President Oaks Receives Criticism After Suggesting “Research is not the answer”


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I’m not part of the President Oaks fan club. I have seen more than one social post over the years that is full of anger and hurt with a finger pointed at him. There have been things he has said that I don’t agree with. More than one quote from President Oaks has triggered the forgiving voice of Elder Uchtdorf to play in my mind, “They are also painfully imperfect. They make mistakes. From time to time they say things they shouldn’t. They do things they wish they hadn’t.” Despite my nature to hold these leaders to a perfect standard, Elder Holland humbly reminds me that there is only one “who has never been clumsy or inadequate but who loves all of us who are.” I understand this is not a popular opinion to have in the midst of faithful believers. Even including quotes by our leaders admitting their fallibility does not make the phrase “I don’t always agree,” any easier to swallow. I’m asking you to allow me...

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I don't quite understand it when an author starts an article with how much he/she (generic) doesn't like certain leaders of the church (I've seen this more than once). While this author actually ends up defending President Oaks, she spends the first few paragraphs talking about why she doesn't like him. Maybe this is just me, but I don't find such criticism of our leaders helpful at all. Are they human? Absolutely, and they make mistakes regularly just like us. But I don't understand why we don't just trust that the Lord is leading his church, and stop trying to steady the ark. President Oaks is one of my favorite speakers, he always has been, but even if I didn't like him for whatever reason I wouldn't criticize him publicly. He is an Apostle of Jesus Christ, chosen by God as a prophet, seer, and revelator. If he is in error, let God deal with him and I can focus on working on my own relationship with Christ. I think all of us could be a little kinder and more forgiving of our leaders.

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10 minutes ago, Midwest LDS said:

I don't quite understand it when an author starts an article with how much he/she (generic) doesn't like certain leaders of the church (I'm seen this more than once). While this author actually ends up defending President Oaks, she spends the first few paragraphs talking about why she doesn't like him. Maybe this is just me, but I don't find such criticism of our leaders helpful at all. Are they human? Absolutely, and they make mistakes regularly just like us. But I don't understand why we don't just trust that the Lord is leading his church, and stop trying to steady the ark. President Oaks is one of my favorite speakers, he always has been, but even if I didn't like him for whatever reason I wouldn't critisize him publicly. He is an Apostle of Jesus Christ, chosen by God as a prophet, seer, and revelator. If he is in error, let God deal with him and I can focus on working on my own relationship with Christ. I think all of us could be a little kinder and more forgiving of our leaders.

I think the article intended to address the fact that many people are taking his statement out of context, and it's possible that the author felt that expressing her own concern over his words might further drive home the ultimate point. It also acknowledges that not everything said by a GA is doctrine and therefore infallible.

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3 hours ago, Godless said:

I think the article intended to address the fact that many people are taking his statement out of context, and it's possible that the author felt that expressing her own concern over his words might further drive home the ultimate point. It also acknowledges that not everything said by a GA is doctrine and therefore infallible.

I agree to an extent. As I acknowledged at the beginning, she does defend President Oaks in this article, and his words were definitely taken out of context. I took exception to her initial criticism. To me that's unnessary because he is called of God to a very special calling. I don't like it when members critisize our leaders because it represents, to me, attempting to steady the ark. The General Authorities are called of God. If they say something wrong, and they do sometimes, God will provide a correction through their brethern. It's our job to love and sustain men like President Oaks, not say "I really don't like this guy or what he says most of the time, but in this one instance he wasn't wrong". To me that represents a lack of faith. A criticism like this from a non or former member? Sure, because they don't kniw who he is. But if we truly have a testimony as to who the brethren are, then if we struggle with something they say, we work it out in private and don't announce to the world that we don't like them most of the time.

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2 hours ago, Third Hour said:

I’m not part of the President Oaks fan club. I have seen more than one social post over the years that is full of anger and hurt with a finger pointed at him. There have been things he has said that I don’t agree with. More than one quote from President Oaks has triggered the forgiving voice of Elder Uchtdorf to play in my mind, “They are also painfully imperfect. They make mistakes. From time to time they say things they shouldn’t. They do things they wish they hadn’t. Despite my nature to hold these leaders to a perfect standard, Elder Holland humbly reminds me that there is only one “who has never been clumsy or inadequate but who loves all of us who are.” I understand this is not a popular opinion to have in the midst of faithful believers. Even including quotes by our leaders admitting their fallibility does not make the phrase “I don’t always agree,” any easier to swallow. I’m asking you to allow me...

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This is our own Heather?! I almost can't believe it. I am stunned. This is the most backhanded of defenses of our leadership, the equivalent of telling your date, "You know, for a fat chick, you don't sweat much."

I have to wonder very seriously if I belong on this site at all. I'm thinking maybe not.

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18 minutes ago, Vort said:

This is our own Heather?! I almost can't believe it. I am stunned. This is the most backhanded of defenses of our leadership, the equivalent of telling your date, "You know, for a fat chick, you don't sweat much."

I have to wonder very seriously if I belong on this site at all. I'm thinking maybe not.

