Is the church under attack?


I just now came across a post by Bryce Haymond of the Temple Study blog entitled, The Grossest Form of Church Criticism, in which he states:

In recent weeks I have encountered what I consider to be one of the most damaging forms of criticism of the Church….It is that criticism which comes from within the Church.

He then goes on to quote President Benson as well as the scriptures and he lists the attributes of the LDS he is referring to, but without actually naming who they are or from what quarter they are coming.  I am not aware of apostates within my own ward and stake, so I am assuming that these criticisms are coming from LDS online, but maybe he is referring to critics within his own locality.  I don’t know.

The post has comments closed, so I wasn’t able to ask him what these critics are saying or who they are.  Does anyone know of a recent barrage of criticism from LDS towards the leadership or doctrine of the church?  Is there a recent division in the church that I don’t know of?  (I’m not one to regularly surf the “Bloggernacle” so anyone with information, please divulge.  Thanks.)

Warning: Bryce’s post is pretty harsh, though it contains many scriptures and thus, much truth.  There are some things I don’t agree with in his post, of course, but I’m not asking anyone to analyze whether his accusations or conclusions are founded or unfounded toward these people, whoever they are, I’m just curious as to whom he is referring, if anyone knows.

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11 Comments

  1. In the Book of Mormon, the Gadiantons never infiltrated the Church. They infiltrated Administration/Politics and the Courts, but IIRC it isn’t said that they infiltrated the Church. Do you think that in the last days the Church would become a target also (especially if Satan’s best salesmen are at work in this day)? Or is the mentality so pervasive now that infiltration and conspiracy is no longer even necessary, and the very membership just begins to adopt the ideas (almost osmosis-style). His list of hallmarks does seem pretty insidious…

    I have noticed a lot of criticism of the Church from within the Church online over the issue of homosexuality and the upcoming vote in California and “the letter” issued on the subject. I can’t say I’ve noticed quite the level of stuff he’s talking about. Speculation at places like this gets pretty out there, but what happens here and elsewhere among progressive and independent Mormons isn’t quite what he is talking about.

    I think all these things will be taken care of in the coming “cleansing of the Church” that you also expect to see. I think anyone who uses the word “Bloggernacle” is one of the corrupted to be cleansed! *smile*

    What do we call this mentality he’s trying to address? Is it related to the following “heresies”: Modernism, Globalism, Neo-conservatism, neo-Liberalism, and all the other modern trends toward “fascism disguised as freedom”?

  2. What is IIRC?

    Yes, perhaps his post is over the California marriage amendment letter. I didn’t think of that. Its just that his article was so accusatory and vehement that I thought there must be something big afoot that I wasn’t aware of. It took me off guard. But maybe he’s just blowing things out of proportion.

    In my own ward, I don’t see any dissension whatsoever, nor even do I hear talk of dissension. Although inactivity appears to be rampant here (and probably everywhere else), I don’t consider those who don’t come to church on Sunday to necessarily be apostates. Everyone who stands up in church or gives a lesson goes on and on about the virtues of the bishop and bishopric and stake presidency and how we need to follow the brethren, etc. I see and hear only support from every quarter.

  3. Hi LDS Anarchist,

    To help answer your question, my post wasn’t directed at any particular group, organization, person, website, blog, event, political matter, or anyone else. I left it general on purpose. I see attacks on the Brethren from all quarters lately, particularly online, and this is who I was referring to. Anyone who seeks to undermine the authority of the prophets or apostles fits the bill, which seems to be an unfortunate growing fad.

  4. IIRC == If I Recalled Correctly

  5. Bryce and Derek, thanks for clearing up my confusion.

  6. Perhaps I should comment given I was one of those ‘apostates’ that was shaking Bryce’s tree.

    You see a church led by prophets, seers, and revelators who pronounce God’s will and provide a source of continuous revelation. I see an organization that has not added to the canon of scripture in one hundred years and who ignore the revelations such as those pertaining to the united order and gathering to Zion; who declare the heavens are open but have yet to have the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon delivered to them.

