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

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22 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

When someone, or even a group of someones proves to be untrustworthy or unreliable on a (semi)regular basis, it is reasonable for one to stop trusting or relying on them. It's not about perfection or infallibility, but it is about trust. People will come to different conclusions about where the line of trust is drawn, but it's difficult to recover once trust is lost. I find it interesting that some want to blame the people who have lost trust in leaders by arguing that it's their fault because they had previously placed too much trust in leaders.

It could be argued that losing trust in leaders is a necessary step in spiritual progression. I placed too much trust in leaders and the institutional church. Why? Did that level of trust come naturally? I don't think so. It's because I was taught to place extreme levels of trust in leaders. I was taught to sing Follow the Prophet. I was taught that obedience to the words of the prophets, even if wrong, would bring blessings. So I'm very willing to admit I trusted too much. I guess some would call that naïve, or juvenile, and maybe they're right. So now I don't trust church leaders to adequately teach the will and mind of God. I'm sure I'm wrong in some of my beliefs, but so are the prophets so what's the difference. I might as well be wrong on my own instead of being wrong because I trusted someone else that didn't deserve the trust. When I meet God I'll be happy to answer for my beliefs and actions. Church leaders aren't a part of that.

So when a church leader says I should stop saying "Mormon", I decide for myself if that makes sense or if I will continue saying "Mormon". When a leader tells me I covenanted to wear G's 24/7 I will decide for myself if/when/how that covenant was ever made and how I want to wear G's. When a leader tells me God doesn't want me to drink coffee, I'll decide for myself if God really cares about that. I no longer accept the judgement of church leaders in declaring my worthiness status before God. I will decide everything for myself instead of abdicating my personal decisions to someone else who claims to speak on God's behalf, yet has been proven wrong repeatedly.

Well put.

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22 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Then I agree with you there if you agree that all of us should learn to know more about the power of God and the influences of the Holy Spirit...

Thanks but you go on to say this:

22 minutes ago, Ahab said:

...than to think we should be led entirely by another person while suspending our own understanding and pinning our faith upon another mortal man’s sleeve.

I don't know of anyone who does this either in or out of the church.

26 minutes ago, Ahab said:

It is up to each of us to know or find out if or when a man is speaking as a prophet of God and not to just assume that someone who is called a "prophet" really is a prophet of God.

God is infallible, and any man who is truly speaking as a prophet of God is infallible in what he is saying, too, but we're not to just assume that someone is a prophet of God just because he says so, or another man says so.  We should rely only on God to tell us about that.

This is important but my experience is that there isn't much space allowed for this in the Church.  My experience is that you if you don't accept that the current prophet is the prophet of God and speaks for God that you'll be marginalized in the Church.

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1 minute ago, rockpond said:

I don't know of anyone who does this either in or out of the church.

Any person who thinks he or she should accept what any so-called "prophet of God" says, without finding out for himself or herself that God really thinks or feels that way about... whatever the so-called "prophet of God" said.. would be someone I would say is an example of someone who thinks he or she should be led entirely by another person while suspending his or her own understanding and pinning his or her faith upon another mortal man’s sleeve.

If you don't know anyone like that in the Church, that is good. I'm just saying no member of the Church or even anyone outside of the Church should be thinking that way.

1 minute ago, rockpond said:

This is important but my experience is that there isn't much space allowed for this in the Church.  My experience is that you if you don't accept that the current prophet is the prophet of God and speaks for God that you'll be marginalized in the Church.

Marginalized in what way, would you say?  I found out pretty soon after I joined the Church that each person is considered to be entitled to his or her own opinion, regardless of whatever he or she may be thinking or saying.  And disagreement among Church members seems to be something that is allowed, too.  We're not forced or coerced to agree with anyone in particular, not even with those who are the so-called leaders in or over the Church.  There will be people who will tell others that certain men are prophets of God, though, when those people have faith that they are.  By "marginalized" are you referring to how some people are seen as simply those who don't agree with some other people?

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1 minute ago, Ahab said:

Any person who thinks he or she should accept what any so-called "prophet of God" says, without finding out for himself or herself that God really thinks or feels that way about... whatever the so-called "prophet of God" said.. would be someone I would say is an example of someone who thinks he or she should be led entirely by another person while suspending his or her own understanding and pinning his or her faith upon another mortal man’s sleeve.

