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'Honoring and Obeying the Law' What If it Goes Too Far?


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UNDER NO  CIRCUMSTANCES IS THIS A POLITICAL THREAD, SO PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT ONE, IF ANYONE TRIES TO MAKE IT SO, I WILL DELETE THE THREAD, OR  ASK THAT THE MODS CLOSE IT. SO, I THANK YOU ALL BEFOREHAND WHO ABIDE THE RULES, OF THIS WEBSITE.  Sorry for all the caps, I just really want to keep this doctrinal, so “God bless you all in advance ”. 
 

We “Follow the Prophet”, a doctrinal concept that sets us apart, and we are blessed to believe that we have a Prophet (15 Prophets, Seers and Revelators), not to mention each Stake, where we are also blessed, as we have a model based on our central leadership. Understanding of course  that only the Prophet is to be the “mouthpiece of God”, for the entire Church. 
 

Now to the 12th Article of Faith (if memory serves), we are as a people to obey the law. However this time, it is not just countries only, who are now allowing  those of all Faiths to return, but certain regions. In our case, different States, or areas of large States allowing Churches to open, in our circumstances, some Temples. Also, it is not just States allowing it, but the Prophet making these decisions as well. For instance, my area still has not returned, but many here have returned already. Also, even (as a Church and People) we have chosen (in the past) to disobey the law of the land. One of the most defining moments of our Faith, was the jailing, and murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, although they were jailed illegally. Even more odd, two who were in jail that day, were there by choice, and thankfully they survived. 
 

Our leaders have also been jailed, for not obeying laws on polygamy, some leaving the country, and others choosing prison. What will happen if our leaders feel that those of Faith, are being unfairly targeted? We do find ourselves in a world where Church leaders, cannot apply policies equality. Some due to laws, and some due to (I guess) revelation, or inspiration. These are indeed difficult times. 
 

Thoughts? 

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What are you asking, Bill?

When should members disobey the laws?  Do you have any concerns right now?  Are you suggesting that Elder Bednar's mistaken understanding (imho) of Constitutional law and health codes should be upheld?

Your question is great, because I think the next Covid outbreak is going to leave us all reeling far worse than the last one.

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24 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

UNDER NO  CIRCUMSTANCES IS THIS A POLITICAL THREAD, SO PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT ONE, IF ANYONE TRIES TO MAKE IT SO, I WILL DELETE THE THREAD, OR  ASK THAT THE MODS CLOSE IT. SO, I THANK YOU ALL BEFOREHAND WHO ABIDE THE RULES, OF THIS WEBSITE.  Sorry for all the caps, I just really want to keep this doctrinal, so “God bless you all in advance ”. 
 

We “Follow the Prophet”, a doctrinal concept that sets us apart, and we are blessed to believe that we have a Prophet (15 Prophets, Seers and Revelators), not to mention each Stake, where we are also blessed, as we have a model based on our central leadership. Understanding of course  that only the Prophet is to be the “mouthpiece of God”, for the entire Church. 
 

Now to the 12th Article of Faith (if memory serves), we are as a people to obey the law. However this time, it is not just countries only, who are now allowing  those of all Faiths to return, but certain regions. In our case, different States, or areas of large States allowing Churches to open, in our circumstances, some Temples. Also, it is not just States allowing it, but the Prophet making these decisions as well. For instance, my area still has not returned, but many here have returned already. Also, even (as a Church and People) we have chosen (in the past) to disobey the law of the land. One of the most defining moments of our Faith, was the jailing, and murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, although they were jailed illegally. Even more odd, two who were in jail that day, were there by choice, and thankfully they survived. 
 

Our leaders have also been jailed, for not obeying laws on polygamy, some leaving the country, and others choosing prison. What will happen if our leaders feel that those of Faith, are being unfairly targeted? We do find ourselves in a world where Church leaders, cannot apply policies equality. Some due to laws, and some due to (I guess) revelation, or inspiration. These are indeed difficult times. 
 

Thoughts? 

