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smac97

Tacit Notions/Expectations of Prophetic Infallibility: A Key Ingredient in Faith Crises?

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Kevin Christensen recently posted these verses from D&C 1:

Quote

24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.
25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;
26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;
28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

Kevin asks (rhetorically): "So, how should I react if I discover that various LDS leaders made errors in assertions about the New York Cumorah, or what ever else bothers you?  Should I shatter like glass if I run across something that counters my traditions?  (That happens to be Joseph Smith's apt metaphor in discussing an LDS weakness in dealing with information that counters their traditions.)  Or should I first examine my own eye for beams, and consider not what I did expect, but rather always be willing to ask 'What I should expect?'"

Kevin's comments are in response to other comments made by California Boy, who is describing "a total collapse of faith in the trustworthyness of the Church and its leaders" for some members.  CB invokes, by way of illustration, various comments made about the location of the Hill Cumorah.

To the extent CB has a point (and he does), I think there is an implicit assumption in that "total collapse," a key ingredient that is common to most or all such faith crises: prophetic infallibility.

Without such an assumption/expectation/requirement, members of the Church seem to do just fine in accepting and living the Gospel.

But if and when such an assumption/expectation/requirement is present, it can lead to a "cascade failure" of the individual's belief system.

Thoughts?  

Also, I am sure this observation has been made elsewhere.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Where have you seen it before?  I would like to consider other perspectives on it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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11 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Another question could be asked regarding this too....

Can members continue believing in the church if they've lost trust in their leaders?

You are putting the cart before the horse.  Are some members losing trust in their leaders because they have implicit expectations of, and demands for, prophetic infallibility?

Are some members running afoul of Mormon 9:31?  "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."

Are some members failing to seek wisdom from the "best books" per D&C 88 and 109?

Are some members playing Othello to Runnells' Iago? 

11 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I'll answer and say, "yes, some can".....but their testimony and beliefs are altered and they focus more on Christ and his teachings and the Gospel rather than on accepting all the words and teachings and policies coming from our current leaders.

I don't understand the "rather than" bit.  Why is this an either/or situation?

Also, this seems like a set-up for justifying/rationalizing a rejection of the Church's teachings, presumably about the Law of Chastity and Same-Sex Marriage.  Is that what you meant by "rather than on accepting all the words and teachings and policies coming from our current leaders"?

Thanks,

-Smac

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19 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Can members continue believing in the church if they've lost trust in their leaders?

A wise man once said

" I was never disillusioned because I was never illusioned in the first place."

Inoculation is the answer.

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6 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Are some members losing trust in their leaders because they have implicit expectations of, and demands for, prophetic infallibility?

Are some members running afoul of Mormon 9:31?  "Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been."

Are some members failing to seek wisdom from the "best books" per D&C 88 and 109?

Are some members playing Othello to Runnells' Iago?

That would be a yes, yes, yes, and another yes.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

A wise man once said

" I was never disillusioned because I was never illusioned in the first place."

Inoculation is the answer.

I think the leaders agree with you here and are really now trying to do that.  I applaud their efforts too.

At least this may help the younger generations (I hope), if they learn a more accurate church history.  But I am seeing them leaving over other issues now....so it's challenging and has to be frustrating for the leaders as well.

Edited by ALarson

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39 minutes ago, smac97 said:

To the extent CB has a point (and he does), I think there is an implicit assumption in that "total collapse," a key ingredient that is common to most or all such faith crises: prophetic infallibility.

Without such an assumption/expectation/requirement, members of the Church seem to do just fine in accepting and living the Gospel.

But if and when such an assumption/expectation/requirement is present, it can lead to a "cascade failure" of the individual's belief system.

Thoughts?  

If we are talking about faith crises in general, then I would suggest that one common underlying issue is an (often) unrecognized reliance on someone other than Christ - be they prophets, local leaders, family members, etc. 

I have a good friend whose brother recently left the church. He had been an active member his entire life, and my friend related to me that he was surprised at how much his brother leaving the church affected him. He had thought his testimony was a strong, independent thing, but he recognized that maybe a portion of it (unnoticed until the change) was really tied in with his family. 

I don't know that this is something we consciously do, but it's something that can potentially cause us to stumble. And it seems to happen more often than it should - especially since it's something Christ warns us about. 