If you don't know anyone like that in the Church, that is good. I'm just saying no member of the Church or even anyone outside of the Church should be thinking that way.

Marginalized in what way, would you say?  I found out pretty soon after I joined the Church that each person is considered to be entitled to his or her own opinion, regardless of whatever he or she may be thinking or saying.  And disagreement among Church members seems to be something that is allowed, too.  We're not forced or coerced to agree with anyone in particular, not even with those who are the so-called leaders in or over the Church.  There will be people who will tell others that certain men are prophets of God, though, when those people have faith that they are.  By "marginalized" are you referring to how some people are seen as simply those who don't agree with some other people?

If a member was to raise his hand in Gospel Doctrine, EQ, or RS and state that they don't believe President Nelson is truly a prophet what do you think might happen with that person in the ward with respect to current and future callings?

There's a good chance that you wouldn't be able to keep a temple recommend if you state that you don't believe the current prophet is called of God.

This is what I mean by marginalization.

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What I am getting out of this thread so far is a significant disparity in generalized perceptions of the past and present leaders of the Church.

For some, these people are, in the aggregate, not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

Am I correct in surmising this?  

If so, I am left to wonder at the yardstick being used to gauge the cumulative and collective honesty and trustworthiness of the leaders of the Church.  That leads to two options:

Option A: If the yardstick is accurate and reasonable, and if we disregard the notion of tacit expectations of infallibility, then that means the leaders of the Church, past and present, have committed profoundly serious transgressions and sins, over and over, such that the only reasonable thing to do is to reject them as not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

The problem, I think, is that the evidence for such charges just ain't there.  That is not to say that these folks have been perfect.  Certainly not.  But the notion that they have individually collectively strayed so far as to be found insufficiently honest or trustworthy to hold their callings . . . we'll, that's a tough sell for me.  

Option B: If the yardstick is not accurate and reasonable, then those finding fault with, and speaking out against, the leaders of the Church, are bearing false witness.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 minutes ago, rockpond said:

If a member was to raise his hand in Gospel Doctrine, EQ, or RS and state that they don't believe President Nelson is truly a prophet what do you think might happen with that person in the ward with respect to current and future callings?

There's a good chance that you wouldn't be able to keep a temple recommend if you state that you don't believe the current prophet is called of God.

This is what I mean by marginalization.

More like self-imposed marginalization.

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2 minutes ago, rockpond said:

If a member was to raise his hand in Gospel Doctrine, EQ, or RS and state that they don't believe President Nelson is truly a prophet what do you think might happen with that person in the ward with respect to current and future callings?

I think that after the bishop heard about that, possibly from some other members, that he would likely extend a calling to try to help that member develop a testimony about that.  A ward missionary, for example. And he or she would be encouraged to pray about it too.

 

2 minutes ago, rockpond said:

There's a good chance that you wouldn't be able to keep a temple recommend if you state that you don't believe the current prophet is called of God.

This is what I mean by marginalization.

Okay, nothing wrong with that, then.  People shouldn't be given opportunities they aren't ready for yet.  And in the Church we are given opportunities to help us grow and develop and learn what will help us to be better members who are more active in trying to grow spiritually.

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5 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What I am getting out of this thread so far is a significant disparity in generalized perceptions of the past and present leaders of the Church.

For some, these people are, in the aggregate, not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

Am I correct in surmising this? 

No.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

More like self-imposed marginalization.

Have you experienced it?   If not, I wouldn't generalize like that....but if you have, did you really self-impose a marginalization from fellow members?

That would be odd to do, IMO, and not at all what I have observed, experienced at one time and continue to see within the church (and from even good and well-intentioned members).

Edited by ALarson
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6 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I am left to wonder at the yardstick being used to gauge the cumulative and collective honesty and trustworthiness of the leaders of the Church.  That leads to two options:

Option A: If the yardstick is accurate and reasonable, and if we disregard the notion of tacit expectations of infallibility, then that means the leaders of the Church, past and present, have committed profoundly serious transgressions and sins, over and over, such that the only reasonable thing to do is to reject them as not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

The problem, I think, is that the evidence for such charges just ain't there.  That is not to say that these folks have been perfect.  Certainly not.  But the notion that they have individually collectively strayed so far as to be found insufficiently honest or trustworthy to hold their callings . . . we'll, that's a tough sell for me.  

