Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

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drumdude
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Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by drumdude »

There is a wonderful new YouTube channel which has been compiling General Conference talks into videos around different subjects. Here are some of the messages from the recent video called "Wheat, tares, and wolves"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvtYSLvfmvs
Neil Anderson April 2022 - "The existence of critics and ex-Mormons isn't surprising. Even the disciples of Jesus left him."

Neil Maxwell April 1996 - "Critics can leave the church but they can't leave the church alone. Don't they have anything better to do than attack the church? They may have repressed doubts of their doubts."

Dallin Oaks - April 2020 - "Satan confuses our thinking and leads us away from priesthood authority. Critics are ravenous wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Mormons are happy therefore all objections against the church are easily dismissed."

Gerrit Gong April 2019 - "Critics are bad shepherds leading sheep astray."

Dallin Oaks April 2015 - "When life gets hard, critics are offended and leave the church. They aren't rooted in The Word. Even the elect can slip. The Internet menaces faith. Young people texting and playing video games at church is severing spiritual roots. Hyper-focusing on problems in the church leads Mormons astray"

L Perry October 2014 - "Critics and ex-Mormons will be burned metaphorically like tares. Critics come through your devices to destroy your faith through the Internet. Mormonism is protecting the family and family values against the evil world."

James Faust - April 2003 - "The devil entices ex-Mormons with appealing messages like "It's the cool thing to do." Satan's disguise is perfect. Mormons are good. Critics and ex-Mormons are evil and come from the devil. Non-Mormons will be burned at the end of days"

Neal Maxwell October 1998 - "Judgement day is quickly coming soon for the "tares" critics and ex-Mormons."

Richard Worthlin April 1997 - "Beware false Mormons. Wolves are everywhere.

Neal Maxwell April 1993 - "Angels are anxiously waiting at any moment to reap the wicked tares. Critics and ex-Mormons hyper-ventillate over their concerns. They are conspiring together in these end times. Critics of the church are only spouting nonsense."

Joseph Worthlin October 1992 - "We live in a dangerous time when wolves roam the country in search of weak faith Mormons."

Dallin Oaks 1989 - "Critics and progressive Mormons seek to devour and deceive the flock.'

Neal Maxwell 1988 - "Critics will not relent. They're among you in sheep's clothing. The end time is near where they will be punished, and also history will forget them. They will pay all the debt of all the trouble they have brought to the innocent."

Marion Romney April 1979 - "There are real destroying angels from the spirit world around you just waiting to destroy the Mormons who haven't followed their covenants."

Harold Lee - 1972 "There are wolves among our own membership drawing Mormons away from obeying their church leaders. And ideas or experiences you have that are contrary to church leaders are from Satan."

Ezra Benson - 1972 "There are wolves among our own membership who even hold the priesthood. Only TBMs will avoid being cast into the fire in the last days."
https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-othering-5084425
Othering is a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group. It is an effect that influences how people perceive and treat those who are viewed as being part of the in-group versus those who are seen as being part of the out-group.

Othering also involves attributing negative characteristics to people or groups that differentiate them from the perceived normative social group.

It is an “us vs. them” way of thinking about human connections and relationships. This process essentially involves looking at others and saying "they are not like me" or "they are not one of us."

Othering is a way of negating another person's individual humanity and, consequently, those that are have been othered are seen as less worthy of dignity and respect.

On an individual level, othering plays a role in the formation of prejudices against people and groups. On a larger scale, it can also play a role in the dehumanization of entire groups of people which can then be exploited to drive changes in institutions, governments, and societies. It can lead to the persecution of marginalized groups, the denial of rights based on group identities, or even acts of violence against others.
It was one of the most disturbing experiences of my life. Seeing the Mormon family I loved completely change once I brought up some criticisms and questions about the Mormon church, after months of being an investigator. It was like watching a trained instinct kick in. The fear that overcame them, the shame, guilt, their whole bodies racked in a visceral response.

Seeing compilations of Mormon leaders telling these harmful messages over, and over, and over, and over, finally gives me a lot of empathy for that poor Mormon family. They had no choice but to react in the way they did. They were powerless to entertain any negative thoughts about the church or its leaders. These conference talks had done incredible damage to their ability to think critically about the church, so that it had become essentially non-existent.
malkie
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by malkie »

Lots of victories for Satan in these quotes.

I find it amazing that almost all of the previous LDS apostles and prophets were completely unaware that Jesus was offended by the designation of members by word "Mormon".

