But I have frequently seen a trend among members now, especially younger members, which perverts the gospel from the good news that we can be redeemed from sin, to the not-so-good news in which false principles pretending to be gospel truths turn the scriptures around into a means of fostering us in our wickedness and saving us in our sins.
A recent example of this was provided in an online discussion my wonderful wife Diane participated in. It was in a facebook group for Mormon moms. One sister had posted her strong feelings of discomfort and dismay about going back to work after having just had her baby. My wife Diane wrote the following in response:
"I would say to listen to those feelings and pray about them. They are very likely from the Holy Ghost. Many modern day prophets have counseled the women to stay home with their little ones if at all possible.
It is true that the Lord will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. When the mother does not work the family often sacrifices bigger houses, nicer cars, bigger vacations, music lessons and sports and activities for the kids. But when a mother can stay home, she provides a spiritual strength that she cannot when she is away working. She provides nurturing. She keeps contention low and she builds strong relationships among her family that she cannot do if she is not there.
So with mothers fortunate enough to a have a working husband and live in a nation where one income is possible with sacrifice, there is a choice to be made. What do you want more for your family?
There are single mothers and mothers in countries so poor their families would be homeless if the mother did not work. That is not the same as having a smaller house or less music lessons, or hand me down clothes. In those cases, I am sure the Lord provides spiritually for the families where the mother really cannot be there to do so.
But again, we cannot expect the Lord to do for us what we can do for ourselves. If, even with some financial sacrifices, the mother can stay home, but chooses to go to work for a nicer home or music lessons, or funner vacations, or even a bigger savings account, I doubt the Lord will provide the same miracles He would for those mothers who need to work to sustain life."
The responses to her comment were mean spirited from square one. The first sentence someone posted was "Frankly - you can't say what the Lord will and won't bless."
The responders gave a fine illustration of this new popular gospel, which is really just the antithesis of the gospel dressed up in gospel clothing.The principles they taught or appealed to were these. I will leave these principles in their own words
1) You can't know what the Lord will and won't bless
2) That is not your right, you are NOT perfect, and you do NOT get to judge others
3) That is a really unfair judgement!
4) You are very closed minded, and you do NOT know what is or isn't best for others!!!!
5) You cannot give a blanket statement about conscience... That really has nothing to do with it.
6) I believe in a relationship with my Heavenly Father, and being led and guided by Him through the Spirit. He is the only one that gets to tell me (or anyone) what the right decision is for their family!
7) He doesn't want families going into debt, so if that means mom needs to work, he will not bless them less for that decision.
8) Last time I checked, a mother helping to provide for her family was not something to shame.
Let us go over the articles of faith of this new religion.
The message of (1) "You can't know what the Lord will and won't bless" is to make all the scriptures and all the words of the prophets simply null and void. What statement of truth stands once we decide we start to lend credence to such thinking? Yes, sure, it's adherents want to claim that the point is that individual circumstances may require some adaptation to figure out how to best follow the commandments. But it is really used as a cannon to blast any plain teaching of truth out of the sky. Once it is no longer OK to teach general principles or state general truths without accounting for every possible way good principles may collide, then we have rendered the prophets silent by placing an undue burden on anyone who simply wants to teach saving truths or echo their words.
The message of (2) "That is not your right, you are NOT perfect, and you do NOT get to judge others" is that we cannot teach any truth unless we are perfect. It isn't judging that the new gospel wants to put to rest, it is teaching of plain truth. And to do so, it calls teaching plain truth "judging".
The message of (3) "That is a really unfair judgement!" is the same as (2). The message is that a man doesn't judge himself by his works. Rather anytime you teach the truth, especially to someone who is disobeying it, or considering doing so, then you have offended God because you judged that person. Apparently we need to abandon our missionary program.
The message of (4) "You are very closed minded, and you do NOT know what is or isn't best for others!!!!" is to appeal to our modern highly relativistic education in which we learned how critical it is to be open minded. Everyone that isn't is wrong, apparently. Which is ironic, because nobody that is believes they are really right. It also claims that when we stand by what God commands then we are offending him, or at the least displaying horrible stupidity, because "we do not know what is best for others".
The principle of (5) "You cannot give a blanket statement about conscience... That really has nothing to do with it" is one of the keystones of modern religion. These days, feelings of discomfort are a vice that we need learn how to quell and ignore, since in the new gospel bad feelings are either just misaligned chemicals in our brains which need medication or they are simply us being too hard on ourselves. They are no longer our conscience telling us right from wrong.
Principle (6) "I believe in a relationship with my Heavenly Father, and being led and guided by Him through the Spirit. He is the only one that gets to tell me (or anyone) what the right decision is for their family!" is that we need not be concerned if we feel guided to disobey the commandments, prophets, and the scriptures because that is just the Holy Ghost.
The point of (7) "He doesn't want families going into debt, so if that means mom needs to work, he will not bless them less for that decision" is really to pretend there is no alternative to breaking another commandment (i.e. what about living more frugally). The point is to overwhelm greater principles with less principles or with false alternatives. The point is that we don't really care about what the core principles of the gospel are and how we can really find a way to obey. Rather, we need to make whatever it is we wanted in the first place sound like it was the right thing to do all along.
And the intent of (8) is to invoke the word "shame".
Here then, are the tenants of the new found faith. It provides the perfect circle of protection. A statement of plain truth is not just wrong, it is actually offensive to God. In fact, a plain statement of truth is apt to violate all 8 tenants of this new found faith. Especially if it is a commandment.
This new gospel has no relation to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the adversary's gospel, that he offered in the premortal life. It is the gospel that wants to grant the full blessings without any responsibility, thereby taking away the agency of man.
And sadly, all to often these days it is preached and carefully adhered to by those who believe they are actually endorsing the gospel of Christ, when they are actually standing firmly for its antithesis.