Update 9/7/18: On Friday, September 7th, Facebook user Michael Benjamin reported that President Nelson’s quote about the exclusion policy is being removed from this year’s Doctrinal Mastery Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Teacher Material. The quote has already been removed on the website version of the document, replaced with a quote from President Nelson’s April 2018 General Conference address, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives.” The document has not been changed in the Gospel Library app or downloadable PDF form, though that is anticipated soon.
This year’s crop of seminary students will learn about how prophets receive revelation by studying the creation of the November 2015 exclusion policy. In the new Doctrinal Mastery Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Teacher Material, seminary teachers are instructed to share President Russell M. Nelson’s January 2016 statement during the Prophets and Revelation lesson (Part 1). In that, Nelson explains how leaders came to embrace the exclusion policy as the divine solution to a “thorny problem.” (It’s even suggested that teachers print out the statement so students have their own hard copy).
I’m assuming that seminary teachers will also explain how this monumental revelation was revealed to the rest of the Church. Not by special announcement or via general conference. Nope, modern-day revelation is revealed by people leaking updates to secret handbooks on social media, followed by the scrambling of Church leaders and public affairs responding to media inquiries. Welcome to the latter days.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time someone has tried to put Nelson’s exclusion-policy-as-revelation statement in the seminary curriculum. As I reported two years ago, Nelson’s statement initially appeared in the Doctrinal Mastery New Testament Teacher Material when the Doctrinal Mastery program was brand new. Within a few months, that statement was removed as well as statements indicating the temple and priesthood ban was divinely inspired. If you compare the two screen captures, you can tell that the current 2018 instructions and questions surrounding Nelson’s statement is based heavily on the redacted 2016 material (Segment 6, shown below).
But, realistically, what did curriculum writers have to work with? President Oaks recently shared in general conference the “revelatory process” whereby the brethren developed the Family Proclamation, but a year-long revelation-by-committee isn’t very exciting. There’s a really cool account by Elder Bruce R. McConkie on how the brethren received a confirming witness for the June 1978 revelation, but that’s a private document that MormonLeaks obtained via ethically questionable means. The brethren are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to how they receive revelation. President Dallin H. Oaks once explained to a group in Boise that church leaders keep spiritual experiences close to the chest because, with modern technology, private statements can be broadcast to the world. They don’t want to “cast pearls before swine.” Of course, the only reason I know of Oaks’ explanation is because someone leaked a recording of that meeting online.
However, there is a bright side to Nelson’s statement popping up in the seminary curriculum. Just as students will see in their study of the Doctrine & Covenants and Church history, revelation comes from provocation (Ordain Women likes President Hinckley’s wording of “agitation”). The brethren wrestle with “thorny” issues, prompting their looking to the heavens for solutions. Nelson indicated that this was the case for the 2012 missionary age-change, which is not something I realized when President Monson made the announcement. It seemed to come out of the blue, but clearly church leaders were trying to fix something.
Question: What do you think about seminary students basing their understanding of prophetic revelation on the exclusion policy?
For most of the students where I live and seminary starts at 5:45, they won’t be awake enough to even realize what is being talked about. For any that are awake it will be one more bit of cognitive dissonance of, “why does my church seem so divergent on how I view gay people?”.
Last I understood, from Jana Riess’ Sept 3, 2016 post, that stuff was in and out and back in and then finally out of seminary curriculum. See the post titled “Watch the Mormon seminary curriculum transform before your very eyes!” Do I understand correctly that it’s now back in?
We often run out of time for DM topics. That day, it will be by design.
And maybe I’ll have my gay son stay home that day.
Yep, it’s back in. Currently on lds.org and in the Gospel Library app. https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrinal-mastery-doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-teacher-material/prophets-and-revelation-part-1?lang=eng
All of the 2016 changes refer to the Doctrinal Mastery New Testament Teacher Material. Seminary students are studying Doctrine & Covenants this year.
Revelation was given on how to deal with children in Same Sex Households. Why not teach the students how revelation is obtained by apostles and prophets on these kinds of matters?
One thing I have learned, those who don’t have experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that church leaders and others do.
In my experience, those who have lots of experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that the God who orders the prophets around is a worse person than the one who gave us our conscience.
Mormons believe in personal revelation until it says something different from everyone else’s. Then they’re just as incredulous as a Reddit atheist.
Jared, the statement was controversial enough to be removed from the 2016 seminary curriculum. Whatever reason caused it’s removal in the 2016 manual appears to be moot in 2018. That’s intriguing. Also, even if you’re fine with the exclusion policy as revelation, it still seems weird to use THAT as the model of modern revelation given how botched the roll-out was. When we think of modern-day revelation, I would think most people would think of the 1978 revelation lifting the priesthood ban long before the exclusion policy. I mean, the 1978 declaration has actually been canonized.
I think the process described is accurate and therefore should be taught. I object to the answer given to the second question at the bottom which states in part “… we can follow their example to prepare our hearts to receive confirming revelation.” It implies the answer will be “confirming revelation”. That would only be true if the revelation being pondered is correct. This is incomplete doctrine. We also have the right and responsibility to seek direct revelation from the Lord to know if something is not right. President Faust reminds us the following:
The responsibility for determining the divine validity of what one of the oracles of God states does not rest solely upon him. President J. Reuben Clark stated, “We can tell when the speakers are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’ only when we, ourselves, are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’” (Daniel H. Yarn, Jr., ed., J. Reuben Clark: Selected Papers on Religion, Education, and Youth, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1984, pp. 95–96.)
This is in harmony with the counsel of Brigham Young: “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.” (In Journal of Discourses, 9:150.)
To me it indicates that the person who put this curriculum together really believes that it was a revelation. Unfortunately the Q15 probably are not all on the same page on every issue and the people that put this stuff together have the most job security if they stick to the script and sustain the current prophet. It would be hard to have that job and try to determine what to prioritize and what examples to use. This one might turn out to be a bad example if the policy is changed in the near future. It might cause people to wonder why God is changing his mind from one prophet to the next and then it might cause some people to think these guys are just making it up as they go. Aside from the content of this particular revelation, I like the process of the Q15 of them getting together and hammering out an issue. In theory it should lead to fewer mistakes. Here is a great example of that.
I think the mission age change had to do with the number of priests who were not being ordained elders and not going on missions. They should have good numbers on whether the age change made any difference. I am curious to know if anyone has those numbers, please share.
I went to a training a few years ago and the visiting 70 had numbers of how many baptized boys were ordained deacons, what percentage of those advanced to teacher, priest, and elder. I wish I would have written the numbers down, but the percentages dropped with each advancement.
Reaction 1: You’ve got to be kidding!
Reaction 2: The obvious, President Nelson is in charge now, we know what he thinks/thought, and we have a long history of over-weighting things that now-presidents said when they weren’t president.