Pres. Benson even sang the song "I Am a Mormon Boy" in the April 1989 General Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY7n3GuiX5E

and the church website still has the words of the song: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/mus ... y?lang=eng
Father Francis
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Father Francis »

The misrepresentation of critics and those that leave the church is frightening. That's the kind of talk a cult uses. That's why there are refugees (the Lost Boys for example) from the FLDS church. Not just frightening, but heartbreaking. It certainly is on a personal level for me. Within my family I lucked out being the youngest of seven children and the last to leave the church. We're all apostate heathens, yet our parents couldn't disown us all. Still, I lost my closest childhood friends and many in the neighborhood I grew up in won't even look at me 21 years later.

The thing is, I wasn't led astray by anything written by a critic. I didn't read any of that kind of thing until a few years after I left. I've always been a voracious reader. My mom has a degree in reading and writing education, so I learned to read before I was five years old. By second grade one of my favorite reads was the Encyclopedia Britannica, I actually wrote my first report in second grade. It was about the sun. I've always loved science.

Anyways, I was devout LDS in my teenage years. I read every church approved book about history and doctrine I could get my hands on. It was that coupled with what I learned in history and science classes that made something click. Either history and science were way off base, or the church was not possibly true. Not to mention the inconsistency and dubious nature of church approved LDS history. I know some people reconcile those things and remain active members. My high school physics teacher used to give talks at morningsides about it. It wasn't the desire to sin that led me astray. I'm not a ravenous wolf trying to lead others away from the church. Even when asked I don't talk to "concerned" members about why I left. I just tell them I'd rather not talk about it. I don't like inviting confrontation. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I just don't see it making a difference. I guess that's why I like to read this forum.

I'm also sick of the "they left the church, but can't leave it alone" nonsense. Just yesterday I got a letter from my local bishop. Not sure how he knows who I am and where I live. Maybe my mom gave it to her bishop, wouldn't be surprised. The letter basically told me it's not to late to accept the restored gospel. Who can't leave who alone again?
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Kishkumen
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Kishkumen »

So, in other words, don’t criticize the leaders, or you are a bad person.

😂
“Academia’s continual campaign to disregard or neglect the classics is a sign of spiritual decay, moral decline and a deep intellectual narrowness running amok in American culture.” ~ Cornel West
malkie
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by malkie »

Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 10:57 am
So, in other words, don’t criticize the leaders, or you are a bad person.

😂
There can be no valid criticisms of the leaders.
Philo Sofee
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Philo Sofee »

malkie wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:07 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 10:57 am
So, in other words, don’t criticize the leaders, or you are a bad person.

😂
There can be no valid criticisms of the leaders.
So that must mean they already see themselves as perfected Celestial beings... perhaps a case of jumping the gun a bit soon? :D
Father Francis
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Father Francis »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:50 pm
malkie wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:07 pm

There can be no valid criticisms of the leaders.
So that must mean they already see themselves as perfected Celestial beings... perhaps a case of jumping the gun a bit soon? :D
Not if they've had the Second Anointing. A foregone conclusion in their minds
Philo Sofee
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Philo Sofee »

Father Francis wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:21 pm
Philo Sofee wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:50 pm

So that must mean they already see themselves as perfected Celestial beings... perhaps a case of jumping the gun a bit soon? :D
Not if they've had the Second Anointing. A foregone conclusion in their minds
They probably gave it to themselves so they think it is still legitimate. :lol: After all, if the Brethren are going to stall, is there any reason for us to? NO! Lets give us our 2nd anointing and move onto greater perfection! Oh the glory eh?
BeNotDeceived
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by BeNotDeceived »

Given all the truth and facts I've learned about this so-called 'church' since 2013, nothing has been more absurd and ridiculous than Russell M. Nelson demonizing the word 'Mormon' and dubbing it a 'victory for Satan'. :lol: I guess all the past 'prophets' of the 'church' were under Satan's influence using the term 'Mormon'. You can't make up this stuff. :oops:
Philo Sofee
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Re: Fear, vilification, and othering as a persistent General Conference theme

Post by Philo Sofee »

BeNotDeceived wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:59 pm
Given all the truth and facts I've learned about this so-called 'church' since 2013, nothing has been more absurd and ridiculous than Russell M. Nelson demonizing the word 'Mormon' and dubbing it a 'victory for Satan'. :lol: I guess all the past 'prophets' of the 'church' were under Satan's influence using the term 'Mormon'. You can't make up this stuff. :oops:
Exactly. The apostasy within Mormonism began with Joseph Smith himself and has gone strong up until a couple years ago, and then, all the sudden, the prophet got hisself a revelation finally! And it was to demonstrate that all Mormon prophets have been led and influenced by Satan, but Russell M. Nelson is finally the first "true" prophet. See? God really does work by miracles!
What to do about the Book of Mormon The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has not yet been revealed however...
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