The problem of evil and the name of the church

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
User avatar
oliver_denom
Posts: 458
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:09 pm

The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by oliver_denom » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:10 pm

Full disclosure, the only conference I engaged with this weekend was the summary page for each session on the Salt Lake Tribune. Still, it was enough to bring back the memory of what first caused me to question the church. I say question the church and not my faith, but cause questioning faith came sometime later.

In 1998 I came home from a two year mission after having seen some horrific scenes of suffering and depravity. The memory of some things still shakes me to the core this much time later. I'd go out in the streets and see people starving, dying of disease, drug abuse, and living with PTSD because of the permanent state of violence in their neighborhoods. I got to see first hand what real evil looks like. Yet, when I reached back to my experience in church and what was taught from the pulpit, there was nothing there I could draw upon. Platitudes and a promise of eternal joy if they just read and pray about my book, is small comfort to immigrant parents living in squalor unable to feed their children. At best, I was told that church on Sunday could be a temporary refuge from the hell of everyday life. Three hours a week, that's the best we could do. Anything else like food, shelter, and medicine was actively refused by local congregations because there was just too much need, and they themselves didn't know how to handle it. Instead, they just maintained a cold distance and told themselves stories about how the poor around them were liars and users who were too lazy to help themselves.

A few years later, 9-11 happened. It was an earth shaking event and a scene of horror that few of us had ever witnessed. President Hinkley called a special meeting in the middle of the day, and many of us believed that he had something prophetic from God to explain all of this, but he didn't. He said he didn't know why it happened, which was honest, but also a brutal wake up call that there were no special answers at the top. Again, the best we could do was keep going to church, paying our tithing, and everything would work out.

As the decade unfolded, I continued to see real evil in the world, things that we are still processing, and the church addressed none of it. If the only evils in the world were porn, masturbation, and gay people, then we'd be living in a Utopia. Not only did it not address what was truly broken in the world, it stayed silent when it should have spoke, and spent their capital on the most minor issues. This was certainly the case this weekend.

The world is tearing itself a part and sliding back toward fascism and authoritarian regimes, the climate of planet is pushing every species to the bring of extinction, we're threatened with nuclear war, natural disaster, globalization is destabilizing traditional jobs and markets, new realities in technology and economy has pushed us to make changes to family life just to survive, and all the church can do is complain about how things aren't how they used to be, and that we better get the name of the damn church correct or else. Seriously, WTF?

If revelation existed, then we sure could use it. Instead we get the two hour block and changes to jargon. Really? We've got families splitting apart over belief, and neighbors who want to shoot each other over politics, and this is what we get? This alone was enough for me to question my faith, because if this is what God's church concerns itself with, then god is absurd.
“You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages--they haven't ended yet.” - Vonnegut

L'enfer, c'est les autres - JP

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 1469
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by wtfluff » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:58 pm

This. ^^^

A buh-zillion times over, this. ^^^
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

Who taught you how to hate?

Arcturus
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by Arcturus » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:35 pm

Yep. You said it so well. Next to my #1 reason for walking away - preponderance of evidence the church isn't true - what you just explained is my #2. It just hurts me inside to see a church with such organization, resources, and commitment amongst its members being wasted on self enrichment, and not (it seems) attempting to fight the true issues in the world, like you said.

If the church did an about face and began to pump cash into feeding the poor, facilitating homes for orphans, etc., I would seriously consider going back. But no, what do they do? Talk about how God cares so much about what they call themselves and building multi-million $ temples that only a portion of Mormons actually use.

I used to give the Q15 a break and thought they were well intentioned. But now I have serious doubts about that. Too much $ flowing through the COB, and too much demi-God power bestowed on them by the orthodox base.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

User avatar
sunstoned
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:29 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by sunstoned » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:06 pm

There is more truth in the posts in this thread that in the whole of what was discussed in conference this weekend. To me it is unconscionable that someone like Oaks can keep doubling down on his LGBTQ hate speech knowing that the suicide rate of Utah teens is sky rocketing. This is evil in my book.

User avatar
crossmyheart
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:02 am
Location: Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by crossmyheart » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:01 am

Profound Oliver. Thank you for sharing.

I remember having the same dumbfounded feeling about Hinkley when he didn't have any revelation, no answers, or explanation.

But my world has expanded since then to see that the suffering the U.S. experienced at 9-11 was a drop in the bucket compared to many other 3rd world countries that have ongoing famine and war.

It is transcendental to visit one of those countries and look around and realize how trivial our american-centered church really is along with our "first-world" evils of porn and masturbation. Silly rules made up by wealthy one percenters who have nothing else to do but demonize trivial habits to keep us too busy to look outside of our own bubble.

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:33 am

oliver_denom wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:10 pm
As the decade unfolded, I continued to see real evil in the world, things that we are still processing, and the church addressed none of it. If the only evils in the world were porn, masturbation, and gay people, then we'd be living in a Utopia. Not only did it not address what was truly broken in the world, it stayed silent when it should have spoke, and spent their capital on the most minor issues.
Excellent points Oliver! I will say that statistically, there are many improvements in many areas of the bad things in this world. Actual data shows that access to clean water and food, death from violent crimes and disease, access to education, many other things the media feeds us as getting worse are actually getting better.

https://ourworldindata.org/

But that being the case, it's no excuse that things could improve much quicker. And if we look at the organizations that are responsible for making all those things better, the COB with all it's money and resources are not even a blip on the radar in terms of making the world a better place. Let's just take one example: The COB hammers it's own members with guilt and fear over masturbation, bullies them into voting against gay marriage, uses their donations to spend billions on temples, building malls, buying land, etc. If we look at human sex trafficking as a terrible human condition that cold be helped with those resources, what money has the COB spent fighting that most heinous of crimes? How much money did the COB spend on Kirton and McConkie? How much on Google Word ads to try and control the narrative of negative facts about their history? How much do each of the 15 spend on their family and extended family for their educations and living expenses, travel, security, etc., above and beyond their stipends? All those billions in resources and where are they with making the world a better place? Certainly no where on the leader board!