Reaction 3: If this is the way we describe the process, it also suggests that change is easy. Heavily reinforcing “what we say now” creates some cognitive dissonance but also a nimble organization. What if the “thorny problem” becomes that a lot of people don’t like the Exclusion Policy? Can we change it just as quietly and easily?
I’d better warn my kiddos. We have an outspoken youth group and I feel a bit sorry for the teacher stuck trying to defend the pox. Most of our youth have gay and transgender friends and family. When our bishop tried to do a special discussion with the youth on the topic, it turned into a bunch of yelling and screaming.
The church must be aware that this is a hot topic for youth. Is the goal less about how revelation works and more about convincing the kids the church’s stance is right?
Jared you state “One thing I have learned, those who don’t have experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that church leaders and others do.”
Conversely, those who have experience with the process recognize it isn’t perfect and therefore know leaders won’t be perfect at it.
I’ve worked with Bishops and Stake Presidents and their councils. They use the same revelatory process described by President Nelson. Sometimes they wind up wrong. There isn’t anything magical about becoming a general authority that suddenly makes them infallible.
I believe – and I’m sure a lot won’t – that Pres Nelson was for the most part truthful in his account of how the POX came to be. I believe he was explaining a general process and not what actually happened.
I point to Elder Christoffersons embarrassing and awkward “press conference” in the aftermath of the policys’ release which did not allude to any of that. He had the opportunity and should have said it then, but didn’t.
If his is the “gold standard” to use their phrase, I believe it to be fools gold.
I meant to say untruthful…
Have to say I found Pres Nelson’s description of what happened highly implausible. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now. And am beyond weary that it’s yet again found it’s way into the seminary curriculum…
I hope the seminary teachers include stories from scriptures and church history that show that despite best efforts to access the Divine will…leaders may have to go back several trips to get brass plates before they get it right … Or that kirtland banks just flat out fail sometimes despite efforts for revelation.
Sometimes they just are wrong for years and years, but they have good hearts and will course correct when it can no longer be avoided to do so (as in polygamy and in 1978).
Revelation is a process, not an event.
Whilst I accept my children’s responsibility for their own self-management, it was this issue that prompted, and maintains my compassionate and human son’s distaste and withdrawal from church. Certainly in Europe this is seen as acted out homophobia, and our intelligent and thoughtful youth do not want to be associated with it. And actually it would cost me my profession, as it would my son, were he to be preaching it.
I’d hope the church would have the sense to let this just take it’s place in history, but here it is front stage for our youth to be offended by.How many more of our best youth have to have this thrust down their throats and choke on it?
Our poor seminary teachers. We lost one after the last course of church history, a lifetime member who has been valiant against every kind of fiery trial. Trying to justify/explain that stuff to our youth as she was expected was too much and she burnt out.
What is the point of this? I’m sure there must be many more benign and less controversial incidents of revelation upon which our tender youth can cut their milk teeth.
I support this imperfect policy. I believe it was based upon a legitimate revelatory experience. The policy works well with children in polygamous households. I have witnessed that. The policy helped stabilize the situation in those cases. Many polygamist offspring join the church after reaching maturity. The policy does not deny love and fellowship to the offspring of polygamist families. It should not deny love and friendship to any child. It does establish a space for maturation so there is not a war between the doctrines of the church and the teachings of the parents. Is the policy perfect? No. Do I understand that some of my fellow members have concerns about this policy? Definitely. I believe this calls for a mature discussion with our youth. They need to know that church policies may be both inspired and imperfect.
Will the seminary teachers mention to their students that all revelation must be vetted by the Kirton McConkie law firm?
Mary Ann — thanks for the link to the McConkie paper on the 1978 revelation. It’s really astounding. Why in the world doesn’t the Church make that public?
As to the main topic of this thread: just underscores that my children will not be attending seminary, for this and many other reasons.
I see your point: if a revelation debuts clumsily then it can not (might not) be revelation. This is an interesting premise. How does it measure up with what is taught in scripture? Are there examples of revelation that came to BofM prophets that were accomplished awkwardly? I recall one at the moment: Lehi’s example of leaving Jerusalem for the promised land has many examples that lacked elegance. Consider the attempts to acquire the Brass Plates from Laban.
The Book of Mormon and other scripture present many examples of humankind implementing revelation clumsily. We believe prophets are fallible, but when they are, we cry, that’s not prophetic. Revelation should come and be presented with perfection because it came from God.
Scripture teach and showcases that there is opposition in all things. But we resist this gospel principle tooth and nail. We want the apostles and prophets to act with grace and precision in every detail, otherwise we murmurer and complain. The so called “exclusion policy” is another example of this.
You bring up an important question: Prophets are fallible, so how can we trust their revelations? How does the Book of Mormon answer this question? Can you or anyone else following this thread think of an example from the Book of Mormon that helps with this question?
Jared – don’t confine your answers to the Book of Mormon. A more recent and relevant example is how the Church got it wrong on blacks and the priesthood. Only need one example of getting it wrong to show it happens.
LDS_Aussie pointed “to Elder Christoffersons embarrassing and awkward “press conference” in the aftermath of the policys’ release which did not allude to any of that. He had the opportunity and should have said it then, but didn’t.” As nearly as I have been able to discover, there also have been no public statements by any of the Q15 confirming Elder Nelson’s assertion that the November Policy came by revelation. This is in significant contrast to the public statements by a number of the then Q15 on the 1978 revelation. In this case, it currently seems most reasonable to me to suppose that silence means disagreement.
I would hope that a knowledgeable or responsible seminary teacher in teaching about “revelation” would also refer to the writings of J. Reuben Clark, Jr. on the subject, quoted in part by Elder Christofferson in his April 2012 conference address. President Clark’s comments were specifically directed to seminary and institute teachers, published, at least in part in the Church News, and acknowledged among other things that “the announcement by high authority of incorrect doctrines, is not new.” and that “The Church will know by the testimony of the Holy Ghost in the body of the members, whether the brethren in voicing their views are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’; and in due time that knowledge will be made manifest.” I hope that “due time” is not too long delayed.
Question: What do you think about seminary students basing their understanding of prophetic revelation on the exclusion policy?
It’s obvious to me that it will backfire. In primaries around the world, a big deal is made when a child is baptized. Children are quick to observe that everyone was baptized except (child of LGBTQ parents). They will not favor the “wisdom” of exclusion over the hurtful exclusion they see in front of their face. They think it’s just plain mean.
It’s hard to witness this around me. They’re good children who want prophetic guidance. But they do not and will not tolerate this type of teaching.
My guess is that either the students will eyeroll and disengage from the conversation, or they will push back heavily and the conversation will turn ugly.
Dave C –
When the faithful follow the prophets and things go wrong (for whatever reason) the Lord owns the problem because their his representatives. The Lord will use what went wrong for his purposes. This is taught in scripture.
Those who are having a crisis of faith in this day and lose faith haven’t paid the price to understand God’s dealings. Prayerful study of the scriptures provides insight and answers to the conundrums of our day, including the priesthood ban. That’s why you are not seeing GA leaving the church. However, I expect we will see a few GA’s leave at some point, but the vast majority have acquired the gift of the Holy Ghost and have paid the price to understand God’s dealings.
