When We Criticize The Brethren, Who Do We Hurt?

I just ran across the following quote from Dallin H. Oaks that I thought might be useful for some of the online saints:

Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who “speak evil of dignities.” (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, “When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.” (In Conference Report, April 1947, p. 24.)

The counsel against speaking evil of Church leaders is not so much for the benefit of the leaders as it is for the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault. The Church leaders I know are durable people. They made their way successfully in a world of unrestrainedcriticism before they received their current callings. They have no personal need for protection; they seek no personal immunities from criticism-constructive or destructive. They only seek to declare what they understand to be the word of the Lord to his people. (Ensign, February 1987, p. 70.)

As we ponder these thoughts, we need to ask ourselves not whether we agree with them, or even if we like them. Rather, we need to ask whether there is a true principle being expressed. And if we have not already made up our minds, we might even ask Heavenly Father himself if there is truth here. He is not stingy with information that we actually need.

I testify that those who make the Lord’s work more difficult as he prepares mankind for the Second Coming will not be happy with the consequences. As much as the Lord loves every one of us without qualification, those who make the work more difficult for Him and his Church will fail whether they realize what they are doing or not. And it will be a painful failure as failure generally is.

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31 Responses to When We Criticize The Brethren, Who Do We Hurt?

  1. Michael L. McKee says:

    While I have not previously offered commentary on this site, I should like to offer my heartfelt opinions concerning the context of this topic. I must admit I am known for speaking boldly about those things which I consider truth until I receive revelation from the Holy Ghost which testifies otherwise. I am convinced that political correctness is antithetical to truth and will always maintain my ground with due respect rather than expediency. I will never be concerned about popularity or fear of being offended into inactivity. I spent over 30 years serving Satan and living in the midst of Babylon before I began my journey on the path to my Fathers’ House. I have no intention of flirting with my eternal life by engaging in foolish debate which is best left to those who are comfortable with spiritual roulette. That being said, I hope my thoughts will be considered in the spirit of love because my Heavenly Father has begun, in recent times, to show me how to be One with Him concerning the anguish I must feel at the thought of losing any of His children to the adversary.

    I should, first-of-all, like to bear my witness to all that the fifteen men who currently constitute The First Presidency and The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not false prophets. None of them have ever been such, and Hopefully, none ever will, for our sakes, be thus considered.

    It is, in my opinion, critical to all those who raise their hand during a General Conference to understand that when we do so, we are, in essence, swearing our absolute allegiance to them individually as well, as collectively. That obligation is in effect until the next General Conference session or redress is sought sooner through our respective Bishopric.

    I believe we are treading on dangerous foundations when we refer to a duly called servant of the Lord Jesus Christ with the familiarity of their initials. It would likewise be inappropriate to do so even if we were a son or daughter or for the sake of expediency. These men, in the eyes of the Creator, are also not on the same plain as the President of the United States. They are worthy of the same honor and respect we will render to Christ when He is, once again, among His Fathers’ other children.

    It is my sincerest hope that we may all consider just how close we may be to spending our last day upon this earth attempting to take our agency closer and closer to the edge without being called to account for our actions on the other side of the veil. I, for one, cannot afford any further luxuries or flirting with eternal disaster.

  2. Before Adam says:

    While I agree somewhat of posts that have been made in defense of views stated by the brethren and I agree that we should not nit pick at the lords anointed. To say that we should turn all together away from reason, logic, discussion, and philosophy of doctrine leaders and everyday life is absurd. no matter what the cause or reason. as a member of the church i have every right to disagree with comments from the brethren that would undermine the teaching of love and family that are the foundation of the Mormon movement. there is no room for bigotry of any kind in the Church of Christ. not from the apostles or the leaders.

    I would not turn my back on the LDS faith. I love the church I love the leaders. but i don’t have to agree with everything that the oracles of the lord say. And I tend only to agree with the teaching of the prophets that are in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

    whether you find the advice to marry within your race bigoted or not if it is out of harmony with Christs gospel then it is false advice. (I find that advice practical advice from a man not the official words of God)

    God is not a respecter of race or cultures. but as man we can at times. so that is the basis of the argument.

