|Subject:||Ballard hacking both on kids AND their dads...|
|Date:||Oct 07 08:26 2002|
|... and kids who don't go on missions, may serve as ward
missionaries? EWE... Poor kids...
Elder M. Russell Ballard Quorum of the Twelve [conference talk Oct 2002]
quote "The church needs a generation of missionaries as valiant as the 2,000 stripling warriors.
"Today we are fighting a battle that in many ways is more perilous, more fraught with danger, than the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Our enemy is cunning and resourceful. We fight against Lucifer, the father of all lies, the enemy of all that is good and right and holy."
"What we need now is the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the church. . . . We don't need spiritually weak and semi-committed young men.
We don't need you to just fill a position we need your whole heart and soul. . . . This isn't a time for spiritual weaklings. We cannot send you on a mission to be reactivated, reformed or to receive a testimony. We just don't have time for that. . . . These expectations are high.
We understand that, but we do not apologize for them. They reflect the Lord's standards."
"If you find yourself wanting in worthiness, resolve to make the appropriate changes, beginning right now. . . . The bar that is the standard for missionary service is being raised. The day of the 'repent and go' missionary is over."
"Some young men have the mistaken idea that they can be involved in sinful behavior and then repent when they're 18-and-a-half so they can go on their mission at 19. While it is true that you can repent of sin, you may or may not qualify to serve." Meaningful prayer, keeping the Sabbath holy, paying a full tithe, limiting time spent on computer games, studying scriptures and service are ways to prepare for a mission.
The bar is also raised for fathers. "Not only do you have the right to know the worthiness of your children, you have the responsibility."
Bishops, "judge wisely and remember: not every young man needs to be called to serve away from his home. Some may best serve under your direction as ward missionaries." end of quote
Oh God, spare us!
|Subject:||Re: Ballard hacking both on kids AND their dads...|
|Date:||Oct 07 08:36|
|This was one of the worst father bashing conferences we've had in a
long time. I kept feeling a sort of desperation in all of these voices. The Church's
people aren't following them, and they are reacting pretty strongly to it. They ask for
perfect missionaries. I've known very few perfect kids yet. They may have more honest kids
than they did in the past. Or it simply could be that kids now are simply exposed to a lot
more than they were in the past. My guess is they will raise the bar in theory, but in
reality they will have to do what Christ did -- that is, accept people as they are and
then let them repent and serve.
I've never been in attendance at a conference when I have heard so much bluff and bluster.
|Subject:||My reaction as a young closet exmo...|
|Date:||Oct 07 09:51|
|Since hearing about this, I've been saying "I'm glad my parents
aren't trying to force me any more." This summer was the last time I think they'll
ask about it. They seriously wanted me to put off my last year of college for it. For
those that don't know, my major is a one of the most fast paced and most competitive
commercial arts there is. So when they asked, I laughed and thought they were joking.
But hearing this makes me feels very bad for the kids that are the 17, 18 and 19 years olds now. Instead of the typical "Why aren't you going on a mission?" question, they'll get "Are you WORTHY enough for a mission?" This leaves the door up for lots of public embarrassment for the honest ones. Also, the mobot culture has long held this as a family tradition. Now kids will be blamed for not keeping a family tradition because they jerked off.
This whole thing just seems so well planned out and in the best interest of the memebers... [rolls eyes]
|Subject:||Maybe it's a prelude to a total restructuring of the traditional|
|Date:||Oct 07 10:08|
|missionary format. The Morg currently is operating goofy, irritating
door-to-door proselyting programs that date back to the early days of the church. The
approach is outdated and losing steam fast in the age of the Internet. A savvy
investigator can now log on to the Internet and quickly learn about the real history and
problems of the Church, often becoming more knowledgeable than the faith-oriented
missionaries that come to the door trying to sell Mormon Salvation Insurance. Not only
that, but a lot of the missionaries are being exposed to ideas that plant doubts in their
TBM minds, so it may be that the missions are no longer consolidating the Morg's grasp on
the missionaries themselves.
Maybe the Brethren plan to gradually implement a meaner, leaner approach to missionary work, using only the most committed, polished and superficially attractive kids and high-tech, market tested gimmicks to make the Church seem more attractive. Expect more polished multi-media presentations and events (concerts, pageants, etc.) and less irritating old-fashioned door knocking by ignorant, under-motivated missionaries who are there because they were pushed into it.
I may be just hallucinating, but it does sound like they're desperately trying to push buttons and yank on cranks to get the Church growth engine going strong again, but nothing seems to work. I'd guess the statistics are just going from bad to worse on a yearly basis, and that's setting up a crisis of faith for many of the Brethren, because it's not what one would expect to see happen to the one and only true, fully restored Church on Earth.
|Subject:||Yes, you are addressing an excellent point...|
|Date:||Oct 07 20:16|
|It's not just the technology advances of computers and the 'Net that
changes the way prospecting and sales are done, but also profound cultural changes in the
way people today respond to the church's current set of messages and the customer
Not to mention the 'product' is becoming more and more outdated for a very sophisticated consumer-oriented audience that is becoming more wary of marketing bullshit and 'spin'.
My prediction is that the church will continue to lose ground mostly because of the natural democratization process that the Internet fosters. Since the Morg is all about tops-down control, the 'Net and advancing information technology in an increasingly connected world will continue to blunt the effectiveness of mormon missionary 'sales' efforts.
|Subject:||I think that a growing number of Church dads . . .|
|Date:||Oct 07 10:36|
|. . . are just plain not convinced about the worthy/unworthy thing because most of them were "unworthy" as youths and they turned out ok. As members continue to discover that the Mormon Church's brand of worthiness doesn't gain them one single advantage, spiritual or otherwise, they will become more and more hesitant to foist these outmoded, superstitious requirements on their children.|
|Subject:||Does This Mean......|
|Date:||Oct 07 10:39|
|that they won't be trolling the State Prison for Pedophiles to send on missions like they attempted to do with that one guy?|
|Subject:||I would rather see my son in a pine box than be unworthy.|
|Date:||Oct 07 12:52|
|That's the next thing I expect LDS fathers to be saying.
And can we expect the suicide rate among the LDS youth to go up? I wouldn't doubt it. The pressure the church and families put on their young missionary age kids is already enormous. Kids can't and shouldn't be expected to live up to all the LDS guilt ridden requirements to be perfect.
The LDS cult may not have to worry about being exposed and dismantled from the outside by such things as the internet. It just may destroy itself from within.
|Subject:||This is exactly what I've been thinking.|
|Date:||Oct 07 15:05|
|As if coercing, bribing, and guilting these kids into going on missions isn't bad enough, now they'll be branded with a big, fat "U" on their foreheads when they're denied a mission because of "unworthiness." I've heard too many horror stories of the abuse behind missions as it is, and now to slap the unworthy label on these poor young men is the ultimate in cruelty, IMO. I'm afraid this kind of stigma will push some of them right over the edge. God, I hate that f****** cult!|
|Subject:||Re: Ballard hacking both on kids AND their dads...|
|Date:||Oct 07 13:09|
|The best most understanding missionaries I knew were the ones who
had experienced life and the darker seedier side. Because of it they were more empathetic
and understanding of what happens to people. Sheltering a clone in Utah county then
sending him out as a church representative is not spirituality, just a sheltered stupid
I don't have to worry about it as my 8 year old and 6 year old have no desires to be baptized, hate church and my wife backs me 100%. GOD life is good!
|Subject:||So far, this has raised 2 questions with me...|
|Date:||Oct 07 13:32|
When Ballard says:
> "If you find yourself wanting in worthiness, resolve to
make the appropriate changes, beginning right now. . . .
The bar that is the standard for missionary service is
being raised. The day of the 'repent and go' missionary
Is he ADMITTING that the standard has previously been
low and that the "repent and go" missionary has been a
Are they REALLY going to turn away mission
appliacants during these times when finding young
missionaries is so difficult and the numbers of
baptisms are dropping (inspite of having more mishies
in the field)???
Anyone have an answer?
