Mormon Bishops are Untrained
Subject: My biggest concern with the LDS church - untrained Mormon Bishops
Date: Sep 11 20:12
Author: TheMadRev

My real concern with the LDS church is not really over matters of theology..while I may not agree with them...
My concern: that a man (and God forbid NEVER a woman) is made a Bishop...now, this person probably has no real serious theological training, and even worse (unless it is their vocation) no training at ALL in pastoral counseling, psychology, spiritual direction, grief therapy, the dynamics of human sexuality et al.

These men are given THE MANUAL and that seems to be the extent of their "training" ..how can they in good moral conscience go about the task of counseling people>>??<<
Even MORE amazing is that the faithful flock will go to these men and pore out their heart/souls

I know from personal pastoral experience the incredible damage done by these men...stories that are heartbreaking.

Thoughts from others??

Subject: Re: My biggest concern with the LDS church
Date: Sep 11 20:20
Author: ExClosetEx
Mail Address:  

Well, they think that they're inspired by god and therefore training is unnecessary. If Moses did it without training, why do bishops need it?

Of course this also allows them to do whatever they want and feel that they are endorsed by the almighty.

I think that this same problem is common throughout religion, though.

When I was a TBM I was proud of the fact that bishops weren't paid, trained clergy because it meant that they were real people sacrificing their time and energy. Now that I think about it though it is a lot like multi-level marketing schemes that allow be to be professionals in any topic imaginable without any training.

Subject: Re: My biggest concern with the LDS church
Date: Sep 11 20:43
Author: $$$
Mail Address:

The man was not made a bishop, God purported called him to be a bishop.

As far as training - shit the religion was founded by a person lacking a scammer lacking in education.

Anyway - it's cheaper calling people to do things for free than it is paying them.

Subject: Re: My biggest concern with the LDS church
Date: Sep 12 03:10
Author: catnip
Mail Address:

You are absolutely correct.

I was horrified by this, too. When one of my daughters had a run-in with the bishop, and then told me later what had transpired, I was beside myself. The man is a paper pushing BEAUROCRAT, for crying out loud, without a shred of training on how to deal with psychological/emotional issues. The things he told her opened the door for her to leave the church. It amounts to emotional abuse, in my book.

People who become professional clerics, on the other hand, have extensive training in "pastoral counseling," or whatever they call it in their respective denominations.

I'll go for a paid, trained clergy ANY day, thank you!

Subject: Some examples of damage caused by untrained LDS Bishops
Date: Sep 12 10:26
Author: Prince Hal
Mail Address:  

The Church often proclaims the absence of a paid ministry as being one of the signs of it being the “true Church”. To earn money for being a minister is “filthy lucre2. And whilst I can see perhaps with some of the extreme American evangelists, this may be so, I just do not see it for the vast majority of sincere local preachers and ministers.

But I think the point being made is that LDS Bishops are not given any training in counseling and so can be more dangerous than good – sometimes extremely dangerous. I’m not sure it is their intention to be of harm, but yes, give them a manual and tell them that the Lord will guide them and that is all they need, and you have a recipe for disaster. Imagine a doctor being given the same guidance. You wouldn’t want them to operate on you. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Spirit will guide us, but the Lord gives us professional people to help. The use of untrained LDS Bishops and Branch Presidents is another area where the LDS Church is a danger to its members. I’m sure it is not only an LDS phenomenon – but I do believe it is worse here than most places. After all the LDS Bishops have a full-time job and a family. Their work is done in their spare time. It is a recipe for disaster.

Let me give you examples – all true and all personal:

