Thursday Late-Afternoon-because-I’m-in-a-mood-poll: Faith-altering edition

How does learning that “the Brethren” aren’t perfect affect your approach to God and/or the church?

Vote above; comment below.


  1. The problem with the idea that the apostles and prophets are “just like the rest of us” is that the rest of us aren’t apostles and prophets.

  2. I voted “decrease your faith in the Church” even though I don’t agree with the latter half. I do not believe that “God shouldn’t allow our leaders to mess up.” I do believe that our leaders mess up, but that’s just how God works and I don’t pretend to tell him what he should do (although I am happy to tell his servants what they should do).

    Therefore, I rely less on my leaders and try to use my judgement to better follow God. I’m not sure that it increases my faith in God, though. Rather I think my faith in God is the same, but my reliance on God’s words/actions increases relative to my reliance on my leaders’ words/actions.

  3. Ben,
    I don’t know what you mean. Could you explain?

  4. I can’t remember that far back, so where is the “none of the above” option?

  5. StillConfused says:

    Option 5 – No Change.

  6. John C. I’ll speak for Ben and point to exhibit B:

    Movie stars, celebrities, and anyone else that gets on TV (reality shows don’t count) are JUST LIKE US, but we’re not like them.

  7. Option 6 – Because I know God works through people like Tebow, he must also work through people like Boyd K. Packer.

    (I also wrote the above comment, for some reason the little box thingy doesn’t remember my name the way I do.)

  8. The fact that the brethren are human shouldn’t increase or decrease faith. It’s just a fact. Faith is not increased or decreased by stating provable facts.

  9. The church is still church and God is still God. Learning this tidbit doesn’t change my faith in the church or God as a whole, but it definitely makes things a little harder down here at the local level.

  10. MCQ,
    “The fact that the brethren are human shouldn’t increase or decrease faith. It’s just a fact. Faith is not increased or decreased by stating provable facts.”

    I think that what you say here is true in theory, but in practice it can be quite complicated at times when a member comes to realize that Statement X by General Authority Y, which has been believed and defended passionately by the member her whole life was not doctrine as believed but was personal speculation. Then repeat this sequence for other statements and serious doubt can arise.

    As for me, accepting that the Church leaders a flawed and sometimes get things wrong has strengthened my faith in both God *and* the Church believe it or not. It certainly beats the mental gymnastics it takes to make a case for every statement over the pulpit and certain undisputed occurrences in our history as being essentially unflawed. To me the realization that God performs His marvelous work and a wonder through vessels that are imperfect yet doing their level best to know and do His Will is liberating and inspiring. But not all members would have the same feeling I’m sure.

  11. I don’t take MCQ’s statement as true in either theory or practice. I’ve no doubt that revelation and science will yet reveal many true facts that will both bolster and diminish my faith.

  12. Um, how about none of the above. It does nothing to my faith.

  13. I see the point your getting at but generally the fact that people sin does not increase my faith in God; however, the reality of forgiveness does.

  14. None of the above for me, too. My faith has changed, yes, but not because of any of those things. Also I don’t believe that God makes (or should make) his leaders infallible.

  15. When we believe our leaders are infallible, then we start believing things like a six-day creation. Moses (a church leader!) taught something very similar. Yet it was reflective of his calling, what people needed to know, and also his knowledge and ability to understand AT THE TIME IN WHICH HE LIVED. Ditto goes for our modern leaders– many things they speak about arise directly out of their own sphere of calling, knowledge, and experience. Only Jesus is perfect.

  16. Last Lemming says:

    Those stating that brethren’s imperfection is a simple fact and therefore should not affect faith are correct. However, learning that one doesn’t have to regard the brethren as perfect (which is different), does affect faith. In my case (and, apparently, that of most voters) it did so positively–although it took some time to really sink in.

  17. Couldn’t vote. I wanted to but the option wasn’t presented and I don’t agree with any of them. I guess I would have said “none of the above.”

  18. There are moments I think it increases and other where I think its decreased, in truth I just don’t know. I do know that it changes it though.

  19. I’m assuming th learning process here wasn’t theoretical…and that instead some idiot did something hurtful. I’m assuming the fallibility is not of the charming variety…like isn’t it endearing that president hinckley didn’t tell Marjorie wasn’t going on a trip until the night before the plane was leaving? Any hardship challenges my faith…I then work through it well…or not . then my faith is increased, or not…or morelikely somme kind of mixed blend. I’m not a dog that responds to a bell, things roll around inside for a bit.

    Fallible leaders not only challenge faith but challenge your understanding of authority and it’s relationship to personal revelation, challenges your feelings and understanding of how an all powerful God allows you to feel pain, can decrease your ability to trust another people…specifically men in this case, challenge your ability to forgive and love, it can deny you opportunities to serve, or the privilege of participating in ordinances. Our reaction to a fallible leader may influence how or if we seek priesthood blessings. It influences how we teach our children and what interactions we encourage in their lives.

    some simple facts have more emotional weight than others.

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