Mormon Discussion

POST: Questions Are To Be Honored

Honored Questions

“God’s kingdom, where questions are honored” – Elder Oaks

 

 

 

HERE ARE MY 20+ SINCERE QUESTIONS I HOPE YOU WILL HONOR BY ANSWERING EACH OF THEM AS THEY ARE.

These are sincere questions I have that would go a long way to resolve my doubt and even more my frustration.  It doesn’t even matter what the answers are, only that my leaders be vulnerable enough to answer them without changing the questions or avoiding them.  I realize that it may seem as though some questions are duplicated but I assure you they are different to me.  Please honor that.  Brethren, I need you to answer these, please.  Gone are the days where you can change my question or deflect it to apologists or scholars, or avoid them altogether.  Even an I Don’t know would go really far to help me in my journey.

1.) Can one pay tithing in the present on surplus income and still be a temple worthy and faithful Latter-day Saint? especially in light of the historical and theological evidence that this was the way it was intended/understood?  My question here is based on what I perceive is your discomfort in giving people this option in your public discourse while seemingly approving the 10% of Gross definition in spite that history, scripture, and revelation seem to give more validity to Surplus or something like it.

2.) Have all 15 prophets seers and revelators at any one time been united on doctrine only to be shown to be wrong? in light of the Race and Priesthood essay. While you seem to hint at this, you seem to steer clear of ever acknowledging it publicly.  It seems you like you are willing to acknowledge this on some surface level and history bears it out but you seem determined to not say this to general membership.

3.) Do you concede church stances on issues have likely contributed to youth suicide especially the Church stances on LGBT issues?

4.) How much money do Full time Seventies get paid…. what about Apostles?

5.) Did you sign a non-disclosure form when joining the seventy… What about the 12?

6.) Was the priesthood ban an error rooted in racism? Again you seem happy to have your words be ambiguous so both sides fight over their meaning… could you just tell us what the essay is saying?

7.) Did John Taylor receive a revelation from God in 1886 that we turn a blind eye to…. Why?  you agree it seems to be Christ speaking and that polygamy will never end and that it was the new and everlasting covenant?  As a followup – You do see how our fundamentalist Brothers and Sisters in the break off groups can validate their schism from this revelation right?

8.) Is it true that Brigham young taught that he believed his Adam God ideas were revelation from God and if he did, why do we now say he was wrong?  The quotes are there, it is just important to hear you acknowledge it due to the repercussion of disavowing an idea once taught by a prophet as revelation revealed from God.

9.) Is it true that while leaders claim to be scripture, that scripture can be wrong?

10.) Is it true that no explanation for the book of Abraham is without deep problems?

11.) Is it true that the strengthen members committee keeps records on dissenting members to assist or encourage local leaders to weed them out?  Do they have a file on me? Can I see it?

12.) Is it true that while Church Public Affairs insists that all discipline matters are handles locally that certain discipline cases have been encouraged by members of the 12 and seventy with pressure to go after certain individuals?

13.) To the top 15 men, have you seen Jesus face to face individually and collectively or one or the other?  If you have not seen him collectively How can you know when you are getting revelation from him and not your own biased prejudiced views like leaders in the past

14.) Why do you continue to pose hope as less than knowing when Alma 32 seems to value both as gifts to be honored by God?

15.) Did the brethren approve/ know / authorize shock treatment to the genitals to “cure” gays at BYU?  Because we can no longer debate if this was done.  It was.  You know that right?

16.) Why do you tell us we can trust you as having attained the mind and will of God when all 15 of you are united when that has seemingly failed in the past and present leaders among you admit as much in the Race essay that approved by the 1st presidency on LDS.ORG

17) Can you help us understand how the top 15 under George Albert Smith were unitedly wrong about Doctrine that is today disavowed theories but in the next breath assure us that the current top 15 are absolutely right on the doctrine of LGBT members?

