For those that watched, read, or listened to General Conference a few weeks ago, you might have noticed that the words “Palm Sunday” were bantered about a lot. Not only did Pres Oaks reference it while conducting, but 10 speakers talked about it in their talks.
I did a word search using the church’s online conference talks, and found the following. From 2020 to today, the worlds “Palm Sunday” was used by 12 speakers, 10 of those just this year. 2010-2019: 2 speakers. 2000-2009: 1 speaker (Uchtdorf in 2009, when GC fell on Palm Sunday). 1990-1999: 1 speaker. 1980-1989: 1 speaker when GC fell on Palm Sunday. 1970-1979: Zero speakers.
To further understand this trend, one needs to look no farther than Elder McConkie’s seminal work “Mormon Doctrine” See below the entry for Palm Sunday
Sectarians traditionally celebrate the Sunday before Easter as Palm Sunday in commemoration of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Among the true saints this practice finds no followers. Except for such transcendent events as the birth of a God (celebrated by Christmas), or the resurrection of Christ (celebrated by Easter), there is no need to hark back to former dispensations for great events to memorialize. There is no more call to celebrate Palm Sunday in this dispensation than there is to celebrate the passage of Israel through the Red Sea or the stopping of the sun by Joshua. Rather the Latter-day Saints memorialize the transcendent events of their era, such things as the coming of John the Baptist, the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the conferral of the sealing keys by Elijah, and the organization of the Church again on earth.Mormon Doctrine, 1st edition 1958, page 499
Well, that pretty well sums it up! Sectarians celebrate Palm Sunday, not “True Saints” This explains why there was not one mention of Palm Sunday in the 1970’s when Bruce was sitting in the red chairs, staring down all the speakers! Back then Mormons —as we were called back in the day—were true saints! 
So what are we today? Sectarian heathens? It’s just not the Palm Sunday thing, Jana Riess has a good article on how the church is going all in on Easter also.
Do you think this is a concerted effort by the Q15 to appear more Christian in the traditional manner?
Do you think it was talked about in meetings, telling the leaders to talk up Easter and Palm Sunday?
Will this continue, or was it a flash in the pan?
 McConkie backed off a little in later versions after he was privately chastised for his first edition. While he still called it a “sectarian” tradition, he lost the “true saints” part and replaced it with “it is not common practice” to follow this celebration.
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay
Of course it was spoken about. One of the Q15 said something and the ducks all lined up. Any bets on the future adoption of Ash Wednesday and Lent. LDS living has already written an article to test the waters.
If so, the LDS members will not be the ones telling coworkers……”you got a dark spot on your forehead today”…..and they can wear their Donny Osmond socks that day.
Change in marketing strategy because we already gave Satan a victory with I’m a Mormon.
I’m a Mason sounds weird.
I’m a money manager doesn’t have the right tone.
I’m a man-wife marriage proponent is exclusive and historically inaccurate.
I worked for the church for over 20 years in media and broadcasting, and although I saw some promoting of ideas/phrases/topics, I think more often than not things like “palm Sunday” become “catch phrases” people use to conform, fit in, of impress. We have seen that recently with Elder Bednar’s talk about “tender mercies”. I really don’t believe people were instructed to use that term, but it caught on like wild fire and was not only a general conference phrase, but was used from stake conference to primary. The latest is “covenant path”. I’m not saying the only reason people use such phrases is to fit in. They are good thought-provoking topics, but I do believe a big part of the reason they become so popular is to be part of the “in crowd”.
As for Elder McConkie’s palm Sunday comment, the arrogance and self-righteousness of that kind of statement is near the top of my list of things that really bother me about our church. I’m pretty confident in guessing no one has ever attended a fast and testimony meeting without hearing the phrase “only true church” at least once. Over the decades, we have not only worked to set ourselves apart from “the world”, but to set ourselves above “the world”. It seems to me that the use of “Palm Sunday” this past conference is a sign that our elitism over the years is back-firing and we are trying to fix things and get along with others. I haven’t done any research into it, but I feel like the phrases “only true church”, or “one and only true church” were used A LOT less this general conference than ever before.
