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link 10-06-2013 03:03 PM

Under pressure due to the www, the Mormon clergy blinks
 
A Top Mormon Leader Acknowledges the Church ‘Made Mistakes’
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: October 5, 2013

One of the top leaders in the Mormon Church acknowledged in an address to the church’s global membership on Saturday that past leaders had “made mistakes” that had caused some Mormons to have doubts, an admission that amounts to a significant change in tone in the leadership’s approach to Mormons who question, dissent or defect from the church.

“We respect those who honestly search for truth,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the church’s top governing body, the first presidency, said in the speech.

The church has in the past excommunicated prominent scholars and even low-profile members who publicly voiced doubts about its history or theology, and many Mormons who have lost their faith have been shunned by their friends and family. But recently, with some Mormons taking to the Internet to share their doubts, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which now claims 15 million members, have been confronted with a bigger problem they could no longer ignore.

“We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question,” Mr. Uchtdorf said, speaking to 20,000 Mormons gathered for the 183rd semiannual general conference in Salt Lake City, and millions more watching telecasts and over the Internet.

On Saturday evening, about 200 women, according to The Associated Press, staged a demonstration outside to protest the church’s male-only priesthood, demanding entrance to a men’s-only priesthood meeting.

Mr. Uchtdorf, a Mormon from Germany who is considered by those who study the church to be a potentially modernizing influence, did not specify what leaders or mistakes he was referring to.

But he said: “To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine.”

He said it was wrong for other Mormons to assume that those with doubts “have been offended or lazy or sinful.” He said that the church “honors personal agency,” and that the church’s first prophet, Joseph Smith, “had questions and sought answers.”

Scott Gordon, president of FAIRMormon, a group that defends the church, said: “I believe this is the clearest statement made in recent times that church leaders have made mistakes in the past. Coming from a member of the first presidency, the highest level of leadership in the church, makes it especially powerful.”

from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-top-mormon-leader-acknowledges-the-church-made-mistakes.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0#h[]

MTI 10-06-2013 03:16 PM

Mr. Uchtdorf, a Mormon from Germany who is considered by those who study the church to be a potentially modernizing influence, did not specify what leaders or mistakes he was referring to.

Well, I think that's another mistake . . .

ruchase 10-06-2013 03:46 PM

religion is the bane of humanity...

cmac2012 10-06-2013 07:11 PM

As most of you know, I was raised in the Mormon church. I've long since made peace with the whole thing, there were much worse ways to be raised IMO. There was a tight knit community feel to the church for me, especially in NM where I lived til age 15.

But it's founding was way past weird and shady. Joseph Smith was a good looking young guy who was commanded by God to have sex with many women. What luck! The whole Golden Plates thing is way dicey, Smith said the 'Angel Moroni' reclaimed them when they were done with the translation, which in itself was suspect. When one of the translated portions was stolen, Smith re-translated them with the Urim and Thummim, two crystal-like stones that he looked through to get the translation. Then when the stolen part was later recovered, it was substantially different from the second translation. The words "Urim and Thummim" themselves were likely borrowed from the Jewish tradition.

I kinda feel for a lot of the people in it as they've become fond of their social support group but at its core is a bogus hodge-podge of theology cobbled together by Smith and cronies.

kerry 10-06-2013 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmac2012 (Post 3219183)
As most of you know, I was raised in the Mormon church. I've long since made peace with the whole thing, there were much worse ways to be raised IMO. There was a tight knit community feel to the church for me, especially in NM where I lived til age 15.

But it's founding was way past weird and shady. Joseph Smith was a good looking young guy who was commanded by God to have sex with many women. What luck! The whole Golden Plates thing is way dicey, Smith said the 'Angel Moroni' reclaimed them when they were done with the translation, which in itself was suspect. When one of the translated portions was stolen, Smith re-translated them with the Urim and Thummim, two crystal-like stones that he looked through to get the translation. Then when the stolen part was later recovered, it was substantially different from the second translation. The words "Urim and Thummim" themselves were likely borrowed from the Jewish tradition.

I kinda feel for a lot of the people in it as they've become fond of their social support group but at its core is a bogus hodge-podge of theology cobbled together by Smith and cronies.


