Virtual Reality –
I spend a lot of time hanging around the DAMU lately, and it’s easy to become focused on all the things going on in the LDS church “out there”. Bishops and stake presidents doing dumb and abusive things, people’s mission presidents who were jerks, stuff GAs said twenty years ago, etc.. Likewise it’s easy to get wound up about things Brigham Young said 150 years ago, Bruce R McConkie said 30 years ago, President Hinckley said 10 years ago, etc..
As we consider what the LDS church means to us, it’s important to be aware of those other things, while at the same time staying centered on the church we actually belong to. i.e. the ward we attend, the bishop and stake president we have, as opposed to the ones people elsewhere have, etc.. The people we know, and the experiences we have personally. With the internet it’s possible to hear all the off the wall stories happening in 20 or 30 wards while overlooking the perfectly normal things happening in the other 25,000 or so every day.
Rather than getting wound up over what Brigham Young said, focus more on what the current GAs had to say at the last conference. This is the church we actually belong to, not Brigham Young’s church.
Which is not to say there aren’t objectionable things happening today. There are. The modern church is way too focused on obedience and institutional survival rather than dealing with the diverse issues the membership is increasingly going through. It’s just a question of dealing with our personal issues and not the vicarious issues of other people, which may actually be exceptions to the rule and not situations we face at all.