18.) Why on one hand do we declare that Joseph Smith said, “I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations” as if that shows the revelation of today’s leaders can be trusted and on the other hand we have set aside several revelations from prophets as being understood today as not true? (Adam God, John Taylor 1886 revelation, and others)

19.) Why do you insist on our not trusting the internet for answers to our questions when you either change our questions or avoid answering them altogether?  In other words why say gone are the days teachers can avoid the tough questions of students but that is exactly what you do?

20.) Why do you not speak up in General Conference and tell our gay youth not to hurt themselves?

21.) How are we to trust our experiences with the spirit when those of other faiths have the same kind of experiences giving them testimony of their beliefs which contradict ours?  Can you validate that others seem to have the exact same experiences about contradicting beliefs?  Can you validate that others outside our faith seemingly feel the holy ghost as strong as those in our faith who have “The Gift of the Holy Ghost”

22.) Was it true that Joseph’s treasure digging and mystical practices go much deeper than he let on?  can you truly grasp why stuff like this disturbs peoples faith?

23.) Was there ever a revelation from Christ to cease the participation of the sisters in blessings? If so where can I find it?

Bonus since it wasn’t answered the first time :  How can an LGBTQI member have a healthy emotional life following the scriptures in the church and find love and be loved during this life?

Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concernsElder Holland
In this Church that honors personal agency so strongly, that was restored by a young man who asked questions and sought answers, we respect those who honestly search for truth. – Elder Uchtdorf
We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question. – Elder Uchtdorf
It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. – Elder Uchtdorf
“Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’ Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. ” – Elder Ballard
What questions do you have that you wish would be honored?

51 thoughts on “POST: Questions Are To Be Honored

  1. Im sure these were the same spirit of questions posed when God offered his plan and many started to ask questions about the validity of the plan offered by God knowing so many souls would fail. How could a God propose something with a 33 percent failure rate? Gods plan must not be correct if the failure rate can be so high many thought. If he can be wrong about his plan maybe He is getting other things wrong.

    Time to propose my own plan some guy thought.

    That guy got alot of people to agree with him but that didnt make him right.

    Sometimes correct means illogical and harder, hence faith. Lead with faith and your questions will be answered by God when you are ready for the answer.

    • Elder Oaks said questions are honored. Those are all reasonable questions and you are not honoring them at all.

      • I said God would answer your question if you have faith. It was no dishonor to you. Hes answered all these questions to me but I am constrained from giving the answers because they are his answers and best given by him.

        These questions will all be answered in due time but probably not until you ask yourself why he doesnt answer them to you at this time. I remember what it was like when God didnt answer my questions in times past and I know it hurts. Have faith and carry on and when you least expect it he will answer those long ago questions. God bless you and know I walk with you.

    • The absolute lack of empathy that your post displays is shocking and yet expected at the same time. Your thoughts seem to only prop up your own belief, and do nothing to answer any of the honest and sincere questions posted. That alone speaks volume.

      PS: The failure rate isn’t 33%. If you factor in that only .2% of the current earth’s population are LDS, and this is the largest percentage it has ever been in the history of the world. Than historically the failure rate is more than 99.8% of only 66% of the original hosts of heaven. The numbers aren’t encouraging.

      • Those without the law are not judged by the law. As the scriptures say. More will enter the celestial kingdom then you give them credit for as when the celestial law is explained to them in the spirit world I foresee near 100 percent acceptance.

        The concept that only those given covenants in this life as the only means to the celestial kingdom nagates all the proxy work for those that are offered all the covenants required to enter the celestial kingdom.

        The temple allows for post mortal repentance and full fellowship for all of gods children in the celestial kingdom if they accept.

        Im not uncompasionate in your questions, im constrained from answering them. I will walk with you and offer that faith will carry you in your walk.

