I was thinking about mistakes, (whatever you want to call them) that the Church has made over the years that could have been avoided and are non-doctrinal in nature (e.g., policy/PR decisions, other decisions) and have resulted in significant negative publicity that could have been avoided.
I know for many this is an uncomfortable topic, but I think we need to learn from our past mistakes. In addition, the list below is simply my opinion. Others may feel that some of the below were unavoidable and doctrinal. Here is my Top 10 list in no particular order of priority:
1. Prop 8 – The Church got in over their heads and paid a price. This was recent and I have seen a lot of fall-out from it. Long-term fall-out hard to judge but clearly it is NOT a positive.
2. Fight Against Prohibition – Mormons put the last nail in the coffin against the Prophet’s wishes and booze was again flowing in the US. I don’t think this outright revolt against the leaders could happen today – we are too conditioned to “follow the prophet”
3. ERA – The Church put up a fight against something that went away on its own – was it worth the price?
4. Blacks and the Priesthood – while some may say this is doctrinal, I do not believe it was doctrinal but a policy. How much would things have been different if the Church had actually ordained persons of African descent 10, 20, 50 or 100 years earlier?
5. September Seven – While some may think this was a small issue, it caused a tremendous amount of damage by alienating intellectuals many of whom are valuable contributors to the Church.
6. Mormon Doctrine – maybe allowing an apostle to call a book of his opinions “Mormon Doctrine” wasn’t such a good idea after all..
7. Polygamy – still dealing with this one whether it was a mistake or not, who knows…
8. Recommending that women NOT serve missions – Overall a terrible message which both demotivated the Sisters who serve and caused many others not to serve. Resulted in a drop in female missionaries.
9. Mountain Meadows – A really tragic move by the Saints (whether Brigham approved or not) and resulted in a lot of damage over the years…
10. Relentless calling of “White Western Americans” into Church leadership posiitons – and we wonder why people think we are an “American” church?
What do you think?