The End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine)

There seems to be a growing chasm between the world and the Church.  Years ago, society and Church standards and norms were very similar.  In dress, appearance, speech, manners, habits, and basic beliefs, were all on the same page.

However, times and society have changed. Abortion, LGBT, casual sex, and a variety of addictions are looked upon as the new norm. Once stalwart knights sworn to protect societal morals, many churches, Boy Scouts, and other groups have descended into the pit to embrace the devil in his lair.

For those who remain faithful, to condemn sin today means one is intolerant, a bigot, evil.  Prophets, once adored, are now seen as less than human, more prone to error than the modern intelligentsia. Continue reading

From Harold B. Lee

There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?”

Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church.

There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.”

Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said:

“The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. … He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. …

“It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.”

And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.)

Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.”

How comforting it would be to those who are the restless in the intellectual world, when such questions arise as to how the earth was formed and how man came to be, if they could answer as did an eminent scientist and devoted Church member. A sister had asked: “Why didn’t the Lord tell us plainly about these things?” The scientist answered: “It is likely we would not understand if he did. It might be like trying to explain the theory of atomic energy to an eight-year-old child.”

Source: 1971 Conference: “The Iron Rod.”

A few more details on the Church and the Scouts

This Salt Lake Tribune article is the typical garbage spewed by that rag of a newspaper.

Still, every once in a while you can find something interesting in the sewage. Here are a few details that may interest M* readers:

That could have dire financial consequences for BSA. The LDS Church is far and away the nation’s largest Scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops.

In 2013, more than a third (37 percent) of troops were LDS sponsored, accounting for 18 percent of the BSA’s 2.4 million total membership (Mormon troops, while more numerous, tend to be smaller in size).

An LDS Church withdrawal also could ruin the three Scout councils in Utah, which say between 96 percent and 99 percent of their members are in Mormon units.

And importantly:

The policy change approved Monday evening by the BSA’s 80-member National Executive Board to allow “openly gay leaders” to serve in Scout troops “is inconsistent with the doctrines of the church,” the release added, “and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.”

Although the LDS Church has allowed — and does allow — openly gay Mormons to serve in church assignments, including the Boy Scouts, these members are deemed to be living the faith’s standards. This means they are not acting on their same-sex attractions.

The BSA’s new policy, however, makes no such distinction between “openly gay” and “sexually active gay leaders.” So a gay Scout leader could have a partner or a same-sex spouse — and that troubles the Mormon brass.

While the BSA insists that religiously affiliated troops, including those sponsored by the LDS Church, can continue to ban gay leaders, many observers doubt such an exemption can be legally defended.

Of course the Tribune being the Tribune, the reporters and editors felt it necessary to quote only people opposed to the Church’s position as the story continued. Are Tribune reporters too lazy to actually call people who support the Church or are they simply uninterested in even trying to appear close to objective? I am guessing the latter.

Church reevaluating Scouting program

The Church released the following today:

Church Re-evaluating Scouting Program
Concern expressed over BSA policy change, lack of global reach

SALT LAKE CITY —
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement today after a vote on a policy change by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board to admit openly gay leaders:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.

As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available. Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the Church in the weeks ahead.”

Here is a link to the release.

Integrity and Respect versus Sparking Joy

GreenertToday I came across a TEDx talk by ADM Greenert, who is Chief of Naval Operations.

I know something about the Navy, but as I listened to ADM Greenert’s remarks about integrity and accountability, I thought about the individuals who lead our congregations at the ward and stake level.

I thought about a Joseph Smith who took responsibility for the sins of his people, that we all might be saved with our families. And I thought about Eliza Snow and Brigham Young, two of those who had at one time had been deceived by those promulgating spiritual wifery (aka illicit intercourse). 1

I also thought of William Smith, forgiven and counseled innumerable times, who ultimately chose to boldly embrace error rather than submit to the “bondage” of Christ’s leadership.

By contrast, a few days ago the sidebar had a link saying:

Kate and John don’t want you to be miserable anymore

I assumed this piece must be a parody, it was so over-the-top and offensive. But as I have seen others comment as though this is real, perhaps I was wrong to presume that Kate and John had more decency and self respect than to pen such a piece. Continue reading

Notes:

  1. Eliza’s November 1842 poems describe innocence being betrayed by a foul deceiver. “BY” is implicated as having accepted the teachings regarding transgression in William Clayton’s journal, though there is confusion about whether or not BY actually transgressed or not.