Elder Jeffrey R Holland gave a fiery talk at a devotional in Tempe, Arizona in April 2016.
This is a very dynamic address, and he’s quite emotionally charged about those who leave. Though charged, Holland does come off as more intelligent than in his BBC interview where he claims he’s neither an idiot nor a dodo. Holland has some strong, emotional words to share about being broken, but also threatens and belittles those leaving the church, or at least not “staying in the boat”. This talk is infamously known as the “Tempe Rescue” as he’s trying to keep people of Tempe from leaving the church, a nod to the “Swedish Rescue” efforts of the church in Sweden.
It is when he said divisive lines such as “Don’t you dare leave!” “I am so furious with people who leave this church” and “What on earth kind of conviction is that? What kind of patty-cake, taffy-pulled experience is that?” Then he follows with “This church means everything to me. I don’t care what price has to be paid… I’m NOT going to leave it. And I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU LEAVE IT. ” “STAY IN THE BOAT!” Referring to those who do leave the boat, “That’s the dumbest thing you can do.” and “the only thing dumber would be for somebody else to follow you”.
There is no official recording of this devotional and church leaders at the time were also asking members not to record or share what they said, thankfully someone did record the talk and shared it online, and we have the transcript now.
Somebody once said, “God loves broken things.” And he must be deserved of so many of them. And that’s apparently the way it is with broken things in life ― broken marriages, broken economies, broken political systems, broken homes, broken emotions, broken minds. But I assert to you, and it will be my theme tonight, that whether it’s a little break or a big break, we’re all a little broken. That’s the nature of a fallen world.
God loves broken things, and I ask you to take heart in that, because there is something in the plan that seems to require that. I know that may sound a little harsh, I don’t want it to be patronizing, but think about it: It takes broken clouds to nourish the earth. It takes broken earth to grow things. It takes broken grain to make bread. It takes broken bread to nourish us.
These are the cycles of life. This is how it works. And in the immediate instance, in the immediate moment, that can seem horrible. That can seem terrible. Whatever this breakage is, this is how life was supposed to be. This is how they told me it would be when I was a laurel. This is the way they said they told me to come back from my mission and get ready for all this. This is following whatever that was. Too many things are broken.
Well, things can be broken, and they are, and they will be. But, hang on and persevere ― and stay with me, and stay with the Lord, and stay with the Gospel, and learn that it’s only by throwing that little kernel of corn away, the scripture says, that we could ever have a harvest and a return on that.
Everybody knows that you gotta plant in order to harvest. And you better save your seed corn. And it would be foolish beyond measure to just sort of hold that tight in your little sweaty palm and not let it go. We know that now.
But what about the first guy that ever had to do that? What about the first family that was hungry and some angel came along and said: “Well, now in order, maybe to make this work, you’ve gotta throw all that stuff away?”
We’re given these acts of faith in these moments and cycles of life where we have to trust God. And somebody said, “How can you trust God?” And the answer was [stern voice]: “Because he TOLD me he could. He TOLD me I can. He TOLD me he’s trustable. He’s trustworthy.” THAT’S why I trust in God.
And we need to believe that every word that ever was uttered by the mouth of almighty God will be realized, will be fulfilled ― and that includes your blessings. That includes: your baby blessing and your confirmation; and for the many ordinations of the Priesthood; and the women and all the Priesthood blessings that go with that ― Patriarchal blessings, father’s blessings, temple blessings. EVERY WORD will be realized. EVERY PROMISE will be honored.
DON’T CUT AND RUN ― because somehow there’s the tinkling of the little glass, or the shattering of the favorite piece of china, or somebody doing something where you say: “Gosh this isn’t the way they told me it would be.” Everybody is going to have some things broken. And apparently, apparently the thing God loves most of all in this world is a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
For all these generations, for four thousand years, Adam and Eve and their descendants, took these little lambs and offered them on an altar as devotion and loyalty and love of God. THAT WE TRUST the future ― WE TRUST THE FUTURE.
How far away is the Savior from Adam and Eve? We don’t know all the dating in the world. But traditionally, scripturally, we mark it as at least four thousand years. That’s a lot of time to live by faith. That’s a lot of time to believe that somebody’s gonna come and help. Well, you can trust in it because divine beings said it so. And for four thousand years God’s children offered a little lamb to represent the great lamb who would come and save the world ― a sacrifice, something broken, something bleeding, something offered, something damaged, if you will, for the great, grand good of mankind. But when the lamb came it was then sacrilegious, and surely counterproductive, to continue to offer the little lamb when the great lamb had already come.
So now we’re gonna ratchet it up a little. We’re gonna grow up. We’re gonna be a little more mature. We’re gonna move a little from a kind of a law of Moses world to a little more of a Gospel world and the principles are gonna go inside. We’re not going to have a lamb out here. It’s not going to be external. It’s not going to be a bit hoopla in the temple. It’s going to be more personal for every one of us, more individual, more elevated – still symbolic, but more personal.
“I am the light and the life of the world,” he said, “I’m alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood. Yay your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away; for I will accept none of your sacrifices or your burnt offerings any more. You shall offer, you shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him or her will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost. I have come into the world to bring redemption into the world to save the world from sin.”
Why a broken heart? Why a contrite spirit? What did Christ die of? If there had been a post-mortem at Calvary, what would the coroner have said? DEATH by broken heart.
We know that because when the Roman soldier came to break a bone in this unblemished lamb, thank heavens he didn’t have to, discovered he’s already dead. How did he know he was dead? He poked his spear in his side and water and blood rushed out.
What’s it doing down there in his abdominal cavity? He hasn’t been in a car wreck. He hasn’t had all of his organs damaged. Or has he? He died, in effect, physiologically, ultimately, and certainly spiritually, of a broken heart. He died of contrition. He died feeling sorrow for the sins of the world.
And brothers and sisters, we say we’re Disciples of Christ. This is the great church of Christ. This is the true congregation of Disciples of Christ. WELL WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? [stern voice] YOU TELL ME WHAT THAT MEANS. YOU TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST, BUT I DON’T WANT TO WALK WHERE HE WALKED, AND I DON’T WANT TO SAY WHAT HE SAID, AND I DON’T WANT TO FEEL WHAT HE FEELS, AND I SURE DON’T WANT TO SHED THE TEARS THAT HE SHED. Let’s not push this discipleship stuff too far. [laughter]
I don’t believe there is any royal road to discipleship. What God the very father of us all is saying, and when the Savior came to show us the way to do, is to break a few things, in order that we can understand that they can be made whole and holier and happier and better. That’s the lesson of the resurrection. The ultimate healing, the ultimate impact of the atonement, the resurrection being THEE chief characteristic of Christianity.
There have been a lot of other smart people in the world. There have even been people who’ve done magical things and worked wonders. But we’ve never had anybody take off his own burial clothes and stand up and live forever and forever and forever, and extend the promise to the rest of the human family. THAT is the singular mark of Christianity.
So the resurrection means that EVERYTHING GETS FIXED. Everything that was broken is healed. Everything that was deformed is made right. Everything that was impure is made pure. Everything that was affected or infected is perfected. And we get something back better than we gave. Whatever this resurrected body is, is supposed to be us at whatever our ideal time or age or circumstance was – plus. Plus celestialization. Plus eternity. Plus redemption.
Please, please I don’t want this to sound condescending. I don’t want it to sound patronizing. I don’t want it to sound cute or quick. But every one of us are gonna be invited to come up to the altar of God and place a broken heart on it. And you get it back – that’s the kernel of corn parable.
Hang on. Don’t, don’t panic. He tells us he’s very much in charge and very, very capable. You’re gonna get your heart back. You’re gonna get your life back. You’re gonna get your kids back. Those of you who don’t have kids are gonna get ‘em. Those of you who aren’t married are gonna be married. You’re gonna get everything. You’re gonna get everything – just bring me a broken HEART! Bring me the symbols of the atonement. Show me you’re a disciple. Show me that you’ll sacrifice – and sometimes that just means weathering your own tears, and holding on to your own hope, and forgiving somebody who’s transgressed against you.
Why, why do you think a third of the hosts of heaven rejected the father’s plan when it was presented? There was a father’s plan, period. Christ accepted, fortunately we did too, but a third of the hosts of heaven rejected. Why did they do that? I don’t think it was because they were somehow buffaloed about Satan guaranteeing their salvation, which was kinda the pitch – I’ll save everybody, I don’t think that was the appeal. I don’t know that life without any decisions or any choices or any sunrises or any sunsets sounds pretty exciting. I don’t know that that was a very glamorous offer.
Do you want to know my personal feeling? This is – this is JRH 101. [laughter] Do you want to know my feeling about why they – why they followed Lucifer? It was NOT because they liked his take on an option. I think it’s because they were terrified about the true plan. I think they were terrified to something. I think they were afraid to run the risk; that life would have some dark days; that decisions would be made, and some of them would be right and some of them would be wrong; that we’d live with other people and some of them would treat us well and some of them would treat us poorly; and that when we got our own agency worked out then we had to turn around and realize that everybody else had some; and just when we thought life was gonna look pretty good then our kids start growing up; [laughter] and they think they’ve got agency. [laughter] – a couple of the laws we all wanted to revoke from time to time. [laughter]
I don’t know that that’s true. But I have a hunch that it’s true; that they were fearful of the divine experience; they were afraid to suffer; they were afraid to weep; they were afraid to know that some nights would be very, very long, and some days would be very, very painful; and they would cry in the night for help and go to a single adult [inaudible] .
[Very stern voice] Now, don’t – you – cave in N-O-W! Having made the decision then, the right one, don’t cut and run now!
Oh Lord, not me. Don’t ask me to suffer. Don’t ask me to weep. Don’t ask me to be disappointed. Don’t ask for me to have a decision that went wrong or somebody else who made a decision and that really crushed me. Or, even that somehow heaven is being complicit in this. Don’t do that now.
If God helps you make your ultimate offering; if God helps you somehow allowing the way, creating the circumstance, designing the environment, giving the option; whatever heaven does, not to cause it but to allow you to make your offering, to break your heart; don’t resist it. And don’t shake your fist at heaven. And don’t say why me, ‘cause it’s always ultimately finely gonna be all of us. None of us will get there without a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
“I have come into the world to bring redemption to the world and to save the world from sin.” And that’s how we get there. And when you’re in the middle of it it’s very, very painful. And so we need each other. And we need reminders. We need the Gospel. We need single adult devotionals. When you’re in the middle of this, when you’re trying to remember that this is part of the divine plan and that you’re trying to be disciples, and you are trying to be willing to weep, and you are trying to be willing to suffer – and by the way, if the contrition and the suffering is not for your own sin – hallelujah – I’m grateful if you don’t have any, but you can join him in suffering and feeling contrition and shedding tears for somebody else’s.
There’s plenty to go around. If you’ve got yours all taken care of then I ask you to look to the left, and look to the right, and look back and look forward, and there are plenty of people who need your help. So weep for them. Cry for them. Suffer if you will, if not for them, at least with them, because that’s what he did. Now when you’re in the middle of that, when you’re willing to follow a plan that had suffering built in to it, remember this single line: Endure and save yourself for days of happiness ahead.
Want me to say that again? Endure and save yourself for days of happiness ahead. The problem, I’ll warn you right now, I will warn you this minute, the problem is when you’re in the middle of these messes you don’t think there is any happiness ahead. You don’t think you would ever gonna be happy again. In fact, if we really get a pitty-party going here, you’re gonna say: I’ve NEVER been happy. [laughter] You know before I think about it, I’ve NEVER been happy. Worlds without end I’ve never been happy. And then you’ll say, I don’t know anybody — before long we’ve got a real mess here. [laughing]
That is not fair, and it is not true. And you have been happy. And you have been blessed. And you’ve got blessings right now. And if you don’t think so, join me and I’ll take you to some parts of the world where we can really grieve and break our heart for the sins and difficulties of the fallen world.
You’ve been happy. You’re gonna be happy again. You have been blessed. You are blessed. You are blessed and so am I. And God forgive me if I ever in a moment of pity, in a moment of self-indulgence, crying around and suggest you know: Why do you pick on me? Why is life so tough for me?
Well, life’s been very good to all of us. Some days and maybe right now for some, not as well as we’d like. But that’s part of the story. Hang on. Hang on. This is the church of the happy endings. This all works out. That’s the plan. That’s the purpose. That resurrection morning, that resurrection Sunday morning always follows, it never precedes; it always follows that grieving sacrificial atoning Friday night. It’s always happy in the end.