  3. Scott says:

    While I sustain the brethren, I can’t help but be slightly troubled with what I see going on at times. By criticize, do you mean by pointing out flaws that the brethren may have? If so, how is it any different than the scriptures pointing out the flaws of Jonah, Lehi, Moses, Peter, Paul, and so forth. The scriptures are full of pointing out the flaws of these leaders. So, why is it bad to point out flaws of current leaders, say in historical books? Granted, I don’t like anti-Mormon literature. But I have seen many historians, such as Arrington, Avery, Alexander, Quinn, and Compton point out the flaws in a very loving, and non-judgmental manner.

    Now I am well aware that Packer and Benson didn’t like the new Mormon history, but not every other general authority agreed with their statements. People such as Howard W. Hunter felt honest history was the way to go, if presented in a loving way. Thomas S Monson loved Quinn’s book on J. Reuben Clark. I especially find it interesting that ever since Monson has become prophet that the Church archives have been opening more, and hence we have been getting some very scholarly literature.

    Sorry, John, but I must politely disagree with your opinion on Church history on the brethren being whitewashed and photoshopped to perfection.

    In regards to criticism, I don’t always consider that evil speaking. Some healthy criticism is constructive. For instance, while I can’t speak for everyone, if I were a general authority and someone pointed out that I was in error, even if that person who pointed it out was a lay member, I hope that I would have the humility and the grace to admit that person was right, instead of ridiculing that person for pointing out a flaw of mine. That’s the kind of prophet or apostle I would like to be if I were ever called.

  4. spencer bingham says:

    How accurate is DAvid O McKAy and rise of Modern Mormonism. It gives some people ammunition to attack people like Ezra TAft Benson and Bruce R McConkie. Orson SCott Card did.

    I asked Joseph McConkie about the book he emailed me back and said the things he was a witness of in book which authors weren’t were not true according to the authors like asking a devil to review the book of mormon since book reveiws are predetermined.

    ANd i don’t know if there was an evolution fight in the church but Ezra Taft BEnson at byu devotional attacked people who attacked Joseph Fielding SMith said apostles told him to write book. CAlling integrity of prophet in question he railed on.

  5. Is it just me, or has Larry King had like 5 heart attacks and 5 divorces. I guess that’d be a broken heart for each.

  6. Mr. Blue says:

    I think the lord would pass out if he saw what was going on in these blogs!

  7. Steve EM says:

    John, I have to agree with that 100%. Lord knows I’ve got my problems and BKP has his.

    I think Area Authority above would pass out if he saw want goes on at most LDS blogs.

  8. Area Authority says:

    Dear Brother Redelfs,

    Our current Prophet has stated “…it is one thing to believe in something, and another to publish it”. He was speaking in regard to those who have membership in the Church, but then publish books or aticles to confuse others about the restored gospel. You are unwittingly providing a forum for such publishing, resulting in anti-speak, and abuse of one or more members of the Twelve. I would encourage you to stop your Blog, or to limit its topics on how the restored gospel has increased your or your readers’ testimony of Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon.

  9. All of us need to cut each other a little more slack, be a little more forgiving in our attitudes, my more kind, and realize we don’t understand completely what is influencing us to do the things we do and say. And that is just as true of President Packer as it is of his critics. Surely he should love them better just as the Lord does, but they should also love him better. Life is hard enough without us making it even harder by the way we think about each other and treat each other.

    Of course, I am preaching something that I do not always live up to very well myself. I have a terrible time thinking well of people that I should. I have a lot of repenting to do in the area of being charitable in my attitudes towards those with whom I disagree on religious matters.

    Of course, if a man had to be perfect to preach what is right and true, we would not hear much of it.

  10. What the Whale said…

  11. Jonah the giant whale says:

    I would just like to point out, that the U.S. Army tells it’s soldiers going abroad the exact same thing. Do not get involved with a woman from another Culture/Race. Why? It is really easy, marriage is hard enough, but throw in different heritage, religion, cultures, etc and it becomes a lot harder. It’s not like BKP didn’t say there were exceptions, he just said that for every exception there were lots of unhappy people. Nothing about his statement is ugly or racist. Its good advice. Along the same lines of, don’t marry a girl if her parent hate you.

    Seriously, why would you do that? You are going to be miserable. Its common sense. You (and some aspects of society) are so friggin liberal you can’t even make wise choices any more. Everyone who doesn’t believe as you is racist/close minded/bigots. I’m sick of it, I’m sick of your PC left wing attitude. GET OVER YOUR SELF. People who do not believe like you are not wrong. They just have different beliefs. If you don’t like the church and the church leaders NEWS FLASH> it’s a free county. don’t go to the church, don’t talk about the church, don’t hang out on church websites.

