People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

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ChickenSoup
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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ChickenSoup »

ArcticFox wrote:
ChickenSoup wrote: I mean, we all have thousands of different individual beliefs, right? Having set, relatively inflexible beliefs without much wiggle room historically sets up a split, IMO. It's like building a bridge without compensations for the expansion/contraction of the structure or lateral shifting. It's pretty strong, but as soon as turbulence arises, it has no way to deal with it and can only fracture. It's not a perfect metaphor, but it's pretty good, I think.
Yeah I think I get what you mean, and you aren't wrong. I guess the only time it really matters is on bigger stuff. Like, in my church, people have lots of different views on things. It isn't as monolithic as might might seem. Some Mormons absolutely won't drink Coke or Pepsi because they feel the Word of Wisdom (the thing that tells us to stay away from coffee, tea, drugs, alcohol) forbids it, while others drink it all the time. Some believe it's okay to have herbal tea and some won't drink any tea. The only time it matters is when it's an issue that might affect someone's eternal salvation. I'm not likely to lose a temple recommend if I drink Pepsi and herbal tea, so it isn't something the First Presidency needs to get involved in.

Right, and I was mostly speaking broadly about Christianity. So, does every Mormon meet the Prophet then, or am I misunderstanding that part?
On the other hand, if God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress, then the First Presidency should make that clear to the Church membership.
See, here's how I see that:
On the other hand, if the Church says that God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress
Quick note: not making a statement about fornication, just about the implications of this phrasing.
ChickenSoup wrote: I guess this is one of those fundamental principles that I'm just not on board with. It isn't that I think you're flawed for believing it, and I can see exactly why you and many thousands and thousands of others find it to be sound, and I'm not criticizing you for believing it--just to be clear. :)
No worries I think we have a good rapport going here. Thanks for being aware though!
Of course :)
ChickenSoup wrote: I just don't feel that in terms of spiritual matters, that it's necessarily constructive to have someone make sweeping statements in an ex cathedra manner. I don't know exactly what makes a revelation to that guy (pope, prophet, what have you) more valid that a personal revelation to myself. I know there are systems set up for qualifying these people, but it's all just so subjective. Many would say it's a pretty solid setup and many would say "ehhh I don't know how I'm supposed to just trust that. I'm gonna determine doctrine for myself, thanks." I just fall into the latter party. I still listen, engage, take careful consideration of the advice of various resources and theologians more intelligent than I am, but at the end of the day I don't defer to a set standard. I just have too many disagreements on some interpretive/intellectual level to default to a denominational set of doctrines if I'm not sure about something.
For us, it's a matter of having a testimony... meaning that the Holy Spirit has moved us directly to know and accept the authority of the Prophet. Basically it's like he's been endorsed by God to each of us, individually, so we know he's legit. This is supposed to happen every time we get a new Prophet, and the Church membership publicly sustains him as the new President of the Church. That's how everything in the LDS Church works... by individual testimony. We aren't supposed to just go with the crowd because all the cool kids are sustaining this new Prophet guy.. we're supposed to do it only because we've been inspired to do so directly, personally.

I guess I can loop back to my earlier question about the Prophet. I'm curious as to how it all fits together with thousands of members; is there just a pamphlet about him or do you get to meet with him for a while? (being somewhat facetious here, but the question and my interest in the LDS church structure is genuine :P )


Side note: Sstavix, you're a NaNoWriMo winner? Dude, congrats!
My name is ChickenSoup and I have several flavors in which you may be interested

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by Sstavix »

ChickenSoup wrote: I guess I can loop back to my earlier question about the Prophet. I'm curious as to how it all fits together with thousands of members; is there just a pamphlet about him or do you get to meet with him for a while? (being somewhat facetious here, but the question and my interest in the LDS church structure is genuine :P )
No, not everyone gets to meet the Prophet - or any of the Twelve Apostles - personally. But there is an abundance of materials out there about all of the members, and they have regular "conferences" twice a year that are televised and streamed over the Internet that people all over the world can watch.

As for a pamphlet, there are actually four monthly magazines that come out. The main one, called the Ensign, has the "First Presidency Message," and is written either by the Prophet or one of his counselors. All the magazines tend to have really good articles about spirituality and subjects for this day and age. You can read more about the magazines here if you'd like, including reading the current issue, or back issues.
ChickenSoup wrote:Side note: Sstavix, you're a NaNoWriMo winner? Dude, congrats!
Thank you! Chozon1 and DeepFreeze also participated - and won - this year. Hooray!

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Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Post by ArcticFox »

Sstavix, you convey stuff in writing way better than me. This is one of the reasons I'm grateful that you're here to smooth over my rough prose!
ChickenSoup wrote:
On the other hand, if God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress, then the First Presidency should make that clear to the Church membership.
See, here's how I see that:
On the other hand, if the Church says that God says fornication can mess up my spiritual progress
Quick note: not making a statement about fornication, just about the implications of this phrasing.
Yeah I get what you mean. And if I understand your point correctly, you're talking about the bit of uncertainty about whether the Church is accurately conveying God's will, as opposed to just using His name to gain some credibility. (Or being loony tunes) I totally get that, because it's the same way I might look at Catholicism... I think the Pope is a good guy and can really do a lot of good for the world, but I can't say that I truly believe he speaks for God. (Not saying he never has, or never could, only that in general I don't have a testimony that he does.) So that gets back to testimony. I believe that the Prophet speaks for God because I have had the Holy Spirit impress upon me that the Church is true. That isn't evidence for anyone else, of course, but it's why I personally believe. I'll bet Sstavix would say something similar, as would any Mormon who isn't just going through the motions. We aren't expected to believe the Prophet simply because he said so. That alone isn't good enough. The Prophet is a man. So is every person who ever claimed to hear God's voice. The difference is whether we can gain a testimony of it by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

James 1:5 FTW. I think if there's any one single verse that's truly the cornerstone of the LDS faith, at least for me, it's that one.
ChickenSoup wrote: I guess I can loop back to my earlier question about the Prophet. I'm curious as to how it all fits together with thousands of members; is there just a pamphlet about him or do you get to meet with him for a while? (being somewhat facetious here, but the question and my interest in the LDS church structure is genuine :P )
I think Sstavix prettymuch answered that one better than I would have, but I'll add that between all the conferences, publications and proclamations from the First Presidency, we have an opportunity to get to know the Prophet fairly well. Not personally of course but the next best thing. In any case, we are supposed to pray and ask for a testimony of the Prophet often, especially when we get a new one. It isn't enough to just take his word for stuff because you had a testimony of his predecessor. In our church, we're encouraged to ask questions and seek guidance through prayer. It's like a missionary once told me back before I converted: "Don't take our word for it. Pray and ask God. You KNOW He won't lie to you!"
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
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