If I had to choose between hearing the latest popular phrases over and over and hearing “only true church”, I’d take popular phrases any day. Besides, those popular phrases only hang around till a new one comes along. I mean, when was the last time you heard “tender mercies”?
I’m laughing at the BRM quote. So classically him. I wonder how much his influence has contributed to what I agree is our ongoing problem with arrogance bordering on narcissism in our culture.
Honestly I know many feel differently but I’m not into the Holy Week stuff. I think just because as a Latter-day Saint I wasn’t raised that way so it’s not a tradition I really identify with. But I’m okay with the church going in that direction.
Who is responsible for making hasten the work a thing? I need to put their name on whatever the opposite of a temple roll is.
My bishop just said “tender mercies.”
Mormonism is trying to gain more status as a good ol’ mainstream Christian religion. Nelson’s rejection of the term Mormon is part of this. By calling the church by its full name or by calling it the Restored Church of Christ, it sounds more mainline Christian. Apologist attempts to make false equivalence between the historicity issues between the Bible and the Book of Mormon are part of this campaign. The idea is to present the Book of Mormon as sort of like the Bible. No strong evidence of historicity but a spiritual belief in them being roughly equivalent.
Unfortunately the mainline Christian denominations aren’t biting, nor will they. They are, however, more quiet in their denunciations of Mormonism, seeing the religion as an ally in campaigns against LGBTQ+s, abortion, and secularism in general, now deemed to be greater threats than rival denominations. Besides, its easier to get converts from the already religious. Yet you get down to the doctrinal discussions and Mormonism is still heterodox and anathema, preaching evil non-Trinitarianism, and therefore non-Christian, since they don’t believe Jesus to be a full god in the sense that they do (I remember Mike Huckabee during his presidential campaign pointing out how Mormons believe Jesus to be Satan’s brother, a common jab made by evangelicals to show how Mormons don’t believe in the real Jesus). And Mormons still regard other Christian denominations to be illegitimate. Mormonism does not accept their baptisms as valid nor will they ever. But outrage against the doctrinally errant is now no longer in vogue. Pointing out the fallacy and waywardness of rival denominations is now a quiet part not to be said too much outloud, except in the company of those you know to be like-minded.
And I find this bizarre. The Mormonism of my youth was the Godmakers era during which Catholicism and Protestantism were just plain wrong at best and evil at worst. And the Evangelicals treated the Mormons as a heretical threat. Conference protesters were evil people who directly threatened the church. The Tanners were evil, and deceived by Satan himself. Now the Conference protesters are just silly people with some psychological problems for whom we feel sorry but don’t take seriously. And if someone converts to Evangelicalism from Mormonism, well at least they didn’t become secularists or atheists, oh the horror.
Acknowledgement of Palm Sunday is yet another move in the direction away from McConkie iconoclasm. Great observation.
It feels to me like the Church is currently trying to emphasize Christ in both its internal and external messaging:
1. Using the full name of the Church because it has Christ’s name in it.
2. Changing the Church logo to have an image of Christ.
3. The addition of the images of Christ in the temple presentation.
4. Emphasizing Easter, including Palm Sunday and other dates celebrated by other Christians.
5. Reduced or eliminated “family” messaging. The Church for years promoted itself as the champion of families, and I haven’t seen much, if any, messaging around the family lately (especially external messaging to non-members).
6. The Church website seems to have been emphasizing Christ for quite awhile now. I’ve kind of been watching the front page of the Church’s website for the last few years, and I’ve noticed that there seem to be fewer pictures/headlines about the Q15 and Joseph Smith and many more pictures/headlines about Christ. If you go look at the Church’s website right now, you’ll see what I mean.
I’m not sure how effective this messaging will be with non-Mormons. All it takes is a quick peek under the covers, and they will quickly find all of the objectionable things that they’ve found in the past.