    You don’t see me hanging out on Gay Pride websites and bashing homosexuals? Why are you here? It certainly isn’t because you want to learn more about the Gospel.

  12. Steve EM says:

    I have not spoken evil of Elder Packer here and resent the accusation. I have expressed views elsewhere that could be so construed, but not here.

  13. Hey guys, it wouldn’t matter what he said, you would find some fault with it. You clearly can’t stand the man even if the Savior did choose him as a prophet by prophecy and revelation. You probably have private reasons for detesting him. Nephi explained it well near the end of 2 Nephi. The wicked take the truth to be hard because it is harsh against sin. And if there is anything that Boyd K. Packer does a lot of, it is testifying of the truth. And he doesn’t candy-coat his message in order to kiss up with guys like you. Some of the more luvy-duvy types may, but not President Packer. And for that I am deeply grateful. It is easier to recognize the truth when the wicked aren’t nodding their heads in agreement.

    You had better repent, buddy. Or you will have to pay for your own sins, by and by. The grace of Jesus Christ will not cover them unless you repent. And paying for them yourself will be mighty unpleasant.

  14. Steve EM says:

    Guys,
    He used the words Caucasian and race. There was no ambiguity in the way he was using the word race. We all know what he meant. Yes, it’s ugly, but that’s what he meant. Why pretend otherwise? Let’s just hope he’s grown and sticks to his commission of preaching repentance rather than personal opinion.

  15. Steve EM says:

    For the record, I don’t hate BKP. Disagree, yes. Wish he’d retire, yes. Hate, no.

  16. Steven EM wrote:

    Mark,
    A word of advice: never defend the indefensible unless you’re being paid for it.

    JWR responds:
    Another word of advice: Never give advice unless you are willing to take responsibility for the outcome of following it.

  17. On July 10th Mark Butler wrote:
    Mike A, I must disagree with you, based on the following scriptural principles:

    And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—

    The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—

    But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
    (D&C 1:18-20)

    And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

    […]

    JWR responds:
    As I was reading this, and you began to cite this particular passage of scripture, when I got to this point I recognized which passage you were quoting and my heart started to burn within me that finally somebody understands. To often all I get is a blizzard of flak from people who do not like my “opinions.” Yet I try so very hard to plagerize all of my “opinions” from what the scriptures and prophets teach. How could my opinions be wrong unless the scriptures and the prophets are wrong? I really do believe virtually everything they have tried to teach me for the last 44 years, ever since I met my first Mormon when I was a junior in high school so many years ago.

    Thank you for sticking up for me. There aren’t many people who do. And for some reason it just filled my heart with joy for you to do so in this case and using these verses. I may not be a prophet like Moses, but I play one on the Internet. And it is role playing that I love more than any other thing I’ve done in my life.

  18. Mark Butler wrote:
    Steve EM, From the very language he uses, it is quite clear that Elder Packer is generally not speaking of the term ‘race’ in contemporary biological sense, but rather in the older cultural / national sense. Wiktionary defines race as follows:

    Race n.

    1. A large group of people set apart from others on the basis of a common heritage.
    The Anglo-Saxon race

    2. A large group of people set apart from others on the basis of common, genetically-linked, physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, hair type). Race was a significant issue during apartheid in South Africa.

    3. (Controversial): One of the categories from the many subcategorizations of the human species. See Wikipedia’s article on historical definitions of race. The Native Americans colonized the New World in several waves from Asia, and thus they are part of the same Mongoloid race.

    So now if we give Elder Packer the benefit of the doubt, and use definition one, a group of people that share a common heritage (whether biological or not), what precisely is so ugly about the quoted statement? Or are you just making the man an offender for a word?

    JWR responds:
    That is exactly what he is doing. That is what nearly all of them do who are possessed by a “spirit of criticism” towards the Savior’s chosen apostles.

  19. Mike A wrote:
    While I agree that the criticism of our leaders are often way over the top and not at all appropriate, I am very uncomfortable with this type of language. Of what are we to bear testimony? We are told that as memebers the testimony we bear should be focused on the savior and his atonement. We certainly can and should testify of gospel doctrines and eternal truths. However, Elder Ballard has said that testimony is the confirmation of truth through the spirit. Thus, the language “I testify of…” is a statement of having received revelation on that specific thing of which we testify.

