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Thread: NY Times Article on Dissaffected Swedish Area Authority

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    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Default NY Times Article on Dissaffected Swedish Area Authority

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/us...nted=all&_r=1&

    Greg Prince, a Mormon historian and businessman in Washington who has held local leadership positions in the church, shares Mr. Mattsson’s doubts. “Consider a Catholic cardinal suddenly going to the media and saying about his own church, ‘I don’t buy a lot of this stuff,’ ” Mr. Prince said. “That’s the level we’re talking about here.”

    He said of Mr. Mattsson, “He is, as far as I know, the highest-ranking church official who has gone public with deep concerns, who has had a faith crisis and come forward to say he’s going to talk about it because maybe that will help us all to resolve it.”
    Anyone heard of this guy?

    Kind of surprised he didn't know about some this stuff.
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    I could see where a Swedish member could be heavily reliant on official church publications. Just because of a lack of information in his own language.

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    This is tremendous. What a great man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I could see where a Swedish member could be heavily reliant on official church publications. Just because of a lack of information in his own language.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I could see where a Swedish member could be heavily reliant on official church publications. Just because of a lack of information in his own language.
    This is right on the money. Curious, intellectual types in the US have ready access to all kinds of information to the church: correlated, faithful but uncorrelated, (relatively) impartial, critical, openly hostile, etc. It's tough enough for those that have access to all sorts of information to navigate through this stuff. But for foreign members that have relied on correlated materials and suddenly come upon stuff on the internet, it has to be devastating.

    Correlation may be a necessary evil for administrative purposes, but doctrinal and historical correlation will likely present challenges for generations to come as more savvy foreign members come to question and then resent the simplified and highly misleading version of LDS history that they get from official manuals. I would be surprised if Elder Mattsson were the first Area Authority to go through a crisis like this--although he may be the most public in recent memory--and he certainly won't be the last.
    Last edited by Harry Tic; 07-21-2013 at 05:04 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Anyone heard of this guy?

    Kind of surprised he didn't know about some this stuff.
    He was recently interviewed on mormon stories...

    http://mormonstories.org/hans-mattsson/

    I haven't listen to this yet, however.

    Your surprised when the church does things like takes out any mention of polygamy in their official Brigham Young manual?

    There is some very interesting data on why folks leave the church in this presentation...



    It seems the rate of people leaving the church corresponds to high speed internet and social media deployment as pointed out in one of the slides in this presentation. Maybe he is a late adopter in this technology.
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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando View Post
    Cheap furniture, cheap testimonies
    Funny.

    So is this Grant Palmer's doubting GA?

    We had an interesting conversation about the 1978 revelation while driving in the car yestereday. Noah was pretty open about how the whole practice bothered him, quoting many of BY's zingers on race. Our children are totally blown away that such a thing happened. It's hard for them to process this part of The Church's history given the world in which they grew up and were raised. I welcome these opportunities and am happy for them.

    During a recent leadership training broadcast I recall Elder Nelson discussing this matter in what I thought was a fairly reconciliatory fashion. People were given the opportunity to submit questions, any questions, before hand and this was raised. It was refreshing to hear that. When I get home I'll try to dig up my notes.
    Last edited by myboynoah; 07-21-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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    This explains why the Mormon Expositor podcast has such a high Swedish listenership. They mentioned it a while back.

    And if this is Grant Palmer's seventy, really, Grant?
    Awesomeness now has a name. Let me introduce myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheidippides View Post
    This explains why the Mormon Expositor podcast has such a high Swedish listenership. They mentioned it a while back.
    And why Marlin K. Jensen and Richard E. Turley Jr. held a special fireside for disaffected Swedish LDS Saints.
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    I skimmed through the transcript of Marlin Jensen and Richard Turley speaking to the Swedish members. My first impression was how unprepared they were to answer their questions. Most answers boiled down to 'we're not sure', or 'the evidence is murky'. When that seemed to not satisfy the questioner, they fell back on their own testimony. I assume this method will work with people who want to stay connected to the church. But it certainly won't help others who just want to follow where they feel the truth leads them.

    Marlin Jensen seems like an honest and caring man. He related how disturbed his daughter was after attending the temple for the first time. So I'm glad he acknowledges the existence of problems in the church.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    I skimmed through the transcript of Marlin Jensen and Richard Turley speaking to the Swedish members. My first impression was how unprepared they were to answer their questions. Most answers boiled down to 'we're not sure', or 'the evidence is murky'. When that seemed to not satisfy the questioner, they fell back on their own testimony. I assume this method will work with people who want to stay connected to the church. But it certainly won't help others who just want to follow where they feel the truth leads them.

