Subject: Do ex bishops lose ability to judge what is righteous?
Date: Nov 22 00:50
Author: closet_teen

I was thinking a little bit ago and realized something.

My dad used to be a branch president(albeit almost 18 years ago) but i can remember about 10 years later or so, a couple of times he asked the bishop if something (like a song) was "acceptable".

My question is do they think they lose their power after they are demoted once again to the peon section of the church? Because aren't the rules of the church "supposed" to stay the same.

Subject: The sacred flowchart--that's where the power comes from.
Date: Nov 22 01:25
Author: Perry Noid

As you know, Mormon bishops, prophets, mission presidents and other official leaders don't get any real powers. Their powers are quite imaginary.

If they are fools before being called to those positions, they will likely continue being fools while in those callings. If they are thoughtful and wise before being called, they will probably continue to be thoughtful and wise in their callings (except to the extent that they have to follow bonehead policies mandated by SLC).

One of the prominent features of Mormonism is the power of the sacred flowchart.

In addition to their belief in the magical powers of discernment that bishops and other Morg leaders are supposed to have, Mormons generally believe that God is obsessed with "chain of command" issues. Mormon priesthood leadership is structured like a rigid, militaristic chain-of-command flowchart.

In the military, the major may be smarter, wiser and more knowledgeable than the major general. But he'd better not take any initiative and make decisions that are not authorized by the chain of command that exists above him. It's the same thing in Mormonism. Once your dad is relieved of rank and command, he has to get permission from people with official authority in the priesthood flowchart. As a good Mormon, he thinks that god gets a special thrill whenever peon TBMs pay proper respect to the priesthood authority flowchart.

This sacred flowchart idea is often explained by TBMs as proof that "God's house is a house of order." God is the law-and-order deity.

Just like in the military, obedience by Mormons to orders received through the official chain of command is counted as one of the highest virtues in Mormonism--even if the order being obeyed is patent nonsense that comes from a complete idiot.

You should realize also that this sacred flowchart idea is one of the main underpinnings that apologists rely on when they make excuses for the stupidities uttered by Mormon prophets past and present. Ordinarily, rational people would think that if thousands, even millions of Mormons, sometimes even including the prophet himself, cannot tell at any given time when a prophet or apostle is "speaking as a man" (which is code for "screwing up") or "speaking as a prophet," then a church led by a living "prophet" is nothing to be proud of.

But apologists will tell us that we cannot be led astray because, as long as we are obedient to the chain of command (the sacred flowchart), we are doing god's will and it will be counted unto us as righteousness. You see, somehow god so loved his authority flowchart, that he has come to completely sacrifice his once begotten ideas of free agency and "teaching correct principles and letting them govern themselves." If you're obedient to someone above you in the Mormon authority flowchart, by definition, you can't go astray. Your eternal ass is eternally covered. "I vas chuust followink orders, Herr Peter!" The Mormon god loves obedience to the flowchart more than a heart filled with wisdom, charity and compassion.

For example, if you were to go along with Brigham Young's stupid idea to have ill-equipped immigrants cross the continent with handcarts instead of well-provisioned wagons, you'd be blessed forever, even if half your family perished from hunger and frostbite. If you were to vocally challenge the policy and encourage your fellows not to go along, you'd be branded as a backsliding tool of Satan, headed for hell.

Your dad can know all the correct principles and the bishop may be a total screwup, but in Mormonism your dad gets more celestial brownie points for bending his knees to his superiors in the sacred flowchart than he would by exercising his own judgment and governing himself.

Subject: Why bishops follow the chain of command.
Date: Nov 22 02:01
Author: Rocannon
Mail Address:

As noted by Perry Noid, the chain of command is what matters. The Mormon Church has a rigid chain of command, unlike any other church. Why?

Even in the Catholic Church, local priests and the like have some autonomy, and each diocese is its own separate legal entity. But the Mormon Church is organized with large centralized corporations run from SLC by the Big 15 like the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Intellectual Reserve. The conduct of Bishops and Stake Presidents is rigidly constrained by (1) the Church Handbook of Instructions, and (2) the Mormon chain of command.

Here's a puzzling question for Mormons: Why do supposedly inspired Mormon Bishops get less autonomy than supposedly uninspired Catholic priests? If they are so inspired, why the tight control?

First, they need it, because they really don't know what they are doing!! That's the price Mormons pay for having a lay ministry. They don't know theology, they don't have any training on how to counsel people with problems, they haven't received any professional training for the challenges of being a minister, and they already have a full-time job so they have no time to learn anything! This is why the answer of a Mormon Bishop to anyone with a problem is something like "well, I'm sure if you pray more, read the scriptures, go to your meetings, and follow the counsel of the Brethren, things will get better." It's the only tool in their limited toolbox. You can get better advice from a fortune cookie.

The second reason for tight control by SLC is that the Leaders simply don't trust bishops. Just like they don't trust members, they don't trust missionaries, and they certainly don't trust "so-called intellectuals." It is characteristic of all authoritarian regimes. Stalin didn't trust his generals. Saddam Hussein doesn't trust anyone. That's just how autocrats think.