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Gospel Principles - Obedience


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I have been asked to teach Chapter 35 in Gospel Principles in a few weeks in Elder's Quorum.

I know that there are several people who love to pick at the "incompleteness" of the manuals.

So what bits of knowledge have been left out that should be brought up in the lesson?

"Understanding is not required, only obedience" - Babylon 5

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I have been asked to teach Chapter 35 in Gospel Principles in a few weeks in Elder's Quorum.

I know that there are several people who love to pick at the "incompleteness" of the manuals.

So what bits of knowledge have been left out that should be brought up in the lesson?

Obviously, the glaring omission in the lesson is the question "When is it ok not to obey Church leaders?"

I'll definitely be asking that question since the answer is very, very important.

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Obviously, the glaring omission in the lesson is the question "When is it ok not to obey Church leaders?"

I'll definitely be asking that question since the answer is very, very important.

The last time I heard a similar lesson in priesthood, I asked your question with Mountain Meadows as an example. Everyone looked at me (which I anticipated) like a fly in the butter.

The response was that there are now "safeguards" built in that prevent that sort of thing from happening again.........but no one could tell me what they were or when they were implemented.

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I've been wondering about obedience and "consequences" recently.

A few years ago, when I moved into a new ward and my son became a Boy Scout, I discovered that my ward didn't follow all the Church policies for Scouting. One thing we did was to drive up to Scout camp on Sunday mornings. It was my understanding that this was a no-no according to Church policy, but no one else batted an eye and I certainly didn't care.

Then, this year we're having an "LDS" week at Scout camp, and the local leaders (above our ward leadership) first decided that we would go up to camp on Saturday and have a special worship service on Sunday at the camp. That was the plan until a few weeks ago, when I learned that we would instead be driving up on Monday morning (and leaving camp Saturday evening instead of Saturday morning).

Here's what I've been wondering though. What would happen if if a ward decided to go up to Scout camp on Sunday against the direction of their Stake leadership and general Church policy? If the Bishop and Scout master just ignored the direction and off they went? Other than releasing a leader, what consequence can the Stake impose for such disobedience?

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Other than releasing a leader, what consequence can the Stake impose for such disobedience?

I'm not sure it would be a matter for the Stake to impose a consequence for disobedience. That seems to indicate that the blessings of keeping the Sabbath Holy somehow stem from the local leaders, and not from God. I would say that the consequences for not keeping the Sabbath Holy are up to the Lord and not up to the local leaders. We may not be able to recognize the consequences in the short term.

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The last time I heard a similar lesson in priesthood, I asked your question with Mountain Meadows as an example. Everyone looked at me (which I anticipated) like a fly in the butter.

The response was that there are now "safeguards" built in that prevent that sort of thing from happening again.........but no one could tell me what they were or when they were implemented.

I think the "safeguard" is that the tragic confluence of events, culture and individual decisions that culminated in the MMM are unlikely to ever happen again. I don't think there were any actual changes to policy or culture that were put in place.

I mean, when you read through the current CHI, there isn't a section on "Dealing with Gentile Wagon Trains" which says:

12.3 Do not massacre an entire wagon train of emigrants without written approval from the President of the Church.

Interestingly (shockingly?), a few weeks ago in Elder's Quorum a regular member raised his hand at the start of the lesson and started talking about a show he had just seen a show on the MMM on TV, and then started talking about Blood Atonement. I sat in surprised silence as the teacher and class members chatted back and forth about different aspects of the massacre and different understandings of what "Blood Atonement" was.

So now I can't say I've never heard these things discussed in Church (although we were definitely off-manual!)

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I think the "safeguard" is that the tragic confluence of events, culture and individual decisions that culminated in the MMM are unlikely to ever happen again. I don't think there were any actual changes to policy or culture that were put in place.

I mean, when you read through the current CHI, there isn't a section on "Dealing with Gentile Wagon Trains" which says:

Interestingly (shockingly?), a few weeks ago in Elder's Quorum a regular member raised his hand at the start of the lesson and started talking about a show he had just seen a show on the MMM on TV, and then started talking about Blood Atonement. I sat in surprised silence as the teacher and class members chatted back and forth about different aspects of the massacre and different understandings of what "Blood Atonement" was.

