Church Going Mainstream

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
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slavereeno
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Church Going Mainstream

Post by slavereeno » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:29 pm

DWs theory:

RMN is setting a big precedent for two things, Change and Mainstreaming. Letting missionaries call home weekly, 2 hour church, fewer quorums, the softening of HT/VT to ministering, the de-emphasis on LDS and Mormon... I was telling her about some of the Bill Reel predictions and she feels like this is more "softening" to move the church more mainstream. Almost all of the changes seem to be trending this way.

Her question to me is, Can you just be patient and wait for this stuff to happen? If not RMN then when some later prophet makes enough changes could the church become good enough to not resign?

She believes the culture will change and become more mainstream and more accepting of LGBT, those who don't believe, or follow all the rules etc.

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Brent
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Brent » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:37 pm

Terrible analogy but the Church is bleeding and until theres fear of death there can be no real change...i would refuse to be part of a fake bandage.

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jfro18
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by jfro18 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:07 pm

The problem with the current moves is that the church going mainstream is going to eventually water themselves down to nothing.

The bigger problem is that the church still isn't true. Nelson implementing a bunch of cosmetic changes that have been worked on for years through committees/pilot programs is not going go change the fact that the church is verifiably untrue.

I'm sure this will keep some people in the church that maybe we're having some questions, but I just don't think changing the church's website names will have any impact whatsoever. Two hour church lessens the burdens which will help, but it won't solve the LGBT problems or the fact that the Mormon God considers women to be lesser to 12 year old boys.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but they're trying to be someone they're not and it never ends well when corporations do that.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by MerrieMiss » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:24 pm

If they want to go mainstream they need to drop the temple and the underwear. Not happening.

The church is verifiably false.

My time on earth is limited and I’m not waiting around for some changes that may or may not happen.

Why am I supposed to hold out for some old guy to tell me it’s okay to wear shorts? Drink tea? Watch an R-rated movie? Call my parents when I’m on a mission? Get married to my same-sex partner? Get married outside a temple? If it’s going to be okay in twenty years, why not cut out the middle man and just live life right now?
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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FoundMyOwnWay
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by FoundMyOwnWay » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:36 pm

I feel that just as big of a problem that the church isn't true, is the problem of what the Church actually is. It is not an uplifting organization. It does not inspire members to be better, or help members with challenging life problems, or help children grow into independent adults, or bring the family closer together, or foster real friendships among members, or even simple bring peace to it's members on Sunday. That is its biggest problem in my opinion. These changes are nice, but they do not make it a better organization for real people.

Reducing time spent at church on Sundays is great, but how about making Sunday church attendance meaningful. Every lesson and talk has been dumbed down to a level of sheer drudgery. My last 3 elders quorum lessons, over the last three months have all been about doubts and faith crisis (assigned by EQ President through GC talks). There are a lot of creaking shelves in that room, but the lessons cannot address them or help anyone. People bring up that there are issues, and we should be more open about them, but no one has actually dared actually bring up a real issue. Yes, someone always mentions that polygamy is an issue, but I keep waiting for someone to bring up polyandry or Fanny Alger something that is a real issue.

I do think the church has great members, they are the only thing keeping it afloat.

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Palerider
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Palerider » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:53 pm

MerrieMiss wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:24 pm

My time on earth is limited and I’m not waiting around for some.... old guy to tell me it’s okay to wear shorts......If it’s going to be okay in twenty years, why not cut out the middle man and just live life right now?
As Delmar famously said to Pete and Everett, "I'm with you fellars".
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Red Ryder
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:06 pm

I see her point.

But I've decided to live ahead of the curve.

When the day comes that the fundy undies are removed, I'll bear testimony of the change and loudly proclaim, "Isn't it Marvelous!" "I've been living the higher law already!"

When the day comes that coffee, tea, alcohol, and super scalding hot chicken noodle soup are all tolerated, I'll rejoice and proclaim again, "I've been living the higher law already!"

When the time comes that no temple recommend is required, I'll again proclaim "I've been living the higher law already!"

.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
.... "I've been living the higher law already!"

By then, I'll be dead and gone but I'm sure I'll have some sort of new redeeming ordinance done for me. In anticipation I'll be prepared and have a tattoo across my chest that reads:

.... "I've been living the higher law already!"
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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achilles
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by achilles » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:47 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:29 pm
Her question to me is, Can you just be patient and wait for this stuff to happen? If not RMN then when some later prophet makes enough changes could the church become good enough to not resign?

