Monday, July 14, 2008

Backlash?

The following was posted on the bloggernacle:

Yesterday in Priesthood a member of our Bishopric said the area presidency had asked our Stake to go to each of the Wards and take an anonymous poll about the California Marriage Initiative. They wanted to gauge the feelings of the local membership. They assume the First Presidency asked the Area Authorities to do this poll. Each ward was asked to create this informal poll their own way, it was not provided. So they passed out a slip of paper that asked, “What are your feelings about the Marriage Initiative?”, and then you checked marked next to these options, Strongly Support, Support, Somewhat Support, Do not Support. We then folded it and placed it into a paper bag.

This is extremely interesting. I have heard anecdotes that there has been fallout from the First Presidency's letter in some California wards (I'll post more details when I have them). Why would the Church want to get the feedback of members, if in fact the prophet had spoken and the debate was over? There really can only be one reason: there was unexpected pushback from members.

Maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but I'm having a hard time believing that rank-and-file members of the church have closed their hearts on gay issues.

8 comments:

Michael said...

Your comments are interesting and, indeed, the notion that there has been "pushback" from the membership on the Marriage Initiative is certainly noteworthy. However, I find it REALLY hard to believe that the feelings of the California members would make much difference to the First Presidency. But, maybe I'm dead wrong. I've never heard of the Church conducting any such type or "informal poll" and I think it is a dubious claim though certainly fascinating. What could it mean? I seriously doubt it would mean much. I mean the way the Church is set up today they provide no place for us. Although, I have to say that living and working in South America it is really surprising to see how single men of dubious sexual orientation continue to hold positions of leadership on the ward and stake levels. (I guess a lot can be overlooked when their is such need for willing workers.)

Wouldn't a little revelation our way be a delightful surprise? Unfortunately, it wouldn't change my feelings I'm afraid. I can't imagine returning even if it is an upgrade from "Spawn of Satan" to simply second class ministering angel status. Too much pain for too many years.

Thanks for your blog. I do appreciate it and your efforts.

All the best.

Nick Literski said...

From anything I've ever seen, this "informal poll" wouldn't be a matter of seeing whether LDS members agree with the LDS church's political stance.

Rather, it would be a matter of seeing whether local leaders had been "effective enough" in urging the members' acceptance and obedience to the FP letter. It's likely no different than collecting home teaching statistics, or tithing settlement. The policy won't be judged by the response. Rather, the local membership, as a body, will be judged on what percentage embrace the FP action.

Chino Blanco said...

First time dropping by your blog. Just want to say I've enjoyed reading your comments over at the LDS blogs.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey Michael!!!

Thanks for your comment. I have no idea what's going on with that poll. One interesting data point, though, is the story behind the 1990 change in the endowment ceremony. Apparently, the Church did extensive polling of temple goers and from the looks of it made changes that responded to the issues raised by the survey respondents. It's not the most inspirational story, but it's true.

Hey Nick!!!

Welcome to my blog. I hope you check out the archives. Nice to have you here.

Your explanation of the motivation for the poll could be well be correct. Who am I to speculate? However, I hope you're wrong.

Hey Chino Blanco!!!

Welcome. Thanks for dropping by. I don't know if I should post on the Mormon blogs or not. I never feel particularly welcome there, even though I try to be friendly and respectful. But I'm going to stick it out for a while and see how it goes.

santorio said...

whether or not the survey came from HQ, clearly the church wants feedback. all businesses need to predict trends. by the time you see a fall in attendence (or a drop in tithing) it's too late! there are too many smart business men among the ga to ignore this need.

and not just among the members, but potential members. as the world goes, so goes the church.

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey Santorio!!!

You'd think they'd do the market research before sending out the call to arms. Maybe they were surprised by the amount of negative reaction (which I understand has been substantial).

Thanks for your comment.

Katie Lyn said...

I appreciate your comments and discussion on this matter. I have been taught since I was very young that when the prophet of the Lord speaks that it is of the Lord and is not to be questioned.

Later in life, I learned that the Church does not get involved with politics. I'm great with that.

Earlier this month I heard that Pres. Monson and the rest of the presidency sent that official letter regarding the Gay marriage initiative in California. I was so sad.

You know, we are not to question, or ask why... but I think that the more appropriate response would have been a letter of encouragement for members to vote their conscience and vote THEIR values.

One of my very very best friends is Gay. He lives with his boyfriend in Hollywood Hills. He was 24 years old before he was comfortable with his life enough to live the truth for him. Why would the Lord want me to fight against my friend, or actively pursue legislation what would cause my friend to be hurt further than what life has already dished out.

Another thing I have been taught since I was young: live your life so that you can be an example to others, and when things don't go your way, the Lord will sort it out in the end. He is the Savior of this world and all worlds, He loves every one of us as if we were the only one.

What part of His message includes judging you or my dear friend whom I love and adore?

The Atonement is infinite and I think that we all have enough issues in this world to deal with personally that the last thing I need to add to my plate is making sure that my dear friend and others who are gay are punished further.

The Lord will sort it out and it is not for me to judge.

A more appropriate request would be for individuals to vote their conscience... this includes our vote for President of the USA too!

MoHoHawaii said...

Hey Katie Lyn!!!

I'm sure your friend appreciates your love and support.

I think following your conscience sounds like a good idea in virtually every situation, even if that goes against the authority figures in our lives. Individual conscience is a powerful force for good in this world.

What you're doing takes courage and love.