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Scott Lloyd

"Mormon Royalty"

Mormon Royalty  

109 members have voted

  1. 1. If one is descended from a Church president or apostle, is that person entitled to be regarded as Mormon royalty?

    • Yes
      15
    • No
      89
    • Other (please explain)
      5


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This is my first experience with a poll, so I hope I get it right.

In another thread, the subject came up of the segment in the recent NBC program "Rock Center" wherein a daughter of Jon Huntsman Jr. was characterized as "Mormon royalty" because of her relationship to a deceased member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

In that thread, cinepro said he has encountered "enough" members of the Church from Utah who subscribe to the concept of Mormon royalty that he doesn't think it is alien to all of the faithful.

So this poll measures the view of board participants as to whether such a relationship amounts to "Mormon royalty."

Add-on: So as not to skew the results, let's limit this poll to those who regard themselves as faithful members of the Church, please.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I don't even think it is just a Utah thing. Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible suggest lineage of priesthood callings and responsibilities that many times follow familial lines. I think the same concept is true today where there is a certain "elite" class raised to take on leadership in the future. Many stakes and wards also have families that tend to be bedrocks and parts of their community. However the church balances this very well with spiritual requirements of worthiness as well as a meritorius system that brings in the talents of converts very well. Some families do a lot of work to help make their youth into spiritual powerhouses. This inevitably reflects in the church structure. Not a bad thing seeing as the system is open and not exclusive.

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In the media when they mention royalty, it isn't because one is related to GA's alone, but also wealthy or celebrity church members.

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In the media when they mention royalty, it isn't because one is related to GA's alone, but also wealthy or celebrity church members.

That's perhaps even more offensive. And certainly presumptuous.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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I don't like to think that we actually have people who consider themselves as Mormon "royalty."

Having an ancester in the who's who means nothing as far as I'm concerned...

When we enter an endowment room, we are all dressed alike... the person sitting next to you could be a descendent, or rich/famous, etc., but they are not, by outer appearance, any different from the other 80+ individuals in the room... and what they have on their interior is even more important. The idea of "royalty" is prideful in the most offensive of attitudes.

GG

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The phrase "Mormon Royalty" is almost always applied as a pejorative. It brings to mind the idea from "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis, where the artist wondered if he would at least meet famous artists, and was upset when his guide informed him that people in heaven were famous for much different reasons than people were famous for on earth.

Between you and me and the fencepost, I'd rather be a humble, hardworking bishop than the son of Donny Osmond or the grandaughter of a Seventy. I think your long term prospects are better that way.

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Since we are all children of God, one could say that all human beings are royalty, with potential to gain a throne. However, as far as one Mormon being "more special" than another Mormon (or anybody else) because they are descended from a prophet or apostle, no, I don't accept that.

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Since we are all children of God, one could say that all human beings are royalty, with potential to gain a throne. However, as far as one Mormon being "more special" than another Mormon (or anybody else) because they are descended from a prophet or apostle, no, I don't accept that.

I think the scriptural concept of a chosen people or a "royal priesthood" is far different from what is implied in the media with the phrase "Mormon royalty."

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I think the scriptural concept of a chosen people or a "royal priesthood" is far different from what is implied in the media with the phrase "Mormon royalty."

Agreed.

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Here's what I put in the other thread:

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The situations I'm familiar with went beyond "an appreciation for one's own ancestral heritage". For example, we had the newlywed granddaughter of an apostle (and member of the First Presidency - now deceased) living in our ward in Los Angeles, and she talked about the pressure she had from some family members when she chose to marry a man who her family didn't deem "suitable" for them. He was a great, active member of the Church, but wasn't from a preferred lineage or station in life. That was one of the reasons they moved to Los Angeles. To be clear, none of this came from her grandfather, he really like her husband, it was other family members. I also had some friends who went to BYU and had experiences with children of GA's expecting special treatment or consideration (and acting like they owned the place).

I've never lived in Utah, so these stories may have been the rare and unusual exception, but they would indicate that some people in Utah do see certain classes of people as being "royalty" :unknw: If that's not the case, that is wonderful and I'm glad everyone is able to stay humble and grounded even in a Church with such a well-defined power structure.

