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cinepro

President Nelson and Change

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1 hour ago, Thinking said:

Do any of the recent changes leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure?

No, certainly not “unrecognizable”.  That would have to be extreme changes.  I’ll bet to those outside the church, these new changes don’t mean that much (if they even know about them.). Even when the priesthood change happened (and it was much more extreme a change), the church was still recognizable, I think.

What major changes would even make the LDS church “unrecognizable in culture and structure”?  I’m not sure that’s really even possible to do.

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15 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've mentioned on this forum about half a dozen times or so how Elder Bednar visited us four or five years ago and told us that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure. Whatever 'it' is, the apostles seem to have known for some years that it was coming.

Edit: I'm at work and don't have my notes in front of me, so I found a post from when I did: We were told that 'the Lord is constructing a Church that will be able to fulfil its divine global mandate and that it would be "unrecognisable" in everything but doctrine before He's finished'. He also told us that the Lord had just finished laying the foundation of the Restoration, and that it was time to build the proper structure on top. He also mentioned his fear that it would be American Saints who would most struggle with coming changes since many of them are more attached to the culture than to the doctrine.

FWIMBW, I remember reading a blog post by someone in America reporting very similar language at least a couple of years earlier as well, but I couldn't prove it.

Elder Bednar said the same thing to us, more than once, and some of the Seventy in quoting him. Maybe that is a function of his own culture in the science of organizational behavior!

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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Dr Nelson did do two heart surgeries as an Apostle:  Hugh Nibley and Leonard Arrington got bypass surgery from him.  He apparently had very high regard for both of them.

Didn't he operate on the Chinese leader after he became an apostle too?

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24 minutes ago, JulieM said:

No, certainly not “unrecognizable”.  That would have to be extreme changes.  I’ll bet to those outside the church, these new changes don’t mean that much (if they even know about them.). Even when the priesthood change happened (and it was much more extreme a change), the church was still recognizable, I think.

There certainly have not been "massive changes" as Elder Bednar predicted.  Only small, very minor ones so far at least, IMO.

25 minutes ago, JulieM said:

What major changes would even make the LDS church “unrecognizable in culture and structure”?

I would think changes such as not excommunicating members entering SSM and them being able to be sealed in the temple.  Or, giving the priesthood to women.

Those are two changes that would qualify as "massive" and may cause the church to become "unrecognizable in culture and structure".  If he's right, that could be exciting to see.

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50 minutes ago, oremites said:

Could Elder Bednar have really foreseen that President Nelson  would outlive President Monson (who was 3 years younger) and that he would be in such good health in his 90's that he would be a vigorous "agent of change"?

I believe that President Monson had diabetes. He did well to live as long as he did. Also, Bednar would be able to interact with Nelson enough to know how healthy he is.

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27 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I would think changes such as not excommunicating members entering SSM and them being able to be sealed in the temple.  Or, giving the priesthood to women.

Those are two changes that would qualify as "massive" and may cause the church to become "unrecognizable in culture and structure".  If he's right, that could be exciting to see.

That would be a change in policy and doctrine.

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12 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

That would be a change in policy and doctrine.

That's true, but what can you think of what would be a "massive" change that would cause the church to become "unrecognizable in culture and structure" that did not at least involve a policy change?

Edited by ALarson

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16 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've mentioned on this forum about half a dozen times or so how Elder Bednar visited us four or five years ago and told us that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure. Whatever 'it' is, the apostles seem to have known for some years that it was coming.

Edit: I'm at work and don't have my notes in front of me, so I found a post from when I did: We were told that 'the Lord is constructing a Church that will be able to fulfil its divine global mandate and that it would be "unrecognisable" in everything but doctrine before He's finished'. He also told us that the Lord had just finished laying the foundation of the Restoration, and that it was time to build the proper structure on top. He also mentioned his fear that it would be American Saints who would most struggle with coming changes since many of them are more attached to the culture than to the doctrine.

FWIMBW, I remember reading a blog post by someone in America reporting very similar language at least a couple of years earlier as well, but I couldn't prove it.

This is something that I have been thinking. These changes most probably have been in the making for some time. The two hour block had a pilot program before it was implemented. The three hour block was actually implemented as part of that global mandate as a compassionate change to help people in other countries that were spending a large portion of their income just going to meetings. I hope that the Saints in these (supposedly) United States will be able to adjust to those changes.

Glenn

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4 minutes ago, ALarson said:

That's true, but what can you think of that would be a "massive" change that would cause the church to become "unrecognizable in culture and structure" that did not at least involve a policy change?

Of course any changes will require policy changes. It is the doctrinal changes that would be problematic. It would require a repudiation of the Family Proclamation as well as other things for which revelation has been claimed.

