I'm about as "out" as it is possible to get when it comes to my beliefs - but I'm firmly "in" the Church. I don't hesitate to share my opinions, as everyone in the entire Bloggernacle knows - but everybody also knows I'm fully committed to the Church. I don't lie; I don't hide my beliefs; I don't mince words; I don't let harmful or really, really stupid things go unaddressed; I regularly express my view in public and privately with individuals. Some people are "out" - while I am "way out there" in some ways. I also am "in" in many other ways.
It doesn't have to be one or the other - "in" or "out". That's part of the black and white worldview that causes so much of the dissonance experienced by those who struggle to feel like they fit in and belong.
Let me try to put it this way:
Why could Elder Wirthlin serve in the same quorum as Elder McConkie and Elder Packer? Why can Elder Packer serve in the same quorum as Elder Andersen and Elder Cook? Do you really think that they pull punches with each other about their beliefs on topics they discuss? Believe me, it doesn't happen that way - and it never has. They hash it all out openly and honestly among themselves - and generally don't move forward until there is a consensus.
What's the difference in a ward or stake? It is absolutely vital to ask this question and understand the answer.
The difference, primarily, is people who are less willing to grant that others can disagree and still be fine, faithful, dedicated members of the Church. When Elder Wirthlin begged that we allow ALL instruments in the orchestra to be heard, he was saying that it's OK to be different in the way one thinks and sees lots of things (and even "sounds" to others) - to be "out" of the normal range, if you will. The key is being "in" the orchestra - actively playing your own instrument - not sitting on the sidelines worried about sounding different or letting others exclude you due to your different instrument and its sound.
The Parable of the Astronaut Release
14 hours ago