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President Nelson and Change


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9 minutes ago, DispensatorMysteriorum said:

Not to mention the kind of courage and "guts" it takes to do something like cut open a chest, saw through ribs, and pull out a beating heart.... 

Especially when you were taught in medical school that attempting to touch the heart would result in a loss of respect and the regard of your colleagues. 

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39 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I've mentioned on this forum about half a dozen times or so how Elder Bednar visited us four or five years ago and told us that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure. Whatever 'it' is, the apostles seem to have known for some years that it was coming.

Edit: I'm at work and don't have my notes in front of me, so I found a post from when I did: We were told that 'the Lord is constructing a Church that will be able to fulfil its divine global mandate and that it would be "unrecognisable" in everything but doctrine before He's finished'. He also told us that the Lord had just finished laying the foundation of the Restoration, and that it was time to build the proper structure on top. He also mentioned his fear that it would be American Saints who would most struggle with coming changes since many of them are more attached to the culture than to the doctrine.

FWIMBW, I remember reading a blog post by someone in America reporting very similar language at least a couple of years earlier as well, but I couldn't prove it.

I thought that Elder Bednar said that if it doesn't work in Uganda or the DRC, then the program will most likely be discarded soon i.e. early morning/release time seminary?  

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There was a time in medicine in the not too distant past where it was though as blasphemy and against the will of God to do any surgery on the heart.  HBO did a documentary ("Something The Lord Made") a number of years ago about the very first heart surgery in the 50's.  People were riled up about how it was against the will of God.  Now the Church has a President that made heart surgery his life's work, well at least until he got called into church service.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

Especially when you were taught in medical school that attempting to touch the heart would result in a loss of respect and the regard of your colleagues. 

There was a time in medicine in the not too distant past where it was though as blasphemy and against the will of God to do any surgery on the heart.  HBO did a documentary ("Something The Lord Made") a number of years ago about the very first heart surgery in the 50's.  People were riled up about how it was against the will of God.  Now the Church has a President that made heart surgery his life's work, well at least until he got called into church service

 

Sorry about the double post.  Not sure how that happened.

 

 

Edited by california boy
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56 minutes ago, cinepro said:

We've talked a lot about the changes President Nelson has made to the Church in the past year, but as I've thought about the recent changes to the missionary communication policy, I feel that there may be something that both the critics and TBMs are overlooking.

Obviously, each change brings a flood of Facebook memes from believers about the latest "revelation", attributing the change to divine intervention.  Conversely, critics immediately write them off as some combination of obvious, lacking, superfluous. 

But both groups failed to see something that perhaps will be obvious in hindsight:

President Nelson is quite possible the first President of the Church in the last 100 years who is an actual "change agent."  Meaning, President Nelson is the first leader we've had that sees his role as one of change, not loyalty to the past and being chained down by policy and tradition.

And why is this?  Because he is the first General Authority that comes from a culture where change was required and respected, and where he excelled at being innovative.  Specifically, his experience as a cutting-edge (pun intended) heart surgeon, where he was instrumental in developing new procedures that revolutionized that area of medicine.

While I consider previous Prophets to be good and inspired men, they were all brought up in the Church bureaucracy in such a way that they most likely saw themselves as loyal stewards of the past.

President Monson - Worked for Deseret News, the Church Press, called as Apostle at 36.

President Hinckley - Seminary teacher, Sunday School board, various church committees.

President Hunter - Lawyer.  While I have great respect for lawyers, they are trained to honor precedence and argue for their position.  It is not a profession that fosters "change" thinking.

President Benson - Farmer, government worker.

President Kimball - Insurance broker.

and so on...

So my theory is that President Nelson hasn't approached his office as one who has been called to preserve the traditions and policies of the Church (and not step on the toes of those who came before him).

Instead, he is approaching it like an innovative surgeon.  If the Church is a "body", and it is imperfect, then Nelson is going to do what is most needed and effective to help it get better.  He'll do the least necessary, but he's not afraid to use a scalpel and go in and make changes.  And it doesn't matter how precious a policy or tradition was to those who came before him.

The odd thing is, if I'm right, how no one saw it coming.  Both critics and Church members get so hyper-focused in what they want to see, no one said "Hey, this guy comes from a very different culture and has accomplished very different kinds of things, so this could be a very different kind of Presidency..." 

And sadly, I don't know that anyone else in the immediate line of succession has any indication of being this kind of leader. 

I think it's possible to change a lot of things, but I'm concerned that in response to Peggy Stack's question about the role of women in the church at the press conference that he quoted from Sec 132:63.  

