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rongo

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About rongo

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    Brings Forth Plants
  • Birthday 07/19/1975

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    Baseball, basketball, football (especially college); LDS Church history; the Gospel; reading

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  1. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    All true, but you're making a direct comparison between a corporate law firm and general authority duties and responsibilities. With respect to the ability to be able to discuss issues related to doctrine and Church history, I don't think the comparison is apt. With the myriad duties of administering a large global church, yes --- I have no problem with a bureaucracy for that. But I don't think a model of bureaucratic compartmentalization and specialization when it comes to knowledge of Church history and doctrinal concerns is ideal. I also don't think it's zero sum --- that it's either/or. Many very busy general authorities in the past were also able to be aware of and conversant on the burning issues of their time. What about simply being aware of the scroll length discussion (or common BoA criticisms)? Or being aware of the MMM at a CHC level? No PhD level expertise required. We're all very busy with what's on our plate, too, and yet many of us find time to be reasonably read on such things --- and able to discuss them. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation for general authorities. They're full-time general authorities of the Church. They have committee meetings during the week, and travel to stakes and missions on the weekends (for the most part). So did the GAs of old.
  2. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    It isn't, in and of itself. But time was that Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, Mark E. Peterson, LeGrand Richards, B.H. Roberts, etc. would have written the responses themselves. We rely so much on the bureaucracy to write things and prepare briefings for the Brethren today. In the "good, better, best" continuum, isn't best of all for the Brethren to be experts themselves on controversial issues? Especially when they pertain to Church history? I don't think they're evasive. I do think they are intended to give the impression of a Church response, with the best scholarship available. Without a doubt.
  3. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    Q&A sessions I have witnessed or read transcripts of. First Vision accounts? Book of Abraham criticisms? Blacks and the priesthood? Joseph Smith polygamy? The Brethren are very good with Church issues and things in their wheelhouse, but in my experience get irritated and don't convey a good grasp of the very things addressed by the essays. If they did, then they could have written them. Personal observation and opinion.
  4. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    Yes, those parts that went beyond disavowing past explanations. I do acknowledge that. Because they often do give rubber-stamped or outsourced approval. Often is unfair. Sometimes. I have had applications to the First Presidency that have never been seen by them (all correspondence has been with female secretaries, and the nature of it demonstrates to me that they made the decision and it wasn't seen by them). So, to me, just because something has nominal approval of the Brethren doesn't carry the day. Obviously, if they say something under their name, then there is no question. Largely, yes. For things within their knowledge (like Reeve going too far with condemnation of the ban), they intervened. But regarding details about things like polygamy, statements about the ban, the Book of Abraham controversy, etc., they are not knowledgeable and able to scrutinize, anyway. I expect a flood of CFRs, but I'm just basing that on instances when they have fielded questions about things like that. They defer completely to what the submitting scholars say. I think there are certain areas where the keys of revelation could answer (God willing, of course), but it would put things on the line and potentially drive some people away, so the unnamed essays offer deniability and flexibility of updating or even removal, if needed. They are primarily intended to just exist and be available to be pointed to, as needed. I don't think the Brethren want them to be widely read or used, but they exist if needed.
  5. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    I will add that the value of the Brethren's approval of the essays drops, in my eyes, when I have heard them attempt to answer questions about essay topics. With the exception of insisting on removing some things, they had no hand in writing them, and have simply approved whatever was submitted to them.
  6. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    Sure, but why not name "the" primary author or the name of the people who wrote them. The Brethren didn't have a hand in the writing of them --- they were commissioned. The Brethren did participate in deliberations over the final wording (e.g., the Paul Reeve Race and Priesthood essay was much longer, and much more condemning initially --- based on his book). sma917:
  7. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    So why were the authors not named? Why not be open about how they were produced?
  8. No, I limit it to baptized males. I think Bernard made a good point that priesthood has been limited in *every* era other than the last 40 years. That is, it has never been widely available to all men, really ever. I think that is one reason to see 1978 as not just expediency, but also an important piece in the restoration puzzle.
  9. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    Why do you think they weren't issued as being (by name) from the Brethren themselves? I think that alone points to them being a secular help, not a revealed document. That's certainly a big part of it: the flexibility to be changed (or even removed) if the need arose. I think we all believe that if they were revealed, there wouldn't be the need (or fear of needing) to update or alter them in response to new information.
  10. That's it exactly. This universal priesthood is a hallmark of the dispensation of the fullness of times, and a sign that we're getting closer, I think (in perspective with the scope of human history).
  11. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    My bad. I didn't scroll down far enough. I just say thing that looked like Webdings or Wingdings. Thanks!
  12. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    Do you really think that there aren't people who consider themselves to be believing members, and who don't really care whether or not it's from God, just as long as there is an apology and condemnation? --- How do you do the laugh smiley? The board upgrade leaves me with only poor looking black and white options (unless you know the actual characters for the emoticon, like colon paranthesis for a smile).
  13. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    It's equally an assumption that meeting with the NAACP is due to a crying need for sensitivity training in the Church. I agree that for the essays to be more effective and authoritative, they would need to be 1) written by and published by the Brethren themselves (names attached). 2) more prominently referenced and displayed. The value is pretty clearly intended to be primarily their existence themselves, if needed. For those who have heard the Brethren talk about topics in the essays, they are not very well-informed or well-equipped on those issues. In some cases, they don't know much about them at all. I wish that our apostles and seventies were personally informed and able to discuss them. I think the outsourcing of them to Brian Hales, Paul Reeve, John Gee, etc. (and then approving them to put on the website) undermines their power and effectiveness. The most effective trump card of all, of course, would be being able to speak authoritatively through revelation on them, but I don't think this has even been inquired about. The current preference is the "revelation by committee and council" approach, which yields carefully-worded and non-committal essays that leave room for interpretation (which isn't always a bad thing).
  14. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    People who consider themselves to be believing members, but who are unhappy with the Church's direction. I think of Orson Scott Card's definition for "liberal Mormon" in Saintspeak: The Mormon Dictionary: 1. As perceived by a conservative Mormon: A Mormon who wants to pervert the gospel to fit the doctrines of men instead of waiting for the Brethren to receive revelations. Liberals talk about being guided by the Spirit but usually find that the Spirit is telling them to espouse currently fashionable American liberal causes and ideas. 2. As perceived by another liberal Mormon: A Mormon who believes that the Lord won't give you any answers unless you ask him intelligent questions. Liberals believe that a Saint should be sensitive enough to recognize truth and humble enough to accept it whether it comes from the Brethren or Boethius, Newton or Nietzsche. Such members (and I know some, and some even post here, I would say) would, of course, regard it as truly God's will, if, say, the law of chastity were radically overhauled. Even while believing that the Church and the Brethren are not in sync with God right now with respect to the LoC. And they consider themselves to be believing members. I think such people, at heart, don't really care whether it really is God's will or not. They just want the apology and condemnation!
  15. rongo

