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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

194: CONDITIONING AND INDOCTRINATION

Our daughter is now old enough to go into nursery during the 3 hour block at church. Childen can start going once they are 18 months old. These first couple of weeks I have been going in with her. It has been interesting to see what we teach our children from the very beginning before they can even talk.  During singing time, one of the songs they sing each week is “Follow the Prophet”. When they sing the song, the nursery teacher selects one of the children to hold a large photograph of Thomas S. Monson. She has the child hold up this photo, and then march around the room having all of the other children follow behind chanting the words “Follow the Prophet, Follow the Prophet, He knows the way.” Every week this song is sung a couple of times allowing more of the children to have the opportunity of being the “prophet” and having the other children follow behind them.

We teach at the very earliest of age, before our children can even talk, to follow the Prophet and that he will not lead us astray.

 This topic has been discussed extensively on many blogs and forums. The debate still continues.   It is a probably the most divisive and sensitive subjects to talk about in our LDS culture. One side accuses the other for being apostate for thinking that the Prophet is fallible.  The other side accuses the mainstream members for not being more awake and too leader dependent.

 I came across a blog written by a very faithtful member of the church that was interesting. I don’t know the author, but his mindset and analogy that he used probably very typical of 99% of active LDS members. 

I quote his words:

"...I was talking with a friend that has a hard time with our leader worship in our culture. I gave him this analogy: It feels like this, you want to go to the Louvre in Paris to see the Mona Lisa. To get to the museum you have to pay to get in. You get inside the museum and you immediately are met by the tour guides. And the tour guides are talking about how they know this is the only museum that has the Mona Lisa and they know without a shadow of a doubt that the curator of the museum has all the keys to the museum. And they know without a shadow of a doubt that no one can behold the Mona Lisa unless they come to this museum. It is the only museum on the face of the earth that has the Mona Lisa. - Well all of that is true with regard to the Mona Lisa, but in my view, completely irrelevant, because I came to the museum to behold the Mona Lisa; not the tour guide; not the keys that the tour guide has; not the keys that the curator has. I respect all of that and I recognize all of that as necessary. I recognize all of that as part of the function of the museum. I do recognize that the museum has the Mona Lisa. But in the scale on my mission, my purpose, why I'm there - am there for one reason and one reason only. I am there to behold the Mona Lisa. If you can just realized that is just the museum being the museum and that is just the tour guides being the tour guides. They are doing their best, however misguided or overbearing or what have you they might be. But you can still see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Of course the Mona Lisa in this metaphor is Christ and the tour guides may not be the most knowledgeable people on earth about the Mona Lisa. There may be people outside the Museum, in fact there are people outside the museum who know a whole lot more about the Mona Lisa than some of the tour guides. Some of the tour guides are great. I especially like the ones with the German accent; that is one of my favorite tour guides. I have been told that we are not supposed to have favorite and less-favorite tour guides, but there are definitely some that are more favorite than others when I go to the Louvre.”

Although he doesn’t specifically say this, but the analogy could continue by saying that the curator is the only one who can have access to Mona Lisa, who would have the key to open the glass and touch the painting.  As you know the Mona Lisa is in a sealed enclosure, behind 1.5 inch thick glass with security guards and cameras making sure that no one gets close or even touch the Mona Lisa.

How sad if this is our mindset and doctrine we teach? Is this the Christ we worship, untouchable to all except one man? What about those outside the museum? Are they ever allowed in, or banded from ever seeing the Mona Lisa?  What about those who actually enter into the museum and actually find the Mona Lisa? Are they not allowed to feel and touch the painting? Do we even believe that it is possible or even try? And if it is possible, and we then tell others that we have touched the Mona Lisa, will we be chastised, or thrown out of the museum?
A true curator after touching the Mona Lisa would want all to come and touch as well. To think that “Tour guides” and “curators” are the only ones that have more access is completely false doctrine and not the Gospel of Christ.



Sidenote:

A few weeks ago I needed to renew my temple recommend. Before the member of the Stake Presidency began asking me the questions, he told me that he felt by the Spirit that he wanted me to share my testimony about the prophet after he asked me if I sustain him as the prophet, seer and revelator and recognize him as the only person on earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys. I thought it was odd. Why not ask me to bear my testimony about Christ after he asked the question about if believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ? I talked to a friend about my experience, and he said that this a way they receive more information without asking questions on our obedience to the leaders.

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