I started writing this as a comment, but as I continued to write — I decided it would be best to make this into a post of its own.
I was once optimistic that my discussions with people in person and online could affect some greater change in the world at large. When LDSA wrote that this posts should be considered open copyright — I agreed that perhaps distributing these ideas could play a part in the ushering in of the conditions for the great and marvelous work.
I despise echo-chambers — and while I think preaching to the choir has its place [hence my participation here], I’ve always felt that ideas also need to be floated among more hostile company too [iron sharpens iron, and all that]. I’ve done letter campaigns, anonymously e-mailed copies of the 2010 CHI to anonymous askers [read the end of this comment], and participated in many different discussions online.
However, two comments were written to me today that have caused me to change my mind. One from the conversation here:
“Justin, this may make sense to you, but many people aren’t interested in putting themselves in a situation where they need to hide what they are doing from their ward/family and explain to church leaders that they are reinterpreting garment-wearing. Whether or not the church culture as a whole pays attention to the wording in the initiatory, we all know what rules you must follow regarding garments if you want to stay well-integrated into your ward.”
and the other from here,
In discussing the hierarchy and how some of these ideas exist in the LDS Church, it is taught, directly or indirectly.
“Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don’t need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.” – Marion G Romney
“When the Prophet speaks the debate is over”. – N. Eldon Tanner
“Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray.” – Boyd K Packer
The “12 points” recently discussed
These types of quotes are where it comes from. Whether this is what God intended or not is obviously up for debate, but within this organization, this is how it is.
Since there are no females in this hierarchy there is essentially no mechanism to change this, unless the hierarchy itself decides to change.”
There are three topics about which people will never change their views on as a result of a single conversation they have with another person: religion, diet, and politics [This site is especially bold for trying to tackle two of them at the same time -- however the same thing I've noticed among LDS sites is also happening within my diet community too]. For these three, change will only come after a singly large, devastating life experience or after a long course of personally-driven study and reflection. This is not the means by which we can affect change.
This was said before, but it bears repeating here — for the people who don’t follow the comments:
I have a feeling that people, (in particular, LDS), have a hard time grasping the concepts put forth in this post (and others like it) because we don’t have a clear idea of what the future should look like. We see agriculture and money being passed around and know that these things have existed for thousands of years and we hear of prophets and righteous men and women tilling the ground, using money, etc., and we think that the gospel is designed for an agricultural, money-based lifestyle.
The gospel is flexible, adaptable to the conditions that exist among men, but it is not designed to leave men in those conditions, but to allow men to use the truths, principles and powers found in the gosepl to change them so that they match those found in the heavens.
Unless we look forward and use our imagination to envision what the future is supposed to look like, how in the world can we ever work to remove ourselves from our present, fallen condition into a more exalted, heavenly one? It seems to me that mankind is largely spinning their wheels and letting the future bring what it may, without actually striving to shape it themselves…
…That’s okay for the rest of the Gentiles, but the Mormon Gentiles have been given the restored gospel and should be more enlightened than that. We’ve got everything we need to establish the future God has designed for the Earth. We just need to organize ourselves into cohesive, gospel-based tribes and make it happen.
We only have our tribes. Even non-religous observes have noted that the collapse of this system of -isms and -archies is imminent, and that survival will be tribal.
As I noted in Connecting with Pixels, the Lord is about connecting humans to other humans. That is what activating tribal worship services, tribal family units, and a strong tribal priesthood is all about. Our online discussions are only valuable insofar as they aid each of the readers in making these connections. This is not the connection.
If we aren’t walking away from our computers and working to establish and spread our own tribes, then we have missed the mark. [The reader may already know this -- I'm just acknowledging it out loud for myself.]
I’d be interested in hearing reports on how others are doing at establishing the tribal connections among their own families.
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