        • I agree Ron but the point is still valid. The effect the Lord’s Church in this dispensation has on God’s children in mortality is near zilch and as stated fairly ineffective. we can, as you do, debate work for the dead, but the Church is simply helping them with ordinances which may be necessary but has little effect in helping one become Christlike simply as a ritual on its own. Also there is no “true church in the hereafter and so as is being stated the Church does so very little for God’s children other than administrative performances of ordinances. You do see that right?

          • The effect of your website on God’s children in mortality is near zilch. Your podcast does very for God’s children. Period. You do see that right?

          • Yes White Chocolate I do see that. Hence I agree the Church and I both have very little impact on the sanctification and purification of God’s Children. Of course there is a difference….. I am willing to take on the tough questions asked of me…… Oh and I am willing to apologize too when I see I hurt someone.

          • Satan has great hold on the world at large and I dont foresee a short term change but to the person born again this religion dwells in the core of their lives.

            Eternity isnt a future event but a present condition and the sooner you make and keep those covenants associated with eternity the less constraint “time” has on the condition if covenants are received in this life.

            Maybe the value of the church is more than just a living member headcount.

  2. 1.Why is there discriminatory language in the temple? Why are women taught they are equal to men and that marriage is a full partnership but when they go to the temple they are told that they must answer to their husbands and not God?
    2. Why are there no women other than Eve depicted in the temple ceremony? Women are told that they are equal partners with their husbands but from what is shown in the temple women had no part in creation whatsoever.

    3. Why is there no heavenly mother shown in the temple ceremony? We’re taught that she exists, yet she’s never spoken of. Not even in our most sacred places. Shouldn’t she be depicted by Heavenly Father’s side? Is she not because we believe in eternal polygamy and that the Mormon belief is that there are many Heavenly Mothers? And how is that an equal partnership?

    4.Why is the sealing ordinance connected with the wedding ceremony? In many other countries, it is required to be married civilly. LDS couples in those countries marry civilly and then are sealed shortly after. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to do that in the USA so that families did not have to miss out on Weddings? There has been so much heartbreak and ill will towards the church because of this and there seems to be no need for it. A baptism is not simultaneously a turning eight birthday party (or at least it shouldn’t be). Why should a sealing be simultaneously a wedding ceremony? Separate the two and you solve so many problems!

    5.Why does D&C 132 even exist in our scriptures? It doesn’t seem at all inspired and it is simply murderous to women’s souls. Do you see how awful it is as a woman to read D&C 132? I feel the opposite of the spirit when I read it. So what does that tell me?

    • 1.Why is there discriminatory language in the temple?

      Same reason it is in the Bible or anything done before the 1960s.

      Why are women taught they are equal to men and that marriage is a full partnership but when they go to the temple they are told that they must answer to their husbands and not God?

      They’re not.

      2. Why are there no women other than Eve depicted in the temple ceremony?

      Why are there no daughters in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son? The characters are symbols. It’s not a documentary.

      Women are told that they are equal partners with their husbands but from what is shown in the temple women had no part in creation whatsoever.

      “Adam” in Hebrew means “mankind.” Think about what Adam/mankind does in the temple drama in the pre-existence.

      3. Why is there no heavenly mother shown in the temple ceremony?

      It’s symbolic. It’s not a documentary.

      We’re taught that she exists, yet she’s never spoken of. Not even in our most sacred places. Shouldn’t she be depicted by Heavenly Father’s side?

      Maybe.

      Is she not because we believe in eternal polygamy and that the Mormon belief is that there are many Heavenly Mothers?

      No.

      And how is that an equal partnership?

      It wouldn’t be. But since the question is based on folk doctrine, it doesn’t matter.

      4.Why is the sealing ordinance connected with the wedding ceremony?

      Because they can, and it provides an incentive to marry in the temple.

      LDS couples in those countries marry civilly and then are sealed shortly after. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to do that in the USA so that families did not have to miss out on Weddings?

      Maybe.

      There has been so much heartbreak and ill will towards the church because of this and there seems to be no need for it. A baptism is not simultaneously a turning eight birthday party (or at least it shouldn’t be). Why should a sealing be simultaneously a wedding ceremony? Separate the two and you solve so many problems!