 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, smac97 said:

You are putting the cart before the horse.  Are some members losing trust in their leaders because they have implicit expectations of, and demands for, prophetic infallibility?

No....or at least just maybe for some.  I think members expect truth and honesty from their leaders and many now feel they haven't received that regarding church history or past teachings

 

44 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't understand the "rather than" bit.  Why is this an either/or situation?

It's just an analysis of what I am seeing taking place with the members I've worked with.  Many seem to trust less in their leaders and trust more in their own inspiration more regarding teachings and policies. (If they've gone through a crisis of faith and remain active.)

As a result, many are more comfortable disagreeing with the leaders at times (ie. the policy regarding gay members....).

Edited by ALarson
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Amulek said:

If we are talking about faith crises in general, then I would suggest that one common underlying issue is an (often) unrecognized reliance on someone other than Christ - be they prophets, local leaders, family members, etc. 

I have a good friend whose brother recently left the church. He had been an active member his entire life, and my friend related to me that he was surprised at how much his brother leaving the church affected him. He had thought his testimony was a strong, independent thing, but he recognized that maybe a portion of it (unnoticed until the change) was really tied in with his family. 

I don't know that this is something we consciously do, but it's something that can potentially cause us to stumble. And it seems to happen more often than it should - especially since it's something Christ warns us about. 

 

I think this is a good point.  

Some members live lives accepting the gospel, going to church, bearing testimony, going through the ordinances, for decades without having their beliefs and faith ever tested.   In those circumstances living the gospel is a reaction to their upbringing and surroundings more than a determined, specific choice.  The momentum of their lives was set up to live the gospel, so they did.  They did it sincerely, and with a testimony that they were doing what God wanted, but without ever actually having anything at stake, or any flesh in the game, so to speak.  Living the gospel cost them so little that whether or not the cost was worth it wasn't ever really considered.

For those people, trials of faith can hit really hard.  

Edited by bluebell
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Just now, Amulek said:

If we are talking about faith crises in general, then I would suggest that one common underlying issue is an (often) unrecognized reliance on someone other than Christ - be they prophets, local leaders, family members, etc. 

I think that is a manifestation of the tacit assumption referenced in the OP.  I think the problem is not necessarily reliance on prophets and apostles.  Christ gave them to us, after all:

Quote

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

(Ephesians 4)

The problem is when we rely on them too much, and/or when our reliance on them is predicated on tacit expectations of infallibility.  

Brigham Young really nailed it here:

Quote

I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.

These sentiments have come to mind in the past when I have raised my hand to sustain new leadership in the Church.  When Pres. Monson passed away, I was saddened for a time.  He was a good man, even a great one.  He will be missed.  However, a bit later I raised my arm and sustained Pres. Nelson.

Prophets and apostles are good and decent men.  But in the end, they are servants.  In a way, I am happy to see them pass on to the next phase of their journey, as I fully expect for the Atonement to apply to them, to wash away their sins and weaknesses, leaving them for what they really tried to be.  "Well done, thou good and faithful servant..."

My job is not to sustain them unless they have weaknesses.  My job is to sustain them despite their weaknesses.  And meanwhile, I should look to see that my own house is in order.

Just now, Amulek said:

I have a good friend whose brother recently left the church. He had been an active member his entire life, and my friend related to me that he was surprised at how much his brother leaving the church affected him. He had thought his testimony was a strong, independent thing, but he recognized that maybe a portion of it (unnoticed until the change) was really tied in with his family. 

I have a friend who had two siblings leave the Church just a few months apart.  She experienced similar feelings.  However, she is actually coming out stronger for the experience, partly because their departure was an opportunity for her to re-examine what she believes, and why.  Reliance (or, more to the point, over-reliance) on the testimony of others can be risky.

Just now, Amulek said:

I don't know that this is something we consciously do, but it's something that can potentially cause us to stumble. And it seems to happen more often than it should - especially since it's something Christ warns us about. 

Yep.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, ALarson said:
Quote

Are some members losing trust in their leaders because they have implicit expectations of, and demands for, prophetic infallibility?

No....or at least just maybe for some.  I think members expect truth and honesty from their leaders and many now feel they haven't received that regarding church history or past teachings.

Sounds rather like an implicit expectation of infallibility, or something very close to it.

Kevin's comments in the other thread bear some attention:

Quote

When I read the CES letter, I felt like it was Tanner's Lite for the Twitter generation.  Old news simplified, summarized, recycled.  Paul says, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear."  I was prepared, not by the institutions, but my individual effort in seeking out of the best books.  It never even occurred to me to ask a local leader, or that conference talks should have everything.  I've had bishops who were doctors and custodians and boat salesmen.  I noticed, somehow, that they did not necessarily know the answers.  They were good men, but not scholars. They were trained in other fields, had other talents.  Faithful and good, but obviously, not the ones to ask.  But there were people who did know, and it was not hard to tell who had the best information.  Madsen began enlightenment, and Nibley opened a whole new world. 

"I was prepared, not by the institutions, but {by} my individual effort in seeking out of the best books."

This has been my experience as well.  The Church taught me the basics of the history and doctrines of the Church, but it was, and is, my own responsibility to build upon that foundation.

Take a look again at what you are saying: "I think members expect truth and honesty from their leaders and many now feel they haven't received that regarding church history or past teachings."

This fundamentalist, all-or-nothing, anything-less-than-infallible-perfection-in-the-leaders-of-the-Church-means-everything-they-say-and-do-is-false approach to the history of the Church is just not workable.  The leaders of the Church are overwhelmingly good and decent people.  They are overwhelmingly truthful and honest.  But they haven't been perfect.  They have made mistakes.  They have not advanced a warts-and-all narrative of the history of the Church.  But it is a huge leap to accuse them of being fundamentally untruthful and dishonest.  Huge.  And yet some folks are taking that leap anyway, because . . . they harbor tacit notions/expectations of prophetic infallibility.

Quote

It's just an analysis of what I am seeing taking place with the members I've worked with.  Many seem to trust less in their leaders and trust more in their own inspiration more regarding teachings and policies. (If they've gone through a crisis of faith and remain active.)

As for "teachings," I am fine with that.  I am much less so with "policies."  It is not for individuals to replace the Church's policies with their own.

I can't help but think you are alluding to specific "teachings and policies."  About the Law of Chastity and same-sex marriage, perhaps?

Quote

As a result, many are more comfortable disagreeing with the leaders at times (ie. the policy regarding gay members....).

And there it is!

I am curious what you think should be done re: the Letter than hasn't been done.  Capitulation on the Law of Chastity and Same-Sex Marriage?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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38 minutes ago, Amulek said:

If we are talking about faith crises in general, then I would suggest that one common underlying issue is an (often) unrecognized reliance on someone other than Christ - be they prophets, local leaders, family members, etc. 

This is an excellent point to make and I agree.  You stated it better than I've been attempting to do as I've tried to describe what I've observed many members doing if they are able to remain active members after their crisis of faith.  

We can mock what some term "hero worship" of our leaders, but many members have done that and have believed our leaders should be perfect.   However, expecting honestly from them is not expecting too much and I hope all would agree on that.  I'm happy to see a more accurate church history at least starting to be taught.  And no....I'm not saying all leaders have lied in the past about that.  But many knew and at least allowed to inaccurate history still taught.

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22 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The assumption that members lose trust in church leaders because they expect (and failed to get) infallibility is incorrect, IMO.

 

I didn't lose my trust in church leaders because I had an expectation of infallibility.  (I gave up that expectation as I exited childhood.)

I lost a great degree of trust in church leaders because of the manner in which they have dealt with important doctrinal and historical issues.  That isn't to say that they aren't good men.  I still firmly believe that they are.  And I will defend them as diligently seeking to be faithful and magnify their callings.  But when it comes to my search for truth - I no longer trust them as sources for that.

Which may not be an expectation of complete infallibility but it is expecting a degree of infallibility you did not believe was met.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Sounds rather like an implicit expectation of infallibility, or something very close to it.

I disagree that expecting honesty is "an implicit expectation of infallibility" (or even "very close to it").  Honesty is certainly expect from the members and that doesn't mean we are all expected to be infallible.

28 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I can't help but think you are alluding to specific "teachings and policies."  About the Law of Chastity and same-sex marriage, perhaps?

