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The Scmc: What's Up With This?


cksalmon

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Do you find this creepy as well?

Aug 8,1992 - Salt Lake Tribune reports that First Presidency's spokesman has acknowledged existence of special "Strengthening the Members Committee" that keeps secret files on church members regarded as disloyal. Due to publicity on this matter, including New York Times, Presidency issues statement on 13 Aug. defending organization of this apostle-directed committee as consistent with God's commandment to Joseph Smith to gather documentation about non-Mormons who mob and persecute LDS Church. Presidency lists Apostles James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson as leading the committee. [gathered here]
Some time during the Benson presidency, the secret "Strengthening Church Members Committee" was created to monitor doctrinally troublesome writings and beliefs. Old-style polygamists have suffered as much as liberal Mormons from excommunication. Says Jan Shipps, a religious historian at Indiana University-Purdue University: "It's the steering of a middle course." That strict patrolling of dissent is likely to continue under the new leadership; it may even deepen. Next in the line of succession after Hunter are Benson's chief counselors, Gordon B. Hinckley, who will turn 84 this month, and Thomas Monson, 66. After them may come Boyd K. Packer, 69, an ardent promoter of doctrinal purity. (TIME Domestic June 13, 1994 Volume 143, No. 24) [gathered here]
Don LeFevre, told Religious News Service on Monday that the aim of the group, known as the Strengthening Church Members Committee, is to prevent members from making negative statements that hinder the progress of the Mormon church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LeFevre said the committee neither makes judgments nor imposes penalties.

â??Its purpose is implied by the committeeâ??s name, to strengthen members in the church who may have a problem or may need counseling,â? LeFevre said. â??Itâ??s really an attempt to help the individual.â?

LeFevre said the committee receives complaints from church members about other members who have made statements that â??conceivably could do harm to the church.â?

â??What this committee does is hear the complaints and pass the information along to the personâ??s ecclesiastical leader.â? Any discipline is â??entirely up to the discretion of the local leaders,â? he said.

(â??Mormon Church keeps files on its dissenters,â? St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 15, 1992, at 6e) [gathered here]

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Do you find this creepy as well?

A former-LDS friend of mine once told me about stumbling in upon a private meeting of some members,

in the Brigham City Tabernacle (I think it was). Turned out to be a group from this same committee.

For some reason or another he had to go back into the room, which they had temporarily left. He said

that he could not help looking at a couple of documents which were in the way of his retreiving something

he needed. He recognized one of the names of the "suspect members" being investigated.

That's all he would tell me -- but the experience left him less "strengthened" in the faith -- not more.

He had always been taught that if you had a problem with another member that you first tried to work

it out on a one-on-one basis, and then if that did not help matters, to go to the Bishop or Branch Pres.

But he thought that in some cases this "strengthening" program was bypassing the old system. He said

it made him upset and he told his wife -- who told on him, and that ended his intrerest (or knowledge)

of the program. None of that seemed "creepy" to me -- but I would not want my wife reporting something

unusual I had seen, without talking to me first about her intentions.

I never knew the Reorganized LDS to have such a system -- though the CoC leadership has often

treated the fundamentalist RLDS badly and has probably kept a secret watch over some of us.

Uncle Dale

.

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That's all he would tell me -- but the experience left him less "strengthened" in the faith -- not more.

He had always been taught that if you had a problem with another member that you first tried to work

it out on a one-on-one basis, and then if that did not help matters, to go to the Bishop or Branch Pres.

UD--

Matthew 18.15-17 is clearly optional, heathen.

CKS

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UD--

Matthew 18.15-17 is clearly optional, heathen.

CKS

I think my ex-Mormon friend was thinking more along these lines:

"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin

that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses,

shall the matter be established."

He thought that a member who was being accused of something bad generally had a right

to know about it first, from witnesses who were personally acquainted with the situation

(and not have to first hear of the problem from a Church official).

I think it made him feel upset that his wife told the Bishop he had seen some member's

name who was on a list to be investigated. He's out of the Church now and will perhaps

tell me more, if I ask him. If I learn anything worth sharing I'll let folks know.