      The choice you have to make is whether the number of people whose lives are blessed because they got married in the temple who otherwise wouldn’t have without such a policy is worth the problems it creates with nonmember families.

      5.Why does D&C 132 even exist in our scriptures?

      The same reason the Law of Moses exists in our scriptures even though we don’t follow its original meaning either.

      It doesn’t seem at all inspired and it is simply murderous to women’s souls. Do you see how awful it is as a woman to read D&C 132? I feel the opposite of the spirit when I read it. So what does that tell me?

      You need to read it more but in light of the way prophets have re-interpreted it.

        • I’m not surprised. It’s probably why the brethren don’t bother with answers. The people asking them aren’t really sincere they just want an excuse to get a 10% raise and an extra day off every week.

          • oooohhhhh. we just dismiss people as not sincere that way we never have to weigh or consider the validity of their questions or them for that matter. Nice move.

          • “oooohhhhh. we just dismiss people as not sincere that way we never have to weigh or consider the validity of their questions or them for that matter. Nice move”

            Bill, I didn’t just dismiss people. I wrote a big huge long answer. I am the one who got dismissed by them. And now by you too. Nice move.

          • I was being a little snarky and I apologize. But when you say
            “I’m not surprised. It’s probably why the brethren don’t bother with answers. The people asking them aren’t really sincere they just want an excuse to get a 10% raise and an extra day off every week.”

            That comes off as so dismissive. When you say such a thing for me it feels as if the conversation has ended. Once you judge another as not deserving of being taken seriously you close off your mind to the validity of another’s point of view. It is always better to argue the points and never judge the motives or sincerity. If we stay on the points then these these questions admnittedly are not easy for the Church to address and one must ask why?

          • Bill, that is not a fair reply. I did take them seriously. I did open my mind to the validity of their point of view. I did argue the points. Stop acting like I didn’t do this. They dismissed me. They ended the conversation. But you’re chastising me for it. Why should the church address these questions if that’s how you treat people who try?

          • I have not been watching the whole conversation. I also agree some who are critical have let go to quickly not giving the church a fair shake. But I take issue when we paint with a broad brush the lack of sincerity of those who come to a different conclusion. (And yes I am guilty of this as well and we all should be reminded when we do so). I personally struggle deeply with the church. I have read a ton of history. I feel I know almost every issue inside and out. The more reading and thinking I do the harder it gets to keep the faith. Knowing gives way to believing, which gives way to hoping. When less informed members write me off it is offensive and self righteous. I am not saying your doing that but rather sharing my experience so you can see why such rhetoric bothers me

          • To say that people who are asking questions aren’t sincere and they just want a day off and don’t want to pay tithing is an extremely hurtful and insensitive thing to say. It can be a really difficult and painful process to wrestle with doubts and questions. I am a faithful member. I struggle with the patriarchy, the temple, lots of historical issues, etc., but I continue to attend church and continue to strive to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of people living in the space of simultaneous faith and doubt and it is important to have compassion for those people and not judge them. That is what Christ would do.

          • You are wrong about that. I have no desire for a 10% raise or a extra day off. I want peace and to be closer to God. Your comment was hurtful and insensitive.

            Here’s my response to your answers:

            1.Why is there discriminatory language in the temple?

            Same reason it is in the Bible or anything done before the 1960s.

            But the wording to the endowment was changed in the late 80s or early 90s and yet it still contains language that is discriminatory towards women.

            Why are women taught they are equal to men and that marriage is a full partnership but when they go to the temple they are told that they must answer to their husbands and not God?

            They’re not.

            That is how it sounds to me. Try putting yourself in a woman’s position and listen to what is being said. It doesn’t help to say they are not when I feel like they are.

            2. Why are there no women other than Eve depicted in the temple ceremony?

            Why are there no daughters in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son? The characters are symbols. It’s not a documentary.