    JWR responds:
    If testifying of the importance of helping the Savior prepare the world for the Second Coming and not working against his prophets is not testifying of Christ, just what is it? That is like saying, “Testify of how much you like vegetables, but don’t say that you like carrots.” It doesn’t make any sense.

    And I have received “specific” revelation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and if anything comes through loud and clear from any inspiredreading of the Book of Mormon, it is that all those who oppose the Savior and his prophets are heading into unpleasant consequences unless they repent.

    And when I bear my testimony, I think it is helpful to others if I explain what I mean by saying I believe in Christ and that this is the true Church? Some saints say those words without even knowing what they mean. Just how appropriate is it for you to instruct me on how I should bear my own testimony? If you have one, then bear your own. But you have no way of knowing what revelation I have and have not received. A person doesn’t have to be a Bishop or an Apostle to know that fighting against the Savior and his Church is going to lead to undesirable results. And if we don’t bear the testimony that we have, should we bear some other testimony? That doesn’t make any sense, does it? I’m not making any threats in the name of the Lord. He has made them himself. I am just adding my voice to his. Wickedness never was happiness. To qualify for mercy under the atonement of Jesus Christ, you have to be on his side, not the side of his Adversary. And that means helping his prophets and apostles, not trying to make trouble for them by shining a light on all their sins and mistakes. How would you like it if someone did that to you?

  20. Steve EM wrote:

    Mark,
    Here’s a BKP excerpt from 1977 (http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6172):
    “We’ve always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians.”

    “For every exception we can show you tens and hundreds, and I suppose thousands, who were not happy. Plan, young people, to marry into your own race.”

    JWR responds:
    So who in their right mind could possibly object to this statement? My wife and I are of different races, and we were aware of this counsel long before we got married. Elder Packer is just repeating what then President Spencer W. Kimball was teaching and said in his book, Marriage and Divorce We considered this counsel very carefully before getting married, and decided that in our specific and particular case it didn’t apply. But surely it is good counsel in general principle? Is there anyone so dim that they cannot see that? When looking for a wife or husband one should look for the best match they can make, and most of the time that will be someone from the same economic, cultural, religious, national, political, etc. background. The more two people have in common, the fewer will be those problems that come up because of such differences, don’t you think? And heaven knows plenty of problems will come up anyway. This counsel isn’t racism. It is just good sense.

    Steven EM:
    Anti-miscegenation was ugly, irrational and against the basic American goal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness long before 1978.

    JWR, the miscengenist, responds:
    This is total nonsense. Miscegenation is not a sin, but anti-miscegenation is not always motivated by racial hatred. Marrying someone from a background similar to your own is just common sense.

    Steven EM:
    Moreover, his views are an insult to our pioneer past where marriages between LDS whites and American Indians were common.

    JWR responds:
    They are only an “insult” because you choose to take them that way. I’m sure they were not intended as an insult to anyone. It is just common sense. And yes, LDS whites and American Indians married. And in a way the Church encouraged it indirectly with the Indian Placement Program. I am an LDS white who is married to an American Indian myself. But you apparently don’t even know President Packer’s “views” or you wouldn’t speak of him this way. You are making him an offender for a word, something that is a far greater sin that what you imagine he has committed.

    Steven EM:
    BKP has made a career about boys’ self pleasure, women’s fashion and making a boogey man out of evolution. We can agree to disagree if there’s any memorable legacy there. But the stuff above was/is downright ugly, even in 1977. That said, even I won’t link him with the KKK, and am still shocked that a church employee would.

    JWR responds:
    President Packer has not made a career about “boy’s self-pleasure, women’s fashion and making a boogey man out of evolution.” You are bearing false witness against him. I am not denying that he has made comments on at least one of the three topics you mention, but 99 percent of what he does and says is about other, completely unrelated things. If you feel that he has made a career of these topics, it is just because you have made a career of getting your back up about a few of the things he has said that you do not agree with. Well, get over it. President Packer doesn’t preach the gospel in the world to please you. He does it to please the Lord.