So now I can't say I've never heard these things discussed in Church (although we were definitely off-manual!)

It's hard to say whether events could ever come together again in such a way as to produce something similar in magnitude as MMM. One would hope that modern day members are slightly more "free thinking" than their earlier counterparts.

RE: Your quorum discussion of MMM and Blood Atonement.....did you feel that it was unproductive or detrimental to the spirit of the class? Were there any who were offended that such a thing would even be brought up?

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It's hard to say whether events could ever come together again in such a way as to produce something similar in magnitude as MMM. One would hope that modern day members are slightly more "free thinking" than their earlier counterparts.

RE: Your quorum discussion of MMM and Blood Atonement.....did you feel that it was unproductive or detrimental to the spirit of the class? Were there any who were offended that such a thing would even be brought up?

No one seemed "bothered". I was probably the most perturbed at some of the inaccuracies being suggested by people saying "I think this happened at the MMM...." or "I think blood atonement was this..."

People even started talking about "September Dawn", the awful (and awfully inaccurate) movie about the massacre from a few years ago, and a few had seen it out of curiosity and just wanted to talk about how bad it was. :help:

Wait! Now I remember! It was Easter Sunday and the lesson was on the Atonement and that's why the class member thought of "Blood Atonement" and brought it up. There ya' go.

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No one seemed "bothered". I was probably the most perturbed at some of the inaccuracies being suggested by people saying "I think this happened at the MMM...." or "I think blood atonement was this..."

People even started talking about "September Dawn", the awful (and awfully inaccurate) movie about the massacre from a few years ago, and a few had seen it out of curiosity and just wanted to talk about how bad it was. :help:

Wait! Now I remember! It was Easter Sunday and the lesson was on the Atonement and that's why the class member thought of "Blood Atonement" and brought it up. There ya' go.

rofl.gif

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I'm not sure I want to bring up MMM as context for questioning the validity of Priesthood leadership. However, I'm sure I can find a way to bring up an instance where our Bishop has said something, and not all the membership has chosen to follow the advice.

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These days, I enjoy lessons that are basic to the core because I feel more edified. I also need the basic refreshing and my new convert fiance also needs the basics and enjoys them.

Sure, it is more "interesting" to bring up more or other material, but I personally don't get the edification of the Spirit when this happens. It is sometimes necessary which I understand.

I have my group of friends that I can spend late nights talking about the "no-no" materials, speculate and go off on tangents all night long.

Good luck on your lesson!

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I'm not sure I want to bring up MMM as context for questioning the validity of Priesthood leadership. However, I'm sure I can find a way to bring up an instance where our Bishop has said something, and not all the membership has chosen to follow the advice.

You could talk about President Grant and the end of Prohibition and how he wanted the Church members to support continuing it but they voted to end it and it made him very sad.

http://lds.org/general-conference/2003/04/loyalty?lang=eng

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Isn't the faithful answer that it is only okay to disregard the specific direction from a leader with stewardship, when God has told you to? And that short of a specific direction, counsel is just that and you must consider prayerfully how to implement it in your life, and accept accountability for what you decide. And with a specific direction, members have a specific duty to confirm that the direction comes from God., and they are entitled to that confirmation. I like the MMM as an example, but it is a more dramatic example. What about when a YW leader shuns an errant teen? Isn't it her counselors duty to prayerfully challenge that choice. And her YW's duty to not go along with it?

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Elder Bednar in a training meeting , giving an example from when he was a Stake President:

This member of the Seventy calls and says, “I’m coming through this area. I’d like to have the members gather on a Wednesday night so that there’s some things that we’d like to teach them.”

And again, I tried to do this with great deference and respect, but I said, “It’s not a good idea to invite these people on a Wednesday night. Some of them will have to drive four and five hours, they can’t afford the gas money, they’ll have to take off work on a Wednesday afternoon

to be there, and if we invite them they’ll come. And they’ll get home late or they’ll drive so late into the night it will be dangerous or they’ll have to get a motel room, which they can’t afford.” I said, Whatever you want—we’ll bring the stake presidency, the high council, whatever, but it’s not a good idea to invite all of the members from all over the stake.”