            The temple is supposed to be the pinnacle of the LDS experience. If women and men are equal, women should be depicted.

            Women are told that they are equal partners with their husbands but from what is shown in the temple women had no part in creation whatsoever.

            “Adam” in Hebrew means “mankind.” Think about what Adam/mankind does in the temple drama in the pre-existence.

            Even so…

            3. Why is there no heavenly mother shown in the temple ceremony?

            It’s symbolic. It’s not a documentary.

            I never said it was a documentary but it is supposed to be inspired, correct?

            We’re taught that she exists, yet she’s never spoken of. Not even in our most sacred places. Shouldn’t she be depicted by Heavenly Father’s side?

            Maybe.

            Thanks for acknowledging that.

            Is she not because we believe in eternal polygamy and that the Mormon belief is that there are many Heavenly Mothers?

            No.

            And how is that an equal partnership?

            It wouldn’t be. But since the question is based on folk doctrine, it doesn’t matter.

            There is so much as you say “folk doctrine” that is taught from pulpits and elsewhere and internalized by many in the church. There are young boys today that believe they will have a whole bunch of wives in the next life. And they brag about it. At least that is what several boys told my daughter at EFY last summer. If young LDS boys think that, where is it coming from? And imagine how that makes girls feel. It made my daughter feel terrible.

            4.Why is the sealing ordinance connected with the wedding ceremony?

            Because they can, and it provides an incentive to marry in the temple.

            LDS couples in those countries marry civilly and then are sealed shortly after. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to do that in the USA so that families did not have to miss out on Weddings?

            Maybe.

            There has been so much heartbreak and ill will towards the church because of this and there seems to be no need for it. A baptism is not simultaneously a turning eight birthday party (or at least it shouldn’t be). Why should a sealing be simultaneously a wedding ceremony? Separate the two and you solve so many problems!

            The choice you have to make is whether the number of people whose lives are blessed because they got married in the temple who otherwise wouldn’t have without such a policy is worth the problems it creates with nonmember families.

            Can you show me proof that the LDS couples in the countries where you must be first married civilly have less incentive to marry in the temple?

            5.Why does D&C 132 even exist in our scriptures?

            The same reason the Law of Moses exists in our scriptures even though we don’t follow its original meaning either.

            It doesn’t seem at all inspired and it is simply murderous to women’s souls. Do you see how awful it is as a woman to read D&C 132? I feel the opposite of the spirit when I read it. So what does that tell me?

            You need to read it more but in light of the way prophets have re-interpreted it.

            I have read it and read it even in light of how we are told to interpret it and it does not feel like something from God. No matter how I look at it.

  3. I contend that the practice of polygamy has been THE greatest negative mark on the Church in this dispensation, far more powerful than any and all positive reasons for the practice. More people have heard about our polygamist reputation and because of it, refuse to listen to missionaries, read the Book of Mormon, or have anything to do with the Church than any practice that has led people TO the Gospel. Assuming that God is omniscient and would never do anything to hurt the progress of his Gospel on earth, what are the strongest arguments FOR the practice of polygamy? If you add the positive net affect of all of these positive arguments FOR polygamy, do they even come close to the horrible reputation our Church has received because this practice was and still is our doctrine?

    • Please dont be discouraged by the percentage of living members compared to the gross population. I feel that when factoring in the spirit world our conversion rate is the opposite of here. Faith preceeds the miracle and I feel we have a hige suprise in store if we are faithful.

      • Ron, I appreciate your faithfulness, but please try to answer this question. What are the top positives that have come from polygamy? The reality is, we have been just fine, God has been just fine, with the Church not actively practicing it since the second manifesto…so why was it ever needed to be practiced at all during this mortal existence. In my mind there would be so many more people interested in the Church had this not ever been practiced, and Joseph Smith’s reputation would not have taken such a hit. Still looking for positives…

        • It really doesnt matter what the specific issue is with a member or nonmember. If the holy ghost hasnt wispered to that person on that topic or that person doesnt recognise the voice of the holy ghost that person will never be satisfied with any answers offered.

