I heard two comments last week, one from a very reliable source, and one from my TBM brother, a standard issue rank and file member,
The North America West region has reportedly gotten the following directive:
Stake and ward leaders should spread the word that in Sac/RS/Phd meetings, and in Testimony Meeting, they should (brace yourself) de-emphasize (their word) testifying of the Restoration, JS, etc, and concentrate on testifying of Christ.
If, in a meeting, no one comments or gives testimony about Jesus, they should do so, or make a comment that brings Jesus into the answer that points to Christ and his teachings.
Missionaries are being given similar instruction about their teaching.
Apparently the reasoning behind this is that polling has indicated that a great many people in North America are no longer even passingly familiar with the teachings of Jesus, so a baseline familiarity with Jesus' teachings must be established.
I'm not sure I buy that excuse. Why would the Restoration need to be de-emphasized if knowledge of Jesus' teachings were the prerequisite? Mormons may have a shallow understanding of Jesus, but that shallow understanding has been assiduously pounded into them.
Oh, and I am sure the quiet part is not supposed to be said out loud.
Second item: rumor has it that when the Temple Square renovation finally finishes (2026?) the Angel Moroni will not get his perch back. A statue of Jesus is going up there instead.
I heard that from two separate sources. In a sense it doesn't even matter if it is true or not - the fact that the LDS rumor mill finds it credible and within the realm of possibility tells you.a lot.
I find this kind of odd. Christian churches in general tend to splash Jesus around a lot in statuary inside churches, and in paintings. He's even popular in tattoos. But I can't recall any church having Jesus up on a spire, like a hood ornament. I think it entirely possible that move would be mocked by the wider religious community. Sticking Jesus on the roof might be a bridge too far.
However, the TBM sources that mentioned it to me said it with a smile in their voice, so they seem to think it is a good move.
And of course this is "trial balloon" stage. Headquarters can simply ax the idea if they think this will cause blowback. OTOH, if they are distancing themselves from the BoM, which I think they are, then Moroni really has to go, and they can't just have nothing up there. A statue on top of the SL Temple is just too iconic.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2023 05:04PM by Brother Of Jerry.
Lot's Wife Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > With due regards to the late pop star, I think the > scripture's formal name today is "The Book of the > Prophet Formerly Known as Mormon."
Very interesting, BoJ. Thanks for the return and report.
Reading that makes me laugh but also feel sad. I can't easily explain either reaction - it's something to do with (1) the obvious utter cluelessness of the top guys who impose their warpy ways on all the regular members and (2) I forget what 2 is...
Brother Of Jerry Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Hey, I put a trigger warning ("brace yourself") in > the post. I try to be a responsible rumour monger.
Ha. Yeah. I just went back up and looked for it. You are correct. That's what it says.
Turns out it was actually a trigger for me. I thought all my strong negative reactions to the bloody Mormon Church were behind me.
The current crop of so-called leaders bug me more than even JS does because they seem particularly spectacularly Clueless with a capital C.
How many iterations does it take, really, to nail down the crux of one's theological teachings?
In particular, I note the change from the plentiful yet casual references to 'Christ', at least when I was in, to now promoting their devotion to 'Jesus'.
It sounded jarringly swear-y to me, the way some missionaries and leaders said 'Christ' all over the place. Not even Jesus Christ, just Christ.
So now they're suddenly finding Jesus?
And demoting not only Moroni but also Smith and the Restoration?
Perhaps in a decade or so (or less?!) they'll be denying they ever promoted JS to top rank.
Too bad for them they can burn all their old books but the Internet is forever (or so we expect!).
I guess the next thing is the mishies will be told to ditch the BoM and travel solely with the Bible.
It makes me think of the JWs I see around and about these days, with their literature on racks in little alcoves here and there, so they don't hold up the magazines any more and they don't try overly hard to engage folks on the street, being content to just smile and say good morning. I was terribly shy as a teen and used to be mortified at being pushed to approach people with "the good news" (that the world is ending any minute now). That was a while back and we're still spinning.
My point is they're more like pushy salespeople than religious devotees, especially when you know that it's not necessarily by choice that the frontliners do it but because their church leaders demand it of them.
OK, so now maybe I'll shut up. But wow, BoJ, you got a quick sharp reaction from me.
