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Pete Ahlstrom

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About Pete Ahlstrom

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    Seasoned Member: Separates Light & Dark
  1. What would impress you with respect to a lesson on the lifting of the priesthood ban? How should it be taught from your perspective?
  2. Why does this bother you? Isn't innoculation the new wave? It seems to me that this is what church history should be about. Let's discover what really happened, who said what and what motivated them.
  3. CH1 Now online for all membership

    Ok. Bishops make mistakes and one doesn't have to go to the press to express displeasure. How about expressing disagreement in gospel doctrine class or out in the foyer? A lot of times, if constructive criticism is expressed immediately and with tact, then there isn't the mass disaffection you claim would happen. I've seen it done and the bishop and the ward survived. Couldn't it be done reasonably or is that impossible to even imagine? Incidentally, my bishop survived the revelation row and no one left the ward because of the disagreement. In fact, my bishop went on to serve as a mission president and is still active today. I didn't leave because of it either if you can believe that. Now as far as possible criminal behavior, the church has learned that its prior policy of trying to sweep abuse under the rug does not work and this is where criticism, public and loud, should be allowed. Kids should be taught to stand up to inappropriate acts especially from authority. Fear of questioning leaders due to this unfortunate policy of keeping it to oneself or going to the bishop in private will not stop the behavior sadly. Even the church recognizes that the proper way is to go to the police. This is pretty public if you ask me. Also, if that doesn't work, if one is in a small mormon town where cover-up of abuse is a definite possibility, then go to the press and do whatever is necessary to out the abuser and get the abuser jailed. Finally, do you actually believe that holding everyone to the same standard is somehow wrong? This isn't the military where questioning authority might get people killed and even there society doesn't allow the Nuremberg defense.
  4. CH1 Now online for all membership

    I don't think going public is the witch hunt you make it out to be. I don't see the threats from members you claim. Have you witnessed a member go to a bishop and threaten his reputation like the mafia would as in your example above? What I am talking about is along the lines of parents not believing their children, because of the undo deference to authority, when their children say the bishop was inappropriate with them thereby allowing abuse to continue. Or when my bishop publicly rebuked the ward because we didn't agree with his self-serving "revelation" stories he had told in a prior testimony meeting. Or when a bishop in a ward I was in on my mission publicly made his son kneel before him because the son acted out in a way common to children his age. That was entirely unnecessary and harmful to the child. Members should be allowed to publicly disagree with this nonsense. Of course, complaining about these things does take the authority down a notch. But in the instances above, it was because of the leaders and not the members. No one is above reproach and the policy against criticism sure promotes certain individuals being more equal than others.
  5. CH1 Now online for all membership

    Criticism should be public if the mistake is public, at least. Also, I think it would promote harmony if a leader, who made a public mistake, would actually apologize publically. No one should be above anyone else. Sorry E. Oaks, I have to disagree and say that the church should apologize if appropriate. Going to the leader in private and not being able to go public promotes leaders being able to hide or unreasonably justify error. Also, knowing that public criticism might happen should act to properly focus the leader on maybe thinking things through prior to acting or saying something inappropriate. Further, criticism shouldn't be a one way street where leaders can publicly rebuke but not expect it in return.
  6. CH1 Now online for all membership

    I'm familiar with the policy. I don't like to be questioned just like probably everyone. However, questioning is a necessary check on fallible leaders and should be encouraged. Certain leaders over the years have done some horrible things, like abuse, that could have been stopped or stopped sooner had the church allowed more questioning. It's frankly a case of wanting to be considered as infallible when they are not. Sure, if they were infallible and could be completely trusted, it would be a different case. But we know they are clearly men and act as such. Hence, they should be questioned. Perhaps the non-questioning policy is one of those non-inspired policies that is a result of men acting as men and not as inspired leaders?
  7. CH1 Now online for all membership

    Don't they act as men sometimes? Shouldn't members be allowed to voice their opinions when they do act as men?
  8. CH1 Now online for all membership

    Sure seems so and the leader won't even have to say his decision (from the handbook) was inspired because it is heavily implied by the system.
  9. CH1 Now online for all membership

    Of course it would never happen even though the door is open. These things only happen in those carnival type churches where the pastor uses trickery and confederates to fake healings, etc.
  10. CH1 Now online for all membership

    I hope the inaccessibility and keeping people in ignorance isn't to maintain a certain mystique for leaders to make decisions and claim some sort of extra divine input when the leaders are just following the handbook.
  11. CH1 Now online for all membership

    I think the handbook should have remained online officially (I'm sure it can be had at one of the archive websites). People ought to know how their church functions and what is recommended in certain situations.
  12. Institute = the BYU

    Do you think it might be the constant church influence that pushes some away? The church seems to over-program at times. I understand that the church really wants to guide the youth so much that it may over-do it and create backlash. In my case, I was really burnt out after my mission and that led me to not immediately go on a study abroad with my friends to Jerusalem. I couldn't deal with having church every day again for another 6 months, so I thought, after just having completed 2 years of it. Maybe this has something to do with the Utah/Mission Field dichotomy my mother always told us about while growing up? She went to BYU but was from California and that is where we lived until I was 5. She didn't want to go to SLC to live because she thought SLC mormons maybe took it for granted being surrounded by like minded people. However, maybe the constant influence of a dominant culture is what pushes some away?
  13. Jesus's statements on marriage

    Maybe we would lock Jesus up if he appeared today like in the grand inquistor chapter of the "Brothers Karamazov?"
  14. Jesus's statements on marriage

    A lot of Jesus' teachings aren't followed today. The church will fight tooth and nail if sued instead of doing what the sermon on the mount says to do when sued. Matt 5:40. Even so, it should defend itself and is justified in doing so. Also, we as a society don't really love our enemies. Matt 5:44. We want to have droan strikes and war and kill the enemy. Here again the situation may justify not following Jesus.
  15. jospeh the con man?

    Where does the idea come from that God cannot tolerate any sin? If he was once as we are now, he probably had to tolerate sinful people in his world prior to being anointed to to godhood. Also, we tolerate "sinful" people here in hopes that they will repent one day. Did he lose his ability to tolerate once he became God? Is that the natural progression of things - the more one approaches perfection, the more one becomes less tolerant of those lesser, sinful people?