And he was not pleased with me when I told him that. And I don’t want to sound anything other than appropriate, but that was the right thing to say. And I wasn’t fearful of putting that on the table for him, that information, because we’re to act and not just be acted upon. And even though he wasn’t happy with it, when he got done listening he said, “I can see that that’s the right thing to do, so we’ll adjust the schedule.”

Well, I think that’s the example. Yeah, you want to be strictly obedient and if he had said, “Look, I’m telling you we’re going to do it,” OK, we’ll do it. But I felt an obligation to put that out on the table so it would influence his judgment.

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I have been asked to teach Chapter 35 in Gospel Principles in a few weeks in Elder's Quorum.

I know that there are several people who love to pick at the "incompleteness" of the manuals.

So what bits of knowledge have been left out that should be brought up in the lesson?

"Understanding is not required, only obedience" - Babylon 5

My experience has been, the more willingly (and yes, unquestioningly at first) I obey, the more quickly the Holy Spirit explains the reason(s) for the request/command.

It probably took 'til I was in my late 30's -- early 40's before the reasons began to come.

HiJolly

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Elder Bednar in a training meeting , giving an example from when he was a Stake President:

And that's why Bishops and Stake Presidents and even Presidents of the church have counselors and why monthly meetings are held with auxiliary leaders. Input is needed in order to make the wisest and most inspired decisions.

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The last time I heard a similar lesson in priesthood, I asked your question with Mountain Meadows as an example. Everyone looked at me (which I anticipated) like a fly in the butter.

The response was that there are now "safeguards" built in that prevent that sort of thing from happening again.........but no one could tell me what they were or when they were implemented.

The only safeguard I know of is freewill and the holy ghost. Massacre of children isn't in me and if local priesthood leaders asked it of me, I would reject it. I think another safeguard would be communication. Today a quick or even not so quick call to Salt Lake City would change things in my mind.

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As long as you're being obedient to God and not simply obedient to a Church leader, then you'll be okay. There is a difference, though, and I think many members don't understand that. Also, you are entitled to personal revelation on things leaders advise you to do. It's important to seek that out instead of just taking what they say at face value.

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Actually I think members are very aware of the responsibility of both personal revelation and revelation for and from the church. In fact, last conference I believe a talk was given on just that subject.

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Actually I think members are very aware of the responsibility of both personal revelation and revelation for and from the church. In fact, last conference I believe a talk was given on just that subject.

As far as I can tell, the Church has never publicly acknowledged the possibility that a Church member might have the Spirit tell them not to be obedient about something. The only role for the Spirit is to confirm that we're supposed to be obedient.

Can anyone find anything in any Church publication suggesting even the slightest possibility that a member could be so inspired? I can only find teachings saying that we should always be 100% obedient, even in the small things.

For example, there's this talk called "Faith Obedience":

Then President Lee added a warning when he went on to say that we may not always like what comes from the authority of the Church, because it may conflict with our personal views or interfere with some of our social life. However, if we will listen to and do these things as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, we will not be deceived and great blessings will be ours.

It brings us back to obedience. It will always be so. It’s part of the plan of eternal happiness. I know of no doctrine that is more critical to our well-being in this life and the next. All scriptures teach obedience, and no apostle or prophet has ever lived who has not taught the principle of obedience.

Sometimes it is necessary to be obedient even when we do not understand the reason for the law. It takes faith to be obedient. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in teaching obedience, said that whatever God requires is right, though we may not know the reason until much later (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 256).

So, is there anything called "Faith Disobedience"?

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Can anyone find anything in any Church publication suggesting even the slightest possibility that a member could be [inspired not to be obedient about something]?

I don't know about a publication, per se, but I served in the old French East Mission a decade after the "Church of the Firstborn" fiasco, and it was very common knowledge that blind obedience, i.e., without confirmation of the Spirit, could easily lead to destruction. The members knew it, and so did we missionaries.

Lehi

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