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Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Transparency

The recent disclosures on Wikileaks about the US State Department internal communications should be a reminder to all organizations that there really are no secrets anymore.  

So as I think about that event in relation to the LDS Church I wonder if its time for the Church to rethink its communications.  The Church culture is of a single and highly over simplified version of the gospel and church history.  This is fostered by a Correlation Department that wants to keep the message contained in a small box that can be distilled down to convenient sound bites.  As a result, much of what is communicated by the Church to its members is hermetically sealed and pre-packaged lessons that portray unrealistic expectations for a world that does not exist.


As a church we claim to embrace truth and state that we believe in being honest but by omission we are sometimes lairs.  In my opinion, this creates a culture that reinforces "faking it" and putting on the "correct" appearance.  Are we slowly moving toward the very state that prophets have warned against where every person must walk and talk and look the same?


To me this seems pretty ironic for an organization that proclaims  "The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent ... till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."  

I know a lot more about Church history than your average member and for me it is very liberating and wonderful to see the depth and breadth of it all.  The Church and its leaders have seriously screwed up in the past and they have also done amazing things.  Truth is the whole picture not just the pretty part.  We do our young people a terrible disservice by only presenting a shallow single sided version of the truth.  

To believe in the gospel and the Church requires faith and it always will.  We diminish the need to develop faith when all we present is a program that is so lovely, simple, and beautiful that only a fool would reject it.  Our members and non-members will then quickly become like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and want to pull aside the curtain to see what is really going on.   The world and all the truth in it is transparent to God.  We should more closely follow that model.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with the need for transparency. Open dialog is needed to overcome the prejudices and dilemas members face. I would much rather have a discussion in Priesthood about real issues and what we're doing to address them than a canned lesson from Salt Lake.

    That being said, there are some signs of progress, most notably the Jospeh Smith Papers, which is a compilation of every word the man ever wrote. Unedited. That is being transparent...

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  2. I agree that it is a great disservice to just deliver up a pretty, perfect church. It does nothing to build up the spiritual immune system of the members. Some of the history completely caught me off guard. I think they would do themselves a great service to be more transparent.

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