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Tribe article on declining religiosity among LDS


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On 11/29/2021 at 1:48 PM, bluebell said:

Don't the scriptures prophesy that in the last days many of the very elect will fall away?  Seems like we are probably seeing the fulfillment of that to some degree.

Sort of.  It says "if possible".  

So the questions becomes, "is it possible for the elect to fall away?"

Edited by Rain
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7 hours ago, Fether said:

I agree with everything you have here.

My point is that God said those who did not have a knowledge, but would have accepted the gospel will be in the celestial kingdom. I’m simply challenging that having a knowledge is more than just hearing the gospel spoken to you by a missionary.

Im not saying that being an impressive person that seeks good is ALL what it takes to be exalted (though Inwould argue it is a requirement). Nor am I saying g all these impressive people I listed on will be exalted. 

Im also not saying our personalities will change. Alma 34:30-35 makes that clear. I’m simply saying that there are so many incredible people out there who simply don’t “a knowledge” of the gospel. Those that would accept it if they were to gain that knowledge will be exalted. 
 

My other point is that there are many members of the church that do not accept the gospel as it is preached to them. I think there are more Christlike people outside the church than in, and the only reason they aren’t in it is because they don’t have “a knowledge” of the gospel.

I would agree with all you said except for the last.

I was actually thinking about this, this morning.  I have worked with some amazing pastors that are there spiritually, physically, emotionally for those they work with.  The church doesn't have a place for them.  In the church you are stopped from serving like these people unless you are independently wealthy and/or do not need to work.  With the pastors I know, their service is also their work.  So they have so much more time to be there with and for the people. 

When I have seen them work I have thought, "why would they want to join our church when what they are doing is so much more like Christ lived than what most members do?" 

Edited by Rain
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20 hours ago, Rain said:

Sort of.  It says "if possible".  

So the questions becomes, "is it possible for the elect will fall away?"

It strikes me as being situational.

I think some of the elect, through their personal righteousness and choices, have attained such a state of devotion and godliness that it is, practically speaking,  impossible for them to fall away while in their current state. 
 

Others of the elect, through the cumulative effect over time of individual actions and behavioral choices, some of them so small as to be almost imperceptible, make themselves vulnerable enough to the influence of the adversary that they eventually do fall away. 
 

In a broad and theoretical sense, so long as we have the gift of moral agency, it is possible for any of us to fall away. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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2 hours ago, Mike Drop said:

Are us Mormons the only people allowed to have a testimony? 

No. Some people have testimonies but are not converted. There is a distinction. 
 

To be converted, one must follow Christ by accepting and obeying the principles and ordinances of the gospel that He gave and that are taught and administered by His Church. 

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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No. Some people have testimonies but are not converted. There is a distinction. 
 

To be converted, one must follow Christ by accepting and obeying the principles and ordinances of the gospel that He gave and that are taught and administered by His Church. 

I appreciate the answer sir, but I’m still confused. If a JW has a testimony that is built upon a foundation of life long adherence to the teachings and revelatory guidance received from members of the governing body which to them means directly from Jehovah himself, is their testimony only valid in Gods eyes if they convert to Mormonism?  

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32 minutes ago, Rain said:

I was actually thinking about this, this morning.  I have worked with some amazing pastors that are there spiritually, physically, emotionally for those they work with.  The church doesn't have a place for them.  In the church you are stopped from serving like these people unless you are independently wealthy and/or do not need to work.  With the pastors are know, their service is also their work.  So they have so much more time to be there with and for the people. 

When I have seen them work I have thought, "why would they want to join our church when what they are doing is so much more like Christ lived than what most members do?" 

I stopped criticizing a paid clergy when I had to put together an entire new ward in a week while working my day job. It would have been very nice for that to have been my job. :) 

It's very hard for some who, as you point out, would be hard pressed to give as much Christlike service as a Church member than they already give in their congregations. It would be a "rich young man" scenario: despite all of that, if the Church is true (if the Restoration and scriptural events and people really happened and existed), are you willing to leave your work and join the Church? 

I've also had a minister tell me that he envies our "burning our candle from both ends and on the sides" model (he was referring to me being a bishop with four young children and a separate day job). He felt that it is very hard not to become insulated from the flock, even though ostensibly their time is 100% devoted to the flock, without participating in the day-to-day actual experiences that the flock participates in. I would say this is even more true of unmarried/never-married clergy.

