First Presidency Clarifies Church Handbook Changes


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Very well clarified. 

 

Many people should feel embarrassed about this entire thing. Not for the lack of understanding, but for taking to social media to publicly declare their frustrations and anger for not understanding immediately upon hearing from sources that have ulterior motives. I was reminded last night while reading in 1st Nephi that Nephi wanted to understand the mysteries of God as his father (a Prophet) did. Instead of whining and complaining to everyone about it (as we do to social media) Like Laman and Lemuel, he prayed to God and was visited and learned for himself. We see this pattern in the BOM many times, if you have questions and concerns go to the Lord, seek to be reassured by the Holy Ghost, do not trust in the understanding of men, uninspired men and women will surely lead astray.  

 

I have a feeling that this is what will separate the faithful from the unfaithful more and more. I was warned by my Bishop years ago, as he was warned by the brethren that a  storm was coming and I needed to make sure my testimony was strong and that my family was as strong to weather the storm. Those warnings have been ringing true ever since.

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Many people should feel embarrassed about this entire thing. Not for the lack of understanding, but for taking to social media to publicly declare their frustrations and anger for not understanding immediately upon hearing from sources that have ulterior motives.

 

My feelings exactly. It is not the ignorance, but the faithlessness, that I find galling.

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... Nephi wanted to understand the mysteries of God as his father (a Prophet) did. Instead of whining and complaining to everyone about it (as we do to social media) Like Laman and Lemuel, he prayed to God and was visited and learned for himself. We see this pattern in the BOM many times...

And key to the pattern is going to God in faith, already believing, which was what Nephi did (see also Ether 12:6).  Like Vort, this was the most sorrowful part for me - to see so many jump straight to doubt or worst-case, made-up scenarios instead of trusting first.  I'm grateful for this reasoned, calm explanation.

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And just think, up until June 26 2015, everyone was all "All we want is the right to marry.  Give us that and you and your church can go do whatever it wants."

 

They didn't want to tell us what to do, they didn't want us to tell them what to do.  It was such an easy choice.  Right?

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Even with this clarification we have members who are posting this, 

 

Particularly this statement:

 

 

"I have seen and heard nothing from the Mason writes on Facebook, "nor are we asked to sustain it as such. We are never asked to sustain the Handbooks."

Policies, he adds, "come and go."

"Most of them are good and sensible," Mason says, "some of them are lame, misguided and even hurtful. As people of conscience, we are always within our rights to disagree with anything within the church, but especially policies. We can responsibly say to ourselves, to our friends and neighbors, to our fellow church members and to our priesthood leaders, 'I sustain my church leaders as men (and women) called by God and striving to lead his church by inspiration, but I do not agree with this policy of the church.' "

 

Sustaining the Handbooks, is sustaining the prophet and apostles.  As I have shared previously this quote from President Harold B. Lee, "Divine Approval":

 

 

 

Keep in mind that the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are divine. Nobody changes the principles and doctrines of the Church except the Lord by revelation. But methods change as the inspired direction comes to those who preside at a given time. If you will analyze all that is being done and the changes that are taking place, you will realize that the fundamental doctrines of the Church are not changing. The only changes are in the methods of teaching that doctrine to meet the circumstances of our time. You may be sure that your brethren who preside are praying most earnestly, and we do not move until we have the assurance, so far as lies within our power, that what we do has the seal of divine approval.
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Policies come and go.

 

 

This is true, and to add to your comment, policies are also based on revelation.  As circumstances change, so also those policies could change.  But we are bound by these policies and to support our leaders as prophets, seers and revelators. 

 

Christ gave us the guiding principle

Matt 10 [35] For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

[36] And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

[37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

[38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

 

And this IS revelation.

Edited by cdowis
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And just think, up until June 26 2015, everyone was all "All we want is the right to marry.  Give us that and you and your church can go do whatever it wants."

 

They didn't want to tell us what to do, they didn't want us to tell them what to do.  It was such an easy choice.  Right?

I'll never understand why the counsel:

 

"If you don't like it, you can always leave."

 

is so hard for some to accept.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

Everyone,

Let's be charitable to those that are struggling wit this, and not shaming. It is a hard thing for some people, but most of them will work through it, given time and charity. Let us help them with that.

Thanks Jane. I agree. I have several friends who are struggling with this. Thay are good people. I think most will work through it and be okay. I hope so! One emailed me late in the night because she couldn't sleep. Another said she felt a little better after talking to her Bishop. Some talk about their feelings on social media, and some don't. But again they are all good people and they need love and support from their fellow "saints" during their hour of need. Edited by LiterateParakeet
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Everyone,

 

Let's be charitable to those that are struggling wit this, and not shaming.  It is a hard thing for some people, but most of them will work through it, given time and charity.  Let us help them with that.

 

The reality is, however, that "charitable" and "shaming" are not mutually exclusive. Whereas I entirely agree that we shouldn't intentionally berate others who are merely struggling, even a simple suggestion that they hold on with faith (an entirely charitable and reasonable suggestion) may, indeed, cause them to feel shamed in some cases.