She believes the culture will change and become more mainstream and more accepting of LGBT, those who don't believe, or follow all the rules etc.
You could tell her this from me "What am I supposed to do, wait until I'm 80 for the Church's permission to live my life as a gay man?" (no offense)
FoundMyOwnWay wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:36 pm
I feel that just as big of a problem that the church isn't true, is the problem of what the Church actually is. It is not an uplifting organization. It does not inspire members to be better, or help members with challenging life problems, or help children grow into independent adults, or bring the family closer together, or foster real friendships among members, or even simple bring peace to it's members on Sunday. That is its biggest problem in my opinion. These changes are nice, but they do not make it a better organization for real people.
This. This. This. Although I had a number of problems with the Church when I stopped attending, I might still be there if it actually fed my soul. It seems like the only feeding that seems to happen is a big helping of pablum and what we bring ourselves to the party. We're simultaneously worked to death and starved to death.
Reducing time spent at church on Sundays is great, but how about making Sunday church attendance meaningful. Every lesson and talk has been dumbed down to a level of sheer drudgery.
Drudgery. My last Elder's Quorum was sheer drudgery. Every once in a while I'd look around at all of those men and they were just exhausted. Going through the motions.

I sometimes get the feeling that many of the octagenarians running things truly believe that self-induced suffering is good for the soul. And if they had to do all that rough stuff when they were younger, by d@mned you're going to have to suffer, too! I once played the organ for a Stake Priesthood Meeting presided by Boyd K. Packer. Talk about dour. Who the h311 wants or needs this kind of drudgery in their lives?

In some ways, it seems like they are trying to solve this problem by making us only go through two hours of it, instead of actually improving the experience.

I really hope someone from the COB is reading this. You want to really improve things? Do some focus groups with members that will tell you what they really think, and aren't just kissing your @ss.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

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nibbler
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by nibbler » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:24 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:29 pm
Her question to me is, Can you just be patient and wait for this stuff to happen? If not RMN then when some later prophet makes enough changes could the church become good enough to not resign?

She believes the culture will change and become more mainstream and more accepting of LGBT, those who don't believe, or follow all the rules etc.
That's an interesting question. I don't plan on resigning but I have asked myself whether the church could become something that would make me completely happy.

What's at the very core of your issues with the church? Is it that it's 3 hours, HT/VT, no coffee or tea, requirements to wear garments, history? Or are those branches on some root?

Personally I don't like how we even pretend to measure people's worthiness. Leaders could erase enforcement of the WoW during general conference in April but we'd still be expected to renew our temple recommends, just with one less question. It wouldn't address my principle concern. For me, labeling people as worthy or unworthy is very problematic and I don't see how we can shed that practice if TRs are still a thing.

What if you feel there's an issue with a focus on outward appearances? What change could fix that? Reducing church by an hour? Or is it just a part of human nature, a pill that had to be swallowed?

Maybe there's entire generations of people that are going to be written off, but another issue is going to be how the church implements change. This isn't everyone's experience, but many people that are leaving or have left were hurt by old policies. Very hurt. Does the church acknowledge that pain and try to make amends, or does the church quietly change and pretend that the pain doesn't exist? Historically leaders have made changes silently, ceased to "emphasize" the old way of doing things, and gaslighted the hell out of people. Is the way the church changes going to change too?

What if your concern is that only 15 people (or just one person) in the church get any say at all? Nelson had to wait to become prophet to become unleashed to implement all these changes that most people see as being positive. Why are 16 million members held hostage waiting for one person to give them permission to make needed changes?

I don't need a true church. All the church has to be is a force of good and charity in the world. The church seems to be more focused on sating a deep seated insecurity. They're more concerned with image, that people believe that they are the One True Church. We spend a lot of time at church trying to convince ourselves that the church is true. IMO it's a waste of time.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Palerider
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Palerider » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:32 pm

The church does not exist for the members. The members exist to support and grow the "kingdom". Therefore it is critical to keep members committed and working. It is a works based church and a worthiness based theology. Both of these are false doctrines.

From leadership's point of view it is your privilege to wear yourself and your life out for the church. And they are most interested in finding that balance of keeping a slave alive with just enough food that they can continue to work without dying on them.

That is what motivates the changes in the church. If they think they're starting to lose too many members they will make just enough changes to keep them willing to suffer for the cause and for the promise of their own salvation.

There is very little (if any) scriptural support for a "kingdom" being established before the 2nd Coming. And that scripture that might appear to support it is very ambiguous. It can be taken a number of ways.

I don't know if Joseph was intending to scam people with his pyramid scheme or if he really believed he was doing a good thing in spite of his shading the truth to get it done, but the upshot is.....I don't really care.

Joseph was a false prophet. The doctrine is false. The fruit is bad. The church is not true.

And until members wake up to that fact, the church will continue to consume it's own members. As the scriptures state so plainly, "they will make merchandise of you."

