“I believe the form of Mormonism practiced by the LDS Church is in great peril at the moment. If the members do not fight to retain their religion it will continue to alter and degenerate into something very different that it was and it will fail in its purpose to bring again Zion. If the members allow the trend to continue, the church may ‘succeed’ in the world, but it will not succeed in the mission of bringing Zion again. Like happened in the Book of Mormon, it will require another off-shoot to repent and return.” (Italics mine)
Source: http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-viewpoint.html Monday, 27 Jan 2014
Mormons are a Submissive People
I confess I was a little taken aback when I read this quote from Denver on Monday morning. It shook me up a little bit. I was a bit sleepy when I read it, both figuratively and literally, but wide awake after I thought about what I was reading. It is so antithetical to the way I have always thought about the role of members in the LDS faith. We don’t call the shots. We are submissive. Some have derisively labeled us the “sheeple.” Ouch – hurts, but true for some folks (see my entry in the comments). Consider this with me.
A Few Questions About the Quote
I have highlighted the two phrases that struck me as out of place with the way LDS folks think. I’m specifically thinking of the temple covenants, especially the last of the five. Denver’s post brings up a few questions: 1) who has the right to define our religion? 2) Do you think common members have anything to say about how the church is run or what is taught in our church? 3) Is our religion Mormonism, Christianity (or both) or some other form of a more ancient religion?
We Covenant to Sustain the Leadership
4) In what ways could we or would we “fight to retain [our] religion?” 5) Who is changing it? 6) What power do members have to “allow” or not “allow” these changes Denver says are altering and degenerating our religion into something very different from what it was? 7) What does he mean by an “off-shoot?” 8) Does that refer to a new church? He’s already written a new church is not required and advised us to stay actively involved in the existing structure of the church.
Dissent is not Common in the LDS Church
I think that’s enough questions for now. Denver never ceases to surprise me. I always contribute these kinds of statements to the idea that he did not grow up a member of our faith. It was not ingrained in him from an early age that we do not question the leadership of the church about how it is run. That’s simply unheard of, isn’t it? This is not meant to be a criticism of the man, just an observation. Your every-day Mormon doesn’t think about “fighting” the Brethren.
Rarely do we Object to Changes
Despite the law of common consent, your typical Mormon does not think about “allowing” or “disallowing” anything done by the leaders of the church. It’s quite the contrary. If they tell us we’re going to change something like the three-hour block into a two-hour block there would be very few members who would object. I don’t know about you, but I love the new temple film. I had nothing to say about it. Nobody ever asked me if I felt it needed to be changed in any way.
We believe in Continuing Revelation
I want to keep this short. I just wanted to bring it to your attention and wondered what you might think about the idea of “fighting to retain our religion.” Yes, I’ve read Passing the Heavenly Gift several times. I know what he is referring to when he says the church or the religion has changed. Of course it has. I understand his point that what we practice today is dramatically removed from what was originally practiced in the days of Joseph and Brigham. Continuing revelation, right?