Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Iron Rod or Liahona

I read a talk written by Richard D Poll in 1967 entitled "What the church means to people like me". In it he compares two common approaches people have toward membership in the Mormon church. He describes them using Book of Mormon imagery; Iron Rod Mormons and Liahona Mormons. The terms were new to me. But the talk has been circulated for many years.
The general idea is that the Iron Rod represents strict adherance to the Gospel. Doing so will lead you like a handrail to eternal life. The Liahona represents an indication of the direction we need to go like a compass, so long as we have faith in God and keep his commandments.
Iron Rod Mormons tend to know the church is true, favor literal interpretations of scripture, and view the world in terms of absolutes. Liahona Mormons tend to have faith that the church is true, have many unaswered questions, but accept that there are many things yet be be revealed pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Of course I feel few people are one or the other. They are usually a mixture. But that may just be my aversion to viewing the world in absolutes. Extremes of each group lead to apostasy. Iron Rod Mormons are a careful step away from Fundamentalism. Liahona Mormons can quickly find themselve questioning every aspect of church authority.
You can read the article for yourself at the link below.
Lady J
Thats really cool.My mother and I always had a different opinion on how to approch the church. Guess it's normal to be different than your parents
Thursday March 6, 2008 - 12:35am (PST)

Mr Froggie
That is normal as a young adult. But I'm actually surprised how similar my attitudes toward many things (includng religion) have become more similar to my parents as I have gotten older.
Thursday March 6, 2008 - 11:50am (CST)

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