It's really a sad, sad thing. An evil thing.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:22 pm

I'm all for the church going mainstream. Wake me up when it gets there. On second thought, there are plenty of mainstream churches I could attend already and none of them seem to work for me.

I think they just want to appear less weird from the outside, but they would have to get rid of a whole lot of stuff to actually be mainstream. That's exactly what the CofC has done and they still haven't arrived at mainstream. You'll never be mainstream if your version of Jesus has to share his throne with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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sunstoned
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by sunstoned » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:42 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:07 pm
The problem with the current moves is that the church going mainstream is going to eventually water themselves down to nothing.

The bigger problem is that the church still isn't true. Nelson implementing a bunch of cosmetic changes that have been worked on for years through committees/pilot programs is not going go change the fact that the church is verifiably untrue.

I'm sure this will keep some people in the church that maybe we're having some questions, but I just don't think changing the church's website names will have any impact whatsoever. Two hour church lessens the burdens which will help, but it won't solve the LGBT problems or the fact that the Mormon God considers women to be lesser to 12 year old boys.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but they're trying to be someone they're not and it never ends well when corporations do that.
^^Quoted for Truth^^

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Just This Guy
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Just This Guy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:03 am

In engineering, we have what we call Root Cause Analysis. The idea is that when you have a failure, the failure itself is not the problem. You can address the failure, but it will not keep it from re-occuring. There are contributing factors that happened to make it possible for that failure to occur. There are underlying issues that make it possible for those contributing factors to occur. You keep digging deeper and deeper into the problem until you see the true root cause of the problem. If you address and fix that root cause, you can eliminate the problem from re-occuring. Often times, you find that the root cause has nothing to do with the people on the floor but with management of the company. For example, a failed part may reveal that accounting is not allocating enough resources to purchase tooling, HR may not be have a good training program, or an engineering design review process may not address what it should be.

How a company reacts to a problem is often a very good indicator of what the company is like. A company that listens to employees on the floor and then works to address their concerns vs one that always has a top down push. W. Edward Demming has a famous clause that when there is a problem, you investigate at the bottom of the company and work you way up, but to fix it, you start at the top of a company and work your way down.

There are tons of examples of companies who were too focused on keeping their top leadership happy that they ignored the input from people below them until it blew up in their face, in many cases it destroys the company. Other cases the company survives, but has huge damage to work through.

If you look at Mormonism, the church is falling right into line with a long list of failed companies in how they address problems. It is eerily similar to the Tobacco Industry in the 50's and 60's.

1. Denial
2. Blame the victims
3. Cover up embarrassing details and actions.
4. Only admit to issues after overwhelming pressure to do so.

Mormonism knows there are problems and it knows that these problems are long entrenched and they are having a measurable affect on their bottom line. However, what do that do? Hide information, do token changes, and preach as strongly as possible that "all is well in zion." Any problem that exists is someone else's fault but themselves.

If you take a step back and look at Mormonism, it is obvious where it is going. It is slowly sinking away and they are doing nothing to address the real root cause of the sinking. There are two questions lift to ask: 1. Who will get drug down with it? and 2. Do I want to be riding on a obviously sinking ship?
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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deacon blues
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by deacon blues » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:47 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:24 pm
If they want to go mainstream they need to drop the temple and the underwear. Not happening.

The church is verifiably false.

My time on earth is limited and I’m not waiting around for some changes that may or may not happen.

Why am I supposed to hold out for some old guy to tell me it’s okay to wear shorts? Drink tea? Watch an R-rated movie? Call my parents when I’m on a mission? Get married to my same-sex partner? Get married outside a temple? If it’s going to be okay in twenty years, why not cut out the middle man and just live life right now?
This sums it up for me. I believe the temple is a coercion mechanism that was adapted from masonry by Joseph Smith. The eternal families concept evolved as the only uplifting aspect that could be sustained in the temple mechanism. Sadly, it excludes more than it includes. It might possibly be adapted to be more in harmony with Christianity and/or reality, but I don't see how.
God is Love. God is Truth

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wtfluff
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by wtfluff » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:54 am

A few small bandages placed on a gaping, infected wound really won't do anything. Major intervention is required to save the "patient."

"The Church" is really not a "church." At it's core, it is a giant corporation. A giant corporation built upon the backs of volunteers, threatened to volunteer or be punished for eternity. The only real goal of such a corporation is to perpetuate it'self. At it's core, "The Church" is rotten. The "Intangible Religious Benefits" promised to "The Church's" followers are exactly as stated: Intangible. Worthless. Nothing. The few, tiny changes that are being made are the same: Worthless. They don't change anything about the rotten core.

