Sunday in Outer Blogness: Doubt your doubts edition!

Now it’s time for my favorite part of General Conference — the commentary that appears after people have found and analyzed all the interesting parts (if any)!!

It looks like Outer Blogness’s favorite quote was “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” There are some problems with this advice, for example it encourages circular reasoning. The faithful liked some other parts, like Holland’s discussion of depression.

Ardis claimed that the money quote was the part where Pres. Uchtdorf admitted that the leaders of the CoJCoL-dS make mistakes. And she pointed out the key to keep in mind when reading this statement:

A general statement that “leaders have made mistakes” does exactly nothing to identify specific mistakes.

In other words, the members get no direction whatsoever on how to figure out when the leaders are wrong. Presumably, the members are supposed to act as though the leaders are always right, as in this conference quote from 1960:

Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it, but you don’t need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.

Given that the leaders are sometimes wrong, my best guess for wrongest doctrine is this idea that people should do what the church leaders say even when they’re wrong. It sounds like it’s motivated by not wanting any kind of suggestions or second-guessing coming from the peanut gallery. Like this emergency-preparedness suggestion from the Stake Medium Council. Some believe there’s no way to decide moral questions without God, but it turns out that’s not true.

Ordain Women’s attempt to attend the priesthood session was pretty cool, though, wasn’t it? I especially liked Holly’s story. See also these photos, the storify version, this round-up, and the story behind the tears.

This event prompted a range of analysis of women’s inequality in the CoJCoL-dS and of which roles require the priesthood. Were the women divisive? Nate Oman defended same-gender spaces, but missed the key point — explained by Casey of Expert Textperts — that the LDS meetings for women don’t merely allow men to attend, but place men at the head of the meeting.

And there’s a chance a similar action might succeed next time, so maybe there’s room for hope.

Another popular Conference quote was from Russell M. Nelson on same-sex marriage:

“sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God.”

Of course lots of “sins” are perfectly legal. The problem is hitching your definition of an important sin to something you don’t control (civil/legal marriage in this case). When you declare that sex outside of marriage is a sin next to murder (but married sex is fine and dandy), then it becomes hard to justify treating married gay couples as sinners. Also, apparently the talks were closer to gay-friendly, but they’re still saying homosexuality will be cured in the afterlife.

In Theology, let’s take a closer look at miracles and Moroni’s promise.

In general church wackiness, what’s with this video on home teaching? Or these dramatic teachings of Brigham Young? Or this amusing jargon? The church has how much money…? The Dutch Mormon keeps trying to convince his fellow LDS to care that global warming might destroy places like Holland and Venice — I wish him good luck. Oh, and then there was this funny incident where Coke-with-caffeine was accidentally stocked in vending machines on BYU campus!

In other news, apparently the US government is still shut down. Therese Doucet asked if the Tea Party is behaving rationally — which depends on what their goals are. Way back in October 2012 I said of US politics: the main thing I learned from my foray into Naderism (and its GWB consequence) is that — no matter how bad things are — they can actually get unimaginably worse. There isn’t really a rock bottom to hit where we can reasonably say “we can’t go any lower than this” until our species is actually extinct. And now I would like to make one tiny request of the US government: please stop proving me right on this terrible pessimism.

In personal stories, Miss O actually got some good advice from Dr. Laura. Postmormongirl and Lindsay reflected on their scars. Dad’s Primal Scream swapped masturbation stories and discussed LDS catfishing for straight partners. Leia recounted her elopement and Family First Weddings posted some new stories. Also, the Pearces visited Sal Tlay Ka Siti.

In books, there are some new reviews of False Prophet and I’m (No Longer) a Mormon.

Try to have a good week, if possible! Remember that even if some of us don’t have a government anymore (or will soon be underwater), at least we always have General Conference!!


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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3 Responses

  1. Parker says:

    Only current church leaders, who make no mistakes, can identify what may have been mistakes by previous, long since dead, leaders. In most cases it turns out they didn’t make a mistake at all, but simply voice a “well thought about opinion” that members (including other leaders) mistakenly thought was doctrine.


  2. Alan says:

    The lord never lets his mouthpiece lead the people astray, rather just on extended detours through a not particularly scenic countryside.

  3. chanson says:

    @1 & @2 Yep, that’s how it works.

    It’s amazing that they can come out and say that the leaders are sometimes wrong, and still encourage a culture in which it’s not OK to ask whether the leaders might be wrong on a given specific point.

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