'dicey' and 'suspect' are very kind. You're right about the social support group. Religious social support groups tend to be pretty successful.

cmac2012 10-06-2013 09:06 PM

As much as the church bugs me, I have to wonder if it isn't a good thing when all is said and done. The missionaries beat the bushes for lost souls and bring them into a vastly expanded social life.

I dunno . . .

kerry 10-06-2013 09:21 PM

Yes, some lost souls get a better social life. Some others just exchange one social life for another. Despite the obvious benefits, I can't see any compelling reason to endorse the magical thinking that frequently accompanies these kinds of religion.

Pooka 10-06-2013 09:26 PM

I attended a number of Mormon events with some friends of mine. The only thing that seemed weird was how they all looked at each other at times when one subject or another came up since they had special knowledge that an outsider such as myself was not allowed to know.

They stopped inviting me when I attended a conference concerning some historical artifacts that had been dug up over in Egypt in some tomb. There were symbols found on the walls that no one had ever seen and this caused the folks there to gasp in amazement. Afterwards they asked me if I understood the meanings behind the symbols.

I told them that since the only symbols shown that night were Masonic in nature then yes, I understood them. They were sure I was mistaken so they pulled out a secret book with the symbols that Joe Smith had laid out for those in the upper Priesthood. They were all Masonic symbols.

I pointed out that Smith had been a Mason, and that only other Masons would have known about these symbols since they were somewhat secretive, but there was nothing special about them. They were just a form of communication between members.

Things went downhill pretty quickly after that. I didn't get invited to any more functions and they just sort of dropped out of sight.

cmac2012 10-07-2013 12:08 AM

Smith was adroit at co-opting religious symbols and words, such as the Urim and Thummim I mentioned. I don't think taking belief in that stuff as the guiding force in your life is a good thing by any means.

Ironically, some of their practice was well founded. Their 'word of wisdom' thing strikes me as sound - meat a couple of times a week only, no coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco (the coffee and tea thing a bit much), and also fasting now and then.

I've read that in their early days in Missouri and Illinois they would build up these beautiful towns in short order. Supposedly a lot of the reason they were able to attract multiple wives is that they were so industrious and prosperous. My sister and BiL were in the Tab choir for about 12 years - saw them twice - it was surprisingly moving.

But yeah, I'm happy to be shut of them. Strange attitude in most of the scene. Oh well . . .

aklim 10-07-2013 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmac2012 (Post 3219290)
meat a couple of times a week only, no coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco (the coffee and tea thing a bit much), and also fasting now and then.

Not a very attractive offer, is it?

strelnik 10-07-2013 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmac2012 (Post 3219290)
Smith was adroit at co-opting religious symbols and words, such as the Urim and Thummim I mentioned. I don't think taking belief in that stuff as the guiding force in your life is a good thing by any means.


Kind of reminds me of the great con man, Werner Erhard, of the 1970s:

From a book on him:

" Before he abandoned his wife and children, changed his name to Werner Erhard, moved to California and began promoting his self-awareness programs, known in the 1970s as est and later as the Forum, Jack Rosenberg was a car salesman in Philadelphia.

Inspired by a self-help course called Mind Dynamics, by Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich , by Scientology and cybernetics, and advised by a skilled tax lawyer, Erhard launched est in 1971. And for 20 years he reigned as guru of the "human potential movement."

According to freelance journalist Pressman, the womanizing, charismatic and demanding Erhard collected tens of millions of dollars from 500,000 people who took his courses. Eventually lawsuits, desertions among his coterie and the rise of new New Age mind-improving programs ended Erhard's empire and in 1991, owing millions to the IRS and others, he went into exile in Mexico. Pressman here cuts into him with surgical precision. "
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

He's actually dying of cancer in Germany these days.

Rather telling that he was a used car salesman...

I knew a Werner convert, we used to do " languaging" together, as he called it.

In other words, we had conversations. He couldn't just say: " We talked."

I have always disliked people who make up special terms in a vain and stupid attempt to make them look "intellectual" "in the know" and "exclusive."