I had the same thought.  There are very few places where you can find spiritual growth online anymore.  I may be better off avoiding it all.

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16 minutes ago, Vort said:

I have to wonder very seriously if I belong on this site at all. I'm thinking maybe not.

A lot of people have expressed that this site is more true-blue latter-day saint than any other they've found. If those supportive of the brethren leave, where do we go?

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5 minutes ago, SilentOne said:

I don't like the thought of a world where the only "Latter-day Saint" forums are 98% filled with progressive, "we know better than those old fuddy-duddy prophets" posters.

I think we need to remember that we won't agree with everyone or everything out there on any forum. You (generic, not you @SilentOne) need to ask yourself if you want an echo chamber or if you can handle disagreeing with this or that post. If you can't handle it, fine. It's time to move on. If you can handle it, great. We'd love for you to stay. 

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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

I think we need to remember that we won't agree with everyone or everything out there on any forum. You (generic, not you @SilentOne) need to ask yourself if you want an echo chamber or if you can handle disagreeing with this or that post. If you can't handle it, fine. It's time to move on. If you can handle it, great. We'd love for you to stay. 

This isn't politics or a debate on the best sports team.  It's following Christ and sustaining the Prophets and Apostles He chooses.  That is SUPPOSED to be an echo chamber because HIS word is THE word.

We aren't talking about some of the deeper discussions that allow for interpretation.  This is "I don't like this Apostle because his message isn't what I wish the Church views were".  The former is fine for speculative discussion.  The latter is not sustaining the Church.

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2 minutes ago, Grunt said:

  That is SUPPOSED to be an echo chamber because HIS word is THE word.

 

It's SUPPOSED to be whatever the moderators/admins say it is and allow. We agree though HE is the THE word. 

2 minutes ago, Grunt said:

 This is "I don't like this Apostle because his message isn't what I wish the Church views were".

For the record, I said nothing at all about the OP. I didn't read the article. I was responding to @SilentOne

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Just now, MormonGator said:

It's SUPPOSED to be whatever the moderators/admins say it is and allow. We agree though HE is the THE word. 

1

Valid point.  I suppose that's why @Vort and others may be questioning whether it's what they thought it was and whether they belong here.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Valid point.  I suppose that's why @Vort and others may be questioning whether it's what they thought it was and whether they belong here.

If you follow the rules, everyone belongs here. From @Godless to @Maureen to @Vort to @Grunt to @Rob Osborn to @Anddenex. Speaking just for myself I learn something and admire everyone here, even if I don't like or agree with you. 

The only person who doesn't belong here is @mirkwood

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Just now, MormonGator said:

If you follow the rules, everyone belongs here. From @Godless to @Maureen to @Vort to @Grunt to @Rob Osborn to @Anddenex. Speaking just for myself I learn something and admire everyone here, even I don't like or agree with you. 

Belongs here?  Sure, by definition.  But whether they "belong here" depends on each individual's expectations and limits.  I believe that was what @Vort was referring to.  At least that was my interpretation and the intent of my reply.  

"Does this forum meet my expectations and is it within the limits of what I deem 'good for me'?"   I've pondered that previously.  If the answer is no, for me or anyone else, then I likely don't belong here.  Do I want to participate in, and support, a group that calls out an Apostle of Christ because he follows the gospel?  

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3 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Belongs here?  Sure, by definition.  But whether they "belong here" depends on each individual's expectations and limits.  I believe that was what @Vort was referring to.  At least that was my interpretation and the intent of my reply.  

"Does this forum meet my expectations and is it within the limits of what I deem 'good for me'?"   I've pondered that previously.  If the answer is no, for me or anyone else, then I likely don't belong here.  Do I want to participate in, and support, a group that calls out an Apostle of Christ because he follows the gospel?  

Whatever works for you. I'm very glad there are posters that go from the @Vort /  @Grunt wing to the @MormonGator / @Jane_Doe wing. (not saying @Jane_Doe and I agree on everything, just an example). Like I said, I've learned a ton from people that I don't agree with. I'm glad everyone is here. 

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The problem as I see it is not diversity of opinion. The problem is the sense of comfort at leveling criticisms at God's anointed. Do we or do we not sustain our leaders? If so, taking potshots at them doesn't qualify. Ever.

It's one thing to say, "I didn't agree with President Oaks when he said thus-and-such."

It's quite another to say, "I’m not part of the President Oaks fan club. I have seen more than one social post over the years that is full of anger and hurt with a finger pointed at him... More than one quote from President Oaks has triggered the forgiving voice of Elder Uchtdorf to play in my mind, 'They are also painfully imperfect. They make mistakes. From time to time they say things they shouldn’t. They do things they wish they hadn’t.'”

The former may be unwise, but it's not beyond the pale. The latter is.

And for the record, I'll bet my house against yours (or Heather's) that if you made a line of people looking to stand with President Oaks and ALL that he said, without reservation, Elder Uchtdorf would be at the front.

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Okay folks let's calm down here for a moment.  Did you read the ENTIRE article?  Well I just did and I found nothing wrong with what Heather wrote about.  We all have someone that we don't agree with all of the time.  We know that our leaders are fallible.

