Monday, October 7, 2013

Uchtdorf Takes Lesson From New Pope

It was hard not to laugh at the non-apology recently made at the October Session of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).  President Uchtdorf, second councilor in the first presidency, attempted one while using very noncommittal language which may have been the results of taking lessons from the new pope on how to deal with pesky PR issues. His phrasing is very pertinent, you’ll notice the use of the words “may”, "maybe", and "could" used very freely. It was always “may have offended”, “may come across some things in church history”, “maybe, a prophet or person of God somewhere along the way might have said something”. There is no admission of guilt or wrong doing, there is no admission that the church has participated in scandals ranging anywhere from arranged marriages of 14 year old girls in exchange for their families salvation, to excommunicating any church historian who writes anything negative about the church using the privileged archives that they have access to.

Similarly, Pope Francis has spoken publicly against focusing on peoples sexual orientation while doing nothing to change the actual doctrine.

The one bright spot that I found myself agreeing with was hearing someone understand that people who leave the church are not necessarily "offended or lazy or sinful."

The New York Times has run a story on Uchtdorf's admission while noting some of the faults and pointing out that he didn't mention which faults he was referring to.  This talk seems to be part of the new initiative that the Church has been doing to redirect attention from recent failed political campaigns which have turned the public eye to scrutinize the church.  In one of my previous articles I point out their campaign to cry victim while at the same time continuing to squash others rights to live life how they see fit.  Uchtdorf mentioned in his talk that "they absolutely respect the free-agency of everyone", this respect seems to have been learned after the PR hit which has come with Proposition 8.

Perhaps Uchtdorf could begin by addressing this interview with Elder Oaks, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles:
I can also imagine some circumstances in which it might be possible to say, ‘Yes, come, but don’t expect to stay overnight. Don’t expect to be a lengthy house guest. Don’t expect us to take you out and introduce you to our friends, or to deal with you in a public situation that would imply our approval of your “partnership.”
Is this sort of thing condemned by the church or condoned? It's basically saying to keep your life private and we are so embarrassed of you that we want to keep you hidden from anyone else.

Recently the Church has begun to admit very quietly, but also very noncommittally, its racist history. This year the Church has released a new edition of the standard works, the Church's canon, and have either changed headings, or added explanations. Most noticeably is their move to make Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) less the inerrant word of God and emblem of modern revelation, and more the notes of Joseph Smith's scribes.  In this way they are setting up to distance themselves further from their mid-eighteenth century heritage.

No comments:

Post a Comment