People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Got a question? We may have some answers!
Forum rules

1) This is a Christian site, respect our beliefs and we will respect yours.

2) This is a family friendly site, no swearing or posting offensive links, pictures, or signatures.

3) Please be respectful of others.

4) Trolls are not welcome and will be dealt with accordingly.

5) No racial comments, jokes or images

6) If you see a dead thread over 6 months old, let it rest in peace

7) No Duplicate posts
User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:40 pm

I can't do denominations anymore. Can't make a move without word from a grand poobah? Nah.

This isn't a dig at the LDS church. It's at church hierarchy in general. But I'm a rebellious Christian :P
No worries.

I see it from the other perspective. 2 Peter 19 - 21 says

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
"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."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
Sstavix
CCGR addict
Posts: 2971
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: Eastern Washington. Not the crazy side.

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby Sstavix » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:44 pm

I can't do denominations anymore. Can't make a move without word from a grand poobah? Nah.


This isn't a dig at the LDS church. It's at church hierarchy in general. But I'm a rebellious Christian :P
I can relate to that. I was raised non-denominational, and my parents are still leery of anything resembling a church hierarchy which, in their opinion, may be creating man-made barriers between the individual and God. However, despite my upbringing, God had other plans for me....

Incidentally, my own stance regarding this issue is pretty much neutral. Since I'm not a gay parent (which my wife is very happy about ;) ), it doesn't really affect me at all. And Heavenly Father hasn't directed me to move away from the church because of this decision from the church leadership. The main thing that I wanted to point out was that, for the LDS church, infant baptism isn't a factor at all, because it doesn't exist for the Mormons. It has to be a conscious decision for the individual to be baptized or not - something that infants are incapable of doing for themselves. (However, babies can still receive blessings, and often do shortly after being born, during a special ceremony that usually takes place during the weekly sacrament meetings.)

User avatar
ChickenSoup
CCGR addict
Posts: 3286
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: the doomed ship HMS Sinkytowne

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:02 pm

I see it from the other perspective. 2 Peter 19 - 21 says

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Doesn't this just mean that scripture comes from God (through man) and not from people just interpreting what they think God wanted them to say? Versus, say, talking about interpretation in the sense of making claims about what we read as we read it? Especially considering that earlier in this chapter, there is mention of the Bible as a prophetic word?
My name is ChickenSoup and I have several flavors in which you may be interested

I also have a slightly PG-13 tumblr that you may not enjoy

User avatar
amyjo88
Minecraft Server Admin
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:24 pm
Location: MidWest USA

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby amyjo88 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:28 pm

There's a very big difference between a child being raised by normal parents who are living in sin, and a child being raised by a gay couple. The former case acknowledges the sinful nature of the parents' choices, and doesn't pretend to be otherwise, nor is it politically sensitive. A gay couple isn't going to acknowledge any moral problems with how they live, and would thus be teaching the child a lesson that conflicts with Church teaching.
That's a good point. You're right that a gay lifestyle is in a special class since it is accepted and even praised by our society. I can see how we need to treat it somewhat differently, not because it's a "worse" sin but because of the culture's view on it. Parents living in other sins are unlikely to want to teach their children that it is acceptable.

I'm still wary of a church policy like this. How is this going to be enforced? Are there no exceptions? I'm part of a denomination that intentionally leaves many things up to the local pastor and church so I guess my mindset is just very different. I can imagine there are times a church should wait to baptize a child but I can't see that that would always be the case.
As for the Church changing to suit the culture, don't forget that like the Catholic Church, the LDS Church is led by a person who is believed to be in direct contact with God, and leads the Church by revelation. That means that the Church isn't going to make a change like that unless directed to do so by God.
Oh, I didn't realize that. My knowledge of the LDS Church is limited to what I learned at Navoo. I didn't know (or forgot) that your leader is believed to have direct contact with God. This is hard for me to imagine, my denomination is led by a board of 6 General Superintendents who are equal and do not have a special connection to God.