1. As a Bishop a Sister in my ward was being physically and mentally abused by her husband, who himself was emotionally unstable. Finally after about 16 years of marriage she broke. She had been kept in the marriage by devout LDS family members who saw divorce as a sin. She broke and had a one-off liaison with a man. One night only. She went missing. The Police were involved. She turned up safe. I counseled with her and “disfellowshipped her”. For one year I would not let her take the sacrament. When all she wanted was to find solace in the Saviour, I followed the book an forbade her. When she needed professional help, I told her this was remorse over her sin. And she bore it for a whole year. She stayed in the Church, but what of God’s mercy. No, the Church needed it’s pound of flesh – to “help her”. She had to admit her sins in front of 4 men. I was wrong – so wrong.
2. A man went through a divorce. I was not the Bishop this time. His wife committed adultery and took his only daughter. He was lied to and deceived. He was broken and his life was in tatters around him. He managed to work through it – but with no help from the Church. No home teachers, no Bishop. Then he was tempted by someone who wanted his money and in his loneliness he slept with this person. I’ve done some psychology and read a number of books on divorce (I too have been divorced), and even I could see why my friend did what he did. He was desperate for comfort. I admit my sin in not helping him more. The Bishop stopped him from taking the sacrament – and from being alone with a member of the opposite sex for 6 months !! I personally vouch fro him that he wasn’t a predator. He was actually the victim of someone who wanted money. I saw him go through more pain as a result of the “court of love” and a Bishop’s “wise council” than during his divorce. He had more guts than I because he took it. He tells me he still has nightmares about it.

The Church I suppose couldn’t function without unpaid ministry. Perhaps the leaders would need to live on less, or the Temples be less costly. But at what cost to the individual ? To the members who have to abide by unwise counsel from a Bishop – or be classed as disobedient and face the LDS stigma of not having a calling or temple recommend. It’s hard not to be angry and want to tear the whole LDS structure down when I think of the way I was forced to act, and the way other’s have suffered. I Say the incongruity of LDS teachings with what I saw Christ wanted, whilst I was still a Bishop and tried to act differently. Now I see it more clearly.

Just wanted to share. I’m still making my way out.

Hal.
 

Subject:

In honor of Deenie ... What's the worst that your bishop ever did to manipulate you? - BISHOP HORROR STORIES

Date:

Sep 02 17:19

Author:

effulgent


I've been hearing stories all over the board the past couple of days of ways that bishops in particular tend to manipulate people. I told the story in a recent post of how my father's bishop won't give him a temple recommend because my father won't come to the church for the formal interview, and he's been in a hospital for a week and has terminal cancer and can barely go to the bathroom let alone go to church.

Deenie told of how her bishop "counseled" her to not throw a party for a female friend who had bought a condo because she should not be rewarded for not being married and being independent, or something to that effect.

Anyway, enough blabber from me. Let's here some Bishop Horror Stories. What did he "make" you confess? What privileges did he deny you? What new commandments did he make you follow? How did he wield his mighty sword of the priesthood to manipulate you? Or your family members?

I'm in the mood to hear some venting. Let's have it, folks. And to answer any questions that I may have invited upon myself: Was I "offended" out of the church by a bishop? Not really. But I wasn't fellowshipped near enough to make it worth my while after my testimony went flying out the window.

And ... here's another question: For those of you who might have been "offended" out of the church by the actions of a bishop - is it ok to lose your testimony because a man holding this priesthood mantle does something totally against your morals/ values/ beliefs, so much so that it shatters your testimony of the power of the priesthood and then your testimony follows it?

 

Subject:

Confronted at 17

Date:

Sep 02 20:52

Author:

Anon

 

 


Not so much manipulated but at 17 he separately interviewed both myself and my girlfriend (current wife and secret fiancé at the time) on more than one occasion and tried to persuade us to see other people. Over a series of months we were each confronted over kissing, necking, "parking", and "heavy petting" (all of which were true but at 17 who gives a rat's a$$).
Finally he pulled us in together to confront us about fornication and oral sex and to make it clear to us that Gawd doesn't approve of such things. He had some pretty damning info from her parents and some info from my parents (including a letter she wrote me including vague descriptions - NEVER hide anything under you bed!)
Confronted with something that we knew we couldn't possibly deny we had to admit that some stuff had happened. I remember he asked if we'd had intercourse and we said once or twice (in both of our minds we were thinking "once or twice YESTERDAY") To our credit we didn't back down one bit and to his credit I think that he knew that we didn't feel we had done anything wrong and that trying to force us to repent would be wasted breath. We knew even then that the church wasn't true but living with our parents we had to attend. We were married civilly about 6 months later by the same Bishop (we couldn't find anyone else). We've been to church 6 or 7 times since (mostly for farewells or homecomings) which really isn't an issue when there's nearly 1000 miles between us and any family.

