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Fallibility within the church

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The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Another point of conversation - how far do you trust church leadership?  Where do you question?  What do you feel free in disagreeing with?  In seeing a leader as someone who is imperfect and does not always get everything right?  

What does "all-in" mean to you?  How much do you have to agree with and follow to consider yourself a solid and worthy member of the church?  

 

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55 minutes ago, changed said:

The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake. 

 

A more interesting question: when the examples you seem to think don’t exist inevitably appear, are you going to be able to admit your mistake?

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41 minutes ago, changed said:

The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Another point of conversation - how far do you trust church leadership?  Where do you question?  What do you feel free in disagreeing with?  In seeing a leader as someone who is imperfect and does not always get everything right?  

What does "all-in" mean to you?  How much do you have to agree with and follow to consider yourself a solid and worthy member of the church?  

A very recent article on that by Duane Boyce just came out in Interpreterhttps://www.mormoninterpreter.com/yes-its-true-but-i-dont-think-they-like-to-hear-it-quite-that-way-what-spencer-w-kimball-told-elaine-cannon/ .

A number of readers made comments, including me, dealing with the issue of infallibility.

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1 hour ago, changed said:

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake

You would have to ask his wife that question; I bet she could provide a long list.  
Oh you mean as the leader of the church?  The words of Mr Spock from Star Trek come to mind regarding this:
"You're the captain of this ship. You haven't the right to be vulnerable in the eyes of the crew.
You can't afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect.
If you do, they lose faith and you lose command." 

That's why he can't apologize, but he can make corrections when needed.  Despite what Spock said, all faithful members know that no man is perfect,
that is why they are able to ignore some things that might seem wrong and require no apologies, because they know God will not let him make any serious mistakes. 
And things will eventually always work out for our good. 
In all my 60 plus years in the church I can not think of one thing that any prophet should have apologized to me for.

 

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11 minutes ago, JAHS said:

You would have to ask his wife that question; I bet she could provide a long list.  
Oh you mean as the leader of the church?  The words of Mr Spock from Star Trek come to mind regarding this:
"You're the captain of this ship. You haven't the right to be vulnerable in the eyes of the crew.
You can't afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect.
If you do, they lose faith and you lose command." 

That's why he can't apologize, but he can make corrections when needed.  Despite what Spock said, all faithful members know that no man is perfect,
that is why they are able to ignore some things that might seem wrong and require no apologies, because they know God will not let him make any serious mistakes. 
And things will eventually always work out for our good. 
In all my 60 plus years in the church I can not think of one thing that any prophet should have apologized to me for.

 

 

I think Blacks and the priesthood was a serious mistake... I think not baptizing children of LGBT parents was a serious mistake.  I can name a few more things I consider to be serious mistakes but that would derail the thread... 

I am going to have to disagree with Spock - even within a military operation.  If a commander in an army starts yelling at soldiers to kill innocent people, a good soldier would not obey.  I do not see the church as a ship or a military unit - I think it should be more of a school, trying to help people to progress - and part of progression is learning how to think for oneself.. Good teachers do not just give their students all the answers... 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

As far as they align with revelation, both canonised and personal.

Nearly everywhere ... right up to the point where revelation and personal experience resolve my questions.

Privately? Anything. Publicly? Anything specific revelation has told me that I should.

I know from repeated personal experience that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Kingdom of God on the Earth, complete with priesthood keys of authority and the power of revelation. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

 

So - let's say there is some issue, such as Blacks the the priesthood, which do not align with your revelation... (had this discussion with my Stake Pres)... He said - I did not agree with it, but I kept silent about it.  ... I thought that was horrible - to know people are suffering and excluded and there is racism, but not say anything?  Not try to help those who are hurting over it?  

 

From the LDS Church's Handbook of Instructions, Section 6.7.3:  Apostasy …[A]postasy refers to members who: Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders.

 

... not being able to disagree - question - or "oppose" imperfect leaders is a bit... I guess I will not say it.

Sam Young also comes to mind.  It started with Sam's own children you know - and blew up into what it is now... he was thrown into this very real problem, with legitimate concerns - and was excommunicated for it... 

Edited by changed
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

A very recent article on that by Duane Boyce just came out in Interpreterhttps://www.mormoninterpreter.com/yes-its-true-but-i-dont-think-they-like-to-hear-it-quite-that-way-what-spencer-w-kimball-told-elaine-cannon/ .

A number of readers made comments, including me, dealing with the issue of infallibility.

