Are Recent Changes in the Church of Jesus Christ Uninspired, Unenlightened, and Unnecessary? Why I Don’t Believe So
By Ken K. Gourdin
Recent changes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have prompted complaints from some, who apparently believe such changes to be uninspired, unenlightened, and unnecessary. Some months ago, the Current President of the Church advised us that even more such change was in the offing. “Eat your vitamin pills and get your rest,” he said. Salt Lake City’s Deseret News reported on one such change here (last accessed July 19, 2019): https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900080350/efy-fsy-byu-2020-lds-mormon-church-latter-day-saints-brigham-young-university.html.
[Screen Name and Location Omitted] – “Just when we thought that all of ‘the changes’ were over and we could settle in and enjoy some consistency at church. Sad.”
I suppose it depends on what one thinks underlies the changes and who one thinks is really in charge. You’re not necessarily alone in thinking, apparently, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its leaders have gone “off the rails” (my phrase).
I don’t have any inside information other than what’s available to the average member of the Church of Jesus Christ “with eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to feel,” as it were. But I strongly suspect that the changes are much more forward-looking than someone suffering from myopia might realize or might be willing to admit. One way or another, the consistency you crave won’t be possible long-term because societal, legal, and other changes won’t allow it. In light of that, the Church has two choices: (1) It can adapt proactively to what is in the offing legally and societally; or (2) it can wait until legal and societal change make such adaptation nearly impossible and then try to adjust. While your mileage varies, I’m glad it is doing the former.
Another poster, a retired high school teacher, predicted “complete disaster” if the Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t provide more “guidance”—apparently, an explicit lesson plan to follow, or, better yet, a manual one can simply read from! Yeah, that’s it! I suggested that in the Church of Jesus Christ, unlike in his former teaching environment, the “guidance” one is supposed to follow doesn’t come from a lesson outline or from a manual. After quoting an excerpt from him, I responded:
[Screen Name and Location Omitted]: “A lot of smoke & mirrors, mostly fluff with little to no guidance, direction, or structure. As a retired High School teacher, if this was what I had to use for a new school year, all I can say is wow, what a complete disaster in the making.”
Or, in the alternative, you could ask yourself whether there’s something else (other than a manual, a program, or a set of guidelines) that’s supposed to provide the “guidance, direction, or structure” … or, more to the point, whether there’s Someone Else who’s supposed to provide it. As a high school teacher, more or less, you taught what the State told you to teach (in the manual, the program, or the guidelines), right?
Conversely, when it comes to teaching in the Church of Jesus Christ, If someone doesn’t follow that “Someone Else,” I can see how it would be “a complete disaster in the making.” Wow. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the Lord actually was serious all those years ago when He gave us such scriptures as Doctrine & Covenants 42:14 and Doctrine and Covenants 50:17-22. I mean, whodathunk?