Friday, July 8, 2011

Reforming Mormonism

When I attended the Mormon Stories conference in NYC, in conjunction with the opening weekend of The Book of Mormon musical, John Dehlin asked how the LDS Church could be reformed in such as way as to maintain membership rates, but not decrease current tithing funds.

I took a stab at this question a few months ago here on my blog.

However, someone recently made a video in answer to the same question that John posed.  I think his video response (below) is much better than my own attempt.

Lots of good ideas. If the Church made the changes, it could prevent many people like me from walking away. Here's the video:


  1. John Dehlin asked how the LDS Church could be reformed in such as way as to retain members, but not decrease current tithing funds.

    Interesting priorities...

  2. Interesting indeed C. L. Hanson. At its core, I think Mormon Inc. is interested in its own survival. That would include increasing membership rates and tithing revenues. Any changes that threaten those indicators of Mormon fitness, would probably not be accepted by the gerontocracy.

  3. I don’t think you get it, Josh.

    Don’t you know that “For ye have the poor always with you;”? Hence, not even God can solve that problem, so try and understand what the first order of priorities is; the tail (the needy) doesn’t wag the dog (the ‘top dogs’ of the kingdom).

    Don’t you know that the blessing of wealth is a sign of a member’s worthiness -- “ (A) recent study on Mormons’ perception of wealth and righteousness. Conducted by a researcher at BYU-Idaho, the study suggests that Mormons (or at least Utah County Mormons, where the study took place) tend to view those who have achieved greater financial success as being more righteous and spiritual, and certainly more intelligent and hard-working. A nice car, a good house, or just the air of success can go a long way to convincing your fellow brothers and sisters that all is well in your personal Zion.”

    Don’t you know that “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”? What could be more lovely and praiseworthy than a luxury hotel in Hawaii and the up-scale City Creek mall?

    Don’t you know that although only about 0.003% of the total current world population is an active LDS member (including children, so even less than that if you only consider ‘temple ready and worthy’ adults) with the Lord all things are possible and we can still proxy baptize the estimated 105 to 150 billion people who have thus far lived since recorded history? No doubt, that’s why we’ll need one thousand years during the Millennium. Oh ye of little faith, Josh.

    Don’t you know that President Hinkley wasn’t ‘just’ lying, but rather he was ‘lying for the Lord,’ and there is a big difference?

    Don’t you know that five dollars per person donated per capita is still A LOT of money in places where the average wage is less than a dollar a day... or week... or maybe even a month or a year or perhaps never?

    Don’t you know that when Jesus told the fellow who wanted to follow Him to sell all he had and give it to the poor, that the directive was obviously only for THAT man because he was no doubt so wealthy all the poor in that day would have been taken care of? He must have been way richer than J. W. Marriott and J. W. Marriott, Jr. and there must of been way fewer poor then as compared to today so that’s why the Marriotts don’t have to sell all they have and give it to the poor -- they just don’t have the amount of money many people think they have.

    Don’t you know that there is a difference in that its not ‘money’, i.e., filthy lucre that the Lord is entitled to and collects and uses, but rather ‘sacred funds’? ‘Sacred’, Josh. Hence, just recently President Monson dedicated a new banking financial center in Utah (From Deseret News archives: President Thomas S. Monson dedicates Zions Bank Financial Center. -- So again, get your priorities straight.

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea. In other words, Mormonism (the Church) doesn’t need reforming, it needs more money. Duh!

  4. Me from Cali: I like your sarcasm. Don't worry - I get it. I'm not holding my breath that change in the Church will happen any time soon. Slow change? Probably. Change anytime soon? Not likely.