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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Force People to be Good. It's for Their Own Good!

There seems to be a new trend in local church leadership. Instead of allowing people to volunteer for assignments or otherwise exercise their agency, people are now being assigned to do things.

Choice is no longer an option. People are assigned to do various acts of church work and they have no say in the matter.

What's more, local church leaders simply pull rank and say you have to obey me because I am (drumroll) your leader and I have authority to do what I do. If you voted to sustain me, then you have to do whatever I tell you to do.

This seems to have resulted from no one doing much of anything, resulting in horrendous local statistics. The answer is force and compulsion.

Force people to do church work. Force them to do their home teaching. Force them to do their visiting teaching. Force them to accompany the missionaries. Force them to come to class. Force them to accept a church position or assignment. Force! Force! Force!

Force people to be good. After all, it's for their own good.

If someone protests, simply assign someone else to take over their calling responsibilities and neuter the protester by undermining them.

If anyone questions a leader on these actions, tell them if they don't comply they will lose their Temple Recommend. That'll teach them. If for some strange reason it doesn't, then excommunicate them. Leaders have the authority and power to do it. After all, they can do whatever they want to do, right?

Some people have to learn these lessons. If they won't, we'll just force them to.

Question: Does anybody else have a problem with the above, except me?

Question: Does anybody else think this resembles Satan's plan in the pre-mortal life, except me?

Question: Does anybody else think this violates D&C 121: 37-41, except me?

Further Question: Does anybody else think this is unrighteous dominion, except me?

Elder Larry Y. Wilson:
We simply cannot force others to do the right thing. The scriptures make it clear that this is not God’s way. Compulsion builds resentment. It conveys mistrust, and it makes people feel incompetent. Learning opportunities are lost when controlling persons pridefully assume they have all the right answers for others. The scriptures say that “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men” to engage in this “unrighteous dominion,”5 so we should be aware that it’s an easy trap to fall into. Women too may exercise unrighteous dominion, though the scriptures identify the problem especially with men.
Elder M. Russell Ballard:
Those who hold the priesthood must never forget that they have no right to wield priesthood authority like a club over the heads of others in the family or in Church callings. The Lord told Joseph Smith that “when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:37).

In other words, any man who claims the special powers of heaven for his own selfish purposes and seeks to use the priesthood in any degree of unrighteousness in the Church or in the home simply does not understand the nature of his authority. Priesthood is for service, not servitude; compassion, not compulsion; caring, not control. Those who think otherwise are operating outside the parameters of priesthood authority.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, but sad outlook you have on this. I hope that this isn't very wide spread. I see none of what you've written about in my Stake/Ward. I also work in our local Temple, see lots of people from all over our Temple District, haven't heard any of them complain about this either.

    In my 40+ years in the Church, I don't recall ever being forced to do anything, but then I'm not afraid to tell them no either.

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