Mormon group plans mass resignation


Urstadt

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So, the only way to be in line with the current Church's stance is to shrug your shoulders and say "I dunno...."? Ignorance and unknowable mystery are the defining traits of Satan's organizations, not God's (Revelation 17:5; Alma 12:10-11).

 

Matthew, with all due respect, it was you who initiated the talk about who would be "in harmony" versus "out of harmony" with the Church.  You're kind of changing the argument now.

 

I don't think anyone has claimed that the truth of this question, or any other matter, is "unknowable".  What has been suggested is that certain theories do not have Church backing and should not be advanced as though they do; and I would further suggest that it is not always our prerogative to teach everything we know at the immediate moment we first (think we) know it.  The NT and D&C, at least, contain numerous endorsements of this idea.

 

The recent essay on blacks and the priesthood pins the origin of the priesthood on... well, it wasn't God.

 

The essay contextualizes the ban, but does not presume to "pin the origin" of the ban on anything.

 

 

By the way, your replies (JAG, anatess, and thefolkprophet) emphasize the point I was making. Marion G. Romney, in his remarks, described being in "harmony with the leaders of the Church and the counsel and direction they give" as part of the "full spirit of the gospel". The changing position on blacks and the priesthood (from what it used to be--blacks couldn't hold the priesthood because of the "curse of Cain"--to today) and the ban itself highlights the difficulties that position presents. If the Gospel is eternal and unchanging but Church practices change radically with no reason given from God and no explanation even being attempted by the leaders, then can lockstep obedience with Church leaders really be considered one of the basic requirements of Christ's eternal Gospel? Or is that level of strict obedience one of the hedges we make around the law?

 

I'm afraid that maybe you didn't quite catch my point--which is that sometimes God does give instructions to one set of people that materially differ from the instructions previously given to another set of people.  That is precisely what makes modern prophets so important, even if they do confine themselves to the "what" without always offering the "why". 

 

(This isn't a defense of "lockstep obedience", by the way; but it's a defense of a generally deferential approach that assumes the LDS leadership at both the general and local levels are correct unless or until they are convincingly shown to be incorrect, rather than assuming that--in the event of a difference of opinion between a leader and myself--my own proclivities and prejudices will necessarily and inevitably come up trumps.)

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So, the only way to be in line with the current Church's stance is to shrug your shoulders and say "I dunno...."?

 

If that is the church's current stance, then yes.

 

Ignorance and unknowable mystery are the defining traits of Satan's organizations, not God's (Revelation 17:5; Alma 12:10-11).

 

What an utterly absurd point to link to this idea. How many mysteries of God are there that we don't know? Are you kidding me? Unless we know everything it must be Satan's organization? Ridiculous.

 

The recent essay on blacks and the priesthood pins the origin of the priesthood on... well, it wasn't God.

 

The recent essay does not pin the origin of the ban at all. You either didn't read carefully or did not understand. It pins the explanations for it on the cultural biases. It says nothing at all about the origin of the ban except saying that we don't know.

 

The racist tendencies of early Americans (which included Brigham Young, et al.) seems to be the culprit

 

"Seems to be" to your selective reading.

 

...and I guarantee that it hasn't stopped turning yet.

 

You must be a prophet. Wait a minute.... President Monson! Is that you?!  :o

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 If the Gospel is eternal and unchanging but Church practices change radically with no reason given from God and no explanation even being attempted by the leaders, then can lockstep obedience with Church leaders really be considered one of the basic requirements of Christ's eternal Gospel? Or is that level of strict obedience one of the hedges we make around the law?

 

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "lockstep obedience".

 

Most things that are given to us by the Prophets are for general counsel leaving us to govern ourselves on our own specific applications.  Tattoos, earings, boob jobs, seminary attendance, temple attendance, and yes, even certain cases of abortion, for example, are given to us as general counsel leaving us to govern ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit and our bishop.  As long as our choices follow the spirit of the counsel, we stay in harmony with the Church.  This is even more pronounced in certain doctrinal questions - Big Bang Theory, Evolution Theory, Creationist Theory - it runs the gamut.  We can believe what we want with those as long as we stay within the bounds of general truth that God created man's mortal body to which our spirits joined in line with the Plan of Our Salvation.  Exactly how God created man - you can take your pick, we still remain in harmony with the Church.