          The answer will be given by god only when the right question is asked. Im not trying to be mean, that is why I will walk with you in your journey until you get your answer.

          It isnt easy, in fact I know you will suffer and sacrifice much over these issues but just as the sun rises after every night, I know after your trial of faith your reward will be given.

          In my personal experience my issues took 6 years to receive the answer I needed but it came and I pray the same for you.

          • Great, Ron. So you have received the answers I’m looking for then after your 6 year journey. So again, please list the positives that came from polygamy. My journey to feel any inspiration behind polygamy has been longer than 6 years. Maybe you can help me by listing positives that came from the practice. I’m still searching.

          • I think most members struggle to actually ever have a testimony of polygamy. I think most just feel as though they can fall back on the Book of Mormon and maybe some other elements of the Gospel, and because of the good feelings they have experienced, the whole thing must be “true”, whatever that really means. For polygamy, there really aren’t many positives that are apparent, or the positives really just affected relatively few people. So when all is said and done, the “testimony” one has of polygamy is simply that polygamy is a piece in the puzzle, and “I know other pieces fit and seem right, so it must be true, too” idea. My issue with this is that even prophets make mistakes (See the Blacks and the Priesthood Gospel Topics Essay). I currently lean toward polygamy being a mistaken practice…that it was not to be practiced in this dispensation…and the way I back up my assertion goes back to the original question. Placing the negatives of the practice on one side of the scale and the positives (which people as simply struggling to come up with) on the other side, the negatives of polygamy have been so much more detrimental than the positives have helped the Church. To also help my stance on this, since the second Manifesto, the Church has not practiced it and God has been fine with that and the Church has become even more successful without polygamy. Please, if you do have specifics that can help me see this point differently, I really am open to hearing the positives of polygamy.

          • If you dont have peace with the practice no list of positived will give you the peace you seek.

            First have peace with our shared past and then the lord will tell you why after.

            He wont reveal hidden things to you unless your able to make peace with the sacrifice that hes already asked of you.

            Polygamy was a trial for those participating in it and is a trial for those reconciling their past.

            I know the lord wont give up on you and it may take more time but know he goes before you and because of that I have faith this trial will pass in due time.

          • We’re still waiting for the positives of polygamy. Using the point that many struggled with its practice is not a positive. Okay let me help: polygamy was used to help grow the Church in its early years. Would you accept that reason? How about, it allowed the single sisters and widows to get married and have the support of a husband. Does that reason work? Any others? I’m really looking for some good, strong reasons. If we put the practice up against the negatives of the polygamy, including the negatives that have occurred with the Church’s reputation throughout the world, hey, we need much more. Please give me more ideas. I want to give polygamy a fair shake. And by the way, there may be the claim that people who feel this way about polygamy just have not felt the Spirit about the practice. Personally, I feel through the Spirit that this practice was not of the Heavenly Father that I believe in. An angel with the sword, not telling your wife about most of your new wives, not following the revelation’s doctrine on the proper practice of polygamy (see section 132), etc. Just some of the things about which I do not feel the Spirit.

  4. Would omniscient Heavenly Parents create a plan, Their one and only plan, to spread their true Gospel and heavenly message and only affect .2% or less of all of their children?

    • The plan is not to “spread their true Gospel and heavenly message.” The plan was to get a body, be tested, and grow spiritually by choosing good over evil. About 99.999999% of God’s children are doing just that.

        • Actually we’re talking about earth because .2% does not include babies who die before 8 y.o.

          The beauty of God’s plan is that the third part who were drawn away by Satan can blame no one but themselves. If there was medicine that cured 100% it’s hardly the doctor’s fault if a third don’t take it.

      • Bryan H., so why does the Church emphasize missionary work so much if the real mission for this world is basically already done without the Gospel as we know it?

