Skip to content

Mormonism LIVE: 087: Mormonism Grooms Compliance

Today we dive deep into the idea that Mormonism grooms compliance. We start by showing it is the baseline of our theology and belief system. We show how it is reinforced by our stories and songs, show all the pervasive ways it shows up in our faith system. And even how the Leaders impose such on each other. And then discuss how unhealthy such is.

A.) Obedience is the First Law of Heaven or the ground zero of theology/commandments

  1. Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest. It consists in compliance with divine law, in conformity to the mind and will of Deity, in complete subjection to God and his commands” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 539).
  2. D&C 130: 20-21 – There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
  3. It is important to obey God even when we may not fully understand the commandment (see Moses 5:5–6; 1 Nephi 3:7).

B.)  The constant teaching that answering NO is not allowed and how it is a “Thought Stopping Technique”

  1.  It starts young 
    1. Don’t say no to a boy at a dance
    2. At a young age, girls getting used to complying to the men in their lives
    3. What 8 year old says no to baptism.  Isn’t it strange that no one says no.  If everyone says yes, is it really a choice?
  2.  It is persistent – Don’t say no to a calling
    1. “Just as service in the Church is not sought, it is not turned down,” Oaks
    2. “I often hear about members who refuse Church callings or accept callings and fail to fulfill their responsibilities. Some are not committed and faithful. It has always been so. But this is not without consequence . . . My brothers and sisters, if you are delinquent in commitment, please consider who it is you are refusing or neglecting to serve when you decline a calling or when you accept, promise, and fail to fulfill.” oaks 
    3. “While we do not ask to be released from a calling, if our circumstances change it is quite in order for us to counsel with those who have issued the call and then let the decision rest with them.” – Boyd K Packer
  3. Get married young
  4. Don’t put off having children, don’t use birth control, have lots of children
  5. It culminated in the temple 
    1. Do you covenant to obey your husband as he obeys God?
    2. Bow your head and say yes
    3. “Give all your time, talent, and EVERYTHING you possess to the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.”
  6. Contention is of the devil – making disagreement bad and the higher authority always wins
  7. God commanding Adam to sacrifice animals (Moses 5: 4-7). Adam follows the command for many days until eventually an angel appears and asks why Adam is performing the sacrifices. Adam respond, “I know not, save the Lord commanded me.” – you do not need a reason to obey
  8. non-levite steadying the ark
  9. Follow the Prophet – he can’t lead us astray – What does this even mean since there are numerous occasion where false doctrines have been taught and believed?
    1. President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) taught this same principle: “You keep your eye upon him whom the Lord called, and I say to you now, knowing that I stand in this position, you don’t need to worry about the President of the Church ever leading people astray, because the Lord would remove him out of his place before He would ever allow that to happen” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 533).
    2. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) gave similar assurance to Church members: “The Church is true. Those who lead it have only one desire, and that is to do the will of the Lord. They seek his direction in all things. There is not a decision of significance affecting the Church and its people that is made without prayerful consideration, going to the fount of all wisdom for direction. Follow the leadership of the Church. God will not let his work be led astray” (“Be Not Deceived,” Ensign, Nov. 1983, 46; emphasis added).
  10. “When the Prophet speaks, … the debate is over” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 108).
  11. Perpetual inadequacy instead of critical thinking – You are broken and fallen and need us more than we need you so get in line.
    1. For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
  12. Agency doesn’t work the way we thought.  Agency is only to provide a space to choose God at all times – ”You have agency in order to show willing compliance”
    1. Elder Bednar teaching such 
  13. Having a sustaining vote but in which a “NO vote” means nothing
  14. It’s wrong to criticize the Leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true
  15. stay away from “unauthorized” or “unapproved” sources – Thought stopping technique – trust us.  Do not consider criticism to see if they are valid
  16. Want Happiness? Align Your Will with God, Sister Oscarson Says
  17. “At times members may participate in ‘selective obedience,’ claiming to love God and honor God while picking and choosing which of His commandments and teachings— and the teachings and counsel of His prophets — we will fully follow,” Robert D Hales
  18. “STAY ON THE COVENANT PATH” = Obedience is the first law of heaven
  19. Feeling obligated to Clean the bathrooms for free of a multi hundred billion dollar organization
  20. You will lose your eternal family for eternity if you don’t comply
  21. Missions for men are not a choice  Another link 

C.) We make heroes out of those who proceed with the horrific and label people bad or sinful who might object out of conscience

  1. Abraham and Isaac
  2. Nephi and Laban
  3. D&C 132: Emma will be destroyed

D.) Church Leaders impose that we obey them at all costs

  1. Elder Bednar – Moral Agency vs Free Agency

E.) Leadership teach each other to be compliant

  1. Apostolic charge – “Always be willing to subjugate his own thoughts and accept the majority opinion not only to vote for it but to act as though it were his own original opinion after it has been approved by the majority of the council of the twelve and the First Presidency.”

8 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 087: Mormonism Grooms Compliance”

  1. The apostolic charge is interesting. No mention of love. No mention of service. No mention of spreading the gospel to all the world. Depressing… And the only commandment which gets it’s own yearly interview, one on one with the Judge in Israel, is tithing. Says volumes. How did I never see this? How how how ?

