Monday, April 6, 2015
LDS Conference: Concerning Events
Thomas Monson's failing health
It isn't a surprise that Tom Monson, LDS President, is struggling with health at the age of 87. But it was surprising that he:
1) Didn't give an opening statement for the conference (which happened in Oct. 2011)
2) Stumbled into his seat at an afternoon conference (the whole center gasped at the event)
3) Only gave a small speech the first day at the evening men-only meeting
Members voting 'opposed' to LDS leader sustaining
Also shocking was the publicly voiced opposition to the LDS leader sustaining portion of the conference. Up to seven individuals stood up in the conference center to loudly voice, "Opposed", to the several inquiries by Mr. Uchtdorf of, "Any opposed?" Of course, as expected, the thousands of other attendees obediently sustained in favor of their leaders, but gasped at the public dissent within the conference walls.
Mr. Uchtdorf, instead of the usual "President Monson, the vote appears to be unanimous," calmly stated, "The vote has been noted." He also stated that any members opposed to sustaining their leaders should visit with their local bishops and stake presidents to resolve their concerns. It has been dozens of years since members publicly stated their dissent. Unlike in the past, the dissenters were allowed to remain in the conference for the duration of the meeting.
The group that opposed appeared to be part of a small organization called. "anyopposed.org". The general statement is that they believe the church is ignoring people who question doctrines seriously and not properly addressing their concerns. They believe that it is good for there to be dissent in the church and they hope there is no "unanimous" sustaining ever again, saying it is deceptive to observers. There are several issues that the church has inadequately addressed, including LGBT rights, gender equality, and a number of suspicious essays the church has released about the shady truth of the church's past. The group wants the church to make a more serious effort to answer questions instead of just telling the members to read more scripture.
Traditional families again trump the minority as a superior unit
Despite the recent effort to unite mormons with gays, the LDS church took another step back to reiterate that the minority is making itself look like the majority. Mr. Tom Perry stated that those "minorities" are trying to make "mainstream values" look obsolete. Traditional man-woman families are what keep society, the economy, and culture stable, he said. He also grouped "counterfeit lifestyles" with "alternative lifestyles", effectively invalidating anything other than what the LDS church endorses.
Mr. Todd Christofferson stated that families were the best unit for the creation of children. He also grouped people with physical or mental impairments with people who "experience same-sex attraction".
It seems the LDS church is forever linked to the same-sex marriage issue. It will always be involved, and it will always be criticized for standing firm in its non-inclusive policies. People are beginning to notice. As observed this weekend, members are beginning to stand up against the church.