I know I am late to the party on this one, but I wanted to make sure I got all my thoughts right on this one.
For those of you not aware of the situation I will give a brief description of what is going on in Mormonwold, Utah.
Over the weekend there was General Conference where twice a year the Prophets and Apostles give their biannual speeches the Mormon masses. It's a huge deal in SLC as the Conference Center gets packed five different times in two days by 22,000 attendees each session. This is where the Prophets and Apostles are to give their instruction to the common man directly from God. (We won't touch that subject. That's a can of worms for a different blog.) During one of the sessions the Mormons sustain their leaders. They ask who sustains the leaders and ask if any are opposed. This is where it got hairy this time around. Five people stood up raised their right hand in opposition and yelled "opposed" for all to hear.
Now the Mormons act as if this has never happened before, but it has. The last time it happened was back in the 80's and it was also very common when Joseph Smith founded the religion. It's as if they're surprised that someone would actually oppose their beloved leaders. My question is, why ask if any opposed when you're not supposed to oppose the leaders?
Hell, if I would have thought of this I would have done this seven to eight years ago. I understand how the members feel it was irreverent to yell out "opposed," because they ask if any are opposed to just raise their right hand in opposition. The problem with this is that once they see all the hands go up to sustain the leaders they immediately look down to note that it was unanimous while asking if anyone is opposed. This was their way of making sure their voice was heard.
Another argument I have heard is that if they really are opposed they should talk to the bishops and stake presidents. What if they have? What if they weren't being listened to? What if their issues were pushed aside? Why the hell ask if you aren't supposed to oppose the leaders? Why not just ask for a sustaining vote and call it good?
These people are far braver than most. They went into the lion's den and said to its face "something is wrong with you." And why not? They asked for it. One of the many reasons I left was because concerns are not taken seriously. Every time I had an issue with doctrine, leadership, or policy I was told to pray and study the scriptures and I would get the answer from God that the leaders are correct without question.
They act as if they are so infallible they can't make a mistake, but they have and will continue to do so. (I wrote about this before in my blog titled, "Speaking as man or maybe as God.") If people have issues with the leaders the leaders need to address the issues, especially when they publicly ask for it.
The leaders claim the church listens to its people. They claim to care about the people of their faith and others, but we have seen time and time again that the only thing they care about is blind obedience. Yes, their PR Campaign says that Mormons can question their faith they just have to keep it between them and their bishop, but what good is that? If you want your religion to stand the test of time you have to listen to your people. You have to listen to the world around you. There has to be compassion. Leading through fear and excommunicating anyone who questions your leaders does not make you strong, it makes you weak.
You preach love and acceptance from the pulpit, but it is love with a condition and not a true, genuine love that should come from what is preached.