions. People are naturally and innocently
insecure, desiring to find answers and cling to them. And being wrong
isn't evil -- unless intentional (that exists, too).You
don't KNOW "it isn't true." Which is it with you? Delusion,
overstatement or deception? Because I "KNOW" this is the Savior's
Church I can accept that you maybe don't know that yet. I know some people
can function with just strongly believing that. But I also know some people
When Elder Richard G. Scott of the Twelve (who, by the way, cautioned our stake
conference in 1992 that many members would be surprised how few bedrock,
unchangeable absolutes there are in our faith) encouraged us to abandon those
cultural elements that conflict with the Gospel, I began thinking what some of
those might be for an American like me. I came up with pride (USA! USA!
We're number one!), lust for vengeance (the person who did this to me must
pay!), pursuit of material wealth (what we call the "American dream" is
100% temporal), the unfortunate flip side of our otherwise laudable work ethic
(I will withhold my charity, as this man has brought his misery upon himself),
and our worship of worldly acclaim and a pre-defined standard of beauty
(celebrity magazine hottest/sexiest proclamations). I've done my best to
change these and other culturally based failings in myself ever since.
Although he speaks in vagueries, at least this author is cognizant of cultural
Mormonism and feels the need to point out how contradictory it is to many
genuine gospel teachings. As a non-Utahan convert, there has thankfully never
been any confusion about these matters to me. I have met or spoken with many for
whom there has been though—and many, sadly, leave the Church because of