Also: Russ Nelson's time on earth is extremely limited. Does anyone think Oaks is going to continue tossing table scraps to the followers? I see dark days ahead for followers when that massive bigot takes his spot as CEO. (Honestly, I hope I'm wrong about that.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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Hagoth
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Hagoth » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:07 pm

The church has really lost its identity and it has become more and more about devotion to the guys at the top. The actual doctrine and belief system are just getting mushier and harder to pin down. If I could give the church (whatever that is) a suggestion, it would be to stop wringing their hands and pick a direction. Either:

1- make it the best damn church experience possible. Cut themselves loose from the historical baggage. Make it a megachurch among megachurches with all of the rock-band-praising-multimedia-miracle experiences turned up to 11. Accept and include everyone. Make church consist of only two things: having a really fun and inspirational hour of praising, and big, well organized service projects for the poor and the outcast.

or

2. Quit dicking around with mainstreamism and embrace Mormonism. Kick out everyone who doesn't fit the mold. Shout praises to Joseph Smith. Openly look forward to the return of polygamy. Both teach AND emphasize that God was once a man and that everyone who checks all of the boxes will get to be a god/goddess.

Either eliminate or embrace the things that make Mormonism unique, but for God's sake, stop running 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

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no1saint
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by no1saint » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:16 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:07 pm
The church has really lost its identity and it has become more and more about devotion to the guys at the top. The actual doctrine and belief system are just getting mushier and harder to pin down. If I could give the church (whatever that is) a suggestion, it would be to stop wringing their hands and pick a direction. Either:

1- make it the best damn church experience possible. Cut themselves loose from the historical baggage. Make it a megachurch among megachurches with all of the rock-band-praising-multimedia-miracle experiences turned up to 11. Accept and include everyone. Make church consist of only two things: having a really fun and inspirational hour of praising, and big, well organized service projects for the poor and the outcast.

or

2. Quit dicking around with mainstreamism and embrace Mormonism. Kick out everyone who doesn't fit the mold. Shout praises to Joseph Smith. Openly look forward to the return of polygamy. Both teach AND emphasize that God was once a man and that everyone who checks all of the boxes will get to be a god/goddess.

Either eliminate or embrace the things that make Mormonism unique, but for God's sake, stop running from them!
Amen.

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moksha
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by moksha » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:37 pm

Grant Palmer thought the Church could redeem itself through jettisoning much of its mythology and more fully embrace the teachings of Jesus.

I've wondered what would happen if the Church took the route of the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS) and sought to become more like mainstream Christians. I think the Church would lose about half of its members, who would then seek out something more authoritarian alternatives such as the FLDS or possibly even a more revivalist Mormon choice such as following Denver Snuffer. The remaining half would be relieved of more burdensome beliefs and would hopefully have a positive experience.
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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alas
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by alas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am

moksha wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:37 pm
Grant Palmer thought the Church could redeem itself through jettisoning much of its mythology and more fully embrace the teachings of Jesus.

I've wondered what would happen if the Church took the route of the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS) and sought to become more like mainstream Christians. I think the Church would lose about half of its members, who would then seek out something more authoritarian alternatives such as the FLDS or possibly even a more revivalist Mormon choice such as following Denver Snuffer. The remaining half would be relieved of more burdensome beliefs and would hopefully have a positive experience.
I think they could do it without losing any more members than they are losing already. They just do it without saying they are no longer going to require belief in their mythology. They just start preaching more about Christ, base GC talks on the teachings of Christ, stop talking so much about temples and tithing, quote the Bible more than BoM, and instead of spending so much on temples, do some real charity work and hire decent janitors. Make sure talks are inspiring and uplifting, stop with 90% of the guilt and just inspire people to be better. Go back to having some fun and stop quoting GAs and start quoting Jesus. They don’t need to come out and say we are doing away with temples, just stop preaching it constantly. Those who enjoy it could keep on going and those who hate it could stay home guilt free. If they stop pushing temple marriage for six year straight to the young women, suddenly their will be less pressure for temple marriages, then they can open up the option of civil ceremony before sealing. Start BEING Christian, rather than being 99.9% Mormon and claiming to be Christian.

If they stop worshipping Joseph Smith, it will not matter so much that he was a con man. If they stop talking so much about how JS restored the full gospel then it won’t matter so much that we don’t have the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth. If the stop claiming that we are the only ones with real priesthood, then it won’t matter so much that it history kind of proves that Joseph made it all up. Stop worshipping JS and our general authorities and the institutional church and start worshipping Jesus and it won’t matter so much that general authorities have no more inspiration than you or I. If they are not put up on a pedestal for worship, then they won’t fall off the pedestal so easy. And that will help a lot of people stay. I could stay if the church actually worshipped Christ instead of worshipping men who supposedly talk to Christ.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:50 am

Perhaps the church could find a symbol to clarify the name and mission of the church.

Maybe a cross?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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