BTW, always a pleasure to discuss with you ArcticFox and Sstavix.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:30 pm

Doesn't this just mean that scripture comes from God (through man) and not from people just interpreting what they think God wanted them to say? Versus, say, talking about interpretation in the sense of making claims about what we read as we read it? Especially considering that earlier in this chapter, there is mention of the Bible as a prophetic word?
I think it carries that meaning as well, sure. That teaches us a similar lesson though. It's saying that these things come through "holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Not individual laypersons. There's got to be a coherent leadership to guide us for obvious reasons: Individuals will come up with a wide range of differing interpretations and they can't all be right.
I'm still wary of a church policy like this. How is this going to be enforced? Are there no exceptions?
Well, in general if a set of parents want their kid to be baptized into the Church, they'd meet with the Bishop of the local congregation, at which point any issues that might cause problems for the child being able to make that commitment would come out. I think at this point the only exceptions would be kids who had already been baptized, in that they won't lose that or anything.
Oh, I didn't realize that. My knowledge of the LDS Church is limited to what I learned at Navoo. I didn't know (or forgot) that your leader is believed to have direct contact with God. This is hard for me to imagine, my denomination is led by a board of 6 General Superintendents who are equal and do not have a special connection to God.
Yeah the structure of our leadership is the Prophet, who has 2 counselors. Then, there's the Quorum of 12 Apostles.
BTW, always a pleasure to discuss with you ArcticFox and Sstavix.
Likewise! :D
"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."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ChickenSoup
CCGR addict
Posts: 3286
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: the doomed ship HMS Sinkytowne

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:14 pm

I think it carries that meaning as well, sure. That teaches us a similar lesson though. It's saying that these things come through "holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Not individual laypersons. There's got to be a coherent leadership to guide us for obvious reasons: Individuals will come up with a wide range of differing interpretations and they can't all be right.
I don't think it does, though. One meaning says "the Bible is God's word" and the other says "y'all need a grand poobah to lead you" while relying on a pretty broad instruction for who is qualified to even interpret the Bible. I just think it's interesting that so many people say that scientists, even experts in a given field, don't know what they're talking about when it contradicts their assumptions about the world but will readily defer to a minister, bishop, etc in matters of faith.

Observable universe? I can interpret that research myself, thank you.

Godly matters? Call in the Pope (obviously, insert other spiritual leader of your choice here.) Why? I don't know, he ot she has more heaven points? It's all so reliant on interpretation and subjective evaluation that the idea of one person or a few people making absolute statements and dictating doctrine for thousands of people seems silly to me.

And I'm not really looking to get into specific arguments about science vs religion, i.e. "well, science's claims change every few years!" I know that. So do the claims of many denominations, albeit perhaps more slowly through the years. I would chalk it up to striving toward greater understanding in both cases and finding new knowledge or wisdom that might contradict the past. Anyway, I am moreso focusing on the interpretive nature of faith.

The fact that one verse (the one you referenced) could have two very different face-value meanings to you and me speaks to that.
My name is ChickenSoup and I have several flavors in which you may be interested

I also have a slightly PG-13 tumblr that you may not enjoy

User avatar
RoosterOnAStick
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 1:18 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:21 pm

I suppose my main question is has any other church taken a stance similar to this one? if so what was their theology behind it?

Personally, I think my concern would come with the fact that while the gay parents are one thing, does the kid really understand any of this? If the kid wants to join a church whose beliefs are otherwise in opposition to the parents beliefs, what did the kid want in all of this? What does the kid believe? I would think the issue would be the beliefs of the kid and their spiritual state if the kid is of age of reason to decide for themselves. I would think it would be more like going for a clearance, where only the applicant is under investigation.

From an outsider's perspective I can see where this would be a major issue and a case to be made that this was perhaps not the right decision. There are simply too many unknowns. Did the kid believe that what his parents were doing was a sin (again, assuming this kid is at the age of reason)? Did he accept Mormon teaching and have a sincere desire to live a Mormon life according to said teachings as difficult as that may be in this setting? Does the political sensitivity of the issue really matter that much when it comes to the state of a child who wants to join the faith and is not a practicing homosexual?

So the next question for me is whether or not there is anything specific or unique to Mormon theology on baptism that may not have been taken into consideration so far which might provide additional context? I'm confused because for me if the kid wanted to join, they (along with the parents if they so wished) would have had to go through catechesis classes, usually for at least 6-12 months in many cases. The teachings of the Church and how homosexual activity is a sin in the eyes of the Church would certainly be brought up there (I would be very shocked if it wasn't) first. It would be most likely left to the local priests and bishops to work with the people and decide from there but I can't see any theological reasons from Orthodox teachings on baptism for withholding baptism unless the priest is made aware of something that others do not know. Even so, I doubt there would be a one size fits all answer in the Orthodox Church, and I am not sure if one is even possible. The Orthodox Faith and its teachings on this issue (if the priest or his designate who is conducting the classes does their job properly) should make the teachings of the faith clear so that there any misconceptions or misgivings are addressed long before the baptism date approaches and is something they would talk about privately.