Option B: If the yardstick is not accurate and reasonable, then those finding fault with, and speaking out against, the leaders of the Church, are bearing false witness.

Thanks,

-Smac

False witness in the sense that their witness is false, yes, but I don't think it is necessarily with malicious intent.  Those who don't know what kind of men the leaders of the Church are should be seen as simply ignorant or less knowledgeable as those who do know.

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13 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What I am getting out of this thread so far is a significant disparity in generalized perceptions of the past and present leaders of the Church.

For some, these people are, in the aggregate, not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

Am I correct in surmising this?  

No (not from what I've read on this thread).

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, rockpond said:

If a member was to raise his hand in Gospel Doctrine, EQ, or RS and state that they don't believe President Nelson is truly a prophet what do you think might happen with that person in the ward with respect to current and future callings?

There's a good chance that you wouldn't be able to keep a temple recommend if you state that you don't believe the current prophet is called of God.

This is what I mean by marginalization.

And rightly so and I agree with the procedure in general.

Edited by The Nehor

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:
Quote

What I am getting out of this thread so far is a significant disparity in generalized perceptions of the past and present leaders of the Church.

For some, these people are, in the aggregate, not sufficiently honest or trustworthy to be relied upon, and sustained as, prophets and apostles.

Am I correct in surmising this? 

No.

So they are "sufficiently honest and trustworthy," but you nevertheless do not "trust" them as "sources" of "truth."

You accept and sustain and listen to them, but I'm not sure if you accept them as prophets and apostles.

I'm not being obtuse.  I don't understand your position (particularly in light of Ephesians 4:11-13 and D&C 1:24-28, 38).

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 minutes ago, Ahab said:

False witness in the sense that their witness is false, yes, but I don't think it is necessarily with malicious intent. 

I'm not sure how ignorantly disparaging another person, let along a servant of God, can be seen as not having "malicious intent."

If I were to ignorantly accuse you of serious misconduct, only to be informed later that my accusation was false, I could not claim innocence through ignorance.  

If a Person A publicly, but ignorantly, accuses Person B of serious misconduct, Person A has assumed liability for the consequences of that ignorance (should the accusation be proven false).

10 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Those who don't know what kind of men the leaders of the Church are should be seen as simply ignorant or less knowledgeable as those who do know.

I'm fine with that.  But I'm less fine with it when folks make false accusations from a position of ignorance.  And do so publicly.  And do so while a member of the Church.  And do so while under covenant to not do that.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I wonder, though, if that assumption is much more prevalent than we tend to think.  It is tacit, after all.

Yes.  Jeremy Runnells, for example, was apparently this kind of person.

"Fallibility mounts."

"At what point."

This all sounds very subjective.  Subject to interpretation and expectations and assumptions.

Of course.  It's all subjective.  What other option do we have?  We are each humans seeing life, experiencing it and making our decisions.  I dont' see why this needs called out, that is clearly the case.  We are left with our own subjective viewpoints.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

This is why Iago was such a brilliant character study.

Having qualms about polygamy is understandable from a sociological/cultural perspective is understandable.  My parents recently returned from a mission in Zimbabwe, where polygamy has long been a part of their culture.  Members of the Church seem to have very little unease about the Church's polygamous past.  The discomfort is, in the end, personal and subject and cultural.  That's not, I think, a flaw in the doctrine.

Of course in your subjective opinion.  But again, not really relavent to the point.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Rejecting the doctrine outright, however, is rather hard to reconcile with D&C 132 (and Jacob 2).

Maybe, but rejecting various parts of scripture is what everyone does.  I dont' know if anyone can remain consistent and accept all ideas and teachings found in scripture at the same time, since there is contradiction found in them.   

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

This is generally a good approach.  Unlike polygamy, the ban lacked any known revelatory provenance.

ok, but that is contrary to many statements by leaders and some official statements.  for instance, 1949:

Quote

It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time.  The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”

While I'd agree plainly that it is best today for a member to reject the past teaching and say since it was not started  by revelation we need not consider it prophecy, there is no simple reconciliation with the prophetic statements of the past.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Alas, this is off-the-rails thinking.  The Law of Chastity is not merely the product of leaders being "heavily influenced by the world."