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I think we can all acknowledge that the ideal situation is for all members of the Church to be sufficiently humble that there is never any consideration of status, wealth, celebrity or lineage in esteeming others. But, being human, sometimes these factors can come into play in communities and families.

It shouldn't be so, but it would be a miracle of gigantic proportions if the Church in general, and Utah in particular, had avoided such social mores.

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Other...

I know first generation Mormons who think they are Royalty and 8th generation Mormons who are humble, hard working and never consider their lineage as a sign of anything.

God is no respecter of persons but people are.

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Here's what I put in the other thread:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The situations I'm familiar with went beyond "an appreciation for one's own ancestral heritage". For example, we had the newlywed granddaughter of an apostle (and member of the First Presidency - now deceased) living in our ward in Los Angeles, and she talked about the pressure she had from some family members when she chose to marry a man who her family didn't deem "suitable" for them. He was a great, active member of the Church, but wasn't from a preferred lineage or station in life. That was one of the reasons they moved to Los Angeles. To be clear, none of this came from her grandfather, he really like her husband, it was other family members. I also had some friends who went to BYU and had experiences with children of GA's expecting special treatment or consideration (and acting like they owned the place).

I've never lived in Utah, so these stories may have been the rare and unusual exception, but they would indicate that some people in Utah do see certain classes of people as being "royalty" :unknw: If that's not the case, that is wonderful and I'm glad everyone is able to stay humble and grounded even in a Church with such a well-defined power structure.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think we can all acknowledge that the ideal situation is for all members of the Church to be sufficiently humble that there is never any consideration of status, wealth, celebrity or lineage in esteeming others. But, being human, sometimes these factors can come into play in communities and families.

It shouldn't be so, but it would be a miracle of gigantic proportions if the Church in general, and Utah in particular, had avoided such social mores.

And as I said on the other thread, I am from Utah, and the very notion of Mormon royalty strikes me as weird.

I know there are apt to be family reunions and gatherings of descendants who have illustrious ancestors, but as I said on the other thread, appreciation for one's ancestral heritage is not the same thing as laying claim to royalty.

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I live in "the mission field," and I have noticed an attitude among some members here that Mormons here are "better" and more righteous than "Utah Mormons." I heartily disagree with that notion. I lived in Utah for several years, and met many wonderful people. There are good people and "bad apples" wherever you go, and from every family.

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I have met several people who are related to past GAs and they think they are God's gift to the Church-them and not their ancestors. Yet! I know a few people also who are related to other Big Wigs and you wouldn't even know it, they are so humble I am amazed. I also know two or three people who are also related to GAs who are totally inactive. I think there is a sentimentality that it's who you know to get those types of callings. I am on the fence about this whole issue. I want so hard to believe that God is no respector of persons but it seems hard to believe when a lot of GAs are related to each other or are best buddies or mission comps or whatever. I have a lot to say about this but will get upset if I do so I will refrain!

Edited by Duncan

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This is my first experience with a poll, so I hope I get it right.

In another thread, the subject came up of the segment in the recent NBC program "Rock Center" wherein a daughter of Jon Huntsman Jr. was characterized as "Mormon royalty" because of her relationship to a deceased member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

In that thread, cinepro said he has encountered "enough" members of the Church from Utah who subscribe to the concept of Mormon royalty that he doesn't think it is alien to all of the faithful.

So this poll measures the view of board participants as to whether such a relationship amounts to "Mormon royalty."

Add-on: So as not to skew the results, let's limit this poll to those who regard themselves as faithful members of the Church, please.

first not being a "Utah Mormon" (I am not from Utah) I don't think I can answer the question. I have never heard "Mormon Royalty" but I have heard one too many "Mormons" lay claim to their own authenticity as a Mormon by way of going out of their way to unnecessarily give their Mormon lineage.

Second, still on the Us and them kick, what does being "faithful" have to do with whether one can honestly and unbiasedly answer a poll. If you only count "faithful" then we must suspect the poll on those grounds as "faithful" should be just as suspect of giving a biased response so as to not put any amount of negative thought out towards members of the Church or the Church itself.

