Being an avid reader of things historical and religious I would like to know how you now feel about two things.
1. The Mormon Church: from 1 to 10.
1 being the least positive and 10 being the least.
Is the Mormon Church:
1 - Just an other church with good and bad, but not inherently evil.
10 - It is a cult that sucks out the life and money of its members and should be actively opposed.
Are the GA:
1 - Mostly really nice men that truly believe the doctrine and try to do the right thing.
10 - Those guys know what is going on and out of love of their position and all the praise they get, keep it all going.
(I am at a 9 on the first and about a 5 on the second)
Sorry about using "least" twice in my question above.
I guess my opinion is showing.
1 is the most positive and 10 the least.
I'd go 9/10 on the cult thing...
I'm not going to assume I know the personal motivations for the leadership of the church, I do feel they do serious harm to the life and minds of people by perpetuating an enslaving religion, but I don't know if they actually believe this crap or not. My brain wants to tell me anyone who has access to the actual history of the church should know better, but we must remember that faith makes a virtue out of not thinking, so this knowledge may be able to be stored as innocuous in the minds of the leadership.
Here are my scores:
Is the Mormon Church: 7/10
Are the GA: 5/10
I'd place the church aroun 7-8/10 as far as cultyness. It's not the worst/most-dangerous cult out there, but it still follows cult patterns and tends to hurt people more than help them in my opinion.
The GAs are probably somewhere in the middle, mostly being blind true believers who are too invested and too busy to care about the dirt details, although I think a few of them do know the truth and often let their internal cog/dis show through. 5/10 for them.
I think the church is just like any other church; The only problem is when you raise a couple of generations in a culture of "This is the ONLY true church" that become damaging. Other churches are at least a bit more quiet about things like that, usually.
I've got mixed opinions about the GAs-- Some are so ignorant it should be a sin, others seem like they really want to do more, but are held back by said-sinfully-ignorant peers.
I think its:
I link them both together and think that the GA's know what they are doing, they know its not true and that they dont talk to god, jesus h or the ghost. They keep the fraud of this cult going, keep the flock in fear and in line and keep taking their money. They can spend 3 billion on a mall & condos for christ and all the while many of their members are starving & losing homes. These fuckers eat well, live in beautiful homes and cant even answer questions about what the church might or might not teach. [Hinkley on what god was, is and will become]. Not one of these Profits have ever answered or tried to answer about where the BoM people lived, except of course the pedophile Joseph and history has proven what he wrote as a fraud. Local LDS leaders care more about the individual, the tops leaders care only about the money flowing in.
Church = 9
GA = 5
I'm not at all surprised to report that I have a more positive opinion of the church than anyone so far. And I wouldn't really classify my view as "positive."
Based on your scale, I would give the church a 4/10. For the most part I think it is pretty much on the same level as your average church. There is some good and some bad that comes out of it, there are some good and some bad people, it can be good or bad for people's lives. It has been extremely destructive to my little sister, but extremely healing for my mother. I give it a few "bad" points for some very destructive practices and doctrines, but many of the doctrines I take issue with don't even really register in the modern church. And there are a lot of teachings that really work for people, and some that are much, much preferable to the Mainstream Christian option (read: hell).
I'll put the leadership at about 4/10 too. For the most part, I think they feel morally and spiritually justified in their actions, but many of their actions are still wrong. I think many of them are decent people who really try to do the right thing, some of which have great insights and great hearts. I think there are a few who are probably truly evil and power-hungry.
Remember that on your scale, 1 isn't "THE CHURCH IS TRUE AND SO AWESOME OMG" it's "I think it's ok, pretty much like anything else out there."
I find it interesting that most rate the church as worse than the GAs since they kinda run the show. What is "The Church?" Are we talking the organization since its inception and the sum of good and bad it has done since then? Are we talking about how it exists and influences people's lives and minds now? The Corporation in SLC? The body of people and the general attitudes, beliefs, and practices as influenced by the old dudes in charge?
I could go with you on giving the GAs a 10 if they are knowingly deceiving people. Which I imagine some are and most aren't. But that's just my best guess.
I agree with secret combo
I think the GA's Well the 12 and the president absolutely know that it isn't true. I think thats why they don't make the claims that jo smith did in todays world. People would challenge it. I think they believe that they are still doing a great work.The seventy has the true believers but i think when they get to the 12 they figure it out.L Tom Perry was talking at a missionary thing I was at and somebody was arguing that Jesus had a beard. He responded "not last time I saw him." That proves to me that they know its not true. I remember being taught that when a GA speaks in conf it is the same as scripture. Wilford Woodruff spoke in conf in 1897 ( i could be wrong on the date) That the people in that conf would help usher in the lost 10 tribes of isreal and that we would also receive their books. He also said that they would build highways to the north to help usher them in. It might just be me but i dont think anybody is alive today from that conf.
I brought that up to Elder Peneger of the seventy one time and his answer was that he may have been talking about the spiritual plane.
The church holds out that carrot for you to chase. The 2nd coming is always just around the corner. back in jo smith time it was believed that jesus was coming back in his life time.
I am confident that the GA's know its false. the Church itself has people in it out of tradition and sometimes dont know what they believe but believe its true cuz thats what they are taught. what makes the church evil is That the worst crime in the world is denying the holy ghost or Christ. Which causes people to think when they start to question they church if they are stepping over the unforgivable sin. So they repent real quick and fallow blindly
Thats my opinion anyway
I see where you're coming from. I still say that some definitely know it isn't true but many of them probably don't. By the time you are chosen to be a GA you are probably so deeply and irreversibly indoctrinated you would do any amount of necessary mental gymnastics to prop up your faith.
And I think the fact that they no longer make outlandish JS-like claims just has to do with the religion evolving and conforming in order to fit in and thrive in today's society. All religions compromise and change to be more acceptable to the world's changing values.