They must all succeed on merit, and not by sleight of hand

March 30, 2022 Off By Virgil Olson

They must all succeed on merit, and not by sleight of hand

  • Should Truth conform to religious dogma or should religion conform to the Truth?
  • Is it balanced and fair to accuse questioners of being ‘apostates’ because their consciences lead them to follow truth rather than dogma?

You, the leadership of the 21 st century LDS church, may continue to show your ignorance by accusing truth seekers and truth spreaders of ‘apostasy’, but your policy will fail spectacularly if you do. Every disciplinary council which will be held will be further evidence to closet questioners who will sit upon them, and to the rest of the world, concerning the false and unsustainable position of LDS orthodoxy. Every excommunication will produce more publicity; every news article will open more eyes, and more ‘apostates’ will keep coming to the fore until the critical issues are well known in every community.

I have tried to ask some questions many would like to ask

If you wish to convert the world, (which certainly was the commonly expressed ambition of LDS leaders when I first joined the church, even if it is no longer emphasised), then your ideas, your histories, and your financial structures must all be open to view so that they may compete in the common market place where alternative ideas, histories, and financial structures are found.

If you have the truth, then there will never be a need to hide or skew information, because the truth will speak clearly for itself, and all will be benefitted for having heard it. To question is our innate human right, and questioning is at the root of all progress.

Elder Hugh B. Brown was exactly right when he said: ‘Neither fear of consequence or any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences… we must preserve freedom of the mind in the church and resist all efforts to suppress it.’

Who is found to be the true believer and who is the Pharisee when New Testament principles are applied to this modern example?

That was part of a speech given almost 57 years ago. Should we not have moved forwards rather than backwards on this key issue during that time?

Perhaps you should join with others therefore, in feeling deeply obligated to men such as John Dehlin for bringing important evidence to the fore, and for seeking to heal those who have been damaged by an insensitive system too often characterised by unrighteous dominion. Would Jesus really care who gave succour to the poor, the downtrodden or the afflicted? Was not every charitable act valued by him? How has this simple and beautiful perspective been lost in the crossfire of LDS corporate ambition? How is it that John Dehlin loses his membership, and with it, according to LDS teachings, his family in the hereafter? Are the minds of the men who lead the current LDS church not large enough to embrace the teachings of Jesus? Is your sacred brotherhood greater or megafuckbook more important in the sight of God than the brotherhood of all of mankind?

When the scales are weighed, will fine suits, immaculate grooming, tele-prompted fear-inducing speeches, and business class lifestyles ever be a worthy substitute for genuine charity?

I have done so because they are questions which deserve proper answers. In all honesty, are you justifiably able to call me apostate for having done so? Will I be one more to be made an example of, ily blessings, for doing no more than speaking honestly and forthrightly? Presumably my Stake President will answer those questions for you, unless you, or perhaps those who pull your strings, will have the courtesy to answer me directly this time.