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?)