        • The good news of the restored gospel is that The Blessings of Exaltation can be had in this life before exaltation and eternal life are formally bestowed.

          Giving the blessings to us before we are formally bestowed with them is a witness of the atonements infinite power and direction both past, present, and future.

          The church, Being aware that these blessings are available to all even before resurrection feels joy in shouting from the rooftops this message.

        • People are fine without the gospel but for most people they are better off with it.

          • But think about it, Bryan H. They will get the blessings anyway, but if they receive the Gospel now, much more harm can come to them if they struggle with their faith in this existence. Do people know of this fact upon becoming baptized? And which blessings of exhalation do members get a head start on in this life exactly?

          • The holy ghost is a member of the godhead and if he dwells in your tabernacle of flesh before the resurrection it is a taste of the exaltation to come.

          • Dont ne so hard on your failings. We all strugle with the gospel but its none of our jobs to do it perfectly. Only try.

          • So all this effort for the HG to dwell within us, yet I have known countless people that are more spiritually connected and righteous…and they don’t have the Gospel as we know it. You know that athlete that thanks God for getting the win because God loves him and his team best…I’ve always laughed at the audacity, the small-mindedness, the cockiness. Is the Church this athlete sometimes, claiming to be the franchise with all of its .1% of the population? Hmmm…

  5. So I’ve always thought the Conference Center looks like the Great and Spacious Building. Now, just on the other side of Temple Square sits the Great and Spacious Mall where the stores cater to people whose tax bracket most members will never experience. If Christ were to return and show up in Salt Lake “like a thief in the night”, might he be confused by all the mammon uptown, which serves as a camouflage for a Gospel that was to feed the poor and help the sick and needy? Because I personally get confused each time I am in downtown Salt Lake. I’m reaching for the iron rod that doesn’t seem to be in sight, and I’m distracted by the wealth and gaudiness of it all. Weird…

    • Based on the fact that no one has responded to this question, I guess most others see the irony here, too. This is a tough issue to address. I recently heard that the Church spent more on the G & S (Great and Spacious) Mall than they spent in donations in quite a few years. If anyone has a documented source either crediting or discrediting this claim, I’d love to see it. I’d love to disprove it if it is incorrect, but if it is indeed correct…man, that’s a tough pill to swallow. I have to be honest…

    • If you had gone to that part SLC before they put in the mall you would have been distracted by how poor and run-down it was. If only people like you didn’t judge them by how SLC appears, then maybe they wouldn’t feel the need to do stuff like that.

      • Bryan H., so Crossroads Mall and the ZCMI Mall were so rundown? Nonsense! I think you are the judge here. The fact is, the competition down the street, i.e. the Gateway Mall was attracting more people because it was an outdoor mall. And you are cool with the Church spending their money this way? Doesn’t Catholic Community Services have the largest shelter and food pantry in SLC? Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, but when Christ returns, if it were to Salt Lake, would he be hanging out at the beautiful new mall or would he be over at Pioneer Park? I think the corporation of the Church loses focus occasionally…

  6. Yes those parts of SLC had become blighted. Not just the malls but other old buildings near temple square were demolished too. If Crossroads mall was already doing so well why did the owners sell it to the church in the first place? Why was Nordstroms trying to get out of there? The church built the malls in part of a huge city project to revitalize downtown for $5 billion total. That is a lot of money for the church and the city to spend if everything was already hunky dory. And yes I wish they the church didn’t have to do it but as long as we have people like the guy above who judge the church based on how SLC looks then they will have to do it. I don’t know if the Catholics are bigger than Welfare Square and the bishops storehouses in SLC but if they are it is no surprise because they are bigger everywhere.