Thirdly, in my opinion you are hung up on the term "royalty" rather than focusing on what was meant or implied.

Edited by DavidB

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first not being a "Utah Mormon" I don't think I can answer the question. I have never heard "Mormon Royalty" but I have heard one too many "Mormons" lay claim to their own authenticity as a Mormon by way of going out of their way to unnecessarily give their Mormon lineage.

Here again, appreciation for ancestral heritage is not the same thing as laying claim to royalty. And who can say in a given instance that mentioning one's lineage is done "unnecessarily"? Many Church members are very much involved in family history and are constantly trying to identify cousins and relatives so they can network with them in tracing their family tree. This is wholesome and very much encouraged in LDS culture, whether or not one had ancestors who were Church leaders.

Second, still on the Us and them kick, what does being "faithful" have to do with whether one can honestly and unbiasedly answer a poll. If you only count "faithful" then we must suspect the poll on those grounds as "faithful" should be just as suspect of giving a biased response so as to not put any amount of negative thought out towards members of the Church or the Church itself.

The allegation was that the presumption of royalty is present among the "faithful" Latter-day Saints. So this poll is intended to measure the presence of that attitude among those who self-identify as faithful Church members, and that is why I posed the question to that specific group.

For the purpose of this poll, I'm not interested in the opinions of outsiders who are apt to view observant Mormons in a prejudiced or unfavorable light that does not correspond to reality. In short, it's about how faithful Mormons see themselves, not about how outsiders see them.

To draw an analogy, suppose the question were "Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith?"

The only useful way to arrive at an accurate answer to that would be to ask faithful Mormons themselves, not those who are inclined to perpetuate a myth based on their own hostility.

Thirdly, in my opinion you are hung up on the term "royalty" rather than focusing on what was meant.

So tell us "what was meant." And, while you're at it, substantiate your opinion about "what was meant," bearing in mind the inference or connotation that an uninformed listener could reasonably be expected to draw from such phrasing.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Scott, this is such a great topic. My paternal grandmother was a terrible hero-worshiper along with her sibs and my father's sisters. There's even a section in a genealogical book on why "We are Cousins to the Prophet," showing that we connected back with Lucy Mack's grandfather. My father still jokes that if somebody's shadow once fell on you in Wellsville, that person is your cousin.

This old silliness, much more widespread than my crazy relatives, will, hopefully, be rotted out at some point. In the meantime, however, human nature being what it is, we'll continue to see it.

My own claims to royalty:

Cousin-dom to The Prophet.

Great-Great Grandson to two [count 'em] two councilors to Lorenzo Snow when he was BE Stake President.

Great-Great Grandson to an actual "First bunch of Seventies."

Great-Great Grandson to a Nauvoo cop and JSJr bodyguard.

Great-Great Grandson to the owner of the first brick 2-story in Nauvoo.

Great Grandson to a Sugarhouse Cohab.

And yet nobody makes me stake president or asks my opinion about Mitt Romney or consults me on questions of over-ritualization of the Sacrament in Sandy wards.

So . . . I said "Other." Something very like that existed/exists, but not as either the reporter or the Huntsman numbskull intended.

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I am a convert and a first generation Mormon. Like Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, Wilford Woodruff and a few other notables. :tribal:

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Here again, appreciation for ancestral heritage is not the same thing as laying claim to royalty. And who can say in a given instance that mentioning one's lineage is done "unnecessarily"? Many Church members are very much involved in family history and are constantly trying to identify cousins and relatives so they can network with them in tracing their family tree. This is wholesome and very much encouraged in LDS culture, whether or not one had ancestors who were Church leaders. ...

so if i understand you correctly, when a person gratiously and off-topic just happens to let their lineage be known, that person is just putting out feelers to figure out who the geneologist in the group are?

Almost every time I have heard someone lay out their lineage it is unnecessary and provides nothing to the topic on which the person is speaking. Unless the topic is "Who are were your ancestors and what did they do", then ones lineage is unnecessary.