 

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5 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Of course any changes will require policy changes. It is the doctrinal changes that would be problematic. It would require a repudiation of the Family Proclamation as well as other things for which revelation has been claimed.

 

To be honest, I doubt this prediction could come to pass unless there were doctrinal changes.  Nothing else would be massive enough to cause the church to become unrecognizable, IMO.  For sure, nothing so far has caused that to happen and I guess we will just have to wait and see if his prediction takes place in the future.

Edited by ALarson
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58 minutes ago, Rain said:

Didn't he operate on the Chinese leader after he became an apostle too?

He did.  It was a Chinese opera star.

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17 hours ago, cinepro said:

We've talked a lot about the changes President Nelson has made to the Church in the past year, but as I've thought about the recent changes to the missionary communication policy, I feel that there may be something that both the critics and TBMs are overlooking.

Obviously, each change brings a flood of Facebook memes from believers about the latest "revelation", attributing the change to divine intervention.  Conversely, critics immediately write them off as some combination of obvious, lacking, superfluous. 

But both groups failed to see something that perhaps will be obvious in hindsight:

President Nelson is quite possible the first President of the Church in the last 100 years who is an actual "change agent."  Meaning, President Nelson is the first leader we've had that sees his role as one of change, not loyalty to the past and being chained down by policy and tradition.

And why is this?  Because he is the first General Authority that comes from a culture where change was required and respected, and where he excelled at being innovative.  Specifically, his experience as a cutting-edge (pun intended) heart surgeon, where he was instrumental in developing new procedures that revolutionized that area of medicine.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTq0Pht4ybGj7lGO5FF0HY

While I consider previous Prophets to be good and inspired men, they were all brought up in the Church bureaucracy in such a way that they most likely saw themselves as loyal stewards of the past.

President Monson - Worked for Deseret News, the Church Press, called as Apostle at 36.

President Hinckley - Seminary teacher, Sunday School board, various church committees.

President Hunter - Lawyer.  While I have great respect for lawyers, they are trained to honor precedence and argue for their position.  It is not a profession that fosters "change" thinking.

President Benson - Farmer, government worker.

President Kimball - Insurance broker.

and so on...

So my theory is that President Nelson hasn't approached his office as one who has been called to preserve the traditions and policies of the Church (and not step on the toes of those who came before him).

Instead, he is approaching it like an innovative surgeon.  If the Church is a "body", and it is imperfect, then Nelson is going to do what is most needed and effective to help it get better.  He'll do the least necessary, but he's not afraid to use a scalpel and go in and make changes.  And it doesn't matter how precious a policy or tradition was to those who came before him.

The odd thing is, if I'm right, how no one saw it coming.  Both critics and Church members get so hyper-focused in what they want to see, no one said "Hey, this guy comes from a very different culture and has accomplished very different kinds of things, so this could be a very different kind of Presidency..." 

And sadly, I don't know that anyone else in the immediate line of succession has any indication of being this kind of leader. 

I really like your analysis. It's hard to predict what a person will do because there are so many variables. The culture of his employment and the certainty of surgeon-types is just one aspect of who he is, though I agree, a very important one.

It is refreshing to see Pres. Nelson act in decisive ways, changing things in a culture that has, in many ways, grown leery of change. I'm impressed with his willingness and ability to lead in this way.

15 hours ago, churchistrue said:

There are a couple variables I think play into this.

1. The amount of direction a prophet feels he is receiving from God in order to make change.

2. The amount of direction a prophet feels is necessary in order to make change.

I'm assuming #1 has been pretty constant through the years. I'm assuming #2 has been constant for a long time, and that most prophets have felt they have needed more direction in order to make more drastic changes, and that has been why there has not been as much change. IOW, the main difference with Pres. Nelson is that I think he feels enabled to pull the trigger without as much direction as others in the past.

I believe it's a combination of the 2. Pres. Nelson clearly believes he is receiving inspiration/revelation. This can be seen by things both he and his wife have said on numerous occasions. I also believe that he doesn't view the threshold for inspiration/revelation as high as maybe past prophets have. He is accustomed to studying things out and then seeking solutions. I suspect he views revelation as a partnership between the prophet and God, not merely a prophet waiting for God to tell him something. He'll study it out, make a decision, and then ask if it is not right. Then he feels the freedom and  power to move forward. IMO this is the philosophy of a strong leader. In some ways, I see some similarities between Pres. Nelson and Pres. Young, at least in the ways they felt empowered to lead and their pragmatic view of leadership.

I've told the story before of when I had a one-on-one meeting with (then) Elder Nelson. I asked him about the state of revelation in the church since we don't have modern records of ministering angels and pentacostal style revelations. He spoke about how great it is that leaders today recognize the still small voice. So IMO he isn't expecting, nor is he requiring any kind of grandiose experience before he makes a decision.

