Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

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BlackMormon
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Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by BlackMormon » Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:23 am

If you have been a member of the Church for over 20-30 years you can see the changes.

The Church is now more open, more diversified, and more similar to other Christian-type churches. The talks are less judgmental and more inclusive and in general, the members went from white and delightsome to a mixed-race membership and leadership body, except for the Apostleship. One thing has not changed, the top leaders are still blessed with very long lives. At the same time, 30-somethings drop dead from heart attacks daily worldwide, but not so with the Apostles. They seem to have excellent health care and true blessings that their lives would be long on the earth. I respect that if it's true.
By the time any man gets to the First Presidency, his life and lifestyle if pretty much set and taken care of, even for posterity. They can spend their middle or older age traveling around giving feel-good talks to members worldwide.
Hard doctrines are unheard of nowadays. The Church goes along with soft narratives on most issues. Rarely taking hard stances on things like it used to.
It is a soft Church now. I see lots of good people. Good families. That hasn't changed. I no longer see the pressure to marry returned missionaries although I think that is still a preference. I no longer see the pressure to get married young as before. Interestingly, I no longer see the secretive out-of-wedding births that LDS teens used to have. Carefully hidden from public view. I also do not see the pressure on sexuality that existed before or the condemnation associated with pre-marital sex. The Church seems to have embraced all other faiths, no more of that only two churches doctrine, one being the church of the devil and the other by being the church of God. While that is still in scripture, it is no longer preached from the pulpit. Brigham Young has been forgotten and so has the topic of polygamy. The Church went from Mormon to LDS. The new Church movies, well, some are pretty decent except I do not like how Christ is portrayed by church movie actor(s). They seem too cheesy for me. Not the way I envision the Savior. I think Mel Gibson did better in terms of actor choice. People seem to have stopped demanding so much from the Prophet or expecting him to act like Nostradamus. We might be on the verge of WWIII but the Church has no modern view on what could happen other than to refer to old scriptures and talks about wars and rumors of wars, machinations, secret combinations, etc. It would be nice to have some revelations about what could happen if Russia decides to put the hammer down on Ukraine. Will they spare destroying the temple in Kyiv? What about LDS members in both Russia and the Ukraine, efforts to pull them out into Zion and spare them?

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Red Ryder
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jan 03, 2023 4:48 pm

I think you summarized the changes well.

Reading this I had the thought that you’re also describing similar changes to society from the 60’s and 70’s into the 80’s and 90’s which makes me realize the church is 30 years behind.

I think a lot of the changes started with Hinckley as he tried to modernize the church in the 90’s once he became the Prophet in 1995. After his death in 2008, Monson sort of stalled any progress simply by becoming the Prophet who “did nothing but wiggle my ears and tell widow stories”.

For 10 years under Monson, the church really didn’t do much to change or progress. By 2018 when RMN became the prophet, the world had already drastically changed leaving old Mormon thinking even more behind the times.

I can’t specifically say RMN has done anything other than to rebrand the old programs and eliminating the 3rd hour.

The church will continue to change. It has to. The question is, can it do it fast enough before all the youth leave?

Will progressive changes become the norm and dilute or will they clamp down further and continue the same path forward?
“BlackMormon” wrote: People seem to have stopped demanding so much from the Prophet or expecting him to act like Nostradamus. We might be on the verge of WWIII but the Church has no modern view on what could happen other than to refer to old scriptures and talks about wars and rumors of wars, machinations, secret combinations, etc. It would be nice to have some revelations about what could happen if Russia decides to put the hammer down on Ukraine.
One last thought I had about the above: I think they know they have to be more generic and vague with what they say regarding prophecy towards future events. Since everyone has the ability to record what they say and instantly publish it across the world l, they don’t want to be caught saying stupid stuff.
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by LSOF » Tue Jan 03, 2023 8:39 pm

They are still vigorously anti-queer as they have always been.
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moksha
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by moksha » Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:45 pm

Another point is that the Church has long since backed off from calling civil rights a "communist conspiracy".
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Cnsl1
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Cnsl1 » Thu Jan 05, 2023 2:31 am

This seems pretty accurate, though I don't attend as much as I used to, so I don't have a finger on the pulse of day to day lds living like I once may have had. I do still see the press towards missionary service for young men and senior couples. I definitely still see the biases towards truth.. like, we got all of it. I see the softening towards LGBTQ+ with some wary apprehension from older members. Like they don't want to offend anyone, but still don't really believe it should be a "thing".

