Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Addressing the Incorrect Traditions of Our Own Fathers

Reflections on Another Anniversary - Armand Mauss (By Common Consent)


ji said...

I'm still not convinced that our fathers had "incorrect traditions" that we need to address. I don't need to apologize for or repudiate a previous President of the Church or the Church as an institution. Neither does any other new or long-standing member of the Church.

Assuming, arguendo, that those previous Presidents of the Church were in error for the priesthood ban: Their priesthood file leader (the Lord Jesus Christ) apparently let them alone regarding this matter for the tenure of their office, and then honorably released them from their assignments and called them home. A subsequent President of the Church offered the priesthood more universally. How does their error taint me or give me something that I need to address? (I joined he Church after OD2, but perhaps the notion that we need to address the incorrect traditions of our own fathers is addressed only to those who were members before OD2.)

Does every Frenchman today need to apologize to their Belgian and German neighbors for the hurt Napoleon's armies caused their ancestors? No. Does every descendant of a head-hunter need to apologize to every Caucausian for the hurt they caused when their ancestors ate their meals? No. Does every Mormon need to apologize for the priesthood ban? No. Does every Jew need to apologize for the cruxifiction of the Savior? No. Does every American need to apologize to the Iraqi people for our damage to their economy? No.

In my mind, it is rather simple -- early leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did, and today's Church leaders do, the best they can as they magnify their callings. Church members sustain them in their higher callings as they try to magnify their own lower callings. All of us are influenced to some measure both by the culture around us and the whisperings of the spirit. It is hard to tell the difference for ourselves, and surely impossible to judge the difference for those who lived before us. But I don't have to pass judgment on Brigham Young and repudiate his teachings -- for me, it is sufficient for me to note that he has been released from his calling (honorably released, I believe) and is no longer the President of the Church.

Papa D said...

I agree, ji, that we don't need to try to apologize for things we believe to be incorrect traditions - and I also agree that we don't need to pass judgment. I accept both of those things 100%.

However, when Elder McConkie said to forget all of the justifications for the ban and the extrapolative statements from those justifications because we now had greater light and knowledge through revelation . . . I accept that and believe that all members need to stop using those former justifications - for anything that is related, not just for the ban itself.

My stance is pretty simple when it comes to the ban:

I don't believe it was God's will, necessarily, but I do believe he let it happen for some reason (and there are some good possible reasons) - that, basically, it was inevitable and lasted until it was no longer inevitable. However, that is my opinion, and only my opinion - and I don't try to "convert" anyone to that belief.

In real life, I have heard too many members continue to use the incorrect justifications even after the ban was lifted and Elder McConkie made his statement. In this case, I just want the "incorrect traditions" of the justifications to stop - and that is one area where I think the statements of the apostles since the ban was lifted are clear.

Anonymous said...

I understand better -- thanks...