April 01, 2017

What if God's Mouthpiece Isn't Actually Speaking For God? - Why I Feel Sad During General Conference

Mormons talk a lot about General Conference, which is happening this weekend.

In Mormonism, there is a tradition of turning to leaders for guidance, and there seems to be a cultural idea that the higher the leader, the better the guidance, so hearing from the highest leaders (especially the top of the top leader, the prophet, who they believe is God's mouthpiece) is seen as a real treat.

In light of this, I want to bring up the LDS break off sect, the FLDS. The FLDS group believes that Warren Jeffs is a prophet and that he speaks for God. They also believe in the Book of Mormon and the early Mormon prophets like Brigham Young and Joseph Smith.

How is following Warren Jeffs different than following Thomas Monson, the mainstream prophet? Mormons believe in following the prophet. Warren Jeffs' followers also believe in following him as their prophet. Both of them claim continuing revelation. Both of them claim to have priesthood authority that comes from God through Joseph Smith.

If Warren Jeffs is wrong, will his followers question him? If Thomas Monson is wrong, will his followers question him?

It really scares me to see this level of devotion to leaders in any religion, especially in these two religions because they hit so close to home for me.

Warren Jeffs has done horrible things. I think the Mormon church has also done horrible things, more so in the past than Warren Jeffs, but on a much larger scale.

To be clear, that doesn't mean I think that Mormons are bad people, just like I don't think Warren Jeffs' followers are bad people.

But I think that a belief that men can speak for God is harmful and dangerous. It's too much power for any one person or organization and is often abused.

General Conference time makes me sad because it reminds me of these issues and how it seems to be impossible for me to talk to Mormons about this without them feeling attacked. I don't mean this to be an attack. This is something that sincerely worries me and that I really do think is dangerous.