Official Loving The Body Of Christ Template Post

As part of an on-going effort to introduce more efficiency to the bloggernacle, below is a template for your next Kate Kelly blog post. Thank me by donating here. You’ll feel better–I promise.

I am a believing, faithful latter-day saint who takes seriously the teachings and doctrines of the church. When I first heard about OW, my initial reaction was one of [joy][disappointment]. I have been a member my entire life and have never thought women were treated as [equals][second-class citizens] within the church. There are [few][many] chances for women to act as leaders and provide meaningful input that is truly listened to. The recent addition of photographs of some of our female leaders in the conference center serves to underscore the [limited][important] leadership opportunities available to women in the church.

OW’s tactics have included drawing public attention to their cause. This is because OW [could not get a hearing through][chose to ignore] conventional channels. As a result OW’s Kate Kelly and her supporters have twice [gone to][marched on] Temple Square during General Conference and [sought][demanded] admission to the priesthood session. The church’s response to OW’s first [request][protest] was to [block them with a dumpster][politely turn them away]. The second time, the [sisters and brothers][activists] again waited in line [until they were turned away][became unruly].

I want women to have the priesthood if that is what God wants. The scriptures teach that [God is no respecter of persons][God has always restricted who can bear the priesthood]. In 1978 the church rejoiced when the priesthood was made available to every worthy male [thanks in part to many faithful members who asked the prophet to petition the Lord][when God gave a revelation to the prophet].

The church continues to be led by prophets and apostles who receive revelation for the body of the church. OW [recognizes][undermines] the special role the general leadership of the church plays. Throughout church history members have [sought to know][submitted to] the will of the Lord as He reveals it through his prophets. Kate Kelly and her supporters’ actions are [a continuation of][not in keeping with] that tradition. [Thanks to][Because of] persistent questions such as those now raised by Kate Kelly we [have][lost] the [Word of Wisdom][116 pages].

I love the church and sincerely hate to see divisions within it. The decision to convene the court was made by [Salt Lake City][local leadership]. I am [heartbroken][saddened] to see Kate Kelly called before a [disciplinary council][court of love]. Unfortunately Kate Kelly’s [petition to prayerfully consider][strident insistence on] women’s ordination [continues to][can no longer] be ignored. The threatened discipline is because Kate Kelly [faithfully asked uncomfortable questions][sought to lead others into apostasy]. The disciplinary court is being done in order to [silence her][help her to repent]. The [fallout][result] of the council will be [more people leaving or quietly disengaging the church][a stronger, more committed people].

Comments

  1. Wow.

  2. This is the best thing written on the subject IMHO.

    (begin the slow clap)

  3. Thank you for this. Someone had to do it, and you’ve done it brilliantly.

  4. Bryan S. says:

    This was masterful.

  5. Nicely done

  6. Love this. Listening to PR person on KUER and my head is going to explode. FYI.

  7. brb, sharing this EVERYWHERE

  8. Well, prophecy does say that in the last days, the church will be divided. Now we all get to grab popcorn and see which side gets destroyed and which one gets to frolic in the millennium. I call wheat! You guys can be chaff.

  9. Brilliant!

  10. Angela C says:

    The last word on this topic. I mean, I wish!

  11. I agree with this 100%

  12. Casey, shouldn’t that have been:

    I [agree][disagree] with this 100%

    ?

  13. marginalizedmormon says:

    Very well done. Thank you.

  14. Nicely done! Although I hate to say it, [fMh][the Exponent][T&S][W&T] has a better post on the topic.

  15. Could anyone say she has been faithfully asking? That would involve letters and correspondence starting locally and moving up. And when an authority gets a letter, sometimes they’ll give an address on the topic, but happened all the same. And yet the address wasn’t fully accepted by continued persistence that the talk apparently didn’t answer the question.

    So while I understand what you’re trying get to do, ultimately it does rest on the idea of her actions being faithful. I’m not sure I could described them in any way more kindly, if I wanted to be accurate, than misguided.

    The question then would be, once she’s told she’s going in the wrong direction, how does she (and just as importantly) and her followers respond?

    More oped letters is not the actions of someone humbly receiving counsel…

  16. Steve Evans says:

    DQ you are ruining the spirit of harmony which has prevailed in this thread.

