Peter Bleakley has had an intriguing journey in Mormonism. Born at BYU to British parents he grew up in England loving Mormon theology and enjoying an early life in the church that he treasures.
Of late he’s less pleased with the church’s departure from the Mormonism he came to love and has much to say these days about the seemingly uninspired corporatization of the church. Yet, he remains on the pews, faithfully serving, but with hope that one day Mormonism will recapture the vision that once had his heart.
Peter because I’m from UK and living in Canada for most of my adult life, I could relate to much of what you were saying, and your frankness is really refreshing along with a great Brit. sense of humor.
However, I found your closing words quite disturbing; almost chilling, that the job of members is to convert the world.
That sounds like Islam.
The world needs to be converted to love and peace; to honor truth and goodness – NOT to be converted to Mormonism or any other religion.
Why ‘should’ anyone convert to a different religion? IF there is only one true, one way to serve god, then he needs to be a bit more bloody consistent.
Yeah! My point is not about forcing the world to convert but that we have a commission from Jesus in the Bible and Joseph Smith in his ‘penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear’ quote to offer what we have to all the world, and our challenge is be sensible and consistent enough to be attractive to everyone in the world for the right reasons. If we are getting it right then converting to Mormonism should be a conversion to ‘love and peace; to honor truth and goodness.’
Isn’t that just what Jesus told his followers to do before he assended to Heaven? “Go ye into all the world”
Jean, Interesting that you brought this up. I wouldn’t be too hard on Peter for claiming that the “job of members is to convert the world.” I’m not sure where he is living. But, as a mormon raised in Utah from birth, I heard that sentiment that the “job of members is to go forth and convert the world” over and over again from the pulpit. Along with “every member a missionary,” and “we are being sent into the world to bring people into the one true church.” I think he is just putting forth what he has heard.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. Thank you Gina and Peter. As a life-long Utah Mormon, it’s refreshing to hear your perspectives on the gospel and church. I especially found the discussion about “loyal opposition” rather rich.
During most of my life I’ve always loved general conference, but over the past few years, I’ve found I can’t listen to a good portion of the talks because they make me nauseous. The double-speak is ridiculous. The whole idea that we have agency and we can question, but we just can’t do it vocally or have open discussions about issues, is so utterly ridiculous as to be nonsensical.
We’ve seen massive fall-out from recent policies here in Utah. One of our bishopric members actually got up in Sacrament and informed the entire congregation that his parents and four active brothers and sisters all left the church that year over the new anti-Christian policies of the church, the revisionist and filtered history, the totalitarian direction of the leadership and the insane church investment policies. The policy about children of gay parents has been earth-shattering in our community, where half the people have liberal tendencies.
Some of the strongest members of our ward have left, and I’ve heard that they are again considering reorganizing our stake because there’s not enough priesthood leadership left to run the wards, so they have to restructure things in order to get enough faithful families in each ward. They just reorganized a few years ago, so that’s quite a surprise.
There aren’t many apostles left that I fully trust, one of them being President Uchtdorf. He’s the only person in the upper quorums who seems to see the big picture and understand the reality of the situation. The rest have their heads in the sand. They truly do not care about the membership. They’ve had their “calling & election”, and can’t possibly be wrong about ANYTHING. What do they have to fear if they are assured salvation? I see the current leadership of the church in much the same class as Obama and his liberal cadre, they are so confident in themselves that they can’t see they are destroying their own political party. The brethren can’t fix what’s wrong with more programs, and they can no longer count on the members to support them unquestioningly. That’s done with, it’s over. The more they pound the pulpit and say “follow us or suffer the consequences”, the more people will leave and drift away. They need a boat load of humility, and they’re going to get it as the membership rolls continue to dwindle.
So sad. We lost another stake high council member recently. My entire time growing up I very rarely heard about active members leaving the church over policies. Maybe once a decade, someone would leave in anger. Now you hear about strong members leaving on a monthly and weekly basis… entire families gone. And this is happening because people feel like they can only speak with their feet. Nobody from the church leadership will listen to the common membership and our concerns, voting is ridiculously ineffectual, and there’s just no way for the members to voice their ideas. There hasn’t been any actual common consent law since the days of Brigham Young.