    It astounds me when pots call kettles black. It astounds me even more when the kettle is only a little off white. Your apparent hatred towards President Packer is a far greater moral problem than anything he could possibly have said about the issues you mention, even if he said them and even if they were wrong. And that is not entirely certain. At least to me it is not.

  21. Steve EM says:

    Mark,
    A word of advice: never defend the indefensible unless you’re being paid for it.

  22. Mike A. says:

    “I testify that those who make the Lord’s work more difficult as he prepares mankind for the Second Coming will not be happy with the consequences.”

    While I agree that the criticism of our leaders are often way over the top and not at all appropriate, I am very uncomfortable with this type of language. Of what are we to bear testimony? We are told that as memebers the testimony we bear should be focused on the savior and his atonement. We certainly can and should testify of gospel doctrines and eternal truths. However, Elder Ballard has said that testimony is the confirmation of truth through the spirit. Thus, the language “I testify of…” is a statement of having received revelation on that specific thing of which we testify.

    Though we often receive personal witness of how we should live our lives, do we who are not called to positions of authority have the ability or authority to make that personal revelation public?

    I simply feel that a statement testifying of the truth of the gospel makes more sense and falls more in line with how we have been counseled to testify.
    We can follow that testimony of truth with a statement that because of that truth we should follow prophetic counsel or not be critical, and even a belief that those who do will regret that decision. But testifying specifically of those principles seems to me stepping beyond the authority we are given as witnesses of Christ. It seems as though it is authority which belongs to a common judge in Isreal or a special witness of Christ.

  23. Steve EM says:

    Mark,
    Here’s a BKP excerpt from 1977 (http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6172):
    “We’ve always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians.”
    “For every exception we can show you tens and hundreds, and I suppose thousands, who were not happy. Plan, young people, to marry into your own race.”

    Anti-miscegenation was ugly, irrational and against the basic American goal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness long before 1978. Moreover, his views are an insult to our pioneer past where marriages between LDS whites and American Indians were common. BKP has made a career about boys’ self pleasure, women’s fashion and making a boogey man out of evolution. We can agree to disagree if there’s any memorable legacy there. But the stuff above was/is downright ugly, even in 1977. That said, even I won’t link him with the KKK, and am still shocked that a church employee would.

  24. It is called biting the hand that feeds you. Not exactly a characteristic of someone with high moral character. But such talk is not altogether unexpected on this particular list. I remember back when D. Michael Quinn and the September Six got the axe in 1993, there was a flame war that lasted for almost six months and the whole controversy was whether or not President Packer was a fascist. I heard the Church leadership referred to as the Borg, the Kremlin, the Gestapo, and the KGB too. Some people just have no sense of propriety. Sometimes these little cliques get so wrapped up in their own feedback, it is like a feedback loop in an amplification circuit. They start out with a beef that may even have a particle of truth to it, but they nurse their grudge and complain to each other about it so often and for so long that over time it grows and grows in their own minds until you would think that the Brethren in Salt Lake City are actually building secret gas chambers somewhere and shipping their critics off in the dead of night to some kind of Final Solution. To the best of my knowledge, even if some of these men are guilty of so-called “spiritual abuses,” something I believe is more imagined than real, they haven’t actually been killing anyone or ordering Mafia-style hits on people and so forth. I don’t think there are any secret torture chambers in the basement of the SLC temple. There hasn’t been anyone publicly burned at the stake on Temple Square in recent years. Once many years ago when I was a new member of the Church and had not yet obtained even the Aaronic priesthood, I was “living in sin” for a few months, and they didn’t even call me to repentance, much less excommunicate me or hunt me down like a frightened animal to drag me off in chains to a Church court. There is a verse in Proverbs that I am reminded of when I see how people overreact to what they suppose is “spiritual abuse.”

    1 ¶ THE wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

    When a guy is breaking all of the rules his parents and his religion taught him to keep, he thinks his Bishop is lurking in the shadows around every corner. I know. I’ve been in that situation myself. And unless I am unique, some of the fear and hatred of the Brethren must be similarly motivated, not all of it perhaps, but some of it for sure.

  25. Steve EM says:

    John,
    Even I’m kind of shocked a church employee would link a high church leader to such an utterly evil organization. To be fair, he was probably alluding to BKP’s past anti-miscegenation views, which are pretty ugly and embarrassing and, to my knowledge, BKP has never retracted those views. But, still, your friend should have resigned from his job before publicly criticizing his management like that.