Anyone have more questions?
|Subject:||If the church is all that great why do you need missionaries|
|Date:||Oct 07 13:53|
|in the first place. with the exception of the JW's, other churches
do not go out to take people away from the religion they already have and turn them
against their families if they join. Most Churches just let you come in and worship and
don't hound you if you are not there every Sunday.
Thank goodness for the internet and places like this that people can come to to get both sides of the story before they get hooked.
|Subject:||And the others also TAKE CARE of their totally VOLUNTARY missionaries|
|Date:||Oct 07 20:51|
|They don't bash them and guilt-trip them constantly.|
|Subject:||The "Ward Missionaries" appear to be another last ditch effort|
|Date:||Oct 07 14:08|
|for the church to force themselves onto the in-actives in order to
A stake prez. was overheard as saying that attendance is pitifully low and he isn't expecting any miracles in his stake which would increase the weekly visits.
Pressure, force, guilt and fear tactics will be on the increase, in my opinion, and it will come down to this.
"ALL YOU FENCE SITTERS OUT THERE WILL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE; EITHER YOU WILL CONFORM AND BECOME RE-IMMERSED INTO THE CESSPOOL OR YOU WILL HAVE TO GROW SOME BACKBONE AND STICK UP FOR YOUR CONVICTIONS!!!"
And I say this in the name of the all knowing MoNoMo. (Who in fact knows very little ;-) )
|Subject:||This whole theme is just another guilt trip brought to you by the Morg...|
|Date:||Oct 07 17:21|
|... guilt is the only motivating tool these people can come up with,
In reality, nothing will change. No young man/woman who is willing to give up 2 years of his/her life, who will say the right thing to their local leaders (at the last minute or otherwise) will be refused a full-time mission. The Morg is too desperate for bodies in the mission field to turn away anyone willing to set foot on the airplane.
The "Ward Mission" will be used as another guilt cudgel on youth who would not have gone anyway. "Well, since you have refused your call to go on a full-time mission, you must accept this call to serve locally..." It will be used as an opportunity to capture "service" out of those who otherwise would have slipped through the dragnet. Using the motivational tool of guilt, of course.
You heard it here first.
|Subject:||Worthiness? Whose idea of worthiness? Perfection? Impossible. Whose idea of perfection? . . .|
|Date:||Oct 07 18:04|
|As for spanking your monkey . . . what's the big deal? (No pun
intended). Boy, these leaders really screw with these young men's minds.
Personally, I think it does not matter if you don't spank your monkey, you attend church, or you pay a single penny to the foul church.
All that matters is that you are a good and decent human being and treat others with kindness (and self-authority too if they are a**holes).
I am glad that I am not raising my son to believe in this unhealthy BS.
|Subject:||I'll bet the Catholic Church scandal...|
|Date:||Oct 07 19:34|
|...of this past year had some influence here.
When Ballard tells the fathers that "not only do you have the right to know the worthiness of your children, you have the responsibility," I hear a church saying that-- legally-- they may be obligated to tell parents or other authorities the details of their minor children's closed-door confessions...
|Subject:||Is he serious(ly on crack)??|
|Date:||Oct 08 23:56|
|There is no way in HELL that a 19 year ole found not worthy to go on a real mission will serve a ward mission, knowing that everyone in the ward realizes why he's in the minors. I was as believing as they come as a teen, but despite my best efforts, I still had some "repenting" to do before I could go. I would have NEVER accepted a call as ward missionary.|
|Subject:||How many fathers actually have the kind of relationship...|
|Date:||Oct 09 00:45|
|...with their sons that they would feel comfortable talking about
worthiness with them? Mormonism doesn't foster this kind of intimacy. It's a rare thing
anyway when a father and a teenage son can sit down and talk about sex. Unless the
precedent has been set young, it's too late to begin these kind of talks when a kid is in
To my way of thinking, all of this is just another nail in the coffin of mormonism. Yet another deperate attempt to control people that will eventually backfire big time.
I agree with all of those who have said that this is just going to turn young mormon men into skillful liars - not an irrelevant skill to have though if you aspire to greatness in the morg.
|Subject:||"We don't have time" and missionaries|
|Date:||Oct 08 18:10|
|Could it be that the General Authorities don't want to talk to the
kids anymore to approve their missions but don't want to leave it to the Stake Presidents
& Bishops to decide who can go and not? Or perhaps, the GAs have been so inundated
with these interviews that they've just said, "Hey, all we're doing is interviewing
kids that have had sex. Let's just make them all stay home!"
Just a thought/
|Subject:||More phony urgency from the Brethren. What do they mean by "we don't have time"?|
|Date:||Oct 08 20:06|
|I think you're on to something. The reality may be that they just
don't want to be bothered. But the message that they hope the sheep will take is that
suddenly everything is urgent because we're in the "end times" or the
"final wrapping up of the dispensation" or the "last part of the latter
days" or whatever other catch phrase these corporate salesmen want to use to close
the deal and instill a phony sense of urgency in the sheep to keep them from thinking
straight about their commitments to Mormonism.
Supposedly, it's all god's timetable and god would have literally all the time in the world to accomplish whatever purpose god wants to accomplish--at least you'd think so with god being omnipotent and all that rot. But the Brethren don't want members to spend anytime thinking, so they're always claiming that we've all got to hurry, hurry, hurry.
There is one thing that is really urgent. Every member of the church will see his or her own personal last days within his or her own lifetime. I guarantee it and I'm not even sustained as a prophet, seer OR revelator. What is urgent is that these members start doing some real living and independent thinking between now and those real last days. And the first step is to get those howling monkeys, called the Brethren, off their backs so that they can get some quiet time to reflect and ponder what's really important. Once they get the howling Brethren Monkeys off their backs, the members will soon realize that the futile busy work imposed on them as absolute duties in the Morg are actually the least urgent, least important things in the world.
Who really cares if a "worthy" missionary doesn't knock on some happy family's door to try to con them into joining the Morg? The time would be better spent knocking on the door of a lonely, isolated senior citizen and helping them get their week's groceries (with no church strings attached).
Who really cares if a busy lady in the Relief Society doesn't frantically scramble at the end of the month to go through the motions of "visiting teaching" and delivering some insipid, worthless message from the Brethren Monkeys to other overworked ladies? The time would be better spent taking care of the needs of her own children and, if there is time to spare, maybe seeing ways to help make the lives of other children or friends better.
The Brethren Monkeys are finally right about something. We don't have time. We, the members and ex-members, don't have time for the busy work and gibberish meted out by the Brethren Monkeys. It's time they got off our backs and started foraging for their own bananas.
|Subject:||New missionary reqirements that aren't...|
|Date:||Nov 25 14:05|
|Well, this weekend at church we finally heard more about the long
awaited "new missionary worthiness requirements".
The stake president went to a big gathering of stake presidents who were addressed by some church higher ups. Turns out they didn't have any more details than what were released at General Conference. This leads me to believe that there are no new missionary requirements, and the church is doing damage control.
The reasoning for this is that the Mormon church is a church not of doctrine but of policy. Therefore if there is a wide scale change occurring in the Mormon Church, they do it by changing policy, and not necessarily any doctrine. When they change policy, there is generally a set formal policy and some specifics to accompany the change that they could point to. In this case, the stake president would have said, "hey, all you guys that want to go on a mission, don't do this or that or this other thing, or you cant go on a mission as per this nifty new policy". Instead we have gotten extensive vagaries about "sinning until 18.5 years and then repenting" or other non-specific nonsense.
As has been pointed out, the number of missionaries will drop soon as predicted by general population statistics and the shear reduction of 18 to 19 year olds in the general population. Unfortunately, the Mormon Church has grown up around increasing numbers in general and taken this as a sign of their success. If you are a Mormon, and you put any church metric in your calculator, and subtract the same metric from the previous year, you should always get a positive number. Although unofficial, this is very much a faith promoting doctrine, the doctrine of increased church growth. It must be true because it's getting bigger, not smaller. More people are entering than are exiting. Its something concrete that they have always been able to hold on to, unlike gold plates returning to heaven. That's the crappy part about living by statistics, sometimes they can just bite you in the ass.