 

Some great quotes in there - 

when the prophet speaks, the debate is over. - “Yes, it’s true, but I don’t think they like to hear it quite that way.”.... “when our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”...

 

The same idea said any number of ways comes across the same.  It appears the prophet considers himself to be infallible, considers himself to be perfect - which to me is blasphemous... 

 

..."We need to much more carefully address whether in fact our prophets are infallible, and whether everything they say is the very word of prophecy."

So when does everyone think the prophet is speaking for God, vs. not?  .... thus saith the Lord____ ← when was the last time anyone said that?? and if they do not say it, then just ignore it?  thus saith the Lord... all children 12 years and older shall meet privately behind closed with their bishop and discuss their sexual morality?  thus saith the Lord... children of LGBT parents will be excluded from church??  thus saith the Lord all those of African decent shall not be given the priesthood?  

 

 

Edited by changed
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2 hours ago, changed said:

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Last public one I know off the top of my head: 2016.

D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve donated $250 to Richard Nelson who was running for the Utah State School Board. This violated Church policy on General Authorities contributing to political campaigns. He apologized for the mistake.

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In the D&C Joseph and many others are rebuked many times for being slothful, not diligent, and unfocused. These kinds of revelations (at least published) seemed to have ceased after that.

Interesting observation is all I have to say.

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Posted (edited)

When I am taught something, I pray about it before I implement it. 

I don’t do everything im told to do, it’s not possible to. 

I don’t see any person as infallible.  

My SP taught a 5th Sunday on chastity and said that we needed to be accountable to our spouses for all things and that it would be wise to have access to and check phone records on the regular. 

Felt pretty wrong to me.  I didn’t follow the directive. 

Turns out he’s been diagnosed with some paranoid depression.  Sounds pretty human to me. 

Edited by MustardSeed
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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

But that's the thing. It's not my revelation. It has to be God's, or it's worthless. Elsewhere on this forum, I've posted about what happened when God told me -- in spoken words in, of all places, the temple's font -- to disagree with my stake president. Because it was of God, it all worked out beautifully in the end, with my stake president and my bishop all independently receiving the exact same message. Genuine revelation is a beautiful thing.

Too many times, however, we Church members get into real trouble concluding that every thought and feeling we have is somehow God talking to us. It's not. And even when He tells us that we are right, He often tells us just to wait for Him to take care of things. The Kingdom is His; He knows how to guide and shape it according to His master plan.

 

I think the safest bet is to take data from a variety of sources - more than my own head, and also more than the church as well, into consideration.  Yes - people from may different denominations claim guidance from God and perhaps receive it for themselves - I just do not see anyone as holding the keys to any other person's salvation, believe that we are all accountable for ourselves, and to God directly without a middleman.  

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The problem is that you have just invented a completely false narrative.  You came to the article not to learn what had been said and done, but instead with already formed views (most of them false) on what had taken place.  Instead of quoting what was actually said, and commenting upon it, you instead decided for turn your supposed enemies into devils.   Which is a very convenient ploy, because then you don't have to have a real discussion.

 

You are avoiding the issue - yes or no.  Do prophets consider themselves to be infallible?

When is a prophet or leader speaking for God, and when are they not?

Edited by changed

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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Last public one I know off the top of my head: 2016.

D Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve donated $250 to Richard Nelson who was running for the Utah State School Board. This violated Church policy on General Authorities contributing to political campaigns. He apologized for the mistake.

and paid back the $250?  Do you have a reference for that?

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11 hours ago, Duncan said:

Elder McConkie saying "forget everything", both Pres. Faust and Pres. Uchtdorf saying that Prophets sometimes make mistakes, I think Elder Marlin Jensen apologized for prop 8 or something to that effect-these come to mind.

 

This is what comes up when I google "Elder Marlin Jensen apologized for prop 8"

"https://www.huffpost.com/entry/elder-jensen-prop-8-apology_b_739609"

The headline “Elder Marlin Jensen Apologizes for Proposition 8” is a bit misleading. I was present at the meeting. There was a great deal of pain expressed by a number of people about their experiences around Prop 8 and the larger context of church policy regarding gay people. It was a remarkable meeting, and Elder Jensen took copious notes and was visibly emotionally touched as he listened to the stories. At no time did he say anything like, “I know Proposition 8 was a mistake and I apologize for that mistake.” He was responding personally and in general to the extraordinary pain he was witnessing. No one had a tape recorder, but I wrote down the words, “...Do we owe an apology? I will say I am sorry. To the full extent of my capacity I say I am sorry.” It was a sincere and moving statement. It would not be constructive to make his statement sound like something it was not. The meeting itself was an historical event, for which I and many others are deeply grateful.

