I’ve thought about doing a newsletter series on talks that should have never been given.
What I mean is that there are certain talks that have become very popular to use in ways they were never intended to be used.
Or in other words, the prophet, seer, and revelator said one thing and then their words are used by our community in a completely different way.
The Unwritten Order of Things, anyone?
I say that some of these talks should have never been given, not because I disagree with the speaker (often a prophet), but mainly because most misinterpret what they are saying and then count it as doctrine.
I think the only thing holding me back from writing this series is that what I say might be a bit controversial, but I guess that hasn’t stopped me in the past. 😊
The recent general conference is a good example.
I’ve already heard individuals say Elder Holland discouraged members of the Church from wearing crosses.
(He never said that.)
There’s an idea floating around (many times in jest) that the new FSY resource now allows for individuals to get tattoos.
(It doesn’t say that.)
Some say Elder Bednar’s talk about garments at the wedding feast was a direct call for our community to be more intentional about wearing the temple garment.
(I interpret it that way, but he still didn’t say that directly.)
Also, because President Nelson got choked up at the end of his closing remarks while stating “May God be with you until we meet again…,” many are interpreting this as a prophecy of his own death in the next six months.
We all know President Nelson really meant, “God be with you until we meet again at my 110th birthday party.”
I’m sure there are many leaders in this audience who have experienced this on a local level.
Statement: “We will no longer be making zoom church available generally.”
Interpretation: “I hate people who don’t come to church, especially the frail elderly, so I am restricting the sacrament online feed from them.”
I’d love to hear any of your personal examples of being misinterpreted as a leader.
In short, I think it is an opportunity to come together and simply not insert additional meaning into words leaders say.
If we suddenly feel offended or confused by something said, step back, take a deep breath, and really consider what was said and what wasn’t said.
If we interpret words from a general leader one way, let’s not count it as general doctrine or policy.
Now, let’s see how many misinterpret what I just said in this email.
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