That and others (even as simple as the only one ear piercing for example).  I'm just seeing more members being more comfortable with disagreeing at times with the leaders.  Which I think is fine as long as they don't publicly speak ill of them, slander or criticize....etc.

Edited by ALarson

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Another quote from Brigham Young on overreliance on others:

“Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to do in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the Celestial Kingdom.”

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Which may not be an expectation of complete infallibility but it is expecting a degree of infallibility you did not believe was met.

There aren't degrees of infallibility.  It's an absolute, by definition.  The moment you step just an inch away you are no longer infallible in any sense of the word.

There is a monumental difference between a member expecting the prophet and apostles to be infallible vs an expectation that they will be transparent and forthright when it comes to the doctrine and history of the church.

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Just now, The Nehor said:

Another quote from Brigham Young on overreliance on others:

“Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory, to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to do in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods, nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the Celestial Kingdom.”

I agree with this statement.

But I also don't blame (as having personally failed to live up to this ideal) or hold ill will against those members who become disillusioned after being taught a false narrative their entire lives and determine that the best course for them is to leave the church.

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23 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The assumption that members lose trust in church leaders because they expect (and failed to get) infallibility is incorrect, IMO.

I didn't lose my trust in church leaders because I had an expectation of infallibility.  (I gave up that expectation as I exited childhood.)

I lost a great degree of trust in church leaders because of the manner in which they have dealt with important doctrinal and historical issues. 

Hmm.  So not 100% infallibility, but 99%?  95%?

Close enough for jazz.

23 minutes ago, rockpond said:

That isn't to say that they aren't good men.  I still firmly believe that they are.  And I will defend them as diligently seeking to be faithful and magnify their callings.  But when it comes to my search for truth - I no longer trust them as sources for that.

Really?  Not at all?  Not even little bit?  

Do you likewise reject all scripture?  Paul erred.  So did Peter.  And Moses.  And all the rest.  So does that mean you "no longer trust them as sources" of truth?

This is really illuminating to me.  I had no idea there were so many super-rigid fundamentalists running around (even California Boy - who knew?).

I can see the wisdom of moderating reliance on leaders of the Church.  That's what they want us to do.  They don't want us to be over-reliant on them.  They want us to seek out light and knowledge through our own efforts, through revelations.  

But you haven't moderated reliance on the leaders of Church.  You have utterly obliterated any reliance on them whatsoever.  That seems a bit . . . extreme.

Meanwhile, we see in Ephesians 4: 

Quote

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

And D&C 1:

Quote

24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.
25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;
26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;
28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.
...
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

I am curious how you reconcile 100% rejection of all prophets and apostles as "sources" of "truth" with these passages.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Just now, rockpond said:

There aren't degrees of infallibility.  It's an absolute, by definition.  The moment you step just an inch away you are no longer infallible in any sense of the word.

There is a monumental difference between a member expecting the prophet and apostles to be infallible vs an expectation that they will be transparent and forthright when it comes to the doctrine and history of the church.

There are degrees of infallibility. Ask the Catholics to explain it to you.

You are expecting infallibility in a specific area: honesty and transparency. I would argue with you though over their actions being correctly characterized as dishonest.

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2 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I agree with this statement.

But I also don't blame (as having personally failed to live up to this ideal) or hold ill will against those members who become disillusioned after being taught a false narrative their entire lives and determine that the best course for them is to leave the church.

I would argue that the narrative they were taught was not false.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Kevin Christensen recently posted these verses from D&C 1:

Kevin asks (rhetorically): "So, how should I react if I discover that various LDS leaders made errors in assertions about the New York Cumorah, or what ever else bothers you?  Should I shatter like glass if I run across something that counters my traditions?  (That happens to be Joseph Smith's apt metaphor in discussing an LDS weakness in dealing with information that counters their traditions.)  Or should I first examine my own eye for beams, and consider not what I did expect, but rather always be willing to ask 'What I should expect?'"

Kevin's comments are in response to other comments made by California Boy, who is describing "a total collapse of faith in the trustworthyness of the Church and its leaders" for some members.  CB invokes, by way of illustration, various comments made about the location of the Hill Cumorah.