So is there any aspect of Mormon teachings about baptism that may shed some additional light on their stance?
“If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.” - Theodore Dalrymple

User avatar
Sstavix
CCGR addict
Posts: 2971
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: Eastern Washington. Not the crazy side.

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby Sstavix » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:29 pm

Godly matters? Call in the Pope (obviously, insert other spiritual leader of your choice here.) Why? I don't know, he ot she has more heaven points? It's all so reliant on interpretation and subjective evaluation that the idea of one person or a few people making absolute statements and dictating doctrine for thousands of people seems silly to me.
That's where it becomes a matter of faith. The Pope and the Prophet are both viewed by the Catholics and the Mormons, respectively, to be the one person on the Earth to receive direct communication from God in terms of what church policy should be. For the LDS faith, at least, most individual instruction is between the individual and their own prayers with Heavenly Father. I'm not sure how the hierarchy is with the Catholics (perhaps some Catholics or former Catholics can enlighten us here). But in terms of grander steps in how the church should be structured, what policies are in place and who's in charge, that is up to the respective leaderships and what God directly tells them it should be. Yes, there will be some - especially outside these denominations in particular - who don't believe that God communicates directly with the church leaders. That's where faith comes in.

I'm not sure if those who disagree with LDS church policy are of the mindset that the church leaders are wrong and deviating from God's intention, or if thy think God is wrong in this regard. It may be a mix of both. In either case, if they really feel Heavenly Father is leading them a different direction, then I wish them well. If they are leaving because they think it's just wrong, then I would ask if they are doing what they want, or are they doing what God wants? The answer could be either one, but it's one that an individual needs to explore with thoughtful, humble prayer before finding the answer.

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:23 pm

I don't think it does, though. One meaning says "the Bible is God's word" and the other says "y'all need a grand poobah to lead you" while relying on a pretty broad instruction for who is qualified to even interpret the Bible. I just think it's interesting that so many people say that scientists, even experts in a given field, don't know what they're talking about when it contradicts their assumptions about the world but will readily defer to a minister, bishop, etc in matters of faith.
I don't think that's such a leap. If the source of Scriptural understanding is people who are prompted by the Holy Spirit, it makes perfect sense that the community should look to those who have those attributes for guidance. Ultimately it would have to come down to just one person (or maybe a small group) because otherwise you'll still have different peoples' biases causing discord within the church.

As for who to defer to, one of the centerpieces of the LDS faith is that the conversion experience really needs to have that moment when a person feels their testimony inspired by the Holy Spirit, so they know the Prophet truly is what he claims to be, and that the Scriptures really are true. That's why you can't really talk someone into believing in the truth of the Church, they have to have that moment for themselves. It's something the LDS Missionaries try to encourage people to do. Once you've had that moment of inspiration from the Holy Spirit, you KNOW the Prophet is truly called of God. I can't really comment on the experiences of others.
"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."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
RoosterOnAStick
Regular Member
Regular Member
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 1:18 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:56 pm

Here is the entirety of 2 Peter Chapter 1 for additional context

Also, here is Chapter 2 of it for additional context

Both are taken from the ESV but the site has other English translations as well.

Seems to me like those three verses are part of a much different point that Peter is trying to make to his audience if you read both the passages immediately surrounding it and the passages that immediately follow in chapter 2.

For starters, 2 Peter 1: 16-21 (taken from the same link):

"16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

Then the passage immediately following it, 2 Peter 2: 1-3:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

There is even more context in the surrounding passages as well, which is why I linked both of the chapters in their entirety. There are other historical, scriptural, and theological contexts too I am sure, but for now I think this is enough to demonstrate that the verses that there is a lot more to the verses quoted that began this tangent than have been discussed up to this point.
“If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.” - Theodore Dalrymple

User avatar
ChickenSoup
CCGR addict
Posts: 3286
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: the doomed ship HMS Sinkytowne

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ChickenSoup » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:30 pm

I don't think that's such a leap.
We'll have to to just... agree to disagree on that one :P It's pretty big.

If the source of Scriptural understanding is people who are prompted by the Holy Spirit, it makes perfect sense that the community should look to those who have those attributes for guidance. Ultimately it would have to come down to just one person (or maybe a small group) because otherwise you'll still have different peoples' biases causing discord within the church.
Meh. Discord happens regardless. A church I went to at one point had a huge split in the earlier part of the 20th century over such teachings as men wearing neckties to church and not having any musical instruments in worship.