This is all taught in the Book of Mormon. I’m not pulling this out of the air and expressing it as my opinion.
Jared, Is there a way to express your testimony without turning it into a judgment on others? e.g., “Those who are having a crisis of faith … haven’t paid the price to understand God’s dealings.” Is there a danger of misjudgment when we turn our personal experience of revelation/scripture/etc. into a generalization purportedly applicable to all? I wonder if it might be useful to allow God the space to deal with us as individuals.
Jared – JR said what I would like to say far nicer than me, but you’re going to get both versions.
As someone who gave 45 years faithful service to the church – in every single calling imaginable including Branch President for five years and finally on the high council, as someone who faithfully served and worked my arse off on my mission, as someone who gave up family and friends, as someone who gave up tens of thousands of dollars, whose wife sacrificed her health and body giving birth to four beautiful children and miscarrying several others, as someone who bore firm testimony of the truth of the gospel and as someone who felt a close connection to God….. yet I went through a “faith crisis and lost my faith”.
Mate – I have been where you are, but you have not been where I am. Do not assume you know. Do not presume to know what it feels like and what gets someone to the point of losing everything they once held dear. Do not think that “paying the price” – whatever that is – is sufficient to stay in the church.
The pseudo psychological / spiritual dribble that leaks from your phone or keyboard wreaks of a moral development that hasn’t got pst the good boy / bad boy stage.
It is people like you and arguments like yours that I know for a fact are primary reasons why some people find it difficult to go back to church. Like this faith crisis is my fault and I just didn’t (insert some of your arguments here) hard enough.
Kinda reminds me of the saying “beatings will continue until morale improves”.
I’m continually judged as making judgments of others. You just did it thinking I am elevating myself, bearing testimony. That’s not what I am doing. I’m very aware of my failings. What I am doing is using scripture and the teachings of the living prophets in my comments and post. My comments in the bloggernacle are scripture centric, not ego centric.
As you are probably very aware, the scriptures are used sparingly in the bloggernacle. Why is that? Here is a scripture that I think is useful in answer this question.
1 BEHOLD, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength as you ought.
2 But your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded.
3 Wherefore, you are left to inquire for yourself at my hand, and ponder upon the things which you have received.
(D&C 30:1 – 3)
I read you comment after writing my last.
I’ll explain how I think of you and others who feel as you do. I respect your right to feel as you do. You comment from that perspective, I accept that. When I disagree, I try to be respectful. Please allow me to be who I am. I’m in my seventies and been active in the church since 1966. I’ve had lots of positive and negative experience along the way with church membership.
I generally default to believing people. Even the church, which has a closeting skeletons, still, generally, is honest. But, I do have a difficult time reconciling President Nelson’s January description of events, and how they actually unfolded in November. In particular, his claim of every possible permutation cannot be true for the initial handbook change. Because the “clarification” that came via letter a few days latter revised the policy substantially. The POX now targets a lot smaller portion of the membership than it did before the “clarification”. Further, the clarification contradicted some points in the original handbook release. Because of the disagreements between the handbook change and the clarification, both cannot be the Mind and Will of God. My best case scenario, is that Pres. Nelson was speaking far more generally, and claiming the general process was revelation, rather than the specific wording.
Zach, “It might cause people to wonder why God is changing his mind from one prophet to the next and then it might cause some people to think these guys are just making it up as they go.” That’s covered in the third and final lesson of the Prophets and Revelation section. Students are asked to come up with appropriate responses to this situation:
John is searching online for information about the Church in preparation for an Aaronic Priesthood quorum lesson. He finds a website that contains a comment from a past Church leader that seems to contradict what current Church leaders are saying. After this experience, John approaches you and asks, “It seems like some statements from Church leaders contradict one another. If prophets speak for God, why don’t they always agree?”
Jared, comparing the Spirit’s requirement of Nephi to kill Laban (as the only way to get the brass plates) with the modern-day leak and subsequent clarifications of the exclusion policy is interesting. Given that I’ve always been uncomfortable with that scripture story, it doesn’t exactly ease my concerns with the exclusion policy. (I’ve always wondered if Nephi being a much older adult at the time he wrote up the account influenced how he presented that story.)
Does anybody know whether institute will cover the same material anytime soon?
Yes, the story of Nephi slaying Laban creates various feelings. I recall Hugh Nibley talking about this. He was teaching a class with Arabs in it. When they read from the Book of Mormon about Nephi being commanded to kill Laban, the Arabs in the class started talking excitedly among themselves. It turned out that they were very surprised that Nephi hesitated. Apparently, they thought Nephi should have acted quickly without reservation. We see things through the eyes of our culture.
Jared, I am happy to retreat to the position that I don’t understand you. Sorry I misunderstood. BTW, in my vocabulary, bearing testimony does not constitute elevating oneself. If I were “continually judged as making judgments of others” I would try to find other ways of expressing myself. Maybe I would find them; maybe I would not. I would try to avoid making blanket statements about what others unknown to me have done or not done. I may not always succeed in that either.
BTW, I’m in my seventies and have been active in the church since 1947. I have had along the way a significant number of positive and negative experiences with church members and with church leaders (from local through highest levels), and a significant number of experiences with revelation/inspiration on the one hand and divine silence on the other. For me, the difference between the latter cannot be correlated with what I have done or not done. Instead, the spirit “bloweth where it listeth.” That may not be the case for some others.
I am amused by the references to the brass plates – which contain the first five books of the OT and gobs of other stuff. Just the writings of Moses would have weighed over 800 pounds. But then, Nephi was large of stature and had Zorum’s help so we should have no difficulty believing the truth of that revelatory sequence. Moral of the story: be sure of the foundation on which you base your arguments.
I’m heartsick at this inclusion in education for our youth because more kids are going to be hurt. So many kids in our Mormon community are in pain because of this policy and Nelson turning into revelation is more abhorrent. I can’t and won’t defend it – I care more about the kids that hang out in my home because they feel more accepted here than by their own families.
Yet, I am hopeful. My kids and their friends, on the whole, reject the church’s teachings about gender and the LGBTQ community. They know these kids, they know gay parents, and know that the doctrine here is hogwash. They coming generations will overturn this, just like the ban on our black brothers and sisters. I just mourn the fallout that this bigotry has brought and will continue to bring. Fallout that the church could lessen but chooses not to.
Jared – there are a lot of things taught in scriptures. So much so that it’s not uncommon to find conflicts or support for whatever pre-existing view one has. In fact one prophet failed to resolve his questions by appealing only to scripture: “…different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.”
Turns out the answer to Joseph Smith’s conundrum is the same one that works for me: going direct to the Lord. Once I understood how powerful this is, it eliminated most of the angst I had about the church. For instance, this passage from Official Declaration 1 used to be problematic:
“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.”