 

Subject:

after my divorce

Date:

Sep 02 21:54

Author:

temple name: Jonathan

 

 


I moved to a new ward - Bishop wanted to know if I had a roommate. I said no, I am living alone (and loving it). He gave me a phone number for an "LDS roommate service" so I could get a roommate. I told him thanks but no thanks...I want to live alone, especially after the hellish 3 year marriage I just got out of. He then asked if I would consider moving to a certain apartment complex with "lots of good members nearby". I had just signed a years lease, so that was a big "NO". He finally said "well, I'm gonna have your Home Teachers visit with you WEEKLY so you have a good support system". No, he wanted SPIES. Turns out that Bishop weirdo does not believe anyone should live alone...he proudly mentioned that he went from home to mission to home to marriage. Apparently it is too tempting to sin if nobody is around to check up on you or some such crap.

What a maroon!

 

Subject:

This is a lot like the junk I saw...

Date:

Sep 02 23:11

Author:

Deenie, the dreaded single adult

 

 


I mean--if you were divorced, and alone, and brought yourself to church, then why the heck was he so worried about you? You *obviously* were doing what was required...

That's what made me nuts. Here we were--independent adults, with cars, homes, jobs--we could have gone ANYWHERE we wanted, and done ANYTHING we chose.
Instead, there we were at sac. mtg.
Or going to the temple.
Or going to the Palmyra pageant.
Or going to a singles' conference.
Or visiting church historic sites.
We could have been 'doing the nasty' with everybody who caught our eye--but instead, we were making quilted Christmas aprons at Homemaking meeting.

You get the picture.

And what do they do? Accuse us of wanting to stay in a motel so that we could have illicit sex. Come on--if you were going to do it, is that where you'd choose?

In spite of everything we did to practice our faith, we were met with suspicion, accusations, and further restrictions from all sides--bishop, SP, HTs, RS pres...

Is it necessary to tell an adult man with a job that he needs a roommate? Will that *really* keep him from doing what he wants? Couldn't he get a room somewhere? Or go to her place? Or do it in the back of his pickup? Is a roommate really a deterrent? (Or weekly home teachers--couldn't you do stuff when you *knew* they weren't coming?)

Do you have to tell singles on church-related trips that they must drive until the road signs become just a blur, flashing past their exhausted eyes? Will that keep them from fornicating, if they REALLY want to do it?

What happened to "We teach them correct principles, and let them govern themselves?" It's more like, "We hammer home correct principles, and then nag the hell out of them so they'll obey..."

Like someone just mentioned in another thread, the members are like a fistful of sand--the tighter they hold on, the more we slip through their fingers. Aside from locking people up in cells with shackles on, you can't really MAKE someone do anything!

The more they told me I "mustn't" do, the farther I slipped away...

:^)

 

Subject:

And wasn't that SATAN's way??? To FORCE people to choose right? n/t

Date:

Sep 02 23:20

Author:

Empowered

Subject:

We used to sing that: "FORCE me to walk in the light of his love...

Date:

Sep 02 23:34

Author:

Deenie, the dreaded single adult

 

 


FORCE me to pray to my Father above;
FORCE me to do all the things that are right--
FORCE me, FORCE me, to walk in the light...

;^)

 

Subject:

Gotta tell ya Eff, yours takes the cake -

Date:

Sep 02 23:15

Author:

Susan I/S

 

 


I just can't believe someone could be so small of mind and spirit and just plain MEAN. I can't even come up with anything bad enough to do to the man. I hope that some day in the future he realizes what a wretched thing he did.

 

Subject:

Wow, where do I start?

Date:

Sep 02 23:16

Author:

Empowered

 

 


I think the "meanest" thing was asking me about my "virtue" and because I told the Bishop and the SP that my private life was not up for discussion with a third party...EVER...they denied me any financial support (after divorce). After the 3-hour interrogation, they told me it was because I was inactive and no longer paid tithing. SO...WHY did they need to know about my virtue if they were going to deny me anyway??? VOYEURS!!!

Bad advice...Jonathan's post reminded me...I own a home with an unfinished basement. The bishop suggested I finish my basement and rent it out. Okay...here were my arguments against:

1) If I had the money to finish an apartment in my basement, I sure as hell would not be asking for help.

2) I had young girls at home who played in the backyard. Was I supposed to share this with complete strangers?

3) I don't want anything to do with a landlord/tenant type of relationship...too many of them are in small claims court on a regular basis. PLUS...ME...a single female...would be responsible for anything that went wrong! I can't even take care of my OWN maintenance problems! (busy with school/college and kids).

