Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Changing World of Mormon Doctrine

The recent discussion of this press release is still on my mind today. In one of the other threads Equality was making an ironic jab at it, to support Mitt Romney's distancing himself from polygamy. I've blogged about this before, so it's obviously an aspect of Mormanity that bothers me, but let me try to approach it differently.

I see a couple of problems with the statement. First is this vaguely bologna-flavored standard. You may recall that this was where I left off on my last post.
A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church.
Except when that single statement was made by Joseph Smith and canonized by decree. It seems Joseph was a better prophet than the current crop. The current occupants of the 15 cushy seats at the Conference Center seem to need to discuss revelations, come to consensus, speak uniformly a few times, THEN have it canonized, and THEN it's doctrine. Which leads me to my second problem.

If everything that is canonized is doctrine, and everything that isn't is not, then I am left with a great deal of confusion about how I should construct my life. A handful of things that are in the scriptures are not practiced any more. Polygamy comes to mind. Our current practice of the Word of Wisdom as well. By the same logic, there are a great number of practices that have the weight of doctrine that are not found in the scriptures, or at best given a passing reference. Include in this list every single word of all of the temple ordinances.

So here is where the rubber meets the road. Even given the huge amount of wiggle room in the recent press release, it seems that there are still a few uniquely Mormon 'doctrines' that need to be either canonized, or dropped.

I think I'll stop wearing my garments now. I can't find a scripture that mentions them and I even used google. I think I will start wearing an earing again too.


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