Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Modern-Day Almas

Where are all the ex-doubters in the LDS church leadership?

Alma the Younger was a well-known enemy of the church before his conversion--and he became one of the Book of Mormon's greatest prophets.  His story mirrors that of the apostle Paul, who spoke out against Christianity until he was converted and became one of its greatest proponents.  Alma the Younger's father (Alma the Elder) was a wicked priest for the wickeder King Noah before being converted by Abinadi and gaining a following of hundreds of converts.

But where are the checkered pasts among the modern church leadership?  Which of the Twelve Apostles is a rehabilitated anti-Mormon?  Are any of the Seventies on a guilt-fueled mission to do as much positive work for the church as possible to atone for their past mistakes?  Where are the vehemently converted former doubters among the leadership?  There are no modern-day Almas.

I've complained before about other inequities among the upper echelons of the LDS heirarchy--that, overwhelmingly, the leadership is white, western American, educated, and male.  With the exception of the founding eras of Mormonism, there hasn't been a prophet who was a convert.  The last convert to serve as prophet was Lorenzo Snow, who died more than a hundred years ago.

The disparities between modern-day prophets and scriptural prophets are seemingly without number.  The church that claims it is led by a god whose doctrines and policies do not change, a god who is the same yesterday, today and forever, has a suspicious habit of not following its own historical precedents when it comes to selecting its leaders.

Well--it follows its own precedents from recent history.  But not those from ancient history.  The church's sixth article of faith, penned by Joseph Smith himself, states that Mormons believe "in the same organization that existed in the primitive church," so recent precedents and ancient precedents should be one and the same.

But they aren't.  And that doesn't seem right to me.

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