While it certainly doesn't work for everyone (or even most people, I'd venture) I really only like larger gatherings in churches for worship, while doing more learning on my own or in smaller groups. For actual learning, I've more or less abandoned the sermon aside from the occasional podcast or something. I know better than to make sweeping claims about all churches, but most churches I've attended in my area, anyway, don't have much to say that I haven't heard a hundred other times growing up in the church and working in Christian camps and the such. I understand why you can only go so deep with a wide audience, but dang. I didn't stay in ninth grade in academics, and I certainly don't want basic stuff anymore in my faith. Smaller groups, even discussions we have here on CCGR, are more appropriate for diving deep, I think, short of attending seminary or something, haha.


I've gone on a bit of a tangent, but I guess that what I'm trying to get at is that I see the benefits of having a spiritual leader, but there are disadvantages to the modern church setup that I've run into time and time again. I'd also certainly warn against regarding the word of any human as close to infallible.

As for who to defer to, one of the centerpieces of the LDS faith is that the conversion experience really needs to have that moment when a person feels their testimony inspired by the Holy Spirit, so they know the Prophet truly is what he claims to be, and that the Scriptures really are true. That's why you can't really talk someone into believing in the truth of the Church, they have to have that moment for themselves. It's something the LDS Missionaries try to encourage people to do. Once you've had that moment of inspiration from the Holy Spirit, you KNOW the Prophet is truly called of God. I can't really comment on the experiences of others.
Time for me to admit some ignorance and to find out a little more about the LDS church: can you explain to me how the position of the Prophet, well, works? You mentioned his council and the 12, but I guess due to lack of interaction with Mormons aside from this forum, my knowledge of that branch of the faith is pretty lacking. Is it fairly different than, say, the Pope is to the Catholic Church? Is the Prophet regarded as infallible when speaking as a messenger from God?
My name is ChickenSoup and I have several flavors in which you may be interested

I also have a slightly PG-13 tumblr that you may not enjoy

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:43 am

We'll have to to just... agree to disagree on that one :P It's pretty big.
Image
Meh. Discord happens regardless. A church I went to at one point had a huge split in the earlier part of the 20th century over such teachings as men wearing neckties to church and not having any musical instruments in worship.
Sure does. The LDS Church itself split when Joseph Smith died. People can have a genuine testimony and still have it clouded by personal biases or other desires. For me, it's preferable to have it that way, because at least then there's a clear issue(s) causing the schism that can be prayed over and evaluated by those who sincerely want to understand God's true message. The alternative, having literally thousands of small groups with unique doctrines, is more problematic IMHO.
Time for me to admit some ignorance and to find out a little more about the LDS church: can you explain to me how the position of the Prophet, well, works? You mentioned his council and the 12, but I guess due to lack of interaction with Mormons aside from this forum, my knowledge of that branch of the faith is pretty lacking. Is it fairly different than, say, the Pope is to the Catholic Church? Is the Prophet regarded as infallible when speaking as a messenger from God?
There's a little saying that goes "Catholics claim the Pope is infallible, and nobody believes them. Mormons claim the Prophet is not infallible, and nobody believes them." What that's talking about is the Prophet is considered to be completely reliable in matters of doctrine, but even then it still has to be something agreed upon by the entire First Presidency (The Prophet and the two counselors) and, I believe, the Quorum of Twelve. (Apostles) Sstavix might want to correct me there if I've stated something inaccurately. It isn't that Prophets can never make mistakes as leader of the Church, (I think Brigham Young dropped the ball more than once) but even so the Lord won't allow the Prophet to lead the Church astray in matters of doctrine. For the First Presidency to come out with some new doctrinal idea us relatively rare compared to, say, matters of more ordinary Church policy or management, which can often be matters of personal judgement.

I think that's similar to the Pope, in that he is also only considered truly infallible if he's speaking Ex Cathedra (A very formal and official declaration)

So I guess to illustrate, the Prophet can certainly be wrong if he expresses something as his own opinion. If he says "I think the 49ers are going to win the Superbowl" nobody thinks he's saying that God told him so, but if the First Presidency comes out and says that, as a matter of doctrine, homosexual behavior is sinful in the eyes of the Lord, then it is so because it needs to have come from God.

