13th April 07:31
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (reality pharisees don)
For the same reason you are second guessing the reasons why the two men
mentioned above did not go: because people are Pharisees; quick to
judge the behavior of others, unwilling to give them the benefit of the
doubt, and unwilling to cut them some slack.
This problem is going to get worse before it gets better. There are
young men who have prepared their whole lives to serve a mission, based
on the idea "every young man should serve a mission." Since Ballard's
poorly-thought-out GC talk on "raising the bar" , the pharisees are
going to assume that young men who aren't permitted to go aren't
"worthy" to go, when the reality could be something entirely different;
for example, perhaps they aren't healthy enough to go.
Casting aspersions on ANYONE'S reasons for going or not going on a
mission is an attempt to read minds, something none of us is capable of
doing without a mind reading hat. Why do you care why Bro. Young or
certain Osmonds didn't go on a mission? If you could make the decision
*today* to go on a mission or not, without concern about how you'd be
judged by others, would you make a different decision?
I don't get to decide who's worthy. I don't get to decide if someone's
reasons for going or not going on a mission are up to snuff. Neither do
you. God does. Meanwhile, I'll say it again: give them
the benefit of the doubt. Cut them some slack.
13th April 07:32
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (reality pharisees way)
From: "Ann Porter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
: This problem is going to get worse before it gets better. There are
: young men who have prepared their whole lives to serve a mission, based
: on the idea "every young man should serve a mission." Since Ballard's
: poorly-thought-out GC talk on "raising the bar" , the pharisees are
: going to assume that young men who aren't permitted to go aren't
: "worthy" to go, when the reality could be something entirely different;
: for example, perhaps they aren't healthy enough to go.
In all seriousness, how is that different from the way things were before?
David, nodding toward the phenomenon of honorable early releases
David Bowie http://pmpkn.net/lx
Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.
15th April 02:08
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (brethren don)
I think it is not different. I think that the "raised bar" makes only
minimal difference as well, other than perhaps to help Yong Men and their
leaders understand the seriousness of preparation for a mission.
But all such things as this provide occasions for criticizing the brethren,
15th April 02:08
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (ward)
Well, young men like the one in my current ward that has Crohn's Disease
(in a severe form), would have gone on a mission five years ago but
cannot because his health is too limiting. Too bad as he has wanted to
go on a mission forever, is a high school 4.0, a National Merit Scholar,
has a four year full ride (could have gone to BYU four year full ride as
well as many other schools but wanted a superior education) ;-) and is
your basic very mature kid that knows Latin among four other languages.
I suppose that his serious illness could have been an impediment to a
good mission but he did manage a 4.0 in his freshmen year averaging 21
units a semester.
I see a big difference in some of the missionaries already.
15th April 02:09
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (speech sign time)
I cut them some slack. What makes you think I was judging them?
The point I was trying to make is that nobody put a gun on their heads
to sign those multimillion dollar contracts. I'm not just referring to
Young but to all the rich LDS athletes in the NBA and NFL.
I care because I pointed out that I saw them on BYU tv giving a
talk/speech on why they didn't serve as full-time missionaries.
15th April 02:09
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (prayer don)
I inferred from your "PUH-LEEZE" (not included) and the statement above
about signing million dollar contracts, along with the complaints that
people would judge YOU harshly if YOU hadn't gone, that you didn't believe
their reasons for not going were acceptable, and that you thought they
couldn't have received an answer to a prayer that said "don't go."
I thought your whole message oozed condecension and sarcasm. Condecension
and sarcasm <> "cutting them some slack."
Sorry if I misunderstood.
15th April 02:09
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (prophet able church clear year)
Yes, but let's be clear that policy also had a certain season. It
dates to a talk by President Kimball in October conference of 1974. I
know this, because my husband, who was past the age of most
missionaries, heard the talk and decided to take the prophet up on it,
and go on a mission, even though he thought he didn't feel he had a
testimony. Before hearing that talk, he thought he shouldn't serve.
Prior to that talk, I don't think there was so much a pressure for
every worthy young male to serve--his dad had not served a mission,
and the family generally felt that a mission should not get in the way
of an education. (But of course, I wasn't a member then, so I
wouldn't know.) However, that was also right after the Vietnam war,
which ****ed far too many LDS young men into the draft. And while the
draft had ended in like 1972, I was still in training with draftees in
the fall of 1973, because those who had received deferements for
college still had to serve following graduation.
I don't know if there was an "every worthy male" policy between WWII
and Vietnam--maybe someone else can comment.
Anyway, policies do change--the previous change also took getting used
to. Why should today's youth be entitled to the comfort of an unchanging world?
Elder Ballard's talk at the Priesthood session was an extension of
what we had been hearing at leadership meetings for almost a year
before, even to the "raising the bar" metaphor. Our stake president
had spoken on this issue at a fifth Sunday joint RS-priesthood
meeting, and it was mentioned at stake leadership meetings.
Every meeting that I attended made it clear that health concerns were
a big part of this, and were the most common reason for missionaries
to come home early. That's why we were SHOCKED when our daughter was
called to serve in Brazil in May 2002. Everyone who interviewed her,
including her parents, warned her that she might not be able to serve
a mission, and probably wouldn't be called out of North America.
Indeed, church headquarters asked for more information from her
physical therapist. But she was called to Brazil, one of those
missions where they fly right down to the MTC on native soil.
I certainly agree, but my take is that the church is being very clear
about this new policy, and that physical requirements are part of
current qualification to serve a full-time mission, which is now seen
as a "privilege" and not a right or requirement.
Pharisees may still take the policy and do what they will, but that is
not the church's fault.
