Two Mormon-related events in the past week have shaken me up a little. On one level, neither of them were particularly surprising—but on another, I found them both unsettling and at least a little unexpected. The first was the release of the Gallup poll which found that the Mormon approval of Trump was, at 61 percent, the highest of any religious group surveyed. The second was the decision of incoming church president Russell M. Nelson to move Dieter F. Uchtdorf out of the First Presidency and replace him with Dallin H. Oaks. I also found the comments made at the press conference about the leadership transition, especially the ones about women, to be quite jarring. And I’ve found myself asking: whatever has happened to my church? (Yes, I know that it’s not technically mine anymore, since I’ve found a new religious home. But it’s still the church I grew up in, the church that shaped me. I don’t feel all the way disconnected from it.) Read More
We in the LDS church are fond of pointing out that we don’t believe in prophetic infallibility. At least in theory, we see prophets as human beings who sometimes make mistakes, and don’t expect them to be perfect. However, I’m not entirely clear as to what exactly what this means on a practical level. And the more I’ve thought about this, the more I’ve wondered whether we don’t believe in what I might term “practical infallibility.” In other words, while we reject infallibility as a theological proposition, in practice, it is difficult to see how our approach differs from a belief in infallibility.