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  1. I read Prince’s “David O. McKay and the rise of Modern Mormonism” and loved it, but hearing him speak here really moved me.  Thanks.  Also, I like the term “big tent mormon” so much better than “uncorrelated mormon.”  Maybe because it was coined by my favorite prophet.  Didn’t listen to the rest, but thank you Brother Prince for staying in the herd.  It means a lot to me.

      1. Thanks John.  Eliza is for my girl Eliza R. Snow.  You just became my facebook friend under my real name. (I’m sure that narrows it down to about a thousand.;)  Thanks for creating a safe place for a believer like me.

  2. I loved the story of John in his socks chasing his mother as she drove away down the street.  That was a heartbreaking story.  It also explains John’s desire to chase after the 1 who left the 99. Still running in his socks, but the podcast seems to be giving John his running shoes.

    What I’ve notice about this community of Mormon Stories followers is that they are a restless bunch (in a good way), always striving after something, striving after greater clarity, higher living, a more compassionate loving, a better version of themselves, etc.  Is this restless force a uniquely Mormon quality that they bring with them or is it a meta-Mormon quality, something subversive to Mormonism that leads these people out and away from the church, or could it be both? Could Mormonism’s thirst for knowledge, its striving for perfection, its restless force to carve landscapes and transform realities be the very quality that leads its members out of the church?  Up and away. Interesting…

    At any rate, this community of Mormon Stories followers seems to represent a class of people defined by Jose Ortega y Gassett below as those who demand much of themselves:

    “Doubtless the most radical division of humanity that can be made is that between two classes of creatures: those who demand much of themselves and assume a burden of tasks and difficulties, and those who require nothing special of themselves, but rather for whom to live is to be in every instant only what they already are.”

    A constant striving.  Keep it going.

  3. Greg Prince has a wonderful speaking method and a great delivery.  I have a few problems with his message.  He fails to acknowledge that when an individual leaves the church there is a powerful impact and statement that will resonate throughout the generations of that individual’s posterity.  Greg takes the typical chapel approach to these folks, whom he dismisses with a wave of his hand and only speaks in glowing terms of the Juanita Brooks types who manage to stick around.  Some of us just chose to stop “paying for our pew”, and our indulgence (temple recommend), and make a statement with our feet. 

    As for his advice for how to stay in the church and be effective, here is one more bullet to add at the bottom of his list.

    Don’t hold your breath too long waiting for the church to change.

  4. This was absolutely wonderful. Brother Prince’s words were so heartening and encouraging for a misfit like me trying to make things work in the church. Thanks for sharing this will all of us.

  5. I appreciated Greg Prince’s keynote address.  I also found in his biography of David O. Mackay welcomed added depth to my view of the inner workings of the Church hierarchy during a period of Church history I knew next to nothing about.   

    Also, I heard in the remark of his transcriber of MacKay’s journals an apt moral to the story of the “Rise of Modern Mormonism,” though this felt a harsher verdict than his book delivered, as I remember.  My guess that this reflected Greg broader perspective.On a separate subject…I do not understand what was behind Greg’s reference to the “tragedy” for Lester Bush’s separation from the LDS Church.  He said:”There was a time when I wish we could have held on to Lester and I think we could have, but there are people who apparently didn’t want to do that… that for me is one of the great tragedies in this Church in my life time.”It seems to me the nature of this “tragedy” depends on the context. This is because it determines whose tragedy it was.Was Lester being excommunicated despite still believing in the Church?  Or, did Lester voluntarily leave the Church due to a loss of faith or irreconcilable differences with local or general authorities?In other words, is this tragedy a matter of …….  Lester’s living with the belief that he will lose his place in the celestial kingdom?….  Greg personal grieving over Lester’s potential loss of exaltation?….  Greg’s personal disappointment with the actions of LDS leadership?….  Greg’s regret for how Lester might have served the Church?Though I do not know Lester Bush, my sympathies would be foremost for him and whether or not it is a tragedy for him.  This does not mean I am without sympathy for how such separations affect others – which I understand from personal experience. 

  6. On a related subject…

    I was thinking about the financial crisis and possible parallels between the bailed out banks and LDS Church.  Not trying to stretch things, I stopped at the idea of an institution being “too big to fail.”

    A central question might be, “What do individuals potentially lose when they attach themselves too strongly to an institution that is too big to fail?”  By this I mean an institution that, if it were comprised of only a few people, would justifiably collapse under the weight of its failures, including the failure to acknowledge the harm it has done.

