I have already written about a phone call I made to the First Presidency last year, sharing my concerns that they were already congratulating Joe Biden on his “victory,” while the election was still being legally contested and was yet uncertified. The response from their spokesperson was not a reassuring one. His focus was on the Church keeping their 501c3 status and on making sure they were friendly with the potentially new administration, rather than defending election integrity in an election that will be proven to have been stolen. (One source of many)
The Church, led by the Brethren, have continued in a trend that seems afraid of accidentally offending the current powers that be. Or worse, they’ve simply become woke. A recent recording of Elder Rasband highlights this concern.
There are some concerning statements Elder Rasband makes in the above recording. On one hand he notes that “most members” are obeying the prophet’s “request” to wear a mask and to get vaccinated, and that it’s a small minority that they are disappointed with for not complying. He states he would not hesitate for a second to call such people to repentance.
My questions to Elder Rasband are:
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you upset that some are choosing to not obey the request?
- If vaccinations work so well, then why be concerned about the small minority who decide not to get them?
- If most LDS are getting vaccinated, then why still wear masks and social distance?
- Do you really believe in a person’s right to choose?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you NOT allowing unvaccinated young adults into BYU Hawaii or the MTC?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you telling missionary applicants they will NOT be able to serve a foreign mission without the vaccine?
- If it’s just a “request” then why are you shaming members who don’t wish to wear a mask anymore at Church? Vaccinated or not?
Elder Rasband suggests that “among his Brethren” they have discussed how sad it is that those who refuse to comply with their counsel are failing in such a small thing–that this represents us failing a test of some sort in their minds, he says. Imagine if they asked us to do some great thing! he adds.
I am personally troubled by Elder Rasband’s tone and disagree with what seems to be the Brethren’s approach. My 18-year old son’s friends, for example, who are opposed to the vaccine, are now all relenting because they want a chance to serve a foreign mission and don’t want to do “home MTC.” What happens if they don’t get called to serve a foreign mission even after getting vaccinated? Will they feel betrayed? Or if they have medical complications caused by the vaccine? Abandoning their strong feelings and concerns over the untested and unproven vaccine is the end result of the Brethren’s coercion. The vaccine, they say, is just a request. Most of these friends of my son have had CoVid already and many medical professionals and scientists are warning that getting the vaccine if you’ve already had the virus, and are young, is an unnecessary risk. (one source here of many)
We’ve heard much from the Brethren of late of following the “wise counsel of world leaders and of scientists,” by complying. “Be good Christians.” “Good global citizens.” (Source) The implication of course is obvious and their clumsy attempt of pretending like everyone’s agency is actually being respected rings hallow.
I find myself far more inspired by the reaction of indignant citizens like the ones in the videos below. Lest we forget, their responses, as intense as they may be at times, represent a far more normal reaction to having your freedoms stolen from you than the current response of the Brethren, who, in my view, are yet again on the wrong side of this debate.
Many of these people being labeled as crazy, insurrectionists are on the right side of liberty and will be on the right side of history. It is people like them who are actually showing courage. It is many of these so called “insurrectionists” who are JUST, in my view. May there be many more of them, rather than more blind followers. There is no virtue in blindly following men who are trusting in the arm of the flesh. It is not their title that matters at this point, it is their fruits. We must discern and choose for ourselves what is right.
A friend reminded me today of the account of a young LDS man who the Church excommunicated for standing up for truth. It was only decades later after his death that he was vindicated. 16-year-old Helmuth Hubener was tortured and killed for standing up against Hitler and the Nazis while the Church did nothing to save him. (See the story of Helmuth Hubener)
Today these same types of forces are overtaking our freedoms yet again. History does not always repeat itself, but it always seems to rhyme. We will see one day who was on the right sides and wrong sides of this battle for human liberty. Will we be valiant or will we simply follow the seemingly wise counsel of our leaders? I say be valiant.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. San Diego is rising 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/LzRrGVQNy5
— rooted.wings (@BrittRooted) August 18, 2021
Matt Baker from Ocean Beach, completely unhinged. pic.twitter.com/095LweLKgZ
— The Activated Podcast (@TheActivatedPod) August 17, 2021
And here’s a normal reaction from an honest citizen regarding the recent election coup. I wish the LDS Church leaders were still encouraging its members to do as this man. It seems like the days of American Patriotism and the encouragement of civic duty are no longer being emphasized by the Brethren.