UD

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That's what I was wondering, is there a prize for accumulating the biggest file with no actionable offense?

That's when they make you a general authority.

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Children, children. You think you are important enough for the Church to have a file on you? I'd be more concerned with what the angel upstairs is writing down in the Book of Life about you, if I were you.

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You might be interested in this thread: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=18339

FIRST PRESIDENCY STATEMENT CITES SCRIPTURAL MANDATE

FOR CHURCH COMMITTEE

GENERALLY, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not respond to criticism levied against its work. But in light of extensive publicity recently given to false accusations of so-called secret Church committees and files, the First Presidency has issued the following statement:

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in 1830 following the appearance of God the Father and Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith in upstate New York. This sacred event heralded the onset of the promised 'restitution of all things.' Many instructions were subsequently given to the Prophet including Section 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

"'And again, we would suggest for your consideration the propriety of all the saints gathering up a knowledge of all the facts, and sufferings and abuses put upon them....

"'And also of all the property and amount of damages which they have sustained, both of character and personal injuries....

"'And perhaps a committee can be appointed to find out these things, and to take statements and affidavits and also to gather up the libelous publications that are afloat;

"'And all that are in the magazines, and in the encyclopedias, and all the libelous histories that are published.... (Verses 1-5)'

"Leaders and members of the Church strive to implement commandments of the Lord including this direction received in 1839. Because the Church has a non-professional clergy, its stake presidents and bishops have varied backgrounds and training. In order to assist their members who have questions, these local leaders often request information from General Authorities of the Church.

"The Strengthening Church Members Committee was appointed by the First Presidency to help fulfill this need and to comply with the cited section of the Doctrine and Covenants. This committee serves as a resource to priesthood leaders throughout the world who may desire assistance on a wide variety of topics. It is a General Authority committee, currently comprised of Elder James E. Faust and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They work through established priesthood channels, and neither impose nor direct Church disciplinary action.

"Members who have questions concerning Church doctrine, policies, or procedures have been counseled to discuss those concerns confidentially with their local leaders. These leaders are deeply aware of their obligation to counsel members wisely in the spirit of love, in order to strengthen their faith in the Lord and in His great latter-day work."

-THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

Of course this can be made to sound creepy. But those who are objecting the loudest make just about everything relating to Mormonism sound creepy. There probably have been some excesses as there always is when you get middle management involved. But what I find sadly ironic and so typical of bottom feeders is that they complain that the church doesn't keep track of criminal activity...and then put a sinister spin on anything that might be able to actually do that.

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Church organizations must wear many hats just to get the business done. So, if the Church only does "charitable" activities, who pays the electric bills, etc? Or does that magically happen for charitable organizations?

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Children, children. You think you are important enough for the Church to have a file on you? I'd be more concerned with what the angel upstairs is writing down in the Book of Life about you, if I were you.

Or what we are writing in our own books, every act, every thought we will give account of unless we overcome.

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Children, children. You think you are important enough for the Church to have a file on you?

They'd better have a file on me. I didn't get baptized for nothing.

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I think I've found a new purpose in life... does anyone know specifically what kinds of activities may be brought to or garner the attention of the Strengthening the Members Committee? Like wearing a sheep costume over a wolve costume when going to sacrament? Posting lengthy manifestos and personal revelations on the Internet? :P

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Posting lengthy manifestos and personal revelations on the Internet? ...

Eating with the sinners and tax collectors at the IRS Center's coffee-break room in Ogden?

UD

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Throwing the cashiers out of the distribution center?

That does it!

You're on the list now!

UD

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Mission accomplished! Oh, wait, be right back, someone's at the door...

Don't worry about them --- they mean no harm, Brother...

That's just the Nauvoo "Whistlin' 'n Whittlin' Brigade"

UD

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I'll refrain from noting specific parallels, but this sort of thing is certainly not unknown in relatively modern factions functioning within ideologically-driven historico-political frameworks.

Do you find this creepy as well?

Not really, no.

How "creepy" can a clipping service really be, in the absence of the black helicopters in whisper mode?

Does the Evangel take no notice whatsoever of anything the Church says or does?

And does it make no record of what it notices?

Regards,

Pahoran

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