Exodus?

From Cacciata dei progenitori dall'Eden by Masaccio

From Cacciata dei progenitori dall’Eden by Masaccio

There had been a promise that multitudes, distressed by the harsh punishment inflicted on Kate Kelly, would resign from Mormonism on Pioneer Day.

Has this happened? It seemed like some wished to stage a mass exodus that would be worthy of news coverage.

Such things do happen. A man I desperately loved in college later left the Church with his wife over the matter of David Wright.

On the other hand, I wonder at the optics of large masses leaving a Church when others are trying to say they are so pained by being forced from the Church.

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for over four decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation, and is working on a midrashic treatment of the events in Nauvoo associated with early polygamy.

19 thoughts on “Exodus?

  1. I for one am glad they decided to stay. I know being in the right place at the right time will allow them to feel the spirit. We are all growing in the same field and its just so sad to see some of us are tares. Im thankful that im not charged with the responsibility of boundry maintenance.

  2. I expect that most of the people really following KK are already out of the Church, so there isn’t a whole lot of people who are going to leave over something like this. Those that will are likely on their way out one way or the other.

  3. According to this news report from Fox13 out of SLC only about 100 people came, and 20 acutally resigned. Some of those admitted they had not been to church in at least a decade. http://fox13now.com/2014/07/24/mormon-group-plans-mass-resignation-to-protest-excommunications/

    However, the way the HuffPo reported it, “over 500 have joined a facebook event to resign their memberships in the LDS church” Sounded alarming at first. They added an update to the story that gave the real numbers. A facebook event is not the same as the actual event. So this turned out to be a dud. Even if 500 people showed up and resigned, still a dud when you consider how many members are happy and content in the church.

  4. The ‘anti-bloggernacle seems to serve as a sort of echo chamber where a few loud voices seem to be a multitude. Much sound and fury from a relatively tiny fraction.

  5. There will be people who choose to leave the Church for many reasons. But the body of the Church will continue to follow the prophets and apostles, and be ready to build and establish Zion and her stakes as a refuge from the storms of the latter-days.
    We do not need to fear. We only need to focus on those things that will bear us through the trials with faith in Christ. And we need to remember that God gives us weakness so that we may be humble. When we think we are better than our leaders, then we’ve lost the true spirit of Christ.

  6. When was there a time since the restoration when there were not those that fell away? It follows perfectly Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life – many who had grasped the iron rod subsequently let go and were lost. It is sad but it is not unexpected or unusual.

  7. Pat, one of the things I have noticed on the internet is that people tend to take on multiple pseudonyms for the same person. Then with so many people who do that, the real numbers of people are often a fraction of what is projected on forums, web pages, facebook accounts, youtube accounts, etc. It’s what people do. Physical numbers don’t lie, and what’s often the norm is that after a projection on the internet, the physical outcome, like those in SLC, turns out to be a fraction of what was projected online. It was also true for the OW crowd a few months back at general conference, the fractions on the pew polls of church members illustrated that OW exaggerated their actual prominence among the women of the church from the start. My personal invitation is to come back to church, there really isn’t that much that the world cares for you beyond a few minutes of fame in which you are their little tool.

  8. The liberal ethos was only ever destined to infect a small minority of church members. They make a lot of noise but they have little real influence. This is a conservative church for conservatives, with a few liberal guests who don’t mind being surrounded by people who think differently than they do.

  9. I am not surprised by the few numbers than expected from the liberal media, but I am surprised how little was heard after such a fuss was made about Kate Kelly’s group. Other than one or two follow up stories, Kate Kelly has become a blip on the radar. She will be forced to move on until another group in a generation comes along to fill in for her. Its cyclical.

    “But the body of the Church will continue to follow the prophets and apostles”

    This is wishful thinking, and not accurate. The majority of the Church will continue to do what they have always done; remain inactive for a plethora of reasons. A handful of those will eventually leave the Church for yet other number of reasons, probably without any official resignation. I would like it otherwise, but Mormonism is not alone with this reality. The majority of active members will likely represent this statement.

    “This is a conservative church for conservatives”

    I would agree with this statement if I didn’t disagree with its implications so much. I consider myself the resident conservative (as opposed to libertarian) for this blog, and I think liberals should be more than guests. The Church is for everyone who wishes to repent and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. The purity of this has been twisted with some deliberate purpose by the media and political parties for all organizations. There is no doubt that the Church is conservative leaning, but that goes for all religions; even the (and especially?) liberal loved Islam. As discussed many times before, the more liberal a church gets, the smaller. Liberals just haven’t been able to separate their wish to change the world with agitation everywhere they go. That is what makes them a bad fit for organizations that already have core beliefs and traditions that may or may not go against their political goals. Conservatives are by nature, well, conservative.

