You are wrong. Go pray about it.

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So when someone tells you,”You are wrong. Go pray about it.” does this not come off as extremely arrogant and condescending?

I’ve read it several times in various configurations on this and many other message boards.

Is this some sort of LDS euphemism for “I think we should both examine our thoughts on this issue and resolve it by consulting Heavenly Father”?

To me, it reads as – I am more righteous than you, and therefore more attuned to God’s plan. So why don’t you agree with me? Go ask God. He’s on my side. If you don’t come to the same conclusions as I did, then you’re not on God’s side, and therefore must be wrong.

Am I wrong in my assumptions?

15 thoughts on “You are wrong. Go pray about it.

  1. “does this not come off as extremely arrogant and condescending?”

    Usually, although I have had a dear friend say essentially, ”You are wrong. Go pray about it” to me–and he was right, so he didn’t come off as arrogant, but rather as someone who was “moved upon by the Spirit” to say something that made him very uncomfortable.

  2. Generally speaking when someone says “you are wrong,” they are arrogant. The Spirit of God will not direct someone to say that. It’s not his way.

    Instead, if you feel prompted by the Spirit to tell someone to go “pray about it,” you might get something like this:

    “I think God can give you the right answer. Go pray about it.”

    This way, you don’t explicitly tell someone they are wrong, because, heck, YOU could be wrong! Moreover, it makes the other person think that they were right, and will be more willing to be corrected by the Lord than by another man.

  3. I don’t think you are wrong Rick.

    Of course, anyone who doesn’t like cheesecake is wrong, though I don’t know if they should pray about it. :)

  4. “Is this some sort of LDS euphemism for “I think we should both examine our thoughts on this issue and resolve it by consulting Heavenly Father”?”

    We LDS are very self-righteous, especially about our opinions, this is what it’s about. I count myself among them. But anyone who says they aren’t, well they are just wrong and should go pray about it. :)

  5. Dang Rick,

    Did you get another visit from your home teachers again!!! JK.

    I believe this is a great example of how most of the LDS culture both lacks tact and an ability to let other truly excercise agency.

    This can be seen throughout our culture in how we administer our missionary program and set many of our goals.

    The gospel principles I have been taught all my life include the principle of individual agency so I can choose actions and form ideas, and then I and I alone are responsible for those choices. An easy reference to this doctrine can be found in the article of faith that states “We believe man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam’s transgression.”

    We also have Joseph Smith’s teaching that he “Teaches them (members of the church) correct principles and lets them govern themselves”.

    Our scriptures also teach to what level our evalgelistical efforts should be taken:

    D&C 38:41 And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his nrighbor, in mildness and in meekness.

    D&C 88:81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.

    I interpret these to mean that as someone who knows God’s gospel plan, I have a responsibility and duty to share that message with others in a spirit of mildness, without confrontation or offense, and then respect their decision or choice.

    If that is the extent of my duty, then it is first my responsibility to learn the message, second to share that message with those willing to listen, third invite them to discover the truth of the message, offering any assistance I can, and fourth, respect their decision, letting them govern themselves.

    But in practice, this is not the focus or approach local church leaders choose to take. This can be seen in the goals they set and the programs they implement.

    In our stake, we currently have a goal to hand out 2006 book of mormons this year. What “Counts” is when a member of the church hands a book of mormon to a non-member, and the non-member takes the book. If they accept the book, you are considered successful. If they choose not to accept it, you are a failure.

    I disagree with this approach because your success or failure is out of your hands. If they don’t accept the book, well, then I must have done something wrong. It’s my fault they didnt accept it. Perhaps I wasn’t tricky or devious enough. Perhaps I didn’t provide enough of a bribe to take the book. I just wasn’t good enough.

    A man in priesthood shared his missionary experience of sharing the book of mormon, which involved hiding it in a co-workers bag. He was considered a success. He contributed to the stake goal. This brother is a hero!!!! We should all be like him!!!!

    Our full time missioaries have similar mis-directed goals. I know they have them in the Calgary Canada Mission right now, and for as far back as I can remember. Both of my mission presidents in Las Vegas had the same type of goal.

    A Missionary is successful based on how many baptisms they have per week, month, or on their mission. Again, the success is based on the choices of other. If a missionary is obedient, learns the doctrine, and shares it with 10,000 people on their mission and they don’t baptize anyone, then they are probably considered a failure. But the slacker that always came into his areas and inherited his teaching pool, and baptized a 1,000 is considered a hero cause he was more wet than dry.