 

But there are also clear and concise commandments and policies that are given to us.  Examples are, acceptance of the truth of the BOM and the authority of the prophet and church leaders, avoidance of sexual activities outside of marriage, requirements of priesthood ordinations, word of wisdom, paying of tithes, wearing of garments of endowed members, etc.  These have specific steps and consequences when not in harmony with the church.  For example, if one doesn't accept the truth of the BOM and the authority of the prophets then one can't be baptized.  If one engages in sexual activity outside of marriage then one can be put in disciplinary council.  If we don't have a testimony of such things - such as the avoidance of smoking cigarettes and drinking of coffee, for example - we don't necessarily get out of harmony of the Church.  We simply follow the covenant we made at baptism while working on gaining such testimony or not get baptized at all.  If we got baptized but really disagree with the cigarettes and drinking of coffee, we can bring it up through the proper channels - the priesthood leader in our homes, our visiting/home teachers, the bishop, the stake president, and on up.  If we decide to go against the counsel of the authorities and stage a protest/gather supporters/convince others of our "personal revelation", then we go out of harmony of the Church.

 

No, we don't need to be completely in agreement with the WOW to be in harmony with the Church.  Line upon line, precept upon precept... some people understand the WOW, some people don't.  But, we made that covenant to follow the WOW even if we don't quite get it.  Just like we made that covenant to sustain our Prophets.  So, we can't just say, meh, I disagree with the WOW, not only am I going to drink coffee, I'm going to start a movement in our ward to come share coffee with me.  Now that is not in harmony with the Church.  So yeah, avoid the coffee and you can go ahead and believe we came from monkeys... if you call that lockstepping, then sure we're lockstepping kinda people... But - nobody is forcing anybody to stay LDS.

 

 

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "lockstep obedience".

 

It's just a way to manipulate with adjectives. Obedience is an obvious and clear principle of the gospel. so you add a nasty sounding adjective to it that sounds militant, mindless, and oppressive. 'Cause as we all know, obedience if fine, but lockstep obedience...that we better watch out for!

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Last night, I was a little too fatigued to write a wholly coherent response that connected all the dots in my head. What I ended up with was something that confused, and for that I apologize. Mea culpa.

Let me take a step back and try to explain the issue as I see it, and explain why I wrote what I did. You all are, of course, welcome to disbelieve it as you see fit, but I hope it at least makes sense, and I hope to turn aside the frustrations that have arisen. This is, of course, how I see things, and I'm not going to engage in further discussion on this thread about it after posting. Like I said earlier, I didn't mean to threadjack, nor do I want to cause contention. I believe a discussion about these topics can exist without contention, but I think this is the wrong place to do it.

The principles at play are more far-reaching than what's already been discussed here, and I was alluding to those principles. The difficulties associated with our current position in the Church is that we've built up a hedge of traditions that God never intended for us to have, which dilutes our ability to actually see where we, as a people, are in our spiritual standing before God (that we, as a people, are condemned and have been since 1832).

For one, God never promised, anywhere in the canon of the scripture that we have, that the prophet will never lead us astray. When Joseph was alive, he used Ezekiel 14 to emphasize the fact that even a true prophet will give the people only what they want--if they set up idols in their hearts, the prophet will answer them according to their idols. When ancient Israel refused to accept God's offer to speak to them and demanded Moses speak to Him for them, God turned them over to the idolatry of their hearts and gave them a man-God (Moses) and a complicated set of laws to follow. When they refused to follow the spirit of the Mosaic Law and govern themselves, they were given over to the idolatry of their hearts and given a king. Joseph lamented that a great number of the early Saints followed this same pattern of relying too much upon the prophet, and were thus "darkened in their mind". The fact that they had a "true prophet" and true priesthood and a living church became an idol, which became a stumbling block to some of them. Ultimately, this impeded the spiritual progression of the Church and the martyrdom of Joseph. It still causes problems.