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The Church through the ages has always been in a state of change. Change does not make the church less or more true. Change is made to connect more with its members at that time. The changes we saw in the past helped the past saints grow closer to the Savior. Changes to day will do the same. We have had many types of changes (i.e. diet, policy, protocols, age requirements, etc.).

Lets look at the recent change of communicating with missionaries. Many if not most missionaries have paid for their missions themselves or through the help of their own labors, loved ones, friends, ward members.  Missionaries live in extreme frugality and their financing every penny is needed. In the past it would be a huge expense to phone home weekly. In current times it neither distracts from the missionary nor is it a big expense (internet). It also helps the parents to stay updated and be better missionaries too. 

technology is pretty cool. We just had a baptism here in Nebraska where the investigator was taught by sisters online and from the Elders serving here. At his baptism an Elder talked on baptism and a sister missionary who had also taught the investigator  talked on receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost via an internet link-up. Church will continue to change, not to be more worldly, but to be more successful in bringing people to our Lord.

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25 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I've told the story before of when I had a one-on-one meeting with (then) Elder Nelson. I asked him about the state of revelation in the church since we don't have modern records of ministering angels and pentacostal style revelations. He spoke about how great it is that leaders today recognize the still small voice. So IMO he isn't expecting, nor is he requiring any kind of grandiose experience before he makes a decision.

I have not read where you spoke of this before.....it's very interesting.  It's been apparent for awhile (even before he became Prophet), that Elder Nelson was not timid about using the word "revelation".  Members are really responding to hearing it again from their Prophet too (in a very positive and excited manner).

I have wondered who the last Prophet was that used this word as much as Elder Nelson does?  I know it's been awhile and it's interesting to hear what he told you regarding what it means to him.  Thanks for sharing this!

Edited by ALarson
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17 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've mentioned on this forum about half a dozen times or so how Elder Bednar visited us four or five years ago and told us that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure. Whatever 'it' is, the apostles seem to have known for some years that it was coming.

Edit: I'm at work and don't have my notes in front of me, so I found a post from when I did: We were told that 'the Lord is constructing a Church that will be able to fulfil its divine global mandate and that it would be "unrecognisable" in everything but doctrine before He's finished'. He also told us that the Lord had just finished laying the foundation of the Restoration, and that it was time to build the proper structure on top. He also mentioned his fear that it would be American Saints who would most struggle with coming changes since many of them are more attached to the culture than to the doctrine.

FWIMBW, I remember reading a blog post by someone in America reporting very similar language at least a couple of years earlier as well, but I couldn't prove it.

Very interesting.

Perhaps Elder Bednar will be the church president who implements these massive changes. President Nelson probably doesn't have enough time left and if you look at the next few in line I think Elder Bednar could rise to the top of the pile quite rapidly.

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6 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I have not read where you spoke of this before.....it's very interesting.  It's been apparent for awhile (even before he became Prophet), that Elder Nelson was not timid about using the word "revelation".  Members are really responding to hearing it again from their Prophet too (in a very positive and excited manner).

I have wondered who the last Prophet was that used this word as much as Elder Nelson does?  I know it's been awhile and it's interesting to hear what he told you regarding what it means to him.  Thanks for sharing this!

Pres. Benson said that the talk about Pride "I earnestly seek an interest in your faith and prayers as I strive to bring forth light on this Book of Mormon message—the sin of pride. This message has been weighing heavily on my soul for some time. I know the Lord wants this message delivered now."

Pres. Kimball talked about Revelation as well

https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-spencer-w-kimball/chapter-22?lang=eng

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2 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Yes, I believe Pres. Kimball was the last Prophet to actually state he'd received a revelation (blacks and the priesthood).  That was a pretty big change.  But not massive enough to cause the church to become unrecognizable.  Once again, I'm not sure what it would take for that to take place.  

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1 minute ago, ALarson said:

Yes, I believe Pres. Kimball was the last Prophet to actually state he'd received a revelation (blacks and the priesthood).  That was a pretty big change.  But not massive enough to cause the church to become unrecognizable.  Once again, I'm not sure what it would take for that to take place.  

does it need to be unrecognizable? if you talk to my parents the Church they joined in the 1960's isn't a lot like it is now, the gospel is the same but different things are emphasized. I talk to a man in our ward who served in Finland in the 1960's and he said the message they were told to proclaim was proofs of the Book of Mormon, and proving all this stuff and the good news of the gospel was lurking around somewhere else

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6 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Yes, I believe Pres. Kimball was the last Prophet to actually state he'd received a revelation (blacks and the priesthood).  That was a pretty big change.  But not massive enough to cause the church to become unrecognizable.  Once again, I'm not sure what it would take for that to take place.  