I think the same is true of many of our LDS "royalty" from which many of our North American general authorities are drawn. For generations, their families haven't known want or need, so even though serving as stake presidents on up to general authority for generations, they are by and large out of touch with the realities of day-to-day life experience for most Church members --- simply as a cultural experience thing. And, the fact that they have extended family (children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) doesn't really put them "in the thick of things," because wealthy tend to marry wealthy, middle class tend to marry middle class, and poor tend to marry poor. Their in-laws tend to be just like they are, with similar life experiences and without others. Many of our general conference stories show this --- golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland, skiing with the great-grandchildren, etc. 

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

It is clear that the Terrestrial Kingdom basically **is** the kingdom for "people that are extremely impressive and are seeking nothing more than to do as much good and become as excellent as possible" --- except that they do not accept, enter into, and keep the covenants (they reject membership and advancement in the Church). That is the basic definition for the Terrestrial Kingdom. 

So just how many people on this earth have truly had the opportunity to accept, enter into and keep the covenants that you identify as membership and advancement in the Church.  Every person that the missionaries have spoken too (a relatively very small percentage of the world's population since the beginning of human kind), anyone who has heard about the Church in a significant way (a slightly larger very small percentage).  So how many people of all those born on the earth meet your definition of who is going to the Terrestrial kingdom?  By the way I am not arguing with your definition of who goes to the terrestrial kingdom just how many that really will be compared to all of God's children upon this earth.  Also remember that every expert I know of estimates that 30% to 50% of all babies born to human kind died before the age of 8.  5 to 7 million children a year die before the age of 1 currently.  God seems to be saving a lot more of His children than the Church and it's missionary efforts are.  Are those efforts really about bringing the gospel to every person on the earth (impossible with our current numbers as over a 140 million babies are born each year and our current missionary force doesn't come close to fully teaching that many people in a year) or are those efforts more about teaching those who do the preaching.

 

13 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

There are the prominent anti-Christ’s: Sherem, Nehor and Korihor. 
 

Also, the whole episode with the Zoramites. 
 

Maybe I’m not understanding what you have in mind. 

Anti Christs are another message of the Book of Mormon.  The warning was that members should not listen to them.  How many people who leave the Church today do so to follow an anti Christ?  I don't know of any personally although I am sure their are a few.  Remember the Anti Christ message was there is no Christ and pay me for preaching to you.

The Zoramites were members of the Church that didn't leave the Church but rather changed the doctrine to their own beliefs.  One of which was we are the select ones who are better than everyone else.  The second was to kick the poor out of their church or look down on the poor.  Third was to view the attendance at church on Sunday  and giving a testimony as the true sign of righteousness.  What you did the rest of the week didn't matter?  Does that sound like those who leave the Church or some active members in these last days?

Below is one of the clearest examples of the warning given to Church members and their actions that led to their destruction.  You can read the whole chapter and note there is no warning to those who dissented from the church.  There is no warning in the Book of Mormon anywhere to the lamanites and dissenters just promises that their decedents would be preserved .  The warnings are always directed to church members.

Helaman 4:

11 Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, awould not have happened had it not been for their bwickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.

12 And it was because of the apride of their hearts, because of their exceeding briches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the cpoor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a dmock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites—

13 And because of this their great wickedness, and their aboastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven before the Lamanites, until they had lost possession of almost all their lands.

14 But behold, Moronihah did apreach many things unto the people because of their iniquity, and also bNephi and Lehi, who were the sons of Helaman, did preach many things unto the people, yea, and did prophesy many things unto them concerning their iniquities, and what should come unto them if they did not repent of their sins.

15 And it came to pass that they did repent, and inasmuch as they did repent they did begin to prosper.

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

In the church you are stopped from serving like these people unless you are independently wealthy and/or do not need to work

I did not mean to suggest our calling is a sign Of our faithfulness. I think requirements like that are important for the upper leadership, but I was mot suggesting only upper leadership will be exalted. God will judge us by our hearts and my our works. Not by what opportunities were offered to us.

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10 minutes ago, rongo said:

I stopped criticizing a paid clergy when I had to put together an entire new ward in a week while working my day job. It would have been very nice for that to have been my job. :) 

It's very hard for some who, as you point out, would be hard pressed to give as much Christlike service as a Church member than they already give in their congregations. It would be a "rich young man" scenario: despite all of that, if the Church is true (if the Restoration and scriptural events and people really happened and existed), are you willing to leave your work and join the Church? 