I know that there are a lot of Church members who have been wanting the Church to focus more on Christ for a long time. These members are probably very happy to see the shift in emphasis. I would include myself in this group of members. The problem I have is that it all feels like a very superficial shift to me. The pictures and the words sound good at first, but it all just seems like the same old Mormon message underneath.
I would like to see the Church emphasize the Christ of the New Testament: the Christ that criticized harmful Church leaders and traditions, the Christ that forgave sinners instead of enforcing Church discipline through worthiness interviews, the Christ who could care less about appearances and who desires a pure heart. Instead of the New Testament Christ, I feel like we’re getting the Mormon “covenant path” Christ: the “just do what we say” Christ, the “institution is more important than the individual” Christ, the “we’re better than them” Christ, the “hypocrite” Christ. I don’t find evidence for the covenant path Christ in the accounts of Christ’s ministry in the New Testament. I won’t be following that Christ.
Sitting in EQ at this very moment. As usual someone’s placed a painting of Jesus on an easel in front of us and He’s literally staring us down. Our hyper-focus on Jesus is not only a variety of idolatry, it’s a symptom of intellectual vapidity & laziness. There’s a big beautiful world out there from which many of us firmly believe we need to be protected. That’s a waste in so many ways.
The fact that BRM equates Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem with “the passage of Israel through the Red Sea or the stopping of the sun by Joshua” makes me think:
A) He doesn’t get it
B) He doesn’t think much of Jesus (we don’t worship Moses or Joshua so we shouldn’t worship Jesus either? No wonder people think we aren’t Christian!)
C) He has a bias against Holy Week that he fails to adequately justify here. “No true saint?” Does he mean that if HBL decided to celebrate Palm Sunday that year he would write him off as a Protestant wannabe? Truly a strange thing to say.
I think the church has just gotten better about listening to criticism and trying to placate people instead of making any real changes. They have people watch the on line forums and actually get reports about what we all are saying. They have heard members complain about lack of Easter celebration, let alone any celebration of Holy Week. But they won’t fix things, just use empty words like Palm Sunday.
Their changes are like they did with complaints about the endowment having nothing to do with the atonement and actually being contrary to it. So, they hear it was talked about on line. Then they make superficial changes like putting pictures of Jesus into the endowment because the on line discussion is that the endowment gives you special passwords to get you into Heaven, rather than relying on Christ to get you not Heaven. They don’t make a change that gets rid of the special “signs and tokens” that allow you to pass by the angels and return to God.” Nor to they acknowledge the problem and explain how it might not be what it appears. They just slap a picture of Jesus into the slide show and think they have fixed it.
Member have long complained about zero recognition of Easter and sometimes even forgetting Christmas in our sacrament meetings. How often did you go to church the week before Christmas and have only the hymns we sing mention it? I have had talks on Christmas Eve all about Joseph Smiths Birthday and forget we are really supposed to worship the Savior and not Joseph Smith. And Easter is worse. Sometimes we have general conference on Easter and no one even mentions it in the talks. I have had Easter services be all about tithing, or temple, and no mention all meeting that Christ was resurrected, but only get to sing “He is Risen.” Visitors would assume that we are not Christian because we don’t have a special service dedicated to nothing but Easter.
So, the good news is they hear member complaints. The bad news is their changes are pretty worthless.
Really curious about those downvotes – and on W&T no less! Someone plz tell me what you disagree with or find offensive.
Perhaps all of the recent emphasis on Mormons being Christians isn’t about convincing other Christians that we are normal like them; maybe the actual point is to reassure
members that we are sufficiently Christian and don’t need to listen to other churches’ criticisms. The way the church doesn’t focus on Christ is a shelf item for many, and I think all these recent changes are directed at them.
Yes, I think it’s a concerted effort. I kind of assumed Gary E. Stevenson was assigned the topic since he was the first speaker in conference and told members to celebrate Holy Week.
