Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The first rule in real estate is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Perhaps, the first rule in the LDS Church is SUSTAIN, SUSTAIN, SUSTAIN.

Last year the LDS Church announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art facility at the MTC, located near Brigham Young University. The new building is to replace the Melvin J. Ballard Building, which houses the MTC bookstore, mailroom, meeting rooms and resource center. It was also reported back then that it will be several floors taller than the two-story Ballard building. According to a news release from the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the new building will include some classrooms with the latest technological resources.

If the existing MTC building that will now be demolished is only 2 floors and the Church announced in 2011 that it would be only be several floors taller then why is the building now going to be NINE stories tall?  Sounds like a big building, especially when you consider that the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Downtown SLC is 10 floors.

If the number of full-time missionaries is increasing, I could understand the need for the expansion. Back in 2002, before the we "raised the bar", there were almost 62,000 missionaries serving world wide. Now the number of missionaries is in the mid 50,000.   There has been a decrease from years past. Furthermore, less and less of the US foreign bound missionaries are going to the Provo MTC. Many are now being sent directly to the Missionary Training Center in the country they will be serving in. Many do not realize that there are currently 17 Missionary Training Centers throughout the world. The most recent addition was the Ghana MTC.

It was reported in the news that many of the Provo residents that live close to the Provo MTC have been concerned about this new construction of large high rise building being constructed.

Due to local residents opposition,  a letter of “invitation” from Church Headquarters was read to them over the pulpit last week asked them to “support the decision of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles”.

We are taught to sustain, and to never oppose. We are taught that it is best to be silent, instead of voicing concern. We are assured we will never be led astray.


I am reminded about President Boyd K Packer’s quote in conference for us to “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”.

Yes, Maybe the old 2 story MTC building has been "used up", and "worn out", we can't "make it do" anymore? we need to build a 9 story building to replace it so we "don't go without"..

Can't wait to see this new "state of the art" mailroom, bookstore, and meeting room at the MTC…. ALL NINE STORIES of it.


Anonymous said...

A letter like that is just a form of "spiritual abuse" implying that not sustaining the leaders will result in a loss of blessings or even jeopardizing one's exaltation.

Anonymous said...

It sure sounds strange that a secular issue suddenly becoming an ecclesiastical one due to pushback. That just sounds, looks, and smells wrong.

Why the change? If was said to be a secular level issue, BY THE CHURCH, why wasn't it solved on a secular level?? Why pull out the ecclesiastical card? Unless of course..... well we may all know the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

Ya. Those implied messages can be the subtle "trump card" to end discussion. But the message is not direct, it's indirect, which is powerful because it can be effective while also being largely unnoticed.

I hesitate STRONGLY if there is a chance of giving the appearance of using Church position to wield power and gain compliance. That's just me though. But at the end of the day, giving them the benefit of the doubt sounds wise. I am glad I hold no position that tempts me to misuse the power of it. I bet that temptation exists strongly at headquarters. I wonder if after a while it becomes quite difficult to resist.

Anonymous said...

This is not easy to read--

I'm not sure the missionary program of the church has ever been ideal (Spencer W. Kimball, why do I use the entire name?, gave a powerful talk in the early 70s about how the missionary program would not be needed if the church repented and lived the gospel)--

but I am not sure it's becoming better; more and more young people are coming home early or with strange health problems or with broken hearts--

and now . . . build another building, to shore up a program that is struggling?

But the pressure from the 'brethren'? That is very sad. I guess there is always a very good reason not to live in Utah!!!


Anonymous said...

A perfect example of unrighteous dominion. Using position to get what you want. D&C 121 condemns their "strategy."

It doesn't matter what the brethren told you before, it's what they are telling you today. They are incapable of leading you astray!

They could say anything, ANYTHING at all and you'd better shut up and go along with it. And we are shocked that some people see us as a cult??

If you don't think a Mountain Meadows could happen in the 2012 Church, you are blind.

Toni said...

"Church spokesman Scott Trotter said in an email Monday that church leaders were not pressuring anyone or exercising their authority inappropriately."
""To suggest that this was an attempt by Church leaders to exercise undue influence is without merit," the email said."

Are they so blind that they do not know that a "suggestion" is paramount to God's voice on Mount Sinai to most LDS people? And that enough "consequences" have been reaped in the past by those who did not accept the "suggestions" that people fully understand the danger (eternal and social) in opposing "the brethren" (hence, opposing God Himself, who will surely come down in hellfire and condemnation upon such vile sinners)?

Building a building is no big deal, in my opinion. Who cares if it's 9 stories high? The issue that I see is in the veiled intimidation, and in the flip-flop from "this is a secular issue" to "this is an ecclesiastical issue" - which makes it look a whole lot like, "We may not get the building we want; we're gonna have to pull rank or we won't get it."

I had a spouse who was quite efficient at gentle intimidation.

Anonymous said...

Well said. That is exactly what happened.

This event bothers me a great deal. "Without merit"?? What, then, is the definition of unrighteous dominion, if not this? Give me an example of how the Church would use unrighteous dominion in this MTC scenario that has not been used?

I had a spouse efficient in overt intimidation... there's really little difference.

Toni said...

It is much easier to see obvious intimidation than intimidation hidden by "suggestions", "loving advice", and pretended kindness. To me the hidden kind is the most devilish. With my first spouse, I knew he hated me because of how he treated me. With my second, I was confused. How could someone who professed love and who appeared so "nice" be increasing my fear level every time he talked to me? Yeah, those of us who have experience the gentle or hidden intimidation, we see through this, don't we?

Anonymous said...

In the words of President Monson:

"May I begin by reciting to you from section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and … the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

“That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.”

Brethren, that is the definitive word of the Lord concerning His divine authority. We cannot be in doubt as to the obligation this places upon each of us who bear the priesthood of God.

We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.

I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider."

(President Monson, Preisthood Power, April 2011 General Conference)