I've also had a minister tell me that he envies our "burning our candle from both ends and on the sides" model (he was referring to me being a bishop with four young children and a separate day job). He felt that it is very hard not to become insulated from the flock, even though ostensibly their time is 100% devoted to the flock, without participating in the day-to-day actual experiences that the flock participates in. I would say this is even more true of unmarried/never-married clergy.

My grandad was a paid Methodist minister, which meant that he usually had a free parsonage for this wife and five children, and not much else.  He, his wife, and children had to spend a lot of their time farming.  It was pretty much a hand-to-mouth existence, but he came from a farm, and was a well-educated man (grad of Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia; grad of Ohio Wesleyan; with advanced study at Boston Univ School of Theology), and so eventually all the rest of the family.  No special privilege.  Just hard work and study.

10 minutes ago, rongo said:

I think the same is true of many of our LDS "royalty" from which many of our North American general authorities are drawn. For generations, their families haven't known want or need, so even though serving as stake presidents on up to general authority for generations, they are by and large out of touch with the realities of day-to-day life experience for most Church members --- simply as a cultural experience thing. And, the fact that they have extended family (children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) doesn't really put them "in the thick of things," because wealthy tend to marry wealthy, middle class tend to marry middle class, and poor tend to marry poor. Their in-laws tend to be just like they are, with similar life experiences and without others. Many of our general conference stories show this --- golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland, skiing with the great-grandchildren, etc. 

I don't know where you get that notion of "LDS royalty," but most of the GAs I have seen in my life were very hard workers, with no silver spoon in their mouths.  David O. McKay and Spencer Kimball were farm boys who worked very hard.  Many, like Thomas Monsen, served in WW II in the ordinary ranks, risking their lives every day.  Most, like Dr Nelson, have paid their dues through hard work -- service in the Army, university degrees (Nelson has PhD and MD, and was an officer in the Medical Corps in Korea), teaching, performing advanced techniques.  Pres Dallin Oaks was born and raised in Provo, graduated from BYU, and ended up as a law professor, then a supreme court justice.  No royal privilege, just talent.

The meritocracy got them where they are, and rightly so.

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4 hours ago, rongo said:

In our desire to be universalist

Let’s make one thing absolutely clear. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is universalist as defined by traditional Christianity. Everyone will be in some degree of glory.

4 hours ago, rongo said:

The real question (which only God knows), is what constitutes sufficient knowledge (or "full qualifying exposure" to the gospel).

This is exactly right. My thoughts hinge on how I interpret this. Though I am willing to fight that a celebrity that has heard rumors and others opinions on the Latter-day Saints has not received a knowledge. I would say that only those who have devoted serious time to the study of the church has received any sort of knowledge.

Rejecting the gospel doesn’t lead to punishment. All it does is tell God “I dont want this.” But what if, I would pose, we miss understood what was being taught? Or what we were taught was Incomplete? This is where my belief lies. I know so many active Saints that misinterpret and misunderstand the church’s teachings. Those outside the church are likely even more prone to this. 

Edited by Fether
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2 hours ago, kimpearson said:

So just how many people on this earth have truly had the opportunity to accept, enter into and keep the covenants that you identify as membership and advancement in the Church.  Every person that the missionaries have spoken too (a relatively very small percentage of the world's population since the beginning of human kind), anyone who has heard about the Church in a significant way (a slightly larger very small percentage).  So how many people of all those born on the earth meet your definition of who is going to the Terrestrial kingdom?  By the way I am not arguing with your definition of who goes to the terrestrial kingdom just how many that really will be compared to all of God's children upon this earth.  Also remember that every expert I know of estimates that 30% to 50% of all babies born to human kind died before the age of 8.  5 to 7 million children a year die before the age of 1 currently.  God seems to be saving a lot more of His children than the Church and it's missionary efforts are.  Are those efforts really about bringing the gospel to every person on the earth (impossible with our current numbers as over a 140 million babies are born each year and our current missionary force doesn't come close to fully teaching that many people in a year) or are those efforts more about teaching those who do the preaching.

I fully agree that the number of people who have a chance to **directly** hear the gospel message in mortality is very small. I also agree about the proportion of people who are heirs to the Celestial Kingdom by virtue of dying before the age of accountability. It's clear to me that the pre-existence has a huge impact on this, and many of our brothers and sisters will be exalted without having much of an earth experience. 

I don't personally think it's more for the benefit of those doing the preaching, because the people we do reach have an excellent opportunity. I think when you do have the opportunity, you need to take advantage of it. You were placed on the earth at a time and location where it is directly available. I think that the opportunities and limitations we face on earth are directly tied to what we need, based on the pre-existence. 