    Marlin Jensen seems like an honest and caring man. He related how disturbed his daughter was after attending the temple for the first time. So I'm glad he acknowledges the existence of problems in the church.
    Looks like they were facing at least one hostile questioner, if not more. I say that in their defense, but I think poor Bro Turley in particular came off as quite evasive. My reading, of course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando View Post
    Cheap furniture, cheap testimonies
    haha
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheidippides View Post
    And if this is Grant Palmer's seventy, really, Grant?
    Doesn't seem like this is the guy, but who knows.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    I served in Sweden and know of Hans Mattson, but never met him. This falling away saddens me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveCoug View Post
    I served in Sweden and know of Hans Mattson, but never met him. This falling away saddens me.
    It seems like he's still in the church.

    “I felt like I had an earthquake under my feet,” said Mr. Mattsson, now an emeritus area authority.
    The Mattssons have tried other churches, but they are still attached to their Mormon faith.
    So Russell...what do you love about music? To begin with, everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveCoug View Post
    I served in Sweden and know of Hans Mattson, but never met him. This falling away saddens me.
    What do you mean falling away??

    It isn't a falling away to value truth more than group think and loyalty to an organization that misleads its members. What Hans Mattsson has done is honorable.

    It takes courage to do what he did. I wouldn't dare do it--to publicly face scrutiny and be rejected by friends and others who value the Church ahead of the truth.

    Truth should always come first. The Church and the truth can coexist, but it will take a courageous church leader to make the appropriate changes. When a church leader is willing to stand up and say: "Joseph Smith did some very bad things." Or when a manual says: "Joseph Smith was rightfully put into Carthage Jail for criminal destruction of a printing press." --Then we will know that the Church values truth above propaganda.

    The Church will be a better place when it reaches this point.
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    I think this whole missionary/Facebook movement will only hurt the church. A whole bunch of bad information will be passed around at a quicker rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerCoug View Post
    Truth should always come first. The Church and the truth can coexist, but it will take a courageous church leader to make the appropriate changes. When a church leader is willing to stand up and say: "Joseph Smith did some very bad things." Or when a manual says: "Joseph Smith was rightfully put into Carthage Jail for criminal destruction of a printing press." --Then we will know that the Church values truth above propaganda.
    So you're saying the destruction of the press wasn't a removal of a public nuisance as sanctioned by the Nauvoo Charter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando View Post
    So you're saying the destruction of the press wasn't a removal of a public nuisance as sanctioned by the Nauvoo Charter?
    No it's just that the destruction of the printing press was done really poorly.

    Also, the Times article is linked on the front page of RealClearPolitics.com.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post



    Anyone heard of this guy?

    Kind of surprised he didn't know about some this stuff.
    When I was a missionary 97-99 he was in the Mission Presidency. I didn't have a ton of interaction with him, but I was always impressed by him. His twin brother was a Stake President and his older brother was the HPGL in the ward that I served in for 8 months. I felt very close to his brother and family.

    In my opinion the Mattsson family is the preeminent family in Sweden, especially Gothenburg. Generational family. Very good, kind smart people.

    I have been aware of Bro Mattssons concerns for about 2 years. I have actually spoken to several members there. Some had left the church and some were concerned about how many people from their Stake were involved. I will not name names, but several people that I respected have left.

    I understand their concerns. It is a big deal to the church there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerCoug View Post
    What do you mean falling away??

    "Joseph Smith was rightfully put into Carthage Jail for criminal destruction of a printing press." --Then we will know that the Church values truth above propaganda.

    The Church will be a better place when it reaches this point.
    MMMMmmmm I think you missed the boat on that point. Given the history of persecution, the Nauvoo charter, and the clear conspiracy to murder him as a part of the arrest, you are going to be waiting a while to hear that apology. I have also heard many people say Joseph was a man with many real flaws. I don't believe they are just paying lip service when they say that.

    I understand the bigger point of your post though. I think it is an interesting time in the church. I am in my 30's. Perhaps I am just growing up and I did not see what was always there, but I have several lifelong friends who have left the church. I did not notice this happening in my ward growing up with people who seemed to fit the stereotypical Mormon mold. More people are willing to ask questions and expect answers. It must be a tough time for the guy. I hope he finds peace and happiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    No it's just that the destruction of the printing press was done really poorly.