Pres. Nelson definitely wants to appear more traditionally Christian, and it’s not just in changing the branding of the Church. Gathering all members of the FP & Q12 in front of the marble statues of Christ & the ancient apostles at the dedication of the Rome temple for a photo op took some serious hubris. Gathering them all in the Holy Land would make more sense to me (considering the tie to Christ), but Pres. Nelson wanted to lay claim to that historical seat of Christianity in Italy instead.
I want to thank Bishop Bill for this excellent article.
I have read the comments posted so far and enjoyed them.
Many are trying to understand why the LDS church has become so fond of Holy Week after ignoring it for decades, I wonder the same thing.
Some are thinking, perhaps some kind of PR thing going on,
But I could be wrong.
I do know one thing.
As a convert of over 45 years I have many many non-members who are in my family.
And they express their concern and doubts about the LDS church and their lack of respect for it.
I will say that unless the LDS church disavows Polygamy in every way it will never be accepted or respected by the Christian world.
The LDS Church can not just say we don’t practice polygamy any more.
The LDS church can not just say that the 132 D&C was a mistake.
The Church leaders can not just try to say “Oopps, a once in a million misake was made by our Prophet and it took us years to come to our senses”.
The LDS church will need to do something that I do not think the leaders will ever do, tell the whole wide world that polygamy was somehting the men in charge of the church put together bcause they wanted to.
It did not come from God.
It was announced we hit 17 million in membership but most of the readers here are smart enough to know that is bogus.
With a 70% inactivity rate, which is made up of a lot of people who have let the church but did not bother to remove their names from the membership rolls, the LDS church numbers are far far from 17 million.
And trying to pretend that it loves Holy Week, or Lent or Ash Wednesday will not help it.
The LDS Church has a millstone around it’s neck called Polygamy.
I mentioned in my previous comment that I worked in media and broadcasting for the church before retiring. During my time there, the church hired a PR/Marketing firm to evaluate how the church was perceived and how they could improve their PR. It was from that evaluation that the church came up with the new logo that uses the Christus statue and puts the words “Jesus Christ” prominently. One of the things the research pointed out was that when people were asked about the church, the most common thing that came to mind was “family”. Some didn’t even know we were a church; they thought we were an organization to help families improve their relationships.
I’m hopeful the church can continue listening to what people have to say. Let’s hope that the “Strengthening Church Members Committee” that monitors everything members do that is publicly accessible can pass along the good, thought-provoking things in addition to those things they view as hostile. There is so much good being done online nowadays!
I agree with you about polygamy, but I really doubt the church will ever disavow it, and it definitely won’t while two of the first presidency are polygamists.
I think polygamy is one of the main reasons for the church’s recent silencing of Mother in Heaven (See Elder Renlund’s talk in April 2022). As long as the church believes in, and still practices polygamy, Mother in Heaven is an uncomfortable doctrine. First let me reaffirm that I do not believe that polygamy was ever from God. Mother in Heaven is uncomfortable for polygamy believers because: 1. Is she one mother/wife of thousands, or millions? 2. If she is the only Mother/wife, then how does the church justify eternal polygamy? It’s very uncomfortable. The solution is to just silence her.
With respect to Elder Renlund’s talk, no one gets to tell me what kind of relationship I can have with my Heavenly Parents. That’s between me and Them.
Of course we celebrate Palm Sunday! Didn’t you read the article in the 1997 Friend Magazine that mentioned it?
If you’re not celebrating , don’t blame the church.
Proving you are Christian has nothing to do with Church logos and nicknames. Little to do the WoW or Tithing. Or remembering Christ at Christmas and Easter. It has everything to do with loving God by loving your neighbor. Until the Church leadership takes this commandment seriously, their efforts are just superficial window dressing.
I don’t know. On one hand, as an active, believing Latter-Day Saint, I sometimes have a hard time even getting into the Christmas spirit of things, as well as Easter. I’m trying hard (admittedly coming up short at times) to remember the Savior the other 363 days of the year. Emphasizing those two days starts to feel a little redundant and a little unnecessary at times, so I can see why no emphasis was given on yet other Christian holidays in the past. (I suppose the fact that “Receiving Gifts” ranks a distant last on my list of love languages probably doesn’t help my Scrooge-ish mentality either.)