In the Church, however, we have a strong, strong tradition that the prophet will never lead us astray, no matter what, because the prophet is a PROPHET, and talks with God and so can't be deceived or led to do evil. It began in Utah with President Young and was cemented with the Manifesto era, when President Woodruff declared that he couldn't lead the Church astray because it wasn't "in the programme".

One byproduct of this belief is the continuing conflation of the Church and the Gospel (see Elder Poelman's redacted talk). The subtle difference between "following the prophet" (found nowhere in the scriptures; we are to follow God, Christ, and the Spirit as guides) and "receiving a prophet" (found in the scriptures); the institutionalization of the President of the Church as "the prophet" (a term that, in scripture, means something entirely different from the Church President's actual role as a presiding high priest)-- both have led to some confusing conclusions. Possibly the most egregious example is President Romney's anecdote about President Grant claiming that, if a Church member does what the Church President tells him to do, he'll be blessed for it "even if it's wrong". What riper doctrine is there for abuse than that--if you break God's commandments because someone in authority over you told you to do it, God won't hold you accountable because you were commanded to do it? Can that be justified by claiming that the person in authority is "a prophet"? What is the message of 1 Kings 13:11-32?

This all bespeaks of something being wrong with how the Church members, en masse, view the Church. The doctrines, principles, and ordinances get distorted and altered from what they were when they were first delivered to Joseph Smith. Previous leaders make policy decisions and doctrinal statements that lead the Saints to believe and do very unscriptural and un-Christlike things (such as the perpetuation of racial stratification, justified by the "curse of Cain" doctrine). In essence, the Church gets led astray on some issues. Then, when the course is corrected, the new mantra becomes "we don't know why it happened"--because the truth of what happened is so anathema to current Church culture that it threatens to fracture the Church entirely, if the Church will ever even come to accept it.

If a Church be named after a man, it is a man's church. What we currently have is a Church that is both Christ's church and man's church. There are two distinct spirits present within it: one glorifies Christ, and the other glorifies mankind. When the great separation occurs and the wedding feast has commenced, we will know which spirit was which. My hope is that we may all be found to be wise virgins who have taken the Holy Spirit--and not "a living prophet"--as our guide.

I think that's enough; this is long enough as it is. I haven't explained everything, but I think what I have explained is enough. I hope that you all understand where I'm coming from now, and that what I said earlier makes more sense. I'm still working through a lot of these issues for myself, and it's a harder journey than I thought it would be.

By the way, thefolkprophet, I'm not your enemy. Nor am I a prophet, although I believe my prediction that the official Church stance will continue to change will yet be vindicated. And, the "Race and the Priesthood" article dealt (briefly) with the entirety of the Preisthood ban, not just the context whence it came. While I did read between the lines I read between the lines that were put there, on purpose, by its authors, in an article serving as an introductory essay for members largely ignorant of the ban and/or desirous to know more. From now on, members researching it will connect early 19th century American racism with the Priesthood ban--and they'll have that from an approved Church source. We will see what will happen, with time.

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If one believes that the Prophet is leading the Church astray contrary to God's plan, then one shouldn't remain in that Church.  It's an apostate Church.  It's really as simple as that to me.

 

But in any case, I have no problem with the Prophet declaring tomorrow that women can now hold the Priesthood.  I highly doubt it's gonna happen, but I won't get shocked nor my testimony shaken if they did.  This is not the issue at hand.  The issue is the MANNER by which people like those sympathetic to Ordained Women are going about formenting dissent.

 

I don't know why this is so hard for you to understand Matthew.Bennet...

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So the Official Declaration 1 wouldn't be binding?  Is it because President Woodruff didn't say "Thus sayeth the Lord?"

 

It is in our official scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od/1?lang=eng

 

Well, from what I understand of Matthew's position, according to him that just proves our Prophets are following man and not God.

