Jump to content

Utah Stake President Gets Political In Conference Talk


Buzzard

Recommended Posts

Apparently, this talk was given a few months ago and didn't leave the building, but then a friend asked for a copy, started forwarding it to others, and as with all things internet, it seems to have gone viral and now the SLTribune (no surprise there) picked up the scent and ran a story this morning, generating several hundred outraged/snarky/standard antimormon comments.

I agree with a lot (not all) of what he says, but Stake Conference is probably not the right venue. OTOH, it's a lot less political than what gets said from the pulpits in churches every Sunday from the left or the right.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55876876-78/church-lds-political-devisser.html.csp

Link to comment

sounds like a number of my relatives on facebook.....

Edit: But definitely not appropriate for stake conference. A number of things on there have no doctrinal/scriptural basis.

With luv,

BD

Link to comment

I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum than this Stake President, but I do not think that it is appropriate for any LDS leader to espouse political views from the pulpit, whether the views are conservative or liberal, or whether the views are presented over the pulpit in General Conference, Stake Conference or a normal Sunday service.

Members get enough political grandstanding from wayward and sometimes beligerent political comments made in Relief Society, Priesthood classes, fast & testimony meetings, etc. by other members of the ward (believe me, I saw a lot of this while in the church) and they should not be subjected to the same from those in such authoritative positions such as Stake President.

Overall, I think the church does a decent job of staying out of politics, and this SP sounds more like a loose cannon than anything else.

Link to comment

I'm about to ask my fellow board members a thought provoking question. Before I do so, please understand that in posing this question I'm enquiring only about the Nephites in their own time and their own special circumstances; I'm not specifically attempting to draw a parallel with our own time and circumstances. So to reiterate, the focus of my question is solely upon the challenges facing Nephites in the years 29 to 23 B.C. First, I will set the stage by quoting from the Book of Heleman in the Book of Mormon:

36 And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words.

37 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.

38 And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.

39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.

40 And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction. (Heleman 6)

So here is the question:

If during the time period of the above sad state of affairs, the leaders of the Nephite congregations of the Church of Christ decied, over the pulpit, the sad fact that the once free institutions of their government had been taken over by organized crime, would they be stepping over the line of political neutrality?

Link to comment

I'm about to ask my fellow board members a thought provoking question. Before I do so, please understand that in posing this question I'm enquiring only about the Nephites in their own time and their own special circumstances; I'm not specifically attempting to draw a parallel with our own time and circumstances. So to reiterate, the focus of my question is solely upon the challenges facing Nephites in the years 29 to 23 B.C. First, I will set the stage by quoting from the Book of Heleman in the Book of Mormon:

36 And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words.

37 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.

38 And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.

39 And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.

40 And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction. (Heleman 6)

So here is the question:

If during the time period of the above sad state of affairs, the leaders of the Nephite congregations of the Church of Christ decied over the pulpit the sad fact that the once free institutions of their government had been taken over by organized crime, would they be stepping over the line of political neutrality?

If the leaders of the Church were making these statements I would take them seriously. When the leaders of the Church espouse political neutrality and middle managers take it upon themselves to make politically charged statements I would say that the middle managers are in apostasy.

It seems like most of the Right-wing cheerleaders in the church are convinced the Brethren are all completely behind them and agree with them but cannot say anything for PR reasons. I find that kind of insulting. I do not think the Brethren are that cowardly. If the Left is as dangerous as the Gadianton Robbers (which I do not believe for a second) then I would expect the Brethren to speak out against them.

Then again as I have said before I see the current political situation as a Shiz or Coriantumr choice. I think the Church is neutral for very good reasons.

Link to comment

If during the time period of the above sad state of affairs, the leaders of the Nephite congregations of the Church of Christ decied over the pulpit the sad fact that the once free institutions of their government had been taken over by organized crime, would they be stepping over the line of political neutrality?

From the perspective of the one who wrote the passage (some 450 years after the fact), it would be safe to say not. But was it politics as usual or a rapid upheaval of the political system, and so no longer really a matter of politics?

Link to comment

If the leaders of the Church were making these statements I would take them seriously. When the leaders of the Church espouse political neutrality and middle managers take it upon themselves to make politically charged statements I would say that the middle managers are in apostasy.

