Time to start up off-topic conversations

The dog-days of summer are approaching. Time to start up non-sports discussions.
I’ll start with asking are there any studies on why the youth are leaving in bunches from following the Prophets?

Simple answer: The internet.

Why the internet? Because they read anti-Mormon stuff more easily?

Yep. That would be my guess.

I don’t think it’s the internet per se, but rather much more growing weakness in Mormon families. I see Mormon families who attend church but don’t transmit any depth of conviction or scholarship to their children as a much bigger problem than people reading things critical of the Church on the internet.

Not that that isn’t a factor (it is), but it isn’t a factor where families transmit conviction and scholarship. Many families rely on the increasingly meager Church curriculum to teach their kids about the Church, the scriptures, and Church history/the Restoration, and where there is no actual personal foundation (or a very superficial one), then criticisms are definitely a concern.

I think with the invent of the Internet, the youth of today do not trust the “authorities” as much as we did when we were growing up. I also think the older generation of LDS were white washed with their history of the church. When we grew up in the church, no one would ever say anything negative about Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.

Now we have learned that Joseph had struggles just like the rest of us. He had a temper problem that eventually got him into a fist fight with his brother William over some disagreement. Joseph himself often talked about his issues (read some of his writings). Even the Lord rebuked Joseph for some of his issues at home.

When President Monson made Church History “Transparent”, it shocked a lot of members to find out some of the issues that for decades were white washed. Joseph marrying other married women for example. I love the fact President Monson opened the door, all religions has their black eyes, it is how we deal with those issues that makes us better.

Kids today are smarter than we were, they don’t necessarily believe automatically like the older generation did, they are also more inclined to be more inclusive (LBGT rights, race relationships) and less judgmental than previous generation. I think that is one reason the Lord has sent his very best in the last days.

A man of many words :roll_eyes:

What criticisms aren’t being addressed in the family? And, are members really scholars in these areas of criticism?

Joseph married or sealed to other married women. Please clarify :slight_smile:

I was talking with a Christian of another Church and he said one of the main issues they were having is with Genesis version of the creation versus what scientists are assuming how the creation happened and the age of the earth/universe. Do we find the fuzzy answer of whether day refers maybe to time periods a challenge with our youth?

He was sealed to between 26 and 33 women (the exact number is hard to determine for sure), some of whom were married to other men, and a few of which were quite young (14-17). Many members are stunned when they learn about this, and even more stunned when they learn that it is true and not just anti-Mormon propaganda. The Church definitely didn’t do any favors by whitewashing this over the years, even going so far as to alter quotes or material in manuals to make it look like he was only married to Emma.

The most common problem in my experience is when they feel betrayed and deceived by this, and then they don’t trust the Church about anything. Even when their specific concerns are satisfactorily explained. It’s really hard to overcome that feeling of deception and betrayal.

Pretty much any, really, in most families. Parents don’t preemptively discuss and inoculate their kids against things they’re going to run into (sometimes parents themselves don’t know), and they outsource their gospel learning and development to the Church.

Often not. But, especially in this day and age, that’s not good enough. We need gospel scholarship in the home more than ever.

I had a discussion with my wife about the plural marriage with Joseph, we both simply came to the conclusion that we do not know the “Whole” story of the why’s and wherefores, so it is hard for us to judge and more importantly, it has nothing to do with our eternal salvation, so why worry about it.

That’s a pretty simple thing to explain. There would be an issue if he had caused the women to divorce their husbands to marry them. But, back in those times, the complete understanding about “sealings” was different. Back then, men also were sealed to Joseph Smith. A different concept. Many of the women said to be Joseph’s wives were not married to him but were sealed.

But, besides the sealing of women to Joseph Smith, which is easily explained, what other topics confuse members and children? Especially the youth and the Millennial generation?

Do you ever search this out. There are internet sights that aren’t anti-Mormon and explain this. You’ll find the beginnings of the use of sealings was more than just sealing husbands and wives and their children. Men also were sealed to Joseph Smith.

You’re absolutely right that we don’t know the whole story about Joseph Smith’s polygamy. And while it isn’t the foundation of testimony, if and when people are truly bothered by it, then it becomes a sticking point for them.

He was commanded to institute it among chosen men and women, but he was also commanded by God to keep it secret. So some people get concerns about the lying about it, and the fact that it can be made to look like the motivation was simply to engage in sort of a free love thing while preaching something different to the Church.

It’s definitely not an easy topic, but it is much better for people to learn of it in a faithful setting than online — and to feel like it’s been hidden.

I am often asked to meet with people with concerns in my stake. Quite consistently, the top three concerns are:

  1. Joseph Smith’s polygamy
  2. Book of Mormon people, places, and events are fictitious
  3. Book of Abraham has been declared a fraud by scholars

Then, there are lesser concerns. A common one over the last year is the fact that members of the Seventy on up are paid a salary of $120,000 per year. People can have all sorts of concerns over learning that things are different from how they thought, assumed, or have been taught.

Among Millennials and youth, social issues they disagree with the Church on are bigger than doctrinal or historical items. Things like homosexuality as a sin, gay marriage, marijuana use, liberal/conservative philosophical difference, etc. These are by far more of an issue to young people than doctrinal and historical questions, which they largely don’t really care about or think much about.

Other concerns are more general, like the existence of God at all, or The Problem of Evil (how can God allow XYZ to happen and not stop it).

hmm… Scott, please go do some research…

Many of Joseph wives were between the age of 13 and 18 years old, they were not just “sealed” to him, but was a married to him in all biblical terms (meaning sexual intimacy). It is very well documented in historical books at the BYU library if you want to go find them.

Confusing Children:

  1. Blacks not receiving the priesthood when it was told that it was done by revelation, but now has been announced they can not find any reference to a policy, revelation or commandment.

  2. LBGT treatment, many youth do not think the church should have been involved in Prop 8. They do not see the issue with the word “Marriage” when it comes to gays’s, It does not invalidate our marriage, so why would you care if they call it marriage? (Speaking as a youth).

  3. Crimes from our past (Mountain Meadow for example) being white washed. By the way, there is a really good book on the actual events that happened, who knew, what, when… The writers were given access to the First Presidency Vault for doing research of the book “Massacre at Mountain Meadows” co-authored by Mormon historians Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Glen M. Leonard.

4.Older Authorities, feeling that they are out of touch with what is going on with them

  1. How other LDS youth treats them. I had a son tell me once that if I knew how the priest passing the sacrament treated and acted at school, I would be appalled.

just a few things that I know about.

Not sure I would ever want to be a Bishop or Stake President with all the “recording” going on…

I would want to record every interview just so that I have proof that not everything said by the young person actually happened (Bishop interview getting recorded in the news lately).