The Lord’s Anointed: Weekend Poll

by: wheatmeister

July 20, 2013

Psalms 105: 15. “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

Is the caution not to speak ill of the Lord’s anointed meant to prevent blasphemy or to prevent criticism of leaders’ actions?  Is it meant to create community cohesion or does it enforce loyalty to unhealthy degree?   This idea comes from the Old Testament (Psalms 105) and is not unique to Mormonism.  Is it ever proper for a leader to use this admonition self-referentially or is that evidence of unrighteous dominion and authoritarian leadership style that drives the spirit away?

Who is referred to as the "Lord's anointed"? (choose the one answer you like best)

  • All church leaders, local as well as headquarters, all the way down to quorum leaders and RS presidencies. (35%, 34 Votes)
  • Jesus is the anointed one. (26%, 25 Votes)
  • Anyone who is endowed is anointed. (21%, 20 Votes)
  • All human beings are the Lord's anointed. (7%, 7 Votes)
  • Top church leaders: quorum of the 15 only. (7%, 7 Votes)
  • All general authorities and above. (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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11 Responses to The Lord’s Anointed: Weekend Poll

  1. LDS Anarchist on July 20, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    I wrote on this topic last year. Please see:

    Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed

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  2. hawkgrrrl on July 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Great link, LDSA. Thanks!

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  3. Hedgehog on July 21, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    I liked the link too, LDSA. I find it alarming that as a people we seem so prone to hedge-building. I was having this conversation only the other day, where a family was telling me I ought to be carefully because I’d covenated to…. in reference to evil-speaking. I was very clear about what I believed I had and had not covenanted. And yes, my definition of evil-speaking is mch the same – spreading malicious lies/gossip etc. Raising honest concerns about what is said/done is not evil-speaking.

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  4. nate on July 21, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    “Is it meant to prevent criticism?”

    No. But there is a proper way to address criticisms, and that is through the order of the priesthood. This is not a grass-roots organization which responds to external pressures like letters to the Tribune, blogging, protests, etc.

    But we can go to our priesthood leaders to address our genuine concerns. Ideally, concerns should be transferred up the line of authority: high councillers, stake presidents, GAs. We can write letters to our General Authorities.

    It might be frustrating if we sense that our concerns are not listened to by the priesthood, and many priesthood leaders do not understand that they must advocate on behalf of their flock to higher authorities. They sonetimes think their job is to stamp everyone into a mould.

    Nevertheless, grass-roots rebellion is not the way of The Lord and is mostly counter-productive. President Kimball, in the decision to lift the priesthood ban, studied carefully the many heartfelt letters written to the GAs, but said the protests and letters to the Tribune simply made lifting the ban less likely.

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  5. Howard on July 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    With regard to Nate’s comment I have been listening to Mormon Stories interview with Hans Mattson a former Area Authority. He clearly states that 70s are to represent the Apostles to the people (members) NOT the people to the Apostles. In other words communication is top down and questioning is discouraged. When members write to the Apostles their letters are forwarded back down to your Stake President largely without being read. So the 15 are mostly inaccessible to common members and suggestions of using the chain of command are ineffective for communication but effective at silencing.

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  6. Jack Hughes on July 21, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Nate #4–What if your priesthood leaders ARE the problem?
    I know it is extremely rare, but there have been instances of church leaders abusing or hiding behind their authority, causing harm to members in their stewardship. There is no established backchannel (that I am aware of) for addressing such problems directly to higher authorities.
    One of my close family members was recently disfellowshipped unjustly because he was railroaded by a vindictive stake president. Rather than standing up for truth and defending himself, the man quietly took his punishment, citing the commandment to avoid “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed”; hence, he is not seeking appeal, and has since turned away from the Church completely.

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  7. Hedgehog on July 22, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    It was meant to read a family *member* #3. Makes it sound like I sit around moaning to all and sundry without… I save that for the internet!

    In response to Nate’s comment #4, there’s no way I’m not going to address what I regard as problems when they impact on my children. There was a recent talk at a stake conference broadcast from SL I pretty much had to deconstruct, I regarded it as so damaging. I didn’t think writing to the speaker was going to do anything to address the difficulties in anything like a timely manner, even if my letter would have happened to reach the individual, or assuming the they would even understand what I would have been trying to say (so great appeared the disconnect).

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  8. Heber13 on July 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I’m trying to think of times that might justify publicly speaking against the church leaders and when that would lead to a good result? Hmm.

    Even if I am justified in feeling I disagree with my leader, at any level, shouldn’t I keep that to myself or raise with that leader privately or sometimes just let it go?

    I have been in countless situations where I disagree with the leaders, including the rare unfortunate times little children were abused at church functions and raised to to leaders who did not want to take action. I have disregarded leaders advice and called cops to get authorities involved because I felt I had to. So that is an example of disagreeing and taking matters into my own hands…but it didn’t require me going around talking bad about the leader. Just that I disagree and move forward.

    I can disagree with the church’s stance on some issues, but I don’t have to attack the leaders. I can just have a different opinion, and that is my opinion.

    When is speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed justifiable? I’m struggling to see any time.

    I don’t say this because the church leaders should be treated as if they are untouchable, or that they are perfect or need my protection. Just simply I don’t know what it would accomplish.

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  9. Howard on July 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I remember a lot of years that blacks were abusesd and gays, guess I should have called the cops instead of speaking against???

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  10. Heber13 on July 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Howard, if there were cases of abuse that violated the law…yes, call the police.

    If it is abusive behavior you don’t agree with, speak out as you wish according to your conscience.

    But I would speak out in the right place and according to the issues and topics at hand if you want it to be productive.

    Evil-speaking of the leaders…I’m not sure I see what that accomplishes.

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  11. whizzbang on July 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointing doesn’t mean not speaking about them, just not in saying:
    DC 121:16 Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have dsinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.

    people complain all the time about their leaders, sometimes it’s justified and some times it isn’t. I have written letters to the Brethren and most of the time gotten a response, one emeritus GA even phoned me. if you have a problem with your leader then go one up to someone who can do something about it, like someone did with Elder George P. Lee of the Seventy and he was dropped and exed, someone told on him and someone did something about it

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