Next time maybe put the 'trigger' warning in the sub line. :P
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2023 05:55PM by Nightingale.
If this is the case. Then Mormonism is no longer what I remember. As a kid it was full of activities for the youth as we were taught about the restoration of the one true church and the importance of the priesthood, baptism, temple work, and becoming Gods ourselves. All this because it was "God" with Christ next to him who told JS to restore all that had been lost, along with a second book of scripture that was just as important as the bible.
Everything that I knew is gone, every lie that was told me is becoming affirmed by the organization itself. By their own acts leadership is exposing it was all a scam.
I feel relieved that I figured this out before the house of cards began its collapse. But at the same time.......it just plain pisses me off.
Any word on whether JoJu will lose his place as "..second only to Jesus Christ..." or that thing about no one goes to the CK except through him, JoJu?
I think it's possible that they worry that people are going to read the Joseph Smith Papers. It's certainly unlikely TBMs would chose them over rereading the Book of Mormon.
I hope that eventually JoJu will be seen as a deeply flawed human being who, even though he was a total disaster as a human being, was successfully used by Heavenly Father to reestablish the one and only authentic, valid (but constantly evolving) church.
And how much time has to pass before they remove the "Latter-day" reference in the name? The people who were alive in 1830 had hopes that "Latter-days" referred to when they would be old folks, that some of them alive then would be seeing Jesus H. Christ up close and persona...
No way did they consider it possible that 200 years would slip by with no sign of the ushering in of the Free Love Millinneum!
Here's my nomination for the True Name of the church:
The Original One Great Only Organized Deified Theological Omnipotent Ethical Tyranny Reinstilling Utter Eternitiness.
Acronymically known as TOOGOODTOBETRUE.
(sometimes the effect is hardly worth the effort, but I didn't know that when I started...)
elderolddog Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > And how much time has to pass before they remove > the "Latter-day" reference in the name? The > people who were alive in 1830 had hopes that > "Latter-days" referred to when they would be old > folks, that some of them alive then would be > seeing Jesus H. Christ up close and > persona...
> No way did they consider it possible that 200 > years would slip by with no sign of the ushering > in of the Free Love Millinneum!
That's what JWs used to say - that people born way back when (late 19th/early 20th C) would still be alive when Armageddon arrived. At some point they had to abandon that teaching for obvious reasons. All they can do now is keep saying soon-and-very-soon* and try to backtrack on all the earlier predictions. They can quite easily do this by emphasizing their well-used scripture about no man knowing the day or the hour (when Jesus would return) and then sometime after that try to disclaim any prior mentions or interpretations that he was expected a good while back and is now pretty darn late, according to the previous wisdom of their leaders that now has to be replaced with different wisdom from today's current crop.
It gets to seem like a constant scramble to keep up with who said what when and how it's going.
Prophesying can be a risky business.
**'soon and very soon' is part of a gospel chorus that's running in my head today for some reason. Of course, JWs don't sing that hymn because it's from the devil (loosely speaking - according to their unique theological beliefs).
Nightingale Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > elderolddog Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > And how much time has to pass before they > remove > > the "Latter-day" reference in the name? The > > people who were alive in 1830 had hopes that > > "Latter-days" referred to when they would be > old > > folks, that some of them alive then would be > > seeing Jesus H. Christ up close and > > persona... > > > No way did they consider it possible that 200 > > years would slip by with no sign of the > ushering > > in of the Free Love Millinneum! > > That's what JWs used to say - that people born way > back when (late 19th/early 20th C) would still be > alive when Armageddon arrived. At some point they > had to abandon that teaching for obvious reasons. > All they can do now is keep saying > soon-and-very-soon* and try to backtrack on all > the earlier predictions. They can quite easily do > this by emphasizing their well-used scripture > about no man knowing the day or the hour (when > Jesus would return) and then sometime after that > try to disclaim any prior mentions or > interpretations that he was expected a good while > back and is now pretty darn late, according to the > previous wisdom of their leaders that now has to > be replaced with different wisdom from today's > current crop. > > It gets to seem like a constant scramble to keep > up with who said what when and how it's going. > > Prophesying can be a risky business. > > > **'soon and very soon' is part of a gospel chorus > that's running in my head today for some reason. > Of course, JWs don't sing that hymn because it's > from the devil (loosely speaking - according to > their unique theological beliefs).