I’ve come to realize when I do not feel right about something (see D&C 9:9) that’s the Lord DIRECTLY helping me not to be led astray.
Regarding your boast/complaint about your frequency of appealing to scripture vice others on this forum, I’ll point out I’ve just made three scriptural references. I’ll also note what I’ve told you is doctrinally sound. But I expect you’ll illustrate my first point and continue to “kick against the pricks” (Hey, two more scripture references!)
As I understand it “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.” is NOT from Official Declaration 1. It is a comment on that declaration that was chosen by an unnamed committee of church leaders to be printed with it, among other comments, in the current edition of the D&C. The distinction is meaningful to some.
JR, you are correct when OD1 was issued. The way I view it, the passage is now part of the Doctrine and Covenants and thus part of the canon. The fact that the comment was used to get OD1 accepted by the body of the church and the church has included it with OD1 and there is no other title to refer to that section, I consider it part of OD1 – like the Bill of Rights is part of the U.S. Constitution.
OT, but I rarely-to-never quote scripture on blog posts because I find using scriptures to win an argument deeply disrespectful of the scriptures themselves. And let’s be honest, a good lot of the back and forth on blogs ultimately falls under the category of presenting/rebutting arguments.
Jared never comments on posts that have direct scripture references, yet continually complains that scriptures aren’t cited enough. It’s almost like he only sees what he is looking for.
If they are so secretive about the revelatory process so they don’t “cast pearls before swine” then it will lead the youth of the church (and church members) with implied messages, such as … “we have seen Christ and talk with him in the temples…trust us.” Many assume they do, even if literally the process is the burning in the bosom like you and I get, or a council meeting like the ward leadership holds weekly.
They seem to be vague on their claims and still wanting the “fantastical” biblical godly interventions, leaving others to assume many things not actually said or written by the prophets of how revelation happens, and it requires faith in the leaders (arm of flesh).
I don’t think the older generation understands the world this younger generation grows up in. Millennials talk about everything online. That complicates the old way religion was delivered.
Seminary teachers are caught with a difficult task. They do a great service, and I sustain them and respect their sacrifice.
But I also need to teach my kids at home from my perspective too…and make sure they learn how to filter and process these messages they will hear in seminary and church so my kids don’t go into the world with assumptions on revelation that may be skewed one way.
Unfortunately my son has been attacked online while playing xbox with friends…and they tell him our church hates gays and black people…and I hear him struggle to respond.
After overhearing one exchange as he defended his faith…I told him to get off the video games and go get ice cream with me. We chatted about the issues and he was frustrated why people attack us mormons. “We don’t hate gays or anyone” he said….and I asked if he knows why they say that…it led to a good discussion…and how sometimes…those discussions aren’t going to go good no matter what you know…but…at least he should know the background on things so he doesn’t get blindsided by haters who have snippets of our past they DON’T teach in seminary.
Seminary teachers can do a lot with the curriculum the church puts out to inspire and teach principles, but parents must be involved in helping teach how to process it all and apply it to daily life and the difference between literal and figurative teachings…so we can be careful how to respond to others.
It is never black and white with these issues. Kids today are smart enough to start seeing that.
The big problem I see with the policy is that it doesn’t agree with doctrine. Children are being punished because of the “sins” of their parents. I’ve always been taught that I would only receive inspiration that was in line with gospel teachings. I don’t know how to teach this to seminary students because it doesn’t make sense.
I wish I could say I’m surprised. The only upside I can see is a healthy skepticism in the youth who aren’t bigots like so many of the older generations in our church seem to be. However, that skepticism turns into leaving religion altogether when they come of age. It’s not just that they will end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It’s that leaders keep insisting repeatedly that we drink the bathwater to demonstrate our fealty. No thanks.
Love is love is love is love EXCEPT in the Mormon Church, where love is only found in a heteronormative relationship; the love of “the gays” is only “so called” love. (This is of course said dripping with sarcasm, lest anyone mistake my comment as support of the policy.)
I’m sorry, but calling the November Exclusion Policy a revelation is about as wrongheaded as claiming yesterday’s rebranding initiative was a revelation. The former, however, is far more damaging than latter.
Jared, your quote, “Those who are having a crisis of faith in this day and lose faith haven’t paid the price to understand God’s dealings. Prayerful study of the scriptures provides insight and answers to the conundrums of our day, including the priesthood ban,” has to be one of the most troubling things I’ve read from you.
I’ve shared my story before here so need for the details again, but watching my gay teen-aged daughter ride home in the car each Sunday with large alligator tears steaming down here cheeks EVERY SINGLE WEEK because she feels so broken at church…you don’t know what you are talking about when it comes to the crisis of faith caused by the church’s homophobia. You really don’t know. And you really don’t understand anything at all that would cause my entire family to leave “the church” once we could no longer find Christ anywhere near this “policy of love”. You have no idea how firmly we were rooted in the Gospel and the Scriptures and in giving everything in our lives to something I can no longer call a church without air quotes.
No more excuses for your age. Time for some wisdom with that age. Stop the comments about how weak those are who just don’t get it like you do. You don’t get it, Jared. You don’t. Leave it alone.
Jared, can be no better example than the one set by the Savior. Statistically, 150 of the 2,500 souls present would have been LGBT.
And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought. So, they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.
And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground. . . . . . . he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. . . And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.
Dan – I feel for you and your family mate. None of our kids identify as LGBT so I can’t imagine the pain and anguish you, your wife and kids have gone through.
Our journey did not involve that issue, apart from the uninspired POX.
I don’t get upset very often and even less upset at people online – but Jared’s remarks above pushed me over the edge. When people say that kind of garbage I think about people like you, like me, like others who I know have cried for months over what the church is doing. I know so many people that just keep going because of whatever reason – and have to face the “Jared’s” in person at church. Worse than that, they have to face a church that supports and personifies the very vile, hateful, wrong, unchristlike and derogatory narrative – all whilst quoting scriptures to prove the point.
As I left the church, I felt like someone might if their wife / husband / partner had an affair. Betrayed, depressed and lost. But then, as I expressed concerns, it was like I had had the affair. The “Jared’s” came out and picked apart all the little things that I had done and sought to completely swing it back to being my fault.
That’s not a perfect analogy but it’s close. And I think this is why Jared’s remarks hit a nerve.
Jared – for me you personify all that is wrong with the church and its culture. I’m sure you don’t think you do, but your perspective is veiled in hate, ignorance and arrogance. I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care how many scriptures you quote. I accord with Dan and the hundreds of others who have downvoted your comments over the years. You may feel like the church does, that criticism or persecution of your ideas is code for “I must be right”. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
This blog is pretty tolerant – and has voices from all sides – but I’m not sure where yours fits in. To me it doesn’t. I’m no longer an admin here so my voice does not hold any weight in that regard. But when you spit out veiled crap – comment after comment – with no regard for people like Dans daughter, or Dan or me or my wife – I get a little upset.
