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Comments about ‘Mormonism and Asia conference explores growth, cutural diversity’

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Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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garybeac
Chapel Hill, NC

I'm worried that we don't have our house enough in order to preach the restored gospel to people from deeply different cultures. The information age has changed the paradigm. The history of the Church that the missionaries convey with childlike simplicity persuades people of good will, but the converts' gradual-but-inevitable discovery of real and verifiable facts about Joseph's mistakes, the ramblings of Brigham Young, and the personal opinions of present Church leaders may come as hard surprises, disappointments that may cast doubt on the actual truths they've been taught. Jonah was a prophet when he was called to preach to Nineveh, but was he still a prophet when he got on a boat instead? That's a question we need to answer about modern-day prophets when they've demonstrated their human weaknesses. Most missionaries are very young; they should be going abroad to learn rather than to teach. We should all reconsider our roles, from Church leaders to member missionaries.

michael.jensen369
Lethbridge, 00

@garybeac

I respectfully disagree. The accusations made against Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, etc., have been around for many decades, nothing there has really changed. If sincere investigators seek out personal revelation and act on it, their faith and testimonies will cast out any doubts they might have. The gospel message is not embraced by the cynical doubters or the proud. It is embraced by the honest and pure in heart, and they are the ones who hear the voice of the Good Shephard, and follow Him. We have living prophets on the earth. We don't have to worry about things that we have no control over.

quantumleap42
CHAPEL HILL, NC

Gary, I think there is a strength to our theology that is not always easy to see, but can have profound effects on making it easy to relate to those of different cultures. I do not think that cultural barriers are the biggest impediment to our ability to share the gospel with others. For example, despite the fact that we have several thousand years of shared history and culture the Church struggles in countries like Greece and Sweden. But is flourishing in countries like Ghana, and has immeasurable potential in countries like China.

If there are cultural barriers then the best way for us to cross that barrier is through the simple messages. After all the other trials and tests of new member's faith I don't think that learning the complexity of our history will do much to shake their faith any more than it has done to shake mine.

In any event, I hope you are well and I'll see you on Sunday.

thorsted
Orem, UT

One of the messages presented at this conference is the idea our message has many similarities with Asian culture. This allows for a easy acceptance of some gospel principles. I really enjoyed the comparisons of Mormonism and Buddhism. Great conference.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

The beauty of the gospel is that it easily lends itself to all cultures and appreciates all cultures. The spirit testifies to the pure in heart and has NO cultural barriers.

mhenshaw
Leesburg, VA

Two thoughts -- first, anyone who wants to focus on Joseph Smith's mistakes need only look to the Doctrine and Covenants to see where the Lord called him out for his errors and mistakes and commanded him to repent. Joseph always admitted readily that he wasn't perfect and he never shied away from including the Lord's rebukes of him in the the published revelations.

Second, I've always found it interesting that people (especially critics of the LDS Church) can readily accept such "human moments" in ancient prophets--even celebrate how they came back stronger from them--but can't do the same for modern leaders. But anyone who accepts that Christ was the only perfect person can hardly condemn modern prophets and other church leaders for occasionally falling short. Even the best people are still fallible humans who have their bad days. The Lord knew it would be so and He called them to His work anyway.

InspectorC
Wasatch Front, UT

@ Garybeac ---

So, what issues that you've mentioned (above) does the LDS Church need to "have... in order" before it is qualified to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Asian countries? Joseph's shortcomings? Brigham's "ramblings"? Present church leaders "disappointments" (whatever that is)? "Missionaries... childlike simplicity"?

The Church and its leaders, missionaries and members NEVER HAS been "perfect", and yet look at how that great stone cut from the mountain HAS rolled forward, and is filling the earth!

Conversion (i.e., faith, testimony, belief) is NOT based on historical facts or intellectual comparisons.

And when you say that missionaries should be "going to learn... rather than teach", that flies in direct opposition to what the Savior Himself said, "Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach..".

So, I hope that any who are conflicted between their beliefs/faith and their intellectual analysis can humbly resolve the differences in their mind and heart.

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