    Also, the Times article is linked on the front page of RealClearPolitics.com.
    And it probably was the proximate cause of his murder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    And it probably was the proximate cause of his murder.
    If it wasn't that, it would have been another thing. I think it was becoming a tinderbox and economics was the real issue pissing everyone off. The press did provide the spark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northwestcoug View Post
    And it probably was the proximate cause of his murder.
    For two seconds, remove JS's religion out of it. The narrative becomes a powerful and allegedly abusive mayor who destroyed a printing press that was printing unflattering things about him, tried to run away, turned himself in, and was lynched. Puts a different spin on the story. More Boss Tweed than Beelzebub.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
    MMMMmmmm I think you missed the boat on that point. Given the history of persecution, the Nauvoo charter, and the clear conspiracy to murder him as a part of the arrest, you are going to be waiting a while to hear that apology. I have also heard many people say Joseph was a man with many real flaws. I don't believe they are just paying lip service when they say that.

    I understand the bigger point of your post though. I think it is an interesting time in the church. I am in my 30's. Perhaps I am just growing up and I did not see what was always there, but I have several lifelong friends who have left the church. I did not notice this happening in my ward growing up with people who seemed to fit the stereotypical Mormon mold. More people are willing to ask questions and expect answers. It must be a tough time for the guy. I hope he finds peace and happiness.
    I think his larger point is that this isn't necessarily a falling away--maybe it's a step up. I think you'd admit to this possibility, but even your last two sentences belie what is an annoyingly common assumption among church members. This may not be a tough time for the guy--maybe it's the first time he's really at peace in a long time.
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    Maybe. It sounds like he is in turmoil to me. I am not saying in or out of the church. My buddies and I were all kind of in tough places figuring out what church stuff means to us at the same time. It really sucked. My two really close friends and I took different paths. I have stayed active, my 1 buddy tells his bishop and wife he does not believe but attends for his wife, and the third may have pulled his name. I think all 3 of us are happier now. I don't know if you know what I mean, but that feeling of being in limbo is really hard to deal with. Maybe this is the Sweedish guys end game, but I read the article to say he was still figuring things out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
    Maybe. It sounds like he is in turmoil to me. I am not saying in or out of the church. My buddies and I were all kind of in tough places figuring out what church stuff means to us at the same time. It really sucked. My two really close friends and I took different paths. I have stayed active, my 1 buddy tells his bishop and wife he does not believe but attends for his wife, and the third may have pulled his name. I think all 3 of us are happier now. I don't know if you know what I mean, but that feeling of being in limbo is really hard to deal with. Maybe this is the Sweedish guys end game, but I read the article to say he was still figuring things out.
    My situatio is similar to yours. And we aren't alone. Every once in a while I run into an old friend just to find out they have more or less left the church. All have stated that they are happier because of it. Myself included. The way the church handles apostacy only pushes people farther away leaving them with a bitter taste towards the church.

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    Senior Member myboynoah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieIam View Post
    The way the church handles apostacy only pushes people farther away leaving them with a bitter taste towards the church.
    What? We quit sending the Home and Visiting Teachers?
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    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieIam View Post
    My situatio is similar to yours. And we aren't alone. Every once in a while I run into an old friend just to find out they have more or less left the church. All have stated that they are happier because of it. Myself included. The way the church handles apostacy only pushes people farther away leaving them with a bitter taste towards the church.
    Ah... The bitter apostate. You are hitting all the stereotypes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Ah... The bitter apostate. You are hitting all the stereotypes.
    Here is a fun tangent for discussion on apostates and/or lds church failings:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias


    Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University, co-authored the idea of the negativity bias in a literature review in 2001 entitled, “Bad Is Stronger Than Good”. This review went through a whole gamut of psychological contexts from first impressions, close relationships, memory, self-identity and more, where a negative bias was apparent. Included was an experiment by Kahneman and Tversky where their participants gained or lost the same amount of money ($50). The findings concluded that people are more upset about losing money than are pleased gaining money. The review also found that negative events have longer lasting effects on emotions than positive events do. We also tend to think that people who say negative things are smarter than those who say positive things. This makes us give more weight to critical reviews and insights
    You can go in all sorts of directions with it:

    1. The LDS Church needs to own the "turds" in the history/doctrine/etc because that will ultimately dilute the negativity of finding the first "turd."
    2. Apostates fixate on the negative because it is "more addictive" than the positive.
    3. Negative arguments and critiques "seem smarter," but are they really?
    4. The LDS church needs retool the (perceived?) negative practices that it persists in such that there is minimal negativity.

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