Is it OK for someone in a Sunday school class to correct the teacher or a comment from somebody in the class if they say something wrong? You’ll say “of course you can, that is the right thing to do!” Well, let me give the following examples.

  1. Teacher says LDS church gave up polygamy in 1890.  You raise your had and say that on the church website it says polygamy continued to be sanctioned by the church into the 1900s.
  2. The teacher says that Joseph Smith used the Urim and Thummim, also called the interpreters, to translate the Book of Mormon.  After biting your tongue so hard you draw blood, you speak up and say according to lds.com, in addition to the interpreters, he used a rock he found in the ground, and put it in a hat with his head over the opening.
  3. A Member of the Stake Pres who is visiting your ward says in class that people should pay tithing on their gross income.  You, still healing from the sore tongue from last weeks episode (see #2 above) jump up and say that the handbook specifically says that nobody is to make any comment of how to pay tithing,  only that they pay on their increase. [1]

So, how can one be “honest in your dealings with your fellow men” [2] , and not correct the above mistakes? How can you correct the above falsehoods without coming across like a troublemaker, or even worse, an apostate? As I’ve said before, I’m offered a little more leeway in this ward as it is the ward I served as bishop. But how can the regular member, of which I am fast becoming, speak up and correct controversial errors?

 

[1] This actually happened to me a few years after I was released as bishop. The SP counselor stood his ground and said the SP taught that it should be on gross.  I backed down and said nothing else. He later called me at home to apologize, and said he looked it up and I was right!

[2] this is a temple recommend question.  I guess we don’t need to be honest with our fellow women? That would explain a lot of marital discord in the world!