    If we practiced what we preach, we would set goals like “Extend the invitation to read the book of mormon 2006 times in 2006” Or “Extend the invitation to be baptized once a week”.

    Goals and programs like these focus on what we as members of the church CAN DO and SHOULD DO, letting the rest be between God and the individual. Then instead of hearing phrases like “You’re wrong, go pray about it” We might here things like “I respect your decision.”

    As long as we LDS continue to set goals and design programs based on the choices of others, you will continue to see members using prejudicial language to try to manipulate others to help them reach their goals and be successful in the eyes of their peers.

  6. “Did you get another visit from your home teachers again!!! JK.”

    I Wish!!

    I’m currently on Day 3 of a 3 day non-stop installation at work! I’m now operating on hour 27 of this install which I started on Friday at 6:00PM. What fun!

    If you’re looking to be a big “success” in your stake I could use a few BoMs … I hear it’s going to be a cold, cold winter. (That was a joke, Sally)

  7. “I disagree with this approach because your success or failure is out of your hands.”

    We had this discussion at the start of the year when we were setting the ward goals. I specifically mentioned this when we discussed the goal of 12 baptism in our ward for the year. IIRC, I beleive I even cited the Preach My Gospel manual.

    No one agreed with me, and we went forward setting a goal over which we fundamentally have no control.

    That being said, the goals we set in elders quorum were different. Things like visit at least one of your assigned families each month, go on splits with the missionaries twice, and so on. No goals for how many baptism we’d have, how many people we’d reactivate, and so forth.

  8. Some people don’t understand that there are some things that the Lord leaves up to our disgression. Some things aren’t important to us in our current state.

    On my mission we had the usual goals: BoM’s placed, discussions taught, etc. My goal was to baptize families. Other missionaries made their goals, and I made mine. The goals of placing BoM’s etc. are to help achieve the goal of baptizing people. Cornering people and forcing them to listen to a discussion does little if anything to spread the gospel. If you don’t believe me, you are wrong and need to go pray about it. (It’s a joke for those who are humor impared.)

  9. The question was raised because on another thread a person feels like breast feeding in public is wrong and when he sees a woman breast feeding he gets sexually aroused. I told him his thoughts are wrong and he needs to pray about it. If you want details, read the thread.

    Sounds like this thread needs to turn to a how to do missionary work the correct way. Or maybe sales 101.

  10. Floyd,

    I would submit that a better goal to make would be to invite families to be baptized (something you can control) rather than to baptize families (something you have no control over).


    Perhaps Rick took the idea from your remark in another thread, but I believe the question has merit on its own. Although I got a little off topic in my previous response to Rick, I believe the fact that this type of response is even given (the go pray about it response) is due to the LDS incorrect focus on misguided practices, not the principles we teach and claim to believe.

  11. As a general rule, people are put in leasdership position and have very little experience in how to manage thier position. The exampe you gave regarding missionary work is a very good example. Missionary work is very much like sales yet proven sales practices are ignored.

  12. The question was raised because on another thread a person feels like breast feeding in public is wrong and when he sees a woman breast feeding he gets sexually aroused. I told him his thoughts are wrong and he needs to pray about it. If you want details, read the thread.

    Since I was the one being told to go pray about it, perhaps my opinion may be of interest. I think this is a ridiculous statement to make.

    First of all, the assumption was made that I think breast feeding in public is wrong. Bill obviously did not read the my comments thoroughly, because I stated at least three times that breasta feeding in public is fine.

    Secondly, I was accused of something that was taken out of context. Rather than perform a threadjack, I’ll let the inquiring reader attempt to see my point on the other post.

    I think it is a bit arrogant, rude, and snooty to instruct somebody you don’t know to go pray about a topic, when the person (as is evidenced in this case) does not have a perfect understanding about the other person’s position.

    Additionally, it shows pride since the person issuing the statement is asserting an infallible attitude of being 100% correct, rather than allowing for the fact that they might be wrong themselves, or might simply not fully understand the other person’s position, which may also have some legitimacy.

    So, Rick, yes, I do believe that such a statement comes off as “extremely arrogant and condescending”, especially when it is unfoundedly directed towards you.

  13. I agree with you Rick; it is arrogant of them. Perhaps Holy Father has just given you fresh revelation that He has chosen not to give them. Tell ’em that and then tell them to pray about it!

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