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Rob Bowman

Of earrings and obeying the prophet

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It seems to me that at least one factor is the ability for members to do things like get jobs and be accepted as representatives of the Savior and His Church. I currently have long hair and a bushy beard, but I will get rid of them as soon as I leave school--at least until I have a stable, (tenured?) position where it won't hurt me anymore.

As for the larger question of the thread, I submit that it may be acceptable to follow the Prophet unquestioningly in those areas where the behavior asked is clearly harmless. I also submit that the girls in question may have received a spiritual witness at that moment that what the Prophet said was right for them. It's happened to me on occasion.

Yours under the slightly heretical oaks,

Nathair /|\

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then shouldn't it be no earnings at all or anyone or is a little self mutilation ok?

You will note that the Church takes "no position" on one pair of earrings. That is to say the Church does not endorse it. What the Church leaders, in effect, have done is to call a halt to a societal trend that was rapidly loping out of control and impacting our own people. It is entirely appropriate for a prophet, under inspiration from God, to do so.

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daz2, on 08 February 2011 - 12:43 PM, said:

Warning: irony/satire alert: Mormons believe in being open minded, examining religious issues from all sides and praying to learn religious truth (to rely on God, not just humans)--before baptism. Following baptism, when the Brethren have spoken, there is no longer any need even to think about it, pray about it, or even have an open mind. The thinking has been done. End of irony/satire.

That's not what I said.

Nor is it what Mormons believe.

But satire is that way sometimes. :P

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Good question. And what about circumcision? I consider that much more of a mutilation than an extra set of holes in a persons ears.

You won't see me defending the practice of circumcision. I would like to see it fade away.

But the issue is a bit different. The realization that there is no appreciable benefit or rationale for routine infant circumcision has been a long time in coming. On the other hand, there is and has been no arguable health benefit to body piercing.

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You won't see me defending the practice of circumcision. I would like to see it fade away.

But the issue is a bit different. The realization that there is no appreciable benefit or rationale for routine infant circumcision has been a long time in coming. On the other hand, there is and has been no arguable health benefit to body piercing.

But Christ was circumcized... and he was perfect. That was good enough for me.

I think if women (especially those of a femanist bent) read the scriptures and realized what ear piercing actually ment. They would throw their earrings away and never look back.

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But Christ was circumcized... and he was perfect. hat was good enough for me.

Don't know if you are LDS or not, but it is clearly taught in the Book of Mormon by Christ Himself that "the law of circumcision is done away in [Christ]" (Moroni 8:8 ). Circumcision is a relic of the Law of Moses that was superseded with the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant.

Ergo, if you are LDS and practice circumcision, you err if you use scripture to rationalize it, though you might have other reasons for doing so.

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Don't know if you are LDS or not, but it is clearly taught in the Book of Mormon by Christ Himself that "the law of circumcision is done away in [Christ]" (Moroni 8:;) Circumcision is a relic of the Law of Moses that was superseded with the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant.

Ergo, if you are LDS and practice circumcision, you err if you use scripture to rationalize it, though you might have other reasons for doing so.

No one wants to be cut off in the latter days. :P

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No one wants to be cut off in the latter days. :P

Funny.

Incidentally, my post as originally written had an unintentional emoticon caused by my juxtaposing a closed parentheses with the numeral 8. As in ;). I fixed it by inserting a space between the parentheses mark and the 8. I wonder if you wouldn't mind doing the same in your quotation of my post. It would remove a distraction.

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Scott Lloyd:

Jesus was a Jew, as were his mother and earthly father. He was circumcised as a baby.

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Scott Lloyd:

Jesus was a Jew, as were his mother and earthly father. He was circumcised as a baby.

I don't believe I denied that. Nor do I believe it addresses what I said in any material way.

If you need me to connect the dots, I will say that Latter-day Saints do not live under the law of Moses today, and Mormon parents are under no religious (or any other) obligation to circumcise their newborn sons.

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Scott Llyod:

Then I don't know what to make of your claim.

"Don't know if you are LDS or not, but it is clearly taught in the Book of Mormon by Christ Himself that "the law of circumcision is done away in [Christ]" (Moroni 8:8 ). Circumcision is a relic of the Law of Moses that was superseded with the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant."

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I just ran across this and am interested in comments on it. Apparently, some years ago President Hinckley told Mormon women not to wear more than one pair of earrings at a time. What interests me is how this instruction was expected to be received:

Now my serious question is this: If I understand the context correctly, President Hinckley's remarks about women's earrings were not made in General Conference, but in a "fireside for youth." Yet his remarks appear to be treated as equivalent to any prophetic revelation--as "the truth" that must be "accepted" and "obeyed." Is that correct? Whenever a prophet speaks in an instructional context, whether in one of the standard works or not, whether in General Conference or not, his word is "the truth" and anything he says to do is to be "obeyed"?