  17. Capozaino says:

    DQ, I fixed it:

    Could anyone say she [has][has not] been asking faithfully? That [would involve letters and correspondence locally and moving up][involves being anxiously engaged in a good cause and letting your light shine to all the world]. And when an authority gets a letter, [sometimes they'll give an address on the topic, but happened all the same][he sends it back to the local leaders]. And yet the address wasn’t fully accepted [by continued persistence that the talk apparently didn't answer the question][because it didn't answer the question].

    So while I understand what you’re trying [get][?] to do, ultimately it does rest on the idea of her actions being [faithful][unfaithful]. I’m not sure I could describe[d][] them in any way more kindly, if I wanted to be accurate, than [misguided][inspiring].

    The question then would be, once [she's told she's going in the wrong direction][a solitary leader has told her he doesn't support her position], how [does][do] she (and just and importantly) her [followers][fellow saints] respond?

    More oped letters [is not the actions of someone humbly receiving counsel][will hopefully alert our leaders that we humbly await their united counsel]…

  18. Angela C says:

    h/t: Ziff!

  19. unendowed says:

    Finally, a post I can point to as the final word on the subject! ;)

    Apostates and prophets are two sides of the same coin. Regardless of the way we frame it–whether heads or tails turns up in the history books–the coin itself is unchanged. And we humans will keep reframing it for as long as it’s remembered. (Eve’s choice in Eden, anyone?)

  20. unendowed says:

    Which is to say: objectivity is up to God. We muddle through, best we can.

  21. melodynew says:

    I have died and gone to [heaven][hell].

  22. I have been a reader of BCC for many years, and this is the [best][worst] post I have ever seen on this website. I used to think BCC was [great][not that great], but lately you have really been [heading downhill][on a roll]. It’s [sad][exciting] to see that change. I will definitely be [avoiding][reading] the site more often in the future if this trend continues.

  23. Madeline A. says:

    This is absolutely perfection.

  24. This is absolutely flawed.

  25. Angela C says:

    This post is so [typical][unusual] for Mat. Anyone can see he is [just phoning it in][really inspired]. I am going to add his name to my [petition][nominations] of Mormons who should be [censured and disciplined][awarded a Wheaties].

  26. Meg Stout says:

    Interesting that the Church put Kate on probation [before][after] she decided to leave Vienna. I think it would be complete [reasonable][unreasonable] for Kate to travel back to Vienna if she could for the planned disciplinary council on June 22. I think her decision to publish the op-ed at the Guardian was [inspired][rebellious]. Seriously, the only proper outcome of the June 22 council is [excommunication][exoneration].

  27. The post is clever, and I enjoyed it. However, you left out those of us who do not completely identify with either viewpoint. I need a third option reflecting my confusion and equivocation.

  28. This post represents the [best][worst] aspect of the bloggernacle: [calm introspection][intense self-absorption]. I [heartily endorse][soundly condemn] this.

  29. Yes, I will be [sharing this with everyone I know][turning this into your bishop for ecclesiastical "review"].

  30. Genvieve, that’s exactly why this post was perfect for me. Strike nothing out, and it’s exactly how I feel. All the things at once.

  31. Meg Stout says:

    Perhaps these third alternatives allows for those who are not polarized:

    I am a believing, faithful latter-day saint…

    When I first heard about OW, my initial reaction was one of [joy][cautious interest][disappointment]. I think women are treated as [equals][women][second-class citizens] within the church. There are [few][sufficient][many] chances for women to act as leaders…
    Photographs of female leaders in the conference center emphasizes the [limited][different][important] leadership opportunities available. OW [could not get a hearing through][used an activist alternative to][chose to ignore] conventional channels.
    Kate Kelly and her supporters have twice [gone to][conducted publicized events on][marched on] Temple Square during General Conference and [sought][shown they are not allowed][demanded] admission to the priesthood session.
    The church’s response to OW’s first [request][event][protest] was to [allow cameras on Temple Square][block them with a dumpster][politely turn them away].
    The second time, the [sisters and brothers][individuals supporting female ordination][activists] again waited in line [until they were turned away][and were not allowed admittance or formal press coverate][became unruly].
    The scriptures teach that [God is no respecter of persons][God has always restricted who can bear the priesthood][God's ways are not our ways].
    In 1978 the church rejoiced when the priesthood was made available to every worthy male [thanks in part to many faithful members who asked the prophet to petition the Lord][when God gave a revelation to the prophet][except for a few whack jobs].
    OW [recognizes][acted to highlight][undermines] the special role the general leadership of the church plays.
    Throughout church history members have [sought to know][selectively ignored][submitted to] the will of the Lord as He reveals it through his prophets. Kate Kelly and her supporters’ actions are [a continuation of][purported to be consistent with][not in keeping with] that tradition. [Thanks to][Because of] persistent questions such as those now raised by Kate Kelly we [have][lost] the [Word of Wisdom][116 pages][increased external scrutiny of Church matters that are not seen as politically correct].
    The decision to convene the court was made by [Salt Lake City][men acting upon guidance from the handbook of instructions and clarification of the Church's position on female ordination][local leadership]. I am [heartbroken][not terribly surprised][saddened] to see Kate Kelly called before a [disciplinary council][group of ecclesiastical leaders in the town where she owns a home][court of love]. Unfortunately Kate Kelly’s [petition to prayerfully consider][actions regarding][strident insistence on] women’s ordination [continues to][will not be][can no longer] be ignored. The threatened discipline is because Kate Kelly [faithfully asked uncomfortable questions][kept pushing despite Church counsel][sought to lead others into apostasy]. The disciplinary court is being done in order to [silence her][clarify boundaries][help her to repent]. The [fallout][impact][result] of the council will be [more people leaving or quietly disengaging the church][mixed][a stronger, more committed people].