Sort of also sounds a lot like, "suing and very suing" until that $100 billion gets properly distributed.
"Apparently the reasoning behind this is that polling has indicated that a great many people in North America are no longer even passingly familiar with the teachings of Jesus, so a baseline familiarity with Jesus' teachings must be established."
Gee! As far as I know, there are no other U.S. religions using polling data to determine what story they are going to tell. It sure makes a mockery out of the concept of prophesy, doesn't it?
And, if the polling is correct (and I'm not sold on that, especially with older folks), perhaps knowledge of jesus isn't really necessary to learn about Joseph Smith and polygamy...
We've heard plenty of stories here about poor missionaries out trying to preach about the gospel and finding out they didn't know enough to discuss Jesus and the Bible with people who actually studied it.
50 years ago, casually mentioning Jesus was considered disrespectful, and it wasn't often relevant. It was always "Heavenly Father" this and that who was accessed "in the name of Jesus Christ" (using the full name). I always pictured talking to Old Man God, with Jesus simply holding the phone.
Sooner or later, the Mormons need to buck up and start using a cross for a symbol instead of all the Jesus gymnastics.
It will be interesting to see what they do. It will no doubt be a slow transition so that all the old timers who remember the contradictions will die off.
When I was growing up Catholic, I heard a classic joke that has many variations (the Catholics that I knew growing up didn't mind laughing at themselves.) A man died and went to heaven. He was met by the apostle Peter at the pearly gates. Peter admitted the man to heaven, but told him to tiptoe past the first door. "Why?" inquired the man. "Oh, that door is for the Catholics. They think they are the only ones here."
Substitute a door marked, "The Celestial Kingdom." :o)
Do you think Mormonism would be doing better if it still taught a 6,000 year-old world, no evolution, black people are inferior, women are inferior, the Book of Mormon is true history, the Ten Tribes are hiding under the North Pole, people are gay by choice rather than nature, and prophets are infallible?
Would that faith have lasted longer than the present Jesus mush?
Many of us reckon that we will always be Mormon just like army guys will always be army, summer will always be Catholic, and EOD will always be a juvenile delinquent. Some experiences change your soul permanently and you can never fully escape them.
I am adamantly hostile to the LDS church and yet I cannot eradicate the influences of my first decades. "Mormon" is better than "LDS" because the former can be cultural and residual.
Gaah, no! Honestly, even though I grew up Catholic, it never spoke to my soul. I think I related far better to my dad's English, Anglican/Episcopalian roots. I'm your basic New England Anglophile Yankee. My Catholic mom was completely unsurprised and unappalled when I told her I no longer considered myself Catholic.
--or to please Mormons/LDS/Name-of-the-Day Church.
We get to choose our own descriptors, and "Mormon" is broad enough to include all the fringe groups, the alternative sects of Mormonism, the culture of the Mormon Corridor and its satellite communities, and funeral potatoes.
I was raised Mormon. I'm ashamed of that, but I won't whitewash it just because some minaret whose authority I reject wants me to.
Now: there was another path: "accept us as who we are". For instance Jews fought to be accepted without pretending to be Christian. Indeed that was the point: yes we're a different religion, America is about accepting different religions. And there was a time that was LDS's path.
But over the last 30 years or so, LDS has chosen a very different path: "we're just like you". Carefully worded messages endlessly sent to an outside audience. At some point it hits the inside audience too. Everyone is told to get on board with the messaging.
The giveaway this is all just PR is the rest of it. The control, the money, the self-righteousness, the demands, none of that changes.
And has this huge PR effort gotten its intended result? Most people don't know or care about LDS. Would Mormons today be less accepted if Edelman hadn't gotten the account?
Spending quality time as a believing mormon, trying to keep all the rules, and feeling bad when you inevitably prove you're human creates neurotic, hydraulic, and pneumatic conditions within the body hectic-electric...
And if one is honest, one realizes that being sinful is a more pleasant condition...except when it isn't, which, according to my recollection, was during Snackerment Meeting and interviews with the bishop.
Saturday nights, with a Laurel was when being a young mormon was exciting, stimulating, and almost satisfying... (One might alleviate the stimulation when one got home, but either way, one would braggingly hint about one's base-running during the next day's priesthood meeting.)