That's not what I said.  I'm speaking about the attitude and thus position regarding LGBT.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Rather, the acceptance and endorsement of homosexual behavior is undeniably the result of individual members being "heavily influenced by the world."

The sublime truth of this is we all get to benefit from each other.  The church's teaching of being in the world but not of it is silly.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

"Anymore?"  

I love the smell of Bearing False Witness in the morning!

Quote
I repeat, very plainly, physical mischief with another man is forbidden. It is forbidden by the Lord.
There are some men who entice young men to join them in these immoral [homosexual] acts. If you are ever approached to participate in anything like that, it is time to vigorously resist.
While I was in a mission on one occasion, a missionary said he had something to confess. I was very worried because he just could not get himself to tell me what he had done.
After patient encouragement he finally blurted out, "I hit my companion."
"Oh, is that all," I said in great relief.
"But I floored him," he said.
After learning a little more, my response was "Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it, and it wouldn't be well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way"
I am not recommending that course to you, but I am not omitting it. You must protect yourself.

While he doesn't recommend to to you, he is not omitting it as an option.  I'm not sure there is much here other than the boy said he physically attacked another while speaking the context of physical mischeif with another man.  That's what I'm talking about.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I don't think so.  You might as well say "The Church is complely wrong on adultery and fornication, but it'll come around some day."

Wishful thinking.

I'm sure plenty felt the same way over these very important doctrines that have changed over the years, at some point.  That is it was unspeakable to the presidency in 1947 that mixed race marriages were ok.  Now, they seem rather ok, and endorsed for those who so engage.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

But if it doesn't happen?  What if it's not part of the Lord's plan?  What if homosexual behavior is fundamentally incompatible with the Law of Chastity?

What if?  Who cares.  That's nto the point.  I suppsoe we can say anything we want.  What if God didn't want polygamy to stop when it did?  What if women were supposed to have the priesthood and not men? 

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

"The level of fallibility."  An interesting turn of phrase.

So what is that "level?"  99%?  97%?  

It's obviously a point different for each of us to determine for ourselves.  To some it might not matter at all.  They might support a leader to the point of imprisonment for child marrying and such, for instance.  The point is we're all different and will see things differently.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

The leaders of the Church have made thousands, perhaps millions, of decisions pertaining to the Church during the last 189 years.  What percentage of errors on their part makes them "dishonest?"  What percentage makes them too "fallible?"

Obviously if we were to consider every proposition made by leaders since the church's founding and categorize them we'd all have different lists.  Some might consider some not worth mentioning and some would view some as mistaken or dishonest while others would stand behind the same.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Or are we just talking about an expectation of infallibility (or near infallibility), and just calling it by a different name?

of course not.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Your remarks here bring to mind this statement by Joseph Smith:

This is not the first time that the disciples of Jesus have been asked to live out-of-step with their neighbors, including those who are members of the faith I recognize that many things the Church of Jesus Christ teaches are difficult for its members and others to accept.  I hope each of us finds the happiness we are seeking.  That said, as much as we tend to emphasize the "love-one-another" aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's not as though everyone who has ever heard Christ's teachings did not ever have any problems with them.  Sometimes the Lord asks us to do difficult things, to accept difficult things.  Consider the Savior's "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6.  What was the result of it?

It is interesting to consider, maybe one day Jesus will requuire the Church to accept LGBT.  I mean it might be hard for some members, but he might require it.  It sounds to me on that day, you might say, "this is wrong.  It can't be possible that we needed more light and knowledge and such as it pertains to the law of chastity.  We can't possibly accept that things are different than we thought."  I mean someday.  We'll see, I guess.  

2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Jesus Christ said something that was not popular.  Many of those who heard it "murmured at him."  Many of those who heard it "strove among themselves."  Many of those who heard it "went back, and walked no more with him."  

