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Thread: The Russell Nelson Era: Changes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The Russell Nelson Era: Changes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    (Just thought I’d see what it’s like to type out the entire name.)

    There have been so many. We had 2-hour church today. It was great.

    I heard today that all stake auxiliary leader positions will be abolished. That would be great, IMO.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I was going to make a list, then ran across a thread on CS, which includes:

    “No LDS President has implemented more changes in his first year of service than has Pres. Nelson.” True in my lifetime. It’s been amazing to watch and experience.

    Others we’ve seen:

    1. HT/VT “retired,” succeeded by ministering.
    2. Consolidation of high priest groups and elders quorums
    3. Church cutting ties with the BSA
    4. Dropping or de-emphasizing “Mormon” in official references to the church
    5. Two-hour meeting block
    6. Change in youth progression between SS classes and AP quorums
    7. Significant changes to temple ceremonies
    8. Online Mission calls
    9. Consolidated service/proselytizing mission recommendation process
    10. Sister missionaries can wear pants!

    I suspect that many of these have been in the hopper for awhile but we needed a healthy POTC fire them to be approved. I think they are all great changes.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post

    I suspect that many of these have been in the hopper for awhile
    Re the word "Mormon," a friend up mine high up told me that this has been an issue for Pres. Nelson for 30 years, and Pres's. Hinckley and Monson mostly ignored him.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    Re the word "Mormon," a friend up mine high up told me that this has been an issue for Pres. Nelson for 30 years, and Pres's. Hinckley and Monson mostly ignored him.
    That was wise on their point. That is the only change that I think is a head scratcher.

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    That was wise on their point. That is the only change that I think is a head scratcher.
    I think RMN gave a talk about the subject while GBH was president. Seems like it was not urging any change, but just reminding people what to emphasize. Nothing like his recent sweeping instruction. I was struck by his adamant position. I think the greatest impact will be on members.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    That was wise on their point. That is the only change that I think is a head scratcher.
    Notable in its absence on LA's list: The Church's continued meddling in affairs of a social nature, and for a change, one overwhelmingly sought after by the people, namely medical marijuana. Some things will never change.

    Incorporating the Lord's demands into the name change was insulting to anyone with a brain. What, Jesus Christ can tell Nelson what his Church should be known as, but can't offer a clear path to medical marijuana that satisfies the desires of the people? What happened to agency? What happened to keeping the government out of people's affairs?

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    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Notable in its absence on LA's list: The Church's continued meddling in affairs of a social nature, and for a change, one overwhelmingly sought after by the people, namely medical marijuana. Some things will never change.

    Incorporating the Lord's demands into the name change was insulting to anyone with a brain. What, Jesus Christ can tell Nelson what his Church should be known as, but can't offer a clear path to medical marijuana that satisfies the desires of the people? What happened to agency? What happened to keeping the government out of people's affairs?
    You also forgot doubling down on discriminatory policies and teachings about the LBGTQ community.
    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  8. #8
    I have no idea what the long term impact will be, but our sacrament meeting and sunday school hour were much more full yesterday. Sunday school featured a packed house when usually its maybe 3/4, closer to 2/3.

    We were scheduled to get the dreaded (for me) 1-4 slot this year but instead we have 12-2.

    I get a kick out of the fact that both the Mormon and ExMormon subreddit groups had threads detailing changes to the Temple ceremonies. The person on the Mormon subreddit thread started with something like "it started with a message from the first presidency asking us to not detail the changes" and then they proceed to list all of them.

  9. #9
    Add the "Come Follow Me" home study curriculum to the list - which also is a significant change to the longstanding FHE program. We had a GA come to our Stake Conference in early December and basically said, "Do Come Follow Me on Sundays or a day that makes sense for you, Monday night can be reserved for fun activities as a family."

