Monday, September 27, 2010

The Marlin K. Jensen Apology: Holly Welker Exposes Herself As Anti-Mormon, Calls For General Authorities To Renounce The Doctrine Of Revelation

In a September 20th, 2010 post on Faith Promoting Rumor entitled "What counts as Anti-Mormon today", BHodges attempts to establish a standard for judging what or who can be considered "anti-Mormon". To avoid the extreme of characterizing any criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as "anti-Mormon" regardless of whether or not it's constructive, Hodges proposes to limit the definition only to people like Ed Decker, who he characterizes as among the "counter-cult full-time exposers of the evils of Mormonism" interested more in winning a battle than reaching an understanding.

This is a reasonable start, but to this definition I would add those who either deliberately misrepresent Mormonism, or those who call upon the Church to renounce fundamental doctrine.

Like the doctrine of revelation, for example. Holly Welker, who once served a full-time mission for the LDS Church in Taiwan, has addressed the recent personal apology for the effects of the LDS campaign against Proposition 8 delivered by Elder Marlin K. Jensen at a stake conference in Oakland, CA. Specifically, Elder Jensen, who was not speaking officially for the Church, stated the following:

"...Do we owe an apology? I will say I am sorry. To the full extent of my capacity I say I am sorry."

In her September 27th essay on Huffington Post entitled "LDS Elder Marlin Jensen's Prop 8 'Apology': We Need Clarification", Holly Welker does laud Elder Jensen for his courage, compassion and human decency in publicly offering sympathy and regret for the misunderstanding caused by the actions of the Church in promoting Prop 8. She says his single, brief statement contrasts sharply to the volley of rhetoric before the election. Welker also suggests that the senior Church leadership need to clarify the issue further; I actually agree with this and think it would be quite appropriate for President Thomas S. Monson himself to issue a similar statement at the upcoming 180th Semiannual General Conference on October 2-3. But then she begins taking cheap shots at the Church, speculating on the possibility that Elder Jensen might be "censured", and characterizing the Church's efforts as being "dishonest" and "disingenuous".

O.K., so far, so good. Nothing explicitly anti-Mormon in any of those statements. But then Welker crosses the line with this final volley of her own:

In a summary posted on her website, [Carol Lynn] Pearson reports that "Elder Jensen added that in his experience the general authorities of the Church are as good-hearted a group of men as could be found anywhere, perhaps not perfect, but trying hard to do what is right and that they entered the Proposition 8 campaign without malice."

But absence of malice is not a high enough standard for judging or excusing the actions of men who claim to be singularly empowered and authorized to lead God's one and only true church on earth. If these men want others to forgive or excuse the harm they do in the world because they acted "without malice," then they need to stop claiming that their actions are guided by divine inspiration that enables them to know God's will, and start admitting that what guides their actions instead is their own biases, prejudices, ignorance and fear.

That final statement is the killer. By asking the Church leadership to stop claiming that they're guided by divine inspiration, she's asking them, in effect, to abandon the fundamental doctrine of continuous revelation that guides our Church and distinguishes us from the other Christian denominations.

In short, Holly Welker is, in my opinion, promoting outright apostasy. And that makes her anti-Mormon. There is a big difference between a Jack Mormon who merely doesn't participate and who doesn't obey the Word of Wisdom vs. an anti-Mormon who misrepresents the Church publicly and drives people away before they have an opportunity to fully evaluate it. Welker launched a previous attack on the Church on September 12th as well.

What's astonishing at times is that when I cruise some of the ex-Mormon discussion boards, I find that some of the Church's most severe critics are former missionaries. Apparently missionary service has only two primary spiritual outcomes; one either embraces Jesus Christ or Satan (the vast majority become welded to the cause of Christ). There is virtually no in-between. This pattern has actually been replicated historically as well. In the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites were the most aggressive and dangerous to the Nephites when they were led by Nephite dissenters who crossed over to the Lamanites. The story of Amalickiah bears this out.

Amalickiah was rejected for leadership by the Nephite people. He then dissented to the Lamanites, poisoned their king, took over in his stead, and launched an eight-year war of attrition against the Nephites, in which at the height he took possession of one-half of the Nephite homelands. This turned out to be the second most destructive war in the recorded history of the Nephites, second only to their final slaughter at Cumorah.

The critics outside our Church can be easily countered. It's the prospective Amalickiahs within our ranks which create the greatest problems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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