Christ said and did things that were not well-received by the society around Him.  I'm quite okay with that.  I'm also quite okay with His servants doing the same thing.  I am of course interested in the reputation of the Church.  Our reputation affects our ability to fulfill various mandates from God, not the least of which is the Great Commission.  But preserving and ehnancing the Church's "reputation" cannot come at the expense of other mandates, such as upholding and proclaiming and teaching principles pertaining to marriage and the Law of Chastity.

Christ did not upend the moneychangers' tables in the temple because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ did not preach the "Bread of Life" sermon in John 6 because it was popular.  He did so because it was right.

Christ preached a gospel that was not going to be popular in the minds of an increasingly wicked world.  He knew that.  But He preached it anyway.  I think He knew beforehand that His message would alienate many people, including some otherwise good and decent people.  But He preached anyway.  I think He did so because those who were ready for His message needed to hear it, and needed to be gathered out of the World.  

Perhaps this is why He said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."  

Perhaps this is why He also said (several times, actually) : "Behold, I am God; give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words."

Christ also said: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."  

Christ also said "For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me."  

My dad and I were talking about these things a while back, some of which have been described as the "dark sayings of Jesus."  My dad noted that some people focus on the "sweetness and light" sayings of the Savior, which is probably fine - unless that focus is exclusionary.  Christ had warnings for us, after all.  Such as this: "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  

And this: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil."   

And this: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."   

And this: "For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory."

So the hostile reactions of the World (and even some members of the Church) to the inspired leadership of the Brethren are, I think, not surprising.  To the contrary, they are the anticipated responses to prophetic counsel.  In a way, I find it grimly satisfying that the Brethren are saying and doing some things that, in my mind, are A) unpopular in the eyes of the World, and B) plainly in accordance with revealed truths and based on revelation.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks for the sermon, but it feels quite unrelated to the discussion.  I dont' care if anything is popular or not.  Not at all.  I'm pointing out that in some cases the world seems to have quite the influence on the Church it's perspective and teaching.  That's not at all to say anything about what is popular in the eyes of the majority.  

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3 minutes ago, cinepro said:

From what I can tell, most LDS simply use the yardstick they are given by the Church itself.

You mean Mormon 9:31?

Quote

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.

And John 7:24?

Quote

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

And Isaiah 29?

Quote

18 ¶ And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:
21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

How many faith crises could be mitigated, even avoided, if these guidelines had been followed.

3 minutes ago, cinepro said:

So with everything that has been discussed in this thread regarding "infallibility", "reliability", and the "fragility" of member expectations regarding the Prophets and teachings of Church leaders in general, let's see what was taught:

Infallibility was not taught.

3 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Yes, please tell me what the Church teaches us about fallible and unreliable leaders and how we can consider them to be mistaken about stuff and it won't be a big deal.

The Church teaches us about fallible leaders.  I didn't say the Church teaches they are "unreliable."

I subscribe to the position that the Church and its leaders, collectively, will not be led astray.  I believe in the prophecy found in Daniel 2 and in how it has been interpreted.  I agree with Wilford Woodruff that "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God."

This leaves plenty of room for the leaders to make mistakes.  When they do, Mormon 9:31 is usually sufficient for me.

The Church is, in my view, overwhelmingly good.  I love it a lot.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

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

I do think such contributes to a tendency to have a testimony ‘shatter’ in a short time, but I have seen others where they allow for some mistakes, but there is something they see as too much.  Their view is that it is not just a slight wandering off the path, but either a full rush or just too many errors in their view to allow for inspiration to even be nudging leaders in the way God wants. So the decision of these is God is no more inspiring church leaders than he is inspiring anyone else. Therefore since there is nothing special about our leadership, there is no need to treat them as special. 

It is imo a rational position usually since one can’t actually demonstrate that decisions of leaders are inspired in any case I am aware of (one can’t demonstrate the existence of God to inspire them either). I personally think a spiritual witness of God being in charge is usually what makes the difference in maintaining faith long term.

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Just now, smac97 said:

Infallibility was not taught.

The Church teaches us about fallible leaders.  I didn't say the Church teaches they are "unreliable."

I subscribe to the position that the Church and its leaders, collectively, will not be led astray.  I believe in the prophecy found in Daniel 2 and in how it has been interpreted.  I agree with Wilford Woodruff that "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God."

This leaves plenty of room for the leaders to make mistakes.  When they do, Mormon 9:31 is usually sufficient for me.

