I am trying to keep to a once-a-week blog post, generally on Sunday evening. The passing of President Hinckley is surely sad news for all Latter-day Saints, and for many of us outside the Church who have followed his career. I suppose everyone expects Pres. Monson to become the new Prophet, although this is tradition more than a hard and fast rule.
Pres. Hinckley, in his efforts to put the best face on the Church, had been criticized for some of his public comments. His thoughts on eternal progression, for example, raised quite a howl. I remember thinking at the time that, if I were in his position, speaking to a national audience on, say, Larry King Live, I likely would also have been hard put to come up with a good answer. (Of course, I’m not a prophet…<grin>)
Instead of being critical, I prefer to think of these events as part of what may be the deconstruction of Mormonism — the reduction of a unique faith to another nearly-evangelical religious group. Of course, this will never be the whole story — Mormonism will always stand alone in its unique expression of religious thought. You can’t distance yourself from the genius of Joseph Smith without suffering some identity crisis.
But the recent changes to the introduction to the Book of Mormon are, I fear, yet another effort to move the Church toward center, and require less of its members in terms of radical belief and practice.
What think ye? How far do you think the Church will go in its efforts to achieve acceptability in the Christian community? And how far do you think the new Pres. Monson will go in furthering this deconstruction?
Your thoughts are welcome.