I don’t know what the prevalence of the name John on Mormon Matters says about this site or our parents’ predilection for monosyllabic British boy’s names, but here is yet another John weighing in on John Dehlin’s invitation to turn this site into the mother of all Mormon blogs: Great idea!
In fact, I began thinking that perhaps John’s ground rules for participation might not be bad to extend to active LDS Church participation as well. Imagine a liberal Mormon as Gospel Doctrine teacher, a fundamentalist in charge of the food storage committee, orthodox Mormons as nursery leaders, ex-Mormons as activity committee chairs to keep the parties interesting, and moderates in the bishopric to, well, moderate.
Seriously, though, wouldn’t adopting John’s call for Mormon Matters permabloggers to have a “deep and abiding love for Mormons and Mormonism” be a great minimum standard for active participation in local LDS congregations? And I’m talking comfortable participation, not the “handle with care” category reserved for many of our LDS friends currently considered outside the norms of American Mormon culture.
I know this might seem far-fetched, but isn’t it within our reach to achieve a church culture change like this within the next generation or two in the U.S. at least? Elder Ballard may not have had Mormon Matters in mind when he called on the faithful to contribute to public discussions of the gospel, but his statement surprised me for it’s grasp of reality, and indicates to me that the leaders of the Church are doing some hard thinking about how to adapt Church practices to the needs of the current generation.
And just so you think it’s possible to be inclusive, I’ll tell you that a polygamist comfortably participated in my ward’s elder’s quorum for several weeks before moving out of the ward boundaries!
Yet Another John (Nilsson)