I enjoyed my experiment with Mormonism and sexism so much that I decided to do the same with Mormonism and racism.
The results were remarkably similar.
One thing making this video got me thinking about was the light of Christ. In LDS scripture, the light of Christ is characterized not only as the force that animates all living things, but as the “the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”[i] Mormon teaches that the Spirit of Christ allows all men to know good from evil.[ii]
What this sounds like to me is a conscience. If that’s the case, then I assume it is also the source of our personal moral compass and our most deeply held, intrinsic moral convictions. And, according to the Bible Dictionary, it is also what leads us to the true and living Church of Christ on the earth.
Now all of that is fine and dandy up to a certain point. But what happens when the doctrine or policy or whatever-you-want-to-call-it of this true and living Church seem to clash with the force that led someone to it in the first place? What happens when prophetic teachings and the light of Christ start playing dueling banjos in my brain? What happens when aspects of the Church pit someone against their own conscience? To me, that’s where the theological rubber meets the road.
There are many whose response is “Easy. Follow the Prophet.” And in many ways, I admire their ability to table a troubling idea in favor of the larger belief. The issue I have with that answer, though, is that it presupposes that the initial conclusion you were led to by the light of Christ—i.e. the Church is true and therefore the Prophet is the mouthpiece of God—is correct. However, if a source of information and the intrinsic force that led you to believe that source was correct are at odds with each other, how can you be sure you were headed in the right direction to begin with? If one truth leads to another and then they come in conflict, how can you have any reference point to determine which one trumps the other?
But maybe I’m taking an overly narrow view here. Maybe the purpose of a Prophet isn’t necessarily having someone that gets it all right but just having someone in charge. And the blessings of following the Prophet are some sort of obedience bonus rather than an effect of him pointing us in the exact “right” direction all the time. So if we nod our heads and say “Amen” and put aside the needling apprehension, God gives us the obedience bump in our spiritual stats. It makes sense, in a way.
I have to ask, though: if that’s the case, what’s the lesson God’s trying to teach us? Does He value conformity over adherence to moral convictions? How does that empower us to become like Him?
I dunno. I’m just some guy with a laptop.