I think this is an important section that can help guide this discussion.  I'll past the whole thing for easy reference.  This section gives caveats to the 12th article of faith, in verse 4 and 5.  We only believe in being bound to the law "while protected in their inherent and unalienable rights by the laws of such governments;"  In other words, if the law violates our inherent and unalienable rights, we are not necessarily bound to it.   It further states that sedition and rebellion are only unbecoming if we are protected under such law. 

  

SECTION 134

A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. Many Saints gathered together to consider the proposed contents of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. At that time, this declaration was given the following preamble: “That our belief with regard to earthly governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.”

1–4, Governments should preserve freedom of conscience and worship; 5–8, All men should uphold their governments and owe respect and deference to the law; 9–10, Religious societies should not exercise civil powers; 11–12, Men are justified in defending themselves and their property.

1 We believe that agovernments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men baccountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

2 We believe that no government can exist in apeace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the bfree exercise of cconscience, the right and control of property, and the dprotection of life.

3 We believe that all governments necessarily require acivil bofficers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

4 We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of aworship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish bguilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

5 We believe that all men are bound to asustain and uphold the respective bgovernments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and crebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

6 We believe that every man should be ahonored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the blaws all men owe crespect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.

7 We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all acitizens in the free exercise of their religious bbelief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

8 We believe that the commission of crime should be apunished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public bpeace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing coffenders against good laws to punishment.

9 We do not believe it just to amingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

10 We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, aaccording to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has bauthority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

11 We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all awrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in bdefending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

12 We believe it just to apreach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bbond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in cservitude.

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48 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Now to the 12th Article of Faith (if memory serves), we are as a people to obey the law.

Yes, as the 12th Article of Faith states, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

But don't forget that, immediately preceding that statement of belief, in AoF #11, "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience [...]"

 

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I would argue that the jailing of Hyrum and Joseph was not for violation of any law.

When the counsel of the Prophet conflicts with secular law I will go with the Prophet. In some cases if the instructions of revelation clash with secular law I will go with the revelation. While in general I believe in following secular law it is not sacred. I also do not consider Section 134 to be revelation. It is generally good counsel but it is not the will of God as regards secular law.

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27 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I also do not consider Section 134 to be revelation. It is generally good counsel but it is not the will of God as regards secular law.

Revelation, inspiration, or something else, it is the official position of the church, received by means of common consent and canonization - making it more than a mere proclamation. 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Thoughts? 

If a law goes too far, then it has gone too far.  The fact that you can see that a law has gone too far is pretty good justification for not going that far, yourself, if it has gone too far in the wrong direction.

I don't think it works the other way, though, because I don't believe it is possible to be too good.  Too careful, though, maybe. I can judge pretty well about how far to stay away from danger.

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2 minutes ago, pogi said:

Revelation, inspiration, or something else, it is the official position of the church, received by means of common consent and canonization. 

I think the choice of which words to use was excellent.  I've gone through it carefully and didn't see anything I don't agree with.

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4 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

What are you asking, Bill?

When should members disobey the laws?  Do you have any concerns right now?  Are you suggesting that Elder Bednar's mistaken understanding (imho) of Constitutional law and health codes should be upheld?

Your question is great, because I think the next Covid outbreak is going to leave us all reeling far worse than the last one.

I put question marks after the questions. 

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4 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

What are you asking, Bill?

When should members disobey the laws?  Do you have any concerns right now?  Are you suggesting that Elder Bednar's mistaken understanding (imho) of Constitutional law and health codes should be upheld?

Your question is great, because I think the next Covid outbreak is going to leave us all reeling far worse than the last one.

I am not suggesting Elder Bednar is mistaken about anything, as I have never heard the comments you are referencing. Also, I did not suggest the Saints should or would violate any law. I was pointing out past circumstances, and wondering what the Church might do, if laws concerning “freedom of religion”, become too prohibitive. 

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I would argue that the jailing of Hyrum and Joseph was not for violation of any law.

I agree, but that was the justification that the State of Illinois used at the time.

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4 hours ago, pogi said:

I think this is an important section that can help guide this discussion.  I'll past the whole thing for easy reference.  This section gives caveats to the 12th article of faith, in verse 4 and 5.  We only believe in being bound to the law "while protected in their inherent and unalienable rights by the laws of such governments;"  In other words, if the law violates our inherent and unalienable rights, we are not necessarily bound to it.   It further states that sedition and rebellion are only unbecoming if we are protected under such law. 