In short, the Mormon Church knows the number of missionaries is going to drop and it's a detail they can't just gloss over, they need a strategy to deal with it. So as typical, they blame the membership. Over the next few general conferences we will hear something to the effect of "Yes, its true we have fewer missionaries out now, as a result of our new stricter policy, but the missionaries we do have are stronger and more righteous and the work goes forward", or some other nonsense. The shift now seems to be to blame fathers and put more guilt on them. I'm hearing phraseology like "be the patriarch of the home" and other such garb to try and shift the blame from the org to its members. That's pretty typical, but I think it will be interesting to see just how far the church can push it. In truth, it's a good policy for them if they can pull it off but eventually its got to fragment the membership. From the members perspective you would have the mindset of "well hey, my kids all went on a mission and I'm working and paying a tithing, so all these other kids that cant go, like yours, it must be because you screwed up as a parent and as a church member. Your what's keeping the church down and thwarting the efforts of all those hard working men in Salt Lake". This already occurs to an extent, it will be even more interesting when it all occurs because some 18 year old was whacking off on the internet. Its often been said that "the future of the church lies in the hands of the youth", and we know where lots of the youths hands are at right now.
This will be an interesting test case. The church has been touting astronomical projections of its membership for a long time. I think the members in general know that the 11 million number that the church flouts is a little silly. Even the primary president stated to me (a known apostate) this week end that over half of "the ward" where we live is inactive. So how will the church legitimately claim an increasing membership in the future? How will they save face when it becomes widely known that the 11 million membership number includes 110 year old corpses? The church has to find a way to safely lower the "statistics expectation", and transition the focus of its membership to something else faith promoting that is not so obviously untenable. To date, they have not done this, and instead blame the problems on the membership. This works great to an extent but what happens when you fracture and stratify your membership because of the actions of individual members? How long can you make them loath each other before they begin to wonder if maybe it's the 90 year olds with the problem instead of the 18 year olds? I'm interested in what others think of these issues.
|Subject:||I'm with you on this, but I wonder...|
|Date:||Nov 25 15:23|
|...why it is the brethren can't just say, look, there's a demographic anomoly so there will be fewer missionaries for a while, and then just go on with business? Is it that they've become so accustomed to telling something other than the truth that they feel compelled to lie even when they don't have to?|
|Subject:||" the Mormon church is a church not of doctrine but of policy. "|
|Date:||Nov 25 15:48|
|The motivator for the policy is the image they create by their
Once they have proclaimed themselves the fastest growing religion they have to maintain the illusion even though their statement is false to begin with.
The church is perfect, the people are not! There must be no variance on this theme either!
What would the members do if the rote statements and answers did not work anymore???
There is no OOPSY in Mormonism! Current prophets trump past ones and away we go!!
|Subject:||If you look at the budget data for your city and state,....|
|Date:||Nov 25 18:54|
|Author:||Colonel Thomas Kane|
|you will discover massive holes that need to be plugged.
Undoubtedly, COB, as the Supreme Soviet of the Nation of Deseret, is facing the same issues.
When the missionaries were assigned to the bishops, and taken from the stake presidencies, COB was sending a message; LDS is hemorraging quality members, and serious money, and the missionaries were to focus on strengthening the members, and getting greater activity out of the extant members....
When Holland said the focus of missionary work would not be on recrutiment, he was giving notice that FP/Qo12/COB all realize the door to door recruiting does not work.
The Church is facing an Implosion, in so many ways.
It just might be that too many missionaries just are not making the grade; they are returning from their missions early - WAY early - to the benefit of no one, and the loss to all.
The stage is being set for Monson's rapid - anad we mean RAPID - Consolidation of forces, as LDS essentially retreats to the Intermountain West/Mexico region that Brigham Young defined as Zion.
"The Winnowing" is under way, the Remnant will flourish under Monson, Faust and Packer - especially Packer - and will look at the Church's failures outside the New Corridor as commentary more on the people, than the Church.
Thus, the new FPR around young men who do NOT do their missionary time - "I always suspected he was unworthy. I knew he oculd not meet the new, Divinely Inspired, higher standards of worthiness."