The Church is, in my view, overwhelmingly good.  I love it a lot.  

Thanks,

-Smac

I like what you say.  Of course, there's an easy test to see if it's actually true.

Can you list for me all the ways in which current LDS leaders are mistaken about stuff?  Since they're fallible, there must be things that President Nelson has taught, or policies that he's implemented, that are wrong according to what God wants.

What do you think some of them are?

 

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm not sure how ignorantly disparaging another person, let along a servant of God, can be seen as not having "malicious intent."

If I were to ignorantly accuse you of serious misconduct, only to be informed later that my accusation was false, I could not claim innocence through ignorance.  

If a Person A publicly, but ignorantly, accuses Person B of serious misconduct, Person A has assumed liability for the consequences of that ignorance (should the accusation be proven false).

What I had in my mind was an image of the yardstick being used to gauge the cumulative and collective honesty and trustworthiness of the leaders of the Church, while then seeing some people's yardstick or use of the yardstick as defective.  They're supposedly using some kind of gauge to deduce whether or not the leaders of the/our Church are truly prophets of God and somehow they are supposedly coming up with a false answer.  The options are more basically: Yes or No.  Sustain or Oppose.  Accept or Refuse.  And some people just don't know they are truly prophets of God when as a matter of truth or fact they truly are.  

I'd call that ignorance more than an intention to libel their character. Those with a defective gauge, or who are not using the gauge correctly, are simply coming up with a false answer.

 

7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I'm fine with that.  But I'm less fine with it when folks make false accusations from a position of ignorance.  And do so publicly.  And do so while a member of the Church.  And do so while under covenant to not do that.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yeah well I'm kinda less fine with that too.

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36 minutes ago, cinepro said:

I like what you say.  Of course, there's an easy test to see if it's actually true.

Can you list for me all the ways in which current LDS leaders are mistaken about stuff? 

I can think of a number of examples, but I won't list them publicly.

Similarly, my wife is a wonderful, yet still flawed, person.  I won't publicly list her weaknesses and errors, either.

That I decline to publicly itemize the mistakes and errors of the leaders of the Church is not a disclaimer of those mistakes and errors, or a denial of the existence of those mistakes and errors.

As to this point, let us consider these remarks by Elder Oaks (emphases added):

Quote

Does the commandment to avoid faultfinding and evil speaking apply to Church members’ destructive personal criticism of Church leaders? Of course it does. It applies to criticism of all Church leaders—local or general, male or female. In our relations with all of our Church leaders, we should follow the Apostle Paul’s direction: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father.” (1 Tim. 5:1.)

...

Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who ‘speak evil of dignities.’ (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947,

“‘When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.’ (In Conference Report, Apr. 1947, p. 24.)” (Address to Church Educational System teachers, Aug. 16, 1985.)

...

The counsel against speaking evil of Church leaders is not so much for the benefit of the leaders as it is for the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault. The Church leaders I know are durable people. They made their way successfully in a world of unrestrained criticism before they received their current callings. They have no personal need for protection; they seek no personal immunities from criticism—constructive or destructive. They only seek to declare what they understand to be the word of the Lord to his people.

President David O. McKay said this about what he called “murmurers” and “faultfinders”:

“‘Speak not against the authorities.’ What does it mean? Be not a murmurer; that is what it means. It is one of the most poisonous things that can be introduced into the home of a Latter-day Saint—this murmuring against presidents of stakes, high councilors, Sunday School superintendents, etc. …

“Better stop murmuring and build. Remember that one of the worst means of tearing down an individual is slander. It is one of the most poisonous weapons that the evil one uses. Backbiting and evil speaking throw us into the class of malefactors rather than the class of benefactors.” (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, pp. 142–43.)

President McKay’s teaching against speaking evil of others is a principle of Christian behavior that applies to all people. But his companion counsel against “murmuring” is a teaching that applies uniquely to Church members and Church leaders.

Government or corporate officials, who are elected directly or indirectly or appointed by majority vote, must expect that their performance will be subject to critical and public evaluations by their constituents. That is part of the process of informing those who have the right and power of selection or removal. The same is true of popularly elected officers in professional, community, and other private organizations. I suppose that the same is true even of church leaders who are selected by popular vote of members or their representative bodies. Consistent with gospel standards, these evaluations—though critical and public—should be constructive.