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Add the "Come Follow Me" home study curriculum to the list - which also is a significant change to the longstanding FHE program. We had a GA come to our Stake Conference in early December and basically said, "Do Come Follow Me on Sundays or a day that makes sense for you, Monday night can be reserved for fun activities as a family."
    Right. Forgot that one. I’m not sure if we are typical but once our kids got into middle and high school it was impossible to get together consistently on Monday nights anyway. This change adapts to the realities of most families’ lives.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    I have no idea what the long term impact will be, but our sacrament meeting and sunday school hour were much more full yesterday. Sunday school featured a packed house when usually its maybe 3/4, closer to 2/3.

    We were scheduled to get the dreaded (for me) 1-4 slot this year but instead we have 12-2.

    I get a kick out of the fact that both the Mormon and ExMormon subreddit groups had threads detailing changes to the Temple ceremonies. The person on the Mormon subreddit thread started with something like "it started with a message from the first presidency asking us to not detail the changes" and then they proceed to list all of them.
    I was released as gospel doctrine teacher and now teach the oldest sunday school class...we had 19 kids age 15+ and I think the actual number was closer to 25 or so if they all came. We joked that I got better numbers in this class than in gospel doctrine. Should be a fun year though.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by UBlender View Post
    Agree with this completely. Up until very recently I was a Bear Den Leader. Maybe my ward is unique, but people really checked out on scouting after the change was announced. I know that there are logistics and you can't just quit something like that without some time for transition, but my view is that keeping it going for 2019 was a miscalculation. We have the one family in our ward with four boys that LOVES scouting. The called the husband as the cubmaster (after he had just been released from that calling a year earlier) and the wife as cub committee chair (while she still serves in the primary presidency). It was the classic "no one else is willing to put any time into this dying program" move.

    Anyway, there's probably more going on behind the scenes than I realize, but I think they should have announced the change with 6-8 months to transition. If they couldn't wrap everything up in scouting ore have the new program ready by the end of 2018 they should have held off on announcing the change.
    My oldest is turning 8 this year and we had a little "Baptism preview" this past week. The cubmaster came to talk to the kids about cubscouts and mentioned that the church is planning to implement a program that looks a lot like scouts at the cub scout and boy scout level.

    I think President Monson was probably the last link between the church and the scouts. From my pov, people had started to sour on the BSA more and more over the years. The annual "friends of scouting" grew tiresome.

  13. #13
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    I think President Monson was probably the last link between the church and the scouts. From my pov, people had started to sour on the BSA more and more over the years. The annual "friends of scouting" grew tiresome.
    In our ward the older boys who had gotten close to having their Eagle are hustling to get that done. At the lower levels parents and boys are already looking ahead.

    I was on the executive board of our BSA council (the token Latter-day Saint member) and did not like what I saw. I loved what Scouting could be at the local level, with leaders who had the right dedication and attitude; but at the council level it was all about egos and money. Bad combination. I also saw the budgets. The LDS units brought in over 50% of the Friends of Scouting money. I can't help thinking that the BSA's recent announcement that it is considering bankruptcy is partly due to the LDS units walking away from Friends of Scouting.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post

    I can't help thinking that the BSA's recent announcement that it is considering bankruptcy is partly due to the LDS units walking away from Friends of Scouting.
    That has to be true. The big difference between boy and girls scouts is that the girl scouts have a stable income stream from cookie sales, in addition to donations.

  15. #15
    I give my full throated approval to the general direction of the church. I hope the progress continues at a blazing fast pace.

    Curiously, I don't think my HS aged son has spent 2 minutes on scouting, yet I was called as cub scout helper -- although it was made crystal clear they didn't give a rip about the scouting program, and my calling was really just to have a fun activity once or twice a month and be a good role model. Zero emphasis on scouting. My wife's call as RS instructor was eliminated.

    This move to Salt Lake in a ward with a deep, deep bench has been wonderful -- I can't remember the last time she didn't get piled on -- church wise.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

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    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    I give my full throated approval to the general direction of the church. I hope the progress continues at a blazing fast pace.