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Last night, I was a little too fatigued to write a wholly coherent response that connected all the dots in my head. What I ended up with was something that confused, and for that I apologize. Mea culpa.

 

Seems you were clear enough as this post pretty much continues with the same sort of drivel.

 

and I hope to turn aside the frustrations that have arisen.

 

I can only speak for myself, but the fact that I find your opinion on these matters filled with falsehoods has caused me no emotional response.

 

Like I said earlier, I didn't mean to threadjack, nor do I want to cause contention. I believe a discussion about these topics can exist without contention, but I think this is the wrong place to do it.

 

If you expect to come here with this anti-church, anti-prophet, anti-obedience point of view and not be challenged on it, then, yes, the wrong place to do it.

 

The principles at play are more far-reaching than what's already been discussed here, and I was alluding to those principles. The difficulties associated with our current position in the Church is that we've built up a hedge of traditions that God never intended for us to have, which dilutes our ability to actually see where we, as a people, are in our spiritual standing before God (that we, as a people, are condemned and have been since 1832).

 

Ah...now I understand you. You're one of those.

 

This fundamentalist position is entirely unsupportable and directly contrary to a myriad of other teachings in the scriptures and the gospel. It's easy to say the church is under condemnation. Saying it does not prove it true.

 

For one, God never promised, anywhere in the canon of the scripture that we have, that the prophet will never lead us astray.

 

This is a very typical but entirely useless point to make...meaning that if it's not in the scriptures then it must not be valid. If that were the case then we would have no need of living prophets (as JAG has repeatedly pointed out).

 

Honestly, if you don't believe any of the prophets since Joseph Smith were valid, as anatess pointed out, you're in the wrong church.

 

When Joseph was alive, he used Ezekiel 14 to emphasize the fact that even a true prophet will give the people only what they want--if they set up idols in their hearts, the prophet will answer them according to their idols. When ancient Israel refused to accept God's offer to speak to them and demanded Moses speak to Him for them, God turned them over to the idolatry of their hearts and gave them a man-God (Moses) and a complicated set of laws to follow. When they refused to follow the spirit of the Mosaic Law and govern themselves, they were given over to the idolatry of their hearts and given a king. Joseph lamented that a great number of the early Saints followed this same pattern of relying too much upon the prophet, and were thus "darkened in their mind". The fact that they had a "true prophet" and true priesthood and a living church became an idol, which became a stumbling block to some of them. Ultimately, this impeded the spiritual progression of the Church and the martyrdom of Joseph. It still causes problems.

 

Another case of interpreting something to fit your ideas despite it not being what was actually meant.

 

Here's the section from the Teachings of Joseph Smith alluded to:

 

"President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy."

 

To infer from this that we shouldn't be following the prophet, or that the prophet can lead us astray, is a huge leap. We're also taught that as children we shouldn't depend on our parent's testimonies. Does that mean children shouldn't follow their parents' counsel, obey them, etc?

 

The idea that we should get our own testimonies, get confirmation from the Holy Spirit, and learn and study on our own, does not relate to whether the prophet can lead us astray or not.

 

The prophet cannot save you. Blindly adherence to the law is insufficient. This is all scriptural, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the principle that God speaks to us through His prophets, and that casting off the living prophets is a sure way to the destruction of our souls.

 

In the Church, however, we have a strong, strong tradition that the prophet will never lead us astray, no matter what, because the prophet is a PROPHET, and talks with God and so can't be deceived or led to do evil. It began in Utah with President Young and was cemented with the Manifesto era, when President Woodruff declared that he couldn't lead the Church astray because it wasn't "in the programme".

 

It's not a tradtion. It is a prophetic teaching. Your denial that anyone after Joseph counts isn't meaningful. As implied, if you don't believe the church is led by God through his prophets, then what are you doing here? If you do believe the church is led by God through His prophets, then Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff's teachings on the matter are prophetic and valid.