I don't know if I explained that very well, but Sstavix can knock me back on track if I messed anything up. He's better at this than I am.
"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."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
ChickenSoup
CCGR addict
Posts: 3286
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: the doomed ship HMS Sinkytowne

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:43 am

The alternative, having literally thousands of small groups with unique doctrines, is more problematic IMHO.
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.

I see standardized doctrines as guidelines. I mean, I've yet to find a single church, group, or denomination that I can say that I agree with more than, I dunno, 70% of the time. That doesn't mean that I can't attend a church, but conversation is seldom as constructive as it could be if both parties didn't make the assumption every time that certain tenets were inflexible. Now, I know this is a bit of an exaggeration--most reasonable pastors/priests/ministers are not going to shut down and say "nah, this is the doctrine. you can't question it", but at the end of the day, it generally comes down to them saying that in one way or another because as a minister in X denomination, they preach Y.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I have to quit because of this, but I just glean a whole lot less from a sermon when I can only listen to such-and-such doctrines without reciprocal engagement. I've been lucky at different times of my life to be able to attend a church that would have small groups through the week for discussion of topics covered in sermon, but this isn't always the case, and sadly I had to leave a recent particular church like that when I moved from my hometown. I guess right now I'm in a weird spot where I haven't found a great place (yet) that is truly challenging or engaging. I acknowledge that it's not a universal experience, though. For many people the modern church format works well enough. I guess I just wish there was more out there for those of us who don't prefer it for learning; I guess that's where sites like this can come in.
There's a little saying that goes "Catholics claim the Pope is infallible, and nobody believes them. Mormons claim the Prophet is not infallible, and nobody believes them." What that's talking about is the Prophet is considered to be completely reliable in matters of doctrine, but even then it still has to be something agreed upon by the entire First Presidency (The Prophet and the two counselors) and, I believe, the Quorum of Twelve. (Apostles) Sstavix might want to correct me there if I've stated something inaccurately. It isn't that Prophets can never make mistakes as leader of the Church, (I think Brigham Young dropped the ball more than once) but even so the Lord won't allow the Prophet to lead the Church astray in matters of doctrine. For the First Presidency to come out with some new doctrinal idea us relatively rare compared to, say, matters of more ordinary Church policy or management, which can often be matters of personal judgement.

I think that's similar to the Pope, in that he is also only considered truly infallible if he's speaking Ex Cathedra (A very formal and official declaration)

So I guess to illustrate, the Prophet can certainly be wrong if he expresses something as his own opinion. If he says "I think the 49ers are going to win the Superbowl" nobody thinks he's saying that God told him so, but if the First Presidency comes out and says that, as a matter of doctrine, homosexual behavior is sinful in the eyes of the Lord, then it is so because it needs to have come from God.
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. :)

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.
My name is ChickenSoup and I have several flavors in which you may be interested

I also have a slightly PG-13 tumblr that you may not enjoy

User avatar
ArcticFox
CCGR addict
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:00 pm
Are you human?: Yes!
Contact:

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:55 am

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. 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.
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!
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.
"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."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

User avatar
Sstavix
CCGR addict
Posts: 2971
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:47 am
Are you human?: Yes!
Location: Eastern Washington. Not the crazy side.

Re: People Leaving the LDS Over New Baptism Rules

Postby Sstavix » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:41 pm


I don't know if I explained that very well, but Sstavix can knock me back on track if I messed anything up. He's better at this than I am.
You've been Mormon longer than I have. :P I usually go to you when I have the occasional question about church structure! So far you haven't said anything Id disagree with. I'll go ahead and reaffirm what you mentioned above, though.

The LDS church has heavy emphasis on the individual, and free will is a big factor in our spiritual development. The Prophet and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles are the ones who direct policy for the church as a whole... but it's up to each of us individually to communicate with Heavenly Father to determine what we should do with our lives. This church policy is a good example. The new policy indicates that children of same-sex parents can't be baptized until they hit the age of 18. There's noting in the church policy - nor should there be - that tells the individual members that we can't be friends with these children or their same-sex parents. Or witness to them as missionaries. In fact, I think that same-sex parents can still be members of the church - they just won' t be able to obtain temple recommends or hold any callings unless they abstain from ... ahem, relations with their partner.

So the heads of the church can make decisions for the church. They can't make decisions for the individual members. That's up to the individual members and whatever communications they receive from Heavenly Father.


Return to “Spiritual Matters”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron