Date: June 11, 2011 12:28PM
When I was young, people had to read the BoM, Talmage's book about The Life of Christ and they had to read the book A Marvellous Work and Wonder, If they got that far and it took quite awhile you knew they were converted. They also had to attend church too. These people joinned, stayed with the church and became the strength of the Church,
Back then we had great Sunday School manuals written by Bension on the Teachings of Christ, etc. It was great being a young teenager as you had wonderful new colorful Sunday School manuals every year. It was big thing to wonder what what your new Sunday School manual would be like. Same with the Priesthood manual, A new one every year, for the boys and the men. The Relief Society had their own little book mailed out once a month. We had the Improvement Era a monthly church publication with articles by the intellectuals of the church.
You could learn and it was exciting.
Talks at Church had depth and meaning. People quoted articles from what they read and pondered.
Then something happened in around the 80's. The Church stopped publishing manuals as Ballard said "it was too expensive for wards and families to buy these manuals." He said "we will use the scriptures." "Costs for a family would be reduced." He said the brethren and the scholars were going to cut back on their writing of books as it was too costly for families to buy them. This was all about saving money. (I was on the High Councel when Ballard came and talked to use about this).
They did this for awhile and now the Church owned book store is all about Church leaders selling their books and other junk. What happened to saving money? look at what yiu can buy at The Chucrh Distribution Center. All the Church has done is elimate the scolars and made the GS'a book the prime source of book buying.
The Ensign has no depth, no meat like the Era did.
I believe that this has happened for the following reasons:
1) It was taking too long to convert people according to Ballard. The church wanted to look like it was a fast growing Church. Can't have people take a year to read, ponder and question can we? Waste of time according to Ballard. They can do that after they are baptised.
2) They did not want people to have an intellectual appreciation for the gospel nor go through the process of critical thing. Hence, now days, just read a few scriptures from the BoM to know it is true.Ask a prayer and your on you way to eternal life even if you know nothing about it.
3) Back then they had to give up completely coffee, tea, booze and smokes to show their inner commitment. Today inner commitment is not a standard, just numbers of baptism.
4) The Church wants to focus on masses of people who have a lower reading ability and lower critical thinking skills just to get them "converted" (?????) and baptised and the numbers up. They are trying to make the gospel easy.
5) The church is relying on the older members who are converted to pull the church along. They don't give a piece of crap about these members as long as they pay and obey.
6) Just like the US and Canadian Education system, the Church has watered down the Sunday School lessons for kids and adults, that way they not have to deal with issues and conflict with what the manuals say.
7) Everything is done for the Church or Corporation now, not the individual. Try talking to missionaries. Their is no depth of discussion.
So yes the intellectuals have gone. So have the skills associated with reading their writings.