It seems like most of the Right-wing cheerleaders in the church are convinced the Brethren are all completely behind them and agree with them but cannot say anything for PR reasons. I find that kind of insulting. I do not think the Brethren are that cowardly. If the Left is as dangerous as the Gadianton Robbers (which I do not believe for a second) then I would expect the Brethren to speak out against them.

Then again as I have said before I see the current political situation as a Shiz or Coriantumr choice. I think the Church is neutral for very good reasons.

As I said. my question pertains only to the particular set of circumsatnces with which the righteous Nephites of that time were having to deal -- a time when their government was wholly taken over by a brutal, organized crime syndicate.

Link to comment

From the perspective of the one who wrote the passage (some 450 years after the fact), it would be safe to say not. But was it politics as usual or a rapid upheaval of the political system, and so no longer really a matter of politics?

In this specific instance, it would seem things would no longer be a matter of politics as usual. Nevertheless, even in this dire circumstance, the prophets of that day may have had to hold their peace and not openly expose the enemies of Christ that had, in wickedness, completely taken over the government. The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith further illuminates this point, wherein we learn, truly, that wisdom often really is proven to be the better part of valor...

"Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father’s kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself.” (TPJS)

Link to comment

In this specific instance, it would seem things would no longer be a matter of politics as usual. Nevertheless, even in this dire circumstance, the prophets of that day may have had to hold their peace and not openly expose the enemies of Christ that had, in wickedness, completely taken over the government. The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith further illuminates this point, wherein we learn, truly, that wisdom often really is proven to be the better part of valor...

"Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father’s kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself.” (TPJS)

Funny, because I deleted that part of my post, not wanting to presume that they were in a political situation. My deleted comment was about whether the upheaval allowed them to decry corruption with impunity for themselves or their congregations, and what the Lord would have them do in relation to that. They might have protected the flock by not pointing out specific parties or individuals involved in the more dangerous levels of corruption, but by sticking to teaching more general principles of righeousness. Perhaps the politics of that day (up until that point of decay) allowed significant latitude from the pulpit, but the more murder and secret combinations became commonplace, the less expedient it may have been to engage in personal attacks against the adversary.

Link to comment

Also, it seems there was generally such a blurring of religious and secular law in their policitcal and governing structure that to speak against corrupting the law (politically) would have been approrpiate from the pulpit in milder times.

It's interesting to ponder, especially in this hyper-sensitive politically correct age, but it wasn't so very long ago when some of our general authorities would not infrequently speak in General Conference about the proper role of secular governments and cogently warn against of the evils and encroachments of improper (i.e. unconstitutional) government. The recent conference address of this Stake President is a throwback to those days, when leaders like Ezra Taft Benson and J. Ruben Clark would, without hestitation or apology, say things openly in General Conference that would cause a major controversey and even upheaval if spoken today. So there actually was a time in recent Church history when, according to today's standards anyway, some of our leaders seemed to cross the line of political neutrality that we dare not cross today.

I believe the General Authorities are well aware of the very real dangers that threaten to destroy our freedom, our religion and our families, but confronting these forces openly and directly would be very counterproductive to our missionary work and to the image and perception of the Church in the secular world and popular culture, so of necessity they hold their peace. I believe the Lord will allow the wheat and tares of the world to grow together without much interference from above. But eventually, once the point of ripening in iniquity has been reached, the Lord may very well command his servants to expose the anti-Christ forces of that day. Time will tell...

Link to comment
"He wasn’t promoting a political party or any partisan politics. President DeVisser was only promoting correct principles, the principles that make people free. Modern prophets from [Mormon founder] Joseph Smith until today have all been teaching us correct principles, even regarding the proper role of government," Mecham said. "That is not politics; it is simply truth as it relates to government."

Mormon libertarian Connor Boyack agrees.

"The LDS Church’s position of political neutrality deals with candidates, not issues," Boyack, author of two books dealing with Mormonism and politics, wrote in an email. "DeVisser did a good job of connecting the dots that, to many Latter-day Saints, might be unrelated. Political machinations and current events, both at home and abroad, have as much relevance to our faith as do the breakdown of the family and rampant immorality."

To Boyack, LDS leaders "need to speak much more about our faith’s application to these things, and not less."

I agree completely.

