By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

The Laundry List

People sometimes talk about what changes they’d like to see at Church.  I’ve decided to compile a little list of things that I would change, provided that (a) my voice mattered and (b) God ever ratifies my list.  These items are in no particular order.  Some may respond that the Church already offers some of these things.  If so, you’re welcome to explain in the comments.  My response, generally, will be that there are pockets within Mormonism where such things are offered/taught, but not as a general matter.

1. A salvific solution for singles in the church that affirms their equal value before God, while not diminishing eternal marriage.

2. A YW program with the same outdoors opportunities and financial burden as those programs offered to the YM.

3. A seminary program that teaches the scriptures and teaches young people how to ask hard questions to gospel questions and how to look for answers.

4.  A YW program that reinforces the power and value of women in the Church, and that teaches the history of women in the Church.

5. An Aaronic priesthood that focuses more on service within the ward and less on performances (e.g. sacrament distribution playbooks).  This is part of an overhaul of the YM program that focuses more on giving YM the chance to be adults and to contribute to the health of the ward.

6. Church archives that are completely unrestricted except for safeguards around preservation of materials.

7.  No more Friends of Scouting.

8.  Bring back the Lectures on Faith into the D&C.  Get rid of the bracketed language in D&C 131:2.  Either remove Section 132 or clarify that it was for a different time and a different purpose.  Leave polygamy behind for good.

9.  No more Conference talks on how religious freedom is threatened.  We get it.  

10.  No more apologetics that focuses more on criticism of fellow church members than on establishing clear reasons to believe in the restored Gospel.

11. No more telling people not to study the Church on the internet.  That ship sailed a decade ago.

12.  More action for refugees.

13.  Conference talks about gun violence.

14.  Conference talks about economic disparity.

15.  Conference talks about climate change.

16.  Conference talks about human trafficking.

17.  Conference talks about not feeling innately spiritual.

18.  Nut-free meetinghouses.

19.  Public, Church-owned transportation to meetinghouses/temples.  Would assist the elderly, indigent, infirm, and would reduce traffic and emissions.

20.  Continue to invest in and develop the communities around meetinghouses/temples.

21.  More Festinords.  If the Church really wants to give singles the opportunity to meet and fall in love, invest in opportunities to do so.

22.  Less infantilizing of singles.  Marriage does not mean a special form of adulthood.  Let singles be leaders in wards and stakes.

23.  Less stigmatizing of divorced persons.  Don’t fire CES people.  Automatic granting temple divorces if requested; God would not coerce anyone to remain sealed.

24.  Either let women get sealed to multiple spouses, or don’t let men get sealed to multiple spouses.

25.  An endowment ceremony that more clearly treats men and women as being on equal footing before God and each other.

26.  More emphasis on almsgiving and church welfare. It is one of the things we do best.

27.  Missionary work should be almost entirely devoted to serving the community.  John Fowles’ prior suggestions should be taken to heart.

28.  No stigma for missionaries who leave later.  18 is too young for many.

29.  No stigma for children who are baptized later.  8 is too young for many.

30.  Basic special needs training for Primary workers.

31.  No more mandated Plan of Salvation talks by the bishopric if you want a funeral in a Church building.  It’s an insult to the bereaved.

32.  Permit cooking in the meetinghouse kitchens.

33.  Permit surrogacy and remove stigma around infertility within the Church.

34.  De-emphasize the divine nature of the U.S. Constitution and the founding fathers.

35.  Continue to denounce the prosperity gospel.

36.  Clarify that healing is a gift of the Spirit and not solely a priesthood function.

37.  Clarify that spouses have an intrinsic right and duty to bless each other and their children.

38.  Consider not making every man a member of the priesthood.  Dissociate priesthood with male identity.  The two are not the same.

39.  Increase the role of the patriarch and add the role of the matriarch.  Consider Matriarchal Blessings.

40.  Allow women to be interviewed by other women if they prefer.

41.  Revamp temple recommend interviews to focus on a belief in the restored Gospel and devotion to the Church.  Remove most of the questions as appendages to this.

42.  More awareness of current global events and a demonstration of the Church’s willingness to be a continual force for good.  We could learn a lot from Pope Francis’ approach.

43.  LDS Pilgrimages instead of Trek.

44.  Boys and girls should each participate in the pinewood derby.  Adult involvement in car preparation should be absolutely prohibited.

45.  Adult pinewood derbies with no rules. 

46.  Two hour block.  RS/PH to move to midweek.  Sunday School to be robust scripture study including context, non-LDS interpretations, and personal application.

47.  RS President to sit on the stand.

48.  Elders should be able to move to High Priests when they feel inclined.  No more stigma for not becoming a HP.

49.  A recognition that sin requires choice, ergo homosexuality cannot be sin.  Rescind the exclusionary policy.  Encourage committed, loving relationships among people regardless of sexual identity.

50.  Reinterpret the Word of Wisdom.  Permit the occasional drinking of wine, beer, cider, etc.  Emphasize healthy eating of sustainable, natural foods.  Emphasize regular exercise.  Preach against the abuse of prescription medication.

51.  Remove stigma of depression.  Provide increased Church resources to assist the clinically depressed.  No more preaching that depression = failed application of atonement.

52.  Encourage local variation in meetinghouses and decor.

53.  Don’t require Angel Moronis on temples.

54.  More live endowment ceremonies.

55.  Publish the mint brownie recipe.

56.  Give us a liturgical calendar.

57.  Teach us how to have a holy death and how to care for our elderly.  We don’t know how, anymore.

58.  Add “#NeverTrump” to the political neutrality statement this year.

59.  Don’t require active temple recommends as a condition to continued employment for Church employees.  This encourages people to lie and hide their sins.  Pastoral care is more important than ensuring employee holiness compliance.

60.  Spend less money on BYU football.  Spend more money on BYU sciences and humanities.

61.  Decry rape culture where ever it is found.  Make women equals as leaders and persons.

62.  Make the Honor Code an honor system.  Nobody likes a rat.

63.  Get rid of the no R-movie notion.  Ensure that people evaluate movies carefully based on the Lord’s standards.  Don’t entrust judgment to the MPAA.

64.  Allow Pokemon Go on Church wifi.

65.  More career resources for women, and no stigma for women that work.  We should encourage all members to exercise their talents and skills, including mathematicians, programmers, scientists, astronauts…

66.  Buy the Utah Jazz.  Make em play in all-white jumpsuits.

67.  Acknowledge that racism is still a big problem in the Church.  Apologize for the old doctrine and priesthood-temple restrictions.  Admit that it was taught as doctrine.

68.  More leadership from outside the United States.

69.  An International Music Competition akin to the International Art Competition.  Featured entries from both to be played in Conference and displayed in Church buildings.

70.  Emphasize the material culture and richness of our people.  Display framed quilts on the walls in meetinghouses.  Display the work of our hands.

71.  More Church farms — more particularly, Church gardens instead of big, useless lawns.

72.  Continue to emphasize family as a salvific vessel within the Church.  Bring back temple adoption (but adopt into the family of God).

73.  More aid for bishops. It is a long and lonely job.  Consider making it a paid position.

74.  More aid for Relief Society Presidents. It is a long and lonely job.  Consider making it a paid position.  And call them President.

75.  Give the Relief Society its budgetary and leadership independence again.

Anything I missed?