Monday, March 29, 2010

The Genius of Mormonism

I have said on more than one occasion that the "genius of Mormonism" is also its biggest challenge - that it provides the most amazing opportunities for growth but also for failure. In my experience, the greatest joys are experienced within the structure of the lay clergy (including women in that description), but the deepest disappointments and devastation also are experienced within that same structure.

For example, how many members have been uplifted and "saved" (in a very real way) by a loving Bishop or RS Pres or HT/VT who had no way of knowing what was needed but provided it anyway? Conversely, how many members have been crushed in one way or another by a Bishop or RS Pres or Stake Pres or HT/VT who abused authority or simply wasn't in tune with the Spirit when inspiration and discernment was crucial?

Yes, I believe the lay clergy is a "genius of Mormonism" - but true genius can be both enlightening and destructive. I wouldn't change it for the world, but we need to recognize all of the issues it brings to the table and be ever-vigilent concerning its potential for harm and despair.