Link to comment

As I said. my question pertains only to the particular set of circumsatnces with which the righteous Nephites of that time were having to deal -- a time when their government was wholly taken over by a brutal, organized crime syndicate.

And I answered it and then added commentary.

It's interesting to ponder, especially in this hyper-sensitive politically correct age, but it wasn't so very long ago when some of our general authorities would not infrequently speak in General Conference about the proper role of secular governments and cogently warn against of the evils and encroachments of improper (i.e. unconstitutional) government. The recent conference address of this Stake President is a throwback to those days, when leaders like Ezra Taft Benson and J. Ruben Clark would, without hestitation or apology, say things openly in General Conference that would cause a major controversey and even upheaval if spoken today. So there actually was a time in recent Church history when, according to today's standards anyway, some of our leaders seemed to cross the line of political neutrality that we dare not cross today.

I believe the General Authorities are well aware of the very real dangers that threaten to destroy our freedom, our religion and our families, but confronting these forces openly and directly would be very counterproductive to our missionary work and to the image and perception of the Church in the secular world and popular culture, so of necessity they hold their peace. I believe the Lord will allow the wheat and tares of the world to grow together without much interference from above. But eventually, once the point of ripening in iniquity has been reached, the Lord may very well command his servants to expose the anti-Christ forces of that day. Time will tell...

Yes, but Elder Benson was constantly getting in trouble with the Twelve for doing so and told to stop it.

The idea that the Brethren are holding back warnings to avoid offending the world is, in essence, saying that they are in apostasy. A couple of Old Testament prophets had VERY harsh words about leaders who hide the truth to appear popular or avoid warning the flock of imminent danger.

Link to comment

I don't think this Stake President committed the travesty that some in the bloggernacle seem to think he did. We only have to sustain our leaders, not follow them blindly. I am greatful that I belong to a religion where it is expected to seek conformation that what a leader say is from God or if it is just his opinion. If he would have came right out and said Romney was the white horse and Obama is the antichrist it might have been a different matter, this is a nonissue.

Link to comment

And I answered it and then added commentary.

Yes, but Elder Benson was constantly getting in trouble with the Twelve for doing so and told to stop it.

The idea that the Brethren are holding back warnings to avoid offending the world is, in essence, saying that they are in apostasy. A couple of Old Testament prophets had VERY harsh words about leaders who hide the truth to appear popular or avoid warning the flock of imminent danger.

Perhaps you missed this quote I posted above from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It clearly indicates that there are times when openly and directly exposing evil can be very counterproductive to the health and upbuilding of the Kingdom of God on the earth...

"Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father’s kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself.” (TPJS)

Link to comment

All the SP was doing was teaching the doctrine and being clear about it.

Bwahahaahahahahahahaahahah!!!!!!

Perhaps you missed this quote i posted above from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It clearly indicates that exposing evil can often be very counterproductive to the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God on the earth...

"Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father’s kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself.” (TPJS)

No, I saw it. I just disagree with your application of it.

So the Brethren are not moving because they believe it will be Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois all over again? This also of course assumes that the Left is the enemy and that they are wicked and bloodthirsty and would kill them given the chance. It also assumes that we are still too weak to defend ourselves. I deny all of these erroneous assumptions.

Link to comment

I read the sermon (twice) trying to see how anybody could construe this as political. It is a good old fashioned "signs of the time" sermon. That anyone could construe it as a political speech is, for me, quite telling.

The thought police clairvoyance machine seems to be malfunctioning.

Link to comment

My, my, my....Matt DeVisser is a Stake President now. Will wonders ever cease? I wouldn't worry too much about anything he says... When I knew him, he was spot on about only two things: the perfect woman and the perfect car. (No, she wasn't me and the car was a Corvette.)

Haven't seen you in a long time. Just something to think about. Are you the same person you were when you knew him? Lets hope he has improved too.

Link to comment

voters last year chose "socialism over capitalism, entitlements over free enterprise, redistribution and regulation over self-reliance."

How is that not political??? It's nothing but the standard far-right talking points. He didn't mention Obama by name, but with words like that, did he need to? The implications are absolutely clear.

If these are his personal political views, then that's his right. But trying to inject them into a church sermon was overstepping his authority.

Here's the LDS Church's statement on political neutrality.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...