Give Mormonism another 180 years. Really. Let’s assume that by then Jesus still hasn’t returned and burned the world to a nice crisp, sending us to hell or some state of glory.
If life is still an option, what will our descendants be thinking about us and what we believed in long-ago 2018? Thanks to technology, they’ll know a lot more about us than we currently know about our Mormon ancestors.
Future Mormon No. 1 • “Women couldn’t have the priesthood? That’s just crazy.”
Future Mormon No. 2 • “What I want to know is what knob thought up excommunicating gay members? Two of the apostles are gay.”
Future Mormon No. 3 • “Holy cow! We used to spend that kind of money on temples instead of building universities and hospitals?
Future Mormon No 4 • “No wonder there are only about a hundred of us left.”
I don’t know if any of that will come to pass (and neither do you), but it’s a safe assumption that the church will have changed enough for them to regard us as at least a little quaint if not outright crazy.
This is a valid point, considering how much time and energy we wasted looking for extra wives and keeping black people out of temples.
If that doesn’t leave you scratching your head, you ought to at least consider what would happen if we tried living church commandments of 180 years ago today. Pretend that polygamy has just returned.
Ponder your wife’s response to: “That Watson girl is cute. I think I’ll marry her next week.”
As you might expect, your current only wife will have something to say about that, and it probably won’t be, “Yes, dear patriarch husband.”
Nope. My guess is that the next time you woke up — if indeed you did — it would be in a long-long-term care facility, your family would be gone, and the Watson girl would be 50-plus years old.
What this means is that we’ve come a long way from what was once considered sacred duty back then and unconscionable today.
My wife manages our money. I know for a fact what she would say if there came a New and Improved United Order revelation, and I casually suggested that we turn over my paycheck to the church every month, after which the church would give us back only what we actually needed.
Her • “No.”
Me • “Good. I want a new truck.”
The point of all this is to suggest that entrenching ourselves in an element of revealed doctrine is problematic because things — including extra special sacred things — are way more flexible than we think.
Argue mightily as you please, we can’t predict what the church will be like 180 years from now. If we could, we’d be just as astonished as those looking back at us today.
Suppose tomorrow the LDS Church — the one so many regard as inviolable and intractable — were to backslide on the 1978 “revelation” that gave blacks full access to the gospel and announced that no amount of black/African blood would henceforth be tolerated when it came to full membership.
Given what we know about DNA, how deep would you be willing to dig to find out that your earliest ancestors were black and came out of Africa — and that the entire human race has been “unworthy” for 200,000 years?