I think the most damaging part is their youth priesthood program. You go to church 3 hours, mutual 2 hours, seminary 6 hours every week. Then straight to mission and before you can brief marriage and children. So that once you can really confidently start thinking for yourself you are already stuck.
The feeling of being stuck on a path that I tried to fight against, but was not emotionally strong enough to do on my own literally almost killed me. Worse if you are in BYU, where if you start to grow in a different path your career may be in jeopardy.
You get people stuck at a point in their life where they need to discover themselves, and they get stuck. Even worse now with the mission age of 18, and the continued pressure not to get married later.
Changes should be understood as the pathway to improvements, but the LDS Church has only reluctantly if not stubbornly invoked changes. Many if not most of the items we mention below are unnecessarily harming real individuals, church members, friends & family of members, and others.
a. In general, ‘church’ matters have replaced / displaced ordinary Core-Basic teachings of Christ-Like living: We remind you that those include: Honesty, Kindness, Respect for others; Charity – Compassion & Empathy. When mistakes are made, Forgiving & Repentance are Christs teachings, not retaliation-retribution. Simple concepts-principles such as the Golden Rule, Parable of the Good Samaritan, Ninety & Nine shepherd can be the basis for faith in Christ, not real-estate developments!
b. Many spouses are using religion as a wedge against other family members. We see no justification or reasonable excuse for this, it should be called out as forbidden and prohibited in LDS society.
c. “Suffer the little children” seems to be in contradiction to recent policies / procedures regarding children of alt-lifestyle parents. It has been mentioned that children are required to disown the parents’ choices, this is simply awful.
d. Church finances should be immediately published in print & posted online (IF you have nothing to hide, that is). This should increase donor confidence in the church & church leaders.
e. Please find & develop a way for all interested in a wedding-marriage to attend any done on church property.
f. Open church charitable gifts to everyone; they should be given without strings, perhaps distributed by a neutral third-party such as the Salvation Army or other.
To be concise, complete transparency is the order of the day/times. Respect should be earned for the church just as leaders expect of members.
GNPE Not trying to make fun. If they addressed each and every point on your Christmas card, would you go back to church, pay tithing, work in all callings and give strict obedience to the leadership of the church?
What will happen is that the letter will be sent to stake president/ bishop who will be told to address your issues. These letters are not trashed. They are sent to your area priesthood leadership who will show up at your door at Christmas.