Set aside all the human issues and we have the planet suffering from pollution. Could we expect the one and true church to also be a leader or investor in the advancement of technologies to get us off fossil fuels and promote clean energy? See any solar panels on any of it's buildings? See any of our leaders promoting electric cars? As Oliver pointed out, where was the vision and revelation to get ahead of any of the major issues in this world? It seems a pretty damn narcissistic church IMO!
“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

20/20hind
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:31 am

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by 20/20hind » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:31 am

Honestly I think its because of the churches leadership age that you get this craziness. Think about it rusty is in his freaking 90's. Go talk to the majority of people in their 80s and 90s they just don't get it. Granted there are some who maintain their cognitive youth well into advanced age but it looks like rusty is really not there anymore.

Truth is he has had burr in his surgical mask for sometime about the nicknames and now he has the power to act on it. Claiming its a victory for stan when the word mormon is used. Its not logical or rational. The guy is in his 90s for hell sakes its what he thinks is important. Any other private company would have given him the retirement offering years ago.

Gatorbait
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by Gatorbait » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:12 pm

Interesting points made here. Sincerely.

Going out on a limb here.....firstly, I like Dallin Oaks. I've met with him, spoke with him and he's a fine man in my book. Although I strongly disagree with his points of view, I think he feels the need to draw the proverbial line in the sand. Why is that? The same reason lots of Mormons voted for the dirt bag Trump for US Pres. They are bigots. Sadly, they are the worst sort of bigots because they think that they get to make the rules on what being a bigot is.

President Hinkley- I cannot say anything bad about that man. I really liked him. His tattoo and earring business was something I dismissed as soon as I heard it, but Pres. Hinkley did a lot of good. A lot of good.

Where will this all go? Who knows? I see baby steps being made by the church. I see a whole lot of Mormons doing a lot of good because they are as Dieter, our fave, said- fine people. They want to help and serve. I was at a service project last night- a secular organization. The place was bustling with brother this and sister that so I knew the people were LDS. It was heart warming. Good folks, just like all of you.

We just keep on keeping on folks. This site helps a lot of people to cope. I don't look at it often, but when I do, I see a lot of good ideas.
"To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful." Edward R. Murrow

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 1469
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by wtfluff » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:27 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:12 pm
Pres. Hinkley did a lot of good. A lot of good.
Examples?
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

Who taught you how to hate?

User avatar
alas
Posts: 890
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by alas » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:08 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:27 pm
Gatorbait wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:12 pm
Pres. Hinkley did a lot of good. A lot of good.
Examples?
I think he started some good, that Oaks and others have smashed into the ground. For example, he said that Mormon women were not agitating for priesthood, opening up the possibility that if enough women actually wanted priesthood, it might be a possibility. He said that polygamy was not doctrinal, but Dallas and Rusty both have two wives sealed and lined up for eternal polygamy. He defined revelation in a realistic way, kind of the same for him as it is for us, getting away from the idea that Jesus shows up at their Thursday meetings and sits down for their briefing on the latest whatever, and then they have a discussion in which Jesus tells them what to do. He was good with the press, aiding our public image unlike others who insist they do not live in a bubble and are not dodos. So, yeah, compared to others, he was a great prophet.

User avatar
foolmeonce
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:28 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by foolmeonce » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:04 pm

PERFECT POST! THANK YOU!!

For me, the JS/BY history crap is whay I stopped believing. The actions/inactions of current COJCOLDS presidents is why I left. It's just dumbfounding to me to know how much good the Church can do in the world with all of the resources it has, but refuses to do so.

WWJD? Build a $3 BB mall, and stick it to the poor? Probably not. Use the resources to fix the unfixable world problems, you know, like Bill Gates is doing? I'd like to think so.
Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.

Spicy McHaggis
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by Spicy McHaggis » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:02 pm

This is one of the best posts in the history of NOM. Such great thoughts.

Arcturus
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:10 pm

Re: The problem of evil and the name of the church

Post by Arcturus » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:06 pm

Good opinion on the tribune about this:
War, famine, disease, global warming, drug epidemics, human trafficking, human rights abuses, Donald Trump, sexual assault (oh, I’m sorry, the last two were redundant) and God picks up the phone and calls Russell Nelson about nicknames.

I am fairly certain, President Nelson, that this was a prank call. You had better check your caller ID.

I am always disinclined to denigrate any belief system; after all, I was raised in a church that teaches I am eating the body and blood of a guy who has been dead for 2,000 years and gave us the Inquisition. None of us has a high horse to climb on. But if you are going to climb on one, please have the good sense to speak on a topic that might seem as if God might be concerned with it. And at least makes it into the top 1,000 things that are real issues.

All due deference to my good and devout neighbors and friends of all religions, no matter how unwieldy their names.
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests