Last week a provocative blog post listed the following scenarios and asked what faithful Mormons would do if presented with the following situations:
You are on a jury. The defendant is accused of heinous crimes. The evidence clearly indicates that he is guilty. The defendant is Mormon. The prophet comes to you and tells you to vote innocent. Would you do it?
The Church comes to you and asks for all of your “excess” possessions to pay off the prophet’s personal debts. Would you do it?
You hear two Mormon men talking about how they tortured two defenseless Muslims traveling though the Uintah National Forest. Your Bishop tells you to tell no one about it. The FBI comes to you and asks you if you have heard anything about the murders. Do you remain quiet?
The prophet declares he has received holy revelation which states that all LDS women must marry at the age of 16. You have a daughter who is 16. Do you sign for her to get married?
The prophet tells you that anyone who harms the Mormons is guilty of a sin against God punishable by immediate death. What do you do?
A new prophet is put in place. He makes some bold and aggressive statements. Certain people publicly disagree with him. One by one, those people meet fatal accidents. What do you do?
Those scenarios were a bit over the top for modern Mormons to relate to, but we do have other areas which test our faith. Back in the ‘60s, a Democratic friend threatened to leave the Church if Ezra Taft Benson ever became the prophet. She remains an active member. Fortunately, President Benson refrained from extreme political rhetoric once he assumed the mantle of the prophet which probably saved my friend’s membership.
It’s not necessarily bad when a prophet institutes a policy causing Latter-day Saints to do a 180 on their thinking. A lot of latter-day bigots had to change long-held beliefs about racial inferiority following the 1978 revelation on extending priesthood to all races. Even Utah legislator, Chris Buttars, made an about-face from his gay-hating rhetoric this year after the Church issued a statement supporting civil rights for gays and Lesbians.
But none of the above scenarios holds a candle to the test of faith that could rock the Church to its core. What if the prophet asked members to vote for a Democrat?