Two LDS Queries

From the StarTribune:

“Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday he was “deeply ashamed” of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church and will work to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood, addressing the toughest issue facing the American church as he began his first papal trip to the United States.”

I was a little surprised at first to hear sexual abuse described as the “toughest issue” facing the Catholic church. My initial reaction is that it seems like such a straight-forward issue because it has nothing to do with Catholic doctrines or beliefs. Catholics and Non-Catholics alike agree that sexual abuse should stop. I think the mormon in me is expecting the toughest issue to involve formal opposition to specific doctrines or official practices.

QUERY: What’s the toughest issue facing the LDS church in the United States? (or that the church will face in the next 20 years)?

Reacting to changing gender roles in society and accomodating women who desire to both be mothers and have careers? Accomodating women who feel marginalized by the patriarchal order of church heirarchy? Adopting policies regarding homosexual members of the church that are appealing to all parties? Academic honesty while reacting to the ever-increasing body of academic literature regarding LDS history? Retaining a unique identity as the “only true church” while simultaneously trying to minimize differences between the LDS church and mainstream christian churches?

I was also taken back by the phrase “deeply ashamed” used by the Pope. I’m not sure what sort of translational or editorial freedoms have been taken here (does the pope speak english? I don’t think so….) but this is not a phrase I have ever heard from an LDS President. It seems to imply some sort of responsibility or regret, and it seems so foreign from anything you would ever hear a modern president of the LDS church say.

QUERY: Can you think of any circumstances under which President Monson would publicly announce that he was “deeply ashamed” of something happening within the church?

I would enjoy hearing any reactions to these two queries, should you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts.

1 comment to Two LDS Queries

  • Interesting questions. As you've said before the LDS experience is different for everyone. Different individuals will likely consider different issues to be tougher than others. As for the church leadership, I think the challenges you mentioned will continue to be difficult for them (especially gender roles). I also think as the church becomes more international it will be increasingly difficult to keep unity with-in the church (both doctrinal and cultural).