If the brethren could adopt what you’re saying regarding loving and accepting people as they are, and running the church with a modicum of common sense, there’d be hope. I’ve always HATED the idea that our missionaries try to commit people to baptism before they’ve even told them who Joseph Smith is or what the Book of Mormon is. It’s insane.
Thank you for this discussion, I’m sure I’ll listen to it multiple times. Bravo.
Perhaps the members you refer to need to have faith that the ones called as “prophets, seers, and revelators” actually see things the way the Lord sees them better than the rest of us. It really does take faith to do that. Those who seek to have the Church fashion itself in the way the world wants things will always be disappointed. Those who are angry at the Lord (or His servants) will loose their testimonies and no longer be His elect. (“…mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts…” D&C 29:7). They will become like those who Lehi and Nephi saw in vision who tasted the fruit of the tree of life but then were ashamed when those in the great and spacious building mocked them. We need to quit paying attention to those who teach ideas contrary to the gospel or seek to attack the Church, and listen to the prophets better.
Lee, But what if those teaching ideas contrary to the gospel are apostles or prophets? We should listen to prophets and cast aside the teachings of Christ? That is a serious question that troubles me. The church is finally coming clean on church history and from the new essays we learn that Joseph Smith lied and manipulated. The church essay refers to it as “carefully worded denials” but a lie is the attempt to deceive someone or misrepresent the truth. Joseph Smith did not follow the teachings of Christ but that is so easily dismissed by church culture. It’s ok if Joseph lied but not the rest of us because he’s a prophet? Doesn’t that make it worse? Joseph lied to Emma for a decade, married other men’s wives and at least one 14 year old but justifies it all with a tale of an angel threatening to destroy him if he didn’t commit these acts. (Let’s talk agency, and Pres Utchdorf’s last GC talk)
How about following the teachings of Christ? would Jesus Christ lie? Would he deceive? Should we all follow the teachings of Joseph and lie to our spouses? Lie to law enforcement?
Great interview! This was really easy to listen to, and so many great points were made. I love the analogy of the pharisees -exactly how I feel about some of the current leadership. The management bias seems to be ever increasing. I also actually lauged out loud on the train on my way to work when Peter mentioned the list of leaders that he was ticking off as they died! Even though some of these things re-affirmed my own thoughts, I also found myself challenging some of my own prejudices (such as my hate of the Mormon helping hands tabbards!) This is exactly what I have come to expect from A Thoughtful Faith podcasts. Great work Gina, and thanks for the conversation Peter!
Thanks for your kind words. I just want to add a couple fact checks on myself – pouring out my heart and mind for 2 hours was a privilege and I am delighted others have found it encouraging or helpful.
I included a couple of verbal typos along the way I should correct in the spirit of truth and love. My school trip to Russia during Perestroika and the endgame of the Soviet Union in 1989 was for a week, not a year (that really would have been grim!), and Dallin Oaks was standing in the British parliament saying “We demand as a matter of constitutional right a place in the public square” as part of his Religious Freedom campaign in early June, a month after his ‘Opposition in all Things’ talk which insisted there cannot be loyal opposition in the Church in the April 2016 General Conference, not just before that Conference as I stated in the interview. My point about the double standards involved still stands though.