On the other hand, I’ve had a favorite Joseph Smith quote come to mind the last few months:
“Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst; and they will do it before the millennium can be ushered in and Christ takes possession of His kingdom.”
Assuming the prophet was including LDS among Christianity and that the word “will” was intended to be prophetic in nature, I have absolutely no problem capitulating or conforming to the more harmless aspects of the rest of Christianity as a means of compromise in forming union and friendship. I imagine there may be more compromises in the future, although I wonder if and what compromises the rest of Christianity could and will be willing to make. I also hope we don’t lose too much of that which is unique to us, since those can just as often be an asset as they can a liability.
I do think this is a part of a concerted effort by the q15 to appear more christian – particularly evangelical, not those “extreme left wing” mainline protestants. (We can’t have a church that focuses too much on things like inclusiveness and social justice, now can we?). I also think the church has fewer historical events to commemorate that most members find particularly meaningful. All three restoration events mentioned by BRM have come under serious scrutiny in recent years. Even many believing Mormon scholars have called some of the dates and details of these events into question. Further, as the church loses more membership in the u.s. and gains members in places like Africa, stuff that is said to have happened 20o years ago in the American mid-west is not going to carry much weight.
The lack of focus on Christ in our meetings is one of the reasons I enjoy my calling as an organist. It is not rare that the only time in the meetings where Christ is mentioned other than the prayers is during the hymns. And I get to be a part of that every week.
@M Lars, it’s very interesting to hear from someone with some inside knowledge that the Church is, as I had suspected without any insider information, quite intentionally emphasizing Christ and deemphasizing the family. It’s even more interesting to hear that this change was, at least in part, driven by the findings of an externally hired PR/marketing firm.
Are we Christians yet?
But I would like us to celebrate Holy Week. Even a liturgical calendar for the whole year would be nice.
@M Lars and @mountainclimber479 sparked a few raw thoughts, mud I’ll throw at the wall. I’m going to share some thoughts on why I think the church should retain its distinctiveness as Mormons who are Christian instead of being Christians who happen to come from a Mormon heritage (what I think the current strategy is under RMN), even though I’m not sure I actually the position I’m arguing.
Wasn’t it in the mid 1990’s that the church retained Edelman, a public relations firm based in Chicago, to guide the reformation of its public image through a number of branding campaigns? I’ve often wondered if the church is still working with Edelman, or if BonCom took on all of that work for the church at some point after the initial Edelman engagement. Retaining Edelman (if this is correct assumption) and its resulting branding strategy campaign was a tectonic shift for the otherwise media insular LDS faith. It’s no mistake this would happen under the leadership of Gordon B. Hinkley, the most media savvy leader in LDS church history.
My opinion is that Hinkley’s image and branding sensibilities were brilliant and I wouldn’t be surprised if he proactively sought out Edelman. It seems like he understood differentiation and brought “Mormon” to the forefront as a brand with distinctiveness and appeal. I always thought the “I’m a Mormon” campaign was enlightened church branding because it aspired to show members as a diverse, sensible group of people from all walks of life. (And most goals, where you want to get to even if you aren’t there yet, start with stated aspirations.) The I’m a Mormon campaign launched a little less than two years after Hinckley’s death, and I’ve always wondered if he was its impetus.
I don’t sense that same kind of branding edge under Nelson. The recent brand shift to emphasizing Jesus Christ with the white, marble Jesus statuary in the logo feels opportunistic and bland (and far too white). Ditching “Mormon”, IMO, was a bad move that will only dilute the church’s distinctiveness and potentially obscure it with other church’s. You don’t keep people or win converts when you are like everyone else. (I know we are a long ways away from that reality, but we seem that’s the direction we are headed in.)