Hang on, and hold on, and persevere and weep for the sins for the world; that we wish and hope that it can be better, and it will. Endure and save yourself for days of happiness ahead.
And so here you are and you are going down this slope, this precipitous slope on a bobsled and your nose is what’s leading right into a brick wall. [laughter] You are head long into disaster and you think there’s no happiness ahead for me. There’s no way out of the mess I’m in. There’s no way I can undo the trouble that’s come. There’s too much water over the dam. There are too many troubles in my kid’s lives; or my hopes and dreams for marriage are dashed, or even the marriage we had is dashed – I don’t know – pick a problem [laughter] and dive down into the pit. And if you will, if you will persevere, if you will stay faithful, if you will say as Elder McConkie wrote in that marvelous hymn, “I believe in Christ, so come one and all,” you will some remarkable day, sooner than later I hope, but if it’s later than so be it, you will some remarkable day suddenly feel that that bobsled you were on nose first hasn’t taken your life. You may have hit a brick wall or two, but somehow you’re still on it; and you’re still riding, miracle of miracles; and the pace is changing. The angle’s changing. It’s not going as fast and I’m not angled down so much. And I’m almost kind of even feeling here for a minute, and it’s been so long I can hardly even recognize it. [laughter]
And then, up the other side of the morning – up the other side of the dawn. [Sounding emotional] I know what it’s like to walk the floor at three o’clock in the morning and believe it will be three o’clock in the morning forever. I know what it’s like to look out of the window to the east and never see a single, solitary sight or the rising sun – day after day, week after week.
And so do the best men and women I know – start with Thomas, go to Henry, go to Dieter, go to Russell, and so it goes in this dispensation and every dispensation. You, nor I, nor anybody out there has any corner on grief; has any full mortgage holding it tightly on tears that travail, and sorrow. Everybody I know, especially here, everybody I know has looked out the window and thought it was going to be three o’clock in the morning forever.
But of all the titles that I love, Elder Roberts has heard me say that on this trip, among I wouldn’t say of all, among the greatest titles of the Savior that I love, the bright and morning star – that’s his title from the Book of Revelation, the son. I testify of the bright and morning star. My brothers and sisters the sun will come up. If I could, I guess if I could, I’m not sure I would, but I’d like to say for you that if I could I’d have it come up immediately. I wouldn’t have you wait 24-hours. And for some of you that’ll be so. For others it’ll be longer. Brothers it might be a very long time. But the sun always rises. The morning sun, the bright morning star, the Savior of the world – endure and save yourself for days of happiness ahead.
A couple of things you’re supposed to do: You’re supposed to be willing to be broken, you don’t have to look for it. By the way, don’t go look for trouble. [laughter] You’ll find it. There’s a way that it somehow seems to find us. But, be willing to be broken knowing you can be fixed; knowing that everything’s going to be healed; and the great metaphor of the resurrection – everything’s going to be perfected – you get it all back.
In the process – enduring, don’t give up, don’t panic, don’t cut and run, don’t bail out in the middle. You’ll ruin the whole story if you run.
Those are two things you’re supposed to do. One thing you’re not supposed to do: Don’t you ever, don’t you EVER [yells] look to heaven, wail and weep and whine on the way, and say: Well I guess God doesn’t love me. [yelling] DON’T YOU EVER DO THAT!
And you know what I know – that some of us have done it already. And some of you might have done it tonight. And some of you may be tempted to do it tomorrow. Don’t. You see the problem here? If the suggestion is: because I suffer, God must not love me – WELL WHAT ON EARTH DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THIS? Name me a story, name me a person, name me a character in these books who didn’t suffer somehow, someway – and you’re telling me that they’re not righteous. Is that the implication that they’re not righteous?
Or, what about the Son of God himself? Let’s just pull all the stops here and say: Oh that’s interesting theology. But because, Jesus of Nazareth, who suffered more than any human being can suffer, that’s what King Benjamin said by the way. King Benjamin said he suffered more than a man can suffer; partly because he wasn’t fully a man – he was, some elements of the divinity there – still mortal.
But King Benjamin says he suffered more than a man can suffer. And a lot more than you and a lot more than me. And you’re saying to me: Well, than I guess he, most of all, gets to say – I guess God doesn’t love him. And God loved him more than any other child in his family. But because he loved every one of us he was willing to offer that son to save the rest of us. One perfect child for all the rest of us who are so terribly imperfect.
