Playing a role of leader in the Mormon Church

I’ve come to the conclusion, based on some small understanding of psychology, that the way individuals react in Church callings in leadership responsibilities is based primarily on their own individual sense of humanity & internal feeling of compassion for others.

However, the desire to serve a role of ‘the leader’ can sometimes over-power that natural, internal characteristic of human decency & consideration for others. This happened to me when, as a Bishop, I verbally & emotionally attacked my brother and his wife for being apostate & trying to teach others about the ‘uncomfortable origins & history’ of the Church. My role as ‘protector of the Church’ became paramount & all my compassion for my brother was over-powered by the emotion driven thinking of the amygdala response. A flight/fight primitive brain function.

Many priesthood leaders exercise unrighteous dominion over the members, because they are relying on ‘inspiration’ from God & ‘feel’ justified in their actions because they are acting on God’s will. After all, God is guiding them!!!

I now believe that this ‘inspiration from God’ is just the individual’s own intuition or sub-conscious mind feeding him this ‘inspiration’. So it’s from himself, but he’s convinced it’s from God, so can be completely confident it is the correct thing to do, & arrogantly force his will on others.

My Stake President ‘bigged’ me up so much that the ward members were told to follow me just like they would the Prophet, because God was leading me & I was receiving revelation to lead the Ward! And they were told that the Lord wouldn’t allow me to lead them astray!

That probably explains why they got so worried when I resigned as Bishop and became apostate! Oops! Own goal for them!

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4 Responses to Playing a role of leader in the Mormon Church

  1. Brian says:

    During my divorce my bishop acting on ‘inspiration’ acted one way with my ex and in a completely inconsistent way with me. I was told i could not get my temple recommend. The only reason given was, i was going thru a divorce. She was allowed to have hers while going thru the same divorce! When I questioned why i was given absolutely no response. He clammed up and that was the end..his word was God’s word and therefore final!

  2. Cindi says:

    This was a great post. We left the church last year. We had experienced plenty of bishops who exercised unrighteous dominion. It’s interesting that you say, “the way individuals react in Church callings in leadership responsibilities is based primarily on their own individual sense of humanity & internal feeling of compassion for others.” It makes me wonder how many bishops have a sense of humanity and have compassion! But, when we left the church, we did indeed have such a compassionate bishop. I heard that he had told others that it didn’t matter if they didn’t believe, they could still have temple recommends and were welcome in the church. For us, though, the years of power abuse, along with the truth about the history of the Church, and that the church was not working as a community for us meant it was time for us to leave.

  3. Travis says:

    When I think of the times I have gone to my Church leaders concerning the questions of Church history and theology, I have been received, generally, not by a minister, but by an apologist in debate. The Minister is there to listen, comfort, help and guide. The Apologist is there to tear down your thoughts, declare a truth, and then, at the end, invite you to join. The apologist is not concerned with being compassionate, and I’m afraid that too many leaders become so defensive of the LDS theology that they can’t be ministers. In fact, they aren’t trained to be ministers, so why expect something different? That’s what I have learned. This is not to say that all LDS Church leaders are without a heart, but simply to say that empathetic listening, reflective communication, exploratory questioning etc. are not as inherent a skill as we think. If we are taught to go to local leaders to find answers to doctrinal questions, then local leaders will need to be trained on how to answer those questions as ministers, not apologists.

  4. Pingback: “The Church Is True, But The Members Aren’t!” – Why We Fear & Hate The Truth | Steve Bloor's Blog

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