So I posted on FB one of the articles about church membership rapidly declining and a TBM responded, "this has already been foretold by the prophets. Even the elect shall fall away. We already know the playbook. My testimony is strengthened seeing this prophecy come to pass. The rest of us just have to remain strong and endure to the end."
Yes, have started hearing this one a lot by TBM's. If the church is growing then it proves the church is true. If the opposite is happening then it means it was foretold and that even the elect will fall a way and that its the end times, etc.
Quite clever to prophesy two opposing things: That the rock that was cut without hands will go forth and fill the whole earth. AND that even the very elect will be deceived when there is a falling away.
Those who want to believe have a prophecy to fuel their faith no matter what.
But both prophesies actually fail miserably. Less than 1% of the world's population is Mormon. And the "very elect" that leave the church? The aren't deceived. The ones who STAY are deceived.
The two opposing prophesies remind of many things in the scriptures and doctrine. It is RARELY consistent, but people pick what appeals to them at the moment and ignore the discrepancy. Example: Book of Mormon condemns polygamy, and then the D & C requires it. Or the old faith vs. works dilemma in the NT. People just focus on what they WANT to believe.
But wasn't this prophesy applied in the 1800's when the early members of the church genuinely believed that they were living in the last days and that the second coming was imminent? Certainly many members (including apostles) did fall away at that time.
In fact didn't the early Christians believe that Jesus would return imminently?
It's like telling every rising generation of youth that they are the very elect. They grow up and then their children are told the very same thing, and on and on.... Seems like TSCC likes to spin 'prophecies' multiple times whenever it's convenient to suit themselves.
I think what the rank and file members will never understand, is that Marlin Jensen IS one of the elect. Those above him are corrupt. Jensen was my stake president when I was a young adult. He is a sincere true believer. I think he actually believes that the church can withstand the scrutiny of opening itself to questions about its doctrine and history. He believes that the church can expand enough to be compassionate to gay members. I think those above him saw him as a "yes" man and a lawyer, a perfect choice for church historian. He didn't give this the spin they thought he would. Retired at 70? Puh-leez! In the gerontocracy he's on the young end.