Peter is a wonderful example of an intelligent (young) man raised by loving parents who are – almost, as a way of life – prepared to grapple honestly with inconsistencies in LDS church teachings and practice. There’s fire in his belly for doing what’s right but this is where the cookie crumbles … so to speak. It pains me to hear this great kid attempt to bend the gospel of Jesus Christ into the corporate /managerial format we all know as Mormonism. I would applaud his efforts if I thought this possible but I’m sad that his considerable gifts have been given over to an impossible task. Peter was blessed to have been brought up in moderately fortunate circumstances by a loving family whose long deep roots were culturally Christian. Adding Mormon communitarianism to the existing paradigm and with the necessary means to bring the scattered Mormon families – aunts, uncles and cousins – together on family reunions there was tremendous social bonding that did so much more than merely exemplifying the best of what was best in the practice of communitarian socio-political philosophy. It’s hardly surprising that Peter would see this time in his life as a time when ‘the church’ appeared to be doing all the right things. Both sets of grandparents were remarkable people but it was primarily through the generosity of his then non-Mormon grandmother that the wonderful family (bonding) reunions were made possible. She was adored because she loved well. She loved her children and their wives and husbands and grandchildren, well. Love like this isn’t a unique expression of Mormonism. Mormonism’s ‘intrusion’ into this family, seems like an attempt to capture that kind of Christ-like ‘love’ for its own purposes. It is social engineering to ‘manage’ the practice of love which is a gift of the Holy Spirit and can NOT BE engineered. Peter is a brilliant example of someone who exists to make ‘Mormon world’ tolerable and a more compassionate and ‘Christian’ place for everyone he loves …the ‘outcast’ not least of all. He’s a lovely gifted lad and he won’t agree with what I’m about to say but it distresses me to watch while he wrestles a global corporate enterprise to make it more Christlike. However the LDS ‘church’ posits itself, a Global Corporate Enterprise is NOT a religion so he will struggle until kingdom-come to make it Christlike. The christian church may indeed fail in its ‘organisation’ when it is set beside the best of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People ” style of business management but the Holy Spirit can’t be captured and won’t be managed. How do you know that YOU are not one of the ‘very elect’ who have been deceived? When one considers the reality of the one whom Jesus refers to as the deceiver, Matthew24:24, could any of us claim to be outside the category of someone who could be deceived? An engaging interview from an engaging young man.
You can say whatever you like as long as you keep mentioning how young I am! Of course I disagree with what seems to be an attempt to give all credit for what is good in me or my religious instincts to a Christian heritage that doesn’t include the ‘intrusion’ of Mormonism. My actual life experience has been one of complete immersion in Mormonism mainly through my immediate family and ward families, and discovering and embracing Christianity and my saving relationship with Jesus Christ and the Bible through my Mormon studies, with some helpful perspectives from my Christian friends of other denominations at times.
My extended family and Grandparents were nearly always hundreds of miles away so their influence was precious but not a constant in my life. The vast majority of our extended family are active and enthusiastic Latter Day Saints and it has in my experience and opinion on balance brought out the best in them and stretched and grown their wisdom and Christian instincts remarkably.
As is clear in this interview we do agree that there are corporate corruptions and issues in the LDS Church that need dealing with, but I find it’s heart and souls to be good, and I see plenty of theological and political and organisational problems in all the other Christian denominations, which form a wide spectrum of very incompatible fundamental approaches to the gospel of Jesus despite all that we have in common.
We all need to keep our eyes wide open to these problems within the ‘Body of Christ’ and our own denominations and do what we can to mitigate and reform them, as many of our Christian forefathers have struggled to for 2000 years now.
I left the Church about 6 months ago for a number of reasons, one of the main being the way my son was treated in Roseville Calafornia when he sufferered from panic attacks you can read the full story on progressive Mormons. He saw Gene R Cooke amongst others who was appalling to him.
Anyway I what I wanted to say was you have actually given me hope that I might be able to go back and live the gospel in the Church my way! You feel the way I feel on so many things, I joined the Church im 1983 and for years I lived a wonderful life but over the years the Church has changed and not for the better, I belong to a ward in Hampshire. Leaving the Church has been the most painful experience of my life and has left a huge void, I don’t know if I will make it back even now but your talk has at least given me hope, Living the gospel was a way of life to me and I loved it and served in many callings, Ward WML 8 times, EQP 3 times, Seventies President (locally when we had them)and Bishopric, I tell you this not to boast only to show I was very commited. Now there is just a huge void where my testimony used to be. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.
I really hope you find a way forward that is right for you Bob. It is just grim to go through what you have with your son and what you are experiencing now – sometimes it leads to welcome liberation and a fresh start for people, but there are inevitably painful and confusing sacrifices too readjusting such fundamental aspects of oneself. Thankyou for your kind words.