Colleen Kay Porter
15th April 02:09
Missions (Re: Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (numbers zone able angels area)
But there are other forms of service besides a two-year proselytizing
mission. There's someone in my stake taking Prozac (or somesuch) and
that makes him ineligible for such a mission. Instead, the stake
presidency has arranged for him to work in (or around) the Washington
Temple for a year or two.
I haven't said that much about this before, but I am the poster child
for health-related standards being in place. President Hinckley said
it best in January when he said that whatever physical problems a
missionary has going in only get compounded. He (or she) comes home
with the problems being much worse. (Google me from 1994 or 1995 and
you might be able to grasp the frame of mind I had when I got home. I
don't even _know_ that person.) He slows his companion down, too, as
well as the other missionaries.
Around 1998, the Brethren started coming out with lists of "can not
serve" (prefaced with "Missionary service is a privelege, not a
right.") I would have been on it, or been on a place home at least
six months early. I was upset to say the least, and even thought
about writing another followup letter to the Apostle (now in the First
Presidency) who gave me a dollar when I was five to start my mission
fund. I would have told him about what kind of frustration that would
have been had I not been able to serve, what I would have missed out
on, etc. I posted some of that here as recently as January.
But I never did. And I'm glad. It was during President Hinckley's
talk in January at the priesthood leadership broadcast, that I had the
privilege to glimpse, briefly, that "what if." What if the bar had
been "raised" (really, "better defined") in 1991 or 1992? First, my
freshman bishop wouldn't have asked whether I wanted to pursue a
mission at 18 1/2 (which I didn't feel to do.) Instead we would have
been able to evaluate a reasonable target date.
I would probably have turned 20 (maybe even 21) before shipping out
(as opposed to 19 1/2) but I would have been a bit calmer (and have
taken psychotherapy a little more seriously) and more mature. And I
would have been a senior companion sooner, in real time. I would have
served in some of the same places, but as the one behind the wheel
instead of the dead weight. And I might never have had to go on medication.
I hope to see it. The thing to remember is that not everyone is ready
at 19 or 21 (I really wasn't) and that no one is entitled. (My father
thought he, er, I was entitled at 18 1/2.) The one place I'm familiar
with where the bar might be raised would be the Wasatch Front, where
everyone goes at 19 but many aren't prepared. In my area, maybe those
people who are reasonably involved but don't feel up to a mission
(because they see missionaries as "angels") might be encouraged by the
fact that the Brethren consider them worthy of service based on those
standards. They certainly would have been better a lot of folks in my
The other thing that dragged me (and my mission) down is missionaries
who don't want to work, or don't really care about working. In my
first seven months in the field, one, sometimes two, of the other
three missionaries in the apartment (usually including my companion)
fit that category. And it's contagious, too. Italy Padova Mission
was formed in 1990 with the missionaries Milan and Rome didn't want.
It wasn't until I went home almost four years later that we were
anywhere near up to speed. One of my companions was branch president,
basically because, despite being described by the mission president as
his "#1 missionary" (which I can vouch for) he was too nice to get
into anyone's face. He would have been a lousy zone leader for that
mission at that time.
Padova mission closed last year. It wasn't quite an UNDO click on the
Milan/Rome boundary because there were more branches on the ground
after twelve years, meaning they had to weave between districts. In
fact, every place that was still open when I went home (except one),
along with a few that had opened and closed during those four years,
now has at least a branch. I crunched the numbers to see what it
would take to keep all those cities staffed. It comes down to two
doing the work four once did, or four doing the work six had done.
But that wouldn't be that hard to do - I don't remember two
companionships (in the average "four in an apartment" city) ever both
having a teaching appointment on the same day. It's not like any
fewer doors will be knocked on, either. More to do might even help
15th April 02:10
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (ward bishop time missionary way)
Please encourage your bishop and stake president to see that he gets
called into the ward missionary program.
The current instruction to bishoprics and stake presidencies is to
help the members see that, for members whose health or other
situations prevent them from serving full-time missions, serving at
home is just as valid (or honorable, or whatever the local way of
saying it is) as serving full time.
The ideal, of course, is that we should simply serve where we can,
without waiting for a formal call, or worrying about social
implications, but asking for the members who aren't directly involved
to understand that one seems, unfortunately, to be asking too much.
16th April 20:55
Should a Latter-day Saint ever enter a 'pub' or 'Bar'? (Was: )Re: Sunday Play (general conference church pharisees charity time)
As a practical matter, I doubt the "raised bar" will have much effect on
gossips and busybodies, who will always be with us. However, I have to
think that the raised bar is far more likely to have an effect for the good
in this regard, than for the bad. As Ann pointed out, we have had for a few
decades the idea that "every young man should serve a mission". Certainly,
the church has acknowledged exceptions, but for the most part, we haven't
heard much about the exceptions. It has been easy for the pharisees,
gossips, and busybodies to imply that if someone doesn't go on a full-time
mission, he must be either a slacker or a sinner.
With the "raise the bar" thing, we are now hearing much more often that
there are different honorable ways to serve, and that a full-time mission
isn't for everybody. We hear much more in general conference that those
"individuals not able to meet the physical, mental, and emotional demands of
full-time missionary work are *honorably* excused" [emphasis mine].
Clearly, not everyone is expected to serve a full-time mission, and we are
hearing this message much more often. I find the change refreshing. I
think the majority will (and always have) exercise a little charity towards
those who serve in other ways.
I'm not holding my breath, but I have some hope that the new emphasis might
elicit a little charity from a few people who might have been inclined to
judge harshly. Those who are still judgmental certainly would have behaved
the same way in the past. There are those who will always assume the worst
about others. However, perhaps some will now be moved to charity after
hearing in conference that a mission might not be the right choice for
I don't have any observations that would lead me to think that "raise the
bar" has either increased or decreased the stigma on people who don't serve