Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Online LDS still trashing Sister Beck's talk

Six weeks ago, I posted my thoughts about online LDS members trashing the general conference talk given the previous day by Sister Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President.

This morning's Salt Lake Tribune reports that hundreds of women have now signed an online rebuttal of Sister Beck's talk.  The article quotes blogger Julie M. Smith saying this sort of sustained opposition to and controversy about a conference talk is new among online LDS.

Well, it might be new but it is not surprising.

This continued trashing of Sister Beck's talk is just another fulfillment of the Savior's parable of the tares (Matt. 13:24-30).  A hymn about this parable says:

Though in the outward Church below
Both wheat and tares together grow,
Ere long will Jesus weed the crop
And pluck the tares in anger up.

For soon the reaping time will come,
And angels shout the harvest home,
And angels shout the harvest home.

Will it relieve the horror there
To recollect their stations here?
How much they heard, how much they knew?
How much among the wheat they grew?

No; this will aggravate their case;
They perish under means of grace;
To them the word of life and faith
Became an instrument of death.

We seem alike when here we meet;
Strangers may think we are all wheat;
But to the Lord's all-searching eyes,
Each heart appears without disguise.

The tares are spared for various ends,
Some for the sake of praying friends,
Others the Lord against their will,
Employs, his counsels to fulfill.

But though they grow so tall and strong,
His plan will not require them long;
In harvest, when he saves his own,
The tares shall into hell be thrown.

O! awful thought, and is it so?
Must all mankind the harvest know?
Is every man a wheat or tare?
Me for the harvest, Lord, prepare.

Hymns, 1948, no. 102.

President Ezra Taft Benson gave some counsel which, if heeded, would eliminate all this controversy about Sister Beck's talk:

"Time has a way of taking care of all things, of elevating the good and bringing down the bad.  If we see things going on within the kingdom that disturb us, we should first find out if the matter falls within our stewardship.  We then might go to the person or people involved.  If it is of such a nature that we think it should be called to the attention of higher authority, then we can, in a kindly and quiet manner, take the necessary steps at the proper level.

"[But] to publish differences we may think we have with the leaders of the Church, to create strife and division, is a sure road to apostasy.  Our task is to stick with the kingdom."  (Ensign, July 1975, p.62.)

Although the wheat and tares are still growing together; I'm sure the reaping time will soon come.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/21/2007 07:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post.

-Adam Greenwood

11/21/2007 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave the judgement of who is wheat and who is tare to God.

These women have a right to their opinion.

11/24/2007 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

I'm with President James E. Faust on this one:

-------------- quote --------------
"Free discussion and expression are encouraged in the Church.  Certainly the open expressions in most fast and testimony meetings, or Sunday School, Relief Society, and priesthood meetings attest to that principle.  However, the privilege of free expression should operate within limits.  In 1869, George Q. Cannon explained the limits of individual expression:

" ' A friend ... wished to know whether we ... considered an honest difference of opinion between a member of the Church and the Authorities of the Church was apostasy....  We replied that ... we could conceive of a man honestly differing in opinion from the Authorities of the Church and yet not be an apostate; but we could not conceive of a man publishing these differences of opinion and seeking by arguments, sophistry and special pleading to enforce them upon the people to produce division and strife and to place the acts and counsels of the Authorities of the Church, if possible, in a wrong light, and not be an apostate, for such conduct was apostasy as we understood the term.' "  (Ensign, Nov. 1993, p.36.)
-------------- end quote --------------

11/24/2007 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger JayFlow22 said...

---"These women have a right to their opinion."
They don't, however, have a right to disrespect a talk given by the sustained Relief Society President. No one cries "foul" when the President of the High Priesthood stands up and tells men to "stand a little taller" and to act more like men...why should the case with Sister Beck be any different?

11/25/2007 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, we don't want another Nauvoo Expositor episode now, do we?

11/26/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cory CL said...

I'm so saddened by these women's obvious lack of understanding, by putting their names on something that is so completely unnecessary. I LOVED Sister Beck's talk and didn't even know there was any controversy about her talk until I was talking today with my girlfriend about how much I enjoyed it. She told me to just Google Julie Beck and I would see the firestorm of negative comments. I hate to use such a phrase, but talk about a sign of the times.

11/26/2007 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As has been said many times on the Bloggernacle, most women aren't angered by what Sister Beck said, but what they felt she should have said. Of course, there's only one Sister Julie Beck in the world and she can't read the minds of the millions of Relief Society members, but that's the basic thing. Most of the discussion is simply about things some women felt should have been included (and it's usually stuff you'd agree is uplifting and good), and some women felt upset that Sister Beck seemed to put housework chores as equal in importance to raising honorable children (I'm not saying that what Sister Beck meant, of course) or that education for women was worthless apart from children (which I'm certain is people deliberately mishearing Sis. Beck because President Hinckely has spoken innumerably on the importance of women getting education for education's sake).

Also, are you serious that you've never heard *any& faithful priesthood holders grumble a little when we in Preisthood hear such things as "no poker"? You didn't hear "we shouldn't be a racist people" and at first think "There's no racism among Church members; President Hinckely is off the mark on this one"? As children of our Heavenly Father we all have the ability to think and choose for ourselves; we've been instructed by prophets of God to try everything we've been given (most famously by Brigham Young). If we follow this council we will, as imperfect mortals, make mistakes in judgment. In this case I echo the above anonymous comment: Those of you who see this as a "sign of the times" do this because you've already divided these women, who disagree in opinion about their leader, from the faithful saints. You are insinuating that they are not followers of Christ and are apostates. Sounds like you've mentally already thrown the first stone (and yes, I am aware that, like all such "beam in my eye" statements, that can be turned around to my own hypocrisy, but I stand by it).