It is a difficult balancing act to declare independence from what is too often a dominating and oppressive culture and mental worldview enough to not be harmed and confused by it any more, but still find enough good and a way to participate in the life of a ward that makes it worthwhile without tipping completely over the edge. It depends on several factors that we cannot always control, like empathetic leaders, supportive family, or having enough members who ‘get’ you to feel that you have friends there who really understand you (a very significant human need for everyone). You have experienced abuse of ecclesiatical power on a frightening scale. What I hold on to, as hopefully expressed in the podcast, is the fundamental Mormon principles that have been taught to me and proven to be its most helpful and realistic ones:
– We are all freeagents on a long journey of progress and learning (which should lead to a lot of tolerance and patience with diversity and a caution about assuming one’s current limited dogma is the whole picture or the complete truth – keep an open mind for the next epiphany and revelation!)
– Our nature and potential is defined by being members of the same species as God, not destined to always be ignorantly dependent on human leaders who know better than us – we are all meant to become a lot greater than any of them are now, and God can speak to us and guide us directly as well as through revelations to them.
– We are under no obligation to follow or believe anything a leader says or does unless we have had a personal intellectual and spiritual confirmation that it is God’s will after a process of pondering and questioning. Blind obedience should never be expected or tolerated or encouraged.
– At our best we ARE the best – the grass is not always greener in other faiths and denominations. I have witnessed and experienced within Mormonism a remarkably successful collective effort at living ordinary lives infused with faith and compassionate care and ministry that has carreid me and my family and friends through rough times that would have otherwise broken us, so I trust the deepest christian insticts of most Mormons and know they have been instilled and reinforced by Mormon lifestyles and teaching. Using Uchtdorf’s metaphor, I believe the flower of Christianity is the heart of Mormonism, not the sediments that often get piled on it. Even when they are better than us at inclusive community, other denominations still have massive flaws in doctrine which Mormonism does a lot to fix and heal theologically, and doctrine and truth matters a lot to me.
– Even though there is potential for top down abuse of power, the Restoration empowers individuals remarkably with an entitlement to the gift of revelation for themselves, leadership described using the metaphorical language of monarchy (‘kings and queens’) in the temple, and ‘priesthood’ received and exercised by men and women through ‘ordination’, ‘calling’ and temple ‘annointing’ and ‘endowment’. There is a powerful warning in D and C 121 against abuse of power in leadership roles through which our exercise of, and cooperation with, leadership should always be filtered.
I try to wear these principles as an empowering and protective armour when I metaphorically and physically walk the halls of the Church – they give me courage to speak out against, and feel free to ignore with a clear conscience, contradictions of those principles when necessary. Online communities in the Bloggernacle of people who understand have been an essential replacement for me for ward members who understand when that has been lacking, so I hope and pray that with the help of both communities you are able to heal and reconnect with the good stuff of the Restoration when it feels safe for you to do so.
A thousand times…THANK YOU. My faith crisis has been very painful and confusing. Peter articulates my deepest beliefs that I am truly in awe of the amazing principles of restored truth. In my anger and frustration I am easily distracted from those pieces of my heart.
Thanks so much for taking the time and I assume some consequence of recording and creating this interview and making it public.
I agree SO much with what you are saying about the current leadership. For me it the whole relationship with the church is hanging by a thread and that is because of some good people in my ward. You have reminded me of some of the good in the church that I wish we would focus on.
I have been trying to write a concise summary of my issues with the church, paritially to be able to share it with others, but also to help me work through it. Your comments have clarified in my mind some of the main issues (except without a British accent 🙂
Peter (and other responders),
I promised to listen to the full interview and now have done so. As others have mentioned, your turn of phrase is very engaging, and I’d have been cheering you on until 2014 when Mormonism got too much for me; it proved an ‘unsafe place’ for me, though I’d devoted some 60 years to it, so perhaps I still have a ‘brain’.
Here are some of my thoughts:
You repeatedly refer to ‘our’ church, while lamenting how it is being led. This seems to rule out the possibility of it being Christ’s Church, his ‘Bride’ to which he is to return and claim at his second coming. His Church isn’t an organisation or a building, but the community of believers.