Your comments are vile and horrible. No one forces me to this site – but it is the only one I regularly read. I guess I have to make a decision as to how to engage. I hate that I have to as whilst I don’t agree with everyone, your comments are the only ones that upset me.
I guess what that tells me is that while I have stopped attending church I still care a great deal. Less for the church, but more for its people – my family, my friends. I really wish your comments didn’t upset me so much. But they do.
“Those who are having a crisis of faith in this day and lose faith haven’t paid the price to understand God’s dealings. Prayerful study of the scriptures provides insight and answers to the conundrums of our day, including the priesthood ban.”
Didn’t Bruce R. McConkie try to use the scriptures to explain the priesthood ban and then had to take it back?
We’re actually, to our credit I think, finding it hard to find a willing seminary teacher in this ward because of the way our seminary teachers are being hung out to dry with this stuff. I know of only one person in this ward who would vocally support the pox as revelation, and he has already offended our youth and their parents, who all just try to navigate their way around it. It is also being actively grappled with at a stake level as a great challenge to our capacity for inclusivity. I suppose that one way of looking at this is that it’s beautiful to see, that we have grown up sufficiently to want to disown homophobia, but we, and especially our youth teachers, are left trying to explain the inexplicable. It simply is no longer part of our culture to be homophobic.
Lois, yes, exactly! The priesthood ban which has now officially been thrown under the bus by the church as a mistake and something not to be attributed to God is the perfect counter argument to Jared’s recipe for truth.
LDS_Aussie, thank you so much for your words. You get it. You know pretty much what my wife and three of our four kids and I have gone through. And I understand you. Isn’t that the best feeling to simply be understood? I don’t think either of us will ever quite understand the pain that my oldest 18 year old daughter experienced that last year of seminary and church (the year of the policy). As believing parents, and as a member of the stake presidency, my wife and I had our daughter stop attending church on Sundays and early morning seminary. It was a stake scandal, but we knew our daughter was suffering. Didn’t know at the time she was gay.
Yes, having the early morning seminary teacher bear testimony of the truthfulness of the ban and how inspired the brethren are is EXACTLY the thing put my daughter over the edge and finally woke up my wife and me to a hundred other issues with following “the Brethren.” I need quotes again because that term “the Brethren” is so upsetting to me now. I’m not exaggerating the effect the discussion of the policy in seminary had on my daughter. It completely broke our daughter who had been trying with everything she had to make the church work. We are talking about a straight A high school student who got a full ride academic scholarship to a university. She is a very strong young woman. But she broke. Do you know what it is like to see such a beautiful, normally very confident human being break? Heart-wrenching. My daughter is doing fine in school today but still in counseling after several years to try to help her find that confidence and self love she had growing up before she started the church’s young women program and later seminary. It’s amazing how many destructive things are said in those settings to a child who is realizing they are gay…things said by good people like Jared who are usually just quoting what they have been taught by others to say.
Which brings me back to Jared. I am sure that Jared is a wonderful person in every aspect of his day to day life. I mean that. So are all of the great people in my ward and stake. Great people. But when it comes to this policy and attributing it to God, they just don’t get it. So yes, Jared’s quote struck a nerve with me too.
Like LDS_Aussie, I only follow this blog at this point. I tried others, but this group is the one that I feel most comfortable with over the years. If I were ever to sit in the pews again, I would feel very comfortable sitting by Mary Ann, Happy Hubby, Bishop Bill, Hawkgirl, etc. My faith may no longer be quite the same as these people, but I know they are thinking for themselves and would recognize me as a fellow voyager of life doing the best I can to find truth. And they wouldn’t think any less of me. And that is the thing that I think more and more Mormons (can I still use that term) are starting to do and yet from my perspective, something the Brethren are not yet comfortable with. They want Jared to think less of me when I don’t agree with all of their reasoning or decisions. I digress….
LDS_Aussie, I hope we meet someday. Thank you again for the validation that I’m not a pathetic person.
Please stop trying to phoropheries or make statements its against all bible teachings and quit messing around w revalations.
Dan – your experience is heart wrenching. I really do wish your family the best.
Interestingly most people think leaving the church is the easy way out. Not true for me. Staying would have been a million times easier for a whole lot of reasons.
I’ll contact the admins and see if I can grab your email. I’d like to send you a link if that’s OK.
And if you’re ever in Sydney Australia, I’ve got plenty of room – more than welcome to stay my friend..!!
POX. Love the acronym. A disease. Haha. Says it all.
Moderators, could you please provide LDS_Aussie my email address?
Dan, LDS_Aussie Et Al,
Is it possible to disagree without being disagreeable?
Dan, I have a large family of boys and girls. There all adults now. I’ve been through lots of alligator tears steaming down their cheeks, including one of our children’s wife dying very young. Your right, life is tough. Having a gay daughter certainly presents a unique set of challenges. Those who I know who are dealing with the gay children have approached the challenge with faith. Each of us have the choice of how we’re going to deal with what life hands us. Apparently, you and your entire family decided to leave the church. I respect your and there choice. How about respecting my choice to stay in the church where I find Christ in abundance. Do you think W& T should outlaw the use of scriptures?
I’m not going to say more about my comment that seems to have stroke a nerve with some. It’s not my intent to create contention. I try to avoid it because Heavenly Fathers made it clear how He feels about it.
I’ll close with a verse from Matthew, words spoken by the Savior.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
I’m 51 and I have been going to Church since 1967. Actually 1966 since my mom would go when she was pregnant.
Since your intention is not to create contention, your scripture must intimately reference “the sword” that has been created in your own household. I have found when a “variance” occurs in mine, that contrary to finding “foes” among family members, an appropriate disposition can be found through the application of Matthew 7:3-5 :
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
In light of this scripture and others, I expect the worst sin is likely that sin peculiar to each individual; therefore, I have found wisdom and peace working on my own issues and dialing down the judgment of others, especially, family members.
Dan, your email address has been forwarded. 🙂
I think it’s important to recognize that any logical person who has ever made a big decision likely follows the same decision making process described in the seminary lesson. What car should I buy? Which job should I take? What research project should our foundation fund? Couples appearing on the show House Hunters… Everyone in and out of the church uses this logical approach to decision making. Why should we be in awe by a group of men who made a decision for us that we feel in our heart is wrong simply because they described how they made the decision and then called it revelation? Literally every sane person in the world makes every important decision in life roughly the same way but people don’t go around telling everyone about the revelatory process they used to pick out our super reliable mini van.
Jares, there is no world in which you can say that you don’t mean to cause contention and then quote those scriptures. Utterly unbelievable. You literally destroy your own credibility with every further comment. Take your swords and leave, I say.
“Literally every sane person in the world makes every important decision in life roughly the same way but people don’t go around telling everyone about the revelatory process they used to pick out our super reliable mini van.“
And yet what a divine process it is to carve new ward boundaries……
“alligator tears” from urbandictionary.com (and others) = Tears that are fake, or are meant to deceive.
