A Critic Hath No Honour In His Own Country…

One of the oddest perspectives of being a critic of the Mormon Church is the weird idea that everything I might complain about could one day be changed. We hear the phrase “same yesterday, today and forever” so often that we overlook the huge shifts in attitude towards dozens of different doctrines, teachings and practices in the Church. If I were to list everything that even slightly bothers me about the Church, it is possible for every single one of those to be fixed via revelation and policy changes (maybe even within my lifetime).

Think about it. Suppose a critic made the following predictions/prophecies in 1955:

“I, a critic of the LDS Church, prophesy that in the next 50 years Mormon scholars will renounce the Kinderhook plates as a fraud. Many will propose that the Book of Abraham is not a literal translation of the papyri. Other scholars will propose that the Book of Mormon took place in an area mainly confined to a few hundred square miles in Central America, with none of the post-Lehitic events taking place in the area now known as the USA. I also predict that scholars will promote a theory that the face of the land was populated when Lehi arrived, and these people intermixed with both the Lamanites and Nephites. And, contrary to the statements of current apostle and future Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, most scholars will promote a two (or more) Cumorah theory.

I also prophecy that within 50 years, some “faithful” LDS will suggest that God did not change the Lamanite’s skin color, but instead the Book of Mormon is always speaking metaphorically of the matter.

Oh, and blacks will have the priesthood, oral sex and birth control will be permitted but undiscussed, the meeting block will be consolidated to three consecutive hours, and Christ will not return by the year 2008.”

I can only imagine the reception he would have received.

So next time you’re making a list of all the things that bug you about the Church, make it a checklist. Who knows what the future holds (and what role the critics may hold in helping to bring about that change?)


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3 Responses to A Critic Hath No Honour In His Own Country…

  1. Michael

    Good points. But, the list could have consisted of only one bullet — In 50 years blacks will be ordained to the priesthood.

    In 1955 that would have gotten you excommunicated. In 2008 we are now debating whether it was actually policy, doctrine or just the opinion of some of the leaders.

  2. Seven

    It’s interesting that for a church that is founded on the need for a “restoration” from corrupted ordinances and doctrines, that the LDS church has changed more dramatically in such a short span of time compared to the Catholic church. LDS have no problem dismissing the many changes to “sacred” temple ordinances required for exaltation, but believe there was an “apostacy” when the primitive Christian church changed their ordinances and doctrines.

    This particular quote struck me as funny on “The Great Apostacy”
    (from Mormonwiki.com)
    “Many of the Apostles and righteous members of Christ’s Church were killed by the wicked, and the priesthood along with Christ’s Church were taken from the earth. Persecution of those who were called Christians began in about the first century by the Roman Empire. Revelation could no longer be received on behalf of the Church, because there was no one authorized by God to receive it, although individuals could and continued to receive inspiration in their personal lives. Because men could not receive revelation and understanding from God, men began to rely on their own wisdom and traditions to interpret scriptures and Christ’s teachings. This caused much confusion and false ideas about God, Jesus, and His Church.”

    If we look at only the doctrine on Blacks in the pre existence & banned from the Priesthood, there are many Mormon “Prophets” who would fit this definition of apostacy. Of course we have a plethora of changes to doctrines and ordinances in the church that would fit.
    Then another contradictory part of the paragraph comes when they state: “…..,although individuals could and continued to receive inspiration in their personal lives. Because men could not receive revelation and understanding from God….”

    If the twelve apostles were all killed off today, would the Priesthood automatically be gone from the earth as it was with the primitive church? Would my husband’s Priesthood power be null and void after that?

  3. Cinepro

    It’s a fascinating idea. We are so very critical towards the Catholic Church and all the changes they have made over 2,000 years.

    But who can imagine what the LDS Church will look like 1900 years from now? (I’m guessing their views on the second coming will have changed quite a bit 😉 )

    If you look at how the doctrines and practices have changed in just the first 178 years, we will probably need just as much acceptance for change as the Catholics have in their Church.

    And we will probably be just as accepting of some future 14-year old trying to “restore” 1st Century Mormonism as the protestants were towards Joseph Smith.

    In the end, it’s all relative.

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