Your fundamental assumption is that Mormon theology is true – ‘a gospel ready for the space age’, ‘good to go with the modern age, modern science’ – it’s just that the current ‘pharisaical’ leaders ‘can’t be questioned’ by a ‘loyal opposition’, are out of touch, business focussed (and the LDS church is really a business), care-taking rather than driving the church forward and (with the possible exception of President Uchtdorf) too proud to admit their failures and those of their predecessors. You believe it’s the responsibility of loyal members to ‘make it better’ because, after all, it’s a ‘work in progress’.
You and I were both raised LDS, ‘Mormon through and through’, immersed from our earliest years in Mormonism. To contemplate that the Mormon church and Book of Mormon might all be the construct of a brilliant but extremely flawed trickster was unthinkable. So we saw the world through Mormon lenses and contorted biblical scripture to make it fit with LDS doctrine. However I have come to the sad conclusion, as you know, that the Mormon ‘space age’ gospel is one of those referred to by Paul in his epistle to the Galatians (1:8) when he wrote: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
You say that LDS history is ‘incredible’ (your word, not mine), and that was my stumbling point. It proved not to be reliable or fit to be believed. Official LDS history proved to be ‘sanitised’ and I was shocked to discover that all my life I had been pedalled lies (not to beat about the bush) about absolute fundamentals – the first vision, the translation of the Book of Mormon, the bestowal of the priesthood, polygamy. The harrowing tales of the pioneers may be largely true, though they too omit incidents which are not ‘faith-promoting’, and the pioneers themselves were amazing, resilient, determined people who did extraordinary things and clearly believed what The Brethren taught them. So did I until I realised that, even though the leadership may believe it, the whole history has been ‘doctored’. You suggest that Mormons should be less worried about ‘truth claims’ and focus more on community and relationships. I’m sorry but Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). To me having truth is essential. If the history has been falsified, how can I trust the doctrine?
You suggest that Mormon ‘big ideas’ are ‘intellectually sound’. I was always taught in the church to use the ‘Standard Works’ as the yardstick for assessing the truth of ‘ideas’. You make great play on ‘intellect’, and have ‘lost intellectual confidence at the top’. A seminary scripture John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” makes clear the knowledge that we really need is that of God and His Son. There is much in Mormon theology which has no biblical foundation, such as a multiplicity of gods when the Bible so clearly states that there is but one and us aspiring to godhood, though 2 Peter 1:1-4 does state that we might become ‘partakers of the divine nature’ – in other words that our natures, or characters can include attributes of godliness – but this happens ‘through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ (not through our own performances, as evidenced repeatedly throughout the gospels and epistles).
You point out that the LDS Community is wonderful. I can only agree. Most of my life-long friends and family are LDS and I love them and miss them. However Christian compassion and service is by no means restricted to the LDS church. I find equally caring and compassionate people among the congregation with whom I now worship.
You state that ‘the raison d’etre of the Mormon church is to fix Christianity’. I agree that much of Christianity needs to be fixed and some is indeed ‘fossilised’. But the fixing is a work of God, not of man. It comes individually when people accept Jesus as their Lord, their Saviour, commit their life to His service and are transformed by the Holy Spirit. We are all sinners and without Christ’s sacrifice for us we would be eternally lost.
You imply that ‘born again Christians’ become robots. I, for one, have not become a robot since accepting Christ. I was much more of a robot within Mormonism when I surrendered my thinking to The Brethren. I urge you to get to know, really KNOW, the Christian God who, rather than being the ‘random sadist who has already decided who to save and doesn’t really involve their free choice at all’, came to earth in the form of the man Jesus Christ, and gave Himself as a ransom for ALL (1 Timothy 2:6). There are numerous growing and vibrant Christian congregations just ready to welcome you!
In love, and admiration for your amazing efforts to fix the unfixable.
I just recommended your interview to a private FB group of parents of LGBT kids. Your words gave me hope that there are members out there who really “get it”! Sending you much appreciation for your insight and the courage to speak out.