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I don't know where you get that notion of "LDS royalty," but most of the GAs I have seen in my life were very hard workers, with no silver spoon in their mouths.  David O. McKay and Spencer Kimball were farm boys who worked very hard.  Many, like Thomas Monsen, served in WW II in the ordinary ranks, risking their lives every day.  Most, like Dr Nelson, have paid their dues through hard work -- service in the Army, university degrees (Nelson has PhD and MD, and was an officer in the Medical Corps in Korea), teaching, performing advanced techniques.  Pres Dallin Oaks was born and raised in Provo, graduated from BYU, and ended up as a law professor, then a supreme court justice.  No royal privilege, just talent.

The meritocracy got them where they are, and rightly so.

I don't mean at all that the Brethren aren't hard-working. I'm only referring to the fact that most of the North American ones are related by blood or marriage (or network --- we had a stake conference where Elder Cook's wife and Sister Cardon reminisced about when they served in the primary presidency together in the Bay Area. These network relationships are legion).

Your examples are quite old as far as farm boys. When new stake or mission presidents are called (the "entry level" portal of general authorities), when you look at the family or marital connections of many, I don't think you can argue that **only** the meritocracy got them where they are. And, their professions are overwhelmingly a) law, b) medicine, c) academia, and d) CES --- which is a tight circle of its own. When you happen to be related to a prominent generational family as well, so much the better. 

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22 minutes ago, rongo said:

Your examples are quite old as far as farm boys. When new stake or mission presidents are called (the "entry level" portal of general authorities), when you look at the family or marital connections of many, I don't think you can argue that **only** the meritocracy got them where they are. And, their professions are overwhelmingly a) law, b) medicine, c) academia, and d) CES --- which is a tight circle of its own. When you happen to be related to a prominent generational family as well, so much the better. 

One of my uncles served as a mission president.  While he is a dentist his father drove a delivery truck.  We're not related to any of your royalty.

Our new stake president was born in Mexico City and emigrated when he was 14.  He's an internet marketing consultant.  I don't know the profession of the previous one, but the one before that was an accountant.

The connection I see between all these people is not profession or relation, but a desire to serve.

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10 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

One of my uncles served as a mission president.  While he is a dentist his father drove a delivery truck.  We're not related to any of your royalty.

Our new stake president was born in Mexico City and emigrated when he was 14.  He's an internet marketing consultant.  I don't know the profession of the previous one, but the one before that was an accountant.

The connection I see between all these people is not profession or relation, but a desire to serve.

One stake president I served under was a truck driver. These are the exceptions that prove the rule. 

Again, if you read the Church News when they announce the new stake and mission presidents, the vast majority of the North Americans are connected or wealthy (or both). The thing with especially mission presidents is that they are paid a salary (the Church doesn't want to call it that, but that's what it is), with expenses reimbursed. My parents have been the office couple in two missions. So, a "desire to serve" sans money shouldn't preclude some really good men from consideration, but it does in practice. They will never even be considered. Money is almost a prerequisite --- unless there are unique circumstances like rare language ability. 

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9 hours ago, Fether said:

I did not mean to suggest our calling is a sign Of our faithfulness. I think requirements like that are important for the upper leadership, but I was mot suggesting only upper leadership will be exalted. God will judge us by our hearts and my our works. Not by what opportunities were offered to us.

I wasn't thinking that at all.  I was referring to this line, "I think there are more Christlike people outside the church than in, and the only reason they aren’t in it is because they don’t have “a knowledge” of the gospel."

I think that depending on what you mean by "gospel" that there are some who MAY have a knowledge of it, but still either choose to not become a member or feel led to stay with their own church.  

 

 

 

 

9 hours ago, rongo said:

I stopped criticizing a paid clergy when I had to put together an entire new ward in a week while working my day job. It would have been very nice for that to have been my job. :) 

And that week would have  been mostly administrative.  To have the time to minister is what I see from experience is what the pastors I know would minister the most.

9 hours ago, rongo said:

It's very hard for some who, as you point out, would be hard pressed to give as much Christlike service as a Church member than they already give in their congregations. It would be a "rich young man" scenario: despite all of that, if the Church is true (if the Restoration and scriptural events and people really happened and existed), are you willing to leave your work and join the Church? 

I can't judge them as the "rich young man".  Maybe they are willing and the Lord told them to stay for their time on earth.  Maybe they have had some incredibly painful abusive experiences with a leader of the church and during this earth life haven't been able to get past them. 