  32. Bravo, Meg!

  33. drbrewhaha says:

    FTW, indeed Meg.

  34. Thank you, Meg.

  35. Throughout church history members have [sought to know][selectively ignored][submitted to] the will of the Lord as He reveals it through his prophets.

    This is the best.

  36. Steve Smith says:

    Nice

  37. Well Done Meg!

  38. BJohnson says:

    Great job Meg.

    The [either/or] selections available in each posting seem to boil down to “Who are you prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to when you don’t know (and aren’t close enough to all parties involved to find out) all of the facts?”

  39. Steve Smith says:

    Meg Stout makes an interesting attempt at centrism. In some scenarios a centrist position is possible, but in other no middle ground possible and it is either/or.

    For instance: “OW [could not get a hearing through][used an activist alternative to][chose to ignore] conventional channels.” Using an activist alternative is essentially ignoring conventional channels.

    “OW [recognizes][acted to highlight][undermines] the special role the general leadership of the church plays.” Acting to highlight is essentially recognizing.

    “The decision to convene the court was made by [Salt Lake City][men acting upon guidance from the handbook of instructions and clarification of the Church's position on female ordination][local leadership].” Someone made the decision, and they were either higher-up or they weren’t.

  40. Steve, that’s a good point. I’m not so much centrist as agnostic about some of the details. For me, the most important third option, at least for a few of these, is suspending judgment.

  41. the only thing that could have topped this would be to have two donation links: one to Church Philanthropy and another to George Soros’s Moveon.org (or something like that.)

  42. MagpieLovely says:

    I rarely comment but the only thing better than the original post are all these comments. Finally I have a reason to laugh about this issue. Thanks guys.

  43. Meg Stout says:

    Dear Genevieve, I’m glad my third options met with your approval.

    Steve Smith argues that my third options (in some cases) were equivalent to one of the existing two options. But since the three examples cited were respectively anti-Kelly, pro-Kelly, and adjudged equivalent to both the anti-Kelly and pro-Kelly alternatives, it’s a draw.

    I wrote stuff projecting what might happen if Kate appeals this all the way to the first presidency and quorum of the twelve. If that happens, and if I am right that half the council gets assigned to defend the individual and the other half gets assigned to defend the community, then that ultimate disciplinary council could be quite interesting.

  44. Except that cases don’t get appealed to the Q12. They are appealed to the 1P only, who historically do not meet with either the appellant or ward/stake officials or hold any sort of hearing. They review the record, and may accept or request new written statements if the appellant claims new evidence or that s/he wasn’t fairly heard, but they do not “retry” an individual. The Q12 is involved only when they are the original court, not the appellant court, in the theoretical event that a high church official is on trial.

  45. Meg Stout says:

    Not theoretical, in the cases of my ancestors who get themselves excommunicated.

    This is part of the reason Joseph F. Smith spent the last several days of John W. Taylor’s life at his bedside, in my opinion. John W. Taylor had been excommunicated based on deliberations of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency – appropriate since he had been a sitting apostle when he was first disfellowshipped a few years before he rebelliously married his secretary in 1909 as his sixth wife.

    Anyway, it appears Joseph F. Smith both wanted to reassure the wives at the death bed that there would be a future day when John’s blessings could eventually be restored, as well as ensure that restoration didn’t occur too quickly. The fear, of course, was that individuals would decide that John W. Taylor’s excommunication for polygamy was a mere PR trick and decide to continue secret polygamy.