You may already be familiar with Jeremy Runnels CES letter but in case you aren’t I refer you to http://www.cesletter.com. It was written by an honest seeker trying to obtain honest answers to reasonable questions. Ex Mormons grieve that they have been put in the impossible position of (apparently) having to choose between living with the lies (or compromised truth) to maintain meaningful community with loved ones. That’s a devastating choice NO ONE wants to make that makes Jesus’ words re leaving mother and father, etc; to follow Him, very stark. No one but NO ONE wants to leave friends or family they love who give their lives its sweetness and meaning. Mormonism, once a true believer becomes a deep doubter who then rejects Mormonism because of the lies he has been peddled, practically makes that a necessity. And it’s wicked because it knowingly lays truth on the altar of family and relationships … or family and relationships on the altar of falsehood. Why would any of us NOT want to fight to maintain community and a sense of belonging with those we love? Loyalty to the church and the brethren vs loyalty to Jesus Christ and the truth is a very real, stark and painful choice in Mormonism.
I loved this podcast. I related to it completely. I wanted to add, I felt the same way you do about the stuff that was coming out of Utah starting around the mid-late 80s that didn’t work for my ward and didn’t seem to take into account that there were lots of different ways to do things that were fine outside of the state of Utah. It isn’t just people that do not live in America that felt this. I grew up and currently live in Oregon and I understand that feeling quite well. I still feel that this happens on the regular with many nuts and bolts aspects of the church. I have hope that it can change and that this growth period will just be hard and a bit crazy. And I am more than happy to keep working the uphill battle that it feels like. I am more than happy to open my mouth and be the rebel. I am thrilled that someone else feels the same and has the same hopes. I am so glad you shared it with us.
I flippin well loved this podcast. Very engaging, thoughtful and intelligent. I’m almost encouraged to attend church……….. Almost.
I loved every word of this interview. I’ve always been curious about the LDS faith because of my cousin who converted to it a long time ago. I felt that I would convert too, if the church ever lifted the “ban” on Mother in Heaven. I still feel that She is the one who can save this church from the meltdown I have been witnessing through the online conversations, since Christian women everywhere are clamoring to know Her, and would, I believe, flock to a Christian sect that had a real Goddess all along. I know I would even deal with the ridiculous measures of patriarchy if She were acknowledged as being there, real, present, active (I believe she is all those things). When I was much younger, Mormon women talked about someday being a goddess like their Mother in Heaven. I heard it less and less over the years, and the doctrine seemed to be going the other direction, with church authorities even denying eternal progression on national TV. What a disappointment. A downward spiral toward mainstream protestant acceptability seemed to be the direction of a once radical faith. That’s why it was so good and inspiring to hear Bleakley, with intelligence and great humor, speak of the downward spiral as just time passing. I laughed every time he spoke of waiting for “them” to die. To hear of how he conducts the education of young people in his division is nothing less than spectacular. It makes me believe that the next generation of church authorities will indeed affect that swing back toward living our highest potential and greatest destiny.
Gina, what is that Maori phrase you say at the end of your podcasts? I love that and have tried to look it up but I must not be even close to the correct spelling because I can’t get it.
Thanks! This was a delightful interview.
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God loves all of his children. Nevertheless as Joseph Smith learned:
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. D&C 130
The Saviour commanded his apostles to preach the Gospel to all the earth – the Book of Mormon tells us that our numbers may be small but will be spread over the entire earth. We are well on our way to do that. There needs to be an organization on the earth prepared to receive the Savior and work with him when he comes again, as He certainly will.
Some members do not keep their covenants or go missing. Jesus explained why that is in the parable of the different kinds of soil. At the end of the day we will each be judged on what each of us had decided what to believe and who to believe.
There is a huge difference between heresy and apostasy. We are free to question anything – that is OK – but apostasy is actively trying to undermine the Lord’s Church. That is not cool. LDS are not supposed to believe that apostles and prophets are infallible or that scriptures are inerrant. It is tiresome to see the critics, dissidents and the antis trying to use the same tactic – convince naive Church members that we believe our leaders are perfect and then cherry pick some old statements to show that this isn’t the case.