Just a passing thought - if you were a black man, would you have a different perspective? I suspect that you would then feel that the opportunity to hold the priesthood would be a massive, monumental change in your life. My point is that you are making a blanket statement for all people and the problem is that your perspective, as for each of us, is highly limited.

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1 minute ago, Storm Rider said:

Just a passing thought - if you were a black man, would you have a different perspective? I suspect that you would then feel that the opportunity to hold the priesthood would be a massive, monumental change in your life. 

Oh yes, for sure.  But the prediction is that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognizable in culture and structure. 

4 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

My point is that you are making a blanket statement for all people and the problem is that your perspective, as for each of us, is highly limited.

Well, the prediction was not one that was limited to just a certain portion of members.  I agree that the revelation on the priesthood was "a pretty big change" (and not just for blacks), and we also agree that it was not massive enough to cause the church to become unrecognizable.

Maybe they will bring polygamy back?  Now that would shake things up :) 

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30 minutes ago, Duncan said:

does it need to be unrecognizable? 

Only if we're discussing Elder Bednar's prediction.

Quite honestly, I doubt that will ever happen.....but I was just asking what it would take for his prediction to come true.

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

Didn't he operate on the Chinese leader after he became an apostle too?

I am unaware of that one.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

He did.  It was a Chinese opera star.

 

12 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I am unaware of that one.

Yes, thank you. Opera star.

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19 hours ago, cinepro said:

We've talked a lot about the changes President Nelson has made to the Church in the past year, but as I've thought about the recent changes to the missionary communication policy, I feel that there may be something that both the critics and TBMs are overlooking.

Obviously, each change brings a flood of Facebook memes from believers about the latest "revelation", attributing the change to divine intervention.  Conversely, critics immediately write them off as some combination of obvious, lacking, superfluous. 

But both groups failed to see something that perhaps will be obvious in hindsight:

President Nelson is quite possible the first President of the Church in the last 100 years who is an actual "change agent."  Meaning, President Nelson is the first leader we've had that sees his role as one of change, not loyalty to the past and being chained down by policy and tradition.

And why is this?  Because he is the first General Authority that comes from a culture where change was required and respected, and where he excelled at being innovative.  Specifically, his experience as a cutting-edge (pun intended) heart surgeon, where he was instrumental in developing new procedures that revolutionized that area of medicine.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTq0Pht4ybGj7lGO5FF0HY

While I consider previous Prophets to be good and inspired men, they were all brought up in the Church bureaucracy in such a way that they most likely saw themselves as loyal stewards of the past.

President Monson - Worked for Deseret News, the Church Press, called as Apostle at 36.

President Hinckley - Seminary teacher, Sunday School board, various church committees.

President Hunter - Lawyer.  While I have great respect for lawyers, they are trained to honor precedence and argue for their position.  It is not a profession that fosters "change" thinking.

***

and so on...

So my theory is that President Nelson hasn't approached his office as one who has been called to preserve the traditions and policies of the Church (and not step on the toes of those who came before him).

Instead, he is approaching it like an innovative surgeon.  If the Church is a "body", and it is imperfect, then Nelson is going to do what is most needed and effective to help it get better.  He'll do the least necessary, but he's not afraid to use a scalpel and go in and make changes.  And it doesn't matter how precious a policy or tradition was to those who came before him.

The odd thing is, if I'm right, how no one saw it coming.  Both critics and Church members get so hyper-focused in what they want to see, no one said "Hey, this guy comes from a very different culture and has accomplished very different kinds of things, so this could be a very different kind of Presidency..." 

And sadly, I don't know that anyone else in the immediate line of succession has any indication of being this kind of leader. 

Don't be sad. Be glad for salvation is nigh. 

As for your premise that lawyers don't promote change, I would argue quite the opposite. The law is very different now than say even 50 years ago, because it has changed as society has changed. Where was worker's compensation before WW II? Whole new areas of law have opened up: product liability, environmental law, etc. All this change is largely due to lawyers who saw "need for change" and introduced legal bills, and new laws to address societal needs and desires. I am by no means suggesting the legal system is perfect, but it certainly  is adaptive. There is by necessity a regard for precedent or else each court would be making up its own law.  Nonetheless, I think change is a hallmark of American law, and lawyers are always for innovative new approaches, etc. Lawyers are always questioning what is the best way to do things.

And while I think some are hungry for change, let's not start praising change for change's sake. I think Pres Nelson is praying about areas that are presenting challenges to the Church and is presenting change in those areas he feels impressed upon - that by no means means he is the vanguard for some new Church trend, but I am glad that he apparently does not feel constricted by Church customs - many of which I feel have had their day.

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5 hours ago, Thinking said:

Do any of the recent changes leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure?

Depends on what you use as the starting point.

Compared to the Hinckley administration.  No.  Compared to the McKay administration.  A bit.  Compared to any of the administrations of the 1800s.  Yes.

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