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FunkyTown

A question about disagreeing with upper members of the church.

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I pretty sure God would not hold you accountable for obeying a wrong council from a priesthood leader.

I'm also pretty sure God would be more pleased if you detected an error and corrected it.

Uh, yeah... and I'm pretty sure if your bishop told you to attack and kill caravan of motor home vacationers traveling from Arkansas to California, and you did, you'd probably not skate by.

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Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said it is not right to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true. We will never be wrong for following the counsel of our leaders. As was stated before, church leaders are human an make mistakes. They may say things that are unintentionally not correct. However, they are our chosen leaders and we are to follow them. Those who continue to kick against the pricks, who seek to question their leaders rather than follow inspired counsel, will not be worthy of the guidance of the Spirit and will have their eternal salvation jeopardized.

FYI, the "we will never be wrong" type of blind follower-ship above was exactly the Nazi's rationale in defending themselves for perpetrating the holocaust.

Disagreement should always be welcome so long as it is not an ad hominim attack.

Dec

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I was in a meeting some years ago when our visiting Apostle was quite rude I thought to a brother that did not speak loud enough. It took me by surprise along with a few others. During the weekend meetings, he seemed to be at odds with the British sense of humour too.

It was only later, in a Priesthood lesson last year when it occurred to me that I was looking far to low and only when raising my eyes to Him that he represented did the bad feeling he had created go away.

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Thank you Kenny.

When I was in Great Britain, I was surprised by how much more courteous and polite the UK people are, compared to Americans. It is true- the stereotypes that British speak more quietly and seem to have more manners in general, and Americans tend to be louder and more rude (GENERALIZATION, I KNOW).

Here are some quotes from President Brigham Young on personal apostacy:

When we find fault with Church leaders, we begin to separate ourselves from the Church.

Whenever there is a disposition manifested in any of the members of this Church to question the right of the President of the whole Church to direct in all things, you see manifested evidences of apostasy—of a spirit which, if encouraged, will lead to a separation from the Church and to final destruction; wherever there is a disposition to operate against any legally appointed officer of this Kingdom, no matter in what capacity he is called to act, if persisted in, it will be followed by the same results; they will “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” [see 2 Peter 2:10] (DBY, 83).

When a man begins to find fault, inquiring in regard to this, that, and the other, saying, “Does this or that look as though the Lord dictated it?” you may know that that person has more or less of the spirit of apostasy. Every man in this Kingdom, or upon the face of the earth, who is seeking with all his heart to save himself, has as much to do as he can conveniently attend to, without calling in question that which does not belong to him. If he succeeds in saving himself, it has well occupied his time and attention. See to it that you are right yourselves; see that sins and folly do not manifest themselves with the rising sun (DBY, 83).

One of the first steps to apostasy is to find fault with your Bishop; and when that is done, unless repented of a second step is soon taken, and by and by the person is cut off from the Church, and that is the end of it. Will you allow yourselves to find fault with your Bishop? (DBY, 86).

You hear many say, “I am a Latter-day Saint, and I never will apostatize;” “I am a Latter-day Saint, and shall be to the day of my death.” I never make such declarations, and never shall. I think I have learned that of myself I have no power, but my system is organized to increase in wisdom, knowledge, and power, getting a little here and a little there. But when I am left to myself, I have no power, and my wisdom is foolishness; then I cling close to the Lord, and I have power in his name. I think I have learned the Gospel so as to know, that in and of myself I am nothing [see Alma 26:12] (DBY, 84).

I have seen many "discussions" on this forum that all apply to what President Young said. Whenever people on here are discussing doctrine, they need to be careful not to think that their logic and reasoning are safe alone. Discussions, such as the same sex attraction thread, on why homosexuals, for example, have it harder than most of us, are an opening to personal apostacy.

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Thank you Kenny.

When I was in Great Britain, I was surprised by how much more courteous and polite the UK people are, compared to Americans.

That's because they shipped all their uncouth people to the US and Australia way back when. ;)

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I was in a meeting some years ago when our visiting Apostle was quite rude I thought to a brother that did not speak loud enough. It took me by surprise along with a few others. During the weekend meetings, he seemed to be at odds with the British sense of humour too.

