The Mormon Open Letter!!
By now you’ve probably heard of the open letter to President Thomas S. Monson that has been making the rounds of the Internet. If you have not read it yet, I encourage you to go read it carefully, and add your signature if you agree.
Personally, I am impressed by this letter. I am a big fan of constructive criticism that is given with the sincere intent of helping make positive improvements. This letter puts me to shame because in my recent SiOB columns, I’ve probably gone a bit too negative — because, frankly, I’m not entirely convinced that this half-hidden, anonymous attempt at transparency is more honest than what the CoJCoL-dS was doing before. But maybe I’ve gotten too cynical.
Can the CoJCoL-dS be persuaded to do the right thing? Let’s send this letter and find out!! 😀
When I signed it earlier this week it had around 1200 signatures. Now there are over 2500. It will be interesting to see how many it collects.
Oops! I meant to say over 2400. I don’t want to puff the numbers. 😉
Well now we’re well over 2500! Thank you for posting your support, Donna!
I just signed it too. I think the requests are all very reasonable and are things the CoJCoL-dS could realistically do that would benefit everyone involved.
In a church that teaches that the scriptures are the highest authority, it’s a problem to (officially?) post articles contradicting the scriptures without explaining how that works. Just saying “the first presidency approved it, otherwise it wouldn’t be on the website” doesn’t cut it because normally it is a very big deal for the prophet to contract the scriptures and change the doctrine. The prophet would need to explain the revelation justifying the doctrinal changes over the pulpit at conference. An “indication of the content being or not being official policies or doctrines of the Church” would help fill in the missing information.
Alternatively, it might be even better if the leaders explained in conference that — while the church has many doctrines — it does not have any “official” doctrines outside of the correlated topics and temple recommend questions. And then encourage wards to hold more advanced gospel doctrine classes or discussion groups (not subject to a correlated curriculum, as Sunday School hour at church) for those who so desire. And allow members to organize and participate in independent conferences (hello, Sunstone!). And generally give members time and encouragement to discuss their thoughts on gospel and church-related topics outside the correlated materials without fear of getting excommunicated for it. Then it wouldn’t matter so much whether the new topics articles are “official” or not.
But trying to express that would be to complicated and off-topic for the letter. You guys did a great job of composing it!
Great job…just added my signature.
I signed it; however, I must admit my letter would have been much different. I do respect the kindness and plainness of the letter and see it as better than nothing and better than anything I would have put together. Bravo, I hope the signature count continues to climb.
I think another necessary step might be simply an apology, from the Prophet, to the many people who have been so hurt by the dealings of the church and it’s teachings. I’m just reading excuses and accusations coming from these essays.