Jump to content

Brigham Young-- a lesson in balance and priorities


Lamanite

Recommended Posts

"...we have an image of Brigham welcoming a train of six hundred arriving immigrants. 'You have been chosen from the world by God,' Young told the immigrants. 'Rest for a day or two....Don't bother much about your religious duties....Be of good cheer. Your first duty is to learn to grow a cabbage, an onion, a tomato, a sweet potato, to feed a pig, build a hous, plant a garden, rear cattle, bake bread--to live. Your next duty is to learn English, the language of these latter days. The rest will be added to you in the proper season." (Arrinton 1986, pg.327)

Recently, a high councilman shared an incident from his High Council meeting. It was proposed that they take a Friday and do sealings at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. My friend suggested they visit the less active and widows within the Stake instead. To which another High Councilman replied that they could do more good in a week at the Temple than they could do by visiting these individuals for a year.

Now I don't know that inspiration motivated either of these good brethren's comments. However, taken at face value, I think the latter brothers assertion is ludicrous. I think tending to the needs of the sick and afflicted should be paramount to our work in the Gospel.

From James we read:

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction...

And from Presiden Joseph F. Smith:

Link to comment

Now I don't know that inspiration motivated either of these good brethren's comments. However, taken at face value, I think the latter brothers assertion is ludicrous.

I agree. But I also think the former man's remark was out of line, and it struck me as a tad self-righteous.

Both endeavors are important. I don' think there is anything to be gained by trying to pit one against the other as being worthier or more vital to the work of the Lord.

Link to comment

I can't say which is more important. Both are important. However, if we could spend a few minutes in Sprit Prison, visiting with those people who have waited centuries, we might agree with the one High Councilman.

Link to comment

I agree. But I also think the former man's remark was out of line, and it struck me as a tad self-righteous.

Both endeavors are important. I don' think there is anything to be gained by trying to pit one against the other as being worthier or more vital to the work of the Lord.

I would concede that point without argument. I tried to separate myself from any bias and just look at things as an objective observer. The specifics of the meeting are outside of my pay grade. Which requires me to ask the question, "why did I even listen to gossip about what went on in a High Council meeting?" I have no idea except that I didn't have the sense or the courage to ask this friend to shut up. :P

Big UP!

Lamanite

Link to comment

Recently, a high councilman shared an incident from his High Council meeting. It was proposed that they take a Friday and do sealings at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. My friend suggested they visit the less active and widows within the Stake instead. To which another High Councilman replied that they could do more good in a week at the Temple than they could do by visiting these individuals for a year.

That's sad, but not everyone 'gets' it.

I think that is why our leaders encourage us to read and ponder the scriptures regularly. If he'd been doing this, I doubt the man would have felt this way.

Link to comment

That's sad, but not everyone 'gets' it.

I think that is why our leaders encourage us to read and ponder the scriptures regularly. If he'd been doing this, I doubt the man would have felt this way.

The conversation sounds to me like an instance of polarization. Polarization occurs when one party to an argument perceives a threat to his position and reacts by overstating his viewpoint so as to pull the pendulum back to where he thinks it ought to be. If he were pressed on the matter, we might find that the offending high councilor really didn't mean exactly what he said, but in the heat of disagreement felt driven to hyperbole.

I might note here that the verse in James that Lamanite cited includes two essential components in "pure religion": caring for the needy and keeping oneself unspotted from the world. Doctrine and Covenants 59:9 reads:

And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.

In a broad sense the ordinances of the temple might be regarded as sacraments. And in any case keeping the commandments of God (which, for Latter-day Saints, include temple worship and providing proxy ordinances for the dead) is essential to keeping oneself unspotted from the world.

Bottom line: Both caring for the needy and tending to religious duties are necessary and, to the extent that two high councilors may have gotten into a tiff over them, that is unfortunate indeed.

Link to comment

The major thrust of my post can be found outside the High council meeting. It is the temporal and religious balance displayed by BY and JFS that I wanted to display in my OP. The High council meeting was the genesis of my thoughts on balance and priorities.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Link to comment

The major thrust of my post can be found outside the High council meeting. It is the temporal and religious balance displayed by BY and JFS that I wanted to display in my OP. The High council meeting was the genesis of my thoughts on balance and priorities.

Big UP!

Lamanite

I agree that priorities can and do get out of whack sometimes.

Link to comment

Bottom line: Both caring for the needy and tending to religious duties are necessary and, to the extent that two high councilors may have gotten into a tiff over them, that is unfortunate indeed.

I think the issue is more that any Christian would think that there is a distinction between these two things.

Link to comment

I think the issue is more that any Christian would think that there is a distinction between these two things.

Which is why I think the guy who said they should ditch the temple sealings and spend the day visiting people in the wards instead is just as off-base as the guy who said they can accomplish proportionately more by doing temple work than by visiting the needy.

Link to comment

Which is why I think the guy who said they should ditch the temple sealings and spend the day visiting people in the wards instead is just as off-base as the guy who said they can accomplish proportionately more by doing temple work than by visiting the needy.

If I were going to start speculating wildly about a meeting I wasn't in...I would question how sealings for deceased families could help-- lets say-- a recently divorced Sister with 5 kids who is now on welfare with no way to pay her light bill this month.

Just a hypothetical if you are open to exploring this idea of Temple work and its influence on those not directly involved in the ordinance.

For what it's worth, I think Temple work has a wider circle of influence than we could imagine. I just can't articulate why I believe that.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Link to comment

Sort of brings to mind the words of the Savior to the Pharisees:

(Matthew 23:23) "... these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
Link to comment

If I were going to start speculating wildly about a meeting I wasn't in...I would question how sealings for deceased families could help-- lets say-- a recently divorced Sister with 5 kids who is now on welfare with no way to pay her light bill this month.

Just a hypothetical if you are open to exploring this idea of Temple work and its influence on those not directly involved in the ordinance.

For what it's worth, I think Temple work has a wider circle of influence than we could imagine. I just can't articulate why I believe that.

Big UP!

Lamanite

I agree that it's difficult-to-impossible to assess the good that can be done in the one endeavor as compared to the other. So, perhaps the high council goes ahead without sanctimonious murmuring and does the sealings as scheduled, then picks another day to visit the needy folks. It doesn't seem all that complicated.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...