    Curiously, I don't think my HS aged son has spent 2 minutes on scouting, yet I was called as cub scout helper -- although it was made crystal clear they didn't give a rip about the scouting program, and my calling was really just to have a fun activity once or twice a month and be a good role model. Zero emphasis on scouting. My wife's call as RS instructor was eliminated.

    This move to Salt Lake in a ward with a deep, deep bench has been wonderful -- I can't remember the last time she didn't get piled on -- church wise.
    I'm one of two elders quorum instructors, which means that now at most I teach once a month. There are two emeritus GAs in the quorum, several former bishops, and one former mission president. It is a fun and easy group to "teach," because I learn a lot more than I teach. Light years away from our former ward, and it would be very different anyway now with the 2-hour block. My wife is the stake nursery leader (a calling I didn't even know existed) and I'll bet that calling will be going away soon.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    In our ward the older boys who had gotten close to having their Eagle are hustling to get that done. At the lower levels parents and boys are already looking ahead.

    I was on the executive board of our BSA council (the token Latter-day Saint member) and did not like what I saw. I loved what Scouting could be at the local level, with leaders who had the right dedication and attitude; but at the council level it was all about egos and money. Bad combination. I also saw the budgets. The LDS units brought in over 50% of the Friends of Scouting money. I can't help thinking that the BSA's recent announcement that it is considering bankruptcy is partly due to the LDS units walking away from Friends of Scouting.
    I never felt comfortable donating to friends of scouting, despite pleas from local leaders. I always felt that too much would be going to pay the salaries of useless higher ups at the BSA. Your post in a way validates my concerns. I think the church has the ability to administer a far more efficient program and keep the great things about scouting.

    FWIW, I was the venture/varsity scout leader a few years ago, and our kids invited many local kids in the neighborhood who had no affiliation with the LDS church to come to camp and those that came seemed to have a great time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    How could continued anything make a list of changes?
    Which is why the first thing I pointed out was that it was notably absent.

  19. #19
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The Russell Nelson Era: Changes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    I’ve been thinking about this and it occurs to me that with so many people freed up from eliminated callings, and so many temples being built, the newly-available members might be specially asked to serve in temples. The amount of temple work getting done could skyrocket. That is fine with me. Working in the temple is actual service, much more than sitting in a meeting.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 01-09-2019 at 06:09 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #20
    The church already has the perpetual education fund to help those in need attend college or work training. I think it just needs a little more emphasis placed on it.

    The church will not change the BYU model, it is exactly what they want it to be.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    The church will not change the BYU model, it is exactly what they want it to be.
    Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean I can't lament the downsides. And the church knows this model comes with downsides. They just think the upside is worth it.

  22. #22
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    The church will not change the BYU model, it is exactly what they want it to be.
    Kind of a finishing school for the faith's best and brightest (mostly those growing up outside Utah)? Also a place to meet and marry, and to form connections that will last after school? And a way to establish an employment network for LDS grads? All of those are extra-educational goals for BYU, it seems to me. One danger is the creation of a sort of elitist aristocracy. That would include a lot of young people who think they're better than others, and that they graduated from an elite school (which is hard to get into because so many highly-qualified LDS kids want to go there, not necessarily because the education itself is elite). When I am recruiting law students from both Utah and BYU I find excellent candidates at both places and we have hired many from both, but I am often amused at the way BYU law students talk about how elite their school is.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Kind of a finishing school for the faith's best and brightest (mostly those growing up outside Utah)? Also a place to meet and marry, and to form connections that will last after school? And a way to establish an employment network for LDS grads? All of those are extra-educational goals for BYU, it seems to me. One danger is the creation of a sort of elitist aristocracy. That would include a lot of young people who think they're better than others, and that they graduated from an elite school (which is hard to get into because so many highly-qualified LDS kids want to go there, not necessarily because the education itself is elite). When I am recruiting law students from both Utah and BYU I find excellent candidates at both places and we have hired many from both, but I am often amused at the way BYU law students talk about how elite their school is.
    Why do you hire them? You are less petty than I am.

