I think it’s fascinating to watch people justify their angst over prophets by pointing out all the “weird” stuff about which prophets used to speculate, then turn around and criticize the current church leaders for being “boring” because they won’t speculate any more. I also think it’s fascinating that most of the people who long for “the good old days” rarely mention that those “good old days” included INTENSE persecution, death and incredible hardship – or the that “bad new days” include explosive growth and much more of a “rolling stone” appearance than the “good old days”.
Seriously, think about it:
How many times have you heard someone complain about the Adam/God theory – or polygamy/polyandry – or Joseph’s statements regarding Adam-Ondi-Ahman – or the Manifesto – or the justifications for the Priesthood ban – or any other concept that was preached in the past that has been left by the wayside now? How many of those people who complain also use their concern about these things to explain their crisis of faith – often linking it directly to the person who taught those views – including their struggles to accept that person as a real prophet of God explicitly because of the things they said and taught? How many of those people then turn around and complain about how “boring” the Church is now and pine for the time when prophets were PROPHETS!!!! and boldly spoke their minds about the will and word of God – or the time when the Church was more liberal and free-wheeling and evolving day-to-day? Generally, these statements are followed by something like,
If only I had lived back then! I would have embraced the Gospel and the Church back in the good old days.
My question is a simple one:
How can people complain about what a former Prophet taught then turn around and say they miss and long for “the good old days”? I believe we are judged by how we handle our own day, just as the early Saints were judged by how they handled their own day. The original members of the modern Church pined for the time of Christ and the ancient Church, forgetting that the earliest Christians were crucified and fed to lions. We pine for the time of Joseph, forgetting that we might have been asked to engage in polygamy or polyandry – or been tarred and feathered – or lost multiple children and a spouse as we shivered and shuddered and struggled across the plains.
Personally, I’ll take my day over Joseph’s and Brigham’s any day and twice on Sunday – when they used to meet all day, and our entire three-hour block of meetings would have been the opening exercises. Nostalgia is easy – especially for those who never lived in the times for which they are nostalgic. It allows them to criticize (often harshly) those early leaders while pining for the time in which they lived.