4) I am in a single-family dwelling for a REASON! I value/prize my privacy! I could not stand to share walls with anyone...I would go insane!

5) I would have to rent a storage unit to put everything from my basement in...and I USE the stuff in my basement...weights, drums, treadmill, food storage, etc.

SO...when the bishop meets me with the SP...I'm thinking he is there for moral support...having gone through all my finances with me...and instead...HE TOTALLY SABOTAGES me...! He says to the SP..."Well, President...I've given her options for an income and she just doesn't seem to want to give them a try." I gave him a VERY STERN look and said, "they may have been viable options in YOUR opinion, but they are NOT viable options for me." Now, mind you, this bishop is very affluent and wouldn't know a hardship if it hit him in the face!

Anyway...that's the tip of the iceberg!

Being involved with the Women's Resource Center at the college I attend, I hear horror stories all the time of how divorced women are treated by their bishops. They really should be ASHAMED!!!

 

Subject:

Where I live it would be illegal to rent out our basement.

Date:

Sep 03 00:11

Author:

Micro

 

 


I live in a single-family residential area. The only time you are allowed to have more than one "family" in your home is if they are related to you. Even then, you have to get permission from the city.

I wouldn't be surprised if your area was subject to the same restrictions.

This really bothers me. I asked my husband if fast offerings went to the inactive. He claimed they went to any needy family. I said that it was the only way I would keep donating to the church, if everyone was eligible.

 

Subject:

It is in most places--but they do it anyway.

Date:

Sep 03 01:30

Author:

Deenie, the dreaded single adult

 

 


It's legal to have 'sleeping quarters' in a basement, BUT only if you have a door that leads directly outdoors, or a large 'emergency exit' window.

However, I know of many members who have singles (or other family members) with basement bedrooms. (Probably many non-members, too...)

The worst story I heard was from a live-in nanny, whose bedroom was in a non-walk-out basement. She tried to come upstairs for something one night--and discovered that they locked the door at night! She was locked in the basement, with no way out in case of fire, etc.

Creeeeeeepy!!

:^)

 

Subject:

BISHOP HORROR STORY

Date:

Sep 02 23:30

Author:

Tia

 

 


We had lived in this particular ward in Utah for 15 years. Because of many reasons we decided to home school our children. I was a SAHM; hubby was working; we were not on any church or public assistance. The bishop called hubby & I in - he needed to talk to us. He told me to sit down & not say a word - he wanted no rebuttal from me. Then he proceeded to tell us that he wanted us to put our children back into public school & for me to get a job. When I started to speak, he got up in his holy anger. I stormed out of his office. The following Sunday, I was released publicly from the 4 ward jobs I held. Then in the next 2 years we had 11 'interviews', with nothing in particular being addressed. In 2 of those interview by ward & stake leaders, I was told I could not open my scriptures & quote from them. I told them that was an unrighteous request & did it anyway.

Of course, this was during the time of Malcolm "X" Jeppson, regional rep. from Point of the Mountain to Manti. He was ex'ing people left & right - you may remember the reference to a church purge in the news? He had out a little hit list of 'how to recognize splinter groups'. I wish I could find my list. The funny thing was, home schooling was 1 or 2 on the list of 17.

We did not put the children back into public school & I did not get a job.

 

Subject:

Malcolm "X" Jeppson

Date:

Sep 03 09:34

Author:

Yikes!

 

 


was one of my student stake pres. while I was in law school.

A truly evil man. Even as a TBM I didn't like him, big, big, ego trip.

Sorry you had to deal with him too.

 

Subject:

A couple of quick stories...

Date:

Sep 03 00:01

Author:

Leslie (fka 5myuhs)

 

 


1. I've told this one before, but it's been awhile. This one isn't a HORROR story - just an annoying Bish-on-a-power-trip story.

When I was in high school, the YW leaders told us one Christmas about an exciting Service Project the Bishop had for us to do. It would help us earn our Girls-In-Eternal-Servitude badges or whatever. We were going to serve Christmas dinner to a big group. The homeless? No. Underprivileged kids? No. It was the Bish's office Christmas party, and we were preparing/serving/cleaning up after dinner for the grunts who worked at his company. He got free labor, and his men got a bunch of teenaged girls to ogle.