 

...the most egregious example is President Romney's anecdote about President Grant claiming that, if a Church member does what the Church President tells him to do, he'll be blessed for it "even if it's wrong". What riper doctrine is there for abuse than that--if you break God's commandments because someone in authority over you told you to do it, God won't hold you accountable because you were commanded to do it? Can that be justified by claiming that the person in authority is "a prophet"?

 

No one is expected to follow blindly. We have been repeatedly counseled to seek the spirit in all things. And an anecdote does not doctrine make. Regardless, the principle, in general, is true. If your bishop asks everyone to wear suits to church, he's probably overstepping. Following his counsel will lead to blessings. But, yes, if even the prophet comes to you and tells you to murder someone, you don't blindly grab your sword and start hacking away. You get on your knees. There are obvious checks and balances in these things.

 

This all bespeaks of something being wrong with how the Church members, en masse, view the Church. The doctrines, principles, and ordinances get distorted and altered from what they were when they were first delivered to Joseph Smith. Previous leaders make policy decisions and doctrinal statements that lead the Saints to believe and do very unscriptural and un-Christlike things (such as the perpetuation of racial stratification, justified by the "curse of Cain" doctrine). In essence, the Church gets led astray on some issues. Then, when the course is corrected, the new mantra becomes "we don't know why it happened"--because the truth of what happened is so anathema to current Church culture that it threatens to fracture the Church entirely, if the Church will ever even come to accept it.

 

Once again, Joseph Smith was not the only prophet of the modern dispensation, and if you accept that others were prophets too then it only stands to reason that God can lead them to "tweak" things as needed, in the same manner that Joseph tweaked things as he learned line-upon-line from God throughout his life. The idea that everything after Joseph was uninspired (but only if you personally disagree with it, of course) is silly. This is either God's church or it isn't. Choose.

 

If a Church be named after a man, it is a man's church. What we currently have is a Church that is both Christ's church and man's church. There are two distinct spirits present within it: one glorifies Christ, and the other glorifies mankind. When the great separation occurs and the wedding feast has commenced, we will know which spirit was which. My hope is that we may all be found to be wise virgins who have taken the Holy Spirit--and not "a living prophet"--as our guide.

 

Uh...what? The church isn't named after a man. 

 

You simply cannot separate the living prophet from Christ's church. It is His declared means of conveying His truths. It's utter rubbish to try and cut the living prophet out, and it makes absolutely no sense.

 

Do I need to quote Amos 3:7 and the like? You seem fairly well versed in the scriptures. Are ignoring the parts you don't like purposefully, or are you less well versed than I'm supposing?

 

(apparently the number of block quotes one can use are limited)

Matthew.Bennett, on 28 Jul 2014 - 08:42 AM, said: "I think that's enough; this is long enough as it is. I haven't explained everything, but I think what I have explained is enough. I hope that you all understand where I'm coming from now, and that what I said earlier makes more sense. I'm still working through a lot of these issues for myself, and it's a harder journey than I thought it would be."

 

Oh...we know where you're coming from. It's not like any of this fundamentalist claptrap is new.

 

Matthew.Bennett, on 28 Jul 2014 - 08:42 AM, said: "By the way, thefolkprophet, I'm not your enemy."

 

Who said anything about enemies?

 

Matthew.Bennett, on 28 Jul 2014 - 08:42 AM, said: "Nor am I a prophet, although I believe my prediction that the official Church stance will continue to change will yet be vindicated."

 

...he said prophetically.

 

Matthew.Bennett, on 28 Jul 2014 - 08:42 AM, said: "And, the "Race and the Priesthood" article dealt (briefly) with the entirety of the Preisthood ban, not just the context whence it came."

 

No, the Race and the Priesthood article does not deal with the origin of the ban. Not at all. However the church has been clear in specifying it's position on the ban, as I quoted.  Here's the source of those quotes:  http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church

 

Matthew.Bennett, on 28 Jul 2014 - 08:42 AM, said: "While I did read between the lines I read between the lines that were put there, on purpose, by its authors."

