In a surprise announcement this morning, the LDS Church confirmed that it will be rolling out a slowdown to the Hastening of the Work. The new slowdown program, to be tested initially in several pilot stakes, appears to be a response to concerns expressed both within and without the Church that the work is becoming too hasty.
Elder Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is appreciative of all that has been achieved, but an inside source reported having recently heard Packer mutter under his breath that the work is going, “…just too d@#n fast.”
In an official statement from the LDS Newsroom, spokesman Michael Honeybadgerson explained that due to the unprecedented influx of new missionaries and the effectiveness of the Hastening the Work program at the local level, most of the work has been completed. “The Church has been working so fast that there is not much left to do. Because the Second Coming is still some years off, it makes sense to parcel out the remaining work instead of trying to cram it all into the next couple of years. We don’t want members sitting around with nothing to do.”
According to some sources, the announced slowdown had its genesis in apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s influential yet controversial talk titled, “Hastening Makes Wastening”. In his General Conference talk Elder Uchtdorf explained how, “…the gospel work, like an airplane accelerating off the runway, must eventually slow down its acceleration or else run the risk of going off the rails, if I might use a train analogy.”
According to some Church insiders, the real reason for the slowdown is that members were having difficulty with the pronunciation of “Hastening the Work”. Some claim that “hasten” should have the hard “t”, as in “Tom”, while most believe the “t” should be silent. Pronunciation disputes have reportedly ended in fisticuffs in some elders’ quorum meetings, though observers insist that the fights were simply warm-ups for church basketball.
Rather than try to clarify the pronunciation by printing it on the inside cover of the Ensign (which has not prevented thousands of Saints from calling it the Ensun), the Church has decided to move away from the “Hastening the Work” program altogether.
Critics of the Church, on the other hand, claim that the real reason for the change is that most members simply have no idea what is meant by the phrase, “Hastening the Work”.
Member Aaron Fizz, of the Provo 436th married ward, explained the confusion: “Does Hastening the Work mean that we should do more work than we are currently doing, or that we should just do our current work faster? Or should we do the work earlier than we were planning to do it?”
Other members have been disappointed that Hastening the Work has not followed the definition: “to be quick to do something”, which might have led to shorter home teaching visits, shorter high council talks, or even a shorter meeting block.
Meanwhile, Middle Way Mormons–derogatorily known as “Goldilocks Mormons”–have long complained that the Hastening the Work program is not scriptural, claiming that “Hasten the Work, But Not Too Much” would have been more in line with King Benjamin’s injunction that we not run faster than we have strength.
In any event, Church leaders insist that this slowdown does not imply that new doctrinal changes are on the horizon, or that the Hastening the Work program had serious flaws. In a recent TV interview, apostle Dallin H. Oaks clarified that, “The Church is not going to apologize for hastening the work less than we were before.”