The worst part about this story for me is that, even after I became inactive, I looked back on these YW leaders and Bishop with fondness and respect. But as an adult, I was remembering this story and suddenly realized how we'd been manipulated. I felt like I'd been betrayed by adults I trusted.

2. This story belongs to my friend, K. In college, he found out that one of his TBM friends had realized he (the friend, not K) was gay and, of course, being TBM, was suicidal. At the time, K was also TBM, and had not yet had the realization that he, himself, was gay. (Still with me?) K, being a good Mormon boy, went to his Bishop to ask advice on how to help his suicidal friend. The Bishop set up an appointment with K, at which, instead of providing help, the Bish grilled K for an hour about why he thought it was OK for his friend to be gay and how they could stop him from being gay.

These are untrained, overworked men with nothing but the power they hold to keep them going.

 

Subject:

Re: A couple of quick stories...

Date:

Sep 03 01:20

Author:

Turkey-jerk

 

 


I was on my way out anyway. I'm 23 years old, single Asian guy. I did not serve a mission. I'm still a student, but work my way thru school. I live alone in a nice apartment in the Seattle area. I soon discovered the morg cult was a fake, a fraud, a phony. I held the melchez peterhood. I was an Elder. Just before I was one my one way trip--out, the bishy called me to his office for interview. He did not know I was about to walk. His questions floored me: Do you engage in anal or oral sex with anyone now? Talk about being caught by surprise! I just looked at him for a second, and several things raced thru my mind. If I do, it's most certainly none of his business. In a split second, without hesitation, and without saying one word to the turkey-jerk, I got up and walked out of the cult --- forever; never, never went back again, and never will.

 

Subject:

Re: A couple of quick stories...

Date:

Sep 03 02:13

Author:

anon

 

 


Good for you!

The cult's interest in the sex lives of its members is pathological.

 

Subject:

I'm glad I quit after my divorce

Date:

Sep 03 00:56

Author:

Fedelm

 

 


After reading these horror stories of how divorced people are treated by these so-called "bishops" makes me glad I stopped going and eventually resigned once I filed for divorce. Being female and a convert, the "bishop" certainly would have taken the emotionally abusive control freak of an ex-husband's side over me.

That's the problem with these lay clergy, they have no counseling training, and it seems like a good portion of them abuse their power. I'd say the forcing a dying cancer patient to come to the office when he's basically bedridden is the cruelest thing I've heard.

 

Subject:

The Bish told DH... but not "really", you know.

Date:

Sep 03 01:27

Author:

Myrtle

 

 


He told my husband (private of course) that it was not OFFICIAL LDS Policy But it would be okay to divorce me because I have health problems & could not have children so then he could marry someone healthy who could bear all those spirit children for him. He talked about sin and all that that it was sin to have sex with me since I was cursed and that sex is only for to be having children. Later he denied saying it, of course.

 

Subject:

I'm sitting here in shock. Your story may actually be the most truly evil thing I have ever heard in my life. n/t

Date:

Sep 03 09:26

Author:

et in Utah ego

 

 


 

 

Subject:

OF COURSE ! n/t

Date:

Sep 03 10:11

Author:

As a matter of course...

 

 


 

 

Subject:

Spank-the-monkey deprogramming

Date:

Sep 03 02:53

Author:

Anon for this one

 

 


I was 22 and trying to get a temple recommend to see a close friend's temple wedding. I managed to get through the bishop's interview, but the Stake Prez counselor (in the 2nd interview) kept prying, guilting, and harassing me to the point where I finally admitted that I whacked off every now and then (or sometimes daily).

He then proceeded to spend the next hour (no joke) hunched forward in his chair and borderline invading my personal space, speaking in a high-pitch voice, quoting scripture, and staring me down with wide-eyes like he was trying to see something within me. His performance gave me the willies, and it never cured my "problem" except to add more guilt over the years.

Of course, he never did issue me a temple recommend.

 

Subject:

Pondering and wondering!

Date:

Sep 03 10:05

Author:

poindexter

 

 


Especially as it concerns that last paragraph of yours!

The "testimony" that people lose is in regards to ever getting [or ever hoping to get] the justice they so seek! Somehow--somewhere down in the depths of the recesses of their soul--they DO know that there is no justice in this religion!

(Because, if there were, these little biship-freaks would have long-ago been "broken" of their nasty "peeing-on-the-floor" habit...metaphorically-speaking!)