    I think two stake presidents attempted to restore John W. Taylor’s blessings shortly after his death, but they both got countermanded.

    It almost worked. If Lorin Woolley hadn’t freaked out in the 1920s, afraid that the end of plural wives giving birth would usher in the end of times, we might not have had a fundamentalist movement. Lorin was apparently influenced by a belief that the end of times would occur if the people became so wicked that no children were being born in the New and Everlasting Covenant. If we extend this to all married in the temples, this actually seems like a pretty end-of-times type of issue. But Woolley didn’t recognize monogamous marriages as qualifying participants for having entered the New and Everlasting Covenant.

    And thus for the misunderstanding of one man we have lost hundreds of thousands of Saints and their children from the faith.

    John W. Taylor, for his part, accepted his discipline. He did not go about preaching against the Church, either as a post-discipline advocate of polygamy or by accepting the offers to head other congregations that sought to use him and his popularity to lure people away from Mormonism into their respective denominations.

    I think it was 100 years after the act that caused John’s excommunication that his records were updated. Now all his marriages show up in family search as authorized. Neither John nor his wives and children lived to see that day of restoration, the last surviving child dying several years before the promised restoration.

    At any rate, if Kate appeals her case all the way to the first presidency, I imagine she’d find her discipline could not be lifted without referring the case back to the first presidency.

  46. Left Field says:

    I would guess that >95% of uses of the term “court of love” are by ex/disaffected Mormons who love to use it in an ironic, Orwellian sense. In the rare cases when the term is used straight-faced by “faithful” church members, it is always as a description (“Disciplinary councils are courts of love.”), and never as a direct substitute for “disciplinary council” (“…called before a court of love”). The latter phrasing is a locution characteristic of the ironic use.

    I think use of the term “court of love” has declined considerably within the church since “church courts” became “disciplinary councils.”

    And by the way, I loved the template post, and Meg’s revisions.

  47. Steve Smith says:

    “But since the three examples cited were respectively anti-Kelly, pro-Kelly, and adjudged equivalent to both the anti-Kelly and pro-Kelly alternatives, it’s a draw.”

    Meg, I don’t think that the OP was trying to make the case that you have to be either for Kelly or against Kelly. It is most certainly logically possible to be ambivalent towards Kelly. It is also logically possible for someone to not have made up their mind on a number of issues. My point was that on certain issues related to Kelly and her disciplinary hearing there is no possible middle way. I know it may seem like I’m splitting hairs here. But the reason I point this out is that I know a lot of people who are plainly uncomfortable with making an assertion for the fear of alienating one side or the other. This seems to be especially true on the bloggernacle where people generally seem more open to lots of different ideas and seem to want to try to reconcile everything. I used to be more centrist in my religious and political thinking. But what I found is that there are some issues that one must take a stand on that come into direct conflict with what others think. I think this is especially true of the issue of whether local leaders or higher-ups made the decision to have Dehlin and Kelly exed.

    This also reminds of a discussion that I was having with Nathaniel Givens on Times and Seasons a while back about the Book of Mormon. I told him that there is no middle ground on the question of Book of Mormon historicity; that either ancient peoples on the American continents wrote it or they didn’t and that there was no middle ground on the question. He grew frustrated with my “black and white” thinking. Then I pressed him on the issue and asked him how it was possible to believe that ancient people on the American continent wrote the Book of Mormon (even if it was just one word and the rest Joseph Smith made up) and that there were no ancient people on the American continent who wrote the Book of Mormon at the same time.

  48. Stephanie says:

    Brilliant post and comments

  49. Angela C says:

    Steve Smith: “Then I pressed him on the issue and asked him how it was possible to believe that ancient people on the American continent wrote the Book of Mormon (even if it was just one word and the rest Joseph Smith made up) and that there were no ancient people on the American continent who wrote the Book of Mormon at the same time.” Two possibilities on your rhetorical question: 1) there were ancient people, but they didn’t write the book – JS did by “inspiration”, or 2) the book was written by Mormon (its abridger) but some of the stories therein are fictionalized or mythologized in earlier records. Just offering two logical options. Of course, this is a total threadjack, so please ignore.

  50. This impresses me beyond words because I have been imagining this very post in my head for my imaginary blog that I do not write because I am not much of a writer but I am a very frequent day dreamer. Happy to know that I share your frequency even if it’s in my own little world.

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