Also, I am curious to hear some comments on the fact that one of the girls is reported to have said that she agreed not to wear a second pair of earrings even though she didn't understand why it was a problem. I have read many statements from Mormons in this forum to the effect that members are not expected to accept blindly what their leaders say but are supposed to pray about it, study it out in their minds, and accept the prophet's teachings after becoming convinced in their own minds that they are correct. The young lady in the second story, in particular, does not seem to have gone through any such process. The prophet spoke, she immediately obeyed--without having any understanding of why. Is this an admirable thing, as the story seems to assume?

This is not a commandment from God, if you disobey it you will not be punished by the Church. What this is falls under council from the Prophets, members are not required to adhere to council from the Prophets (since this is a statement made from President Hinckley's knowledge and not inspired by the Holy Ghost). We are strongly encouraged to ponder the Prophet's council and follow it though, even though everything he says doesn't come directly from Christ, he is still a wise man and his council is something to ponder and respect.

As far as telling council from the Prophets/Apostles and revelation, council is the opinion of a General Authority. Revelation is the will of God revealed through his servants the prophets, we sustain the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. So technically revelation can originate from any of the Apostles (this includes the First Presidency since they are ordained Apostles). I have never heard of revelation originating outside of the President of the Church though (aka The Prophet). When the President receives a revelation he presents it to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, if the 15 Apostles (the 3 member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12) unanimously agree this is will of God it is presented as revelation.

In the next General Conference the membership of the Church will have the opportunity to sustain ( or show there support for) the new revelation. When a revelation is sustained by the membership is becomes part of the Standard works of the Church and is a required to be followed since it is the will of God revealed through his prophet.

I hope that this helped you!

The important thing to remember though is that the council of the Prophet's will rarely if ever lead you away from eternal life. Of course the Prophet is a mortal man and can be mistaken but he is still a wise and well educated person as well, he can see and understand things better because he devotes his time to deep spiritual thought and work.

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Scott Llyod:

Then I don't know what to make of your claim.

"Don't know if you are LDS or not, but it is clearly taught in the Book of Mormon by Christ Himself that "the law of circumcision is done away in [Christ]" (Moroni 8:8 ). Circumcision is a relic of the Law of Moses that was superseded with the coming of Christ and the establishment of the new covenant."

I would also argue that the law of Circumcision, just as the law of Sacrifice, is still in force to this very day. Only practiced outwardly a little bit different.

Romans 2:29

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

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Scott Llyod:

Then I don't know what to make of your claim.

I don't know what to make of your confusion. Circumcision today is not required of the covenant people of God. What is it you don't understand about that? Are you disputing Moroni 8:8?

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I think if women (especially those of a femanist bent) read the scriptures and realized what ear piercing actually ment. They would throw their earrings away and never look back.

I personally agree that piercing the ear or any part of the body is not fully respecting the temple that God has blessed us with. But the prophets have clearly stated that a women having pierced ears is not a sin, they have given council to keep ear rings modest and President Hinckley even stated that one set or earrings is enough and encourages women to only wear one pair of earrings.

As far as I know though at no time has any Church leader states that earrings are sinful in any way shape or form. I may personally believe that they do degrade the body but that is my personal belief. The prophet's council states that a modest pair of earrings are fine, I accept this as the guidelines for the membership of this Church, if this was unsound advice God would of not allowed the Prophet to give such advice in my opinion, or would of corrected this when the new Prophet was called and sustained.

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I would also argue that the law of Circumcision, just as the law of Sacrifice, is still in force to this very day. Only practiced outwardly a little bit different.

But not in a literal sense. That is what I was talking about. And I'd say a physical practice vs. a figurative comparison constitutes a difference of more than "a little bit."

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Alma 37:6Now ye may suppose that this is afoolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by bsmall and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. 7And the Lord God doth work by ameans to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very bsmall means the Lord doth cconfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

I recognize that Alma is teaching about small miracles or works of God, but this can be expanded imo to what we think of as "small" or trivial actions on our own part.

If it is apparent that someone does not incorporate a principle in his life through his actions, there can be a variety of reasons, but mainly they either know and understand the principle but reject it or they lack knowledge and understanding. If the first, any instruction of the principle whether in general or by using specific, concrete examples of behaviour is likely to have no impact so why should the leaders waste much effort on persuading someone who doesn't want to be persuaded, but what of in the second case?

I think there are few better ways to begin instruction on a principle than by teaching a small, even trivial part of it and then allowing the student to experiment upon just that one part rather than trying to digest the entire principle and its effect on us in all our life at once. What better way to test it out? In scientific or social studies, it is necessary to isolate just a few variables or even one at a time so that you know if there is a change in behaviour, that it is the variable that change it and not something else that gets lost in complexity. And by giving something very simple and easy to work with, even the weakest of saints can be guaranteed success if they truly desire it, thus allowing for the highest rate of positive response (blessing) if the principle is a true principle (and what is being taught as part of the principle is a true part).