  

SECTION 134

A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. Many Saints gathered together to consider the proposed contents of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. At that time, this declaration was given the following preamble: “That our belief with regard to earthly governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.”

1–4, Governments should preserve freedom of conscience and worship; 5–8, All men should uphold their governments and owe respect and deference to the law; 9–10, Religious societies should not exercise civil powers; 11–12, Men are justified in defending themselves and their property.

1 We believe that agovernments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men baccountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

2 We believe that no government can exist in apeace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the bfree exercise of cconscience, the right and control of property, and the dprotection of life.

3 We believe that all governments necessarily require acivil bofficers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

4 We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of aworship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish bguilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

5 We believe that all men are bound to asustain and uphold the respective bgovernments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and crebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

6 We believe that every man should be ahonored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the blaws all men owe crespect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.

7 We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all acitizens in the free exercise of their religious bbelief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

8 We believe that the commission of crime should be apunished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public bpeace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing coffenders against good laws to punishment.

9 We do not believe it just to amingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

10 We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, aaccording to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has bauthority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

11 We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all awrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in bdefending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

12 We believe it just to apreach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bbond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in cservitude.

That is a great section of the D&C few even know about. 

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9 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am not suggesting Elder Bednar is mistaken about anything, as I have never heard the comments you are referencing. Also, I did not suggest the Saints should or would violate any law. I was pointing out past circumstances, and wondering what the Church might do, if laws concerning “freedom of religion”, become too prohibitive. 

In general, I agree with the sentiments of Obi-Wan Kenobi - "You must do what you feel is right, of course!"

Even if that means going to jail, or being put to death for how we live, we should always do what we feel is right.  Hopefully with God helping us to both know and feel in our hearts about what is right.

 

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6 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

UNDER NO  CIRCUMSTANCES IS THIS A POLITICAL THREAD, SO PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT ONE, IF ANYONE TRIES TO MAKE IT SO, I WILL DELETE THE THREAD, OR  ASK THAT THE MODS CLOSE IT. SO, I THANK YOU ALL BEFOREHAND WHO ABIDE THE RULES, OF THIS WEBSITE.  Sorry for all the caps, I just really want to keep this doctrinal, so “God bless you all in advance ”. 
 

We “Follow the Prophet”, a doctrinal concept that sets us apart, and we are blessed to believe that we have a Prophet (15 Prophets, Seers and Revelators), not to mention each Stake, where we are also blessed, as we have a model based on our central leadership. Understanding of course  that only the Prophet is to be the “mouthpiece of God”, for the entire Church. 
 

Now to the 12th Article of Faith (if memory serves), we are as a people to obey the law. However this time, it is not just countries only, who are now allowing  those of all Faiths to return, but certain regions. In our case, different States, or areas of large States allowing Churches to open, in our circumstances, some Temples. Also, it is not just States allowing it, but the Prophet making these decisions as well. For instance, my area still has not returned, but many here have returned already. Also, even (as a Church and People) we have chosen (in the past) to disobey the law of the land. One of the most defining moments of our Faith, was the jailing, and murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, although they were jailed illegally. Even more odd, two who were in jail that day, were there by choice, and thankfully they survived. 
 

Our leaders have also been jailed, for not obeying laws on polygamy, some leaving the country, and others choosing prison. What will happen if our leaders feel that those of Faith, are being unfairly targeted? We do find ourselves in a world where Church leaders, cannot apply policies equality. Some due to laws, and some due to (I guess) revelation, or inspiration. These are indeed difficult times. 
 

Thoughts? 

From where I stand, it is difficult to discern whether obedience to the law (in this case The Church being completely shot down) is warranted when we have been commanded to assemble, partake of the Sacrament and have fellowship with one .another. Especially when there are thousands of people "protesting" in mass and the government has not forced them disassemble. 

I also do not know if fear plays a part in the current situation. The leadership is older and nearly half of members in the average congregation are senior citizens. They are in the higher risk category. So, is compliance with the law out of obedience or are they hiding and afraid to contract the virus? 