If you have read my comments on W&T you know I think there is so much wrong with the LDS church, and walking away from these brand differentiators is a mistake too, in my opinion, despite the fact I’m unhappy with the way the institutional church fails to demonstrate by example many of Christ’s basic teachings. The emphasis on Palm Sunday and Easter feels coordinated and like it is another opportunistic effort to mainstream our church with the ocean of other Christian churches in America–even if I would personally like to see the LDS church emphasize Palm Sunday and Easter more. But to be authentic it has to do so in its own distinctive way and provide a good argument for it. I know that may sound confusing. I’m not dithering so I hope I’m making myself clear. If integrating Palm Sunday and Easter more into our orthopraxy and orthodoxy is a long-term shift, why couldn’t a GA this past conference explain the refocus in more straightforward language? Stevenson offered an odd mea culpa when he said, “But the First Presidency letter was a wake-up call,” referring to the letter that was sent out announcing only one hour of church on Easter. It seemed like Stevenson was saying the church has always been telling us to do more to celebrate Easter but until an hour of church was cancelled I had no idea it was this important. Isn’t that gaslighting? How about something more honest like, “Traditionally we haven’t put as much emphasis on honoring, recognizing and celebrating Easter or Palm Sunday. The First Presidency letter seeks to change that, even to the degree we will only hold one meeting on that day. In fact, one former apostle discouraged our recognizing Palm Sunday altogether, celebrated a week earlier, and we are going to start talking more about that special day as well, and here are our reasons why… Later in the meeting you will hear others talk about why Easter is going to become more central to our doctrines and practices.” But no. Stevenson gives himself a head slap and kind of a “it’s-a-no-brainer-it-should-be-more-on-the-level-of-Christmas” talk.
From the perspective of the LDS church retaining its own distinctiveness, I’m left wondering do we really want to be confused with evangelical Christians by adopting Palm Sunday and placing renewed emphasis on Easter, but without any deep insight on why those days have now become more meaningful to LDS belief and practice? In my mind, the church has to find ways to become more Christian, yes, but in distinctively Mormon ways, or what’s the draw to our faith?
Our polygamous past is a burden. But I feel it more as the weight of a cross than a millstone.
If we want to look more Christian, why are we building all these temples? Christ certainly wasn’t obsessed with saving the dead. Nor was He about opulence in decor. Many of the new McTemples are in countries that are very poor. What does it say about our priorities, when we build exotic structures in the midst of poverty?
Church leaders encourage even the very poor to pay tithing. Even pay tithing before feeding their family. Does this sound Christlike? Tithing is a regressive tax. It hits the poor the hardest.
Church leaders need to re-examine their priorities if the want to look more Christian. Pageantry has its place, but so does compassion.
A couple of thoughts:
1) Looking backwards, it seems that I have sometimes seen some claim that the LDS faith “grew up” in an era when many in Christianity were anti-liturgy, anti-“high church”, (dare I say anti-Catholic?), and were promoting worship that didn’t need all of those “crutches” to properly worship God and Christ. Our deemphasis of Holy Week and Easter seem like natural outgrowths of that kind philosophy around worship.
2) Looking forward, I think the big test of the OP will occur about late February or early March of 2024. Will our wards and branches naturally recognize that they need to start preparing something nice and special for Easter Sunday, or will we need another letter from the First Presidency to prompt us to make Easter something different from other Sundays.
“Even pay tithing before feeding their family. Does this sound Christlike?”
Actually, the Church has kind of tricky way that they use to touch all of the bases on this issue, at least they did in the two bishoprics that I’ve served in. It goes like this: the Church wants everyone to attend the temple, which you can’t do unless you pay tithing. So, what they do is have the welfare recipient pay the bishop tithing – say $200 to round it off. Then the bishop will have the RS president put together a monthly food order of $500 from the Bishop’s Storehouse, plus (in some cases) the bishop will pay utilities and other expenditures for the family. Are there welfare recipients who take advantage of this?