Being an excellent mormon involved appreciating the people, hiding one's filthy (but natural) sexuality, and being very optimistic about how ghawd was going to grade you. One's best observance of the rigors of mormonism was best done in the company of other mormons.
Being a good mormon involved watching all the other mormons as they were all watching you... Being alone or one-on-one (also, one-under-one) was when mormonism was both a high and a low. (My youth involved a front seat that doubled as a sofa, so one-on-one and one-under-one were a thing, but never one-side-by-one cuz they were too narrow.)
This news was officially released by the church in May of this year. It says everything about the REAL Mormon Mentality. You would think that the church would regard the Atonement of Christ to be "The most remarkable Event in History" -- instead, to Mormons, the most remarkable even was Joseph Smith's First Vision!
"4 May 2023 - TORONTO, Ontario Featured Stories
In Canada, President Ballard Says First Vision ‘Most Remarkable’ Event in History‘ Our message is the most thrilling and most profound and most exhilarating message that I know of,’ says Apostle
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, arrives for a special stake conference of the Hamilton Ontario Stake on April 23, 2023. Photo by Nick Lachance, courtesy of Church News. All rights reserved.
This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.
By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints talk about and share the message of the Restoration, others will feel the truth of their words, said President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The most remarkable thing in the history of the world happened in the Sacred Grove in 1820,” he said. “The heavens opened.”
Some human guy (Jesus) claims to be God and makes up some stuff about atonement that no one can prove in any way. That doesn't seem remarkable, other than the fact so many people bought it.
Some human guy (JS) claims supernatural personages appear to him. If actual supernatural gods showed up, that would be very big and remarkable. Unfortunately, there was no proof at all. Some guy basically made it up and a lot of people bought it.
So, what is more remarkable? The one with the highest number of people who believe the claims? That would be the former. The more outrageous claim to me seems to be that glowing Gods showed up in a grove of trees. Jesus' claim seems to be akin to "I alone can fix it" which doesn't seem all that remarkable to me. The whole sinner needing to be saved thing is a remarkable scam though.
I'm not so sure Ballard needed a memo. It's a tie!
> Some human guy (Jesus) claims to be God and makes > up some stuff about atonement that no one can > prove in any way.
This is a peripheral point, but what the collective "Jesus"--meaning the people and peoples who created the early religion--did was both more subtle and more effective than "making stuff up." They synthesized a new system of thought out of elements that already existed. People recognized the elements and felt that the synthesis made sense. In this instance New Coke worked better than Classic Coke.
To the mix Judaism contributed original sin, the contractual language of the covenant, the sacrifice/forgiveness complex, the basic mythology, etc.
The notion of a god who took on human form was widespread at the time, stretching from India's Krishna to the the Greeks with their Christ/messiah and of course to Egypt. So too the ideas of a dying god, periodic regeneration of nature and the universe, and the proposition that humans can interact with and affect the divine. The mystery cults of the Levant embodied all of these traditions in more accessible and personal terms.
That's the context for the birth of Christianity. The pedestrian philosopher/s called "Jesus" taught some basic ideas that very quickly transformed into a more typical mystery cult, which appealed to local audiences throughout the eastern Roman Empire. It was the new mixture of existing ideas--the new recipe, if you will--that made Christianity riot like flowers in a spring meadow.
JS did much the same in a vastly smaller neighborhood and then added ideas that truly were made up in the sense of being to alien to put down roots outside of his own community. He did too much creation, too little synthesis.
Lot's Wife Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > So it was okay when the LDS church was in the > pocket of the John Birch society but it's wrong > for it now to align with the mainstream? > > Projection, much?
I think you've missed the wood for the trees as usual. There is no "projection". It was a comment on the futility of the missionaries' sales pitch all those years ago, which has relied on the church being unique and different. Many people wouldn't have joined if that wasn't the case. Their missions were ultimately futile. Entryism has destroyed the uniqueness.
Yes, the church retains a three tier afterlife, weird temple worship (now heavily modified) and garments, but in many respects it is barely distinguishable from other churches on many scores.
As for John Birch, that never gained significant traction. If it had then the church would be in a very different place today. It would be more polarized but it would hang on to some demographics rather than alienating both them and their opponents.
GNPE Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Haa Moroni been permanently removed from any LDS > building or location? > > Next sighting: a little-publicized museum or a > warehouse.