She did an awesome job of breaking it all down and she actually agrees with what he says as she goes along.  

You have to remember that sometimes our leaders say or give THEIR opinion which may not always be what we agree with.  

But I think you would be hard pressed to hear Heather say that she doesn't believe that President Oaks is called of God and is in the position he should be in right now.   If I'm wrong, I'm sure Heather will let me know.  She always does.  :P   

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Whatever works for you. I'm very glad there are posters that go from the @Vort /  @Grunt wing to the @MormonGator / @Jane_Doe wing. (not saying @Jane_Doe and I agree on everything, just an example). Like I said, I've learned a ton from people that I don't agree with. I'm glad everyone is here. 

I’m all for debate and disagreeing with others. But when it comes to the gospel, disagreement and opposing views is what drove Joseph Smith to find the true church.

Besides this, there are no open forums (that I know of at least) that are dominantly active members that believe all the church says. Go to the Reddit forums or Mormon dialogue, you will find pages after pages of people are firing the deep (or otherwise known as the embarrassingly shallow) topics of the gospel.

I check out the other forums from time to time with intention to participate... but I very quickly lose any desire after seeing a dozen pages of debate between 30 people as to whether the Book of Mormon is to be taken as a literal history or a massive parable. These forums cultures feed the notion that it is ok to disbelieve what the prophets say and to question the divinity of the calling of apostle and prophet. This has brought rise to MormonStorues, MormonMatters, A thoughtful faith, and other organizations for “woke” Saints. Organizations that claim only to have open dialogue about difficult questions, but nurture an atmosphere that promotes loss of faith in Christ and his organization and to put more faith into the arm of flesh and our own ability to reason.

Like Vort, I’ve asked myself a few times these last couple months as to whether this forum is where I want to be. The church websites are slowly becoming the only source of trustworthy news (I don’t even fully trust the LDSliving newspaper). This is a shame cause there isn’t a forum of open discussion there like we have here. 

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4 minutes ago, pam said:

Okay folks let's calm down here for a moment.  Did you read the ENTIRE article?  Well I just did and I found nothing wrong with what Heather wrote about.  We all have someone that we don't agree with all of the time.  We know that our leaders are fallible.

She did an awesome job of breaking it all down and she actually agrees with what he says as she goes along.  

You have to remember that sometimes our leaders say or give THEIR opinion which may not always be what we agree with.  

But I think you would be hard pressed to hear Heather say that she doesn't believe that President Oaks is called of God and is in the position he should be in right now.   If I'm wrong, I'm sure Heather will let me know.  She always does.  :P   

I'm calm. I read the entire article. I fully realize that Heather was (ultimately) coming down on the side of not crucifying President Oaks based on what he said.

My opinion remains unchanged. I hear echoes of some of David Snell's recent columns, where he talks about how unfortunately phrased President Oaks' proclamations are. Frankly, this is the kind of bull I expect from, well, other supposedly LDS-oriented discussion sites that will not be mentioned. Not here.

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People are all upset at what my mother said. Look, I get it. I know my Mom is a poopy-head. Sometimes I have to hide my face in shame at the stupid crap she spews and hope no one knows we're related. At such times, I breathe deep and try to remember the wise advice to forgive people, even stupid people.

But look at what my mother actually said this time. She didn't say that all you people were pigs, and she didn't say that you should clean up after everyone else. If you really read her words carefully, all she said was that people should pick up after themselves. I mean, that's pretty reasonable, especially for a poopy-head like Mom. Come on, cut her some slack.

[Love ya, Mom! I'll always manfully stick up for you like this! Except when I think you're wrong.]

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13 minutes ago, pam said:

Okay folks let's calm down here for a moment.  Did you read the ENTIRE article?  Well I just did and I found nothing wrong with what Heather wrote about.  We all have someone that we don't agree with all of the time.  We know that our leaders are fallible.

She did an awesome job of breaking it all down and she actually agrees with what he says as she goes along.  

You have to remember that sometimes our leaders say or give THEIR opinion which may not always be what we agree with.  

But I think you would be hard pressed to hear Heather say that she doesn't believe that President Oaks is called of God and is in the position he should be in right now.   If I'm wrong, I'm sure Heather will let me know.  She always does.  :P   

full disclosure, I did not read the article. 

My frustration comes from the fact that an article that opens the way this one did was posted on this site. When saints look to the internet for answers to questions and read this opening phrase, it encourages what Vort mentioned above, To openly criticize church leaders and it be ok. 

I’m getting somewhat disillusioned from this site due to the content of many of the recent threads. Then I read this intro and I felt like I was listening to MormonMatters Podcast.

I want a forum of saints that are mature enough in the gospel to be firmly planted in Christ and this Church and don’t try to separate the two. That when it comes to answering questions, will put recent statements by general authorities over the statements of a general authority in 1860 found in a private journal.

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I haven't read the article and I don't intend to. The OP was more than enough to put me off the article. I have my own views of President Oaks and I don't feel the need to share them or persuade others to agree with them unless I am talking with an investigator. 

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