I just don't think we have all the info to decide where people are going to go based on them being in or out of the church while on earth.  

What about the people that are continually growing and learning while on earth and have not chosen to become a member?  If they have the same personality in the next life then they will continue to grow and change.  And wow, I hope God gives me the chance to accept some things there, that I may not have accepted yet because I'm still a work in progress.

If personalities stay the same it means the vast majority of us will do at least some changing in the next life 

9 hours ago, rongo said:

I've also had a minister tell me that he envies our "burning our candle from both ends and on the sides" model (he was referring to me being a bishop with four young children and a separate day job). He felt that it is very hard not to become insulated from the flock, even though ostensibly their time is 100% devoted to the flock, without participating in the day-to-day actual experiences that the flock participates in. I would say this is even more true of unmarried/never-married clergy.

The majority of the pastors I have worked with have a normal life as well. There is a huge variety of how it all works with pastors/priests.  

9 hours ago, rongo said:

I think the same is true of many of our LDS "royalty" from which many of our North American general authorities are drawn. For generations, their families haven't known want or need, so even though serving as stake presidents on up to general authority for generations, they are by and large out of touch with the realities of day-to-day life experience for most Church members --- simply as a cultural experience thing. And, the fact that they have extended family (children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) doesn't really put them "in the thick of things," because wealthy tend to marry wealthy, middle class tend to marry middle class, and poor tend to marry poor. Their in-laws tend to be just like they are, with similar life experiences and without others. Many of our general conference stories show this --- golfing at St. Andrews in Scotland, skiing with the great-grandchildren, etc. 

 

Edited by Rain
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3 hours ago, rongo said:

I don't mean at all that the Brethren aren't hard-working. I'm only referring to the fact that most of the North American ones are related by blood or marriage (or network --- we had a stake conference where Elder Cook's wife and Sister Cardon reminisced about when they served in the primary presidency together in the Bay Area. These network relationships are legion).

Your examples are quite old as far as farm boys. When new stake or mission presidents are called (the "entry level" portal of general authorities), when you look at the family or marital connections of many, I don't think you can argue that **only** the meritocracy got them where they are. And, their professions are overwhelmingly a) law, b) medicine, c) academia, and d) CES --- which is a tight circle of its own. When you happen to be related to a prominent generational family as well, so much the better. 

The notion of networking (and perhaps nepotism) is vastly overblown.  So many Utahns are related by blood, some quite close.  Gov Spencer Cox is a cousin of mine, attended my mother's funeral (she was a Cox from his town), but that gets me no special favors or recognition.  As to "old" examples, bear in mind that I am old.  I have seen a lot more GAs come and go than most here on this board, and I consider your claims absurd.  Did the late Mike Quinn share your view?  He spent a lot of time writing about the Brethren, and he punctured a number of false assumptions about them.

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On 11/30/2021 at 7:19 AM, boblloyd91 said:

The article isn't all doom and gloom per se, but the author indicates that the data she has indicated declined in religious observance among our ranks. What are everyone's thoughts?

As I have been reporting on this board for some years now, what I am observing in my ward/stake is that devout members are growing more devout as they carefully apply the teachings of the living prophets in their lives. When they come to church on Sundays, they have powerful experiences to share in classes and quorums, in testimonies and sacrament meeting talks. This is because they are actively engaged in the work of salvation, which generates fruit in their lives.

In contrast, those who just show up or are members more out of habit or culture are fading out ... and often look perplexed by what others are saying/sharing, like they don't quite understand or even believe what is being discussed.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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36 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The notion of networking (and perhaps nepotism) is vastly overblown.  So many Utahns are related by blood, some quite close.  Gov Spencer Cox is a cousin of mine, attended my mother's funeral (she was a Cox from his town), but that gets me no special favors or recognition.  As to "old" examples, bear in mind that I am old.  I have seen a lot more GAs come and go than most here on this board, and I consider your claims absurd.  Did the late Mike Quinn share your view?  He spent a lot of time writing about the Brethren, and he punctured a number of false assumptions about them.

Not sure when this was written, but here is an interesting article about nepotism in Church leadership

Quote

How does the current Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles measure up? 100% of them are related in some way to current or former general authorities of the LDS Church. In the top 2 leading quorums – consisting of 15 men (The First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles), five of these men are directly related to each other. Four are related to each other by marriage. Four are directly related to former LDS Presidents. Five are directly related to former apostles. Two are married to wives who are direct descendants of former presidents. Five are married to wives who are directly related to former apostles. Seven are married to wives who are relatives of current general authorities or of their wives. The only apostle who has no blood ties to any other general authority is Apostle Richard G. Scott. But, true to form, his wife is related to several current general authorities and even descends from a former LDS apostle.