How about instead of standing around strutting our own faithfulness, we forgive those who have offended us? These women don't need to hear "you're living proof of the last days", they need to hear "We love you, sisters. We don't understand why you might say such things and don't condone it, but please feel how we love you. We don't condemn you, and we hope that the Lord doesn't either. Go and sin no more."

12/03/2007 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cory CL said...

"How about instead of standing around strutting our own faithfulness, we forgive those who have offended us? These women don't need to hear 'you're living proof of the last days', they need to hear 'We love you, sisters. We don't understand why you might say such things and don't condone it, but please feel how we love you. We don't condemn you, and we hope that the Lord doesn't either. Go and sin no more.'"
First of all, I haven't condemned anyone. One can make righteous judgment without passing judgment. I don't claim to have such authority to condemn. I can decipher whether a person's actions are incorrect without judging a person. Nor do I feel that anyone was "strutting their faithfulness." That is simply a device to detour people from speaking hard truths. And yes, it is a sign of the times when large amounts of members publicly claim that the leaders of the church are wrong. It was a sign of the times in Nephi's day when his brothers didn't heed to his warnings. “And thus Laman and Lemuel, … did murmur … because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” 1 Ne. 2:12. If one didn't agree with what Sister Beck said, there are plenty of other leaders' talks that support exactly what she expressed. And if it's the way that she presented the message and not the message itself, or as you presume what she left out of the message, then they need to get past the presentation and come to the core of the message.
And who expresses the greater love? The parent who congratulates the child for dodging traffic in the streets or the parent who warns their child of danger? To show true love, one must inflict a little pain from time to time. Because to ask someone to change, to grow; you are asking them to endure pain. I believe the God of the New Testament and the Old Testament are the same. He is a God of Love, but is he not also a tutoring God. Does he not warn us, chastise us, teach us? Does he not ask the same of us; to be our brother's keeper? To teach, to warn, to love our brother. The world will tell you to love with only soft words, warm fuzzies and absolute acceptance of all a person is and does. But I can't believe that. I believe in separating the sin from the sinner, but I don't believe in never pointing out the sin. Does this mean I don't sin, or that I haven't had things pointed out to me? Hardly.
I frequently have things addressed with me about my own shortcomings. And instead of laying blame for my discomfort, I try to look inside myself to see how I can change from it; rather than looking outside for someone to blame.
I do hope and pray that all who found Sister Beck's talk offensive, come to a deeper understanding of their feelings and reconcile them. But that is not for me to change, I can only change myself.

12/05/2007 04:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, these women have a right to their opinion. They also have a right to reap the consequences of apostasy if they are guilty of such. When you choose the beginning of a path, you are also choosing its end. And there are as many rewards in the next life as there are people to receive them. --John W. Redelfs

12/19/2007 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that people seem so afraid of people voicing their respectful and well-articulated disagreement with Sister Beck. As a faithful Latter-day Saint, I am so happy these women feel the freedom to express their views. We should applaud their efforts as a WONDERFUL thing for our community. Whether you agree with Sister Beck or not, this open exchange of ideas helps us all.

1/14/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cory CL said...

I didn't realize anyone was "afraid" to hear an opinion. I don't fear other people's opinions. I'm more likely to fear my own; in fear that it might not align with what my Heavenly Father wants it to be.
And anonymous, you're right...it does help us to have such open discussions about it. Because without this sort of forum, we probably wouldn't take a stance on anything as strongly, or really dig into our own personal beliefs and find implementation. But I disagree with you in that I don't find publicly criticizing our leaders as a sign of respect...no matter how well they articulate it.

1/14/2008 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

I agree, Cory.  Publicly criticizing our leaders is NOT a sign of respect.

1/14/2008 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this negative reaction to Sister Beck's talk IS A GIRL THING!
Haven't you noticed that girls are over sensitive, they don't like to hear what they already know bla bla bla bla. Have you seen a reaction of this kind when the brothers are told in almost every Priesthood session not lo look at pornography, to take care of their family, to be kind to their wifes etc? No! guys are so easy going they listen and if they disagree they don't go around trying to cause division, it is just so funny and sad at the same time to read all this negative comments about something that was so well said, it is not Sister's Beck's doctrine it was all things that our Prophets and Apostles have taught over and over, I thing her only "mistake" was that she was very direct and didn't use words that woman like to hear like "if you want to do it" " if you feel like it " etc.
I have read comments from people that said they were inactive and I understand if they get mad over things, but to all this woman that put on their cute skirts on Sunday and get up in the pulpit and say " I know this is the true Church bla, bla " SHAME ON YOU! you can disagree 100% with her and do whatever you want with your life that is why we have free agency but don't go around saying this awful things about our wonderful liders. Take what you think you need to improve or that you want to improve and move on, there is no need to send letter to editors, to fill this pages with catty remarks, ENOUGH PEOPLE!!!, we are here in UT were every other person is a member and yet people are so quick to judge and use kid like arguments "is my right to freedom of expression ", lets disrespect our liders and then go to church on Sunday and put on the act, ENOUGH LADIES, ENOUGH!!!!!

1/17/2008 12:00:00 AM  

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