Some mormons are able to interpret what they hear from the leaders as advice and not feel as though they have to literally follow everything as gospel. I had difficulty with this. When Hinkley said that women should only wear one pair of earrings, I already had two set of holes in my ears. I thought it was okay to wear earrings in both sets of holes since I already had the holes. My sister got really mad at me, telling me how evil I was for not following his advice literally. When I was going through my crisis of faith, I was looking for understanding and love and acceptance from my leaders, what I got instead was being told to *submit* to their authority. Was the leaders' word the be-all-end-all, or just a guideline to take or leave?
I remember so many times when a temple was going in an area, it often would not meet height codes for the area, or would bring in too much traffic for a residential area. The neighbors would complain, file a legal motion; and mormon members would cry religious persecution when people just didn't want a very tall building/lots of traffic, etc. in their neighborhood. Has it occurred to the mormons that by blindly following the lead of their leaders instead of being objective about the opposition, that the opposition has indeed a valid point? Or does any opposition always come down to the church being victims and always being right?
In California, the church fought against gay marriage. They asked the members to donate money and time into fighting to make it illegal. When people were outraged against the church, the church claimed religious persecution; not once thinking they were the ones who were trampling all over other people's right to love and marry whomever they wanted; not once thinking they were fighting against the rights and privileges of others who had done nothing to harm them.
Here is an article where the mormons are told to follow their leaders and if they don't, they are told they will suffer: http://www.lds.org/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet
This week, a neighborhood association was told to back down from its opposition to the building of a mormon church building. The neighbors had been told the building would never be higher than a certain height. The church is now proposing to build in opposition to that height limit. Can the church claim persecution from the neighbors like they have in the past? Can the church claim they are victims of religious persecution? Hardly, since its neighbors are mormon, in Provo, UT. The neighborhood association President? A BYU college professor. http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_f0b1b074-f5e3-5eb2-ac71-aa230e5c1239.html#.T_oQc0KCAio.facebook
Just submit, members, no questions asked...that's the mormon way....secular or religious, the leaders are used to getting their way.