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1 minute ago, Islander said:

From where I stand, it is difficult to discern whether obedience to the law (in this case The Church being completely shot down) is warranted when we have been commanded to assemble, partake of the Sacrament and have fellowship with one .another. Especially when there are thousands of people "protesting" in mass and the government has not forced them disassemble. 

I also do not know if fear plays a part in the current situation. The leadership is older and nearly half of members in the average congregation are senior citizens. They are in the higher risk category. So, is compliance with the law out of obedience or are they hiding and afraid to contract the virus? 

Other option: prudent enough to see the sense in trying to stay out of danger by congregating with people who could literally make me and my wife sick.

Wisdom is still considered a virtue, I think, too, right?

Neither me nor my wife nor anyone else needs to be legally required to do something we are already aware would not be a wise thing to do... namely, allowing other people to make us sick.

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16 minutes ago, Islander said:

From where I stand, it is difficult to discern whether obedience to the law (in this case The Church being completely shot down) is warranted when we have been commanded to assemble, partake of the Sacrament and have fellowship with one .another.

Let us keep in mind that it was the Church which completely shut itself down first.  Me thinks the command to assemble and partake of the sacrament, etc. isn't really specifically required on a weekly basis.  The church today has made that very clear that we are not expected or commanded to attend church if we feel uncomfortable at this time, or where the law prohibits it. 

Furthermore, the law is warranted according to D&C 139:

Quote

...except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the...dprotection of life.

 

Edited by pogi
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9 minutes ago, Islander said:

From where I stand, it is difficult to discern whether obedience to the law (in this case The Church being completely shot down) is warranted when we have been commanded to assemble, partake of the Sacrament and have fellowship with one .another. Especially when there are thousands of people "protesting" in mass and the government has not forced them disassemble. 

I also do not know if fear plays a part in the current situation. The leadership is older and nearly half of members in the average congregation are senior citizens. They are in the higher risk category. So, is compliance with the law out of obedience or are they hiding and afraid to contract the virus? 

It is perplexing to a large degree.  

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3 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Other option: prudent enough to see the sense in trying to stay out of danger by congregating with people who could literally make me and my wife sick.

Wisdom is still considered a virtue, I think, too, right?

Neither me nor my wife nor anyone else needs to be legally required to do something we are already aware would not be a wise thing to do... namely, allowing other people to make us sick.

Good point, I just got home a couple of hours ago from the hospital. The four days there, certainly made me wonder if I would be safer at home. Well the last day I thought that, had I not gone there Sunday, I would not be here to debate it. 

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42 minutes ago, Islander said:

From where I stand, it is difficult to discern whether obedience to the law (in this case The Church being completely shot down) is warranted when we have been commanded to assemble, partake of the Sacrament and have fellowship with one .another. Especially when there are thousands of people "protesting" in mass and the government has not forced them disassemble. 

I also do not know if fear plays a part in the current situation. The leadership is older and nearly half of members in the average congregation are senior citizens. They are in the higher risk category. So, is compliance with the law out of obedience or are they hiding and afraid to contract the virus? 

You could take your lead from the apostles who has instructed us to meet when the Area Presidency permits and to follow government instructions. The church shut down before government instructions to do and in many areas is conducting church services under more restricted conditions than the government regulations. Why are you assuming we would be fully open if the government lifted all restrictions?

I also find it ridiculous that you are insinuating that the General Authorities are cowards.

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54 minutes ago, pogi said:

Let us keep in mind that it was the Church which completely shut itself down first.  Me thinks the command to assemble and partake of the sacrament, etc. isn't really specifically required on a weekly basis.  The church today has made that very clear that we are not expected or commanded to attend church if we feel uncomfortable at this time, or where the law prohibits it. 

Furthermore, the law is warranted according to D&C 139:

 

The Church has been gone, for all practical purposes,  for nearly 6 months now.  There are people that have not received the Sacrament for months.  They had no fellowship or support for months.  

