Several news outlets are reporting how a wealthy gentleman has resigned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the news reports – this individual appears to have left the church due to his personal belief that the church is actively and currently doing harm in the world. What harm does he believe the Church is doing?
I believe the Mormon church has hindered global progress in women’s rights, civil rights and racial equality, and LGBTQ+ rights,MSN – Insider: Utah’s Richest Man Left the Mormon Church.
Based on the news outlets, the Salt Lake Tribune first published this news. They also appeared to have published the letter Jeff Green had written to the leaders. In addition to the statement above, it is also being reported that Green has left because of the vast wealth of the Church.
What is intriguing is that the news outlets are also reporting that Jeff Green had not been actively involved with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint faith for over a decade.
Green, who now lives in Southern California, said that while he had not been a practicing Mormon for over a decade, he was now officially resigning his membership of the church entirely, along with 11 family members and a friend.MSN Insider
The Seattle Times also reports the following:
Green said in a Monday resignation letter to church President Russell Nelson that he hasn’t been active in the faith widely known as Mormon for more than a decade but wanted to make his departure official and remove his name from membership records.Mormon billionaire leaves faith, rebukes LGBTQ rights stance
This unusual public move appears motivated by a common thread we have seen in the past few years. A move to continue the spotlight on the so-called social issues of LGBTQ+, Women and the Priesthood, and the history surrounding the Priesthood ban where men of African American heritage were not able to hold the Melchizedek priesthood.
On one hand, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides humanitarian aid, donating and supporting LGBTQ+ rights, and other social issues. Yet on the other there appears this perpetuating the narrative of how the Church is continually doing more harm than good.
Despite this – the concern is raised that Jeff Green had already spent a decade of his life not living the principle truths of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. He may say he has – however, if he had not been active in the Church; he may not be active in living the sacred ordinances he once committed himself to.
Truthfully, it is his choice to leave the faith. It is his choice to believe what he believes. Yet, with that choice comes the consequences. These consequences are real and quite concerning – as well as disheartening. What are these consequences?
Our Heavenly Father does not take lightly those who break their covenants and turn away from him. While he does mourn for them, he also removes his spirit from them. Even the Savior had disciples that turned from Him: Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, ‘this is an hard saying; who can hear it?’ (John 6:60).
The teachings of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ are simple – yet powerful and poignant. Undoubtedly, many will turn away from the truth because it is not what they no longer want to commit themselves over too. They no longer hold the passion and light of Christ in those truths. Instead, they have been lured away by the subtle deceptions of the philosophies and imaginations of the world (James 1:14).
The Apostle Paul even described such people:
Moreover, understand this: … will come trying times. People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power2 Timothy 3:1-5, Complete Jewish Study Bible
The greater harm is the social justice narrative that even changes the nature and purpose of Christ’s ministry into this false belief of peace, love, and acceptance. Many fail to realize that Christ did not tolerant any religious hypocrisy, nor did he tolerate any person who continued in sin. Many times, he healed, ministered to the marginalized, and stood to forgive those brought before him. Yet, he also preached that all men must repent, must be born again, take up their cross daily and follow after him. Otherwise, they shall not inherit eternal life. And not just follow Christ, we are called to endure with long suffering where the world hates and despises those who do choose to follow Christ. This is because the world hates Christ and what Christ stands for.
The hard truth and reality are that each one of us bears the responsibility to stand before our Heavenly Father and give an account of our own personal dealings in the life we have been given. There is no excuse. We will not be in a position to blame a Church, or the leaders, or other individuals. We stand either with a clean and clear conscious before God or stand in shame and guilt at the realization we had allowed ourselves to be deceived and engaged in that deception and vain imagination.