Don’t, don’t ever find yourself accusing, or controversial, or threatening, or shaking your fist about the love of God. There are a few things that are sacred in this universe. And chief among those is the love of almighty God for his children. [near yelling] Don’t you EVER dare say that, NOT in my presence – NOT EVER, because it’s not true. And I think it’s blasphemous. I think it’s absolutely blasphemous for what he’s done, for what he continues to do, and what he will yet do – all personified ultimately in the atonement, but covered with blessings all along the way in ten thousand kinds in your lifetime.
So you stay with us. You keep your faith and you persevere.
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We don’t want to be patient. We say: I believe in being long suffering; I don’t want to suffer; I don’t want it to be very long. There’s scarcely a virtue that we communicate and identify and testify of that we believe. Actually, want to undertake.
We’re the church that says: “We’re Gods and Goddesses in embryo – we’re the church that says we’re kings and queens, we’re priests and priestesses.” People accuse us of heresy. They say we’re absolutely heretical non-Christians because we happen to believe what all the prophets taught – and that is that we’re children of God, heirs of Christ, joint heirs of Christ. We just happen to take the scriptures literally that kids grow up to be like their parents.
But, how does that happen? How does Godliness happen? Do we just pop up – are we just gonna pop up out of the grave? Just halleluiahs – resurrection morning – give me a universe or two, you know! [laughter] Bring me some worlds to run. I’m ready here [still laughing] I don’t think so. Doesn’t sound like line upon line and precept upon precept to me.
How do you become Godly? You do Godly things. That’s how you become Godly. And you practice, and you practice, and you practice ‘till your nose bleeds, ‘till you’re sick of it, ‘till you say I can’t do it any more, ‘till you say is there any other way? Can this cup pass? MAYBE, when you’re finally to that point, God can say I think we’re beginning to get the message, I think we’re on our way.
Most of us do not want to pay that price. Now thank heavens we did survive that war, that one-third-two-third cut in the pre-existence. [laughter] But I think there’s some days here where we get a little weak-kneed, get a little willy-nilly and say I don’t know what to make of all this. Don’t you dare bail.
I am so furious with people who leave this church. I don’t know whether furious is a good apostolic word. [massive laughter] But I am. What on earth kind of conviction is that? What kind of patty-cake, taffy-pulled experiences is that? [laughter] As if, as if none of this ever mattered; as if nothing in our contemporary life mattered; as if this was all JUST SUPPOSED to be [near yelling] JUST EXACTLY the way I want it? And answered EVERY one of my questions – and pursue this, and occupy that – and defy this and then maybe I’ll be a Latter-day Saint. Well, there’s too much Irish in me for that. [laughter]
[emphatically] This church means everything to me. Everything. I don’t care what happens; I don’t care what price has to be paid, as painful as that can be; and as much as I don’t want to invite the test as much as I don’t want to sound arrogant, or self-confident, or filled with any kind of pride other than the love of the Lord – this church means everything to me. And I’m NOT going to leave it. And I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU LEAVE IT. And if there’s anybody in this room who’s investigating, I want to talk to you tonight before the clock strikes twelve for you to get in it. [laughter]
Because everything that I’ve said tonight is true about the destiny of the human soul – a plan ordained for us to be like God-head [second anointing slip-up], with God, and resurrected, and whole, and perfect, and happy. And it’s in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that that happens.
The great, initial first principle of life on the high seas: When life gets tough, and the church is complex, and the world is crumbling, the first great rule of a storm at sea is [yelling] STAY IN THE BOAT! [slight audience chuckle] This is no time for you to say, oh well now it looks like, I don’t know, nobody cares. I’ll get up here, I’ll get up here on the edge and do a little half gainer over the side. [laughter] Boy, if that’ a terrific performance. I’ll tell you you’re in for a good experience.
That’s the dumbest thing you can do. [laughter] And, and the only thing dumber would be for somebody else to follow you. [more laughter] You stay in the boat and pull the life jacket down on you and grab an oar and just hang on and it’s gonna get calm. The storm’s gonna pass – we’re gonna come into port – the sun is gonna shine.