I see curriculum way watered down to the point of beyond boredom, but the Come Follow Me stuff is probably better than the more controversial church history lessons. I still see, at least in my little corner of the desert deseret, predominant conservative politics still seeping into the talks and lessons and prayers and testimonies. If a non biased observer walked into my ward any given Sunday, they'd find a mix of old and young folks, all pretty nice and welcoming. Most dressed pretty close to the same. Males in white shirts and ties, with some in suit coats. Females all in conservative dresses. And the message would probably be something slightly prideful, like "aren't we so blessed to have the truth and everlasting gospel" but the general takeaway would probably be that this seems like a nice regular Protestant type church who teaches folks to love one another, and that the building is also very nice and comfortable, and has no crosses and just a few Jesus pictures.

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blazerb
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by blazerb » Thu Jan 05, 2023 11:06 am

On the other hand, the church has also ended the fun things that added fun to our experiences as kids. There are no more road shows, sports leagues, dance festivals, etc. I know different leaders give different counsel, but there are a lot more wards where every activity has to have a spiritual purpose. You can't just have a Halloween party. You have to give spiritual meaning to the activity. The poor kids learn that church = no candy.

They have gotten rid of most of the hard doctrines. The church really wants to be accepted by evangelical Christianity. So, you could get most of the counsel that leaders give from a typical megachurch broadcast. It appears that acceptance by scholars as a serious movement is a much lower priority. The church won't give up tithing, though, for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Conman52 » Thu Jan 05, 2023 3:09 pm

I agree you have summed it up nicely and I for one am appreciative of all the changes. Especially only going for 2 hours !! I no longer hear at least not much anymore "This is the one true church on the face of the earth" I hated with all my heart that saying. To me it was very offensive to investigators. Our branch doesn't have very many priesthood holders wearing white shirts and ties anymore. It's mostly just golf shirts . I started that trend and no one has rebelled against it !! I think we are well on our way to becoming Community of Christ church.
By their fruits ye shall know them

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moksha
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by moksha » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:24 pm

Conman52 wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 3:09 pm
Our branch doesn't have very many priesthood holders wearing white shirts and ties anymore.
Business attire is more suitable for large corporations with diversified portfolios.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Rob4Hope » Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:41 pm

I see a "doubling down" aspect in members who are TBM, and especially those who are the passive ones.

I've often marveled at this, but it makes sense considering my own experience. It took a major life-crisis for me to even consider there was something fishy going on. When that crisis hit, I finally was in a position to consider, for the first time, doctrinal claims, attitudes of accountability, and contemporary positions.

I believe TSCC is losing members steadily, I believe the numbers quoted and used in statistics are inflated, and I believe TSCC has "circled the wagons" to preserve its image. I also believe that for the most part, unless something happens to shake members -- their own crisis event -- that generally they will not look harder at the "man behind the curtain." This means, as long as the church can keep people lulled away in a stupor of thought, they can keep the status quo, at least with those in the beltway that pay oodles of tithing dollars.

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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Gatorbait » Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:05 am

Interesting take. I think that the church has made progress, but they still hold on to lies about quite a few things. And a lot of Mormons are dishonest.

Used to see a lot of excommunications back in the 70's and early 80's and we don't see much of that any more.

The thing that I've noticed is how they "dumb down" things. Started with having the whole world suffer through Gospel Essentials in Sunday School, which is when I stopped attending Sunday School. For crying out loud- many of us have taught that class, some many times. To get it spoon fed to us like we are at the tad-pole stage, ridiculous.