  2. Maven’s comments today touch home. I grew up in the RLDS church and was “called” into the (Aaronic) priesthood at 16. I was 4th generation RLDS. Saying no was not an option. I attended the church sponsored college (Graceland. Sorry, Elvis.). As a freshman, a young woman told me that boys (we were hardly men) who held priesthood status were considered prime dating material and frequently leveraged that status to attain sexual contact, the women trusting that compliance was a step toward “marrying well” in the church. The “joke” was A Ring by Spring or Your Money Back. I assured the young lady she had become jaded and misunderstood. Shortly thereafter at a “priesthood meeting” I listened to boys counseling a younger boy that the girl he was interested in wouldn’t be sexually compliant because he was only ordained as a “Teacher.” Her sights were set on a “Priest” or “Elder.” I tore up my “priesthood” card on the spot and with the exception of funerals, have not set foot in that church since 1977. I felt some hope when the church split over the issue of women holding priesthood. RLDS traditionalists went their way and the Community of Christ, acknowledging that God doesn’t express gender preference, went theirs. With parents and grandparents deceased I have not paid attention to the CoC’s focus o n the importance of women, but I suspect men have diluted their significance.

  3. Inner tuition??? I don’t think that means what you think it means.

    I believe “intuition” is the word you were searching for.

  4. I just presented a session at Sunstone on “Mormonism as a Narcissist Institution.” One of the participants said that he was told he had to do something because of “covenants he made before he was born.”

  5. Great episode! Every time church leaders “praise” (flatter and love-bomb) the women of the church, I want to just roll my eyes and ask “NOW what do you want from us??” There is always something they want. It’s usually something along the lines of free labor and ego stroking.

    Nelson’s talk about the women making the men doughnuts and intently hanging on every word the men say illustrates it very sharply. Nelson said, “While we enjoy [the doughnuts], these mothers, sisters, and daughters will listen intently as each of us speaks of things he learned here tonight. It’s a nice family tradition, symbolic of the fact that everything we learn and do as priesthood bearers should bless our families.”

    Yes, nothing says “I’ve been blessed by the priesthood” than spending hours making homemade doughnuts (which are very time consuming and tricky to make), and then sitting intently hanging on every word a man says. How does that illustrate that “everything we learn and do as priesthood bearers should bless our families.”? What did the men actually do in this story that actually benefitted their families? They sat there in a meeting, where they altered between falling asleep and pondering the immense responsibility of presiding over women. Then they came home and sat there and ate homemade doughnuts that they did not make, while women stroked their egos. Oh those poor priesthood men, worked to the bone serving their families!

  6. It is quite the disappointment to see the leadership of the church openly disregard and be seemingly ignorant of the doctrine and principles of Priesthood leadership taught in the scriptures. The Book of Mormon teaches that all good things are realized through Faith, Hope and Charity. It also teaches that keeping the commandments of God brings blessings of peace and prosperity. No where does the Book of Mormon teach that the demands of a man or woman must be obeyed, or else. In fact, the Lord teaches otherwise: Cursed is the person who puts his trust in man and follows the philosophies of men.

    The temptation of men and women to claim the authority of God is great. It poses a great temptation to the person making the claim and a great risk to the people who feel obligated to respect the leader. To this concern we have the stunning revelation provided via Joseph Smith in section 121 of the Doctrine & Covenants. The Lord provides clear and precise language guiding the demeanor of those who claim the Priesthood of God and He warns of the consequences of those who abuse this privilege.

    Note particularly verse 37, which states that any who claim priesthood authority “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” will lose that authority – “Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.”

    Could the Lord be any more clear in His language? And yet what do we have in the Church the past few years? We have one compulsion after another. We have leaders, both men and women, who repeatedly resort to the language of authority, shame, and guilt to coerce members to behave in certain ways. I trust the Lord in his word and believe these Church leaders have lost the authority of God. They are left to their own abilities and for that reason the Church is struggling and operating without the guiding hand of God to lead and protect it. This has happened because the leadership trusts in themselves and the sophistry of the world, rather than in the Truth of God.

    Section 121:34 – 37, 39

    Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

    That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

    We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

    Section 121:41 – 42
    No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.

  7. The word “grooms” is intentionally chosen by the author because of the connotation of preparing an innocent youth to comply with sexual advances of an adult. It is an attempt to poison the conversation. A better word would be “teaches”. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches it’s members to follow the prophet and obey God. The world teaches that rebellion and contention are nobel. As a rebellious and contentious child challenges and disobeys his or her wise and loving parents, we see from experience the heartache and chaos that is the inevitable result. As I have been present in well functioning church leadership councils as an observer, I see many different questions arise about any particular plan of action. Those are then discussed and the direction is decided with support from all. There are always pros & cons to a decision, but the will of God is sought and followed. It is a much different way of decision-making than that of the world. The world uses debate, maneuvering, power plays, coercion and warfare, to reach conclusions. Jesus Christ taught that we should be one, and if we are not one, we are not His. There is still plenty of room for individual perspectives that help in those councils. Any sports team or business, or family needs to be unified and follow the leaders to be successful. Contention is a cancer. The current way of preaching in most of our media, is to focus on the strange and the different, rather than on the many things we have in common. The flattering doctrine of the secular prophets is that we try and change the world around us to accommodate ourselves, rather than change ourselves to follow God. It takes humility and submission to God to find peace and true connection.

  8. Hi! I saw the podcast on Mormon Stories and just LOVED it!
    I grew up in Cleveland, OH of Protestant/Catholic parents. I lived in Atlanta, GA for 30 years, then spent the last two years in Salt Lake City. What a culture shock!From the outside, so much of LDS seems just crazy. I have much empathy for the masses I see in UT in a state of the cult of a deceptive and bogus religion. Thank you SO much for all the truth telling you are devoted to doing. I just recently discovered John Delyn and RFM! LOVE YOU GUYS Feel free to direct me to more info.
    ~Shelley Willow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.