    1st Pres. and NAACP

    That doesn't necessarily follow. The Church does things for perceived PR reasons all the time that arguably aren't needed. Meeting with the NAACP and talking about joint service projects is a nice thing, but it isn't being done because of profound racist acts or anything like that. That makes it sound like it's an anger management class being given in a sentencing hearing or something. I think it had much more to do with the 40th anniversary celebration and the broadcast on June 1st. I remember that quote! It's in an interview in the "Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons" video. Very true. Are we ever going to be 100% free of that? And what's to stop a member from bringing up decades down the road (assuming hypothetically a future full repudiation/condemnation and apology) that there was a ban, then it was eliminated in 1978, then it was apologized for and condemned in 2022, etc.? All of our history and statements are fair game in lessons, and the evolution of this issue within Mormonism (no matter which direction this goes) could certainly be mentioned and be pertinent in a lesson. Is there a way to stop that? And is that the primary rationale for apologizing/condemning? (I know you're not saying it is --- I think you would say God's will would be the only valid reason --- but I think it is for many: the hope that we can stamp out once and for all any uncorrelated comments or questions in lessons. I would say that's a fool's errand). One of the exciting parts (and painful, and stressful) about modern Mormonism is that we're on the cusp of issues like this, or gay marriage/orientation, that make a lot of people on both sides of the issue look long and hard at their own thoughts and motives, and where they stand to the Church. There are going to be "winners" and "losers" on these issues, and the heartache and frustration on the losing side would very easily be identical if the shoe were on the "winning" foot. In some cases, personal apostasy or inactivity results, in others, continued activity subject to change. But it could very easily be the other way if the Church went the other way. It definitely calls for charity, compassion, and refraining from "end zone dancing." I think the rejoicing, and then the later anger and sick feeling upon learning about the hoax shows how volatile feelings can be with these things.
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