It seems to have gotten worse in some regards, the Old Testament, complete fiction. My TBM brother who won't golf on Sunday any more with all of my non-member cousins and I brags about how interesting the book of Isiah is. Really? What the hell does any of it mean? Pure conjecture- but no reasoning with him. Same old BS like Nephi and JS wrote- how they "love the words of Isiah". Rubbish. Pure ego trip- I know this stuff (Insert another "s" word here if you like, as that is what it is.) They are on a higher plain spiritually so they are in tune- so they think. Poppy-cock.

Hell of a lot of good people in the world, religious or otherwise- but by far- by FAR, I've been lied to and cheated on business deals more by Mormons than any other sect. They are not ethical and they feel entitled because they pay tithing. Rubbish. Lost over $40,000 on a deal with a Mormon and the SOB still has not paid me the money he owes me and never will. Tough not to be bitter about that sort of thing.
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nibbler
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by nibbler » Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:08 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:05 am
The thing that I've noticed is how they "dumb down" things. Started with having the whole world suffer through Gospel Essentials in Sunday School, which is when I stopped attending Sunday School. For crying out loud- many of us have taught that class, some many times. To get it spoon fed to us like we are at the tad-pole stage, ridiculous.
A part of me says that they did that because they genuinely believe that people are leaving the church because their testimonies aren't strong enough and they legitimately thought that teaching GE was the solution.

The other part of me says that they did it because they were too lazy to come up with fresh material.
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BlackMormon
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by BlackMormon » Tue Jan 10, 2023 6:54 am

Gatorbait wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:05 am

Hell of a lot of good people in the world, religious or otherwise- but by far- by FAR, I've been lied to and cheated on business deals more by Mormons than any other sect. They are not ethical and they feel entitled because they pay tithing. Rubbish. Lost over $40,000 on a deal with a Mormon and the SOB still has not paid me the money he owes me and never will. Tough not to be bitter about that sort of thing.
I agree with this part also. I have seen both sides, honest and good businessmen that are LDS and complete crooks and men that will not honor their financial or business agreements while hiding behind their LDS position or membership. It is the person, not the faith. Today, I am able to spot an LDS crook a mile away. In the past, I was too trusting and that was more my problem than theirs. I am happy I am older and wiser now. One time I quit a job trusting the promises of a real estate broker only to get taken for a ride, losing everything because the guy wouldn't pay me what he agreed. He then came up with non-contractual reasons why he wouldn't pay me, one of the reasons was that he expected me to do telemarketing for his firm, which was something we never agreed on. He had been a Bishop. Always put everything in writing with very specific details and clear financial penalties if the other party flakes out on what they promise you. Mormon or not.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jan 10, 2023 10:34 am

nibbler wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:08 pm
Gatorbait wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:05 am
The thing that I've noticed is how they "dumb down" things. Started with having the whole world suffer through Gospel Essentials in Sunday School, which is when I stopped attending Sunday School. For crying out loud- many of us have taught that class, some many times. To get it spoon fed to us like we are at the tad-pole stage, ridiculous.
A part of me says that they did that because they genuinely believe that people are leaving the church because their testimonies aren't strong enough and they legitimately thought that teaching GE was the solution.

The other part of me says that they did it because they were too lazy to come up with fresh material.
I think both are part of the reason. I also think another part is the simpler you make things, the fewer questions people have. The lessons are specifically designed to discourage real questions and real thinking. They don't want people feeling inspired to do their own research, we all know where that usually leads...
"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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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jan 11, 2023 7:37 am

“BlackMormon” wrote: People seem to have stopped demanding so much from the Prophet or expecting him to act like Nostradamus.
Yes, the entire emphasis of what it means to be a prophet has changed. People are not so much trying to interpret prophetic messages these days as they are trying to defend the prophet as somehow being our celestial guide even though he either sidestepping anything that might be interpreted as prophesy, or retracting what was previously proclaimed as prophecy (e.g. the POX). Being a TBM is as much about being an apologist for leadership disappointment as it is about being fulfilled by messages from those leaders. Instead of being amazed by stories of prophesy miraculous healings, now we are admonished to have enough faith to not be healed. We used to believe the prophet was meeting face-to-face with Jesus in the Holy of Holies on a regular basis. Now we believe he feels inspiration while sitting in a meeting or lying in bed at night. We believed that actually knowing Jesus as a person was requisite to becoming an Apostle. Now we have witnesses of that name of Jesus.

