We hear the phrase “cafeteria Mormon” thrown around a lot for those that “pick and chose” what teaching and/or beliefs they espouse. I firmly fall into this definition. But I maintain that all Mormons are cafeteria Mormons. I also think that the Institutional LDS church practices a “cafeteria style” approach to what they enforce and what they let slide.
For “institutional cafeteriaism” (yup, I just made that up) the one example that jumps out at me is Christ’s injunction that anybody that puts his wife away for divorce, save it be for fornication, has himself commented adultery (Matthew 19:9) . We all know somebody in church that has a divorce for something other than fornication, yet they had no disciplinary action taken against them. I know of no official prophetic proclamation that does away with Christ’s words in the New Testament. The LDS church just ignores it, like passing by the broccoli in the serving line.
Another example is D&C 89. Again, the institutional church has completely passed on the “vegetables” (literally and figuratively) ignoring the first verse completely, and then picking and choosing (sound familiar) what they will and won’t enforce. If in fact the past or current prophetic leadership has received direction from on high to change section 89, why haven’t they changed the words and had us vote on it?
What other examples have you seen of this institutional cafeteriaism? What ways does the church, through policy or practice pick and choose what it will enforce, contrary to canonized scripture?