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Friday, October 4, 2013

205: FALL CONFERENCE WEEKEND 2013: CHRISTIANITY vs CHURCHIANITY


Conference Weekend is now upon us. Downtown Salt Lake is bustling with people from all around the world. Leaders and members alike descend upon Temple Square for this weekend's two day event to hear messages carefully written and then read to us over the pulpit. Since we are a world wide church, the talks have already been translated into many languages  for all those to be able to hear the messages. LINK

Most members will watch the sessions via their television sets, including Priesthood Session which for the first time can be viewed live on television by all the Priesthood holders, as well as provide the opportunity for all those who have always wanted to watch (and have been campaigning for permission to attend) this "Priesthood Only" Saturday night session.

Centered around this conference weekend, there is an open house at the Church History Library that will extend through this weekend, ending on Oct 10. For those interested, the open house showcases memorabilia from all of the 16 Presidents of the Church. Here is one of many advertisements you can see on the streets of downtown.

 
 

It might be hard to read the text at the very bottom. This is what it says: (emphasis mine)

"From the time The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830, a prophet, seer, and revelator has been called and sustained as the President of the Church. Sixteen men have been called to serve in this position. Wilford Woodruff, speaking of the Presidents of the Church, said, "We have the living oracles with us, and have had from the commencement. The Lord will never leave his kingdom without a lawgiver, leader, president ... to direct the affairs of his Church on the earth". (Deseret News Weekly, May 3, 1876, 212). Each President has left a legacy of faith."

...

In addition to this open house, there is another interesting display at Deseret Book. There are huge creative stacks of the latest released books written by the Brethren (including one book written by the wife of one of the apostles.) From Left to right here are the book titles and authors:

Consider the Blessings by President Thomas S Monson.
One Drop at a Time by Elder M Russell Ballard
An Uncommon Life: Years of Preparation by Elder L Tom Perry
For Times of Trouble by Elder Jeffrey R Holland
The Not Even Once Club by wife of Elder Russell M Nelson


    
 
Sidenote: In reference to the above advertisement for the Presidents of the Church open house, I found the placement of all 16 Presidents photographs to be interesting. It is a diamond shape.  I think it is wonderful that Joseph Smith is at the top of the diamond shape. He is our dispensational head.
 
I have often wondered, as we progress  through the years, from one President to another, are we progressing upward with further light and knowledge?  Or perhaps have we been falling farther and farther away from what Joseph Smith taught and originally tried to restore? If the first is true, then why wouldn't we put President Monson at the very top of the pyramid? If not, the advertisement might be symbolic of the direction/situation we find ourselves.  
 
That being said, most main stream Mormons would probably say we are increasing in light and knowledge. With our emphasis that we place on our current living prophet, some might  wonder why President Monson's photo doesn't appear at the very top of the diamond. Case in point, a friend of mine sent me this photo below of the positioning of these two framed images hung in their Church building. Usually the higher we place something, the higher of importance. Thus, are we members of Christianity or of a Churchianity?   


13 comments:

  1. Very interesting. I think we often place things in order of importance to us, subconsciously. This is definitely a reflection on the current state we find ourselves in.

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  2. Seeing the Not Even Once Club displayed in that way makes me so, so sad. The underlying messages in that book are so destructive, and teach reliance on self and unattainable perfection over reliance on Christ and His amazing gift of grace that completes our efforts of repentance.

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  3. This really helps those of us who live far from the environs of the "Church HQ" to better see what is happening there. It has become more and more clear over the months and years. The "houses" of books impressively erected as pillars appear to be a possible danger to passers-by, particularly for any hazarding an attempt at partaking of those books. Perhaps they should put up fences to protect customers.

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  4. Wow. I would never put anything above a picture of Christ (I know it is just a picture someone painted but it is a symbol of Him). I feel the church has slowly been losing light and knowledge sine the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The church leaders have focused more and more on personal wealth (writing books, appearing with rich and famous persons, sittting on corporate boards etc). I am still upset by that stupid mall. What kind of material cost $3,000 a square foot!

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  5. I just visited a popular Mormon blog where general conference was being discussed; the speakers were being discussed--

    and the discussion (OP) completely left out Elder Edward Dube from Africa!!!

    White men were mentioned; this African brother was completely left out--

    oh well, I figured I could complain on here--

    *wink*

    As for this open house--

    *groan*

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps his was a talk no one could complain about?

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  6. Why should we be surprised that a picture of Church leaders is put 'above' Christ, especially in a Church that preaches & practices the doctrines of those men & leaders far above the teachings of Christ, their doctrines are complete opposite to Christs. Choose you this day who you are going to follow, for you can't follow Christ & the Church.

    The church's prophets since Brigham Young believe they 'trump' Christ and can change or ignore his teachings. For they know they can't prove they are true prophets by preaching his exact teachings, cause they don't even live or believe in his teachings or him.

    'Prove your doubts' don't doubt them, for that is how the Holy Ghost warns you of falsehoods & false prophets, by giving you feelings of 'doubt'.

    Of course false prophets will tell you to doubt your doubts and the feelings the Holy Ghost is giving you, for he is trying to reveal their falsehoods. I found through the years that most of my doubts about the Church were very true and valid.

    God & true prophets command us to question everything and everyone, doubt 1st, don't just follow blindly, question & prove all things, especially our doubts, don't ignore them or doubt them. Your doubts will save you.

    Only hold fast to that which you have 'proven' to be true by comparing everything & everyone with what Christ taught in the New Testament.

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  7. I, too, was disturbed by Pres. Uchdorf's talk. To me, it felt as if he was also saying, "We don't have good answers to address your doubts, so why don't you just reassess why you have them, find fault with yourself for having them, and get back to believing in full faith..."

    Heaven help us once the wards start teaching priesthood/Relief Society lessons based on this talk, essentially saying "doubts/questions are bad while acceptance and trust in our leaders is good".

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  8. It was good to hear so many speakers mentioning Christ.

    Perhaps the last picture represents Jesus being the chief cornerstone? Maybe.

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  9. Elder Uchdorf's 'doubt your doubts' was a crafty & desperate attempt to try to stop the huge flow of members leaving the church because they are finding out things are not as they were told or seem, far from it.

    Little crafty sayings will never stop the truth and keep people from waking up, for they are led by the Holy Spirit & God, who gives them those doubts, and church leaders only reveal their pretenses & weaknesses even more when they try to teach such trite falsehoods.

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  11. Wasn't it Denver Snuffer who first said to doubt doubt?

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