I'm not saying those changes are bad, but if prophets and apostles can't deliver the goods on their claimed divine powers they should redefine themselves to the membership as operational executives rather than divinely guided messengers. Hinting that they have seen Jesus, without actually saying it just doesn't cut it. We're left with the expectation to obey them in every detail simply because they climbed the church social ladder, had another guy put hands on heads and say some words, or simply outlived the competition. They do nothing to differentiate themselves from other religions that make the same kinds of claims. Pretty sad, when you think about it.
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jan 11, 2023 10:14 am

The LDS Church has always evolved and changed over time and will continue to do so. I think I agree with most of the OP. The church is trying to align as much as possible with non-denominational/evangelical American Christianity IMO.

I do think that YM and young adult males, from what I am aware of anecdotally, are still being harassed incessantly in Bishop and SP interviews about viewing pornography and masturbation. I'm assuming YW are still being harassed about "modesty". The change in the For the Strength of Youth will probably dampen this perhaps over time? Maybe?
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BlackMormon
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by BlackMormon » Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:07 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2023 7:37 am
We used to believe the prophet was meeting face-to-face with Jesus in the Holy of Holies on a regular basis. Now we believe he feels inspiration while sitting in a meeting or lying in bed at night. We believed that actually knowing Jesus as a person was requisite to becoming an Apostle. Now we have witnesses of that name of Jesus.
People are less gullible nowadays and like to use fact-checks. People have evolved. I think that anyone who served their missions back in the 80's perhaps even 90's will recall that they taught that the Prophet spoke to God face-to-face, and compared the Prophet to Moses and so on. People actually believed that and it was a strong message. Today, if you make a statement like this, someone is going to ask to record it and put it on TikTok as evidence. In the past, there was no way to know. You just had to take people's words that it was true and go by faith.
I am sure that the narrative had enough impact to generate many new converts worldwide. The only Prophet that I recall saying some meaningful things about what would be happening in our time was Ezra T. Benson. Example:
https://youtube.com/watch?v=zywvEpT6dow&feature=shares

Gatorbait
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:47 pm

Black Mormon wrote: People are less gullible nowadays and like to use fact-checks.

Good point, and I think we can blame it on people who sometimes don't know that they don't know, and base claims on things they have received "on their mother's knee" so to speak. They "feel" the source is good, that the person "has no reason to lie". Many of us are victims of this sort of thing but what are the "facts"? When you fact check something, are you really finding facts or just another answer to a question that may or may not be correct?

A good example is when you have a question and you Google it. You sometimes get answers all over the place. Try Googling why Fredrick Douglass has two s's at the end of his name and you get all sorts of answers, good answers, and only one is the true answer, that slaves, once freed often took a last name of a slave owner, and placed a "sleeper" letter at the end of the name to distinguish it from the slave owner as they did not want to appear to be their offspring, or associated with the slave owner . Look it up.

We often get our feet caught in the proverbial trap of passing on a story that is not true, yet we feel it is. Once we find out the truth, some say, "oh what the hell- I don't care and it's too much trouble to correct the error". This is where the church is now. They know the truth in many instances and they hold it back because they don't want to lose face. They feel that they are doing the right thing- the ends justify the means so to speak, and in the end they lose the one thing that sets them free- straight from the Bible and every sage or holy person who ever lived to tell the tale- the truth.
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2bizE
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Re: Changes I have seen. Does anyone agree?

Post by 2bizE » Fri Jan 20, 2023 6:27 pm

Don’t forget that young women can now hand out towels at the temple baptistery. Big steps.
~2bizE

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