  7. “Blighted” is the wrong adjective to describe what the area had become. There are plenty of areas of “blight” in and around SLC, especially on the west side (and I’m not counting West Temple). The adjective would be maybe something like “mediocre” or “boring” or “80’s”, but not blighted. Hey, Bryan H., we can both agree that it’s a beautiful mall. On my salary, I cannot afford much there. The G & S obviously caters to the upper class. Remember, they are the ones pointing, mocking, and looking down from the huge, floating building. But hey, that’s the tax bracket the corporation needs in order to increase its wealth. There’s a certain amount of elitism and materialism that may have to be answered for at some time in the future. I really hope the argument that they were “fighting blight” will not be their major defense…

    • Ldog, instead of picking apart my word choices why not answer me about the buildings that were demolished because they were unsafe and would have cost more to fix? As a BYU student I can’t afford much there either. But I do have some money in a savings account and I know the bank invests this by loaning it to rich people who run businesses and build houses and other things I will never be able to afford. You probably have a savings account to. So will you have to answer for that someday too? What is your major defense?

  8. Bryan H., actually I think the adjective you used was really an argument that was made, so you’d good. I just think it’s a way in the PR world to construct a need out of something that is still satisfactory and functional. I have never heard that buildings were about to fall down, though. What happens is that buildings in the past were not built to the same standards as construction today. When one makes major changes to a structure, they have to bring it up to the current code. So it’s often more cost effective to demolish and rebuild. I have no issue with this, as it’s done all the time. My issue is that in looking at the new mall, it appears due to it’s extravagance with it’s fountains, trout-laden streams, Skywalk, retractable roof, etc., and then couple that with mostly high end retailers and then add an advertising campaign that contains pictures of wine drinking men and women and women in immodest (according to LDS standards) attire…and recognizing that this was all funded by the Church…it appears that God and Mammon are in bed together. And I am not comfortable with this. This is my major argument. All that about a savings account and so forth, I didn’t get your point. But hopefully you see where many of us members are coming from that have such heartburn over such a gaudy, worldly, self-important edifice. Hence the Great and Spacious nickname. And these are not noble qualities that are taught in church on Sundays and in our scriptures. In fact, if you look at the BoM pride cycle, this attitude of wealth and prestige comes right before a major fall, a major humbling of a society. Next time you are there, walk around and look at the stores, check out it’s elaborateness, and ask yourself, “Would the Christ I know have given the green light on such a construction process? Or would He have used these funds in a more humanitarian way?” I believe it is hard to argue that a high end mall is in the best interest of our world today. And I know men, no matter what calling the have, no matter what position they hold…are men. And men are not perfect. And they make mistakes. And the City Creek Mall is an edifice to the worldliness and vanity of a wealthy church. It is a modern day Rameumptum…

  9. I’m loving this exchange. But I got lost above. I’m still waiting for the positives about polygamy…..

    About the equality thing and women? I was shocked to learn that for years women who were married were not allowed to work at the Church Office Building–they were expected to be home and be mothers.

    And I’m sorry, but I will never understand why a woman who has struggled with sin must confess those sins in a meeting with men present who are the ONLY ones who sit in judgement on them. WOW!. A woman being judged exclusively by men….WOW!

    That’s not sexist now is it?….naaaah….men know best how to judge women…..

    And then again, all binding policies in the church are made by men? I have yet to see a RS sister sitting on the leading councils and having veto power over decisions made there…but if ONE MAN vetoes it, it is stopped?

    Seems sexist to me.

    But those are just my musings. I’m still wanting to know more positives about polygamy………

    But seriously, this exchange has been quite interesting.

  10. Geez Bill, you’ve got some real pesky trolls around here it seems. Sorry about that. Nice list of questions. Mine would look similar. I think the issues related to the history of race and the priesthood, namely the epistemological basis for revelation and scripture etc, are the most important.

  11. Pingback: 264: Gone Are The Days And I Mean It - Mormon Discussion PodcastMormon Discussion Podcast

  12. Bill,

    I can’t thank you enough for your honest and sincere approach and for having the courage to do what you do. You are helping so many, God bless you and thank you for everything.

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