Tuesday, 28 June 2011

why the mormons always list a new leader's accomplishments before he speaks for the first time

while growing up in the lds cult i was always bothered by the bragging about the new leader or "important" guest speaker being presented to the congregation, how the person introducing him would always read through a long list of accomplishments/bragging points about all the education and positions he's held, etc. i always knew of somebody in my ward who was most likely way more humble and "spiritually qualified" to help and teach others, but who hadnt accomplished a lot in the worldly sense when compared to this businessman in a nice suit. it bothered me that the church leaders put such an emphasis on worldly achievements of their leaders.

i remember saying to myself every single time this happened: "why do they do this? what does this have to do with anything about the gospel?"

today i was reading The Essential Guide to Rhetoric
and found the answer to my lifelong question =)

page 38

Argument is not the only dimension of persuasive proof. You might sometimes hear what sound like strong arguments, yet be inclined to doubt them. To accept someone’s argument is, in a sense, to trust that person, so audiences make judgments about the speaker. Audiences ask questions (such as “What kind of person is this?") to evaluate the speaker and decide if she is credible and whether to change their mind about the topic at hand. This is the same as asking, “What kind of ethos does this person have?” When audiences wonder about the speaker’s ethos, they are considering his credibility (believability) and trustworthiness.

By telling the people in church the "impressive" info about the new leader/guest speaker, they are establishing the credibility of that person, which increases the chances that the people will trust him and believe what he says. It's a simple, well-known, rhetoric tactic.

if what the speaker was going to say was really true, and the "holy ghost" really existed, then creating ethos to strengthen your message (argument) would just be a waste of time and effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment