071: Spirituality of the Rising LDS Generation Part 3 — Loyd Ericson on “Estrangement and Reconciliation”

October 17, 2007
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In part three of our series on the Spirituality of the Rising LDS Generation, we interview Loyd Ericson — UVSC student of philosophy. In this interview Loyd discusses his estrangement from, and eventual reconciliation w/ the LDS church. He also discusses his views on the LDS church’s approach to public relations and war.

For more on Loyd, check out his blog here.

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6 Responses to 071: Spirituality of the Rising LDS Generation Part 3 — Loyd Ericson on “Estrangement and Reconciliation”

  1. Carson
    October 17, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Great video. I love how Loyd thinks things out clearly and can articulate his reasonings for his faith crisis and struggle through the crisis to come out with faith in the end.

  2. Peter
    October 19, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Well done Loyd! I think you expressed yourself very eloquently and I have the same wish-list about the future of the Church. I think you have a really healthy balance going of looking objectively and challenging everything to see if it holds up while not loosing your connection with the scriptural/spiritual realities and sense of wonder and respectful awe at what the Church or Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith’s ministry mean and are. The Church will only fill the earth when we can cope with every kind of person and their perspectives and doubts patiently and supportively, and I’m so pleased to see that the trend is going that way where I live in England and in Utah as the new generation comes through a lot more clued up about diversity and the more connected world we live in. Your church leaders seem to have had just the right approach rather than condemning or making ignorant assumptions about you – a big step forward compared to the way things have been and I’m sure still are in some places.
    The ‘Truth’ has nothing to fear from challenges, and looking at the gospel and institution from different perspectives isn’t dangerous to truth as long as people keep their spiritual lines connected and, as you exressed, keep in mind that the instututions of the Church and the people who try their best to run them are not perfect and shouldn’t be expected to be, and can always be improved. This is pure Mormonism – we are on a journey of progress and improvement collectively as well as individually.
    It often takes far longer than we’d like, but the Church does get round to making the course corrections that seem obviously needed to most thinking members. I’d say about 70% of my wishlist when I was on my mission in the late 1980’s has been fulfilled since – e.g. apostles emphasising need to listen meaningfully to women’s voice in councils of the Church, dumping the culture of obsessing over every tiny interpretation of obscure predictions about the last days by anyone apostle or not in the Church who made some, abandoning the ‘one size fits all’ missionary discussion treadmill for truly connecting with investigators where they are and teaching them accordingly. These are remarkable and radical changes and have taken us forward by leaps and bounds.
    As you rightly say, the huge elephant in the room is black priesthood holders. The leadership know there’s something massively incongruous here and have made an effort in that they celebrated the 25th anniversary big time and now talk about the issue as if they have made the huge apology to the black members and lost potential members that is called for and are moving on, but they still haven’t had the moral courage to do the scarey bit in between and take responsibility for the racist debacle. It will happen I have no doubt, but first they will need to educate the membership generally and overtly to understand that things are slightly more complicated than ‘the prophets and apostles are always infallable’. This would be a big change in approach for them and potentially open up all kinds of pandoras boxes because it will have to include saying ‘This doctrine taught by apostles as revelation from God for most of our history wasn’t revelation after all’, which I’m sure is why they’ve chosen not to go there yet. Currently more experienced members just have to work that out for themselves, and they do, and it doesn’t make them fall apart spiritually or stop believing other revelations and doctrines. It does make us frustrated though!
    As well as being taught by authorised leaders, we can also recognise truth because it is always self-evident and feel right and congruent with Christ’s teachings. We don’t just rely on a prophet saying it to us, so I think the membership are generally sophisticated enough to accept that on this issue things went seriously off the rails without assuming everything else did.

    It’s getting even more embarrassing as time drags on without an open and honest assessment though. Vague and frankly disingenuous public statements by current leaders distancing themselves from past practices and doctrines about polygamy and black priesthood are just not intellectually honest when we ALL know what was taught and why for decades and decades. Once again at Church this week I felt sick after my sacrament was passed to me by fantastic young black priesthood holders and my black elders’ quorum teacher had to once again teach a lesson citing the 1978 revelation as a lovely example of revelation in action while I sat next to a black man who had been confirmed that day. My toes curled in horror as my dear friend and teacher had to explain how he has, frankly far too generously, come to terms with the whole sorry situation while I just felt my heart screaming “NOOOO!! You all deserve a tearful, grovelling apology that you even have to think like that. YOU aren’t the ones who should be making the apologies or excuses for this madness!”
    In trying with the best motives I’m sure to emphasise that God wants black priesthood holders, the constant referals in lesson materials to 1978 are I think just rubbing salt into the wounds until the appropriate and honest confession and apology has been made – then we can talk about it as having properly healed an injustice. How many millions of people of all races have been damaged and had to suffer or been kept out of God’s kingdom because of that apalling racist doctrine? It wasn’t a ‘new’ revelation to give the gospel and its priesthood to black people – as we were taught in Gospel Doctrine not so long ago, God literally threw Philip at the Ethiopian eunuch to get the ball rolling with sending the gospel into black Africa right at the very start of the New Testament Church’s missionary efforts, and Joseph Smith ordained Elijah Abel, a black man, who served as a missionary and leader and was commemorated clearly in the Church News during the anniversary hoohah. 1978 was a Restoration of priesthood to black men, not an innovation…..but cross as I am about it all, I’ve learned that the right thing gets done in the end, so I’m pretty sure it will. In the meantime, from what I’ve seen so far in my life in the Church, the average member just gets on with being and leading in the Church as they feel is right with the attitudes they feel are right, and the General Authoritues eventually catch up! That’s the joy of our Church – WE are the Church. Everyone who turns up at a local ward and serves have far more control over what our ongoing experience of it and beliefs about it are than even the prophets, so as long we are in touch with their own common sense as well as the Spirit we’ll keep moving forward and getting better at what we do and understand.
    These interviews are fantastic – what a great way to move things forward. Thanks everyone who has shared their experiences.