62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

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28 minutes ago, california boy said:

There was a time in medicine in the not too distant past where it was though as blasphemy and against the will of God to do any surgery on the heart.  HBO did a documentary ("Something The Lord Made") a number of years ago about the very first heart surgery in the 50's.  People were riled up about how it was against the will of God.  Now the Church has a President that made heart surgery his life's work, well at least until he got called into church service.

Wow..interesting.  I had no idea. 

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49 minutes ago, blueglass said:

I thought that Elder Bednar said that if it doesn't work in Uganda or the DRC, then the program will most likely be discarded soon i.e. early morning/release time seminary?  

That was my interpretation/extrapolation from what Elder Bednar both said and implied: 'My sense from what Elder Bednar said is that the Brethren are basically moving in the direction of "if this doesn't work in Uganda, then we're not going to do it". I could be wrong, but it feels like we're moving in that direction'.

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I agree with what Cinepro is saying but I think a large part of what the President of the Church does depends on when he lives and what the world is up to. So, we have President Heber J. Grant saying at the Alberta Temple dedication in 1923,  “I have no doubt in my mind that Temples of the Lord will be erected in Europe, none whatever. How soon that will come I do not know. It will not come until the spirit of peace has increased among the people of Europe.”

 

Clearly the "spirit of peace" just didn't exist in Europe until 30 plus years when the Church dedicated two Temples in Europe. The Church just had other things to deal with, it wasn't that Temples weren't important it was just that other things took priority, Pres. Grant even said he would close the Temples and shutdown the missionary work in order to feed the saints due to the depression. President John Taylor's administration was hampered by the fact he was underground most of the time. President Gordon B. Hinckley took Temples to the World whereas President Lorenzo Snow took the Apostles to the world and ramped up missionary work, ie. Pres. Grant in Japan in 1901, Russia being dedicated in 1903 (it didn't go anywhere but the genesis was present for missionary work)

 

 You can go back to other administrations and see what changes they made but it all depended on when they lived and how things globally were.

Edited by Duncan
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There are a couple variables I think play into this.

1. The amount of direction a prophet feels he is receiving from God in order to make change.

2. The amount of direction a prophet feels is necessary in order to make change.

 

I'm assuming #1 has been pretty constant through the years. I'm assuming #2 has been constant for a long time, and that most prophets have felt they have needed more direction in order to make more drastic changes, and that has been why there has not been as much change. IOW, the main difference with Pres. Nelson is that I think he feels enabled to pull the trigger without as much direction as others in the past.

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

If Bednar saw this coming, surely he knows Nelson and what his leadership would bring. 

I suspect this is true. I also strongly suspect that many of the changes we've seen recently have been in process for many years. (The approval date for Come, Follow Me, for example, predates Pres Nelson's presidency.)

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"loyal stewards of the past"???

President Nelson has made many "course corrections"  in the short time he's been the Church President.  But so far, nothing compared to the major course corrections introduced by President Kimball with the priesthood, scripture revision and the reorganization of the Seventy..

 

 

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9 hours ago, cinepro said:

....................................And sadly, I don't know that anyone else in the immediate line of succession has any indication of being this kind of leader. 

Perhaps.  There are certainly some tea leaves to be read.  However, we don't actually know who is going to succeed the current Pres.  He is in such good shape that he may well live to 110 (didn't Moses live to 120?).  Then who will be the next guy in line?  Who will survive the next decade?  We may want to look at the line of seniority a little more closely.

In any case, how much change can a dynamic church tolerate?  Maybe a period of consolidation is called for.

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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Elder Bednar visited us four or five years ago and told us that massive changes were coming that would leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure.

Do any of the recent changes leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure?

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52 minutes ago, Thinking said:

Do any of the recent changes leave the Church unrecognisable in culture and structure?

That's a good question.  Culture change could refer to throwing out Mormon and Mormonism as bad words.  Structure I'm not sure, 11y/o deacons and hives of bees?  Dramatic changes in temple architecture?  Demolishing seminary buildings and installing skate parks, turning basketball cultural halls into workout rooms with free weights and treadmills?  

Edited by blueglass
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11 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

If Bednar saw this coming, surely he knows Nelson and what his leadership would bring. 

Could Elder Bednar have really foreseen that President Nelson  would outlive President Monson (who was 3 years younger) and that he would be in such good health in his 90's that he would be a vigorous "agent of change"?  Most people in their 90's have barely enough energy to get up from in front of the TV and get to the bathroom in time  (I'm approaching the age where I can say that from personal experience).

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14 hours ago, blueglass said:

I thought that Elder Bednar said that if it doesn't work in Uganda or the DRC, then the program will most likely be discarded soon i.e. early morning/release time seminary?  

Do you have that quote?  That would be interesting to read!

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