Quote

Addendum: On 2 October 2004, President Gordon B. Hinckley presented Dieter F. Uchtdorf and David A. Bednar to the LDS Church as new apostles following the deaths of David Haight and Neil Maxwell earlier in the year. I have been unable to ascertain any extended family ties to current or past LDS General Authorities for either of these men or their wives. On 6 October 2007, Quentin L. Cook was presented as a new apostle after the death of James Faust. Elder Cook and his wife both have multiple ties to current and past General Authorities, including former President Spencer W. Kimball, former Apostle Heber C. Kimball, and former Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter.

 

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12 hours ago, Mike Drop said:

I appreciate the answer sir, but I’m still confused. If a JW has a testimony that is built upon a foundation of life long adherence to the teachings and revelatory guidance received from members of the governing body which to them means directly from Jehovah himself, is their testimony only valid in Gods eyes if they convert to Mormonism?  

To the extent that one’s testimony corresponds to truth, I have no doubt God would view it as valid. To the extent that it leads one along along paths of righteousness, it is certainly of value. At some point, however, one’s pursuit of truth must lead one to divinely given ordinances and covenants administered by those having authority, as found only in the church that Christ Himself founded, what you call “Mormonism,” but what is properly denoted as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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6 hours ago, rongo said:

One stake president I served under was a truck driver. These are the exceptions that prove the rule. 

Again, if you read the Church News when they announce the new stake and mission presidents, the vast majority of the North Americans are connected or wealthy (or both). The thing with especially mission presidents is that they are paid a salary (the Church doesn't want to call it that, but that's what it is), with expenses reimbursed. My parents have been the office couple in two missions. So, a "desire to serve" sans money shouldn't preclude some really good men from consideration, but it does in practice. They will never even be considered. Money is almost a prerequisite --- unless there are unique circumstances like rare language ability. 

Could there be something of the post hoc fallacy at play here? I mean to say that the same sort of talents that bring a man professional success might be what is needed to be not just a worthy but an effective ecclesiastical leader. 

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

Not sure when this was written, but here is an interesting article about nepotism in Church leadership ..................

Thank you so much.  I suspected that Mike Quinn had something to say about that.  Lane Thuet was a bit too facile in his claims, however.  For example, he ignored the fact that Orson Pratt's seniority did not allow him to become Church President (Brigham punished him for his views on race and slavery by removing his seniority).  Such things are far more malleable than we often imagine.  As to genealogical relationships, I already made the point that nearly everybody in Utah has such relationships.  We need more than mere suggestions of widespread nepotism.  There are obvious instances, but I just don't see them as pervasive and controlling.

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10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The notion of networking (and perhaps nepotism) is vastly overblown.  So many Utahns are related by blood, some quite close.  Gov Spencer Cox is a cousin of mine, attended my mother's funeral (she was a Cox from his town), but that gets me no special favors or recognition.  As to "old" examples, bear in mind that I am old.  I have seen a lot more GAs come and go than most here on this board, and I consider your claims absurd.  Did the late Mike Quinn share your view?  He spent a lot of time writing about the Brethren, and he punctured a number of false assumptions about them.

This. I am in one of these ‘royal’ families. It means you occasionally get five minutes of swapping stories with someone once every few years and any time Elder Ballard told a story about his ancestor crossing the plains I had heard the story from my mom or grandma before. Despite being of royal lineage no one from my grandparents down rose higher than a stake president. The only semi-famous member of my extended family was only it because his brother married my cousin and he his fame is limited to baseball fans.

Too many of the tenuous connections are on the level of great or great great grandparents or the spouse of someone’s second cousin or something. If it is nepotism it is pretty indirect.

Edited by The Nehor
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14 hours ago, Rain said:

And that week would have  been mostly administrative.  To have the time to minister is what I see from experience is what the pastors I know would minister the most.

Absolutely that week was mostly administrative, but part of the stress was that there were "irons in the fire" bishop items at the same time. Both times I was called, I had people with problems who wanted/needed to meet with me right away. Aside from the things that go into staffing an entire ward in a week, after that, it would sure be nice to be able to dedicate one's whole day and whole time to visiting people. I don't criticize paid clergy for that --- man, that would really be nice. 

 

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