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Because so many GA's are related to each other (which mostly we only know because church critics compile and publish the info; It's not like Ann M. Dibbs tells stories of her dad the prophet in her GC talks as a member of the YW presidency), questions sometimes surface about lineage.

Members have been known to hold children of bishops and stake presidencies to higher expectation than others.

So I don't think it is completely unfair that the term exists, however inimical it is to church doctrine and teachings.

One of my ancestors is named in the doctrine and covenants. Another was in the First Quorum of Seventies and Joseph Smiths bishop in nauvoo and performed the first recorded polygamist marriage to him. I tell people that when I talk about their having had every opportunity to know all about him and the critics concerns, yet choosing to follow Brigham out west anyway (why should I from a distance of 190 years think I know more about his character).

Edited by rpn

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so if i understand you correctly, when a person gratiously and off-topic just happens to let their lineage be known, that person is just putting out feelers to figure out who the geneologist in the group are?

Almost every time I have heard someone lay out their lineage it is unnecessary and provides nothing to the topic on which the person is speaking. Unless the topic is "Who are were your ancestors and what did they do", then ones lineage is unnecessary.

It can come up in discussions about temple work or tracing family history. This is not a foreign topic for Mormons. However it can also be a way of bragging for some. The fact that someone is excited about their latest genealogical project does not necessarily mean they are bragging.

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so if i understand you correctly, when a person gratiously and off-topic just happens to let their lineage be known, that person is just putting out feelers to figure out who the geneologist in the group are?

Perhaps in some cases, yes. In other instances they might just be expressing appreciation for the valiance and sacrifice of their own ancestors and the legacy that they bequeathed, not just to their own posterity but to all Latter-day Saints.

That you view such a thing as "gratuitous" and "off-topic" may be a reflection of your own hyper-sensitivity as much as anything else.

Almost every time I have heard someone lay out their lineage it is unnecessary and provides nothing to the topic on which the person is speaking. Unless the topic is "Who are were your ancestors and what did they do", then ones lineage is unnecessary.

Did you ever ask them what their purpose was in mentioning their ancestry and confront them with your impression that they are doing it just to establish their own supremacy? What was their response?

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I read a bit ago the autobiography of Elder Spencer H. Osborn who served as a Seventy in the 1980's and he was told or found out somehow that when he was called the brethren compiled 300 names to consider to be a new General Authority and they wittled it down to six and he was part of the six, as was Elders John K. Carmack, Devere Harris, Phillip T. Sonntag and I forget the rest! and none of whom are related to any GAs

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I don't think they should be (or are) royalty, but I do believe that at times they are treated that way.

Edited by sjdawg

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Scott, this is such a great topic. My paternal grandmother was a terrible hero-worshiper along with her sibs and my father's sisters. There's even a section in a genealogical book on why "We are Cousins to the Prophet," showing that we connected back with Lucy Mack's grandfather. My father still jokes that if somebody's shadow once fell on you in Wellsville, that person is your cousin.

This old silliness, much more widespread than my crazy relatives, will, hopefully, be rotted out at some point. In the meantime, however, human nature being what it is, we'll continue to see it.

My own claims to royalty:

Cousin-dom to The Prophet.

Great-Great Grandson to two [count 'em] two councilors to Lorenzo Snow when he was BE Stake President.

Great-Great Grandson to an actual "First bunch of Seventies."

Great-Great Grandson to a Nauvoo cop and JSJr bodyguard.

Great-Great Grandson to the owner of the first brick 2-story in Nauvoo.

Great Grandson to a Sugarhouse Cohab.

And yet nobody makes me stake president or asks my opinion about Mitt Romney or consults me on questions of over-ritualization of the Sacrament in Sandy wards.

So . . . I said "Other." Something very like that existed/exists, but not as either the reporter or the Huntsman numbskull intended.

Perhaps the presumption was more endemic among old-timers than it is today.

Maybe this would be a good juncture to remind everyone that the question is ...

If one is descended from a Church president or apostle, is that person to be regarded as Mormon royalty?

... not ...

If one is descended from a Church president or apostle, does that person regard him/herself as Mormon royalty?

I suspect that at least some of the respondents answering "yes" don't understand the question.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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