If the individual then receives a positive experience by obeying the principle in the small way, he is more likely to be willing to learn more about the principle itself on his own through behavioural changes and exploration for understanding than he would have been if he had to start from square one with no personal experience demonstrating the value of incorporating that principle in his life.

Thus a young man or young lady who feels like they've grown in the principle of treating one's physical nature with respect and love based on a simple experience with earrings or tatoos is likely to be strengthen in incorporating some more difficult behaviours into their lives and they are able to do this on their own because they have learned to trust the principle through that first simple, small, trivial instruction.

I see the same thing going on in the Word of Wisdom where it is written to the weakest of Saints. The Church has focused their instruction on a very simple, concrete couple of items--coffee, tea, and smoking---and has kept it focused on those areas for the most part when speaking of specifics---even though in this day where smoking is widely seen (at least in the US) as detrimental and is becoming generally frowned upon by society in general and other aspects of the WoW might be more beneficial on a larger scale to emphasize. Someone who has learned the lesson of abstaining from the small things, who has received blessings for just that limited experience of the Word of Wisdom now has a foundation on which to build a more personally directed expansion of the WoW in his life. Thus by the Church teaching the general principle and helping people start out on it by teaching a small, simple part of it, the Church has facilitated further growth but has also set up the situation so it becomes a personal choice to do so rather than doing it because one is told one should.

Overall, it seems to me this method that is used with several principles is a very good demonstration of the concept of letting people govern themselves after teaching them the principle. It is also a good demonstration of the principle of how to grow in faith through taking a small part of the word and planting it in one's heart (iow allowing it to affect one's behaviour) and then nurturing it to see what fruits are brought forth.

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Who's idea was it for Abraham to take Hagar?

When was the only time YHWH spoke to Abraham during the whole Hagar debacle?

What did He say?

How did Jacob end up with Leah?

Why did he marry their servant-girls?

Rachael and Leah tried ancient pagan fertility rituals to try and get pregnant, does that mean you should do that too?

To say those polygamous situations were God commanded is laughable.

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There are a whole lot of things in the world that we may not agree with or understand why. The spirit can still testify to us that it is good to do it, that it is truth, that it is Heavenly Father's will. And we can still act on Jesus' promise that if we want to know if it is His will, we should act on the instruction. That isn't blind obedience. Just obedience despite the lack of mortal knowledge.

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Who's idea was it for Abraham to take Hagar?

When was the only time YHWH spoke to Abraham during the whole Hagar debacle?

What did He say?

How did Jacob end up with Leah?

Why did he marry their servant-girls?

Rachael and Leah tried ancient pagan fertility rituals to try and get pregnant, does that mean you should do that too?

To say those polygamous situations were God commanded is laughable.

Does every thread in which you get involved have to end with a one-way debate on polygamy? Why not just stick to one thread on that topic, and refer to it from others if you need to? Just a friendly suggestion :P

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To say those polygamous situations were God commanded is laughable.

But there does appear to be some polygamous situations that are a direct result of God's command: see Deut 25:5-10

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But there does appear to be some polygamous situations that are a direct result of God's command: see Deut 25:5-10

5

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You presume the brother is not married? Do you understand the context of manhood in ancient Israel and what it entails? Jeremiah was forceful along this context when he stated "It is not good for a man to be alone". The verse in Deut. takes it as a given the brother is married because the anomalie would be a brother that is single.

This is a rather basic context of that patriarchial society. It reflects that one may read the scriptures and still not know them. Contextually the scripture is screaming polygamy, but not using the word, and yet, you didn't know that.

You may now, if you wish, continue to put your head in the sand in order to ignore context. :P

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You presume the brother is not married? Do you understand the context of manhood in ancient Israel and what it entails? Jeremiah was forceful along this context when he stated "It is not good for a man to be alone". The verse in Deut. takes it as a given the brother is married because the anomalie would be a brother that is single.

This is a rather basic context of that patriarchial society. It reflects that one may read the scriptures and still not know them. Contextually the scripture is screaming polygamy, but not using the word, and yet, you didn't know that.

You may now, if you wish, continue to put your head in the sand in order to ignore context. :P

And you presume the brother is married. I think the story of Judah and his son's widow is a good illustration of the principle being set forth in this verse. But if you want to find things that aren't there to justify your church's polygamist past, more power to you.

Edit: If the marriage supper that Jesus attended was His own, then He didn't marry until He was 30. Apparently, Jesus didn't understand manhood in Israel either.

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You should study the bible sometime, it will help you avoid non sequiturs. You didn't deny the context but retreated to a presumption you had without context. In effect, you no longer have a position, only unsubstantiated opinion and you are left not understanding the bible or christianity's history for that matter. Otherwise I am sure you are the soul of academic pomposity. :P

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