Agreed. The OP, though, asks if a tacit expectation of infallibility is nevertheless in play in (some) faith crises.
I'm not sure that's correct. I think such an expectation can and does exist, though tacitly.
I think some who leave, perhaps even many, also "act as though the prophet is infallible."
There’s an old saying: “Catholics say the pope is infallible but don’t really believe it; Mormons say the prophet is fallible but don’t really believe it.”
Not quite. You had said: "Disagreeing with Nelson that it's God's will to not use the nickname Mormon is not criticizing Nelson at all." I responded: "That's a bit more of a judgment call." You then asked for clarification: "Why? I had you agreeing. But on this there's some question? Curious why you think so."
I started to clarify, but ended up making a somewhat different point (the one above).
No. Please re-read what I said here:
This approach is very, very different from the one you are attributing to me.
Publicly or privately?
You seem to have fundamentally misunderstood my position. That may be partially my fault, and if so, I apologize. I am clarifying now.
As a general proposition, yes.
No, I don't think so. I reject the notion that abstaining from public criticism of the leaders of the Church is tantamount to attributing infallibility to them. That is a huge leap in logic and reasoning, one I have not made, and one which I reject.
Again, I'm not willing to publicly air my disagreements with my wife, either. That doesn't mean I believe she is infallible.
To not publicly oppose, yes.
Meh. Nobody is saying that. You're just making that up.
More or less.
Not sure about this characterization.
That depends, I suppose, on how one thinks the prophetic mantle works.
Perhaps an illustration can help: God also knew that His people would live in an era where substance abuse is rampant. And yet the Word of Wisdom says nothing about marijuana, or cocaine, or meth, or heroin, or GHB, and so on. Why weren't any of these things mentioned in the Bible or Book of Mormon? Or why haven't we received a canonized revelation about these substances?
The answer, I think, may be understood by applying the principles explained by Elder Bednar in two books, "Increase in Learning" and "Act in Doctrine." This article summarizes things this way:
Here's a graphic that goes along with the above article:
To further illustrate here is an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on "Doctrine":
For me, I think the Word of Wisdom is "doctrine." The "principles" we glean from the Word of Wisdom pertain to healthy living, abstaining from certain specified things (coffee, tea, tobacco), and so on. The "application" of the Word of Wisdom will proscribe things like heroin and cocaine, because using such substances cannot be squared with either the "principles" or the "doctrine" arising from the Word of Wisdom.
Is pornography specifically prohibited in scripture? No, but using it cannot be squared with the Law of Chastity (any more than using heroin can be squared with the Word of Wisdom). Plus it has been specifically and emphatically and repeatedly condemned by modern prophets and apostles. So the "application" of the Law of Chastity to the viewing of pornography is fairly clear-cut, even though we're speaking of principally of "application" (of a "principle" gleaned from a "doctrine").
As pertaining to the issue of homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage, I think there are "doctrines" in play, such as the Law of Chastity and various concepts pertaining to the nature and purpose of marriage. From these we can/should/must glean "principles," and then develop appropriate "applications."
So how should we apply these principles to homosexual conduct and/or same-sex marriage? If a Latter-day Saint, acting with sincerity and in good faith, with a desire to discern and understand and submit to the will of God, studies the scriptures and the messages of modern prophets and apostles, I think he/she will be able to develop "applications" based on "principles" gleaned from "doctrine." And when this process is complete, I think such a person will find himself/herself standing with the Brethren on this issue, and also understand the "applications" and "principles" they have developed and implemented to those within their stewardship (which is to say, the entirety of the Church).
I previously wrote:
I wrote that 2.5 years ago, in early 2016. That the Brethren have changed their "Application" of "Principles" derived from "Doctrine" doesn't really change much for me.
Wrong, IMO. Joseph Smith said (emphasis added):
Also, see 1 Corinthians 13 (emphases added):
And, more recently, D&C 1 (emphases added):
When things seem to go sideways in terms of my perspective on the Church, these items often come to mind. They remind me of a few things:
1. God is perfect. That is axiomatic. So I cannot attribute error or malice arbitrariness or other character defects to Him (such as "that's the kind of up and down, back and forth, wishy washy and dare I say taffy puller God is"). If there is something off, it's got to be attributable to some other part of the system. A human part (or parts). Most often the me-myself-and-I part.
2. When evaluating the words and actions of prophets and apostles, all sorts of things in play here. Context matters. A lot. Historical context. Social/cultural context. Scriptural context. Gospel context. So does accuracy in conveyed information. So do my personal life experiences, as well as the importance of properly characterizing those experiences as finite, blinkered, and not altogether accurate (rather than definitive, perfected and utterly, pristinely correct). It is likely that they know a lot of things that I don't. And, of course, it's possible for them to make mistakes ("in their weakness," "inasmuch as they erred," etc.). And it's also possible for them to have not erred per se, but to nevertheless change course.
3. We "see through a glass, darkly." I am reluctant to presume that my personal opinion is superior to that of the Brethren, particularly on an issue affecting the entirety of the Church. And even if I do think that I am "right" and they are "wrong," I would not say so publicly. I would instead voice my concerns in accordance with the counsel provided by Elder Oaks here.
4. Christ preached a gospel that was not going to be popular in the minds of an increasingly wicked world. He knew that. But He preached it anyway. I think He knew beforehand that His message would alienate many people, including some otherwise good and decent people. But He preached anyway. I think He did so because those who were ready for His message needed to hear it, and needed to be gathered out of the World. Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words." Christ also said: "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." Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."
My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus." My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary. Christ had warnings for us, after all. Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."
I'm really not into a binary approach to construing these things. I think Latter-day Saints need to give the Brethren some breathing room to sort these things out. A "you do one thing I dislike and I'm outta here!" approach essentially gurantees a "cascade failure" in terms of an individual's relationship to the Lord's Church (and is, I think, a manifestation of a tacit expectation of infallibility).