Most of them are victims of their own con. They just need to be exposed to the young and the inexperienced so they are not scammed.

aklim 10-07-2013 12:12 PM

Generally the more you make me feel good the more the suspicious part of my mind screams for attention. I am highly leery of people that are charming and suave. I know they developed that skill for a reason. Today you might be ok. Tomorrow you might thr to charm your way and I end up under the bus. Hence I avoid anyone sounding too good.

martureo 10-07-2013 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by link (Post 3219071)
A Top Mormon Leader Acknowledges the Church ‘Made Mistakes’
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: October 5, 2013

One of the top leaders in the Mormon Church acknowledged in an address to the church’s global membership on Saturday that past leaders had “made mistakes” that had caused some Mormons to have doubts, an admission that amounts to a significant change in tone in the leadership’s approach to Mormons who question, dissent or defect from the church.

“We respect those who honestly search for truth,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the church’s top governing body, the first presidency, said in the speech.

The church has in the past excommunicated prominent scholars and even low-profile members who publicly voiced doubts about its history or theology, and many Mormons who have lost their faith have been shunned by their friends and family. But recently, with some Mormons taking to the Internet to share their doubts, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which now claims 15 million members, have been confronted with a bigger problem they could no longer ignore.

“We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question,” Mr. Uchtdorf said, speaking to 20,000 Mormons gathered for the 183rd semiannual general conference in Salt Lake City, and millions more watching telecasts and over the Internet.

On Saturday evening, about 200 women, according to The Associated Press, staged a demonstration outside to protest the church’s male-only priesthood, demanding entrance to a men’s-only priesthood meeting.

Mr. Uchtdorf, a Mormon from Germany who is considered by those who study the church to be a potentially modernizing influence, did not specify what leaders or mistakes he was referring to.

But he said: “To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine.”

He said it was wrong for other Mormons to assume that those with doubts “have been offended or lazy or sinful.” He said that the church “honors personal agency,” and that the church’s first prophet, Joseph Smith, “had questions and sought answers.”

Scott Gordon, president of FAIRMormon, a group that defends the church, said: “I believe this is the clearest statement made in recent times that church leaders have made mistakes in the past. Coming from a member of the first presidency, the highest level of leadership in the church, makes it especially powerful.”

from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-top-mormon-leader-acknowledges-the-church-made-mistakes.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0#h[]

This isn't anything new. Honestly it's the same old story they've been telling for the past 20 odd years.

"Our leaders are fallible men".



And if anyone wants to have a laugh at some of the most ridiculous scholarship ever published, go look at the FAIR site.

martureo 10-07-2013 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmac2012 (Post 3219290)
Smith was adroit at co-opting religious symbols and words, such as the Urim and Thummim I mentioned. I don't think taking belief in that stuff as the guiding force in your life is a good thing by any means.

Ironically, some of their practice was well founded. Their 'word of wisdom' thing strikes me as sound - meat a couple of times a week only, no coffee, tea, alcohol, or tobacco (the coffee and tea thing a bit much), and also fasting now and then.

As someone in the midst of LDS quite often, you'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of LDS who actually know what D&C 89 actually says about the consumption of meat.

...and even fewer those who actually listen to it.
Quote:

I've read that in their early days in Missouri and Illinois they would build up these beautiful towns in short order. Supposedly a lot of the reason they were able to attract multiple wives is that they were so industrious and prosperous. My sister and BiL were in the Tab choir for about 12 years - saw them twice - it was surprisingly moving.

But yeah, I'm happy to be shut of them. Strange attitude in most of the scene. Oh well . . .

cmac2012 10-07-2013 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aklim (Post 3219322)
Not a very attractive offer, is it?

Depends on whether or not you think good health is attractive.
Quote:

Originally Posted by martureo (Post 3219431)
As someone in the midst of LDS quite often, you'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of LDS who actually know what D&C 89 actually says about the consumption of meat.

...and even fewer those who actually listen to it.

Exactly right. Most Mormons are up front about no tea, coffee, alcohol, or tobacco - wear it like a badge - and the rest they ignore or as you say, are ignorant of it.

I don't fully agree with you on FAIR. Some of their work is sound IMO. They do go off the rails now and then, happens a lot with true believers.


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