To the extent CB has a point (and he does), I think there is an implicit assumption in that "total collapse," a key ingredient that is common to most or all such faith crises: prophetic infallibility.

Without such an assumption/expectation/requirement, members of the Church seem to do just fine in accepting and living the Gospel.

But if and when such an assumption/expectation/requirement is present, it can lead to a "cascade failure" of the individual's belief system.

Thoughts?  

Also, I am sure this observation has been made elsewhere.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Where have you seen it before?  I would like to consider other perspectives on it.

Thanks,

-Smac

Sure it can (of course there are tons of us who have lost our connection with the church and yet never did hold that assumption).  Unfortunately many members live as though, speak as though, and act as though the leaders are infallible when they speak.  The added issue here is when the fallibility mounts at what point do you say, "this is not working"?  

Someone may say "well, polygamy was a big problem.  That it was practiced sucks, but the way it was practiced makes it worse.  That it was regarded as god-inspired was foolish.  But, it was a long time ago, it's not really relevant to what I do in my faith now, so I can give them a pass." 

That same person learns more, say, about the priesthood ban.  he/she explains, "the priesthood ban was a big problem.  It was not only not inspired but did nothing but give reason to racist thinking among the members.  It represented a dark era of our religion.  But it's behind us...I mean they were just products of their culture and traditions, so perhaps, as the essay from the Church suggests, it can be a bit explained away by saying everyone was racist back in the day, and they couldn't help themselves.  It's not really relevant to my belief now, so it's ok.  I give the church a pass."

Later as this person contemplates the issues surrounding LGBT, the Church teaching and history on it, he/she might say, "well, again the leaders were heavily influenced by the world or the culture in which they lived.  It'd be hard to live their whole lives speaking mockingly and acting disgusted at the thought of someone being gay and then turn that around, but they are doing it, to some extent.  I mean none of them are preaching violence against a gay person anymore.  That's good.  I imagine seeing as the Church is completely wrong on this topic, that someday it'll come around.  I mean it's been done it before.  They've had to disavow past teachings and practices before.  It'll probably happen some day.  When?  I dont' know.  It might take a few generations of turnover.  So I'll tough it out."

Then comes the revelation that God didn't want children of gay parents baptized and anyone who is gay has to be ex'd if they live with their lover, and then in short time the revelation from God is disavowed.  Mount that with about a thousand different issues, while seeing people being hurt and suddenly the strong believer who never saw any leaders as infallible has decided the level of fallibility is just too much for his/her tastes.   

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9 minutes ago, ALarson said:
Quote

Sounds rather like an implicit expectation of infallibility, or something very close to it.

I disagree that expecting honesty is "an implicit expectation of infallibility" (or even "very close to it").  Honesty is certainly expect from the members and that doesn't mean we are all expected to be infallible.

Unless, of course, "honesty" is defined as "nothing less than 100% honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair."

No possibility of accommodation for weakness or error.  No room for errancy.  No room for mistakes, "honest" or otherwise.

Your argument only makes sense in an absolutist way.  Of course leaders of the Church should be honest.  They overwhelmingly are and have been honest.  But what you are calling for in inerrant honesty.  Perfect honesty.  In every way.  At all times.  

In other words, your position only makes sense if you equate "honesty" with "infallibility."  Which seems to be what you are doing, tacitly or otherwise.

9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

That and others (even as simple as the only one ear piercing for example). 

Huh?  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  "Only one ear piercing" is causing faith crises?

9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I'm just seeing more members being more comfortable with disagreeing at times with the leaders. 

There's a subtext here, methinks...

9 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Which I think is fine as long as they don't publicly speak ill of them, slander or criticize....etc.

Yep.

Thanks,

-Smac

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41 minutes ago, rockpond said:

The assumption that members lose trust in church leaders because they expect (and failed to get) infallibility is incorrect, IMO.

 

I didn't lose my trust in church leaders because I had an expectation of infallibility.  (I gave up that expectation as I exited childhood.)

I lost a great degree of trust in church leaders because of the manner in which they have dealt with important doctrinal and historical issues.  That isn't to say that they aren't good men.  I still firmly believe that they are.  And I will defend them as diligently seeking to be faithful and magnify their callings.  But when it comes to my search for truth - I no longer trust them as sources for that.

Same here.

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