    Why do you say "mostly those growing up outside Utah"? I assume BYU still has a pretty high percentage of Utahns?

    I went hiking with a church friend on Sat. Some of his kids have gone to BYU. He says at graduation, they have spouses and kids walk along with the graduate? "Walking with Skyler is his wife Brianna and their two kids Jaxsyn and Maydyn." Is that real? How did I never hear about that before? So, yeah, a place to meet and marry is a big part of it all.

    I think the elitist aristocracy is real in the years immediately after high school. I've had missionaries use false modesty and say they go to school in Utah instead of saying they go to BYU (as if it were AJ telling people he goes to school in Boston). But the aristocracy dies out shortly after college age, when said elitist is the 2nd counselor in the ward sunday school presidency. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had almost no BYU alumni in my church leadership.

  24. #24
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Why do you hire them? You are less petty than I am.

    Why do you say "mostly those growing up outside Utah"? I assume BYU still has a pretty high percentage of Utahns?
    Gotta hire the best candidates regardless of sports biases! Insufferable people are a small minority at BYU, IMO (the biggest chunk of them are among the diehard sports fans). Being from Utah or SoCal is a negative factor for BYU applicants, I’m told.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Gotta hire the best candidates regardless of sports biases! Insufferable people are a small minority at BYU, IMO (the biggest chunk of them are among the diehard sports fans). Being from Utah or SoCal is a negative factor for BYU applicants, I’m told.
    Yes, but sports biases should be factored in when determining "best candidates", right?

    I'm sure being from Utah is a negative factor in admissions, but I'm also reasonably certain that the Utah percentage at BYU is still very high.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Kind of a finishing school for the faith's best and brightest (mostly those growing up outside Utah)? Also a place to meet and marry, and to form connections that will last after school? And a way to establish an employment network for LDS grads? All of those are extra-educational goals for BYU, it seems to me. One danger is the creation of a sort of elitist aristocracy. That would include a lot of young people who think they're better than others, and that they graduated from an elite school (which is hard to get into because so many highly-qualified LDS kids want to go there, not necessarily because the education itself is elite). When I am recruiting law students from both Utah and BYU I find excellent candidates at both places and we have hired many from both, but I am often amused at the way BYU law students talk about how elite their school is.
    But it could still provide all of those benefits without the insanely low tuition (at least for those who don't need it). You'd still fill up the enrollment numbers with plenty qualified kids (although it would drop a little bit, but not much, if the rich kids had to pay full freight), but then could use whatever's left for kids around the world who really need it.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Kind of a finishing school for the faith's best and brightest (mostly those growing up outside Utah)? Also a place to meet and marry, and to form connections that will last after school? And a way to establish an employment network for LDS grads? All of those are extra-educational goals for BYU, it seems to me. One danger is the creation of a sort of elitist aristocracy. That would include a lot of young people who think they're better than others, and that they graduated from an elite school (which is hard to get into because so many highly-qualified LDS kids want to go there, not necessarily because the education itself is elite). When I am recruiting law students from both Utah and BYU I find excellent candidates at both places and we have hired many from both, but I am often amused at the way BYU law students talk about how elite their school is.
    Unfortunately, the idea of continuing to fund BYU in this day and age when the Church is truly a world-wide Church is the result of too many in higher Church leadership who view themselves, probably unconsciously, as an aristocracy. There was a group in our prior Stake who dominated Stake leadership at all levels for many, many years who others in the Stake joking referred to as the Kennedys. They were primarily an East HS cabal.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    They were primarily an East HS cabal.
    Ugh, the worst kind of cabal.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    They were primarily an East HS cabal.
    That sounds more like natural selection as opposed to some sort of cabal.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    The church already has the perpetual education fund to help those in need attend college or work training. I think it just needs a little more emphasis placed on it.

    The church will not change the BYU model, it is exactly what they want it to be.
    The perpetual education fund is all but dead. It was a loan program and the loans did not get repaid. Maybe BYU tuition breaks should be a loan program.

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