I believe that "prudence" and "wisdom" are rather convenient crutches (at times) for fear. I say this as an observation. Faith is NOT what we profess and tell to each other but how we live our lives.  For nearly 6 months the government/virus/fear has broken our resolve to worship God as He commands. That is a fact. People may allude to "reasons" why we should continue this way indefinitely but I suggest that we have found a convenient "reason" to abandon worship as we knew it. 

Whether we live or die hinges on God's will and not on chance and the statistical probability that one may get infected with a virus. If it is your time, it is your time. Whether this month or next year, or a decade. our days are counted. If you are afraid to die that should be the subject of your reflection, study and prayer. But picture yourself before the all searching eye of the Almighty God and try to explain why you abandoned His worship and service because________________ (pick you reason). 

Just my thoughts.  Feel free to disagree. 

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35 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

You could take your lead from the apostles who has instructed us to meet when the Area Presidency permits and to follow government instructions. The church shut down before government instructions to do and in many areas is conducting church services under more restricted conditions than the government regulations. Why are you assuming we would be fully open if the government lifted all restrictions?

I also find it ridiculous that you are insinuating that the General Authorities are cowards.

I have a background in health science and can tell you with a significant degree of certainty that older people are fearful of the virus more so than the general population. They are in the high risk group for infection and greater propensity for complications and mortality. Could that be a factor? Is possible.

All I know is that other Christians are saying "enough is enough", we understand the risks, but our desire to worship and fellowship is greater than our fear.

We are just hiding.  

 

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2 hours ago, Islander said:

I have a background in health science and can tell you with a significant degree of certainty that older people are fearful of the virus more so than the general population. They are in the high risk group for infection and greater propensity for complications and mortality. Could that be a factor? Is possible.

All I know is that other Christians are saying "enough is enough", we understand the risks, but our desire to worship and fellowship is greater than our fear.

We are just hiding.  

 

I’m not hiding, I’m enjoying my vacation.  Plus I find church to be an extra feeding ground for pesky viruses.  I like my lungs clear. 

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6 hours ago, Islander said:

The Church has been gone, for all practical purposes,  for nearly 6 months now.  There are people that have not received the Sacrament for months.  They had no fellowship or support for months.  

I believe that "prudence" and "wisdom" are rather convenient crutches (at times) for fear. I say this as an observation. Faith is NOT what we profess and tell to each other but how we live our lives.  For nearly 6 months the government/virus/fear has broken our resolve to worship God as He commands. That is a fact. People may allude to "reasons" why we should continue this way indefinitely but I suggest that we have found a convenient "reason" to abandon worship as we knew it. 

Whether we live or die hinges on God's will and not on chance and the statistical probability that one may get infected with a virus. If it is your time, it is your time. Whether this month or next year, or a decade. our days are counted. If you are afraid to die that should be the subject of your reflection, study and prayer. But picture yourself before the all searching eye of the Almighty God and try to explain why you abandoned His worship and service because________________ (pick you reason). 

Just my thoughts.  Feel free to disagree. 

That is an interesting backdoor argument for a lack of free will influencing our lives. Our decisions can’t prematurely kill us? Eat, drink, and snort meth for everyone will live exactly as long as they should no matter what?

The virus has broken our will to worship God as He commands? So his apostles have all gone renegade and abandoned God to save their own lives? 

I am not afraid to die. I have a lot of questions I am hoping I will get answers to when I die. I look for deliverance from several afflictions when I die. I have not lived a particularly happy life. I feel some of what C.S. Lewis felt when he wrote to a dying friend: “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret?“ I do fear dying of this disease and I fear unknowingly giving it to others. I did do one series of things that, in terms of being in the middle of a pandemic, we’re deeply stupid. I did it because I felt I had been instructed to and only did it after a lot of prayer and meditation. It did not come with a guarantee of safety. It came only that I should do it and I did.

I am also in communication with God on a somewhat regular basis and He has not communicated to me any discontent with my home worship services or receiving the sacrament alone by myself. To those struggling alone there are outlets of spiritual nourishment all over. If they are starving for it I really wonder if they even want it. I have gone to the church twice since it was reopened with limited attendance to go to sacrament meeting. Once because I was asked to help with the sacrament and once because I was asked to be the one speaker but I usually do not so that others can fill the limited attendance we are currently allowed by the Church (more strict than the secular restrictions here). I also went twice to process tithing. I would also add that God has not been shy in the past when He needed to communicate His discontent with me so I doubt He is quietly burning with wrath prepared to damn me for daring to obey the instructions of the apostles.