I don’t think that is what was meant by anyone using the term in this thread.
Too easily confused, thank you for pointing that out. I don’t even know why I used that term. I was looking for “large tears”. Another reason to follow this blog…the things you will learn!
Jared, I suggest you take a time-out from the blog for a few months (or more.) While I know your are a good person, in this and several conversations lately, you are a bull in a china shop and are breaking a lot of china. Come back when you have learned to be less offensive. We welcome the scriptures as always at W&T, but not your mis-use (or shall I say “wresting”) of the scriptures. Seriously, I think you’ve worn out your welcome.
I see nothing wrong with this, if we actually are going to believe that what President Nelson said is the truth.
If you think he’s lying, than why are you teaching seminary to begin with?
Someone help me out here. I think the print is too small for me to see where it’s referring to the November 2015 policy. The only example I see is the missionary age change.
Visiting here is always heartwrenching. There’s always something horrible going on in the Mormon world, and someone horrible defending it. But I keep coming back, because I care about the people I used to know, who are being hurt so badly. And I wonder how many of them, in all the different wards I’ve lived in, are still alive.
I relate to Dan’s description of his daughter. I broke down completely and struggle with all kinds of horrible mental illness now. I can never predict when I’m just going to be out, the whole day, depressed or anxious or both. I learned the lessons my parents taught well. I learned the lessons “the church” taught me well.
Catching up on the comments here improved my faith that there are still good people trying to protect their kids. To keep them from going through what I did. I’m too broken, dejected, and angry to ever sit in a pew beside you, and I’d be literally PTSD triggered if I tried. But this warmed my heart. Thank you all so much.
Jewelfox; Here is a big internet hug from me to you ( [ ] ); hang in there. The POX (love this acronym) guidelines are immensely unpopular with local leadership. Imagine a Bishop being placed in the position of refusing baptism to an innocent 8 year-0ld or failing to ordain an otherwise worthy young boy to the Aaronic PH or being forced to exclude a Beehive from a youth temple trip. The “polygamy” justification may work with a few local leaders in some parts of Utah but out here in the Mission Field, the POX has fallen flat on its face. It would take a hard-hearted Bishop to risk creating such potential for ward or branch splitting contentions . I can tell you for a fact, when adults in leadership are in agreement, the exclusion guidelines are being ignored or, more properly, managed and massaged. If the Lord “revealed” this specific policy to the Brethren, he has not followed- up with local leadership.
Local leaders pray over the welfare of individual ward members (especially, the youth) as much or more than the GAs pray over their branding options or they prayed over this POX — which was, apparently, not extensively or, truth-be-told, approved without opposition. Locally, answers to prayers on this issue have not been cut and dried or particularly supportive in some areas of the country — like major cities — where homosexual members are accepted, valued and not excommunicated as apostates — think San-Francisco. Shoot, think Dallas.. Without cannonizing it, eventually, (probably sooner than later) the POX will be demoted from revelation, to policy, to an advisory/guideline so the church will be able to defend it to local leaders and members.
Even church apologists are finding it difficult to justify — Jared’s comments here exemplify that difficulty. You know there are problems when church apologists start raining down hell-fire and brimstone and tossing off scriptural references in the hopes of maintaining their false sense of spiritual superiority.
You’ve suggested I take a breather from commenting at W&T because:
1. I’m like a bull in a China Shop breaking lots of China
2. I’m offensive
3. Scripture are welcome at W&T but not the way I use them, “wresting”
4. I’ve worn out my welcome
First off, your words hurt! I’m sorry you feel as you do.
A few thoughts for you and everyone else to consider.
1. China shop represents those post and comments at W&T that oppose the apostles and prophets.
2. I’m offensive because I sustain the apostles and prophets
3. Scripture are welcome at W&T. OK, then would you (and anyone interested) use scripture to support your position opposing the apostles and prophets (most post and many comments at W&T take shots or oppose the apostles and prophets). Why? Many of those who post and comment at W&T admit they are thinking, have, or are in the process of leaving the church.
4. I think I may have worn out my welcome at W&T (as well as the bloggernacle) for the most part, because in the 11 years I’ve participated in the bloggernacle, W&T has moved more and more away from from church teachings, church leaders counsel, though more slowly than the rest of the bloggernacle, but still away from the path the scriptures and church leaders outline.
I think we should have a vote by those who participate at W&T. If 1/4 give a thumbs up for this comment I will continue to comment and post on occasion (if Angela and you accept my post). If not, then I will take a breather.
I don’t think 75% of those who frequent W&T will vote for censorship. It will be interesting to see.
There is a difference between presenting an opinion in a way that encourages the opposing party to consider your arguement and presenting an opinion in a way that belittles the opposing party. What I have seen is that lately there have begun way too much of the latter in your comments.
Please feel free to disagree as part of participating here, as doing so adds to the conversation. But do so without insulting others.
I would never vote for you to not be able to post here Jared. My wife and I use you as the ultimate example of the close-mindedness that makes us so happy to not be connected to the church any more. You speak god’s word. We didn’t try hard enough. We get it. That notwithstanding, post away. People like you exist. It takes a lot of colors to make a rainbow.
Please show me where I “insulted” or “belittled” someone.
I just placed an upvote for you to keep participating. I appreciate your zeal and wanting so badly to be in line with what you believe is right. Hear me out, though. Please try.
Speaking for myself only, yes it is true I have recently stopped attending church and I find this particular blog a good place for someone like me to follow. I rarely comment because I have no desire to lessen faith of those who are all-in, like yourself.
Why do I follow? Because I loved the church with all my heart. There is still a small place within me that thinks the church might figure out a few things and perhaps as I grow older, I’ll want this community again. And I really believe it is the voices that are publishing on a blog like this that has and will continue to push church leadership in the right direction. I know you don’t believe that at all, but I was high enough in the church to see how much the leasders in Salt Lake City are interested in the private research the church conducts with its membership and the stats they accumulate, Do you know how many times in meetings I heard about some new pilot program that was trying to address this or that? How do you think the temple ceremony changed to eliminate the penalties? It wasn’t revelation. It was members making it clear through church research that the members were not supporting it.
So why did I feel compel to comment and say something to you. It’s because in all of your zeal and desire to keep yourself and everyone else in line, you make all of us sinners and apostates feel like a cancer. A sick cancer that you and members you represent want nothing to do with. And I get it. I understand the fear that my decision to not be in line with the Brethren on some things instills in you. I’m not saying it’s unreasonable for you to see someone like me as a cancer. But truly, Jared…is that how you perceive Christ deliberately making anyone feel that is trying to make the best choices she or he has with what is in front of them?
If you think Christ would say things to make someone feel like a cancer and a weak soul who just isn’t trying hard enough, then maybe I placed my upvote for you too soon. But I believe you are a good person, and I’m hoping you can modify your approach towards those like me. Actually, I don’t really care about me at all. But for my daughter’s sake. For all of the Jewelfoxes out there. For my new mate LDS_Aussie.