Oh, yeah. I wrote checks up to $3,500 at the bishops behest on a one-time basis to bail people out. I used to feel uncomfortable about this in some cases, but that was before I found out about the $100,000,000,000. Man, that’s a lot of zeroes!
I think where the rubber meet the road regarding the Church and Easter will come the next time Easter falls on the first Sunday in April, and collides with General Conference. Can we even imagine adjusting our Most Holy Mormon Conference Calendar to make room for even a bit of the liturgical calendar of Christianity? In any case, this won’t happen until 2026, so I’m assuming President Nelson figures it won’t be his problem to solve.
I liked the increased emphasis on Jesus, the atonement, and the resurrection this year. For me, it’s a step in a good direction.
There are some things that I still would like to see happen, though I can only make changes in my personal spiritual life.
I don’t find simply adopting features from other church traditions as rewarding as I wish I did. I think the reality that they are not my traditions means they don’t always affect me in a meaningful way. I am still working to find the “Mormon” way to adopt the liturgical calendar into my life. We did consciously adopt the framework of Holy Week this year. That was good, but we’re still working on it. It helps us that I’m an organist (but not a very good one), so I start practicing Easter hymns weeks before Easter. I make sure to include All Glory, Laud, and Honor in my postlude, though I doubt many people in my ward recognize the hymn or its significance.
I wish that we would separate the realities of the atonement and crucifixion a little more from the glorious news of the resurrection. I want to dwell on/understand/give thanks for both. If I were planning Sacrament Meetings, I would like to see what might happen if on Palm Sunday we acknowledged and expressed gratitude for the suffering and gift of the atonement, but then on Easter Sunday focused on the triumph of the resurrection.
Before anyone tries to engage with Jack let me summarize how the discussion will go:
OP: There is a problem, presents evidence, more evidence and more evidence.
“Things should change.”
Jack: I don’t believe the evidence, “The leaders are perfect.”
Commenter: More evidence Something needs to change
Jack:Ignores the additional evidence “the leaders are perfect”.
Repeat a dozen or so times, all commenters give up in exasperation and Jack makes a passive aggressive assertion and everyone goes.home.
There, saved you all a lot of trouble.
Thanks for giving everyone a “heads up.” That should make things easier for me. 😀
Robert, is your comment about Jack a little ad hominem? Or do we want this forum to be an echo chamber where we only hear what we want to hear? I am perfectly capable of reading a post, not agreeing with it, and going on with my day, peaceably and with no ill will toward the person with whom I have a disagreement, provided that all parties are being civil. When I look at a thorny issue, I appreciate hearing different viewpoints, even those opposed to mine. I would rather hear them than shut it down by shaming my neighbor. Maybe I am doing exactly what I don’t like here, but I admit that I am not perfect!
Probably, however, I rather suspect Jack is a troll and instead of looking for substantive engagement, he is just seeking to stir things up. YMMV
Personally, I feel rather ambivalent about the church trying to cozy up to mainstream Christianity rn just as mainstream Christianity is starting to err towards Christian nationalism.
I kinda wonder if the part of the point of this is to make the church look more like an ally rather than a target to any administration adopting an (even more zealous) Christian Nationalist mythology.
Just gonna keep rocking my newfound Agnostic-Atheism thank-you.
I realize Robert’s comment was more of a caricature–and I don’t read every post and ensuing conversation here at W & T anymore–but to Jack’s credit, I cannot recall anywhere in the past where he claimed Church leaders were perfect. I’ve been here about eight years or so, and find frequent commenters here have some of the broadest definitions of trolling of any forum I’ve been on. I’ve been accused of it before where that kind of mentality was the furthest from my mind. W & T claims to be inviting, and I do appreciate the lighter hand when it comes to moderation, but it’s kidding itself if it’s pretending to substantially give off anything more than an exclusive, liberal Mormon and Mormon liberal country club vibe. It’s a vibe I’m earnestly trying to understand, and less often, offer understanding, but it’s a definite vibe nonetheless.