Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking for Answers ... What do you do about "minor apostasy"?

Especially if you are one of the dispossessed? By dispossessed I mean that you don't have the right relatives, you don't have friends, you aren't educated, you may have disabilities.  I grew up in trailer parks, I've known a lot of the dispossessed.

Often there is a confluence between the issue of being dispossessed and having to deal with "minor" apostasy.  I'm putting "minor" in quotes on purpose, but I'll discuss it below, because it is harder to get attention or things done about "unofficial" and "minor" things than "major" ones.  Your stake president is marrying off people with multiple living spouses?  Bet you can get that responded to immediately.

Some other things?  Probably get the same, immediate response.

But, what do you do with "minor" apostasy?  That is a hard one.  So, what if your Stake President has decided to kill early morning seminary for self-study -- and is doing it in the name of that being the "preferred" solution?  Is that really apostasy, or is that just dressing up a decision with a reason that doesn't hold up to the light of day (but which may or may not have justification).

How much micro-management of leadership to your taste should you expect?  (Obviously, from the way I've framed the question, not much).  But ...

What if your stake excludes everyone from a particular social strata (e.g. enlisted men in the military) from any leadership -- to the extent of not even presenting their names when a visiting general authority asks for a list of all worthy high priests?  That happened in the German Serviceman's stake.  Led to an explosion by the visiting general authority.  No other changes since the next one to visit was someone else.

Not quite enough of a reason to release the current stake president and re-arrange the entire stake.  So, what do you do when six months or a year later, nothing has changed?

Or, what if your stake president has decided women are not to give opening (or, as in some areas, closing) prayers at meetings in spite of specific counsel from Salt Lake to the contrary?  If he would be so kind as to preach it from the pulpit, you can probably get something done about it (if nothing else, copy the talk and send it to the Ensign as something that just really needs to be shared with the rest of the Church, with a cover letter that you've been sharing it with everyone you know or are related to and they are doing their best to make sure that this important doctrine is not forgotten).

But what if they won't make that mistake?  How do you get an informal formal policy, that is wrong and in clear opposition to the Church's policy and procedures, how do you get that changed?

Some times, with a false doctrine, someone will "pull their chain" pretty hard (I remember my brother complaining about some false doctrine, and the stake president responded with "Now I'm not going to release him immediately [which my brother had not asked for], at least now" and then, well, the bishop in question still speaks in a strangled voice) ... but sometimes they won't.

I'm not sure what the solution is.

Of course part of the problem is that there is no end of members who attempt to have their leaders micromanaged to taste.  A lot of the debate about making the handbook of instructions public or not had to do with the handbook being a guideline to aid, not a club for others to beat leaders over the head with.

Part of the problem is that some people get listened to more than others.

Some times there are externalities. 

But some times what is going on is just wrong and someone really ought to do something to make it right. 

How to have that happen when it is close to the line on micromanagement?  (e.g. complaints about members who drink decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas).  Or not?

I don't know, would appreciate your thoughts.

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