the thinker

School of the Prophets - 2013 Sweden

The original School of the Prophets was instituted by Joseph Smith starting in 1833 to instruct select Latter-day Saints on both sacred and secular topics. In 2013, the LDS Church has initiated a program they also call School of the Prophets designed for select members in Sweden.

A select group of young couples in the Gothenburg stake in Sweden were sent an invitation by the stake presidency to participate in a secret training session for future leaders. This was done without knowledge of the local bishops and it seems the high council was also unaware. The Gothenburg stake (Hans Mattsson's old stake where he was president) is one of four stakes in Sweden. The invitation was sent to young couples that the stake feel, are going to be the future leaders of the Church.

This is probably brought on by recent events, although they have held these secret trainings in the past as you can read in the text.

We're not sure why some members were selected for this privilege while others were not. From discussions with members in Sweden, it appears that the Church wants some of the members in Gothenburg to feel special so they will be less likely to leave the Church, as many of them have had family members that have left the Church over the troubling historical issues that led to the Swedish Rescue.

The Church in Sweden is facing some tough times and former active families are going inactive or leaving the church at an alarming rate. It seems that the Church wants to make some of the young up-and-comers feel extra chosen. They will probably not go into Church history at this training session, although they will most certainly cover how to deal with people who have issues with Church history.

The Letter

This letter was sent to one of the chosen couples in Sweden that are concerned about current and historic issues in the Church. (Translated for us by a Swedish Latter-day Saint). The email address and phone number has been deleted by MT for privacy sake. (Emphasis added on the Church's instructions for secrecy):

We want to use this letter to invite you both to attend leadership training. The background and the model is the "School of the Prophets" as Joseph Smith and his associates held in Kirtland and Nauvoo. They assembled brothers and sisters, and taught them the basic principles of the gospel.

We have known that there is a need to do so in Gothenburg stake. Similar leadership trainings were held in 2006 and 2009 and we now want to repeat it again with new participants.

We hereby invite you to participate in this leadership training which we call Training for Future Leaders (TFL). We will meet twice during the autumn. See attached agenda for details.

Please do consider if you WANT to participate? This is not a call, but an invitation. If there are personal or family reasons that you do not want to be involved, then you do not need justification. Just notify us that you refrain. Maybe it fits better at another occasion in the future?

Whether you choose to participate or not, please do not talk about this with others. For practical reasons, not "all" are invited and just so that no one should be sad or hurt at not having received an invitation, please consider this invitation as confidential as far as possible.

If you for example have to arrange a babysitter, it's necessary that you explain why you need a babysitter. Say, then only that you will attend a training session in Gothenburg. Mention no details.

As you can imagine TFL will not be announced from the pulpit, and you will not be seeing any articles in the Ensign. Anything not to offend those who have not been invited.

When we know who can and want to participate, we will send out a list of all participants, so that you will be able to arrange car-pooling and similar practical details.

We hope to have your response, be it positive or negative, the last Sunday of September 8. Please e-mail your answer to: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX or call XXXXXXXXXX. In your reply, we also need to know if any of you have food allergies, if someone wants vegetarian diet or the like.

Stake Presidency

Ulf Strömbom
Sture Nilsson
Kent Perciwall

TFL 2013

* We meet on Saturday, 14 September at 10:00 to 18:00 and Sunday, November 3 at 16:00 to 20:00. On both occasions we meet in the chapel of Utby.
* After careful consideration, we recommend that all participants wear Sunday attire, ie, white shirt and tie for the brothers and skirt or dress for the sisters.
* The stake will serve food. Fruit and drink will also be available.
* It may be good to have the scriptures and note material.
* Arrange to car-pool with other participants.

Some of the things that will be addressed during the TFL:
Christ-like leadership
Return and Report
Having a vision
To sit in council
Repentance and forgiveness
The principles, doctrines and programs
Interviews - How and Why
To have balance in life
Church discipline program
The strength in unity
The unwritten order of things
Confidentiality and privacy

The Swedish Internet members have made it public to the Swedish members through this Facebook page

MT Comments

One of the things that bothered the Swedes the most about the Church's historical problems was the secrecy tactics employed by the Church. The members were very upset to find out that the top LDS leadership knew about the troubling historical issues but kept these things from the average member. This lead to the Swedish Rescue. It seems that the Church is still employing these same tactics. Look at how many times in the above letter the Church instructs the chosen members not to tell anyone else about the School of the Prophets. It would be nice if all of the members worldwide could learn about the 'unwritten order of things' and other such mysteries that the Church in Sweden decides who will be privileged enough to learn these things.

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