THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

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Hagoth
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THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by Hagoth » Wed Oct 26, 2022 4:59 pm

I have often wondered why the church changed the titles of Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers to Ministers. I think the recent Mormon Stories podcast with John Larsen about the church's amicus briefs might have indirectly answered my question (https://mormonstories.org/podcast/1677- ... hn-larsen/)

One of the legal cases the LDS church weighed in on had to do with a school's ability to fire a teacher without cause. When the teacher sued the church, the church claimed that even though her title was "Teacher" and her job was teaching students, they considered her a "minister." Apparently, there is a law that allows churches to distance themselves from legal attachments that apply to teachers but not to ministers.

It makes sense now. If a Home Teacher does something bad the church is more likely to be held liable because they are supposed to be teaching on behalf of the church, but if a minister does something wrong they are acting on their own as an independent entity which gives the church greater legal distance from them.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Linked
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by Linked » Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:48 am

What a blessing to live at a time when we have a living prophet to receive divine revelation to guide us.

They force a random culture change so they can cover their @$$es. The more I learn about how the church sausage is made the less respect I have for it.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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jfro18
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by jfro18 » Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:57 am

Wow... that's really stunning and makes perfect sense. Revelation seems to come from social and legal issues in these latter days, doesn't it?

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Linked
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by Linked » Thu Oct 27, 2022 1:56 pm

I was curious so I looked into this a little bit. Here's a short summary of the case.

PDF of amicus brief

The brief proposes the standard for considering an employee a minister, to whom the ministerial exception to employment discrimination law applies, be:
The ministerial exception applies when a religious organization demonstrates that its religious autonomy depends on controlling the selection, discipline, or removal of (1) an employee who per-forms important religious functions or (2) an employee whose substantial discretion or senior leadership role makes the employee important for carrying out the organization’s religious mission.
Since Home and Visiting Teachers were not paid employees (hahahahahahahahahahaha), this doesn't really affect them because they can't be fired. But I would not be surprised if one of the takeaway bullet points from this case was that the correct legal term is minister so consider changing what we call Home/Visiting Teaching. And there may be other laws to which the church would want to exercise a "ministerial exception".

And BAM, there's your revelation!
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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sparky
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by sparky » Thu Oct 27, 2022 3:16 pm

I guess it could be the reason, but to me it seems more likely they just did it to sound more mainstream Christian. Non members or investigators, sorry I mean friends, have no idea what the hell a home teacher is, but "minister" might evoke some warm fuzzy feelings. Until they find out what it is.

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Red Ryder
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:39 pm

sparky wrote:
Thu Oct 27, 2022 3:16 pm
I guess it could be the reason, but to me it seems more likely they just did it to sound more mainstream Christian. Non members or investigators, sorry I mean friends, have no idea what the hell a home teacher is, but "minister" might evoke some warm fuzzy feelings. Until they find out what it is.
Hey Ministering Sister….
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stealthbishop
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Oct 31, 2022 10:38 am

I listened to the entire podcast which was very good and a novel take on the damage the church is doing and what they actually believe.

Hagoth, I think your analysis is excellent and it shows another great example of what may have contributed in large part to this change. That is spot on analysis that was not brought up in the podcast. I think it satisfies this legal requirement and bolsters their carve out to have significant power and do basically whatever they want.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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moksha
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Re: THAT's why it changed from "teaching" to "ministering!"

Post by moksha » Tue Nov 01, 2022 1:30 am

So Kirton McConkie revealed unto the Brethren God's wishes for The Business to remain litigation free.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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