In the course of my life I have seen so many hundreds of faithful LDS receive tremendous blessings from the Lord and that has certainly been true in my life.
Ken Kyle, Lethbridge, Alberta
Sorry about late reply Ken – Yes, I think we all agree that the Church can in many ways be a great blessing and that is why Gina and I are still active members, but you only need to put your assertion that we don’t believe in infallibility and it is a straw man argument to the test and suggest that any current or recent prophet or apostle was wrong about something at Church to discover very quickly that in practice most mainstream thinking members of the Church very much DO subscribe to the idea of our ‘prophets, seers and revelators’ being infallible. You will get labelled or treated as a dangerous apostate who is a risk to other people’s testimonies and may have your temple recommend withdrawn. You must know and see this yourself, so you can’t have it both ways.
I guess a lot comes down to what one considers to be the most dangerous and undermining threats to the Church – the orthodox but inflexible perpetrators of broken and dangerous historical narratives and attitudes to real history and doctrine, feminists, homosexuals, liberals, progressives and so on, or the members of the Church trying hard against the odds to bring our often very pharisaical cultural and doctrinal norms back into harmony with what Jesus Christ actually taught and did, and the more open minded attitudes and ideas that Joseph Smith championed in the Restoration?
October 2017 General Conference revealed, I would argue, much more clearly than ever before just how broken, contradictory and intellectually flawed some of the Apostles have become in what they are teaching members to believe.
Elder Oaks went rogue, unilaterally declaring the Proclamation on the Family to be essential and defining revelation and doctrine binding on all ‘converted members’ even though he followed none at all of the procedures enshrined in scripture for canonising a doctrine, and Boyd Packer was slapped down for trying the same soon after it first came out by President Hinckley and his comments calling it a revelation were edited to something else when his talk was published in the Ensign.
We had more instructions to NEVER look at ANY sources of information about Church doctrine or history that are outside the Church approved curriculum by Elder Ardern – Really?! Even after all the humiliating admissions that the Church’s narrative was wrong and even the anti-Mormons had a load of things right? It’s no wonder his niece the new prime minister of New Zealand felt she had to leave the church to maintain her integrity. Such a lost opportunity that was.
There were more stories about healing the sick where the people stayed ill or died instead of being healed by the apostles and we were told to regard THAT as the miracle, even though Jesus said clearly that his true apostles would be able to perform miraculous healings.
Completely flawed and easily refuted arguments for believing the Book of Mormon were repeated unchanged from decades ago were offered by Elder Callister, and so it goes on.
And Oaks and Ballard have just added to the Apostolic train wreck by issuing a teaser film for their upcoming broadcast in which they say they have nothing to teach regarding how to repent (their one and only job for which we have paid them millions of dollars in salary so far in their ministry) and that they are going to avoid any difficult questions… and Oaks admits that in his controversial Conference talk he just left out the difficult bits he doesn’t have answers to, which included ignoring all LDS polygamy and the political purpose of creating the Proclamation in the first place.
So my question or concern is why you think extreme loyalty and trust towards these men and what they are currently doing is in the best interests of the Church when they seem to be hell-bent on betraying and destroying so many of its core values. Can you see that we might be trying to save what’s left of the rapidly shrinking Church, not bring it down? It’s not funny when one’s family and friends who have been faithful and devoted members of the Church are driven out of it by this kind of nonsense and cult-like rhetoric and behaviour, as the GA’s increasingly define the criteria for knowing if something is true as being whether it agrees completely with what they are saying at the moment, not whether it matches what Jesus said and did or actual historical or rational truth or even spiritual witnesses. If you have a spiritual witness that what they are teaching or doing is violating the Gospel and offensive to the Spirit then they will tell you it is not a true witness. It’s just got too crazy to ignore now Ken.
Hey brother. Wanna meet for a Nando’s?
Alright mate. What time my g ?
8pm maybe we can go back to mine after for a Netflix and chill (;
Oooooo I’d like that xxx