    Greg mentioned looking at the Church from “30,000 feet.”  I took this as a metaphor for seeing the LDS Church as a “superorganism” that will cast off cells (individuals) according to the dictates of a conscience centered in its collective survival.  Individuals become secondary, if not invisible, from such a height, hardly noticed except in aggregate.  For instance, grass roots “trickle-up” can only be shared when appropriated, processed and delivered through the central nervous system (the priesthood).  And the only cells carried forward from one generation of cells to the next are those few who can be turned into symbols of the superorganism’s values.

    To see the Church from 30,000 feet implies stepping outside of it.  No faithful member does this without some length of tether.  When I started looking at the Church from 30,000 feet I found the view alarming.  I too saw something that was “far bigger and far longer lasting than any player” (or cell), but I was disturbed by this – I found it constrictive and oppressive.  Every doctrine and practice that was ostensibly meant to benefit individuals began to appear more centered on the Church.

    Stepping back further, from 60,000 feet (so to speak), the Church started looking smaller … and smaller.  I am not sure quite when the tether broke.  But when it did I did not feel adrift.  I felt thankful for what life I still had in front of me – a journey free of any institution that seemed to me undeservedly”too big to fail.”

  7. I appreciated Greg Prince’s keynote address.  I also found in his biography of David O. Mackay welcomed added depth to my view of the inner workings of the Church hierarchy during a period of Church history I knew next to nothing about.
    Also, I heard in the remark of his transcriber of MacKay’s journals an apt moral to the story of the “Rise of Modern Mormonism,” though this felt a harsher verdict than his book delivered, as I remember.  My guess that this reflected Greg broader perspective.

    On a separate subject…

    I do not understand what was behind Greg’s reference to the “tragedy” for Lester Bush’s separation from the LDS Church.  He said:

    “There was a time when I wish we could have held on to Lester and I think we could have, but there are people who apparently didn’t want to do that… that for me is one of the great tragedies in this Church in my life time.”

    It seems to me the nature of this “tragedy” depends on the context. This is because it determines whose tragedy it was.

    Was Lester being excommunicated despite still believing in the Church?  Or, did Lester voluntarily leave the Church due to a loss of faith or irreconcilable differences with local or general authorities?

    In other words, is this tragedy a matter of ….

    …  Lester’s living with the belief that he will lose his place in the celestial kingdom?

    ….  Greg personal grieving over Lester’s potential loss of exaltation?

    ….  Greg’s personal disappointment with the actions of LDS leadership?

    ….  Greg’s regret for how Lester might have served the Church?

    Though I do not know Lester Bush, my sympathies would be foremost for him and whether or not it is a tragedy for him.  

    This does not, however, mean I am without sympathy for how such separations affect others – which I understand from personal experience.

  8. I love hearing Greg Prince speak on any subject.

    At one point Greg mentioned the monthly/occasional meetings they hold in the DC area to discuss topics of interest and circulated an email sign-up sheet.  For those of us who don’t live in the DC area but pass through occasionally, or who would like to recommend this to friends, is there a way to get on that email distribution list?

    Mattharmer@gmail.com

  9. It would be nice to see someone deal with the issue of the times we live in and how the scriptures tell us we should be prepared. The heart of the Book of Mormon message is found in the 32nd chapter of 2nd Nephi. After we are baptized we need to enter into a course of study wherein we “feast upon the words of Christ” until we have so developed the ability to listen to and speak only by the Holy Spirit. And that this coupled with a life of continuous prayer we are prepared to live in Christ’s presence every moment of our lives.
     
    We have lost the vision of the restoration because of our  failure to follow this “Doctrine of Christ.” Where there is no vision, the people parish.
     
    What are we going to do? Continue our intellectual debating at the expense of our building a true Zionic City wherein none need counsel another, because all speak in the name of the Lord. A reality brought about by simply following the words of Christ given us by Nephi.
     
    This is the day that was prophesied by Isaiah wherein “The wisdom of the wise will perish and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid. (The wise are they who suppose they can learn the truth without the Holy Spirit; the prudent are those who learn how to listen and speak by the Holy Spirit.)

    One who is laboring in Zion as called forth by Nephi. My witness to you is that it does work.

  10. “Where there is no vision, the people parish.” Inadvertent hilarity through spelling mistake. From the perspective of this non-believer, that is exactly what happens!

  11. I don’t quite understand what you are saying. Did you mean to say: “That is exactly what is happening now!” as we see all systems of the wise failing? 

    P.S. I had to check to make sure their was only one “l” in “failing.”

    I wish you well my brother!

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