Having read the comments so far, I would like to say something. I never write a post or comment with the intention of making someone feel like they are a cancer. My intent has always been to appeal to your better selves, to that which brought you to the church of Jesus Christ in the first place. I hope to motivate each reader of my words to change (repent).
I figure it takes pain to motivate us to repent. It did me. The pain was intense, I felt like the worst person in the world because of my conduct, I plead with Heavenly Father to forgive me, and He did! The manifestation of the Spirit came as fire and the Holy Ghost. I didn’t expect it. When I read Mosiah 4 -6, I relate to those words and want it for all of you. That experience is the basis of my approach in the bloggernacle.
Okay, I’ll join in on the threadjack
Jared : “2. I’m offensive because I sustain the apostles and prophets”
This is not true. There are many people who post here who do sustain the apostles and prophets ( or at least they believe so) who do not offend. I think people find it offensive when a person puts themselves above others. For example, claiming that a person or group of people disagrees because they don’t have a strong enough testimony.
In your favor, I don’t think I have seen you attack individuals. But you do attack groups of people by implying that their disagreement with your position is because they have insufficient testimony / don’t pray / fail to receive revelation / don’t use scriptures. Almost everyone here has spent a lot of time reading, praying, preaching, etc., but we don’t all come to the same conclusion.
I’m abstaining from voting on your comment because I don’t think participation here should be up for a vote. The admins can enforce the moderation policy, and the rest of us vote by either participating or not.
While you may not write to tell people they are a cancer, you write to tell people they have cancer. You have paid the price. You know. If anyone doesn’t know what you know, they haven’t done all the right things.
We are all adults here. The truth you hang on to is that your god is the God. While that is fine for your existence, for literally 99.98% of the world (99.99% if you count the fact that the majority of LDS don’t attend church any more), that is not reality.
Whether you want to believe it or not, others have tried as hard as you have but have arrived at different conclusions. You tell people over and over and over again that they haven’t given it their all yet don’t know what they have done other than they didn’t reach your conclusion. That is belittling and hurtful to some. To me, your words are merely a reflection on you and not others.
What’s sad is that you proclaim a Christian attitude and yet you seem to have no clue how your words affect others. Honestly, you appear to be so clueless in this regard that I think sometimes you are being sarcastic.
Having been literally been brought back to life while on a hospital floor, I have thought a lot about this life and the hereafter. While on that floor I experienced life without time. I am okay if there is nothing beyond the here and now. Billions have passed on. I don’t feel the need to be exempt from that. I am happy for you if your beliefs make you feel complete and happy. Judge me if you feel the need. Just know that 7 billion people minus about 6 million (that leaves a REALLY big number) think you are wrong in your truth claims. Also know if you had been born in the Middle East you would “KNOW” you are as wrong as you think you are right.
Jared, you’re right, change usually happens because staying the same is too painful.
The problem with your comments (in my view) is that they show me a lack of attempt at empathy. I can’t read your mind to talk about your intentions. But your behavior shows you calling people to repentance before you understand what they need to repent of, or whether they are ready for that. Repentance is an intimately personal experience. For myself, having someone call me to repentance before my own time makes me angry and bitter, and less eager to repent. But when someone asks about my experiences and listens to understand instead of to correct, then I feel the increase of love that Joseph Smith mentioned. Then I have experienced that person’s genuine care for me and their ability to relate in some way. That makes me more likely to listen to their feedback, even if that feedback stings.
I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect everyone to be exactly like me. But it works for a lot of people.
When was the last time a prophet said “Thus saith the Lord” and will it ever happen again?
I really appreciated Dan’s response on this.
I feel like W&T is one of the last places that isn’t an echo chamber.
A-Your first comment here was awful. It was a judgment. It currently has 84% downvotes. (13 like, 68 dislikes). It was a wide takedown of EVERYONE who disagrees with you: “those who don’t have experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that church leaders and others do.”
I have personally asked the brethren to seek revelation. I have made it clear that I have a hard time recognizing revelation (until usually long after the fact),yet you seem to have swept me up in this sweeping, irresponsible, and unjust characterization.
*1. China shop represents those post and comments at W&T that oppose the apostles and prophets.”
1. this a false premise. China shop represents your offensiveness. I have plenty of criticism when I think it is merited, but once again a broad-brush stroke that seems to imply that *I* oppose prophets and apostles. Quit using broad-brush attacks.
*2. I’m offensive because I sustain the apostles and prophets
B.S! You’re offensive because you jump to conclusions and use broad brush attacks (like this one AGAIN!)
3. Scripture are welcome at W&T. OK, then would you (and anyone interested) use scripture to support your position opposing the apostles and prophets (most post and many comments at W&T take shots or oppose the apostles and prophets). Why? Many of those who post and comment at W&T admit they are thinking, have, or are in the process of leaving the church.
Ok, I will bite. In items 1 and 2 (to say nothing of countless examples), you are guilty of JST MATTHEW 7: 1-2
1 Now these are the words which Jesus taught his disciples that they should say unto the people.
2 Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgment.
Which leads to charges of hypocrisy, which Jesus condemned in verse 5.
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
*4. I think I may have worn out my welcome at W&T (as well as the bloggernacle) for the most part, because in the 11 years I’ve participated in the bloggernacle, W&T has moved more and more away from from church teachings, church leaders counsel, though more slowly than the rest of the bloggernacle, but still away from the path the scriptures and church leaders outline.
More judging. Yet the PoX is so clearly against scripture, I can’t understand why you would support it. And yes, once again, I have already used countless scriptures condemning this abominable, non-scriptural policy! And you haven’t come up with ONE.SINGLE.SCRIPTURE supporting this anti-atonement, anti-Christian policy. Come on Jared. Here’s my scriptural justifications. Go argue here with ONE.SINGLE.SCRIPTURE. (Please note, that I start the post with a scripture, which ONCE AGAIN YOU HAVE IGNORED!) https://mormonheretic.org/2015/11/08/suffer-little-children-and-forbid-them-not/
Jared, you have worn out your welcome by these constant broad brush attacks.
Thanks for your response.
I’m not going to answer point by point.
When principles are in conflict the solution is to obey the one that fits your circumstances.
36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:36)
This verse and other scripture help to answer the question why “POX”, as some choose to call it, is the correct policy for the time being. The prophets have made the decision and could use your support. If I understand correctly, this same policy applied to children in polygamous families and has been around for many years.
Regarding my comment: “those who don’t have experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that church leaders and others do.”
Is it true.?Yes
Was it a put down? Not from my point of view. I think it sums up why some people oppose “POX”
If you expect to have everyone agree with you then blogging isn’t the best place to spend time. The key is to disagree without being disagreeable. If I continue to participate at W&T, I will do what can not to be disagreeable. However, it requires others to do the same.