It was only later, in a Priesthood lesson last year when it occurred to me that I was looking far to low and only when raising my eyes to Him that he represented did the bad feeling he had created go away.

Just out of curiosity, what this Apostle said?

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I say that if someone KNOWS for a fact that they are right, they should never be afraid to be questioned. In fact, they should welcome it, as Jesus did, because every question is yet another opportunity to prove that what you are saying is the truth.

Fearing inquiry shows that you doubt your own debating strength. Either because of a lack of complete faith, or a lack of knowledge with which to defend your point.

But if you lack either of those things, you should not be in a position of religious leadership, in the first place.

AKA, a good religious leader should be ready and willing to answer both curious and debating questions, anytime, any place, anywhere.

And as for seeking out more information on BOTH sides of a debate, or just knowledge in general-- Some religious groups (hopefully not us) also prohibit education, or seeking information from outside sources. Which I also think is rediculous, unless they think they are wrong, deep down inside. Education cannot disprove the truth, in fact, it enhances it. Makes it more obvious.

You can teach a 3-year-old child to walk around reciting the words, "Three times four equals twelve", but it won't TRULY make sense to them until they reach grade school, and learn addition, subtraction, and their times tables.

Now of course, if you told a child all their life that "Three times four equals 16", I'm sure you would be a little nervous about them going to school and questioning you... Because you KNOW they're going to find out its not true (or at least you would be unsure, because you yourself had always been told that and never stopped to question it). But in the case of the first statement, you would have no problem with the child probing the subject, because you know they more questions they ask, and the more they learn, the more it will make sense.

As a faith, if we're right, what do we have to fear from questioning?

Edited by Melissa569

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But if you lack either of those things, you should not be in a position of religious leadership, in the first place.

I would disagree with this to a point. Many are called to leadership positions to teach them leadership abilities.

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That is an awesome quote! I feel that such a feeling is not reciprocated among the majority, though. I have heard too many people say "Obey" and not allow questions or opinions to be had. This is never at the higher church presidency, though. This usually happens at the local level/stake only in my experience.

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But why Adomini? Why is it that the perception is that we are free to question and welcome to do so by the GA and yet the local leadership seem to discourage it? I think most of the time we follow things based on tradition or church culture but not necessarily doctrinal.

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Hope you don't mind retelling one of my jokes:

Vishnu was sitting with St. Peter at the main desk in front of the Pearly Gate. Watching St. Peter process a load of new arrivals, Vishnu spoke up and asked if he might handle the next one. St. Peter said okay, as the next arrival to be processed for gate transport steps up to the desk.

Vishnu looks long and hard at the report after scanning the new arrival. Vishnu then looked up and smiled.

"May Ganesha bless you," Vishnu said. "You have obeyed everything ever asked of you and never questioned anything you were told to do. That is a very rare quality."

The arrival felt relieved, "What's next Sir?", he asked. Vishnu pondered then said, "With such a rare quality as unquestioning obedience, you shall return this time as a worker ant".

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Suzie says:

But why Adomini? Why is it that the perception is that we are free to question and welcome to do so by the GA and yet the local leadership seem to discourage it? I think most of the time we follow things based on tradition or church culture but not necessarily doctrinal.

Hi Suzie. Everyone that I know closely, except for gay friends and family, that have left the church, have all done it because they thought their bishop was a jerk. The gay friend left because they are living openly homosexual lifestyle. The others were mad at their bishops and stopped going to church in a huff. I know what one of the bishops did to make my boss mad, and he was legitimately rude and petty to them. And look at them now. They haven't been members for the past 20 years because they lost their testimony and all the blessings of church membership over some arguments with their bishop over their snowblowers, yes snowblowers.

The point is to have faith in and sustain your local and higher leaders, prayerfully and humbly. There is no Kool-aid drinking encouraged, but there is humility and love. There is no such thing as a bishop who hasn't said or done something to offend someone. Our bishop rearranged some of how they ran sacrament meeting and then the area authority corrected him so he changed. So what? He had an idea that he thought was good, and it wasn't. It's no big deal. They are just human with a huge burden and don't need people calling them on everything. Unless they are asking you blatantly to do something against doctrine, just let them be, in my opinion, and trust in the mantle of the priesthood.

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