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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RubinHighlander
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:20 pm

Palerider wrote:
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".
This! Great quote BTW!

Bottom line is, once you take the red pill but unlike Neo, you have no need to go back into the Matrix and unlike the Matrix, the real world is Fing awesome! I look back and see TSCC as a complete waist of time, other than a few service projects that really helped people. Why spend any more of your precious life on this planet doing any of that meaningless BS. It's enough to be plugged into the matrix of capitalism, no need for any more layers of corporate servitude. The exception here is to do it in order to hold a family unit together when leaving the church puts that at great risk.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

Mackman
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Mackman » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:11 am

I hope and pray that the church will give up the one true church , that statement alone alienates us from other churches and drives potential converts away in my opinion. Im with nibbler I dont need the church to be true . I need a good church that does good things for people helps them worldwide etc etc etc. The sooner we get away from temple recommends wow and the one true church the better off we will be.

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nibbler
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by nibbler » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:40 am

alas wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am
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.
I like it, I just think that without actively advertising the change it would take a few generations before people in the wards and branches started deriving the benefits you mention.

All the leaders above SP could coordinate tomorrow to make those changes but I feel that there's so much momentum at the local level that people would keep right on doing things as they've always done them for a long, long time.

I was in a unit a few years back where the leaders that set the tone for the unit acted as though SWK was still the prophet. In general it feels like the hardcore Mormons get set in concrete to whatever hard lines existed in church when they were in their 20s and 30s and remain there for the rest of their lives.

I've got a very recent example of the rank and file's resistance to change. Ministering. Locally we use all the same language we used for HT/VT for ministering. Post "change" we even had a stake goal to visit all our families in their home to share a message by the end of the month. The goal hit all the familiar beats.

The changes you mention would change the culture, but taking the typical Mormon approach of quietly changing the emphasis would put the desired culture out at least 30 years. Eh. It's better than not making those changes.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Not Buying It
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:28 am

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.

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.
So very well said! I'm not sure why I am bothering to add to this conversation, I'm not sure I can really with all of the excellent insights that have been shared.

President Nelson isn't really changing much of anything. Moving deck chairs on the Titanic may be a cliche, but it's the best analogy I can think of for what he is doing. None of his superficial changes impact in the slightest the Church's core problems.

But they can't address any of those core problems without admitting that the Church isn't what it claims to be, and the only reason they can motivate members to all the crap they do is because they think God will reward them for doing want the Church wants and will punish them (and take away their family in the eternities) if they don't. If the Church admits it isn't really God's one and only true Church that He guides by constant revelation through His servants the holy poobahs, then the members will lose all motivation to do anything and the whole thing falls apart. It's a classic ctach-22.

The Church has an unsolvable problem. It can't address what the real issues are without losing the thing that chains members to it and keeps it running. The words "paradigm shift" get thrown around too much, but that is what is would truly take to fix the problems - the Church would have to completely recast itself as something utterly different from what it has always been, and it will never do that.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Hagoth
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Hagoth » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:51 pm

alas wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am
I think they could do it without losing any more members than they are losing already.
That's an excellent point, Alas. It's not like they have found some secret formula for keeping members and they will prosper by sticking to it. They're losing 75% of the youth by their mid 20s in the "greatest apostasy since Kirtland."
alas wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am
Go back to having some fun and stop quoting GAs and start quoting Jesus.
I guess the church wouldn't have to spend so much energy insisting that they really are Christian if they just started being Christian. It seems to me that as more unpleasant historical backwash comes to the surface they are substituting the scriptures and teachings of the early latter-day prophets with boring, uninspired GA jello. I think they see themselves as rescuing the church by putting themselves up on a higher pedestal and publicly patting each other on the back. It ain't working. Pride isn't the answer. Humility is.

Regarding fun: how in the world do they come to the conclusion that replacing things like Boy Scouts with more preaching and scripture reading is going to make kids want to hang around, and that endless baptisms for the dead is a more rewarding youth activity than dances, road shows and outdoor activities?
“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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alas
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by alas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:56 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:51 pm
alas wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am
I think they could do it without losing any more members than they are losing already.
That's an excellent point, Alas. It's not like they have found some secret formula for keeping members and they will prosper by sticking to it. They're losing 75% of the youth by their mid 20s in the "greatest apostasy since Kirtland."
alas wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 am
Go back to having some fun and stop quoting GAs and start quoting Jesus.
I guess the church wouldn't have to spend so much energy insisting that they really are Christian if they just started being Christian. It seems to me that as more unpleasant historical backwash comes to the surface they are substituting the scriptures and teachings of the early latter-day prophets with boring, uninspired GA jello. I think they see themselves as rescuing the church by putting themselves up on a higher pedestal and publicly patting each other on the back. It ain't working. Pride isn't the answer. Humility is.

Regarding fun: how in the world do they come to the conclusion that replacing things like Boy Scouts with more preaching and scripture reading is going to make kids want to hang around, and that endless baptisms for the dead is a more rewarding youth activity than dances, road shows and outdoor activities?
Yes to this. I think the GA worship is a major problem as well as the lack of the teachings of Jesus. They simply are not that fascinating and we members should not be treated as rock star fans. They INVITE criticism of themselves by holding themselves up as infallible. People start to suspect that they don’t have Jesus actually sitting in their Thursday meetings, and instead of normal people, suddenly they are fallen prophets. How many times on NOM have we talked about the comparison of we don’t hold our political leaders to such a high standard, and at least until tRump, we were still proud to be Americans. But we see human fallibility in the prophet, and we don’t want to be Mormon any more, let alone CojColds. Why? Because he pretends to be supper human, kind just like tRump come to think of it.

As far as “How in the world do they come to the conclusion that replacing things like Boy Scouts with more preaching is going to make kids want to stick around? Um...Packer? I have long suspected that he was behind the getting rid of anything fun and replacing it with more drudgery. He approved of singing that sounds like a funeral dirge. He has said things like church was not meant to be entertaining when people complain of bone weary boredom. He has criticized things that don’t have a priesthood purpose. And I think Rusty is as much of a poobah. They were both of them dour sour old grumps.

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1smartdodog
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by 1smartdodog » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:08 am

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!
Sounds like a plan to me

I wonder how if it is possible to turn the church into something really good. Could it survive if some inspired leaders got a clue and acknowlegeded all the crap but said hey we got some potential here to make a difference. We got boatloads of cash to set up a system that would benefit many people. Or maybe your average TBM would not tolerate anything but the status quo.
“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
― Thomas A. Edison

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Hagoth
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:50 am

1smartdodog wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:08 am
Or maybe your average TBM would not tolerate anything but the status quo.
It would probably be earthshattering for many who have devoted their lives to building a testimony around the status quo.

I worry more about it going in another direction. The general direction has been more corporate: moving business men to the top rather than theologians, keeping finances opaque, made themselves the ultimate authorities in all things, created a tight-lipped brotherhood, etc. It's just as easy to imagine a couple of generations later when they have given themselves big stipend raises, better paid board situations, and more extensive perks. They have unintentionally (?) set everything up so it would be easy for someone down the road to really take advantage of it and take the membership for a ride.
“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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Random
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Re: Church Going Mainstream

Post by Random » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:04 am

This is so true. Nelson has been doing what he wants. Who's to say some future president won't go further?
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:50 am
They have unintentionally (?) set everything up so it would be easy for someone down the road to really take advantage of it and take the membership for a ride.
[They] which knew me from the beginning . . . would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5

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