Today we dive deep into the idea that Mormonism grooms compliance. We start by showing it is the baseline of our theology and belief system. We show how it is reinforced by our stories and songs, show all the pervasive ways it shows up in our faith system. And even how the Leaders impose such on each other. And then discuss how unhealthy such is.
A.) Obedience is the First Law of Heaven or the ground zero of theology/commandments
- “Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest. It consists in compliance with divine law, in conformity to the mind and will of Deity, in complete subjection to God and his commands” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 539).
- D&C 130: 20-21 – There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
- It is important to obey God even when we may not fully understand the commandment (see Moses 5:5–6; 1 Nephi 3:7).
B.) The constant teaching that answering NO is not allowed and how it is a “Thought Stopping Technique”
- It starts young
- Don’t say no to a boy at a dance
- At a young age, girls getting used to complying to the men in their lives
- What 8 year old says no to baptism. Isn’t it strange that no one says no. If everyone says yes, is it really a choice?
- It is persistent – Don’t say no to a calling
- “Just as service in the Church is not sought, it is not turned down,” Oaks
- “I often hear about members who refuse Church callings or accept callings and fail to fulfill their responsibilities. Some are not committed and faithful. It has always been so. But this is not without consequence . . . My brothers and sisters, if you are delinquent in commitment, please consider who it is you are refusing or neglecting to serve when you decline a calling or when you accept, promise, and fail to fulfill.” oaks
- “While we do not ask to be released from a calling, if our circumstances change it is quite in order for us to counsel with those who have issued the call and then let the decision rest with them.” – Boyd K Packer
- Get married young
- Don’t put off having children, don’t use birth control, have lots of children
- It culminated in the temple
- Do you covenant to obey your husband as he obeys God?
- Bow your head and say yes
- “Give all your time, talent, and EVERYTHING you possess to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.”
- Contention is of the devil – making disagreement bad and the higher authority always wins
- God commanding Adam to sacrifice animals (Moses 5: 4-7). Adam follows the command for many days until eventually an angel appears and asks why Adam is performing the sacrifices. Adam respond, “I know not, save the Lord commanded me.” – you do not need a reason to obey
- non-levite steadying the ark
- Follow the Prophet – he can’t lead us astray – What does this even mean since there are numerous occasion where false doctrines have been taught and believed?
- President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) taught this same principle: “You keep your eye upon him whom the Lord called, and I say to you now, knowing that I stand in this position, you don’t need to worry about the President of the Church ever leading people astray, because the Lord would remove him out of his place before He would ever allow that to happen” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams , 533).
- President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) gave similar assurance to Church members: “The Church is true. Those who lead it have only one desire, and that is to do the will of the Lord. They seek his direction in all things. There is not a decision of significance affecting the Church and its people that is made without prayerful consideration, going to the fount of all wisdom for direction. Follow the leadership of the Church. God will not let his work be led astray” (“Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 46; emphasis added).
- “When the Prophet speaks, … the debate is over” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 108).
- Perpetual inadequacy instead of critical thinking – You are broken and fallen and need us more than we need you so get in line.
- For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
- Agency doesn’t work the way we thought. Agency is only to provide a space to choose God at all times – ”You have agency in order to show willing compliance”
- Having a sustaining vote but in which a “NO vote” means nothing
- It’s wrong to criticize the Leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true
- stay away from “unauthorized” or “unapproved” sources – Thought stopping technique – trust us. Do not consider criticism to see if they are valid
- Want Happiness? Align Your Will with God, Sister Oscarson Says
- “At times members may participate in ‘selective obedience,’ claiming to love God and honor God while picking and choosing which of His commandments and teachings— and the teachings and counsel of His prophets — we will fully follow,” Robert D Hales
- “STAY ON THE COVENANT PATH” = Obedience is the first law of heaven
- Feeling obligated to Clean the bathrooms for free of a multi hundred billion dollar organization
- You will lose your eternal family for eternity if you don’t comply
- Missions for men are not a choice Another link
C.) We make heroes out of those who proceed with the horrific and label people bad or sinful who might object out of conscience
- Abraham and Isaac
- Nephi and Laban
- D&C 132: Emma will be destroyed
D.) Church Leaders impose that we obey them at all costs
- Elder Bednar – Moral Agency vs Free Agency
E.) Leadership teach each other to be compliant
- Apostolic charge – “Always be willing to subjugate his own thoughts and accept the majority opinion not only to vote for it but to act as though it were his own original opinion after it has been approved by the majority of the council of the twelve and the First Presidency.”