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    • ...and this is why some people are angry that church leaders have not apologized or admitted they made a mistake but instead they are announcing a new revelation. (Is that throwing God under the bus?)

    • This is what I loved about Gordon B. Hinckley. He was willing to take tough questions from the press and give what I thought was a fair answer: "the leaders at that time...but look, we've moved past it."

      When the church was writing the essays, someone came over to my house to read drafts to me to see what I thought. I was very unhappy with the one on blacks and the priesthood because it felt like we were blaming the Lord for changing his mind. I pointed out that I admired the way President Hinckley answered the question. I heard it wasn't me who convinced them to change it, but to their credit they changed it.

      I was and remain very unhappy with the one on plural marriage and did everything I knew how to change it, but failed. Oh well, at least something was written about it and I hold out hope for certain changes in the future.

    • If there’s one lesson to learn from Riess’ book, it’s that there are as many different understandings of the gospel as there are people in the world.

      People have to work these things out for themselves no matter how things are “written up.”

      You have acted in good faith according to what you believe. That is integrity. You are not so arrogant to think everyone must believe as you do. You are pained at the thought of losing friendships. You wish the best for others. It seems to me you are doing your best, living what you believe and yet not condemning others who have alternative perspectives. Humility.

      Integrity and humility. Not a bad combination.

    • there are as many different understandings of the gospel as there are people

      I would have thought there are a few foundational things upon which we can all agree in the church — the innocence of children and the infallibility of the prophet.

      In this case it seemed to me the two were in conflict and it felt like church members were split (Jana's data seems to confirm). I got interested in understanding both points of view. My sample size is small, but here it is: I talked to 9 members who supported the policy and 6 who didn't. The 9 who did were all current or former leaders, 3 of them in ward or stake relief society presidencies. The 6 who didn't were a mix of primary teachers, a choir leader, and a librarian.

      Some of the ones who didn't feared that their standing with the Bishop would be damaged because they had trouble answering the question about supporting their leaders even though they loved and admired them. They just couldn't get comfortable with this policy.