Converts vs. Constancy

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Which would you do if you were president of the Church?

A: Tweak doctrines and policies as society values change in order to encourage church growth through converts. This would allow more people to be baptised and receive saving ordinances, but may give some persons the impression that God changes.

B: Keep doctrines and policies the same despite society values in order to maintain the idea that God never changes, but risk a reduction in church growth through converts. This would mean that less people receive saving ordinances.

23 thoughts on “Converts vs. Constancy

  1. I say B. What’s the point of having all these converts if the majority of them are gone before their 1st anniversary. Our ward right now has a high baptism rate or rather did last few years and yet 51 % of our membership are either completely or semi-inactive. What was the point?

  2. The church has already decided on A.

    Now, you’ve got to ask yourself how sure are you that the preceding Presidents got it right? Constancy, if incorrect could be very bad.

    Take a look at the blacks and women’s movements for ideas which required change. What if the church had been inflexible then?

  3. Mum,

    So you’d rather have growth only through child baptisms? Especially with family sizes dropping and child of record retention also becoming a serious issue?

  4. no I don’t have a problem with adult baptisms!! Not at all.. part of constant that you mentioned was not concentrating on conversions so heavily but rather that we work on keeping the ones that do get baptized. At least that was how I read it. Of course it’s great that the First Presidency changes with the times as long as it is through God and not through dictates of society.

    And there won’t be “less” people getting saving ordinances as they will recieve them in the next life if they don’t here. I mean if God knew that blacks or rather African Americans would eventually get the Priesthood why not tell the Prophet at the time to do so right then and there?

    If He knew the world would frown on polygamy then why say it was authorized? These instances are just 2 that show the world that we can’t make up our minds. And I do follow and honour the Prophets but even in my short 27 years as a member, Prophets have changes “doctrines” now whether that was through inspiration from Heavenly Father or from peer pressure of society I don’t know.

    I just know I hate changes. Onw od my Primary teachers has been a member for 18 months, her sister 8 months and to this day they still have not gotten new member discussions. Missionaries are too busy going out getting new blood that the ones that are getting baptized are falling through the cracks. It used to be the missionaries did the new member discussions now they are supposed to rely on the ward mission leader and the ward missionaries to do so. And of course with neither of these 2 girls having gotten them it goes without saying how successful that program is doing.

  5. “part of constant that you mentioned was not concentrating on conversions so heavily but rather that we work on keeping the ones that do get baptized.”

    And that is important. That being said, we may no longer be getting nearly 350,000 converts into the church each year, but we are still getting over 200,000. So conversions are still important and make up over 70% of church growth.

    “I mean if God knew that blacks or rather African Americans would eventually get the Priesthood why not tell the Prophet at the time to do so right then and there?”

    He did. That’s why Joseph Smith ordained blacks. It was Brigham Young that stopped the practice.

    And for the record, the stake missionaries did new member discusions on my mission as well. Actually, if I rememebr correctly, they have been doing so ever since seventies were replaced by stake missionaries.

  6. But in reality, there is option C, which is what President Hinckley is striving to do every day. Why waste your time hypothesizing about a universe where the real option doesn’t exist?

    Don’t quite follow what you’re saying about the Brother of Jared, so if you feel like clarifying, please do so.

  7. because with Kim he does like to hypothesize .. it is what he does best :) it’s what makes him unique in our family as it makes the rest of us say “WHAT are you talking about?” :)

  8. Kim, if you believe that President Hinckley is not trying to follow God’s will, then I am astonished you would choose to be a member of his Church.

  9. Your options are loaded. The options make a presumption. They presume that it is the will of the Prophet to take one option or the other.

    I personally think the question should be re written to be more accurate;

    Which would you do if you were God?

    In reality, it is He who is making the decision.

  10. ltbugaf,

    I said nothing of what I believe. Again, how do you know President Hinckley is striving every day to seek God’s will?

    Ian,

    How do you think the church’s executive operates when it comes to doctrinal and policy changes. Based on what you have said, I get the impression you believe they simply sit around waiting for a new policy or doctrine to come down from heaven.

  11. ltbugaf

    You should realise by now that many times, more often than not, Kim’s posts, and even his comments are not his personal opinion. By posing the questions, he is trying to provoke thoughtful discussion.

    He chooses to be a member of the Church because he has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of the divinity of the book of Mormon, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that Gordon B Hinckley is the prophet today.

  12. “By posing the questions, he is trying to provoke thoughtful discussion.”

    Creating a false dichotomy doesn’t promote thoughtful anything. It just limits the discussion artificially to two alternatives while ignoring the reality of other options. In this case, Kim is giving us two choices, neither of which reflects the fact that every day, President Hinckley seeks to know the will of our heavenly Father and to follow it. So we’re left with (1)”tweaking”–creating man-made, uninspired doctrines or (2)dogma–holding on to the same practices without knowing whether the Lord wants us to or not. In my opinion, this dichotomy is real for the rest of the Christian world, but not for a Church with a true, living Prophet. If we sustain him as a prophet, then we believe he receives guidance from God. Unless I believe that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is somehow made inactive in a man when he becomes President of the Church, then it’s rather obvious that he’s being guided.

    Kim still asks me how I know that President Hinckley is seeking direction from Heaven. Well, let’s see… do you suppose he ever prays? What form of proof are you wiling to accept that he does?

  13. How do you know it’s a false dichotomy?

    “Kim still asks me how I know that President Hinckley is seeking direction from Heaven.”

    Or rather how do you know President Hinckley is striving every day to seek God’s will?

    “Do you suppose he ever prays? What form of proof are you wiling to accept that he does?”

    So are you trying to prove whether he prays ever or that he daily strives to seek God’s will?

  14. Just so we don’t lose perspective, there is a difference between doctrine and practise, I believe.
    Faith, repentance, baptism, etc. is doctrine.
    Who holds the priesthood, women’s issues, etc. is practise and can be amended without affecting doctrine.
    To clarify, doctrine has to do with saving principles, while practise has more to do with the social aspects of the Church . . . IMHO.

  15. Everyone once in a while I wonder if Kim is part of one of my split personalities, because he says exactly what I was thinking.

    This is one of those times.

    I wonder if only men holding the priesthood would be doctrine or practise as well.

    I see this as another possible amendment if the church follows the winds of social acceptance.

  16. Oh boy! You’re all gonna love this! If I was the president of the Mormon Church, the first thing that I would do would be the ditch the name “church”. Now don’t you goobers think that the term “church” is just a wee bit archaic? Well, then so are your beliefs as well, “brethren”. As your president, I would also abolish the white-shirt-and-tie missionary uniform. All my “brothers and sisters” will carry on the “Lord’s work” in the nude! That’s right! I want you all to get naked, baby! Perhaps this will help to shatter your sexual prudishness, and overcome your issues. Sometimes we don’t want to have babies—sometimes we just want to ****! Oh, and one more thing—lets rearrange the letters LDS, and make it LSD! The Church of Jesus Christ of LSD. I will make all of you take LSD for your sacrament. You really do need it. It will surely help to expand your spiritual horizons to see God for what it really is!

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