Bet on it.
|Subject:||Re: New missionary reqirements that aren't...|
|Date:||Nov 26 00:46|
|Author:||D. P Gumby|
|I think there are two possibilities here. Either there really are no
new standards to be enforced or there are: either way the church wins short term.
In the first case, the announcement was made, as you say, to cover the anticipated decrease in the number of future missionaries. When the number goes down the church will indeed say "Well, we don't have as many missionaries, but the ones we have are better, and so the work is going forward just fine".Since the standards never actually changed, anyone who wants to go on a mission will be able to, so no members will ever know someone who was rejected.
If the number of missionaries doesn't in fact decline, then the church can talk about the "inspired policy of GBH which made all of our young men more righteous". Either way, the GAs have covered their asses, and the members get to believe that their ward is doing just great since they are continuing to send everybody on a mission.
The other possibility is that they really are toughening the requirements. This would be because there just isn't enough to do for the number of missionaries currently serving (similar to a thread here a while ago). So rather than support 60,000 when there is only enough for 30,000 to do, just reduce the number. By claiming that they are raising the standards, they do not have to admit that there is no longer the demand for as many missionaries, which would in turn require admitting that the claims of being the fastest growing religion are not true. So they still get to claim that "even though we have fewer missionaries, the higher quality allows them to be more efficient". And they still get to make unsubstantiated claims about church growth rates.
In the long term, of course, the truth about church growth will eventually come out anyway.
|Subject:||I don't believe there's a dearth of missionary-aged people|
|Date:||Nov 26 02:11|
|From 1946 to about, what, 1957?, there was the Baby Boom. From about
1970-1980, there was the Baby Boomlet, when the Baby Boomers had babies. Now the Boomlet's
babies should be missionary age, and if all those people stayed in and had their babies,
there should still be PLENTY of young men of the right ages to fill missions.
Add to that the fact that something like 20 or 25% of the missionaries now are female, and there should be MANY more missionary-aged young people around to serve missions. After all, the church has at least quintupled in number since the late 50s (end of the Baby Boom).
Also recall that about 4-5 years ago, Hinckley told the PH leaders that young women shouldn't be pressured to go on missions. If they wanted more missionaries, they could EASLIY raise the numbers simply by lowering the age for sister missionaries and encouraging women to go. Of course, that would result in more women stepping out of their assigned (i.e., subordinate and motherly) role. They don't especially want to encourage that, but if missionary work were paramount, they would do it.
Finally, there are oodles of couple-missionaries out there now, especially at church visitors' centers.
I agree with others who have posted that they find they have too many missionaries and not enough for them to do. The "stricter requirements" are a cover story.
|Subject:||I'm not sure they need a defined policy for this...|
|Date:||Nov 26 02:13|
|The announcement of "raising the bar" for missionary
service was the same conference where they announced no more homecomings or farewells. I
don't think this was just coincidence, but a conscious effort on the part of church
leaders to discourage missionary service.
A year or so ago Hinckley also came down hard on young women for serving missions and told them, and later church priesthood leaders, that women did not need to serve missions and should not be encouraged to serve. Again, this was to decrease the number of missionaries.
The ban on homecomings and farewells is a major cultural blow to the prestige of going on a mission. Packing in all the girls from High School to see the missionaries off was a real motivator for the younger men to seriously consider a mission. What great peer pressure and role model building!
I'm not sure they need to have real policies behind the rhetoric of "raising the bar." All they have to do is say that and young men may just opt themselves out based on their guilt. That was happening to some extent already, where young men racked with guilt about masturbation just stayed inactive for a few years to avoid it. I suspect I had friends in that situation who joined the military, went away to school or became open partiers in order to avoid missions. Then later on after the mission years, they returned to the fold and got married in the temple.
It is very difficult to be a truly active 19 or 20-year old male in Utah and not go on a mission. The constant questions is "why aren't you on a mission?!"
So the church is discouraging some from serving which will probably hurt their young male demagraphic. The members will get the blame and the church machine will move on.
|522. Nightmares of Being Called to a Second Mission||555 Japan Mission under Groberg - a Cruel Experiment|