    You see a church that proclaims to have the restored gospel. I see a church that has redefined the gospel, specifically regarding the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, to meet with their common experience. I see a leadership group that is striving to be accepted by the larger Christian community and, in the process, jettisoning those unique aspects that once defined a ‘peculiar’ people.

    You see the ‘only true church’ that is based on the claim of keys and authority. I see an organization that has ignored the proclamation of Ezra Taft Benson regarding the church still being under condemnation; one that continues to ignore the multiplicity of warnings in the Book of Mormon and D&C regarding an impending complete apostasy.

    So, will the real apostate please stand up…

  7. The root of Bryce’s problem is evident in his statement,

    Trust that God has called those who preside over His Church, and that He will not let them lead it astray.

    which is, itself, an internally inconsistent position, as I’ve pointed out before.

  8. I too was puzzled by what could have provoked the vehemence of Bryce’s post, and I certainly don’t see an upsurge in “attacks on the Church” lately. In fact, I think right now things are comparatively calm, even pleasant by comparison to 100 years ago when the Congress of the United States, the federal courts and their law enforcement agencies were out in full force to truly and literally destroy the Church as an institution.

    I was disappointed that Bryce’s post didn’t seem to allow for any comments. That seemed standoff-ish and suggested he didn’t want to be contradicted. I hope I’m wrong.

    Lastly, Bryce’s post suggested to me that he feels threatened by those in the Church who in all good faith see some things differently than he does, and he feels an urge to steady the ark. Look at it this way, Bryce. If you believe everything you say as passionately as it appears, then you also believe the Restoration was the final time and that the gospel’s truth will never again be taken from the earth. This means that no matter what “attacks” the Church may face, from without or within, the gospel and the priesthood authority will survive, so you don’t need to worry about it. I was born & raised in the Church and have been active my whole life, like you. But I have also learned that, while there is a time and place for zeal like yours, day to day it’s more important to look for opportunities to repent and to serve others, to show the Savior’s love to those around us regardless of whether that’s associated with the Church as an organization or not. So lighten up. I don’t worry anymore about whether “the Church is under attack” or why. It always will be, from somewhere. My time and eternal destiny is better served by trying to be more Christlike in my own life and helping God’s other children along the path that leads back home. And I’m a lot happier too.

  9. Correction, that should have been “130 years ago.”

  10. I was disappointed that Bryce’s post didn’t seem to allow for any comments.

    I don’t bother trying to leave comments there any more, since he’s deleted them in the past (and they weren’t even critical of him or the leadership or anything of the sort).

  11. I read Bryce’s post that you refer to a couple of days ago. I found it very extreme and not very Christlike. He seems to think anyone that doesn’t believe like he does need not come to Church with him and his family. Unfortunately, too many members have relinquished their right to receive personal revelation to the prophet and follow blindly. I agree that most of the time the prophet will be right, but if we assume he is always right (i.e. he will NEVER lead us astray) we will inevitably be disappointed, history has shown this to be a fact.

    I see an organization that has ignored the proclamation of Ezra Taft Benson regarding the church still being under condemnation; one that continues to ignore the multiplicity of warnings in the Book of Mormon and D&C regarding an impending complete apostasy.

    In my experience people have taken ETB’s statement too strongly. Everyone is overeager to quote from the Book of Mormon rather than the Bible. Some go an entire talk only quoting scriptures from the Book of Mormon, even when the same scripture exists word for word in the Bible. This sort of overcompensation feds into the presumption by many people outside the Church (investigators included) that we are arrogant. It’s OK to read from the BOM but let’s not forget that the Bible was inspired too.

    I don’t bother trying to leave comments there any more, since he’s deleted them in the past (and they weren’t even critical of him or the leadership or anything of the sort).

    That’s too bad. I don’t go to blogs where comments aren’t allowed or there is an inordinate amount of “editing” (I understand if there is language or off topic remarks). If the person can’t allow discussion on a post, even if it contradicts his position, then the position held is not a very defensible one.


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