Will President Monson change Mormon doctrine?

The Washington Post had a mostly favorable article about President Monson the other day. Actually, compared to some that I have read lately, it was very well done. Jacqueline L. Salmon, the staff writer assigned to the story, did her research and interviewed some of the usual non-Mormon experts like Richard N. Ostling (Mormon America – 1999) and Jan Shipps (Forty Years among the Mormons – 2000).

I read Mormon America long ago and was not too pleased with the product. I always ask myself why religious writers tend to focus on the ‘secrets’ and the ‘wealth’ of the Church as opposed to the miracle of the faith and the happiness that it brings the members who live it. It seems as if they are looking for some hidden sinister agenda in the leadership of the church.

I suppose it has always been that way and always will be when outsiders write about the church. Anyway, Jacqui’s article was good, for which I am grateful. Thank you Jacqui. In it she quoted Dave Stewart, who made the news a while back when he reported on the decrease in the baptism and retention rates of new members. Yes, old news, thank you very much.

The church is continuing to do a wonderful job in making the leadership more available to the press. The newsroom resource on lds.org is worth visiting every day, especially if you are a church news junkie like me. In it, you can find the interview of President Monson in which he says that there will be ‘no abrupt change’ from the leadership of President Hinckley.

He did, however, hint that ‘practices and programs will be adjusted from time to time.’ One of those pending practices or programs is long rumored to be the suspension of Sunday School services. I have received emails from individuals who reported they were involved in a pilot program to evaluate this proposed change. From what I gather, the response was favorable.

Several people have jumped on President Monson’s comment about ‘no abrupt change.’ They have speculated that perhaps he did have some changes in mind but that he was holding off on making them until a respectable time had passed. In fact, one writer apparently did not hear President Monson say that there would be ‘no doctrinal changes – those are eternal’.

I have written previously that I watch closely the phrases that people use to come to my blog from Google. It amazes me to note the number of times the phrases ‘President Monson prophecies’ and ‘President Monson doctrine’ has been used in the past few days. I find particularly intriguing the number of searches on ‘President Monson gay issues.’

It is obvious that people outside the church do not understand that the doctrine in this area just does not change when a new president is sustained. I think this quote from President Hinckley still says it best for me, “We love them as sons and daughters of God…If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church.”

He also said, “Our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married.” I don’t think it could be any clearer, do you?

5 thoughts on “Will President Monson change Mormon doctrine?”

  1. Suspension of Sunday School sounds “out there” to me. It’s kinda like the rumor every 6 months in every mission saying the church is going to cut missions back to 18 months. I think this is just wishful thinking by some members….I’m sure we’ll continue to hear Pres. Monson’s stories.

  2. I don’t think they will go back to 18 month missions again, it’s been done and it didn’t work. I was one of those 18 month missionaries in the 80’s. California Sacramento Mission 83-84. Yes it did get some who might have not gone other wise to go but it was not enough to over come the turn over from the shorter time and the number of missionaries serving was falling. It changed back to 2 years one month after I was released, it was announced in November of 1984. I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t announced at October conference. We knew about it from our new mission president Norman W. White who had been in the presidency of the MTC prior and had told us as early as July. If I had been given the choice in July I probably would have served another 6 months. Time flies when your a missionary. But my last two companions were trouble and I was ready to go by the time they announced it. As far as suspending Sunday School I’m not up on rumor and I will believe it when I see it. Personally Sunday School is my favorite part of Sunday services. Some times sacrament is pretty good but I have trouble staying awake in Priesthood. At least in my older ward it is boring..

  3. I have heard the elimination of Sunday School rumor (and that there were pilot programs to do so) ever since the block meeting program was adopted.I do have it on good authority, though, that the Three Nephites will be introduced and will speak at April conference. 🙂

  4. Puleese, Antibodee…add some intelligence to your dialog. How impractical that suggestion would be. And such a waste of money. Besides, everyone knows that concentration camps don’t work. They only make the prisoners more determined to escape and get back to the real world, which you should consider as a course of action.There’s nothing secret about President Monson and the doctrine he encourages us to embrace. It’s been the same for as long as I can remember – live the gospel, love your neighbor, do good and stand firm for the truth. Everything else will take care of itself, including those homosexials.

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