Monday, May 10, 2004

Local hierarchy

A few years ago, I had a question of doctrine & practice that I took to my bishop. He informed me that it wasn't important, and that if it were, we'd hear about it from President Hinckley in General Conference. I was very unsatisfied with that answer -- it was (and is) important to me, even if nobody else considered it important.

A few months later, I had a temple recommend interview with a member of our stake presidency. I took advantage of it to ask him my questions on the same matter. He told me that he wasn't sure and suggested that we consult various references, including the Church handbook and Joseph Fielding Smith's Answers to Gospel Questions. The next day, he called me at home, having done some research into my question, and gave me a very positive answer, quite different from the discouragement I had received from my bishop.

The bishop, who has since moved away, never knew that I had “gone over his head,” so to speak, to get my question answered (but the stake presidency member knew that I had spoken with the bishop and was not satisfied with his response).

Is this a good approach to such an issue? How far can one take this approach? What if the stake presidency member had given me a similarly unfavorable response?

1 comment:

  1. Kim commented:

    "I think what you did was an appropriate course of action. However, I'm not sure you'd get anywhere if you went higher up the chain of command. The Brethren have continually encouraged us to seek advice locally."

    Does this mean that they would never override a local leader? It seems to me that they have made provision for such an event.