A few short months ago, this blog posted "A Tale of Two Isms" juxtaposing different styles of authority, where they differed, but how they had similar modalities. Before getting to deep into this post, the reader may want to visit or revisit that post.
Because things are changing.
While there are podcasts running at full speed dedicated to the dangerous cultishness of LDS Mormonism, and we still have classical blogs and sites that push post-Mormon narratives, conditions in the world with Covid-19 and politics have slowly moved authority structures into greater alignment. In doing so, the traditional adversarial relationships have also been shifting. The medical emergency climate has sucked up so much oxygen that traditional discussions have taken a backseat to where one stands on all things Covid-19. This is evidenced by people like progressive post-Mormon Dr. John Dehlin telling people to "follow the Prophet" when it comes to taking the Covid-19 vaccine, but remain critical when it comes to LGBTQ issues. One wonder if and when the LDS Church aligns itself with all things progressive, if those that have the largest axes to grind . . . will drop their axes.
It's becoming clearer that politics and culture are everything. It's trumping Mormonism and post-Mormonism alike. The authority structuralists are aligning. So are those who believe in freedom, sovereignty, transparency, and having access to all information are likewise banding together. It sort of reminds one of this scripture from the Book of Mormon from 1 Nephi 14:10
And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
This seems particularly true in the West. Let's give a few examples.
Covid-19 - The LDS have taken a hard line on following the guidelines of the CDC, particularly as Russell Nelson was a doctor in his past career, and so people are keen to see him as a medical prophet. He even prophesied about home church and taking your vitamins. The Church recommendations on Covid were applauded by progressives who also see value in centralized state authority and governance by experts as much as it was from those that wish to give up their spiritual sovereignty to a man and will do whatever he asks, even if they believe it may kill them in the end.
Social Justice - While the Church is still operating within a "religious freedom" framework and opposes full church participation from those that are LGBTQ, the stress from outside efforts, legal pressure, and inside cultural pressure from places as "conservative" as BYU, the Church has moved slightly toward this position and many predict that it's only a matter of time that it will drop its guard on this issue and fully align with other social justice churches and raise the proverbial rainbow flag.
Racism - The LDS Church has already taken steps to align itself with the anti-racism message of Black Lives Matter, even though at a legal entity, the organization is aligned with neo-Marxist rhetoric and has campaigned against the traditional family.
History - The LDS Church dropped its Mormon identity with the purging of that title, along with focusing more on modern teachings from its leaders and less teaching from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. It is also dropping it's Moroni brand from the temples. It's not hard to see that they may eventually go the same direction as the Community of Christ in shoving its history under the rug completely, while begrudgingly accepting the secular narrative on its history. This will be applauded by most progressive post-Mormons, especially if it comes wrapped in social justice knees bending.
Globalism - The LDS Church has been slowly creeping into the world of world politics and culture with its participation in the United Nations. Sharon Eubanks of the General Relief Society Presidency has been advocating for the values that are placed front and center within the context of global social values, which have traditionally been against those values of the Church. Russell Nelson has been rebranding his own title as a Global Faith Leader to be in line with other United Nations nomenclature.
In 2022, the post referenced at the start is vindicating the challenges with the authority of science and experts. This video showcases the about-face made by the CDC, who advocated for strict measures, including forcing masks and vaccines, all the while promising complete safety to those that took such measure. Now we know that those promises are "grey" as the CDC Director, Rachel Walensky notes. This very large and very intrusive and very damaging mea culpa is a canary in coal mine for other issues that are claimed to be scientifically off the table for discussion, all the while, people in power are crowing about combating "misinformation" and "disinformation." What does this imply for the more benign appeal to authority that is often made with respect to Mormon/LDS History, even organic evolution and the broader Christian/agnostic debates that employ such appeals? Seeing how broken the knowledge dissemination system is, how it is littered by politics, money, greed, avarice, it makes one even question moon landings and round earths, allegorically speaking. The only science that seems to be available to us is either the science we can empirically test on our own, or by digging into the actual data of every scientific paper, without going through any filters, and doing that wholly impossible work on your own. People have either thrown up their hands and judge from a place of automatic skepticism, or they take the stamps of expertise and fact checking and judge from a place of trust. That is happening regardless of whether the topic is religious or secular.
With respect to LDS History, the project Hemlock Knots has pushed Mormon history researchers to eschew books, blogs, podcasts, slick tracts like the CES Letter, and even backing off such primary sources as the Documentary History of the Church, muckraking tell-all book accounts like Howe's Mormonism Unvailed, to stick with analyzing journals and newspapers that are contemporaneous. Interestingly enough, when one does this work on their own, one often comes to some very different conclusions and recognizes that the historical narrative we see today is often like case law, and not the Constitution.
Dehlin has recently sourced an insider, commenting that the Church is splitting into thirds within some of the standard Utah congregations: 1) Those who are critical of the Church but remain in order to help drive it further into alignment with the wider authority structures being set up by the Left 2) Those who are alarmed at the Church's bowing to certain scientific, political, and social authority structures and therefore see it losing its legitimacy with respect to driving or navigating the Gospel of Jesus Christ and finally 3) Those who are clinging even more tightly to the doctrine of prophetic infallibility, and are risking entering a Jonestown mentality of prophetic obedience. The post-Mormons seem most alarmed by those on the conservative end of the spectrum that appear to be falling into neo-fundamentalism camps.
The compartmentalization is getting difficult to ignore. While many are sniffing out the anachronisms in Mormonism, Mormon and Christian prophecy, on the other hand, the world seems to be heading down a road toward vindication of the prophecy parts of the Book of Mormon dealing with a Great and Abominable Church. Such a global church seems likely, given efforts sponsored by the Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council. The world is lining up between Babylon and the Beast, Global Reset International Fascism versus the National Fascism of China and Russia. While we do not yet have what would be considered a "mark" of such beast, we can certainly see it in beta testing in places like China and Australia, Canada, and even the United States.
Many "quacks" from 20 years in Mormon fringe circles were sharing dreams of civil war in the United States, and war with Russia and China. Much of that was considered Cold War holdover subconsciousness. Now it's quite possible that civil wars and Sino-Russian axis battles could occur within a few months. This may simply be coincidental, or prognosticating the leaves subconsciously, we are yet here on the cusp of such an event. We are staring down the real possibility of civilization ending or civilization shifting moments in the next decade. It's also possible and likely that it's just another shift. Jesus doesn't come. But the totality of such events seem to align very well within the global narrative one sees in scriptural prophecy. We may not have found horses in pre-Columbian America, but we have found Great and Abominable Churches with their investments in the Great Reset, Big Pharma, and support such things as social credit scores so that people cannot "buy or sell" without worshipping Beasts. If the future according to the Book of Mormon is looking more likely, it's the possible the past may catch up as well.