These last few months have been a real struggle for me. For the last 50 years, I haven’t been a strong member. But things have gotten decidedly worse lately.
So what has happened recently?
- Seer Stone: The recent pictures of Joseph Smith’s seer stone were not in themselves a problem. The problem is that the stone forces me to once again confront Mormonism magic past. Frankly seer stones, Urim and Thummim, treasure hunting, talking in tongues, animal sacrifice, sticking your head in a hat, etc. make me very uncomfortable.
- Black Priesthood/Temple Ban: The failure of the LDS Church leadership to admit that the ban was wrong causes me a great deal of personal grief, as does the failure to make a formal apology for the pain it caused black members and non-members alike. And I wonder how many potential converts were lost because of the unfortunate ban?
- LGBT Discrimination: The leadership’s treatment of this issues has been abysmal. It could have just separated civil marriage from temple sealing. This is already being done in countries outside the USA. It would also allow for better participation by non-Mormons and members like me in wedding ceremonies. Continued LGBT discrimination will also make future convert baptisms in the USA, Canada, and western Europe even more difficult.
- Boy Scouts: If the LDS Church wants to separate from BSA, there are much better reasons than LGBT issues. To handle this issue the way the PR department did just makes the Church look truculent. It also reminds the world that the LDS Church discriminates against its girl members.
- Female Discrimination: The LDS Church’s inability to find responsible, high leadership and decision-making positions for women is very frustrating. So far, all the leadership has been willing to do is take a few token steps.
- Anti-science Statements: When the Church leaders make statements that encourage Old Testament literalism, they encourage members to distrust science. This can lead to anti-evolution, anti-vaccination, anti-global warming, anti-environmentalism and anti-LGBT sentiments.
The biggest problem, however, is the Church leadership’s inability to identify really important issues. Instead it is obsessing over issues that are making it look irrelevant to both younger members and potential converts. Anybody in Mormondom concerned about poverty, global warming, gun violence, the environment, etc.?