Reform exclusive truth & priesthood claims

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Reform Action #3 of 20   (see overview page)

Reform the church’s unscriptural exclusive truth & priesthood claims.  Stop promoting false dichotomies in our truth claims. Maintain the multidimensional scriptural metaphors without imposing rigid church-wide interpretations for them.

Reasoning:

Like good music, the scriptures are purposely written in metaphor so they can be interpreted differently depending on where an individual is in their life and progression. We need to stop “adding to or taking away” from those metaphors by creating such rigid institutionalized interpretations of those metaphors. Current interpretation is not the only interpretation. For instance, the scriptures teach clearly that the temporal church and priesthood are a type, symbol, imitation or attempted copy of the ‘true and living church’ which exists in heaven (Alma 13:16, D&C 77:2, Matt 6:10, Heb 9:23–24, D&C 128:12–13, 52:14–see this article). A misinterpretation of D&C 1:30 and a handful of other scriptures have caused us to disregard (D&C 10:67–68, Moroni 7:16–17, Mark 9:38–40, etc.) which teach clearly that all who are repentant, moving toward Christ,  do good & preach Christ are part of “His Church”. (see this article: Re-examining what LDS scriptures say about the ‘Only True Church’ doctrine for an in depth look at the scriptural and doctrinal evidence).  Likewise D&C 86:8–10 (see also D&C 88:17–18, & Abr 1:4, 2:11) as well as a host of other scriptures show clearly that our traditional idea that the priesthood was “lost” during the great apostasy is not entirely true. (see this article for clarification or how Mormons are not the only one’s with valid priesthood and that the keys restored to us, deal with our particular mission only).  Reform our teachings to properly portray the church’s role in working WITH the other members of Christ’s “spiritual church” to help to gather all our christian brothers together in Christ (Eph. 1:10, D&C 27:13).  Also reform our teachings on priesthood elitism to more fully align with the more humble approaches taught in D&C 121.  Root out and put an end to the cult-like practices which result from these misunderstood doctrines (persecuting and deriding other Christian churches because of our traditional teachings that they are part of the Church of the devil, marginalizing, demonizing and shunning those who leave our communion because of our false teachings that leaving the LDS church means going to a lower heaven than those who stay, raising our leaders to god-like status and vilifying those who speak against them, etc..).  See this video for details on many of our cult-like practices in need of addressing.

Stop promoting the false dichotomy of “either Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true… and thus its all true, or it’s all false” (see here for examples). All church’s and earthly organization’s believe and promote both truth and error. At least three other major religious founders claim to have seen God and/or Jesus within a decade from Joseph Smith; Siyyid Shírází (Founder of Bahá’í Faith; 8 million adherents), Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad (Aḥmadiyya Muslims; 20 million adherents), Hong Xiuquan (prophetic icon of Chinese millennialism).  All prophets are fallible and run the risk of introducing negatively oriented material and concepts into their revelations, practices and doctrine, all receive revelations as they are able and reveal heaven as they see it “through a glass darkly” (1 Cor 13:12).