This post is not intended to be a historical look at changes that have happened in the church throughout the years, but more of experiential observation.
Over the years, change in the Church has been much more top-down driven from the leadership to the members. But I think, to some extent, it is changing to a more bottom up orientation and I don’t think it is overall positive for the Church.
When you look at changes that have occurred in the Church, they have been mainly administrative and organizational, rather than doctrinal. There have, of course, been some major doctrinal changes, such as the discontinuance of Polygamy and the lifting of the Priesthood ban. I am sure there are others that can be cited as well.
Some examples of the administrative changes have been organization of the Priesthood Quorums, the move to the three hour block and the grand-daddy of them all, correlation.
These changes, while always having an effect on some members, tend to be taken in stride by most.
But, for those expecting major changes coming from Church Headquarters, I am not sure it will come. For example, some want a change so that women have a much greater role in leadership, even the Priesthood. One of the rumored changes that have been around for awhile has been the elimination of Sunday School. There have been stories of wards that have tested the concept, but I have never seen anything that indicated this is true. Maybe, it is, but I’ve never seen evidence.
This brings me to my main point of this post. That change will occur from the bottom up actions of the membership. But I observe that in some cases, the fundamental truths of the Church are being cast aside and as a consequence, the practices of the members will change as a result. If that happens, there is a natural change in the commitment of the members and the Church, will change.
Here is a short list of some things that will cause the changes:
- Lack of belief in “One True Church.”
- Lack of belief in Historicity of Book of Mormon
- Lack of attending Church Meetings regularly
- Won’t accept callings
- Won’t pay tithing
- Selective belief in fundamental doctrines like First Vision
- Lack of Sabbath Day observance
- Lack of overall reverence in Church Meetings, Dress standards, eating and drinking
- Lack of youth participation
- High, High inactivity for various reasons
I hope I am wrong about this. But if you go by what is said across the Bloggernacle, the change has already happened.