 

Your implication that the information between the lines is purposeful by the authors is a very strong indication of your bias in this matter. There is no such implication. You choose to see what you want to.

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Well, from what I understand of Matthew's position, according to him that just proves our Prophets are following man and not God.

 

Then that is a personal perspective and not one that the majority of the members of the church hold.

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In the Church, however, we have a strong, strong tradition that the prophet will never lead us astray, no matter what, because the prophet is a PROPHET, and talks with God and so can't be deceived or led to do evil. It began in Utah with President Young and was cemented with the Manifesto era, when President Woodruff declared that he couldn't lead the Church astray because it wasn't "in the programme".

 

It's not quite that simple.  William G. Nelson recalled Smith stating:

 

I will give you a key that will never rust--if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.

 

Ezra Clark and Edward Stevenson also remembered Smith saying words substantially to the same effect.

 

Smith is also on-record as follows:

 

I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom.  It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity:  That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.

 

Possibly the most egregious example is President Romney's anecdote about President Grant claiming that, if a Church member does what the Church President tells him to do, he'll be blessed for it "even if it's wrong". What riper doctrine is there for abuse than that--if you break God's commandments because someone in authority over you told you to do it, God won't hold you accountable because you were commanded to do it?

 

Grant's suggestion was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.  Here's the full quote from then-Elder Romney:

 

Now . . . if we will keep these things in mind, we shall not be deceived by false teachings.  I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. . . . Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said:  "My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it."  Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, "But you don't need to worry.  The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray."  (Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78)

 

Are there any riper doctrines for abuse?  I can think of a couple, actually.  Like the doctrine that a man may have more than one wife; or the doctrine that whoever loves their parents more than Jesus is not worthy of Jesus; or the doctrine that an individual may receive personalized instructions from the divine independent of any earthly authority; or the doctrine that an individual may be guaranteed a place in the Celestial Kingdom while yet in mortality.

 

But the fact that a doctrine can be perverted and abused does not, in and of itself, make the doctrine false.

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I'm still working through a lot of these issues for myself, and it's a harder journey than I thought it would be.

 

Matthew, kuddos to you for working through them. Many people would just throw in the towel or just ignore their inner struggles causing their testimony to go dormant. I want you to know that I believe you are doing the right thing searching these things out for yourself (D&C 9:8). Alma the younger prayed and fasted many days for his answers and his testimony (Alma 5:46).

 

I encourage you, as a brother in the faith, to continue to pray and fast for your answers (James 1:5). Know that there are many of us on here who you can count on for answers to questions you have. I for one may not always be able to agree with a particular understanding you may have about a certain scripture or church history event. But, I would definitely listen with a sincere heart and if I couldn't provide the answer you sought, I would continue to encourage your journey.

 

When Nephi was asked if he knew of the condescension of God, he replied, "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things" (1 Nephi 11:16-17).

 

There are many answers we may not get in this lifetime. Heaven knows I have several myself. But, I do know He loves His children and will bless them for diligently seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6; James 1:5; 13th Article of Faith).

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I've that this is generally true when people leave their faith.  Protestants can have a hard time understanding this.  We can leave a church that's gone sideways, and join another, without having much of a crisis of faith.  Likewise, we can "backslide," and later return to our faith.  Often, we will end up in a different church when we do so.

 

For LDS, to leave the Church is to leave the faith.  I wonder if some of these folks--the ones in front of the cameras--the media savvy ones--are playing to the majority Protestant culture--leading us to believe they are just leaving a denomination?

that is a good question.

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And, to piggyback off of PrinsonChaplin's questions: we also have to consider the possibility that these people are doing the media thing for their 15 minutes of fame. It could also be because there is spite and animosity there and this is a form of payback for them: you hurt me so I'm going to try to hurt you back.

As a counselor I know how polyphonic (multi-voiced) humans can be. they rarely doing anything, especially something big, for just one reason. I think PrisonChaplin has provided one of the potential critical reasons, though. As Blackmarch said, it is a good question.

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