I can say lots of things without negative effect that others couldn't say, largely because I have learned over nearly forty years how to do so in a way that is absolutely non-threatening - and because I respect deeply the limits of setting.
For example, if I was to
address the quote in the Doctrine and Covenants about Joseph Smith being second to Jesus in terms of
impact on humanity, I could say that I love Joseph and understand such a
statement in a eulogy by a grieving friend (and in the context of
restoring sealing ordinances for the dead), but I also could add that I
look at Abraham, Moses, Paul, etc. as people who, thus far,
have had a broader impact on the living than Joseph did. I also could
say that I know how others can hear that quote and think we worship
Joseph, so I personally don't use it outside of the internal discussions
with other members when talking about the restoration of temple
I've said that in church meetings, and people
have understood and not objected - but it has been because they know me
and aren't threatened by the way I say things. Again, I've spent
decades refining how I talk about things, so I have an advantage that
will come to many others only by "enduring to the end", if you will.
A personal example of the importance of setting:
I was in a small group setting some time ago, including a local leader and a couple who had served in many local leadership
callings in their lives - including multiple missionary experiences. Every person in that group was a fully active, dedicated,
long-time, leadership-level, believing member of the LDS Church.
At one point, one of the women mentioned that she had a son who simply couldn't accept polygamy - and he also said, "Mom, Brigham Young was a racist!"
She mentioned that she has never struggled with polygamy and made a
joke about it that I can't remember accurately. However, she said she
had never been able to understand or accept the Priesthood Ban and was
overjoyed when it was lifted. The local leader said, "Your son isn't the first person to struggle with polygamy. I know I could never live it." I told her, "Brigham
Young was racist, but that doesn't mean automatically that he wasn't a
prophet. All of the prophets who have lived have believed, taught or
done something we don't accept."
continued normally after that, and it didn't come up again in any
conversation I had with any of them afterward. I certainly wouldn't
have said what I did in a lot of different settings, and neither would
the others who commented, even though there was nothing wrong with
anything that was said in that conversation.
The setting was just as
important (and, really, even more important) than the words themselves.
Enid vs. Banality 2/26/2017
16 hours ago