Because of events, apostasy is once again a subject on Mormon minds. The archetypal source of a definition comes from what is know as “The Great Apostasy” when the Church was lost from the Earth, leaving no God given authority. It has been assumed that the death of the original Apostles ordained by Jesus and complete Hellenization of doctrine caused the downfall. This is merely a generalization and doesn’t actually help in discussion about what Apostasy is and how to avoid it occurring again. Besides, the term didn’t exist beyond the concept until years after the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The explanation of how it came about was not as important for the Restoration concept as the fact it did happen. Speculation about the reasons and events leading up to this Great Apostasy were a later development. Continue reading
There is no denying that I am a child of the 80s with music, movies, and television. Music especially was filled with variety and experimentation that anyone could enjoy while listening to the radio. Rarely was there ever such an epic time, save it be the 60s that were much darker. A person could tune to different radio stations and find something of interest every try. For me the early 90s grunge and alternative era was the best match for my tastes and pop radio, almost never having to change the channel. Yet, for absolute volume of memorable bands, styles, and songs the 80s can hardly be matched. Perhaps each generation loses interest in the new, but today’s pop is filled with board room created artists, banal lyrics, and synthetic overproduced music. There wasn’t much hope of finding new likes.
I have already written about how Mormon artists saved me from a complete musical dark ages. There is the infectious Imagine Dragons and unique self-made Lindsey Sterling as examples. The non-Mormon Evanescence was a thin thread of musical sanity that still existed for me. People would tell me there was still good music out there, but they turned out to be underground short lived bands. No one stands out as a floodgate of hope more than Brandon Flowers and his band The Killers in this current century. His Mormonism was mentioned and so I gave his band a shot; and I loved its throwback aesthetics. Curious about other Mormon artists I found . . . well, an expansion of worthwhile music. Continue reading
Slowly the Boy Scouts of America is turning its back on the core mission of raising up boys to be men, and slouching toward who knows what. Following after “no tolerance” policies of many state run schools, the Boy Scouts has banned water guns and balloons excepted for in designated areas at specific targets. They are treating them as dangerous weapons. Later there was a declaration by the BSA president Robert Gates that there should be gay scout leaders. This leadership requirements change will have to be come to a vote, but the signs are leaning toward passage. The organization is starting to morph into something that founder Baden-Powell and scouts of the past simply would not recognize or perhaps approve.
The response of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the main supporters of the BSA, has been silent on the water projectile issue. There really isn’t much of a moral component, but certainly there are intelligence flaws. Widespread ridicule by more conservative members has been scathing. In contrast, the few liberal news articles on the subject indicates they are supportive of the more official clarification. They quote the BSA at length on how it isn’t a new policy while mixing in quotes from ban supporters.
A different, but cautious, response was issued by the LDS Church toward the possible gay leadership acceptance:
We have noted the comments by Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates in relation to possible policy changes in the Boy Scouts of America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will, of course, examine any such changes very carefully to assess how they might impact our own century-long association with the BSA.
Assuming this does pass, there is a possibility the association could end. It is no secret that some members would welcome the severing of the relationship. Even a few in the BSA see the LDS Church leaving as a mutual benefit since they don’t consider how it runs scouts as proper. There are risks to both sides if such a split is to happen. Continue reading
Religious restrictions on food is not uncommon, and exists in every major faith. Both what can be eaten and and how food is prepared and served can be part of the dietary teachings. Islam, for instance, follows similar restrictions to Jewish law and includes prohibition of alcohol. Buddhism and Hinduism both avoid eating cows like Judaism and Islam are to avoid pork consumption. They also both teach not to eat meat, with Buddhism generally more vegetarian in practice. Christianity seems to be the least food conscious religion having nearly no rules other than moderation. Catholicism will have meat off the menu on Fridays, but that seems to be the extent of any rules. Perhaps Seventh Day Adventism with its adherence to Leviticus is the most stringent Christian denomination. Living in a predominantly Protestant and laissez faire Western democracy makes the very simple dietary teachings of Mormonism seem more strict than reality. Continue reading
Never since the earliest days has the LDS Church been in such danger of persecution by a mass of Americans. The same can be said about the danger of governmental punishment from the time of the polygamy trials. Unlike the mentioned examples where the religious were the instigators, secularists are in command and faith itself is in the crosshairs. This time no one who believes in God and attends church will be spared. Worst case scenarios have Christians going underground like in China to worship, if the modern interpretation of the religious clause is brought to its logical conclusion. Religation to absolute privacy is not freedom; its house arrest. There are some possible changes coming to how the LDS Church operates in this increasingly hostile secular new United States. Some are already in practice where secularism has completely taken over.
There is no need to rehearse where the danger comes from the most. Anyone can look at the current headlines about the U.S. Supreme Court’s biggest case of the year. For those who wish to criticise any “the sky is falling” concerns, a reasonable person should read what Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli said in response to Judge Alito’s question:
Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?
General Verrilli: You know, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.
Although the question refers to a college, it can easily apply to a Church since the university is a privately held religious institution. It wouldn’t take a leap to translate into any private institution with tax exempt status. For many religions the university is an extension of the church and not a side project. I am sure that Brigham Young University’s varied campuses are seen in that light by the LDS leadership, who on more than one occasion has stated it outright. Calling it “The Lord’s University” is more than a silly saying to be mocked. Those might be the first casualties. Continue reading