BUT, you must know that the rotten apples at the top of the heap are no different from those manipulators down at the "local" level(s). To clarify, one must just ask themselves "Where do these idiots get that idea that they can becomes little Lord Fauntleroy overlords?"

The answer, my friend, is [not just] "blowing in the wind". The ANSWER lies in the fact that those "corporate leaders at COB [and CAB, for that matter]" are made of the same stinky substance: they stink, too!
(I had a stake prez. who was "reamed out by a gen'l authority" and who, after so-getting reamed, became the asshole that his asshole-reaming file leader was, to him.....

...HAH! Monkey see; monkey do!)

Is there REAL justice at "the top of the heap"?
(Answering a question with a question: Was Paul H. Dunn ever punished for habitually lying about his Farm-team Minor-League Baseball experiences AND [especially] about his World War II experiences....in order to sell millions of copies of books and tapes to the youth, over the years following such bald-faced lies !!!???)

Would the "Brethren" discipline one of their own?
Dunn was given Emeritus status
(Read between the lines: "Paul Dunn was quietly put out to pasture")

Do "The Brethren" cover up their own sins and the sins of their close associates?
(Then who is there--in the morg religion--to "do the honors" of sitting and judging the people--even little "bishop people"?)

Answer: GOD
Not the answer: "GOD and 'The Boys'"
("The Boys" are too busy excusing themselves in all their own personal stupidity and foolishness...as well as too busy being legal administrators, WhateverTF that means outside of sitting down and pushing a pen all day long!

To conclude by "pulling a [David] Letterman": Huuuh?

 

Subject:

in re: Losing one's testimony of the "priesthood"

Date:

Sep 03 10:33

Author:

tweaking it

 

 


I think that you think too much like Utah ! "The Priesthood" is seen by too many Utahans--through the traditions [of men] that blind them--that "the priesthood" is [are] people. They [you, too?] just don't--and cannot--separate GOD'S POWER from the actions of MEN!

Those men simply ARE NOT "the priesthood". This is a subtle (and devilish, as to the subtlety of the Devil) error in thinking that converts from other parts of the country simply do not identify with!

(And, either your perspective is correct, or the one held by people who live way the hell away from The Corridor is correct!)

And, because people from MY part of the country are basically "ruggedly-independent individuals", they are less prone to put ANY man on a pedestal! They put GOD alone on such a "pedestal": not man! (Which, by the way, is exactly what the Good Book says to refrain from doing!)

Conclusion: I'm thinking [out loud, here] that if you--or those you know--would quit equating "priesthood" with those men, themselves, then they would have nothing to "lose their testimony over". Men are men; fools are fools; but God is God--which is a whole different enchilada, altogether! Know what I mean?

PS: I've seen God "whack" a few of those "priesthood" for mishandling that so-called power that they thought they "possessed"! (And, this is no lie !)

So, God is not laughing when idiots act like idiots, in this religion. (Heck, he even "whacked" Paul Dunn, for lying all those years....and making himself to be even greater than George Washington for and because of all the bullet holes shot through his clothing, when fighting in the Pacific Theater of Operations, in Okinawa, during World War II. Lies! All of it--lies!
(And, when "The Brethren" found out about the lies...which was right under their noses for more than 20 years [go figure], they did.....nothing! Boyd K. Packer, though, made sure that little whistle-blower [viz., his nephew Lynn Packer] was fired from his teaching position at BYU before the latter could get tenure there!)

Moral of story: There is sure a truth in the bumper sticker "S-hit happens".

The real question: Just where HAVE you [you, generically-speaking] placed your faith? In vanity? In vain little traditions [and traditional beliefs and ideas]? In the truth? Where?

 

Subject:

That response pretty much devolves to "my mythology is better than yours".

Date:

Sep 03 10:54

Author:

Nick

 

 


If you want to believe in a god, and a priesthood power deriving from that god, great. If you want to believe that god "will not be mocked" (in so many words), great.

But to enter a conversation about ecclesiastical abuse, and try to turn it around to "well, y'all are just deceived by the devil" is hardly constructive.

Further, the claim that "This is a subtle … error in thinking that converts from other parts of the country simply do not identify with" is an absurd generalization, and beside the point. The fact is that it is a doctrinal precept of the LDS church — in Utah and elsewhere — that holders of the priesthood have special powers and authority, and that the members are to obey them, just as they are to obey the prophet.


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