“That same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awakened him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4 35:38)
This is a serious storm. The ship’s taking water. It’s clearly, clearly a serious storm. Part of the reason we know it’s serious is who’s fearful? Who’s panicky here? The most experienced fisherman in all the Galilee, that’s who. Peter, James and John chief among them – six of the original twelve were fishermen from the Galilee – Peter, James and John were the most famous and probably the most experienced. And if it’s serious enough, that they’re frightened, it’s a serious storm.
But Christ is tired. Does it ever, does it ever dawn on you, does it ever dawn on me, does it ever dawn on anybody that God might be tired? Or that Christ might be tired? Or certainly in his mortality that he was tired. He’s sleeping through this storm! How tired could you be? He’s people tired. He’s blessing tired. He’s parable tired. He’s sermon tired. Everywhere he goes he’s tired. It’s people, people, people, problems, problems, problems – I can’t walk, I can’t see, I can’t hear, bless my child, bless my father, heal my wounds. He’s exhausted. At least he has to be to be sleeping through this storm. Ship apparently looked like [it’s] not going to go down.
I’m grateful that someone, I’m grateful that someone had the sensitivity, as they pushed away from shore, to give him a pillow. I mean that. Somebody thought the Son of the living God might at least deserve a pillow for his troubles. He was asleep on a pillow, and they awakened the same answered carest not that we perish? I’m not sure how he looked at ‘em when they woke him up. I’m sure it was compassionate. I’m sure it was loving. He was always that. But I wonder if he just didn’t kind of [audience chuckle] – what would he wonder about?
Well, he arose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. I promise you, I told you, I told you, the sun’ll come up. We’ll make it to port. It’s calm, calm as a summer’s day. But he’s not through rebuking. After his rebuke of the waves he rebukes them – gently, sweetly – but it’s a rebuke.
“He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40)
It’s interesting that the very next line is: “Now they feared exceedingly.” [laughter] They can’t win. But it’s for a different reason. Now they’re not afraid of the storm. Now they’re worried about him. “They feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey his words?” (Mark 4:41)
Why would he say, why would he say: “Why is it that you’re so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Why would he say that? They had some faith. And it is a bad storm. And they’re entitled to be a little fearful. Why does he rebuke them? Did you catch my first line? I kind of [inaudible] that intentionally. The first line of the parable: “That same day, when even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35)
[forcefully] IF THE LIVING SON OF THE LIVING GOD SAYS WE’RE GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE, THEN YOU PUT INTO YOUR BOOK, WE’RE GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE. [almost yelling] Do you believe that God in his heaven, would let the most perfect, only begotten child of his destiny, sink into the middle of the Sea of Galilee? Well, if you think so you’ve got another thought coming, and so do Peter, James and John. Now they’re new, they’re young. This is only the fourth chapter of Mark. They’re young. [laughter] And they’ve got a ways to go. They’re learning. But Christ is not gonna go down in a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.
Now when he says let’s go to the other side, I’ve got the salvation of the world to complete. I’ve got the atonement of almighty God to fulfill. I’ve got the Gospel to bring to the living and the dead. What he’s saying is, Elders, like I said to the missionaries this afternoon, Elders you’ve gotta get the picture. You’ve gotta be believing. You’ve gotta be bigger and better than you are. You’ve gotta be bolder or stronger and more powerful than you’ve been. You gotta see who I am. And you gotta know that you’ve [?] know it? How is it that you’re so fearful? Why is it that you have so little faith?
He’s teaching. He’s teaching about a broken heart and a contrite spirit, hard times, storms, wind, waves and our little boats that we think are gonna sink – they’re not going to sink, they’re not going to sink, not as long as we cling to him who is the master of ocean and earth and sky. To him, who by his very utterance, can control the wind and the waves, and move a mountain across a valley floor, or plant a sycamore tree into the sea. Count on that. Bank on that. Believe in that. Stay with that and save yourself for days of happiness ahead.
I promise you, with all my heart, that you will have them. And I leave an apostolic blessing on you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as if my hands were on your head individually. If we had the time, we’d do that. We do it the way the ancients did. We do it the way the Savior did – whole sea shores, whole mountain tops. I bless every single one of you: with answers to your prayers; with calmness and peace of heart; with tranquility amidst turbulence; with safety in the middle of sorrow; with hope for yourself and happiness for your loved ones; for your family, your children if you have them, your neighbors which we all have; that person sitting on your left, that person sitting on your right.