  26. Yeah, pretty sad. On an email list where I hung out for years, one of the regular participants, a CES professional and close friend of Grant Palmer’s, referred to Elder Packer as Boyd KKK Packer. Somebody with authority or the ear of authority must have been lurking the list because a few months later he was forced to take early retirement from the CES.

    I do not understand why some people feel a need to badmouth the prophets and apostles. In this particular case, it was the fellow on the list most likely to talk about how luvy-duvy Jesus is and how important it is to be kind and generous. Even if President Packer was the great villian that so many critics of the Brethren think, there would be no Christian reason for badmouthing him like that. For some of us, all of those who lead this Church are living oracles. They are the source of our religion and spokesmen for the Savior just as Moses was in his day. Listening to that kind of unnecessary talk is akin to seeing a crucifix immersed in a jar of urine, something that some “artist” did to get a rise out of people a few years back. Needless to say, it highly offended Christians everywhere. What decent human being would go about deliberately slamming anyone’s religious icons? Would you go up to a Jew and tell him what a piece of offal his favorite rabbi is? Would you taunt a Muslim by telling him that his favorite mullah eats pork in secret? We look down on people who burn crosses in the front yard, or draw swastikas on synagoges. Why do so many people feel free to offend the religious sensitivities of Mormons? Even if they are not religious themselves, what benefit to they gain from deliberately savaging the feelings of those who are? In an earlier period of American history, somebody would call them out into the street and give them a sound thrashing. Now, thanks to lawyers and judges who punish the innocent while the wicked go free, people just have to take that kind of abuse.

    The Savior has words in the Sermon on the Mount that must be very comforting to the prophets and apostles for all the abuse that is heaped upon them. I guess it is just part of their job to take such abuse. They are probably just glad that they aren’t being stoned like so many prophets in the past.

  27. Tigersue says:

    I have learned over the years that I need to be careful with how I speak about the leaders of the church. I find I’m pretty good with the 1st presidency and counsel of the 12, but what about bishops and stake presidents? I know I haven’t been perfect there, and I have to remind myself that they are called for a reason, and to sustain them the best I can. I may not agree, but there is a thing called respect for the office and the calling. I try to use that same reminder in personal life, I may not always agree with the Leadership in the country, but the fact remains they are our elected officials and deserve respect even among disagreements.

    In the case of the church it is God that has put those people in the positions he has and I do not know more the God does.

  28. Steve EM says:

    Mark,
    As far as my comment regarding BKP flamming the apologists, I have many issues with BKP, but in no way did I speak evil of him in that link. Even Elder Oaks has past issues with BKP that have become public. Maybe our leaders should practice what they preach on this issue before lay members are cited as negative examples.

    All I know is if there are true prophets, there must also be false ones. Didn’t Jesus so warn us? I’ll add that even Jesus had to deal with false prophets in his ranks. I choose to be on guard for the false ones.

  29. No it doesn’t, Larry. But shining a light on the sins and mistakes of those whom the Savior has chosen to carry out his work makes the person shining that light a stumbling block. Doing this sets a man against the Savior and his Church. And while the truth is always the truth, telling all the truth one knows is not always right or approved by the Lord. He certainly doesn’t do it. Fighting against God is bad business that will not go unrewarded. Truth used in the cause of the Adversary is truth misused. It is an abuse of ones moral agency. I’m sure that Benedict Arnold made many charges that were true against the patriots who founded the USA in the War for Independence, but that doesn’t alter what he was, a traitor to a noble cause led by wise men whom the Lord himself had raised up. Truth told to perpetuate a lie is just as evil as the lie.

  30. Larry Mann says:

    There is an old saying:

    “Truth is truth where e’re tis found,
    On Christian or on heathen ground.”

    There is also a corrolary, though less-well known:

    “Falsehood is falsehood, and remains so appointed,
    Whether spoken by idiots or the LORD’s own anointed”

    Lies, misrepresentations, untruths, and falsehoods need to be exposed no matter who is the mouthpiece for them. It is easy to laugh when the village idiot swears the earth is flat, but when a Priesthood Leader says the same thing, does that make it suddenly true?

    Larry in Alexandria, VA

  31. Judy Jones says:

    I totally agree. I also agree that complaining about our President is also inhibiting his job.

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