I have no problem with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asking questions about decisions made by the faith’s leaders. Questions seeking answers are mostly good and healthy and, ultimately, beneficial to individuals and to the greater body.
What’s funny — not in any ha-ha kind of way — is the reaction from some Latter-day Saints who strongly question church leadership’s newly announced position in support of the federal Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify same-sex marriage while protecting religious doctrines that oppose it.
Those members appear to include many of the same people who call out others for questioning stances from top church authorities.
Some of them now say Latter-day Saint leaders have lost their way, have given in to the influence of Satan, are no longer inspired in discerning and dispensing God’s will.
This is too rich.
It’s notable that some members believe deeply in the divine guidance of prophets and apostles — individuals they say are called by the Almighty to teach and lead not just the “only true church,” but also people of all walks of life, all beliefs, everybody in the entire world — criticizing those who question some of their organizational decisions … until those same prophets and apostles take a position with which they disagree.
Then, suddenly, those formerly inspired folks have gone rogue, in their view, and are no longer the mouthpieces of God.
Again, no trouble in this corner for not just questions asked, but also disagreements settled on. All good.
Each person should find her or his own way, at day’s end, regarding church pronouncements, procedures and policies. If you’re a believer, that’s called personal inspiration. It’s a right the church not only suggests but also prefers its members to practice and perfect, best they can.
But many of the members disputing support for this proposed law are the same ones who have asserted — in commentary on social media, in meetings, in family settings, all around — that church decrees, doctrines and commandments are not to be consumed cafeteria-style, picking which to take in and which to spit out.
Either it’s OK for members to ask their questions — and sometimes disagree — or it’s not. If it’s not OK, then there’s only one thing for those zealots to do now: Hush up and accept what is handed down and obey. Or change their aggressive, dogmatic approaches.
The thought here is, go ahead and think for yourselves. Figure it out for yourselves. Toss things in the air and sort through them. If you’re a believer, think it over, pray over it, come to your peaceful conclusion.
Nobody here’s saying go all Martin Luther and nail your reforms to the door. Instead, use the mind and heart and spirit deity has given you and find your way forward.
And let everyone else do the same — without crying that they are sinners and rebels and devils and apostates for doing so.
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