A different principle applies in our Church, where the selection of leaders is based on revelation, subject to the sustaining vote of the membership. In our system of Church government, evil speaking and criticism of leaders by members is always negative. Whether the criticism is true or not, as Elder George F. Richards explained, it tends to impair the leaders’ influence and usefulness, thus working against the Lord and his cause. (In Conference Report, Apr. 1947, p. 24, quoted above.)

...

So what do we do when we feel that our Relief Society president or our bishop or another authority is transgressing or pursuing a policy of which we disapprove? Is there no remedy? Are our critics correct when they charge that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are “sheep” without remedy against the whims of a heedless or even an evil shepherd?

There are remedies, but they are not the same remedies or procedures that are used with leaders in other organizations.


...

There are at least five different procedures a Church member can follow in addressing differences with Church leaders—general or local, male or female.

...

The third procedure, which should be familiar to every student of the Bible, is to take up our differences privately with the leader involved. The Savior taught: “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Matt. 18:15.)

This course of action may be pursued in a private meeting, if possible, or it may be done through a letter or other indirect communication. How many differences could be resolved if we would only communicate privately about them! Some would disappear as they were identified as mere misunderstandings. Others would be postponed with an agreement to disagree for the present. But in many instances, private communications about differences would remove obstacles to individual growth and correction.

A fourth option is to communicate with the Church officer who has the power to correct or release the person thought to be in error or transgression. The Bible calls this “tell[ing] it unto the church.”(Matt. 18:17.) Modern scripture, in the revelation we call “the law of the Church,” describes this procedure:

“And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.” (D&C 42:89.)

Note the caution that this remedy is to be private—“not before the world.” This is not done in order to hide the facts, but rather to increase the chance that the correction will improve the life of a brother or sister.

...

A person who approaches a difference with a Church leader by praying about it keeps himself or herself in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. That person also goes directly to the One who can resolve the problem. It may be resolved by inspiration to the leader or by communication of added understanding, strength, or patience to the person who prays.

All five of these are appropriate options for Church members who differ with their leaders. The preferred course depends upon the circumstances and the inspiration that guides those who prayerfully seek.

By following these procedures, Church members can work for correction of a leader or for change of a policy. Members who do so in the correct spirit will not grieve the Spirit of the Lord. They will not alienate themselves from their leaders or their brothers and sisters in the Church.

As I write these things I can't help but think of Douglas Wallace.  Mr. Wallace was excommunicated in 1976 when he baptized a black man in a motel swimming pool, confirmed him a member of the Church, and ordained him to the priesthood, and did all of these things without authority (and, in the case of the last item, in contravention of the Church's priesthood ban, which was still in effect at the time).  He also tried to "confront" President Kimball during General Conference.  Let's assume that Mr. Wallace had the best of motives.  And let's assume that he viewed the priesthood ban as being non-revelatory in origin (or, more specifically, the unfounded conjecture proffered by some leaders and members of the Church to explain its origins, which conjecture has since been repudiated by the Church).  I think we should not publicly speculate about what Mr. Wallace will face at the Judgment Bar.  That is not within our province.  We should leave such things to God.  

However, what we can do is look at what his acts of rebellion against the Brethren and the Church - even acts in the service of what we recognize today as a good thing - have wrought in his life.  You would have thought that subsequent to the 1978 Official Declaration 2 which ended the priesthood ban, Mr. Wallace would have felt gratified that the issue he felt so passionate about in 1976 (the withholding of the priesthood from men of black African descent), and perhaps he would have sought to re-join the Church.  And perhaps you would also think that the Church's 2014 publication of the "Race and the Priesthood" essay would have left Mr. Wallace feeling vindicated, and perhaps he would have sought to re-join the Church.  Neither of these things happened.  Instead, Mr. Wallace has been a public (albeit apparently not very well known or particularly effective) opponent of the Church for decades.  

As I understand it, Mr. Wallace passed away recently, and he did so outside the fellowship of the Church (and without the blessings of its saving ordinances), with much of his life having been spent working against the Church.  I sadly cannot think of a more clear-cut cautionary tale of going against the counsel outlined by Elder Oaks when he said: "The counsel against speaking evil of Church leaders is not so much for the benefit of the leaders as it is for the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault."