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10 hours ago, SteveO said:

A more interesting question: when the examples you seem to think don’t exist inevitably appear, are you going to be able to admit your mistake?

Still waiting for legit examples SteveO...

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11 hours ago, changed said:

The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Another point of conversation - how far do you trust church leadership?  Where do you question?  What do you feel free in disagreeing with?  In seeing a leader as someone who is imperfect and does not always get everything right?  

What does "all-in" mean to you?  How much do you have to agree with and follow to consider yourself a solid and worthy member of the church?  

 

I'm "all-in". To me, it means I'm there on Sunday. I'm trying to do my part to contribute. I watch general conference. I take in the messages. I don't feel like I'm compelled to agree with anything. So the answer to the question "what do you feel free in disagreeing with?" is: everything. I do feel compelled to listen and take everything seriously and struggle with it to see if it's something I should try to bend myself to. Sometimes I disagree because I'm right and others are wrong. Sometimes I disagree because I'm wrong and others are right. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, changed said:

The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Another point of conversation - how far do you trust church leadership?  Where do you question?  What do you feel free in disagreeing with?  In seeing a leader as someone who is imperfect and does not always get everything right?  

What does "all-in" mean to you?  How much do you have to agree with and follow to consider yourself a solid and worthy member of the church? 

Though I see many examples on this page of Church leaders admitting and apologizing for mistakes, I do not require evidence or proof of their fallibility. I just assume that they are, and that they do make mistakes, and live my religion. They have the keys, and I am grateful to God for what I have obtained as a result of their exercise, but what I do with those blessings is between me and the Lord.

I don't mistrust, question or disagree enough, and certainly don't see any leader as imperfect enough, to comment. I do not consider infallibility a criterion at all, so won't comment on the absence thereof.

I try to be "all-in" given my many weaknesses, and I hope with a measure of confidence that the Lord accepts my offering. In a way, this is the Lord's example for me to follow in how I accept what the leaders offer.

 

Edited by CV75
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11 hours ago, changed said:

The prophet does not claim to be perfect, and yet....

Name a time where the prophet (or apostles, etc.) admitted to, and apologized for making a mistake.  

Another point of conversation - how far do you trust church leadership?  Where do you question?  What do you feel free in disagreeing with?  In seeing a leader as someone who is imperfect and does not always get everything right?  

What does "all-in" mean to you?  How much do you have to agree with and follow to consider yourself a solid and worthy member of the church?  

Our tradition and expectations around prophetic fallibility are not healthy.  There are a few statements by some leaders that call for some nuance and moderation, but the dominant narrative gives preference to deferring to the prophet and aligning with leaders.  From the songs we sing to the way that junior members of the Q15 act all the way down the chain of command in the patriarchal hierarchy.  Its a very unhealthy tradition in this sense.  From my perspective the church operates more like a military dictatorship than a democratic by common consent organization. 

Its unfortunate, and I'm not sure that it can change significantly.  The few slightly more independent minded people always seem to be squeezed out of leadership and the more obedience types are given privilege.  Look at Uchtdorf and Hugh Brown as examples in the Q15.  Perhaps if priesthood were finally granted to women, it would mix up this dynamic.  Perhaps if more emphasis were given to personal revelation, and we ditched the follow the prophet idol worship.  I can dream, can't I.  

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11 hours ago, Duncan said:

Elder McConkie saying "forget everything", both Pres. Faust and Pres. Uchtdorf saying that Prophets sometimes make mistakes, I think Elder Marlin Jensen apologized for prop 8 or something to that effect-these come to mind.

So few and far between, sadly we can count the exceptions to the rule on one hand....  

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22 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

I'm "all-in". To me, it means I'm there on Sunday. I'm trying to do my part to contribute. I watch general conference. I take in the messages. I don't feel like I'm compelled to agree with anything. So the answer to the question "what do you feel free in disagreeing with?" is: everything. I do feel compelled to listen and take everything seriously and struggle with it to see if it's something I should try to bend myself to. Sometimes I disagree because I'm right and others are wrong. Sometimes I disagree because I'm wrong and others are right. 

I think its great to realize that people like yourself exist in this church and can continue to navigate it while having a very healthy and skeptical approach to authority.  But you are an outlier in the dominant culture.   

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