Friday, April 01, 2011

Following the Prophets

It's about to be Conference Weekend! Are you as excited as I am?

If you're not, it might be because you're not a mormon. So I'll tell you about it: General Conference is held twice a year, on the first weekend in April and October. It's a time for Church leaders to give members direction, report on the growth and statistics of the Church, and bear testimony of the gospel. It's a worldwide conference. It's held in Salt Lake City and broadcast all over the world.

It's a lot of church. Here's the schedule:

6:00-8:00 (For the men only. That's okay; women get their own two-hour session earlier in the year.)


But that's not really what this post is about. It's about an article I read today in USA Today: Mormon president can do no wrong to religion's members. From the article:
"We pay lip service to the prophet's fallibility," said Edward Kimball, son of late church President Spencer W. Kimball. "But when you come down to specifics, we can't think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong."
So much authority is ascribed to the Mormon president, though, that quasi-prophet worship by the far-flung members of the 14 million-member faith seems unavoidable.

I think the article's author is right. It's true; I have plenty of friends who worship Church leaders and not God. I have a feeling that if Church leaders faltered in some way, their faith would be gravely shaken and maybe shatter completely. And why wouldn't they? It's not unlike the moment when a child realizes her parents don't know everything (That happened for me in the 6th grade.), or the moment when a citizen disapproves of his political leader's decisions in personal life. (I'm looking at you, Bill Clinton.)

Everyone has someone they look up to -- someone they think could do no wrong. At least, at some point, everyone did. Mormons and non-mormons alike are in danger of losing their faith -- in anything -- if the person they look up to the most falls.

So even though this article is right about a lot of mormons; it's right about almost everyone else in the world, too.

As for my faith in mormon Church leaders . . . All I can say is that I really do believe that every human being is fallible. No person on earth is perfect. No one at all. But I can tell who comes close, and I will follow what that person says until I think he's not close anymore. Besides, I don't believe in Church leaders; I just believe in God.

Thing I'm thankful for: people who are good at writing resumes!


Blogger Eve said...

I like this post Sara :)

10:07 PM  
Blogger Jason Kesler said...

Who is that person "who comes close" to being perfect that you are willing to follow? Is it Christ? or the Church leader? I'm confused.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Jason -- yes, that person I am willing to follow is the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But by extension, I would also include the apostles as well.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Jessica deRenzy said...

I absolutely love this post.

4:25 PM  

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