There are things that I have concerns about coming up at the judgment bar but not attending church in the middle of a pandemic is really low on that list.

6 hours ago, Islander said:

I have a background in health science and can tell you with a significant degree of certainty that older people are fearful of the virus more so than the general population. They are in the high risk group for infection and greater propensity for complications and mortality. Could that be a factor? Is possible.

All I know is that other Christians are saying "enough is enough", we understand the risks, but our desire to worship and fellowship is greater than our fear.

We are just hiding.  

We are not hiding. The pandemic is bad. It is worse now then when we were collectively all hiding in this country. We have decided “enough is enough” because we want it to be over not because it actually is over.

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19 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

What will happen if our leaders feel that those of Faith, are being unfairly targeted? We do find ourselves in a world where Church leaders, cannot apply policies equality. Some due to laws, and some due to (I guess) revelation, or inspiration.

I think our leaders intervene whenever they see and feel that those of our Faith are unfairly targeted. The Church has a strong legal department, and strong government relationships worldwide.

Church policies are not meant to be applied equally, since exceptions and local accommodations are part and parcel of their structure.

I think revelation and inspiration are at work in these decisions and actions.

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17 hours ago, Islander said:

The Church has been gone, for all practical purposes,  for nearly 6 months now.  There are people that have not received the Sacrament for months.  They had no fellowship or support for months.  

And you're blaming the law?  Our leaders have nothing to do with it?  The Nehor is right, if there are people starving for the sacrament, fellowship, and support, it is not because it is not available to them if they seek it. 

17 hours ago, Islander said:

I believe that "prudence" and "wisdom" are rather convenient crutches (at times) for fear. I say this as an observation. Faith is NOT what we profess and tell to each other but how we live our lives.  For nearly 6 months the government/virus/fear has broken our resolve to worship God as He commands. That is a fact. People may allude to "reasons" why we should continue this way indefinitely but I suggest that we have found a convenient "reason" to abandon worship as we knew it. 

Of course it would be foolish to attribute prudence and wisdom to our leaders, because in reality they are just a bunch of old guys living in fear, without the courage to live by faith.  That is just the "fact" of it.  They are in direct violation of God's command and have finally found a convenient reason to abandon worship.  I think you hit the nail on the head!

17 hours ago, Islander said:

Whether we live or die hinges on God's will and not on chance and the statistical probability that one may get infected with a virus. If it is your time, it is your time. Whether this month or next year, or a decade. our days are counted. If you are afraid to die that should be the subject of your reflection, study and prayer. But picture yourself before the all searching eye of the Almighty God and try to explain why you abandoned His worship and service because________________ (pick you reason). 

It's true - seat belts have nothing to do with it.  Statistical probabilities are for faithless schmucks!  Vaccines-schmaccines!  Statistical probabilities about the effectiveness of vaccines play no role in who lives or dies - that's entirely up to God.  So why get vaccinated?!

Sarcasm aside - Whether we live or die hinges in large part on what we do to preserve our lives.  God's will won't save us if we don't have the faith to act in self preservation, and give heed and due diligence to understanding statistical probabilities.  Need I remind you that "Latter-day Saints are not immune" and should therefore not act in "faith" as if they are.  Nor should they pretend as if self-preservation is a faithless act. 

Your Purpose is so Obvious!

 

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But picture yourself before the all searching eye of the Almighty God and try to explain why you abandoned His worship and service because________________ (pick you reason).

Let me ask you a question Islander - "Do ye suppose that ye cannot worship God save it be in your synagogues only? And moreover, I would ask, do ye suppose that ye must not worship God only once in a week?"

I have not been to church in quite a while.  I don't intend on returning any time soon.   I don't ever anticipate finding myself standing before the Almighty God having to explain to him why I abandoned His worship and service...because I haven't.

Edited by pogi
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