“There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions or investigating our history, doctrine, or practices.“
– M. Russell Ballard, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
If you had the ability to save a marriage, would you do it? If you could repair the broken relationship between a child and his parents, would you do it? If you could stop a gay teenager from killing himself with just your words, would you do it?
I don’t believe that the leaders of the LDS Church are innocent in this anymore. I used to give them the benefit of the doubt, believing that all of this new information about church history was just coming to light for them too. But then I see a Facebook post like this from Elder Christofferson:
“I’m not sure what is behind the increasing attacks upon the Prophet Joseph Smith in our current time, but one thing is for sure: it is increasing.” click here for the full Facebook post
If there are increasing attacks, it is simply because the brethren never told the truth in the first place. They know what is behind it. All they need to do is read the comments section on that Facebook post. Elder Christofferson knows exactly why people are attacking Joseph, because he would have had to approve the new Gospel Topics essays on LDS.org.
If these men are as in-touch with the members of the Church as they claim, they would know how many families are hurting. The cover-ups, the lies, the half-truths, the manipulations from these men have crushed the hearts of thousands upon thousands. Their spiritually-crushed members hide in church-owned dorms, in half-empty wards, in bishoprics, and in temple marriages. It has had nothing to do with pornography, or the Word of Wisdom, or paying tithing, or not trying hard enough. These members were destroyed because these men lacked the courage to tell the truth when it mattered.
For those that have dared to speak the truth, they are given the choice of spiritual execution or spiritual suicide. Dare to speak up online or in class, and you will be quickly summoned to a disciplinary council. There your Stake High Council willdetermine that because you asked too tough of questions (aka not “faith-promoting”) and followed the answers through to their logical conclusion, that you are now worthy of eternal damnation, losing your eternal family, and being cut off from the presence of God you spend decades trying to get close to. If you aren’t willing to subject yourself their kangaroo court, your spiritual death will be a self-inflicted one by resignation.
But despite what they claim, it is all meaningless, a farce and a sham. How could questions get a man damned? When the evidence says the Church did or is lying, what God would reward the truth with eternal torment? But those that claim to be Jesus’ apostles just call us bad students of the gospel, and no blame lies with its teachers. After all, they will never lead the class astray.
If God’s spokesman on Earth can’t bring clarity, it’s no wonder your local leadership can’t either. But who can blame them? The only answer they have ever been told to give is get in line and put your doubts on the shelf.
To the leadership of the Church, in the upper rooms of your fine sanctuaries: you are moral cowards, gripped by what I can only assume is fear. (Your temple second anointings that already guarantee your self-appointed godhood cannot be easily revoked.) Your lack of action is destroying families. You claim a connection to God, but you never seem bring clarity to your troubled saints. The tithing dollars you spend on twice-a-year platitudes, marketing campaigns, and flashy videos are all simply pretty wrapping on an empty box. This isn’t a church lead by revelation (something a past prophet openly admitted before Congress); it is a church lead by cowardice and run like a business.
Stop saying that a man who stole other men’s wives and married his teenage maids was someone to be revered, and that those who refuse to revere him anymore are “sinning against the light”. Stop giving me excuses for sexism, racism, homophobia, and polygamy. Stop twisting the truth to explain horses and DNA. Stop showing me the gold plates and bring out the seer stone. Stop forcing my little sister to sing that Brigham Young was a prophet.
You know these things are wrong. As I grew up in young men’s and served a mission I learned and studied from your committee-approved manuals about lying, about deceiving, about standing up for what is right. I always could answer in the affirmative that I was “honest in my dealing with my fellow men”. You know these issues. You have had tens of thousands of resignation letters sent to your offices. You have had countless meetings to discuss how to combat the rise of “anti-Mormon” blogs, books, and podcasts. You know that baptisms are declining, you know that people are leaving. I do not believe you are blind. I do not believe you are stupid.
But as long as you refuse to say anything to fix it, you are cowards. As long as you let families fall apart, you are cowards. As long as you punish those who ask questions and never allow yourselves to be held accountable for answers, you are cowards.
Apostles and prophets, you have chosen to stand on the sandy foundation. But I will stand in support of the thousands of families that you have broken through your lies and inaction. In the crazy world we live in, if there was ever a time that a people needed God’s guidance, it would be now. Instead, you will hide behind the Newsroom, the PR team, and the legal team. You will poke your head out every six months to stand on your Rameumptom, crying out against being skeptical of polyandry and insinuating that anyone that leaves the church just wasn’t strong enough. You cry out against the immorality secularism brings, ignoring your own Pharisaical religious hypocrisy.
We aren’t the ones who aren’t strong enough. The ball is in your court. Dare to do right. Stand up for the families you claim to defend.
Stop being cowards. Stop the lies. Start apologizing.