Quote

Since they're fallible, there must be things that President Nelson has taught, or policies that he's implemented, that are wrong according to what God wants.

No, there mustn't.  Might be, perhaps.  Must be, no.

Quote

What do you think some of them are?

See above.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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I will post one I have talked about before but I agree with Smac we shouldn’t be going on and on about issues in relationships we want to maintain as positive, either private or public ones. 

I think leadership is wrong in only allowing word of mouth exceptions for a living woman to have multiple sealings. 

Another doctors appt for mom so got to go. 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

So they are "sufficiently honest and trustworthy," but you nevertheless do not "trust" them as "sources" of "truth."

You accept and sustain and listen to them, but I'm not sure if you accept them as prophets and apostles.

I'm not being obtuse.  I don't understand your position (particularly in light of Ephesians 4:11-13 and D&C 1:24-28, 38).

Thanks,

-Smac

You might want to cease the binary thinking.

I believe the Brethren are honest.  The concept of trustworthy has many different levels... would I trust them to take care of my kids or watch my home while I was on vacation?  Certainly (not that any of them are volunteering).

Do I trust them to know what God really wants for his homosexual children?  No.

I accept them as prophets and apostles.  They are ordained as such and I acknowledge that.  I also sustain them in those callings and pray that they will be guided by revelation from the Lord.

Edited by rockpond
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29 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I can think of a number of examples, but I won't list them publicly.

Similarly, my wife is a wonderful, yet still flawed, person.  I won't publicly list her weaknesses and errors, either.

That I decline to publicly itemize the mistakes and errors of the leaders of the Church is not a disclaimer of those mistakes and errors, or a denial of the existence of those mistakes and errors.

As to this point, let us consider these remarks by Elder Oaks (emphases added):

As I write these things I can't help but think of Douglas Wallace.  Mr. Wallace was excommunicated in 1976 when he baptized a black man in a motel swimming pool, confirmed him a member of the Church, and ordained him to the priesthood, and did all of these things without authority (and, in the case of the last item, in contravention of the Church's priesthood ban, which was still in effect at the time).  He also tried to "confront" President Kimball during General Conference.  Let's assume that Mr. Wallace had the best of motives.  And let's assume that he viewed the priesthood ban as being non-revelatory in origin (or, more specifically, the unfounded conjecture proffered by some leaders and members of the Church to explain its origins, which conjecture has since been repudiated by the Church).  I think we should not publicly speculate about what Mr. Wallace will face at the Judgment Bar.  That is not within our province.  We should leave such things to God.  

However, what we can do is look at what his acts of rebellion against the Brethren and the Church - even acts in the service of what we recognize today as a good thing - have wrought in his life.  You would have thought that subsequent to the 1978 Official Declaration 2 which ended the priesthood ban, Mr. Wallace would have felt gratified that the issue he felt so passionate about in 1976 (the withholding of the priesthood from men of black African descent), and perhaps he would have sought to re-join the Church.  And perhaps you would also think that the Church's 2014 publication of the "Race and the Priesthood" essay would have left Mr. Wallace feeling vindicated, and perhaps he would have sought to re-join the Church.  Neither of these things happened.  Instead, Mr. Wallace has been a public (albeit apparently not very well known or particularly effective) opponent of the Church for decades.  

As I understand it, Mr. Wallace passed away recently, and he did so outside the fellowship of the Church (and without the blessings of its saving ordinances), with much of his life having been spent working against the Church.  I sadly cannot think of a more clear-cut cautionary tale of going against the counsel outlined by Elder Oaks when he said: "The counsel against speaking evil of Church leaders is not so much for the benefit of the leaders as it is for the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault."

No, there mustn't.  Might be, perhaps.  Must be, no.

See above.

Thanks,

-Smac

Criticizing an idea or teaching is not criticizing the person.  Disagreeing with Nelson that it's God's will to not use the nickname Mormon is not criticizing Nelson at all.  

I notice I disagree with you a lot, but I've never seen such as criticizing you.  I simply disagree.  

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:

You might want to cease the binary thinking.

 

Why might he want to do that?

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