  3. Kevin
    October 20, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Loyd,

    Thank you for sharing with us. You’re a terrific example of the potential of individuals to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ on their own terms. That you chose to return in spite of the messiness that remains speaks well of you. As we edge closer and closer to the 2nd Coming I believe the Church increasingly needs members who build their testimonies around God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the restoration through Joseph Smith—and let the pieces fall where they will.

    A final, unrelated note. The patriarch in my stake is named Loyd Ericson, also. He too, is a deep thinker, a realist and one of the friendliest souls I know.

  4. Aubrey
    October 23, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    Great job Loyd, you’re such an excellent speaker.

  5. James truth
    March 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    DONT ERASE THE TRUTH Why can a lie be shown but truth be erased?
     Loyd is a liar. First example is I was in his ward when he went to uvsc 
    and there was maybe one or two guys with a fohawk with hilights. Loyd is the type 
    of person that says he like to give another perspective and when he does
    and another person dares to have another perspective that is designed to
    cast doubt on his perspective as he did to the initial perspective he gets mad
    offended leaves and then declares to the world how he has been made an outcast. 
    What he does can easily be summed up in the story of Cain and Abel. When God 
    asked for  a sacrifice, Cain gave him not what God wanted but what 
    he thought God wanted. When it was clear his sacrifice was unexceptable he was upset
    and sin was at his door. Loyd makes his self the spokesman for those that
    do not give God what he wants and attacks those that do. This does no good for those
    that are in need of change and repentance. If Loyd recieves phone calls once a month from
    friends leaving the church it is because Loyd aligns himself with those that are weak and are 
    struggling which is a warning. He calls his work project mayhem which no true disciple of Christ
    would do. He seeks contention but withers at the truth. the priesthood was restored to various people 
    according to the will of God. Just because men wanted did not mean men got. Just as Gentiles 
    did not have the priesthood at certain times so it was with black men which are for reasons to whom the 
    priesthood belongs has. It is written that the first shall be last and the last shall be first as it is written this 
    prophesy is fullfilled with the priesthood being given to worthy Black Men. Those that seek to confuse these 
    choice and chosen men with accusations of racism are no friend to rightous Black Men that love their people 
    and are in positions to be a chosen tool in bringing their brethren unto salvation. To put peoples salvation at 
    risk to sow seeds of contention because without being an oxymoron there is nothing is wrechid. To call the prophet 
    a racist. Know he not that Brother Brigham is with Brother Joseph are planning for their brethren. Now that the fulness of
    gospel and the Priesthood of God is here for all worthy men to have and proclaim and do the will of our Father listen not to hypocrits that sow seeds of contention but bless and gather our fellow brethren. The people of the world do not need apologies but all need to apologize. All need the truth not hypocrits that sow disent that mix philosofy gotten from a brad Pitt movie with the word of God. Loyd may be permitted to walk his thin ice of disent and rebellion to the judgement bar but unless he repents his false teachings will condem him and those that give credence to his false teachings. He will pay for those he confuses or the savior will. Loyd fights the side of the adversary seeking to enslave rather then free and until he can learn to be humble and obedient to his true spiritual leaders and not socialist quacks at universities he will gain no true wisdom and no true knowledge into the mysteries and mind of God. His teaching are lies mixed with truth to fool the weak out of their salvation. If you had problems with the church loyd would be your friend but if you had opinions otherwise he would say you have made him an outcast.  

  6. March 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    John Dehlin just notified me about this comment. I never thought that there would be anyone in any of my wards that hated me enough to say something so vile. I’m a bit hurt to be honest. If I had done anything to personally offend you, I am deeply sorry.

    I wish you would have at least had the courage to say this to my face when you knew me instead of waiting to post this here under the cowardice of anonymity.

    I’m interested to know where this is all coming from.

    You can e-mail me at loyd (a t) ericsonhome (d-o-t) net

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