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Everyone,

 

Let's be charitable to those that are struggling wit this, and not shaming.  It is a hard thing for some people, but most of them will work through it, given time and charity.  Let us help them with that.

 

There is a fine line between being charitable to those who are struggling with this and supporting/enabling their doubt.  Somewhere in the conversations there has to be empathy for the pain, but also a strong conviction of truth expressed and a reminder of how to approach problems we don't understand. As I did this as a loving, caring aunt and cousin to a couple 30-somethings, I was patently dismissed by one and shouted at to stop patronizing her by the other.   

 

My reaction in these situations with close friends or family is to always to back off and get the you-know-what out of their way. If they aren't going to listen without coming back at me offensively, then I'm not so likely to sit around patting their heads or stroking their egos.  They are on the wrong side of this and so many other church issues right now. They aren't likely to feel the spirit when they are so put out with the leaders, criticizing them shamelessly.  I care about these relatives but they are wrecking their own lives and I think they know it. 

 

I just find so many within this 20-40 generation to be spoiled, entitled, critical and incredible cynical about nearly everything. Without fail when church issues  come up they hop up on their "it's not fair" bandwagon, complaining at the tops of their lungs. There is very little demonstration of humilty among this crowd, and at the same time they have this faux horror at the injustice inflicted by the most humble and loving of the older generations. They are know-it-alls and think the rest of us can never understand quite as deeply as they can. They are quite full of themselves in their "fairness and equality for all" crusades.  It's tiresome.  

Edited by carlimac
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Unfortunately there is a group taking advantage of this doubt, and calling on a public (media invited) display of resigning from the church. There are many who have been on the sidelines in the church and this gives them the incentive to do something about their membership.  Unfortunately, this touches my own family.

 

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-mormons-gays-resignation-20151114-story.html

Edited by cdowis
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Everyone,

 

Let's be charitable to those that are struggling wit this, and not shaming.  It is a hard thing for some people, but most of them will work through it, given time and charity.  Let us help them with that.

 

Honest question: What things are appropriate for shaming? Chauvinism, perhaps? Racism? Child molestation?

 

If the answer is "Nothing", then why the specific suggestion in this case? Are those who are not loyal to the Church or its leaders (or to their own covenants) somehow even less worthy of condemnation than those others? I don't recall anyone saying, for example, that we should be especially careful not to shame pedophiles.

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Unfortunately there is a group taking advantage of this doubt, and calling on a public (media invited) display of resigning from the church. There are many who have been on the sidelines in the church and this gives them the incentive to do something about their membership. Unfortunately, this touches my own family.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-mormons-gays-resignation-20151114-story.html

Their own Facebook page polled the folks who planned to attend. Of 950 respondents, only 60-odd considered themselves "active" and fewer than 40 of those calmed to have attended weekly.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Honest question: What things are appropriate for shaming? Chauvinism, perhaps? Racism? Child molestation?

 

 

If someone is honestly trying to come to God, and struggling with it, then you should shame them for NOTHING-- the Holy Ghost is already convicted in their hearts and will do a much more effective job once convincing them of what is evil than you or I could ever do.  

 

 

 

If the answer is "Nothing", then why the specific suggestion in this case? Are those who are not loyal to the Church or its leaders (or to their own covenants) somehow even less worthy of condemnation than those others?

 

 

Invalid question: I'm talking about people whom are honestly trying to come to Christ, not those whom a quite happy lauding from their great and spacious room. 

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“There are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20)"

-Neal A Maxwell

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“There are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20)"

-Neal A Maxwell

 

I love Elder Neal A Maxwell, what a mighty servant in the Lord's army (now in the spirit world).

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I think there is too much hysteria and recriminations on both sides.

 

As I have seen their concerns, it mostly involves on how the church treats the children of SSM.  

 

1. The church has decided to use the same policy as polygamous families.

 

2. The purpose of the church handbook is to give policy and procedures, NOT doctrinal statements.  It can change as circumstances change.

 

3. The "dissenters" complain that the church has gone too far in its treatment of the children of these families.

 

It is possible, after a period of time, for the church to modify this policy as they consider the issues raised by the dissenters. For example, is it REALLY necessary to deny a child blessing to a child of a SSM couple?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  The main argument is that it creates a formal membership record for that child, but is it POSSIBLE to change that procedure where no formal record is created, for example.

 

It used to be policy to give the Holy Ghost to new members immediately after baptism, which then created the membership record.  Today it requires the investigator to have this done on the following Sunday, and then the record is created.

 

Finally, the reasons for apply this policy for children of polygamous families do not necessarily apply for SSM .

 

The dissenters do have legitimate concerns, but the haters have taken advantage of the hysteria, rather than calling for patience.  And we here bad mouth these poor souls rather than see them as being victims of manipulation.

Edited by cdowis
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