If those who come to W&T want to have a narrow spectrum of views dominate then that can be accomplished by you and Angela and whoever else runs W&T. I will not come if asked by those who run the blog. As far as the vote goes, there is a minority who feel I should continue to participate:6 to 16.
Come on MH, lets get along even though we have disagreements.
Jared, quit judging others with broad brush statements. It’s pretty simple. It boggles my mind that you continue to feign ignorance. It’s been pointed out time and again, and yet you continue to do it. It’s time for a timeout. As many have said, we’re pretty tolerant here. It’s one of the least echo-chamber blogs out there.
This isn’t about simple disagreement, it’s about being disagreeable when you disagree. (And your hypocritical comments about “lack of scriptures, “that are beyond old.) Apparently you think stereotyping about broad groups is acceptable, while elevating your own spirituality. I’m here to tell you that broad brush attacks are not acceptable. Your schtick has grown thin.
And then you double down on a comment >84% disapprove. Clearly you are either clueless, or begging to be banned. Where’d you learn doubling down? Trump? WOW!
Let’s get along without attacking others through broad brush attacks. Let’s disagree without being disagreeable. And when pointed out to you, don’t double down on your insulting comment. That’s neither smart nor humble nor Christlike.
7 likes, 21 dislikes shows exactly 75% don’t like your comments here. Just sayin’. That’s on top of the original insult of 13 likes, 74 dislikes (85.1% disapproval.)
Back at the original question, my mom is a brand new really morning seminary teacher, and she recently commented that the main topic of discussion on the Facebook group for seminary teachers in her stake is everyone’s anxiety about this year’s content. They don’t know what to do when asked to testify of things that are driving their own family members away from church. The seminary teachers don’t want to teach the pox as revelation.
And since you quoted D&C 132 and Abraham, here’s my scriptural takedown of D&C 132 and Abraham. (Note the MULTIPLE scripture references in both posts.)
Madeline Scott, the reference to the November policy immediately follows the mention of the missionary age change: “This prophetic process was followed in 2012 with the change in minimum age for missionaries AND AGAIN WITH THE RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH’S HANDBOOK, CONSEQUENT TO THE LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN SOME COUNTRIES. Filled with compassion for all, and especially for the children, we wrestled at length to understand the Lord’s will in this matter.” (Emphasis added)
Jared, perhaps this is just a word choice problem. You said, ” those who don’t have experience with revelation for their own lives have trouble believing that church leaders and others do.”
I’d agree with that if we are talking about non-Mormons. If someone has zero experience/zero testimony then it would be unreasonable to expect them to believe that leaders of our church do.
But the context of this discussion isn’t non-Mormons, and your comment is very black and white when applied to actual members of the church. To me it reads as: “Mormons who don’t agree in all ways with the leaders feel that way because they haven’t had revelatory experience themselves.” Can you see how insulting it is for you to tell me that the deeply sacred experiences (revelatory even) that I have had that guide my life and my relationship with God are somehow fake or invalid or unacceptable?
But this is an easy fix. Write the sentence so it leaves space for other people’s actual experiences: “Some of the people out there have trouble believing that church leaders have revelatory experiences because they themselves have never experienced revelation.”
Good grief, guys. May I remind some people of our commenting policy, available here: https://wheatandtares.org/our-commenting-policy/
“5) We dislike dogpiling as much as we dislike preaching to the choir.
Dogpiling on people with divergent views breaks point 4, and it harms our efforts in point 1. For people to feel comfortable commenting, we want to create an environment where people with different views will know their views will be given a fair shake — even if we don’t agree.
“As we mentioned before, disagreement is a fact of life, and we actually like that. Discussions where everyone agrees feel like standing, stagnant water to us, and said discussions are probably about as hazardous to our health. We want views to be challenged, so if we feel there is preaching to the choir, we will do what we can to find some way to challenge that. If you like a comment (either tone, or content, or the strength of reasoning), then feel free to press the like button!”
Jared and MH have a long-standing spat going. It’s a staple here at Wheat and Tares. As the author of the post, I am making a request that everyone drop the threadjack of dogpiling on Jared. YOU HAVE ALL MADE YOUR POINTS.
Elizabeth St.D…, Some early morning seminary teachers are quite happy teaching the scriptures assigned and ignoring the prepared lesson materials. Perhaps more should be encouraged to do so.
Bearing testimony of something one does not believe (not exactly what you described as a concern) would be dishonest. That is not a good thing to model to the youth. Simply omitting some of the material in favor of other things seems reasonable and preferable to me.
I wouldn’t teach the POX as revelation — I probably wouldn’t teach it at all. Instead, if the kids wanted to discuss it I would point out various facts about it, it’s roll-out, the reported effects on some families and individuals, the “clarification” letter, what Elder Nelson and Elder Christofferson had said about it. I would encourage them to seek their own light and knowledge about it through prayer. Depending upon the group and the situation, I might discuss J. Reuben Clark’s 1954 comments with them. They are mostly not stupid, just tired and bored. I would even warn them that I might be mistaken. One of the healthiest things I’ve heard addressed to teenagers with questions arising from church meetings was the father (not me) who responded to the inquiry “Is everything we hear at church true?” with “No. We have a great many people doing their best to discern and teach truth and we all make mistakes.”
Note: Despite a long-standing, deplorable tradition of attributing to presidents of the church things they did or said when they were not president of the church, no president of the church can be quoted as having claimed the “POX” was by revelation. The closest you can come to that is the clarification letter signed by President Monson. That letter acknowledged that the original November policy needed to be corrected; it made some correction, and said nothing about the rest of it. Saying nothing about the rest could mean a variety of things.
JR, Nelson was Pres of Q12 and called it revelation, shortly after the Nov 2015 “Announcement”. (He seems to be the main pusher of the PoX all along, and with Monson suffering from dementia, he was clearly trying to take charge as Pres of Q12. I”ll find the reference if you can’t find it.
The author ask that we stop. The count is 8 to 22. Do the math. The count is over 25%
I know about Elder Nelson’s January 2016 talk calling it revelation. I don’t have knowledge of any earlier statement calling it that. Some local church leaders in SLC were calling it revelation even before Elder Christofferson’s scripted “interview” in which he did not call it that. No president of the church, as opposed to president of the Q12, has ever called it revelation in a context I can find. With the exception of Elder NelsonI also cannot find any member of the Q15 who apparently approved the handbook changes (wittingly or willingly or not) confirming the claim of revelation to himself or to anyone else as the origin of the Policy. I would be glad to have anyone point me in the direction of any such confirming statements from then Q15 members other than Elder NElson for the comments he made about it in that January 2016 talk.
Jared, are you enjoying this beatdown? Donald Trump’s approval is higher than yours.
I don’t get being a martyr. Simple majority and I’d be gone. Do you enjoy your Persecution complex? You ought to get that checked by a professional before it does some serious damage. Besides, 26.7% isn’t that far off from 25%. But the beatings will continue until morale improves, I guess….
Beatings will not continue on this post. We’re done.
Thank-you for your comments, everyone!
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