Saturday, June 21, 2014

To Whom Shall We Go?

Anonymous D and I have been exchanging a lot of emails on the latest issues tearing up the Bloggernacle. Also inspired by the post on these themes at another friend's Keepapitchinin, Mormon History blog, I share some excerpts from Anonymous D's thoughts with regard to the sound and the fury:
None of them mean anything. Not one addresses the central issues we deal with. They are all momentary distractions from the central questions and facts. We are all going to die, then what? Do you have an answer supposedly-LDS-blogger? Do the things you are ever so concerned about answer those questions? If I (which I am not in the slightest, tempted to do) follow them, am I happier? No. In the end, I've had experiences I can't deny: experiences about Jesus; experiences about the Book of Mormon, multiple times; experiences and testimonies about the Temple; experiences about my family in the Temple; These weren't imaginary things.
In short, I've heard the voice of God. What is all of this distraction in comparison?
I stand with Hugh Nibley, I am stuck with the church. As he wrote to Sterling W. McMurrin, there may be things in the church I find perfectly appalling, but that's beside the point. I know the Gospel is true. I can say that every bit as well as Nibley can, having had experiences of my own.
I don't care what they do. I'm not concerned about the behavior of the G.A.s [General Authorities of the church], I have my own testimony which is perfectly independent.
This blog and its contributors have remained faithful to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yet, if I were to be counseled to correct something or stop blogging entirely by my priesthood leaders, I would counsel with them and comply as necessary. I don't think that's going to happen. My bishop's wife, at least, likes my blog. So I've got that going for me. And if it ever did happen, all I would have to do is simply comply and wait until those leaders got released. (I've actually considered that move about a few things over the years, but it's never come to that.) I'm not too proud or insecure to let other people be wrong.

A few people about left the church when I was bishop. But I never had to have a disciplinary counsel for apostasy. (I had everything else, though, from adultery to zoo-like behavior of indescribable nature.) I did alienate a few very faithful members who were participating in some questionable activities arising from self-awareness seminars. Some of them just waited out my release.

All in all, I don't have any problem what the church spokesperson said:
. . . . there is no effort to tell local leaders to keep members from blogging or discussing questions online. On the contrary, Church leaders have encouraged civil online dialogue, and recognize that today it's how we communicate and discuss ideas with one another.
. . . . How and why one asks is as important as the questions we're asking. What causes concern for Church leaders is when personal motivations drive those conversations beyond discussion, and a person or group begins recruiting others to insist on changes in Church doctrines or structure. When it goes so far as creating organized groups, staging public events to further a cause or creating literature for members to share in their local congregations, the Church has to protect the integrity of its doctrine as well as other members from being misled.
Amen, Anonymous D, Keepa, and church spokesperson.

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