I bless you in your discipleship. I bless you as you feel sorrow for the sins of the world; and the damage that gets down to people, because [inaudible] if not ours, and I hope not ours, something somebody else did to us. I bless you for sorrow in that regard and contrition; that such circumstances could exist among the children of men.
I bless you also for knowing that the answer, the only answer, the God given answer, the eternal answer, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the very discipleship we profess and what we he’s determined to make of us, can kick and screaming as we go; he is determined to make us kings and queens, priests and priestesses, and Gods in our own right, in our own effort; to be as he is; and to therefore have yet another season in our life to bless people who are sorrowing, to help people who are struggling, to dry the tears from every eye, that those tears may be dried from yours; and that you might live with the hope and happiness that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings. I pray and promise and seal a blessing to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.The “Tempe Rescue” Devotional
Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Quorum of Twelve Apostles
Tempe Arizona Stake Center, Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Responding to Holland’s Tantrum
In regards to “stay in the boat” and mocking those who leave by detailing how they would do a half-gainer off the side of the boat. Holland depicts this as the dumbest thing someone could do. He uses fearmongering and judgmentalism to scare members from finding their freedom from the high-demand religion. Some, however, are still able to bail and can play along with his silly analogy.
I did a beautiful double backflip mctwist ending with a canon ball and a big splash when I jumped ship. Thankfully coffee gave me enough energy to swim to a nice island full my own choices.Inside_Lead3003
Others choose to respond to him by turning his own words against him and directing their fury at the church for having lied and deceived them and placing the integrity of the church and its leaders on the scales. Does shining light into the dark corners of the church expose any issues? The truth matters, and if we follow the truth, we cannot with integrity follow the church or its leaders.
Here’s how I would respond:
“Don’t you dare [lie to me and hide the truth]! I am so furious with people who [lie and deceive] in this church.”
“I don’t know whether furious is a good apostolic word. But I am. What on earth kind of [integrity] is that? What kind of patty-cake, taffy-pulled [deception and fantasy world] is that? As if, as if [the truth about church history never] mattered; as if nothing in our [conscience] mattered; as if this was all JUST SUPPOSED to be JUST EXACTLY the way [church leaders wanted us to think and believe]?”
“[Truth, honesty, and integrity] mean everything to me. Everything. I don’t care what happens; I don’t care what price has to be paid, as painful as that can be; and as much as I don’t want to invite the test as much as I don’t want to sound arrogant, or self-confident, or filled with any kind of pride other than the love of the [Truth] – [the Truth] means everything to me. And I’m NOT going to leave it. And I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU [AVOID] IT.”southpawpickle
This talk also shows how out of touch Holland and other church leaders are. It at least shows how deceiving they are, if they actually understand the real reasons why people leave, which the findings presented to them in the faith crisis report would suggest. They should be furious with their own behavior of dishonesty and see that as why people are leaving rather than assuming that people leave because the church isn’t “exactly the way they want” it to be. People leave becuase the church is failing them, it is lying to them and deceiving them. The church is not honest with the world or the members of the church.
I wish instead of being furious with people who leave or name calling and belittling them that the Q15 (minus Uchtdorf) would take a minute to see WHY people are leaving.
If they leave out of a desire to protect children, maybe make police checks mandatory for Primary and youth leaders.
If it is over dishonesty, maybe start being open about finances and talk honestly about history and issues. Don’t let apologists that most members have never heard of do the explaining. Talk about it in general conference.
If it is over the intrusive culture that only caters to one kind of person (extroverts) maybe make living the gospel accessible to those who aren’t excited about people coming into their homes and pushing “friendships” and having a billion meetings. Maybe allow people to be a fully active member however they are comfortable without shame.
If it is over doctrine or policy, maybe look at which doctrines are upsetting. Polygamy? Address it! Explain if it is still an exaltation requirement. How women are treated? Don’t sugar coat it with “we LOVE women. They’re more spiritual!” Address the issues without brushing them aside.
Ahhh. Stop! Elder Holland, people aren’t leaving out of laziness. Stop bad mouthing them to their families and friends and treating them like wishy-washy idiots.lovelydonkey42