2 Hours With The Bishop

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

I planned on writing up a summary of what happened with the meeting with Mom's bishop, but I just don't have the time. With this investigation going on, working 8 days in a row without a day off, and getting everything online, there isn't enough time in the day.

Instead I am going to post exactly what I posted on PostMormon.org when I got home last night. It is a quick little summary, and I promise I will update it when I have a break from working non-stop. Again, I can't reply personally to the comments, but I still appreciate them!

Many of you know that my Mom and I had a meeting with her Bishop and Relief Society President today. Mom and I planned well in advance and wrote down many of the questions we planned on asking the night before (even though I was dealing with the stalker guy mess... didn't want him to interfere with business at hand).

The meeting went well, and everyone was very respectful. I think I gave them the impression that I was more on the fence than I really am. The bishop probably thinks he still has a chance to "save" my Mom and I. At the end of the meeting Mom gave him some paperwork to him, he thinks it's just some of the things we have been studying, but little does he know that her resignation letter is included in that envelope! I know without a shadow of a doubt that he will be shocked beyond belief when he sees that resignation letter... he has no idea it's coming.

The people that attended the meeting were very polite, and when they came into Mom's home they commented on how warm the home felt, and how full of the spirit it was. It made me chuckle.

After I introduced myself (because I don't belong to there ward and they have no idea who I am besides her daughter) and told them why I started researching church history. The bishop then asked if we could start the meeting with a prayer, and since it was Mom's home the decision was hers. She was a little on the fence about it, but allowed the prayer. I was sitting on the floor because I had papers everywhere, and I moved around a lot to kind of hint that I wasn't praying with them. I also didn't reply with "amen" with everyone else. I was a little concerned Mom would be upset with me for doing that, but I felt it was important to be myself the entire time.

I started telling my story again, about why I was at the meeting with Mom's bishop and RS president instead of my own. I made sure that they understood that Mom and I were not there to insult them or their beliefs, and the reason we asked for the meeting with them is because we respected them. They warmed up to me a little after that.

I started at the beginning of my list of questions, and asked about the translation of the Book of Mormon. I asked them why I wasn't told the correct story about JS using a seer stone in a hat, and why the church still uses paintings that show JS and his scribe with the plates in front of him. He admitted that he knew about the seer stone, and the RS president looked as if she had been punched in the gut. I can't say that she added much to the conversation because she was usually quiet as a mouse with her arms folded in her lap, her eyes looked glossed over, and Mom and I could swear she was stoned. Of course she wasn't, I am not implying that... just saying that she certainly seemed a little out of it.

The bishop completely skirted around the question of why we were not shown and taught the truth about the translation. He kept referring to scriptures and saying that some of the details were not important because it's more important for people to know other things. I wanted to raise the bulls**t flag there, but felt it important to remain respectful because my Mom lives in a very small community, and ward members are already treating her badly and I didn't want to make that worse for her.

We then asked question after question. I asked a lot of questions about women in the church, and how much it bothered me that women were not considered equal in the eyes of the church. He assured me over and over again that it wasn't a question of equality. I dropped it... again, to stay respectful. We did make it clear that we were not really satisfied with that answer, and that we could all agree to disagree.

We then brought up our questions about the celestial kingdom and how polygamy plays a part in that. One of the things that surprised me the most was that he didn't deny that polygamy would take place in that particlular kingdom of heaven. Instread he told us his opinion (he made sure to say it was just his opinion) that more women than men would make it to the celestial kingdom because men are, and I quote, "Jerks." I smiled and grinned when he said that, and asked him why men and women needed to be paired up in heaven at all. He didn't really have an answer for that, instead he mentioned that we would all understand when we get there. We again dropped it, and agreed to disagree.

The conversation stayed on topic with why women couldn't hold the priesthood. He told us that (again, just his opinion) that its just the way God wants it. He was quite frank in saying that it would take major revelation that God wanted women to hold the priesthood for anything to change. We all know that revelation won't happen because the people that supposedly receive revelation are men.

The questions then turned to changing doctrine. They downplayed that completely, saying that God gives us revelation when we need it, pretty much a standard reply for any leader in the church.

Racism was the next topic. I explained that I had read many quotes from many prophets and apostles saying horrific things about people with dark skin. He knew immediately that these quotes came from the Journal of Discources and commented that the JoD wasn't considered scripture. He stated the over-used answer of, "He was speaking as a man, and not as a prophet." The bishop said that God didn't want blacks to hold the priesthood at the time because the church was being run out of so many places that it would just make it harder on them if they accepted African-Americans at that time. He felt the church would have been persecuted more if they went too far out of the norm. Right.

I immediately then asked how you can tell if a prophet is speaking as a prophet and not as a man. How do you tell the difference? He said the spirit would speak to you and let you know. Dropped it.

I will add more tomorrow, maybe Mom will post more when she gets home. I have a very, very early work day ahead of me tomorrow and I am exhaused from spending hours upon hours on the road.

Love ya all,