Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book of Mormon Pride Cycle (Liberal View)

Every active member of the LDS Church can draw the Book of Mormon Price Cycle with their eyes closed. I would make an attempt, but it is easier explained with a clear graphic:

My son wrote a very popular Guest Post on Humility and Pride on this blog. Anonymous D has hit the Pride Cycle theme in rather direct terms here, here, and here. And keep reading the blog. I don't think he's through yet.

The spark for this posting today was from Ardis at  from her "Liberal Mormon" series. This one on "Property as a Means to Spiritual Ends." This is a church lesson plan from October 14, 1928, oddly, perhaps prophetically, one year before the Stock Market Crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. (That would be the "Destruction and Suffering" part of the Pride Cycle.) 

For the record, this lesson plan is not currently nor was it then any "official" doctrine or scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. However, as much is left to our our agency to apply scripture and church teachings to our own lives, and I am not aware of any current, official doctrine that contradicts this, it's perfectly valid for our consideration. [see side note below on "official doctrine"]

But this lesson plan is about as liberal as it gets. Interestingly, it only uses scripture from the New Testament. Perhaps it was a New Testament Lesson Manual. While I highly recommend the whole thing at Keepa, I provide here the conclusion of the comment section:
The principle to which all Church members are expected to conform is, however, that each shall dedicate himself, his time, his energies, and his means to the cause for which the Church stands. Since, however, the Church does not undertake material support of all of its members, the system of private enterprise and private property are continued. it seems self evident, however, that all private property rights are regarded by the Church as subordinate to the great ends for which the Church exists; namely, the salvation of the human race. This salvation may, however, be both temporal and spiritual, one, if not both of which, require the use of property in some form or other. The proposed discontinuance of private property does not mean to destroy property but only to transfer title to the community. Much property is now thus held. The nation, the state, and the various subdivisions of the state own extensively, as do also churches, fraternal orders, and other voluntary community organizations. these properties are used by the communities to which they belong; somewhat as private property is used by its owners. In the latter case, however, this private use is always subordinate to the public welfare. The state maintains by force, if need be, its right to require private property to contribute toward the public need. this is the meaning of taxation. The Church makes similar claim upon its members, but upon a purely voluntary basis. Over and above all of this every owner of property is morally and religiously obligated to use his property, as he should his knowledge and his abilities, in the service of his fellowmen.
[emphasis added]
That ought to send Brother Glenn Beck and a few others running for the exits.

As I've said before, we have more than enough conservatives in the church. It would be nice to balance it out with a few more liberals (I've actually been raising a few - all active in the church, Eagle Scouts, Missionaries, married in the Temple - and registered Democrats - by their own free-will choices). Moderates are fine too which is really where my family and I generally find ourselves. We only seem liberal because so many others are so extremely conservative. The point is, we should take in and welcome anybody. And we need more variety.

I have a lot of friends in Brazil. Many are now connected with me on Facebook. I get the impression that they belong to various political parties (and support various futebol teams - probably more important than politics). I see some clearly conservative views and some liberal views as well. I don't see the bashing back and forth or relative measures of "righteousness" based on political affiliation that we often see among church members in the United States. I understand this is the same in many countries outside the United States. God does not belong to any particular party nor does any party belong to him.

[side bar] I consider "official doctrine" of the LDS Church to be the standard works of scripture because the membership of church has accepted and sustained them in General Conference as well as entered covenants to live by them in sacred circumstances. Church Manuals are policy subject to change as they occasionally are and we should respect them as is. Any formal discourses of the President of the Church, his Counselors, and the Twelve, or any other discourse by a church leader are doctrine to the extent the Holy Spirit confirms it to me. Often it does, but not always. And dead prophets and apostles don't carry much sway with me, with the exception of the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

1 comment:

  1. I nominate this post for your future "Best of 2013" list.


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