Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.
The problem with this statement, leading into the talk, is that they excommunicated or threatened temple recommends of over a half dozen members around the time it was given. Denver Snuffer in early 2014, John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, people who doubted D&C 132. Now, I get that an organization can declare who is and is not a representative of it. But a statement as broad as this one given by Uchtdor, that Regardless of testimony, circumstances, or history there is room for that person in the church, while the church cuts off people because of their lack of testimony, circumstances, or history, it’s nothing less that two-faced, and a down right deception otherwise.
The quote should have read instead:
“As long as you do not publicly share your beliefs contrary to the orthodoxy, there is room for you in this church”.
Which is pretty much what the PR statements around Kate Kelly and John Dehlin said:
Now someone is going to point out that this was a local leader’s statement to Dehlin just being restated by the Church PR department; but it sounds so similar to the official statements about Kate Kelly, the idea that the local leader is not influenced by the broader PR, or that the PR is not helping the local leader to say the correct message is dubious:
Follow the Orthodoxy publicly, and do not talk about your private beliefs. That is not an inclusive church like Uchtdorf’s statement above.
“What doyou require of your members?”
“We do not require anything,” they replied. “But the Lordasks that we consecrate all.”
The fascinating thing is, that in the Temple, where one promises to obey the law of consecration, one does not consecrate one’s self and one’s belongings and future belongings to God, but (And it is stated in all caps in the Temple) TO THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. This statement by Uchtdorf, couched in a story is a flat out lie. One must give everything to the Organization. Simply devoting it to God is not sufficient.
Do you pay your people for all the work they do?” the man asked.
“Oh, no,” the couple explained. “They offer their time freely.”
Also not true. General Authorities receive a modest living allowance. Bishops and stake presidents used to (in the 1920’s). Mission presidents receive compensation. It is misdirection at the least and a straight out lie at the best to keep the lowest rank and file giving their time and talents for free. In other situations this would be called Fraud.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith
Whenever we want to know something we should approach it two ways. We should look for patterns, form a guess as to how those patterns are connected, and try to build up connections. But this alone is not sufficient. I’ll let this guy explain why (Play along with him and see if you guess like the people he interviews):
You see, you need to also try to disprove one’s beliefs to reach true conclusions. One must Doubt one’s beliefs to reach accurate conclusions. Just like in the above example, the couples could only arrive at the true rule by thinking of what did not fit the pattern. So Must we have doubts. If we doubt our doubts, before we doubt our faith, we will succumb to confirmation bias.
So how can we test our faith in a way that doesn’t lead to confirmation bias?
- Stop paying tithing for 6 months. Record all the good and bad income and loss. Pay it for 6 months and Record the good and bad income and loss. Review whether this had a noticeable impact
- Do not pray when you lose your keys. Time how long it takes to find your keys. Repeat while praying. Do this 30 times both with praying and without.
- Do not attend church for 6 months. Record spiritual promptings, thoughts, and moments that are successful. Attend for 6 months and do the same. Compare.
See how the Pro-church side tells you to never stop doing the confirming actions, but the way to actually know something includes both doing the thing and not doing it to compare results.
And not just missing one Sunday here or there, but in a continuous run (This helps remove factors such as seasonality (missing church when it snows if one hates snow could lead to negative feelings about missing church because it is associated with something else one hates… snow!) or natural random occurrences.
Uchtdorf’s talk is deceptive, hypocritical and pushes one towards confirmation bias as a way of knowing truth. We would encourage members to press their leaders to be honest,m even if they are tall, have great hair and a cute German accent.