Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Word From The Bishop -- Doubting Mormons

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: To those who doubt

Over the past year, some have shared their doubts with me about the church and its leaders. A few even confided that they might leave the faith. This would be a disastrous decision. Imagine Sundays without pantyhose and white dress shirts, Easter without General Conference, Christmas without tithing settlement. Not to mention an eternity spent as a lonely eunuch in one of the lower kingdoms. Not a pretty picture is it? Instead, why not consider the following strategies for remaining in the one and only true church.

Become a Cafeteria Mormon.
After all nobody can eat everything on the menu. So partake of what you can, and don't worry about the rest. Perhaps you aren't much of a journal writer, you don't have room for a year's supply, you enjoy an occasional "R" rated action film, and you have a non-LDS State Farm agent. No worries. So long as:
1. You don't tell anyone.
2. You don't start watching Big Love.
3. Your omissions do not include tithing, fast offering, church meetings, visiting teaching, home teaching, church callings, temple attendance, talk assignments, the word of wisdom, gay marriage protests, more than one ear piercing, splits with the missionaries, church magazine subscriptions, wearing your garments day and night, General Conference, Amway, BYU football and scrapbooking.

Learn to differentiate whether a General Authority is speaking for God, or speaking as a man.
For example, when President Monson advised members to be nice to old ladies, he was speaking for God. But when Apostle Boyd K. Packer detailed the mechanics of masturbation, he sounded more like a man. When President Hinckley told members to read the Book of Mormon, he spoke for God. However, when Bruce Hafen of the First Quorum of the Seventies suggested homosexuals pray away the gay, he was probably just voicing an opinion formed by his own experience. When you divide the General Authorities' statements in this manner, they begin to make more sense. Of course we must remember that whether speaking for God or as men, our church leaders must always be obeyed.

Stop expecting church leaders to be perfect.
Are you perfect? If not, who are you to judge? Maybe Joseph Smith slept with other men's wives, and made up the whole first vision thing. Maybe Brigham Young ordered a blood bath in Southern Utah. Maybe Spencer Kimball let that crook Mark Hoffman swindle the church out of thousands. But they were prophets and you're not. When you are fit to stand before God and your peers and proclaim yourself  a perfect person, then, and only then, may you criticize The Brethren.


Bishop Z

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, close your eyes, click your temple slippers together three times, and repeat, "There's no place like Sacrament Meeting."

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