Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mormonism Requires Comprehensive Change

I have said multiple times that the greatest weakness of the LDS organizational church is that it is run at the ground level by a bunch of untrained amateurs - with all the problems that includes; I also have said multiple times that the greatest genius of the LDS organizational church is that it is run at the ground level by a bunch of untrained amateurs - with all the amazing growth and passion and fellowship that entails. I understand completely the challenges that structure creates, but I wouldn’t change it for the world when I look around and see the people it produces that no other process produces in such high numbers.

The Mormon Church is not a place for those who want to continue the relatively stationary religious observance embodied in most of the rest of Christianity; it is a commitment that requires a radical change in action and perspective - a change in mind and body and eye - and it simply doesn’t “stick” for many who initially respond to the message - or, too often, the messengers. Part of that is directly the fault of the membership who fail to live the Gospel they try to accept, including those who lose sight of the people in the numbers, and part of that is a natural result of asking people to make such a radical change on little more than simple faith.

I wouldn't change that challenge if I could, but I can't condemn those who are unable to make such a comprehensive change. All I can hope is that those who stay live the core principles of the Gospel better and love everyone, inside AND outside the LDS Church, a little more fully and Christ-like.


David Vandagriff said...

Let's hear it for untrained amateurs. Tapping into what other religions would call the laity provides far better leadership than you will find graduating from any seminary these days.

Do all bishops have the same level of organizational or management skill? No, but I'll match the skills of a bishop against the skills of a protestant clergyman in the same geographical area.

My last three bishops have been a professor teaching in an elite program, an orthopedic surgeon and a successful real estate attorney. Growing up in a major protestant religion, I never encountered any ministers who could match those three men either for people skills or raw intelligence.

Good post.

Jettboy said...

I'd like say that, compared to dvan, I come from a place where Bishops are more likely to be farmers or work with their hands. Of course, I have had my share of professionals as leaders. None of them were any less of a good leader than others. Professional education is important to be sure, but not nearly so much as "people skills and raw intelligence," and faith.