  10. The fact that the mass resignation didn’t get more attention from the media (esp. The Salt Lake Tribune) shows just what a bomb that even really was. If they had come anywhere near their stated goal, there would have been much more coverage. In short, this is more proof how the media is simply trying to create and promote a narrative of many people being unhappy with the LDS faith and leaving the church. When reality doesn’t fit their agenda, they simply ignore it and move on.

  11. One of the aspects of a church led by prophets is that it truly escapes definition as being either conservative or liberal. Some have had difficulty with the stance on immigration or the relatively generous treatment of homosexuals. While the Church stands firm on reserving marriage for a man and a woman, they did not oppose civil unions. The Church has worked with UN agencies as well. I defended the Church on a politically conservative blog which saw it as a relatively liberal organization. At present those who define themselves as political conservatives are usually comfortable in the Church, but things could change rapidly. I trust the Lord will lead us where we need to go, but that will never be the popular path for very long.

  12. This is a conservative church for conservatives, with a few liberal guests who don’t mind being surrounded by people who think differently than they do.

    Nate, meet the Bloggernacle. Bloggernacle, meet Nate.

  13. (I tried to bold the line “who don’t mind being surrounded by people who think differently than they do”, but for some reason, it isn’t showing up as properly formatted on my screen. The point I was trying to make is–the liberal denizens of the Church, or at least the representation thereof that dominates the bloggernacle, hates being surrounded by people who think differently than they do. Their contempt for “TBMs” is palpable, and they openly dream and scheme of ways to make the Church fall into line with their pet theories.)

  14. JimD, I stand corrected.

    I would clarify that the few liberals who stay in the church are either being well behaved guests who ignore or shrug off the conservative culture, or who make a nuisance of themselves by attacking the conservative majority.

    The Bloggernacle is basically gospel doctrine class for liberals. We can say whatever we wish we could say in church, surrounded by people who understand and respect our liberal sensitivities. But that is where it stops. What happens in the Bloggernacle has practically no bearing on the real, conservative church, unless you do Kate Kelly style agitation, which will eventually get you officially kicked out.

  15. When folks refer to liberal and conservative they generally apply that to political views, not necessarily to Gospel views. For the gospel is really not one or the other. The Gospel is only about believing God and the Savior and patterning our lives after their teachings and commandments and serving our fellow man. Another major component of the gospel is our agency, which gives us the choice to conform our lives to the Savior or not.

    Using labels as a pejorative is not helpful.

  16. Hi JimD,

    Your bolded text shows up properly on my screen. Of course that may be because some kind person other than myself went in and fixed it.

    The gospel is about saving all who are ultimately willing to be saved. The requirement is to love all mankind and, when the manner in which that love ought be displayed isn’t obvious, trust in God’s guidance on the issue at hand.

    To make an analogy, my oldest daughter, when she was three, had a great idea. “Mother,” she said, “I have a great idea. You can stop going to work and school and stay home with me all the time!”

    At the time I was going through a divorce and living at home. I left home at 5 am and would often return home at 10 pm, though sometimes as I shuttled between work and school I would stop by the house for a few minutes.

    So in response to my three year old’s great idea, I had a discussion with her about the need for us to eat, and the need for us to have shelter and clothing.

    Another time a daughter wanted to have some treat. It was probably a treat that had a lot of sugar. This daughter had a medical condition where the medicine caused her appetite to be even more unrestrained than your average child, and the medicine had the side effect of increasing cholesterol. We had recently learned that her cholesterol levels were many times higher than normal for her age, and a relative had recently had quadruple bypass surgery due to their high cholesterol levels blocking flow to the heart.

    So I explained to my daughter that, though she wished the sugary treat, that it would not be loving for me to allow her to have it. Because I liked her, and I liked her to be alive. And I didn’t want her to have open heart surgery and have someone cut into her chest, as we had seen happen with our relative.

    On the other hand, all my daughters have had times when they wanted to remain snug in their beds, but we rousted them out of their comfort so they could take advantage of opportunities. Like getting a high school diploma.

    Thus God sometimes warns us against going after the sugar in life, makes us get out of our comfort zones in other times, and thirdly may explain that current circumstances require sacrifices that aren’t those other generations had to make.

    I’m not sure what any of that has to do with the meaning readers infer when we say “liberal” or “conservative.”

    God is God, and God has our best long-term interests at heart. God really wishes we would learn of Him and learn to love our fellow beings as He loves them. And since most of us need help understanding how God loves His children, He hints that we might look to the way we love ourselves as a guide for the love He has for us. That self-love may be a pale shadow of His love, but if it is the highest love we know, then He will settle for that as a starting point and guide us from there.

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